In computing, the desktop metaphor is an interface metaphor which is a set of unifying concepts used by graphical user interfaces to help users interact more easily with the computer. The desktop metaphor treats the computer monitor as if it is the user's desktop, upon which objects such as documents and folders of documents can be placed. A document can be opened into a window, which represents a paper copy of the document placed on the desktop. Small applications called desk accessories are also available, such as a desk calculator or notepad, etc. The desktop metaphor itself has been extended and stretched with various implementations of desktop environments, since access to features and usability of the computer are usually more important than maintaining the 'purity' of the metaphor. Hence we find trash cans on the desktop, as well as disks and network volumes (which can be thought of as filing cabinets—not something normally found on a desktop). Other features such as menu bars, task bars, or docks have no counterpart on a real-world desktop.
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