About box

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The about box for KDE 3.5.1

The graphical control element about box or about dialog is a dialog box that displays the credits and revision information of a computer software. Many times the splash screen (if one exists) includes the same information as the about box.

Generally, most programs' about boxes include information about product name and installed version, company name, and copyright information. However there are programs that include much more information in their about box, like system information, software license ownership information or the license agreement text, and the names of contributors to the project. The function for updating the software can be included in the about dialog, too.

The concept of the about box originated with the first Macintosh Classic operating system, where About [program name] was typically the first item in the Apple menu. In Mac OS X, about boxes are typically listed as the first item in the menu with the program's name (next to the Apple menu). In most Microsoft Windows programs (prior to major user interface changes in Windows 7), about boxes can be accessed from the Help menu, from a menu item of About .... For example, Microsoft Internet Explorer's about box could be opened by opening the Help menu, then selecting About Internet Explorer menu item.

About boxes are usually not standardized and are sometimes creative or entertaining in their design. They might contain some small animation or they may be a passage to an easter egg. In some occasions, mostly in web browsers, the about dialog can be shown as a document of its own in the application.

The Mac OS X and the MorphOS operating systems include standard classes, Aboutbox.mcc in MorphOS' case, for displaying copyright and credit information. Application authors are recommended to use them instead making own custom About boxes.

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