A document is a written, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of non-fictional, as well as fictional, content. The word originates from the Latin Documentum, which denotes a "teaching" or "lesson": the verb doceō denotes "to teach". In the past, the word was usually used to denote written proof useful as evidence of a truth or fact. In the Computer Age, "document" usually denotes a primarily textual computer file, including its structure and format, e.g. fonts, colors, and images. Contemporarily, "document" is not defined by its transmission medium, e.g., paper, given the existence of electronic documents. "Documentation" is distinct because it has more denotations than "document". Documents are also distinguished from "realia", which are three-dimensional objects that would otherwise satisfy the definition of "document" because they memorialize or represent thought; documents are considered more as 2-dimensional representations. While documents can have large varieties of customization, all documents can be shared freely and have the right to do so, creativity can be represented by documents, also. History, events, examples, opinions, etc. all can be expressed in documents.

Documents across mediums. Top-left: a word processor document using LibreOffice. Top-right: a copy of the Swiss Constitution in German. Bottom-left: a vinyl record holding a set of songs. Bottom-right: a computer program interpreting a fragment of a clay tablet with cuneiform script about king Shalmaneser III

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