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Definition: Any software feature or program that functions automatically to screen data. In e-mail, one can use a filter to delete unwanted messages automatically or move certain types of messages to folders one has created. In a graphics program, a filter alters the image in a certain way, such as increasing its contrast or adding a color tint.
Source: Pfaffenberger, Bryan. Webster's new world computer dictionary. London: Wiley, 2003. Print.