In computing and software an "Easter egg" is a secret message, joke or screen buried in an application. Typically, Easter eggs are used to display the credits for the development team or to display a humorous message. To see an Easter egg, you need to know a special procedure or sequence of keystrokes to display it.
Microsoft Easter Eggs
For example, follow these instructions to see a list of people who worked on the User Assistance feature of Microsoft Word 2000:
1. Open Microsoft Word2000
2. Press F1 or click the "Office Assistant" button
3. Under the "What would you like to do?", type "Cast" (No quotes)
4. Click SEARCH
5. Click the MICROSOFT OFFICE 2000 USER ASSISTANCE STAFF topic
6. Click the graphic in the Microsoft Word Help screen
One of the most famous Easter eggs in Microsoft software was dubbed the "flight simulator" in Excel '97. This Easter egg showed a little world that users could float around in and find a scrolling list of credits.
Google Easter Eggs
Even Google hides Easter eggs in its products. For example, if you use Google Maps to get directions from Japan to China, step 41 will indicate you should "Jet ski across the Pacific Ocean." In Google search you can type "Do A Barrel Roll" (No quotes) in the search box and the page will tilt and rotate 360 degrees.
Mozilla Easter Eggs
Mozilla Firefox also contains well-known developer Easter eggs, many found by entering a special string of words in the Firefox address bar.
- Book of Mozilla: In the Firefox address bar, type about:mozilla. This will display a quote from the "Book of Mozilla" about the birth of Firefox.
- Thanks, Everyone: In the Firefox address bar, type about:credits. This will display a scrolling list of volunteer developers who have made Firefox possible.
Video Game Easter Eggs
Easter eggs in computer games are also common and may result in funny scenes, an unexpected monster, a hidden level, or other extras that gamers can discover while playing. Popular video game Easter eggs are indexed on The Easter Egg Archive website.
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