The hyperfocal distance is used to determine where to focus to maximize depth-of-field.

The hyperfocal distance is the focus point where everything from half that distance to infinity is in the depth-of-field zone.

You can determine the hyperfocal distance by using a calculator, such as DOFMaster Online Depth of Field Calculator.

If you focus at the hyperfocal distance, everything will be acceptably sharp from half the hyperfocal distance to infinity.

For example, for a 18mm lens at f/5.6, the hyperfocal distance is 9.45 feet.

If you focus at the above hyperfocal distance, 9.45 feet, everything will be in focus from half the hyperfocal distance, 4.7 feet, to infinity.

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