Computer Tutorial--Part 2A: Basics of Microsoft Windows
What you can do when you open a window
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The next few articles in this series are detailed and may seem difficult to the less experienced user. I offer two suggestions to help with this situation:
1) If you have a printer, print out the article and use that copy to follow along, or
2) Call up this article on your PC and display it on your desktop. Move the article to the right of the desktop by putting the mouse arrow in the blue bar at the top. Press down on the left clicker on your mouse and hold it down. Now move the mouse to the right until the right margin of the window is at the right margin of the desktop and release the clicker. Next, double left click on the "My Computer" icon and move that window near to the left margin of the desktop. You may want to adjust the width of that window so that it does not overlap the window for the article. You do that by moving the mouse arrow to the right margin of the "My Computer" window. If you put the mouse exactly on the right margin, the mouse arrow will turn into a two-headed arrow. When this occurs hold down the left clicker and move the mouse to the left.
This will narrow the window. Release the left clicker when you are satisfied with the result. With both these windows open you can read along in the article on the right side and practice on the window on the left side. Good Luck!
This article describes the "File" button which is the first of six buttons that appear in the second line (called the command line) of any open window. This button gives you all the options for any highlighted file in the window.
Whenever a window is opened, the title of the icon appears at the top. A miniature picture of the icon precedes the title. If you left click on the icon (meaning put the mouse arrow on the icon and left click) a small help menu appears in which you can select Move, Size, Minimize,, Maximize, or Close. We will discuss Move and Size below. At the far right of that line are three buttons. If you rest your mouse on the "_", the word "Minimize" appears below the arrow. A left click here will put a small bar on the start line with the icon and title.
The middle button has a square and the word "Maximize" below the arrow. If this is clicked (left) the window expands to cover the entire desktop. You will notice that the square is now two squares and clicking here again will bring the size of the window back to its original size.
The third button is the "X" and a left click here closes the window and removes it from the desktop. The three buttons "-", "box", and "X" give the same result as clicking on the icon at the beginning of the line.
The "Move" command can be accomplished by putting the mouse arrow on the title line at the top, pressing the left click and holding it down, and moving the mouse to where ever you want it to be. This is called "dragging". Release the left click and the window stays in its new position. This allows you to have more than one window open if the need arises.
The "Size" command is used to change the size of any window. Put the mouse arrow on any of the four edges of the window or on any of the four corners and adjust it until the mouse arrow turns into a two-headed arrow. Now left click and hold down the left button. Next, move the mouse and the window will become wider, or taller, or both if you are on a corner. Release the left click and the size remains.
The following information is based on Windows XP. Earlier Windows systems will be similar but there will be differences.
Let us use the icon for "My Computer" for example. Two left clicks on the icon opens the window and shows us the hardware and some software in your PC. Hardware for the office style includes the monitor, keyboard, CPU, and may also include a printer, speakers, modem, scanner, a fax, a floppy disc and even additional storage. Software includes all the programs that make the computer run and any documents created by the user as well as any instructions stored in the computer.
In "My Computer" hardware is listed first followed by some software depending on which Windows System you have in your PC.
The next line is the "Command" line and will display six buttons if there is enough space. The buttons are "File", "Edit", "View", "Favorites", "Tools", and "Help". If the window is too narrow, the window will show as much as possible and show a small double arrow ">>" at the end. The small double arrow can be left clicked to display the rest of the buttons in a small drop-down help menu.
If you click on any of the six buttons a drop-down menu appears with additional information.
If you put the mouse arrow on "File" and left click without highlighting any item listed in the window you will get a drop-down menu with five choices: "Create", "Shortcut", "Delete", "Rename", "Properties", and "Close". You should note that only the "Close" is in dark print. That means that the only active choice is "Close". The first four are barely visible. This is called being "grayed-out" and means that they are not active at this time.
If you highlight one of the items by a single left click on it and now click on "File" again you get a drop-down menu with additional instructions available before the five mentioned above. These additional instructions will vary with the particular hardware icon selected.
If you click on a folder and within that folder click on an item (to highlight it) and then click on "File" you always get a drop-down menu with twelve choices. These are "Open", "Print", "Edit", "Open With", "Scan with Norton", "Send To", "New", and the five mentioned above. Some computers use "Norton" software to detect viruses and others may use "McAfee" for the same function.
Some programs require special software to open them such as "Wordpad", "Notepad", or may allow you to choose the special software from a pop-up list.
The "Send To" command allows you to send a copy of that file to a variety of destinations including: "Mail Recipient" (eMail), other folders, other hardware locations, the desktop, or other software locations.
The "New" command allows you to make new folders, shortcuts, and to include new links to various software programs in the current window.
This completes the discussion of the "File" button on the command line. The next article will discuss the "Edit" and "View" buttons on the command line.
NEXT--Part 2B: More Windows Functions
Copyright © Rye Reflections 2007. All rights reserved.