Windows XP Basics
Windows XP Basics
Lyn Belisle
As soon as you start your computer, Windows XP takes control. Your work takes place
on the desktop. The taskbar is the center of operations for Windows XP. Initially it
appears at the bottom of the screen.
If you right click on a clear area of the
Taskbar, you can open its properties and
make changes to the way it looks and
functions. For example, if Lock the toolbar
is checked, the toolbar cannot be moved.
The clock usually appears on the lower
right side of the taskbar. If you hover the
mouse over the clock time, the date will
appear above it.
Any open programs appear on the taskbar
regardless of whether the window is open.
You can customize the way notifications
appear for active and inactive items by
clicking the customize button in the
properties window and choosing from a list
That will hide or show icons.
When you close the properties windows,
you return to the desktop. On the right of
the taskbar, there are other items to the left
of the clock. These can include volume
control, antivirus options, and shortcuts to
applications.
Sections of the Windows screen:
Title Bar
Shows the name of the current window – has buttons to Minimize, Maximize/Restore,
and Close.
Menu Bar
Contains a list of the available menus and each menu contains related commands.
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Dimmed command – is not available
at this time (example – nothing is
selected)
Ellipsis (…) following a command
means a dialog box will appear
An arrow (►) next to the command
means it is on
A key combination means there is a
shortcut (Ctrl+C)
A triangle ▼ next to a command
means a cascading submenu will
appear when this command is
selected
You can open a menu with the
keyboard by pressing ALT and
clicking on the underlined letter
Toolbar
Contains Icons of frequently used
features such as copy, paste, save – to
open or close additional toolbars, go to
the view command on the Menu Bar,
go down to the dropdown toolbar and
select or deselect the toolbars you need
for your task.
Status Bar
Will vary according to program, but shows status of current item/task
Scroll Bar
Allows navigation either horizontally or vertically
through the document or page
Desktop Dialog Box
Right click on a blank spot on the desktop to display the Properties Dialog Box
Question Mark button is a new context-sensitive Help feature. When you click the
question mark, you can then click any item in the dialog box for a description and
definition of that item or option.
The keyboard shortcuts can be used to perform various tasks depending on the
application. By pressing the F1 key and typing in “keyboard shortcuts” a complete list
will be displayed.
F1 means . . . .help.
You can also initiate the Help feature from the Start Menu. There are several ways of
finding information in Help:
Search – list of related topics
Index – list of all topics
ToolTips – popup boxes that describe tools and buttons within programs
Context-sensitive tools (what’s this?) when you right-click any item in the dialog box
For example, to find the location of the calculator, go to Start→Help and Support, click
the Index button on the Navigation bar, and type in calculator. It gives you the location,
but also gives you the option of opening it from the help page.
Windows XP Applications
Windows comes with several accessory programs such as a word processor, a paint
program, calculator, calendar and more. WordPad is Windows limited word processor but
the fundamental techniques it uses can be applied to most Windows word processors.
From left to right, the buttons are New, Open, Save, Print, Print Preview, Find (specified
text), Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo. And Date and Time (inserts them).
The accessory programs are generally found in Start→All Programs→Accessories.
Also in Accessories are the System tools which should be used on a regular basis to clean
up files and defragment the hard drive.
File Management
Files can be sorted by file name, size, type, or date modified – clicking the Name column
header in the list of files in My Documents reverses the order of the list.
Selecting files
Adjacent files can be selected by clicking the first file and then holding down the shift
key and click the last file.
Non adjacent files can be selected by holding down the control key (Ctrl) and click the
desired files to be selected.
Creating folders
Folders can be created by either right-clicking on a clear area in the desired location, or
by gong to the file menu and selecting new. Files and folders may be deleted by selecting
them, and then pressing the delete key.
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