Your set up 1.1 Understanding your computer

Your set up 1.1 Understanding your computer
Use this document with
the glossary
Beginner’s guide to
A helper should take you
through this guide
Your set up
1.1 Understanding your computer
If you’d like to get started with computers but you’re not sure where to
begin, this activity will show you how and get you going.
What will I learn?
• What the main parts of a computer are
• How to turn your computer on and off
• How to use a mouse, trackpad or touchscreen
How do I do it?
Be safe! If you’re using this hand-out on a
shared or public computer, remember to:
• Log on using a ‘strong password’:
one that includes upper and lower case
letters, numbers, and isn’t something
that someone else could guess.
2. Find these parts on your computer:
a. Monitor screen
b. Keyboard
c. Mouse
d. The power button:
• Never share or write down your password.
• Log out when you’re finished.
What are the main parts of a computer?
Take a look at the computer in front of you.
Is it a desktop computer, with separate parts? Or is it a laptop, with everything built into one?
Laptops have a built-in screen and keyboard.
Instead of a mouse, they have a trackpad. Find out
more on page 4.
Tablet computers don’t have a keyboard, mouse or
trackpad. Instead you tap and drag your fingers on
a touch-sensitive screen. Find out more on page 5.
How do I turn it on and off?
Desktop computer
3.You turn the computer on by pressing the
power button. If yours is not already on, press it
now and wait while the computer starts up.
2 Your set-up: Understanding your computer
4.These sections help you use a desktop or laptop
computer. To learn about tablet computers, go
to page 5.
You can now see your computer’s ‘desktop’.
The desktop is the screen that you see when
you have not got any folders or files open.
• On your desktop are shortcuts you can click
to go straight to files or programs.
• There is also a ‘recycle bin’, where you can
put files you no longer want.
At the bottom left are buttons you can click to
access programs and files. You can probably see:
• The Windows Start button
7 or
for Windows 8.
5. Turning the computer off is a little different:
• Hold your mouse and move it so that the
cursor arrow moves down to the Windows
Start button
for Windows 7 or
Windows 8 in the bottom left-hand corner of
your screen.
• Left click your mouse (press the left-hand
button) so that the Windows Start menu pops
• Left click either on the power symbol or on
the little arrow next to the ‘lock’ symbol and
then on ‘Shut down’.
for Windows
• A button to launch Internet Explorer,
a program that lets you browse the Internet.
• The Libraries button,
which lets
you find your documents, photos,
music and more.
• Windows Media Player, a program
that lets you play music and videos.
Windows 7 desktop
3 Your set-up: Understanding your computer
How do I use a mouse?
6.Your computer’s mouse lets you interact with
what’s on your computer screen:
• A pointer on the screen, called the cursor,
shows where you are.
• The cursor changes shape depending on what
it is hovering over.
It can be an arrow: , a hand:
, or if in
a document, a line: that shows where you
are typing.
• S lide your mouse around to move the cursor
around on your screen. If you run out of space
you can lift the mouse and reposition it on
your desk or table.
• I f your computer is busy the cursor changes
to an hourglass:
or animated circle:
7.A computer mouse usually has two buttons or
clickable areas on top, one on the left and one
on the right. Pressing these is known as ‘left
clicking’ or ‘right clicking’:
• Left click once to select an option, like a
web link.
You can also drag things on-screen with your
mouse: Move the cursor so it is over the recycle
bin. ‘Click and hold’ the left mouse button (that
is, press it down and keep it pressed). You can
now drag your recycling bin to another part of
the desktop. Release the mouse button. Now
click and hold the recycling bin again, and drag
it back to where it was.
Your mouse may also have a little wheel in
the middle, called the scroll wheel. Moving
thislets you scroll up and down a document
or web page.
10. Laptops have a trackpad instead of a mouse
(although you can also connect a mouse and
use it instead):
• Drag your finger around on the track pad to
move your cursor on the screen.
• Below the trackpad there is usually a left
button and right button, which have the
same functions as the buttons on a mouse.
• Many trackpads also let you tap on them once
or twice, for a single or double left click.
• L eft click twice (a ‘double click’) to open
a document.
• Right
click to make a mini-menu pop up.
You can then select from the menu using the left button.
Left button
Right button
4 Your set-up: Understanding your computer
How do I use a tablet?
11. A
tablet is a slim, light, portable computer.
Tablets don’t have a built-in keyboard or
trackpad. Instead, they use a touchscreen
that you tap, swipe or type using your fingers.
you won’t see a cursor on the screen, since
you can tap anywhere you want.
12. U
se your fingers and the touchscreen to
control your tablet:
• To open an app or select something, tap the
• To move between screens or scroll up and
down, swipe with your finger.
• To enter text into a box, tap the box and an
on-screen keyboard will appear.
Many tablets let you use more than one
finger. For example, you can zoom in or out
by spreading two fingers apart or pinching
them together.
13. S oftware programs on tablets are called
‘apps’. Each app has an on-screen icon
to open or ‘launch’ it. Instead of a single
desktop screen, tablets let you move between
different screens by swiping. You can organise
which app icons appear on each screen.
14. Have a look at the manual for your tablet to
see what other features it supports and make
sure you find out how to close an application
15. Some people use tablets as an ‘on the go’
work computer, for documents, spreadsheets
and presentations. Typing on screen means
most poeple don’t use a tablet as their main
work computer. Some tablets let you use a
wireless keyboard and mouse to make this
16. When choosing a tablet think about which operating system (OS) is right for you. This is
the software that runs the tablet. Most
tablets run Apple or Android OS’s, and some
use a version of Windows. The right choice
might depend on:
• Your main computer.
• Your budget.
• How easy you find using each type of tablet.
• The apps you want to use.
5 Your set-up: Understanding your computer
Quiz yourself
Try your new skills
• Do you left click or right click the mouse
to select something on screen, like a button
or option?
Practise what you have just learnt:
• W
hich button on the screen allows you to access
different ways to change the computer’s settings,
including turning it off?
• Which feature lets you control a tablet, instead of
a keyboard or mouse?
• Turn your computer off and on again.
• Use your mouse in different ways, using the
left-hand and right-hand mouse buttons.
• If you’re using a tablet, try using gestures like
tapping and swiping on your touchscreen to
control the computer.
If you are using a public computer, remember to
change the settings back to how they were.
Write down any notes that will help you:
6 Your set-up: Understanding your computer
My learning checklist
Top tips
I can turn a computer on using the
power button.
• You can find lots more videos and help at the
Microsoft Windows website.
I can turn a computer off using the Windows
Start menu.
oI can use a mouse or trackpad to move my
cursor around the screen.
I can use the left and right buttons on the mouse or trackpad.
I can use a touchscreen to control a tablet
Write down any notes that will help you:
7 Your set-up: Understanding your computer
Useful Links
You may want to use these links in your session:
Windows Help:
In association with
European Regional
Development Fund 2007-13
European Regional
Development Fund 2007-13
Investing in Your Future
8 Your set-up: Understanding your computer
Investing in Your Future
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