Many of you already know how to get around in windows. You may know how to do tons of stuff… but you may not know the correct terminology. A prerequisite to understanding higher level computer operations begins with knowledge of this basic “lingo”. I ask you to please read through this section carefully so that you can use these terms easily. They will be used throughout this course and throughout your computer life. If there are things you already know, great! Hearing things over several times is the best way to really make them stick.
The initial screen in Windows is called the Desktop. It is the work environment, which, more or less, is used like a desk. Containing items you can use to do your job, it can be arranged to suit your own particular needs. The Windows Desktop is intended to make it easy for you to work and to find and use applications.
taskbar System tray Start button Icons shortcut
Desktop icons, buttons, and elements ICONS An icon is a small graphic symbol that represents a program, file, or folder on a computer. Clicking on an icon with a mouse generally causes the program to run, the folder to open, or the file to be displayed. A collective term for the various controls whose on-screen appearance typically simulates a push button or a radio button. The user clicks buttons to specify commands or set options BUTTONS
A shortcut is an icon usually on your desktop (You can also put a shortcut in a document or folder).
Shortcuts are pointers to an original file, giving you access to the file without having the actual file on the desktop. These pointers are handy for files used frequently, programs you prefer not to add to the Start Menu, and objects you have difficulty finding.
To place a shortcut anywhere – right-click, choose “shortcut” and navigate to the file or folder you want to get to. ( We will cover this “how-to” more thoroughly in the next lesson)
This horizontal bar located at the bottom of your Desktop displays the Start button, the clock, and other icons. Buttons representing open folders, applications, and documents are displayed on the Taskbar. Its primary purpose is to allow you to switch quickly and easily between applications
Like your own desk, you can have the paperwork for several projects scattered on the workspace at the same time. Sometimes you are concentrating on one, but need to switch to the other quickly. The taskbar stores the ones you are not using until you need them again.
Then all you have to do is click once with your mouse to show or hide any of them
Windows' system tray is on the far right end of your task bar. It holds shortcuts to programs that load or install when your PC boots (turns on). You will usually see 5 or 6 icons there. If there are many more icons in the system tray, it can slow down your system. Most of these programs don’t need to be taking up system resources running in the background. You can always open them later if you need them.
The Windows Start button is on the bottom left corner of your desktop on the Taskbar. The Start button is what you click on to begin almost any task on your computer. A single left-click on the Start button opens the Start menu. In the Programs section of the Start menu, you have access to many of the applications on your computer. In the Settings section of the Start Menu you can access your computer's settings, printer, Taskbar and Start Menu options. From the Start menu you can also Shut Down your computer.
My Documents is a folder where you store your personal files. You can create other folders to save files in, but My Documents is easy to find because it is on the desktop. Double-click My Documents to view your personal files and folders
To change the Background of the Desktop (called the Wallpaper):
Click the Background tab if it is not already selected and play. You can browse your files for your own photo if you like. You will learn how to find files in the next few lessons.
You can make your desktop a reflection of who you are. You can add your favorite pictures, change the colors, move the icons around, add shortcuts to your favorite web sites, etc. Right click on the Desktop. Select Properties. To change the screen saver Select the Screen Saver tab. Under Screen Saver, click on the down arrow to see a list of Screen Savers. Click the various Screen Savers, and find one you like. Click on Preview. The Wait option determines how many minutes will lapse before the Screen Saver "kicks in" after the computer has been idle. To change the colors Select the Appearance tab and play with the various themes, or create your own color scheme !