Personal Computers, Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria,
Dr. William M. Pegram, Saturdays, Sept. 8, 15, 22, Engineering 210
Basic Windows Tasks
- Windows versions (chronological order, more or less): Windows 3.1, Windows
95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP (Home and
Professional versions), Windows Vista (Home Basic, Home Premium, etc.) released for consumers January 30, 2007.
- Desktop - icons (shortcuts), task bar at bottom with start button
- Mouse - left click, right click, click vs. double click
- Start menu - arrows indicate more options
- Operation of a window - move windows around by holding mouse down in title
bar; minimize, maximize, restore down, close, and resizing windows, scrollbars
- Click arrows, drag the box, click between box and arrows (page up or page
down). Restore down can be useful if you want several windows open at a time.
- When you minimize an application, it continues to run and will show up in
the Task bar. The same effect is created if you launch a program without closing
another program (the previously launched program is minimized and appears
in the task bar
- Sometimes multiple copies of a program will be running. This often leads
to not enough room to display each copy separately in the task bar and windows
will now group these by application and show a number before the name of the
application showing the number of copies of that program that are running.
A particular copy can be accessed by clicking the down arrow after the name
of the application. To close out all copies at one time, you can right click
on the application in the task bar and select Close Group. If you select any
of the other options (Cascade, Tile Horizontally, or Tile Vertically), it
displays a window for each of the copies, which of course can then be moved
around or resized.
- Showing the Windows Desktop - With a number of programs open, minimizing
the program in the window will result in the program most recently used now
appearing in the window. It may take several minimization steps to get back
to the desktop appearing. A quick way to get to the desktop is to right-click
on an empty area of the taskbar, and select Show the Desktop.
- Another way to cycle among the open programs (those that are in the task
bar and the one that currently is in the main window) is to hold down the
Alt key while repeatedly pressing the Tab key -- whichever program is highlighed
with a box will be maximized when one releases the Alt key.
- Folders (directories) and files - files typically have extensions (3 letters
following a period) that indicate what type of file it claims to be
- Windows Explorer (some of this applies in My Computer as well)-
- Right click on Start button, or from Start menu, or double click Icon
on desktop if there is one;
- - sign means subfolders are visible in folders pane;
- + sign means that subfolders not visible in folders pane (click to expand)
- Nothing means there are no subfolders;
- To see folder contents - click on folder;
- Create a new folder - File, New
- Changing the view (Thumbnails, Tiles, Icons, List, Detail)
- thumbnails - only really useful for images (shows a small version
of the image)
- tiles - shows full file name, not clear what the advantage of this
- Icons - long file names not fully displayed; this is the Windows
- List - shows full file name, other info (file type, title, author,
last date modified, file size) displayed in mouseover
- Details - file name, file type, last date modified, file size displayed
- 1 row per file - column widths can be adjusted by dragging boundary
(true in many Windows applications), and files can be sorted by clicking
at top of column, clicking again sorts in reverse order, so files
can be sorted alphabetically, or by file type, or last date modified,
etc. -- This is the view I find the most useful
- Selecting a sequence of files - Click the first one, hold down shift
key, and click the last one
- Selecting several files, but not in sequence - Click the first one,
hold down the ctrl key while clicking additional ones
- Moving files by dragging and dropping - if you drag and drop by left
click, it is a move; if you drag and drop through a right mouse click,
it gives you a choice as to whether you want to move it, copy it, or create
a shortcut in the new location to the file.
- Menu - Edit, Copy (Ctrl c); Edit, Cut (Ctrl x); Edit, Paste (Ctrl v)
-- The keystroke commands are useful to learn partly because sometimes
they will work even when there is no menu alternative available
- Renaming files - (1) right click on file or folder, (2) click name twice--
do not double click, (3) File, rename
- Delete a file - right click on file, and select delete
- Launch an application - double click on a file whose extension is associated
with that application
- Recycle Bin - When you delete files on your hard drive, they go into
the "recycle bin". This permits you to recover these files until
you decide to empty the recycle bin. The Recycle Bin is located at the
bottom of the list of drives and folders in Windows Explorer. To recover
a file, right click on the file and select Restore. This puts the file
back in the location where it was before you deleted it.
- Creation of a shortcut - Rightclick on empty portion of desktop, then fill
in the blanks; if you are creating a shortcut to a program and that program
already exists on the start menu, then you can create a shortcut by dragging
from the Start menu onto the desktop. If you are creating a shortcut to a
program, practically all of them will be located in the folder Program Files.
- Quicklaunch buttons on taskbar - Internet Explorer, Desktop (useful when
applications are open)
- Windows Task Manager - Launch by hitting Ctrl-Alt-Delete keys at the same
time or by right-clicking on an empty section of the task bar and selecting
Task Manager. The Applications tab of the Task Manager allows you to shut
down individual programs when they "stop responding" without having
to reboot the entire computer.
Start>Control Panel. This permits access to a variety of functions of computer;
some of these functions may not be available for particular categories of users
- Display Properties > Start>Control Panel>Display Properties. There
are 5 tabs here:
- Themes - Windows Classic, Windows XP - depending on whether Windows
Classic or Windows XP is chosen, the choices you see in Control Panel
will differ; I am presenting it the way things look in Windows Classic
-- switch to Windows XP and see how the alternatives change
- Desktop - can set background for desktop
- Screen Saver - can set what appears if your computer is inactive for
a specified amount of time
- Appearance - can set appearance of text boxes, buttons, etc.
- Settings - you can change the resolution of the monitor (e.g. 800x600,
1024x768, 1152x864, 1280x720, 1280x960, 1280x1024)
- Using Windows Explorer or My Computer, create a folder named with your
last name inside My Documents or on a floppy drive.
- Insider the folder you created in (1), create three folders, named day1,
day2, and day3.
- Choosing Start>Programs>Accessories, open up Word and type your name
in and save it with the filename intro inside of the day1 folder.
- Using Windows Explorer or My Computer, copy the file intro.doc to the day2
folder. Then copy to the day3 folder but try to use a different way of copying
than you did before.
- Copy the intro.doc file to the desktop.
- Rename the file in the day2 folder to review.doc
- Double click the intro.doc on the desktop to open it up in whatever program
opens it, make a change in the file noting that you opened it on the desktop,
and save the file back to the desktop
- Adjust (slow down) the double click speed on your mouse -- Start>Control
- Change the number of clicks to do something - Normally one click selects
something and you double click it to open it. You can change this so that
point at something selects it (after a delay) and a single click will open
it. To do this, choose Start>Control Panel>Folder Options>General
and under the click items section, select the radio button for "Single
click to open (point to select).
- Increase the size of everything on the computer - You can do this by lowering
the screen resolution of your monitor. Start>Control Panel>Display Properties>Settings
-- Drag the screen resolution slider toward less.
- To make menus and other things larger, choose Start>Control Panel>Display
Properties>Appearance and then choose Large or Extra large in the font
size drop down box.
- To make icons larger, choose Start>Control Panel>Display Properties>Appearance
and click on the Effects button and check the "Use large icons"
- Turn on High Contrast - Start>Control Panel>Accessibility>Display
and check the High Contrast Box. You may need to then use a keyboard shortcut
to turn it on. There are a variety of contrast settings to choose from. To
turn it off, uncheck the box.
- Magnifier - This magnifies the area near the cursor and shows it in a special
window. You can set the magnification settings anywhere from 2 to 10. To turn
on, Start>All Programs>Accessories>Accessibility>Magnifier.
Introduction to Word
- Office 2007 released January 30, 2007 -
quite different than Office 2003.
- Show toolbar buttons on 1 row vs. 2 rows - click the toolbar options button
(gray with arrow) - this also displays the buttons you don't see if there
isn't enough room with the row specification you have made)
- The Word Window
- Insertion Point
- Menu - the most recently used options appear first - if you wait a moment
or click the arrow at the bottom, a full menu appears; alternatively, double
clicking the name of the menu right away makes the entire menu appear
- Entering text - font size in points (1/72 of an inch) - default font is
Times Roman 12point
- As you type, if you see red lines, that indicates Word thinks you have made
a spelling mistake, if you right click, it will suggest possible alternatives
in bold. A green line indicates a possible grammatical mistake
- Word wrap (soft return) vs. hitting enter (hard return) to force to a new
- Displaying formatting - using the Show/Hide toggle button - backwards Paragraph
symbol - useful for determining how many spaces are between words and where
there are hard returns you don't want
- Zoom - doesn't affect how the document is printed, only the magnification
level on the screen
- Backspace (deletes to the left of the insertion point) vs. delete key (deletes
to the right of the insertion point)
- Deleting text by selecting it, hitting backspace or just starting to type
- Checking Spelling & Grammar as You Type - Tools>Options>Spelling
and Grammar - you can check or uncheck boxes to control how this works
- Saving a document - application window vs. document window, use meaningful
names, can use spaces, you don't need to specify the extension (.doc). In
this dialog box, there is an icon to create a new folder
- Formatting text - select the text and then apply formatting - alignment,
font and font size, bold, italics, underline
- Edit>Undo (Ctrl Z) and Edit>Redo (Ctrl X) commands
- Selecting a line - click to the left of a line; selecting word by word -
Ctrl+Shift and then use right arrows to add, left arrows to subtract words
from the selection
- Inserting Clip Art - Insert>Picture>Clip Art and then enter keywords
for search. Double click on one of the alternatives or click the arrow next
to the alternative and select Insert.
- Resizing a graphic - Click anywhere on the graphic to select it -- you will
see sizing handles appear on the sides and corners of the document if it is
selected. You can then resize by dragging these handles or by selecting Format>Picture>Size
where you can enter precise measurements. Uncheck the aspect ratio box if
you want to change the aspect ratio (relationship of width to height) in the
- Saving a document - File Save or File Save As. If the document hasn't been
saved before, File Save functions the same as File Save As and allows one
to specify a location and filename for the document. If the file has been
saved before, then File>Save will overwrite what was there previously (will
not keep the former version). If you want to keep the former versoin, save
the new version with a different filename or put it in a different location.
- Printing a document - File>Print gives you some options whereas clicking
the print icon on the toolbar prints the whole document immediately. To cancel
a print job, double click the print icon on the taskbar that will only show
up while the document is printing. This is a much faster way to cancel than
selecting Start>Control Panel>Printers and Faxes>Select the printer>Highlight
the document in the list and then choose Document>Cancel.
- File>Print>Options and File>Print>Properties - what you see
in each will depend on your printer but these allow options just as printing
only in black and while and in draft mode, to save both time and expense.
- Insert vs. overtype mode - The default mode is insert mode where typing
text does not delete existing text; to switch to overtype mode where typing
text deletes existing text, doubleclick the OVR in the middle of the status
line at the bottom.
- Bullets and Lists
- Changing Margins - File, Page Setup
- Changing Line spacing - Line Spacing icon or Format>Paragraph>Indents
and Spacing or right click in paragraph, Paragraph
- Use a Header to Number Pages, # of Pages, etc. - View, Header and Footer
- Headers and footers don't display in normal view unless you deliberately
view them, but they do display in Print Layout view
- Autocomplete tip - Press enter to accept
- Check Spelling and grammar as you type - If you right click on a word with
a red underline, various spelling options are displayed and you can pick one.
If you want to turn off the underlining, select Tools>Options>Spelling
and Grammar>Hide spelling errors in document
- Word's Autocorrect feature - When you position cursor over text that Word
automatically corrected, a small blue box appears below the text. Click on
box and you get the following choices - Change back, Stop automatically correcting
this change, or Control Auto Correct Options -- you can also bring this up
by Tools>Auto Correct Options -- you can add things to this list (e.g.
can use as a shortcut to add something longer). To turn off the auto correct
feature, choose Tools>AutoCorrect as You type>Auto Correct and remove
check from "Replace text as you type"
- Insert footnote (what you see depends on what view you are using) by Insert>Reference>Footnote.
Footnotes - can view footnote in Normal view as a tooltip, moving footnotes
(cut and paste the note number (reference mark)
- Tools>Word Count -- then you have option whether you want to include
footnotes and endnotes in the calculation whereas File>Properties>Statistics
doesn't include footnotes and endnotes in calculation. Alternatively you can
use View>Toolbars>Word Count
- File>Properties - be aware of what's here when you electronically submit
a Word file to another person
- Automatic Page Breaks vs. Hard Page Breaks (Insert>Break>Pagebreak
or Ctrl Enter)
- Hanging indent - paragraph formatting - all lines of a paragraph are indented
except the first (Format>Paragraph>Indents and Spacing>Special>Hanging
- In Word, subsequent paragraphs you type pick up formatting of previous paragraph
- Hyperlinks - If you type a URL (e.g. www.nvcc.edu), Word automatically turns
it into a hyperlink. If the user cursors over the URL, a tooltip appears that
indicates that a Ctrl click will launch the browser with that URL
- shortcuts to select text- triple click for a paragraph, double click for
- Edit>Copy (Ctrl C) and Edit>Paste (Ctrl V). The Ctrl V is useful to
remember because it will work some places where there is no menu available
to choose Edit>Paste.
- Paste Options Button - When you copy text, a paste options button may appear
and if you click on it, it gives you the option of having the pasted material
match the formatting of where you are pasting it.
- Search and Replace - Edit>Find and Edit>Replace. The searching goes
forward from the insertion point. One can undo replaces.
- Synonyms - Right click on a word and choose Synonyms. If you select word,
and then choose Tools>Language>Thesaurus, it will give various meanings
for the word and then synonyms for each meaning, so this cam be much more
useful than selecting synonyms right off.
Revised: September 8, 2007, comments to William Pegram, firstname.lastname@example.org