Microsoft Windows Vista

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Table of Contents

What is a window?

A window is an area on your desktop within which a Windows-based program runs.

Will you explain the parts of a window?

I will use WordPad as an example. WordPad is a word-processing program that comes with Windows Vista. To access WordPad:

  1. Click the Start button. The Start menu appears.
  2. Click All Programs. The All Programs menu appears.
  3. Click Accessories. The Accessories submenu appears.
  4. Click WordPad. WordPad starts.

Window

Restore

No

Area

No

Area

1

Control box

2

Menu bar

3

Title bar

4

Minimize

5

Maximize

6

Close button

7

Command bar

8

Border

9

Status bar

10

Work area

 

Part Description

Control box

Provides a menu that enables you to restore, move, size, minimize, maximize, or close a window.

Menu bar

Displays the program’s menu. You can use the menu to send commands to the program.

Title bar

Displays the name of the current file and the name of the current program.

Toolbar

Displays icons you can click to send commands to the program. Toolbars generally appear directly below the menu, but you can drag them and display them along any of the window borders.

Minimize button

Click to temporarily decrease the size of a window or remove a window from view. While a window is minimized, its title appears on the taskbar.

Maximize button

Click to make the window fill the screen.

Close button

Click to exit a window or close a program.

Command bar

Displays icons you can click to send commands to the program.

Border

Separates the window from the desktop. Drag a window’s borders outward to expand it and inward to contract it.

Status bar

Provides information about the status of your program.

Restore button

Click to restore a minimized window to its former size.

Can I have more than one window open at a time?

You can have as many windows as you want open at the same time.

How do I switch between windows?

If you have several windows open at the same time, the window on top is the window with focus. You can only interact with the window with focus. To change windows, do any one of the following:

  • Click anywhere on a window to change the focus to that window.
  • Hold down the Alt key and press the Tab key (Alt-Tab). A preview of all open windows appears. While holding down the Alt key, click the Tab key until you have selected the window to which you want to change.
  • All active files display on the taskbar. Click the taskbar button for the window you want to have focus.

How do I move a window around on my desktop?

Left-click the window’s title bar and drag the window.

What does it mean to "cascade your windows"?

Cascading is a way of organizing windows on your desktop. Cascading windows fan out across your desktop, with the title bar of each window showing.

How do I cascade my windows?

  1. Right-click the taskbar. A menu appears.
  2. Click Cascade Windows.
  3. Vista cascades the open windows.

What does it mean to "stack your windows"?

Stacking is a way of organizing your windows on your desktop. When you stack your windows, Windows Vista places each window on the desktop in such a way that no window overlaps any other window. The windows are stacked one on top of the other.

How do I stack my windows?

  1. Right-click the taskbar. A menu appears.
  2. Click Show Windows Stacked. Vista stacks your windows.

What does it mean to "show windows side by side"?

Showing your windows side by side is another way of organizing your windows on your desktop. When you show your windows side by side, Windows Vista places each window on the desktop in such a way that no window overlaps any other window. The windows display side by side.

How do I show my windows side by side?

  1. Right-click the taskbar. A menu appears.
  2. Click Show Windows Side by Side. Vista displays your windows side-by-side.

What are scrollbars?

In many programs, if the contents of the work area do not fit in the window, scrollbars appear. A vertical scrollbar appears at the right side of the window and a horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the window. The vertical scrollbar provides a way to move up and down. The horizontal scrollbar provides a way to move from left to right and from right to left.

The scroll box indicates where you are in your document. If the scroll box is at the top of the scrollbar, you are at the top of the document. If the scroll box is in the center of the scrollbar, you are in the center of the document.

How do the scrollbars work?

To move up and down one line at a time:

  • Click the arrow at either end of the vertical scrollbar.

To move from side to side:

  • Click the arrow at either end of the horizontal scrollbar.

To move approximately one window at a time:

  • Click above the scroll box to move up.
  • Click below the scroll box to move down.

To scroll continuously:

  • Click the appropriate arrow and hold down the mouse button.

To move to a specific location:

  • Left-click the scrollbar and hold down the left mouse button until you arrive at the location. For example, if you want to go to the center of the document, click the center of the scrollbar and hold down the left mouse button.
  • Or, drag the scroll box until you arrive at the desired location.

What is an icon?

An icon is a small image. Icons help you execute commands quickly. Commands tell the computer what you want the computer to do. To execute a command by using an icon, click the icon.

What is a menu?

Menus provide a way for you to send commands to the computer (tell the computer what you want the computer to do). When you open a window, menu options are listed from left to right on the menu bar, just below the title bar. When you click a menu item, a drop-down menu appears. Select the command you want to execute from the drop-down menu. An ellipsis after a drop-down menu item signifies that there are additional options; if you select that option, a dialog box appears.

What is a shortcut key?

You can use shortcut keys to execute a command quickly by pressing key combinations instead of selecting the commands directly from the menu or clicking on an icon. When you look at a menu, most of the options have one letter underlined. You can select a menu option by holding down the Alt key and pressing the underlined letter. You can also make Alt-key selections from drop-down menus and dialog boxes.

In this tutorial and on this Web site, we use the following notation: a key name followed by a hyphen and a letter means to hold down the key while pressing the letter. For example, "Alt-f" means to hold down the Alt key while pressing "f" (this opens the File menu in many programs). As another example, holding down the Ctrl key while pressing "b" (Ctrl-b) bolds selected text in many programs. In some programs, you can assign your own shortcut keys.

What is a selection?

A selection is a highlighted area on which you can perform a command. For example, if you are using a word-processing program, you can highlight a word and then execute the Underline command to underline the highlighted word.

How do I make a selection?

  1. Left-click where you want to start your selection.
  2. Hold down your left mouse button and drag the mouse until you have highlighted the area you want.

Or

  1. Left-click where you want to start your selection.
  2. Hold down the Shift key while you use the arrow keys to highlight the area you want.

Note: Typing over highlighted text replaces the old text with the new text you type.

Can you explain cut, copy, and paste?

The Cut, Copy, and Paste commands are used by almost every Windows program and perform more or less the same function in each of them. You can cut, copy, and paste programs, disks, and text, to name just a few things.

Cut: When you cut something, you delete it from its current location and save it to the Clipboard. Information saved to the Clipboard stays there until new information is either cut or copied. Each time you execute Cut or Copy, you replace the old information on the Clipboard with whatever you just cut or copied. While information is on the Clipboard you can paste it as often as you like.

Copy: Copy is similar to Cut except you do not delete the original item. When you copy something, a copy of the item is saved to the Clipboard. Information stored on the Clipboard stays there until new information is either cut or copied. Each time you execute Cut or Copy, you replace the old information on the Clipboard with whatever you just cut or copied. While information is on the Clipboard you can paste it as often as you like..

Paste: You can place Clipboard information wherever you like. When you execute the Paste command, you place the information you have cut or copied wherever your cursor is located.

Clipboard: The Clipboard is the storage area for items you have cut or copied. Each time you execute Cut or Copy, you replace the old information on the Clipboard with whatever you just cut or copied. You can paste Clipboard information as often as you like, until you replace it with something else.

There are three major methods of cutting, copying, and pasting: using the menu, using keyboard shortcuts, and using icons. In most programs, they work exactly as described here.

Using the Menu:

Cut

  1. Select what you want to cut.
  2. Click Edit, which is located on the menu bar. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Click Cut.

Paste

  1. Place the cursor at the point where you want to place the information that is currently on the Clipboard.
  2. Click Edit. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Click Paste.

Copy

  1. Select what you want to copy.
  2. Click Edit, which is located on the menu bar. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Click Copy.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts:

Cut

  1. Select what you want to cut.
  2. Press Ctrl-x.

Paste

  1. Place the cursor at the point where you want to place the information that is currently on the Clipboard.
  2. Press Ctrl-v.

Copy

  1. Select what you want to copy.
  2. Press Ctrl-c.

Using Icons:

Cut

  1. Select what you want to cut.
  2. Click the Cut Cut icon.

Paste

  1. Place the cursor at the point where you want to place the information that is currently on the Clipboard.
  2. Click the Paste Paste icon.

Copy

  1. Select what you want to copy.
  2. Click the Copy Copy icon.

Are there any universals that apply to almost all programs?

Following is a list of commands that appear in many, but not all programs. Check each program's documentation for information specific to the program.

Note: I use the following convention to indicate a menu path: View > Toolbars. When you see View > Toolbars, it means choose View from the menu bar and select Toolbars from the drop-down menu.

Icon

Shortcut Key

Menu Path

Command Description

New

Ctrl-n

File > New

Create a new file.

Open

Ctrl-o

File > Open

Open an existing file.

Save

Ctrl-s

File > Save

Save the current file.

Print

Ctrl-p

File > Print

Print the current file.

Find

Ctrl-f

Edit > Find

Find text in the current document.

Cut

Ctrl-x

Edit > Cut

Cut (delete and place on Clipboard) the current selection.

Paste

Ctrl-v

Edit > Paste

Place the material currently on the Clipboard at the current location of your cursor.

Copy

Ctrl-c

Edit > Copy

Copy the current selection to the Clipboard.

Undo

Ctrl-z

Edit > Undo

Reverse the most recent command. Place the program in the state it was in before executing the last command.

Redo

Ctrl-y

Edit > Redo

Reverse the last undo. Place the program in the state it was in before executing Undo.

Font

 

Format > Font

Apply a font to the current selection.

Font Size

 

Format > Font

Set the size of the font for the current selection.

Bold

Ctrl-b

Format > Font

Bold the current selection.

Italic

Ctrl-i

Format > Font

Italicize the current selection.

Underline

Ctrl-u

Format > Font

Underline the current selection.

Left Align

Ctrl-l

 

Left-align the selection.

Right Align

Ctrl-r

 

Right-align the selection.

Center

Ctrl-e

 

Center the selection.

Justify

Ctrl-j

 

Justify the selection.

   

View > Toolbars

Select the toolbars you want to display.

Will you explain how to save a file?

I will use WordPad as an example.

  1. Click File, which is located on the menu bar. A drop-down menu appears.
  2. Click Save. If you have never saved the file before, the Save As dialog box appears.
  3. Click the down-arrow in the Save As Type field and then select the file type you want your file to have.
  4. Type the name you want to give your file in the File Name field.
  5. Click the Browse button and then use the Explorer window to change folders if needed.
  6. Click the Save button.

Save File

Field/Icon

Entry

Address bar

Select the folder to which you want to save the file.

Instant Search box

Search for folders and files on your computer by typing the filename here.

File Name field

Name your file by typing the name in this field.

Save As Type field

Click to open the drop-down box and select a file type.

Browse Folders button

Click to open an Explorer window in which you can perform all of the Explorer functions.

Save button

Click to save your file.

Cancel button

Click if you change your mind and do not wish to save your file.

What is a dialog box?

Whenever you see an ellipsis (…) after a menu option, selecting that option causes a dialog box to appear. You use dialog boxes to send commands to the computer. Most dialog boxes provide an OK button and a Cancel button. Click the OK button if you are satisfied with your entries and you want to send the commands to the computer. Click the Cancel button if you change your mind and do not want to send the commands to the computer.

What are tabs?

Tabs

Some programs provide dialog boxes with several pages of options. You move to a page by clicking on its tab or by using Ctrl-Tab (hold down the Ctrl key while pressing the Tab key to flip through the pages).

What are fields?

Fields

You type entries into fields (also referred to as text boxes). For example, in the Save As dialog box, you type the name you want your file to have in the File Name field.

What are list boxes?

List Box

List boxes provide multiple options from which you can choose. To make your selection, simply click the option you want. In some list boxes, you can choose more than one item. To choose multiple items, hold down the Ctrl key while you make your selections. If there are more options than can be displayed in the box, a scrollbar appears on the list box. Use the scrollbar to view the additional choices.

What is a drop-down or pull-down menu?

Drop-down Menu

Fields with a drop-down menu have a small downward-pointing arrow next to them. You click the arrow and a list of options appears. You select the option you want from the list. You can also open the drop-down menu by holding down the Alt key and pressing the down-arrow.

You can use the arrow keys to move up and down in a drop-down menu. You can also move to an item by typing the first few letters of the option.

What are radio buttons?

Radio Buttons

Windows Vista and programs that run under Windows Vista use radio buttons to present a list of mutually exclusive options. You can select only one of the options presented. Radio buttons are usually round. A dot in the middle indicates that the option is selected.

What are checkboxes?

 

Check Boxes

Checkboxes are another method for selecting options. You click the checkbox to select the item. An X or a check mark appears in a selected box. You toggle checkboxes on and off by clicking in the box.

What is a slider?

Slider

You use a slider to increase or decrease a value. In the illustration, you increase a value by moving the slider toward the right; you decrease a value by moving the slider toward the left.

What is a spinner?

Spinner

A spinner is a set of arrows located on the side of a text box. You use the up-arrow to increment a value and the down-arrow to decrement a value. You can also type the value you want directly into the text box.

Will you explain the Windows Vista color box?

Color Box

Some programs allow you to adjust colors; for example, you can adjust the color of text in some programs. The Windows color box provides 48 basic colors. You select a color by clicking on that color’s square. You can save 16 custom colors. To create a custom color, expand the window by clicking on the Define Custom Color button. A color matrix box and a luminosity slider appear. Move the pointer in the color matrix box horizontally to adjust the hue. Move the pointer vertically to adjust the saturation. Use the luminosity slider to adjust the luminosity. The Hue, Saturation, Luminosity (HSL) values and Red, Green, Blue (RGB) values display at the bottom of the window. After you select a color, you can add the color to a Custom Color square by clicking the Add To Custom Colors button.

The Color|Solid box may display two colors. The left side of the box displays the dithered color and the right side of the box displays a closely related non-dithered color. There are 256 non-dithering colors. Non-dithering colors should display the same on all computer monitors; consequently, Web

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