Foundation in Engineering (FiE) Faculty of Engineering and Technology

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Foundation in Engineering

Faculty of Engineering and Technology


PCA 0016
Computer Applications and Programming


Chapter 1

Windows 7

Tutorial 1 – Introduction to Windows 7
Upon completion of this topic, the students should be able to:

  • Navigate around the windows desktop

  • Know the names of the various desktop items

  • Be familiar with basic computer functions (copy, drag & drop, delete, etc)

Figure 1: Basic Desktop Elements of Windows 7

Objectives - Students should know the names and functions of important elements of Windows OS. Though we are teaching you the latest version of Windows (Windows 7), the underlying and basic concepts of all Windows OS are almost similar. The important basic concepts are file management and tools in Control Panel.

1. What is Windows?

Windows (uppercase W) is an operating system created by Microsoft. It offers:

  • Graphical user interface (GUI), in which users work by clicking icons and menus rather than typing in commands. This is more convenient and user friendly compare to the older operating system created by Microsoft which is MS-DOS where you have to key in all the command

  • Common interface for all Windows programs (have same look, menu, buttons, toolbars)

  • Ability to run multiple programs and easily switch between programs

  • Easy sharing of data between programs and between computers

Windows 7 is the new operating system, which allows your computer to manage software and perform essential tasks, launched by Microsoft in 2009 as an upgrade from Windows XP or Windows Vista. However, Windows 7 shares many features and functions with Windows Vista and it also improves on Vista. Windows 7 is also a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that allows you to visually interact with your computer’s functions in a logical, fun and easy way.
A window (lower case w) – also refers to rectangular area on your screen representing a running application/program on computer. For example in Figure 1, currently there's only 1 window that is visible on the Desktop, which is MS Word.
2. The Desktop

  • Desktop

    • It refers to the basic work area you see on your monitor's screen after you start up Windows.

    • Any image or item that appears on the desktop is called an object.

    • A graphic representation of an object is called an icon.

    • An icon on the desktop represents a program or Windows 7 feature. A program you install often adds its own icon on the desktop.

    • An object always has Properties, which control how it behaves or appears. Usually you can change the properties by right clicking the object.

  • Recycle Bin icon

    • It represents the place where deleted files are stored temporarily.

    • Double click this icon to get back any files that you have deleted from your hard disk by mistake.

  • Taskbar

    • It is the gray bar that always appears at the bottom of the desktop. It consists of the Start button and application buttons which represent programs that are currently running.

    • You can change the location of the taskbar to the left, right, bottom or upper edge of your screen by dragging it to wherever you choose.

    • Hover your mouse over an icon to see what the program’s running.

    • Right-click an icon and you see the application’s Jump List.

    • You can move the icons around on the taskbar by simply clicking and dragging.

    • To set Taskbar properties:

      • Right-click on the Taskbar > click Properties (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Taskbar Properties

      • Check box is a box that can be ticked and unticked. To activate a particular option, just click on the check box and a TICK will appear.

      • Tabs are sub menu that are arranged on the top of each other. Some dialog boxes have more that 2 tabs. In the diagram you have 3 tabs: Taskbar, Start Menu, and Toolbars.

  • Start button is located at the left end of the taskbar. It provides a click’s access to the Start Menu.

    • To add a program to the pinned programs list, navigate to the program (by choosing Start button | All Programs, for example), right-click the program, and choose Pin to Start Menu.

    • To remove a program from the list of pinned programs (upper left) or the recently used programs list (lower left), right-click it and choose Remove from This List.

3. Predefined Folders and Programs at the Start Menu (Figure 3)

Figure 3: Start Menu

Hp40 Open your personal folder (can be any name).

Documents – Access letters, reports, notes, and other kinds of documents.

Pictures – View and organize digital pictures.

Music Play music and other audio files.

Computer See the disk drives and other hardware connected to your computer.

Control Panel Change setting and customize the functionality of your computer.

Devices and Printers View and manage devices, printers and print jobs.

Default Programs Choose default programs for web browsing, e-mail, playing music, and other activities.

Help and Support Find Help topics, tutorials, troubleshooting, and other support services.

Shut Down Close all open programs, shut down Windows and then turn off your computer.

4. Windows' Objects
Figure 4 shows some of the basic elements of a window of MS Word application.

Figure 4: Basic Windows Elements of MS Word

Title bar

Top part of the window usually blue contains the name of the open application, and three buttons. Try double click the title bar and see the effect

Minimize button

Reduce a window to a button on the Taskbar.

Maximize button

Enlarge a window so that it fills the entire screen

Restore button

This button appears after you maximize a window and it changes a maximized window back to its former size. You can also use Alt + Spacebar to minimise, restore and maximise

Close button

Close the application window or you can also use Alt + F4

Scroll bar

Vertical bar on the right border. When you click the up and down arrow button, the screen moves up or down one line at a time. Windows also have horizontal scrollbar to scroll sideways

Pull-down menu

The menu you open from the tab e.g. when you click Font in MS word (Figure 5).

Figure 5: A Pull-down Menu

Dialog boxes

When Windows needs input from you, it will pop up dialog box (Figure 6)

Figure 6: A Dialog Box

Context menu or
Pop-up menu

Quick shortcuts for common commands. Point to an item and right-click, context menu will appear. One of the best ways to learn windows is to right click everything!

Status bar

At the bottom of the window provides information like hyperlinks (in IE), cursor location (in MS Word), file size (in Windows Explorer)

5. Mousing with Your Mouse
5.1 Basic Mouse Operation

  • Click (Single click) – quickly press and release the left mouse button. Click an object to select it.

  • Right-click – use the right button to invoke a context menu. This menu shows the most frequently used commands for that object. To get rid of the context menu, click any unused area of the desktop.

  • Double-click – press and release the left mouse button twice rapidly in succession. You often use this operation to start an application represented by an icon.

  • Drag – press and hold the left button while moving the mouse. Use this operation to include multiple lines or cells in selected block to be operated on by a subsequent command. It can also be used to move an object to another location.

  • Deselect – click anywhere on a blank area of the screen.

5.2 Working with Several Windows at Once

  • The window that appears on top is called the active window.

  • Other windows beneath the active window are called the inactive windows.

  • When you click anywhere on an inactive window, it becomes the active window

  • Or you can use ALT + TAB (hold the Alt key and press tab several times)

      1. Arranging Windows

    • Point to an empty space on the taskbar and right-click. The pop-up menu that appears gives you three basic options:

    • Cascade - stacks all the windows one on top of the other with just enough room to see the title bar and left edge of each window beneath the active window on top.

    • Tile Vertically - resizes every open window, and lays them out edge-to-edge, side-by-side.

    • Tile Horizontally - arranges the open windows, edge to edge, from the top to the bottom of your screen.

5.3 Extra Mouse “Gestures”

  • Click the title bar of a window and drag the window all the way to the left side of the screen, as soon as the mouse hits the edge of the screen, Windows 7 resizes the window so that it occupies the left half of the screen and the docks the window on the far left side. Similarly, for the right side. That makes it two-drag easy to put a Word document and a PowerPoint slides side by side as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Word Document and PowerPoint slides Side by Side

  • Drag a window to the top of the screen; it’s maximized, so it occupies the whole screen.

  • Click a window’s title bar and shake it, all other windows on the screen move out of the way. They minimize themselves on the toolbar.

6. Moving Around the Desktop
6.1 Changing the Background

  • Right-click an empty part of the desktop and choose Personalize.

  • Windows hops to the Control Panel’s Personalization pane as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8: Control Panel’s Personalization pane

  • If you see a theme you like (use the scroll bar on the right to make sure you see all of them, including the high contrast options), click one of the Windows themes

  • If you don’t see a theme that tickles your fancy, or if you want to roll your own backgrounds, in the lower left corner click the Desktop Background link.

6.2 Getting Gadgets

  • Right-click an empty part of the desktop and choose Gadgets. Windows 7 lists its stock gadgets, as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9: Stock Gadgets

  • To put one of the built-in gadgets on your desktop, click and drag it onto the desktop.

7. Windows Explorer

  • Windows Explorer is used to view and to work with your files that you have saved or downloaded from the Internet.

  • To open Windows Explorer:

    • Right click Start button | Open Windows Explorer or click Start button | All Programs | Accessories | Windows Explorer OR

    • You can click at your user name at the Start menu.

    • The Windows Explorer will be opened as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10: Windows Explorer

  • You can use the navigation pane (the left pane) to find files and folders. You can also move or copy items directly to a destination in the navigation pane.

  • If you don't see the navigation pane on the left side of an open window, click Organize, point to Layout, and then click Navigation pane to display it.

7.1 Libraries

  • Libraries let you access folders from various locations, such as your computer or an external hard drive.

  • The navigation pane is the easiest place to access libraries. Click a library to open it, and the content from all the folders that are included in your library appears in the file list.

  • To create a new library:

    • Right-click Libraries, point to New, and then click Library.

  • To move or copy files from the file list to a library's default save location:

    • Drag the files to the library in the navigation pane. If the files are on the same hard disk as the library's default save location, they'll be moved. If they're on a different hard disk, they'll be copied.

  • To rename a library:

    • Right-click it, click Rename, type a new name, and then press Enter.

  • To see the folders that have been included in a library:

    • Double-click the library name to expand it—the folders will be listed below the library.

  • To remove a folder from a library:

    • Right-click the folder that you want to remove, and then click Remove location From library. This only removes the folder from the library—it doesn't delete the folder from its original location.

  • To hide a library:

    • Right-click the library and then click Don't show in navigation pane. This is a good solution if you're running out of space in the navigation pane but don't want to delete a library.

  • To show a hidden library:

    • Click Libraries, right-click the library in the file list, and then click Show in navigation pane.

7.2 Files / Documents

  • All files/documents that you have created and saved, and all the programs that you have installed or downloaded from the Internet are stored in your computer as files.

  • If you click on any element in the left pane (Figure 10), the right pane will list the folders and files (if any) of the current selected element. Figure 11 shows the view that will appear if you click on Local Disk (C :) on your Computer.

  • Double click the folder if you want to view the contents in it.

Figure 11: Files and Folders

  • A filename consists of two parts: a main filename and a file extension. The file extension determines what type of programs that will be used by windows when you double click the file to open it.

  • Filenames and folder names can be very long, but they can’t contain the following characters:

/ \ : * ? “ < > |

E.g. Double-click a text file (with the .txt extension) and it will automatically open in Notepad. How do you open the file in Word instead? By changing the default file association for all text files. A file association is something Windows uses to figure out which program should open a particular file. You can change a file association permanently, or for only one instance. You can change the default file association with these simple steps.

  1. Right-click a file.

  2. Select "Open With..."

  3. Select a program.

  4. Place a check mark next to "Always use this program to open this type of file" if you want to permanently change its file association. Otherwise, this will be a one-time solution.

  5. Click OK.

7.3 Folders / Directories

  • Folder / Directory are just like the physical file cabinet where you can store your files. You can create one or more folders (or subfolders) within another folder.

  • Path - is used to specify a particular location within a tree of the file. For example a full path to a file myDoc.txt may be “C:\Documents and Settings\User1\My Documents\myDoc.txt

7.4 Icons in Windows Explorer

Figure 12 shows some of the icons frequently used in Windows applications.

Figure 12: Icons in Windows

  • Drive icons - represent the disk drives on your computer. Nowadays most PC in the market have these type of drives: Cd-rom and local hard drive: which is the hard disk(s) and all it's partitions.

  • Folder/Directory icon - represents a folder on your disk. Usually the color is yellow.

  • File icon - found in the content pane. Various shapes. All the files of the same type will have the same icon i.e. all files with the extension .doc will use the 5th icon and all .xls files will use the 6th one

  • Recycle Bin icon - represents the place where deleted files are temporarily stored

7.5 Working with Your Files or Folders

  • To create a folder:

    • Click on File (at the Menu bar) | New | Folder

    • A new folder will appear. To change the folder's name, just start typing

    • To delete a folder: point at the folder, click once to select it, press the Delete key on the keyboard or right-click and choose Delete from the pop-up menu.

  • To select folders and files:

    • To select one icon, you click the icon that represents the folder or file.

    • To select a group of adjacent icons - click the first one, then hold down the Shift key and click the last one.

    • To select a group of non adjacent icons - click the first one, then hold down the Ctrl key and click the second, the third, the forth and so on.

  • To copy and move files and folders. Two ways of doing this:

    • Hold down the left button and start dragging things around and release the button when it reaches the destination.

      • If you are moving to another folder on the same drive, Windows will move the files to the destination folder. They no longer exist in their original location.

      • If you are moving to another folder on a different drive, Windows will copy the files.

      • If any of the files you're moving are programs, Windows will create a shortcut in the destination folder.

    • Use Cut or Copy and the Paste

      • Select the file from the original folder.

      • Right-click one of the selected files to pop up a shortcut file menu. Choose Copy Or Cut. Or use the shortcut keys C to copy and X to cut.

      • Switch to the destination folder window and right-click an empty area. Choose Paste or use the shortcut V.

  • To rename a file or folder

    • Right-click on the folder > Select Rename form the pop-up menu > Type the new name

    • Or select the file > push F2 on keyboard > Type the new name

  • To delete files or folders

    • Right-click on the file or folder

    • Select Delete from the pop-up menu or press the Delete key

    • Undo Delete

    • Right-click anywhere on the desktop

    • Select Undo Delete from the pop-up menu.

  • To formatting a floppy disk

    • Formatting is necessary when a new disk is to be used for the first time.

    • A used disk that contains data that is no longer required can be erased so that it resembles a new unused disk.
      To format a disk in drive A:

    • Right-click on the selected drive A icon.

    • Select Format…

    • Then follow the instructions given.

8. Control Panel

  • Control Panel is a special folder that contains mini-applications that enables you to control the way Windows looks and functions on your computer system (Figure 13).

  • To run control panel:

    • Click Start button | Control panel

Figure 13: Programs in Control Panel

9. Using Screen Saver

  • A screen saver is a moving picture or pattern that appears on a computer screen when the mouse or keyboard has not been used for a specified period of time. Screen savers were originally used to save older, monochromatic monitors from damage (screen burn), but now they're mainly a way to personalize your computer or enhance its security by offering password protection.

  • Do you know what screen burn is? The one factor that is most common on CRT monitors is screen burn. This is where if an image is displayed in the same spot on the screen all the time it'll burn the phosphorous coating of the monitor. Once this has occurred, there is no way to remove it from the screen. (This is less of a problem now than it was for early CRT monitors.) On the other hand, LCD panels are made with liquid crystal, which constantly moves around the backlit screen to create the picture. Because of this process, an LCD unit will never experience screen burn.

  • How to set a screensaver?

    • Click Start button | Control Panel | Appearance and Personalization | Screen Saver

Figure 14: Setting Up Screen Saver

  • What is the use of the password?

10. Search

  • Windows provides several ways to find files and folders:

    • To find a program or file by using the search box on the Start menu

  • You can use the search box on the Start menu to find files, folders, programs, and e mail messages stored on your computer.

  • To find an item using the Start menu:

      • Click the Start button, and then type a word or part of a word in the search box. As you type, items that match your text will appear on the Start menu. The search is based on text in the file name, text in the file, tags, and other file properties.

    • To find a file or folder by using the search box in a folder or library

  • The search box is located at the top of every library (Figure 15). It filters the current view based on text that you type. The search looks for text in the file name and contents; and in the file properties, such as in tags. In a library, the search includes all folders included in the library as well as subfolders within those folders.

Figure 15: Search Box in a Folder or Library

    • To find a file by using search filters (Figure 16)

  • You can use search filters to specify the property in your search.

Figure 16: Search a Files Using Search Filters





4. Woody Leonhard. 2009. Windows 7 All- in- One for Dummies. Wiley Publishing Inc.

5. Paul McFedries. 2009. Microsoft Windows 7 Simplified. Wiley Publishing Inc.


Instruction: Answer the questions by trying it on the PC itself.

  1. In Windows Explorer sometimes it displays the file name as test, sometime as test.doc. How to set whether windows explorer displays the extension of the file or not?

  2. Set your windows explorer to display the file extension. Rename the file test.doc to test.txt

  1. What happen to the icon?

  2. What program will be used by Windows when you double click the file test.txt?

  3. What is the purpose of having different file extension?

  1. How many types of Views in Windows Explorer? Name them.

  1. How to check the size of your hard disk?

  1. How to share your files so that it appears in the Network Neighborhood?

  1. 800 x 600 is the standard resolution for the 15" desktop screen. State 2 more screen resolutions.

  1. When you increase the resolution what happen to the font size and the size of your working area?

  1. How to check the size of RAM and the speed of your CPU?

  1. Describe the contents of the following directories.

Caution: don't modify the content of the directory c:\WINDOWS and its subdirectories

  • C:\WINDOWS\Web\Wallpaper

  • C:\WINDOWS \Media

  • C:\WINDOWS \Cursors

  • C:\Program Files

  1. The term default browser refers to the web browser that will be used when you double click (open) any files with the extension .html or .htm. How could you set Internet Explorer to be your default browser and how to set Netscape to be your default browser?

  1. Generally which folder should be used for the following purposes?

  • Install new software

  • Save your work

  • Add new fonts

  1. Explain the following phrases/words

  • “Wallpaper”

  • “log off the computer”

  • “my computer hangs”

  • “network is down”

  • “not enough memory”

  1. Give the path for

  • Solitaire program:

  • Internet Explorer:

  • Calculator program:

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Bosh sahifa

    Bosh sahifa

Foundation in Engineering (FiE) Faculty of Engineering and Technology

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