After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
Work comfortably on the Windows XP desktop.
Work with the Start menu and taskbar.
Create, change and arrange shortcuts on the desktop and Quick Launch toolbar.
Clean up your desktop by removing unused icons.
Create new folders (directories) in your network home directory.
Working in the Microsoft Windows environment is a lot like working in a real-world office environment. You have a desktop where all your work tools are displayed, and you have folders in which to organize all your files. Windows incorporates all these elements into its user interface, which is the means by which you and your computer communicate with each other. Windows XP presents its tools, commands, and structure through a graphical user
interface. Each type of file is represented by a picture and description, and each command is represented by a button. Programs are arranged on a series of menus to make it easy to locate them. In this lesson, you will explore some of the elements of the Windows user interface and the various ways in which you can look at the information on your computer. You will then see how to tailor some of these elements to suit the way you work.
BE SURE TO log on to Windows before beginning this exercise. Follow these steps:
On the Windows desktop, double-click the Recycle Bin icon. The program’s title appears on the title bar at the top of the window. If the content of the window is too large to fit in the window, a scroll bar is displayed down the right side and/or across the bottom of the window. A button representing the program is displayed on the taskbar to indicate that it is open.
Click the Minimize button near the right end of the title bar. The window is minimized so that it is no longer visible on the desktop. The program is still running and is represented by a button on the taskbar.
Click the Recycle Bin’s taskbar button to redisplay the window.
Click the Maximizebutton. The window expands to fill your entire screen.
Click the Restore Down button. The window returns to its original size. The Restore Down button is available only when the window is maximized.
You can manually resize a window by positioning the mouse pointer over the window’s frame and, when the pointer changes to a double-headed arrow, dragging the frame to make the window smaller or larger. You cannot manually resize maximized windows; you must first restore the window to its non-maximized state.
Click the Close button. Closing the window closes the program and removes the corresponding button from the taskbar. The Start menu is a list of options that is your central link to all the programs installed on your computer, as well as to all the tasks you can carry out with Windows XP. The first time you start Windows XP, the Start menu is displayed until you click something else. Thereafter, you open the Start menu by clicking the Start button at the left end of the taskbar. In the space below, list 5 items which appear in the Start menu:
The taskbar is your link to current information about what is happening on your Windows XP computer. In addition to the Start button, the taskbar displays a button for each open program. You click a taskbar button to activate the window of the program it represents. The taskbar buttons are resized depending on the number of programs that are currently open, and they disappear when you close the programs they represent. The active window is indicated by a darker tone on the taskbar.
Follow these steps:
Close any open windows so that no taskbar buttons appear on the taskbar.
Click the Start button to open the Start menu.
On the Start menu, launch any program and minimize it after it loads. Do the same with 2 other programs. All of the programs should be minimized at this point.
Click on one of the programs on the task bar. Then click on another program. In the space below, write what happened both times:
Shortcuts are icons on your desktop or the Quick Launch toolbar that are linked to files, folders, and programs in other locations. Many programs give you the option of creating one or more shortcuts during installation, or in some cases, they create the shortcuts without asking. You can also create your own shortcuts, and you can delete any shortcut. Deleting a shortcut does not delete the program or file that the shortcut is linked to. In this part of the lesson, you will create a desktop shortcut for an existing program. It is also possible to create shortcuts for a Web site and a Quick Launch shortcut.
Right-click an open area of the desktop.
On the shortcut menu, point to New, and then click Shortcut. The first page of the Create Shortcut Wizard appears. The wizard will prompt you for the information Windows needs to create a shortcut.
Click Browse to open the Browse For Folder dialog box: you use this dialog box to tell the wizard which file or folder you want the shortcut to link to (its target), and where the file or folder is located. Click My Computer, then C: drive, then Program Files, then any folder within Program Files. Click OK to close the dialog box and return to the wizard. The location, called the path, of the selected file is entered in the Type the location of the item box.
Click Next to move to the Select a Title for the Program page. Using information saved with the selected file, the wizard has suggested a name for the shortcut.
Click Finish to create the shortcut and close the wizard. In the space below, record what happened:
Right-click My Shortcut, and click Properties on the shortcut menu. The My Shortcut Properties dialog box appears.
Click the General tab, and look at the information and available options.
Return to the Shortcut tab, and click the Change Icon button. This Change Icon dialog box appears.
Scroll through the list to see all the available icons.
Click your favorite icon and then click OK to change the icon and close the Change Icon dialog box, or click Cancel to keep the current icon.
Click OK to close the My Shortcut Properties dialog box and apply your change. In the space below, record what happened:
Right click the icon you just created and select Delete to delete it.
Next, we’ll learn about rearranging icons on the desktop.
Drag your desktop shortcuts to random positions on the desktop.
Right-click an open area of the desktop, point to Arrange Icons Byon the shortcut menu, and then click Auto Arrange. In the space below, record what happens:
The Desktop Cleanup Wizard helps you clean up your desktop by moving rarely used WindowsXP shortcuts to a desktop folder called Unused Desktop Shortcuts. The Unused Desktop Shortcuts folder is a temporary holding area for the shortcuts you are not using. You can
Cleanup restore shortcuts from this folder to your desktop, or you can delete the entire folder. In this part, you will use the Desktop Cleanup Wizard to clean up your desktop,
and you will then delete some desktop shortcuts.
BE SURE TO log on to Windows and minimize any open windows before beginning this exercise.
Create some icons on the desktop using the procedure previously described.
Right-click any open area of the desktop, point to Arrange Icons By on the shortcut menu, and then click Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard. The first page of the Desktop Cleanup Wizard appears.
Click Next to open a Shortcuts page. This list which follows varies depending on your desktop shortcuts.
Clear all other check boxes, and then click Next. The selected shortcuts are displayed on the Completing the Desktop Cleanup Wizard page.
Click Finish. In the space below, write what happened:
In the last part of this lesson, you will be able to create folders in your network home directory. Listen carefully to your teacher’s lecture on this subject.
Double click My Computer.
Double click your network drive (which at the time of this writing was designated as “I:”).
Click the File menu and then the New command. Select the Folder option.
Type the name you wish to give the folder and press
Double click the folder you just created and in the space below, record the names of the files: