A Guide to Microsoft Windows XP - University of Reading by pengxuebo


									A Guide to Microsoft Windows XP

Microsoft Windows XP is the default operating system installed on IT
Services PCs. An operating system is a piece of software which allows you
to give instructions to the computer. Windows XP has a friendly Graphical
User Interface (GUI) which uses Windows, Icons, a Mouse and Pointer
(often referred to as WIMP). This method of working has become familiar to
most computer users nowadays, however, few know about all the facilities
and short cuts provided by the system. These notes aim to teach you how
to use Windows efficiently.
Introducing the Desktop

A picture of a Microsoft Windows XP screen from an IT Services PC is
shown below:

This is known as the Desktop.
The Desktop appears when a computer is ready for you to use (once the
system has booted up and, in IT Services labs, once you have logged in). If
you have your own computer, or access to computers not run by IT
Services, you will notice one or two differences. The obvious one is the IT
Services information on the right of the screen. Also, the University PCs are
running in XP Style Mode with virtually no icons (little pictures) displayed.
You will see later how to customize the screen by placing your own icons
on the Desktop. These can provide short cuts to some of the software
available and also to your files. The only icon is to the Recycle Bin.
Windows and their Control

Before exploring the Desktop further, it's important to learn how to control a
window. Whenever you use a facility in the operating system or run some
software, a new window appears, hiding some or all of the Desktop. You
will see later that you can have several things running at the same time,
each in its own separate window.
To demonstrate this, use the icon provided to open the Recycle Bin:

  1. Open the Recycle Bin by moving the mouse pointer onto the icon and
     double clicking with the left mouse button
  2. Under Other Places on the left, click on My Computer

A window similar to the one below should appear - the use of My
Computer will be covered later in these notes. If the window fails to appear,
you may not have double clicked properly. Try again.
Tip: Pressing <Enter> when an icon is selected also opens the window.
Whenever you open a Microsoft Windows XP window, several consistent
features are present. These allow you to manage and use the window. The
main features are:

  •   Title Bar - shows the window name. It is also used to move a window
      around the screen
  •   Control Buttons - the three icons in the top right corner from left to
      right are:
          o Minimize - temporarily hides the window
          o Maximize - makes a window fill the screen. When a window is
              maximised, this button becomes Restore Down, which returns
              the window to its smaller size
          o Close - closes the window
  •   Menu Bar - a simple menu system which gives access to all available
  •   Toolbar - a friendly set of buttons representing the commonly-used
      commands - if you move the mouse pointer over a toolbar button, a
      help tip usually appears
  •   Address Bar - a convenient way of accessing the various parts of the
  •   Scroll Bars - allow you to view information which is outside the current
      window area. Note that these only appear if they are needed. Both
      vertical and horizontal bars may be provided
  •   Task Panes - these sometimes appear and are designed to give you

The strength of Windows lies in its consistency. No matter what you are
doing, most of the above features will be present. Moreover, the same
commands are usually found in the same menus, whatever software is
being used. For example the Edit menu usually has the commands Cut,
Copy and Paste; the File menu usually has Open, Save and Print. Active
commands in a menu appear in black; if a command cannot be used at a
particular time it is greyed out.
Further, identical icons are used for the same commands on the
toolbars - and these are generally found in the same relative positions.
Many commands can also be issued through Key Combinations. You
haven't learned about using these yet, but they too are largely consistent
throughout Windows.
The following exercise demonstrates how to use the Window controls:

  1. If the My Computer window doesn't already fill the screen, click on
     [Maximize] (the central control button)
  2. Click on the central control button again - which has become [Restore
     Down] - the window is much smaller
  3. Move the mouse pointer into the blue Title Bar, hold down the left
     mouse button and drag the window slightly, to a new position on the
     screen, then release the mouse button
  4. Click on the left [Minimize] control button - the window will disappear

Though the My Computer window is no longer showing, it is only hiding.
This is shown on what is known as the Taskbar, at the very foot of the
screen. You will find out more about the Taskbar later.

  5. Move the mouse pointer to the very bottom of the screen over the
     button which reads My Computer and click the left mouse button - the
     My Computer window will reappear

Sometimes it is useful to resize a window manually, for example to display
several windows on the screen at once. This can be done by moving the
mouse pointer to the border of the window and dragging the edge in or out.
  6. Move the mouse pointer to the right edge of the My Computer window
     - it should change shape and becomes a double-headed arrow
  7. Hold down the left mouse button and drag the border to the left -
     reduce the window to roughly a third of its original width then release
     the mouse button (the task pane disappears)
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 but this time point to the bottom edge and move
     it upwards

The My Computer window should now be too small for all the icons to be
displayed at once. A vertical scroll bar should have been added to the
window to allow access to the hidden icons. Most users know how scroll
bars work (or think they do). They can in fact be used in four ways:

  •   Positioning the mouse pointer over an arrow at one end of the scroll
      bar and clicking on the mouse button once shifts the display up/down
      one line (or one column horizontally)
  •   Holding down the mouse button on an arrow repeats this action and
      the display scrolls up/down (or sideways)
  •   Positioning the mouse pointer above/below the indicator rectangle in
      the scroll bar and clicking on the mouse button shifts the display
      up/down (or across) a windowful at a time
  •   Moving the mouse pointer to the indicator, holding down the mouse
      button and dragging the rectangle up/down (or sideways) scrolls the
      display, reflecting the indicator's position

Note also that you can use the wheel on the mouse to scroll up and down,
while Page Up/Down and arrow keys are available on the keyboard.

  9. Using the scroll bar in any of the above ways, display some of the
      hidden icons
  10. Restore the size of the window - move the mouse pointer to the bottom
      right corner (it becomes a diagonal double-headed arrow), hold down
      the mouse button and drag the borders to roughly their original position
      (on a corner both borders move)
  11. Move the mouse over the toolbar buttons but do not click on any of the
      buttons - read any help tips which appear (usually, only those without
      text show tips)
  12. Move the mouse pointer to the menu headings (File, Edit, View etc)
      then click on the mouse button to see the available commands but do
      not click on any of the commands in the menus
  13. Finally, click on the [Close] control button at the top right to close the
      My Computer window

The Taskbar

In the above Windows exercise, you were briefly introduced to the Taskbar.
This is positioned across the very bottom of the screen and is coloured mid-
blue. As you saw earlier, whenever you run a program or Windows facility
(like My Computer), an icon representing that task appears on the Taskbar.
Several tasks can be run simultaneously. This is called multi-tasking. You
use the Taskbar to switch between tasks.
On the far left of the Taskbar is the [Start] menu button, which will be
discussed in detail shortly. On the far right, information such as the current
time is displayed. The icons to the right of [Start] provide a quick launch for
email etc.
Multi-Tasking and the Quick Launch Buttons

This next exercise demonstrates how the Taskbar is used when more than
one task is running.

  1. Move the mouse pointer down to the Taskbar, point to the [Windows
     Explorer] quick launch icon (usually last in the group on the left), read
     the help tip which appears then click once on the icon
  2. Click on the link to My Computer in Folders on the left - this is the
     normal method to get to this information (rather than through the
     Recycle Bin)
  3. Repeat step 1, this time on the [Internet Explorer] icon (the letter e -
     on the left)
  4. [Maximize] the window then click on the link to ITS provided in the list
     of Links on the right to view the IT Services Home Page

Note that you only have to click once on the Quick Launch icons. The next
icon to the right of Internet Explorer launches Outlook Express and the
third is to Show Desktop.
You now have two tasks running - My Computer and Internet Explorer -
and so have two task icons on the Taskbar. To move back to My

  5. Click once on the [My Computer] task button on the Taskbar

To view the Desktop:
  6. Click once on the [Show Desktop] quick launch button (third on the

If you launch a second copy of a task, you may or may not get a new task
button on the Taskbar; instead, the original button will show that more than
one copy of the task is running. To see this:

  7. Click on the [Internet Explorer] icon (the letter e) again and see
      whether you get a new task
  8. Repeat step 7 until all the tasks are grouped together in the one Task
      Bar button
  9. Click on the [Internet Explorer] task button and, from the list that
      appears, choose IT Services Home Page to move to that particular
  10. Next, click on the [My Computer] task button to move to that task
  11. Click on the same button again and you will find that the window is
      minimised - you are back to Internet Explorer (as indicated by the
      darker blue Taskbar button)

Tip: Clicking once on a Taskbar task button activates a task; clicking a
second time deactivates it.
It is good practice to deactivate tasks you are not using but which you
would like running in the background, either by clicking on the Taskbar
button or the [Minimize] button. Sometimes, if you have too many tasks
running at the same time, your computer may not have sufficient memory to
keep them all active and will ask you to close or deactivate one or more of
Shortcut Menus

In all the exercises so far, you have used the left mouse button whenever
you have clicked on an icon, shortcut or menu. A mouse also has a right
button. Right clicking displays a shortcut menu of commands, which you
then issue by left clicking on the one you want. Beginners sometimes find
this right/left clicking combination confusing, but soon get used to it.
Different shortcut menus appear if you right click on different objects, as
you will see.

  1. Move the mouse pointer to the [My Computer] button on the Taskbar
     and press the right mouse button - this is known as a right click
  2. From the shortcut menu which appears, choose Close and left click
     this time
 This has closed down My Computer without reopening the minimized task.

   3. Next, right click on the empty area of the Taskbar (to the right of the
      task buttons) and from the different shortcut menu choose Tile
      Windows Vertically

 This splits the screen, allowing you to see all the open windows at the same
 time. Normally, you would only have a couple of tasks running when you do
 this. Note that you can also Tile Windows Horizontally.

   4. Repeat step 3 but this time choose Show the Desktop

 The display should now show the Desktop - all the tasks have been
 iconised on the Taskbar.

   5. Next, right click on the [Internet Explorer] task button and Close
      Group - all the tasks are closed in a single command

 You can choose whether like tasks are grouped or not by changing the
 properties of the Taskbar:

   6. Right click on the empty Taskbar and choose Properties
   7. Explore the settings (note Group similar taskbar activities) then press
      <Enter> for [OK]

 Next, see what happens if you right click on the Desktop or one of its icons:

   8. Right click on the blue Desktop background - note the different shortcut
       menu but do not click on any of the commands
   9. Press <Esc> or left click away from the shortcut menu to close it
   10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 but this time right click on the Recycle Bin

Later in the course you'll be adding further icons to the Desktop. You'll will find
that the shortcut menus you get by right clicking on these may vary slightly.
 Note that on most modern keyboards a <Shortcut Menu> key is provided
 to the right of the <Space Bar>, immediately left of <Ctrl>. To use this on
 an object you must first select the object.
 The Start Menu

 The [Start] button on the far left of the Taskbar allows you to run programs,
 access configuration settings and search the built-in Help. Clicking on this
 opens the Start menu. Some menu items are shown with arrows on the
right. These mean that there is a sub menu which appears if you move the
mouse pointer over the menu item. This sub-menu may in turn have further
subsidiary menus.

  1. To open the Start menu, left click on the [Start] button

Note: you can also open the menu by pressing the <Windows> key on the
keyboard - the one between <Ctrl> and <Alt> both left and right of the
<Space Bar>.
You now have access to the full range of programs and facilities on the
system. The menu is divided vertically as follows:

  •   Across the foot of the menu is Log Off and Shut Down. On IT
      Services PCs, always use Log Off as this then leaves the computer
      ready for the next user. Please do not use Shut Down
  •   In the left section are links to Internet Explorer, Outlook Express,
      Webmail and Change Password. Below these is Tour Windows XP
      (a guide to its new features) while, in the space below, links will appear
      to programs you have used recently (you'll see this later). At the bottom
      is a link to All Programs (the programs available on the system)
  •   In the section on the right there are links to My Documents and My
      Recent Documents (shortcuts to files you have recently opened on
      this computer), My Pictures, My Computer, the Control Panel,
      Search etc
  •   Across the very top, your personal name or username appears

To demonstrate the use of the menu system and, at the same time,
introduce you to some of the useful facilities provided within Windows, you
are going to load up the Calculator.

  2. Move the mouse pointer over All Programs and a sub-menu appears
  3. Move the pointer across to Accessories - another sub-menu appears
  4. Finally, click on Calculator - note the new [Calculator] task button on
     the Taskbar
  5. Click on the View menu and choose Standard or Scientific for a
     simple/complex calculator
  6. Try using the calculator - either click on the buttons provided or use the
  7. Close down the calculator by clicking on the [Close] control button

Other Taskbar Facilities
On the right-hand side of the Taskbar is a group of icons, some of which
may be of interest. These include (starting at the far right):

  •   Time/Date display - only the time is currently visible
  •   Display - the display resolution (you may need to change this if your
      eyesight is weak)
  •   Volume control - the loudspeaker icon
  •   Anti Virus control - the shield
  •   You have New Email - this icon may appear if new mail arrives for you
  •   Keyboard selector - currently showing EN in white on a blue

This next exercise shows you how to make use of these:

  1. Move the mouse pointer over the [Time] display and today's date will
  2. Click on the [Display] icon - here you can change the screen
     resolution, if you want to make the text, toolbar buttons etc bigger or
  3. Click on the [Volume] control - a small window appears allowing you to
     adjust the volume of the speakers - click away from the control to close

Note: The speakers are disconnected on IT Services lab PCs. If you need
sound you have to plug in your own headphones. With these in place, use
the [Volume] control to adjust the sound level.

  4. Click on the [Keyboard] selector icon - a pop-up menu appears
     showing you the different keyboards available. Again, left click away
     from the menu to close it

If you are used to a different keyboard layout then this icon is very useful. It
even allows you to type in Greek or Japanese characters. To use it, you
should first load up the software you want to use (eg Microsoft Word or
Outlook Express). This next exercise also shows you how to run a program:

  5. Open the Start menu by clicking on the [Start] button on the Taskbar
  6. Click on All Programs then select Microsoft Office and Microsoft
     Office Word 2003
  7. Note the new [Document1 - Microsof...] task button on the Taskbar
  8. Type some text using the ENglish keyboard
  9. Now click on the [Keyboard] selector button and choose a different
      one - eg EL for Greek
  10. Type some more text - this appears in a Greek font and spell check
      uses a Greek dictionary
  11. Repeat step 9 but this time revert to the ENglish keyboard - type a little
      more text
  12. Shut down Word by clicking on the topmost [Close] control button -
      you are asked if you want to save the file, press <Enter> for [Yes]

Tip: Whenever you see what are called dialog boxes (requesting, for
example, that you answer Yes or Save), the reply with the bold border can
be chosen simply by pressing the <Enter> key. Use <Tab> to move the
bold border from one box to the next.
You've yet to learn about files and where they are saved, but this is a useful
opportunity to create one:

  13. Note the Save in box at the top of the window is set to My Documents.
      This is where you should save your work - you will find out more about
      this later
  14. For a File name type Greek (this will replace the current text in the
      box) then press <Enter> for [Save] - the Word window will disappear

Windows XP does allow you to name a file using as many characters
(excluding \ / : * ? " < > and | ) as you like. Having said this it's a good idea
to use 8 or less characters and to stick to letters, numbers and
hyphen/underscore. Avoid using a full stop as this usually separates a
filename from its extension - eg .doc for a Word file. Your system might be
able to cope with any filename but if you have to send a file as an email
attachment, the recipient's might not.
The Control Panel

The keyboard and sound settings can also be changed using the Control
Panel. In fact many other settings can also be changed here. The Control
Panel is accessed via the Start menu:

  1. Open the menu by clicking on the [Start] button on the Taskbar
  2. Click on Control Panel on the right hand side

On the IT Services lab PCs only a few controls are shown - if you had your
own PC there would be many more. Even for those which are shown, you
cannot make all the changes you can on your own PC - you cannot reset
the Date/Time, for example. Two controls may be of interest, however,
particularly if you have problems with your eyesight, or with double clicking
or using the <Shift> and <Ctrl> keys. These are Accessibility Options and

  3. Double click on the Accessibility Options icon - a new window
  4. The first option on the Keyboard tab is Use StickyKeys. This allows you
      to type CAPITALS and punctuation by pressing <Shift> then letting go
      before you press the relevant key
  5. Click on the Display tab and note the Use High Contrast setting. This
      helps a lot if your eyesight is very poor
  6. Explore some of the other settings, if you like, then click on [Cancel] to
      abandon the changes (or [OK] if you really want to apply them)
  7. Back in the Control Panel window, double click on the Mouse icon
  8. On the Buttons tab, Switch primary and secondary buttons lets you
      reverse the mouse buttons (if you are left-handed)
  9. The Double-click speed option controls how quickly you must press the
      mouse button to issue a double click. You can check the setting by
      clicking on the yellow folder in the Test area. If you have problems with
      this, slow down the click speed
  10. ClickLock lets you click to select text (instead of dragging through it)
  11. Explore some of the other settings, if you like, then click on [Cancel] to
      abandon the changes (or [OK] if you really want to apply them)
  12. Close the Control Panel by clicking on the [Close] control button

Any changes you make to the Control Panel settings on a lab PC will only
last that logon session (on your own PC they would be permanent). You will
need to set them again the next time you logon. Note also that some
settings are independent of the system - for example, the screen contrast
and brightness are usually set using buttons provided on the monitor.
Drives, Folders and Files

Earlier in these notes you saved a file called Greek in My Documents. This
next section will show you exactly where your file is stored; how to create a
new folder for it; how to move, copy and rename it; and how to delete it.
My Documents

To open My Documents:
  1. Click on the [Windows Explorer] quick launch button then on My
     Documents, if necessary

The My Documents window displays several icons, one of which is labelled
Greek.doc. To load the file into Word:

  2. Move the mouse pointer to the Greek.doc icon and double click the
     mouse button
  3. Click at the end of the text, to move the typing position, then type some
     more text
  4. Click on the top [Close] control button - when prompted, press
     <Enter> for [Yes] to save the changes

Note: you usually update the contents of a file like this, though you can
always save your work in another new file by using the Save As command
from the File menu.
If this is the first time you have saved a file to My Documents, none of the
other icons will represent your own personal work. Whether you have other
files or not, you should have folders (shown with yellow icons) which have
been set up for you by the system (such as My Pictures and My Music). A
folder is simply somewhere to store related files, as you will see later.
My Computer

My Computer is the facility which lets you access the component parts of
your computer. My Documents is just part of My Computer and the current
window can be used to access it:

  1. Click on the link to My Computer (under Folders on the left) or use the
     list arrow attached to Address: on the Address Bar and choose My

Most icons in My Computer represent disk drives. For example, drive A: is
the floppy drive and E: is usually the cd drive. Drives C: and D: represent
the internal hard disk - on IT Services PCs you can use drive D: for
temporarily storing files (hence it's name, User).
You shouldn't use D: to permanently store your work, however, as you
won't always be using that particular PC. This is where My Documents
comes in. This is in fact drive N: on the system and is shown as
your_username on ndrive (N:). There is no need to explain what is
happening in detail here; suffice it to say that ndrive is a big computer in IT
Services, which stores everyone's files and which is normally made
available to you whichever ITS PC you are using. Moreover, it is backed up
throughout the day to ensure you don't lose any of your work.
IMPORTANT: Please use My Documents (NOT FLOPPY DISKS) to store
your work. Only use floppies for moving your work between a lab and
your own PC.
To prove that the N: drive is the same as My Documents:

  2. Move the mouse pointer to the (N:) drive icon and double click on the
     mouse button
  3. Next, double click on the My Documents folder (this may appear as
     your_username's Documents)
  4. Check that you can see your files/folders, including Greek.doc

To view the contents of My Computer again:

  5. Click twice on the [Up] toolbar button -     (or use the link in Folders
     on the left)

Creating a Folder

It's a good idea to use folders to store your work, in the same way that you
would store lecture notes from different courses in paper folders or ring-
binders. With computers you can even have sub-folders within folders -
equivalent to using file dividers to split up your notes. When naming folders
(or files), it's important to use a meaningful name.
To create a folder in My Documents:

  1. Use the list arrow attached to Address: and choose My Documents (or
     use the link provided in Folders on the left of the window)
  2. Right click on the background in My Documents then choose New and
     Folder from the shortcut menu - or open the File menu, select New
     then Folder

A new folder will be created with the unhelpful name New Folder. To
rename it:

  3. Type in the name you want for the folder (call this one Test - you don't
     have to delete the original name first) and press <Enter>
Note that you can rename a file or folder at any time by right clicking on the
file/folder icon and choosing Rename (the command is also available via
the File menu).
You now have a properly-named folder to store any files created in this
course. You can store files in it explicitly when you first Save them or you
can move existing files into it.
Moving a File into a Folder

To move a file into a folder:

  1. Move the mouse pointer over the Greek.doc icon, hold down the
     mouse button and drag the file icon over the Test folder icon
  2. Make sure the folder icon has turned blue (with the name highlighted)
     then release the mouse button - the file will be moved into the folder

To check that the file is now in the folder:

  3. Double click on the Test icon to view its contents - the Greek.doc icon
     should appear

Note: You can also cut (or copy) and paste a file into a folder using
commands in the Edit menu.
Copying a File between Drives

Copying a file to a different drive is done in exactly the same way as moving
it into a folder. The only difference is that when you drag a file from one
drive to another, it copies rather than moves it.
In order to copy between drives you must be able to see both drives

  1. Check Folders are showing on the left (if not, click on the [Folders]
  2. Click on the little + symbol against My Computer to open it
  3. Now point to the Greek.doc icon, hold down the mouse button and
     drag the icon over the User (D:) icon in Folders
  4. Make sure the drive icon is highlighted (white text on dark blue) then
     release the mouse button - the file will be copied to drive D:
  5. Click on the User (D:) icon in Folders to check that the file has been
     copied across
Note: You can copy a whole folder and its files from one drive to another in
exactly the same way.
You do exactly the same to copy a file or folder onto a floppy disk, except
you drag your file/folder onto the 3½ Floppy (A:) icon. As has been
mentioned previously, only use floppies for moving files - NEVER WORK
DIRECTLY OFF A FLOPPY. If you have a file/folder on a floppy, first copy it
to My Documents (the reverse of the instructions above) and then work on it
from there.
Note that you can move files/folders between drives by using the right
mouse button as you drag. A pop-up menu will appear from which you can
choose either Copy or Move. You can also copy or move files using the
commands in the Edit menu.
The right mouse button can also be used to Send a file/folder to another
drive. Try this next:

  6. Right click on the Greek.doc icon in the (D:) window
  7. From the pop-up menu which appears select Send To - a sub-menu is
  8. Select My Documents (left click this time) - note you can also send the
     file to floppy or cd

Your file will now have been copied across to My Documents. You may be
wondering why you weren't warned that a file with the same name already
exists there. The reason is that your other file is in the Test folder. Send To
has made a second copy at the top level in the file structure. This is its one
weakness - it cannot be used to move files into a specific folder on another
To test this out and see what happens:

  9. Repeat steps 6 to 8 above

This time you will be warned that a file with the same name already exists.
Note the information about the file size and modification date/time. Here,
these are the same (showing you the two files are identical). However, if
they differ, you should compare them to check you are replacing the older
version of the file with the new one.

  10. Click on [No] to cancel the file copy - you were just testing to see what
Deleting a File or Folder

Deleting a file or folder is very easy - you just select the file/folder and press
the <Delete> key. However, it's all too easy to lose a file by accident, so it's
vital to double check you are deleting the correct one. It's also important to
understand the difference between deleting a file off a linked drive (such as
My Documents or a floppy disk) and deleting one from the hard disk.

  1. Click on the little + symbol against username on 'ndrive' (N:) in
     Folders then on My Documents (on N:)
  2. Click once on the Greek.doc icon in My Documents to select it then
     press <Delete>
  3. You will be asked to confirm you want to delete the file - press <Enter>
     or click on [Yes]

The file will disappear from My Documents and you cannot retrieve it.
However, IT Services make backups of all new or amended files throughout
the day, so a previous copy should exist (unless it was only just created).
This can be retrieved, but obviously would not include any recent changes.
See the Quick Guide to Recovering Files from N Drive for details.
The same will apply if you delete a file from your floppy or zip disk - except
this time you will be relying on your own backups ... if you have any. If you
do accidentally delete your only copy of a file from a floppy, do not use the
disk any more but bring it straight to ITS-Help. We have special software for
recovering deleted files but we make a charge for this and success is not
Next, see what happens if you delete a file/folder from the internal hard disk
(drive D:):

  4. Click on User (D:) in Folders
  5. Click once on the Greek.doc icon to select it then press the <Delete>
  6. The Confirm File Delete dialog box is importantly different this time - it
     asks whether you want to send the file to the Recycle Bin (you will
     explore this next)

  7. Press <Enter> or click on [Yes] to confirm this
  8. Repeat step 5 but this time select the Temp folder
  9. Note the slightly different wording in the Confirm Folder Delete dialog
     box then press <Enter> or click on [Yes] to confirm this

The Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin is where any files/folders that you delete from the hard
disk are stored. It's a bit like the wastepaper bin in your room - the file stays
in the Recycle Bin until the bin is emptied either by yourself or the 'cleaner'.
On IT Services PCs, the 'cleaner' operates when you log out. This ensures
that the next user cannot recover anything you may have thrown away. You
can also choose to empty the bin yourself before this, if you want.
The Recycle Bin is also part of My Computer and can be accessed directly
from the current window. As you have seen, there is also a Recycle Bin
icon on the Desktop. Any file still in the Recycle Bin can be restored to its
original location. This is done as follows:

  1. Click on Recycle Bin in Folders (bottom of the list)
  2. Move the mouse pointer to the file/folder you wish to restore (here,
     choose Greek.doc)
  3. Click the right mouse button and select Restore from the shortcut
     menu - the icon disappears and is put back on the D: drive

Emptying the Recycle Bin will permanently remove any file or folder stored
in it. Once emptied, these cannot be recovered. To remove the contents of
the bin:

  1. Right click on the background of the Recycle Bin window and choose
     Empty Recycle Bin (you can also do this via the File menu or by right
     clicking on the Desktop icon)
  2. You are asked to confirm the deletion - press <Enter> or click on [Yes]
     - the Temp folder disappears and is not restored to User D:
  3. Click on User (D:) in Folders to verify that Greek.doc was restored but
     Temp not

Dealing with Multiple Files/Folders

Copying, moving or deleting several files or folders at once is essentially the
same as doing the same with a single file/folder - the only difference is in
selecting them. This next exercise shows you how to do this.

  1. Make sure you are viewing the User D: drive then double click on the
     Training folder

The files in this folder are those used in IT Services courses. If any are
deleted or changed, a new copy is put onto the system when the next user
logs in. As such, it doesn't matter if any disappear.
To select more than one file or folder, use one of the following methods:

  •   Shift click - to select a range of files/folders: point to and click the
      mouse button on the first icon (or list item) then hold down the <Shift>
      key as you click the last
  •   Control click - to select individual files/folders: hold down <Ctrl> as
      you click on them
  •   Drag select - hold down the mouse button and draw a rectangle over
      the files/folders you want to select

Knowing these methods of selection is very useful as they can be
applied to many Microsoft applications. For example, dragging through
text in Word or cells in Excel selects an area. You can select and then save
or delete several emails in Outlook Express using Control or Shift click. In
this next exercise you can try out these methods of selection:

  2. Hold down the <Ctrl> key on the keyboard and click on some of the
     file/folder icons - each one you click on will be highlighted to show it is
     selected (click again to deselect it)
  3. Release the <Ctrl> key and click away from any of the icons to
     abandon the selection
  4. With the mouse pointer away from any icon, hold down the mouse
     button and drag through the icons - a rectangle appears and any icons
     lying within it are selected
  5. Release the mouse button and click away from any of the icons to
      cancel the selection
  6. Click on one of the icons to select it then hold down the <Shift> key
      and click on another icon - a range of files is selected
  7. Press the <Delete> key to get rid of the selected files/folders
  8. Type n for [No] when asked to confirm the deletion - you are just
  9. With the files still selected, right click on any of them and the usual
      shortcut menu appears allowing you, for example, to Send To a 3½
      Floppy or My Home Directory (N)
  10. Click away from the shortcut menu to cancel the command and release
      the selection

Changing the View

In the windows you have seen so far, the drives and their files/folders have
appeared as icons. Sometimes it's more helpful to view them as a list or in a
particular (non-alphabetical) order. Further, you may want to find out
additional information about certain files, such as their size or date of
creation. This next exercise shows you how.

  1. On the far right of the toolbar in the D:\Training window lies the [Views]
     button - click on the down arrow attached to this icon
  2. From the drop-down menu which appears, select Thumbnails - with
     this fewer icons can be shown but some (eg pictures or PowerPoint
     presentations) show the content
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 but this time select List from the drop-down

The files are now shown as an alphabetical list. The folders are listed first,
then the files. The list splits into columns if it is long and scroll bars appear if
it extends outside the window.

  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 again but this time select Details from the drop-
     down menu

You now have information which includes the size, type and modification
date of each file. Note the faint up-arrow immediately after the Name
column heading - this indicates that the list is shown in alphabetical order.
Sometimes you may want to order the list based on other information, for
example to identify your largest files or ones you have been working on
recently. To do this:
  5. Click on the heading of the column you want to sort by - eg click on
  6. To reverse the sort order (biggest files first) click on Size again
  7. Experiment sorting the display by Type and Date Modified

Tip: You can use the same method to sort your email in Outlook Express.

  8. End by sorting the list back to alphabetical order (click on Name)

Not all the file details are shown in this layout. To see them all:

  9. Right click on one of the files in the list
  10. From the shortcut menu which appears, choose Properties
  11. Explore the information given here then close the window by clicking
      on [Cancel]

Note: You can also find out the properties of folders and drives by right-
clicking on their icons. The latter, for example, shows you how much free
space remains on a drive (eg on a floppy disk).
Searching for Files and Folders

Being able to sort your files by modification date can prove useful if you've
forgotten what name you gave to a file but knew roughly when you were
last working on it. Another facility provided by Windows allows you to
search for files, either by name or contents or date. Try this next:

  1. Click on the [Search] toolbar button - the Search Companion appears
     on the left hand side
  2. Click on All files and folders
  3. In the box labelled All or part of the file name: type Greek
  4. Click on the list arrow attached to the Look in: box and select My
  5. Press <Enter> or click on [Search]

The file you saved earlier should appear in the Search window (note that
Word creates a Backup whenever you edit a file). To open the file:

  6. Double click on the Greek.doc icon in folder n:\Test - the file will open
     in Word
  7. Add some more text, if you like, then close the window using the top
     [Close] control button - press <Enter> for [Yes] to save your changes
Wildcard characters can be used when searching for files. These allow you
to search for part of the file name or type. For example:

  8. Click on the [Back] button then type *e* (to replace Greek)
  9. Press <Enter> or click on [Search]

You now get a list of all the files/folders with e somewhere in the filename.
Searching for e* would give you all files beginning with e, while *.doc would
list all your Word files. A question mark can also be used as the wildcard
character. This stands for a single letter, so a search for ??e* would result
in a list of files where the third letter in the filename is an e.
Next use Search to find files containing particular text (this is extremely
useful as it's all too easy to forget what you called a file):

  10. Click on the [Back] button
  11. Delete Greek from the top box then, against A word or phrase in the
      file: type Road
  12. Click on the list arrow attached to the Look in: box and select User (D:)
  13. Press <Enter> or click on [Search]

A list of files containing the word Road appears in the Search window.

  14. Double click on the halls.txt icon (in folder D:\Training) to open the file
      - this opens into Notepad, a very basic text editor available from
      Accessories (where Calculator was found)
  15. Confirm the word Road is in the file then close the window using the
      [Close] control button

Further options allow you to search by Date, Type or Size. To see these:

  16. Click on the [Back] button
  17. Choose When was it modified? by clicking on the words or arrow to
      the right

The date options allow you to search for files modified Within the last week
or Past month or you can Specify dates. Note that throughout Windows you
do not have to position the mouse pointer over a check/option box but can
click on the words instead (eg Past month). There is no need to perform a
search here - just be aware of the facility.
  18. Close the Search Results window by clicking on the [Close] control

You can also get to Search... by right clicking on a drive or folder icon (eg
My Documents on the Desktop) or from the Start menu. The latter also
includes options to search the Internet or for people (eg in your
Making Backups

Though My Documents is backed up for you by IT Services, you may want
to make your own backups on floppy/zip disk or cd. This will be particularly
important if you want to work on your files away from the University (on your
own PC in Hall or at home) or if you want to keep files or email when you
leave the University. You have already seen how to copy files between
drives; this section deals with formatting disks and writing out to cd.
Formatting a Floppy or Zip Disk

Before you can use a new floppy (or zip) disk it must be formatted. Most
disks these days come pre-formatted but if yours isn't then you have to do
it. You should only need need to format disks once, when they are new.
Formatting a used disk will remove any data stored on it.
To format a disk:

  1. Put your new floppy/zip disk into the floppy/zip disk drive
  2. Go to My Computer
  3. Double click on 3½ Floppy (A:) (or Removable Disk, for a PC with a
     zip drive)

If the disk is formatted then it will open as usual; if it isn't then a message to
that effect appears.

  4. Press <Enter> for [Yes] to confirm the format - a new Format window
  5. Check the Capacity: is set correctly (most floppy disks these days are
  6. The other options should already be set correctly - press <Enter> or
     click on [Start]
  7. You are warned that any information already on the disk will be lost -
     as there isn't any on a new disk press <Enter> or click on [OK]
  8. When the format is complete press <Enter> or click on [OK] to
     acknowledge the message which appears then press <Enter> again or
     click on [Close] to close the Format window
  9. Finally close My Computer by clicking on the [Close] control button

The disk is now ready to use.
Note: If you want to reformat a used disk, follow steps 1 and 2 above then
right click on the 3½ Floppy (A:) (or Removable Disk) icon and from the
shortcut menu choose Format... - or use Format... from the File menu.
Write-Protecting a Floppy Disk

Once you have copied any files you require to your floppy disk, it is a good
idea to write protect it. Once this has been done, you will not be able to
delete any files off the disk, until it has been write enabled once more.
Neither can you copy further files to the disk, nor edit and save existing
ones. It has already been stated earlier in these notes that floppy disks
should only be used for moving files around - you should avoid working on
a file directly from floppy.
To write-protect a floppy disk:

  1. Hold the floppy disk and examine the edge of the disk furthest away
     from the metal slider
  2. Looking at the back of the disk, locate the plastic slider in the top left
  3. Push the slider to open the hole

The floppy is now write-protected.
To re-enable the disk:

  4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 above but at step 3 close the hole - the slider clicks
     into place

Writing to a CD

Copying files to a compact disk is almost as straightforward as it is to a
floppy or zip disk. It can only be done on a PC which has a CD Rewriter
drive. For instructions look on the WWW at the Quick Guide to Writing Data
Files to CD
Customising the Desktop
You can customise the Desktop to a limited extent on the lab PCs (on your
own PC you can do much more). You can, for example, create shortcuts to
programs (and files) you use frequently and you can modify the Desktop to
display a different background colour or theme.
Creating Shortcuts

A shortcut is an icon that has the location of a specific file or program stored
in it and which acts as a pointer to it. A shortcut icon is shown with a little
arrow attached. If you double click on the shortcut it is the same as double
clicking on the file or program itself. Shortcuts can be placed on the
Desktop to allow quicker access to frequently-used files or programs.
If you look at the Desktop you will see that the shortcuts which were present
in previous versions of Windows now no longer exist. In this next exercise
you are going to create your own shortcuts (which will then appear on the
Desktop every time you logon in future).

  1. Open the Start menu, choose All Programs then Microsoft Office
  2. Move the mouse pointer to Microsoft Office Word 2003, hold down
     the mouse button and drag the icon onto the Desktop
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for any of the other Microsoft Office programs
     you are likely to be using
  4. Do the same for My Computer and My Documents
  5. You can, if you want, rename the shortcut icons - right click on them
     and choose Rename

Next, create a shortcut to your Greek.doc file.

  6. Open My Documents from the new Desktop shortcut by double clicking
      on it
  7. Double click on the Test folder to open it
  8. Move the mouse pointer to the Greek.doc icon, hold down the right
      mouse button and drag it to the Desktop (it's important you use the
      right mouse button here)
  9. Release the mouse button and a pop-up menu appears - choose
      Create Shortcuts Here (were you to choose Copy Here you would
      have two different versions of the file)
  10. Close down the ndrive window by clicking on the [Close] control button
  11. Finally, double click on the Shortcut to Greek.doc to load your file into
  12. There is no need to make any further changes now - click on the
      [Close] control button
It is very useful having shortcuts to files you are currently working on
showing on the Desktop. Once you have finished with a particular file,
delete the shortcut (otherwise the Desktop becomes very crowded and you
waste time searching for the shortcut you need).
Deleting Shortcuts

Shortcuts can be deleted like any other file or program icon. When you
delete a shortcut, it only deletes the icon; the original file or program will still

  1.   Click on the Shortcut to Greek.doc icon to select it
  2.   Press the <Delete> key to remove it from the Desktop
  3.   Press <Enter> or click on [Yes] to confirm the deletion
  4.   Click on the My Documents icon, to prove that the file is still there and
       that only the shortcut was deleted, then close My Documents

Creating a Theme

If you want to customise the Desktop colour scheme and fonts then you can
set up a Theme. This is particularly important if you have accessibility
problems (eg poor eyesight). To do this:

  1. Open the Start menu and choose Control Panel then double click on
  2. Move to the Desktop tab and choose a Background
  3. Move to the Appearance tab and choose a Color scheme and Font
     Size setting
  4. Move to the Themes tab and click on [Save As] to create your own
  5. Either replace My Favourite Theme or type in a new File name: - click
     on [Save] (and replace the old one, if asked)
  6. [Apply] the new scheme to check it's what you want then click on [OK]

  7. Finally, [Close] the Control Panel window

The Desktop should change to match the new theme. Note that the next
time you log on, you won't get these settings (you would on your own PC)
but you can load up the theme very easily. To show you how, reload the
original settings:

  8. Right click on the Desktop and choose Properties
  9. On the Themes tab, choose the required Theme: - here choose ITS
  10. Press <Enter> or click on [OK]

Tip: For even quicker access, move the .theme file from My Documents
onto the Desktop - you can then double click on the icon to apply your
Keyboard Extras

There are several Windows features which can be accessed through the
keyboard. Indeed, you can issue every Windows command directly from the
keyboard if you want. This can sometimes speed up your work considerably
- especially if the mouse isn't working properly.
Using the Keyboard Instead of the Mouse

This next exercise shows you how to run a program and issue commands
using only the keyboard.

  1. Starting at the Desktop press the <Windows> key between <Ctrl> and
     <Alt> on the main keyboard - this opens the Start menu
  2. Press <down arrow> to activate the menu followed by <right arrow>
     and <Enter> to open My Documents
  3. Press the <Alt> key to activate the menus (note that a single letter in
     each is underlined)
  4. Type v for View followed by l for List
  5. Use the arrow keys to move to the folder you want to open or file you
     want to work on - here, select Test (or type t to move directly here) -
     press <Enter> to open the folder
  6. Press an arrow key or type g then press <Enter> to open Greek.doc
  7. Use arrow keys to move the typing position, type some more text then
     press <Alt> then <f> to open the File menu

Note that some of the commands have Ctrl+letter next to them. These are
the control key combinations which issue the command - you will be
introduced to these in a minute.

  8. Type p for Print then <Esc> to cancel the print command and close
     the window

Tip: The <Esc> key can be used to close most dialog boxes (eg Find or
Insert Symbol).
  9. Press <Alt> and <f> again then type x for Exit - Word will close down
  10. Press <Alt> and <v> for View then <o> for Go To followed by <u> for
      Up One Level
  11. Move to the Test folder as in step 5 then press <Delete> and type y or
      press <Enter> to delete it
  12. Close My Documents by pressing <Alt> then <f> for File and <c> for

Key Combinations

You saw in the above exercise how certain menu commands had
Ctrl+letter next to them. These denote pre-defined key combinations for
running those commands. In some Microsoft Office packages, hundreds of
key combinations exist but most people only use a few of them - generally
the ones which are common throughout Microsoft Office. The main ones
<Ctrl a> - Select All   <Ctrl b> - Bold     <Ctrl c> - Copy    <Ctrl f> - Find
<Ctrl h> - Replace     <Ctrl i> - Italic   <Ctrl n> - New    <Ctrl o> - Open
  <Ctrl p> - Print    <Ctrl s> - Save     <Ctrl u> - Underline   <Ctrl v> -
 <Ctrl x> - Cut     <Ctrl z> - Undo      <Ctrl Home> - Move to top     <Ctrl
                             End> - Move to end
This next exercise demonstrates their use in Microsoft Word:

  1. Double click on the Microsoft Office Word 2003 shortcut icon on the
  2. Type some text then press <Ctrl b> (hold down <Ctrl> and type b) for
  3. Type a little more text then press <Ctrl b> again to turn Bold off - type
     a few more letters
  4. Now press <Ctrl a> to Select All your text and then press <Ctrl c> to
     Copy it

Whenever you issue a Copy (or Cut) command, the selected text is copied
(or cut) to the Clipboard. This is a place in the computer's memory for
temporarily storing information, which can then be Pasted somewhere else
(as many times as you like). Anything held there disappears when the
computer is shut down. The Windows Clipboard can only store one piece of
information at a time - when a second Copy is made, the existing contents
of the Clipboard are lost. Microsoft Office has a specially-extended
clipboard which can hold up to 24 items of information - to display this
choose Office Clipboard... from the Edit menu..

  5. Press <Ctrl i> to make your text Italic then press <Ctrl End> (<End> is
     above the arrow keys) to release the selection and move the typing
     position to the end
  6. Press <Ctrl v> twice to Paste two copies of your original (non-italic)
     text then press <Ctrl z> to Undo this last action (you only need the one
  7. Press <Ctrl p> for Print - having seen the key combination work, press
     <Esc> to [Cancel] the command
  8. Press <Ctrl s> for Save - again, press <Esc> to [Cancel] the

<Ctrl s> is perhaps the most important control key combination and you
should get used to using it. Whenever you are writing a document (or using
other Office programs), you should press <Ctrl s> every ten minutes or so
to save what you have done so far. That way, you never lose your work.
One command which doesn't feature in the list of control key combinations
is Exit. For this command you have to use a function key - one of those
along the top of the keyboard. The function keys tend to act differently in
the various Microsoft Office programs and so are not so useful. A few are
consistent, however, including:
           <F1> - Help     <F7> - Spell Checker      <Alt F4> - Exit

  1.   Press the key marked <F1> for Help
  2.   Press <Esc> to close down Help
  3.   Press <F7> for Spell Check then <Esc> to [Cancel] it
  4.   End by pressing <Alt F4> to Exit from Word
  5.   There is no need to save the file - type n or click on [No]

Screen Dumps

It's sometimes useful to be able to copy the whole or part of a screen and
insert it as a picture in a document. This is known as a screen dump.

  1. To screen dump the Desktop, hold down the <Ctrl> key and press the
     <Print Screen> key (to the right of function key <F12>) - a screen
     dump will have been copied to the Clipboard
  2. Double click on the Microsoft Word shortcut icon on the Desktop
  3. Paste the screen dump into your new document by clicking on the
     [Paste] toolbar button (or press <Ctrl v> or use Paste from the Edit
  4. Press <Enter> for a new line

<Ctrl Prt Scr> dumps the whole screen onto the clipboard. If you only want
the current window then you use <Alt Prt Scr> instead:

  5. Click on Word's [Close] control button, as if you wanted to shut down
     the program
  6. When asked if you want to save your file hold down the <Alt> key and
     press <Print Screen> - to dump the current dialog box to the Clipboard
  7. Press <Esc> or click on the [Cancel] button to return to Word
  8. Repeat step 3 to paste just the dialog box into your document
  9. Finally, click on Word's [Close] button again - there is no need to save
     the file, click on [No]

Note that you can edit and crop pictures, if you don't want the whole
screen/window dump.
Shutting Down a Non-Responding Task

Occasionally one or more tasks stop working - for example if the connection
to the internet goes down or if a program corrupts itself. In such cases it's
important to know how to break into the task to forcibly shut it down. The
next exercise shows you how:

  1. Start up a couple of tasks - eg double click on the My Documents icon
     on the Desktop then on the [Internet Explorer] quick launch button on
     the Taskbar
  2. Hold down both the <Ctrl> and <Alt> keys and press <Delete>

This sequence of keys puts you into Windows Security.

  3. Click on the [Task Manager] button (or type t on the keyboard)

You now have the opportunity to switch to another task (if you think there is
only a temporary problem with the one not working) or close down the
problematic task. A task which has stopped working has a Status of Not
Responding. Neither of your tasks should be in this state (their Status is
Running), but pretend Internet Explorer is and needs to be ended.
  4. Make sure Internet Explorer is the selected task then click on the [End
     Task] button

Note that if you close down a task which was working on a file, you will lose
at least some (possibly all) of the amendments made since the file was last
saved. If you think the task may recover use [Switch To] to move to a task
which is still working.

  5. Close the Windows Task Manager by clicking on the [Close] button
  6. Repeat step 5 to close My Documents

   BEWARE: Using <Ctrl Alt Delete> twice in succession causes the
                       computer to reboot.
Using Windows Help

In common with the Microsoft Office applications, Windows itself has a
large amount of built-in help available. To load up Help:

  1. Click on the [Start] button on the Taskbar and select Help and

The Help and Support Centre window which appears is modelled on a web
browser. You have a [Home] button, which always takes you back to this
starting window, and [Back] and [Forward] buttons to retrace your steps
through the system. You can even add particularly useful help pages to
your Favourites. Useful links to various help topics are provided on the main
part of the screen.
Help can be used in a number ways. Some of these are discussed below:
Search - simply type one or more keywords into the Search box and press
<Enter> (or click on the arrow). The system searches through the help
pages for these keywords and a list of matching entries is displayed below
the search box - click on an entry to view that topic.
[Index] - this toolbar button gives you an alphabetical list of help topics. As
you start typing a keyword into the Type in the keyword to find: box, the
display automatically moves down the list of topics. To view an entry simply
double click on it. Some entries have more than one help page associated
with them and you have to double click again to see the information you
Contents - when viewing a help page, a [Locate in Contents] button
appears. This can be useful if you want to view similar pages on that
subject (but do not know the precise keyword to locate them).
Favourites - when viewing a help page, an [Add to Favorites] button
appears. Click on this to store the link so you can access the information
again via the [Favorites] toolbar button. Sadly this information is lost when
you logoff an IT Services PC, but it would be kept on your own PC.

  2. Explore the different ways of using the help system, outlined above
  3. Try storing any useful pages of information you find in your Favourites
  4. Try using the [Back] and [Forward] toolbar buttons to retrace your
     steps through Help
  5. Note the [Print...] button (do NOT click on it) - this is one way to print
     out the help page

You can also use the standard <Ctrl p> key combination to print a topic.
Note that if you only want part of a Help page, drag through the section
required and choose the Selection option under Print Range.

  6. Shut down the on-line Windows Help using <Alt F4> or the [Close]
     control button

Controlling the Office Assistant

Whenever you load up one of the Microsoft Office programs, such as Word,
you can choose to show the Office Assistant. A humorous dog character
(you can select others) appears in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
The Office Assistant is a shortcut to the on-line Help system for the
particular program you are using - simply click on it and type in your
question. It also provides useful Hints and Tips from time to time. For the
experienced user, however, it can sometimes be annoying.

  1. Double click on the Microsoft Word shortcut icon on the Desktop
  2. To display the Office Assistant, open the Help menu and choose Show
     the Office Assistant
  3. To turn it off, right click on the Office Assistant and choose Options...
     from the shortcut menu - if you select Hide then the character may
     reappear later
  4. In the dialog box which appears, turn off the Use the Office Assistant
  5. Press <Enter> or click on [OK] to confirm this - the character will
  6. End this exercise by closing down Word - press <Alt F4> or click on
     the [Close] button

If you decide you would like the Office Assistant showing again, repeat step
2, as above.
Leaving Windows

When you have finished using a computer, it's important to properly close
down any tasks which may still be running and then logout so that the
system is ready for the next user.
Logging Off

To log off properly:

  1. Check that there are no tasks still running on the Taskbar - if there are,
     right click on the icons and Close them

You will be warned to save your work if you have been editing a file and
haven't saved all of your changes.

  2. Press the <Windows> key and type l (or open the Start menu and
     select Log off)
  3. Press <Enter> (or click on [Log Off]) to confirm you have finished

The computer will now reset itself, ready for the next user. Your N: drive will
be disconnected, releasing access to your files and email. If you fail to log
off properly then the next user will be able to look at (and
change/delete) your personal files.

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