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Working With Open Windows and Programs

Open Files and Programs
When you have an item open, the border that contains the program or file is called a window. In the upper-right corner you will find three buttons. The first button will minimize the window. This means that the window will disappear, but not close! To reopen the window, move the cursor to the bottom of the screen, on the task bar and click the button that represents the program you had open.

The second button will either restore or maximize the window. Maximize will make the window fill up the screen, and restore will shrink then window down allowing you to resize it to whatever size you wish, by clicking and draging on the outer corners of the window. You can also move the window by moving the the title bar (the long strip at the very top of the window) with the same click and drag technique.

The final button, the one with the X, will completely close the application or file you have open. If you have not saved your document, you will usually be prompted to do so, however this is not gaurentted to happen, so do not close a program until you have saved.

The Taskbar
the taskbar

The long strip located at the bottom of your desktop is called the taskbar. This contains the start menu, all of your open files and folders, and can also incude the quick launch toolbar, and the time.

To adjust which toolbars are displayed, right-click in a blank area of the taskbar, and highlight "toolbars", which will open an addtional menu giving you the option of more toolbars. Selecting "address" can be quite handy if you have a DSL internet connection. You can type in a web address quickly and go there without even opening your browser first. Check with your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to see if your service is "Dial-Up" or "DSL". If you have to connect to the internet everytime you log on then odds are you have "Dial-Up". AOL users are usually Dial-Up.

This is how I adjust which "shortcut icons" are displayed in the "quick launch" tool bar:

  1. Minimize all windows (If you have the "desktop icon" the desktop icon in the taskbar you can do this quickly by clicking it)
  2. Double Click on "My Computer" to open the file explorer.
  3. Double Click on the "Local Disk" (usually the C:\ drive) to navigate your hard drive.
  4. I then go in the "WINDOWS" folder.
  5. Next I go to the Application Data Folder > Microsoft folder > Internet Explorer Folder > And finally Quick Launch.
  6. In there I can delete, or add different shortcut icons .

And here is the faster way to do this. Notice how the file explorer looks kind of like "Internet Explorer"? Well, all files on your computer have an address, just like all files on the internet have an address, or "URL". Remember that "address" toolbar I was talking about a few paragraphs ago? Well, if I typed C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch in the address bar and pressed "Go" it would pop right up in a new explorer.

Remember that everything will be different on different operating systems, so explore the options of your computer, and see what you can and can't do.