Microsoft has improved Windows.
This chapter explains all those versions.
Windows XP comes in two versions:
Microsoft has invented other variants.
If you plan to keep using an ancient version of Windows numbered below 95 (such as Windows 3.0, Windows 3.1, or Windows 3.11), turn to the this chapters last section, called Classic Windows. If youre not using Windows at all if youre using just MS-DOS or a Mac turn to the MS-DOS or Mac OS chapters.
Make sure your computer has enough RAM:
When your computer contains modern Windows, heres how to start using it.
If you have a printer, make sure a cable runs from it to the computer. Turn on the computer, without any disks in the floppy drives; then immediately turn on the printer. (For details, read Prepare to operate on page 85. For free help, phone me anytime at 603-666-6644.)
The computer says Microsoft Windows 95 or Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Me or Microsoft Windows XP.
If the computer asks you for a User name or Password, just press the ENTER key (unless youre sharing the computer with somebody who told you do otherwise).
In Windows 95 & 98 & Me, the computer might say Add New Hardware Wizard (for example, because it detected that you attached a new printer). If that happens, press the ENTER key several times (typically 5 times), until the computer stops saying Add New Hardware Wizard.
Eventually, the screens bottom left corner says Start. (Windows XP avoids capitalizing and says start instead.)
Check Num Lock
Your keyboard has a Num Lock light. On a typical keyboard, that light is near the keyboards top right corner and is labeled Num Lock. (Exceptions: on the Microsoft Natural Keyboard, that light is in the keyboards middle and labeled 1; on a Compaq notebook computer, that light is below the SPACE bar and labeled 1.)
Make sure that light is glowing. If its not glowing, make it glow by tapping the Num Lock key (which is near the keyboards top right corner).
Position the mouse
Look at the computers mouse. The mouses tail is a cable that runs from the mouse to the computer. The area where the tail meets the mouse is called the mouses ass.
The mouses underside its belly has a hole in it, and a ball in the hole.
Put the mouse on your desk and directly in front of your right arm. Make the mouse lie flat (so its ball rubs against the desk). Make the mouse face you so you dont see its ass.
Move the arrow
Move the mouse across your desk. As you move the mouse, remember to keep it flat and facing you.
On the screen, youll see an arrow, which is called the mouse pointer. As you move the mouse, the arrow moves also.
Practice moving the arrow by moving the mouse. Remember to keep the mouse facing you at all times.
If you want to move the arrow far and your desk is small, move the mouse until it reaches the desks edge; then lift the mouse off the desk, lay the mouse gently on the middle of the desk, and rub the mouse across the desk in the same direction as before.
Click on Start
The most important part of the arrow is its tip, which is called the hot spot. Move the arrow so its hot spot (tip) is in the middle of the word Start. When you do that, youre pointing at the word Start.
On the top of the mouse, youll see 2 or 3 rectangular buttons you can press. The main button is the one on the left. Tapping it is called clicking. So to click, tap the left button.
While youre pointing at the word Start, click (by tapping the left button). Thats called clicking Start.
When you click Start, you see the Start menu, which is your starting list of choices. Which choices does the menu offer you? That depends on which version of Windows you have:
Besides those choices, your computer might offer some extras.
When you finish using the computer, do this:
Then wait while the computer tidies the info on your hard disk.
Finally, if your computer is modern, it will turn its own power off. If your computer is older, the computer will say Its now safe to turn off your computer and wait for you to turn it off.
Make the Start menu appear on the screen.
In that menu, the word Programs has the symbol 4 next to it. That symbol means that if you choose Programs from the Start menu, youll see another menu.
Try it: point at the word Programs. Then you see this Programs menu:
If you bought extra programs, the menu mentions them too.
From the Programs menu, choose Accessories, by pointing at it. Then you see this Accessories menu:
The accessories menu includes a Calculator. To use the calculator, get the accessories menu onto the screen (by clicking Start then Programs then Accessories) and then click Calculator. Youll see the Calculator window, containing a picture of a pocket calculator.
How to calculate
To compute 42+5, click the calculators 4 button (by using the mouse to point at the 4 button and then clicking), then click 2, then +, then 5, then =. The calculator will show the answer, 47.
Instead of using the mouse, you can do that calculation a different way, by using the computers keyboard. Try this:
Try fancier calculations, by pressing these calculator buttons:
(In Windows 95, the backspace button is labeled Back instead of Backspace.)
Standard versus scientific
You can choose two kinds of calculators. A standard calculator is small and cute: it does just arithmetic. A scientific calculator is big and imposing: it includes extra buttons, so you can do advanced math.
The first time you (or your colleagues) ask for the calculator, the computer shows a standard calculator (small and cute). If you want the calculator to be scientific instead, choose Scientific from the View menu. (To do that, click the word View, then click the word Scientific.) Then youll see extra buttons, such as these:
If you click the 7 button and then say squared (by pressing the x^2 button), the computer will multiply 7 by itself and say 49 (which is called 7 squared). If you click the 7 button and then say cubed (by pressing the x^3 button), the computer will do 7 times 7 times 7 and say 343 (which is called 7 cubed). If you click the 7 button and then say factorial (by pressing the n! button), the computer will multiply together all the numbers up to 7 (1 times 2 times 3 times 4 times 5 times 6 times 7) and say 5040 (which is called 7 factorial).
If you click the pi button, Windows 95 makes the computer say
3.14159265359; Windows 98 & Me & XP
make the computer say 3.1415926535897932384626433832795.
After making the calculator be scientific, you can make it become standard again by choosing Standard from the View menu.
In the Calculator windows top right corner, a square button has an X on it. Thats called the X button (or the close button). In Windows 95 & 98 & Me, that button is gray with a black X; In Windows XP, that button is red with a white X.
When you finish using the Calculator window, click that button. It closes the Calculator window, so the Calculator window disappears.
When you buy modern Windows, you get a word-processing program free! That word-processing program is called WordPad. Its one of the Windows accessories. To use it, get the accessories menu onto the screen (by clicking Start then Programs then Accessories) and then click WordPad. Youll see the WordPad window.
In the windows top right corner, you see the X button. Next to the X button is the resize button. Clicking the resize button changes the windows size.
Try clicking the resize button: see the windows size change! Try clicking the resize button again: see the windows size change again!
If the window is small, clicking the resize button makes the window become huge so it consumes the whole screen. If the window is huge and consumes the whole screen, clicking the resize button makes the window become small.
If the window consumes the whole screen, the window is said to be maximized. If the window is smaller, the window is said to be restored to a small size.
Click the resize button if necessary, so that the WordPad window consumes the whole screen (and is maximized).
Now that the WordPad window consumes the whole screen, you can easily do word processing: you can easily type words and sentences. Try it! Type whatever sentences you wish to make up. For example, try typing a memo to your friends, or a story, or a poem. Be creative! Whatever you type is called a document.
Use the keyboard
Read the section called Examine the keyboard, which is on page 85. Here are more hints to help you type.
Capitals To capitalize a letter of the alphabet, type that letter while holding down the SHIFT key. (One SHIFT key is next to the Z key; the other SHIFT key is next to the ? key. Each SHIFT key has an up-arrow on it.)
To capitalize a whole passage, tap the CAPS LOCK key, then type the passage. The computer will automatically capitalize the passage as you type it. When you finish typing the passage, tap the CAPS LOCK key again: that tells the computer to stop capitalizing.
BACKSPACE key If you make a mistake, press the BACKSPACE key. That makes the computer erase the last character you typed. (The BACKSPACE key is in the top right corner of the keyboards main section. Its to the right of the + key, and it has a left-arrow on it.)
To erase the last two characters you typed, press the BACKSPACE key twice.
Word wrap If youre typing near the screens right edge, and you type a word thats too long to fit on the screen, the computer will automatically move the word to the line below. Moving the word to the line below is called word wrap.
ENTER key When you finish a paragraph, press the ENTER key. That makes the computer move to the line underneath so you can start typing the next paragraph.
If you want to double-space between the paragraphs, press the ENTER key twice.
TAB key If you want to indent a line (such as the first line of a paragraph), begin the line by pressing the TAB key. The computer will indent the line a half inch.
Nudge a phrase To move a phrase toward the right, press the TAB key several times before typing the phrase. To move a phrase down, press the ENTER key several times before typing the phrase.
Alt symbols You can type these alternative symbols:
For example, heres how to type the symbol ñ, whose code number is 164. Hold down the Alt key; and while you keep holding down the Alt key, type 164 by using the numeric keypad (the number keys on the far right side of the keyboard). When you finish typing 164, lift your finger from the Alt key, and youll see ñ on your screen! Try it!
Windows copied that chart from DOS. But Windows goes beyond DOS by letting you also use this fancier chart:
For example, heres how to type the symbol ã, whose code number is 0227: while holding down the Alt key, type 0227 on the numeric keypad.
If your document contains too many lines to fit on the screen, the screen will show just part of the document, accompanied by two arrows at the screens right edge: a scroll-up arrow and a scroll-down arrow.
To insert extra characters anywhere in your document, click where you want the extra characters to appear (by moving the mouses pointer there and then pressing the mouses button). Then type the extra characters.
For example, suppose you typed the word fat and want to change it to fault. Click between the a and the t, then type ul.
(When youre using Windows, notice that you click between letters, not on letters.)
As you type the extra characters, the screens other characters move out of the way to make room for the extra characters.
While youre inserting the extra characters, you can erase nearby mistakes by pressing the BACKSPACE key or DELETE key. The BACKSPACE key erases the character thats before the mouses pointer. The DELETE key erases the character thats after the mouses pointer.
Split a paragraph
Heres how to split a long paragraph in half, to form two short paragraphs.
Decide which word should begin the second short paragraph. Click the left edge of that words first letter.
Press the BACKSPACE key (to erase the space before that word), then press the ENTER key. Now youve split the long paragraph in two!
If you want to double-space between the two short paragraphs, press the ENTER key again. If you want to indent the second paragraph, press the TAB key.
After typing two paragraphs, heres how to combine them, to form a single paragraph thats longer.
Click at the end of the first paragraph. Press the DELETE key several times, to delete unwanted ENTERs and TABs. Now youve combined the two paragraphs into one!
Then press the SPACE bar (to insert a space between the two sentences).
To move to different parts of your document, you can use your mouse. To move faster, press these keys instead:
Heres what happens if you press the movement keys while holding down the Ctrl key:
Near the screens top, you see these buttons:
Here is each buttons name:
If you forget a buttons name, try this trick: point at the button (by using the mouse but without clicking), then wait a second. Underneath the button, youll see the buttons name; and at the screens bottom left corner, youll see a short explanation of what the button does.
To use a button, activate it by clicking it with the mouse. Here are the details.
Underline Heres how to underline a phrase (like this). Activate the Underline button (which says U on it) by clicking it. Activating the button changes the buttons appearance:
Then type the phrase you want underlined. Then deactivate the Underline button (by clicking it again).
Go ahead: try it now! Practice using the Underline button before you progress to more advanced buttons!
Bold Heres how to make a phrase be bold (like this). Activate the Bold button (which says B on it) by clicking it. Then type the phrase you want emboldened. Then deactivate the Bold button (by clicking it again).
Heres how to make a phrase be bold and underlined (like this). Activate the Bold and Underline buttons (by clicking them both). Then type the phrase. Then deactivate those buttons (by clicking them again).
Italic Heres how to italicize a phrase (like this). Activate the Italic button (which says I on it) by clicking it. Then type the phrase you want italicized. Then deactivate the Italic button (by clicking it again).
Color Heres how to change a phrases color.
Click the Color button. Youll see a list of 15 colors (plus White and Automatic). Click the color you want. Then type the phrase you want colorized.
Afterwards, click the Color button again and click Black.
Alignment While typing a line, you can click one of these alignment buttons: Center, Align Left, or Align Right.
Clicking the Center button makes the line be centered,
Clicking the Align Right button makes the line be at the right margin,
Clicking the Align Left button makes the line be at the left margin,
Clicking one of those buttons affects not just the line youre typing but also all other lines in the same paragraph. When you click one of those buttons, youre activating it. That button deactivates when you click a different alignment button instead.
When you start typing a new document, the computer assumes you want the document to be aligned left, so the computer activates the Align Left button. If you want a different alignment, click a different alignment button instead.
Clicking an alignment button affects the entire paragraph youre typing, but the paragraphs you typed earlier remain unaffected, unless you do this:
When you start typing a new paragraph, the computer gives the new paragraph the same alignment as the paragraph above, unless you say differently (by clicking one of the alignment buttons).
Heres how to create a centered title. Press the ENTER key twice (to leave a big blank space above the title). Then click the Center button (so the title will be centered) and the Bold button (so the title will be bold), type the words you want to be in the title, and press the ENTER key afterwards. Congratulations: youve created a centered title! Next, make the paragraph underneath the title be normal: make that paragraph be uncentered (click the Align Left button) and make it be unbolded (deactivate the Bold button, by clicking it).
Bullets While youre typing a paragraph, you can activate the Bullets button (by clicking it). That makes the computer indent the entire paragraph and also put a bullet (the symbol ·) to the left of the paragraphs first line. Thats called a bulleted paragraph.
After youve typed a bulleted paragraph, any new paragraphs you type underneath will be bulleted also until you request an unbulleted paragraph (by deactivating the Bullets button).
Left of the Bold button, the screen also shows a box containing the number 10. Thats called the Font Size box. The 10 in it means the characters youre typing are 10 points high.
If you change that number to 20, the characters will be twice as high (and also twice as wide). To change the number to 20, click in the Font Size box, then type 20 and press ENTER. Try it! Any new characters you type afterwards will be the size you chose. (Characters typed earlier dont change size.)
You can make the font size be 10 or 20 or any other size you like. For best results, pick a number from 8 to 72. (If you pick a number smaller than 8 or bigger than 72, the result is ugly.) The number can end in .5; for example, you can pick 8 or 8.5 or 9 or 9.5 or 10.
At the screens left edge, you see a box saying Times New Roman. (In Windows XP, that box says Arial instead.) Thats called the Font box.
Next to that box is the symbol 6. Click it.
Youll see the Font menu, which is a list of fonts in alphabetical order. (To see the rest of the list, press the up-arrow or down-arrow keys.)
Click whichever font you want. To avoid hassles, choose a font that has TT or O in front of it. (The TT means its a TrueType font. The O means its an OpenType font, which is even better and available just in Windows XP.) For most purposes the best fonts are:
Heres how to delete the entire document, so you can start over. While holding down the Ctrl key, press the A key (which means all). All of the document turns black. Then press the DELETE key. All of the document disappears, so you can start over!
Heres how to change a phrase you typed previously.
Point at the phrases beginning. Then hold down the mouses left button; and while you keep holding down that button, move to the phrases end.
(Moving the mouse while holding down the left button is called dragging. Youre dragging from the phrases beginning to the phrases end.)
The phrase that you dragged across turns black. Turning the phrase black is called selecting the phrase.
Then say what to do to the phrase. For example, choose one of these activities:
To move a phrase to a new location, just select the phrase, and then drag from the phrases middle to the new location. Here are the details:
In that procedure, you drag the phrase to a new location then drop it there. That procedure is called drag & drop.
Near the screens top left corner, you see these extra buttons:
Heres how to use them.
Save Heres how to save the document (copy it onto the hard disk). Click the Save button. Then invent a name for the document. The name can be short (such as Joe) or long (such as Stupidest Memo of 1999). At the end of the name, press the ENTER key. Then the computer will copy the document onto the disk.
If you change your mind afterwards, edit the document some more: when you finish that editing, save it by clicking the Save button again. If youre typing a long document, click the Save button about every 10 minutes, so that if an accident happens youll lose at most 10 minutes of work.
Print To print the document onto paper, click the Print button.
Print Preview If youre wondering what a page will look like but dont want to waste a sheet of paper to find out, click the Print Preview button. The computer will show you a mock-up of what the entire page will look like: youll see the entire page, shrunk to fit on the screen, so the characters on the page appear very tiny. Those characters are too tiny to read, but youll see the pages overall appearance: how much of the page is filled up, which parts of the page are blank, and whether the info on the page is centered. When you finish admiring that mock-up, click the word Close.
When you finish working on a document, you can click the
New button or the Open button. If you click the New button and then press ENTER, the computer will let you start typing a new document. If instead you click the Open button, the computer will show you a list of the documents you saved earlier; click the document you want, then press ENTER, which makes the computer put the document onto the screen and let you edit it.
When you finish using WordPad, click the X button (at the screens top right corner). That closes the WordPad window, so the WordPad window disappears.
Before the computer obeys the New button, Open button, or X button, the computer checks whether you saved your document. If you didnt save your document, the computer asks, Save changes? If you click Yes, the computer copies your documents most recent version to the hard disk; if you click No instead, the computer ignores and forgets your most recent editing.
The screens bottom right corner shows the time, like this:
If you move the mouses arrow there, the date will flash on the screen briefly.
To get more details about the time and date, double-click the time. To double-click the box, move the arrow to the box, then tap the mouses left button twice quickly, so the taps are less than .4 seconds apart.
While tapping the left button twice, make sure the mouse remains still. Dont let the mouse jiggle, not even a smidgin! While double-clicking, your desk should be like Christmas Eve, where not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.
Double-clicking is also called opening. Double-clicking the time box is called opening the time box.
Double-clicking the time box makes the computer show you a calendar for the entire month, with todays date highlighted in blue. Youll also see the face of a traditional clock, with an hour hand, minute hand, and second hand that all move. Youll see the time zone, such as Eastern Daylight Time.
If the calendar, clock, or time zone are wrong, heres how to reset them.
To change the year, click the 5 (or 6) symbol thats next to the year. To change the month, click the 6 symbol thats next to the month, then click the correct month. To change the date, click the correct date.
To change the time, click the part of the time that you want to change (the hours, minutes, seconds, or AM/PM), then click the 5 or 6 symbol nearby. To change the time zone, do this:
To see immediately the results of changing the time or the time zone, click Apply.
When you finish using that clock/calendar window, click OK.
To paint pictures, get the accessories menu onto the screen (by clicking Start then Programs then Accessories) and then click Paint. Youll see the Paint window.
Make sure the Paint window consumes the whole screen. (If it doesnt consume the whole screen yet, maximize the window by clicking the resize button, which is next to the X button.)
Move the mouse pointer to the screens middle. Then drag (move the mouse while holding down the mouses left button). As you drag, youll be drawing a squiggle.
For example, try drawing a smile:
When you draw, youre normally drawing in black. At the screens bottom, you see 28 colors: red, yellow, green, etc. To draw in one of those colors instead of in black, click the color you want.
Near the screens top left corner, you see these buttons:
To use a button, activate it by clicking it.
When you start using Paint, the computer assumes you want to use the Pencil, so it activates the Pencil button. If you want to use a different tool, click a different button instead. Lets start with the most popular choices.
To draw a fatter squiggle, click the Brush button. Then put the mouse pointer in the screens middle, where you want the squiggle to begin, and drag! Try it now!
To erase a mistake, click the Eraser button. Then drag across the part of your drawing you want to erase. The part you drag across will become white.
To vandalize your drawing by using a can of spray paint, click the Airbrush button. Then put the mouse pointer where you want to begin spraying, and drag!
To draw a line thats exactly straight, click the Line button. Then put the mouse pointer where you want the line to begin, and drag to where you want the line to end.
If you hold down the SHIFT key while doing that dragging, youll force the line to be perfectly simple (perfectly vertical, perfectly horizontal, or at a perfect 45-degree angle).
While holding down the Ctrl key, you can tap the Z, S, P, N, or O key. Here are the details:
When you finish using Paint, click the X button (at the screens top right corner). That closes the Paint window, so the Paint window disappears.
Did you save?
Before the computer obeys Ctrl N, Ctrl O, or the X button, the computer checks whether you saved your painting. If you didnt save your painting, the computer asks, Save changes?
Youve learned how to use the easy buttons (pencil, brush, eraser, airbrush, and line). Heres how to use the other buttons, which are more advanced.
Rectangle To draw a rectangle whose sides are exactly straight, click the Rectangle button. Then put the mouse pointer where you want the rectangles top left corner to be, and drag to where you want the rectangles opposite corner.
If you hold down the SHIFT key while doing that dragging, youll force the rectangle to be a perfect square.
Rectangle variants Instead of clicking the Rectangle button, try clicking these variants:
Polygon To draw a polygon (a shape that has many straight sides and corners), click the Polygon button. Then put the mouse pointer where you want the polygons first corner to be, and drag to where you want the second corner. Click where you want the third corner, click where you want the fourth corner, click where you want the fifth corner, etc.
At the last corner, double-click instead of click. The double-clicking makes the computer complete the polygon: it makes the computer draw the final side back to the first corner.
Curve To draw a curve, click the Curve button. Then put the mouse pointer where you want the curve to begin, and drag to where you want the curve to end. Then take your finger off the mouses button.
You temporarily see a straight line. To turn that line into a curve, bend the lines middle, by pointing at the lines middle and dragging that midpoint in the direction you want to bend it. (While doing that dragging, try wiggling the mouse in all four directions, until the line bends close to the way you want.) Then take your finger off the mouses button.
To bend the line more, and even create a second bend (arc) in the line, drag again. (You get just two chances to bend the line.)
Fill With Color After youve drawn a closed shape (a rectangle, square, rounded rectangle, rounded square, ellipse, circle, or polygon, or a squiggle that forms a loop so it ends where it started), heres how to fill in the shapes interior (middle), so the interior becomes colored instead of white:
If you click outside the shape instead of inside, youll be coloring the shapes exterior.
Pick Color In the middle of your drawing, if you see a color that youve used and like, heres how to use it again:
Select Heres how to alter part of your drawing.
First, say which part of your drawing to alter, by using one of these methods.
Then say what to do to that part of your drawing. You have these choices:
Windows Me &XP include a Pinball game. Heres how to play it. (If you have Windows 95 or 98, skip ahead to the next topic, called Taskbar.)
How to access Pinball
To access Pinball, click Start then Programs then Games then Pinball.
The computer will say 3D Pinball. After a few seconds, you see a fancy pinball machine with flashing lights and hear sounds of the machine reloading. Its much fancier than the pinball machines you see in video arcades and bars!
At the machines bottom right corner, you see a ball (round bullet), and the computer says Awaiting Deployment, which means the computer is waiting for you to fire the ball.
How to play
Fire the ball, as follows:
Then the ball goes zooming through the machine. Each time the ball bangs into something, you hear wild noises and get points.
Your goal is to keep the ball in play as long as possible, without letting the ball fall to the screens bottom. To keep the ball in play, hit it up by using the flippers, which are near the screens bottom.
You get 3 chances to do all that (fire the ball and keep it in play). If the computer sympathizes with you (because youre amazingly good or pathetically bad), the computer gives you free replays, so you get more than 3 chances.
As you play, you see your score rise. When all your chances are used up, the computer says GAME OVER.
The computer keeps track of the 5 highest scores. If you have one of the 5 highest scores, you see the High Scores window: its a chart showing the top 5 scores so far and who got them. Your score is temporarily called credited to Player 1, because you havent told the computer your name yet. Type your name and press ENTER.
If you (or a friend) want to play again, press the F2 key.
If you want to want the pinball machine to look bigger and fill the whole screen, press the F4 key. Unfortunately, that makes the menus disappear. Press the F4 key again to return to normal size and see the menus.
If you want to pause (so you can go to the bathroom, wipe the sweat off your brow, catch your breath, order a pizza, tell your Mom youre doing your homework, or tell the boss youre doing accounting), press the F3 key. That makes the ball immediately stop rolling. As in a sci-fi movie, youve put the ball into a state of suspended animation!
When youre ready to resume, press the F3 key again, and the ball will come flying at you as fast as when you left off.
When you finish using Pinball, make sure the pinball machine is normal size, then close its window (by clicking its X button).
At the screens bottom left corner, you see the Start button. At the screens bottom right corner, you see the time. Across the screens bottom, running from the Start button to the time, you see a box thats very wide (as wide as the screen) and about half an inch tall. In Windows 95 & 98 & Me, that box is gray; in Windows XP, that box is blue. That box is called the taskbar. It includes the Start button (at the screens bottom left corner), the time box (at the screens bottom right corner), and everything between them.
When youre running a task (program), the taskbar usually shows a button for that task. For example, while youre running WordPad, you see a WordPad button on the taskbar. While youre running Paint, you see a Paint button on the taskbar.
Try this experiment!
Start running WordPad (by clicking Start then Programs then Accessories then WordPad). Now the taskbar includes a WordPad button. Since WordPad is a word-processing program, type a few words, so youve created a short document on your screen.
While WordPad is still on your screen, start running Paint (by clicking Start then Programs then Accessories then Paint). Now the taskbar includes a WordPad button and a Paint button, because WordPad and Paint are both running simultaneously: theyre both in the computers RAM memory chips. Paint is blocking your view of WordPad, but WordPad is still running also.
To see WordPad better, click WordPads button on the toolbar. Then youll see WordPad clearly, and WordPad will block your view of Paint.
Heres the rule: clicking WordPads button lets you see WordPad better; clicking Paints button lets you see Paint better. Both programs are in RAM simultaneously, until you close them (by clicking their X buttons).
You can run several program simultaneously. For example, you can run WordPad, Paint, and Calculator all simultaneously, so you see all their buttons on the taskbar simultaneously. But if you try to run many programs simultaneously, the computer is likely to get confused and fail (especially if you bought too little RAM or youre using an old version of Windows 95 or your computers been on for many hours in a row). To avoid headaches, run no more than two major programs at a time.
You can copy data from one document to another, even if the documents were created by different programs, and even if one document is a drawing and the other document contains mostly words. (For example, you can copy data thats a drawing, from Paint to WordPad.) Heres how:
If youre sticking the data into a WordPad document, the computer sticks it where you requested. If youre sticking the data into a Paint document, the computer insists on sticking it at the paintings top left corner; then drag the data where you want it.
Before 1980, music came on records or tapes. Nowadays, music comes on compact discs instead.
If youve gone to a music store and bought a compact disc containing music, you can shove that disk into your computers CD-ROM drive (or DVD-ROM drive) while Windows is running. Heres how.
Find the drive
Find your computers CD-ROM drive (or DVD-ROM drive, which is a souped-up CD-ROM drive). Its in a tower computers front or a notebook computers side.
If youre lucky, its a 5-inch horizontal slit. If youre unlucky (which is more likely), its a 5-inch-wide drawer you must open by pressing an eject button (which is on the drawer, or under the drawers right-hand end).
Insert the disk
Grab the CD. Hold that disk horizontally, so its label is on the top surface. Dont touch its shiny underside.
Put that CD into the CD-ROM drive, as follows:
Enjoy the music
If Windows XP asks What do you want Windows to do?, click Always do the selected action then OK.
The computer will play the compact disc as background music, while you continue your work.
Adjust the volume
To adjust the musics overall volume, turn the master volume knob, which is typically on the front of the right speaker.
(Some old systems put the master volume knob on the computers back wall instead, below where the speakers cable enters the computer. Some cheap systems have no master volume knob at all!)
If you have a subwoofer (an extra speaker, to produce a booming bass), its front has a bass knob, which you can turn to boost the bass volume as much as you wish.
If you have a 5-speaker system (2 stereo speakers plus 1 subwoofer plus 2 surround-sound speakers), you can boost the surround-sound speaker volume by turning the surround knob (which is next to the master-volume knob on the front right stereo speaker).
On most systems, the screens bottom right corner shows a Volume icon (which looks like a blaring loudspeaker and is next to the time).
If youre using Windows XP but the Volume icon is missing, do this:
That will probably make the Volume icon appear. If it doesnt appear yet, do this:
If you click the Volume icon, youll see a slider. Using the mouse, drag the slider up (to raise the master volume) or down (to lower it).
Controls in new Windows
For Windows 98s second edition & Me & XP, heres how to choose what music to play.
While the music plays, you see the Windows Media Player window. Make sure that windows top left corner says Windows Media Player. If you dont see those words, make them appear by doing this.
Maximize that window by clicking its maximize button (which is next to the X button).
At the windows bottom, you see several buttons.
Click the ║ button to pause in the middle of a song. To resume, click that button again (which has changed to a big ).
Click n to stop back at the beginning of the current track (song). To begin playing there, click the big .
Click | to skip ahead to the next track (song), | to hop back to the beginning of the previous track. (If you dont hear any music, click the big to remind the computer to play.) To skip to a far-away track, click those buttons repeatedly or double-click the tracks number or name (at the screens top right corner).
As a song plays, you see a tiny object slide from left to right. (In Windows Me, the object is a white square; in Windows XP, the object is a silver knob.) To fast-forward, use your mouse to drag that object farther to the right immediately. To reverse, drag that object back to the left.
As the music plays, you see the musics visualization (an animated abstract cartoon that thumps to the musics beat). The prettiest is called Ambience Water; to choose it, click View (at the screens top) then Visualizations then Ambience then Water. Choose it now! While it thumps to your music, the screens bottom left corner says Ambience Water. When you get tired of watching that cartoon thump, choose a different cartoon by using one of these methods:
When you tire of listening to that CD, click the eject button (which is the rightmost button on your CD-ROM drive), then remove the CD. If you wish, insert a different CD instead. If you dont want to listen to any CD now, close the Windows Media Player window (by clicking its X button).
Controls in old Windows
While the music plays, look at the screens bottom. If you see Windows Media Player, your version of Windows has been upgraded to resemble Windows Me, so follow the instructions for Windows Me controls. If you see CD Player instead, youre still using an old-fashioned way to handle CDs. Heres how it works.
On the CD Player button, you see which track (song) youre playing and how many minutes & seconds of that track have elapsed.
To control the music, click the CD Player button. Youll see the CD Player window. In that window, click the ║ button to pause in the middle of a song, n to stop back at the beginning of track 1, to resume playing, │ to skip ahead to the next track, │ to hop back to the beginning of the current track. Hold down the button awhile to go fast-forward, to reverse. Click to eject the disk from the drive (so you can insert a different disk instead). When you tire of listening to your CD collection, click eject () and click the windows X button.
Whats in your computer? How much hardware and software do you have, and what type? Lets find out!
Heres how to find out what kind of computer system you have:
Youll see a message about your computers properties. For example, on one of my old computers the message says
On one of my newer computers, the message says
On one of my other computers, the message says
What message does your computer show? When you finish admiring the message, click OK. (If youre using Windows XP, then close the My Computer window by clicking its X button.)
If youre using Windows 98, do this:
That procedure gives your computer the style used by Windows Me & XP, so you can follow the instructions in this chapter and in Microsofts manuals and tutorials.
Your computer probably came with that procedure done already, but do it again to be sure. If youre sharing the computer with friends, ask their permission before doing the procedure.
Each disk drive has a letter.
Those are the rules for drive letters. In a simply computer setup, heres how the drives are labeled:
Drive C is the most important: its the main part of the main hard drive. Drive C is where Windows itself is stored and where your most important programs and documents are stored.
If your computer is set up simply, you have just one hard-disk drive (which is permanently in the computer), and that entire drive is called drive C. If your computer is set up more fancily, you have two hard drives (called drive C and drive D) or you have one hard drive thats divided into two partitions (the first partition is called drive C, the second partition is called drive D). If your system is set up even more fancily, you have two hard drives, and each is divided into two partitions:
The CD-ROM drives letter comes after all the hard-drive letters. For example, if you have just one hard drive, whose entirety is called C, the CD-ROM drives letter is typically D. If you have two hard drives, called C and D, the CD-ROM drives letter is typically E. If you have two hard drives, each divided into two partitions so they consume C, D, E, and F, the CD-ROM drives letter is typically G.
If you have just one hard drive whose entirety is called C, the CD-ROM drive is typically called D but might be called E or F instead, to let you add a hard-drive D later.
If you have a hard drive, a DVD drive, and a CD-RW drive, the hard drive is typically called C, the DVD drive is typically called D, and the CD-RW drive is typically called E.
Heres how the drives are named:
To find out what drives are in your computer and how theyre lettered, do this .
Youll see the My Computer window. Make sure it consumes the whole screen. (If it doesnt consume the whole screen yet, maximize the My Computer window by clicking the maximize icon, which is next to the X button.)
Youll see an icon (little picture) labeled A: (for your main floppy-disk drive), an icon labeled C: (for the main part of your main hard drive), and icons for your other disk drives also.
In Windows 95 & 98, the icons are labeled like this:
In Windows Me, the icons are labeled like this:
In Windows XP, the icons are labeled like this:
If youre using Windows XP, do this .
Drive Cs files
To find out about your hard disk, click the C: icon, which is in the My Computer window. Heres what happens.
To find out more about your hard disk, right-click the C: icon (by using the right mouse button), so you see a shortcut menu, then choose Properties from that menu (by clicking Properties). Youll see a fancy pie chart showing the disks total capacity, how much of it is used up, and how much of it is still unused (free). When you finish admiring that chart, click OK.
To find out even more about your hard disk, double-click the C: icon. Youll see the C window, which lists files that are on the hard disk.
Make sure the C window consumes the whole screen. (If it doesnt consume the whole screen yet, maximize the C window by clicking the maximize button, which is next to the X button.)
If the hard disk contains more files than can fit on the screen, view the remaining files by pressing the 6 and 5 buttons, which are at the screens right edge.
For each file, you see the files name and a tiny picture (icon) representing the file.
Your computer can handle 3 kinds of files:
In the C window, you see a folder called Program Files, a folder called Windows or WINDOWS, and a folder called My Documents or Documents and Settings.
Those folders are extremely important. You might also see some extra folders, documents, and application programs.
If you double-click a folder, a new window shows you what files are in the folder.
When you finish examining the new window, either close it (by clicking its X button) or go back to the previous window (by clicking the Back button, which exists just in Windows 98 & Me & XP and is near the screens top left corner).
If you click a files icon, heres what happens.
Heres what happens if you double-click a files icon:
In Windows XP, the Documents and Settings folder contains a personal folder (having your name on it), which in turn contains a My Documents folder (containing the documents you wrote).
View menu While youre viewing icons, you can change their appearance by clicking the word View, which gives a View menu.
The menu offer these choices:
Usually youll be happiest if you choose List.
New folder To create a new folder, click File (which is at the screens top left corner), so you see the File menu. From that menu, choose New, then click Folder.
A new folder will appear. Type a name for it (and press ENTER).
Close the C window When you finish examining the files that are on hard disk C, close the C window by clicking its X button.
Drive As files
Drive A (the floppy drive) resembles drive C.
Insert the floppy disk Try this. Grab any standard floppy disk (which is a 3½-inch square). Hold it horizontally, so that disks label is on top of the disk.
Find your computers floppy-disk drive. Its a 3½-inch horizontal slit in a tower computers front or a notebook computers side. On most computers, that slit is easy to see; on weird computers (such as ones built by eMachines), the slit is covered by a door you must unlatch.
Insert the disk into the slit, so the disks label stays on top of the disk, and so the disks silver metal edge goes into the slit before the other edges.
the floppy disk Double-click the
3½ Floppy A: icon, which is in the My Computer Window. Youll see the A window, which tries to list all files that are on the floppy disk.
If the disk hasnt been properly prepared yet (because it wasnt formatted yet or was intended for a Macintosh computer), the computer says The disk in drive A is not formatted. Heres what happens:
If there are no files on the floppy disk yet, heres what happens.
If the floppy disk contains more files than can fit on the screen, view the remaining files by pressing the 6 and 5 buttons, which are at the screens right edge.
For each file, you see the files name and an icon representing the file. When you finish examining them, close the A window by clicking its X button.
Eject the floppy disk When you finish using the floppy disk, eject it from the drive by pressing the eject button, which is under the slits right-hand end.
The CD-ROM drive resembles drive C.
Grab a CD-ROM disk that contains computer info, and put it in the CD-ROM drive. (To find out how, read Find the drive and Insert the disk on page 95.)
The computer will analyze that disk.
If its a CD that contains music, the computer will automatically start playing the music (as I explained on page 95).
If its a CD-ROM disk containing a program called autorun.inf, the computer will automatically start running that program, which typically makes the computer run another program, called setup.exe. If you dont want to continue running such programs, exit from them by clicking their X buttons or by clicking whatever Exit choices they offer you. Then if you want to find out whats on the disk, right-click the CD-ROM disks icon (which is in the My Computer window) and click Open.
If its a CD-ROM disk that lacks an autorun.inf program, heres what will happen.
When you finish examining any files that are on the CD-ROM disk, close the CD-ROM disks window by clicking its X button.
When you finish using the My Computer window, close it by clicking its X button.
Find a files icon
To manipulate a file, the first step is to get the files icon onto the screen.
If the files a document you created using WordPad, heres the easiest way to get the files icon onto the screen:
If the files a painting you created using Paint, heres the easiest way to get the files icon onto the screen:
If the files on drive C, heres another way to get the files icon onto the screen:
Another way to get a files icon onto the screen is to go to the My Computer window and click icons for drives & files until you find the file you want.
Many programs put documents into the My Documents folder. Heres how to see what documents are in that folder.
In Windows Me & XP, the Paint program puts paintings into the My Pictures folder. Heres how to see whats in that folder.
In Windows Me & XP, some programs put music into the My Music folder. Heres how to see whats in that folder.
Now Ill explain how to manipulate a file.
If you want to practice this stuff, use a file you dont mind wrecking. For example, create a WordPad document containing just once sentence (such as I love you) and save it as a file called Love.
To manipulate a file, find its icon (by using the tricks in the previous section) then do one of these activities.
Send to floppy
To copy the file to a floppy disk (in the floppy drive), do this:
That works if your computer was set up properly by the manufacturer.
If the 3½ Floppy choice is missing from the Send To menu or generates an error message, teach the computer how to handle 3½ Floppy, by doing this
then doing this:
Send to CD
Heres how to copy the file to a CD-R or CD-RW disk.
Windows XP Put the CD into the drive. (If the computer asks What do you want Windows to do?, click Take no action then press ENTER.)
Right-click the files icon; click Send To then the CDs icon. That copies the file to a list called Files ready to be written to the CD. Copy more files to that list, if you like.
Then copy that entire list to the CD, as follows:
Windows 95 & 98 & Me You must first install a CD burner program. The most popular CD burner programs are DirectCD and Easy CD Creator. Theyre published by a company called Roxio, which was formerly part of Adaptec.
When you buy a CD-R or CD-RW drive, you typically get DirectCD and Easy CD Creator at no extra charge. When you buy a computer containing a CD-R or CD-RW drive, it typically includes DirectCD and Easy CD Creator, already installed.
Use either DirectCD or Easy CD Creator, whichever you find more convenient.
How to use DirectCD:
Unfortunately, that procedure works just if the CD has been formatted. If the CD hasnt been formatted yet, format it by doing this:
How to use Easy CD Creator:
Send to My Documents
To copy the file to your hard disks My Documents folder (if the file isnt there already), do this:
That works in Windows 98 & Me & XP but not Windows 95.
Send to Desktop
To copy the file to your Desktop (which is the main screen), do this:
To save disk space, that technique copies just the files icon to the Desktop. The file itself stays just in its original location.
On the Desktop, the files icons bottom left corner has a bent arrow, which means the icon is just a shortcut (which points the computer to the original location).
In Windows 98s first edition, that shortcut icon has the same name as the original file. In Windows 98s second edition & 95 & Me & XP, that shortcut icon has the files original name but with Shortcut to added in front; for example, if the files original name was Love, the shortcut icons name is Shortcut to Love.
If you double-click that shortcut icon, the computer will try to find the original file and run it. If the original file was on a floppy disk or CD, that works just if the files floppy disk or CD is still in the drive.
Send to a different location
To copy the file to a different location (such as a folder on your hard drive), do this:
To change the files name, do this:
That works just if the files on a hard disk or floppy disk (not on a CD).
To delete the file, try this procedure:
That procedure works just if the files on a hard disk or floppy disk (not on a CD).
If the files on a floppy disk, that procedure deletes the file immediately. If the files on a hard disk, that procedure moves the file to the Recycle Bin, which holds hard-disk files you said to delete.
Peek in the Recycle Bin To discover whats in the Recycle Bin, double-click the Recycle Bin icon (which is typically at the screens left edge but might have moved elsewhere, such as to the screens bottom right corner). Youll see the Recycle Bin window, which shows a list of hard-disk files you said to delete. (If you dont see a file list, the Recycle Bin is empty.)
To see lots of info about the files in the Recycle Bin, make sure the Recycle Bin window is maximized (so it consumes the whole screen), and make sure youre seeing the Details view (by clicking View then Details).
To see even more details about a certain file, right-click the files icon and then click Properties. When you finish admiring the details, click OK.
If you change your mind and do not want to delete a certain file, right-click the files icon and then click Restore. That makes the computer pull the file out of the Recycle Bin and put the file back to its original location on the hard disk.
If, on the other hand, you really do want to delete a certain file, click the files icon and then press the DELETE key; then press ENTER. The file will disappear.
To delete all files from the Recycle Bin, do this.
Then press ENTER.
When you finish admiring the Recycle Bin window, click its X button.
SHIFT DELETE Youve learned that to delete a file, the usual procedure is to click the files icon, then tap the DELETE key, then tap the ENTER key. If the file was on the hard disk, that procedure moves the file into the Recycle Bin. Notice that the procedure involves tapping the DELETE key. If instead you tap the DELETE key while holding down the SHIFT key, the computer deletes the file immediately instead of moving it to the Recycle Bin.
To delete or send several files at once, highlight the files you want to manipulate. Heres how:
Then proceed as follows:
Youll discover that the other files magically tag along with the first file, because theyre highlighted also.
Copy entire floppy
If you have a 3½-inch 1.44M floppy disk that contains info, and you have a 3½-inch 1.44M floppy disk thats blank, heres how to copy all info from the first disk to the second so the second becomes an exact duplicate of the first:
Erase entire floppy
Heres how to erase an entire floppy disk:
Erase entire CD-RW
Heres how to erase an entire CD-RW disk:
These tricks will make you a pro and amaze your friends.
Windows comes with free samples of music.
Windows XP Heres how to hear Beethoven or blues:
Heres how to hear David Byrne sing about what humans do:
Windows Me Heres how to hear Beck Hanson sing about a beautiful way to break my heart:
Windows 98 Insert the CD that Windows came on. Click Cool Video Clips. Youll see a window full of icons; double-click any icon you wish. (Each icon is a video clip, with sound. Unfortunately, each is an ad.)
Windows 95 Insert the CD that Windows came on. Click Cool Video Clips.
If your CD-ROM drive is reasonably fast (at least 2X), double-click Highperf. (Nearly every CD-ROM drive is at least that fast.)
Double-click Goodtime (for a music video of Edie Brickell singing about Good Times, Bad Times) or Weezer (for a classic video clip of The Weezers rock band performing on the Happy Days TV show).
The computer keeps track of what youve recently used.
Windows XP When you click Start, you see a list of the 6 programs youve recently used heavily. (That list appears at the screens left edge, above All Programs but below E-mail Outlook Express. Unfortunately, that list is biased: it tends to include America Online and MSN Explorer, even if you havent used them recently.)
Windows 95 & 98 & Me If you click Start then Documents, the computer shows you the Documents menu, which is a list of the last 15 documents you used. If your computer is new and you havent used 15 documents yet, the list is shorter.
Windows 98s second edition & 95 & Me show the list in alphabetical order. Windows 98s first edition shows the list in chronological order instead, from oldest to newest.
To use one of those documents, click it. Then the computer runs the program that created the document, and the computer lets you use the document. When you finish using the document, close its window (by clicking its X button).
Suppose you delete one of those 15 documents. (To do that, double-click My Computer then C:, then click the documents icon, then press the DELETE key; or double-click the My Documents folder, then click the documents icon, then press the DELETE key). Even though youve deleted the document, it remains mentioned in the Documents menu. So although the Documents menu lists the last 15 documents you mentioned, those 15 documents dont necessarily still exist!
Heres a faster way to tell the computer to run WordPad: click Start then Run, then type wordpad (and press ENTER).
To run Paint instead of WordPad, type mspaint instead of wordpad. To run the Calculator, type calc instead. To play Pinball (which is included in Windows Me & XP), type pinball instead.
When you buy a program, it typically comes on a disk (a floppy disk or a CD-ROM disk). The instructions for copying it onto your hard disk might say to run a program called setup. To obey such instructions, do this:
For some programs, the instructions say to type install instead of setup.
To control your computer completely, go to the Control Panel. Heres how:
You can see these icons:
If your computer is fancy, you can see extra icons also. (For example, in Windows Me, a Scanner and Cameras icon is added if youve attached a scanner or camera; in Windows 95, an Internet icon is added if youve added Internet software).
In Windows XP, you can see those icons (which form the classic view) or these categories instead (which form the category view):
To switch between those two views, click (in the screens top left corner) Switch to Classic View or Switch to Category View.
Pointer trails For your first experiment, double-click the Mouse icon. (To do that in Windows XP, switch to classic view and then double-click the Mouse icon; or switch to category view then click Printers and Other Hardware then click Mouse.)
You see the Mouse Properties window. To modify what happens when you move the mouse, click Pointer Options (for Windows Me & XP) or Motion (for Windows 95 & 98) or Visibility (if youre using Microsofts IntelliPoint software). Then if you put a a in the Display pointer trails box (or Show pointer trails box) by clicking it, youll see a trail of mouse pointers whenever you move the mouse.
To make the trail be long and obvious, make sure the slider is dragged toward the right, to the Long position. (If youre using Microsofts IntelliPoint software, click Settings to see that slider.)
The long trail helps you notice the mouse pointer more easily. Its useful when youre giving a presentation to a group of people and want to make sure they always notice where the mouse is moving. Its also useful if youre on a laptop computer whose screen is passive matrix, which is too slow to show mouse motions well.
If you change your mind, stop the trails by clicking the Show pointer trails box again, so the check mark disappears.
When you finish experimenting with pointer trails, close the Mouse Properties window by clicking OK.
Experimenting You can experiment by double-clicking any of the other icons in the Control Panel window, but be careful! If you tell the computer to use hardware you dont own, Windows will stop working! Before changing a setting, make a note to yourself of what the setting was, so you can get back to it! Be especially cautious about playing with the Display icon, since if you make a wrong choice your screen will be unreadable!
When you finish playing with the Control Panel window, close it by clicking its X button.
For Windows 98, try this experiment:
Notepad is a stripped-down version of WordPad. Notepad is easier but does less.
Like WordPad, Notepad comes free as part of modern Windows.
Since WordPad does more than Notepad, most people prefer WordPad rather than Notepad. But sometimes WordPad is too fancy and too complex, and Notepads primitive simplicity is appealing. Notepad is popular for writing short notes, computer programs, and pages to put on the Internet. Notepad will confuse you less often than WordPad, since Notepad does less. Its retro; its cool! Try it! Heres how.
To start using Notepad, click Start then Programs then Accessories then Notepad. Make sure the Notepad window consumes the whole screen. (If it doesnt consume the whole screen yet, maximize the window by clicking the maximize button, which is next to the X button.)
Start typing whatever you wish, as if you were using WordPad. Here are the differences.
No formatting saved When you save the document (copy it to the hard disk), Notepad saves info about which characters you typed (which letters of the alphabet, digits, and symbols, and where you hit the SPACE bar, the ENTER key, and TAB key); but it saves no info about the documents appearance. Notepad doesnt save any info about fonts, boldfacing, italics, underlining, font size, color, centering, justification, margins, or bullets; all those features are missing.
The document thats saved is called a pure text document, since it contains just text, no formatting.
A stripped-down word-processing program (such as Notepad) that produces just pure text documents (and saves no formatting) is called a pure text editor.
While you stare at your document (in the Notepad window), which font are you seeing? Heres the answer:
But when you save your document, no font info is saved as part of the document.
Optional word wrap If you type near the screens right edge, and you type a word thats too long to fit on the screen, WordPad automatically moves the word to the line below. Notepad does so just if you request word wrap.
Heres how to request word wrap:
No buttons Notepad has no buttons.
No drag & drop To move a phrase, WordPad lets you use drag & drop, but Notepad doesnt understand that; Notepad requires you to use cut & paste instead. So heres how to move a phrase in Notepad: select the phrase (by dragging across it), then say cut (by pressing Ctrl with X), then click where you want the phrase to be, then say paste Velcro (by pressing Ctrl with V).
Fewer Alt symbols Page 89s bottom left corner shows a chart of Alt symbols. That whole chart works in most fonts (such as Times New Roman, Arial, Courier New, and Lucida Console), but Notepads Fixedsys font cant handle the left column (0130 through 0159): the Fixedsys font handles just 0161 through 0255.
Page 89s top left corner shows another chart of Alt symbols. The Fixedsys font cant handle that charts 159 and 249.
A traditional keyboard contains 101 keys. If your keyboard is designed especially for modern Windows, it contains 3 extra keys near the SPACE bar, so you get 104 keys altogether (or more).
Two of those extra keys are the Windows keys: each shows a flying window. If you press either of the Windows keys, the Start menu appears. So pressing either of those keys has the same effect as if your mouse clicked the Start button. You can press either of the Windows keys: those two keys serve the same purpose as each other, except that one is nearer your left hand, the other is nearer your right. Your keyboard has two SHIFT keys, two Ctrl keys, two Alt keys, and two Windows keys.
The other extra key, called the menu key, shows an arrow pointing at a menu. If you press the menu key, a shortcut menu appears. For example, if you click an icon and then press the menu key, that icons shortcut menu appears.
Property window Here are 4 ways to make an icons property window appear.
Use whichever method you wish! My favorites are the right-click method (which feels the most natural) and the Alt-double method (which is usually the fastest).
Alt F4 Try this experiment: while holding down the Alt key, tap the F4 key.
Problem: someday your mouse stops working (because the mouse is broken or the computer gets too confused to handle the mouse). To get out of that mess, press Alt F4 several times (to close your windows and shut down the computer). Then try again to turn the computer on.
For further help in learning how to use Windows, do this:
Windows Me & XP Click Start then Help.
You see the Help and Support window. Maximize it (by clicking its maximize button).
What topic do you want help about? To express your desire, do this
or do this
or do this:
When you finish using help, close the Help and Support window by clicking its X button.
Windows 95 & 98 Click Start then Help.
You see the Windows Help window. Maximize it (by clicking its maximize button).
What topic do you want help about? To express your desire, do this
or do this:
When you finish using help, close the Windows Help window by clicking its X button. (If you dont see an X button, click Exit and then click Exit Tour.)
To dig deeper into Windows, read the rest of this book!
Though new computers come with Windows 98 or Me or XP, some folks have old computers using old versions of Windows, such as Windows 3.1 and Windows 3.11.
This section explains Windows 3.1. Most of this chapters explanation also applies to Windows 3.11, which is similar but slightly fancier. If youre using Windows 3.0, do yourself a favor: switch to Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, Me, or XP.
Prepare for Windows
Before putting Windows 3.1 or 3.11 into your computer, you must buy MS-DOS (version 3.1 or higher) and good hardware:
Ill assume youve bought enough software and hardware to run Windows well: MS-DOS 3.1 or higher, a hard drive, a 386 or 486 or Pentium, 4M of RAM, a VGA color monitor, a high-density floppy drive, and a mouse.
Cost Windows 3.1 and 3.11 are no longer marketed.
In its heyday, Windows 3.11 listed for $150; discount dealers sold it for $89; if you already had Windows 1, 2, or 3, you could upgrade to Windows 3.11 for just $49. It usually came on 3½-inch high-density floppies; if you didnt have a 3½-inch drive, you had to buy a 5¼-inch version instead.
Installation procedure Heres how to copy Windows 3.1 to the hard disk.
Heres how to start using Windows 3.1 (or 3.11).
Turn on the computer, without any disks in the floppy drives. (For details, read Prepare to operate on page 85. For free help, phone me anytime at 603-666-6644.)
If the computer says
type win so the screen looks like this:
At the end of typing win, press the ENTER key.
Program Manager window
A box containing information is called a window. You see this window:
On the windows top line, you see the windows title: Program Manager. That tells you the window is called the Program Manager window.
In the middle of that big window, you might see a small window, such as the Main window:
If you see the Main window (or another small window), do this: while holding down the Ctrl key, tap the F4 key. That makes the small window disappear, so the only window on the screen is the Program Manager window.
Position the mouse, move the arrow
Read about these topics on page 86.
Choose from a menu
The most important part of the arrow is its tip, which is called the hot spot.
For an experiment, move the arrow so its hot spot (tip) is in the middle of the word File. When you do that, youre pointing at the word File.
On the top of the mouse, youll see 2 or 3 rectangular buttons you can press. The main button is the one on the left. Thats the only button Windows uses. Tapping it is called clicking. So to click, tap the left button.
While youre pointing at the word File, click (by tapping the left button). Thats called clicking File.
When you click File, youll see this File menu:
In that menu, the bottom choice is Exit Windows. If you choose Exit Windows, the computer will stop using Windows.
Try it! Click Exit Windows (by moving the arrow there and then tapping the left button). Youll see this window:
If you want to exit from Windows, click OK (by moving the arrow there and then clicking). If you do not want to exit from Windows, click Cancel instead.
That whole procedure for exiting from Windows can be summarized in one sentence:
After youve exited from Windows, the screen will turn completely black. Then the computer will say:
That symbol, which is called the C prompt, means you can safely turn off the computer. Then if you wish, turn off the computer!
Try that procedure! Notice it involves these three steps.
Step 1: choose from a menu bar The first step is to choose File from this menu:
That menus in a horizontal box. The box is called a menu bar.
To choose a word (such as File) from a menu bar, you can use three methods:
The mouse method is the simplest. Use the other methods if your mouse is broken or missing or makes your flesh crawl.
Step 2: choose from a pull-down menu After you choose File, this menu appears underneath File:
That menu is a vertical list that falls down from the word File. Its called a pull-down menu.
To choose a command (such as Exit Windows) from a pull-down menu, you can use the same three methods:
Step 3: choose from a dialog box After you choose Exit Windows, this window appears:
That window warns that youre about to exit from Windows and asks you whether youre sure. If youre sure you want to exit from Windows, click OK; otherwise, click Cancel.
Since that window lets the computer chat with you about your intentions, its called a dialog box. (According to English teachers, it ought to be called a dialogue box, but computer nerds refuse to type the ue.)
In the dialog box, each major choice (such as OK and Cancel) is called a button. Each button looks like a rectangle. Usually the OK button is highlighted (its sides are made of doubled or thickened lines).
To communicate with the computer, press one of the buttons. To press a button, you can use two methods:
Heres a short cut: to press the Cancel button, just press the Esc key (which means Escape and Cancel).
Three dots Notice that the bottom of the File menu says Exit Windows.... The three dots (...) tell you that if you choose that command, youll encounter a dialog box.
Resize a window
You can make a window be three sizes: maximum, normal, or minimum.
If a window is normal, its top right corner contains the symbols 6 and 5. Using your mouse, click 6 to make the window become minimum; click 5 to make the window become maximum.
If a window is maximum, its top right corner contains the symbols for minimum and normal. Click one of those symbols to make the window change size.
If a window is minimum, its just a tiny picture an icon. Try clicking that icon. Then youll see a menu. From the menu, choose Maximize (to make the window become maximum) or Restore (to make the window become whatever size it was previously).
Try it! Make the Program Managers window become maximum, minimum, and normal again.
To drag an object, point at it (by using the mouse), then hold down the mouses left button, and while you keep that button down, move the mouse.
For example, try this experiment. Make the Program Managers window be minimum, so its just an icon. Point at the icon (by using the mouse), then hold down the mouses left button, and while you keep that button down, move the mouse. As you move the mouse, the icon moves. You can drag the icon anywhere on the screen! Try it! Heres the rule: if a window is minimum (so its just an icon), and you want to move it to a different part of the screen, drag it.
Heres another experiment to try. Make the Program Managers window be normal, so it fills about half the screen. At the top of that window, youll see the words Program Manager. Those words are called the windows title. Point at that title (Program Manager), then drag it to a different part of the screen (by holding down the mouses button as you move the mouse). As you drag the title, youll also be automatically dragging the entire window. Heres the rule: to move a normal window, drag its title.
A normal window is a rectangle. To change its width, drag its right-hand edge. To change its height, drag its bottom edge. To change its width and height simultaneously, drag its bottom right corner.
Try it! Make the Program Manager be a normal window, then change its width and height by dragging its edges and bottom right corner.
Heres another series of experiments to try.
Make the Program Manager be a maximum window, so it consumes the whole screen. Inside that big window, youll see five icons (little pictures), called Accessories, Games, StartUp, Applications, and Main. If somebody else was using the computer, you might see some extra icons.
Make the Program Manager be a normal window (so it fills about half the screen). Youll probably still see those icons in the Program Manager window.
Make the Program Managers window be smaller, by dragging its edges or bottom right corner. Make the window too small to hold all the icons, so you see just some of the icons. Instead of seeing everything that belongs in the Window, you see just a partial view.
When you see a partial view, you see arrows near the windows corners. By clicking the arrows, you can shift your view. To see icons farther to the right, click the right-arrow. (To see icons even farther to the right, click the right-arrow again. To see icons very far to the right, click the right-arrow repeatedly or point at the right-arrow and then hold down the mouses left button awhile.) To see icons farther to the left, click the left-arrow; to see icons that are higher, click the up-arrow; to see icons that are lower, click the down-arrow.
Try it! Click those arrows! Theyre called scroll arrows.
Make the Program Manager window be rather large, so it consumes most of the screen but not the top quarter of the screen. In that window, look for the Accessories icon. (If you dont see that icon, adjust the window by using the scroll arrows.)
Double-click the Accessories icon. To double-click the icon, move the arrow to the icon, then tap the mouses left button twice quickly, so the two taps are less than .4 seconds apart.
While tapping the left button twice, make sure the mouse remains still. Dont let the mouse jiggle, not even a smidgin! While double-clicking, your desk should be like Christmas Eve, where not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.
Youll see the Accessories window. In that window, youll see 13 icons: Write, Paintbrush, Terminal, Notepad, Recorder, Cardfile, Calendar, Calculator, Clock, Object Packager, Character Map, Media Player, and Sound Recorder. Each of those icons is called an accessory, because its an extra jewel that comes with Windows at no extra charge.
The most useful accessories are Clock, Calculator, Write, and Paintbrush. Heres how to use them.
To use the Clock, double-click the Clock icon. Youll see the Clock window, with a picture of a clock in it.
You can choose two kinds of clocks. An analog clock has an hour hand, minute hand, and second hand. A digital clock has no hands: it shows just digits.
The first time you (or your colleagues) ask for the clock, Windows 3.1 shows a digital clock. To switch from digital to analog, choose Analog from the Settings menu. (To do that, click the word Settings, then click the word Analog.) To switch back to a digital clock, choose Digital from the Settings menu.
The clock normally shows the correct time. (If the clocks time is wrong, heres how to reset it: exit from Windows, then give the time command from the DOS prompt.)
The clock also shows the date.
The clock keeps on ticking silently. If you want to put yourself into a trance, watch the analog clocks second hand move. (Its better than counting sheep.)
If you want the clock to be larger, maximize its window by clicking 5. Then the clock will fill the whole screen. Thats how to turn your entire $2,000 computer into a $2 clock! But hey, its a high-tech clock! To freak out your friends, hide the keyboard and system unit under the desk, so your friends see just the screen displaying the analog clock.
If you want the clock to be tiny, minimize its window by clicking 6. Then the clock will be a tiny icon. Even though its tiny, it still runs! Though its too tiny to show the seconds, it still shows the correct hour and minutes.
Close When you finish using the clock, close it. Heres how.
Make the Clock window be normal or maximum. In the Clock windows top left corner, youll see a square containing a horizontal bar:
│ ─ │
That square is called the control box. When you finish using the Clock window, double-click the control box. That makes the Clock window disappear.
To use the Calculator, double-click the Calculator icon. Youll see the Calculator window, containing a picture of a pocket calculator.
How to calculate Read about this topic on page 87.
Warning: if your version of Windows was created before 1995, the computer has trouble subtracting numbers that end in .01. For example, if you compute 2.01 minus 2, the correct answer is .01, but the computer mistakenly says 0 instead.
Standard versus scientific Read about this topic on page 88.
Close When you finish using the calculator, double-click its control box.
When you buy Windows, you get a word-processing program free! That word-processing program is called Write. Its one of the Windows accessories.
To use Write, double-click the Write icon. Youll see the Write window. Maximize it by clicking 5.
Now you can do word processing: you can type words and sentences simply. Try it! Type whatever sentences you wish to make up. For example, try typing a memo to your friends, or a story, or a poem. Be creative! Whatever you type is called a document.
While youre typing, you see the symbol ¤. That symbol appears at the end of what youve typed; that symbol marks the end of your document.
Use the keyboard Read about this topic on page 88.
Scroll through documents If your document contains too many lines to fit on the screen, the screen will show just part of the document. To see the rest of the document, click the scroll arrows.
Insert characters Read about this topic on page 89.
Split a paragraph Read about this topic on page 89.
Combine paragraphs Read about this topic on page 89.
Movement keys To move to different parts of your document, you can use your mouse. To move faster, press these keys instead:
Menu bar While youre using Write, the top of the screen shows this menu bar:
Lets use that menu bar.
Underline Heres how to underline a phrase (like this). Choose Underline from the Character menu. Type the phrase. Then choose Regular from the Character menu.
Bold Heres how to make a phrase be bold (like this). Choose Bold from the Character menu. Type the phrase. Then choose Regular from the Character menu.
Heres how to make a phrase be bold and underlined (like this). Choose Bold from the Character menu. Choose Underline from the Character menu. Type the phrase. Then choose Regular from the Character menu.
Italics Heres how to italicize a phrase (like this). Choose Italics from the Character menu. Type the phrase. Then choose Regular from the Character menu. (That technique works only if your printer can italicize.)
Select text Heres how to dramatically change a phrase you typed.
Point at the phrases beginning, then drag to the phrases end (while holding down the mouses left button). The whole phrase turns black. Turning the phrase black is called selecting the phrase.
Then say what to do to the phrase. For example, choose one of these activities:
Other ways to select The usual way to select a phrase is to point at the phrases beginning, then drag to the phrases end. But sometimes other methods are faster! To select a phrase, choose one of these methods:
Center Heres how to center a title. Choose Centered from the Paragraph menu. Type the title. At the end of the title, press ENTER. Then choose Normal from the Paragraph menu.
Heres how to center a title you typed previously: click anywhere in the title, then choose Center from the Paragraph menu. Heres how to uncenter a title you typed previously: click anywhere in the title, then choose Normal from the Paragraph menu.
Save To copy the document onto the disk, choose Save from the File menu.
Then invent a name for your document. The name must be short: no more than 8 letters. For example, the name can be jennifer or al. Type the name you wish and press ENTER.
That makes the computer copy the document onto the hard disk. For example, if you named the document jennifer, the computer will put in your hard disks WINDOWS subdirectory a file called JENNIFER.WRI, which means JENNIFER created by the WRIte program.
Afterwards, if you change your mind and want to do more editing, go ahead! Edit the document some more. When you finish that editing, save it by choosing Save from the File menu again.
Print To copy the document onto paper, choose Print from the File menu, then press ENTER.
Finish When you finish working on a document, choose New, Open, or Exit from the File menu.
If you choose New, the computer will let you start typing a new document. If you choose Open and then double-click the name of an old document, the computer will put that document onto the screen and let you edit it. If you choose Exit, the computer will stop using Write and let you use a different accessory instead.
Before the computer obeys New, Open, or Exit, it checks whether you saved your document. If you didnt save your document, the computer asks, Save current changes? If you click Yes, the computer copies your documents most recent version to the hard disk; if you click No instead, the computer ignores and forgets your most recent editing.
When you buy Windows, you get a paint program free! That program, called Paintbrush, lets you paint pictures. Its one of the Windows accessories.
To use Paintbrush, double-click the Paintbrush icon. Youll see the Paintbrush window. Maximize it by clicking 5.
Move the mouse pointer to the screens middle. Then drag (move the mouse while holding down the mouses left button). As you drag, youll be drawing a squiggle.
For example, try drawing a smile. To do that, put the mouse pointer where you want the smile to begin (at the smiles top left corner), then depress the mouses left button while you draw the smile. When you finish drawing the smile, lift the mouses button. Then draw the rest of the face!
Colors When you draw, youre normally drawing in black.
At the screens bottom, youll see 28 colors: red, yellow, green, etc. To draw in one of those colors instead of in black, click the color you want.
Line Heres how to draw a line thats perfectly straight.
At the left side of the screen, youll see many icons. One of the icons is a diagonal line. Click it. Put the mouse pointer in the screens middle, where you want the line to begin, and drag to where you want the line to end.
When you finish drawing lines and want to draw squiggles instead, click the brush icon (which is above the line icon).
Rectangle Heres how to draw a rectangle whose sides are perfectly straight.
At the left side of the screen, youll see two icons that are rectangles. Click the left rectangle.
Put the mouse pointer in the screens middle, where you want the rectangles top left corner to be. Drag to where you want the rectangles opposite corner.
Spray Heres how to vandalize your own drawing, by using a can of spray paint!
At the left side of the screen, youll see an icon thats a can of spray paint. Click it. Put the mouse in the screens middle, where you want to begin spraying, and drag!
Erase To erase a mistake, click the simple eraser icon, which is above the brush icon.
Then drag across the part of your drawing that you want to erase. The part you drag across will become white.
Thickness At the screens bottom left corner, youll see eight horizontal lines, ranging from thin to thick. Click the thickness you want.
For example, if you click the thickest line, everything you draw will be very thick. Your squiggles, lines, and rectangles will all be very thick as if you were using a brush thats very thick and wide. The eraser will be thick and wide too, and so will the nozzle on the can of spray paint.
Save To copy your drawing onto the disk, choose Save from the File menu.
Then invent a name for your document. The name must be short: no more than 8 letters. For example, the name can be jennifer or al. Type the name you wish and press ENTER.
That makes the computer copy the document onto the hard disk. For example, if you named the document jennifer, the computer will put in your hard disks WINDOWS subdirectory a file called JENNIFER.BMP, which means JENNIFER the Bit MaP. (A bit map is a picture made of many itty-bitty dots.)
Afterwards, if you change your mind and want to improve the drawing, go ahead! When you finish making improvements, save them by choosing Save from the File menu again.
Print To copy the drawing onto paper, choose Print from the File menu, then press ENTER.
Unfortunately, the typical printer cant print colors. It prints black-and-white instead.
Instead of printing a dark color (such as blue), the printer will print black. Instead of printing a light color (such as yellow), the printer will print white.
Finish When you finish fiddling with a drawing, choose New, Open, or Exit from the File menu.
If you choose New, the computer will let you start a new drawing. If you choose Open and then double-click the name of an old drawing, the computer will put that drawing onto the screen. If you choose Exit, the computer will exit from Paintbrush so you can use a different accessory instead.
If you say New, Open, or Exit without saving your drawing, the computer asks, Save current changes? If you click Yes, the computer copies your drawing to the hard disk; if you click No instead, the computer ignores and forgets your recent drawing efforts.
When you finish using the accessories, close the Accessories window by double-clicking its control box.
Make the Program Manager window be normal.
In that window, youll see the Main icon. Double-click it.
Youll see the Main window, which contains 8 icons: File Manager, Control Panel, Print Manager, Clipboard Viewer, MS-DOS Prompt, Windows Setup, PIF Editor, and Read Me.
Heres how to use the icons that are popular.
File Manager To manipulate the files on your hard disk, double-click the File Manager icon.
Youll see the File Manager window and the Directory Tree window.
In the Directory Tree window, youll see the names of your hard disks subdirectories. The names are in alphabetical order.
By using your keyboards up-arrow and down-arrow keys, move the cursor to the subdirectory that interests you. (For example, try moving the cursor to the WINDOWS subdirectory.) Then press ENTER.
Youll see the names of your files in the subdirectory. The names are in alphabetical order. Move the cursor to the file that interests you (by using the mouse).
For example, try moving the cursor to a file you invented, such as JENNIFER.WRI.
Then say what to do to the file. Choose one of these activities:
When you finish using the File Manager, choose Exit from the File menu.
Control Panel To change how Windows acts, double-click the Control Panel icon.
Youll see the Control Panel window, which contains 12 icons: Color, Fonts, Ports, Mouse, Desktop, Keyboard, Printers, International, Date/Time, 386 Enhanced, Drivers, and Sound. (The 386 Enhanced icon appears just if you have a 386 or 486 or Pentium, and you have at least 2 megabytes of RAM.)
Heres how to use icons that are popular.
To reset the date and time without leaving Windows, double-click the Date/Time icon.
To change the screens colors, double-click the Color icon. Youll see the Color window. Near that windows top-right corner, youll see an arrow pointing down at a hyphen. Click that arrow. Youll see this list of color schemes:
Press your keyboards HOME key (to make sure youre at the top of the list). Tap your keyboards down-arrow key several times, until you reach your favorite color scheme. Then press ENTER. All the screens colors will change and become your favorites!
If you bought a font cartridge for your laser printer, tell the computer which font cartridge you bought. To do that, double-click the Printers icon.
When you finish using the Control Panel window, close it by double-clicking its control box.
Close When you finish using the Main window, close it by double-clicking its control box.
To make Windows 3.1 & 3.11 run better, clean your software. I explain how on pages 232-233; but to understand them, read the MS-DOS chapter first. Here it is.