This chapter comes from the 32nd edition of the "Secret Guide to Computers & Tricky Living," copyright by Russ Walter. To read the rest of the book, look at www.SecretFun.com.

Windows 8 & 8.1

Most computers use an operating system called Windows, invented by Microsoft.

The newest versions of Windows are Windows 8 (invented in 2012) and Windows 8.1 (invented in 2013). They’re very similar to each other, so I’ll call them Windows 8/8.1. This chapter explains them. (The next chapter explains earlier versions.)

Windows 8/8.1 comes in 4 editions:

The normal edition, called just Windows 8/8.1, is for use in homes and small businesses.

A fancier edition, Windows 8/8.1 Pro, is for big businesses that insist on more security.

An even fancier edition, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, is for even bigger businesses that require even more security.

A stripped-down edition, Windows Real Time 8/8.1 (Windows RT 8/8.1), is for people who buy stripped-down computers (such as a tablet having a small battery, a cheap CPU chip that’s not Intel-compatible, and no hard drive).

This chapter explains the normal edition.

Windows 8/8.1 requires 2G of RAM to run at all, 4G to run well. Most computers running Windows 8/8.1 have 4G, 6G, or 8G.

Windows 8/8.1 works best if you have 3 tools:

a nice keyboard (including even a Menu key, which shows the symbol “º”)

a screen that can detect where you touched it (a touchscreen)

a mouse

If you don’t have a mouse, you must use a touchpad instead and make it imitate a mouse.

Here are other substitutions you must make, if you don’t have the 3 tools to do things the easy way:

Easy way              On a touchscreen, tap an object.

No touchscreen Using a mouse, click an object.

Easy way              On a touchscreen, swipe toward the left.

No touchscreen Rotate a mouse’s wheel toward you.

Easy way              On a touchscreen, swipe toward the right.

No touchscreen Rotate a mouse’s wheel toward the screen.

Easy way              On a touchscreen, pinch 2 fingers together.

No touchscreen While pressing Ctrl key, rotate mouse’s wheel toward you.

Easy way              On a touchscreen, spread 2 fingers apart.

No touchscreen While pressing Ctrl key, rotate mouse’s wheel toward screen.

Easy way              On a touchscreen, swipe from the right black border.

No touchscreen While pressing the Windows Start key, tap the C key.

& no keyboard      Slide a mouse until its pointer is at screen’s top-right corner.

Easy way              On a touchscreen, swipe from the left black border.

No touchscreen While pressing the Windows Start key, tap the Tab key.

& no keyboard      Using a mouse, click the screen’s top-left corner.

Easy way              On a touchscreen, swipe from top black border to bottom.

No touchscreen While pressing the Alt key, tap the F4 key.

& no keyboard      Using a mouse, swipe from the screen’s top edge to bottom.

Easy way              On a keyboard, press the Windows Start key.

No keyboard         Press Windows Start button (in screen’s bottom black border).

& no such button  Click the screen’s bottom-left corner.

& no mouse          On a touchscreen, choose Start from the Charms menu.

Easy way              On a keyboard, press the Menu key.

No Menu key        On a touchscreen, swipe from the bottom black border up.

& no touchscreen  Using a mouse, right-click a blank space on the screen.


This chapter explains how to run Windows 8/8.1 on 3 computers:

Computer                                                                           What I paid

tablet computer (Toshiba’s Encore WT8-A32)                       $250 at Staples

laptop computer (Acer’s Aspire V5-571P-6866)               $550 at Best Buy

all-in-one computer (Hewlett-Packard’s Envy 20-d013w) $898 at Walmart

How good are they?

Acer’s laptop and Hewlett-Packard’s all-in-one are excellent.

Toshiba’s tablet is acceptable but occasionally gets confused and needs to restart.

Other Windows 8/8.1 computers are similar; some cost less. For free help using your computer, phone me anytime at 603-666-6644.

 

Fundamentals

Here’s how to start using the computer and have fun.

Unpack

When you buy a computer, it comes in a cardboard box. Unpack it.

For example, here’s how to unpack the three Windows 8/8.1 computers I bought.

Toshiba tablet The Toshiba Encore WT8-A32 comes in a white cardboard box. Open the box and put the contents on your desk (or table).

The box contains 3 electronic devices:

the tablet itself (8⅜ inches tall, 5⅜ inches wide, ⅜ of an inch thick)

a power adapter (black box, 2"´1¾"´1⅛", to convert AC power to DC)

a USB cable (for connecting your tablet to the power adapter or a computer)

Each device is enclosed in its own protective sheath, made of clear plastic. Remove the sheaths and throw them away. (For example, remove the sheath that says “encore” in red, by using your fingernail to pry that sheath off the tablet.)

The box also contains instructions and software licenses.

The tablet’s backside is silver and says “intel inside”. The tablet’s front side is a black screen, surrounded by a black border (which is also called a bezel).

Lay the tablet on your desk so the tablet lies on its backside and its front side is facing up at you.

On the front side’s border, you see “TOSHIBA” in white letters. Position the tablet so “TOSHIBA” is close to your tummy.

The tablet’s bottom edge is the edge that’s near “TOSHIBA”. The opposite edge is called the top edge.

Plug the USB cable’s small end into the tablet’s top edge. Plug the USB cable’s other end into the power adapter. Plug the power adapter into your home’s electrical outlet.

Find the tablet’s power button. (It’s the small black button on the tablet’s right edge. It’s near the top edge and next to a circle that has a line sticking up.) If the screen is blank (all black, with no writing on it yet), press the power button for at least 5 seconds; that will make writing appear.

Make sure the writing is right-side-up. If the writing is upside-down or sideways, fix that by lifting the tablet’s top edge off your desk for a few seconds.

Acer laptop The Acer Aspire V5-571P-6866 comes in a white cardboard box.

That box is protected by a gray seal, which says “CHECK CONTENTS IF SEAL IS BROKEN”. Using a knife, break that seal. Open the box. Put the contents on your desk (or table).


The box contains 5 electronic devices:

the computer itself (15 inches wide, 10 inches front-to-back, ⅞-inch thick)

an outlet connector (to plug into an electrical outlet)

a battery (black cylinder, 10⅝ inches long, ¾-inch diameter)

a power adapter (black box, 3¾"´2"´1", to convert AC power to DC)

a port adapter (a split cable, to attach an Ethernet cable and a VGA cable)

Each device is protected in its own plastic sheath. Remove those sheaths and throw them away.

The box also contains 4 instruction manuals (brief pamphlets).

Plug the battery into the computer.

Using just your fingers, pry open the computer itself, so you see its keyboard and screen.

Remove the black cloth (which protected the keyboard) and the green sticker (which was stuck on the screen, to brag). Throw them away or, if you prefer, save them for future use someday.

Position the computer on your desk (or table), so the computer’s screen stands up, faces you, and is tilted slightly back (so it’s perpendicular to your line of sight).

Plug the power adapter into the keyboard’s left side, near the screen.

Plug the outlet connector into the power adapter (unless you or your friends did that already). Plug the outlet connector’s free end into an electrical outlet (in your room’s wall or power strip or surge protector). Make sure the electrical outlet is on.

On the keyboard’s front edge, an orange light will glow.

If you wish, plug the port adapter into the keyboard’s left edge (but you’ll probably never use that adapter).

Find the computer’s power button. (It’s at the keyboard’s top-left corner, above the Esc key, next to a circle that has a line sticking up.) Press that button.

The screen will light up and say “acer”.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) all-in-one The HP Envy 20-d013w comes in a white cardboard box. Open the box and put the contents on your desk (or table).

The box contains 5 electronic devices:

the computer itself (20¼ inches wide, 16½ inches tall, 7¾ inches deep)

a power adapter (black box, 6½"´2¾"´1½", to convert AC power to DC)

an outlet connector (to plug into an electrical outlet)

a keyboard (containing letters, numbers, and symbols on keys for typing)

a mouse (curved box that fits in your palm and can slide across the desk)

Each device is protected (in its own brown box or protective clear plastic sheath). Remove those boxes and sheaths and throw them away.

The box also contains 4 instruction manuals (brief pamphlets).

Activate the batteries, by doing this:

Flip the keyboard upside-down. You see a white plastic tab with a red arrow on it. Pull that tab out of the keyboard. (That activates the keyboard’s battery.) Then put the keyboard right-side-up again.

Do the same thing for the mouse. (Flip the mouse upside-down. You see a white plastic tab with a red arrow on it. Pull that tab out of the mouse. That activates the mouse’s battery. Then put the mouse right-side-up again.)

The keyboard and mouse will communicate with the computer wirelessly.

Position all the computer devices correctly:

Put the computer itself on your desk (or table), so the computer’s screen stands up, faces you, and is tilted slightly back (so it’s perpendicular to your line of sight).

Put the keyboard in front of the computer. Put the mouse to the right of the keyboard.

Hide the power adapter behind the computer. Plug the power adapter into the computer’s back.

Plug the outlet connector into the power adapter.

Plug the outlet connector’s free end into an electrical outlet (in your room’s wall or power strip or surge protector). Make sure the electrical outlet is on.

On the power adapter, a green light will glow. On the computer’s rear, a white light will glow.

Find the computer’s power button. (It’s at the computer’s top edge, near the right-hand corner, and shows a circle with a line sticking up). Press that button.

The screen will light up and say “hp”.

Examine the keyboard

If your computer came with a keyboard, try to find the following keys (but don’t press them yet).…

Find the Enter key. That’s the big key on the right side of the keyboard’s main section. It has a bent arrow on it. It’s also called the Return key. Pressing it makes the computer read what you typed and proceed.

Find the Backspace key. It’s above the Enter key and to the right of the + key. It has a left-arrow on it. You press it when you want to erase a mistake.

Find the key that has the letter A on it. When you press the A key, you’ll be typing a small “a”.

Near the keyboard’s bottom left corner, find the Shift key. It has an up-arrow on it. Under the Enter key, you’ll see another Shift key. Press either Shift key when you want to capitalize a letter. For example, to type a capital A, hold down a Shift key; and while you keep holding down the Shift key, tap the A key.

Find the key that looks like this:

┌───┐

│!  │

│1  │

└───┘

It’s near the keyboard’s top left corner. That’s the 1 key. You press it when you want to type the number 1. Press the keys to its right when you want to type the numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0. If you press the 1 key while holding down a Shift key, you’ll be typing an exclamation point (!). Here’s the rule: if a key shows two symbols (such as ! and 1), and you want to type the top symbol (!), you must typically hold down a Shift key.

Find the key that has the letter U on it. To the right of that key, you’ll see the letters I and O. Don’t confuse the letter I with the number 1; don’t confuse the letter O with the number 0.

In the keyboard’s bottom row, find the wide key that has nothing written on it. That’s the Space bar. Press it whenever you want to leave a blank space.

Try moving the mouse pointer

If your computer came with a mouse or touchpad, try this experiment.…

HP all-in-one Flip the mouse upside-down, so you see “On” and “Off”. Make sure the on-off switch is at On, not Off. Then put the mouse right-side-up again.

Put the mouse on your desk and directly in front of your right arm. Make the mouse lie flat. Make the mouse face you so you can read its brand name (“hp”).

Move the mouse across your desk. As you move the mouse, remember to keep it flat and facing you.

On the screen, you’ll see an arrow, which is called the
mouse pointer. As you move the mouse, the arrow moves also.

If you move the mouse to the left,              the arrow moves to the left.

If you move the mouse to the right,        the arrow moves to the right.

If you move the mouse toward you,       the arrow moves down.

If you move the mouse away from you, the arrow moves up.

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 desk’s 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.

Acer laptop The Acer laptop has no mouse, so use the touchpad instead. Here’s how.

Find the touchpad. (It’s between the Space bar and the keyboard’s front edge. On Acer’s laptop, it’s a silver box with rounded corners; on other laptops, the color & shape might be slightly different.)

Rest your finger gently on the touchpad’s middle (but don’t press). Slide your finger gently across the touchpad.

On the screen, you’ll see an arrow, called the mouse pointer. As you slide your finger across the touchpad, the arrow moves also.

If you slide your finger to the left,              the arrow moves to the left.

If you slide your finger to the right,            the arrow moves to the right.

If you slide your finger toward you,           the arrow moves down.

If you slide your finger toward the screen, the arrow moves up.

Practice moving the arrow by sliding your finger on the touchpad.

If you want to move the arrow far, slide your finger until it reaches the touchpad’s edge; then lift your finger off the touchpad, rest your finger gently on the touchpad’s middle, and slide your finger across the touchpad in the same direction as before.

Get to the Start screen

If this is the first time the computer is being used, it does this setup procedure:

The computer says “Region and language”. Tap “Next” (which you see on the screen, near the bottom-right corner).

The computer says “License”. If your computer came with Windows 8.1, tap “I accept” (which is near the screen’s bottom-right corner); if your computer came with Windows 8, tap “I accept” (which is near the screen’s bottom-left corner) then “Accept” (at the screen’s bottom-right corner).

The Toshiba tablet says “Register My Product”; the Acer laptop says “Welcome”; the HP computer says “Register and Protect”. For now, to save time, tap “Skip”.

The computer says “PC name”. Invent a computer name (such as “ToshibaTablet: or “AcerLaptop” or “HP-Envy20” or “RussComputer” or “BedroomComputer”). To avoid difficulties, the name must be short (at most 15 characters), contain at least one letter, and contain just letters, digits, and hyphens, without spaces. Type the name (using the tablet’s on-screen keyboard or laptop’s built-in keyboard or all-in-one’s wireless keyboard) then tap “Next” (near the screen’s bottom-right corner).

Windows 8.1 says “Wi-Fi”; Windows 8 says “Wireless”. Make sure you’ve properly set up your room’s wireless router (which lets a computer communicate with the Internet). Tap the router’s name. (On HP’s computer, then tap “Connect automatically”. On HP’s and Acer’s computers, then tap the “Connect” at the screen’s bottom-right corner.)

The computer says “Settings”. Tap “Use express settings”.

Answer any questions about your Microsoft account or the e-mail address your Internet service provider agreed to assign you. (If your computer doesn’t have a keyboard to type on, make the keyboard appear on your screen by tapping the box you want to type in. If the screen says “v”, tap that to see a menu of choices you can tap. To type the symbol “@” by using an on-screen keyboard, tap the screen’s bottom-left corner then “@” then the bottom-left corner again.)

To keep things simple (and avoid future charges from Microsoft), click “Turn off these SkyDrive settings” if you see that choice.

There will be a delay. Be patient.

If the computer was set up previously, it does this procedure instead:

You see the Lock screen, which tries to show the time and date. (If you’re not in the Pacific time zone, the time might be temporarily wrong.)

Press the keyboard’s Enter key or Space bar. (If you don’t have a keyboard, do this instead: put your finger in the screen’s middle then swipe up, toward the screen’s top edge.)

If the computer says “Password,” type the password you created for Microsoft. At the end of your typing, press the Enter key (which has the symbol 8  on it).

See the Start screen

Eventually, the screen’s top-left corner says “Start”. That means you’re seeing the Start screen.

Your name appears in the screen’s top-right corner.

You see many tiles (big boxes).

HP & Acer Windows 8 normally shows 20 standard tiles. Here’s how HP arranges them:

Mail

Internet
Explorer

Store

 

Bing

Calendar

Maps

SkyDrive

Travel

Finance

People

Photos

Sports

Messaging

Weather

Games

Camera

Desktop

News

Music

Video

Here’s how Acer arranges them:

Mail

Calendar

Internet Explorer

Store

 

Bing

People

Photos

Maps

SkyDrive

Travel

Messaging

Finance

Sports

Games

Camera

Desktop

Weather

News

Music

Video

Updating to Windows 8.1 makes these changes:

“Messaging” becomes “Skype”. “Bing” disappears, and all tiles under “Bing” rise to fill the space taken by “Bing”.

Toshiba Toshiba’s tablet, which has Windows 8.1, tries to show these 21 tiles:

Mail

Skype

Video

Music

 

Help+Tips

Maps

Games

Camera

Calendar

Food & Drink

Finance

People

News

Health & Fitness

SkyDrive

Photos

Weather

 

Reading List

Internet Explorer

 

Store

Sports

 

But the tablet’s screen isn’t wide enough to show them all, so it shows just the ones on the left. To see the ones on the right, put your finger on a screen’s blank place (not a tile) and swipe your finger toward the left.

Try this rotation experiment:

While using the Start screen, lift the tablet’s top edge off the desk, until the tablet is vertical instead of horizontal. Then rotate the tablet counterclockwise, 90 degrees, so the tablet looks wider and not as tall, and you see “TOSHIBA” at the bottom-right corner instead of the bottom-left. When you do that, all writing on the screen rotates 90 degrees clockwise to compensate, so you can still read what’s on the screen without turning your head.

When the device is wider than it is tall, you’re in landscape mode; the orientation is landscape (and good for viewing a landscape painting or a typical video or imitating a laptop screen or all-in-one screen).
In landscape mode, any on-screen keyboard will be wider, so you can type on it more easily (but less space remains on the screen to show what you’ve typed).

To return to normal (which is called portrait mode), lift the device’s top edge off the desk again then rotate the device clockwise, 90 degrees. Then the device is taller than it is wide; you’re in portrait mode; the orientation is portrait (and good for viewing a portrait of a person and using the tablet normally).

Extra tiles The tiles I’ve mentioned are the standard ones supplied by Microsoft. To the right of those tiles, you can see extra tiles, supplied by the computer’s manufacturer (HP or Acer or Toshiba).

Even more tiles are hiding to the right. To see them, put your finger on a screen’s blank place (not a tile) and swipe your finger toward the left. That makes all tiles slide left, so you can see whatever tiles were hiding to the right.

The HP comes with 39 tiles altogether: the 20 standard Microsoft tiles plus these 19.…

finish registration, Microsoft solitaire collection, Microsoft mahjong, getting started with Windows 8, HP connected photo, Wordament, HP+, Skype, Kindle, iHeart Radio, Fresh Paint, security, Netflix, Taptiles, eBay, Microsoft Office, connected music, connected backup, HP support assistant

The Acer comes with 43 tiles altogether: the 20 standard Microsoft tiles plus these 23.…

Acer Explorer, 7digital, Evernote, Kindle, eBay, Encyclopedia Britannica, Netflix, iCookbook, Amazon, ChaCha, Tune In, Hulu Plus, Zinio,
Merriam-Webster, Xbox, Skype, Social Jogger, Acer Crystal Eye, NewsXpresso, Games, Spotify, McAfee Internet Security Suite, AcerCloud

Upgrading the HP or Acer to Windows 8.1 adds 4 tiles:

food & drink, health & fitness, help+tips, reading list

The Toshiba comes with Windows 8.1 and 37 tiles altogether: 21 standard Microsoft tiles plus these 16.…

Desktop, Xbox SmartGlass, Amazon, Toshiba central, eBay, Zinio, iHeart Radio, Microsoft solitaire collection, Kindle, Norton Studio, Netflix,
Book Place, Toshiba TruCapture, Norton Internet Security,
Microsoft Office, create recovery media

To return the screen to normal, put your finger on a screen’s blank place and swipe your finger back toward the right.

I’ve explained what tiles are on the Start screen normally, but the Start screen and its tiles can be modified by you and your friends. I’ll explain how later.

Peek at the Desktop screen

Find the Desktop tile.

All-in-one & laptop The Desktop tile is at the screen’s bottom-left corner.

Tablet On Toshiba’s Encore tablet, whose screen is small, the Desktop tile hides to the right of the main tiles. To see the Desktop tile, put your finger on a screen’s blank space (not a tile) and swipe your finger toward the left. The Desktop tile is in the top row of tiles. It’s to the right of the Maps tile. It says “Desktop” and “encore”.

Tap the Desktop tile. Then you see the Desktop screen, which imitates older versions of Windows.

On the Desktop screen, the bottom-right corner tries to show the time and date.

Windows 8 The bottom-left corner says “e” (which means Internet Explorer).

Windows 8.1 The bottom-left corner shows the Windows logo (a white window containing 4 white windowpanes, which are boxes, tiles). That white window means “return to the Windows Start screen”. Next to the white window, you see “e” (which means Internet Explorer).

If you see a red box containing a white “x”, tap that “x”. That erases the x, the red box, and their window. Do that repeatedly, until there are no more red boxes. Then you see the normal Desktop screen.

The Windows logo is a white window containing 4 white windowpanes, which are boxes, tiles. When you finish admiring the Desktop screen, return to the Start screen by using one of these methods:

Keyboard method (available if you have a keyboard) Press the Windows Start key. That key is on the keyboard’s bottom row, left of the Alt key, and shows the Windows logo. If you’re too lazy to call it the “Windows Start key”, call it just the “Windows key” or the “Start key”.

Screen method (available on Windows 8.1’s Desktop screen) Tap the Windows logo at the screen’s bottom-left corner.

Border method (available if you have a tablet) Press the Windows Start button, which shows the Windows logo. Toshiba puts that button on the screen’s bottom black border (bezel) next to the word “TOSHIBA”.

Practice clicking If your computer includes a mouse or touchpad, try to click by using those devices.

To practice clicking, try to click the Desktop tile. Here how:

Mouse method While you’re looking at the Start screen, slide the mouse across your desk or table, until the tip of the arrowhead (mouse pointer) is on the Desktop tile. Then, while holding the mouse perfectly still, tap the mouse’s left button.

Touchpad method While you’re looking at the Start screen, rest your finger gently on the touchpad’s middle (but don’t press). Slide your finger across the touchpad, until the tip of the arrowhead (mouse pointer) is on the Desktop tile. Lift your finger off the touchpad. Then press the touchpad’s bottom-left corner or, if you prefer, do this: tap the touchpad once, firmly but briefly, anywhere on the touchpad (except the touchpad’s bottom-right corner, which is special).

That’s called clicking the Desktop tile. It has the same effect as tapping the Desktop tile with your finger. It makes the Desktop screen appear.

Then return to the Start screen (by pressing the Windows Start key).

Peek at the charms

Windows can be charming: you can see magical charms!

To see the charms, you can use 3 methods:

Border-swipe method (easiest if you have a good touchscreen) The screen is surrounded by a black border. If you have a good touchscreen (such as on the HP Envy 20-d013w and the Acer Aspire V5-571P-6866), the computer can detect when your finger is on the black border. Try this experiment: put your finger on the computer’s right-hand edge, on the black border, and swipe your finger from there to the left, onto the screen.

Keyboard method (also easy) While holding down the Windows Start key (which has the Windows logo on it), tap the C key.

Corner method (hardest and worst) Slide the mouse (or move your finger across the trackpad) until the tip of the arrowhead (mouse pointer) is at the screen’s top-right corner, where the screen’s colors meet the black border (but don’t click or tap).

Then you see 5 charms at the screen’s right edge:

Search

Share

Start

Devices

Settings

How do the charms look?

If you used the border-swipe method or keyboard method, the charms look nice (on a black background, with labels), and the screen’s bottom-left corner shows the computer’s opinion of the time & date, big.

If you used the corner method, the charms appear just temporarily (with no black background, no labels, and no big time/date).

Return to the Start screen When you finish admiring the charms, here’s how to return to the normal Start screen: press the Windows Start key or tap the Start charm.

Turn off the computer

When you finish using the computer, here’s how to turn it off:

Charms method Tap the Settings charm then “Power” (at the screen’s bottom) then “Shut down”.

Ctrl-key method While holding down the Ctrl and Alt keys, tap the Delete key. Tap the Power icon (which appears on the screen, at the screen’s bottom-right corner, and shows a circle that has a line sticking up). Tap “Shut down”.

Windows-key method (just in Windows 8.1) While holding down the Windows Start key, tap the X key. Take your fingers off those keys. Tap the U key twice.

Power-button method (just on tablets, such as Toshiba’s, having InstantGo) Press the Power button awhile (about 4 seconds), until the screen says “Slide to shut down your PC”. Put your finger on that sentence and slide (drag) it down to the screen’s bottom.

All open tiles will close. The screen will go black.

Tablet You’ve turned the computer completely off.

All-in-one and laptop When the power button’s light stops glowing, turn off the computer’s electricity. (To do that, unplug from the wall or turn off the power strip or surge suppressor.) If you have a mouse, turn it off (by turning it upside-down and sliding its power button to “Off”).

Sleep To turn the computer partly off, so it uses very little power, press the power button.

HP all-in-one The power button is at the computer’s top edge, near the right-hand corner, and shows a circle that has a line sticking up.

Acer laptop The power button is at the keyboard’s top-left corner, above the Esc key, next to a circle that has a line sticking up.

Toshiba tablet The power button is the small black button on the tablet’s right edge. It’s near the top edge and next to a circle that has a line sticking up.

That makes the screen go black; the computer sleeps (uses very little power).

HP all-in-one While the computer sleeps; the power button’s light flashes repeatedly. If you press the power button again later, the screen comes back on and shows where you left off, and the same tiles are still open.

Acer laptop While the computer sleeps, the power button’s light stays on for the first 12 seconds, then turns off. If you press the power button again later, here’s what happens.… The screen comes back on. You see the Lock screen (with the time and date). Do the Lock screen procedure, which is: press the Enter key, type your password, and press Enter again. You see where you left off; the same tiles are still open.

Toshiba tablet If you tap the power button again later, here’s what happens.… The screen comes back on. You see the Lock screen (with the time and date). Do the Lock screen procedure, which is: put your finger in the screen’s middle then swipe up toward the screen’s top edge. If the tablet says “Password” (because the tablet’s been sleeping a long time), type your password then press the Enter key. You see where you left off; the same tiles are still open.

3 states The computer can be in 3 states:

off (consumes no power, so the screen is black)

on (so you can use the computer)

sleeps (consumes very little power; the screen is black, but the computer keeps remembering what you’d been doing and waits for you to press the power button again, to turn the computer back on fully)


Apps screen

In additional to the tiles, your computer contains many other apps. To see them all, do this:

Windows 8 Tap the first charm (the Search charm).

Windows 8.1 While looking at the Start screen, put your finger on a blank space near the screen’s middle and swipe up.

Then you start seeing the Apps screen, which is a list of all the application programs (apps) on the computer.

HP & Acer On HP’s all-in-one computer (Envy 20-d013w), the Apps screen includes 110 apps:

40 main apps: Bing, Calendar, Camera, Connected Music, Desktop, eBay, Finance, Fresh Paint, Games, Getting Started, HP Connected Photo, HP+, iHeartRadio, Internet Explorer, Kindle, Mail, Maps, Messaging,
Microsoft Mahjong, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Music, Netflix, News, Norton Studio, People, Photos, Reader, Register with HP, SkyDrive, Skype, Sports, Store, Taptiles, Travel, Video, Weather, Windows Live Movie Maker, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Wordament

2 other apps for communication & chat: CyberLink YouCam,
Try HP MyRoom Free

12 other apps that are games: All Casual Games, All Enthusiast Games, All Family Games, All Kids Games, All MMO Games, Bejeweled 3,
FATE The Cursed King, John Deere Drive Green, Mahjong Dark Dimensions, More Games from WildTangent, Penguins, Zuma’s Revenge

1 other app by HP: Connected Backup

7 other apps for HP help & support: HP Support Assistant,
HP Support Information, Operating Specifications,
Regulatory & Safety & Environmental Notices, Safety & Comfort Guide, Troubleshooting & Maintenance Guide, Warranty

6 other apps for music & photos & videos: CyberLink Media Suite, CyberLink PhotoDirector, CyberLink PowerDirector,
CyberLink PowerDVD, HP Beats Audio, HP Connected Remote

1 other app about Norton Internet Security: Norton Internet Security

6 other apps about productivity & tools: CyberLink LabelPrint, CyberLink Power2Go, Desktop Burning Gadget,
HP My Display TouchSmart Edition, ISO Viewer, Virtual Drive

2 other apps for security & protection: Recovery Manager,
Recovery Media Creation

1 other app about shopping & services: eBay

15 apps that are Windows accessories: Calculator, Character Map, Math Input Panel, Notepad, Paint, Remote Desktop Connection,
Snipping Tool, Sound Recorder, Steps Recorder, Sticky Notes,
Windows Fax & Scan, Windows Journal, Windows Media Player, WordPad, XPS Viewer

4 apps for Windows ease of access: Magnifier, Narrator,
On-Screen Keyboard, Windows Speech Recognition

1 app from Windows Live: Windows Live Writer

12 apps to manipulate the Windows system: Command Prompt, Computer, Control Panel, Default Programs, File Explorer, Help & Support, Run, Task Manager, Windows Defender, Windows Easy Transfer,
Windows Easy Transfer Reports, Windows PowerShell


On Acer’s laptop (Aspire V5-571P-6866), the Apps screen includes 113 apps:

45 main apps: -Games-, -Games App-, 7digital Music Store,
Acer Crystal Eye, Acer Explorer, Amazon, Bing, Calendar, Camera, ChaCha, Desktop, Dictionary, eBay, Encyclopedia Britannica, Evernote, Finance, Games, Hulu Plus, iCookbook SE, Internet Explorer, Kindle, Mail, Maps, Messaging, Microsoft Office, Music, Netflix, News, newsXpresso, Norton Online Backup, People, Photos, Reader, Shark Dash, SkyDrive, Skype, Social Jogger, Sports, Spotify, Store, Travel, TuneIn Radio, Video, Weather, Zinio Reader

12 other apps by Acer: Acer Backup Manager, Acer Instant Update Utility, Acer Power Management, Acer Quick Guide, Acer Recovery Management, Acer User’s Manual, AcerCloud, AcerCloud Docs, clear.fi Media, clear.fi Photo, Identity Card, Live Updater

2 apps by CyberLink: CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.5, MediaEspresso Gadget

2 apps by Dolby: Dolby Demo, Dolby Profile

2 apps by EgisTec: MyWinLocker, Shredder

16 other apps that are games: Agatha Christie, Aloha TriPeaks, Bejeweled 3, Cradle of Egypt, Delicious, Dora’s World Adventure,
Jewel Batch 3, More Games from WildTangent, Mystery P.I.,
Peggle Nights, Penguins, Plants vs. Zombies, Polar Bowler, Polar Golfer, Tales of Lagoona, Zuma’s Revenge

1 app by Intel: Intel Graphics & Media Control Panel

1 app by McAfee: McAfee Internet Security Suite

1 app by NTI: NTI Media Maker 9

15 apps that are Windows accessories: Calculator, Character Map, Math Input Panel, Notepad, Paint, Remote Desktop Connection,
Snipping Tool, Sound Recorder, Steps Recorder, Sticky Notes,
Windows Fax & Scan, Windows Journal, Windows Media Player, WordPad, XPS Viewer

4 apps for Windows ease of access: Magnifier, Narrator,
On-Screen Keyboard, Windows Speech Recognition

12 apps to manipulate the Windows system: Command Prompt, Computer, Control Panel, Default Programs, File Explorer, Help & Support, Run, Task Manager, Windows Defender, Windows Easy Transfer,
Windows Easy Transfer Reports, Windows PowerShell

Upgrading those HP & Acer computers to Windows 8.1 (and doing other upgrades along the way) makes these changes.…

10 main apps are added: Alarms, Calculator, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, Help+Tips, PC Settings, Reading List, Scan, Sound Recorder, Yahoo.

These apps are deleted: Bing, Messaging, Computer, Windows
Easy Transfer Reports.

An app called “This PC” is added to the list of apps to manipulate the Windows system.

“Windows Media Player” is moved to the main-apps category.

Just on Acer’s computer: “Evernote” becomes “Evernote Touch”; “-Games-” becomes “WildTangent Games”.


Toshiba On Toshiba’s tablet (Encore WT8-A32, which includes Windows 8.1), the Apps screen includes 78 apps:

43 main apps: Alarms, Amazon, Book Place, Calculator, Calendar, Camera, Desktop, eBay, Finance, Food & Drink, Games, Health & Fitness, Help+Tips, iHeartRadio, Internet Explorer, Kindle, Mail, Maps,
Microsoft Office, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Music, Netflix, News, Norton Studio, PC Settings, People, Photos, Reader, Reading List, Scan, SkyDrive, Skype, Sound Recorder, Sports, Store, Store, Toshiba Central, Toshiba Registration, Travel, TruCapture, Video, Weather,
Xbox SmartGlass, Zinio Reader

1 app by Norton: Norton Internet Security

4 other apps by Toshiba: Create Recovery Media, Service Station, Toshiba Application Installer, User’s Guide

15 apps that are Windows accessories: Calculator, Character Map, Math Input Panel, Notepad, Paint, Remote Desktop Connection,
Snipping Tool, Sound Recorder, Steps Recorder, Sticky Notes,
Windows Fax & Scan, Windows Journal, Windows Media Player, WordPad, XPS Viewer

4 apps for Windows ease of access: Magnifier, Narrator,
On-Screen Keyboard, Windows Speech Recognition

11 apps to manipulate the Windows system: Command Prompt, Control Panel, Default Programs, File Explorer, Help & Support, Run,
Task Manager, This PC, Windows Defender, Windows Easy Transfer, Windows PowerShell

See all apps You see the first screenful of apps. To see all the apps, put your finger on a screen’s blank place and swipe your finger toward the left. To return the screen to normal, swipe toward the right.

Restricted apps To see just the apps containing a word beginning with the letters “ca”, go to the Apps screen then do this:

If you have a real keyboard (which is called a physical keyboard), type the letters “ca”. Your typing appears in the screen’s top-right corner.

If you don’t have a real keyboard, tap the purple box in the screen’s top-right corner. That makes the screen show an imitation keyboard (called an on-screen keyboard or virtual keyboard). On that keyboard, type “ca”.

That makes the computer show this list of “ca” apps:

HP                               Acer                                                Toshiba

Camera                       Camera                                         Calendar

Calendar                     Calendar                                      Camera

Calculator                   Calculator                                    Calculator

All Casual Games       Identity Card                               Calculator

CyberLink YouCam     Mystery P.I. — Curious Case

“Calculator” appears in Toshiba’s list twice, because Windows 8.1 includes 2 versions of the Calculator app. “Calculator” will appear in the other lists twice when you upgrade those computers to Windows 8.1. (Upgrading also changes the order in which apps are mentioned.)

If you type the letters “ca” while you’re looking at the Start screen instead of the Apps screen, here’s what happens:

Windows 8 Typing “ca” at the Start screen has the same effect as typing “ca” at the Apps screen: you see a list of the “ca” apps on your computer.

Windows 8.1 Typing “ca” at the Start screen makes the computer show you everything it can research about “ca”: you see the beginning of a list of “ca” apps, data files, and Internet Websites.

If you don’t have a physical keyboard, here’s how to type the letters “ca” at the Start screen:

Tap the Search charm. An on-screen keyboard appears. Type “ca”.

See open tiles

If you’ve tapped a tile (to use it), what should you do when you finish using it?

The simplest thing to do is press the Windows Start key (or button), which returns you to the Start screen — but even though the whole screen becomes devoted to the Start screen, the tile you were using still secretly runs in the background; the tile is still secretly open.

To return to using a secretly open tile, choose one of these methods:

Swipe method P.ut your finger on the computer’s left edge, on the black border, and swipe your finger from there to the right, onto the screen.

Mouse method Using the mouse (or touchpad), click the screen’s top-left corner (where the screen’s colors meet the black border).

That makes you return to using that tile: the whole screen becomes devoted to that tile’s app.

If several tiles are still open, use one of those methods several times to switch among those tiles.

To see a list of all tiles that are still open, choose one of these methods:

Swipe method (easy) P.ut your finger on the computer’s left edge, on the black border. Slide your finger toward the right, onto the screen, but then (with your finger still on the screen) slide back to the left, onto the black border.

Mouse method (harder) Using the mouse, move the mouse pointer to the screen’s top-left corner (where the screen’s colors meet the black border). While pressing the mouse’s left button, slide the mouse pointer slightly to the right (along the black border’s edge), but then (without lifting the mouse’s button) slide back to the screen’s top-left corner.

Touchpad method (hardest) Using the touchpad, move the mouse pointer to the screen’s top-left corner (where the screen’s colors meet the black border). While your other hand presses the touchpad’s bottom-left corner, slide the mouse pointer slightly to the right (along the black border’s edge), but then (without lifting your other hand) slide back to the screen’s top-left corner.

You see the list of open tiles. Tap the tile you want to open.

Close a tile To close a tile (remove it from the list of tiles that are open), choose one of these methods while running the tile:

Swipe method Swipe from the computer’s top edge (the top black border) to the computer’s bottom edge (the bottom black border).

Keyboard method While holding down the Alt key (which is next to the Space bar), tap the F4 key (which is on the keyboard’s top row).

If you’re not going to use that tile soon, close it: then it stops consuming the computer’s attention & memory, so the computer can devote its full attention to the other tiles and let them run faster.

Improve the computer

Here’s how to improve the computer. (If you share the computer with friends, get their permission before making these modifications.)

Fix the time HP, Acer, and Toshiba assume their customers are in the Pacific time zone. If you’re not in the Pacific time zone, fix the time by doing this:

While the computer is on, tap the Settings charm then “Change PC settings” (at the screen’s bottom).

For Windows 8, tap “General” then the time box’s “v”. For Windows 8.1, make any left-arrow at the screen’s top-left corner disappear (by tapping it repeatedly) then tap “Time and language” then “Date and time” then the time-zone box’s “v”.

You start seeing a list of time zones. To see the rest of the list, put your finger in the list and swipe up or down.

Find your time zone. If you’re in the United States, your time zone is one of these:

(UTC-10:00) Hawaii

(UTC-09:00) Alaska

(UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

(UTC-07:00) Arizona

(UTC-07:00) Mountain Time (US & Canada)

(UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

(UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

(UTC-05:00) Indiana (East)

When you’ve found your time zone, tap it.


Update Windows About every 2 weeks, Microsoft makes little improvements to Windows. Update your computer to include Windows’ newest improvements. Here’s how.

Tap the Settings charm then “Change PC settings” (at the screen’s bottom).

If you’re using Windows 8, here’s what happens next:

At the screen’s bottom-left corner, you should see “Windows Update”. (If you don’t see “Windows Update” yet, because your screen isn’t tall enough, make “Windows Update” appear by doing this: put your finger at the screen’s button-left corner and swipe up.) Tap “Windows Update”.

If you’re using Windows 8.1, here’s what happens instead:

Make any left-arrow at the screen’s top-left corner disappear (by tapping it repeatedly). Tap “Update and recovery” (which is at the screen’s bottom-left corner) then “Windows Update”.

If you see “Restart now”, do this:

Tap the “Restart now” button. The computer will restart and show you the Lock screen (with the time and date). Do the Lock screen procedure, which is: press the Enter key, type your password, and press Enter again.

If instead you see “We’ll install updates automatically”, don’t wait for the automatic update; instead, update now by doing this:

Tap “We’ll install updates automatically” then the “Install” button (at the screen’s bottom).

If instead you see “No important updates are scheduled to be installed”, do this:

Tap “Check for updates now”.

If instead you see “View details”, do this:

Tap “View details”. Put check marks in all the boxes (by tapping them). Tap“Install”.

Microsoft also improves the apps. Update your apps by doing this:

On the Start screen, find the Store tile (which is green and shows a shopping bag). At that tile’s bottom-right corner, if you see a number, continue as follows.…

Tap the Store tile. Tap “Updates” (at the screen’s top-right corner) then “Install” (at the screen’s bottom).

The computer says “Installing apps”. You see a list of apps that are being installed. That list of apps to install gradually gets shorter, and then the screen blinks a few times, until the computer finally says “Your apps were installed.”

Then return to the Start screen (by pressing the Windows Start key).

If you have Windows 8, you can update to Windows 8.1 by doing this procedure (which is easy and free but includes about 2 hours of waiting):

Tap the Store tile (which is green) then “Update Windows” then “Download”. The computer will say “Downloading”.

The computer will pause for many minutes, while it copies Windows 8.1 from the Internet. (If the screen grows dim or black, slide the mouse slightly: that gets the computer’s attention, so the screen becomes bright again.)

Eventually the computer will say “Getting the update ready” then “Checking compatibility” then “Applying changes” then “Gathering info” then “Preparing to restart” then “Your PC needs to restart”. Tap “Restart now”.

Eventually the computer will say “License terms”. Tap “I accept” then “Use express settings”.

Type the password you created for Microsoft. At the end of your typing, tap “Next”.

Assuming you have a cell phone, do the following. Tap “Next” again. Microsoft will send a text message to your cell phone. That message contains your security code. Type that security code on your computer’s keyboard. Tap “Next” then “Next” again.


 

Register If you haven’t registered the computer yet, do this for the HP all-in-one:

The Start screen includes a tile called “Finish Registration”. Tap it. Finish registering your computer (so HP can send you more info), by answering questions.

When you’ve finished, the computer will say “Thank you for registering with HP!”

Press the Windows Start key. Remove the tile (which might now say “Thank you”) from the Start screen, as follows…. Using the mouse, move the mouse pointer (which is on the screen) to that tile. Press the mouse’s right-hand button (not the left). Tap “Unpin from Start” (at the screen’s bottom-left corner).

That tile will disappear. The other tiles will rearrange themselves, to fill the hole left by the departed tile.

Do this for the Toshiba tablet:

The Start screen includes a tile called “Toshiba Central”. Tap it. Tap “Register Any Toshiba Product.”

Type the serial number, which is the “S/N” number on the tablet’s box). (The serial number includes letters and digits. Don’t bother capitalizing. To type digits, tap the screen’s bottom-left corner then the digits then the screen’s bottom-left corner again.) At the end of your typing, tap “GO”.

Type the last 4 digits of the model-part number, which is the “P/N” number on the tablet’s box.

Put your finger in the screen’s middle and swipe up, so you can see the rest of the product-registration form.

Tap the Purchase Date box. You see the calendar of a month. Tap the date you bought the tablet; to switch months, tap the “” for the next month or the “ƒ” for the previous month.

Tap the Email Address box. Type your e-mail address. (To type digits or the symbol “@”, tap the screen’s bottom-left corner then what you want.)

Tap “CONTINUE”.

Optional: to get extra benefits, tap “CREATE MY ID” then try to answer more questions then tap “Submit”.

Do the following procedure for the Acer laptop eventually, but Acer’s procedure works just after you’ve learned how to receive emails:

The Start screen includes a tile called “Acer Explorer”. Tap it.

Finish registering your computer (so Acer can send you more info), by tapping the “Create an Acer ID” button (if you don’t have an Acer ID already) and answering questions.

Bypass the Login screen When you turn on the computer, you normally see the Lock screen. To get past it, you must press the Enter key (or swipe up). Then you see the Login screen; to get past it, you must type your password then press the Enter key again.

That password tells the computer which person you are, in case several people share your computer. It also protects you from any enemy who turns on your computer and tries to use it.

But if you’re the only person who has an account on this computer and you’re also sure no enemy will grab your computer and cause mischief, you might prefer to shorten that startup procedure, so when you turn on the computer it immediately shows the Start screen or other useful screen, without forcing you to watch the Lock and Login screens and type your password.

Here’s how to tell the computer “don’t show the Lock screen and don’t demand a Login-screen password”:

While you’re looking at the Apps screen, type “NetPLWiz”. At the end of your typing, press the Enter key.

You see a check mark. (It’s labeled “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.”) Remove that check mark (by tapping it). Tap “OK”.

For the Toshiba tablet, make the on-screen keyboard appear (by tapping the keyboard icon at the screen’s bottom).

Type your password. At the end of your typing, tap the Confirm Password box. Type your password again. At the end of your typing, press the Enter key.

You see the Desktop screen. If you want to see the Start screen instead, press the Windows Start key.

If you give that command, here’s what will happen:

HP all-in-one The computer will skip the Lock screen and skip the Login-screen password.

Acer laptop If the computer had been off, the computer will skip the Lock screen and skip the Login-screen password. But if the computer had been just sleeping, the computer will still put you at the Lock screen and demand a Login-screen password.

Toshiba tablet The tablet will show the Lock screen just if the tablet had been sleeping (instead of completely turned off). The tablet will demand a Log-screen password rarely, just if the tablet feels nervous!

Later, if you change your mind, you can reverse that procedure by doing this:

While you’re looking at the Apps screen, type “NetPLWiz”. At the end of your typing, press the Enter key.

Tap the box next to “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer”, so a check mark appears there. Tap “OK”.

You see the Desktop screen. If you want to see the Start screen instead, press the Windows Start key.

 

Tiles we love

These tiles (on the Start screen) are nice & easy to use.

Camera

Here’s how the Camera tile works in Windows 8.1. (If you’re still using Windows 8 instead of 8.1, skip to the next section.)

On the Start screen, tap the Camera tile.

HP all-in-one The Camera tile is reddish purple. It’s normally the 3rd row’s 4th tile.

Acer laptop The Camera tile is purple. It’s normally the 2nd row’s 6th tile.

Toshiba tablet The Camera tile is purple. It shows a camera and is normally near the screen’s top-right corner.

If the computer asks “Can Camera use your location?” tap “Allow”.

Enjoy the mirror The screen can act as a mirror, so you see yourself staring at the screen! Here’s why:

HP all-in-one Above the screen, the computer’s black border includes a tiny pinhole camera (next to the white light). The camera is aimed down at you. The camera is medium-quality (1280×800 resolution, 1 megapixel).

Acer laptop Above the screen, the computer’s black border includes a tiny pinhole camera (next to the green light). The camera is aimed toward you. The camera is medium-quality (1280×1024 resolution, 1.3 megapixels).

Toshiba tablet The screen is surrounded by a black border. That border’s top-right corner includes a tiny pinhole camera aimed toward you. That’s called the front camera (or front-facing camera). Behind that camera, on the computer’s backside, is another pinhole camera, aimed in the opposite direction (such as toward your desktop), in the same direction as your eye sees; that’s called the back camera (or rear-facing camera). To make the rear-facing camera show something useful, lift the tablet off the desk. To switch from one camera to the other, tap “Change camera” (which you’ll see when you swipe up from the bottom black border). The front camera is 2-megapixel; the back camera is higher quality (8-megapixel).

To have fun, grab your friends and favorite objects and put them next to you, so the screen shows them all! The quality will be better if the room is brightly lit, flooded with bright daylight, not at night. You can tilt the screen, to let the camera get a different view.

Anything near the camera will look bigger. For example, if you put your hand near the camera, your hand will look bigger than your head.


 

Snap a photo To snap a photo, use one of these methods:

Keyboard method    Press the keyboard’s Space bar.

Touchscreen method   Tap the screen’s middle.

To see the photo you snapped, use one of these methods:

Keyboard method Press the left-arrow key (which is next to the rightmost Ctrl key). To see any earlier photos, press the left-arrow key again.

Touchscreen method Put your finger on the screen’s middle and swipe to the right. To see any earlier photos, swipe right again.

To snap another photo, use one of these methods:

Flip-through method Hold down the right-arrow key (or swipe left repeatedly), until you see your mirror image instead of a photo.

2-tap method While looking at a photo you snapped, tap its middle then the Camera icon (which is at the screen’s bottom-left corner).

Then snap (by press the keyboard’s Space bar again or tapping the screen’s middle again).

If you put a book in front of the screen, the book’s writing will look backwards (a mirror image) on the screen before you take the photo, but the final photo will show the book’s writing correctly.

Edit a photo While you’re looking at a photo you took, you can edit it.

To delete the photo, use one of these methods:

Keyboard method Press the Delete key then the Enter key.

Touchscreen method Tap the photo’s middle then the white Delete icon (the trash can near the screen’s bottom-left corner) then the purple “Delete” button.

To crop the photo (keep just the photo’s middle part), do this:

Tap the photo’s middle then tap “Crop” (which is near the screen’s bottom-right corner). The computer highlights the photo’s middle part and puts 4 white dots around it. Using your finger, drag the 4 white dots until they correctly surround the part of the photo you want to keep. Tap “Apply”. Then tap “Update original” (to erase the photo’s big version and keep just the cropped version) or “Save a copy” (to keep both versions).

Record a movie To record a movie (instead of snapping a photo), tap the movie-camera icon (the top icon at the screen’s right edge). Recording begins immediately. The screen’s bottom-left corner shows how many seconds have elapsed.

To stop recording, do this:

Keyboard method Press the Space bar. (Then if you want to record another scene, press the Space bar to resume recording; press the Space bar again to stop again.)

Touchscreen method Tap the white square. (It’s in a circle at the screen’s right edge.)

To see the movie scene you recorded, press the left-arrow key (or swipe to the right).

To record another movie or photo, use one of these methods:

Flip-through method Hold down the right-arrow key (or swipe left repeatedly), until you see your mirror image instead of a photo.

Menu-key method While watching a movie you recorded, press the
Menu key (which is on a good keyboard, shows the symbol “º”, and is to the right of the Space bar, between the Space bar and the rightmost Ctrl key) or right-click the screen’s middle (by pressing the mouse’s rightmost button) or swipe from the bottom (by putting your finger on the black border that’s below the screen then swiping up into the screen middle). Then tap the Camera icon (which is at the screen’s bottom-left corner).

Then snap a photo (by pressing the Space bar or tapping the screen’s middle) or start recording another movie (by tapping the movie-camera icon).


Edit a movie While you’re looking at a movie you made, you can edit it:

To delete the movie, press the Delete key then the Enter key.

To trim the movie (keep just the movie’s middle moments), press the Menu key (or right-click the screen’s middle, using the mouse’s rightmost button, or swipe from the bottom) then tap “Trim” (which at the screen’s bottom-right corner). You see 2 white dots. Using your finger, drag the 2 white dots until they correctly surround the moments of the movie you want to keep. (To see the result, tap the “”. If you don’t like the result, adjust the 2 white dots by dragging them again.) Then tap “Save a copy”.

Timer The usual way to snap a photo is to press the Space bar (or tap the screen’s middle). Immediately before doing that, try this experiment:

Press the Menu key (or right-click the screen’s middle, using the mouse’s rightmost button, or swipe up from the bottom black border). Then tap “Timer” once (or several times if necessary) so “3 seconds” (or “10 seconds”) appears on the screen briefly. That sets the timer to 3 seconds (or 10 seconds).

Then tap the screen’s middle (to hide the timer).

Finally, when you press the Space bar or tap the screen’s middle (to snap the picture), the computer will delay 3 seconds (or 10 seconds) after you press the Space bar, so you have extra seconds to practice your smile before the photo is snapped.

All future photos (and movies) will be affected by the timer, until you turn off the timer by doing this: press the Menu key (or right-click the screen’s middle or swipe up from the bottom black border) then repeatedly tap “Timer” until you see “Off”).

Photos tile On the Start screen, the Photos tile might show one of the photos you made. To see all the photos you took, do this:

Tap the Photos tile. If you see “Camera Roll”, tap it. If you see a big photo that consumes most of the screen, press the Escape key (which says “Esc” on it and is at the keyboard’s top-left corner) or put 2 fingers on the screen and pinch them together.

Then you see small copies of many photos you took. To enlarge a photo, tap it; then see another photo (or movie) by swiping to the left. To make a photo small again, press the Escape key (which says “Esc” on it and is at the keyboard’s top-left corner) or put 2 fingers on the screen and pinch them together.

If you have an all-in-one or laptop computer, you can print the photo onto paper by doing this:

While using the Photos tile, tap the photo. Make sure you’ve bought a printer, attached it to the computer, turned the printer’s power on, and put paper into the printer.

Tap the Devices charm then “Print” then your printer’s name.

Tap the Orientation box. Tap “Portrait” if the photo is taller that its width; tap “Landscape” if the photo is wider than its height.

Tap the Print button (which is at the screen’s right edge).

Camera (old version)

Here’s how the Camera tile works if you’re still using Windows 8 and haven’t upgraded to Windows 8.1 yet.

On the Start screen, tap the Camera tile, which is purple.

HP all-in-one  The Camera tile is normally the 4th row’s 4th tile.

Acer laptop     The Camera tile is normally the 3rd row’s 5th tile.

(If you haven’t used the Camera tile before, the computer asks “Can Camera use your webcam and microphone?” To reply, tap “Allow”.)

Make sure the Camera tile acts normally, by doing this:

Hold down the keyboard’s right-arrow key (which is on the keyboard’s bottom row), until the screen acts as a mirror.

At the screen’s bottom-right corner, you see circles labeled “Timer” and “Video mode”. Make sure the insides of those circles are transparent (instead of solid white). If they’re solid white, make them transparent by tapping them.

Enjoy the mirror The screen acts as a mirror: you see yourself staring at the screen! That’s because, above the screen, the computer’s black border includes a tiny pinhole camera (next to HP’s white light or Acer’s green light), aimed toward you.

To have fun, grab your friends and favorite objects and put them next to you, so the screen shows them all! The quality will be better if the room is brightly lit, flooded with bright daylight, not at night. You can tilt the screen, to let the camera get a different view.

Anything near the camera will look bigger. For example, if you put your hand near the camera, your hand will look bigger than your head.

Snap a photo To snap a photo, press the keyboard’s Space bar (or tap the screen’s middle).

To see the photo you snapped, press the keyboard’s
left-arrow key (which is next to the rightmost Ctrl key) or do this: put your finger on the screen’s middle and swipe to the right. (To see any earlier photos, again press the left-arrow key or swipe right.)

To snap another photo, do this:

Hold down the right-arrow key (or swipe left repeatedly), until you see your mirror image instead of a photo. Then press the keyboard’s Space bar again.

If you put a book in front of the screen, the book’s writing will look backwards (a mirror image) on the screen before you take the photo, but the final photo will show the book’s writing correctly.

Edit a photo While you’re looking at a photo you took, you can edit it.

To delete the photo, tap its middle then tap “Delete” (which is at the screen’s bottom-right corner).

To crop the photo (keep just the photo’s middle part), tap its middle then tap “Crop” (which is near the screen’s bottom-right corner). The computer highlights the photo’s middle part and puts 4 white dots around it. Using your finger, drag the 4 white dots until they correctly surround the part of the photo you want to keep. Then tap “OK”.

Record a movie To record a movie (instead of snapping a photo), tap “Video mode” (at the screen’s bottom-right corner), so the video-recorder icon becomes black on a white background. Press the Space bar to begin recording; press the Space bar again to end the recording.

To see the movie you made, press the left-arrow key (or swipe to the right) then tap the screen.

To record another movie, do this:

Hold down the right-arrow key (or swipe left repeatedly), until you see your mirror image instead of a still shot. Then press the keyboard’s Space bar again, to start recording.

Edit a movie While you’re looking at a movie you made, you can edit it.

Here’s how to delete the movie: tap its middle, then watch the movie play, then tap “Delete” (which is at the screen’s bottom-right corner after the movie’s played).

Here’s how to trim the movie (keep just the movie’s middle moments): tap the screen’s middle, then watch the movie play, then tap “Trim” (which is near the screen’s bottom-right corner, after the movie’s played). You see 2 white dots. Using your finger, drag the 2 white dots until they correctly surround the moments of the movie you want to keep. Then tap “OK”.

Switch from movies to photos If you’ve been recording movies and now want to snap photos instead, do this:

Look at your mirror image. Tap “Video mode” (at the screen’s bottom-right corner) until the video-recorder icon becomes white (instead of black-on-a-white-background). Then you can snap photos again.

Timer To snap a photo or start recording a movie, you press the Space bar. But if you turn on the timer (by tapping the “Timer” circle until its inside is white), the computer will delay recording until 3 seconds after you press the Space bar.

Photos tile On the Start screen, the Photos tile shows one of the photos you made. To see other photos you took, tap the Photos tile, then repeatedly press the keyboard’s right-arrow key or left-arrow key — or hold down one of those keys awhile.

If a photo looks small, tap it, so it fills the whole screen. To make the photo small again, press the Escape key (which says “Esc” on it and is at the keyboard’s top-left corner).

To print the photo onto paper, do this:

While using the Photos tile, tap the photo. Make sure you’ve bought a printer, attached it to the computer, turned the printer’s power on, and put paper into the printer.

Tap the Devices charm then your printer’s name.

Tap the Orientation box. Tap “Portrait” if the photo is taller that its width; tap “Landscape” if the photo is wider than its height.

Tap the Print button (which is at the screen’s right edge).

To have fun, make a stop-motion movie by doing this:

Using the Camera tile, take several photos of yourself (or a friend or doll or spooky object) in slightly different positions. Then tap the Photos tile. Flip through those photos quickly, by holding down the right-arrow or left-arrow key awhile.

Calendar

Here’s how the Calendar tile works in Windows 8.1. (If you’re still using Windows 8 instead of 8.1, skip to the next section.)

On the Start screen, find the Calendar tile, which shows the date.

HP all-in-one The Calendar tile is purple. It’s normally at the beginning of the 2nd row.

Acer laptop The Calendar tile is dark blue. It’s normally the top row’s 2nd tile.

Toshiba tablet The Calendar tile is dark purple. It’s normally at the beginning of the 2nd row.

Tap it. Then you see a calendar.

If the computer says “Verify your Microsoft account info”, type your password (then press Enter).

If you’re using a tablet, put it in landscape mode. (To do that, rotate the tablet 90 degrees counterclockwise, so the tablet looks wide, then lift the tablet’s top edge.)

See this month Normally, the calendar shows the whole month; but it might show just a day or week instead.

Press the Menu key (which is on a good keyboard, shows the symbol “º”, and is to the right of the Space bar, between the Space bar and the rightmost Ctrl key) or right-click the screen’s middle (by pressing the mouse’s rightmost button) or swipe from the bottom (by putting your finger on the black border that’s below the screen then swiping up into the screen middle). That makes the screen’s top show this menu:

What’s next    Day    Work week    Week    Month

Tap “Month”. That makes sure you see the whole month.

If the screen’s bottom-right corner says “New”, make that disappear (by tapping the screen’s middle, just once).

On the month calendar, today’s date is highlighted in dark gray.

Each holiday is written in HP’s purple or Toshiba’s purple or Acer’s blue. (August has no holidays.)


 

Switch months Here’s how to see different months:

To see the next month, put your finger in the screen’s middle and swipe to the left, so you see the month that’s to the right.

To see the previous month, put your finger in the screen’s middle and swipe to the right, so you see the month that’s to the left.

If you accidentally tap instead of swipe, escape from your mistake by pressing the Escape key (which is at the keyboard’s top-left corner and says “Esc”) or tap a different day.

To return to the current month, swipe several times or use this shortcut:

Press the Menu key (or right-click the screen’s middle or swipe from the bottom). Tap “Month”.

Add an event Here’s how to write an event on the calendar.

On the month calendar, find the event’s day. Tap a gray space in that day. Type the event’s name.

If you want to include details about the event, do this:

Tap the event’s “Ú” then “Add details”.

If you want to include a comment about the event, tap “Add a message” then type your comment.

The computer assumes the event will last all day, so the screen tentatively says the event starts at “12 00 AM” and lasts “All day”. If the event will start at a different time, do the following.… Get rid of “All day” (by tapping it) then choose from this menu of time lengths: 0 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 90 minutes, 2 hours, All day, Custom. (If you choose “Custom”, remove the check mark from the “All day” box by tapping that box. Adjust the Start time (by tapping the wrong time then choosing the right one from the menu. (If the menu isn’t long enough to include your time, scroll through the menu by doing this: put your finger in the menu’s middle and swipe up or down. If you chose “Custom”, also adjust the End time.)

Before the event, the computer will send you a reminder. The computer assumes you want the reminder sent “18 hours” before the event. If you want the reminder at a different amount of time before the event, tap “Show more” then tap the Reminder box then choose from this menu:

none            (which means no reminder at all)

start time      (send the reminder when the event starts)

5 minutes     (send the reminder   5 minutes before the event)

15 minutes   (send the reminder 15 minutes before the event)

30 minutes   (send the reminder 30 minutes before the event)

1 hour          (send the reminder an hour before the event)

18 hours      (send the reminder almost a day before the event)

1 day           (send the reminder on the day before the event)

1 week         (send the reminder a week before the event)

When you finish, tap the Save button (which is near the screen’s top-right corner and looks like a floppy disk in a circle).

Get the reminders The computer will try to remind you about the event, in several ways:

On the month calendar, that day will show the event’s name and starting time.

On the day of the event, the Calendar tile (on the Start screen) will show the event’s name, starting time, and ending time.

Before the event, the computer will remind you: it will play a brief musical alarm, and the screen’s top-right corner will briefly show the event’s name, starting time, and ending time.

The computer will also try to send you an e-mail message about the event, though that message might arrive too late to be useful.

If a day includes several events, the month calendar will show just 2 of them, and the calendar tile will show just 1 of them, because there’s not enough room to show more.

See the events If you want to see a clear list of all the day’s events, do this:

While using the Calendar app, Press the Menu key then tap “Day”. You see clearly the events from 9AM to 8PM. (To see events that are earlier or later than that range, put your finger in the day’s middle and swipe up or down.) You also see the next day’s events. To see even more days, put your finger in the screen’s middle and swipe to the left.

To see more details about an event, tap it. When you finish admiring the details (and editing them), tap the Save button again.

Erase an event If you want to erase an event, do this:

Tap the event then the trash can (which is near the screen’s top-right corner and is left of the X and the Save button). Then tap the “Delete” box.

Calendar (old version)

Here’s how the Calendar tile works if you’re still using Windows 8 and haven’t upgraded to Windows 8.1 yet.

On the Start screen, find the Calendar tile, which shows the date.

HP all-in-one The Calendar tile is purple. It’s normally at the beginning of the 2nd row.

Acer laptop The Calendar tile is dark blue. It’s normally the top row’s 2nd tile.

Tap it. Then you see a calendar.

See this month Normally, the calendar shows the whole month; but it might show just a day or week instead.

Press the Menu key. (It’s on the keyboard’s bottom row, next to the rightmost Ctrl key, and shows a square containing 3 horizontal lines.) That makes the screen’s bottom show this menu:

Day    Work week    Week    Month                             Today    New

Tap “Month”. That makes sure you see the whole month.

On the month calendar, today’s date is highlighted in dark gray.

Each holiday is written in HP’s purple or Acer’s blue. (August has no holidays.)

Switch months Here’s how to see different months:

To see the next month, put your finger in the screen’s middle and swipe to the left, so you see the month that’s to the right.

To see the previous month, put your finger in the screen’s middle and swipe to the right, so you see the month that’s to the left.

If you accidentally tap instead of swipe, escape from your mistake by pressing the Escape key (which is at the keyboard’s top-left corner and says “Esc”).

To return to the current month, swipe several times or use this shortcut:

Press the Menu key. Tap “Today”.

Add an event To write an event on the calendar, do this:

On the month calendar, find the event’s day; tap a gray space in that day.

Type the event’s name. If you want to type a comment about the event, tap “Add a message” then type your comment.

The computer assumes the event will start at 9AM, so the screen tentatively says “9 00 AM” (unless that time has already passed). If the event will start at a different time, adjust the time, by tapping the wrong time then choosing the right one from the menu. (If the menu isn’t long enough to include your time, scroll through the menu by doing this: put your finger in the menu’s middle and swipe up or down.)

The computer assumes the event will last 1 hour, so the screen tentatively says “1 hour”. If the event’s length will be different, tap the “1 hour” then tap the right length from the menu. (The menu’s choices are: 0 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 90 minutes, 2 hours, All day, Custom. If you choose “Custom”, your next step is to choose the time the event ends.)

When you finish, tap the Save button (which is near the screen’s top-right corner and is left of the X).

Get the reminders The computer will try to remind you about the event, in several ways:

On the month calendar, that day will show the event’s name and starting time.

On the day of the event, the Calendar tile (on the Start screen) will show the event’s name, starting time, and ending time.

15 minutes before the event, the computer will warn you: it will play a brief musical alarm, and the screen’s top-right corner will briefly show the event’s name, starting time, and ending time.

The computer will also try to send you an e-mail message about the event, though that message might arrive too late to be useful.

If a day includes several events, the month calendar will show just 2 of them, and the calendar tile will show just 1 of them, because there’s not enough room to show more.

See the events If you want to see a clear list of all the day’s events, do this:

While using the Calendar app, Press the Menu key then tap “Day”. You see clearly the events from 9AM to 8PM. (To see events that are earlier or later than that range, put your finger in the day’s middle and swipe up or down.) You also see the next day’s events. To see even more days, put your finger in the screen’s middle and swipe to the left.

To see more details about an event, tap it. When you finish admiring the details (and editing them), tap the Save button again.

Erase an event If you want to erase an event, do this:

Tap the event then the trash can (which is near the screen’s top-right corner and is left of the X and the Save button). Then tap the “Delete” box.

Maps

On the Start screen, find the Maps tile.

HP all-in-one The Maps tile is reddish purple. It’s normally the 2nd row’s 2nd tile.

Acer laptop The Maps tile is purple. It’s normally the 2nd row’s 3rd tile.

Toshiba tablet The Maps tile is reddish purple. You’ll normally see it in the top row, after you swipe left.

Tap it.

If Windows 8.1 asks “Can Maps use your location?” (or Windows 8 asks “Do you want to turn on location services and allow Maps to use your location?”) tap “Allow”. That lets the computer’s GPS system figure out where you are.

Zoom in You see a map of part of the world. If you want to zoom in (so you see more details), use one of these  methods….

Double-tap method Double-tap where you want to zoom in.

Stretch method Put two fingers where you want to zoom in. Then stretch (slide your fingers apart).

Address method Press the Menu key (or swipe up from the screen’s bottom black border). Tap the screen’s bottom-right corner (which says “Search” in Windows 8.1, “Find” in Windows 8). Type a location (such as “196 Tiffany Lane, Manchester NH” or “Los Angeles airport” or “White House”). At the end of your typing, press the Enter key.

Zoom out If you want to zoom out (so you see fewer details but see a bigger part of the world), shrink the map by doing this: pinch your fingers (by putting two fingers on the screen then sliding the fingers toward each other). If you do that several times, you’ll see the whole world on your screen.

Yourself Press the Menu key then tap “My location”. That adjusts the map so your location is in the map’s middle. You see an orange diamond there.

Map style Press the Menu key then tap “Map style”. Tap “Road view” (to see a drawing of the streets) or “Aerial view” (to see an aerial photo taken by a satellite, with streets labeled).

To see a photo of your roof, combine those techniques: say “My location” then zoom in then choose “Aerial view”.

While you’re looking at an aerial photo, try this experiment:

To see 5 aerial photos, taken from different angles (looking north, east, south, west, and straight down), tap the circle at the screen’s right edge, 4 times. (If you seen 3 circles at the screen’s right edge, tap the top circle.)


News

On the Start screen, find the News tile.

HP all-in-one     The News tile is normally the bottom row’s 2nd tile.

Acer laptop        The News tile is normally the bottom row’s 3rd tile.

Toshiba tablet   The News tile is normally the 3rd row’s 2nd tile.

Tap it. Then you see the headline for today’s top story.

To see headlines for other stories, put your finger on the screen’s middle and swipe to the left. Swipe repeatedly, to see the other headlines. (To return to earlier headlines, swipe to the right.)

The headlines are organized into 8 categories:

top stories, world, technology&science, politics, opinion, business, entertainment, sports

Some headlines are accompanied by photos or leading sentences.

When you find a headline that interests you, tap it. Then you can read that headline’s complete article.

If the article is short, the whole article fits on the screen.

If the article is long, you see the article’s beginning. To see the rest of the article, put your finger in the screen’s middle and swipe to the left.

When you finish reading an article, you have a choice.

To read the next article, put your finger in the screen’s middle and swipe to the left.

To see headlines for other articles, tap the left-arrow (at the screen’s top-left corner).

To see more headlines about a category, tap the category’s name. To return to seeing just the main headlines, tap the left-arrow at the screen’s top-left corner.

Finance To see news about finance, tap the Start screen’s Finance tile instead of the News tile.

HP all-in-one     In Windows 8.1, the Finance tile is the top row’s 5th tile.

                          In Windows 8, the Finance tile is the 2nd row’s 5th tile.

Acer laptop        The Finance tile is normally the 3rd row’s 2nd tile.

Toshiba tablet   The Finance tile is normally the 2rd row’s 3rd tile.

                           To see it, swipe left.

The Finance tile resembles the News tile but gives you these 7 finance categories instead:

top story, market, watch list, news, money, across the market (currencies, commodities, rates), tools (mortgage calculator, auto payments, currency converter, savings, retirement planner, value of money)

Sports To see news about sports, tap the Start screen’s Sports tile instead of the News tile.

HP all-in-one     In Windows 8.1, the Sports tile is the 2nd row’s 4th tile.

                           In Windows 8, the Sports tile is the 3rd row’s 3rd tile.

Acer laptop        The Sports tile is normally the 3rd row’s 3rd tile.

Toshiba tablet   The Sports tile is normally the bottom row’s 2nd tile.

The Sports tile resembles the News tile but gives you these
sports categories instead:

Windows 8.1

top story, scoreboard, other top stories, editor’s picks (which are essays but not included in HP’s all-in-one), headlines, favorite teams, favorite sports, videos, slideshows

Windows 8

top story, other top stories, headlines, favorite teams, favorite sports, scoreboard, videos, slideshows


 

Travel To see news about travel, tap the Travel tile.

HP all-in-one     In Windows 8.1, the Travel tile is the top row’s 4th tile.

                           In Windows 8, the Travel tile is the 2nd row’s 4th tile.

Acer laptop        In Windows 8.1, the Travel tile is the top row’s 5th tile.

                           In Windows 8, the Travel tile is the 2nd row’s 5th tile.

Toshiba tablet   The Travel tile is not on the Start screen.

                           The Travel tile is normally in the Apps screen’s 3rd column.

If the computer asks “Can Travel use your location?” tap “Allow”.

The Travel tile resembles the News tile but gives you these travel categories instead:

Windows 8.1

featured destination, tools&tasks (search flights, flight status, flight schedules, search hotels), trip ideas, local destinations, United States, world (Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Middle East, North America, Oceania, South America), news

Windows 8

featured destination, other featured destinations, flights, hotels, favorites, panoramas, news, featured videos

Tap whatever interests you, then press the Menu key (or swipe up from the bottom black border) to see even more choices.

Under “panoramas” (which is a Windows 8 category and a Windows 8.1 subcategory), do this:

Choose a photo (by tapping it). That enlarges the photo, so it consumes the whole screen.

The photo was taken in a city. If you walk in that city and turn your head, what will you see? To find out, put your finger in the screen’s middle and repeatedly swipe left or right (or up or down). That makes the computer imitate turning your head, so you see different views.

Weather To find out the weather, tap the Weather tile.

HP all-in-one     The Weather tile is normally the 4th row’s 2nd tile.

Acer laptop        The Weather tile is normally the bottom row’s 2nd tile.

Toshiba tablet   The Weather tile is the biggest tile.

                           It’s near the screen’s bottom-right corner.

To make sure you’re seeing the weather for your current location, press the Menu key (or swipe up from the screen’s bottom black border) then do this:

Windows 8.1  Tap “Current Location”.

Windows 8     Tap “Current Location” then “Confirm”.

If the computer asks “Can Weather use your location?” tap “Allow” then “Confirm”.

Then the screen’s top-left corner shows your city’s name. Below that, you see your city’s current temperature & weather.

The screen’s bottom center shows the forecast for several days. (You see 5 days on the Acer laptop, 6 days on the HP all-in-one, 7 days on the Toshiba tablet.) For each day, you see the high temperature, low temperature, weather, and chance of precipitation.

You see the prediction by Weather Decision Technologies (WDT).

HP & Acer computers Below the WDT prediction, you can see predictions by AccuWeather.com and Foreca.com; if you don’t see them yet, tap “”. To see several more days, tap the right-arrow.

Toshiba tablet To the right of the WDT prediction, you can see predictions by AccuWeather.com and Foreca.com; if you don’t see them yet, tap “”. To see 3 more days, put your finger on the screen’s middle and swipe up.

If you put your finger in the screen’s middle and flick your finger toward the left, you see a chart titled “HOURLY FORECAST”. It shows the forecast for several hours (11 hours on the Acer laptop, 13 or 14 hours on the HP all-in-one, 22 hours on the Toshiba tablet). To see later hours, put your finger in the middle of those hours and flick your finger up. You can see 23 or 24 hours that way.

To see weather for different cities, press the Menu key or swipe up from the screen’s bottom black border. (For Toshiba’s tablet, switch to landscape mode.) Then you have these choices:

To see the weather for your current location, tap “Current Location”.

To see the weather for 13 big cities around the word, tap “WORLD WEATHER”.

To see the weather for your home, tap “HOME”.

Here’s how to see the weather for a different city. Tap “PLACES”. You see a list of your favorite cities. To add another city to your list, do this: tap “+”; type the city’s name; you see a list of cities having that name; tap the city you want. To remove a city from your list, tap the Edit button (which is to the right of “FAVORITES” and shows a picture of a pen) then the X of the city you want to remove. For each city on your list, you see the city’s current temperature and today’s highest and lowest temperature; for more details, tap the city.

To switch back to your current location, press the Menu key (or swipe up from the screen’s bottom black border) then do this:

Windows 8.1  Tap “Current Location”.

Windows 8     Tap “Current Location” then “Confirm”.

Internet Explorer

While you’re looking at the Start screen, tap “Internet Explorer”.

HP all-in-one     Internet Explorer is normally the top row’s 2nd tile.

Acer laptop        Internet Explorer is normally the top row’s 3rd tile.

Toshiba tablet   Internet Explorer is normally the 5th row’s 2nd tile.

At the screen’s bottom, you should see a wide box. (The box might have text in it, depending on what you & the manufacturer were doing before. If you don’t see that box yet, make it appear by tapping the Menu key or swiping up from the screen’s black bottom.)

Tap that box’s middle. A keyboard appears on the screen.

Using that on-screen keyboard (or a separate keyboard that came with the computer), type the Web address you want to visit. For example, if you want to visit www.yahoo.com, type:

www.yahoo.com

Here’s how to finish:

If you’re using the on-screen keyboard, end your typing by tapping the “.com” key then the “Go” key. (The “Go” key is at the keyboard’s right edge. On Toshiba’s keyboard, the “Go” key has a right-arrow on it.)

If you’re using the separate keyboard, end your typing by pressing the period then the C then O then M keys then the Enter key.

While you’re typing a Web address, you see a list of Web pages matching what you’ve typed so far. If you want one of those Web pages, tap it.

To switch to a different Web page, make sure the screen’s bottom has the wide box again. If it doesn’t make the box reappear by using one of these methods:

Fast method (works usually, but not if you’re on a tablet or you’ve been watching a full-screen video) Press the Menu key.

Guaranteed method (always works) Put your finger on the screen’s bottom black border and swipe up.

Tap that box’s middle, then start typing the new Web address you want to visit, such as:

www.NyTimes.com

Magnify If a Web page shows several columns of type, try double-tapping a column. That magnifies the column, so it fills more of the screen (and you don’t see the other columns as much.) To make that column return to its normal size, double-tap it again.

Double-tapping works on some Web pages but not others. It works usually.

Flick up If a Web page is too tall to fit on the screen, here’s how to see the page’s bottom. Put your finger in the screen’s middle, then slide up (or, to move faster, flick your finger up, as if you were flicking an insect off your screen). To return to the Web page’s top, slide down or flick your finger down.

Back After viewing several Web pages, you can go back to the previous Web page by doing this:

1-swipe method Put your finger in the screen’s middle, then swipe (slide) your finger toward the right.

Tap method Press Menu key (or swipe up from the screen’s bottom), then tap the Back button (the left-arrow at the screen’s bottom-left corner).

Forward After going back to the previous Web page, here’s how to go forward (undo the “back”):

1-swipe method Put your finger in the screen’s middle, then swipe (slide) your finger toward the left.

Tap method Press Menu key (or swipe up from the screen’s bottom), then tap the Forward button (the right-arrow at the screen’s bottom-right corner).

Frequent If you tap the address bar, you see tiles of 8 Web pages you visited frequently. Whenever you tap one of those tiles, you’ll go to its Web page.

Favorites If you find a Web page you like a lot, do this while viewing it:

Windows 8.1 Press the Menu key (or swipe up from the screen’s bottom black border). Tap the Favorites button (the star at the screen’s bottom) then the star above that star then “Add”.

Windows 8 Press the Menu key (or swipe up from the screen’s bottom black border). Tap the “Pin site” button (the push pin near the screen’s bottom-right corner) then “Add to favorites”.

That puts a tile for that page onto the Favorites list.

To see the Favorites list, press the Menu key (or swipe up from the screen’s bottom black border) then do this:

Windows 8.1  Tap the star at the screen’s bottom.

Windows 8     Tap in the address box.

Your new tile is to the right of all the other Favorites tiles. (If you don’t see that tile yet, put your finger on another Favorites tile and flick to the left.) Whenever you tap that tile, you’ll go to that Web page.

If you change your mind, here’s how to delete that tile from the Favorites list: right-click it (by using the mouse’s right-hand button or the touchpad’s bottom-right corner or by holding your finger on that tile awhile) then tap “Remove”.

On the Favorites list, some of the tiles might have been put there by the computer’s manufacturer. They’re just ads. Feel free to remove them.

Pin If you find a Web page you like a lot, here’s something else you can do while you’re viewing it:

Windows 8.1 Press the Menu key (or swipe up from the screen’s bottom black border). Tap the Favorites button (the star at the screen’s bottom) then the “Pin site” button (the push pin near the screen’s right edge) then “Pin to Start”.

Windows 8 Press the Menu key (or swipe up from the screen’s bottom black border). Tap the “Pin site” button (the push pin near the screen’s bottom-right corner) then “Pin to Start” then “Pin to Start” again.

That puts a tile for that page onto the Start screen. Whenever you tap that tile, you’ll go to that Web page.

That tile is to the right of all other tiles. To see that tile, go to the Start screen then swipe left (or hold down the keyboard’s right-arrow key awhile).

If you change your mind, here’s how to delete that tile:

Right-click that tile (by using the mouse’s right-hand button or touchpad’s bottom-right corner or holding your finger on that tile awhile). Tap
“Unpin from Start” (which is at the screen’s bottom-left corner).

Print If you have an all-in-one or laptop computer, you can print the Web page onto paper by doing this:

Make sure you’ve bought a printer, attached it to the computer, turned the printer’s power on, and put paper into the printer. Tap the Devices charm. (For Windows 8.1, then tap “Print”.) Tap your printer’s name then the Print button (which is at the screen’s right edge).

Store

On the Start screen, tap the Store tile (which is green and has a white shopping cart on it).

HP all-in-one     The Store tile is normally the top row’s 3rd tile.

Acer laptop        The Store tile is normally the top row’s 4th tile.

Toshiba tablet   The Store tile is normally the bottom row’s first tile.

You see Microsoft’s app store, which lets you buy (or get free!) apps from the Internet and copy them to your computer.

If the screen’s top-left corner has a left-arrow, tap it.

Get updates If the screen’s top-right corner says “Updates”, do this:

For the programs & data you already got, you can get updates, free! Tap “Updates” then “Install”. The computer says “Installing apps” then “Your apps were installed”. Tap the left-arrow (at the screen’s top-left corner).

Browse the apps (just in Windows 8.1) If you have Windows 8.1 (instead of 8), you see these 5 basic categories:

picks for you, trending, new&rising, top paid, top free

To see them all, put your finger on the screen’s center and repeatedly swipe all the way to the left edge, so you see what’s on the right. (You also see a list of your manufacturer’s favorites, such as “HP picks” or “Acer picks” or “TOSHIBA picks”.) To return to seeing earlier categories, swipe in the opposite direction.

In each category, you see several tiles (for apps Microsoft wants to emphasize). On the HP all-in-one:

You see   6 tiles in each of these categories: picks for you, trending, new&rising

You see 14 tiles in this category: top paid

You see   7 tiles in this category: top free

On the Acer laptop:

You see   6 tiles in each of these categories: picks for you, trending, new&rising

You see 12 tiles in this category: top paid

You see   6 tiles in this category: top free

On the Toshiba tablet:

You see   9 tiles in each of these categories: picks for you, trending, new&rising

You see   6 tiles in this category: top paid

You see 11 tiles in this category: top free

Then use one of these 5 methods:

Fast method Tap one of those tiles.

Main-category method Tap a category name (so you see more of that category’s tiles). Swipe to the left (to see all your choices). Tap the tile you want.

Category-list method Under the heading “Top categories”, you can see this list of 20 extra categories: games, social, entertainment, photo, music&video, sports, books&reference, news&weather, health&fitness, food&dining, lifestyle, shopping, travel, finance, productivity, tools, security, business, education, government. (Toshiba shows that whole list. HP & Acer show the list’s beginning; to see the rest, tap “See all.”) Tap the category you want to be restricted to. Swipe to the left (to see all your choices). Tap the tile you want.

Menu-key method Press the Menu key (or swipe up from the screen’s black border). You see the 20 extra categories (plus the 5 basic categories). Tap the category you want to be restricted to. Swipe to the left (to see all your choices). Tap the tile you want.

Magnifying-glass method Tap the magnifying glass (at the screen’s top-right corner). Type anything that interests you. Press the Enter key (whose on-screen version shows a magnifying glass). Swipe to the left (to see all your choices). Tap the tile you want.

To undo a tap (and return to the previous screenful), tap the left-arrow (at the screen’s top-left corner).

If you tap an app’s tile, you see more info about the app. For even more details, you put your finger in the screen’s middle and swipe to the left again, so you see these categories about the app:

ratings&reviews, details, related apps, other apps by that company

If you decide not to get the app, tap the left-arrow (which is at the screen’s top-left corner.).

Browse the apps (just in Windows 8) If you have Windows 8 (instead of 8.1), you see these 21 Microsoft categories:

spotlight, games, social, entertainment, photo, music&video, sports, books&reference, news&weather, health&fitness, food&dining, lifestyle, shopping, travel, finance, productivity, tools, security, business, education, government

To see them all, put your finger on the screen’s center and repeatedly swipe all the way to the left edge, so you see what’s on the right. (You also see a list of your manufacturer’s favorites, such as “HP picks” or “Acer picks”.) To return to seeing earlier categories, swipe in the opposite direction.

In each category, you see 3 green tiles (marked “Top paid”, “Top free”, and “New & Rising”) plus big tiles (for apps Microsoft wants to emphasize). Tap whatever interests you.

If you tap “Top free”,             you’ll see about 100 apps that are free.

If you tap “Top paid”,            you’ll see about 100 apps you can buy.

If you tap “New & Rising”, you’ll see about 100 apps that are new.

To see more apps, tap the category’s name instead (except “Spotlight”).

After tapping, swipe to the left (so you can see all the apps on the right). To undo a tap (and return to the previous screenful), tap the left-arrow (at the screen’s top-left corner).

If you tap an app’s tile, you see more info about the app. For even more details, tap “Details” or “Reviews”.)

If you decide not to get the app, tap the left-arrow (which is at the screen’s top-left corner.).

Get the app If you decide to get the app, do this:

Tap a button at the screen’s left edge. If the app is free, the button says “Install”; if the app isn’t free, tap “Try” (if available for a free trial) or buy the app by doing this: tap “Buy” then “Confirm” then enter your Microsoft-account password and credit-card info.

Then the computer copies the app from the Internet to your computer. When the copying is finished, the screen’s top-right corner says “was installed”. To use the app, tap “was installed” now or do the following anytime: go to the Start screen (by tapping the Windows Start key), swipe to the left (so you can see the rightmost tiles), then tap the app’s new tile (which is at the Start screen’s right edge).

If you change your mind and want to uninstall the app, right-click the app’s new tile (on the Start screen) then tap “Uninstall” (which is near the screen’s bottom-left corner) then the rectangular “Uninstall” button.

 

Calculator

Your computer can calculate.

Calculator 8.1 is a tile. It’s included in Windows 8.1 but not Windows 8.

Calculator 8 is a window that runs on the Desktop screen. It’s included in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

To calculate, do this:

Windows 8.1 Go to the Apps screen (by putting your finger on a blank space near the Start screen’s middle, then swiping up).

If you want to use Calculator 8.1 (which most people prefer), tap the first “Calculator”. If you want to use Calculator 8 instead, type “ca” (which a tablet will let you do after you tap the space left of the magnifying glass) then tap the “Calculator” whose tile is blue (instead of green).

Windows 8 Go to the Start screen (or Apps screen) and type “ca”.

You see a list of programs whose names have “ca”. One of them is “Calculator”. Tap it.

Here’s what you see:

Calculator 8.1 The whole screen is devoted to the calculator, which is a gigantic picture of a pocket calculator.

Calculator 8 You see the Desktop screen. On it you see the Calculator window, which is a small picture of a pocket calculator.

How to calculate

To compute 42+5, you can use 4 methods:

Touch method On the screen, tap the calculator’s 4 button, then tap 2, then +, then 5, then =.

Mouse method On the screen, click the calculator’s 4 button (by using the mouse or touchpad or to point at the 4 button and then clicking), then click 2, then +, then 5, then =.

Main-keyboard method On the physical keyboard’s main section (the left section), press the 4 key (which is above the E and R keys), then the 2 key (which is above the Q and W keys), then (while holding down the Shift key) the + key, then 5. Then press the = key (or the Enter key).

Numeric-keypad method On the physical keyboard’s far-right section (called the numeric keypad), try pressing the 4 key, which is below the 7 key. (If that doesn’t make 4 appear on the screen, press the Num Lock key then try again to press the 4 key.) Then, still using the numeric keypad, press the 2 key, then the + key, then the 5 key, then the Enter key.

If you use any of those methods successfully, the calculator will show the answer, 47.

Try all 4 methods, and see which one you prefer. (You’ll prefer whichever method you’ve practiced the most.)

Try fancier calculations, by tapping (or clicking) these calculator buttons on the screen:

Button                                   Meaning

+                                           plus

-                                             minus

× (Calculator 8 shows *)      times

/                                            divided by

=                                          show the final answer, the “total”

.                                              decimal point

C                                               clear the total, so it becomes zero

CE                                         clear this entry, so you can retype it

Õ (Calculator 8 shows )  erase the last digit you typed

±                                           create (or erase) the total’s minus sign

Standard versus scientific

You can choose two popular kinds of calculators. A standard calculator is simple and cute: it does just arithmetic. A scientific calculator 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 (which is simple and cute). If you want the calculator to be scientific instead, do this:

Calculator 8       Choose Scientific from the View menu. (To do that, click the word “View” then click the word “Scientific”.)

Calculator 8.1 Tap “Scientific”.

Then you’ll see extra buttons, such as these:

Button    Meaning

x2             squared

n!             factorial

p              pi (a circle’s circumference divided by the circle’s diameter)

If you tap the 7 button and then say “squared” (by pressing the x2 button), the computer will multiply 7 by itself and say 49 (which is called “7 squared”). If you tap 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 say “pi” (by pressing the p button), the computer will say 3.1415926535897932384626433832795.

After making the calculator scientific, you can make it standard again by doing this:

Calculator 8       Choose Standard from the View menu.

Calculator 8.1 Tap “Standard”.

Order of operations The calculator’s answer to “2+3*4=” depends on whether you chose standard or scientific:

If you said you wanted the calculator to be standard, the computer does 2+3 (which totals 5), then multiplies by 4, giving a final total of 20.

If you said you wanted the calculator to be scientific instead, the computer does “2+3*4=” by doing the multiplication first, like scientists do: 3*4 is 12, and 2+12 gives a final total of 14 (not 20).

Tricky buttons

These 3 buttons are tricky:

Button    Meaning

Ö              square root of the previous number

                 example: “49 ֔ is 7 (because 49 is 7*7)

                 works on standard & scientific calculators

1/x         divide 1 by the previous number

                 example: “4 1/x” is .25 (because 1/4 is .25)

                 works on standard & scientific calculators

%            multiply the 2 previous numbers, then divide by 100

                 example: “2 × 3 %” is .06 (because it’s 2×3/100)

                 afterwards, click the C button (to clear the total)

                 works on standard calculator but ignored on scientific calculator

Memory buttons

When a number (such as a total) appears on your screen, you can copy that number from your screen to the computer’s memory.

Calculator 8.1 The calculator includes a memory button, called M. Tap it to copy the number to the screen’s right edge.

To use that number later, tap it. (If there are too many numbers to fit on the screen’s right edge, put your finger on one of those numbers and swipe up, to see the rest of the numbers.)

Calculator 8 The calculator includes memory buttons to help remember the number:

Button       Meaning

MS               memory store (copy from the screen to memory)

MR               memory retrieve (copy from memory to the screen)

M+              memory add (put memory +screen into memory)

M-                memory subtract (put memory minus screen into memory)

MC               memory clear (erase what’s in memory)

Close (just Calculator 8)

In the Calculator 8 window’s top-right corner, you see a red button with a white X on it. That button is called the X button (or the close button).

When you finish using the Calculator window, tap (or click) that button. It closes the Calculator window, so the Calculator window disappears.

You see the Desktop screen. If you want to see the Start screen instead, press the Windows Start key.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WordPad

Your computer has some built-in word-processing programs. The simplest is called WordPad.

To use WordPad, do this:

Windows 8.1 Go to the Apps screen (by putting your finger on a blank space near the Start screen’s middle, then swiping up).

Windows 8 Go to the Start screen (or Apps screen).

Then type “wo” (which a tablet will let you do after you tap the space left of the magnifying glass). You see a list of programs whose names have “wo”. One of them is “WordPad”. Tap it.

You see the Desktop screen. On it you see the Word Pad window.

In the window’s top right corner, you see the X button. Next to the X button is the resize button (which is also called the maximize/restore button) Clicking the resize button changes the window’s size.

Try clicking the resize button: see the window’s size change! Try clicking the resize button again: see the window’s 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. (Type on a physical keyboard, or make an on-screen keyboard appear by tapping the keyboard icon at the screen’s bottom.) 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

On page 68, I explained how to examine the keyboard. Here are more hints to help you type.

Capitals Find the Shift keys. (One Shift key is next to the Z key. The other Shift key is next to the question-mark key. Each Shift key has an up-arrow on it.)

To capitalize a letter of the alphabet, do this:

Physical keyboard       Type that letter while holding down the Shift key.

On-screen keyboard    Tap the Shift key. Then type that letter.

To capitalize a whole passage, do this:

Physical keyboard 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.

On-screen keyboard Double-tap the Shift key. Then type the passage. The computer will automatically capitalize the passage as you type it. When you finish typing the passage, tap the Shift 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.

Physical keyboard The Backspace key is in the top-right corner of the keyboard’s main section. It’s to the right of the + key and has a left-arrow on it.

On-screen keyboard The Backspace key is at the keyboard’s top-right corner. It’s to the right of the p key and has the symbol Õ on it.

To erase the last two characters you typed, press the Backspace key twice.

Word wrap If you’re typing near the screen’s right edge, and you type a word that’s 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 typing a paragraph, press the Enter key, which has the symbol 8  on it. That makes the computer move to the line underneath so you can start typing the next paragraph.

The computer automatically leaves a slight gap between the paragraphs, to separate them. If you want the computer to leave a bigger gap between the paragraphs, press the Enter key twice instead of once.

Touch & hold (just on-screen keyboard) When you’re in the middle of typing a word using the on-screen keyboard, rest your finger on the “e” key awhile. (Resting your finger on a key is called touch & hold.) Then you see extra symbols:

è    3   ë

ê   e   é

      ē

To type one of those symbols, slide your finger from the “e” to the symbol you want.

Similarly, to type the symbol “ñ”, rest your finger on the “n” key awhile then slide to the “ñ”.

These letters offer accents: a, c, d, e, g, h, i, j, n, o, s, t, u, w, y.

All letters on the top row offer numbers.

The comma offers a semicolon.

The period offers a colon.

The question mark offers many symbols.

Symbol key (just on-screen keyboard) While you’re using the on-screen keyboard, tap the Symbol key (which is at the keyboard’s bottom-left corner and says “&123” on it). Then you see keys containing numbers and symbols (instead of letters). Then to see different symbols, press the right-arrow key (which is above the Symbol key).

To return to seeing the letter keys, tap the Symbols key again.

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. (To see the Tab key on an on-screen keyboard, tap the Symbol key first.) 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.

Ctrl symbols (just physical keyboard) The following trick works just on a physical keyboard.

On your keyboard, below the two Shift keys, are two Control keys, which say “Ctrl” on them. You can use them to type special symbols:

Symbol   How to type it

      €       While pressing the Ctrl and Alt keys, type the letter “e”.

      ç        While pressing the Ctrl key, tap the “,” key.          Then type the letter “c”.

      ñ       While pressing Ctrl (and Shift), tap the “~” key.   Then type the letter “n”.

      ô       While pressing Ctrl (and Shift), tap the “^” key.    Then type the letter “o”.

      ü       While pressing Ctrl (and Shift), tap the “:” key. Then type the letter “u”.

      è        While pressing the Ctrl key, type the symbol `. Then type the letter “e”.

      é        While pressing the Ctrl key, type the symbol '.     Then type the letter “e”.

Alt symbols (just physical keyboard) On a full-size physical keyboard, you can type these alternative symbols:


128 Ç               144 É              160 á              225 ß

129 ü               145 æ              161 í

130 é               146 Æ             162 ó

131 â               147 ô              163 ú

132 ä               148 ö              164 ñ              230 µ

133 à               149 ò              165 Ñ

134 å               150 û              166 ª               241 ±

135 ç               151 ù              167 º

136 ê               152 ÿ              168 ¿               246 ÷

137 ë               153 Ö                 169

138 è               154 Ü                170 ¬              248 °

139 ï               155 ¢              171 ½   

140 î               156 £              172 ¼                 250 ·

141 ì               157 ¥              173 ¡

142 Ä                 158 P              174 «

143 Å                 159 ƒ               175 »               253 ²

For example, here’s how to type the symbol ¢, whose code number is 155. Hold down the Alt key; and while you keep holding down the Alt key, type 155 by using the numeric keypad (the number keys on the keyboard’s far right side). When you finish typing 155, lift your finger from the Alt key, and you’ll see ¢ on your screen! Try it!

That chart skips numbers whose results are unreliable (producing different results on different printers and on different versions of Windows).

Windows copied that chart from DOS. But Windows goes beyond DOS by letting you also use this fancier chart:

0128 €                             0192 À        0224 à

                    0161 ¡          0193 Á        0225 á

0130 ‚          0162 ¢        0194         0226 â

0131 ƒ         0163 £         0195 à       0227 ã

0132 „         0164 ¤         0196 Ä        0228 ä

0133 …       0165 ¥         0197 Å        0229 å

0134 †         0166 ¦             0198 Æ       0230 æ

0135 ‡         0167 §         0199 Ç        0231 ç

0136 ˆ          0168 ¨          0200 È        0232 è

0137 ‰       0169 ©        0201 É        0233 é

0138 Š         0170 ª             0202 Ê        0234 ê

0139 ‹          0171 «         0203 Ë        0235 ë

0140 Œ       0172 ¬         0204 Ì         0236 ì

                    0173 ­          0205 Í         0237 í

0142 Ž         0174 ®        0206 Π         0238 î

                    0175 ¯         0207 Ï          0239 ï

                    0176 °          0208 Р       0240 ð

0145 ‘         0177 ±         0209 Ñ        0241 ñ

0146 ’          0178 ²          0210 Ò        0242 ò

0147 “         0179 ³          0211 Ó        0243 ó

0148 ”         0180 ´          0212 Ô        0244 ô

0149 •          0181 µ         0213 Õ        0245 õ

0150 –         0182 ¶         0214 Ö        0246 ö

0151 —       0183 ·            0215 ×      0247 ÷

0152 ˜          0184 ¸          0216 Ø        0248 ø

0153 ™       0185 ¹          0217 Ù        0249 ù

0154 š         0186 º          0218 Ú        0250 ú

0155 ›          0187 »         0219 Û        0251 û

0156 œ        0188 ¼        0220 Ü        0252 ü

                    0189 ½        0221 Ý        0253 ý

0158 ž         0190 ¾        0222 Þ         0254 þ

0159 Ÿ        0191 ¿         0223 ß         0255 ÿ

For example, here’s how to type the symbol ©, whose code number is 0169: while holding down the Alt key, type 0169 on the numeric keypad.


Scroll arrows

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 screen’s right edge: a scroll-up arrow (which is Ù) and a scroll-down arrow (which is Ú).

To see a higher   part of your document, click the scroll-up arrow (Ù)

or do this: put your finger in the screen’s middle and swipe down.

To see a lower part of your document, click the scroll-down arrow (Ú)

or do this: put your finger in the screen’s middle and swipe up.

Insert characters

To insert extra characters anywhere in your document, you can click where you want the extra characters to appear (by moving the mouse’s pointer there and then pressing the mouse’s 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”. (Instead of clicking, you can tap the screen there with your finger.)

As you type the extra characters, the screen’s other characters move out of the way to make room for the extra characters.

4 ways to move the cursor While you’re inserting the extra characters, you see a blinking vertical line there, called the cursor (or caret or insertion point). To move the cursor to a different place in your document (so you can insert characters there instead), you can use 5 methods.

Tap method Tap the screen there.

Mouse method Move the mouse pointer there, then click the mouse’s left button.

Touchpad method Move the mouse pointer there, then tap the touchpad.

On-screen-keyboard method Press the “<” key (to move left to the previous character) or the “>” key (to move right to the next character).

Physical-keyboard method Press these movement keys:

Key you press    Where the cursor will move

right-arrow         right to the next character

left-arrow            left to the previous character

down-arrow       down to the line below

up-arrow            up to the line above

End                       right to the end of the line

Home                 left to beginning of the line

Page Down         down to the next screenful

Page Up          up to the previous screenful

Here’s what happens if you press those movement keys while holding down the Ctrl key:

Key you press                 Where the cursor will move

Ctrl with right-arrow        right (to the next word or punctuation symbol)

Ctrl with left-arrow          left (to the beginning of a word or punctuation)

Ctrl with down-arrow       down to the next paragraph

Ctrl with up-arrow           up to the beginning of a paragraph

Ctrl with Page Down     down to the end of the screen’s last word

Ctrl with Page Up             up to the beginning of the screen’s first word

Ctrl with End                   down to the end of the document

Ctrl with Home                up to the beginning of the document

2 ways to erase You can erase nearby mistakes by pressing the Backspace key or Delete key.

The Backspace key erases the character that’s before the cursor.

The Delete key (which is just on a physical keyboard) erases the character that’s after the cursor.

Split a paragraph

Here’s 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 word’s first letter.

Press the Backspace key (to erase the space before that word), then press the Enter key. Now you’ve 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.

Combine paragraphs

After typing two paragraphs, here’s how to combine them, to form a single paragraph that’s longer.

Click at the first paragraph’s end. Press the Delete key several times, to delete unwanted Enters and Tabs. Now you’ve combined the two paragraphs into one!

Then press the Space bar (to insert a space between the two sentences).

Zoom

You can zoom in two ways.

Stretch zoom Try this experiment: put two fingers together at the screen’s middle, then spread those fingers apart. That’s called stretch or zoom in. That makes the screen’s characters enlarge, so you can read them even if you’re sitting far from the screen or have poor vision. It’s like looking at the document through a magnifying glass: the document looks enlarged, so you can see the details of each word and character more clearly; but not as many words and characters fit on the screen. Use the arrow keys to see different parts of the page.

To make the screen’s characters shrink, do the opposite: put two fingers apart at the screen’s middle, then pinch those fingers together. That’s called pinch or zoom out. That makes the screen’s characters shrink, so they’re harder to read but you can fit more characters and pages onto the screen.

When you finish playing with the zoom, stretch or pinch until the screen’s bottom-right corner says “100%”, which means you’re back to normal size.

Slider zoom At the screen’s bottom-right corner, you see a plus sign (+). Left of it, you see a minus sign (-). Between those signs, you see the zoom slider, which is a pentagon.

Try this experiment: drag the zoom slider toward the right, using one of these methods:

Touch method Put your finger on the zoom slider, then drag it toward the right.

Mouse method Put the mouse pointer on the zoom slider. Then while pressing the mouse’s main button (the left button), move the mouse toward the right.

If you drag the zoom slider toward the right, the screen’s characters enlarge, so you can read them even if you’re sitting far from the screen or have poor vision. It’s like looking at the document through a magnifying glass: the document looks enlarged, so you can see the details of each word and character more clearly; but not as many words and characters fit on the screen. Use the arrow keys to see different parts of the page.

If you drag that slider toward the left, the screen’s characters shrink, so they’re harder to read but you can fit more characters and pages onto the screen.

When you finish playing with the zoom slider, put it back to its normal position (the middle), so the number left of the minus sign is “100%” (or a number close to 100%, such “98%”), by dragging the slider (or pressing the keyboard’s arrow keys, which give you more accurate control).

All delete

Here’s how to delete the entire document, so you can start over:

While holding down the Ctrl key, press the A key. That means “all”. All of the document turns blue.

Then press the Delete key. All of the document disappears, so you can start over!

Quick Access Toolbar

At the screen’s top-left corner, you see a gray bar (called the Quick Access Toolbar), which includes these icons (little pictures) called buttons:

The Save button is a purple-and-white square that’s supposed to look like a floppy disk (though it also looks like a TV set).

The Undo button is an arrow curving toward the left. The arrow is blue (unless you haven’t typed anything yet).

If you hover over a button (by moving your mouse’s arrow there, without clicking), the computer will tell you the button’s name.

Here’s how to use those buttons.…

Save button To save the document you’ve been typing (copy it onto the disk), tap (or click) the Save button.

If you haven’t saved the document before, the computer will say “File name”, which means it’s time for you to deal with the following issues.…

The computer can save (copy) the document just to your computer’s hard disk (called “This PC”) or mainly to Microsoft’s shareable hard disk (called “SkyDrive”). To keep things simple, I recommend you save the document just to your computer’s hard disk, by doing this:

Near the screen’s top, make sure you see “ This PC Documents”. If you see “SkyDrive” instead of “This PC”, switch to “This PC” by doing this: tap (or click) “This PC” (at the screen’s left edge) then double-tap “Documents”.

Next, invent a name for your document.

Type the name. Your typing will appear in the “File name” box. At the end of your typing, press the Enter key (which has the symbol 8  ). That tells the computer to copy the document onto the hard disk. (On a tablet, which has no hard disk, the computer copies the document onto a solid-state drive, which made of RAM chips imitating a hard disk.)

For example, if you named the document “mary”, the computer puts a document called “mary.rtf” into the Documents folder. (The “.rtf” is hidden from you but stands for “rich text format”.)

Afterwards, if you change your mind and want to do more editing, go ahead! When you finish that extra editing, save it by clicking the Save button again.

Save often! If you’re typing a long document, click the Save button about every 10 minutes. Click it whenever you get to a good stopping place and think, “What I’ve typed so far looks good!” Then if an accident happens, you’ll lose at most 10 minutes of work, and you can return to the last version you felt good about.

Instead of clicking the Save button, you can use this shortcut: while holding down the Ctrl key, tap the S key (which stands for “Save”).

Undo button If you make a mistake (such as accidentally deleting some text or accidentally inserting some useless text), tap (or click) the Undo button (which is an arrow turning back). That makes the computer undo your last activity, so your text returns to the way it looked before you made your boo-boo. (To undo your last two activities, click the Undo button twice.)

Instead of clicking the Undo button, you can use this shortcut: while holding down the Ctrl key, tap the Z key (which stands for “Zap”).

If you click the Undo button, the computer might undo a different activity than you expected. For example, it might even erase everything you typed! If clicking the Undo button accidentally makes the text look even worse instead of better, and you wish you hadn’t clicked the Undo button, you can “undo the undo” by clicking the Redo button (which is next to the Undo button and shows a blue arrow curving to the right, so it bends forward).

Instead of clicking the Redo button, you can use this shortcut: while holding down the Ctrl key, tap the Y key (which stands for “Yes, I do want it, very much”).

File menu

Near the screen’s top-left corner, you see the word “File”. Click it. Then you see the File menu:

New

Open

Save

Save as

Print

Page setup

Send in e-mail

About WordPad

Exit

From that menu, choose whatever you wish (by clicking it). Here are the most popular choices.…

Save If you choose Save from the File menu (by clicking the word “Save” after clicking “File”), you get the same result as clicking the Save button that’s on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Save as Suppose you’ve already saved a document then edited it some more, but you’re not sure you like the new editing. Try this experiment.…

Choose “Save as” from the File menu (by clicking the phrase “Save as” after clicking the “File”); when you do that, make sure you click the phrase “Save as”, not just the arrow next to it.

Then invent (and type) a new name for the document. At the end of the new name, press Enter.

The computer will copy the document’s new, edited version onto the hard disk. That new, edited version will have the new name you invented.

The document’s old original version will be on the disk also and keep its old original name. The disk will contain both versions of the document.

How to finish

When you finish working on a document, choose Exit or New or a previous document from the File menu.

Exit Whenever you want to stop using WordPad, choose Exit from the File menu (or click the WordPad window’s X button). You see the Desktop screen. If you want to see the Start screen instead, press the Windows Start key.

New If you choose New (instead of Exit) from the File menu, the computer will let you start typing a new, different document.

A previous document If you want to reuse a previous document you had saved, click “File”, so you see the File menu. To the right of the File menu, you see a list of the 9 documents you used most recently: that list starts with the most recent. Click whichever document you want to use. If you want to use a different document, which is not on that list of 9, do this:

Choose Open from the File menu (by clicking Open).

The computer starts showing you a list of all documents in the Documents library. To see the rest of the list, either “click in that list then rotate the mouse’s wheel toward you” or “repeatedly click the down-arrow that’s to the right of that list”.

If you want to use one of those documents, double-click the document’s name. (To double-click, tap the mouse’s 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: don’t let the mouse jiggle, not even a smidgen! Double-clicking is also called opening.) The computer will put that document onto the screen and let you edit it. If instead you want to delete one of those documents, click the document’s name then press the Delete key then the Enter key; the computer will move that document to the Recycle Bin.

Didn’t save? If you didn’t save your document before doing those “how to finish” procedures, the computer asks, “Do you want to save?” If you click “Save”, the computer copies your document’s most recent version to the hard disk; if you click “Don’t Save” instead, the computer ignores and forgets your most recent editing.

How to hide from the recently-used list To the right of the File menu, you see a list of the 9 documents you used most recently. That list might annoy you, for two reasons:

One of the documents might be embarrassing (perhaps because it’s pornographic or a private letter), and you want to hide it from your colleagues and family.

Even after you’ve deleted a document, that document’s name might still be on that list.

If the document list annoys you, delete documents from it, as follows.…

The recently-used list shows just the names of the last 9 documents you mentioned. Go use other WordPad documents; they’ll go onto recently-used list and bump off the older documents.

Print

Here’s how to print a document onto paper.

Make sure you’ve bought a printer, attached it to the computer, turned the printer’s power on, and put paper into the printer.

If your computer has never used that printer before, do this:

Get out of WordPad (by choosing Exit from the File menu and answering any questions about saving a document). Then go back into WordPad. That resets WordPad, so it can find the new printer you just attached. Get onto the screen whatever document you want to print (by typing a new document or choosing an old document from the File menu).

Choose Print from the File menu (by clicking the word “Print” after clicking “File”); when you do that, make sure you click the word “Print”, not just the arrow next to it.

Press Enter. The computer will print the document onto paper.

Font group

To make sure your computer acts normal, click the word “Home” (which is near the screen’s top-left corner).

Then you see these 5 words: Clipboard, Font, Paragraph, Insert, Editing. Above each word, you see a group of icons. I’ll explain how to use each group. Let’s start with the Font group, which looks like this:

Snip%20font
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Underline Here’s how to underline a phrase (like this).

Activate the Underline button (which says U on it) by clicking it. Activating the button makes the button turn medium-blue (not just light blue). 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!

Instead of clicking the Underline button, you can tap it or use this shortcut: while holding down the Ctrl key, tap the U key.

Bold Here’s 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).

Here’s 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).

Instead of clicking the Bold button, you can use this shortcut: while holding down the Ctrl key, tap the B key.

Italic Here’s 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).

Instead of clicking the Italic button, you can use this shortcut: while holding down the Ctrl key, tap the I key.

Superscript Here’s how to make a phrase be tiny and raised (like this). Activate the Superscript button (which says x2 on it) by clicking it. Then type the phrase you want superscripted. Then deactivate the Superscript button (by clicking it again).

The superscript button helps you type math formulas, such as the Pythagorean Theorem (a2 + b2 = c2).

Subscript Here’s how to make a phrase be tiny and lowered (like this). Activate the Subscript button (which says x2 on it) by clicking it. Then type the phrase you want subscripted. Then deactivate the Superscript button (by clicking it again).

The subscript button helps you type math formulas, such as the Fibonacci Series (Fn+2 = Fn + Fn+1) and the Slope Formula: m = (y2 - y1) / (x2 - x1).

Strikethrough Here’s how to make a phrase be crossed out (like this). Activate the Strikethrough button (which says abc on it) by clicking it. Then type the phrase you want crossed out. Then deactivate the Strikethrough button (by clicking it again).

The Strikethrough button helps you type semi-censored sentences, such as “You’re an asshole showing little sympathy for the team’s needs.”

Font size Look at the Font Size box (which has a number in it). Usually that box contains the number 11, so you’re typing characters that are 11 points high.

To type characters that are bigger or smaller, you can use four methods:

Typist method Click the Font Size box. In that box, type a size number from 8 to 72. The number can end in .5; the number can be 8 or 8.5 or 9 or 9.5 or 10 or bigger. (Theoretically, you can pick a number even smaller than 8 or even bigger than 72, but those extreme numbers create ugly results.) When you finish typing the number, press the Enter key.

Down-arrow method Click the down-arrow that’s to the right of the Font Size box. You see this list of popular sizes: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 36, 48, and 72. That list of popular sizes is called the Font Size menu. Click the size you want.

Grow method Click the Grow Font button (which says A5 on it). That makes the font be slightly bigger (the next popular size). To make the font grow even bigger than that, click the Grow Font button again.

Shrink method Click the Shrink Font button (which says A6 on it). That makes the font be slightly smaller (the next popular size down). To make the font shrink even smaller than that, click the Shrink Font button again.

Any new characters you type afterwards will be the size you chose. (Characters typed earlier don’t change size.)


The popular sizes look like this:

This text is 8 points high, 9 points high, 10 points high, 11 points high, 12 points high, 14 points high, 16 points high, 18 points high,
20 pt., 22 pt., 24 pt., 26 pt., 28 pt., 36pt.,48pt.,72pt.

When you finish typing the enlarged or reduced characters, here’s how to return to typing characters that are normal size (11 points high): click the down-arrow that’s to the right of the Font Size box, then click 11.

Font You see a box saying “Calibri”. That’s called the Font box.

Next to that box is the symbol 6. Click it.

You’ll start seeing the Font menu, which is a list of fonts in alphabetical order. (To see the rest of the list, press the down-arrow key or rotate the mouse’s wheel toward you.)

Click whichever font you want. Though Microsoft likes the font called “Calibri”, the best fonts are “Times New Roman”, “Tahoma”, “Comic Sans MS”, and “Courier New”. Here’s how they look:

This font is called “Times New Roman”. It’s the best for typing long passages of text, such as paragraphs in books, newspapers, magazines, and reports. It squeezes lots of words onto a small amount of paper but remains easy to read. You can make it plain or bold or italic or bold italic.

 

If you make it big & bold, like this, it imitates an old-fashioned news headline.

 

This font is called “Tahoma”. It’s simple. It resembles Calibri and Arial but has several advantages, such as a better capital “I”. You can make it plain or bold or italic or bold italic. It’s best for typing short phrases that attract attention. For example…

 

If you make it big & bold, like this, it’s good for titles, signs, and posters.

 

If you make it small, like this, it’s good for footnotes, photo captions, classified ads, telephone books, directories, and catalogs.

 

This font is called “Comic Sans MS”. It resembles Tahoma but looks hand-drawn, like the words in a funny comic book. You can make it plain or bold or italic or bold italic. It’s best for typing short phrases that draw attention and giggles. For example…

 

If you make it big & bold, like this, it’s good for funny titles, signs, and posters.


This font is called “Courier New”.

 

If you make it 12 points high, like this, it resembles the printout from a typewriter.

 

It makes each character have the same width: for example, the “m” has the same width as the “i”. It’s a good font for typing tables of numbers, since the uniform width lets you line up each column of numbers easily.

 

Choose plain, bold, italic, or bold italic.

After you’ve clicked a font, any new characters you type will be in that font. (The characters you typed earlier remain unaffected.)

When you finish typing in that font, here’s how you can return to typing characters in the Calibri font: click the Font box’s down-arrow then click “Calibri”.

Text color Normally, the characters you type are black. Here’s how to make them a different color, such as red.

Look at the Text color button, which has an underlined A on it. Notice the color of the A’s underline. If it’s the color you want, click the underline. If it’s not the color you want, do this instead:

Click the down-arrow that’s to the right of the A’s underline. You see 30 colors.

If you like one of those colors, click it.

If you don’t like any of those colors, click “More Colors”, which shows you 48 colors: click your favorite then “OK”.

Afterwards, whatever characters you type will be in the color you chose. (The characters you typed earlier remain unaffected.)

When you finish typing in that color, here’s how to return to typing characters that are normal (black): click the down-arrow that’s to the right of the A’s underline, then click “Automatic” (which means “normal”).

Text highlight color Normally, the characters have a white background, as if they were on plain paper. Here’s how to make the background be a different color, such as yellow, as if you were using a yellow highlighting pen.

Look at the Text highlight color button, which is just left of the Text color button and shows a pen writing on paper. Notice the paper’s color. If it’s the color you want, click the underline. If it’s not the color you want (if it’s just white or pale blue), do this instead:

Click the down-arrow that’s to the right of the pen. You see 15 colors. Click the color you want (such as yellow).

Afterwards, whatever characters you type will be highlighted in the background color you chose. (The characters you typed earlier remain unaffected.)

When you finish using that highlighter, here’s how to return to typing normal characters (on a white background): click the Text color button’s down-arrow, then click “No color” (which means “normal”).

Select

Here’s how to dramatically change a phrase you typed.

Point at the phrase’s beginning. Then hold down the mouse’s left button; and while you keep holding down that button, move to the phrase’s end.

(Moving the mouse while holding down the left button is called dragging. You’re dragging from the phrase’s beginning to the phrase’s end.)

The phrase you dragged across gets highlighted: its white background  turns blue. Turning the phrase blue is called selecting the phrase.

Then say what to do to the phrase. For example, choose one of these activities:

To underline the phrase, activate the Underline button (by clicking it).

To make the phrase be bold, activate the Bold button (by clicking it).

To italicize the phrase, activate the Italic button (by clicking it).

To make the phrase be tiny and raised, activate the Superscript button (by clicking it).

To make the phrase be tiny and lowered, activate the Subscript button (by clicking it).

To make the phrase look crossed out, activate the Strikethrough button (by clicking it).

To prevent the phrase from being underlined, bold, italicized, superscripted, subscripted, or crossed out, deactivate those buttons (by clicking them again).

To change the phrase’s point size, choose the size you want from the Font Size menu.

To change the phrase’s font, choose the font you want from the Font menu.

To delete the phrase, press the Delete key.

To replace the phrase, just type whatever words you want the phrase to become.

Go ahead! Try it now! It’s fun!

Other ways to select The usual way to select a phrase is to point at the phrase’s beginning, then drag to the phrase’s end. But sometimes other methods are faster!

To select a phrase, choose one of these methods.…

Drag method Point at the phrase’s beginning. Then drag to the phrase’s end.

Shift-click method Click the phrase’s beginning. Then while holding down the Shift key, click the phrase’s end.

Movement-key method By using your keyboard’s movement keys (such as up-arrow, down-arrow, left-arrow, and right-arrow), move to the phrase’s beginning. Then while holding down the Shift key, use the movement keys to move to the phrase’s end.

Line method To select just one line, click in its left margin.

Multiline method To select several lines, click in the first line’s left margin; then while holding down the Shift key, click in the bottom line’s left margin.

Word method To select just one word, double-click in its middle.

Paragraph method To select just one paragraph, triple-click in its middle (or double-click in its left margin).

Multiparagraph method To select several paragraphs, triple-click in the first paragraph’s middle; then while holding down the Shift key, click in the last paragraph’s middle.

All method To select the entire document (all!), tap the A key while holding down the Ctrl key.

Document vanishes While you’re typing a document, if the whole document suddenly disappears, you accidentally deleted it. Here’s why:

You tried to type a capital A, but instead of pressing the Shift key you accidentally pressed the Ctrl key. “Ctrl with A” tells the computer to “select the whole document”, so the whole document becomes highlighted. The next character you type replaces the highlighted text, so the highlighted text is all lost.

Cure:

Immediately say “undo” (by clicking the Undo button or pressing Ctrl with Z). That undoes your last action. Say “undo” several times, until you’ve undone enough of your actions to undo the calamity.


Drag a phrase To move a phrase to a new location, just “select the phrase, and then drag from the phrase’s middle to the new location.” Here are the details:

First, select the phrase you want to move, so the phrase turns blue.

Then take your finger off the mouse’s button. Move the mouse’s pointer to the phrase’s middle (so you see an arrow). Finally, hold down the mouse’s button; and while you keep holding down the mouse’s button, move the mouse slightly. You’ll see a vertical line (red or black); drag that line to wherever you want the phrase to move. (Drag anywhere you wish in the document, or drag to the document’s end. The computer won’t let you drag past the document’s end.)

At the end of the drag, lift your finger from the mouse’s button. Presto, the phrase moves where you wished!

In that procedure, you drag the phrase to a new location then drop it there. That procedure is called drag & drop.

Clipboard group

In the Clipboard group, you see 3 choices: Cut, Paste, and Copy.

Cut and paste Here’s another way to move a phrase to a new location.

Select the phrase (by dragging across it with the mouse, so the phrase turns blue). Click the Cut button (which looks like a pair of scissors). The phrase will vanish from its original location.

Click the new location where you want the phrase to reappear. Then click the Paste button’s picture of a clipboard (not the word “Paste”). The phrase will appear at that new location.

Here are shortcuts:

Instead of clicking the Cut button,

you can press Ctrl with X (which means “X it out”).

Instead of clicking the Paste button,

you can press Ctrl with V (which stands for “Velcro”).

Copy Here’s another way to copy a phrase, so the phrase appears in your document twice.

Select the phrase (by dragging across it with the mouse, so the phrase turns blue). Click the Copy button (which looks like a pair of dog-eared pages). Click where you want the copy of the phrase to appear, and click the Paste button’s clipboard. The copy will appear at the new location, so the phrase will be in your document twice.

If you want the phrase to appear in your document a third time, click where you want that additional copy to appear, then click the Paste button’s clipboard again. If you want the phrase to appear in your document a fourth time, click where you want that additional copy, then click the Paste button’s clipboard again.

Here’s a shortcut: instead of clicking the Copy button, you can press Ctrl with C.


Paragraph group

The Paragraph group looks like this:

Snip%20paragraph
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Alignment buttons While typing a line, you can click one of these alignment buttons:

Snip%20alignment
 

 

 


     Align     Center       Align   Justify

     text                            text

     left                         right

Clicking the Center button makes the line be centered,

like this line

Clicking the Align text right button makes the line be at the right margin,

like this line

Clicking the Align text left button makes the line be at the left margin,

like this line

Clicking one of those buttons affects not just the line you’re typing but also all other lines in the same paragraph.

Clicking the Justify button makes the paragraph be justified, so the paragraph’s bottom line is at the left margin, and each of the paragraph’s other lines is at both margins (by inserting extra space between the words),

like                      this                       line

When you click one of those alignment buttons, you’re 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.


Examples:

If you’re typing a title or headline and want it to be centered, click the Center button.

If you’re typing a business letter and want it to begin by showing the date next to the right margin, click the Align text right button.

If you’re typing an informal memo or letter to a colleague or friend, and want the paragraph to look plain, ordinary, modest, and unassuming (like Clark Kent), click the Align text left button.

If you’re creating something formal (such as a newspaper or textbook) and want the paragraph to have perfectly straight edges (so it looks official, uptight, and professional, like Robocop), click the Justify button.

Clicking one of those alignment buttons affects the entire paragraph you’re typing, but the paragraphs you typed earlier remain unaffected, unless you do this:

To change the alignment of a paragraph you typed earlier, click in that paragraph’s middle then click the alignment button you wish.

When you start typing a new paragraph, the computer gives that paragraph the same alignment as the paragraph above, unless you say differently (by clicking one of the alignment buttons).

Here’s how to type a centered title:

Press the Enter key twice (to leave a big blank space above the title).

Next, 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! You’ve created a centered title!

Next, make the paragraph underneath the title be normal: make that paragraph be uncentered (click the Align text left button or Justify button) and make it be unbolded (deactivate the Bold button, by clicking it).

Here are shortcuts:

Instead of clicking the Justify                 button, you can press Ctrl with J.

Instead of clicking the Align Text Left  button, you can press Ctrl with L.

Instead of clicking the Align Text Right   button, you can press Ctrl with R.

Instead of clicking the Center                  button, you can press Ctrl with E

                                                                 (which stands for “Equidistant”).

Line spacing While typing a paragraph, you can click the Line Spacing button (which has an up-arrow and down-arrow on it), which makes this menu appear:

       1.0

ü       1.15

       1.5

       2.0

ü       Add 10pt space after paragraphs

Clicking “2.0” makes the paragraph be double-spaced (so there’s a blank line under each line). Clicking “1.0” makes the paragraph be single-spaced (without extra space under the lines). Clicking “1.15” makes the paragraph have a little extra space between each pair of lines; that’s what the computer assumes you want if you don’t say otherwise.

The computer assumes you want a 10-point-high blank space under the paragraph, to separate that paragraph from the paragraph below. If you don’t want that space, remove the checkmark that’s left of “Add 10pt space after paragraphs” (by clicking it).

Indentation Before typing a paragraph, you can press the Tab key. That makes the computer indent the paragraph’s first line, half an inch.

If you want to indent all lines in the paragraph, do this instead of pressing the Tab key: while typing the paragraph, click the Increase indent button (which shows a right-arrow pointing at lines). That makes the computer indent all lines in the paragraph. (The paragraphs you typed earlier remain unaffected.)

When you start typing a new paragraph, the computer indents that paragraph if the paragraph above it was indented.

If you indented a paragraph by clicking the Increase Indent button but then change your mind, here’s how to unindent the paragraph: click in the paragraph, then click the Decrease indent button (which shows a left-arrow pointing from lines).

For example, suppose you start typing a new document. Here’s how to make just paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 be indented.

Type paragraphs 1 and 2 normally (without pressing the Increase indent button).

When you start typing paragraph 3, press the Increase indent button. That makes the computer start indenting, so paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 will be automatically indented.

When you start typing paragraph 6, here’s how to prevent the computer from indenting it: click the Decrease indent button at the beginning of paragraph 6.


To indent a paragraph you typed earlier, click in the middle of that paragraph and then click the Increase Indent button. To unindent a paragraph you typed earlier, click in its middle and then click the Decrease Indent button.

If you click the Increase indent button twice instead of just once, the computer will indent the paragraph farther. After typing that doubly indented paragraph, if you want the paragraph below to be unindented you must click the Decrease indent button twice.

Each time you click the Increase Indent button, the computer indents the paragraph a half inch farther. Each time you click the Decrease indent button, the computer indents the paragraph a half inch less.

Start a list Here’s a different way to indent an entire paragraph: while typing the paragraph, activate the Start a list button (which is the third button in the Paragraph group) by clicking it. That makes the computer indent the paragraph and also put a bullet (the symbol ·) to the left of the paragraph’s first line. That’s called a bulleted paragraph. The bullet symbol is indented a quarter inch; the paragraph’s words are indented a half inch.

After you’ve typed a bulleted paragraph, any new paragraphs you type underneath will be bulleted also — so you’re creating a list of bulleted paragraphs — until you request an unbulleted paragraph (by deactivating the Start a list button).

Here’s how to request different symbols instead of the bullet symbol: instead of clicking the Start a list button, click that button’s down-arrow. Then you see 7 popular choices:

bulleted list

numbered list (1, 2, 3)

lettered list (a, b, c)

capital-lettered list (A, B, C)

Roman-numeral list (i, ii, iii)

capital-Roman-numeral list (I, II, III)

Click the choice you want. Your choice affects the current paragraph. It also affects the paragraphs underneath that are part of the same list. It also affects each list you start typing in the future (until you choose different symbols instead or start a new document).

Editing group

In the Editing group, you see 3 choices: Find, Replace, and “Select all”.

Find Here’s how to make the computer search through your document to find whether you’ve used the word “love”:

Click where you want the search to begin. (For example, if you want the search to begin at the document’s beginning, click in the middle of the document’s first word.) Click Find (or press Ctrl with F). Type the word you want to find (“love”), and press Enter.

The computer will search for “love”. If the computer finds a “love” in your document, it will highlight that “love” so it turns blue. (If the Find window covers the part of your document that says “love”, drag that window out of the way, by dragging the window’s title, “Find”.)

If you want to find the next “love” in your document, press Enter; if you do not want to search for more “love”, click the Find window’s X (or press the Esc key).

Suppose you’ve written a history of America and want to find the part where you started talking about Lincoln. If you forget what page that was, no problem! Just put the cursor at the document’s beginning, click Find, type “Lincoln”, and press Enter.


Replace You can search for a word and replace it with a different word. For example, here’s how to change each “love” in your document to “idolize”:

Click Replace. Type the old word you want to replace (“love”), then press the Tab key, then type the new word you want instead (“idolize”), then click the Replace All button. That makes the computer change each “love” to “idolize”. Then press the Esc key twice.

The computer preserves capitalization. For example, if the document said —

I love you. Love you! LOVE YOU! I want to kiss your glove!

the computer changes it to:

I idolize you. Idolize you! IDOLIZE YOU! I want to kiss your gidolize!

Notice that when told to change “love” to “idolize”, the computer unfortunately also changes “glove” to “gidolize”.

The Replace command helps you zip through many chores:

For example, if you write a letter that talks about Fred, then want to write a similar letter about Sue, tell the computer to replace each Fred with Sue.

If you write a book about “How to be a better salesman” and then a feminist tells you to change each “salesman” to “salesperson”, tell the computer to replace each “salesman”.

If you’re writing a long ad that mentions “Calvin Klein’s Hot New Flaming Pink Day-Glo Pajamas” repeatedly, and you’re too lazy to type that long phrase so often, just type the abbreviation “Calnew”. When you’ve finished typing the document, tell the computer to replace each “Calnew” with the long phrase it stands for.

Select all To select everything in the document (so the whole document is highlighted in blue), use one of these methods:

Method 1 Click “Select all”.

Method 2 While holding down the Ctrl key, tap the A key (which means “All”).

Insert group

Here’s how to make the computer type the date & time.

In the Insert group, click “Date and time”. The computer will show a list of formats, like this:

12/25/2014

12/25/14

14/12/25

2014-12-25

25-Dec-14

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 25, 2014

Thursday, 25 December, 2011

25 December, 2011

8:59:20 AM

08:59:20 AM

8:59:20

08:59:20

Double-click the format you want. The computer will type the date or time in the format you requested.

 

Paint

Your computer has some built-in graphics programs. The most famous is called Paint.

To use Paint, do this:

Windows 8.1 Go to the Apps screen (by putting your finger on a blank space near the Start screen’s middle, then swiping up).

Windows 8 Go to the Start screen (or Apps screen).

Then type “pa” (which a tablet will let you do after you tap the space left of the magnifying glass). You see a list of programs whose names have “pa”. One of them is “Paint”. Tap “Paint” (not “Fresh Paint”).


You see the Desktop screen. On it you see the Paint window.

Make sure the Paint window consumes the whole screen. (If it doesn’t consume the whole screen yet, maximize the window by clicking the resize button, which is next to the X button.)

To draw, you can use 3 methods:

Finger method Put your finger on the screen’s middle, then slide your finger on the screen (right, left, up, or down), as if you were finger-painting on the screen. For example, try drawing a smile, by doing the following…. Put your finger on the screen, where you want the smile to begin (at the smile’s top-left corner), then move your finger on the screen while you draw the smile. When you finish drawing the smile, lift your finger off the screen. Then draw the rest of the face!

Mouse method Move the mouse pointer to the screen’s middle. Then drag (move the mouse while holding down the mouse’s left button). As you drag, you’ll be drawing a squiggle. For example, try drawing a smile, by doing the following.… Put the mouse pointer where you want the smile to begin (at the smile’s top-left corner), then depress the mouse’s left button while you draw the smile. When you finish drawing the smile, lift the mouse’s button. Then draw the rest of the face!

Touchpad method By sliding your finger lightly across the touchpad, move the mouse pointer to the screen’s middle. Then drag (while pressing the touchpad’s bottom-left corner with your left hand’s index finger, slide the right hand’s index finger across the touchpad). As you drag, you’ll be drawing a squiggle. For example, try drawing a smile, by doing the following.… Put the mouse pointer where you want the smile to begin (at the smile’s top-left corner), then press the touchpad’s bottom-left corner while you draw the smile. When you finish drawing the smile, stop pressing the touchpad’s bottom-left corner. Then draw the rest of the face!

Try all 3 methods!

The finger method is best for drawing big smooth curves.

The mouse method is best for drawing tiny objects.

The touchpad method is best for drawing tiny objects if you don’t have a mouse.

Colors

When you start drawing, the computer assumes you want to draw in black.

At the screen’s top, above the word “Colors”, you see the 20 main colors, which have these names:

black    gray-50%   dark red   red    orange   yellow            green   turquoise           indigo        purple

white    gray-25%   brown      rose  gold       light yellow    lime     light turquoise   blue-gray   lavender

To draw in one of those colors instead of in black, click the color you want. Whatever you draw next will be that color. The computer will keep using that color until you choose a different color instead (or you exit from the Paint program).

If you don’t like any of the 20 main colors, try this:

Click “Edit colors”.

Below “Basic colors”, you see 48 little colored blocks. On the right, you also see a big block containing a rainbow of many colors.

Click your favorite color. The vertical strip on the right will show variations of that color (from pale to dark); click the variation you want.

When you’ve finished choosing your color, click “OK”.

The color you chose will appear below the 20 main colors. Whatever you draw next will be that color.

Warning: don’t click the Color 2 button, until I explain later how to use it properly.

Eraser

If you drew a shape badly, erase it and try again! To erase, click the Eraser button (which is pink and above “Tools”). Then your mouse (or finger) acts as eraser instead of a brush. Erase your mistake by dragging across your picture’s bad part.

When you finish erasing, click the Brushes icon (which is above the word “Brushes”) and try drawing better.

Undo

If you make a mistake, try clicking the Undo button (which is at the screen’s top and shows a blue arrow bending back to the left). That undoes your last activity. For example, it can undo your last brushstroke or your last erasure. If you click the Undo button twice, it will erase your last two activities.

If you clicked the Undo button but wish you hadn’t, you can “undo the undo” by clicking the Redo button, which is to the right of the Undo button and shows a blue arrow bending forward to the right.

The Undo and Redo buttons work just if their arrows are blue. While an arrow is gray, the button doesn’t work.


All delete

Here’s how to delete the entire picture, so you can start over:

While holding down the Ctrl key, press the A key. That means “all”. All of the picture is surrounded by a blue dotted line.

Then press the Delete key. The entire picture disappears, so you can start over!

Change the brush

To change how thick the brushstrokes are, click “Size” then click the thickness you want.

If you click the down-arrow under “Brushes”, you see 9 different types of brushes:

Brush, which is plain & normal

Calligraphy brush 1, which thickens any diagonal line that’s “falling” (heading toward the screen’s bottom-right corner)

Calligraphy brush 2, which thickens any diagonal line that’s “rising” (heading toward the screen’s top-right corner)

Airbrush, to look like paint splattered out of a spray can by a vandal

Oil brush, to look like an oil painting

Crayon, to look like Crayola used by a toddler

Marker, to look like a Sharpie marker pen or a highlighter pen

Natural pencil, to look like a sketch drawn by a fine artist using a soft pencil

Watercolor brush, to look like a watercolor painting

Click the type of brush you want, then click “Size” and choose a thickness for that brush. If you’re a beginner, choose the thickest size, so you can see clearly how that type of brushstroke looks.

If you click the Pencil button (which is above the Eraser button and looks like a yellow pencil), you’ll draw with a hard pencil (instead of a softer tool). After clicking the Pencil button, click “Size” to choose the pencil’s thickness. To switch from the hard pencil back to softer tools (such as brushes), click the icon above “Brushes” (to return to the same type of brush you were using before) or click the down-arrow under “Brushes” (to choose a different brush type).


Shapes

Above the word “Shapes”, you see these 21 shapes:

Snip%20shapes
 

 

 

 

 


The first 6 shapes are the most important. Here’s how to use them.

Line To draw a line that’s exactly straight, click the Line shape (which is the first shape). Then put the mouse pointer where you want the line to begin, and drag to where you want the line to end.

While dragging, if you hold down the Shift key, you’ll force the line to be perfectly simple (perfectly vertical, perfectly horizontal, or at a perfect 45-degree angle).

Rectangle To draw a rectangle (box) whose sides are exactly straight, click the Rectangle shape (which is the 4th shape). Then put the mouse pointer where you want the rectangle’s top left corner to be, and drag to where you want the rectangle’s opposite corner.

While dragging, if you hold down the Shift key, you’ll force the rectangle to be a perfect square.

Rectangle variants Instead of clicking the Rectangle shape, try clicking these variants:

If you click the Rounded Rectangle (which is the 5th shape) instead of the Rectangle, you’ll force the rectangle’s corners to be rounded (instead of sharp 90-degree angles). If you hold down the Shift key while dragging out the rounded rectangle, you’ll create a rounded square.

If you click the Oval (which is the 3rd shape) instead of the Rectangle, you’ll force the rectangle’s corners to be very rounded, so the rectangle looks like an oval (ellipse). If you hold down the Shift key while dragging out the oval, you’ll create a perfect circle.

Polygon To draw a polygon (a shape that has many straight sides and corners), click the Polygon shape (which is the sixth shape). Then put the mouse pointer where you want the polygon’s 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 shape (which is the second shape). 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 mouse’s button.

You temporarily see a straight line. To turn that line into a curve, bend the line’s middle, by pointing at the line’s 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 mouse’s 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.)

Other shapes If you click one of the other shapes (triangle, diamond, pentagon, octagon, arrow, star, or callout), here’s what to do next. Imagine the shape is enclosed (embedded) in a box (rectangle). In your picture, put the mouse pointer where you want the box’s top left corner to be, and drag to where you want the box’s bottom right corner.

When you finish dragging, you’ll see the shape is in your picture and temporarily enclosed in a blue box.

If the shape isn’t yet exactly where you want it, move it by doing this:

Put the mouse pointer in the shape’s middle, then drag where you want the shape to move.

You can also adjust the shape by doing this:

The temporary blue box’s corners and edges have 9 handles (tiny squares you can drag). Tug at the handles (by dragging them with the mouse), until the shape is stretched and repositioned where you want it.

Afterwards, when you click elsewhere, the shape stays in your picture, though the temporary blue box vanishes.

Brushes for shapes To draw each of those shapes, the computer uses a normal brush unless you say otherwise.

To say otherwise, do this:

Click the shape you want to draw. Click “Outline”.

You see this menu:

No outline

Solid color

Crayon

Marker

Oil

Natural pencil

Watercolor

From that menu, choose the brush you want. (Choose “Crayon” or “Marker” or “Oil” or “Natural pencil” or “Watercolor”. Choosing “Solid color” gives you just a normal brush. Don’t choose “No outline”, which means “no brush”.)

Then choose a brush size, by clicking “Size” then the size you want. (If you’re a beginner, click the thickest size.)

Then put the shape onto your picture (by dragging across your picture).

To return to using a normal brush, click the shape again then “Outline” then “Solid color”.

Finish When you finish playing with shapes, click the icon above “Brushes”.

Color picker

Look at what you’ve created. In that picture, if you see a color you’ve used and like, here’s how to use it again:

Click the Color picker button (which is above “Tools”). Click in your picture, where your favorite color is. Then draw more stuff; it’ll be in the color you picked.

Save

To save the picture you’ve been creating (copy it onto the disk), click the Save button. (It’s at the screen’s top, near the left edge. It’s a purple-and-white square that’s supposed to look like a floppy disk, though it also looks like a TV set.)

If you haven’t saved the picture before, the computer will say “File name”. Invent a name for your picture. Type the name and press Enter. That tells the computer copy the picture onto the hard disk (or a tablet’s imitation of a hard disk).

For example, if you named the picture “mary”, the computer puts a picture called “mary.png” into the Pictures folder. (The “.png” is hidden from you but stands for “portable network graphics”.)

Afterwards, if you change your mind and want to do more editing, go ahead! When you finish that extra editing, save it by clicking the Save button again.

Save often! Click the Save button about every 10 minutes. Click it whenever you get to a good stopping place and think, “What I’ve drawn so far looks good!” Then if an accident happens, you’ll lose at most 10 minutes of work, and you can return to the last version you felt good about.


File menu

Near the screen’s top-left corner, you see the word “File”. Click it. Then you see the File menu:

New

Open

Save

Save as

Print

From scanner or camera

Send in e-mail

Set as desktop background

Properties

About Paint

Exit

From that menu, choose whatever you wish (by clicking it). Here are the most popular choices.…

Save If you choose Save from the File menu (by clicking the word “Save” after clicking “File”), you get the same result as clicking the Save button that’s on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Save as Suppose you’ve already saved a picture then edited it some more, but you’re not sure you like the new editing. Try this experiment.…

Choose “Save as” from the File menu (by clicking the phrase “Save as” after clicking the “File”); when you do that, make sure you click the phrase “Save as”, not just the arrow next to it.

Then invent (and type) a new name for the picture. At the end of the new name, press Enter.

The computer will copy the picture’s new, edited version onto the hard disk. That new, edited version will have the new name you invented.

The picture’s old original version will be on the disk also and keep its old original name. The disk will contain both versions of the picture.

How to finish

When you finish working on a picture, choose Exit or New or a previous picture from the File menu.

Exit Whenever you want to stop using Paint, choose Exit from the File menu (or click the Paint window’s X button). You see the Desktop screen. If you want to see the Start screen instead, press the Windows Start key.

New If you choose New (instead of Exit) from the File menu, the computer will let you start creating a new, different picture.

A previous picture If you want to reuse a previous picture you had saved, click “File”, so you see the File menu. To the right of the File menu, you see a list of the 9 pictures you used most recently: that list starts with the most recent. Click whichever picture you want to use. If you want to use a different picture, which is not on that list of 9, do this:

Choose Open from the File menu (by clicking Open).

The computer starts showing you a list of all pictures in the Pictures library. To see the rest of the list, either “click in that list then rotate the mouse’s wheel toward you” or “repeatedly click the down-arrow that’s to the right of that list”.

If you want to use one of those pictures, double-click the picture’s name; the computer will put that picture onto the screen and let you edit it. If instead you want to delete one of those pictures, click the picture’s name then press the Delete key then the Enter key; the computer will move that picture to the Recycle Bin.

Didn’t save? If you didn’t save your picture before doing those “how to finish” procedures, the computer asks, “Do you want to save?” If you click “Save”, the computer copies your document’s most recent version to the hard disk; if you click “Don’t Save” instead, the computer ignores and forgets your most recent editing.

Print

Here’s how to print a picture onto paper.

Make sure you’ve bought a printer, attached it to the computer, turned the printer’s power on, and put paper into the printer.

Choose Print from the File menu (by clicking the word “Print” after clicking “File”); when you do that, make sure you click the word “Print”, not just the arrow next to it.

Press Enter. The computer will print the picture onto paper.

If your printer doesn’t have colored ink, it will print shades of gray instead.

Text

Here’s how to type words in your picture.

Click the Text button (which is in the Tools group and looks like an A). In your picture, click where you want the first word’s first letter to begin. Type the words.

The words will be surrounded temporarily by a blue box that’s about 1.4 inches wide. If you type more words than the box can hold, the extra words will appear underneath, and the box will automatically grow taller, to hold the extra words.

On the box’s edges, you see 9 handles (tiny squares you can drag). If you want to widen the box, drag any handle on the box’s right edge: drag it toward the right.

While typing, you see the Font group, which resembles WordPad’s: it lets you change the font and the font’s size and create underlines, boldface, italics, and strikethrough.

Finish When you finish creating and editing the text box, click “Home” (which is near the screen’s top-left corner) then the icon above “Brushes”.

Select

Here’s how to alter part of your picture.

First, say which part of your picture to alter, by using one of these methods.…

Rectangle method Click the down-arrow under “Select”, then click “Rectangular selection”. Draw a blue rectangle around that part of your picture: to do that, put the mouse pointer where you want the rectangle’s top-left corner to be, and drag to where you want the rectangle’s opposite corner.

Free method Click the down-arrow under “Select”, then click “Free-form selection.” Draw a loop around that part of your picture: to do that, put the mouse pointer where you want the loop to begin, and drag until you’ve drawn the loop. (The loop will temporarily turn into a rectangle, but don’t let that bother you.)

Ctrl-A method Select the entire picture (by doing this: while holding down the Ctrl key, tap the letter A).

Then say what to do to that part of your picture. You have these choices:

To delete that part of your picture, press the Delete key.

To move that part of your picture, point at the rectangle’s middle and drag that part of your drawing to wherever you want.

To copy that part of your picture (so that part appears twice), point at the rectangle’s middle and, while holding down the Ctrl key, drag that part of your picture to wherever you want the second copy to be.

To rotate that part of your picture, click “Rotate”, then click “Flip vertical” (to flip that part upside-down) or “Flip horizontal” (to see a mirror image of that part) or “Rotate right 90º” (to rotate that part clockwise) or “Rotate left 90º” (to rotate that part counterclockwise) or “Rotate 180º” (to stand that part on its end).


To enlarge that part of your picture, click “Resize”, then double-click in the first “Horizontal” box. Type “200” (if you want that part to be twice as wide and twice as tall) or “300” (if you want that part to be 3 times as wide and 3 times as tall) or whatever other percentage you wish. Press Enter.

To widen that part of your picture, click “Resize” then remove the check mark from “Maintain aspect ratio” (by clicking there) then double-click in the first “Horizontal” box. Type 200 (to make that part of your drawing twice as wide) or 300 (to make that part 3 times as wide) or whatever other percentage you wish. Press Enter.

To crop that part of your picture, click “Crop”. The rest of the picture will disappear, so the part you selected will be all that’s left, and the picture will probably be smaller.

Finish When you finish playing with selections, click the icon above “Brushes”.

Color 2

The computer can handle two colors simultaneously. The main color is called Color 1; the alternative color is called Color 2.

To draw, the computer normally uses color 1. To use color 2 instead, do this.…

Click “Color 2”. Then click a color you want to become color 2; for example, try clicking yellow.

To draw using color 2, drag while holding down the mouse’s rightmost button instead of the left button.

When you erase (by using the Eraser button), the computer will make the erasure be Color 2 (instead of white).

Fill To make a shape’s middle be color 2 (instead of transparent), do this:

Click the shape you want to draw. Click “Fill” then “Solid color”.

Then put the shape onto your picture (by dragging across your picture). The shape’s middle will be filled with color 2. So will all future shapes, until you turn that feature off (by clicking “Fill” then “No fill”).

Changing color 1 again After you’ve clicked “Color 2”, any color you click will become color 2. To change color 1 instead, click “Color 1” before clicking a color.

Zoom slider

At the screen’s bottom-right corner, you see a plus sign (+). Left of it, you see a minus sign (-). Between those signs, you see the zoom slider, which is a pentagon.

Try this experiment: drag the zoom slider toward the right. That makes the picture appear bigger, so you can see it even if you’re sitting far from the screen and have poor vision. It’s like looking at the picture through a magnifying glass: the picture looks enlarged, so you can see the details of each brushstroke more clearly; but not as much of the picture fits on the screen. (To see the rest of the picture, drag the scroll bars, which are at the screen’s right edge and bottom.)

When you finish playing with the zoom slider, drag it back to its normal position (the middle), so the number left of the minus sign is “100%”.

 

Nifty features

Windows has nifty features

Taskbar

At the Desktop screen’s bottom-left corner, you see this fundamental area:

Windows 8.1 the Windows logo and the symbol “e”

Windows 8 the symbol “e”

At the Desktop screen’s bottom-right corner, you see the time. Across the screen’s bottom, running from the fundamental area to the time, you see a semi-transparent box that’s very wide (as wide as the screen) and about half an inch tall. That box is called the taskbar. It includes the fundamental area (at the screen’s bottom-left corner), the time (at the screen’s bottom-right corner), and everything between them.

When the Desktop screen is running a task (program), the taskbar usually shows a button for that task. For example, while you’re running WordPad, you see a WordPad button on the taskbar. While you’re 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 you’ve created a short document on your screen.

While WordPad is still on your screen, start running Paint (by pressing the Windows Start key then typing “pa” then tapping “Paint”. Now the taskbar includes a WordPad button and a Paint button, because WordPad and Paint are both running simultaneously: they’re both in the computer’s RAM memory chips. Paint is blocking your view of WordPad, but WordPad is still running also.

To see WordPad better, click WordPad’s button on the toolbar. Then you’ll see WordPad clearly, and WordPad will block your view of Paint.

Here’s the rule: clicking WordPad’s button lets you see WordPad better; clicking Paint’s button lets you see Paint better. Both programs are in RAM simultaneously, until you close them (by clicking their X buttons).

Clipboard

To copy data, you can use this 2-step process: first copy the data to the computer’s invisible Clipboard, then stick the clipboard’s data wherever you want it by using Velcro. Here are the details.…

Ctrl with C 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 that’s a drawing, from Paint to WordPad.) Here’s how:

Get onto the screen the data you want to copy. Select that data, by dragging across it. (If that data’s in Paint, click Paint’s Select button before dragging.)

Say “copy” by pressing Ctrl with C. That secretly copies the data to the Clipboard (a file you can’t see).

Get onto the screen the document you want to copy the data to. In that document, click where you want the data to be inserted.

Say “Velcro” by pressing Ctrl with V. That sticks the Clipboard’s data into the document.

If you’re sticking the data into a WordPad document, the computer sticks it where you requested. If you’re sticking the data into a Paint document, the computer insists on sticking it at the painting’s top-left corner; afterwards, drag the data where you want it.

If you want to stick the Clipboard’s data somewhere else also, click there and press Ctrl with V again.

Print Screen key Try this experiment: say Print Screen (by pressing a key labeled “Print Scrn”). That makes the computer secretly take a snapshot of your whole screen and put that photo onto the clipboard.

If you want the computer to take a snapshot of just one window, do this:

Click in that window. Then while holding down the Alt key, say Print Screen (by using the method above). The computer will put a snapshot of just that window onto the Clipboard.

After something’s on the clipboard, stick it into a WordPad document or Paint document or some other document (by clicking there and then pressing Ctrl with V). Then, if you wish, edit the snapshot and print it on paper.

Snipping Tool If you want to copy part of the screen to the clipboard, use the Snipping Tool, by doing this:

Go to the Start screen (or Apps screen) and type “sn”. You see a list of programs whose names have “sn”. One of them is “Snipping Tool”. Tap it.

Make sure the mouse pointer is a white cross. (If it’s a different shape, make it a white cross by clicking the down-arrow next to “New” then “Rectangular Snip”.)

Draw a red box around the part of the screen you want to copy. To do that, put the mouse pointer where you want the box’s top-left corner to be, and drag to where you want the box’s opposite corner. If you drew the box wrong, click “New” then try again to draw the box.

Click the Copy button (which looks like 2 sheets of paper with bent corners). Close the Snipping Tool window (by clicking its X button then clicking “No”).

After you’ve done that, stick your clip into a WordPad document or Paint document or some other document (by clicking there and then pressing Ctrl with V).

Play a music CD (not on tablet)

Before 1980, music came on records or tapes. Nowadays, music comes on compact disks instead.

If you’ve bought a compact disk (CD) containing music, you can shove that disk into your computer’s optical drive (which plays and creates CD and DVD disks) while the computer is on. Here’s how.…

Turn on the computer. Then do this:

HP all-in one Stand to the right of the screen, so you see the computer’s right-hand edge clearly. On that edge, toward the back, you see a button marked p. That’s the optical drive’s eject button. Press it.

Acer laptop Stand to the right of the keyboard, so you see clearly the keyboard’s right-hand edge, which is black. On that edge, you see a horizontal button. (That button is across from the numeric keypad’s 9 key.) That’s the optical drive’s eject button. Press it.

The optical drive’s drawer pops out, part-way. Pull the drawer all the way out.

Grab the CD. Then do this:

HP all-in one Hold that disk upright, so its label is on the front surface. Don’t touch its shiny backside. Put that disk’s shiny backside against the drawer’s front side, so the drawer’s hub (circular bump) pushes sexily through the CD’s hole.

Acer laptop Hold that disk horizontally, so its label is on top. Don’t touch its shiny underside. Push that disk down onto the drawer, so the drawer’s hub (circular bump) pushes sexily up through the CD’s hole.

Push the drawer shut, so the CD goes into the computer.

Here’s what happens next:

HP all-in one The computer starts running the CyberLink PowerDVD program (which is not from Microsoft). Behind that program’s window, you see the Desktop screen. If you haven’t run that program before, the window says “End User License Agreement (EULA)”; to reply, click “I have read” then “Accept”.

Acer laptop You see the Desktop screen. The computer starts running the Acer Clear.fi Media program (which is not from Microsoft). If you haven’t run that program before, the computer asks “Do you want to allow”; to reply, tap “Yes” and answer any remaining questions.

Then the computer plays the CD’s music.

Adjust the volume Here’s how to adjust the volume on the HP all-in-one:

At the keyboard’s top-right corner, 3 keys have loudspeaker symbols on them.

The first loudspeaker key shows a loudspeaker with a crossed-out circle. Press it to mute the sound. Press it again to resume the sound.

The second loudspeaker key shows a loudspeaker with just one sound wave coming out of it. Press it to make the sound softer. Press the rightmost key (which shows a loudspeaker with 3 sound waves coming out of it) to make the sound louder. Press those keys repeatedly (or hold them down awhile) to make the sound even softer or even louder.

Here’s how to adjust the volume on the Acer laptop:

Screen method On the screen, near the bottom, you see a picture of a white loudspeaker. Tap it to mute the sound. Tap it again to resume the sound. To the right of that loudspeaker, you see a white circle; drag the circle toward the left to lower the volume, right to raise it.

Key method While holding down the Fn key (which is near the keyboard’s bottom-left corner), do this: press the r key (which is below the right Shift key) to raise the volume slightly, or press the s key to lower, or press the F8 key to mute (or unmute).

Advanced commands To give advanced commands to the HP all-in-one, do this:

Maximize the program’s window by clicking its maximize button (which is next to the X button). Then you can see the window’s buttons and features better. Here’s how to use them.…

In the program’s window, you see a list of tracks on the CD. For each track, you see its number or name. An arrow () points to the track that’s playing.

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), |ƒ to hop back to the beginning of the previous track. To skip to a far-away track, click those buttons repeatedly or double-click the track’s number (or name).

As a song plays, you see a blue horizontal line start at the screen’s left edge and gradually stretch farther toward the right. To skip ahead, use your mouse to drag that blue line’s right edge farther toward the right. To jump back (and repeat what you heard before), drag that edge back toward the left.

Click „„  to make the music play slightly faster. Press it twice to go faster than that, 3 times to go even faster, 4 times to race humorously fast. If you press it a 5th time, the speed returns to normal.

To give advanced commands to the Acer laptop, do this:

In the program’s window, you see a list of tracks on the CD. For each track, you see its number or name. (You see track names instead of numbers if the CD’s in the recording industry’s database and you played the CD previously while connected to the Internet.) A loudspeaker icon is left of the track that’s playing.

Tap thebutton to pause in the middle of a song. To resume, tap that button again (which has changed to ).

Click n to stop back at the beginning of the current track (song). To begin playing there, click the big .

Tap | to skip ahead to the next track (song), |ƒƒ to hop back to the beginning of the previous track. To skip to a far-away track, tap those buttons repeatedly or double-tap the track’s number (or name).

As a song plays, you see a white circle gradually move toward the right. To skip ahead, drag that circle farther toward the right. To jump back (and repeat what you heard before), drag that circle back toward the left.

Background music While the CD plays, you can perform other tasks by doing this:

Press the keyboard’s Start Windows button. Tell the computer what other task you want to do. While you do that task, the CD will continue to play, as background music.

If you want to adjust the music, return to the music program’s window by doing this: press the Start Windows button (so you see the Start screen) then the Desktop tile (so you see the Desktop screen, which still has the music program on it).

Finish When you finish listening to the CD, press the optical drive’s eject button again. The optical drive’s drawer pops out, part-way. Pull the drawer all the way out. Remove the CD.

If you want to play another CD, insert it and close the drawer.

If you want to stop playing CDs, close the drawer and window, then press the Windows Start button.

Play a movie DVD (not on tablet)

Videos used to come on videotape. Nowadays, a video come on Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) instead.

If you’ve bought a DVD containing a movie, you can shove that disk into your computer’s optical drive while the computer is on. Playing a movie DVD is similar to playing a music CD, so before playing a movie DVD, practice playing a music CD.

Here’s how to play a movie DVD.

Using the same techniques as for a CD, open the optical-disk drawer and insert the disk.

HP all-in-one If the screen says “Region Playback Control”, click “OK”.

Acer laptop If the screen says “DVD Region”, tap “Change DVD drive’s region code” then “Change it now”.

The disk will start to play. (If the disk begins with a menu giving you a choice such as “play movie”, tap “play movie”.)

HP all-in-one To adjust the movie’s volume, use the 3 loudspeaker keys (as for a CD). To see the on-screen controls, tap the screen’s middle; those controls will appear temporarily, then disappear (until you tap the screen again).

Acer laptop To adjust the movie’s volume, use the CD’s key method. To make other adjustments, tap the screen’s middle; on-screen controls will appear temporarily, then disappear (until you tap the screen again).

When you finish watching the movie, press the optical drive’s eject button.

 

Explore your computer

What’s in your computer? How much hardware and software do you have, and what type? Let’s find out!

PC info

To find out what kind of computer you have, you can do this:

Go to the Desktop screen (by clicking the Desktop tile). See the charms (by swiping from the right-hand black border toward the left). Tap the Settings charm then “PC info”.

You’ll see a message about your computer.

HP & Acer When I bought HP’s all-in-one computer (Envy 20-d013), its message said —

Windows edition

   Windows 8

   Copyright © 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

System

   Rating:                            5.5 Windows Experience Index

   Processor:                      Intel Core i3-3220 CPU @ 3.30GHz

   Installed memory (RAM): 8.00 GB (7.70 GB usable)

   System type:                  64-bit Operating System, x64-based processor

   Pen and Touch:            Full Windows Touch Support with 10 Touch Points

 

Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings

   Computer name:            HP-Envy20

 

Windows activation

   Windows is activated

   Product ID:                  00179-60233-26635-AAOEM

That means:

The computer is using Windows 8, invented in 2012 by Microsoft.

The computer’s speed is rated 5.5, which is average (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the fastest). The computer’s CPU chip, manufactured by Intel, is a Core i3-3220, whose speed is 3.3 gigahertz. The computer contains 8 gigabytes of RAM chips. The screen is a touch screen that’s highly sensitive: even if all 10 of your fingers press the screen simultaneously, it can detect where each finger is.

I named the computer “HP-Envy20”.

The copy of Windows 8 on this computer has been activated
(declared legitimate by Microsoft) and has serial number
00179-60233-26635-AAOEM.

When I bought the Acer’s laptop (Aspire V5-571P-6866), its message said —

Windows edition

   Windows 8

   Copyright © 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

System

   Rating:                            4.6 Windows Experience Index

   Processor:                      Intel Core i3-3227U CPU @ 1.90GHz

   Installed memory (RAM): 4.00 GB (3.80 GB usable)

   System type:                  64-bit Operating System, x64-based processor

   Pen and Touch:            Full Windows Touch Support with 10 Touch Points

 

Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings

   Computer name:            AcerLaptop

 

Windows activation

   Windows is activated

   Product ID:                  00179-60543-45790-AAOEM

That means:

The computer is using Windows 8, invented in 2012 by Microsoft.

The computer’s speed is rated 4.6, which is slightly below average (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the fastest). The computer’s CPU chip, manufactured by Intel, is a Core i3-3227U, whose speed is 1.9 gigahertz. The computer contains 4 gigabytes of RAM chips. The screen is a touch screen that’s highly sensitive: even if all 10 of your fingers press the screen simultaneously, it can detect where each finger is.

I named the computer “AcerLaptop”.

The copy of Windows 8 on this computer has been activated
(declared legitimate by Microsoft) and has serial number
00179-60543-45790-AAOEM.

Upgrading those HP & Acer computers to Windows 8.1 makes the “Rating” line disappear and makes the top 3 lines become:

Windows edition

   Windows 8.1

   Copyright © 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Toshiba When I bought Toshiba’s tablet (Encore WT8-A32, which includes Windows 8.1), its message said:

Windows edition

   Windows 8.1

   Copyright © 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

System

   Manufacturer:                 TOSHIBA

   Model:                            Encore

   Processor:                      Intel Atom CPU Z3740 @ 1.33GHz

   Installed memory (RAM): 2.00 GB (1.89 GB usable)

   System type:                  32-bit Operating System, x64-based processor

   Pen and Touch:            Full Windows Touch Support with 5 Touch Points

 

Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings

   Computer name:            ToshibaTablet

 

Windows activation

   Windows is activated

   Product ID:                  00258-60059-36853-AAOEM

That means:

The computer is using Windows 8.1, invented in 2013 by Microsoft.

The computer is made by Toshiba and called an Encore. The computer’s CPU chip, manufactured by Intel, is an Atom Z3740, whose speed is 1.33 gigahertz. The computer contains 2 gigabytes of normal RAM chips. The screen is a touch screen that’s sensitive: even if 5 of your fingers press the screen simultaneously, it can detect where each finger is.

I named the computer “ToshibaTablet”.

The copy of Windows 8.1 on this computer has been activated
(declared legitimate by Microsoft) and has serial number
00258-60059-36853-AAOEM.

Finish When you finish admiring your computer’s message, close the window (by clicking its X button). You see the Desktop screen. If you want to see the Start screen instead, press the Windows Start key.

Alternate method If you have Windows 8.1, get PC info by using the method described above or by using this alternate method instead, which adds the computer’s model number:

Go to the Start screen (not the Desktop screen). See the charms (by swiping from the right-hand black border toward the left). Tap the Settings charm then “Change PC settings” (which is at the screen’s bottom) then “PC and devices” then “PC info”.

That alternate method produces this message on my HP all-in-one computer upgraded to Windows 8.1:

hp 20-d013w

PC name            HP-Envy20

Product ID         00179-60233-26635-AAOEM

Processor             Intel Core i3-3220 CPU @ 3.30GHz

Installed RAM   8.00 GB (7.70 GB usable)

System type      64-bit operating system, x64-based processor

Pen and touch   Full Windows touch support with 10 touch points

Edition               Windows 8.1

Activation          Windows is activated

It produced this message on my Acer laptop:

acer Aspire V5-571P

PC name            AcerLaptop

Product ID         00179-60543-45790-AAOEM

Processor             Intel Core i3-3227U CPU @ 1.90 GHz

Installed RAM   4.00 GB (3.80 GB usable)

System type      64-bit operating system, x64-based processor

Pen and touch   Full Windows touch support with 10 touch points

Edition               Windows 8.1

Activation          Windows is activated

Manufacturer     Acer

Phone                1-800-816-2237

Hours                open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

It produced this message on my Toshiba tablet:

TOSHIBA Encore

PC name            ToshibaTablet

Product ID         00258-60059-36853-AAOEM

Processor             Intel Atom CPU Z3740 @ 1.33 GHz

Installed RAM   2.00 GB (1.89 GB usable)

System type      32-bit operating system, x64-based processor

Pen and touch   Full Windows touch support with 5 touch points

Edition               Windows 8.1

Activation          Windows is activated

Manufacturer     TOSHIBA

Disk drives

Each disk drive has a letter.

Drive A is the main floppy-disk drive (if you have one).

Drive B is the auxiliary floppy-disk drive (if you have one).

Drive C is the main hard drive’s main part.

Drives D, E, F, etc. are any extra disk drives (or parts of disk drives).

A typical computer has these drive details:

Drive A is the 1.44M 3½-inch floppy drive (if any).

Drive B is the 1.2M 5¼-inch floppy drive (if any).

Drive C is the hard drive’s main part.

Drive D is the hard drive’s recovery part (a copy of drive C’s essentials).

Drive E is the main DVD drive (or DVD RW drive or CD-ROM drive).

Drive F is an extra DVD drive (or CD-RW drive).

A tablet computer doesn’t have floppy drives or DVD drives. It also doesn’t really have a hard drive: instead, it has an imitation, called a solid-state drive (SSD), which holds less info than a hard drive but consumes less space & electricity and runs faster.

Drive C is the most important: it’s the main part of the main hard drive. Drive C holds Windows itself and the most important programs & documents.

Here’s how the drives are named:

Drive A is called “A:”  (which is pronounced “A colon”).

Drive B is called “B:”  (which is pronounced “B colon”).

Drive C is called “C:”  (which is pronounced “C colon”).

Drive D is called “D:” (which is pronounced “D colon”).

File Explorer’s computer window To find out what drives are in your computer and how they’re lettered, go to the File Explorer’s computer window by using one of these methods:

Windows 8.1 Apps-screen method Go to the Apps screen. Type “fi” (which a tablet will let you do after you tap the space left of the magnifying glass). You see a list of programs whose names have “fi”. One of them is “File Explorer”. Tap it.

Windows 8.1 Desktop-screen method Go to the Desktop screen (by clicking the Desktop tile). Tap the File Explorer icon (which is near the screen’s bottom-left corner and looks like yellow file folders).

Windows 8 Start-screen method Go to the Start screen (or Apps screen) and type “co”. You see a list of programs whose names have “co”. One of them is “Computer”. Tap it.

Windows 8 Desktop-screen method Go to the Desktop screen (by clicking the Desktop tile). Tap the File Explorer icon (which is near the screen’s bottom-left corner and looks like yellow file folders) then “Computer” (which is at the screen’s left edge).

Then you see the Computer window. It shows an icon (little picture) labeled “C:” (for the main part of your main hard drive) and icons for your other disk drives also.

Windows 8 On the Acer laptop, the icons are labeled like this:

Hard Disk Drives

Acer (C:)

 

Devices with Removable Storage

DVD RW Drive (D:)

That’s because Acer’s main files are on drive C, and the DVD-RW drive (into which you can pop DVD-RW disks) is called “drive D”.

On the HP all-in-one, the icons are labeled like this:

Hard Disk Drives

OS (C:)           Recovery image (D:)

 

Devices with Removable Storage

DVD RW Drive (E:)

That’s because the OS (operating system) is on drive C, a copy of the OS fundamentals (to use for emergency recovery) is on drive D, and the DVD-RW drive (into which you can pop DVD-RW disks) is called “drive E”.

Windows 8.1 On the Acer laptop upgraded to Windows 8.1, the icons are labeled like this:

Folders

Desktop     Documents    Downloads    Music          Pictures       Videos

 

Devices and drives

Acer (C:)     DVD RW Drive (D:)

On the HP all-in-one upgraded to Windows 8.1, the icons are labeled like this:

Folders

Desktop     Documents    Downloads    Music          Pictures       Videos

 

Devices and drives

OS (C:)        Recovery image (D:)         DVD RW Drive (E:)

On the Toshiba tablet (which includes Windows 8.1), the icons are labeled like this:

Folders

Desktop     Documents    Downloads    Music          Pictures       Videos

 

Devices and drives

TI10677900H (C:)

Drive C’s files

To find out about drive C, do this:

Look at the screen. Below the “C:”, you see a message about disk C, such as “865 GB free of 914 GB” (which means 255 GB are still unused & available, out of disk C’s 914 GB total size). You also see a wide box, which represents the entire disk C: the blue part is what’s used; the gray part is what’s unused (free). If you right-click the “C:” (using the mouse’s right-hand button) then click “Properties”, you’ll see a pie chart with more details. When you finish admiring the pie chart, click “OK”.

To find out even more about your hard disk, double-click the “C:” icon. You’ll see the C window, which lists files that are on disk C.

If disk C contains more files than can fit on the screen, view the remaining files by pressing the 6 and 5 buttons, which are at the screen’s right edge.

For each file, you see the file’s name and a tiny picture (icon) representing the file.

Your computer can handle 3 kinds of files:

If the file’s a document, its icon typically looks like a page whose top-right corner is bent.

If the file’s an application program, its icon typically looks cute.

If the file’s a folder containing other files, its icon looks like a yellow manila folder that’s open.

In the C window, the most important folders are called “Program Files”, “Users”, and “Windows”. You’ll see other folders also.

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 is a left-arrow near the screen’s top-left corner).

If you double-click a file’s icon, here’s what happens:

If the file’s a folder, you see what’s in the folder.

If the file’s an application program, the computer will try to run the program. Don’t do that unless you’ve read instructions about how to run the program successfully!

If the file’s a document, the computer will try to use that document: the computer will try to run the program that created the document, but sometimes the computer can’t correctly deduce which program created the document.

Here’s how to find the documents you wrote using WordPad:

The Users folder contains a personal folder (having your name on it), which in turn contains the My Documents folder (containing the documents you wrote).

Views While you’re viewing icons, here’s how to change their appearance.

Click “View” then choose one of these 8 views:

For most situations, click Details. That view is what the computer assumes you want anyway (unless you’ve said otherwise or the computer thinks you’re in a picture-oriented folder). For each file, besides the filename you see a small icon and many details about the file.

If you click List instead of Details, the computer omits the details (so more files can fit on the screen).

If you click Tiles instead of Details, the computer makes the icons easier to see (medium-size instead of small) but includes just a few details about each file. If you click Content, you see a compromise between “Details” and “Tiles”.

If you click Extra large icons, the computer makes the icons huge but omits any details about the files. If you don’t want the icons so huge, click Large icons or Medium icons or Small icons instead. If you’re in a picture-oriented folder, the computer assumes you want Large icons (unless you’ve said otherwise).


New folder Here’s how to create a new folder:

Click “Home” (which is near the screen’s top-left corner) then “New folder”. A new folder will appear. Type a name for it (and press Enter).

Close the window When you finish examining the files that are on hard disk C, close the window by clicking its X button (at the screen’s top-right corner).

Optical-drive files
(not available for tablet)

The optical drive resembles drive C.

Grab an optical disk (CD-ROM disk or DVD disk) that contains computer info, and put it in the optical drive.

The computer analyzes that disk. If the disk is a CD containing music, the computer automatically starts playing the music. If the disk is a DVD containing a movie, the computer automatically starts playing the movie. If the disk is otherwise, the computer does this:

If the disk contains a program called autorun.inf, the computer automatically starts running that program, which typically makes the computer run another program, called setup.exe. If you don’t 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 what’s on the disk, right-click disk’s icon (which is in the Computer window) and click “Open”.

If the disk lacks an autorun.inf program, the computer might do nothing, or it might show you a list of files on the disk, or it might briefly flash this message at the screen’s top-right corner: “Tap to choose what happens with removable drives”. If you see that message, tap it then tap “Open folder to view files”.

When you finish examining any files that are on the disk, close the disk’s window by clicking its X button.

Find a file’s icon

To manipulate a file, the first step is to get the file’s icon onto a Desktop-style screen.

If the file’s a document you created using WordPad, here’s the easiest way to get the file’s icon onto the screen:

Make sure you saved the file and you’re not in the middle of using it.

Run WordPad. Click “File” then “Open”. Then you see a list of WordPad’s documents and their icons.

If the file’s a painting you created using Paint, here’s the easiest way to get the file’s icon onto the screen:

Make sure you saved the file and you’re not in the middle of using it.

Run Paint. Click “File” then “Open”. Then you see a list of Paint’s paintings and their icons.

Another way to get a file’s icon onto the screen is to go to the Computer window and click icons for drives & files until you find the file you want.

Many programs (such as WordPad) put documents into the Documents library. Here’s how to see what documents are in that library:

Go to the Desktop screen (by clicking the Desktop tile). Tap the File Explorer icon (which is near the screen’s bottom-left corner and looks like yellow file folders) then “Documents” (which is at the screen’s left edge). You see what’s in the Documents library. The Documents library includes what’s in 2 folders: “My Documents” and “Public Documents”. To see just what’s in the “My Documents” folder, click the triangle that’s left of “Documents” at the screen’s left edge, until that triangle turns solid blue or black; then click “My Documents”.

The Paint program puts paintings into the Pictures library. Here’s how to see what’s in that library:

Go to the Desktop screen (by clicking the Desktop tile). Tap the File Explorer icon (which is near the screen’s bottom-left corner and looks like yellow file folders) then “Pictures” (which is at the screen’s left edge).

Manipulate a file

Now I’ll explain how to manipulate a file.

If you want to practice this stuff, use a file you don’t 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 on a Desktop-style screen (by using the tricks in the previous section) then do one of these activities.…

Send to USB flash drive

Here’s how to copy the file to a USB flash drive.

Plug the USB flash drive into one of the computer’s USB ports. (To do that, you must first uncover the flash drive, if the flash drive had a protective cover.)

If the flash drive has a light, that light will flash awhile.

If you see a list of the files on the flash drive, click the X (at the screen’s top-right corner), so that list disappears and you see the previous screen.

Which file to you want to copy to the flash drive? Right-click that file’s icon, then click “Send to” then the flash drive’s letter.

If the flash drive has a light, that light will flash. When the light stops flashing, the file’s been copied.

Send to optical disk
(not available for tablet)

Here’s how to copy the file to an optical disk (CD or DVD).

What optical disk do you want to copy the file to? Put that disk (which is blank or partially blank) into the drive.

The computer might briefly flash this message at the screen’s top-right corner: “Tap to choose what happens with blank CDs.” If you see that message, tap it then tap “Take no action”.

Which file do you want to copy to the optical disk? Right-click the file’s icon, then click “DVD RW Drive”.

If that disk has never been used before (or was totally reformatted), do this:

Invent a name for the disk. The name must be short (no more than 16 characters). Type the name (and press Enter).

If the disk is rewritable (RW), the computer will say, “The format might take a long time”; to reply, press Enter then wait 22½ minutes (even though the computer accidentally says “5 seconds”).

If the computer says “You’ll need to provide administrator permission to copy this file”, click “Continue”

The computer will copy the file. You can copy more files in the same way.

When you finish copying, press the optical drive’s eject button.

The computer might say “Preparing to eject”. The computer will write, onto the disk, filenames and other notes. Then the computer will open the drive’s tray. Take the disk out of the tray. Push the tray back in.

If the computer still says “Preparing to eject”, click that window’s X.

Send to My Documents folder

Here’s how to copy the file to your hard disk’s My Documents folder (if the file isn’t there already):

Right-click the file’s icon. Click “Send To” then “Documents”. Then the computer copies the file to the My Documents folder.


Send to Desktop screen

To copy the file to your Desktop screen, do this:

Right-click the file’s icon. Click “Send To” then “Desktop”.

To save disk space, that technique copies just the file’s icon to the Desktop. The file itself stays just in its original location.

On the Desktop, the file’s icon’s bottom left corner has a bent arrow, which means the icon is just a shortcut (which points the computer to the original location).

That shortcut icon has the file’s original name but with
“- Shortcut” added afterwards. For example, if the file’s original name was “Love”, the shortcut icon’s name is “Love - Shortcut”.

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 optical disk, that works just if the file’s floppy disk or optical disk 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:

Right-click the file’s icon. Click “Copy”. Right-click in any blank space (in any drive or any folder) where you want the copy to appear. Click “Paste”.

Rename

To change the file’s name, do this:

Click the file’s icon then the file’s name. Type the new name (and press Enter).

Delete

To delete the file, try this procedure:

Click the file’s icon. Press the Delete key.

Does that procedure really delete the file? Here’s the answer.

If the file’s on a floppy disk, that procedure really deletes the file.

If the file’s on a hard disk, that procedure just moves the file to the Recycle Bin (which holds hard-disk files you said to delete).

If the file’s on a CD, the computer analyzes the CD: if the disk is rewriteable (CD-RW), the computer deletes the file; if the disk is just CD-R (which can’t delete), the computer hides the file so it’s inaccessible (though still taking up space on the disk); if the disk is a plain CD (which can’t be altered at all), the computer complains.

Peek in the Recycle Bin To discover what’s in the hard disk’s Recycle Bin (which holds hard-disk files you said to delete), double-click the Recycle Bin icon (which is at the Desktop screen’s top-left corner). You’ll see the Recycle Bin window, which shows a list of hard-disk files you said to delete. (If you don’t 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). Make sure you’re seeing the Details view, by doing this:

Click “View” then “Details” then “Manage”.

To see more details about a certain file, right-click the file’s 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, click the file’s icon then “Restore the selected items”. 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 file’s icon then press the Delete key then press Enter. The file will disappear.

To delete all files from the Recycle Bin, click “Empty the Recycle Bin” (which is near the screen’s top-left corner). Then press Enter.

When you finish admiring the Recycle Bin window, click its X button (which is at the screen’s top-right corner).

Shift Delete You’ve learned that to delete a file, the usual procedure is to click the file’s icon then press the Delete key. If the file was on the hard disk, that procedure moves the file into the Recycle Bin. Notice that the procedure involves pressing the Delete key. If instead you tap the Delete key while holding down the Shift key, and then press the Enter key, the computer deletes the file immediately instead of moving it to the Recycle Bin.

Multiple files

To “delete” or “send” several files at once, highlight the files you want to manipulate, by using one of these methods:

Ctrl-click method Click the first file you want to manipulate. While holding down the Ctrl key, click each of the other files you want to manipulate. That highlights all those files. (If you make a mistake and accidentally highlight an extra file, click it again while holding down the Ctrl key, to remove its highlighting.)

Shift-click method Click the first file you want to manipulate. While holding down the Shift key, click the last file you want to manipulate. That highlights the first file you want, the last file you want, and also all files in between.

Ctrl-A method Click the first file you want to manipulate. While holding down the Ctrl key, tap the A key (which stands for “all”). That highlights all files in the folder.

Those methods work best while you’re not running a program. They do not work while you’re running a primitive program (such as WordPad). Those methods sometimes work while you’re running a fancy program (such as Microsoft Word).

After highlighting the files, do this:

If you want to “delete” the files, press the Delete key.

If you want to “send” the files, right-click the first file and follow the rest of my instructions about how to send where you wish.

You’ll discover that the other files magically “tag along” with the first file, because they’re highlighted also.

Erase entire RW optical disk
(not available for tablet)

Here’s how to erase an entire CD-RW disk (or similar DVD disk):

Put the disk into the drive. You see that disk’s window. At the window’s left edge, you see “DVD RW Drive”; right-click it. Click “Erase this disc”. Press Enter. The computer will spend about a minute erasing all files from the CD-RW disk. Then the computer will say “You have erased the files on this disc.” Press Enter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tricks

These tricks will make you a pro and amaze your friends.

Control Panel

To control your computer completely, go to the Control Panel by using one of these methods:

Start-screen method Go to the Apps screen (or Windows 8’s Start screen) and type “co” (which a tablet will let you do after you tap the space left of the magnifying glass). You see a list of programs whose names have “co”. One of them is “Control Panel”. Tap it.

Desktop-screen method Go to the Desktop screen (by clicking the Desktop tile). See the charms (by swiping from the right-hand black border toward the left). Tap the Settings charm then “Control Panel”.

You can see 2 views.

The category view shows you these 8 categories:

System and Security                             User Accounts and Family Safety

Network and Internet                        Appearance and Personalization

Hardware and Sound                            Clock, Language, and Region

Programs                                                  Ease of Access

It also shows subcategories.

The icon view shows you many icons instead, in alphabetical order. The HP shows 52; the Acer shows 53. Here they are:

action center, add features to Windows 8, administrative tools, AutoPlay, Beats Audio control panel (just HP), color management, credential manager, date&time, default programs, device manager, devices&printers, display, Dolby advanced audio (just Acer), ease-of-access center, Energy Star (just HP), family safety, file history, Flash player, folder options, fonts, HomeGroup, indexing options, Intel graphics&media, Internet options, keyboard, language, location settings, mouse, network&sharing center,
notification-area icons, pen&touch, performance information&tools, personalization, phone&modem, power options, programs&features, Realtek HD audio manager (just Acer), recovery, region, RemoteApp&Desktop connections, sound, speech recognition, storage spaces, Synaptics ClickPad V8.1 (just Acer), sync center, system, tablet PC settings, taskbar, troubleshooting, user accounts, Windows 7 file recovery,
Windows Defender, Windows firewall, Windows Live language setting (just HP), Windows mobility center (just Acer), Windows Update

Upgrading to Windows 8.1 makes these changes:

“add features to Windows 8” becomes “add features to Windows 8.1”

“Intel graphcs&media” becomes “Intel HD graphics”

“taskbar” becomes “taskbar&navigation”

“work folders” is added

“performance information&tools” and “Windows 7 file recovery” disappear

The Toshiba shows 50:

action center, add features to Windows 8.1, administrative tools, AutoPlay, color management, credential manager, date&time, default programs, device encryption, device manager, devices&printers, display,
ease-of-access center, family safety, file history, Flash player, folder options, fonts, HomeGroup, indexing options, Intel HD graphics, Internet options, keyboard, language, location settings, mouse, network&sharing center, notification-area icons, pen&touch, personalization, phone&modem,
power options, programs&features, recovery, region,
RemoteApp&Desktop connections, sound, speech recognition, storage spaces, sync center, system, tablet PC settings, taskbar&navigation, troubleshooting, user accounts, Windows Defender, Windows firewall, Windows mobility center, Windows Update, work folders

Here’s how to switch between those 2 views:

Near the screen’s top-right corner, you see “View by”. Click the down-arrow that’s to the right of “View by”. Then click “Category” or “Large icons”.

Pointer trails For your first experiment in Control Panel, play with pointer trails. Here’s how.

Go to the icon view. Click “Mouse” then “Pointer Options” then put a check mark in the “Display pointer trails” box (by clicking there).

To make the trail be long and obvious, make sure the slider is dragged toward the right, to the “Long” position.

The long trail helps you notice the mouse pointer more easily. It’s useful when you’re giving a presentation to a group of people and want to make sure they always notice where the mouse is moving.

If you change your mind, stop the trails by clicking the “Display 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 beyond You can experiment by clicking (or double-clicking) any of the other icons in the Control Panel window, but be careful! If you tell the computer to use hardware you don’t 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.

Finish When you finish playing with the Control Panel window, close it by clicking its X button.

You see the Desktop screen. If you want to see the Start screen instead, press the Windows Start key.

Notepad

Notepad is a stripped-down version of WordPad. Notepad is easier but does less.

Like WordPad, Notepad comes free as part of Windows.

Since WordPad does more than Notepad, most people prefer WordPad rather than Notepad. But sometimes WordPad is too fancy and too complex, and Notepad’s 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. It’s retro; it’s cool! Try it! Here’s how.…

To start using Notepad, do this:

Go to the Apps screen (or Windows 8’s Start screen) and type “no”. You see a list of programs whose names have “no”. One of them is “Notepad”. Tap it.

Make sure the Notepad window consumes the whole screen. (If it doesn’t 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 document’s appearance. Notepad doesn’t save any info about fonts, boldfacing, italics, underlining, font size, color, centering, justification, margins, or bullets; all those features are missing.

The document that’s saved is called a plain-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 plain-text editor.

While you stare at your document (in the Notepad window), which font are you seeing? Here’s the answer:

The font is 11-point Consolas, unless you switch to a different font (by clicking “Format” then “Font” then choosing a different font then clicking “OK”). The font you choose affects Notepad forever (it affects how Notepad displays all documents), unless you switch fonts again.

But when you save your document, no font info is saved as part of the document.

Optional word wrap If you type near the screen’s right edge, and you type a word that’s 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.

Here’s how to request word wrap:

Click “Format”. You see “Word Wrap”. If there’s no check mark before “Word Wrap”, put a check mark there by clicking “Word Wrap”.

No buttons Notepad has no buttons.

Instead of clicking a Save       button, click File then Save.

Instead of clicking an Undo    button, click Edit then Undo.

No drag & drop To move a phrase, WordPad lets you use drag & drop, but Notepad doesn’t understand that; Notepad requires you to use cut & paste instead. So here’s 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).

Keyboard tricks

The following keyboard tricks work while you’re using the Desktop screen and its apps (such as Calculator, WordPad, Paint, Control Panel, and Notepad).

Property window Here are 4 ways to make an icon’s property window appear:

Right-click method Right-click the icon (so the icon’s shortcut menu appears). Then click “Properties”.

Menu-key method Click the icon. Press the Menu key (so the icon’s shortcut menu appears). Then either click “Properties” or press the R key (which is the code for “Properties”).

Alt-double method While holding down the Alt key, double-click the icon.

Alt-Enter method Click the icon. Then while holding down the Alt key, tap the Enter key.

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 While a window is open, try this experiment: while holding down the Alt key, tap the F4 key. That makes the computer click the window’s X button, so the window closes.

Suppose 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. That starts the process of closing the windows and shutting down the computer. Finish shutting down the computer (as best as you can), then try again to turn the computer on.

Help

To get more help about Windows, use one of these methods:

Microsoft Internet method Using the Internet (on any computer), go to “http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/support”.

Acer Internet method Using the Internet (on any computer), go to “www.acer.com/windows8-tutorial”. Then you see help about Windows 8 & 8.1.

Windows 8.1 method At the Start screen on a Windows 8.1 computer, tap the “Help+Tips” tile. Then you see tiles giving you brief help about Windows 8.1 and apps.

Acer tile method At the Start screen on the Acer laptop, tap the “Acer Explorer” tile. Then you see tiles giving you brief help about Windows 8 and apps.

HP tile method At the Start screen on the HP all-in-one computer, tap HP’s help tile (which was called “Using Windows 8 apps” but now is called “Getting Started with Windows 8”). Then you see tiles about different Windows topics; tap your favorite.