Windows Basics

For Seniors
Volunteer Instructor: April Edmonds
8/24/2009

Windows Basics
Introduction

Course Objective: This course is a basic overview of windows. You will be
introduced to windows, windows usage, and given the opportunity to become
more comfortable with technology.

Parts of Windows
This is an example of the Windows XP desktop. When you first turn on your
computer and Windows XP loads, it will look similar to this example.

This is commonly known as the Desktop. The desktop refers to the main
screen of your computer. You can customize your desktop in various ways,
including adding a background picture, changing the background color, and
changing the size of the icons on the desktop.
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The common features of the Desktop are the taskbar, start button, icons
and a task tray.
Task Bar: Colored bar at the bottom of the window. This tells you what
programs you have open.
Icons: An icon on your computer screen represents an object or a program
on your hard drive. By double clicking an icon, you can open the program.
Icons are one of the fundamental features of Windows that make the
desktop more friendly than having to enter text commands.
System Tray

The system tray displays icons for programs that are loaded

into memory, although not all programs place an icon in this tray. Common
system tray icons are the clock, anti virus, sound, and Internet connection.
Recycle Bin: When you delete a file or folder in Windows, it is placed in the
Recycle Bin. If you accidently delete a file, you can restore it from the
recycle bin.

Desktop Colors and Screen Saver:

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1. First right click once on the desktop and then left click once on
Properties from the menu that appears.
2. The Display properties dialogue box will appear left click once on the
Desktop tab as shown below.
3. Left click once on the Screen Saver tab.
4. Left click once on the Settings tab to change the screen resolution.

Start Menu and Programs
This is an example of the start menu:

This is
called the
Start

The start menu is used to start programs. Programs are software tools
which helps you do useful or entertaining things like write letters, browse
the Internet, send email, track expenses, and play games. Programs are also
referred to as applications.

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This is an example of the start and programs:

This is an example
of Programs.

The common features of the program Window are minimize, maximize,
exit, title bar, scroll bar and menu tool bar.
Left click twice on the blue icon with the “e” for Internet Explorer to start
your browser program.

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Min.,

Title Bar

Max.,
Exit

Menu Tool
Bar

Scroll
Bar

Minimize

Maximize

Exit

Minimize: The minus sign in the upper right hand corner of the windows will
minimize or hide the window. This button is used to temporarily resize the
window to move it out of the way. When it is minimized, it stores the window
in the task bar at the bottom of the screen. To make the windows large, you
simply click on the button in the task bar.

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Maximize or Restore: Middle button in the upper right hand corner of the
window will maximize or restore you window to full screen or reduce the size
of the window.
X: the X button in the upper right hand corner closes the window.
Menu Tool Bars: Below the title bar is the area called the menu tool bar.
The tool bar is specific to each program.
Title Bar: Colored bar at the top of your window. This tells you what
program you are currently using.
Scroll Bar: Allows you to scroll or move up and down the page.

Exercise to practice minimize, maximize and exit:
1. Using your mouse, left click twice on one of the icons on the desktop.
2. Left click once on the Minimize Button.
3. Left click once on program button on the Task bar.
4. Left click once on Maximize button.(this should make the window
smaller)
5. Left click once on Maximize button. (this should make the window
larger)
6. Find the scroll bar, left click once and hold. Move the scroll bar up and
down on the screen.
7. Left click once on X button.

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Exercise to practice finding programs:
1. Using your mouse, left click once on the Start button in the lower left
hand corner.
2. Left click once on Programs.
3. Left click once on Accessories.
4. Left click once on Calculator.

5. Minimize your calculator. (Notice the button on your Task Bar on your
main windows screen)
6. Using your mouse, left click once on the Start button in the lower left
hand corner.
7. Left click once on Programs.
8. Left click once on Accessories.
9. Left click once on WordPad.

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Exercise to practice Menu Tool Bars:

Menu Tool Bars: Below the title bar is the area called the menu tool bar.
The tool bar is specific to each program.

Keeping WordPad open:
1. Left click once on File or using your keyboard use Alt plus F (Alt + F).
2. Practice looking at the menu tool bar commands by left clicking once on
Edit, then View, then Insert, then Format, then Help.
Menu
Tool Bar

3. Exit WordPad by left clicking once on the X in the upper right hand
corner of the window.

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Need extra computer time?
The Leon County Library has computers are available for public use during
regular library hours on a first come, first served basis. Each patron is given
2

one hour sessions on Internet computers. Printing is available and shall be

limited to a reasonable amount.
The Tallahassee Senior Center has computers available for seniors use
during regular hours. For additional information call: 891 4000.
Additional Resources
Computer History

http://www.computerhistory.org/

Local Library – http://www.leoncountyfl.gov/LIBRARY
Technology Dictionary

http://www.techterms.com/

References:
2007. Stuur, Addo. Windows XP for Seniors. ISBN: 978 90 5905 044 0.
Http://visualsteps.com

Resources provided by the Tallahassee Senior Center Computer Lab.
2002. City of Seattle. Training Manual – Seniors Training Seniors in Technology.
Retrieved August 1, 2009, from http://www.seattle.gov/tech/seniors/toc.htm Special

thanks to City of Seattle for allowing permission to use content from their Seniors
Training Manual series.
2009. Windows XP Tutorial

The Windows XP desktop & icons. Retrieved August 23,

2009, from http://www.helpwithpcs.com/courses/windows xp tutorial desktop.htm

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