The purpose of this document is to serve as a general introduction to the Windows XP environment and is targeted for the new user who needs to know Windows XP basics and file management. It is created with the intent that as users get a better understanding of how their computer works and can maneuver better within the Windows XP environment, they will accomplish their tasks more efficiently and with less frustration.
When you first boot up your Windows XP computer, you will be prompted for a password. Remember that your password is case sensitive. If you are on a local area network (LAN), you will need to enter a valid password for your network user account to gain access to network resources such as network printers.
You MUST shut down your Windows XP computer before turning off the power. To shut down your Windows XP computer, you select Start on the taskbar, then Turn Off Computer. You can either select STAND BY, TURN OFF, or RESTART. Make sure you select Turn Off to completely shut down your computer. Your computer will ask you to "please wait " while Windows XP saves your personal settings. You will be told that it is okay to turn off your computer (unless you have power management enabled).
The typical Windows XP desktop includes the taskbar, objects for browsing local (My Computer) and networked computers (Network Neighborhood), the Recycle Bin, shortcuts for launching applications, documents, and folders.
The Taskbar is usually located on the bottom of the screen. It houses the Start button, clock, and a task button for each active program currently running and each open folder. If you place your cursor in the shaded area of the taskbar without any minimized icons, you can click and drag (see Mouse Techniques for details) the taskbar to any of the four sides of the desktop. You can also change the default settings of the Taskbar by right clicking (see Mouse Techniques) in the shaded area of the taskbar without any minimized icons, selecting Properties and checking off the setting you want, e.g. auto hide which makes your Taskbar disappear until you move your mouse cursor over it.
You can launch most of your applications via the Start button and Start Menu. Most of your applications can be launched by selecting Start, All Programs, then any program name, e.g. Microsoft Word. If an application is saved within a folder, you would launch it by selecting Start, Programs, folder name (e.g. Accessories), then program name (e.g. Wordpad).
You can switch between running applications by clicking on them in the Taskbar or holding down the Alt key, then depressing and releasing the Tab key. If you inadvertently launch multiple copies of the same program, you will find that all the of copies will be grouped on to one particular Tab button. The Tab will display the name of the program and the number of copies of the program that are open. To choose a specific copy, click the Tab button and all of the copies of the program names will pop up. Click the one you want to view and it will be displayed. It's best to close duplicate copies of the same program to free up memory resources.
NOTE: the following definitions are for a right-handed mouse. The functionality of the right and left mouse buttons may be switched via Control Panel, Mouse.
|Click||One fast depressionof the left mouse button||To select an item|
|Double Click||Two fast clicks of the left mouse button||To launch an application or perform the default action on an item|
|Right Click||One fast depression of the right mouse button||To display a menu of common actions for an item|
|No Click||Point cursor at an item||To open a sub-menu|
|Click and Drag||Hold down the left mouse button and move the cursor to another location||Select multiple items; to move a selected item to a different location|
The right mouse button is a valuable tool in Windows XP. It's used to get more information about the selected item or to change some of the features (or Properties) of an item. For example, to find out how much hard disk space you are using and how much disk space is free, double click on My Computer, right click on the C: drive, and click on Properties.
Windows XP comes with very good built-in help menus. Click on the Start button, then Help and Support. Here, you can view help topics , or do a search on a specific topic.
It is highly recommended that you take the 10-minute built-in tour of Windows XP and review the topics covered to get a basic understanding of Windows XP. To access the built-in tour feature, click on the Start button, Programs, Accessories, then Tour Windows XP. You can either play an animated tour or a non-animated tour.
A drive is a device such as your computer's local hard drive (typically drive c:), the diskette drive (drive a: or b:), your CD-ROM drive (typically drive d: or e:) and networked drives (typically drive f: through z:).
The file structure of your computer is like an upside-down tree with the root being the highest level of your drive. Each drive has a root. The root contains folders or directories similar to drawers in a filing cabinet. Each folder may contain other folders or individual files.
The path is the location of a file denoted by the drive, folder, and subfolders. For example, the path "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" shows that the application iexplore.exe is on the c: drive in the Program Files folder in the Internet Explorer subfolder.
A shortcut is a pointer to another object such as an application, folder, document, or printer. You can create a shortcut on the desktop or in any folder. If you delete a shortcut, you are deleting the pointer to an object, not the object itself. If you delete a shortcut to a program, the program's executable file will still remain on the hard drive. You can identify a shortcut by the arrow in the lower left corner of the icon. If you right click on a shortcut, select Properties, then select the Shortcut tab, you can see the path that the shortcut is pointing to in the Target box.
To create a shortcut, follow these instructions:
Formatting a diskette erases all data on the diskette and formats it for use on a PC. To format a diskette, first insert a floppy diskette in your floppy drive. Next, go to the Start menu, click on My Computer, then right-click on the 3 1/2 Floppy (A:) icon. Select Format from the menu that appears.
You can click on the checkbox Quick Format, which erases the files on a previously formatted disk without checking the media. Quick format is faster but it can't be used for brand new, unformatted diskettes. If you do not click on the checkbox quick format Windows will do a full format. A full format checks for bad sectors on the diskette. Click on the Start button to start formatting your diskette.
Insert the source diskette into the floppy drive (3-1/2 A:). Click on the Start button on the taskbar, and then click on the My Computer icon. Right click on the 3-1/2 Floppy (A:) icon then select Copy Disk.
In the following window, click on Start to begin the disk copying process.
Windows Explorer displays the hierarchical structure of files, folders, and drives on your computer. It is a convenient tool to copy, move, rename, and search for files and folders. To run Windows Explorer, click on the Start button on the taskbar, go to All Programs, then Accessories, and then click on Windows Explorer. You may wish to create a shortcut to Windows Explorer on your desktop. (See the above section on Shortcuts).
The left pane of Windows Explorer shows the drives and folders. The right pane displays the files and folders within the selected folder. In the image below, The Local Disk (C:) is selected in the left pane. In the right pane are all the folders located in the Local Disk (C:).
Also, in the left pane of the Windows Explorer window, you can click on the plus sign (+) to expand the folders to see all the files/folders contained within that folder. Clicking on the minus sign (-) will collapse the folder.
In the left pane of Windows Explorer, click on the drive or folder in which you want the new folder created. In the right pane, right click on an open area, and select New, Folder. A new folder is created with "New Folder" as its default name. Enter the name you want to call the new folder, and press the Enter key.
In the right pane, click on the file you wish to copy. Right click on the selected file, and drag it to the left pane over the folder in which you want to copy the file. Release the right mouse button. Select Copy Here, Move Here, or Create Shortcut Here from the pop-up menu. If you create a copy of a file in the same folder, Windows gives the copy a default name such as "Copy of readme.doc."
In the right pane, click on the file you wish to copy. Hold down the Shift key, and click on the file at the end of the range you wish to copy. Release the Shift key. Right click on the highlighted range of file names, and drag it over to the left pane over the folder you want to copy the files to. The destination folder should become highlighted, then release the mouse button. Select Copy Here or Move Here from the pop-up menu.
To copy (move) files in a non-contiguous range, do the same as above except hold down the CONTROL key, and click on each file that you wish to copy (move) to the same destination.
There are several ways to do this. The easiest way is to right click on the object. Select Rename from the pop-up menu.
Another way is to click on the name of the object. A box will appear around the highlighted file (or folder) name. Type in the new file name, and press the Enter key.
Click on the object once to select it, then press the Delete key. The object goes to the Recycle Bin and stays there until you empty the Recycle Bin. Right click on the Recycle Bin, and select Empty Recycle Bin to permanently delete the object. Note: objects deleted from a diskette are not saved in the Recycle Bin.
To retrieve a deleted file or folder from the Recycle Bin, right click on the Recycle Bin, select Explore, click on the file you wish to retrieve, and drag it to the desktop (or other desired location). You can also right click on the file and select Restore and the file will return to the directory that it was in before it was deleted.
There are alternative methods for manipulating files within Windows Explorer. For example, you can click on the C: drive, and click on File, New, Folder to create a folder. You can click on a file name, then click on File, Rename to rename a file. You can right click on a file, select Send To and (A:) to copy a file to diskette. You should find out which method works best for you.
Check the Taskbar for the programs that are currently running on your computer. You should close (click on the X at the upper right) all duplicate instances of the same program to free up memory.
If your application should "hang" (keyboard or mouse does not respond), hold down the CONTROL and ALT keys, then depress and release the DELETE key. You will get a menu of the tasks currently loaded in memory. Highlight the application that hung (usually the one that is marked "not responding"), and click on End Task. You can usually unload the application gracefully without having to reboot your computer.
Files deleted from your local hard drive will be saved in the Recycle Bin until you empty the Recycle Bin. To empty the Recycle Bin, right click on Recycle Bin, and select Empty Recycle Bin. If you need to recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin, right click on Recycle Bin, and select Explore. You should move the file from the Recycle Bin to another folder on the hard drive (for example, click and drag the file in Recycle Bin, Explore to the desktop).
It's best to empty the Recycle Bin from time to time as deleted files saved in the Recycle Bin actually take up more hard disk space than if they were in a regular folder. But remember, once the Recycle Bin is emptied, you can NOT recover the deleted files. Also, files deleted from diskettes are not saved in the Recycle Bin.
If the document was created recently on your computer, launch the application you used to create it, and select File. Windows remembers the last nine documents you opened by default. If you remember the file name or part of the file name but not its location, click on the START button, Search, and Files or Folders. On the menu on the left side, select All Files and Folders. In the Look In box, select (C:). In the All or Part of Name: box, enter the file name, and click Search. Windows will list all instances of the file if it finds any matches. If you know part of the file name, you can enter it in A Word or Phrase In the File: box.
Finding a "Missing" Document
If the document was created recently on your computer, launch the application you used to create it, and select File. Windows remembers the last nine documents you opened by default.
If you remember the file name or part of the file name but not its location, click on the START button, Search, and Files or Folders. On the menu on the left side, select All Files and Folders. In the Look In box, select (C:). In the All or Part of Name: box, enter the file name, and click Search. Windows will list all instances of the file if it finds any matches. If you know part of the file name, you can enter it in A Word or Phrase In the File: box.
In Microsoft Word, the default location to save your document is the My Documents folder. To save your document in a different folder, click on the yellow folder with the up-arrow to browse one level up, on the left side click on the yellow folder with the * to get to your Favorites folders, or click the yellow folder with a yellow * on it (on the toolbar) to create a new folder. The Save In: box shows the current folder. Note: if you use Corel WordPerfect, your default folder for saving documents is My Files. You may use either folder but it's best to create a folder for each project and save your documents in their corresponding project folder.
In Microsoft Word, the default location to save your document is the My Documents folder. To save your document in a different folder, click on the yellow folder with the up-arrow to browse one level up, on the left side click on the yellow folder with the * to get to your Favorites folders, or click the yellow folder with a yellow * on it (on the toolbar) to create a new folder. The Save In: box shows the current folder.
Note: if you use Corel WordPerfect, your default folder for saving documents is My Files. You may use either folder but it's best to create a folder for each project and save your documents in their corresponding project folder.