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In Computer Literacy for Windows, author Garrick Chow walks through the skills necessary to use computers comfortably, while improving learning, productivity, and performance. This course focuses on the Microsoft Windows operating system and offers a thorough introduction to computers, networks, and computer peripherals such as printers, digital cameras, and more. In addition, basic procedures with software applications, the Internet, and email are covered.
Applications are the programs your computer runs and in which you spend most of your time when on your computer. Generally, an application is any piece of software used to accomplish a task, whether that task is writing a paper, composing music, printing a digital photo, playing a video game, browsing the web, or checking your email. There are countless applications for countless purposes. Some applications come preinstalled on your computer like the web browser Internet Explorer and the basic word processor WordPad. And you acquire other applications either by purchasing them on an installation disc at a traditional store or, more and more these days, you can buy and download applications over the web from software company's website.
Once you've purchased your applications, from a store or downloaded them over the Internet, you follow instruction to install the software on your PC. You then be able to find the applications you install by clicking the Start button and then choosing All Programs. And as you can see I have quite a few applications installed on my PC. Some of them are tucked away in folders which when clicked will reveal those applications and others are just sitting here in the main All Programs view. To run an application, just click its name.
So now my web browser Safari is running. I can tell it's running, first of all, because I see its window here but I can also see its icon in the area at the bottom of the screen called the taskbar. In Windows all running applications icons appear in the taskbar. So for example, I will go back to the Start menu and I am going to go into All Programs > Accessories and I open up the Calculator application and I'll also come in here All Programs > Accessories and open Notepad. And you can see that each application's icon appears down here in the taskbar.
So while you can have multiple applications running simultaneously, in order to actively use any particular application it has to be the front most or active application. When you click an application's icon, you bring it to the front of all the other applications. But if you click the icon of an application that's already in the front, in this case Calculator, you minimize the application. And the application is still running, as indicated by its icon being in taskbar, but it's just tucked out of the way. Clicking its icon again will bring it back. Minimizing applications can be very handy if your screen is getting cluttered while you're trying to work.
So for example, if I would, wanted to work with Safari and I didn't want my Calculator and Notepad in the way, I could just click their icons to temporarily hide them. But when I wanted to bring them back I just click them again. And for the most part Windows 7 is very good at managing multiple running applications at once. But if you're done working in a particular application, you might just want to quit it so it's no longer running and taking up any attention from your computer. In just about all applications, you can click the X button in the upper right hand corner of the window to close the application. If an application has multiple windows open, you might have to close all of them before the program quits completely.
As long as the program's icon no longer appears in the taskbar, you know you've quit the program. So the only program I have running right now is Safari. Now, if you find that you use some applications more than others, and that's going to be the case for just about anyone, it's convenient to do what's called Pinning the application to the Start menu or to the taskbar. For example, I browse the web with Safari every day and I don't want to have to click the Start menu > All Programs and find Safari to open the browser each time I want to run it. If I can just close it here. So I follow the path again, All Programs > Safari, and what I am going to do here is right-click Safari.
Notice that two of the choices that open up in this menu are Pin to Taskbar and Pin to Start Menu. Pinning to the Start menu means Safari's icon will appear when you click the start button and you can see it's right there. I can click that once and open Safari. So launching Safari that way is reduced to a two-click process. Yu click the Start menu and you click Safari. Go ahead and close that. I am going to right click Safari again. So our other option is Pin to Taskbar, meaning that the icon will appear in the Taskbar and will always be visible and available.
So if I choose that, you can see its icon appears in the taskbar and now opening Safari is a one-click process. Any time I want to open it, I just click its icon and it appears. So now I can run Safari without having to navigate through a series of menus. I suggest doing this for the three or four applications you use most frequently. If you ever change your mind about this, just right click on the icon and you can choose Unpin this Program from the Taskbar and I can do the same thing in the Start menu here. Right-click on it and choose Unpin from Start Menu to remove it.
So there is your primary on what applications are, where to find them and a couple of tips for being more efficient when it comes to locating and running them.
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