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Now, let's talk about the word Desktop. This word already came up once at the beginning of this course but in reference to the type of computer of you maybe using, as in laptop or sesktop. But that's not the only use of the word Desktop when it comes to you computer terminology. Another meaning of Desktop refers to what we were seeing on screen right now, this vast empty blue area. Now the Desktop is in realty just another folder on your computer. It happens to be the folder you see most often and it's always open, unless it's completely covered by another window. But if you can see even just a tiny portion of your Desktop, you can drag flies out of other folders on to the Desktop and move them there.
And the Desktop can be a very convenient place to store commonly used files or even recently downloaded files. So, for example, I am going to open up a program called Notepad, which comes installed on Windows, and is found by going to the Start menu > All Programs > Accessories and here you find Notepad. You will get into opening and ysing applications in a later chapter, but for now I just need to run an application to demonstrate how to use the Desktop. So in this blank document I am going to type To Do, so I have a to do list.
Groceries, Laundry and Car Wash. And I will probably continue adding to this list throughout the next few days, so I want to make sure it's stored in a convenient place. I am going to choose File > Save, and a window opens up prompting me to name my file and choose a location on my computer to save it. Here in the File name field, which is already highlighted for me, I am just going to call this To Do. Notice one of my choices here is Desktop, which I select, and then I will click save. And then notice the file called To Do has immediately appeared on my Desktop.
This is the file I just saved, so if I close the To Do list that I am looking here in Notepad, I can open it again by double clicking the dile's icon and there it is. So that's just a quick example of using the Desktop to keep a file. Now as I previously said, the Desktop really is just another folder in your User folder. In fact if I open my User folder by clicking the Start menu and then clicking my name, you will see the one folder here is called Desktop and if I opened it up, sure enough, there is my To Do list file. I close that Window, but I can still get to my file right here on the Desktop.
Now the Desktop is a very convenient place to store files you frequently use, but many people use that as kind of a dumping ground of all sorts of files they have accumulated and they really go through in and clean it up. But having cluttered computer Desktop is a lot like when your real desk is cluttered. It can be very difficult to find things and work efficiently. And when it comes to your computer Desktop, having tons of files on it really can slow down your computer's performance. So it's a good idea to occasionally look through all the files on your Desktop and figure out if you still need to keep them there, or if you can move them into one of your other folders in your User folder, or even if you can just throw them into your Recycle Bin, which we will look at later in this chapter.
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