Join Jeff Van West for an in-depth discussion in this video Some Windows basics, part of Windows Vista Essential Training.
This is a movie for people who are new to Windows or maybe you're not all that comfortable with Windows yet. Maybe you're not all that comfortable on a computer yet. You wanted a quick review. We assume a certain level of facility with computers in Windows here in most of these movies but wanted to give a baseline just to get everybody up to speed, on the same page. So here's the Windows Desktop. A lot of people are familiar with this Everything is done pretty much by clicking, clicking with a mouse, and clicking on keys with your keyboard. So first Windows tip, in general, if you're wondering what happens when you click, bring your mouse over that item, whatever it is, and you'll see a little pop-up a tooltip over most things. Click this button.
You'll show the whole Desktop. Click here. Well, this is where we start. Its called the Start menu, and there's a movie on the Start menu. A click on the menu and things pop up. That's what happens when you click. Right now my cursor is over Internet, and it's kind of highlighted in the background. That means this item is, for the moment, selected, and selected is another thing that happens with Windows or with any computer program. I click, I'll now get Internet Explorer, and we have some movies on Internet Explorer, in fact a whole chapter.
But again, if I want to enter some information, I need to have something selected. I need to tell the computer when I start typing where are these characters, these letters going to go. And right now, if I start typing, they're going to go right over about:blank. Because it's selected, if I click with my mouse somewhere off on the side of the screen, about:blank is not selected. Now if I start typing www.lynda.com, nothing happens. I go up and click. I've now placed my cursor inside about:blank.
Now if I start typing www.lynda.com, I'm going to have a problem because my words are going right in the middle of about:blank. Another thing with the mouse and the cursor. If I take my cursor, and that's that little I-shaped item, and I'm holding down the left-mouse button as I drag across, I'm selecting things. And now that all those words are selected, if I go to www. lynda.com, (typing) hey, there I am.
Guess I was able to type it in an click Return. If I wanted to Google something, I would have to click to place my cursor, and I could Google my own name by typing it in there. So I've got lots and lots of options, but I need to understand this concept of placing my cursor and selecting an item. I'm going to come down to that Start menu again. Click on the Start menu. There are only two programs, e-mail and Internet open for me, but a lot of people want more than that. So if you click on All Programs, there are a lot more programs on the computer all placed right here for you.
Like say, Windows Media Player. You wanted to listen to some music. We could have that running. But a lot of times we don't want to actually go open the program. We're trying to work with files. We want to figure out how to get somewhere and do something. So I'm going to go to my Home directory here where my documents are. We'll talk about this in chapter 4. And I'm just going to go pick this. This is a magazine I edit for pilots. If I wanted to open a particular program, what I would do -- you saw I did some clicking real quick and you probably heard the clicking in the background.
It's such second nature. I hardly think about it anymore -- but I should say if you want to open a folder, we would double-click or click twice, one, two, and that folder would open up. If I wanted to go back up to where I was before, this little back button, and here I've come back. If I want to open a particular file, like say my screen version here, if I double-click something that's not a folder, it's a file double-click, it opens up. Ahhh, but there's more than one way to do things in Windows, and in, well, just about any operating system. Let me go back.
I'm back over at the folder again and I want to open up a different file. This is the same kind of file. It's a PDF file but this is what comes back from my proofreader. I could double-click but I'm just going to single-click once. You see how it's highlighted in the background. This is something that's selected. When it's selected, this means whatever I tell the computer to do, do it to that file. And something we'll talk about again are these options at the top. Here's Open with Adobe Reader. I click the program and hey, I've got another one open. I'm going to go back.
Let's suppose I want to open it yet a different way. Remember I said there's multiple ways to do things. Let's try a single-click again to select. You see how it's highlighted in the background. I'll do a right-click. Yes, that's that other button on the mouse, the one on the right side of the mouse. You often click it with your middle finger as opposed to your pointer finger. And then I'll get a menu of items. You'll see that one of them is in bold. That's the default item. What does that mean? That's what the computer does if I double-click. So if you're ever wondering what's going to happen when you double-click, well, you could just try it or you can do a right-click and see what's bold on this list.
But then I have a whole bunch of other options. Maybe I want to go directly to printing it. Maybe I want to cut it out of this folder and put it in another folder. Maybe I want to rename it to something else. I can click Rename and type a new name. Again, see the logic here. Soon as I said Rename, it was selected, and I could go ahead and rename it. Now this isn't going to work. I'm just going to show you this for a second. Suppose we call it "howdy." And I'll get an error, it says the file's in use.
Do I want to try again or stop trying to do what I'm doing? Again, as a general sort of Windows thing, you will see errors come up at times and you'll often get options. I bring this up to show you another default. You see how Try Again, it's kind of highlighted and it's got this border, if I were to hit the Enter key on my keyboard, it would try to rename it again. That's the default action. If instead I want to cancel, I'm going to have to click on Cancel or, again, multiple ways of doing things, I could use the arrow keys on my keyboard.
There's Right arrow, now Cancel has been highlighted. If I hit Enter on my keyboard, it will cancel the action. There's Left arrow, back to Try Again. The Tab key will do the same thing. So they are many, many options or, of course, I could just click Cancel. You saw me go down to this taskbar, and we'll have a movie about the taskbar, but these are all the programs that are running on my computer and I can click to any one of them that I want to to go to that program. Furthermore, if I want to make that program go away and it's in front, I can click on the taskbar again, and it will be go right back down to the taskbar.
Be minimized, it's called. This same action is done with this small button at the top of the screen and there is that tool tip I mentioned. Click Minimize. The opposite of minimize, maximize. I'm going to take this and I want it to fill up the whole screen. And now it's filling up the whole screen. I can't see anything else unless I either use the taskbar, and that one's now maximized, or click again Minimized. Or if I go up and I can minimize the program Or I could go back to where it says Restore Down and go back to a window that has other windows visible around it.
All of these windows can be resized by dragging one of the corners. And again, a little tip about Windows in every operating system, watch that cursor. You see how it's changing shape? That's telling me what's going to happen when I try to click or drag. We'll talk about some of the fancy things in Windows for changing around programs, but you should know that besides the taskbar, there are all kinds of fun keys. One of the old Windows ones is called Alt Tab and you can zip through in Alt Tab.
We can switch to another program. There's also a fun new one in Windows Vista where you can see all the programs. We'll talk about that in chapter 3. Also with Maximize and Minimize, something I forgot, if you want to minimize everything. Remember back at the beginning we had this Show Desktop button. Click that. Everything goes away. Another way to minimize everything, I'm going to click a bunch to bring them back up on the screen is on the keyboard. There are a whole bunch of keyboard shortcuts and I'll bring them up through these movies as they come up.
The Windows key on the keyword. Windows+D, D for Desktop, is a quick way to quickly get everything out of view. While we're talking about the keyboard shortcuts let me maximize this window. One of the great things about Windows is that you can do almost everything without taking your fingers off the keys. Look at the Menu bar at the top of the page. You know, where it says File, Edit, Document, Tools. Suppose we wanted to go View, Zoom and zoom to a particular level, maybe 25%.
We're going to zoom way out. I can do it all with the keys just by going Alt. Now look how the V is underlined. I'll hit V. Look how the Z is underlined, Z. Now there's a Z underlined on the Zoom To, Z. And there's Fit With. Now with my arrow keys, because this is a pulldown list. I can set the magnification up and down. I haven't touched the mouse at all. I can also the use the Tab key to cycle through the options of buttons I can click.
See, OK has a little ring around it there. Cancel does. Back to 10%. So OK has that ring. If I hit Enter, we just zoomed to 10%. How about that? All off the keyboard. Some of the more modern programs take us a little bit further and look a little weirder. Let me double-click. I'm using my scroll wheel on my mouse. When your mouse is in a particular window that has a scroll bar, you won't have to scroll with the mouse.
You can just roll over and scroll with the scroll wheel. If I wanted to scroll in this window, I'd click once in that window. Scroll here. Again, to open a program, we double-click. Now again, this is going to look kind of weird. I'm going to be able to do things with just the keyboard. I'm hit Alt on my keyboard and now you see a bunch of letters pop up here. If I wanted to insert something, it would be N. And now you can see we've got all different things.
Bookmark would be a K, insert a header would be H and so forth. If I ever want to get out of that mode, I just hit Escape, Escape until all the letters go away. Another kind of universal one since we're here in Word. People use it a lot. I'm going to click in front of this word. People know that you can use your arrow keys to move side to side. If you hold down the Shift key, you'll select with your arrow keys as you move side to side. If you hold your Control key, you'll jump whole words with each click. And guess what? If you hold your Shift and Control key you'll jump whole words -- I'm going in the opposite direction now -- jump whole words and select.
Guess what happens if I hold Control, Shift, and go up and down. I select whole paragraphs or just select Shift and go up and down, I select whole sentences. So it goes on and on and on. If I want to let go of that, I can just click anywhere and I deselect. So, a lot can be done in Windows with a keyboard which is a really cool thing to know. Let's minimize all again. Head back down. Last but not least, if you're done with a program, you can hit the little X in the corner, Close.
And now that program has been closed. If we had done some work on these programs, we should get a warning that says, "Hey, are you sure you really want to close this because you have done some work. You want to save it before you close it?" And it'll give you an option to save the program before you close. So, Windows is helping you out. It's keeping track of you here. A couple other good Windows basics just to understand what's going on, let's go to some pictures here. And these are just a bunch of pictures that I loaded onto this computer to demo for folks. Here are some pictures recently from the house where I live.
I'm going to maximize now so we can have the whole screen. And we have a bunch of kids' aikido class taken at the dojo. If I want to see one of these pictures, you remember for an item, I can double-click and the program will open up. That's the default program for watching. If I wanted to see what that program was or what the default was, I single-click and here Preview at the top of the screen, that is the default for that action. But there are some other ways to select that you need to know. I'm going to hold down the Shift key on my keyboard and I'm going to come down to home023, and I'm going to click.
Now I clicked on home013, it was selected held down Shift and clicked on home023, and everything between those two files was selected. So I was able to get the whole list. And now I go up and hit Preview. Here are all of those pictures and I can cycle through them. And this is Windows Photo Gallery which we'll have a movie on, and it will come right back around to the beginning. It's only the ones I selected.
Well, that's great Jeff, but what if I want 013 and I want 015 and I want 016? Well, that's okay. If I try Shift, it's going to catch 014 in there because it gets everything in the line. If instead I take 013 -- now I'm going to hold down Control and click again -- I've selected another item, Control, selected another item, now I've only gotten those three items on there and not anything else. This is kind of a generic Windows thing. It works in all sorts of things. You could be in a Word document and select three discontinuous words by double-clicking one word, holding Control, double-clicking another word.
It works for files. It works for folders. It's a really handy thing to be able to have and you can combine these. There's home013, Shift key, home022, Control key. I'm going to deselect 020, 018, 017 and 014, and I've taken out those items. So remember that Shift-click and Control- click, gives you a whole bunch of cool options. I'm going to try Restore Down again just so I can see part of the Desktop. I still have these items selected.
There's something about dragging in Windows which a lot of people know. I want to take these out to the Desktop, and I just moved them to the Desktop by dragging. When I did that, there are the items, all six of them, but they are no longer in my Pictures folder. Aaah! Did I want to do that? I'm not sure I did. Can I undo that? Control Z on my keyboard, undo. That's a very handy Windows thing and it moved them right back to where they needed to go.
But what if I wanted to move a copy of them to the desktop? Let me just take home013 here for a second. This is also a generic Windows thing. When you want to copy something you've selected, hold down the Control key and drag. See the plus sign? This means I'm not going to move it to my Desktop. I'm going to copy it to my Desktop. And the little pop-up in Vista here is helping me know that that's what I'm doing. I'm going to let go and now I have two copies of home013. Again, this works inside a Word document. You want a copy of a whole paragraph? Select it, drag holding the Control key.
These are generic items that should work through most of your Windows experience. Last but not least, if I want to throw something away, I'm done with it, I can drag it to that Recycle Bin. And we'll have a whole movie on the Recycle Bin itself. So there you go. We've got a bunch of the very basics for Windows. It's now time to delve into what's really new about Windows Vista and hopefully this will give you just the kind of grounding you need so you can follow along.