Windows 10 Coming Soon
Tips & Tricks
Windows Forum
Course Index
Home   Courses   Seminars   Templates   TechHelp   Fast Tips   Forums   Help   Contact   Join   Order   Logon  
Windows 110 Handbook
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost   15 years ago

This is the full text listing of one of our handbooks. There is a lot more to this handbook. The full-color screen shots have been removed for this page. This text is simply provided so that the search engines will index the course contents. This is so any customer searching for a topic can find what class it's covered in. If you are interested in more about information about our courses, click here for our complete course listing. For details on how to purchase a handbook, visit our handbooks page.

Microsoft Windows 110
Course Handbook Supplement

By Richard Rost

Published By
Amicron Computing
PO Box 1308, Amherst NY 14226 USA

First Printing 12/6/2004
Copyright 2004 by Amicron Computing
All Rights Reserved


Welcome to Microsoft Windows 110.

This handbook is designed to be a supplement to the full 599CD video course for Microsoft Windows 110. We recommend you use this handbook to follow along with the class videos. This handbook is not meant as a stand-alone study guide.

We do recommend that you watch the course videos one time through, paying attention to the lessons covered. Follow along with the course videos using this guide. Take notes on the pages where needed. Then, watch the videos a second time, practicing the examples yourself on your computer.

Table of Contents

Welcome 2
Table of Contents 2
Introduction 3
Getting Started 4
Logging On 6
Start Menu Tour 10
Starting a Program 13
Using a Window 18
Playing Solitaire 25
Windows Menus 34
Help System 40
Customizations 1 45
Customizations 2 50
Shutting Down 57
Review 59


Welcome to Microsoft Windows 110, brought to you by I am your instructor, Richard Rost.


Windows 101: Intro to Computers
Hardware v. Software
Understand Parts of a Computer
Know the parts of a keyboard & mouse
Know the terms click, double-click, click-and drag
Know how to turn your PC on

Objectives for today’s class:

Learn about Windows
Parts of the Windows Desktop
Tour of the Start Menu
Starting a Program
Using a “window”
Playing Solitaire
Window Menus & Dialog Boxes
Some Friendly Customizations
Shutting Down

The class follows Microsoft Windows 101: Introduction to Computers. I strongly recommend that you watch all previous classes before you start with this class.
Getting Started

Let’s get started today by making sure your computer is turned on and running. Take a moment to locate the power switch on the front of your computer and on the individual components of your computer system: your computer tower, monitor, printer, and so on.

We talked about this in Windows 101, but we just want to remind you at this point not to use a power strip to turn the individual components of your computer on and off. This can actually damage your computer components. It’s okay to have your stuff plugged into a power strip, just don’t use the power button on the strip to turn your computer on and off.

What is Windows XP?

Windows XP is an “operating system.” It’s a piece of software that runs on your computer that allows you, the user, to interface with the computer hardware.

Let’s talk for just a moment about the history of Windows.

Before Windows, there was DOS. DOS stands for Disk Operating System. MS-DOS is Microsoft’s Disk Operating System and it wasn’t very easy to use. In fact, in order to use the computer, you had to know cryptic commands that you had to type at the keyboard. It wasn’t very fun at all and only computer geeks like me knew how to do anything.

Windows brought to the computer a graphical user interface – allowing people to point and click at objects on the screen using a mouse. You don't have to know all about the different versions of Windows. Each version of Windows is unique in its own way, but they all have much in common. After completing this course, you should be familiar enough to find your way through any version from Windows 95 on up.

What’s New in Windows XP

For those of you who’ve been using Windows 98, ME, or any of those older versions of Windows, you’re going to find that Windows XP is much more reliable and secure than older versions. You’re going to find fewer system crashes and lockups. There’s a new user interface and color scheme. There’s a lot of new multimedia and networking features. Setting up a small network for example, is a breeze now. And Windows XP has increased hardware & software compatibility. You’re going to find that most new components are recognized automatically – so adding things like a scanner or printer is very easy to do in Windows XP.

Windows XP Pro v. Home

There are two versions of Windows XP currently on the market. Windows XP Home Edition is fine for most users. Even if you’re in a business, Windows XP might still be the right choice for you especially if you’re in a small office or if you’re on a small network or no network at all. Windows XP Pro is really for power users and for corporate users that are on a big network. The professional version basically adds a lot of security. However, there is one feature that you might find handy even if you are a home user, and that’s something called remote desktop. Remote desktop allows you to access your computer from pretty much anywhere in the world from over the Internet. For those of you who are familiar with a program called, “PC Anywhere” that allows you to log into your computer remotely, that feature is now built into Windows XP using Remote Desktop. If that’s something you feel you would benefit from, you might want to go with XP Pro.

But aside from that, the test basically is if you’re going to be on a big network, go with Windows XP Pro. If not, Windows XP Home might be the choice for you. The difference is not the same as it used to be, where you had Windows 98 and then Windows NT that were technically two completely different operating systems. Windows XP Pro and Home are the same operating system. It's just that the Home edition has fewer features.

Logging On

Let’s get started by logging on to our Windows XP system. Now depending upon how your system is set up, you may see this log on screen. Here, you click on your User Name in order to log on to Windows. Generally, if you have Windows XP Home edition, this is the screen you'll see.

If you have Windows XP Pro, or if you have a network setup, you may see a log on window like this, asking you for a username and a password. This is information that will be supplied by your office computer person. Enter in your username and password, and click on the OK button to log on to Windows.

Once you’re logged on to Windows, the first thing you'll see is a big screen that looks something like this. Most copies of Windows XP are shipped with this default backdrop. That is called the Windows Desktop. Pretty much everything is going to sit on top of this Windows Desktop.

One of the things that’s going to sit on top of the Windows Desktop is the Recycle Bin. The recycle Bin is called an icon. Now in older versions of Windows, there were many more icons on the screen: My Computer, My Documents, etc., so if you familiar with the older versions you might be wondering where they went in Windows XP. Don’t panic - I’m going to show you how to put them back on the desktop in a little bit.

But if you're new to Windows, you may only see one icon sitting on your desktop, and that’s the Recycle Bin.

Down on the bottom of the screen, you’re going to see a big blue bar called a Task Bar. The Task Bar is where programs that are running, are going to show up.

Over to the far right-hand side of the task Bar is a Notification Area. We’re going to talk more about the Notification Area in a little bit. Users, who may be familiar with Windows 98 or older versions of Windows, may be wondering where that system clock went that shows you the time. We’re going to show you how to turn that on in just a few minutes. The Notification Area is generally where little messages will pop up and tell you things about different programs that are running.

Of course, over to the far left-hand side of the Task Bar, is our Start Button. This Start button is going to have all the different programs that are on our system.

Now depending on how your computer is configured by your computer vendor, you may see a thing called a Quick Launch Bar which shows up just next to the Start Button. This Quick Lunch bar may have some icons on it that will allow you to run different programs. We’ll teach you how to access this Quick Launch Bar in a future class if you don't have it on your machine right now.

Start Menu Tour

Let’s take a minute now and take a quick tour of the Start Menu. Go ahead and take your mouse, and using the left mouse button, click on the Start Button. That will open up the Start Menu. Immediately, you’re going to see a whole bunch of buttons. It may be a little intimidating, but don’t worry about it. It’s real easy to find your way around the Start Menu once you know what you’re looking for.

At the very top of the Start Menu, you’ll see the name of the user that’s currently logged on to Windows. In this case, I’m logged on as “Administrator.” On the upper left-hand side of the menu, you’ll see icons for Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Windows XP Tour and so on. These are different programs that you can run. For example, Internet Explorer will get you on the Internet. Outlook Express is used for checking email.

In the upper right-hand corner, you’ll see some different folders. For example, My Documents, My Pictures, and My Music. These are different folders that you'll store information in. For example, if you write a letter, you’ll store it in My Documents. We'll talk more about this in a future class.

Just below those folders, you’ll see My Computer. We're going to look more at My Computer in just a minute. But for those of you who are familiar with earlier versions of Windows, like Windows 98, this is where they put My Computer. It’s on the Start Menu now. In a few minutes, I’m going to show you how to take it from the Start Menu, and put it on the Desktop where it belongs.

We can use My Computer to get to see all the different things in our computer, like the hard disk drive (C:\ drive), our floppy disk drive, all the different folders and files on our computer.

Down below My Computer, you’ll see the Control Panel, Printers and Faxes, Help and Support, and a whole bunch of other buttons that we’re not going to go into right now. But these are different icons that let you control different aspects of windows.

At the bottom of the Start Menu, you’ll see buttons to Log Off and to Turn Off your computer. Logging off simply means going back to the to Log On screen to someone else can log on to the computer. One of the nice things about Windows XP, is that it will save all of the different settings for all the different users of the computer. For example, if you want to have different programs on the machine with different start up icons and a different background color, those will all be saved for different users. So you and Mom and Dad can all have different settings on the same computer. That’s what Log Off will do. It will log you off so someone else can log on and have all their own settings.

Turn Off Computer will actually shut off the computer. We’ll show you how to do a proper shut down at the end of class.

Depending upon how you’re connected to your system, you may see the word Disconnect, instead of Turn Off Computer. For example, I’m connected to a Windows XP network connection using the Remote Desktop that we talked about earlier. So my Start Menu says Disconnect instead of Turn Off Computer. That will basically disconnect me from this system.

In addition to all the different icons and folders I’ve shown you on the Start Menu so far, there’s one more we have to talk about called All Programs. If you take your mouse and hold it over All Programs, it’ll pop up another window that will have many more different icons and folders on it. These different icons and folders will give you yet more things to do with Windows XP. And all the different programs that you install, like Microsoft Word or Excel, will show up on the All Programs menu.

For those of you who are familiar with Windows 98, you used to click on Start, and then Programs. Well now it’s just called Start, All Programs. They just simply re-titled it. Most of it however, looks the same. And you can access these things by simply pointing to them from the Start menu.

Starting a Program

Let’s now learn how to start a program using the mouse. Take your mouse and move it over the Start Button.

Using the left mouse button, click once on the Start Button. This will open up the Start Menu.

Take your mouse and move it up and to the right until it’s over My Computer.

Now, again with your left mouse button, click once on My Computer. Here, we’ve opened up the My Computer program. My Computer is basically a gateway to your computer system. Inside of it you’ll see your hard drive, your floppy disk drives - all kinds of different folders and other information. We’re going to talk more about My Computer later in this class and in future classes.

For now, let’s just close My Computer. To close My Computer, find the red X button in the upper right-hand corner, and click it once using the left mouse button.

Now opening and closing My Computer, wasn’t very difficult, what it? Let’s try something a little more challenging.

Again, let’s click on the Start Button. This time, take your mouse and just point to All Programs. You don't have to click on it – just point to it. Now move your mouse straight to the right and then up to Games.

While you’re still pointing at Games, go straight to the right so that you’re on the next popup menu and then come down to Solitaire. If you keep in mind that you have to make 90-degree turns, you’ll be all set.

When you’re hovering over Solitaire, go ahead and click. That will open up the Solitaire game.

Now take your mouse and click on the X in the upper right-hand corner to close Solitaire.

Now this is an optional topic, but I like to show people how to start a program using a keyboard as well. This funny looking key on your keyboard is called the Windows key. We can use this Windows key to open up the Start Menu and to navigate it using the keyboard. If you don’t have a Windows key on a really old keyboard, you can substitute CTRL+ESC for the Windows key. Hold the Control key down and press Escape. Most newer machines made within the last five or six years have a Windows key.

When you press this button, the Start Menu will pop up and you can use your arrow keys to move around on the Start Menu. When you find the icon that you want to get to, hit the Enter key and that will open up the program that you want.

Programs that you use on a regular basis will show up on the left-hand side of the Start Menu.

To shut down a program using the keyboard, hit ALT+F4 on your keyboard. Hold down the ALT key and press the F4 key.

The mouse is what you’re going to use 90% of the time. But it’s nice to know how to do this with the keyboard just in case your mouse isn’t working or you have your keyboard on your lap and you don’t feel like reaching for the mouse. Knowing what the Start button on the keyboard is for will help you get a little more familiar with Windows.

While we're talking about opening programs, go ahead and take a minute now to open the Tour Windows XP Program. This is a multimedia program that will take you through some of the features of Windows XP.

Using a Window

Let’s take a moment now to talk about the different parts of a window. A window is essentially a box that opens up on your screen. And most windows have the same components. For example, most windows have a Title Bar. The title bar is the blue bar that goes across the top o f a window. And it generally has the name of the program on the title bar; in this case, My Computer.

Most windows also have Maximize, Minimize, and Close Buttons in the upper right-hand corner. We’ll talk more about maximize and minimize in few minutes. We’ve already seen how the close button works.

Most windows have a Menubar – across the top and under the title bar. It generally has File –Edit – View - and other different menu options on it.

Toolbars (or button bars) generally come next and these have different buttons on them that do different tasks.

Some windows have an Address Bar that tells you where you currently are.

Most windows will have a Scroll Bar that will let you scroll up and down inside of a window.

Some windows, like My Computer, have a Quick Links area that has different tasks on it you can access quickly instead of having to poke around in different windows.

So let’s see how to use a window. Let’s go ahead and open up our good old friend, “My Computer” again. Click on the Start button in the left-hand corner of our window. Move your mouse up and to the right until you find My Computer. The click on My Computer with the left mouse button. Let’s see how we can move this window across the desktop.

If I want to take the My computer window and move it to the right, all I have to do is take my mouse and move over the title bar. Click and hold the mouse button down and drag it to the right. You’ll notice the outline of the window moves to the right. As soon as I let go of it (take my finger off the mouse button), the My Computer window moves there. You may also see the whole window move across the screen without the outline (depending on how your computer is configured).

To put it back where it was, just click on the title bar again, and drag it to the left, and let it go. That’s how you move a window across the screen.

If I want to resize this window to make it bigger or smaller, I can move my mouse pointer over the edge of a window. Notice how my mouse pointer has changed from a pointer to double-arrow.

I can now click and drag and resize the window to make it wider. You can do that over any of the edges: the top and the bottom. You can even click and drag the corners to resize a window.

Now here are two buttons on the title bar: the minimize button and the maximize button that you’ll get a lot of use out of. The minimize button will put any window on the Task Bar.

Notice that My Computer shows up on the Task Bar.

If I click on the minimize button, the window disappears and goes completely down to the Task Bar.

How do I get it back? Well move your mouse down and click on My Computer on the Task Bar, and the window pops back up (or restores to its normal size).

To maximize a window is to take a window and fill the entire screen with it.

If I click on the maximize button, the My Computer application takes up the entire screen. Over on the right-hand corner of the title bar, notice the maximize button has changed to a Restore button. The restore button will take a big maximized window and turn it back in to a normal sized window.

So now we know how to minimize a window to the Task Bar, to maximize a window to a full screen, and to close a window.

One of the handy things about the Task Bar is if we have multiple applications running, like Solitaire, and we also have My Computer open, notice how they both show up on the Task Bar. And I can flip between them simply by clicking on their icons.

And of course if you’re in the middle of playing a game of Solitaire, and the boss walks in, what do you do? Well, you come up to the Task Bar and click on the minimize button and Solitaire hides itself on the Task Bar (but of course, I didn’t teach you that.)

Playing Solitaire

Now it’s time to have some fun in class! We’re going to play game of Solitaire. Why play Solitaire? If you’re new to a computer, Solitaire is the perfect practice for using a mouse – but you have to do it the way that I’m going to show you.

It’s much easier to show you how to play it than it is to try and explain it. But essentially, you’re going to get a stack of cards in the corner. And you have to arrange these cards alternating in colors (black and red) in stacks down at the bottom.

The ultimate goal is to get them all up top, starting with the Ace and continuing on down with each suit.

So let’s go ahead and play a game of Solitaire. Click on Start. Go to All Programs. Go straight to the right and up to Games. Move straight to the right and down to Solitaire. Go ahead and click on Solitaire.

Here we are inside of Solitaire.

Now the first thing that you want to do is take a look across the bottom and see if any of these cards can go on top of one another. I have a red 5 that can go on top of the black 6. So I’m going to click on the 5 and drag it and drop it on top of the 6.

That will let you practice your drag and drop.

Now I’ve got a card that I can flip over. So I’m going to click on that card. That will give me a queen.

Now over on the right, I've got a red king. So I can click on the queen and drag it over to the red king.

You want to try to move the cards around on the bottom as much as possible. Do I have any more cards I can move around? Yup – right here. I have a four that can go right on top of the five. So I’m going to click on the four and drag it over on top of the five.

Then I’ll flip the other card over to show another king.

As you can see, this is a perfect practice for clicking and dragging. So spend some time with Solitaire to practice your techniques. Now I have no other cards on the bottom row that I can move to another one so I’m going to click on my deck of cards up top.

There’s a jack that I can’t use. So I’m going to click again. There’s a five that I can use. And I'm going to continue clicking through the cards until I can find something I can use. There’s a queen!

So I’m going to click on the queen, and drag her to the black king on bottom.

Now depending upon how Solitaire is set up, you can make it one card up top or you can make it three. I’m going to click on the deck again. There’s a two, a four, and I’ll continue clicking through the cards until I can find one I can use. There’s a nine! I can drag the nine down to the ten.

I can now take the eight and drag it down also.

Essentially, you want to keep adding cards to the bottom row as necessary until you find an ace. When you find your first ace, you can put it up on the top row. And there it is! The next card that I flipped over just happened to be an ace. Now here’s the catch. If you’ve played Solitaire before, this might change the rules for you.

If you have a card that goes on top, I want you to double-click on it. Do not click and drag it.

Double-click the ace card. It’ll jump up top. That’s how you can practice your double-click.

Now that I’ve got the ace of clubs up top, I can double-click the two of clubs and it will jump up top. You can click and drag things down on the bottom, but I want you to double-click to get stuff on top.

Now I can flip the card on bottom to show a five and continue my game.

The next card that I flipped over was the ace of hearts so what am I going to do? I’m going to double-click on it and there it goes – up top!

I’ve got another ace! So I’m going to double-click on it.

I’m going to take the red seven and put it down on top of the black eight.

And now I can take the six and drag it on top of the seven.

Flip the other card over. As you can see, it’s really just moving cards around. Not a very hard game at all and quite enjoyable.

Okay, I’ve played a bunch more and now I’ve reached the end of the deck up top and I've got this green circle. What does that mean?

If I click on the green circle, it puts my cards back facedown so I can continue back through the deck again. Now depending on how you have Solitaire configured, you may not see a green circle. You may see a red X, and that means you’re done and you lose. But we can keep going.

Heading back through the deck a second time, I have the two of hearts that can go on top of my ace. So I’m going to double-click it.

Windows Menus

One of the reasons why I love showing people Solitaire is because it allows me to show window menus. Menu bars, drop down menus and a whole bunch of other different features that are in Solitaire. They illustrate a lot of the important features that you’re going to find in just about any Windows application.

So I’m done with that Solitaire game – it’s a bust. I want to start a new game. How am I going to do that? Notice on the menu bar there are two options. There’s Help, and there's Game.

Go ahead and click on Game. That’s going to pull down a menu (that’s why they call them pull down menus) of different options. If I move my mouse over them, I can select one of these options. I’m going to select Deal.

That’s re-dealing the cards and I can continue on playing a new game.

I can double-click on the ace and it goes up top.

One thing that I didn’t mention in my last class is that if you have a king on top a set of card, you can drag it to a blank spot.

You can then continue to play. Take the queen and drag it to the king and so on.

Another nice feature that you’re going to find on the menu bar is Undo. Let’s say that I take this four and put it on the five below. Then I realize that Oops! I didn’t want to do that. Well I can’t just grab the four and bring it back up top. That doesn't work. Solitaire just throws it back down on the bottom.

Instead, you can click on Game, and then Undo. Undo basically undoes your last action. It will put the four back on the pile for you.

Another nifty feature is Game, and then Deck....

This is called a dialog box. Dialog boxes are basically little menu windows that asks you for some input and then moves on. For example, this dialog box is asking you what kind of a card deck do you want. I can pick a design and either click OK (This will allow you to change the way your cards look) or Cancel. Ok will take my choice and process it. Cancel won’t change the card design at all.

Clicking a card design and then OK will changes the look of the back of your cards.

Now dialog boxes aren’t’ always this simple. Let’s click on Game and then Options....

This dialog box is a little more confusing but it’s not that tough if you know what to look for. The first thing I want to show you is where it says Draw. It says Draw One and Draw Three. Those little round buttons are called radio buttons and they allow you to select one or the other. The box around them indicate that they are an option group. I’m currently set to one which means I’m going to draw one card at a time. Some solitaire players prefer to draw three. Select the Draw Three option and click OK.

When I go to draw a card, I get three of them. But I can only use the one on top.

Let’s go back to Game and then Options... so we can put it back to Draw One. Over on the right-hand side is an option group for Scoring: Standard, Vegas, or None.

That’s how the score is kept. If you look at the bottom right-hand corner, you’ll see that Solitaire can keep score. You’ll also notice the time.

Here is a box with a check mark in it. That's called a checkbox. It says Timed game. If I check that box off, Solitaire will no longer time the game.

Now checkboxes are different form option groups. Checkboxes are yes or no values. You click it and the value is either yes or no; on or off. Likewise, you can also turn the status bar off. The status bar is the white bar at the bottom of the screen.

The Outline dragging option means that instead of dragging the full card across the screen, it only drags the outline of the card.

So go ahead and change the options that you like, and then hit okay. A new deck will start. Notice that my status bar is gone across the bottom and I’m ready to play the next game of Solitaire.

Notice also on the Game menu, there's an option for Exit. This is the same as clicking on the close or X button in the upper right-hand corner. That will close Solitaire down. Notice also the F2 on the Deal menu item. Some menu items have keyboard equivalents next to them. In this case, F2 on the keyboard will do the same as Deal. So if I’m playing the game, and I hit F2, a new game will start.

Many popular menu items will also have keyboard equivalents associated with them. To find out what they are, just open up the menu.

Help System

Most Windows applications also have a help system built in that will give you instructions on how to use the program. Let’s take a look now as Solitaire's help system. To find the help system, click Help on the menu bar. You’ll see different options pop up: Contents, Search for Help on..., How to Use Help, About Solitaire. Let’s click on Contents.

Here is Solitaire's help system. You can see over on the right-hand side, the Solitaire overview. Over on the left-hand side, there are different little books that have different help topics next to them.

If you click on Solitaire, it opens up the Solitaire book and different help topics appear. When you click on a topic, the information on the right-hand side changes.

Notice how the information on the right-hand side goes down beyond the bottom of the window. There’s too much stuff to fit in the window. This is the perfect opportunity to learn how a scroll bar works. Over on the right-hand side, we have a scroll bar. There’s an up arrow, the scroll bar itself, and a down arrow. To move the scrollbar down, you can click on the down arrow. This will move the windows down a little at a time.

You can also click on the up arrow to move back up a little at a time. If you want to move down a lot at a time, you can click in side the gray area.

You can also click right on the scroll bar itself, hold it down, and drag it up or down depending on where you want to go.

You’re going to find the scrollbar in many different windows. Some windows even have horizontal scroll bars.

Now notice over on the left-hands side, we have three different tabs : Contents, Index, and Search.

Contents is pretty much like a table of contents. The index is an index of all the individual topics that are in the mailbox.

The search tab will let you search for keywords. For example, I can type in the keyword, “time” and click on the List Topics button. When I click on the Display button, the information will display on the right.

You can come into any help system and get this type of information. So if you’re using a program that you’re not familiar with and you want to see how it works, see if there’s a help system available on the menu bar. Most applications will have some kind of a help system.

If you’re poking through the help system, and you want to go back to the last topic that you’re reading, you can click on the back button. If you’ve used the World Wide Web before, the Back button works just like the back on a web browser. It will take you back to the previous topic. The Forward button will take you to the topic you were reading before you hit the back button.

Let’s go ahead and click on the X to close down the Solitaire help system and that will bring us back into the Solitaire game.

Customizations 1

I’d like to take a moment now to teach you how to customize a couple of things. If you’re familiar with an older version of Windows like Windows 98 or Windows 2000, you know that Microsoft used to put a bunch more icons on the desktop. With Windows XP, all you get is the Recycle Bin. Personally, I like to see these icons on the desktop. So I’m going to show you how to take icons off of the Start Menu and put them on the Desktop. We’re going to create something called a shortcut.

The first icon that I like to put on the Desktop is the My computer icon. Let’s click on the Start Menu and let’s find the My Computer icon.

Using the right mouse button, right-click on My Computer. That will bring up a pop up menu. In Windows, right-clicking on something generally brings up a popup window. On this pop up window, come down and click Show on Desktop. That will make the My Computer icon show up on your Desktop.

Now you can see the My Computer icon is now on the Desktop where it belongs.

Let’s put another one of my favorite icons on the desktop: the My Documents folder. Let’s click on the Start button and find My Documents.

Right-click on My Documents to bring up the pop up menu. Then click Show On Desktop. Then you can see the My Documents folder on the Desktop.

In addition to My Computer and My Documents, you can put pretty much anything you want on the Desktop. Let’s say for example you want to put Solitaire on your Desktop. Let’s go ahead and click on Start. Right-click on Solitaire. You’ll notice there’s not option to Show On Desktop. Not all of the icons have this option. So here’s what you have to do.

Right click on Solitaire, hold your mouse button down and drag and drop it to your desktop

When you drop it, a little menu appears. Your options are Copy Here, Create Shortcuts Here, or Cancel. Select Create Shortcuts Here.

That will create a shortcut to the Solitaire icon. A shortcut is basically an icon that points to another icon. Now I’m going to click the Solitaire shortcut, and drag it up to my other icons.

Another icon that I like to place on the Desktop is a shortcut to Internet Explorer. I use Internet Explorer all the time so I’d like a shortcut to it on my Desktop. Click on the Start button and find Internet Explorer way up top. Again, we’ll need to right-click on Internet Explorer, hold the mouse button down and drag it to the Desktop.

When we let it go, we’ll get a pop up menu. Click on Create Shortcuts Here.

And there is our shortcut for Internet Explorer. While we’re going about putting shortcuts on our Desktop, let’s take a moment to arrange our shortcuts. Let’s drag our Internet Explorer shortcut underneath the Solitaire shortcut. And while we’re going this, let’s go get the Recycle Bin and put it underneath these guys.

Come over to the lower left-hand corner of the screen and click on the recycle Bin. Hold the mouse button down and drag it over to the left with everybody else! Now my icons are in a nice straight column.

Now what if you decide you don’t want one of these anymore. Let’s say I decide I don’t want Solitaire on my desktop. To get rid of it, just click it and drag it right on top of the Recycle Bin. Then it goes away. That’s what the Recycle Bin is for. Anything you don’t want anymore, just drag it and drop it onto the Recycle Bin.

Now we can take the remaining icons and rearrange them. My icons are nice and neat just the way they should be.

Customizations 2

One more customization I’d like to show you today, is turning on your System Clock. In earlier versions of Windows, Microsoft put a System Clock on to show the time in the bottom right corner of the Task Bar. In Windows XP for some reason they decided not to do this. So I’m going to show you how to turn the System Clock on and how to set its time.

Here we are at the bottom right-hand corner of our screen. Notice on the Task Bar, you’ll see a little icon. That icon is for Windows Messenger. I want you to right-click somewhere in an empty area on the Task Bar.

That will bring up a pop up menu and I want you to click on Properties.

This brings up the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties.

Down at the bottom, you’ll see Show the clock. I want you to click on the check box next to Show the clock. You’ll see from the picture that a clock pops up. Click OK.

And there’s our System Clock!

You might want to change the clock, like the date or the time. How do we do that? Well, right-click on the clock, and go to Adjust Date Time.

Here, you can set the date and the time. Drop down the month by clicking on its down arrow. You can then pick a month like June.

You can either click in the text box where the year is displayed and type in a year, or you can use the little up and down buttons to change the year. Those are called “spinner” buttons. Up will go up a year, down will go down a year.

To change a day, you can simply click on a day.

To adjust the time, you can click in the text box and type in the time, or you can use the spinner buttons to go up and down accordingly. If you wish to change your time zone, click on the Time Zone tab.

Then, click on the down arrow to select your time zone.

There’s also an Internet Time tab and your computer will automatically try to synchronize your system clock with an Internet time server as long as its box is checked and you have a time server selected.

When you’re all done, simply come down and click OK.

There’s one more customization I’d like to show you. I personally don’t care for the blue and green themes that Windows XP has. I like the old classic Windows look myself. So I'm going to right-click somewhere on the Desktop. A pop up menu will appear. Select properties.

The Display Properties window appears. The first tab says Themes. You can click on the Theme drop down and select from the different themes available.

Windows XP is the theme with the clouds and the grass and the colorful buttons. I’m going to click on Windows Classic. This is the traditional look and feel for Windows.

Now that we’ve got this theme selected, I’ve going to come down to the bottom and click OK.

After a moment, you’ll see that Windows has reverted to its classic look and feel. If I click on the Start button, it looks a little closer to what it used to look like back in Windows 2000 or Windows 98.

You can see the icons on the Desktop have changed slightly.

And you can see that the System Clock is back to its good ol’ look and feel. I feel much more at home now that I have Windows XP looking like Windows 2000 or Windows 98, which I’m more familiar with.

Shutting Down

Now let’s talk about shutting down your computer. Shutting down your computer is very important. You just can’t hit the power switch to turn your computer off. If you do, you may possibly damage Windows, which means you may have to have your computer serviced.

Shutting down your computer is pretty easy to do. It only requires a few seconds. If you’re working on something on your computer, make sure you save your data, close down any applications that you currently have running, and then do a Shut down form the Start menu.

Let’s go ahead and click on the Start button. The Start Menu appears. Let's go ahead and click on Turn Off Computer.

You will see a screen with two or three of the following buttons. There’s Stand By, Turn Off, and Restart. Turn Off will shut the computer off. If you have a newer computer, this will actually turn the power off. If you have a fairly older computer, it will give you a screen saying It’s now safe to turn off your computer.

Restart will perform what’s called a Reboot. It will shut the computer down using software and then restart it again. That’s handy if you want to restart the computer because of programs misbehaving or if software you installed says you need to restart the computer.

You may also have Stand By. Stand by will be on new computers or laptops and basically puts the computer to sleep even though it's still running.

One more thing we need talk about is Activating Windows. After you purchase your computer or a copy of Windows XP, Windows has to be activated. Essentially, Microsoft wants to cut down on piracy (people copying Windows and giving it to their friends or family members). If you don’t activate Windows, it will shut itself down. All activating Windows requires is that you connect over the Internet or call Microsoft over the phone to key in an activation code.

Windows does this automatically. If it’s not activated already, Windows will prompt you. Activation does not send any personal information of yours to Microsoft.


Let’s take a moment now to review what we covered in class.

· We learned a little bit about Windows XP
· We learned how to log on
· We learned about the Desktop, the Task Bar, the Start Button
· We learned how to use the Start Button and the Start Menu to access programs with both the mouse and the keyboard
· We learned how to close a window with the X button
· We learned how to maximize, minimize, and restore windows
· We learned how to move and resize windows
· We learned how to play Solitaire to practice using the mouse
· We learned how to create shortcuts on the Desktop
· We learned how to shut down the computer
· We learned a little bit about Activating Windows

Tell us what you think. Log on to www.599CD/Survey and take a short survey about this course.

RICK’S NOTE: I really do enjoy getting surveys from you! Make sure you visit the web page above and fill out the survey for this class. Let me know if I’ve moved too fast, and whether or not I covered material that was helpful to you!

Take your skills check quiz at www.599CD/Test. If you pass, you can print out a Certificate of Completion.

What’s next? Visit www.599CD for our complete list of Microsoft Windows courses.

Need Help? Visit www.599CD/TechHelp for Microsoft assistance.

Make sure you’re on our Mailing List. Go to www.599CD/Mailing for details.

What’s New? Visit www.599CD/WhatsNew for a list of what’s been added.

Contact Us. If you have any questions, go to www.599CD/Contact for information on how you can contact us by phone, email, or live online chat.

This course, handbook, videos, and other materials are copyright 2002, 2003, 2004 by Amicron Computing. All rights reserved. No portion of this course, handbook, videos, or other course materials may be reproduced, copied, edited, or otherwise distributed without the express written permission of Amicron Computing. Amicron Computing shall not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this document.

This document may not be used as part of a training course without express, written permission from Amicron Computing and the purchase of an Instructional License. For details, contact:

Amicron Computing
PO Box 1308
Amherst NY 14226 USA

Start a NEW Conversation
Only students may post right now. Click here for more information on how you can set up an account. If you are a student, please LOG ON first.

You may want to read these articles from the 599CD News:

1/11/2022Windows Fast Tips
12/9/2021Windows (8) Beginner 1
12/9/2021Windows (XP) 201
12/9/2021Windows (XP) 121
12/9/2021Windows (XP) 120
12/9/2021Windows (XP) 110
12/9/2021Windows (XP) 102
12/9/2021Windows (Vista) 102
12/9/2021Windows (Vista) 101
12/9/2021Windows (XP) 101

Access - index
Excel - index
Word - index
Windows - index
PowerPoint - index
Photoshop - index
Visual Basic - index
ASP - index
My Account
My Courses
Lost Password
Student Databases
Change Email
Latest News
New Releases
User Forums
Topic Glossary
Tips & Tricks
Search The Site
Code Vault
Collapse Menus
Customer Support
Web Site Tour
Consulting Services
Affiliate Program
Richard Rost
Free Lessons
Mailing List
Video Tutorials
Learning Connection
Idiot's Guide to Excel
Volume Discounts
Payment Info
Terms of Sale
Contact Info
Support Policy
Email Richard
Mailing Address
Phone Number
Fax Number
Course Survey
Blog RSS Feed    Twitter

YouTube Channel    LinkedIn
Keywords: windows handbook  PermaLink