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Windows 121 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 121
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 121.

This handbook is designed to be a supplement to the full 599CD video course for Microsoft Windows 121. 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
Accessories 4
Notepad 14
WordPad 20
Paint 31
Other Accessories 44
Review 55


Welcome to Microsoft Windows 121, brought to you by I am your instructor, Richard Rost.

Objectives for today’s class: Windows Accessories

· Calculator
· WordPad
· NotePad
· Paint

The class follows Microsoft Windows 101 and either 102 or 110 and Windows 120. I strongly recommend that you watch all previous classes before you start with this class. We will be using Windows XP in this class, but the lessons in this class are really common to all versions of Windows.

The class website for this course is /Windows/121


In this lesson, we're going to begin learning about the Windows Accessories. What are Accessories? Why are they in Windows? We'll take a minute to learn one of the basic accessories called the Calculator. And we'll learn about one of the coolest things in Windows called the QuickLaunch Bar.

What are the Accessories? Well if you click on the Start button and come up to All Programs, you'll see a folder called Accessories.

Here are all the different Accessories.

We're not going to be able to cover all the Accessories in today's class, but we're going to cover a couple of the big ones - the ones you might actually use from time to time. Some of the stuff in here, you might never use.

Now why does Microsoft include these Accessories with Windows? Well Windows by itself doesn't really do a whole lot. Remember that Windows is the interface between you and your computer's hardware. It's your operating system. So the Accessories are an attempt to give you some extra stuff - some things to do in case you don't have any other programs.

Now on this computer, you can see I've got Excel, Word, and some other programs. But these programs don't come with Windows. If all you have is Windows and you have to say, write a letter, you can't use Microsoft Word unless you bought it separately.

So in that case, we can go into our Accessories folder, and we can use a program called WordPad (which comes with Windows) to write our letter. As you'll see in a few minutes, WordPad is a scaled-down version of Microsoft Word. It does the job, but it lacks some of the bells and whistles that Microsoft Word has. That's Ok. You don't necessarily have to go out and buy Microsoft Word if all you're doing is writing some simple letters here and there.

If you want to be able to create some simple graphics and pictures, you can use something called Paint. Paint again, doesn't have all the bells and whistles of professional graphics software-editing software like PhotoShop, but it'll get the job done in a pinch.

So in this lesson, we're going to take a look at some of the more popular Windows Accessories. Let's take a look at a real basic accessory called Calculator. Click on it now.

And here is the handy-dandy Windows calculator.

You can either use the calculator by taking your mouse and clicking its little buttons and it works just like a standard desktop calculator.

You can also use the keyboard. Just make sure your NumLock key is on. If you remember from our Windows Basics class, the NumLock key will convert your numeric keypad from tying in numbers to using arrow keys. So make sure your NumLock is on to type in numbers. When you're done with entering numbers and operators (+, -, *, and /) you can press the Enter key (the same as hitting the Equals sign).

Hitting the Escape key on your keyboard will clear it (the same as hitting the C button on the calculator).

You can also use the Backspace key to get rid of characters you might have accidentally typed in.

Aside from that, it works like a basic standard calculator.

In case you've never used the Memory buttons before, we have Memory + which will take the number displayed and place it into memory. MR is Memory Recall, which brings back what's in memory. MS is for Memory Store in case you want to store a number into memory and then add more to it. MC will clear the memory.

Other buttons are the Square Root button, Percentages button, and the 1/x button.

The neat thing about he Windows calculator is that you're not limited to just basic calculator functions. Come up and click on the View menu and then click on Scientific.

Now you've got the standard Windows calculator on steroids! It's got tons of different scientific features. I'm not going to go over all the different scientific calculator functions now - but if you're familiar with scientific calculators and you know how they work, here are most of the functions that you could possibly ever use.

For example, one of the things that I always use is the x^y function. I can take a number and raise it to the yth power. 5 x^y 3 will give me 125.

There are logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, and Boolean logic and all kinds of stuff in here. For now let's switch back to the standard calculator because that's the one you're going to use most often.

Now one of the things that make the Accessories so easy to use is their accessibility - being able to get to them quickly. How do you get to Calculator now? Well we have to click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, and then over and down to Calculator. That's several steps.

As we've learned previously, we can make a shortcut to the calculator on our Desktop. We can do that by simply right-clicking on the calculator and dragging it over to the Desktop.

Remember that? Right--click and drag, and drop it, and click Copy Here. That will make a copy or a Shortcut of the Calculator icon right on the Desktop.

But there's an even better way to keep the programs that you're using on a regular basis at hand. And that's something called a QuickLaunch Bar.

Now how do I get to the QuickLaunch Bar? Well the QuickLaunch Bar by default is inactive in Windows, but we can turn it on.

So come down to your TaskBar and right-click in the big gray empty part. Come up to Toolbars, and then click Quick Launch.

This appears. That's the QuickLaunch Bar. By default, I've got a couple of different icons on here: Internet Explorer, Microsoft Outlook, and Show desktop.

The arrow button opens up the rest of my icons.

I have more stuff on here, but I can't see it because the toolbar is locked. We need to unlock this toolbar so let's go ahead and right-click again somewhere on the big gray area. Click the Lock the Taskbar item to turn it off.

Now we get a slider that will let you resize the bar around.

All right, what have we got here? Well these are one-click buttons to get to your most popular Accessories or other programs that you use. Now you can take any shortcuts that you want and put them down on the QuickLaunch bar. Let's take Calculator and move it on to our QuickLaunch Bar. All you have to do is click on it and drag it down to the QuickLaunch bar and just let it go.

I've now placed a button for my calculator on my QuickLaunch Bar.

I can now click on it and open up Calculator.

Now you might not want some of this stuff down here. Let's say you don't want Microsoft Outlook on your QuickLaunch Bar. Just right-click on it and select Delete.

No - it doesn't delete the program, it just deletes the shortcut to it. You'll get this window:

For now, click on Delete Shortcut and you can see that its icon is gone.

The Show Desktop icon is a real handy button. If you've got several things open and your Desktop is totally hidden, you can click Show Desktop button, and it will minimize everything that's open and put you at your Desktop.


In this lesson, we're going to learn about another accessory called Notepad. Notepad is a basic text editor. Let's take a look at Notepad.

Let's go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, and then Notepad.

Notepad is one of those Accessories that I use all the time so let's create a shortcut to it on our QuickLaunch Bar. We should be able to grab it right from the Start Menu. I'm going to right-click it, hold the right mouse button down, drag it down to the QuickLaunch Bar, and let it go. I'll select Copy Here.

When you do that, you'll see a little tooltip that pops up and it says that Notepad creates and edits text files using basic text formatting. It's a text editor. It's not a word processor.

I'm going to click on Notepad.

Notepad is good because there's no formatting. So the documents (text files) that you'll create using Notepad can basically be used by any computer. Whether you've got an older version of Windows or DOS, you can share text files. Even people who might be using a Mac can open up the basic text files.

I'm going to type in some information and save it as a "reminders" file right on my Desktop. Normally I would click on File and then Save. But I'm just going to close it. Notepad will ask if I want to save the changes.

It's going to ask me where I want to save it. Since this is just a reminder, I'm going to save on my Desktop.

And I'll come down to where it says, File name: I'll type in "reminders" and I'll hit Save.

And there it is sitting on my Desktop! If I want to see it, I can double-click on it and open it up.

Will your Desktop clutter up? Yes it will if you start saving tons of Notepad files on your Desktop but that's actually a good thing. Because usually these are things you need to do and it gives you a chance every day or two to go through the little files on your desktop and clean them up.

Notepad has all the basic features that a text editor needs. File - New creates a new document. Open opens an existing document. You can hit Save to save it - Save As to change the file name. Page Setup gives you some basic formatting. And Print will let you print out your reminders.

It has basic Cut, Copy, and Paste functions... Find and Find Next.

Under Format, there's Word Wrap.

If you turn Word Wrap off, the text will continue to scroll out past the right side and you'll have to use your scroll bar at the bottom to see it all. Sometimes when you're editing large documents, you might want to turn the Word Wrap off.

You can change the font but it doesn't have font formatting like a word processor. This font change here let's you change the font for the entire document, and it's just for your benefit. It's not going to print that way or look that way for whomever looks at your file.

And there are some other options. You can view the menu bar and see the help options. Basically, Notepad is a real scaled-down text editor.


In this lesson, we're going to learn about WordPad. WordPad is a basic word processor that can take the place of Microsoft Word in case you don't have it. If you want to write a letter or documents that has a professional look to it, you want to use a word processor.

Let's click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, and WordPad.

Let's create a shortcut to WordPad on our QuickLaunch Bar. Right-click it and hold the right mouse button down. Drag it to the QuickLaunch Bar. Let it go and click Copy Here. There's WordPad!

Let's open it up and see what it looks like. As you can see, it looks like a basic word processor and it has a lot of the features that Microsoft Word has but it's a little bit scaled down.

WordPad has a standard interface. It has a menu bar across the top (File, Edit, View, etc.). We have our standard toolbar. We have our formatting toolbar that we can use to change fonts. We have our ruler bar that shows you exactly on the page where you are. And of course we have our blinking cursor or insertion point.

Let's go through real quick and write a simple business letter. At the very top, let's type in our return address.

If you want to make the company name a little snazzier, we can do some basic text editing and changing of fonts. What's the font? Well the font is the way that the text looks. We can click and drag the mouse over the company name. That will highlight it.

Right where it says Arial, we can drop that box down and scroll down this big list of fonts and pick Times New Roman.

And that changes the way the text looks.

Here's the font size.

Right now it's at 10pt. I can increase that to 14pt. See how it's gotten bigger? See the changes in the font?

Next to the font size are font scripts. Don't worry about these for now.

Over at the very left, we have Bold, Italics, and Underline. We also have Color, Align Left, Center, and Align Right.

After making the company name bold and red, you can see the changes.

Let's hit the Enter key a few times for some blank lines. (If you hit enter too many times, you can just hit backspace to delete them and put you back up a line.)

Let's type in who we're addressing this letter to and the date. At this point, you might need to scroll down in order to type some more.

Let's continue on with our letter. While you're typing, you'll notice that WordPad will wrap a continuous line. There's no need to hit the enter key when you get o the end of the line unless you want to force a new line, like when you're at the end of a new paragraph.

Now I'd like to put some bulleted items in here. If you'll look on your toolbar, there's a bullet button.

When you click on it, it will put some bullets on your document. Each time you press enter, a new bullet will appear. Press enter twice to stop the bullets.

Let's end our letter.

Let's go ahead and save our letter now (click on the little Save button on the toolbar). Where are we going to save it? We can save it under the My Documents folder.

Let's create a new folder by clicking on the Create New Folder button.

If you click on this button, you'll get a new folder.

This whole thing is a Save Dialog box and it's available for almost every application. Let's change the folder's name to WordPad Documents.

We can now double-click on that folder to save our file in that folder.

Now notice it says File name: Document.rtf. What's that? RTF is Rich Text Format. Let's take a look at the types of files that WordPad is able to save as.

Rich Text Format is a step up from basic text format. Basic text is what Notepad used - just letters and numbers basically - no formatting. Rich text allows us some formatting (fonts, font sizes, colors, bullets, etc.).

Let's give it a filename letter for open house and hit Save.

If you want to print this thing, you can click on the printer button, or you can click on file and then print.

You can also get a Print Preview to see what the document will look like before you print it. Let's click on that button.

You can zoom in and see the margins. You can print from here or you can click on the Close button to go back into WordPad.

There are some very basic Page Setup options. Click on File and then Page Setup. From here, we can change our paper size, the paper source, portrait or landscape (which flips the page), and you can change your margins. The changes you make will show up in the preview up top. When you're all set, hit Ok.

When you're ready, you can click the Print button. It will ask you what printer you want.

There's also a basic Find feature if you want to look for something. You can click on the Find button.

It will ask you what you're looking for. Match whole word only will look for an entire word (instead of words with parts of the word in it) and Match case will look for a word that matches the case of a word.

Hit Find Next to begin the search. Hit it again and it will find the next instance.

And of course we have our basic Cut, Copy, Paste, and Undo that we've seen before. WordPad again, is a basic word processor that you can use if you don't have Microsoft Word to create basic letters and other documents.

When you're all done, you can go ahead and close this. It will ask if you want to save your changes.

Want to go find it? Well we can either go to Windows Explorer or just open up My Documents. Double-click on the WordPad documents folder that we created earlier.

And there's our file.

Since I have Microsoft Word on my computer, RTF files are (by default) opened by Microsoft Word. So I'm going to right-click on that letter and I'm going to select Open With... WordPad. But that's not an issue if you don't have Microsoft Word on your computer.


In this lesson, we're going to learn about Paint. Paint is a simple graphic editor. You can use it to create little pictures, little logos, little maps, and that's what we're going to do right now. I'm going to show you how to make a couple of real simple graphics that you can use to insert inside the letter that we wrote in the last lesson.

Let's start off by finding Paint. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, and then Paint. Now again, if you want to make a shortcut to it on your QuickLaunch Bar, right-click on it and drag down.

Let's click on Paint and open it up. Here you have your standard menu bar and your toolbar down the side.

On the bottom, we have a color palette.

The big white area is our canvas and by default, we start off with the pencil tool. You can just click and drag to draw freehand.

If you draw some stuff that you don't want, you can click on the eraser and erase it.

There are different eraser sizes.

You can use the paint brush. Here are some different brush sizes.

You can change colors by clicking on your color palette.

Here's the spray paint can and it's different sizes. You can click and hold it down to spray.

We've got our line tool and its different sizes. You draw a line by clicking and dragging. If you want to force it to stay straight, hold the SHIFT key down while you drag.

This is the rectangle tool and its hollow border, filled border or filled borderless options.

You can change your background color by right-clicking on a color. If I right-click on a green, now I've got a foreground color of blue, and a green background color.

The rest of the tools work the same way. If you hold down the SHIFT key and use the ellipse tool, it forces it to form a perfect circle.

Here's the weird, funky curve that if you click and drag, you can warp it by pulling it in a different direction and then click again so it will snap.

And here's our text tool.

The font toolbar should appear when you select the text tool. You can change your font and your font size.

Let's go ahead and click on the paint can. The paint can lets you fill stuff in where ever you click in a region.

The eyedropper picks up the color. If you click the tool, and then click on a colored region, it will change your foreground color to that color that you picked up with the eyedropper.

The magnifying glass lets you zoom in on stuff and then you can use your more fine tools, like your pencil to add things on a small scale. Click the magnifying glass again to zoom out.

Let's pick the select tool and draw a square around every thing that we drew and hit delete. Notice the yellow background. That's because the background is set to yellow. When you delete stuff, you're back with the background color. Let's go back to white here, right-click on white and then select the region. Hit delete and you're back to a blank white canvas.

I've shown you how to play around with Paint, but let me show you something useful. In the last lesson, we made up a letter, which was basically an invitation. Well, what if we were able to actually make directions with a little map. We can do that inside of Paint.

Let's pick the line tool, hold the SHIFT key and draw two lines across the canvas. Let's make one of the major roads coming off of it. Let's make a little circle and using the select tool, highlight it.

Now I'll press CTRL + C to copy and CTRL + V to paste. I'm going to first click select the transparency option...

...and then drag the circle that I pasted next to the lines I drew.

I'll do that three more times to create a four-way interchange. Then I'll select the first circle and delete it.

So there's our two-way and our major off-road. Let's draw a couple more roads.

Next, let's make a little arrowhead up top and using the fill tool, color it in with blue.

Now let's put some text up here to outline which roads these are. Click on the text tool so we can indicate "North." Click and drag a box and type in N. Change it to an Arial font, and bold it.

Once you've got it on there, it doesn't have to be perfect because you can move it. I'm going to grab the select tool, draw a box around the N letter and slide the N closer to the arrowhead.

Notice how it's also blue. The text took on my foreground color. Let's pick black now and make some more text.

Watch this trick. Using the selection tool, draw a box around Millersport. Next, select Flip/Rotate from the Image menu.

Select Rotate by Angle, 180 degrees.

Now you can move it next to a street.

We can do the same with the other roads. Once you click off of text, it becomes part of the picture.

Now we need a "You Are Here" sign, right? Let's make a red box and fill it in yellow. Using black text, we'll put an X in there for "X marks the spot".

Now we have our basic map and it only took a few minutes to put together! Let's save this. Click File and Save As. Let's save this as a map to our office in My Documents.

Leaving the Map to Office file open, let's minimize it. Open up My Documents and let's go back to our WordPad document. Open up your letter for open house.rtf. Scroll down to the directions in the file and put a couple of blank lines in there.

Let's go back to our task bar and click on the Map to Office. Use the select tool and draw a box around the entire map. Press CRTL + C to copy it to the clipboard. Next, flip back to the letter for open house.rtf and press CTRL + V. There's our picture. We've inserted our picture into our WordPad document.

Hit the Print Preview button. Look at that! Isn't that cool? So you see, Paint really is a cool application.

Let's go ahead and close these down and save the changes.

Other Accessories

In this lesson, we're going to go through some of the other lesser used Accessories. So now that we've covered when I consider to be the big Accessories (Calculator, Paint, WordPad, and Notepad) , let's talk about some of the others.

Let's come down to Address Book.

You might get this message. vCard basically is something that you can attach to emails that includes all of your information (name, address, etc.) so that when someone else gets it, all they have to do is open up your vCard and save it in their contacts. It helps you send information back and forth to other people.

If you have Microsoft Outlook on your system, do not make Address Book your default address book. I'm going to click the check box so I'm not bothered with it anymore and click the No button.

This opens up. I'm not going to spend too much time with address book because I prefer to use Microsoft Outlook's contact feature. In case you don't have Outlook, you can use this.

Here's how you insert a contact. Click on New, and then New Contact.

Type in their information and click Add.

You can see that I'm in the address book's contact list now.

You can also create groups of people. Click New and then Group. To add people to a group, click the Select Members button.

You can select individuals and then hit Ok.

This is good if I want to send out an email to everyone in the Friends group.

You can just click on Friends, Action, and then Send Mail. It will use your default mail program to send mail to everyone in that group. Or you could use Dial and it will use your modem to dial the phone for you.

Let's go ahead and close this and go back to our Accessories folder. Command Prompt opens up a little window (also known as a DOS prompt). In the old days, if you wanted to do anything on a computer, you had to learn this command prompt.

If you see this command prompt, the only thing you need to know how to do is type Exit or close it by clicking on the window's X button. You don't want to play around with the command prompt.

The Program Compatibility Wizard allows you to configure older programs that might now work well with Windows XP.

Synchronize allows you to synchronize different files and folders or update a network copy of material that was edited offline. It's kind of like how the old Windows briefcase used to be.

The Tour Windows XP is good if you're a brand new Windows user.

Windows Explorer is a shortcut to Windows' file management system.

The Windows Movie Maker allows you to make movies using your digital video camera.

Let's take a look at the Accessibility folder. These are all the accessible options. If you are a person with handicaps, you might find some of these helpful.

The Accessibility Wizard will help you make appropriate selections according to the needs that you have.

The Magnifier will open up a little window in the corner of your screen and magnify the area under your mouse.

The Narrator will actually read on-screen text in a computer voice. You can pick some different voice styles.

You can use the On-Screen Keyboard to type with. It's great if you want to kick back and just use your mouse to surf the web with.

The Utility Manger basically just keeps track of which one of these accessibility accessories are running.

The next folder is the Communications folder.

HyperTerminal is a modem program that will connect your computer to another. We used to use it in the old days to connect to bulletin board systems but generally we don't use it anymore because we have the Internet.

Internet and network connections can be maintained using Network connection as well as the Network Setup Wizard.

Remote Desktop Connection will connect you to another computer remotely and control it. It requires Windows XP Pro.

The next folder is the Entertainment folder. These are the multimedia features of the Accessories folder.

You can use the sound recorder to record sounds if you have a microphone.

The Volume Control allows you to adjust the volume of different sound controls with sliders that you can move up and across. Or you can mute them.

The Windows Media Player is what most likely our videos are playing in. Windows Media Player will usually automatically open if you try to open something like a movie file or a video or maybe even a sound clip.

The next folder is the System Tools folder and they're covered in a separate class.

One of the tools I want to show you today is Disk Cleanup.

First select the drive that you want to clean up and hit Ok. It will tell you how much disk space you can free up. Check on or off the items that you want to free up (remove) from your hard drive. Once you've picked the stuff that you want to clear off, hit Ok.

It will begin to free up (remove) the items you selected.


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

· We learned all about the Windows Accessories - what they are and why they're here
· We learned how to use Windows Calculator - both the scientific and the regular calculator
· We learned about Notepad - a basic text editor
· We learned about WordPad - scaled down word processor
· We learned how to create images in Paint and how to put those images in our WordPad documents
· We learned how to put things on our QuickLaunch Bar
· We learned about some of the other accessories, like Address Book, Accessibility features, and System Clean up

Tell us what you think. Log on to 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 If you pass, you can print out a Certificate of Completion.

What’s next? Visit for our complete list of Windows courses.

Need Help? Visit for Microsoft assistance.

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Don’t forget to visit our Microsoft Windows Forum online at: You can chat with our instructors, other users, and even Richard too. You can ask us all of your questions, get answers, and tell us what you thought of our class.

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:

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PO Box 1308
Amherst NY 14226 USA

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