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            2. Working with Windows: Basic operations

                        1. Running Programs

                        2. Closing Programs

                        3. Creating a new file and saving it

                        4. Working in an existing file and saving changes

CHAPTER 2.2: Working with Windows: Basic Operations

Chapter Objective: Proficiency in conducting basic operations in Windows

To be able to work with windows, you need to know some basic operations. These include running and closing programs, working and saving in an existing file, opening and saving a new file.

TOPIC 2.2.1: Running or launching a program

You need to run a program to start working on the computer. Following are different methods of starting a program:

  • Using the Start Menu bar
  • Using short cut icons on Desktop
  • Using short cut icons on Task bar
  • Directly launching a program file from Windows explorer
You can create short cut icons for most programs on your desktop and task bar, so that you can get quick access to most frequently used programs. You can launch these programs either by double-clicking on these icons or by selecting the icon and then pressing enter. We will discuss using Windows explorer in Advanced Operations.

Now, we will learn to launch programs from start menu. As an example, we will learn to launch the Notepad program.

  1. Press the Start button to open the Start menu.
  2. Use the arrow direction keys to move to Programs options. You can also press 'P' key on the keyboard to reach Programs.
  3. When you are at Programs, press Enter key to open the Programs sub-menu. This sub-menu lists all the programs and program folder in the computer.
  4. On the Programs sub-menu, the first option is 'Accessories' which will appear pre-selected. Press Enter key again. This will open the Accessories sub-menu with a listing of programs and program folders.
  5. On the Accessories sub-menu, either use the direction key to move down to Notepad and press Enter, or simply press 'N'. This will launch the Notepad program in a new window.
  6. You can similarly launch other programs from Start Menu.
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TOPIC 2.2.2: Closing a program

To close a program follow the instructions given below. The process will be the same for all programs. Here we explain by taking the example of Notepad program.

  1. If you are using a mouse, simply take the screen pointer to the close button on the topmost right corner of the screen and click on it.
  2. Alternatively, you can also press 'Alt' key, space bar, and 'C' key to close it.
  3. There is a third way of doing it, you can press 'Alt' key and then 'F' key to open the File menu drop-down menu. On this menu, either press 'X' or move down to 'Exit' option and press 'Enter' key.
  4. If you follow any of the three options mentioned above, some programs will close immediately; but some programs confirm whether you want to save the changes made in the contents of the document/file. There are three choices - Yes, No and Cancel. On clicking 'Yes' button it will save the changes if it is an existing document/file, or it will ask you to specify a place on the computer where you want to keep the document/file. Clicking on 'No' closes the program without saving any changes. Clicking on Cancel keeps the document open.
TOPIC 2.2.3: Creating a new file and saving it

Now that you know how to open a program, you are ready to start creating new documents and files. Also, to be able to access the documents created by you, you should also know how to save them on your computer. As you know that there are several types of programs to help you accomplish specific tasks. For example, for word processing you may use MS-Word, Wordpad or Notepad. Notepad offers very basic word processing features, while MS-Word offers highly advanced word processing features. Wordpad falls in between the two in terms of the features it offers to the users. If you want to work on a spreadsheet, you may use MS-Excel. Here, we will learn how to create a new notepad file.

1. To create a new document, you need to follow the same process as required to start running a program. That is, go to the start menu, then press 'P', use direction key to move towards your right and then select the type of document or file you want to create. Since we want to create a notepad, after you have moved towards the right, a sub-menu will appear. Select Accessories, which is the first option from the top, and then use the direction key to get a third menu. On the third menu, press 'N'.
2. A new window will open, launching a new notepad file. A blinking cursor will be displayed in the Notepad program, indicating that it is ready to accept text. The cursor also indicates the position where the text will appear, once you type it. Type something in the file.
3. To save this file, go to File menu bar either by using the mouse, or by pressing Alt and F keys together. When the File menu drop-down opens, press S. This will open the 'Save As' box. Save As, box asks you the exact location on your computer where a copy of the opened document could be saved.
4. There are four fields in the Save As box. The first field from the top is labeled 'Save in'. This field displays the folder in which your document will be saved. By default, it will select 'My Documents' folder.
5. The next field is the Folders pane which displays all sub-folders and documents within the selected folder. So, if My Documents folder has been selected, the second field will show the sub-folders and documents under My Documents folders.
6. The third field from the top in the Save As box is File Name, which displays the name of the new file. By default, the new file is named as 'Untitled'.

User Tip

7. The fourth and last field is labeled 'Save as type' and it shows the type of program to be saved. The default selection for Notepad is Text Documents.
8. You may make changes to the default selections in the Save As box. To change the default folder selection in 'Save in' field, press the 'Tab' key four times and then pressing the down key. This will open a drop-down menu listing all the drives on your computer. Select the drive in which you want to save your document and press 'Enter'. This will list all the sub-folders and documents under the selected drive in 'Folders pane'. You can go to any sub-folder by pressing Tab key once and then using arrow direction key. After you have reached the intended sub-folder, press Enter key. You can go further down within the sub-folders in the same way till you have reached the sub-folder where you want to save your document. For the purpose of this exercise we shall save the document in the default My Documents folder. If you want to change the name of the document, you can do so as soon as the Save As box appears because the cursor is in the File Name field. Change the name of your Notepad file to, 'Test One'.
9. After you have changed the name of the file, just press Enter. Your file will be saved in My Documents folder with the name Test One.
10. You may now close the 'Test One' document, by pressing Alt key, F key and then 'X' key. The alternate method is to press Alt, space bar and 'C' keys.

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TOPIC 2.2.4: Working in an existing file and saving changes

You now know how to create a new document and save it. Suppose you want to make some changes in the document created by you or someone else, on your computer. We will take the example of the 'Test One' notepad document created by you and make some changes on that to learn how to work with document files already existing on your computer.

  1. To work with an existing document, you should know where the document is residing on your computer. You remember that you had saved Test One, in the My Documents folder. So we have to first open this folder. You already know how to open the My Documents folder, but here is a quick reminder. From the desktop, select My Computer and press Enter key. In the new window, use direction keys to reach to (C:) and press Enter key. The window will refresh and will display the contents of (C:), please use direction keys to reach My documents folder and then press Enter.
  2. The window will refresh and will display the contents of My Documents folder. In this folder, please use direction keys to reach Test One document. Press Enter key to open this document.
  3. In a new window, Test One document will open. You can make any changes in this document. For example, you may add new text by typing in the document, or you can move the cursor to a specific place to make corrections or you may delete existing text.
  4. To save the changes made by you, press Alt and F keys. This will open the File menu drop down. Now press S key. The changes made by you in the document will be saved.
  5. You may want to make a copy of the changed document. To make a copy, press Alt and F keys. This will open the File menu drop down. Now press key 'A' on the keyboard. This will open the Save As box and the rest of the process has already been described before.

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Topic Exercises

  1. Launch Wordpad program and close it
  2. Create a new notepad file, name the file after your name and save it on the Desktop.
  3. Open the file with your name from the desktop and add some matter in the notepad file.
  4. What are the three alternative methods of closing a running program
  5. Make a copy of the notepad file with your name in My Documents


File Name

In a folder, there cannot be two files with the same name. Each file in a particular folder must have unique names.

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