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Dear friend,

Happy to see you here. Come, let us learn about menus, buttons, bars and boxes in windows and the things relating to them. In this post, we learn about Using menus, Using scroll bars, Using command buttons, Using option buttons, Using check boxes, Using sliders, Using text boxes, Using drop-down lists, Using list boxes and Using tabs.

Menus, buttons, scroll bars, and check boxes are examples of controls that you operate with your mouse or keyboard. These controls allow you to select commands, change settings, or work with windows. This section describes how to recognize and use controls that you'll encounter frequently while using Windows.

Using menus

Most programs contain dozens or even hundreds of commands (actions) that you use to work the program. Many of these commands are organized under menus. Like a restaurant menu, a program menu shows you a list of choices. To keep the screen uncluttered, menus are hidden until you click their titles in the menu bar, located just underneath the title bar.

To choose one of the commands listed in a menu, click it. Sometimes a dialog box appears, in which you can select further options. If a command is unavailable and cannot be clicked, it is shown in gray.

Some menu items are not commands at all. Instead, they open other menus. In the following picture, pointing to "New" opens a submenu.

imageSome menu commands open submenus

If you don't see the command you want, try looking at another menu. Move your mouse pointer along the menu bar and its menus open automatically; you don't need to click the menu bar again. To close a menu without selecting any commands, click the menu bar or any other part of the window.

Recognizing menus isn't always easy, because not all menu controls look alike or even appear on a menu bar. So how can you spot them? When you see an arrow next to a word or picture, you're probably looking at a menu control. Here are some examples:

imageExamples of menu controls

Tips
  • If a keyboard shortcut is available for a command, it is shown next to the command.

  • You can operate menus using your keyboard instead of your mouse.

Using scroll bars

When a document, webpage, or picture exceeds the size of its window, scroll bars appear to allow you to see the information that is currently out of view. The following picture shows the parts of a scroll bar.

imageHorizontal and vertical scroll bars

To use a scroll bar:

  • Click the up or down scroll arrows to scroll the window's contents up or down in small steps. Hold down the mouse button to scroll continuously.

  • Click an empty area of a scroll bar above or below the scroll box to scroll up or down one page.

  • Drag a scroll box up, down, left, or right to scroll the window in that direction.

Tip
  • If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can use it to scroll through documents and webpages. To scroll down, roll the wheel backward (toward you). To scroll up, roll the wheel forward (away from you).

Using command buttons

A command button performs a command (makes something happen) when you click it. You'll most often see them in dialog boxes, which are small windows that contain options for completing a task. For example, if you close a Paint picture without saving it first, you might see a dialog box like this.

image

Dialog box with three buttons

To close the picture, you must first click either the Save or Don't Save button. Clicking Save saves the picture and any changes you've made, and clicking Don't Save deletes the picture and discards any changes you've made. Clicking Cancel dismisses the dialog box and returns you to the program.

Tip
  • Pressing Enter does the same thing as clicking a command button that is selected (outlined).

Outside of dialog boxes, command buttons vary in appearance, so it's sometimes difficult to know what's a button and what isn't. For example, command buttons often appear as small icons (pictures) without any text or rectangular frame.

The most reliable way to determine if something is a command button is to rest your pointer on it. If it "lights up" and becomes framed with a rectangle, you've discovered a button. Most buttons will also display some text about their function when you point to them.

If a button changes into two parts when you point to it, you've discovered a split button. Clicking the main part of the button performs a command, whereas clicking the arrow opens a menu with more options.

imageSplit buttons change into two parts when you point to them

Using option buttons

Option buttons allow you to make one choice among two or more options. They frequently appear in dialog boxes. The following picture shows two option buttons. The "Color" option is selected.

imageClicking a button selects that option

To select an option, click one of the buttons. Only one option can be selected.

Using check boxes

Check boxes allow you to select one or more independent options. Unlike option buttons, which restrict you to one choice, check boxes allow you to choose multiple options at the same time.

imageClick an empty check box to select that option

To use check boxes:

  • Click an empty square to select or "turn on" that option. A check mark will appear in the square, indicating that the option is selected.

  • To turn off an option, clear (remove) its check mark by clicking it.

  • Options that currently can't be selected or cleared are shown in gray.

Using sliders

A slider lets you adjust a setting along a range of values. It looks like this.

imageMoving the slider changes the pointer speed

A slider along the bar shows the currently selected value. In the example shown above, the slider is positioned midway between Slow and Fast, indicating a medium pointer speed.

To use a slider, drag the slider toward the value that you want.

Using text boxes

A text box allows you to type information, such as a search term or password. The following picture shows a dialog box containing a text box. We've entered "bear" into the text box.

imageExample of a text box in a dialog box

A blinking vertical line called the cursor indicates where text that you type will appear. In the example, you can see the cursor after the "r" in "bear." You can easily move the cursor by clicking the new position. For example, to add a word before "bear," you would first move the cursor by clicking before the "b."

If you don't see a cursor in the text box, it means the text box isn't ready for your input. Click the box first, and then start typing.

Text boxes that require you to enter a password will usually hide your password as you type it, in case someone else is looking at your screen.

imageText boxes for passwords usually hide the password

Using drop-down lists

Drop-down lists are similar to menus. Instead of clicking a command, though, you choose an option. When closed, a drop-down list shows only the currently selected option. The other available options are hidden until you click the control, as shown below.

imageA drop-down list shown closed (left), and open (right)

To open a drop-down list, click it. To choose an option from the list, click the option.

Using list boxes

A list box displays a list of options that you can choose from. Unlike a drop-down list, some or all of the options are visible without having to open the list.

imageList box

To choose an option from the list, click it. If the option you want isn't visible, use the scroll bar to scroll the list up or down. If the list box has a text box above it, you can type the name or value of the option instead.

Using tabs

In some dialog boxes, options are divided into two or more tabs. Only one tab, or set of options, can be viewed at a time.

imageTabs

The currently selected tab appears in front of the other tabs. To switch to a different tab, click the tab.

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Dear friend,

Happy to see you here. Come, let us learn about Desktop gadgets and the things relating  to gadgets. In this post, we learn about Why use desktop gadgets?, Getting started with gadgets , Which gadgets do I have? , Adding and removing gadgets and Organizing gadgets.

Windows contains mini-programs called gadgets, which offer information at a glance and provide easy access to frequently used tools. For example, you can use gadgets to display a picture slide show, view continuously updated headlines, or look up contacts.

Why use desktop gadgets?

Desktop gadgets can keep information and tools readily available for you to use. For example, you can display news headlines right next to your open programs. This way, if you want to keep track of what's happening in the news while you work, you don't have to stop what you're doing to switch to a news website.

You can use the Feed Headlines gadget to show the latest news headlines from sources you choose. You don't have to stop working on your document, because the headlines are always visible. If you see a headline that interests you, you can click that headline, and your web browser will open directly to the story.

Getting started with gadgets

To understand how to use gadgets, let's explore three gadgets: the Clock, Slide Show, and Feed Headlines.

How does the Clock work?

When you right-click the Clock, you'll see a list of things you can do with the gadget, including closing the Clock, keeping it on top of your open windows, and changing the Clock's options (such as its name, time zone, and appearance).

imageYou can right-click a gadget to see a list of things you can do with it.

Tip
  • If you point to the Clock gadget, a Close button and an Options button will appear near its upper-right corner.

    imageThe Clock

How does Slide Show work?

Next, try resting the pointer on the Slide Show gadget, which displays a continuous slide show of pictures on your computer.

image

Slide Show

Right-clicking Slide Show and clicking Options allows you to choose which pictures appear in your slide show, control the speed at which your slide show plays, and change the transition effect between pictures. You can also right-click Slide Show and point to Size to change the size of the gadget.

Tip
  • When you point to Slide Show, the Close, Size, and Options buttons will appear near the upper-right corner of the gadget.

    imageSome gadgets, like Slide Show, have Close, Size, and Options buttons.

To change the slide show pictures
  1. Right-click Slide Show and click Options.

  2. In the Folder list, select the location of the pictures you want to display and click OK.

    Note
    • By default, Slide Show displays items in the Sample Pictures folder.

To set the slide show speed and transition effect
  1. Right-click Slide Show and click Options.

  2. In the Show each picture list, select the number of seconds to show each picture.

  3. In the Transition between pictures list, select the transition you want and click OK.

How does Feed Headlines work?

Feed Headlines can display frequently updated headlines from a website that supplies feeds, also known as RSS feeds, XML feeds, syndicated content, or web feeds. Websites often use feeds to distribute news and blogs. To receive feeds, you need an Internet connection. By default, Feed Headlines won't display any headlines. To start displaying a small set of preselected headlines, click View headlines.

image

Feed Headlines

After you click View headlines, you can right-click Feed Headlines and click Options to choose from a list of available feeds. You can add to the list by choosing your own feeds from the web.

To display a feed in the Feed Headlines gadget
  1. Right-click Feed Headlines and click Options.

  2. In the Display this feed list, click the feed you want to display and click OK.

    Note
    • To scroll through the headlines, click the arrows on the lower edge of the Feed Headlines gadget.

Which gadgets do I have?

Before a gadget can be added, it must be installed on your computer. To see which gadgets are installed on your computer, do the following:

  1. Right-click the desktop and click Gadgets.

  2. Click the scroll buttons to see all the gadgets.

  3. To see information about a gadget, click the gadget, and then click Show details.

You can download additional gadgets online from the Windows Gadget Gallery.

Adding and removing gadgets

You can add any gadget that's installed on your computer to the desktop. If you want, you can add multiple instances of a gadget. For example, if you are keeping track of time in two time zones, you can add two instances of the Clock gadget and set the time of each accordingly.

To add a gadget
  1. Right-click the desktop and click Gadgets.

  2. Double-click a gadget to add it.

To remove a gadget
  • Right-click the gadget, and then click Close Gadget.

Organizing gadgets

You can drag a gadget to a new position anywhere on the desktop.

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Dear friend,

Happy to see you here. Come, let us learn about Taskbar and the things relating to Taskbar. In this post, we learn about Keep track of your windows, Minimize and restore windows, See previews of your open windows, The notification area and Customize the taskbar.

The taskbar is the long horizontal bar at the bottom of your screen. Unlike the desktop, which can get obscured by open windows, the taskbar is almost always visible. It has three main sections:

  • The Start button image, which opens the Start menu. See The Start menu (overview).

  • The middle section, which shows you which programs and files you have open and allows you to quickly switch between them.

  • The notification area, which includes a clock and icons (small pictures) that communicate the status of certain programs and computer settings.

You're likely to use the middle section of the taskbar the most, so let's look at it first.

Keep track of your windows

If you open more than one program or file at a time, you can quickly start piling up open windows on your desktop. Because windows often cover each other or take up the whole screen, it's sometimes hard to see what else is underneath or remember what you've already opened.

That's where the taskbar comes in handy. Whenever you open a program, folder, or file, Windows creates a corresponding button on the taskbar. The button shows an icon that represents the open program. In the picture below, two programs are open—Calculator and Minesweeper—and each has its own button on the taskbar.

image

Each program has its own button on the taskbar

Notice how the taskbar button for Minesweeper is highlighted. That indicates that Minesweeper is the active window, meaning that it's in front of any other open windows and is ready for you to interact with.

To switch to another window, click its taskbar button. In this example, clicking the taskbar button for Calculator brings its window to the front.

imageClick a taskbar button to switch to that window

Clicking taskbar buttons is one of several ways to switch between windows.

Minimize and restore windows

When a window is active (its taskbar button is highlighted), clicking its taskbar button minimizes the window. That means that the window disappears from the desktop. Minimizing a window doesn't close it or delete its contents—it temporarily removes it from the desktop.

In the picture below, Calculator is minimized, but not closed. You can tell it's still running because it has a button on the taskbar.

imageMinimizing Calculator leaves only its taskbar button visible

You can also minimize a window by clicking the minimize button in the upper-right corner of the window.

imageMinimize button (left)

To restore a minimized window (make it show up again on the desktop), click its taskbar button.

See previews of your open windows

When you move your mouse pointer to a taskbar button, a small picture appears that shows you a miniature version of the corresponding window. This preview, also called a thumbnail, is especially useful. And if one of your windows has video or animation playing, you'll see it playing in the preview.

Note
  • You can see thumbnails only if Aero can run on your computer and you're running a Windows 7 theme.

The notification area

The notification area, on the far right side of the taskbar, includes a clock and a group of icons. It looks like this.

imageThe notification area of the taskbar

These icons communicate the status of something on your computer or provide access to certain settings. The set of icons you see depends on which programs or services you have installed and how your computer manufacturer set up your computer.

When you move your pointer to a particular icon, you will see that icon's name or the status of a setting. For example, pointing to the volume icon image shows the current volume level of your computer. Pointing to the network icon image displays information about whether you are connected to a network, the connection speed, and the signal strength.

Double-clicking an icon in the notification area usually opens the program or setting associated with it. For example, double-clicking the volume icon opens the volume controls. Double-clicking the network icon opens Network and Sharing Center.

Occasionally, an icon in the notification area will display a small pop-up window (called a notification) to notify you about something. For example, after adding a new hardware device to your computer, you might see this.

image

The notification area displays a message after new hardware is installed

Click the Close button image in the upper-right corner of the notification to dismiss it. If you don't do anything, the notification will fade away on its own after a few seconds.

To reduce clutter, Windows hides icons in the notification area when you haven't used them in a while. If icons become hidden, click the Show hidden icons button to temporarily display the hidden icons.

imageClick the Show hidden icons button to display all icons in the notification area

Customize the taskbar

There are many ways to customize the taskbar to suit your preferences. For example, you can move the entire taskbar to the left, right, or top edge of the screen. You can make the taskbar larger, have Windows automatically hide it when you're not using it, and add toolbars to it.

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Dear Friend,

Happy to see you here. Come, let us learn about Start menu and the things relating to start menu. In this post, we learn about the Start menu, Opening programs from the Start menu, The search box, What's in the right pane? and Customize the Start menu.

The Start menu is the main gateway to your computer's programs, folders, and settings. It's called a menu because it provides a list of choices, just as a restaurant menu does. And as "start" implies, it's often the place that you'll go to start or open things.

imageStart menu

Use the Start menu to do these common activities:

  • Start programs

  • Open commonly used folders

  • Search for files, folders, and programs

  • Adjust computer settings

  • Get help with the Windows operating system

  • Turn off the computer

  • Log off from Windows or switch to a different user account

Getting started with the Start menu

To open the Start menu, click the Start button image in the lower-left corner of your screen. Or, press the Windows logo key image on your keyboard.

The Start menu is divided into three basic parts:

  • The large left pane shows a short list of programs on your computer. Your computer manufacturer can customize this list, so its exact appearance will vary. Clicking All Programs displays a complete list of programs (more on this later).

  • At the bottom of the left pane is the search box, which allows you to look for programs and files on your computer by typing in search terms.

  • The right pane provides access to commonly used folders, files, settings, and features. It's also where you go to log off from Windows or turn off your computer.

Opening programs from the Start menu

One of the most common uses of the Start menu is opening programs installed on your computer. To open a program shown in the left pane of the Start menu, click it. The program opens and the Start menu closes.

If you don't see the program you want, click All Programs at the bottom of the left pane. Instantly, the left pane displays a long list of programs in alphabetical order, followed by a list of folders.

Clicking one of the program icons launches the program, and the Start menu closes. So what's inside the folders? More programs. Click Accessories, for example, and a list of programs that are stored in that folder appears. Click any program to open it. To get back to the programs you saw when you first opened the Start menu, click Back near the bottom of the menu.

If you're ever unsure what a program does, move the pointer over its icon or name. A box appears that often contains a description of the program. For example, pointing to Calculator displays this message: "Performs basic arithmetic tasks with an on-screen calculator." This trick works for items in the right pane of the Start menu, too.

You might notice that over time, the lists of programs in your Start menu change. This happens for two reasons. First, when you install new programs, they get added to the All Programs list. Second, the Start menu detects which programs you use the most, and places them in the left pane for quick access.

The search box

The search box is one of the most convenient ways to find things on your computer. The exact location of the items doesn't matter—the search box will scour your programs and all of the folders in your personal folder (which includes Documents, Pictures, Music, Desktop, and other common locations). It will also search your e‑mail messages, saved instant messages, appointments, and contacts.

imageThe Start menu search box

To use the search box, open the Start menu and start typing. You don't need to click inside the box first. As you type, the search results appear above the search box in the left pane of the Start menu.

A program, file, or folder will appear as a search result if:

  • Any word in its title matches or begins with your search term.

  • Any text in the actual contents of the file—such as the text in a word-processing document—matches or begins with your search term.

  • Any word in a property of the file, such as the author, matches or begins with your search term.

Click any search result to open it. Or, click the Clear button  to clear the search results and return to the main programs list. You can also click See more results to search your entire computer.

Besides programs, files and folders, and communications, the search box also looks through your Internet favorites and the history of websites you've visited. If any of these webpages include the search term, they appear under a heading called "Favorites and History."

What's in the right pane?

The right pane of the Start menu contains links to parts of Windows that you're likely to use frequently. Here they are, from top to bottom:

  • Personal folder. Opens your personal folder, which is named for whoever is currently logged on to Windows. For example, if the current user is Molly Clark, the folder will be named Molly Clark. This folder, in turn, contains user-specific files, including the Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders.

  • Documents. Opens the Documents folder, where you can store and open text files, spreadsheets, presentations, and other kinds of documents.

  • Pictures. Opens the Pictures folder, where you can store and view digital pictures and graphics files.

  • Music. Opens the Music folder, where you can store and play music and other audio files.

  • Games. Opens the Games folder, where you can access all of the games on your computer.

  • Computer. Opens a window where you can access disk drives, cameras, printers, scanners, and other hardware connected to your computer.

  • Control Panel. Opens Control Panel, where you can customize the appearance and functionality of your computer, install or uninstall programs, set up network connections, and manage user accounts.

  • Devices and Printers. Opens a window where you can view information about the printer, mouse, and other devices installed on your computer.

  • Default Programs. Opens a window where you can choose which program you want Windows to use for activities such as web browsing.

  • Help and Support. Opens Windows Help and Support, where you can browse and search Help topics about using Windows and your computer.

At the bottom of the right pane is the Shut down button. Click the Shut down button to turn off your computer.

Clicking the arrow next to the Shut down button displays a menu with additional options for switching users, logging off, restarting, or shutting down.

imageClick the Shut down button to shut down your computer or click the arrow for more options

Customize the Start menu

You can control which items appear in the Start menu. For example, you can pin icons for your favorite programs to the Start menu for easy access, or remove programs from the list. You can also choose to hide or display certain items in the right pane.

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Dear Friend,

Happy to see you here. Come, let us learn about desktop and about creating, selecting and moving desktop icons.  The desktop is the main screen area that you see after you turn on your computer and log on to Windows. Like the top of an actual desk, it serves as a surface for your work. When you open programs or folders, they appear on the desktop. You can also put things on the desktop, such as files and folders, and arrange them however you want.

The desktop is sometimes defined more broadly to include the taskbar. The taskbar sits at the bottom of your screen. It shows you which programs are running and allows you to switch between them. It also contains the Start button image, which you can use to access programs, folders, and computer settings.

Working with desktop icons

Icons are small pictures that represent files, folders, programs, and other items. When you first start Windows, you'll see at least one icon on your desktop: The Recycle Bin (more on that later). Your computer manufacturer might have added other icons to the desktop. Some examples of desktop icons are shown below.

image

Examples of desktop icons

Double-clicking a desktop icon starts or opens the item it represents.

Adding and removing icons from the desktop

You can choose which icons appear on the desktop—you can add or remove an icon at any time. Some people like a clean, uncluttered desktop with few or no icons. Others place dozens of icons on their desktop to give them quick access to frequently used programs, files, and folders.

If you want easy access from the desktop to your favorite files or programs, you can create shortcuts to them. A shortcut is an icon that represents a link to an item, rather than the item itself. When you double-click a shortcut, the item opens. If you delete a shortcut, only the shortcut is removed, not the original item. You can identify shortcuts by the arrow on their icon.

imageA file icon (left) and a shortcut icon (right)

To add a shortcut to the desktop
  1. Locate the item that you want to create a shortcut for.

  2. Right-click the item, click Send to, and then click Desktop (create shortcut). The shortcut icon appears on your desktop.

To add or remove common desktop icons

    Common desktop icons include Computer, your personal folder, the Recycle Bin, and Control Panel.

  1. Right-click an empty area of the desktop, and then click Personalize.

  2. In the left pane, click Change desktop icons.

  3. Under Desktop icons, select the check box for each icon that you want to add to the desktop, or clear the check box for each icon that you want to remove from the desktop, and then click OK.

To move a file from a folder to the desktop
  1. Open the folder that contains the file.

  2. Drag the file to the desktop.

To remove an icon from the desktop
  • Right-click the icon, and then click Delete. If the icon is a shortcut, only the shortcut is removed; the original item is not deleted.

Moving icons around

Windows stacks icons in columns on the left side of the desktop. But you're not stuck with that arrangement. You can move an icon by dragging it to a new place on the desktop.

You can also have Windows automatically arrange your icons. Right-click an empty area of the desktop, click View, and then click Auto arrange icons. Windows stacks your icons in the upper-left corner and locks them in place. To unlock the icons so that you can move them again, click Auto arrange icons again, clearing the check mark next to it.

Note
  • By default, Windows spaces icons evenly on an invisible grid. To place icons closer together or with more precision, turn off the grid. Right-click an empty area of the desktop, point to View, and then click Align icons to grid to clear the check mark. Repeat these steps to turn the grid back on.

Selecting multiple icons

To move or delete a bunch of icons at once, you must first select all of them. Click an empty area of the desktop and drag the mouse. Surround the icons that you want to select with the rectangle that appears. Then release the mouse button. Now you can drag the icons as a group or delete them.

image

Select multiple desktop icons by dragging a rectangle around them

Hiding desktop icons

If you want to temporarily hide all of your desktop icons without actually removing them, right-click an empty part of the desktop, click View, and then click Show desktop items to clear the check mark from that option. Now no icons are displayed on the desktop. You can get them back by clicking Show desktop items again.

The Recycle Bin

When you delete a file or folder, it doesn't actually get deleted right away—it goes to the Recycle Bin. That's a good thing, because if you ever change your mind and decide you need a deleted file, you can get it back.

image

The Recycle Bin when empty (left) and full (right)

If you're sure that you won't need the deleted items again, you can empty the Recycle Bin. Doing that will permanently delete the items and reclaim any disk space they were using.

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Dear Friend,

Happy to see you here. Come, let us learn about shutting down the Computer. In this post, Use the Shut down button on the Start menu, Using sleep, When to shut down and Laptop users: Close the lid.

When you're finished using your computer, it's important to turn it off properly—not only to save energy, but also to help keep your computer more secure and to ensure that your data is saved. There are three ways to turn off your computer: pressing your computer's power button, using the Shut down button on the Start menu, and, if you have a laptop, closing the lid.

Use the Shut down button on the Start menu

To turn off your computer using the Start menu, click the Start button image, and then, in the lower-right corner of the Start menu, click Shut down.

When you click Shut down, your computer closes all open programs, along with Windows itself, and then completely turns off your computer and display. Shutting down doesn't save your work, so you must save your files first.

image

Click the arrow next to the Shut down button for more options

To change the Shut down button settings

    By default, the Shut down button shuts down your computer. But you can choose which action you want the Power button to take.

  1. On the Start Menu tab, choose the action that you want to use, and then click OK.

    • If you are connected to a network domain, it's possible that settings made by your network administrator (Group Policy settings) will prevent you from completing the previous steps.

    • Because you are connected to a network domain, it's possible that settings made by your network administrator (Group Policy settings) will prevent you from completing the previous steps.

There's one other form that the Shut down button can take. If you've set your computer to receive automatic updates, and the updates are ready to be installed, the Shut down button will look like this.

image

The Shut down button (install updates and shut down)

When you click the Shut down button, Windows installs the updates and then shuts down your computer.

Note
  • Starting your computer after it has been shut down takes longer than waking your computer from sleep.

Using sleep

You can choose to make your computer sleep instead of shutting it down. When your computer goes to sleep, the display turns off and often the computer's fan stops. Usually, a light on the outside of your computer case blinks or turns yellow to indicate that the computer is asleep. The whole process takes only a few seconds.

Because Windows will remember what you were doing, there's no need to close your programs and files before making your computer sleep. But it's always a good idea to save your work before putting the computer into any low-power mode. Then the next time you turn on your computer (and enter your password, if required), the screen will look exactly as it did when you turned off your computer.

To wake your computer, press the power button on your computer case. Because you don't have to wait for Windows to start, your computer wakes within seconds and you can resume work almost immediately.

Note
  • When your computer is asleep, it uses a very small amount of power to maintain your work in its memory. If you're using a laptop, don't worry—the battery won't be drained. After the computer has been sleeping for several hours, or if the battery is running low, your work is saved to the hard disk, and then your computer turns off completely, drawing no power.

When to shut down

Even though making your computer sleep is the fastest way to turn it off, and the best option for resuming work quickly, there are certain times when you need to shut down:

  • You are adding or upgrading the hardware inside your computer—such as installing memory, a disk drive, a sound card, or a video card. Shut down the computer, and then disconnect it from its power source before proceeding with the upgrade.

  • You are adding a printer, monitor, external drive, or other hardware device that does not connect to a universal serial bus (USB) or IEEE 1394 port on your computer. Shut down the computer before connecting the device.

Note
  • When adding hardware that uses a USB cable, you don't need to turn off the computer first. Most newer devices use USB cables. A USB cable looks like this:

    imageUSB cable

Laptop users: Close the lid

If you have a laptop, there's an even easier way to turn off your computer: Close the lid. You can choose whether your computer sleeps, shuts down, or enters another power-saving state. See Change what happens when you close your laptop.

If you prefer, you can turn off your laptop by pressing the power button on its case. See Change what happens when you press the power button on your computer.

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learn about Keyboard. In this post, we learn about How the keys are organized, Typing text, Using keyboard shortcuts, Using navigation keys, Using the numeric keypad, Three odd keys, Other keys and Tips for using your keyboard safely.


Whether you're writing a letter or calculating numerical data, your keyboard is the main way to enter information into your computer. But did you know you can also use your keyboard to control your computer? Learning just a few simple keyboard commands (instructions to your computer) can help you work more efficiently. This article covers the basics of keyboard operation and gets you started with keyboard commands.

How the keys are organized

The keys on your keyboard can be divided into several groups based on function:
  • Typing (alphanumeric) keys. These keys include the same letter, number, punctuation, and symbol keys found on a traditional typewriter.
  • Control keys. These keys are used alone or in combination with other keys to perform certain actions. The most frequently used control keys are Ctrl, Alt, the Windows logo key image, and Esc.
  • Function keys. The function keys are used to perform specific tasks. They are labeled as F1, F2, F3, and so on, up to F12. The functionality of these keys differs from program to program.
  • Navigation keys. These keys are used for moving around in documents or webpages and editing text. They include the arrow keys, Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, Delete, and Insert.
  • Numeric keypad. The numeric keypad is handy for entering numbers quickly. The keys are grouped together in a block like a conventional calculator or adding machine.
The following illustration shows how these keys are arranged on a typical keyboard. Your keyboard layout might be different.
image
How the keys are arranged on a keyboard


Typing text

Whenever you need to type something in a program, e‑mail message, or text box, you'll see a blinking vertical line image That's the cursor, also called the insertion point. It shows where the text that you type will begin. You can move the cursor by clicking in the desired location with the mouse, or by using the navigation keys (see the "Using navigation keys" section of this article).
In addition to letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and symbols, the typing keys also include Shift, Caps Lock, Tab, Enter, the Spacebar, and Backspace.
Key name          and     How to use it
Shift                  
Press Shift in combination with a letter to type an uppercase letter. Press Shift in combination with another key to type the symbol shown on the upper part of that key.
Caps Lock
Press Caps Lock once to type all letters as uppercase. Press Caps Lock again to turn this function off. Your keyboard might have a light indicating whether Caps Lock is on.
Tab
Press Tab to move the cursor several spaces forward. You can also press Tab to move to the next text box on a form.
Enter
Press Enter to move the cursor to the beginning of the next line. In a dialog box, press Enter to select the highlighted button.
Spacebar
Press the Spacebar to move the cursor one space forward.
Backspace
Press Backspace to delete the character before the cursor, or the selected text.

Using keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are ways to perform actions by using your keyboard. They're called shortcuts because they help you work faster. In fact, almost any action or command you can perform with a mouse can be performed faster using one or more keys on your keyboard.
In Help topics, a plus sign (+) between two or more keys indicates that those keys should be pressed in combination. For example, Ctrl+A means to press and hold Ctrl and then press A. Ctrl+Shift+A means to press and hold Ctrl and Shift and then press A.

Find program shortcuts
You can do things in most programs by using the keyboard. To see which commands have keyboard shortcuts, open a menu. The shortcuts (if available) are shown next to the menu items.
image
Keyboard shortcuts appear next to menu items.

Choose menus, commands, and options
You can open menus and choose commands and other options using your keyboard. In a program that has menus with underlined letters, press Alt and an underlined letter to open the corresponding menu. Press the underlined letter in a menu item to choose that command. For programs that use the Ribbon, such as Paint and WordPad, pressing Alt overlays (rather than underlines) a letter that can be pressed.
image
Press Alt+F to open the File menu, then press P to choose the Print command.

This trick works in dialog boxes too. Whenever you see an underlined letter attached to an option in a dialog box, it means you can press Alt plus that letter to choose that option.

Useful shortcuts
The following table lists some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts.
Press this                                             to  do this
Windows logo key image  Open the Start menu
Alt+Tab  Switch between open programs or windows
Alt+F4  Close the active item, or exit the active program
Ctrl+S  Save the current file or document (works in most programs)
Ctrl+C Copy the selected item
Ctrl+X  Cut the selected item
Ctrl+V  Paste the selected item
Ctrl+Z  Undo an action
Ctrl+A  Select all items in a document or window
F1  Display Help for a program or Windows
Windows logo key image +F1  Display Windows Help and Support
Esc  Cancel the current task 
Application key image  Open a menu of commands related to a selection in a program. Equivalent to right-clicking the selection.

Using navigation keys

The navigation keys allow you to move the cursor, move around in documents and webpages, and edit text. The following table lists some common functions of these keys.
Press this                                                                 To do this
Left Arrow, Right Arrow, Up Arrow, or Down Arrow
Move the cursor or selection one space or line in the direction of the arrow, or scroll a webpage in the direction of the arrow
Home
Move the cursor to the beginning of a line or move to the top of a webpage
End
Move the cursor to the end of a line or move to the bottom of a webpage
Ctrl+Home
Move to the top of a document
Ctrl+End
Move to the bottom of a document
Page Up
Move the cursor or page up one screen
Page Down
Move the cursor or page down one screen
Delete
Delete the character after the cursor, or the selected text; in Windows, delete the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin
Insert
Turn Insert mode off or on. When Insert mode is on, text that you type is inserted at the cursor. When Insert mode is off, text that you type replaces existing characters.

Using the numeric keypad

The numeric keypad arranges the numerals 0 though 9, the arithmetic operators + (addition), - (subtraction), * (multiplication), and / (division), and the decimal point as they would appear on a calculator or adding machine. These characters are duplicated elsewhere on the keyboard, of course, but the keypad arrangement allows you to rapidly enter numerical data or mathematical operations with one hand.
image
Numeric keypad
To use the numeric keypad to enter numbers, press Num Lock. Most keyboards have a light that indicates whether Num Lock is on or off. When Num Lock is off, the numeric keypad functions as a second set of navigation keys (these functions are printed on the keys next to the numerals or symbols).
You can use your numeric keypad to perform simple calculations with Calculator.
Operate Calculator with the numeric keypad
  1. Check your keyboard light to see if Num Lock is on. If it isn't, press Num Lock.
  2. Using the numeric keypad, type the first number in the calculation.
  3. On the keypad, type + to add, - to subtract, * to multiply, or / to divide.
  4. Type the next number in the calculation.
  5. Press Enter to complete the calculation.

Three odd keys

So far, we've discussed almost every key you're likely to use. But for the truly inquisitive, let's explore the three most mysterious keys on the keyboard: PrtScn, Scroll Lock, and Pause/Break.

PrtScn (or Print Screen)
A long time ago, this key actually did what it says—it sent the current screen of text to your printer. Nowadays, pressing PrtScn captures an image of your entire screen (a "screen shot") and copies it to the Clipboard in your computer's memory. From there you can paste it (Ctrl+V) into Microsoft Paint or another program and, if you want, print it from that program.
More obscure is SYS RQ, which shares the key with PrtScn on some keyboards. Historically, SYS RQ was designed to be a "system request," but this command is not enabled in Windows.
Tip
  • Press Alt+PrtScn to capture an image of just the active window, instead of the entire screen.

ScrLk (or Scroll Lock)
In most programs, pressing Scroll Lock has no effect. In a few programs, pressing Scroll Lock changes the behavior of the arrow keys and the Page Up and Page Down keys; pressing these keys causes the document to scroll without changing the position of the cursor or selection. Your keyboard might have a light indicating whether Scroll Lock is on.

Pause/Break
This key is rarely used. In some older programs, pressing this key pauses the program or, in combination with Ctrl, stops it from running.

Other keys

Some modern keyboards come with "hot keys" or buttons that give you quick, one-press access to programs, files, or commands. Other models have volume controls, scroll wheels, zoom wheels, and other gadgets. For details about these features, check the information that came with your keyboard or computer, or go to the manufacturer's website.

Tips for using your keyboard safely

Using your keyboard properly can help avoid soreness or injury to your wrists, hands, and arms, particularly if you use your computer for long periods of time. Here are some tips to help you avoid problems:
  • Place your keyboard at elbow level. Your upper arms should be relaxed at your sides.
  • Center your keyboard in front of you. If your keyboard has a numeric keypad, you can use the space bar as the centering point.
  • Type with your hands and wrists floating above the keyboard, so that you can use your whole arm to reach for distant keys instead of stretching your fingers.
  • Avoid resting your palms or wrists on any type of surface while typing. If your keyboard has a palm rest, use it only during breaks from typing.
  • While typing, use a light touch and keep your wrists straight.
  • When you're not typing, relax your arms and hands.
  • Take short breaks from computer use every 15 to 20 minutes.


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