This tutorial is for newcomers who have never worked with Windows before. Most of the screen shots are from Windows 7; however, the tutorials are also appropriate for Windows Vista, Windows XP and the desktop mode in Windows 8 and 10.
To learn about Windows 8, see Win8 abc's. For Windows 10, see Win10 abc's. To learn about operating systems in general, see operating system. For handy Windows tips, see Win tips.
What's a Window?
A window is a rectangular area on screen with a title bar and program name at the top. Each time you launch (run) a Windows application, it is displayed in its own window. You can launch several applications and keep them all open.
You can place windows side-by-side in order to view more than one document at the same time. The windows can be moved around, overlapped, made smaller or made to take up the full screen, and you can easily switch between them. When you rerun an application, it should come back in the same window size that existed when you exited the program.
Windows in Windows
Windows, the Mac and every other graphics-based operating system, display applications in a window. This shows the computer's desktop partially covered by four open programs, each in a window. Applications can also open up other windows.
To learn the basics, bookmark this section and read the following entries in sequence. All the Windows how to's in this encyclopedia start with a "Win" prefix.
A - Start Menu and Taskbar
The Start menu is the launching pad for running applications, and the title bar and Taskbar identify what is running.
1. See Win Start menu
2. See Win Title bar
3. See Win Taskbar
4. See Win File menu
B - Switching and Moving Windows Around
You can switch from one open application to another, and you can take a window off screen temporarily. You can move windows around on screen and change their size.
1. See Win Switch windows
2. See Win Minimize windows
3. See Win Copy between windows
4. See Win Change window position and size
C - Using Windows Explorer
Since install programs create the appropriate folders on your hard disk for storing the application, and since the applications save data into default folders, many users never deal with file management. However, you may want to add folders for better organization some time, or you may want to transfer data into or out of the computer via a USB drive. In such cases, the Explorer utility is used, which is an important component in Windows.
1. See Win Explorer
2. See Win Folder organization
3. See Win Create new folder
4. See Win Highlighting items
5. See Win Copy/move files/folders
6. See Win Drag and drop
Good luck and happy computing!