Copyright Michael Karbo, Denmark, Europe.


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    Chapter 3. Save a couple of documents

    Besides the Start button the task bar is probably the most important element in the Windows XP user interface. The task bar shows at all times which programs are active (open).

    In this section you will see the task bar in operation; you wil open two programs: the drawing program Paint and the small text editor Notepad. Both pro­grams come with Windows XP, so you just need to find them. In the meantime just ”play” with windows and try to save a couple of files. Finally you test Windows XP in Stand by mode.

    Find Paint and test it

    We start by looking at the drawing program Paint. It is a small program, which you would enjoy knowing:

    1.  Activate the Start button and open All Programs. Then open the program Paint, which is in the sub menu Accessories.

    2.  Now you can draw some by holding the left mouse button down and drag inside the white work area. Choose the Brush tool and draw a couple of curleycues:

    Figure 10. Paint is a small drawing program, which comes with Windows XP.

    Minimize Paint

    Now you have a program running: Paint is open. You can see that in in a window on your screen.

    1.  Look in the upper right corner of the Paint window; there are three small buttons that control the window.

    2.  Click once on the left button[n5] :

    3.  Paint is minimized. This means that the program disappears from the screen.

    4.  Notice the task bar in the bottom of the screen. Suddenly a button was added to the right of the Start button:

    5.  The button is named “unnamed - Paint”. It tells that the drawing is not yet saved under a file name, and gives the name of the current program.

    6.  The window with Paint was thus minimized. Click on the button in the task bar. Then Paint appears again.

    7.  Now press on the middle of the three buttons in the upper right corner:

    8.  Then the program window changes from a reduced size to fill the whole screen (becomes maximized). Click on the same button a couple of times. Finish by having the ”smaller” program window on the screen.

    9.  When a program window is not maximized, you can change its size. Try that. Place the mouse over the lower right corner of the window, where there us kind of a handle:

    10.When you touch the corner, the mouse cursor changes to a double arrow. That is a signal

    that you can drag in the window frame, to increase or decrease the window size. Try that!

    But you can drag in all corners and edges of the window. This window gymnastics was available in all versions of Windows; however many pc users still do not know and understand the system. That is a shame, since it can be very convenient to adjust the window size when you as an example work with more than one program open.

    Figure 11. The task bar here shows four open programs each with its own button. You recognize the active program by its highlighted button. Here Microsoft Word is active.

    Draw and save

    You have the drawing program Paint open. Now use that to make a couple of files:

    1.      Finish your curleycue drawing first. Use the color selector in the bottom of the window to change color.

    2.      If you regret an action, you can press Control+z. Hold the Control key down while you press z, then the last line, or whatever you want to regret, is deleted.

    3.      You can use the Airbrush tool to fill areas with color:

    4.      When the drawing is ready, you need to save it. Select menu items File ŕ Save As…

    5.      Enter the name curleycue in the File name field, then click on the Save button:

    6.      Notice that the program automatically suggests to save the file in a program called Pictures[n6]  – we will do at that later!

    7.      When the drawing is named and saved, you can read its name in the program window title bar (in the blue field in top of the window):


    The name can be read from the program button in the taskbar.

    8.      Then press Control+n, which is the keyboard shortcut to a new drawing. That opens an empty drawing surface. Try to write youe name with a broad blue brush. That is not easy, but try it anyawy:

    9.      Save this drawing as name01. But this time choose the GIF file format:

     

    10.   That compresses the graphics, so the file occupies less space on the hard disk. Click yes in the following picture:

     

    11.   Now have saved two graphics files on your hard disk. You can also see a summary of all Paint’s tools on the home page www.mkdata.dk/wg, if you click on the link Andet (Andet means other).

    12.   Close Paint by pressing the shortcut Alt+F4. That closes all programs.

    13.   Look in the Start menu. Now you surely have a hyperlink to Paint in the left list (maybe in the bottom on your computer):

    14.   Open Paint again with the hyperlink. Then minimize Paint by pressing Windows-key + letter d. That is a neat shortcut; it minimizes all open windows!

    Write in Notepad

    If you did the previous exercise, Paint is now minimized in the taskbar. Next program you need to open is the small editor Notepad.

    A text editor is a program that can create and edit text files. Those are files that only contain letters and other symbols and nothing else (contrary to wordprocessing files, which include formatting with fonts and much else).

    The Notepad text editor is usable for many tasks; I will explain that later. Here we use it to save a couple of text files

    1.    Activate the Start button. Then select menu items All programs ŕ Accesories ŕ Notepad:

    2.    You just opened Notepad. Then type the text Hello!:

    3.    Select menu items Files ŕ Save as

    4.    That opens the dialog box Save As..., which is just like what you previously have seen in the Paint program. Here the program suggests to save the text file in the folder My Documents, and that is quite all right

    5.    Enter the file name hello and click on the Save button:

    6.    Now the file is saved as a text file. This means that the file surname (or rather its file type name) is txt.

    Save again

    You need to make one more text file. This time use only the keyboard to work in Notepad. That is a good exercise; very often it is fastest and most convenient to activate the menus from the keyboard!

    1.    Keep writing on the next line in the editor:

    2.    Now you have to save the file under a new name. First press the Alt key once .

    3.    That moves the cursor from the work area up to the menu bar. Nothing much happens right now, but the work File becomes highlighted:

    4.    Then press a f. That is the underlined letter in the word File, which opens the menu. If you look in the menu, you can see that the individual points include underlined letters.

    5.    You need to activate the item Save as… So press a s. That opens the dialog box Save as.

    6.    The cursor is in the file name field, where ”hello” is selected. Press ArrowRight, then the cursor jumps to the end of the file name. Add 2, so the file name appears like here:

    7.    Press Enter to save the text file hello2.txt. But you now have both the original hello.txt and the new hello2.txt on your hard disk.

    8.    Leave Notepad open, but minimize the program window. Now you have two open programs, and you see them with each their button in the taskbar:

    Printing

    It is quite easy to print a document, but of course it requires that you have a printer connected to your pc, and that it is turned on and ready with paper. I presume that you have done that, so now print the text from before.

    1.      Maximize Notepad.

    2.      Then select menu items File --> Print…, or use the keyboard shortcut Control+p; it works in all Windows programs.

    3.      You will probably get the Print dialog box (Figure 12).

    4.      If you have installed additonal printers, you can select between them in the same dialog box, since each printer appears with its own icon. One of the printers will always be the default printer. You can see that by the small checkmark in a black circle by the icon:

     

    5.      When you have selected a printer, juct click OK, and the printing starts.

    Figure 12.The Print dialog box is used to select the printer, number of copies, etc.

    My Documents folder

    You have your work files saved on the hard disk. Those are documents and graphics files, of which you now have four: two drawings (saved from Paint) and two text files (saved from Notepad). But where are your files saved?

    Windows XP has a personal folder, which is intended for those documents that you currently produce. Let us look at that.

    1.    Open the Start menu, and select My Documents:

    2.    Now the file handling program Windows Explorer opens. You see the system folder My Documents. Its content is in the right window below the menu and tool bars:

    3.    There are four rather large icons: Two of them are folders (My Pictures and My Music), the other two are the text files hello and hello2.

    4.    Click once on the file hello. Then it becomes selected:

    5.    Now you have different options, as you can see in the left panel (the task window). You can rename, print or delete the file with these menu items:

    So the task window shows diferent operations that are relevant for the selected file.

    6.    Try to click on the button to the right of the text Details. Then you should get some information about the file:

    7.    Now try to double click on the My Pictures folder icon:

    8.    That opens the folder My pictures. In that you find three icons. There are the two drawings that you saved earlier from the program Paint, and then there is a sub folder named Picture examples:

    9.    Notice also that the task window in the left side now also offers some additional options:

    10. You will get to look closer at the options in the Pictures folder later in the booklet.

    11. Switch to My Documents folder that lies ”above” the Pictures folder, by clicking on this button (the yellow folder with a green arrow):

    12. Then you are back to the two text documents.

    13. Doubleclick on the hello icon. Then the document is opened in a new Notepad window. Can you see that you now have two cpies of Notepad open? They each have their own button in the task bar:

    Figure 13. Three open windows with each their own button in the task bar.

    Switch between the windows

    When you work in Windows XP, you will often have many windows open at once. You will have more than one program in use at one time, and it is important that you can switch between them quickly and easily. That can be done in different ways.

    1.    You now have different windows open, including two with Notepad. Try to click first on one, then on the other Notespad button in the taskbar. In that way you switch between the two open program windows.

    2.    Try also the shortcut Alt+Tab: Hold and keep the Alt key down. Then press once on the Tab key (still holding the Alt key down).

    3.    Then you get a small menu in the center of the screen. It shows with a row of icons the programs/windows that you have open now. The current window is selected, and below its icon you can read the name of the program:

    4.    For each press on Tab you move to the next icon. In this way you can select between your open windows. The moment you release the Alt key, the selected program is activated.

    5.    Try that a few times. If you do not use the Alt+Tab shortcut, I strongly recommend that you get used to it. It is by far the most convenient way to switch between open programs.

    6.    Minimize all windows with the Windows key+d – that is also a good shortcut to remember.

    Set Windows XP to Stand By

    In conclusion of this part you are going to try to set Windows XP to Stand By. The Stand By function is one of the best improvements compare with earlier Windows versions; it is quick and incredibly convenient.

    1.    Leave all your open programs as open. Then click on the Start button and select Turn Off Computer:

    2.    Now hold the Shift key down, and select the Stand By button:

    3.    You could also try to Turn Off and Restart Computer, but try Stand By now. Then Windows gently saves informations about all your open programs. When that is done, the pc turns off.

    4.    You need to re-start the pc. But this start is very fast:

     

    5.    The pc is ready to run in 10-15 seconds in the same state as before Turn Off, meaning that all programs and documents that you worked worked with at Turn Off are read in. Everything is ready to use. The stand-by function is just excellent!

    Figure 14. When you re-start after Stand By, all open programs are ready for immediate use.


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