Windows Screen Elements

This section pertains to

The Desktop is the background area.  In Windows 8, tiles are shown when Windows starts.  A single left-click on a tile starts the program.

Windows 8 Start Screen

If you click on the desktop tile, you will see the taskbar at the bottom.  Icons on the desktop require a double-click with the left mouse button to start the program.  A single right-click on an icon will show the icon properties.

Windows 8 Desktop

Windows 10

When running programs (in the screenshot below, the background is shown light to emphasize the other screen areas) I will attempt to explain the various functions.  Please note that some of the later versions of software have changed from the title bar to "ribbons" for selecting functions.  But, the programs retain the functions of the original menus.  Fow example, as will be explained later, let's say in the old version you had the menus and you went to the File manu to open, close, save, etc., in the new software you have ribbon selections.  You can still use keyboard shortcuts to do the same thing.  For instance the copy shortcut key has always been Ctrl+C.  It still works in the new program.

Ribbon area example:

In the picture below, the top area is called the Title bar.  It will be highlighted when you are in the running program and usually contains the name of the program and the file you are working with.

Area 1 has three buttons. The left button, or Minimize button, is used to shrink the window down to the taskbar to get it off of the desktop.  The center button is used to either make the program fill up the whole screen or make it into a window, which you can move the cursor to the edges and make it any size you want by holding down the left mouse button and dragging.  Another quick way to either change from a window to full screen or the opposite is to just double-click anywhere on the title bar (the area across the top of the window which shows the name of the program running, in this case, it's Internet Explorer).

The far right button closes the program.  You can also go to the File menu and click either close, or exit (depending on what the menu selection is for the running program).  You only left-click once on these buttons.

Area 2 is the menu area. You can either click on the menus with the mouse or use the keyboard. Notice, on all menus there is one letter in each menu which has an underscore character under it.  For instance, on the File menu, it is the F.  If you tap the Alt key (either one on each side of the spacebar), then tap that letter, the menu will drop down with the options.  Once the menu drops down, you can just hit the underscored letter without the Alt key to make your selection. 

You only left-click once on menu items.

Now look at area 3 and notice that some items on the menus list a shortcut key combination on the right side.  For instance, for File, Open, it shows Ctrl+O.  These key combinations are called shortcut keys.  If you hold the Ctrl key down with your left hand and tap the O with your right hand, it'll do the same as selecting it from the menu.

Other shortcut keys are the Ctrl and Alt keys.  When you are in the main window area, if you are using your keyboard and you want to move down the document or page, just hit the arrow keys to go one line at a time or Page Up or Page Down to go a screen-full at a time.

If you're using your mouse, clicking on the arrows at the top and bottom of the slider (area 4) moves you one line at a time.  If you click once in the area between the slider and arrow, it will move you one screen-full at a time.  If you click and hold on the slider, you can also scroll through the document or page.


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Please Note: All information provided in The Help Desk web site is in easy to understand terms, in my opinion only, and may not necessarily be the only accepted answers or advice.  I will not be responsible for any problems caused from anyone making any configuration or hardware changes to their computer system resulting from information obtained from this web site.  Please contact me prior to using any content from this web site.