Windows 7 Foundation
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Windows 7 is a much needed improvement over the many issues that came with Windows Vista and you will likely find it to be more responsive, easier to navigate, and less prone to crash. In this free Windows 7 foundation tutorial, we will learn the essentials of Windows 7, how to access its improved interface and features, and how to manage your computer more effectively. We teach by showing you how to do a topic with screenshots and step by step instructions.
Windows 7 is a much needed improvement over the many issues that came with Windows Vista and you will likely find it to be more responsive, easier to navigate, and less prone to crash. In this free Windows 7 foundation tutorial, we will learn the essentials of Windows 7, how to access its improved interface and features, and how to manage your computer more effectively.
We teach by showing you how to do a topic with screenshots and step by step instructions. In our free Microsoft Windows Vista tutorial , we explored many of these same topics. In this tutorial, you will learn how to: Manage the user interface Work with your files and folders Setup new users Get help when you need it Add and remove programs Connect to a network We have also created a Windows 7 reference guide section on Learnthat. This reference guide section is for more bite sized tutorials on how to perform a specific function within Windows.
Windows 7 is the latest in graphical operating systems from Microsoft. You will find Windows 7 to be a very powerful, friendly, and easy to use operating system.
In the past, Microsoft has been criticized relative to Apple for what was said to be gaps in power and usability between Windows and Mac OS.
Many of these gaps have now disappeared and in some ways, Windows is easier to use and more powerful than its nemesis, Mac OS X. In this tutorial, we will explore all of these powerful, yet easy to use features. Windows 7 tries to hide a lot of back end processing and is noticeably faster than Windows Vista at many of the same tasks.
You will like what you find in Windows 7. The Windows 7 Interface Welcome to Windows 7! Windows Vista and Windows 7 are relatively close in terms of look and feel. If you are used to Windows XP or older versions of Windows, you will find the interface in Windows 7 to be much different. The first thing you will notice upon booting into Windows 7 for the first time is the more simplistic feel it provides. Your desktop is not inundated with icons some with no perceived value to you and instead a simple Recycle Bin sits on the desktop.
Some PC manufacturers may helpfully provide a bunch of shortcut icons to their favorite applications, but a clean install of Windows would find a clean desktop. At this point, we recommend checking out the new interface. Click on the Start menu, open a few windows. Open an application. The first button on the far left is the Start Menu. On the bar above, the icon has button outline around it with a second layer behind it. The outline indicates that Internet Explorer is open and the second layer indicates that two IE windows are open.
Contrast this with the icon which is not open. Without an outline, the application is simply pinned to the taskbar and not currently open. In the Taskbar image at the top, you can see Firefox as two layers behind the main one, this indicates Firefox has three or more windows open at a time. When you run your mouse over the icon on the Taskbar, you will get a preview of the windows currently open. When you run your mouse over one of the Windows show, it will appear on your screen for you to preview.
If you click one of one of the screens, it will open. If you right-click on an icon of a program which supports Windows 7, you will see a Tasks list of things you can quickly access in the program. For example, in the image above, you see that when I right-click on the Microsoft Outlook icon, I can quickly access tasks such as New Email Message or New Appointment.
I can also Pin this program to taskbar, or place an icon of it to reside on the taskbar at all times, even when the program is not open. In the taskbar Notification Area formerly called the System Tray you will see the first menu, allowing you access to all of the hidden notification area icons, and then the other options which have been pinned to the notification area such as the battery life, windows messages, networking, and audio settings.
At the far right you see a box with a slight shadow effect. This button is the Show Desktop button and will minimize your open windows to show you the Windows desktop. When you click on the show hidden notifications arrow, you will see a popup of all of the notification icons that are currently hidden. You can also customize the notification area to include one of those icons by clicking Customize….
To the right of each icon, you have a pull down menu listing Behaviors. The first option, Show icon and notifications, displays the icon in the notification area and alerts you if the program or utility needs attention.
The second option, Hide icon and notifications, hides the notifications from view and does not alert you. The third option, Only show notifications, only displays the icon when the application or utility needs to alert you to something. Select the menu next to the item you want to customize and change the setting. Just a note, in marketing materials, Microsoft has changed the name of the Taskbar to the Superbar. If you see something on the web referring to the Superbar, they typically mean the Taskbar.
On the left hand side of the Start menu, you see the icons you have both pinned to the Start menu and the recently used applications. At the bottom of the left hand column is the Search programs and files text field. You can search for a file in this field, or launch a shortcut for any software you know the name of.
For example, I frequently use the calculator and I know the application shortcut name is calc. If I enter calc in this field and press Enter, the calculator will open: In the right hand column of the Start menu, you see several shortcuts to libraries — folders of documents or files such as Jeremy, my profile folder; Documents, the equivalent of My Documents in previous versions of Windows; Pictures, the equivalent of My Pictures in previous versions of Windows; and so on. The remaining items are shortcuts to the associate utility, such as Control Panel or Help and Support.
At the bottom of the right hand column, you have a Shutdown button shortcut. If you click the arrow to the right of Shut down, you will see different options such as Restart, Shut Down, or Sleep.
Accessing Help There are several methods to access Windows help. The most common method of accessing help is to press the F1 key to access context-sensitive help. Windows continues to improve its help system and Windows 7 probably has the best help and support knowledgebase versus any of the previous versions of Windows. When you select Help and Support from the Start Menu, you will start in a simple and clear help box. We will explore the help and support system in a whole section of this tutorial devoted entirely to help.
The great thing is — since Windows is so common in home and business environments, no matter what your problem is, you can likely find someone experiencing the same thing and either find a resolution or a workaround. The trick is knowing how to ask the right questions! Online Help There are many sources of help available online and we explore those in the Getting Help section of this free tutorial. You can find step by step instructions to do just about anything in Windows 7. Working with Windows Windows is a powerful operating system.
After you take this tutorial, you will understand how to work with Windows 7 and make it work for you. Turn on your computer. Login to Windows if you have a password and user account set. Click on the Start menu, button. Click on the Computer link in the right hand column of the Start Menu. In previous versions of Windows, this was called My Computer. At the top of the Computer window is your address bar.
At the left, you have a left and right arrow. Once you start navigating into your computer, you can go back or forward through the path of navigation.
For example, if we double-click on our C: In the middle of the address bar, you have location of where you are currently at, surrounded by little black arrows.
This address portion of the address bar tells you both where you are at, and the previous and next levels. If you click on one of the arrows, it will show the path before, or other options you can pursue. At the far right of the address bar is your search field. The next bar is the toolbar.
This replaces the old menu based structure which is still just hiding under the surface. This toolbar lets you quickly select a destination to manage your computer. On the left hand side of your explorer window is the shortcut list of items you can quickly click to go to. On the right hand side, you see the drives on your computer. Double-click to navigate into one.
Finally, at the bottom of the window is your information box. In previous versions of Windows, when you needed to find out your computer name, workgroup or domain, memory, and processor, there were several places you had to go.
Help desks and support centers often need this information and you now have a quick and easy way to access it. As you can see, in any window in Windows, there is a lot of functionality and things you can do. In later sections of this tutorial, we will explore how to work in Windows in much more depth and provide you the steps you need to just about everything!
Click Start and select Shut down. This will quickly shut down your computer. If you click the arrow on the right of the Shut down button, you will be given a list of options for shutdown. Switch user allows you to switch user accounts to someone else while remaining logged into the computer. You will use this option if someone else wants to use the computer but you do not want to exit out of your open software applications. Log off logs you off of your account, but does not shutdown the computer.
This options takes you back to a login screen where you or another user could log in. This option leaves the computer turned on.
The Windows 7 Interface
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