If you are not clear on selecting, copying, pasting, where to save or find music, documents, programs, etc.
and what they do, this may help.
MOUSE OR TOUCH PAD
Moving your mouse or touch pad moves the pointer to the item you want to select. Press the left button
(click = left click) to select the item at the pointer. Press the right button (right click) to get a menu
pertinent to the point where you clicked. If in an open area, the menu applies there. In most cases, the
same menu items are available at the top of the window in which you are working.
You can set the characteristics of your mouse or touch pad at Start, Control Panel, Mouse. To avoid
accidental selections or actions with a touch pad, uncheck Tap to Click.
Everything that has a frame is a window, even a small dialog box, and most, but not all, can be adjusted in
size from tiny to full screen. Windows that have three small squares at the upper right corner can be
toggled back and forth from full screen to smaller by clicking the middle square. When they are smaller,
you can click to select one side, top or bottom of the frame, hold down the button, and drag (move) it with
the mouse to stretch or compress it. Then release the button. Clicking the left button containing the minus
sign reduces the window to an icon (symbol + name on a button) on the Taskbar at the bottom of your
screen. Clicking that restores the last size. Clicking the right button containing X closes the window and its
When a window is full screen, the others have not gone away. They are behind it or down on the Taskbar.
Clicking anywhere on a window generally puts in front of the others and changes the color of its title bar at
its top. To move a window, click within its title bar, hold the button down, and drag it to a new position.
A file is a distinct batch of information that is stored somewhere, usually in a folder (directory) on your hard
drive or a removable CD or DVD. There are lots of different types of files designated by a three letter
extension after a dot that separates it from the name. Each different extension is generally associated with
the program that created the file or can view or utilize its contents. For instance, a Microsoft Word
document has a name that ends in .doc; a music file ends in .wav, .mp3, .wma, or .w64; a plain text file ends
in .txt; an executable file that performs an action ends in .exe, .com, or .dll; a Photoshop image ends in .
psd; a lot of photos end in .jpg, and an Excel workbook ends in .xls. Almost everything on your
computer is stored in a file or group of files including programs.
Just as you might save a paper document inside a folder, within another folder, within a drawer, within a
certain file cabinet, you save files in a hierarchy of folders. From the Windows Start button, you can see a
table of contents of each of separate groups of folders in My Documents, My Computer, and My Network
Places. You can think of each as a different file cabinet. I prefer using (Windows) Explorer, which shows
all these in a single window, and placing two Explorer windows side by side. Then, when I move or copy
and paste a file from one place to another, I see on one screen where it came from and where it is going.
Here is how.
First, for convenience, let’s place a shortcut to Explorer on your desktop and on your Taskbar. From a
fresh boot (opening Windows) Go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, Windows Explorer. Right click, and
click Copy. In a blank area of your desktop, right click and Paste. Click on your new icon and drag it onto
the Quick Launch area of your Taskbar next to the Start button. In a blank area of your desktop right click
and click on Arrange Icons by Type.
Click the Explorer icon on the Taskbar to open an Explorer window. In its top menu click Tools, Folder
Options, General, Use Windows classic folders. In its View window tab click to place check marks at:
- Display the full path in the address bar.
- Launch folder windows in a separate process
- Restore previous windows at logon
- Show Control Panel in My Computer
Uncheck (check again if checked) Hide extensions for known file types. Click Apply to All Folders. Yes. OK.
Click the Explorer icon on your Taskbar again. Right click an open area of your Taskbar. Click Tile
Vertically to place the two windows side by side. If you have not opened any other windows they will be
arranged as in this screen view. The right column of each window shows the contents of the item selected
in the left column.
COPY, PASTE, SAVE
Memorize: CTRL + C = Copy, CTRL + V = Paste, and CTRL + S = Save. They are also in the top File and
Edit menus in many windows, and often when you right click. Get in the habit of using CTRL + S to save
your work every few minutes in any program in which you might lose work if your computer crashes.
Sometimes when you save a file you will want to place it in its own folder within some other folder. In the
right hand Explorer window, expand My Computer in the left column by clicking either its name or the
preceding + sign. If you click a name, its contents appear in the right hand column.
Practice finding a file in the left Explorer window starting from drive (C:). Then Copy it, and paste it into a
suitable existing or new folder in the right hand Explorer window. When you create a music file, you have
to give it a name and put it somewhere. Usually a dialog box will present the same hierarchy of folders
you see in Windows Explorer and you use the same procedure.
Notice that the address at top grows as you click down through the hierarchy of folders giving you the
complete PATH from hard drive C: to your file folder, if you have clicked on it. Folder levels are separated
by a backslash \. You can go back up one level at a time by clicking the folder “up” icon in the toolbar.
DRAG AND DROP
Find a file, and click to select it. Hold down the left button while you pull it to another folder and release the
button. CAUTION – Drag and Drop from one window to another copies. Within a window it moves. To
convert music files, instead of dropping them into a folder you drop them anywhere inside the Burwen
Bobcat window. A dialog box will enable you to select a folder or subfolder where the converted files will
To select a group, click on the first file, and use Shift + Click on the last file. To add a file to a group select
it using Control + Click. Then click and hold while dragging the files to the window, and release them.
A network connects your computer to other computers either by wire or wirelessly. In either Explorer
window above, expanding My Network places shows you folders that are shared on other computers. You
can copy or view a file (a photo for example) on another computer and paste it into a folder on yours, the
same as if it were really on your own computer.
The internet extends your network to computers all over the world. Just as your home is identified by its
unique address, computers are identified by their IP (Internet Protocol) address.
Answer every dialog box, or your computer may get stuck waiting for your action. If you see a down arrow
in a dialog box, click it to view a list of selections. When finished click OK, Finish, or Exit if such a button is
present. If you can reduce each window an icon, a troublesome dialog box hidden behind may show up.
If one or more programs gets stuck, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to open Task Manager. On its Applications
tab, click any program not responding, and click End Task.