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Home > Jan's CompLit 101 > Working with Windows > Windows Basics
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Jan's Working with Windows:
    Project 1: Windows Basics

Project Objectives

  • Identify the parts of the user interface and of a window
  • Start and shut down Windows
  • Use the mouse to click, double-click, right click, and drag
  • Open an application and close it
  • Move, resize, minimize, maximize, and restore a window
  • Properly use the different inputs in a dialog box
  • Use Help for Windows and for an application

Windows uses a GUI (Graphical User Interface) so almost everything can be done using mouse clicks on icons and buttons or combinations of keys on the keyboard or (in Windows 8) by touching or swiping on a touch screen. You can SEE what you are doing. When you have a physical keyboard available, you will find it useful, less tiring, and often faster to use those odd combinations of keys.


Windows now comes in many different versions and often several flavors for a particular version. Confusing? Probably! Your workplace, friends, and school may all be using a different version. So it is worth a bit of trouble to get familiar with what you might see out there, as well as what you see on the computers you usually use.

These lessons are going to show you many of the "looks" that you might run into. Many of the tools and features underneath are similar in all the versions. It's just getting to them that changes.

Icon: Windows 8 Icon: Windows 8.1 Windows 8 and 8.1: Designed to be used on tablets and smart phones as well as on desktop computers. Windows 8.1 does some things differently than Windows 8 but most behaviors are the same. Both of these versions include new methods that take advantage of touch screens. The directions in these lessons will not usually mention the methods that require a touch screen, like tap or swipe or pinch. Most people still wind up using the normal keyboard and mouse methods for work. Getting words onto a screen is still easier and more accurate using a keyboard than any other method. So the methods that you can use from the keyboard are faster over all.