Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101 Logo:Jegsworks Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101

Home > Jan's CompLit 101 > Working with Windows > Windows Basics > Help > WinXP > Contents
Icon: Arrow - Previous pagePrevious    NextIcon: Arrow - Next page

Jan's Working with Windows:

  Help: WinXP: Contents

Now its time to see if you can find some jewels by mining the WinXP Help articles.

In WinXP's Help, there are several helpful new features.

  • History - Tracks the Help articles you have viewed so that you can return to them quickly.

  • Favorites - Lets you add Help articles to a Favorites list for use later.

  • Search the Knowledge Base - Search works directly with Microsoft's Knowledge Base and other sources of help.

  • Tasks - On the Help and Support home page is a group of links to help for common tasks that people need help with, like Remote Assistance and Windows Restore. No more digging around to find the information.

  • Links to assistance  and support.

Help: Customizing your computer (WinXP)

Icon Step-by-Step 

Step-by-Step:  Help Contents -WinXP

 Icon Step-by-Step

What you will learn: to open Windows Help
to navigate the Contents to find a topic
to navigate the topics and related topics

Icon: Windows VistaIcon: Windows 7 Icon: Win8 Icon: Win8.1 To work with Help in Windows Vista, Win7, Win8 or Win8.1, skip to Windows Vista, Win7, Win8 Help.

Start with: Monitor with desktop with Desktop and Taskbar showing.

  Open Help and Support Center

  1. Start Menu - Help and Support (WinXP)Left click Click on the Start button to open the Start menu.
  2. Left click Click on Help and Support.
    The Help and Support Center window opens to its Home page.

Help: initial window in WinXP

The left column is a list of categories of topics. The right column has links to assistance and common tasks.

Navigate to an Article

  1. Link: 'Customizing your computer' with pointer as hand shapeLeft click In the left column, move your mouse over the topic Customizing your computer.

    The words become underlined and the mouse pointer changes to Hand pointer a hand. This shows that the words are a link. Clicking on the link will do something. In this case, the page will change inside the window.

  2. Help: Customizing your computer (WinXP)Left click  Click on the topic Customizing your computer.
    The window changes to show a table of contents on the left, starting at the topic you clicked on, and on the right is a short article.

    Icons you will see:

    Icon: Help topic with subtopics (WinXP) This topic has subtopics. The subtopics may link to articles or to further lists of subtopics.

    Icon: Help - subtopics are open (WinXP) The list of subtopics is already open.

    Icon: Help - no subtopics (WinXP) A list of topics will open in the right pane.

    Icon: Help - article will open in right pane (WinXP) An article will open in the right pane.

    Icon: Help - will open in new window The link opens in a new window.
    Icon: Help - will run a program (WinXP) The link runs a program.

  3. Help: Customizing your computer: Keyboard and Mouse overviewLeft click  Click on the topic Icon: Help - no subtopics (WinXP) Keyboard and Mouse.
    A list of subtopics appears in the right pane.
    The table of contents did not expand. Somewhat unexpected!

  4. Help: Customizing your computer: Keyboard and mouse: Mouse Overview Left click  Click on the topic Mouse Overview in the right pane.
    An article opens in the right pane.
    Finally we have something to read!
  5. Read the article about the mouse.

Articles: Definitions

Take a look at the extra features in Help articles. Links and definitions abound!

  1. Move your mouse pointer over the green, underlined phrase secondary mouse button.Link: secondary mouse button

    The link changes color; the pointer changes to a hand shape. Link: secondary mouse button - hand shape.
    A definition of the phrase or word is available.

  2. Help and Support: definition popup (WinXP)Left click Click on the phrase.
    A definition of the phrase appears on top of the window.
  3. Left click Click somewhere to close the definition.

    Icon: Keyboard Alternate method: Pressing the ESC key on your keyboard will also close a definition.

Articles: Related Topics

Windows tries hard to guess what else you might want to know.

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the article to see the link to Related Topics. Link: Related topics (WinXP)
  2. Left click Click on the link Related Topics.
    A menu appears offering you some choices.
  3. Menu: Related Topics - popup menuFrom the popup menu, select Change the number of clicks required to open items.

    Help: Change the number of mouse clicks required to open itemsA new topic is displayed in the right pane. The left pane does not change.

  4. Left click Click the Back button at the top of the window.
    You are returned to the previous topic.
  5. Left click Click the Forward button.
    You are returned to the topic you just left.
  6. Icon: Experiment Experiment: Navigating Help topics
    Pick some topics that look interesting.
    Use the Back and Forward buttons as you go along. You can learn quite a lot while by just wandering around.