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Navigating Windows

Step 1

Your programs are held in a menu system which can be launched from the Start button at the bottom left of your screen. Clicking on it will bring up a popup menu which will open further if the option is followed by an arrowhead.

Try this - Click Start > Programs > Accessories > Calculator.

You will notice that Calculator does not have an arrowhead. This is because it is a shortcut, or a convenient way of accessing a program which is otherwise tucked away in the system files.

Step 2

Now that we can access programs using the start menu, we will move on to files. Files such as letters, photographs, spreadsheets and music need to be accessed in a slightly different way. Click on Windows Explorer (Start > Programs) and you will see all the folders and files on your computer in alphabetical order in a split screen. The left pane displays the folders on your hard drive and the right hand pane displays the contents of the folders. Click on a folder in the left pane and it will open with the contents being shown on the right. Some folders will have a plus symbol next to it. This simply means that the folder contains further sub folders. To access these folders you can either click the plus symbol in the left pane or double click the folder itself in the right pane.

Step 3

Click on My Documents in Windows Explorer. As most people save their work in this folder, you are likely to come across some familiar names in the right hand pane. To open one of these files, double click your selection in the right hand pane.

Step 4

Windows Explorer is the filing system for Windows. As we have seen, it allows you to access files and folders but also gives you the power to move, rename or delete files.

N.B. Do not move, rename or delete any files that you have not created yourself as you may inadvertently damage the function of programs or utilities on your PC. You have been warned!

Step 5

An alternative way to navigate Windows is to double click My Computer. In essence what you will be using is just the right hand pane of Windows Explorer so will be seeing the immediate contents of the folder. Again you will be able to move, rename and delete but the same rule applies - watch what you are doing!

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