A step-by-step HOW-TO guide to the

    Most Often Used Windows in your PC

    Created by Don Edberg......updated 7/15/01 ------------ My personal Website

    Have you ever said, "How Do I Do That? This is a list of commonly used "windows" which allow you to perform various tasks on your PC. To find these windows, click ( > stands for click) through the sequence shown. SDA stands for "scroll down arrow." Right > indicates for you to "right click" the right button on your mouse. I would suggest you print this, then follow the steps indicated.

  • Use this window when you are saving and naming a NEW file. It is found in many software programs.
  • > File, (upper left of your screen) > save as.
  • You will see a "save in" window: Use this to select a specific folder in which you will store the file. This allows you to save to a specific location. Click the SDA for options.
  • You will see a "file name" window. Use this to NAME your new file.
  • You will see a "save as type" window. Use this to save as a document file, but note the SDA for other options.
  • You only use "save as" initially to name and direct a file, or subsequently to "rename" a file. If you are editing an old document, you need only > file, then > save.
  • If you're just going to be working with a file temporarily, save it to the desktop--that way you won't lose it and have it waste space for the next few years buried in some sub-folder.

  • Use this window to find missing or downloaded files.
  • > Start, (lower left), move cursor up to find, > files or folders.
  • You will see three tabs for various searches. "Name and Location Tab" is best.
  • You will see a "named" window. Type in the file name if you know it, and > find now.
  • You will see a "containing text" window. Type in one or more words you know are in the lost file, and > find now.

  • Does your computer hang up, or give the the "illegal function" message? It may time to defrag. In fact you should defrag your computer weekly. Why? Disk Defragmenter, as the name implies, defragments your disks as your are using your computer. Your disks get fragmented when you add and delete files, because information that should be grouped together gets split up. When you defragment your disk, all of this information gets grouped back together, and your computer works better. See my main computer tips for more on this.
  • > Start, MOVE cursor to programs, then move to accessories, then move to system tools, then > disk defragmenter, > OK (to defrag "C" drive). This may take an hour or more.

  • Use this to cue your printer for special instructions.
  • > edit, > print
  • You will see a page range section. Use this to select specific pages when you wish to print from a multi-page document.
  • You will see a copies section. Use this to select number of copies to be printed, and how you wish them collated.

  • Use this to view all folders and files within those folders.
  • > start button, MOVE cursor up to programs, then MOVE cursor down to windows explorer, usually at the extreme bottom of the list, > windows explorer.
  • You will see a divided page, with major folders listed on the left side.
  • You will see listed on the right all files within any open folder. Simply > on any folder to open it. For example, if you wish to view all files in your "My Documents" folder, > it. > back (upper menu bar) to close it. This is akin to opening and closing your file cabinet drawers.
  • When you find the file you are looking for, double > to open it.
  • If you want to get to Explore Windows quickly, simply right-click on the Start button and select it from the list. This beats hitting Start, Programs, and then trying to find it on the long list of applications.

  • Use this to change settings and defaults in your computer.
  • > start button, MOVE cursor up to settings, > control panel.
  • Use this to open the various windows displayed there. For example, > on the Date/Time icon to open the Date/Time properties window to change date or time.

  • Use this to view configuration and status of your PC.
  • To find this window, go to your desktop window, RIGHT > on "My Computer" icon, > properties, > performance tab. System Resources should read 70% free or better. If you are below 65%, you have too many programs running, and may experience an error message, or the dreaded blue screen. Shut down all programs and restart.

  • This window is found in your word processor in the menu bar. Use this to activate various functions listed there.
  • > format, then notice various options listed. You may change default settings for fonts, background color. Experiment with "auto format."

  • Find it in the menu bar. Use this to activate various functions listed there.
  • > insert, to insert the various options into your document. To experiment with these, open a new document, the try each function to become familiar with it.

  • Find it in the menu bar. Use this to activate various functions listed there.
  • > tools to open this window.
  • > envelopes and labels to perform specialized printing jobs.
  • > options to see various default setting tabs. The "spelling and grammar" tab is an interesting tab which allows you to determine spelling and grammar settings.

    11. HELP WINDOW ...Often overlooked as a great source if information.
  • > help on the menu bar, > contents and index, > index tab, then type in the subject your are looking for, OR scroll down to find the subject.

  • Use this to view various functions available to you.
  • > edit, then select options listed. Especially note the "select all" option, which hi-lights the entire document. After you have selected all, go back to edit, and click on your selected function, such as copy.
  • To copy and paste, you may use this window. Simply highlight the text you wish to copy, then > edit, > copy. Then go to the destination, (such as a new email letter), place the cursor where you wish to paste the text, > edit, > paste.
  • TIP: using the right click function will also bring up the "edit window" with its various options. Experiment with it.

    13. PREFERENCES WINDOW (in your browser)
  • Use this to change default settings in your browser.
  • > edit, > preferences to view that options available.
  • In Eudora, > on tools, > options to view default settings, which are previously entered settings or values that the computer will automatically open or utilize.

    14. MENU WINDOW (not immediately visible at the top of your screen.)
  • Use this to add more menu bars to your screen.
  • Place your cursor in the extreme upper right of your screen, in the area to the right of your menu bars, then Right >, and select the various menu options you wish displayed.
  • Replace missing toolbars. You may have accidentally disabled the view of a toolbar somehow. To put it back: > the View menu, Select Toolbars, Select the toolbars you want to appear. Once you do this, the toolbar will reappear automatically.

  • Look for the "open yellow folder" icon in the upper left of your screen. You will see displayed the filing system of your computer.
  • You will see the "look in" window. Notice the SDA options.
  • Notice the various search option windows at the bottom.

  • Used to create a new folder in your main file system. If you are beginning a new project with various files, I recommend you do this. For example, you are writing a book.
  • See step # 5 above to open the "Exploring" window. Click the drive in Windows Explorer where you want to create the new folder (such as drive C: under My Computer). Then > edit, > move cursor to "New", > folder, then notice the new folder in the large window below,(may be on the right side). Type in the name of this new folder and hit the enter key. Close the window. When you open you filing system again (step 5 above), this new folder will appear on the left side in alphabetical order.
  • To delete any file or folder, simply place the cursor on the file icon, Right >, > delete, > yes. OR, simply > on the icon, then > on the "delete" button in the upper menu bar.

  • Use this to save important files, so that you can reload them into your computer after it crashes. YES, IT WILL HAPPEN!
  • To save to a floppy disc, use step five above to open the "exploring" window. Then > on the folder to find your intended file. > on the intended file to highlight it, the RIGHT >, move cursor to "send to," > "floppy A, and the file will be copied to the disc. (have the disc inserted). Now label your disc.
  • Even though you send a file to a floppy, the original file will remain in your "C" Drive.
  • Floppy discs have limited capacity. You may copy an entire folder if there is room for it on the floppy.
  • If you are using a zip drive, or the D drive (CD WRITER SOFTWARE), then indicate that the file should be saved there. These have much larger memory capacities, and you can save your entire email program, for example, with just a few clicks.

  • Use this to retrieve files stored on your floppy disc.
  • To open, use step five above to open "exporing" window. > up button until you see the "A" drive appear on the left side. Insert disc. > A. Now all files on your floppy will be listed on the right side. > on any file to open it. RIGHT > to delete a file from your floppy.


  • You may have several programs open at once, but typically only see one on your screen.
  • Open first program, such as your email. When you are finished and wish to open another program, click the "minimizer" button in the upper right of your screen. It's the button with the minus sign in it. You will see the "email icon button" fly down to the lower menu bar. This indicates the program is open, but hidden.
  • Next, open the next program, such as your word processor. You now have two programs running, and can easily switch or alternate between the programs. If you wish to copy material from an email, you would highlight and copy the material, then click on the word processor button on the lower menu bar, and paste the material into the open document.
  • The button located between the minus and "x" buttons, (upper right) is called the resize function. It alternates sizes of your window.
  • The "x" button is the close down button.
  • Switching Between Applications:
    When using Windows, it is very common to have many applications open simultaneously. Most people prefer to concentrate on one task at a time but like the ability to switch between tasks at will. Hold down the Alt key, then hit Tab key, a window will open in the middle of the screen with the title of one of the active applications. When the title of the application you wish to use is displayed, let go of the Alt key and Windows will display the chosen application.

  • > on help, and you may find the "whats this" icon, with a question mark in it.
  • > help, place cursor on the "question mark," and >. As you move the cursor, the question mark icon follows your cursor. Place the icon on any part of your screen, such as another button, then >, and a window appears with a description.

  • As you are creating a document, I recommend you hit the save function regularly, like every 20 minutes. This avoids losing a document.

  • If Word freezes and you lose unsaved information in a document, you may be able to recover it. To do this, > Tools menu, >Options, > the File Locations tab. If the space next to AutoRecover files is blank, then your data is lost. If there is a location, simply go to that location and open the document.


    1. ATTACH FILE WINDOW. To attach a file to an outgoing message, do the following:
    1. From the Message menu, choose Attach File [to New Message]. The Attach File dialog box appears.
    2. Locate the file you want, select it, and click the Open button to attach the document to the current message or to open a new message with the file attached. You can add as many attachments as you want to a message, one at a time.