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a. Processor
b. Monitor
c. Keyboard
d. Mouse
e. Hard drive
f. CD-ROM drive
g. CD-RW drive
h. Diskette drive
i. Modem
j. Printer
k. Scanner



a. Logging on
b. Mousing

a. Icons
b. Taskbar
c. ‘Start’ menu


a. Starting a program called Calculator
b. Paint program
c. Saving a file
d. Reopening a file
e. Printing a file


a. Multitasking
b. Title bar
c. Changing window size
d. Close
e. Solitaire program


Computer Skills: MS Programs & the Internet Section 1, page 1 of 17


The computer is a tool that you use to do things quickly, easily and more efficiently. Some of the
things you might use a computer for are

 Writing a letter.
 Preparing a budget.
 Playing a game.
 Looking up a phone number.
 Reading the news.

A computer is made up of two parts: hardware and software.


Hardware is any part of the computer that you can physically touch. These parts include

 Processor Box (Tower or Desktop)
 Hard drive
 CD-ROM drive
 CD-RW drive
 Diskette drive

CD-ROM Drive Drive

Processor Box

Keyboard Mouse

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Processor. This is the brain of the computer. It interprets the instructions that are given by the
user and then executes those instructions, such as telling your printer to print. Generally, the faster
the processor, the faster the computer will usually be able to perform instructions and tasks. The
processors created by the company Intel are among the most widely used.
Processor Box. This is the shell that houses the processor. It is also referred to as a tower or
desktop. The modem, hard drive, CD-ROM, CD-RW and diskette drives are also inside this shell.
Most PCs today have towers that should be stored upright. Desktop computers sit on top of a
computer workstation or desk.
Monitor. This is the screen that allows you to see images and text. It is connected to the computer
via a cable.

Keyboard. This is used to input text into the computer. It uses the same key arrangement as the
typewriter, but it has additional keys, such as Escape, Delete, Page Up and Down, that allow you
to communicate with the computer in ways other than just inputting text. This is also connected to
the computer via a cable.

Mouse. This is another device that allows you to communicate with the computer. The mouse is
made of a ball that’s in a case typically shaped like a toy mouse. When the mouse is moved, you
will see a small arrow, called a pointer, moving on your screen. A mouse generally has two
buttons on the top, a left and a right button; the left button is most commonly used. You use these
buttons to click on directions showing on your computer screen. This is also connected to your
computer via a cable.

Hard drive. This is the primary storage location for your computer. When you create something
on the computer, such as a list of addresses, you need to store it somewhere. Most frequently,
your work is stored on the hard drive that is inside the PC itself. The hard drive is located inside
your processor box. All of the programs that you use, such as Microsoft Word, are also stored on
the hard drive.

CD-ROM drive. This is a slot in the processor box where you would insert a CD-ROM into your
computer. A CD-ROM is like a music CD, except that it contains graphics that you can look at on
your computer in addition to sound. Programs, such as Microsoft Word, come on CD-ROMs.
When you put the CD-ROM into the drive, you can transfer the program to your computer’s hard

CD-RW drive. This is another slot in the processor box where you would insert a blank CD into
your computer so that you can copy your work to it. As mentioned before, most of your work will
be stored to the hard drive. However, you might want to copy something to give to someone else.
Or, you might want to back up all the work you have on your hard drive in case something
happens to your computer. These drives are also commonly called CD burners because many
people use them to copy (burn) music downloaded from the Internet to CDs.

Diskette drive. This is another slot in the processor box where you would insert a diskette into
your computer. This diskette could have something on it, such as something you wrote and copied
onto it. Or, it could be blank, and you could copy your work to it. In the past, diskettes were the
only portable computer storage devices. Today, however, most people use CDs, and new
computers generally do not even come with diskette drives.

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Modem. This is something that allows you to communicate with computers all over the world via
the Internet. A modem allows you to connect to the Internet via phone or cable lines, depending on
what type of modem you have. The modem can be housed in your processor box, or it can be
something separate that’s connected to your computer via a cable.

A laptop computer is a portable PC that can be carried from place to place. It has a monitor,
keyboard, modem and built-in mouse device. It contains a processor and hard drive, but other
drives (CD-ROM, CD-RW, diskette) need to be added as attachments.

Printer. This takes the information that’s displayed on your screen and puts it on paper. There are
many kinds of printers. Most PCs users today have inkjet printers. Laser printers are larger and
more expensive, and are commonly used in businesses. A printer is connected to your computer
via a cable.

Scanner. This makes a copy of something, just like a copy machine, except it captures the copy
in your computer, instead of on another sheet of paper. A scanner is connected to your computer
via a cable.


Software. Software, also called a “program,” is a set of instructions that tell the computer how to
work. Software is what lets you play a game, write a letter, create a budget, or access an address
book on your computer.

There are two types of software:

 Operating System Software – This is the main program that is used to operate the
computer system. Most PCs use some form of Windows, such as Windows XP, to
operate. This program may be considered the mother of all programs on your computer in
that without it you can not use your hardware or any other software on your computer.
(This class includes an introduction to using Windows as your computers operating

 Application Software – These are the programs that you use to perform specific tasks,
such as
o Word processing to write a letter.
o Spreadsheets to make a budget.
o Games to entertain.
o Graphics programs to paint a picture.
o Databases to create an address book.
o Browsers to surf the ‘Net.

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Hooking up a computer is not as difficult as it looks. All peripheral devices (monitor, mouse,
printer, keyboard, speakers) are connected to the processor box via different types of cables. The
back of the processor box has a number of sockets, called ports, into which you plug the cables.
Typically, the ports are labeled, so you know exactly which cable goes into which port. The
processor box and some peripheral devices (monitor, printer) need electrical power, so these will
also have a power cord. These power cords should be plugged into a surge protector/power strip
to protect your computer from unexpected power surges.


Logging on
At home your computer is most likely set up to be a standalone computer (not connected to any
other computers). It will be ready to use after you start it up.

In this lab we will be using computers that are connected to a server computer. A server
computer is a certain type of computer that supports a computer network. In a network, many
computers are connected to a server. A network allows users to share files, programs and
hardware, such as printers. When working on a network, you may have to log onto the server
before you can use your computer so that you may use the shared network services. To do this
you need to enter the network password on the opening screen. Just click in the password entry
box, type in the password given to you by the instructor and click the OK button.

In order to operate your computer, you need to use the mouse. The mouse allows you to tell the
computer what you want to do. When you move your mouse on a flat surface an arrow, called a
pointer, will move in the same direction on the monitor.

There are generally two buttons on a mouse: one on the upper right and one on the upper left
corners. The left mouse button is used much more frequently than the right. The terms ‘click’ and
‘double click’ refer to pointing to an item and either clicking once (click) or twice (double click)
with the left mouse button.

Sometimes, a program will let you do things quicker by using the right mouse button; this is
referred to as a “right click.” If you are left handed and prefer to keep your mouse on the left side
of your keyboard, your mouse can be set up appropriately and your most-used clicks (click and
double click) would be using the right button and exceptions would use the left.

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Icons are the pictures on your screen that represent documents or programs on the
computer or the network. This is the icon for Microsoft Word. If this item appeared on
your desktop, you could double click on it in order to start Word.

The taskbar is the bar at the bottom of your screen. The first box that is displayed is the ‘start’ box
with the Windows logo next to it. When you open a program, the icon for that program and the
name of the file you are working on will appear on the taskbar.

‘Start’ menu
The ‘start’ button on your Taskbar is one way to start your programs on your computer. Move
your mouse until the point of your pointer is on top of the ‘start’ button. Click the left mouse
button. A pop-up menu will be displayed. A menu is a list of your choices.

At the bottom of the first column, you’ll see the words “All Programs.” There is a right arrow ►
next to those words. The ► on any menu means that you have more choices for that option.
Moving to an option with an ► and pointing at it will display a new menu with more options.


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Starting a program called Calculator

The calculator program is part of a group of basic programs that come installed on your computer.
It can be found in the Accessories folder in All Programs. Calculator works exactly like a hand-
held calculator, except that you use your mouse pointer instead of your finger. To press a button,
move your mouse pointer to that button and simply click the left mouse button. Or, if you don’t
want to use your mouse, you can also use the numeric keypad on the far right of your keyboard.

To start Calculator:
1. Click the start button. The Start menu will pop up.
2. Move the mouse over “All Programs ►” so that it’s highlighted. An ‘All Programs’
menu will be displayed to the right of the start menu.
3. Slide the mouse straight over on the colored bar of the All Programs choice and slide up to
the Accessories group. When this is highlighted, a list of programs will be displayed.
4. Slide straight over to your accessories list and up/down to Calculator.
5. Once the pointer is resting on calculator and that program is highlighted, click your left
mouse button.
6. The program is displayed in a box called a window on the desktop.

The window for most programs contain

 A title bar at the top of the window telling you the name of the program
 A horizontal menu bar under the title bar lists the different functions you can do
 Icon buttons to enable you to perform functions in a simpler way
 A display area where your work is shown
Notice also that the taskbar on the bottom of the screen displays the program that is currently
running on your computer, Calculator.

Title Bar Close

Menu Bar Display



All programs running in Windows may be closed using the close button  located on the top
right of any window.

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Paint program
Starting Up. Paint is another basic program found in the Accessories folder. It can be used to
draw and edit pictures. When you start Paint, it’s as if you just pulled out a canvas, some paint
and drawing tools and placed them on a desk.

The canvas is your display area, which is the white area that takes up most of the window.
When you move your mouse over the canvas area, the pointer is displayed as a pencil, shown
at left. This is the tool that you’re automatically set to use when you start.

Your tools are displayed in button bars along the left side of the window. The pencil button is
highlighted, indicating its current use. The color palette is displayed on the bottom of the window.
The color indicator displays black on white as the default color.

Painting. Move your pointer to the place on the canvas where you want to start drawing. Click
and hold the left mouse button. Then move the mouse around without lifting it. This mouse
technique is called dragging. A line will appear in the drawing area (Image 1). Write your name in
the drawing area. Try drawing various shapes (Image 2). You have just created your first painting.

Image 1 Image 2

In order to select another tool, simply click on the tool that you want to use. Return to the drawing
area and continue with your creation. Use the ‘Eraser’ tool to erase your square and circle (Image

Image 3

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When you first start Paint the selected foreground color is black and the selected background is
white. The color box is used to change colors. To change colors click on the desired color using
the left mouse button. Notice that the first box in is your color indicator. It tells you what your
selected foreground and background colors are.


Dialog boxes. Let’s start a new painting. To do this, click on ‘File.’ The File pull-down menu is
displayed. This is a menu of things you can do with files. Select ‘New’ by pointing to and
clicking on that option. Something called a dialog box is displayed.

Dialog boxes are a way for the computer to communicate with you. If a dialog box appears, you
must respond to it before you can perform any other action. You cannot perform any other
function until the question in the dialog box is answered.

In this case, the dialog box is asking if you want to “Save changes to untitled?” because you have
not saved the work you just did. If you click ‘Yes,’ you will be taken to the first step in the save
process. If you click ‘Cancel,’ the box will close and you will be back to your original Paint
window. Click ‘No’ so that you can open a new canvas file. You will not be saving your work yet.

Use the tools and colors in the Paint program to create the following drawing (Image 4). Paint the
house red and the door green using the ‘Fill With Color’ tool, which has the paint can icon.

Image 4

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Saving a file
In order to save a painting, you pull down the File menu and click on the ‘Save As…’ function
(Image 5). The first time you save any file, you always use the ‘Save As . . .’ function because
you need to select a name and location for the file. You can use ‘Save’ when you work on your
file again after that.

Image 5

The ‘Save As…’ dialog box will be displayed. You will need to choose a name for your painting
file. Type the name in the ‘File name’ box located toward the bottom of the dialog box (Image 6).

Type in the
name you want
Paint to save
your file as.

Image 6

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For the purposes of this class, you want to save your painting file to a folder created for you on the
computer lab’s server. A folder is a place on the computer where you can save your work. Your
folder has been created using your name. To save to your folder:
1. Pull down the ‘Save in’ list. To do this, use the down arrow button next to the ‘Save in’
box near the top of the dialog box (Image 7). Click on the lab server computer that your
folder is on. Your instructor will tell you the name of the server.
2. Click on the ‘Open’ button to see a list of the folders that are on the server.
3. Find your folder and click on it.
4. Click the ‘Open’ button.

Click the down

arrow to pull
down a list of
places where
you can save
your file in.

Image 7

Click the ‘Save’ button on the bottom right of the ‘Save As’ dialog box. The file is now saved to
your CD for you to use at a future time. You can exit the program by clicking on the close button

Reopening a file
In order to open the painting you just saved, follow these steps.
1. Reopen the Paint program.
2. Pull down the File menu and click on the ‘Open’ function. The ‘Open’ dialog box will be
displayed. Notice the ‘Look in’ box at the top of the dialog box.
3. Click on the arrow at the right of that box. You will see a list of places where your file
could be stored. Select CD-RW Drive.
4. The name of your file should appear in the ‘File name:’ box at the bottom.
5. Click the ‘Open’ button at the bottom right of the dialog box. Your canvas will appear.

Now add some flowers and a tree to the red house picture. Once your picture is complete, you’ll
want to save it with the new changes. Since you’ve already named this file, you can do a quick
1. Pull down the File menu and click on the ‘Save’ function. Your changes have been saved.

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Printing a file
What you see on the page is not necessarily what’s going to be printed. To see what will actually
be printed, use the Print Preview feature:
1. Pull down the File menu and select ‘Print Preview.’ Notice how your painting will be
displayed on the standard 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper.
2. Notice the mouse pointer has turned into a magnifying glass when moved onto the canvas.
Click once to zoom in where your pointer is located.
3. Click the ‘Zoom out’ button to go back to the regular view.
4. Click the ‘Close’ button to take you out of print preview.

To print your painting

 Pull down the File menu and select ‘Print.’
 Click the ‘Print’ button on the bottom of the dialog box.

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Windows is considered to be a multitasking environment. What this means is that you can work
on multiple programs and/or files simultaneously. For example, you can paint a picture in Paint
and then do a calculation using the Calculator program without closing down Paint.

Title bar
As you’ve already learned, whenever you start a program, that program is displayed in a
rectangular area on your desktop called a window. The title bar at the top of the window tells you
which program you are currently working in. If you have a file open, the name of the file will also
appear in the title bar. (The icon for programs that are opened will appear on buttons on your
desktop taskbar as well. The button for the program you are working in will be highlighted.)

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Changing window size
When working in a program, it’s generally useful to have as much working area as possible. This
means that you want the window to fill up your entire screen, as your Paint window does now.

However, sometimes you may be working in two programs at the same time and so you want to be
able to see two windows at once. In that case, you would want to make the window smaller, so
that you can see the desktop. To do this, click on the ‘Restore Down’ button, which is the middle
button on the right side of the title bar.

Now that the window is smaller, notice that the icon on the middle button has changed. That’s
because the button has changed it’s function to a maximize button. To maximize the size of your
window (enlarge it to fill up the entire screen), click on the maximize button.

When working on multiple programs or files, you may only want to view one program at a time on
your screen. You can “minimize” the windows for whatever you do not need to view. When you
minimize a window, you shrink it to the size of a button on your taskbar. A minimized program is
still running on your computer, you just don’t see it as a window on the desktop. In order to
minimize the size of your windows, click on the minimize button, which is the left button on
the right side of the title bar.



To open up a minimized window so that you can work in it, simply point and click on the
corresponding button on the taskbar.

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You can customize the size of your window when it’s in the “restore down” mode. This means
that your window does not fit the entire screen and the maximize icon appears on the middle
button on the title bar. You’ll also notice three gray lines appearing in the bottom right corner of
your window.

When your window is in this mode, if you bring your mouse onto one of the four corners or
borders of your window, the arrow changes to a double-sided black arrow. You can then click on
the corner or border and drag it either in or out to make the window smaller or larger.



Now, size your Paint window so that it fills only the left half of your screen. Then minimize the
window so that your desktop is empty. Next open up the Calculator program. Move that window
to the right side of your screen. Finally, click on the Paint button on the taskbar so that that
window reopens. You should have both windows side by side.

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As you’ve already learned, to close any program you use the close button located on the top right
of any window.

In Windows, there is often more than one way to do things. Another way to close a program is to
point to the icon button at the top left of the screen and click. You will see a box open up with a
menu. The bottom choice is to close the window. (Notice that you also can restore, move, size,
maximize and minimize in this way as well.)

Click this icon to see Two ways to close a

this drop-down menu program

After you close a program, the program’s button is no longer displayed on the taskbar.

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Solitaire program
Solitaire is a card game that is played by one person. You can play it much more quickly on the
computer than you can with a deck of cards. Playing this game will help you practice the mouse
skills of clicking, double-clicking, dragging and dropping, and selecting.


Make sure you save your work and close any programs before you turn off your computer. The
‘Start’ menu on the bottom right of your desktop includes an option to turn off the computer.

1. Click the ‘Start’ button on the taskbar. The ‘Start’ menu will be displayed.

2. Choose the ‘Turn Off Computer’ option. The following dialog box will be displayed.

3. Click the ‘Turn Off’ button to shut down your computer.

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