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Windows XP - Desktop, Windows XP Explorer

Get to know the Desktop

Once Windows XP has initialized, the following screen will appear.

It is possible that it is not the same as the one on your computer because Windows allows us to customize the background.

This will be discussed later on.
On the desktop we have icons that allow us to open the corresponding program
For example, by clicking on the icon Internet Explorer will open up. Later on we will discuss how to create and organize the icons on the desktop, we will also discuss how to change the background.
The Bars and Start Button
The Start Button is located at the bottom left corner of your desktop screen. It is situated on the left edge of the Taskbar. A single left-click on this button will launch a popup menu that will look something like
Task Bar
The task bar is what appears on the bottom of the screen. On the bottom left corner there is the Start button. Next we have the area for shortcuts, then the programs running, and lastly the notification area
On the top we can find the name of the current user. In this case it is saurabh
On the middle part there are two areas:
The left area contains three separate areas divided by a thin line.
On the top third we can see Internet Explorer and Outlook Express.
They are located here because these are programs included with WindowsXP. On the next third we find all the programs that we have been using lately. In this example, MSN, Windows Media Player, ... This way we have quicker access to the programs that we most frequently use.
To gain access to the rest of the programs we have the green triangle All programs. By clicking here, we can view all of the programs that are installed on our computer.
On the right hand area there are icons to access the different parts of WindowsXP that are most often used: My documents, My Recent Documents, My Pictures, My Music and My Computer.
With the Control Panel icon we can configure and customize the appearance of our computer
If we have any questions we can use the Help and Support that Windows offers us.
With the Search icon we can find files whose location we are not sure of.
The option Run allows us to directly execute certain commands, for example to execute a specific program, etc...
At the bottom we have the options Log Off and Turn Off Computer. The first option allows us to close the current session, and the second option allows us to restart or turn off our computer.
The shortcuts area
Contains icons that are used to access a particular program quickly. To place an icon here, simply drag it from the desktop. These icons are shortcuts that we can create, as we will see on the following page.
To execute, simply click on the icon.
 The icon represents the desktop. It is used to minimize the windows that are opened to access the desktop easier
 The icon represents Internet Explorer. It is used to quickly access Internet.
 The icon represents Windows Explorer. It used to quickly access files and folders.
Open programs
In this area we can see the buttons of the programs that are currently open and two small arrows pointing up and down. If the button is slightly darker it means that it is the button of the program that we are working with. By clicking on each button we find ourselves in the respective program.
When there are several programs opened at the same time they are grouped under a button. For example, if we have several windows of Internet Explorer opened or several programs with files. By clicking, a window will choose to open one of them. In this case we choose between the three Internet pages shown.
Further to the right, as in the example above, two black arrows help us to  navigate the buttons in the event that we are working with many windows and they do not all fit on the task bar.
The Notification Area
This area contains icons that represent the programs that start up automatically when the computer is turned on as well as other information. In this case about automatic updates and about the antivirus program.
If a round button appears, this allows us to expand or shrink the area that contains the icons of these programs. The time also appears here. If you wish to open them simply double-click on the icon.
The Icons and Shortcuts
The icons and shortcuts are small images situated on the desktop of Windows XP.Just like buttons, icons have the objective of immediately executing a given program.To start the related application simply double-click with the left mouse button.
Some icons examples
How to organize the desktop icons
Desktop Shortcut
A desktop shortcut, usually represented by an icon, is a small file that points to a program, folder, document, or Internet location. Clicking on a shortcut icon takes you directly to the object to which the shortcut points. Shortcut icons contain a small arrow in their lower left corner. Shortcuts are merely pointers—deleting a shortcut will not delete the item to which the shortcut points.
To create a shortcut to an item located on the Start menu:
1. Click Start. The Start menu will appear.
2. Locate the item to which you want to create a shortcut. If the item is located on a submenu, go to the submenu.
3. Click and drag the item to your desktop.
To create a shortcut to items visible in Windows Explorer:
1. Open Windows Explorer.
2. Minimize the Windows Explorer window.
3. Locate in Windows Explorer the item to which you want to create a shortcut.
4. Hold down the right mouse button and drag the item onto the desktop.
5. Release the right mouse button. A context menu will appear.
Desktop Shortcut Wizard
1. Right-click the desktop. The context menu will appear.
2. Click New. A submenu will appear.
3. Click Shortcut. The Create Shortcut dialog box will appear.
4. Type in the location and name of the item to which you want to create a shortcut. Alternatively, browse to find the item.
5. Click Next. A dialog box will appear.
6. Accept the default name or type in a new name.
7. Click Finish.
Rename a Desktop Shortcut
To rename a shortcut:
1. Right-click the shortcut.
2. Click Rename.
3. Type the new name.
Delete a desktop shortcut
To delete a shortcut:
1. Click the shortcut.
2. Press the Delete key.
3. Click Yes.
Change the icon associated with an object
To change the icon associated with an object:
1. Right-click the icon. The context menu will appear.
2. Click Properties.
3. Click the Change Icon button.
4. Click the icon of your choice.
5. Click OK.
Change the Date and Time
The computer has a clock located on the the right side of the task bar.
If you wanted to know the day of the week you would have to place the pointer over the clock and wait a couple of seconds for the complete date to appear.
You can also check and modify the properties of the clock with the dialog box that appears next. It appears as you double-click on the clock on the task bar.
To change the Date follow these steps:
1. Double-click on the clock on the task bar to open the dialog box
2. To change the month place the pointer on the month box and click with the mouse on the arrow to the right. A list with the months will be displayed. Select the appropriate month.
3. To change the year place the pointer on the year box and with the arrows you can change the year.
4. To change the day select it on the calendar that appears.
5. Click Apply if you want the change to take effect and remain in the dialog box.
Note: Click OK if you want the changes to be permanent and for the dialog box to close.
To change the Time do the following:
1. Place the pointer on the clock.
2. To change the time select the time digits with the arrows to the right and adjust to the necessary time.
3. This same process must be done with the minutes and seconds.
Hint: You can change the meridian by selecting it on the list of Time Zones.
Note: If you click Apply the change will take place and you will remain in the dialog box. If, however, you click on OK, the changes will take effect and the dialog box will close.
Visualize the ToolBars
To visualize the Tool Bars:
1. Right click with the mouse on the task bar.
2. Select Toolbars.
3. From the menu that appears select the toolbars that you wish to see.
Note: If next to the option a check mark appears it means that the tool is already visible.
Windows XP Explorer
The Explorer is an indespensible tool in an operating system, since with it we can organize and control the files and folders of the different storage systems at our disposal such as the hard drive, disk drive etc.
The Windows Expolrer is also known as the File Manager. Through it we can delete, see, copy, or move files and folders.
We suggest you pay particular attention to this unit because of its great importance.
Starting the Explorer
To open Windows Explorer:
1. Click the Start button, located in the lower left corner of your screen.
2. Highlight programs.
3. Highlight Accessories.
4. Click Windows Explorer.
The Explorer can also be started from the Start button by choosing My documents, My images or My music; the difference is that in these cases we will go directly to those folders.
Explorer Window
This window is similar to the one you can find as you open your Windows explorer. It is possible that it may differ slightly in appearance since we can customize it to our liking.
The explorer consists basically of two sections. On the left side there is the directory tree, which is the list of units and folders that we have. Only units and folders appear, no files. On this image we can see a few folders such as My Documents, aulaclic, ... the My Computer icon, My Network Places and the Recycle Bin.
On the right side there is another section, which will show the content of the folder that we have opened on the left section. This section shows its folders and files. In this case the files that are contained in the folder Winxp appear. Depending on the type of view that we have activated we will see different type of information regarding the files. On this example we see the name, size, type, and date of last modification on each file because we have the view Details activated. Later we will learn how to change the view.
Next we will explain the different bars that make up this window.
The Title Bar
Like in any window, we have the title bar that shows the name of the folder we are in.
The Menu Bar
The menu bar contains the menus that will allow us access to all the operations that can be done with a file or folder. By clicking on each menu the cptions will be displayed.
The Standard ToolBar
The standard Toolbar contains the buttons for the most used operations.
Note: If this bar is not visible select from the menu View, the option Toolbars, next select the option Standard buttons.
 The Back button will allow us to go to the last page that we have seen. The button next to it, when activated, allows us to move one page forward.
 The up button will allow us to go up one level, which means going back to the folder that contains the folder we are working with.
 The search button displays a window where we can search for the file we want.
 The folders button shows the folder's structure on the left side of the screen, or it can display an area with the most frequent tasks, depending on the file we have selected
In this area we can find, among others, the following buttons: 
 This button allows us to change the views on the folders (view details, Thumbnails,...) We'll explain this in more detailed on the next page.
The Address Bar
The Address Bar is well known for Internet because it shows the address of the web we are viewing. With Windows Explorer it functions the same way, but it shows the name of the folder we are working with.
If we click on the black arrow it will show the structure with our computer's drives.
If we write a name in the address bar and we click on the green arrow, it will search for this name.
Status Bar
The Status Bar shows additional information on the elements we have selected. This is an optional bar. In order to activate it, go to the View menu and click on Status Bar
On the Status bar below we can see the number of files the folder contains and the total size of them (in KB, 1MB is 1024KB). If we select some files, the status bar will display the information of selected objects and their total size. This is a very useful bar because we are able to know very quickly if the selected files would fit on a floppy disk (a floppy disk is 1.44Mb, approximately 1474Kb)
Hint: If you only select one file it will show the information on what kind of file it is, if you select a folder or a drive it will show the number of objects (files or folders) it contains and how much free space it has left.
Explorer's Views
Windows explorer allows us to see the folder's information in different ways or views to facilitate specific searching.
Go to the folder you wish to see:
 If you click on the arrow of the button a menu with the following options will appear:
The files and folders are shown with large images with the name, file type and size in KB; if it is a picture file the size is shown in pixels. The elements are organized one next to the other from left to right.

With this view, it is easier to see the name of the elements, and to select them.

This view is often used when we have few objects in a certain drive or folder.
The files are represented with an icon smaller than a tile.

The only information shown is the name of the file. This type of icon is used when the selected folder has an average quantity of elements.
Shows small icons, one below the other, so it's easier to search by name. On this view, only the name of the file or folder appears
Icons are shown one below the other, with some of their properties. This type of display is used when we want to find an element with certain characteristics, such as size, filetype.
With this type of view we can organize the elements by size, modification date, name, etc
For example: to organize by the modification date it is enough to click on the box Date Modified, and it will arrange the files by date from greater to lesser. If we click on it again it will arrange it from lesser to greater. The older dates are considered lesser.
On the views List or Details the elements appear one below the other and in the case of deleting or adding, the elements will reorganize themselves.
A small representation of the content will appear with the format of the image, such as jpg, jpeg, bmp, gif etc.

Those that have another format or those that are folders will appear with the corresponding icon to their content in larger size.

This view is usually used when we deal with a few images because it allows us to easily identify the content of each file and thus facilitate the search of any given image.
This view is only available for images. On the bottom part a strip will appear with the images in thumbnail format and on the top we will see a larger representation of the image selected on the bottom.

With the blue arrows we can move forward and back. With the green buttons we can rotate the image
When there are many images a scroll bar will appear so that we can quickly move from image to image.
Note: This type of view is used when dealing with many images.
Selecting and Deleting Files
Selecting Files
If you wish to select a single file or folder you simply need to click on it. This way any operation you perform will only apply to the selected file or folder.
If you wish to realize an operation on several files or folders, Windows Explorer will allow you to select several elements at the same time.
To select consecutive elements:
Click on the first element and then click on the last element while keeping Shift key pressed. This can also be done with the mouse. To do this, click on the left of the first element (but not on it) and, without letting go, drag it. A frame should appear that shows the area that the frame encompasses. Continue dragging until all the desired elements are within the frame, then let go of the left mouse button.
To select several elements that is not consecutive:
Select the first element and continue to select the desired elements while keeping the Ctrl key pressed.
Deleting Files
To delete a file we follow the same steps to delete a folder, but instead of selecting a folder select the file you wish to delete.
Make New Folder
Once the folder has been selected, click on Copy.
In the case of not having the folder created to which we want to copy to, click Make new folder, write the name of the new folder and Click OK.
Moving Files or Folders
1. Click the Start button, located in the lower left corner of your screen.
2. Highlight programs.
3. Highlight Accessories.
4. Click Windows Explorer.
The Explorer can also be started from the Start button by choosing My documents, My images or My music; the difference is that in these cases we will go directly to those folders.
Files and Folders Properties
Both files and folders have their own characteristics, for example size, location, date of creation, attributes, etc

To know the characteristics of a particular file or folder we need to:
Select it and choose Properties option from File menu.
Click on it with the right mouse button and select the option Properties from the menu that is displayed.
A window with several tabs will appear. Depending on whether it is a folder or a particular file, the tabs that appear will vary.

For Example: In the case of a folder the following tabs will appear
The tab labelled General contains information on:
Type: - Describes which type of element we are dealing with. If it is a file it will also include with which application it opens.
Location: Where it is kept.
Size: The size both in Megabytes and in bytes; if it is a folder the size will be related to the size of the files it contains.
Contains: If it is a folder it indicates the number of files within it.
Created: The date in which the folder or file was created.
Modified and Last Access: Characteristics of the files, modified saves the date the file was last modified and last access the last time the file was opened regardless of whether changes were made or not.
Attributes: These are the attributes that have been assigned to the file or folder. The attribute Read-only allows to only read but not to edit. The attribute Hidden makes the file or folder invisible and the attribute Modified will indicate if it has been modified after its creation.
The Sharing Tab contains information on the permission that is given to the other users of the network on our files and folders.
Showing hidden files or folders
To see all hidden files and folders:
Select the Tools menu and then Folder options..
Select the View tab.
On the window the option Show hidden files and folders must be checked, if not click on it.
Click OK.
Note: You can also restore the predetermined values by clicking on Reset All folder.
If you want all the folders to have the same appearance you click on Apply to All folders
Knowing the types of files
To know the type of files registered in the computer and know with which program they open with, simply select the option Folder options... from the Tools menu.
Select the tab File types.
On the window that appears we have all of the types of files that our computer can open. If we select any of them, the details of the program with which it opens will appear
This can be useful, for example to change the program that opens the text documents with a TXT. extension that are normally opened with the Notepad, but it can be more useful to have them open with Microsoft Word or WordPad.
Arranging Folders
To arrange the files and folders:
1. Place the cursor on the folder you wish to arrange.
2. Display View menu and select the option Arrange icons by.
When the menu is displayed, the different ways you can arrange will appear. Select the one you want, for example by size.



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