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The desktop is the background displayed on your computer screen. It is the total visible area on the screen which users get immediately after turning on the computer. Files, folders, and program icons can be displayed on the desktop for easy access to users.
On the desktop, files, folders and programs are displayed on window frame. The desktop may contain many items such as Computer, Network, Recycle Bin, User, etc. The desktop can be customized with themes and backgrounds to personalize the look of the computer.
The start menu provides access to the most useful items on your computer including all programs, most recent documents, help and support and other items on your computer. Present Windows includes more Start menu customization options. This menu appears by clicking on the start button.
Icons are the small graphical image used in GUI OS environment. It represents the symbolic meaning of the command, file, program, web page, etc. Icons help to execute commands, open programs or documents quickly. To execute a command by using an icon, click or double-click on the icon. An icon is a group of images of various formats (size and colors).
Windows are frames on the desktop that contains the contents of opened files, folders, and programs. In other words, it is usually a rectangular portion of the display on a computer monitor that presents its contents (e.g. the contents of a directory, a text file or an image) on the screen. Windows are one of the elements that comprise a graphical user interface (GUI).
The taskbar displays opened files, folders, and programs. When multiple windows are open, you can click on the file, folder or program buttons in the taskbar to switch between windows.
Fig. Task Bar
List of components of tasks bar:
For example, all documents using the same extension have the same icon. Some folders can have a customized icon applied to them. The name of file, folder or program is displayed under the icon.
Computer folder displays all hard disk drives and removable storage devices connected to your computer. Double-clicking on a drive or removable storage device displays its contents.
To open the computer Folder:
Documents folder provides a place to store all of your files. When you save a document, the default save location is the Documents folder:
To open the Documents Folder:
The Networks folder display all the shared resources connected to your computer by a network.
To open the Network Folders:
When you delete a program, file or folder, it is moved to the Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin gives you the opportunity of retrieving your deleted items later if you change your minds. Items in the Recycle Bin still take up hard disk space.
Fig. Recycle bin
When the Recycle Bin is full, Windows automatically cleans out enough space to accommodate the newest deleted items. By default, the Recycle Bin is located on your desktop.
To restore items from the Recycle Bin:
By default, the Music folder is situated in the Libraries folder. When you use Windows Media Player to copy music from a CD or download music from the Internet, the default save location is the music folder.
To open the Music folder:
By default, my pictures folder is situated in the libraries folder. When you save pictures from your digital camera or scanner to your computer or save a file in a graphics program, such as Microsoft Paint, the default save location is the pictures folder.
To open the Pictures folder:
Folders on a computer provide a storage system similar to folders in a filing cabinet. Folders can contain files and other subfolders. Windows provides a number of personal folders to start your computer filing system. A folder is typically represented by a folder icon. The folder name is the icon. The folder in Windows is also known as a directory in DOS.
Creating the personal folder on the desktop:
Alternative way to create the personal folder:
Operating a file or folder:
To copy or cut files and folders:
To rename files and folders:
To delete a file or folder location in a folder:
Fig. Changing file and folder views
To change how the files and folders within a folder are viewed:
Files and folders have property sheets that include information such as the type, size and location of file or folder; the data of a file or folder was created, modified or accessed; file and folder attributes; the name of the program that opens a file and the number of files or subfolders contained in a folder.
To display properties for files and folders within a folder window:
Task panels provide an easy way to access the most commonly used folder tasks. The task panel displays a list of hyperlinked tasks to the left of the folder contents.
Fig.Using task panel
Several folders offer additional specialized hyperlinked tasks. For example, the pictures and Music folders offer links that help you manage your picture and music files. The recycle bin offers links to empty the Recycle Bin or restore items from Recycle Bin.
Computer folders offer links to view system information, add or remove programs, and change system settings.
Searching Files/ folders using search companion:
Fig. Searching files and folders
Enhanced for Windows 7, the Search Companion is designed to help you quickly find what you`re looking for.
By default, the Windows theme is applied the first time you start Windows. A desktop theme affects the whole look of your desktop.
Fig. Customizing the desktop
To apply a desktop theme:
To apply a desktop background:
As you`ve read earlier Control panel is one of the most important system folders, which consist of various controlling program`s icon to control an overall operation of the Windows. The following is the Sample of Control panel.
With the help of this option, we can change / set our system date and time as we need.
This option is to customize the Desktop environment.
We can set keyboard settings like its character repetition and cursor blinking rate, a width of the cursor.
This option allows the user to do following things;
Allows users to uninstall and change existing software packages, as well as indicating how much space individual programs take and how frequently they are used.
This option contains tools for system administration, including security, performance, and service configuration. These are the links to various configurations of the Microsoft Management Console such as the local services list and the Even Viewer.
This option is used to specify how the automatic updates client should download updates from Microsoft update website, by default this is set to download and install daily.
Use shortcut keys as an alternative to the mouse when working Windows. You can open, close and navigate the Start menu, desktop, menus dialogue boxes and Web pages using keyboard shortcuts. It makes users use Windows easy.
(Shrestha, Manandhar and Roshan)
Shrestha, Prachandra Ram, et al. Computer Essentials. Kathmandu: Asmita's Publication, 2014.
Pudasaini, Dipak et.al., Computer Science Principles and Practices XI, Budda Prakashan, Ktm