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Manipulating Windows

The Symbols at Top Right

Most windows have three little symbols in the top right-hand corner. We call them “buttons” because they react as push-buttons would. You activate them by clicking.

They’re either corner symbols normal or corner symbols maximised.

The individual buttons each have names that help us remember what they do.

They’re called close button Close, minimise button Minimise, maximise button Maximise and restore button Restore.

Each of them works with one click.

If you click the Close button close button it will usually close the program.

program and document buttonsHowever, some programs let you have two or more documents open at once. With these programs the close button may close one document and leave the program open. You can recognise such programs because the top right-hand corner looks like this.

Sometimes when you click the Close button a box will come up asking if you want to save your work. As a rule, you click “Yes” if you do and “No” if you don’t. Be a little bit wary with unfamiliar programs, though. Read the box before you click. A few say, “You have unsaved work. Close anyway?”

If you click the Minimise minimise button button the window will disappear. It will still be represented by a button on the taskbar. It isn’t closed. It’s just as if you temporarily put another piece of paper over the sheet you were working on. You can put it back on the top whenever you like, simply by clicking its taskbar button.

The label on the button will remind you of the program and document that you have open. paint window minimisedorganiser window minimised

If you click the taskbar button the minimised window will reappear.

Clicking the Maximise maximise button button will make the window fill the whole screen. If you clicked it accidentally, this can be a bit shocking. Click the Restore restore button button to make the window go back to the size it was before.

Changing the Size of a Window

It’s often convenient to have two or three programs running at once; each in its own window. Some programs, like the Windows calculator, automatically open in a small window which cannot be resized. Others are sometimes too big and get in the way. Well, you don’t have to put up with it; you can change the size of each large window to suit your needs.

You can’t do this with a maximised window—that is, a window that’s filling your whole screen. You must click the restore restore button button first, so that you can get at the edges and corners.

If you hover your mouse—without pressing a button—exactly over the left edge of a window, a little double-ended arrow will appear. If you then press your left mouse button and drag left or right, the window will follow the mouse and get wider or narrower. If you do the same thing over the right hand edge the same thing will happen.

When you hover over the top edge of the window, the double-ended arrow will appear again, this time pointing up and down. This means you can press with your left button and drag the top of the window down or up. The bottom edge of the window behaves in exactly the same way.

The corners of the window can also be dragged in or out. Hover the mouse right on a corner and you’ll see the double-ended arrow again. This time it’ll be diagonal, and when you drag two edges of the window will be affected.

Moving Windows

Your windows might still be on top of each other. You can move them around to give yourself a better view. You do this by pressing your mouse on the dark blue bar at the top of the window—it’s called the Title Bar. Holding the mouse button, drag the window around the screen. When you have it where you want it, let go. If you click your mouse on any one of the other windows, it will jump to the top. (We say, "It will receive the focus".) Its Title Bar will now be dark blue, so you can press on it and drag that window around to a new position.

You will see that I have four windows open here: Lotus Word Pro, Lotus Organiser, Paint and the Windows calculator. The calculator is active; it is the last window I clicked on and so its Title Bar is dark blue.

See if you can open four similar windows (your word processor, Notepad, Paint and the calculator, for instance) and drag them around like this. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t able to, but have a go. Remember that any window that covers the whole screen will need to be Restored restore button before you can do anything with it.

Also, try clicking the Minimise button minimise button to make a window go down to the Task Bar. Do it to each of them. Then give one of the buttons in the Task Bar a click to bring the window back to your desktop.

desktop with open windows

program and document buttonsYou’ll notice that the Word Pro window has two sets of top right-hand buttons . That’s because it’s a program that lets you have several documents open at once. You might be writing a letter and have a previous letter to the same person open so you can check whether you’ve already told them about something. You can do the same thing in MicroSoft Word.

Windows that are mostly grey and have no beading around the edges—like the calculator—can’t be resized.

The next time you open a program, the window will be the size that it was when you last closed it. You don’t have to resize things over and over unless you want a different size. Sometimes they remember the position you put them in, too, but it isn’t guaranteed!

Bye for now. I hope this is helpful.



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