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Absolute Beginner's Guide to Windows XP

Overview

Upgrade to a digital lifestyle! Absolute Beginner's Guide to Windows XP, Second Edition is not just about using Windows, but also about how to live in a digital world where you can share pictures over the Internet, download music from websites, communicate with long-distance family and friends on the computer, and more. Step-by-step instructions will show you how to accomplish key tasks and take precautions to protect your computer from viruses...

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Overview

Upgrade to a digital lifestyle! Absolute Beginner's Guide to Windows XP, Second Edition is not just about using Windows, but also about how to live in a digital world where you can share pictures over the Internet, download music from websites, communicate with long-distance family and friends on the computer, and more. Step-by-step instructions will show you how to accomplish key tasks and take precautions to protect your computer from viruses and spyware. Some of the tasks covered include:

  • Starting programs
  • Understanding file management basics
  • Getting wired for communication
  • Working with photographs
  • Playing music and videos
  • Improving your computer's performance
  • Upgrading Windows

Updated to include information on Service Pack 2, Absolute Beginner's guide to Windows XP, Second Edition will show you how to work with Windows XP to make your life easier!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789734327
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 6/17/2005
  • Series: Absolute Beginner's Guide Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Microsoft Windows XP, Second Edition About the Author

Shelley O'Hara is the author of more than 100 books, mostly dealing with computers. She has written some of the all-time best-selling computer books, including Easy Windows XP Home Edition and Easy Windows 98. She also conducts computer training and teaches writing classes. In addition to tech writing, O'Hara has also published a romantic comedy called The Marriage Trifecta.

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Read an Excerpt

IntroductionIntroduction

If you are new to Windows XP or to Windows in general, this is the book for you. In easy-to-understand language and with step-by-step explanations, this book covers all the key tasks for using Windows XP, including work-related tasks as well as fun things such as playing digital music, working with pictures, playing games, and more.

Windows is an operating system. You don't need to know the hows and whys of an operating system. You just need to know there is one. The operating system is like the behind-the-scenes manager who takes care of all the basic computing tasks such as saving your work, printing a document, starting a program, and so on.

Therefore, you only need to learn how to perform these basic actions once. That is, once you learn how to print, you follow the same basic steps to print in all Windows programs. Once you learn how to start a program, you can start any program. Once you learn how to move or resize a window, you can perform this action for any window.

You'll find that learning how to use Windows is the same thing as learning how to use your computer.Some Key Terms

To use Windows, you need to know the basic terminology used for common actions:

  • Point—Move the mouse on the desk to move the pointer onscreen. The tip of the arrow should be on the item to which you are pointing. To open a menu or an icon, you point to the item you want.

  • Click—Press and release the left mouse button once. You use click to select commands and toolbar buttons, as well as to perform other Windows tasks.

  • Double-click—Press and release the left mousebutton twice in rapid succession. Double-clicking opens an icon. (See the next section for exceptions or changes to double-clicking.)

  • Right-click—Press and release the right mouse button once. You often right-click to display a shortcut menu.

  • Drag—Hold down the mouse button and drag the pointer across the screen. Release the mouse button. Dragging is most often used for selecting text.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

You can personalize many features of Windows so that it is set up the way you like to work. That's one of the benefits of Windows. For consistency, though, this book makes some assumptions about how you use your computer. When working through steps and especially when viewing the figures in this book, keep in mind the following distinctions:

  • Windows provides many ways to perform the same action. For instance, for commands, you can select a command from a menu, use a shortcut key, use a toolbar button, or use a shortcut menu. This book covers one main method (the most common for that particular task) and also mentions other methods, usually in a tip.

  • Your particular Windows setup may not look identical to the one used in the figures in this book. For instance, if you use a desktop image, you see that. (The figures in this book use a plain background.) Don't let these differences distract you; Windows may look different, but it works the same way.

  • Your computer setup is most likely different than the one used in this book. Therefore, you will see different programs listed on your Start menu, different fonts in your Font list, different folders and documents, and so on. Again, don't be distracted by the differences.

  • To open a folder or file, you double-click the icon. You can also set up Windows to work similar to an Internet browser. That is, you can single-click to open an icon. This book assumes the double-click setup. If you use single-click, keep in mind that you single-click instead of double-click. You can read more about changing Windows's working mode in Chapter 16, "Viewing and Finding Files."

The Basic Structure of This Book

This book is divided into six parts, each centered around a certain theme. The book builds on the skills you need, starting with the basics and then moving to more complex topics such as networking. You can read the book straight through, look up topics when you have a question, or browse through the contents, reading information that intrigues you.

This section provides a quick breakdown of the parts.

Part I, "The Basics," explains all the key tasks for using your computer. If you read only this section, you will have enough skill knowledge to perform most basic computer tasks. This part covers understanding the Windows desktop and starting programs (Chapter 1), saving and print your work (Chapter 2), managing files (Chapter 3), and troubleshooting (Chapter 4).

Part II, "Communications," includes six chapters, each devoted to a particular Windows communication feature, including getting set up for communication (Chapter 5), using a wireless connection (Chapter 6), sending and receiving email (Chapter 7), browsing and searching the Internet (Chapters 8 and 9), and faxing (Chapter 10).

Part III, "Entertainment," focuses on the various ways you can use Windows as an entertainment medium, including playing music and videos and working with photographs and movies.

Part IV, "Your Own Personal Windows," explores the many changes you can make to how Windows operates. As you become more proficient, you'll find that you may want to change certain Windows elements, such as adding a desktop image (which is covered in Chapter 13 with other desktop customizing options), adding new programs (Chapter 14), and customizing email and Internet settings (Chapter 15).

Although you don't need to know the ins and outs of computer maintenance (the topic of Part V) as a beginner, you'll find that you do need a reference and guide for various maintenance tasks. Even though you won't perform these daily, you should be familiar with how to find files (Chapter 16), use security measures (Chapter 17), improve your disk performance (Chapter 18), upgrade hardware (Chapter 19), and upgrade Windows (Chapter 20).

Part VI, "Windows XP for Special Situations," covers special features for special situations. This part includes chapters on the many Windows accessory programs (Chapter 21), multiple user accounts (Chapter 22), accessibility options for those with special needs (Chapter 23), and home networking (Chapter 24).

Enjoy your learning journey!Conventions Used in This Book

There are cautions, tips, and notes throughout this book.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Introduction.

Some Key Terms

Some Things to Keep in Mind

The Basic Structure of This Book

Conventions Used in This Book

I. THE BASICS.

1. Getting Started with Windows XP.

Checking Out the Desktop

Displaying the Start Menu

Working with Desktop Icons

Viewing the Taskbar

Viewing the System Tray

Working with Windows

Opening and Closing Windows

Changing the Size of Windows

Arranging the Windows

Starting a Program

Starting a Recent Program

Listing All Programs

Starting a Program from a Shortcut Icon

Switching Between Programs

Working in a Program

Selecting Commands

Using the Toolbar

Exiting a Program

2. Saving and Printing Your Work.

Saving a Document

Switching Folders

Creating a New Folder

Tips for Saving a Document

Saving Backup Copies

Saving in a Different File Format

Closing a Document

Opening a Document

Creating a New Document

Printing a Document

Viewing and Canceling Print Jobs

Printing Tips

3. Managing Files.

Opening My Computer

Opening Drives and Folders

Navigating Folders

Using the Folders Bar

Using the Task Pane

Creating a New Folder

Displaying and Selecting Files

Deleting and Undeleting Files and Folders

Deleting a File or Folder

Undeleting a File

Emptying the Recycle Bin

Renaming a File or Folder

Reorganizing Folders and Files

Copying Folders and Files

Copying with the Copy Command

Copying Files to a Floppy Disk

Copying Files to a CD

4. Troubleshooting Common Problems.

Closing Stuck Programs

Is the Program Busy?

Closing a Program from the Taskbar

Closing a Program from the Task Manager

Restarting and Shutting Down the Computer

Restarting with a Command

Restarting by Turning Off the Computer

Shutting Down the Computer

Getting Help

Browsing Help Topics

Searching for Help

Using the Help Window Toolbar

Handling Printer Problems

Dealing with Viruses and Other Security Problems

II. COMMUNICATIONS.

5. Getting Wired for Communication.

Understanding the Internet

Getting the Right Equipment

Describing Modems

Finding an Internet Service Provider

Selecting a Connection Type

Selecting Browser and Email Programs

Getting Connected

Stepping Through the New Connection Wizard

Starting Your Connection

Exiting and Disconnecting

6. Setting Up Wireless Connections.

Understanding How Wireless Networking Works

What You Need To Set Up a Wireless Network

Wireless Network Cards

Wireless Access Point Router

Setting Up a Wireless Network

How To Ensure Wireless Network Security

7. Sending and Receiving Email.

Setting Up Your Email Account

Setting Up an Outlook Express Account

Setting Up a Web Mail Account

Checking Your Email

Sending Messages

Responding to Email

Creating New Mail

Sending New Messages

Sending and Handling Attachments

Attaching a File to a Message

Opening a File Attachment

Saving a File Attachment

Checking a File Attachment

Handling Messages

Deleting and Undeleting Messages

Printing Messages

Organizing Messages

Finding Messages

Handling Junk Mail

Blocking Senders

Using an Antispam Program

Exiting and Disconnecting

8. Browsing the Internet.

Getting Started with Internet Explorer

Understanding the Internet Explorer Window

Using the Toolbar

Viewing the Page Content

Using Links to Navigate

Typing a Web Address

Using Shortcuts for Web Browsing

Setting Up a Favorites List

Using the History List

Working with Web Pages

Emailing Web Pages

Printing Web Pages

Working with Text and Images

Downloading Files

Ensuring Internet Security and Privacy

Turning On Windows XP Firewall Systems

Setting Privacy Options

Dealing with Spyware

Exiting and Logging Off the Internet

9. Searching the Internet.

Searching with Internet Explorer

Getting the Most from the Search Results

Fine-Tuning the Search

Using Other Search Sites

Refining Your Search

Searching for Images or News

Browsing Through Directories or Channels

Using Other Search Site Tools

10. Sending and Receiving Faxes.

Setting Up the Fax Console

Sending a Fax

Sending a Fax with the Send Fax Wizard

Faxing from a Program

Receiving and Handling Faxes

Opening Faxes

Handling Faxes

III. ENTERTAINMENT.

11. Playing Music.

Playing Audio CDs with Windows Media Player

Playing a CD

Working with Windows Media Player Controls

Changing the Appearance of the Window

Changing the Visualization

Playing Music and Videos from the Internet

Finding Music Online

Viewing Videos

Tuning the Radio

Using Other Media Players

Creating Your Own Music CDs

Copying Music Files

Creating a Playlist

Burning a CD

Playing and Recording Sounds with Sound Recorder

Playing Sounds

Recording Sounds

12. Working with Photographs and Movies.

Using a Digital Camera

Setting Up Your Digital Camera

Transferring Pictures

Working with Picture Files

Managing Picture Files

Editing Pictures

Inserting a Picture into a Document

Printing Pictures

Printing Pictures on a Printer

Ordering Photo Prints from the Internet

Emailing Pictures

Using a Scanner

Setting Up a Scanner

Scanning an Image

Creating Digital Movies

IV. YOUR OWN PERSONAL WINDOWS.

13. Customizing Windows XP.

Customizing the Taskbar

Customizing the Desktop

Using a Desktop Theme

Using a Background Image

Customizing Desktop Icons

Using a Screen Saver

Changing the Color Scheme

Setting Resolution and Color Settings

Customizing the Mouse

Customizing Sounds

14. Setting Up Programs.

Creating a Shortcut to a Program

Customizing the Start Menu

Pinning a Program to the Start Menu

Unpinning a Program to the Start Menu

Rearranging Programs on the Start Menu

Changing the Appearance of the Start Menu

Installing Programs

Using the Automatic Install

Using the Add or Remove Programs Control Panel Icon

Completing the Installation

Configuring the Program Lineup

Uninstalling Applications

Removing Programs

Removing Programs Manually

More Tips on Starting Programs

Starting Programs When You Start Windows

Tips for Switching Among Programs

Using the Run Command

15. Customizing Email and Internet Explorer.

Setting Mail Options

Working with the Address Book

Adding Addresses

Setting Up Contact Groups

Using the Address Book as a Contact List

Customizing Internet Explorer

Setting Your Home Page

Organizing Your Favorites List

V. EVERYDAY PC MAINTENANCE.

16. Viewing and Finding Files.

Viewing and Sorting Files

Changing the View

Sorting Files

Grouping Files

Choosing File Details

Setting Up Folder Options

Searching for Documents

17. Securing Your PC.

Backing Up Your Work

Selecting Backup Programs and Equipment

Tips for Backing Up

Checking a Disk for Errors

Using System Restore

Understanding Restore Points

Setting a System Restore Point

Restoring Your System

Checking Your Computer for Viruses

Checking System Security with Windows Security Center

Using a Virus Protection Program

Handling an Infected File

Scheduling Maintenance Tasks

Adding a New Task

Modifying Scheduled Tasks

18. Improving Your Computer's Performance.

Displaying Disk Information

Cleaning Up Your Disk

Saving Space by Compressing Files

Compressing Files

Uncompressing Files

Increasing Performance by Defragmenting Your Disk

Understanding The Basics of Disk Storage

Running Disk Defragmenter

Cleaning Up the Desktop

19. Upgrading Your Computer.

Adding a Printer

Automatic Setup

Manual Setup Using Windows's Drivers

Manual Setup Using the Printer's Drivers

Customizing Your Printer

Printing Preferences and Properties

Changing Printing Preferences

Changing Printing Properties

Installing New Fonts

Where Do Fonts Come From?

Viewing Your Installed Fonts

Installing New Fonts

Setting Up New Hardware

Setting Up New Hardware Automatically

Using the Manufacturer's Install Program

Installing New Hardware Manually

Troubleshooting Hardware Problems

20. Upgrading Windows.

Checking Your Windows Version

Installing Windows Updates

Running Automatic Updates

Checking for Updates

Setting Automatic Update Options

Installing or Removing Windows Components

VI. WINDOWS XP FOR SPECIAL SITUATIONS.

21. Using Windows Accessory Programs.

Checking Out the Accessories

Using WordPad

Taking a Look at the Program Window

Typing and Editing Text

Using Paint

Using Calculator

Playing Games

22. Setting Up Windows XP for Multiple Users.

Setting Up a New Account

Logging In and Out

Logging Off

Switching Users

Logging On

Modifying an Account

Changing the Account Name

Adding a Password

Assigning a Picture

Changing the Account Type

Deleting an Account

23. Using Accessibility Options.

Using the Accessibility Accessory Programs

Using Magnifier

Using Narrator

Using On-Screen Keyboard

Using Accessibility Control Panel Options

Using the Accessibility Wizard

Modifying Accessibility Options

24. Setting Up Windows XP on a Home Network.

Home Networking Basics

Planning Your Network

Installing and Configuring Network Hardware

Running the Windows XP Network Setup Wizard

Sharing Resources on a Network

Enabling File Sharing

Browsing Shared Files

Sharing Printers

Sharing Internet Connections

Controlling Network Security

Index.

Read More Show Less

Preface

Introduction

If you are new to Windows XP or to Windows in general, this is the book for you. In easy-to-understand language and with step-by-step explanations, this book covers all the key tasks for using Windows XP, including work-related tasks as well as fun things such as playing digital music, working with pictures, playing games, and more.

Windows is an operating system. You don't need to know the hows and whys of an operating system. You just need to know there is one. The operating system is like the behind-the-scenes manager who takes care of all the basic computing tasks such as saving your work, printing a document, starting a program, and so on.

Therefore, you only need to learn how to perform these basic actions once. That is, once you learn how to print, you follow the same basic steps to print in all Windows programs. Once you learn how to start a program, you can start any program. Once you learn how to move or resize a window, you can perform this action for any window.

You'll find that learning how to use Windows is the same thing as learning how to use your computer.

Some Key Terms

To use Windows, you need to know the basic terminology used for common actions:

  • Point—Move the mouse on the desk to move the pointer onscreen. The tip of the arrow should be on the item to which you are pointing. To open a menu or an icon, you point to the item you want.
  • Click—Press and release the left mouse button once. You use click to select commands and toolbar buttons, as well as to perform other Windows tasks.
  • Double-click—Press and release the left mouse button twice in rapid succession. Double-clicking opens an icon. (See the next section for exceptions or changes to double-clicking.)
  • Right-click—Press and release the right mouse button once. You often right-click to display a shortcut menu.
  • Drag—Hold down the mouse button and drag the pointer across the screen. Release the mouse button. Dragging is most often used for selecting text.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

You can personalize many features of Windows so that it is set up the way you like to work. That's one of the benefits of Windows. For consistency, though, this book makes some assumptions about how you use your computer. When working through steps and especially when viewing the figures in this book, keep in mind the following distinctions:

  • Windows provides many ways to perform the same action. For instance, for commands, you can select a command from a menu, use a shortcut key, use a toolbar button, or use a shortcut menu. This book covers one main method (the most common for that particular task) and also mentions other methods, usually in a tip.
  • Your particular Windows setup may not look identical to the one used in the figures in this book. For instance, if you use a desktop image, you see that. (The figures in this book use a plain background.) Don't let these differences distract you; Windows may look different, but it works the same way.
  • Your computer setup is most likely different than the one used in this book. Therefore, you will see different programs listed on your Start menu, different fonts in your Font list, different folders and documents, and so on. Again, don't be distracted by the differences.
  • To open a folder or file, you double-click the icon. You can also set up Windows to work similar to an Internet browser. That is, you can single-click to open an icon. This book assumes the double-click setup. If you use single-click, keep in mind that you single-click instead of double-click. You can read more about changing Windows's working mode in Chapter 16, "Viewing and Finding Files."

The Basic Structure of This Book

This book is divided into six parts, each centered around a certain theme. The book builds on the skills you need, starting with the basics and then moving to more complex topics such as networking. You can read the book straight through, look up topics when you have a question, or browse through the contents, reading information that intrigues you.

This section provides a quick breakdown of the parts.

Part I, "The Basics," explains all the key tasks for using your computer. If you read only this section, you will have enough skill knowledge to perform most basic computer tasks. This part covers understanding the Windows desktop and starting programs (Chapter 1), saving and print your work (Chapter 2), managing files (Chapter 3), and troubleshooting (Chapter 4).

Part II, "Communications," includes six chapters, each devoted to a particular Windows communication feature, including getting set up for communication (Chapter 5), using a wireless connection (Chapter 6), sending and receiving email (Chapter 7), browsing and searching the Internet (Chapters 8 and 9), and faxing (Chapter 10).

Part III, "Entertainment," focuses on the various ways you can use Windows as an entertainment medium, including playing music and videos and working with photographs and movies.

Part IV, "Your Own Personal Windows," explores the many changes you can make to how Windows operates. As you become more proficient, you'll find that you may want to change certain Windows elements, such as adding a desktop image (which is covered in Chapter 13 with other desktop customizing options), adding new programs (Chapter 14), and customizing email and Internet settings (Chapter 15).

Although you don't need to know the ins and outs of computer maintenance (the topic of Part V) as a beginner, you'll find that you do need a reference and guide for various maintenance tasks. Even though you won't perform these daily, you should be familiar with how to find files (Chapter 16), use security measures (Chapter 17), improve your disk performance (Chapter 18), upgrade hardware (Chapter 19), and upgrade Windows (Chapter 20).

Part VI, "Windows XP for Special Situations," covers special features for special situations. This part includes chapters on the many Windows accessory programs (Chapter 21), multiple user accounts (Chapter 22), accessibility options for those with special needs (Chapter 23), and home networking (Chapter 24).

Enjoy your learning journey!

Conventions Used in This Book

There are cautions, tips, and notes throughout this book.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

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