Read an Excerpt
Chapter 2: Running Your ApplicationsRunning Programs from the Start Menu
The Start menu is just what its name implies, the place to start working with Windows 2000. From the submenus you can access all of the various functions of your system. The default view of the Start menu will look different in Windows 2000 than in NT 4. The first thing you'll notice is that the menus work differently. They now use a pop-out animation instead of just appearing on the screen. In addition, you can now select individual options to show or hide on the Start menu (such as the Administrative Tools group). You can still add your favorite programs to the Start menu, too.
To access a program that has been installed on your computer system, follow these steps:
1. Click the Start button to open the Start menu.
2. Click Programs.
3. Choose the program group that includes the program you want to launch.
4. From the program group's submenu, click the program you want to launch.
The Keyboard Approach to the Start Menu
The Explorer interface also enables you to use the keyboard in place of the mouse. Here are some methods:
- To open the Start menu at any time you are using NT, press Ctrl+Esc, or, if you are using a Windows 95/NT keyboard, the Windows key.
- To navigate the menu and submenus, use your cursor movement keys as you would in any other graphical user interface, and press Enter to launch the highlighted item.
Running Programs from Explorer and Explorer-Type Windows
From the Explorer or any Explorer-type window, you can access any device, program, or file you are authorized to use. What do we mean by "an Explorer-type window"? Well, we mentioned previously that My Computer and My Network Places are simply special sets of folders and devices presented in an Explorer window. You will find in your work with Windows 2000 and with applications in Windows 2000 that other sets of folders and files also appear in windows that behave similarly to Explorer. For example, the window that lists the results of a Find or Browse action has many of the Explorer menu options built in; similarly, when you use the File - Open command in a Win32 application, the window that lists the available files also shares many characteristics of Explorer. In many places throughout this book, we'll refer to such Explorertype windows as mini-Explorers.
If you don't already have Explorer or an Explorer-type window open, you can right-click the Start menu button and then choose Explore from the choices listed in the context menu that pops up. (If you have a Windows 95/NT keyboard, you can press the special Context Menu key to pop up this special menu.) As you navigate the hierarchical structure of drives and folders presented by Explorer, you will see the icons for each installed program.
Windows Explorer has moved to a new location on the Windows 2000 Start menu. In Windows 98 and NT 4, Windows Explorer was the option on the Start menu to open Explorer and it still is in Windows 2000. But, instead of finding Windows Explorer in Start - Programs, you will now find Windows Explorer in Start - Programs - Accessories. Apparently the design team at Microsoft felt that the Programs menu was better suited for the applications that you choose to install, rather than a built-in utility like Windows Explorer.
After you find the program you are looking for in Explorer or in an Explorer-type window, you can launch it in one of two ways:
- Double-click the program's icon.
- Select the program you want to run, and then either press Enter or choose Open from Explorer's File menu.
Running Programs from the Search Utility
The Results window of Windows 2000's Search tool behaves like a miniature Explorer window, insofar as you can launch any programs that appear there with a doubleclick or select them and choose Open from the File menu. Follow the directions below to find and run programs.
Windows 2000 has introduced a new look to the Search utility. In NT 4, we had Find Files and Folders to locate files on the local hard drives or network locations. In Windows 2000, this utility has become simply the Search utility. Search enables you to find files and folders both locally and on the network. It also lets you search the Internet, search for printers on your network, and locate people on the network.
Search for Files and Folders brings up a mini-Explorer type window. (Although it might be fairer to say that it is a mini-Internet Explorer window since nearly all of the Explorer views in Windows 2000 contain some active Web content to help describe the properties of whatever you're looking at.) Whatever the case, the Search Results window enables you to run programs directly from the results of your search by simply double-clicking the name or icon. To find programs and run them from the results window, use the following steps:
1. Click the Start menu and choose Search; then choose Files or Folders from the Search submenu.
2. Enter the name of the file you want to locate in the Search for Files or Folders Named text box. As shown in the following illustration, you can use wildcards to search for files that have similar spellings. If you don't know the name of a program you are looking for, enter *. exe. And, new to Windows 2000, you can search for names containing a particular string of text using the Containing Text: field...