The Complete Idiot's Guide to Windows 98

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You're a smart person who wants to stay ahead in the corporate world. You know that updating your Windows system is what you need to do—but that could mean struggling through piles of technical manuals! Push aside the bulky books! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Windows 98 presents a quick, step-by-step overview of Windows 98. Its lighthearted approach is perfect for new and upgrading Windows users who need to quickly take advantage of everything Windows 98 has to offer. Bypass the big, boring books! Learning ...
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You're a smart person who wants to stay ahead in the corporate world. You know that updating your Windows system is what you need to do—but that could mean struggling through piles of technical manuals! Push aside the bulky books! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Windows 98 presents a quick, step-by-step overview of Windows 98. Its lighthearted approach is perfect for new and upgrading Windows users who need to quickly take advantage of everything Windows 98 has to offer. Bypass the big, boring books! Learning Windows 98 will be a breeze.
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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
Both new and upgrading Windows users will learn the new Windows 98 system quickly and easily with this latest "Idiot's Guide" from the best-selling series. Its simple, straightforward approach will get you up and running quickly! Discover how to: *Upgrade your Windows system *Understand the new Windows features *Customize Windows 98 to fit your needs *Create, move, copy, rename, and delete files and directories *Master Window 98's useful tools *Send and receive e-mail, schedule appointments, and more. *Get On-line with Windows 98 and learn all about Internet Explorer 4.0 *Become a "Webmaster" with such page publishing tools as FrontPage Express *Web integration and the Active Desktop *Get to know Windows 98 multimedia capabilities *Networking with Windows 98 *Systems maintenance, troubleshooting, and much more!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789714930
  • Publisher: Alpha
  • Publication date: 5/6/1998
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Edition description: 2 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Table of Contents


1. What's New in Windows 98.
Some of Windows 98's Shiny, New Features. The Transition from Windows 3.1 to Windows 98.

2. Windows 98: The 50¢ Tour.
Starting Windows 98. Point, Click, Type: Using Your Mouse and Keyboard. Shutting Down Windows for the Night.


3. Making Something Happen: Launching and Switching Programs.
Let's Do Launch: The Start Menu. Belly Up to the Bar: How the Taskbar Works. Quitting a Program.

4. Working with Windows 98's Windows.
The Parts Department: Window Gadgets and Doodads. Working with Windows.

5. Your Click Is My Command: Using Menus, Toolbars, and Dialog Boxes.
A Pull-Down Menu Primer. The Quick Click: Toolbar Techniques. Talking Back to Windows: How Dialog Box Controls Work.

6. A Few Workaday Document Chores.
Cranking Out a Fresh Document. Saving Your Work for Posterity. Together Again: Opening an Existing Document. Closing a Document.

7. Getting Hard Copy: Windows 98 Printing.
Letting Windows Know You've Got a Printer. Printing: The Basic Steps. Taking Control of Your Print Jobs.

8. Calling Upthe Windows 98 HelpDesk.
Getting Online Help Onscreen. Assorted Other Ways to Get Help.


9. Webtop Windows: Web Integration and the Active Desktop.
Your Computer as Web Site: Controlling Web Integration. Desktop Dynamism: Working with the Active Desktop.

10. Customizing the Desktop and Taskbar.
A Desktop to Call Your Own. Touching Up the Taskbar. Reconstructing the Start Menu.

11. Installing and Removing Software and Hardware.
The Ins and Outs of Software Installation and Removal. Handling Hardware Installation and Removal.


12. Navigating Your Computer with My Computer and Windows Explorer.
Using My Computer to Tour Your Machine. Another Route: Using Windows Explorer.

13. Routine File Maintenance.
First Things First: How to Select Files. A Few File Chores. Finding File Needles in Hard Disk Haystacks.

14. Storage Solutions: Working with Folders and Floppy Disks.
Folder Folderol: Working with Folders. Disk Driving: Working with Floppy Disks.


15. How to Get Connected to the Internet.
Using the Internet Connection Wizard to Set Up Your Account. No Account? Try the Online Services Folder. Dialing Up Your Service Provider.

16. Can We Talk? Email, Newsgroups, and Internet Phone Calls.
Express Yourself I: Using Outlook Express for Email. Express Yourself II: Using Outlook Express for Newsgroups. Phone Free: Using NetMeeting to Place Calls over the Internet.

17. Wandering the Web with Internet Explorer.
A Tour of the Internet Explorer Screen. Web Wanderlust: Working with Web Pages. The Internet Show Must Go On: Using the NetShow Player. Internet Explorer Your Way: Customizing the Internet Properties.

18. Becoming a Webmaster with FrontPage Express and Other Page.
Publishing Tools. Using FrontPage Express to Forge Web Pages. Painless Page Publishing: Using the Web Publishing Wizard. Advertising Your Site.


19. The Write Stuff: Windows 98's Writing Tools.
Using Notepad for Simple Text Tasks. Full-Fledged Word Processing with WordPad.

20. Image Is Everything: Windows 98's Graphics Tools.
The Art of Windows 98: Using Paint. A Master Class in Paint. Graphics Gadgetry: Working with Scanners and Digital Cameras.

21. Bells and Whistles: Multimedia and Windows 98.
Windows 98 and CD-ROM Drives. Sound Advice: Working with Sounds in Windows 98. Playing Audio CDs in Your CD-ROM Drive. Big-Screen Windows: Playing Movies. Small-Screen Windows: Watching TV.

22. Windows 98's Notebook Knickknacks.
You Can Take It with You: Using My Briefcase. From Laptop to Desktop and Back: Running Direct Cable Connection. Other Treats for Notebook Users.


23. Tools for Keeping Your System in Tiptop Shape.
Using ScanDisk to Avoid Hard Disk Hard Times. Spring Cleaning: Using Disk Cleanup to Delete Unneeded Files. Using Disk Defragmenter to Put Your Hard Disk Affairs in Order. Doubling Your Disk Space Pleasure with DriveSpace. Using the Maintenance Wizard to Keep Your System Firing on All Cylinders. Is That All There Is? Windows 98's Other System Tools. Getting the Latest and Greatest from the Windows Update Web Site.

24. Keeping Your Data Safe and Sound with Backup.
Backing Up Is Easy to Do: Running the Backup Program. If Disaster Strikes: How to Restore Your Data.

25. Troubleshooting Windows' Woes.
Rescue 911: Using Windows 98's Troubleshooters. Some Windows Fires and How to Put Them Out.


26. Working with Network Connections and Email.
A Drive Around the Network Neighborhood. Accessing Network Resources. Playing Nicely with Others: Sharing Your Resources. Using Windows Messaging to Exchange Email Notes.

27. Keeping in Touch: Mobile Computing with Dial-Up Networking.
Setting Up a Dial-Up Networking Connection. Remote Network Connecting and Disconnecting. Using Locations with Dial-Up Networking. Accessing Microsoft Mail Remotely.

Speak Like a Geek: The Complete Archive.
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First Chapter

[Figures are not included in this sample chapter]

Complete Idiots Guide to Windows 98

- 3 -

Making Something Happen: Launching and Switching Programs

When Windows 98 shows up for work, it presents a rather placid exterior. The desktop
is mostly empty, the icons just sit there, and the taskbar merely updates the clock
with each passing minute. It's a nice pastoral scene, but it's probably not why you
forked over the big bucks for your computer. Instead, you want to get your money's
worth by making the unruly beast do something useful. That's just what you learn
how to do in this chapter as I show you a few techniques for cranking up programs
and the Windows 98 components.

Let's Do Launch: The Start Menu

The Start button is the most obvious point of attack and it is, in fact, your
royal road to most of the Windows 98 world. So, without further ado, let's head down
that road. Use your mouse to point at the Start button and then click. As you can
see in the following figure, Windows 98 responds by shooting a list of options--called
the Start menu--up the screen. (Note that the specific items displayed on the Start
menu depend on how Windows 98 is set up. Therefore, the items you see on your Start
menu may be a bit different from the ones you see here.)

The Start menu: your Windows 98 launch pad.

To select one of the items shown on the Start menu, click it with your mouse. What
happens next depends on which item you clicked:

  • If the item represents a built-in Windows command or a program, Windows 98 will
    launch the command or program.

  • On the other hand, some of the Start menu items represent submenus. Specifically,
    these are the five items (such as Programs and Favorites) with the little arrow on
    the right. Here's a bonus: You don't even need to click these items. When you move
    your pointer over the arrow, a new menu automatically slides out to the right of
    the Start menu (see the following figure).

The Start menu is loaded with all kinds of submenus.

Don't be surprised if you find yourself wading through two or three of these submenus
to get to the program you want. For example, here are the steps you'd follow to fire
up WordPad, the Windows 98 word processor:

1. Click the Start button to display the Start menu.

2. Select Programs to open the submenu.

3. Select Accessories to open another submenu.

4. Click WordPad. Windows 98 launches the WordPad program.

In the future, I'll abbreviate these tedious Start menu procedures by using a
vertical bar (|) to separate each item you click, like so: "Select Start
| Programs | Accessories | WordPad."

Cross Reference For more information about WordPad, see the "Full Fledged
Word Processing with WordPad" section, p. 244, in Chapter 19, "The Write
Stuff: Windows 98's Writing Tools."

The following table provides a summary of each item on the main Start menu.

Start menu item What it does More info
Windows Update Launches Internet Explorer and takes you to the Windows Update Web page. Chapter 25
Programs Displays a submenu that takes you to Throughout book a collection of programs and Windows 98 components. People upgrading
from Windows 3.1 should note that their old Program Manager program groups appear
on this submenu.
Favorites Displays a submenu with a list of frequently accessed locations, which can be sites
on the World Wide Web or folders on your hard drive.
Chapters 14, 17
Documents Opens a list of the last 15 documents you worked with in any of your applications.
When you select a docu- ment from this folder, Windows automatically launches the
appropriate program and loads the document.
Chapter 6
Settings Displays a submenu with several options. For example, you use Panel to play around
with various Windows 98 settings; you use Printers to set up and work with a printer;
and you use Taskbar & Start Menu to customize-- you guessed it--the taskbar and
Start menu.
Chapters 7, 9-11
Find Contains tools that help you find things on your computer, the Internet and the Windows
Address Book.
Chapters 13, 16, 17,
Help Starts up the Windows 95 Help Chapter 8 system.
Run Enables you to run a program by Chapter 3 typing its name and location.
Log Off Logs the current user off Windows Chapter 26 or the network.
Shut Down Tells Windows 98 that you've had Chapter 2 enough for one day and want to return to the real world.

Cross Reference For more information, see "Launching a Program with the
Run Command," later in this chapter.

Other Ways to Unfurl the Start Menu

Clicking the Start button is probably the most common way to get at the Start menu,
but Windows 98 also offers a couple of keyboard methods that you should have in your

  • Press Ctrl+Esc.

  • If you have the Microsoft Natural Keyboard--the one with the alphanumeric keys
    split down the middle and the curvaceous, left-the-darn-thing-too-long-in-the-microwave-again
    look--press the key with the Windows logo on it ([caron]). Note, as well, that most
    recent keyboards sport the Windows logo key.

Launching a Program with the Run Command

In rare cases, the program you want to run might not appear on any of the Start
menus. This is particularly true of older DOS programs that don't do Windows. For
the time being, you can use the Run command to get these old geezer programs underway.

This isn't for the faint of heart, however, because it requires a bit more work,
as the following steps show:

1. Select Start | Run. Windows 98 displays the Run dialog
box shown in the following figure.

2. In the Open text box, type the name of the disk drive where the
program resides (for example, c:), its folder (such as \wp51\), and
then the name of the file that starts the program (for example, wp51.exe).

3. Click OK to run the program.

Whew! Compared to the Start menu, that's true, calluses-on-the-fingertips manual
labor. Here are a few points to bear in mind when you're working with the Run dialog

  • Instead of typing the command, you can click the Browse button and choose
    the program from the Browse dialog box that appears.

Cross Reference In Chapter 10, "Customizing the Desktop and Taskbar,"
p. 97, I show you how to add your own Start menu commands for launching such programs.

Cross Reference To learn how to use dialog boxes, see Chapter 5, "Your
Click Is My Command: Using Menus, Toolbars, and Dialog Boxes," p. 45.

You can use the Run dialog box to launch programs by hand.

  • If any part of the filename or folder contains spaces or is longer than eight
    characters, you have to surround the whole thing with quotation marks (as shown in
    the figure). If you're not sure about this, go ahead and add the quotation marks

  • Although you'll normally use Run to enter program files (which almost always
    end with the EXE extension), you can also use Run to enter the name and location
    of documents, folders, and even World Wide Web addresses. In each case, Windows 98
    launches the appropriate program and loads the item you specified.

  • Windows 98 "remembers" the last few commands you entered in the Run
    dialog box. If you need to repeat a recent command, drop down the Open list
    and select the command.

Belly Up to the Bar: How the Taskbar Works

When you fire up a program, Windows 98 marks the occasion by adding a button to
the taskbar. If you then coax another program or two onto the screen (remember, Windows
98 is capable of multitasking--running multiple programs simultaneously),
each one gets its own taskbar button.

Multitasking Is Slick, But...

Although it's true that Windows 98 is happy to deal with multiple running programs--think
of it as the electronic equivalent of walking and chewing gum at the same time--that
doesn't mean you can just kickstart every program you have and leave them running
all day. The problem is that because each open program usurps a chunk of Windows'
resources, the more programs you run, the slower each program performs, including
Windows itself. The number of applications you can fire up at any one time depends
on how much horsepower your computer has. You'll probably need to play around a bit
to see just how many applications you can launch before things get too slow.

For example, the following figure shows Windows 98 with two programs up and running:
WordPad and Paint. (To run the latter, select Start | Programs | Accessories
Paint.) It looks as though Paint has lopped off a good portion of the
WordPad window, but in reality Windows 98 is just displaying Paint "on top"
of WordPad. In addition, the taskbar has changed in two ways:

  • There are now buttons for both WordPad and Paint.

  • In the taskbar, the active program's button (the Paint button in this
    figure) looks as though it's been pressed. (The active program is the one you're
    currently slaving away in.)

Windows 98 with two programs on the go.

The taskbar has another trick up its digital sleeve. Specifically, you can switch
from one running program to another by clicking the appropriate taskbar button. For
example, when I click the WordPad button, the WordPad window comes to the front,
as shown in the following figure.

You can use the taskbar buttons to switch from one program to another.

A Few More Ways to Switch Programs

One of the confusing things about Windows 98 is that it often gives you two or
three ways to accomplish the same task. It may seem as though Windows 98 is being
redundant, but one method usually is better than another in a particular set of circumstances.
In addition to clicking the taskbar buttons, Windows 98 gives you three other ways
to get from here to there:

  • Click the program's window: This is perhaps the simplest and most obvious
    method. All you do is point the mouse inside the program's window and then click.
    This method is most useful if your hand is already on the mouse and you can see at
    least part of the window you want to activate.

  • Hold down Alt and press Tab: When you do this, Windows 98 displays the
    box shown in the next figure. This box lists all the running programs and highlights
    each one in turn as you press the Tab key. When you get to the one you want, release
    the Alt key--Windows 98 then switches to the program. This technique is useful if
    your hands are on the keyboard and you have only a few programs running.

Hold down Alt and press Tab repeatedly to cycle through the names of your running

  • Hold down Alt and press Esc: This method is similar to the Alt+Tab method,
    in that Windows 98 cycles through the open programs. The difference is that with
    each press of the Esc key, Windows 98 brings each program window to the front. Use
    this method when you want to check out the contents of each window before you decide
    which program you want to work with.

Quitting a Program

When you're finished with a particular program, you should close it to keep your
screen uncluttered and to reduce the load on Windows' resources. The easiest way
to do this is to click the Close button (the X in the upper-right corner
of the program's window).

You can also use a few other methods, which you may find faster under certain

  • Press Alt+F4.

  • Pull down the program's File menu and select the Exit command (or,
    more rarely, the Close command).

  • Right-click the program's taskbar button and then click Close in the little
    menu that appears.

Depending on the program you're closing and the work you were doing with it, you
might be asked whether you want to "save" some files.

Cross Reference   For more information about working with pull-down
menus, see Chapter 5, "Your Click Is My Command: Using Menus, Toolbars, and
Dialog Boxes," p. 45.

Cross Reference   I'll tell you how to handle closing documents
in Chapter 6, "A Few Workaday Document Chores," p. 57.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2001

    Usless book!

    I have a pretty good understandind of windows 98 but bought this book in hopes that I could 'go to the next level'. I was looking foward to learning how to use internet connection sharing and some other usefull features that I was looking foeard to. Well, I followed the instructions for ics and guess what? There was no share button in the connection tab like the said there would be! This is just an example of how much good this book has done me. After having read it from cover to cover I can honestly say that I have learned nothing that I didn't already know. Don't waste your money or your time - if you have a question about windows look it up on the net. It's free and you will probably find what your looking for - something you won't find in this publication.

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