About This Book 2
Foolish Assumptions 2
Why You Need This Book 3
Conventions Used in This Book 3
How This Book Is Organized 4
Time to Get Started! 6
Part I: Getting to Know Windows 7 7
Chapter 1: Getting Comfortable with the Windows 7 Desktop 9
Get a New Computer with Windows 7 10
Turn On Your Computer 12
Check Out the Windows 7 Desktop 15
Try Out the Mouse 17
Go with the Start Button 20
Get Familiar with the Taskbar 22
Get Help When You Need It 24
Close Windows 7 26
Chapter 2: Examining the Anatomy of a Window 29
Explore the Parts of a Window 30
Resize a Window 33
Arrange Windows 35
Snap Windows 37
Stack Windows 39
Flip between Windows 40
Chapter 3: Creating Your First Documents 45
Start WordPad and Type Some Text 46
Save a Document 48
Add, Delete, Select, and Move Text 51
Format Text with Bold, Italics, and More 54
Print a Document 56
Quit WordPad 60
Open a Document 61
Discover How a Dialog Box Works 64
Chapter 4: Organizing Your Documents 69
See All Your Documents As Files on a Disk 70
Find a Misplaced File 75
Create a Folder to Organize Your Files 77
Rename a File or a Folder 78
Move a File from One Folder to Another 80
Delete a File or Folder 82
Get Back a File or Folder You Deleted 83
Select Multiple Files and Folders 85
Copy Files and Folders to a Flash Drive or Memory Card 86
Copy Files and Folders from a Flash Drive or Memory Card 90
Part II: Getting Things Done in Windows 7 93
Chapter 5: Taking Advantage of the Windows Accessories 95
Display Gadgets on Your Desktop 96
Keep Time with the Clock Gadget 97
Check the Weather with the Weather Gadget 100
Use the Calculator 102
Capture the Screen with the Snipping Tool 104
Draw with Paint 107
Talk to Sound Recorder 112
Take Sticky Notes 113
Chapter 6: Installing and Removing Programs 115
Determine Which Programs Are on Your Computer 116
Install a New Program from a CD or DVD 118
Install a New Program That You Downloaded from the Internet 121
Remove Programs You Don't Use 124
Chapter 7: Working with Printers and Other Add-On Devices 127
Trust USB Plug and Play for Add-Ons 128
View the Printer and Other Devices on Your Computer 130
Connect a Printer to Your Computer 132
Add an External DVD or Hard Drive 134
Add a Second Display for Twice the Fun 135
Part III: Discovering the Internet 141
Chapter 8: Connecting to the Internet 143
Connect to the Internet Anywhere 144
Bring the Internet Home 149
Chapter 9: Finding What You Need on the Web 153
Get Familiar with Microsoft Internet Explorer 154
Browse for News 157
Use Tabs to Browse Multiple Web Pages at Once 161
Change Your Browser's Home Page 163
Mark Your Favorite Places on the Favorites Bar 164
Add More Favorites 165
Search for Anything 167
Shop Online Using Amazon 168
Close Internet Explorer 177
Chapter 10: Sending and Receiving E-Mail 179
Set Up an E-Mail Account 180
Check Your Inbox for New E-Mail 184
Reply to E-Mail 188
Create a New E-Mail 190
Attach a Document or Photo to E-Mail 193
View or Open Attachments 195
Keep an Electronic Address Book 197
Avoid Spam and Other Junk Messages 199
Part IV: Having Fun with Windows 7 201
Chapter 11: Playing Games 203
Use the Games Explorer 204
Play Solitaire 206
Show Your Grandkids Purble Place 208
Play Internet Backgammon 209
Get More Games from Microsoft and Others 211
Chapter 12: Enjoying Photos in Windows 7 213
View Photos in Windows 7 214
See Photos in a Slideshow 218
Display a Photo on Your Desktop 220
Edit Photos Using Paint 222
Print Your Photos 226
Copy Photos from Your Digital Camera to Your Computer 230
Control How Windows 7 Names and Organizes Photos 233
Chapter 13: Listening to Music and Watching DVDs 235
Play Music with Windows Media Player 236
Select Music to Play 239
Play a CD on Your Computer 241
Copy Music from a CD to Your Computer 243
Create a Playlist 247
Create Your Own CD 249
Copy Music to an MP3 Player 253
View Pictures in Media Player 255
Watch a DVD 256
Part V: Having It Your Way with Windows 7 259
Chapter 14: Making Windows 7 More Fun to Use 261
Personalize Windows 7 with a Theme 262
Choose a Desktop Background 264
Color Your Windows 267
Change the Sounds Your Computer Makes 270
Set Up a Screen Saver 272
Save Your Theme 275
Change Desktop Icons 275
Pick Your Mouse Pointers 278
Change Your Account Picture 283
Chapter 15: Using the Taskbar and Start Menu Smartly 285
Tune Up Your Taskbar 286
Control System Notification Messages 288
Pin Icons to the Taskbar 291
Use Taskbar Jump Lists 293
Customize Your Start Menu 295
Pin Icons to the Start Menu 300
Chapter 16: Making Windows 7 Easier to Use 303
Make Your Screen Easier to See 304
Change Screen Font Size 307
Turn On ClearType Text 309
Stop Double-Clicking for Good 311
Check to Select 312
Get Recommendations for Specific Needs 314
Start Magnifier 316
Use the On-Screen Keyboard 317
Let Narrator Read to You 319
Explore All Access Settings 321
Part VI: Staying Safe and Keeping Windows 7 Healthy 323
Chapter 17: Updating Windows 7 325
Activate Windows Now 326
Perform a Windows Update 328
Change the Time When Windows Update Runs 332
Get Updates for Other Microsoft Products 333
Discontinue Additional Updates 335
Upgrade Windows Anytime 337
Chapter 18: Protecting Your Computer 341
Check the Action Center 342
Install Antivirus Software 346
Register Your Antivirus Software 350
Scan a Folder or Disk for Viruses 353
Schedule a Disk Check 355
Chapter 19: Keeping Your Data Safe 359
Back Up Your Documents and Photos 360
Restore Files from Backup 367
Create a System Repair Disc 371
Use the System Repair Disc 374
indows 7 is the latest generation of
Microsoft's operating system, the master I I* program that makes a computer useful and InTrOQUCTiOn provides support to other programs, including word processors, photo viewers, and Internet browsers. Much as an education equips you to read a novel or play a game, Windows 7 equips your computer to perform a wide range of activities. You can use Windows 7 and other software (programs) to read or write a novel, play games or music, and stay in touch with friends and family around the world.
As Windows has evolved over the last 30 years, so have computers — the hardware. Today, you can buy a computer as small as a paperback book, and even such a little computer is unimaginably more powerful than computers were just 10 years ago, and at a fraction of the price. The hardware provides the mechanisms — the display, the keyboard, the mouse, and more — you use to work with Windows 7.
It doesn't take much time with a computer to conclude there has to be an easier way to do things. At times, computers seem overly complex and inscrutable. Have you used a cellphone lately? Or a TV remote control? Why are the controls on every microwave oven different? Why does every new tool offer countless options you don't want that hide the ones you do? Well, I don't have the answers to those questions, but I do have step-by-step instructions for many tasks you want to perform using Windows 7, which isn't as dry as that sounds, but which is quite practical.
After 30 years working with computers, I find computers reward patience, curiosity, and a little methodical exploration. In this book, you find the instructions for doing practical activities, such as creating a letter or sending e-mail. In addition to the steps that are necessary, you see what's possible and what's consistent (and inconsistent) between different programs.
Seniors, in particular, know that learning never really stops and that new things keep one young, at least figuratively. The computer is a unique tool. Tomorrow, your TV won't do something new, but with your computer, you'll do things you don't yet imagine.
By the end of this book, you may be a multitasking computerist performing virtual gymnastics with Windows 7. On the other hand, if the computer does only one thing for you — whether it's e-mail, browsing the Web, enjoying photos, music, or DVDs — that one useful thing may be all you need.
Age is just a number. This book is intended for anyone getting started with Windows 7 who wants step-by-step instructions without a lot of discussion. The Get ready to . . . bullets at the beginning of each chapter lead you to the practical tasks that you want to find out about. Numerous figures with notes show you the computer screen as you progress through the steps. Reading this book is like having an experienced friend stand behind you as you use Windows 7 . . . someone who never takes the keyboard away from you.
I assume that you have a computer and want clear, brief, step-by-step instruction on getting things done with Windows 7. I also assume you want to know just what you need to know, just when you need to know it. This isn't Computers 101. This is Practical Windows 7. As an old friend of mine says, "I don't want to make a watch; I just want to know what time it is."
Technology always comes with its own terms and concepts, but you don't need to learn another language to use a computer. You don't need any prior experience with computers or Windows. Step-by-step instructions guide you through specific tasks, such as starting a program and saving your documents. These steps provide just the information you need for the task at hand.
You can work through this book from beginning to end or simply look at the table of contents and find the content you need to solve a problem or help you learn a new skill whenever you need it. The steps in each task get you where you want to go quickly without a lot of technical explanation. In no time, you'll start picking up the skills you need to become a confident Windows 7 user.
Conventions Used in This Book
This book uses certain conventions to highlight important information and help you find your way around, including these:
"" Tip icons: Point out helpful suggestions related to tasks in the steps lists.
"" Bold: I use bold on the important, find-it-now stuff:
• When you have to type something onscreen using the keyboard
• Figure references
Many illustrations and figures have notes or other markings to draw your attention to a specific part of the figure. The text tells you what to look for; the figure notes help you find it.
"" Web site addresses: They look like this:
www.website.com. See Chapter 9 for information on browsing the Web.
"" Menu choices: Look for this arrow symbol: O. This shows a sequence of steps a computer menu. For example, StartOAll ProgramsOAccessories means to click the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Accessories.
"" Options and buttons: Although Windows 7 often uses lowercase in options and on buttons, I capitalize the text for emphasis. That way you can find a button labeled Save Now, even though onscreen it appears as Save now.
On the computer, you single-click the left mouse button to select an option or object. A single click of the right mouse button always produces a special context, or shortcut, menu with commands tailored to the situation. When appropriate, I tell you to click the right mouse button as right-click. All other times when I tell you to click the mouse, you can assume that I mean the left button. See Chapter 1 for more on using the mouse.
When you're to use the keyboard, I tell you to press a particular key, such as press the Enter key. Later in the book, after you get comfortable with the steps, you may see shorthand for keyboard shortcuts. For example, Q+E means press and hold the Windows logo key (with the flag icon on it, between Ctrl and Alt on most keyboards), press the E key, and then release both. Knowing a few keyboard shortcuts can be very handy.
This book is divided into six parts to help you find what you need. You can read from cover to cover or just jump to the page that interests you first.
"" Part I: Getting to Know Windows 7. In Chapter 1, turn the computer on and get comfortable with essential parts of Windows 7, such as the desktop and Start menu. In Chapter 2, explore the parts of a window (an area of the screen). In Chapter 3, use WordPad to create a note or letter. In Chapter 4, discover the organization Windows 7 creates for you and make it your own.
"" Part II: Getting Things Done in Windows 7. In
Chapter 5, use programs for displaying the time and weather, performing calculations, and taking notes. In Chapter 6, install additional programs or remove programs you don't need. In Chapter 7, set up a printer or other device, such as an external hard drive.
"" Part III: Discovering the Internet. In Chapter 8, connect to the Internet at home or on the road. (You may want to do this sooner, rather than later.) In Chapter 9, browse the World Wide Web, which can be your international library and marketplace. In Chapter 10, create an e-mail account and then send and receive e-mail.
"" Part IV: Having Fun with Windows 7. If you haven't been having any fun until now, I've failed you. In Chapter 11, play the games Windows 7 includes, such as Solitaire. In Chapter 12, enjoy photos on Windows 7 and put your own photos on the computer if you have a digital camera. In Chapter 13, listen to music or watch a DVD movie.
"" Part V: Having It Your Way with Windows 7. Hint: If something about Windows 7 bothers you or is hard to use — for example, things on the screen are too small — turn to this section now. In Chapter 14, make changes to the look of Windows 7. In Chapter 15, adjust the taskbar and Start menu to work better for you. In Chapter 16, change the size of objects on the screen and turn on features intended to make Windows 7 easier to use.
Part VI: Staying Safe and Keeping Windows 7 Healthy. In Chapter 17, keep Windows 7 up-to-date. In Chapter 18, protect your computer against bad software (called malware), such as viruses. (Another thing you should do sooner, rather than later.) In Chapter 19, back up the documents and photos you'd hate to lose.
Time to Get Started!
Scan the table of contents or the index for a topic that interests you most. Or, just turn the page and start at the beginning. It's your book.
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