Common Parts of a Window

What We'll Learn

  1. Recognize the pattern of a Window
  2. Learn how to manipulate Windows
  3. Learn some common terms related to Windows

What's a Window?

Early computers simply had text on a single screen.  People then invented a way to use "Screen-in-screen" so that several things could be running and seen at once on a single screen.  These little screens were called "Windows" and form a basic pattern used in the Microsoft Windows operating system.

A window is the second pattern to learn to be familiar with how to easily use a Windows computer.
Below is a picture of a typical window with various parts labelled:

Exercise 1 - Exploring a Window

Use these steps to open Notepad a simple Windows program:
  1. Click Start
  2. Start typing the word notepad, click Notepad as soon as it appears in the menu above.
  3. Observe or try the following
  • The Menu Bar - Gives access to the common functions of a program.
    • Note the common menus File, Edit, View, and Help. These are on most programs.
    • File lets you save or load a file into a program.
    • Edit lets you select, copy and paste content.
    • View changes how a program window looks.  Click the items on the View menu to see how they work.
    • Help gives you access to information about the program.
  • The Title Bar - Shows the name of the program.
    • Put your mouse on the Title Bar and drag the window to a different spot on the screen.
  • The Minimize button - places the program on the "back burner", hiding it so it only appears as a Task Bar button.
    • Click Minimize button to minimize a window.
    • Click the corresponding Task Bar button to put the Window back on the screen.
  • The Maximize button - expands the program to fill the entire screen
    • Click the Maximize button to maximize the window. Note how it changes shape to a Restore button.
    • Click the Restore (Maximize) button to return the Window to its previous size.
  • The Close button shuts down the program.
    • Click the Close button to shut down the Window
    • Restart the Window using the 3 steps above.
  • Scroll Bars - will appear if all the information does not fit in the window.
    • Type some letters, then press Enter until a scroll bar appears on the right hand side.
    • Drag or click on the scroll bar to move the window contents up and down.
  • Window Borders - can be dragged to re-size the Window when not maximized.
    • Try changing the size of the window by dragging the border and the corners.