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Windows XP Home Edition: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Chapter 3. Windows, Folders, and the Taskbar

Windows got its name from the rectangles on the screen—the windows—where every computer activity takes place. You look at a Web page in a window, type into a window, read email in a window, and look at the contents of a folder in a window—sometimes all at once. But as you create more files, stash them in more folders, and launch more programs, it’s easy to wind up paralyzed before a screen awash with cluttered, overlapping rectangles.

Fortunately, Windows is crawling with icons, buttons, and other inventions to help you keep these windows under control.

Windows in Windows

There are two categories of windows in Windows:

  • Desktop windows. These windows, sometimes called Windows Explorer windows, include the windows that open when you double-click a disk or folder icon. This is where you organize your files and programs.

  • Application windows. These are the windows where you do your work—in Word or Internet Explorer, for example.

Nonetheless, all windows have certain components in common (see Figure 3-1).

  • Title bar. This top strip displays the name of the window. Drag it like a handle when you want to move the window on the screen.

  • Minimize button. Click this box to temporarily hide a window, shrinking it down into the form of a button on your taskbar (Section 3.4). You can open it again by clicking that button. Keyboard shortcut: Press Alt+Space bar, then N.

  • Maximize button. Click this button to enlarge the window so that it fills the screen, ...

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