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Windows XP Pro: The Missing Manual, Second Edition by L.J. Zacker, Craig Zacker, David Pogue

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Chapter 5. Programs and Documents

When you get right down to it, an operating system like Windows is nothing more than a home base from which to launch applications (programs). And you, as a Windows person, are particularly fortunate, since more programs are available for Windows than any other operating system on earth.

But when you launch a program, you’re no longer necessarily in the world Microsoft designed for you. Programs from other software companies work a bit differently, and there’s a lot to learn about how Windows XP handles programs that were born before it was.

This chapter covers everything you need to know about installing, removing, launching, and managing programs; using programs to generate documents; and understanding how documents, programs, and Windows communicate with each other.

Launching Programs

Windows XP lets you launch (open) programs in many different ways:

  • Choose a program’s name from the StartAll Programs menu.

  • Click a program’s icon on the Quick Launch toolbar (Section 2.5).

  • Double-click an application’s program-file icon in the My ComputerLocal Disk (C:)Program Filesapplication folder, or highlight the application’s icon and then press Enter.

  • Press a key combination you’ve assigned to the program’s shortcut (Section 3.5).

  • Choose StartRun, type the program file’s name in the Open text box, and then press Enter.

  • Let Windows launch the program for you, either at startup (Section 1.7) or at a time you’ve specified (see Task Scheduler, Section 16.6).

  • Open ...

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