Basic Computing Skills - Orientation

Sharing buttons:

the desktop is what you will see first

each time you log into Windows there are

two parts to the desktop firstly there

is the large space that occupies most of

the screen this usually contains icons

that open some programs this is also

where your programs will appear once you

have opened them secondly the taskbar is

located at the bottom of the page this

strip contains several parts so we'll

look at it in more detail

the taskbar is the thin strip at the

bottom of the desktop it contains a

number of parts at the left is a circle

with the Windows logo in it this is the

Start menu which we'll look at in a

moment next our program icons such as

Internet Explorer Windows Explorer and

Windows Media Player clicking once on

any of these will open up each of these

default programs if you have any other

programs open for example Microsoft Word

you can see the icons for these along

the rest of the taskbar at the right

hand side of the taskbar our

administrative icons for your computer

this icon here shows if you are

connected to the Internet if you see a

red cross here that usually means you're

not connected

next the speaker icon allows you to

adjust the volume by clicking on it and

simply dragging the volume button higher

or lower if you click on the time and

date this will show a calendar and a

clock and you can reset these if you

need to by clicking on the change date

and time settings button and then

following the prompts the last icon is a

small blank rectangle that says show

desktop clicking on this will take you

back to your desktop no matter how many

programs you have open

to open up the Start menu you simply

click on the start button on the

left-hand corner of the taskbar this is

the Start menu this is where you'll see

all the icons of different programs that

are running on your computer clicking on

any of these icons will open up that

program for you to use if the program

doesn't show up here you can simply

click on all programs this will open up

a list of all the programs on the

computer if you need to go back

simply click back

there's also a search bar within the

Start menu this is where you can search

for programs or for individual files on

your computer for example if you need

the program paint you can simply click

in the search bar type in paint and it

will bring up that program all you need

to do is click on the icon and it will

open the program up for you you can go

back to an empty search bar by using the

backspace key on your keyboard to get

rid of this word if instead you need to

search for a particular file and you

know it has the word dog in it for

example you can simply type this keyword

into the search bar type in dog and that

will bring up any files with the word

dog in the name as well as any documents

with the word dog included in them again

you can use backspace to get back to an

empty search bar

at the right hand side of the Start menu

are a number of important icons some of

these include computer which is where

you can access your hard drive as well

as any CDs DVDs and USBs control panel

which is where you can view and modify

your computer settings Devices and

Printers which is where you can view and

manage your printers scanners and other

items of hardware and the help and

support tab which will give you help in

troubleshooting any problems on your

computer in the bottom right hand corner

of the Start menu is the shutdown button

pressing on this will close all your

programs and shut windows down turning

your computer off if you don't wish to

do this you can click on the arrow next

to the shutdown button and this gives

you some other options the ones you will

use most frequently as a student include

logoff which will close your programs

and log you out of windows without

shutting your computer down and lock

which is where you can keep all your

programs open simply locking the screen

so that nobody can access your

information while you're away from your


while we're in the Start menu we can

click on computer to open up a program

called windows explorer windows explorer

allows you to browse all the information

and files that are stored on your

computer the hard disk drives contain

all the information that is saved on

your computer itself while the devices

with removable storage contain

information that can then be removed and

transported to a different computer

devices with removable storage include

CDs DVDs and USB sticks

we can close this window by clicking on

the X at the top right hand corner we

can also access Windows Explorer using

the icon on the taskbar we simply click

once using the left button on the mouse

and this will open up Windows Explorer

this is where we can access all our

drives through the link for computer as

well as our libraries where we can find

the documents we've saved as well as

music and pictures

next let's look at how to log on to the

internet you can access the world wide

web by using programs known as web

browsers there are several different

types of browsers these include Internet

Explorer Mozilla Firefox Google Chrome

and Safari most web browsers work in a

similar way let's try using Internet

Explorer you can open Internet Explorer

if it's on your desktop by simply

double-clicking the icon with the left

button of your mouse Internet Explorer

is also found on the taskbar you can

simply click at once with the left

button of your mouse and Internet

Explorer will launch

once Internet Explorer launches you'll

be taken through to what's called a home

page this is a page that you will choose

to be the first page you see each time

you open the web browser at ECU the home

page is always set to WWDC you gue au

which is the web address for ECU's

website on your home computer you can

change your home page to whatever you'd


perhaps a news website your email

account or any other page that you go to

frequently you can do this simply by

clicking on the arrow next to the home

icon here and following the prompts

at the top of the browser you'll see a

bar known as the address bar this is

where you can type the web address of

any website and then be taken directly

to that site for example if we want to

go to Google's homepage we can type in

the address here if we know it press

ENTER and will be taken through to that

website let's try that now we can click

once here and delete the current address

using the backspace key on our keyboard

we can then type in the address for

Google's homepage WWE and

then press Enter on our keyboard this

takes us through to the home page for

Google which is a well-known search


once we're already on a website we can

add it to what's called a favorites menu

this means that instead of having to

remember and type in a web address every

single time we want to go to a page we

can simply find the icon for that page

click on it on the favorites menu and be

taken directly there it's a great way to

save time let's try adding Google to our

favorites menu we click once on the

favorites button and this opens up our

favorites menu we can then click on add

to favorites this will open up a window

where we can confirm that we do want to

add Google to our favorites

we click Add to make this happen

once this is done we can click on

favorites scroll down to the bottom of

the menu and we can see the new website

that we've added clicking on this icon

will take us directly to the page we've


if we're on another website and we'd

like to return to our home page we can

simply click on the home icon located

along the top of the web browser

clicking once on this icon will return

us back to our home page if we then

decide that we'd like to go back to a

website we've saved as a favorite we can

return back up to our favorites menu

click on the link for favorites choose

the website that we'd like to go to and

click on it to return to that page

if you need to look at another website

but you'd like to keep your current page

open you can use a new tab simply click

here and a new browser tab will open up

you can then type in the address of

another website that you'd like to go to

for example ECU's home page if you'd

like to return to the page you were on

before you can simply click on that tab

and you'll be returned to the other page

you can alternate between tabs as many

times as you like and you can have

several tabs open at once

if you need to use the internet to find

information you can start off using the

search bar at the top right hand corner

of the browser this search bar uses a

search engine to scour the internet for

results that will match the keyword that

you type in this browser uses the Bing

search engine which is one of many

search engines such as Yahoo search and

the world's most popular search engine

Google let's try searching for something

for example if we need information on

the Enlightenment we can simply click

once in the search bar type in our

keywords the Enlightenment press Enter

on our keyboard and this will bring up

the best results that the Bing search

engine can find

Google is the world's most frequently

used search engine if we type in WWE you

go calm in our address bar and press


this will bring us to the homepage for

the Google search engine you can search

information through Google in the same

way that you use the search bar if we

use our keywords from the previous

example we can type in the enlightment

press enter and it will give us these

results with Google you can search not

only webpages but also images maps

videos through YouTube current news and

information and much more

if your initial google search doesn't

give you the results you're looking for

you can scroll down to the bottom of the

page and click on the link for advanced

search advanced search gives you the

ability to narrow your search criteria

giving you more focused results you can

change what you're searching for and you

can also narrow your results by choosing

which language you'd like results in or

which region you'd like results from you

can also search information by the time

it was last updated this way you can

make sure you're getting the most

current information

another useful resource that Google

Offers is Google Scholar you can access

this by clicking on the more tab at the

top of the page on the drop down menu

select even more once on this page

scroll down to the bottom in the

specialized search section you will see

Google Scholar clicking on this will

take you through to the Google Scholar

search bar this is a specialized search

that allows you to search peer-reviewed

journal articles and other academic

papers and books

this can be a useful resource for your

assignments you can also search academic

articles papers and books by using the

ECU library one search which you can

learn about in other workshops

next let's look at how to locate and use

Microsoft Office programs these are the

programs you will use to complete many

of your assignments you can find these

programs by clicking on the Start menu

once the Start menu is open click on all

programs once the all programs list has

loaded scroll down to the folder called

Microsoft Office clicking once on this

folder will show you all the programs

that are contained within it the

programs you will probably use most

frequently at uni include Microsoft


which you can use to analyze data with

spreadsheets tables and graphs

Microsoft PowerPoint which you can use

to create slideshows for presentations

and Microsoft Word where you can write

up your assignments and your essays

let's open Microsoft Word

clicking on the icon for Microsoft Word

will open up a new document you can

maximize this window simply by clicking

the maximize button in the top right

hand corner what you see is the blank

page of a new document microsoft word is

a word processing program anytime you

need to type up information and words

such as for an essay report or any other

assignment Microsoft Word is probably

what you'll use

when you start typing in Microsoft Word

simply click once to make this blinking

cursor appear the words you type will

appear from this point you can type

using the keys on your keyboard for

example to type the word the you hit the

keys th e and you type the word to

create a space simply press the spacebar

once the spacebar is the long skinny

blank key on your keyboard if you're new

to typing don't worry the more you

practice the faster you'll get let's try

writing a whole sentence for example the

quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

let's try doing that now

if you need to start a new line in

Microsoft Word simply hit the enter key

located towards the middle of the

keyboard this will return your cursor to

the left hand side of the page and you

can start a new line you can press ENTER

twice to start a new paragraph

if you need to create a capital letter

you can hold the shift key located just

underneath the enter key and while

holding the shift key press the letter

key that you'd like to capitalize for

example if we want to write the quick

brown fox was called Fred we can hold

down the shift key press T and that

capitalizes the T we can then write the

rest of the sentence and when we get to

capitalizing Fred's name we hold down

shift and press the F key followed by

the rest of Fred's nap and a full stop

next let's look at how to format text

using Microsoft Word to select the text

that you'd like to format click once

using the left button on your mouse this

brings the cursor back once you've done

this click the left button again but

hold it down and then drag it over the

text you'd like to format you can then

use the formatting tools located at the

top of the page we'll go through some of

the basic formatting tools so that you

can get some practice you can click on

the arrow here to change the font of the

text that's the style or theme of the


this opens a drop-down menu with dozens

of choices each font is slightly


at university you'll usually use a

conservative font such as Times New

Roman try highlighting your text and

then changing the font to Times New

Roman to make the change you simply

click on the font that you'd like to

change it to

once you've changed the font you can

also change the size of the text using

this arrow here clicking here opens up

another drop-down menu with several

different choices you can make the text

tiny or you can make it extremely large

at university level it's a good idea to

work with size 12

if you want to make a section of your

text bold

you can click next to it and highlight

it and then move up to the formatting

tools clicking on this B will turn your

text bulb let's try that now

you can also format your text in italics

by clicking on the eye

and you can underline the text by

clicking on the you


if you need to put some text into the

center of the page for example for the

title you can use the alignment options

found here clicking on the Left will

align the text to the left which is the

default option clicking on Center will

move the text to the center of the page

and clicking on right will align the

text with the right-hand margin

if you want to you can also change the

color of the text

clicking here on this arrow and choosing

a color to change the highlighted text


there are many other ways to format text

in Microsoft Word and you'll find these

out with more practice

there are a few more basic skills that

will help you when you start using

Microsoft Word these include finding

text copying text and pasting text let's

start with finding text the find

function is located near the top right

corner where these binoculars are you

can click on this to open up the

navigation panel click once and then

type in a word that you're searching for

for example Fox this tool will highlight

any mentions of the word Fox in your

document this is helpful if you need to

change a word you can find all the times

that words been used and change all of

them if we press the X here that will

close the navigation panel you can also

use the find function by using what's

called a keyboard shortcut this opens up

the function without using your mouse

you can open up the find function by

locating the ctrl key on your keyboard

this is just below the shift key hold

down the control key and while that key

is held down press the F key as you can

see this opens up the find function

another useful function is the copy and

paste function this is where you can

highlight and copy text and then paste

it somewhere else

let's try by copying our first sentence

click once then click again holding the

left button down and drag it across your

text move your mouse over the

highlighted text and then click the

right button on your mouse this opens up

a menu select the second option which is

copy that's copied the text to Microsoft

words clipboard click once outside the

selected area to remove the selection

now press ENTER once for a new line

move your mouse to the start of this new

line and click the right button of your

mouse again

you'll see there's no option for copy

but you can paste there's several

options select the one with the letter A

to paste text and click on it this has

duplicated your entire sentence and you

can repeat this as many times as you



there's also a keyboard shortcut for

copying and pasting

to copy text you can highlight it then

hold down the ctrl key and press the

letter C to paste the text simply click

elsewhere hold down ctrl again and press

V again you can do this as many times as

you need

there are many more useful functions

within Microsoft Word as well as many

more keyboard shortcuts you can find

some of these on the handout that you've

been given today you can also search for

them on the Internet

another way to find them is by hovering

over an icon which will give you the

keyboard shortcut if there is one

for example let's try hovering over the

B button

we know that by clicking on this we can

make text bold but this tells us that we

can also hold down control and press B

to make text bold without using the

mouse italics and underline also have

keyboard shortcuts when you finished

using a document or even if you're

partway through it's a good idea to save

it to save a document you use the Save


up in the top left corner the keyboard

shortcut for save is holding down

control and pressing s if you need to

print the document you can click on file

move down to the print option here and

click on it and then click this print

button to print the document

to return back to your document you can

click on home once you're finished in

Microsoft Word you can close the

document by clicking on the X in the top

right hand corner today we won't save

the document so click don't save

when you finish using your computer

remember to log off you can do this by

clicking on the Start menu moving to the

arrow next to the shutdown button and

clicking log off this will close all

programs and log you out of windows

until next time