Opening & Closing

Software Applications


As you learn more and more about computing, you will also become familiar with jargon. The "jargon" of any discipline just means the particular words that have specific meanings in this context. Software and hardware are two of the most frequently used computer jargon words. Hardware is the physical (touchable) computer itself, the keyboard, disk drive, monitor, etc. Software is made up of the instructions that tell the hardware what to do. You may have heard about Microsoft Word. This is a software program that allows you to create and edit text documents

Software might also be called an application. To open an application on your computer first click on the start menu (found in the lower left-hand corner of the illustration to the right). In the left hand column you will see your most recently used applications. The list at right shows applications from four of the largest vendors, Microsoft, Macromedida, Adobe and AOL, as well as one from a small independent company (CaptureEze Pro). Windows provides this list so that you can easily access your favorite software. Each user's list is unique, and reflects the software installed on that particular computer. If the application you currently want is on that list, then double-click to open that particular piece of software. Many times, however, you will find that the desired application is not in the favorites group. When that happens you have to navigate to your desired piece of software.
Say, for example, that you want to open Excel the very popular business program for creating electronic spreadsheets. but you notice it is not currently in the favorites group. You would then click on "All Programs".
This brings up a list of program categories, such as the one to the right. As you study this list, you note that Excel is still not available to you. The reason for this is that the system software categorizes programs automatically. In this way it is able to keep the overall list to a manageable size. Now, study this list again. Since you know that Excel is one of the programs that is included in Microsoft Office application suite, you conclude that you will find Excel in that group.
You access that particular group by clicking on the solid black arrow to the right of the words "Microsoft Office". Whenever you see one of the little arrows, it tells you that there is an additional menu of choices available. Next, move your mouse over the arrow. Don't click! Just move your mouse. A new menu appears, giving you a list of all available Microsoft Office programs.
Next, move your mouse over "Microsoft Office Excel 2003" (you might not have the same software version on your computer, but move the mouse over whatever name contains "Excel"). When the application name turns blue, it is available to be opened. Now click on the name. The Excel application will open onscreen.

After you have completed work in the open application, there are two tasks to complete the first is to save your work. Go to File > Save and single click.

When you have finished the task at hand and saved your file, first do a File > Close to close the particular file you are working on. Note that this action closes the file, but keeps the application itself open (in case you want to open another file).
You have closed the file, but the application is still running. Sometimes you want to keep the application open because you are planning to open another file that requires that software. When you do want to close the application, simply go to File > Exit.


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