Basic Guide to Windows –Key Terms and Definitons Associated With Using a Windows Operating System

Basic Guide to WIndows Article Cover
Basic Guide to WIndows Article Cover
This document provides key terms and definitions to outline fundamental concepts associated with using a Windows operating system.

(2d) – Key Terms and Definitions

The table below lists some key terms and definitons that will help you understand some of the concepts discussed in this article.

Key Term Or PhraseDefiniton
A
Accelerators

An Internet Explorer feature that displays a blue Accelerator icon when you select text from any Web page, and which when clicked enables you to accomplish tasks such as finding a map, defining a word, or e-mailing content to others.

 

Action Center

A central place to view alerts and take actions, for example to view and install updates and view important messages about security and maintenance settings on your computer.

 

ActiveX

A technology for creating interactive Web content such as animation sequences, credit card transactions, or spreadsheet calculations.

 

ActiveX control

A type of add-on that uses ActiveX technology.

 

Add-on

A program that adds features to a Web browser such as Internet Explorer.

 

Address bar

(Windows Explorer) Displays your current location in the folder structure as a series of links separated by arrows.

 

Address bar

(Internet Explorer) The area at the top of the Internet Explorer window that displays, and where you can type, a URL.

 

Administrator account

A user account that lets you make changes that will affect other users of the computer; the most powerful of the three types of accounts, because it permits the most control over the computer.

 

Aero

The term that refers to the desktop experience that features a translucent glass design for windows, attractive graphics, taskbar previews of open windows, and the Aero features such as Snap and Aero Peek.

 

Aero Flip 3D

A feature that arranges your open windows in a three-dimensional stack that you can flip through quickly without having to click buttons on the taskbar.

 

Aero Peek

A technology that assists you when you have multiple windows open by allowing you to peek at either the desktop that is behind open windows or at a window that is hidden from view by other windows; then, you can move the mouse back into the taskbar to close the peek.

 

Aero Shake

A feature in which you can shake an active window by moving the mouse vigorously back and forth on the title bar to have all other open windows minimize; you can then restore all the windows by shaking the open window again.

 

All Programs

An area on the Start menu that displays all the programs on your computer system that are available to you; some groups of programs display in a folder.

 

AND filter

When used in a search, finds files that contain both search terms even if those terms are not next to each other.

 

Application

Another term for a program.

 

Arrange by

In a folder window, a feature that enables you to arrange the items by Author, Date modified, Tag, Type, or Name; the default arrangement is Folder.

 

AutoPlay

A Windows 7 feature that lets you choose which program to use to start different kinds of media, such as music CDs, or CDs and DVDs containing photos; it displays when you plug in or insert media or storage devices.

 

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B
Base locations

Locations that you frequently need to access to manage your computer including Libraries, Homegroup if you have one, your personal folder, Computer, Network, Control Panel, and Recycle Bin.

 

Bing

An Internet search engine by Microsoft.

 

BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)

A program installed by a computer’s manufacturer that runs at startup, checks the hardware devices, and then loads the operating system.

 

Bit rate

The number of bits transferred per unit of time, typically expressed in bits per second.

 

Blog

An online journal or column used to publish personal or company information in an informal manner.

 

Bookmark managers

Free Web tools available to manage your favorites.

 

Boolean operators

The terms AND, OR, and NOT that govern the logical functions and express a condition that is either true or false.

 

Booting the computer

The process of turning on a computer when the computer has been completely shut down and during which the BIOS program will run.

 

Browsing

(Windows Explorer) A term used to describe the process of navigating within Windows 7 to look for a specific program, file, e-mail, Control Panel feature, or Internet favorite.

 

Browsing

(Internet Explorer) The term used to describe the process of using your computer to view Web pages.

 

Browsing history

The information stored by Internet Explorer about the sites you have visited and the information you have typed into a site.

 

Burning a disc

The process of writing files on a CD or DVD.

 

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C
Cold boot / cold rebootTurning off your computer in a manner that closes all open programs and files, closes your network connections, stops the hard disk, and discontinues the use of electrical power is called:
Control PanelAn area of Windows 10 where you can manipulate some of the Windows 10 basic system settings.
ClickThe term click means to point to an item and then tap the left mouse button. Don’t hold down the left mouse button. Just tap (press and release) it. It makes a slight clicking sound when you do. For example, the phrase ‘‘click the Start button’’ means ‘‘put the mouse pointer on the Start button and tap the left mouse button.’’ When you do, the Start menu appears. Click the Start button a second time, and the Start menu goes away.
Cascade

An arrangement of open windows on your screen that display in a single stack fanned out so that each title bar is visible.

 

Case sensitive

A requirement, especially for computer passwords, in which capitalization must match each time the characters are typed.

 

Certificate

A digital document that verifies the identity of a person or indicates the security of a Web site.

 

Certification Authorities

Companies, for example Verisign, that issue digital certificates.

 

Check box feature

A folder option which, when applied, displays a check box to the left of folders and files.

 

Click

The action of pressing the left mouse button.

 

Clipboard

A temporary storage area for information that you have copied or moved from one place and plan to use somewhere else.

 

Common dialog boxes

The dialog boxes, such as Save and Save As, provided by the Windows programming interface that enable programs to have a consistent appearance and behavior.

 

Common folders and features

The right side of the Start menu that provides quick access to the folders and features you use most often.

 

Compress

To reduce the size of a file; compressed files take up less storage space and can be transferred to other computers, for example in an e-mail message, more quickly than uncompressed files.

 

Computer

A command on the Start menu that displays a window from which you can you can access disk drives, cameras, printers, scanners and other hardware connected to your computer.

 

Content view

A folder window view in which the files display a vertical list that includes the program icon, the date the file was last modified, the file size, and other properties such as author names or tags.

 

Control Panel

A window from which you can customize the appearance and functionality of your computer, add or remove programs, set up network connections, and manage user accounts.

 

Cookies

Small text files that Web sites put on your computer to store information about you and your preferences, for example logon information.

 

Country codes

Top level domains for countries, for example .ca for Canada.

 

Criteria

Text that specifies the conditions that identify the specific files you are looking for in a search.

 

Custom search

A search feature in which you can define a specific scope—range of locations—for your search.

 

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D
DashboardA descriptive term for the Windows 10 Start menu.
DesktopThe desktop itself is everything above the taskbar. Most programs you open appear
in a window on the desktop.
Desktop AppA computer program that is installed on the hard drive of a personal computer and that requires a computer operating system such as Microsoft Windows or Apple OSX to run.
Desktop iconsIcons on the desktop provide quick access to frequently used programs, folders, and documents. You can add and remove desktop icons as you see fit.
Double ClickThe term double-click means to point to an item and then tap the left mouse button twice, quickly. Don’t hold down the button and don’t pause between clicks. Just tap the left mouse button twice. You use double-clicking to open items that icons on your screen represent.
DragThe term drag means to point to an item and hold down the left mouse button while you’re moving
the mouse. You typically use dragging to move and size things on the screen. You can see examples a
little later in this chapter.
Data

All the files—documents, spreadsheets, pictures, songs, and so on—that you create and store during the day-to-day use of your computer.

 

Data management

The process of managing your files and folders in an organized manner so that you can find information when you need it.

 

Deselect

To cancel the selection of one or more selected items.

 

Desktop

Serves as a surface for your work, like the top of an actual desk, and is the main screen area that you see after you turn on your computer; here you can arrange icons—small pictures that represent a file, folder, program, or other object—on the desktop such as shortcuts to programs, files, folders, and various types of documents in the same manner you would arrange physical objects on top of a desk.

 

Desktop background

Displays the colors and graphics of your desktop; you can change the desktop background to look the way you want it.

 

Desktop gadget

Another term for a gadget.

 

Details pane

Displays the most common properties associated with the selected file.

 

Details view

A file list view that displays a list of files or folders and their most common properties.

 

Digital signature

An electronic security mark that can be added to files.

 

Directory

A file folder on a disk in which you store files; also called a path.

 

Domain name

An organization’s unique name on the Internet, which consists of a chosen name combined with a top level domain such as .com or .org or .gov.

 

Double-click

The action of pressing the left mouse button twice in rapid succession while holding the mouse still.

 

Drag

The action of moving something from one location on the screen to another while holding down the left mouse button; the action of dragging includes releasing the mouse button at the desired time or location.

 

Drilling down

The process of navigating downward through multiple levels of your folder structure to find what you are looking for. Drive An area of storage that is formatted with a file system compatible with your operating system and is identified by a drive letter.

 

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E
EdgeThe browser program that comes with Windows 10. Microsoft Edge.
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F
Faxing DeviceA faxing device is a type of hardware device that can send or receive faxes through a standard PC connection. Faxing devices are typically included in most internal dialup modems as well as a feature found in some all-in-one printers.
FileA collection of information that is stored on a computer under a single name—for example, a text document, a picture, or a program.
File ListThe file list displays the contents of the current folder or location.
FolderA folder is a container in which you store files. Folders help set organizational structures of file systems as they permit for the grouping of files based on a set of standards specified by the end-user. For example, all music files can be stored in a folder called Music Files; all video files can be stored in a folder called Video Files; and all system files can be stored in an operating system folder such as Windows, ensure files are organized based on content.
Folder StructureThe hierarchy of folders in Windows 10.
Favorites bar

A toolbar in Internet Explorer 8 that displays directly below the address bar and to which you can add or drag web addresses you use frequently.

 

Favorites Center

A list of links to Web sites that is saved in your Web browser.

 

Federated Search

A technology that enables you to search a remote server or Web service from Windows Explorer using the same techniques that you use to search for files that are stored on your own computer.

 

Feed reader

Another name for an RSS viewer.

 

File

A collection of information that is stored on a computer under a single name, for example a text document, a picture, or a program.

 

File association

The association between a file and the program that created the file.

 

File list

Displays the contents of the current folder or library. If you type text into the Search box, only the folders and files that match your search will display here—including files in subfolders.

 

File name extension

A set of characters at the end of a file name that helps Windows 7 understand what kind of information is in a file and what program should open it.

 

File properties

Information about a file such as its author, the date the file was last changed, and any descriptive tags.

 

Filtered

A display of files that is limited based on certain criteria.

 

Folder

A container in which you store files.

 

Folder structure

The hierarchy of folders in Windows 7.

 

Folder window

A window that displays the contents of the current folder, library, or device, and contains helpful parts so that you can navigate—explore within the organizing structure of Windows.

 

Free-form snip

When using Snipping Tool, the type of snip that lets you draw an irregular line, such as a circle, around an area of the screen.

 

Full-screen snip

When using Snipping Tool, the type of snip that captures the entire screen.

 

Full-Screen Window Preview

In the Aero Peek technology, the ability to peek at a window that is hidden from view by other windows.

 

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G
GadgetsThese are optional Windows components for showing data in a small window. Examples are a
clock, weather information, or stock ticker.
Gui / Gooey / Graphical User InterfaceGUI, GOOEY, or graphical user interface are all terms that explicity define what Windows is. A GUI is a system that allows for the facilitation of movements on a PC’s desktop through pointing and clicking activities. GOOEY based operating systems are very user friendly, as they require no formal training to use. The end-user can simply use the GUI system to launch software programs, maintain a computer, and surf the Internet, all through a series of mouse movements and keyboard activities.
Gadget

A mini-program that offers information and provides easy access to tools that you use frequently.

 

Getting Started

In Windows 7, a task-centered grouping of links to tools that can help you get started with and add new features to your computer.

 

Graphic equalizer

In Windows Media Player, the controls that enable you to adjust the bass and treble that you hear.

 

Graphical user interface

The system by which you interact with your computer and which uses graphics such as an image of a file folder or wastebasket that you click to activate the item represented.

 

Guest account

A user account for users who do not have a permanent account on the computer; it permits only temporary access to the computer.

 

GUI

The acronym for a graphical user interface, pronounced GOO-ee.

 

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H
Hardware DevicesA hardware devices is any type of internal or external component that a computer uses to get something done. Video cards, sound cards, hard disk drives, CD-ROM drives, and Central Processing Units, are all examples of hardware devices. Windows uses this term explicitly when  troubleshooting problems on the computer that are related to specific components in the computer.
HubThe feature is called HUB. Hub allows the users of Microsoft edge to keep all the things they collected on the internet in one place. Hub can store your favorite reading lists, browsing history, e books, etc
Hard disk drive

The primary storage device located inside your computer and where most of your files and programs are typically stored; usually labeled as drive C.

 

Hierarchy

An arrangement where items are ranked and where each level is lower in rank than the item above it.

 

Home page

On your own computer, the Web page you have selected—or that is set by default—to display on your computer when you start Internet Explorer; when visiting a Web site, the starting point for the

 

http

The protocol prefix for HyperText Transfer Protocol.

 

HyperText Transfer Protocol

The set of communication rules used by your computer to connect to servers on the Web.

 

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I
InternetInternet is an interconnected series of networks that connects millions of computers across the entire globe, using its own language entitled Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).
Icons

Small images that represent commands, files, or other windows.

 

Index

A collection of detailed information about the files on your computer that Windows 7 maintains for the purpose conducting fast searches; when you begin a search, Windows 7 searches this summary information rather than searching file by file on your hard disk drive.

 

Indexed Locations

All of the folders in your personal folder (Documents, Pictures, and so on) and offline files, if any, that Windows 7 includes in a search.

 

Information bar

A bar at the top of an Internet Explorer screen that displays information about downloads, blocked pop-up windows, and installing ActiveX controls.

 

InPrivate Browsing

A feature in Internet Explorer 8 with which you can browse the Web without storing data about your browsing session; useful when using a public computer.

 

Insertion point

A blinking vertical line that indicates where text or graphics will be inserted.

 

Internet Explorer 8

The Web browser software developed by Microsoft Corporation that is included with Windows 7.

 

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J
JPEG

The acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group that is a common file type used by digital cameras and computers to store digital pictures—a popular file type because it can store a high-quality picture in a relatively small file.

 

Jump List

A list that displays when you right-click a button on the taskbar, and which displays locations (in the upper portion) and tasks (in the lower portion) from a program’s taskbar button; functions as a mini start menu for a program.

 

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L
LocationAny disk drive, folder, or other place in which you can store files and folders.
Location iconA button on the address bar that depicts the location—library, disk drive, folder, and so on—you are accessing.
LockA process that sets your computer so that your password is required to log back on to your desktop; others can log on to their own desktops while your desktop is locked.
Library pane Enables you to customize the library or arrange files by different file properties—information about the files, such as the author, the date the file was last changed, and any descriptive tags (a property that you create to help you find and organize your files) you might have added to the file. This pane displays only when you are in a library, such as the Documents library.
Live File SystemA file storage system with which you can create CDs and DVDs; discs formatted with Live File System allow you to copy files to the disc at any time, instead of copying (burning) them all at once.
Live TilesAreas on the Windows 10 Start menu that are constantly updated with fresh information relevant to the signed in user.
Local Area Networks (Lans)A local area network (LAN) is a type of computer network comprised of varying quantities of computer systems, usually depending on the size and structure of an organization or business. LAN’s are implemented to allow employees to share information and resources on the network. LAN’s also implement a variety of security solutions, including software and hardware based firewalls, to prevent the misuse of the network’s computer systems and data.
Log offA process that exits the active user account from Windows, and then displays the Welcome screen ready for another user to log on.
Library

A collection of items, such as files and folders, assembled from various locations.

 

Library pane

Enables you to customize the library or arrange files by different file properties—information about the files, such as the author, the date the file was last changed, and any descriptive tags (a property that you create to help you find and organize your files) you might have added to the file. This pane displays only when you are in a library, such as the Documents library.

 

Live File System

A file storage system with which you can create CDs and DVDs; discs formatted with Live File System allow you to copy files to the disc at any time, instead of copying (burning) them all at once.

 

Location

Any disk drive, folder, or other place in which you can store files and folders.

 

Location icon

A button on the address bar that depicts the location—library, disk drive, folder, and so on—you are accessing.

 

Lock

A process that sets your computer so that your password is required to log back on to your desktop; others can log on to their own desktops while your desktop is locked.

 

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M
MaximizingMaximizing is a windows specific term referring to the process of making an active window larger or more visible on the desktop.
MinimizingMinimizing is a windows specific term referring to the of process of making an active window invisible on the desktop. 
Magnifier

A screen enlarger that magnifies a portion of the screen in a separate window; helpful for computer users with low vision and for those who require occasional screen magnification for such tasks as editing art.

 

Mastered

A file system with which you can create CDs and DVDs; discs created using the Mastered format are more likely to be compatible with older computers, but an additional step is required to burn the collection of files to the disc.

 

Menu

A list of commands within a category.

 

Menu bar

A group of menus at the top of a program window.

 

Metadata

The data that describes other data; for example, the collective group of a file’s properties, such as its title, subject, author, and file size.

 

Mouse pointer

Any symbol that displays on your screen in response to moving your mouse.

 

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N
Naming convention

A plan that provides a consistent pattern for naming files and folders on your computer.

 

Natural language

A search feature than enables you to perform searches with simple language without entering colons or Boolean operators.

 

Navigate

To explore within the folder structure of Windows Vista for the purpose of finding files and folders.

 

Navigation

The actions you perform to display a window to locate a command or display the folder window for a folder whose contents you want to view.

 

Navigation pane

The area on the left side of a folder window; it displays favorites, libraries, and an expandable list of drives and folders.

 

Network

A group of computers or other devices, such as printers and scanners, which communicate either wirelessly or by using a physical connection.

 

Network notification icon

In the notification area, an icon that displays the status of your network.

 

NOT filter

When used in a search, finds files that contain the first word but that do not contain the second word.

 

Notification

A small pop-up window providing information about status, progress, and the detection of new devices.

 

Notification area

Displays notification icons and the system clock; sometimes referred to as the system tray.

 

Now Playing mode

A simplified Player view that enables you to play music in the background while you are performing other tasks.

 

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O
Offline files

Files from a network that have been copied to your hard disk drive for easy access when you are not connected to the network.

 

Operating system

A computer program that manages all the other programs on your computer, stores files in an organized manner, and coordinates the use of computer hardware such as the keyboard and mouse.

 

OR filter

When used in a search, finds files that contain either search term.

 

One DriveA free cloud based file storage tool used for file sharing provided by Microsoft when you sign up for a Microsoft account.
Operating SystemsAn operating system is an application software type that permits for the communications and facilitation of data through the computer. An operating system is responsible for controlling different aspects of the computer including managing software, controlling the way files are created and organized, and how hardware components are accessed to complete tasks.
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P
PathA sequence of folders (directories) that leads to a specific file or folder.
PointThe term point, when used as a verb, means to touch the mouse pointer to an item. For example,‘‘point to the Start button’’ means to move the mouse pointer so that it’s positioned on the Start button
(the large, round button at the lower-left corner of your screen that shows the Windows logo). If the
item you want to point to is smaller than the mouse pointer, make sure you get the tip of the mouse
pointer arrow on the item. Whatever the tip of the mouse pointer is on is the item to which you’re
pointing.
PrintersA printer is a hardware device that allows output such as text or graphics to be seen in a hard copy format. Printers are indispensable. tools that promote a higher level of productivity and efficiency.
Paint

A program that comes with Windows 7 with which you can create and edit drawings and display and edit stored photos.

 

Partial matching

A technique employed by the Windows 7 search feature that matches your search criteria to part of a word or phrase rather than to whole words.

 

Path

A sequence of folders (directories) that leads to a specific file or folder.

 

Personal folder

A folder created for each user account, labeled with the account holder’s name, and which contains the subfolders Documents, Pictures, Music, among others; always located at the top of the Start menu.

 

Phishing

A technique used to trick computer users into revealing personal or financial information through an e-mail message or a Web site.

 

Pinned

Placing programs on the Start menu in a manner that remains until you remove it.

 

Playback controls area

The area in Windows Media Player that enables you to play, pause, stop, rewind, or fast forward multimedia files; also enables you to control the order in which objects play, and to control the volume.

 

Player Library mode

A comprehensive Player view in which you have control over the numerous features of the Player.

 

Playlist

A list of digital media items that you create and save.

 

Point

The action of moving the mouse pointer over something on the screen.

 

Pointer

Any symbol that displays on your screen in response to moving your mouse and with which you can select objects and commands.

 

Pointing device

A mouse, touchpad, or other device that controls the pointer position on the screen.

 

Pop-up

A small Web browser window that displays on top of the Web site you are viewing, and which are usually created by advertisers.

 

Pop-up Blocker

A feature in Internet Explorer that enables you to block most pop-ups.

 

Portable device

Any mobile electronic device that can exchange files or other data with a computer or device; for example, a smartphone or a portable music player.

 

Portal

A Web site that displays news, content, and links that are of interest to a specific audience.

 

Preview Desktop

In the Aero Peek technology, the ability to peek at the desktop that is behind open windows.

 

Preview pane

An additional pane on the right side of the file list to display a preview of a file (not a folder) that you select in the file list.

 

Problem Steps Recorder

A Windows 7 feature that captures the steps you perform on your computer, including a text description of where you clicked and a picture of the screen during each click.

 

Program

A set of instructions that a computer uses to accomplish a task, such as word processing, accounting, or data management; also referred to as an application.

 

Programs list

The left side of the Start menu that displays recently used programs on the bottom, programs that you have pinned to the Start menu at the top, and a button to display all the programs on your computer.

 

Progress bar

In a dialog box or taskbar button, a bar that indicates visually the progress of a task such as a download or file transfer.

 

Properties

Descriptive pieces of information about a folder or file such as the name, the date modified, the author, the type, and the size.

 

Protected mode

A feature in Internet Explorer that makes it more difficult for malicious software to be installed on your computer by preventing a downloaded program from making any direct changes to the system.

 

Protocol prefix

The letters that represent a set of communication rules used by a computer to connect to another computer.

 

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R
ResizingResizing refers to the process of rearranging the geometry and size of a window on the desktop.
Right-clickThe term right-click means to point to an item and then tap the right mouse button. Again, don’t hold down the mouse button, and don’t use the left mouse button. Whereas clicking an item usually takes an immediate action, right-clicking presents a shortcut menu of things you can do with the item.
Really Simple Syndication

A syndication format popular for aggregating updates to blogs and news sites.

 

Recent Pages

A button on the address bar that displays a list of recently accessed locations; the current location is indicated by a check mark.

 

Rectangular snip

When using Snipping Tool, the type of snip that lets you draw a precise box by dragging the mouse pointer around an area of the screen to form a rectangle.

 

Recycle Bin

A folder that stores anything that you delete from your computer, and from which anything stored there can be retrieved until the contents are permanently deleted by activating the Empty Recycle Bin command.

 

Removable storage device

A portable device on which you can store files, such as a USB flash drive, a flash memory card, or an external hard drive, commonly used to transfer information from one computer to another.

 

Resources

A term used to refer collectively to the parts of your computer such as the central processing unit (CPU), memory, and any attached devices such as a printer.

 

Restart

A process that turns your computer off and then on again during which time the system cache is cleared; useful if your computer is operating slowly or having technical problems, or after installing new software or software updates.

 

Right-click

The action of clicking the right mouse button.

 

Rip

The process of copying digital media content from an audio CD.

 

RSS

An acronym for Really Simple Syndication, which is a syndication format popular for aggregating—gathering together—updates to blogs and news sites.

 

RSS feed

Frequently updated content published by a Web site and delivered to a feed reader.

 

RSS viewer

A program that displays RSS feeds to which you have subscribed.

 

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S
Start buttonClick the Start button to display the Start menu. The Start menu provides access
to programs installed on your computer, as well as commonly used folders such as Documents,
Pictures, and Music.
Start menuA list of installed programs on the left and a customizable group of app tiles on the right.
SnippetA program included with Windows 10 that enables you to capture an image of all or part of a computer screen is:
Shortcut menuA context-sensitive menu that displays relevant commands and options.
Sub FolderA folder within another folder.
System RequirementsA list of specifications outlining the minimum hardware components needed to run a software application.
Screen capture

An image file that contains the contents of a computer screen.

 

Screen saver

A moving picture or pattern that displays on your screen after a specified period of inactivity—that is, when the mouse or keyboard has not been used.

 

Screenshot

The term used for an image of the contents of a computer screen.

 

ScreenTip

Useful information that displays in a small box on the screen when you perform various mouse actions, such as pointing to screen elements.

 

Scroll arrow

Arrows at the top and bottom, or left and right, of a scroll bar that when clicked, move the window in small increments.

 

Scroll bar

A bar that displays on the bottom or right side of a window when the contents of a window are not completely visible; used to move the window up, down, left, or right to bring the contents into view.

 

Scroll box

The box in a vertical or horizontal scroll bar that you drag to reposition the document on the screen.

 

Search box

A box found on the Start menu and in windows that display libraries, folders, and files that provides a way to find specific files and folders by typing search terms.

 

Search folder

The Windows 7 folder in which you conduct searches in the entire set of indexed locations.

 

Search provider

A Web site that provides search capabilities on the Web.

 

Search term

A word or phrase that describes the topic about which you want to find information.

 

Select

To specify, by highlighting, a block of data or text on the screen with the intent of performing some action on the selection.

 

SharePoint

A Microsoft technology that enables employees in an organization to access information across organizational and geographic boundaries.

 

Shift Click

A technique in which the SHIFT key is held down to select all the items in a consecutive group; you need only click the first item, hold down SHIFT, and then click the last item in the group.

 

Shortcuts

Desktop icons that link to any item accessible on your computer or on a network, such as a program, file, folder, disk drive printer, or another computer.

 

Show desktop button

Displays the desktop by making any open windows transparent (when pointed to) or minimized (when clicked).

 

Shut down

Turning off your computer in a manner that closes all open programs and files, closes your network connections, stops the hard disk, and discontinues the use of electrical power.

 

Shut down button

On the Start menu, a button that displays a menu for switching users, logging off, restarting, or shutting down.

 

Side by side

An arrangement of open windows on your screen that displays side by side.

 

Skin

A user interface that displays an alternative appearance and customized functionality for software such as Windows Media Player.

 

Skin mode

An operational state of Windows Media Player in which its user interface is displayed as a skin.

 

Sleep

Turning off your computer in a manner that automatically saves your work, stops the fan, and uses a small amount of electrical power to maintain your work in memory; the next time you turn the computer on, you need only to enter your password (if required) and your screen will display exactly like it did when you turned off.

 

SmartScreen Filter

A feature in Internet Explorer that helps detect phishing Web sites and Web sites that distribute malware.

 

Snap

A Windows 7 feature that automatically resizes windows when you move—snap—them to the edge of the screen.

 

Snip

The image captured using Snipping Tool.

 

Snipping Tool

A program included with Windows 7 with which you can capture an image of all or part of a computer screen, and then annotate, save, copy, or share the image via e-mail.

 

Speakers icon

Displays the status of your speakers (if any).

 

Split button

A button that has two parts—a button and an arrow; clicking the main part of the button performs a command and clicking the arrow opens a menu with choices.

 

Sponsored links

Paid advertisements shown as a links, typically for products and services related to your search term; sponsored links are the way that search sites like Bing, Google, and others earn revenue.

 

Spyware

Software that sends information about your Web surfing habits to a Web site without your knowledge.

 

Stack

An arrangement of open windows on your screen that display each window across the width of the screen in a vertical stack.

 

Standard user account

A user account that lets you use most of the capabilities of the computer, but requires permission from an administrator to make changes that affect other users or the security of the computer.

 

Start button

Displays the Start menu—a list of choices that provides access to your computer’s programs, folders, and settings.

 

Start menu

A list of choices that provides access to your computer’s programs, folders, and settings when you press the Start button.

 

Status area

Another term for the notification area.

 

Subfolder

A folder within a folder.

 

Suggested Sites

In Internet Explorer 8, an optional online service that suggests other Web sites in which you might be interested based on the Web sites you visit most.

 

Surfing

The process of navigating the Internet either for a particular item or for anything that is of interest, and quickly moving from one item to another.

 

Sync

The process of maintaining digital media files on your portable device based on specific rules.

 

Syndicated content

Another name for an RSS feed.

 

System cache

An area of the computer’s memory where Windows 7 stores information it needs to access quickly.

 

System tray

Another name for the notification area on the taskbar.

 

Swap fileA temporary storage area for information that you have copied or moved from one place and plan to use somewhere else
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T
TaskbarThe area of the desktop that contains program buttons and buttons for all open programs.
Title barThe bar across the top of the window that displays the program name.
Text Based Operating SystemA text based operating system is an application software type that permits for the communication and facilitation of data through a computer using a text only format. Linux and Unix are the most popular text based operating systems. A text based operating system requires the end-user to type commands and switches to control how instructions are executed, and generally require a high level of knowledge in the areas of programming and computer science.
Tab row

The area across the upper portion of the Internet Explorer screen in which a tab for each open Web site displays.

 

Tabbed browsing

A feature in Internet Explorer that enables you to open multiple Web sites in a single browser window.

 

Tag

A custom file property that you create to help find and organize your files.

 

Taskbar

The area of the desktop that contains the Start button, optional program buttons, and buttons for all open programs; by default, it is located at the bottom of the desktop, but you can move it.

 

Temporary Internet files

Copies of Web pages, images, and media that you have downloaded from the Web, which makes viewing faster the next time you visit a site that you have visited before.

 

Theme

A combination of pictures, colors, and sounds on your computer; includes a desktop background, a screen saver, a window border color, and a sound scheme.

 

Thumbnail

A reduced image of a graphic.

 

TIFF

The acronym for Tagged Image File Format that is a file type used when a very high level of visual quality is needed, for example if the file will be used to print 8-by-10-inch enlargements.

 

Title bar

The bar across the top of the window that displays the program name.

 

Toolbar

A row, column, or block of buttons or icons, usually displayed across the top of a window, which contains commands for tasks you can perform with a single click.

 

Top level domain

The ending letters of a URL such as .com, .org, and so on.

 

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U
Uniform Resource Locator

An address that uniquely identifies a location on the Internet.

 

URL

The acronym for Uniform Resource Locator.

 

User account

A collection of information that tells Windows 7 what files and folders the account holder can access, what changes the account holder can make to the computer system, and what the account holder’s personal preferences are.

 

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V
Virtual folder

A folder that does not represent a physical location but rather contains the results of a search.

 

Visualizations

In Windows Media Player and Media Center, splashes of color and geometric shapes that change along with the rhythm and intensity of the music.

 

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W
WindowsWindows is a graphical user interface based operating system that gives an end user the ability to control all hardware devices within a computer, allows for the installation and removal of software, and permits the computer to communicate across the Internet and local area networks. Windows also provides a very easy method to manage files and folders on local and network hard drives, customize, and optimize hardware devices in the system.
Windows 10An operating system developed by Microsoft Corporation.
Wallpaper

Another term for the desktop background.

 

Web browser

A software program with which you display Web pages and navigate the Internet.

 

Web feed

Another name for an RSS feed.

 

Web log

The term from which blog is derived; an online journal or column used to publish personal or company information in an informal manner.

 

Web Slice

A specific portion—a slice—of a Web page to which you can subscribe, and which enables you to see when updated content, such as the current temperature, is available from a site.

 

Window

A rectangular area on your screen that displays programs and content, and which can be moved, resized, minimized, or closed; the content of every window is different, but all windows display on the desktop.

 

Window snip

When using Snipping Tool, the type of snip that captures the entire displayed window.

 

Windows 7

An operating system developed by Microsoft Corporation.

 

Windows Defender

A spyware scanning and removal tool included with Windows 7.

 

Windows Explorer

The program within Windows 7 that displays the contents of libraries, folders, and files on your computer, and which also enables you to perform tasks related to your files and folders such as copying, moving, and renaming. Windows Explorer is at work anytime you are viewing the contents of a library, a folder, or a file.

 

Windows Help and Support

The built-in help system for Windows 7.

 

Windows Media Player

A feature in Windows 7 that provides an easy-to-use way for you to play digital media files, organize your digital media collection, burn CDs of your favorite music, rip music from CDs, sync digital media files to a portable device, and shop for digital media content from online stores.

 

Word wheel

A lookup method in which each new character that you type into the search box further refines the search.

 

Writable disc

A CD or DVD disc onto which files can be copied.

 

Windows ExplorerA file management application bundled in all versions of Windows that allow for the manipulation, addition, and deletion of files and folders on the computer.
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X
XML feed

Another name for an RSS feed.

 

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Table 1.1 – Key Terms And Definitions Associated With Windows

Congratulations!  You now have an understanding of fundamental key terminology associated with using a Windows operating system. Please note, this list will be updated with new terms as they are released or available to public viewing.

About Mike Casimir 145 Articles
Technical artist rising upon his client tell. We cater to all audiences in hopes of creating harder working team learning environments, and want to succeed in information technology fields of study or job experiences. We shed light on spirituality, and the heavens are directed as we show choose. Our primal strength is the brain. We acknowledge all absolution from negative behaviours and even life's imbalances, we exist to charge our futures with hope and endeavours. My time is end nearing, but thought I would put the word out there to interested audiences. Please feel free to contact myself in whole through the contact form. I am a technical specialist with emphasis on creating online learning modules. We exist to become better people through learning and creative innovation. We have basic computer literacy with strong computer skills.

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