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It's What's Inside That Counts
Windows is a graphically driven operating system
(opposed to a command line driven system) in which
multiple windows may be open simultaneously. Commands, or actions, are applied to the
Below are examples of active and inactive
windows. If your color scheme hasn't been changed from its default settings, the active
window's title bar is blue while the inactive window's title bar is gray.
The simplest way to tell which window is active is to look
for the blue title bar at the top of the window. Also, the active window is always
"on top" of other windows that may be open. (See the sidebar for more in-depth
information about the "on top" concept.)
Here's a picture of two open windows, one on top of the
other. The window labeled Control Panel is the active window. The window
labeled My Computer is inactive.
Active window below--notice the blue title bar.
Inactive window with gray title bar.
Here's your Windows anatomy class, where the parts of a
window dialog box are named. The functions of the parts will be described in a later
lesson. I've taken apart the My Computer window. Its components are
listed from the top down.
This is the Title Bar. It always gives you the name of the open file or
The buttons from left to right are named minimize, maximize, and close. They affect the active window.
The second button from the left is the restore button. It's job is to return a window to
its previous size. It only shows if a window has been
This is the menu. There are four tool bars below the menu.
The tool bars are listed here:
This is the standard buttons tool bar.
This is the links tool bar.
This is the address bar tool bar.
This is the radio tool bar.
Note: To see all of the tool bars, they
must all be selected from the View menu, as shown below:
After the tool bars comes the next area of detail as shown
This is the file selection area.
This is the status bar.
Put all the pieces together, and you have the following
Now you know the gross anatomy of a
window, and what makes it tick.
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