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After over a decade of service to the web community, I have made the decision that Web by Design has served its purpose and lived a fruitful life. It is time to shutter the doors and move on. However, due to the fact that so many continue to reference this tutorial, I will keep it available for the near future.

Thank you for your support over the years. It has been a pleasure.


Introduction to Windows 95

Table of Contents

The Opening Screen

When Windows 95 first starts, you see the background area covering most of the screen. This is called the Desktop and may be personalized with colors and textured appearances. On the Desktop is the Task Bar (a grey bar usually across the bottom of the screen) that indicates open (currently running) applications. The Start button is located at the left end of the Task Bar.

Depending on your system you may see other bars such as ones for Microsoft Office® or the Corel Suites®.

An Icon is a picture representing a file or an application. The icon's name appears directly below it.

The Program Icons

The icons that you see on the Desktop (such as My Computer and Network Neighborhood) are called Program Icons. They represent individual programs and utilities that you can run in Windows 95. Two of the default program icons (ones that are automatically on your Desktop) are My Computer and Recycle Bin. If your computer is networked (or has the capability to be networked), you may also see the Network Neighborhood icon. You can personalize the Windows 95 Desktop with additional program icons to make your work easier.

My Computer
Use My Computer to look at the devices (other computers and drives) attached to your workstation.
Recycle Bin
An erased file stays in the Recycle Bin until you choose to empty it. This allows you to retrieve a file if you determine that it should not have been erased.
Network Neighborhood
Use Network Neighborhood to connect to servers located on the network to which you are connected.

The Task Bar

The Task Bar is the grey bar usually running across the bottom of the screen. You will use it to switch between different currently running application programs.


Task Bar

The Start Button

Start (The Start Button) is located at the left end of the Task Bar. You can use this button to get started by opening a document or launching an application program.

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Using the Mouse

The most effective way to use Windows 95 is using a mouse. The basic mouse movements are: Point, Click, Double Click, Press and Drag, and Right Click.

NOTE: Although left-handed users may elect to "swap" their mouse buttons for easier use, for simplicity in this handout we will assume a standard setting for a right-handed user.

Represented in this Handout as: Definition of Action
POINT The mouse moves a pointer (cursor) on the screen as you move the mouse. Some functions are accomplished by pointing the mouse at a menu choice. For example: POINT to the Format menu to see the options.
CLICK Use the mouse to move the pointer to an option, then press the left mouse button; RELEASE IMMEDIATELY. For example: In the dialog box, CLICK to cause the command to be accomplished.
DOUBLE CLICK Use the mouse to move the pointer to an icon, then press the left mouse button TWICE QUICKLY; RELEASE IMMEDIATELY. This function is used to start an application or to open a window.
PRESS AND DRAG Use the mouse to move the pointer to an icon then PRESS AND HOLD DOWN the left mouse button, dragging the mouse to move the icon to a new location, then releasing the mouse button to place the icon in the new location. For example: PRESS AND DRAG the Recycle Bin icon to a new location.
RIGHT CLICK This is a single click with the right-side mouse button and is used most often to bring up a menu of options related to the object on which you clicked. This is called a Context-sensitive Menu. Depending upon the application and the position of the mouse, the screen pointer sometimes may take on various shapes.

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Basic Parts of a Window

My Computer To open a window, DOUBLE CLICK the window's icon. For example: DOUBLE CLICK to open the My Computer window and see the contents (attached devices and drives—NOT the data and programs) of your computer.

Sample Open Window

Sample Open My Computer Window

(You should see icons for your disk drives, printers, and networking. Depending on the networking, you may not see all of the sample icons, or you may see may other drive icons to which your computer is attached.)

Once you open a window, it is added as a button on the Task Bar. This is because it is now one of your open, active windows (a window in which you can do perations).

There are six major parts of any open window that allow us to make menu selections and move, resize, or close the window:

Title Bar

The Title Bar is the colored bar across the top of a window. (The Title Bars of additional open windows that are not currently active will appear "greyed out.") When the Title Bar is colored, the window is "selected"—meaning that if you make menu choices or perform an operation, this is the window that will be affected by the action.

PRESS AND DRAG the Title Bar to move a window. (A window that is maximized—full-screen—cannot be moved.)

Maximize / Restore Button

Maximize Button The Maximize Button is the middle of the three buttons in the top right corner of each window. To expand an open window to full-screen size CLICK the Maximize Button.

Restore Button The new middle button is the Restore Button. To return a maximized window to its original size CLICK the Restore Button.

Minimize Button

Minimize Button The Minimize Button is the first of the three buttons in the top right corner of each window. To "shrink" an open window out of the way, CLICK the Minimize Button and the window disappears. Notice, however, that it still shows on the Task Bar. This means that even though you have "hidden" the window, it is still active and you can use features of the window by restoring the window at any time by simply clicking on its button on the Task Bar.


The Border of each window (the outer edge) is separated into sections that allow you to resize the window in any direction. As you hold the mouse close to a border you will see the pointer change shape. (A maximized window can not be resized in this way; you must use the Restore button to "shrink" the window, then drag the borders to specifically resize.) Resize the window by pressing and dragging on any edge of its Border.

NOTE: When you use the border to change the size of a window, Windows 95 "remembers" this new size as the base size of the window when you open it in the future.

Menu Bar

The Menu Bar is located just under the Title Bar in each window. It has various choices depending upon the window/application you have open. Generally, you will see at least these four standard menu choices:

To make menu choices, first CLICK on the menu name; then on the desired choice. The menu subchoices will disappear and the result of your choice will take place.

NOTE: Each menu selection has one underlined letter. To use keystrokes to access the menu choices rather than using the mouse, press the ALT key simultaneously with the underlined letter. When you are looking at menu subchoices, simply press the underlined letter to make the selection.

Dialog Boxes

Some menu choices lead to a Dialog Box that allows you to make choices and give instructions to Windows 95.

Sample Dialog Box

Sample Dialog Box

User information choices are displayed. To make choices, supply data in the blanks.

Dialog boxes often contain check boxes (CheckBox Sample) or radio buttons (Radio Button Sample). CLICK these choices to indicate that you want to make a selection (check boxes allow multiple selections; radio buttons allow a single selection).

To turn off a preselected check box, click the box again: Selected Checkbox Sample.

To turn off a preselected radio button, click the button again Selected Radio Button Sample.

List Box Sample Other Dialog Boxes may have a choice list. PRESS AND DRAG the list until you highlight the desired choice.

There are multiple tabs at the top of most Dialog Boxes. Each tab leads to a different screen of choices. Dialog Boxes also have rectangular buttons. For example, OK and Cancel. Two buttons that always appear allow you to:

Close Button

Close Window Button The Close Button is in the upper right corner of each window and is marked with an X. By clicking on it, you close the window and the window's button disappears from the Task Bar.

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Working with Multiple Applications

When using multiple applications in Windows 95, it is easy to switch between open applications and to easily to share information between them using functions like copy and paste.

It's important that you are familiar with the different kinds of application programs you can run in any environment. There are three different kinds of application programs that may be run in Windows 95: Windows 95 applications, Windows 3.1 applications, and DOS applications.

Windows 95 applications are designed specifically to take advantage of new features, allowing them to run faster and with greatly improved stability. As companies release Windows 95 versions of programs, you should be aware that these programs will not run in older versions of Windows. When shopping for new software to run on a Windows 95 machine, make sure you read the box/specifications to ensure that it is designed specifically for Windows 95; Windows 3.1 and DOS applications may run, but you will most likely be disappointed with features, graphics, speed and stability.

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Using a Windows 95 Application

There are a couple of ways to start a program. One method is to use the Start button on the Task Bar. The second method is to DOUBLE CLICK the icon representing a file created in the application.

Start To see a menu of options on the Start button, CLICK the button. To see what programs are available on your system, POINT to Programs. A new menu appears to the right of the first one. It contains a list of the different programs you can run. There is no need to press and drag to the menu option, you only need to point to the option; then CLICK the application you want to open.

To see the contents of a folder, POINT to the name of the folder. A new menu appears listing all of the applications that are in the folder.

To start an application, CLICK the name of the application. Once you have started an application, its name appears in a button on the Task Bar.

Opening a File from within an Application

Open Application Icon After you have started an application, to open an existing document, CLICK the open file folder. The Open Dialog Box opens in the folder in which it is trying to locate the file. The box just below the Title Bar labeled "Look in" displays the name of the current folder.

Down Arrow To see a list of the different disk drives and folders available to you, CLICK the down arrow (located to the right of the box labeled "Look in"). These are the locations where your file may be located.

To select a drive, CLICK on the name of the drive.

To open a folder on a drive, DOUBLE CLICK on the folder's name.

Each application has its own "brand" of file types. Files of the default file type are the only ones that initially display in the Open Dialog Box.

Down Arrow To look for a different type of file, CLICK the down arrow (located to the right of the box labeled "Files of type").

To select a desired type of file, CLICK on the type.

To open a file, DOUBLE CLICK on the file's name.

Using Scroll Bars

When a file opens, Scroll Bars may appear at the bottom and/or on the right of the application window. Scroll Bars indicate a file that is too long (or wide) to display in the window at one time.

Sample Horizontal Scroll Bar

Horizontal Scroll Bar

Both horizontal and vertical Scroll Bars are made up of the following:

To move a short distance, such as one line, CLICK on an arrow.

To move a greater distance, such as one screen, CLICK on the bar.

PRESS AND DRAG the Slider to move through the file.

The Slider's size varies to give an indication of the size of the document. In the Scroll Bar pictured below, for example, the size of the Slider indicates that approximately 75% of the document is visible and 25% of the document is hidden to the right. In this way, small Sliders indicate a large document; large Sliders indicate a small document.

Sample Horizontal Scroll Bar

Sample Slider

Switching Between Open Applications

You can use the Task Bar or the ALT + TAB key combination (familiar to Windows 3.1 users) to switch between running applications.

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Working with the Task Bar

The Task Bar is an extremely useful tool for switching between active windows. But there is much more you can do from the Task Bar.

Minimizing All Open Windows

When you are working, the Desktop may become cluttered with open windows. If you want to return to the initial Desktop window, you could close or minimize each open window one by one. There is an easier way:

To see the Task Bar menu, RIGHT CLICK on an empty part of the Task Bar (where there is no button) to see a menu of options.

To hide all of your open windows, from the menu, CLICK Minimize All Windows. All of your windows are hidden from view. Notice that their buttons are still on the Task Bar, so you could reopen any of the individual windows by clicking its Task Bar button.

To see all of the open windows again, RIGHT CLICK on an empty part of the Task Bar. Then CLICK Undo Minimize All. The active windows are again displayed.

Resizing the Task Bar

The Task Bar display can get confusing when you have a lot of open windows. With several windows open, you will see that the text on many of the buttons is abbreviated since there isn't enough room to display the full contents of the buttons. We can expand the Task Bar's size to alleviate this problem:

To resize the Task Bar, POINT to the top border of the Task Bar until you see an up/down double arrow.

To expand the Task Bar's size, PRESS AND DRAG upwards.

Repositioning the Task Bar

In addition to resizing the Task Bar, you can also reposition it. By default, Windows 95 displays the Task Bar at the bottom of the screen, but you can choose to display it on the left, top, or right side of the screen. To reposition the Task Bar, PRESS AND DRAG an empty part of the Task Bar to the top, left, or right side of the screen. The Task Bar is relocated. Notice that, if you want, you can resize it again after moving it.

Decide your personal preference for Task Bar location. Once you discover on which screen edge you want the Task Bar to be, position it there and resize it as needed. Windows 95 will remember its location and continue to place it there each time you start Windows 95.

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Using Copy (or Cut) and Paste with the Clipboard

Copy, Cut and Paste are the primary functions used when you want to share information either within the same file or between applications. You may see or hear the term DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) associated with Copy, Cut and Paste. They are used in conjunction with the Clipboard.

The Clipboard is a temporary storage device. You select part of a file, choose to Copy (make a duplicate in another location) or Cut (extract the selection and re-place it in another location) and then Paste the selection into the new location.

What you do not see is the Clipboard at work. When you choose copy or cut, the selection is copied (or moved) to the Clipboard. Once on the Clipboard, it can be pasted into as many locations as you desire. These locations can be:

When you perform copy (or cut) again the newly selected item is now on the Clipboard, REPLACING whatever contents were on the Clipboard.

The contents of the Clipboard are erased when you exit Windows 95 and shut down your workstation.

To use the Clipboard with copy (or cut) and paste:

  1. Access the application that contains the material you want to copy/cut.

  2. Select the desired text or graphic.

  3. Choose from the menu EDIT : Copy or CLICK the Tool Bar Copy Icon (Copy Icon) to place the selected text or graphic onto the Clipboard while also leaving a copy in the original location. Or

    Choose from the menu EDIT : Cut or CLICK the Tool Bar Cut Icon (Cut Icon) to place the selected text or graphic onto the Clipboard and remove it from its original location.

  4. Access the application or document into which you want to place the copy and position your cursor in the location where you want to paste the new material.

  5. Then choose EDIT : Paste or CLICK the Tool Bar Paste Icon (Paste Icon) to complete the paste.

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Quitting an Application

You can use the Task Bar to quit an application. This is especially helpful when you are not currently using the application. To see a menu, RIGHT CLICK on the application's button on the Task Bar, then CLICK Close. If you have done any editing since the last time you save the file, the application will asks if you want to save your changes. CLICK Yes to save changes or CLICK No to discard any changes made since the last save.

Close Button You can also CLICK the Close Icon in the application that you are currently using. You will be asked if you want to save any changes made to the file since the last save.

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Understanding Files, Drives and Folders

A File is a collection of related information stored in one location. Files on a computer disk are much the same as the files you may have in a filing cabinet.

Each file has a name that is unique to that file. Filenames should be descriptive of the file's contents. Older versions of the PC-compatible operating systems limited filenames to eight characters that could contain no spaces followed by a period and a required three-letter extension. Windows 95 allows both longer file names and spaces.

Most software applications continue to put an extension on a filename (For example: .bmp, .txt, .doc) that helps the application keep track of the files created in it.

When working with files, you may see a Wildcard. A Wildcard is used when you don't remember exactly how to spell a file's name. * represents any number of characters in a filename. For example: if you see "x*.doc" it might be referring to "xray.doc", "xamine it.doc", or "xxxxx.doc".

In order to manage files, you need to be familiar with file storage. Becoming familiar with disk drives and folders enables you to reliably store and retrieve your documents.

Your computer has at least two Disk Drives: the floppy disk drive and the hard disk drive. Windows 95 generally identifies the floppy drive as A: and the hard drive as C: There will most likely be a CD-ROM drive identified as D: (or E:). You will probably use your hard drive for most of your storage.

IUPUI faculty computers may also be attached to BookBag, a campus server, and/or a Local Area Network (LAN) server that holds software applications for the department or school's use.

Folders are divisions within a drive, similar to separate drawers in a filing cabinet. You create folders to hold related files together. For example: you could create a single folder on your hard disk to hold all of your course files for a particular course. You would only put documents for that course in that particular folder.

You may have seen the terms Directories or Sub-directories; these perform the same function as folders.

The following illustration shows how folders on a hard drive could be organized:

Sample Directory Structure

Sample Organization of Folders on a Hard Disk Drive

As you can see, there are folders within folders, and they look like a family tree. Once the proper folders are created, you can indicate to Windows 95 where to save any new documents.

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Paths and Pathnames

You find files in a folder following a Path to the file. Using an excerpt from the diagram above for example, the Windows Explorer shows the folders down the left side of the window, and a list of files on the right. The folder "images" is highlighted indicating that it is the currently active folder. The right window displays the list of folders and files contained in the active folder. The Path to that folder is displayed in the bar at the top of the right side of the window.

Expanded Directory Structure

Expanded Folder Diagram

It is very important to keep your hard drive as organized as possible using a logical system (logical to you, the primary user). Storage can become complicated: an individual folder may contain a file with the same name as that of a file in a different folder. As long as the files remain in separate folders, their contents will remain unique—the "computer" will see them as different files since they have different paths, but YOU may easily become confused. The contents of the two files might be the same, or they might not.

It is VERY important that you are careful when you save work so that you can find your files later and that you not unintentionally save the same file contents in two places with the same name. You might update one, not realizing which one, and later access the other copy and think you lost your edits.

Always try to make each file have a distinct name.

You may see the path to a file written using backslashes ( \ ). This was done exclusively in DOS and prior versions of Windows. Some software still converts the paths to this format. Some examples of this type of pathname are:

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Using My Computer

My Computer Icon To access the contents of a disk from the My Computer window, DOUBLE CLICK the My Computer Icon. Then DOUBLE CLICK the drive choice. You will see a window representing the contents of the drive. You can then Minimize (or Close) the My Computer window, leaving the drive window open on the Desktop.

Viewing File Properties

The view style of your window display may truncate long filenames, often making it difficult to distinguish between files whose names begin the same or to see the file type. Viewing a file's properties is an easy way to find out basic information about a file.

To see the available commands for the file, RIGHT CLICK on the name of the file.

To view the file's Properties from the menu, CLICK Properties. A Dialog Box will give you basic information about the file. Notice the MS-DOS name in the middle of the Dialog Box. It most likely illustrates the problem with long file names. Windows 95 creates an MS-DOS name for all files with long names so that they can be "understood" by DOS and older versions of Windows. The file name matches the eight characters and extension rule formerly used, but some non-Windows 95 systems still may become "confused" if a name does not follow the "eight + three" (one to eight character file name followed by a period and three-letter extension) file naming standard.

Close Button To close the Properties Dialog Box, CLICK the Close Icon.

Renaming Files

Remember that DOS and Windows 3.1 file-naming conventions required that file names be one to eight characters with no spaces. Extensions were generally required, and followed the file name with a period and three characters.

These limitations no longer exist with Windows 95. File names are now allowed with up to 256 characters, including the complete path name. Most applications continue to place an automatic three-character extension after the file name. The file name can include spaces and capital letters.

NOTE: although spaces and mixed-case are allowed by Windows 95, if there is a possibility that the file may be placed into use on a different type of operating system such as Windows 3.1, DOS, or UNIX, you should continue to follow the "eight + three" standard.

To rename a file, select the file to be renamed (RIGHT CLICK on the name of the file). Then CLICK Rename (The name of the file will be highlighted). Now type the new name for the file and press ENTER. The file is renamed.

Moving Files

You may find it necessary to move files from one folder to another to more logically organize your drive. You can move one or several files at the same time if they are all located in the same folder.

To move files, open the folder containing the file(s) you want to move. Then open the folder to which you want to move the files. You can PRESS AND DRAG on the Title Bar of each window to arrange the Desktop so that you can see the contents of both windows. You may also want to minimize any additional open windows.

To move a single file, CLICK on the name of the file you want to move, then PRESS AND DRAG the selected file from the original window to the destination window. As the move is being completed, you will see a moving graphic. Then the files disappear from the first window and appear in the destination window. You have moved the files from one folder to another.

To move more than one file, hold down CTRL (Control), then CLICK on the first file you want to move. Continue to hold down CTRL and CLICK on each file you wish to move. When you are done selecting files, release CTRL and you will see the selected files. To complete the move, POINT to an area ON one of the selected files and PRESS AND DRAG the files from the original window to the destination window. As the move is being completed, you will see a moving graphic. Then the files disappear from the first window and appear in the destination window. You have moved the files from one folder to another.

Copying Files

Copying a file involves essentially the same steps as moving, except that it leaves you with two files on separate drives or in separate folders. Moving a file transports it to a new folder while deleting it from the original location.

Often you move files on the same disk but you copy files between disks (or disk drives). For example: you work at home on a report and store it on your hard drive. You want to bring it to IUPUI to work on in the office. You copy it from your home computer's hard drive to your floppy disk.

To copy files, open the windows containing the file(s) you want to copy. For example: one window might be the A: drive and the other window might represent the folder on your C: (hard) drive where you store your documents.

Open the folder into which you want to copy the file(s). (You can PRESS AND DRAG on the Title Bar of each window to arrange the Desktop so that you can see the contents of both windows. You may also want to minimize any additional open windows.)

To copy a single file to another location ON THE SAME DISK, RIGHT CLICK on the name of the file you want to copy; choose Copy. Now CLICK in the destination window to make it the active window—be careful NOT to be pointing at a file—now RIGHT CLICK and choose Paste. The files will be in both windows.

To copy more than one file to another location ON THE SAME DISK, hold down CTRL (Control) and CLICK on each file you want to move. Release CTRL then RIGHT CLICK—be careful NOT to be pointing at a file; choose Copy. Now CLICK in the destination window to make it the active window—be careful NOT to be pointing at a file—now RIGHT CLICK and choose Paste. The files will be in both windows.

To copy the files TO ANOTHER DISK, after all the files are selected (see previous paragraphs if you need help doing this), PRESS AND DRAG on the files from the old location to the new location. You will see the files in both windows.

Creating Folders

You can make your own folders to help organize your drive. New folders are created within the currently selected folder, so be sure to DOUBLE CLICK to open up the folder into which you want to place the new folder. (If you want the new folder on the drive itself rather than within a folder, you do not have to open a folder first.)

To create a new folder, CLICK File; POINT to New; then CLICK Folder. A new folder appears in the listing with the name "New Folder" highlighted. Type a name for the folder (there is no need to delete the "New Folder" words before typing—your typing will replace the "courtesy" name) and press ENTER. The new folder will be located as the last file/folder in the window.

To place the contents of the window in alphabetical order, RIGHT CLICK in an empty area of the window; POINT to Arrange Icons, then CLICK By Name.

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Using Windows Explorer

When creating or using a more complex folder structure, it may be helpful to see the whole structure at once. Windows Explorer is a program that allows you to see the folder structure and contents of both your computer and any network connections simultaneously. Windows Explorer is similar to the File Manager found in Windows 3.1.

Start To access the Windows Explorer from the Start menu, CLICK the Start Button; POINT to Programs; then CLICK Windows Explorer.

In the Windows Explorer window the current drive and folder is listed on the Title Bar. On the left, you see a list of all of your drives and folders. In this window the current drive or folder is highlighted. On the right, you see a list of all of the files and folders on the current drive and folder.

Windows Explorer

Sample Windows Explorer

All of the functions for selecting files and using the right mouse button to rename, copy, or delete files works the same in the Windows Explorer as it does in My Computer.

A + (plus sign) in the left window indicates a folder that contains more folders. Click + (the plus sign) to expand the tree diagram to see the structure within that folder or drive. The + changes to a - (minus sign). When you click - you collapse the folder.

Any new folder you create within Windows Explorer appears inside of the folder that is currently selected on the folder tree similar to the manner in which the folder was created within the selected folder when we used the My Computer window earlier.

Moving files within Windows Explorer uses the same techniques as in the My Computer window.

Deleting a Folder

When you delete a folder, first move any files you want to keep to another folder because when you delete a folder you delete all the files AND folders within it.

To delete a folder CLICK on the name of the folder to select it, then press DELETE. When you see the verification Dialog Box, CLICK Yes delete the folder, or CLICK No to cancel the deletion. You will see the deleting window and Windows 95 removes the folder from the tree.

Deleting Files and Folders from the Network or a Floppy Disk

Deleting folders and files from a network server such as the Local Area Network server in your office or from a floppy disk is irreversible. Be certain you do not need the files before confirming the deletion.

Recovering Deleted Files and Folders

When you delete a file or folder from your HARD DRIVE (C:) the files are placed in the Recycle Bin (trash can). It is possible to recover files placed there (see Restoring Files). However, if you delete files or folders from a network drive, a zip drive or a floppy disk, the files ARE IRREVOCABLY deleted! Be sure you want really want to delete files before confirming the deletion and proceeding.

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The Recycle Bin

Recycle Bin Icon One important tool to use in keeping folders on your hard drive uncluttered is the Recycle Bin, a temporary storage place for files or folders waiting to be deleted from your hard drive. As long as they are in the Recycle Bin, they can be restored if you change your mind.

To send a folder or file to the Recycle Bin, CLICK on the name of the folder or file to select it, then press DELETE. You will see a message asking if you are sure you want to send this folder and all of its contents (or files) to the Recycle Bin.

Notice that this is a different message than the one we got when we deleted from the floppy. That message asked if we were sure we wanted to "remove" this folder and its contents. The Recycle Bin works on hard drive files only—all other files are immediately and IRREVERSIBLY deleted.

Restoring Files from the Recycle Bin

You can tell when the Recycle Bin has contents because it looks like the wastebasket is full of paper.

Recycle Bin Icon To view the contents of the Recycle Bin, DOUBLE CLICK the Recycle Bin.

The Recycle Bin window lists the files you have indicated are to be deleted. The key thing to note here is that the files haven't been permanently deleted yet. They won't be permanently removed from your system until you tell Windows 95 to "Empty Recycle Bin". As long as you have not emptied the Recycle Bin, you can restore files contained therein.

The Recycle Bin Properties allows you specify whether files and folders sent to the Recycle Bin are to be permanently erased immediately or retained in the Recycle Bin in order to allow recovery of deleted files. If you have set the properties to immediately delete files, there is no way to recover them.

To restore an object from the open Recycle Bin window, CLICK the object's icon to highlight it. Then from the menu, CLICK FILE : Restore. The file will be returned to its original location. If the restored object was originally in a folder that was deleted at the same time, the folder also will be restored.

An alternate method of restoring files is to RIGHT CLICK on the name of the file and choose Restore.

NOTE: If you have a product such as Norton Utilities® installed and active on your disk, you may find that restoring files and folders from the Recycle Bin behaves a little differently. In this case, you should consult your Norton's manual for further information.

Emptying the Recycle Bin

Recycle Bin Icon To permanently delete all files from the Recycle Bin, RIGHT CLICK and choose Empty Recycle Bin. To confirm the deletion CLICK Yes. The Recycle Bin empties and permanently erases the contents of the Recycle Bin. You can tell the Recycle Bin is empty when the wastebasket icon looks empty.

NOTE: The Recycle Bin will not be emptied until you perform the step above for emptying the Recycle Bin, permanently deleting all files currently in the Recycle Bin. This means that you need to remember to empty the Recycle Bin every so often, since those files continue to take up disk space until you do so.

Close Button Remember—to close a window such as the Recycle Bin window, CLICK the Close Icon.

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Creating & Using a Shortcut

Sample Shortcut IconA Shortcut is simply a pointer to an application or folder that exists elsewhere. You can open a folder or start an application by double-clicking on the Shortcut icon rather than using the button and looking through Programs.

To create and use Shortcuts, open Windows Explorer and scroll the tree diagram to the desired folder or application. RIGHT CLICK then choose Create Shortcut. The new shortcut will be placed at the bottom of the list. To place it on your Desktop, PRESS AND DRAG the new shortcut to the desired location. NOTE: remember that icons can be re-named and may not retain the "shortcut" in their name; look for the little arrow to indicate it is a shortcut.

To use the Shortcut, simply DOUBLE CLICK on the icon.

Shortcuts can be moved, copied, renamed, and deleted like any other file without affecting their source (the original application or folder from where the shortcut came).

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Adding a Program to the Start Menu

You can start an application by going from the Start menu through Programs, but may have to go through several menus to get to it. Adding frequently used programs to the Start menu will enable you to start the application directly from the Start button.

Start Open Windows Explorer and move through the menus to the application you wish to place on the Start menu. Now PRESS AND DRAG the application icon onto the Start Button. Windows 95 will do the rest!

To see the new Start menu, CLICK the Start Button. Your application is in the top section of the menu.

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Personalizing the Desktop

Windows 95 has many options for personalizing the Desktop. We already discussed moving the Task Bar to a different location. You can also place any Shortcuts on the Desktop where you prefer them.

Desktop Background

To make changes to the Background of your Desktop, RIGHT CLICK on any empty portion of the Desktop. From the menu, CLICK Properties. Then CLICK the Background Tab. You can click on choices from either the Pattern or Wallpaper windows and see an example of that choice in the monitor sample. While making choices from either window, make sure the opposite window is set to (None)—found at the top of each list. When you find a choice you think you may like, click Apply. Once you have clicked Apply, you must make a different choice to revert to an alternate option.

Screen Savers

Screen Savers are utilities that cause a moving picture to display on your monitor after a specified period of inactivity (not using the keyboard or mouse). In the past these utilities were instrumental in preventing damage to your monitor known as "burn-in." Burn-in occurred when a monitor was left on, without the image changing, for a lengthy period of time, causing a "ghost" image to become a permanent part of your monitor's display. With the newer technologies in monitors, Burn-in is no longer a problem and Screen Savers are primarily an entertainment feature of your system.

Windows 95 contains many built-in Screen Savers, or you can purchase commercial Screen Savers and add them to your system.

To make changes to your Screen Saver, RIGHT CLICK on any empty portion of the Desktop. From the menu, CLICK Properties. Then CLICK the Screen Saver Tab. In the center of the screen under Screen Saver, CLICK the Down Arrow to see a list of Screen Saver choices. When you click on a choice, you will see a demonstration of that Screen Saver in the monitor sample.

To the right of the list of Screen Savers is a Settings Button. To further "fine-tune" your Screen Saver, after you make a selection, you can make choices about speed of movement, number of lines and colors, text, and many other options in Settings.

You can also choose to set a password for your Screen Saver so that if the Screen Saver begins, it cannot be removed without supplying the correct password. This is useful to prevent passersby from seeing work in progress while you are absent from your office. REMEMBER your password!

The final Screen Saver option to discuss is Wait. Wait specifies the number of minutes of inactivity before the Screen Saver begins. This can be adjusted according to your work habits and preferences.

Color Schemes

To make changes to your Windows 95 Color Scheme, RIGHT CLICK on any empty portion of the Desktop. From the menu, CLICK Properties. Then CLICK the Appearance Tab. In the center of the screen under Scheme, CLICK the Down Arrow to see a list of built-in color scheme choices. When you click on a choice, you will see a sample of that color scheme in the box. When you have decided the color scheme you prefer and have that choice highlighted, CLICK OK.

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Preparing a Floppy Disk for Storage

Formatting is the process that prepares a floppy disk to store information. The process includes setting up a "table of contents" for the disk so that the disk drive can readily find information on the disk.

You can format a new disk or a previously used disk. If you format a used disk, make sure it does not contain any files that you want to keep. The formatting process completely and permanently erases the disk's entire content. Most disks that you purchase are preformatted disks; sometimes even these disks will need to be re-formatted on your system before use—if they don't seem to be willing to accept data, re-format.

Insert Disk Diagram To format a floppy disk, insert the floppy disk into the drive, holding the disk so that the circular "hub" points toward the bottom (if the drive slot is horizontal) or to the left (if the drive slot is vertical) and insert it into the drive slot with the silver "door" going in first. NEVER slide open the silver door and touch the contents of your disk—you will cause irreversible damage to any contents and also make the disk unusable.

My Computer Icon After the disk is inserted, DOUBLE CLICK My Computer, then RIGHT CLICK on the floppy drive choice (usually A:).

Do NOT choose C: or you will re-format your hard drive and irreversibly lose EVERYTHING that is on it!

Choose Format. The Capacity choice at the top of the Dialog Box is the density of the disk. High Density disks have a capacity of 1.44 Mb, Double Density disks have a capacity of 720 Mb. Your disk should be stamped HD or DD. Choose the appropriate density. (Most disks available for sale today are HD disks.)

In the Format Type section you can choose between Quick, Full, and Copy system files only. If you have a previously used disk you can Quick format it, which only erases the contents and does not recreates the storage structure. A Full format will create/recreate the storage structure. The Copy system files only choice will not erase the disk but will add system files which enable this disk to boot the computer in case of a hard drive failure.

When prompted for a disk label, you can type a name for the disk if you like. This is an internal name for the disk (not to be confused with a "sticky" label you may choose to place on the outside of the disk) and will not affect the contents; you may choose to simply not include a disk label.

When you are ready to format the disk, CLICK Start.

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Quitting Windows 95

Always quit Windows 95 before shutting off the computer. Unlike machines running Windows 3.1, having Windows 95 start correctly is dependent on completing the Shut Down procedure before turning off your workstation.

Start To quit Windows 95, CLICK the Start Button and choose Shut Down. The default option is "Shut down the computer," which is what we want to do. So CLICK Yes. Windows 95 takes a few moments to shut down.

When you see a message telling you that it is safe to turn off your computer, turn off your monitor, then your PC System Unit.

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About the Computer System

A computer is a machine that performs arithmetic and logical operations. It can also "remember" what it has done. The computers you will be using have five basic parts: Monitor, CPU, Disk Drive(s), Keyboard and Mouse.

Computer Components

Input/Output: Input and Output devices allow you and the computer to communicate. The keyboard and mouse are input devices and the printer and monitor are output devices.

CPU: The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the workspace or the "brain" of the computer. It handles all of the decoding and execution of instructions you send to the computer. It also controls the computer memory, the flow of data through the computer, and the arithmetic and logical functions.

Storage: Disks and Disk Drives allow you to store data so that you can use it later. The Disk Drive is the part that writes information to the Disk so that it is permanent.

Drives: Disk Drives are named with letters of the alphabet. The written names are followed by a colon ( : ). The Floppy Disk Drive is usually drive A:, and drive B: may be present on some computers. The Hard Disk is drive C:

The CD-ROM Drive (usually D:, but sometimes E:) is used in multimedia, such as music, presentations, games, libraries and encyclopedias, installing and/or running software. You CAN NOT save information to your CD, unless you have purchased a Re-writable CD Drive. Often you may have a Zip disk, called a removeable disk, that may use the D: or E: drive.

Mouse: A Mouse is the input device primarily used in Windows. The Mouse is represented by a pointer (arrow) on your monitor. Most mouses (yes, the plural of furry little rodents is "mice" while the plural of computer input devices is "mouses") have two buttons. The left button has four basic features:

  1. Selecting objects
  2. Clicking (once)
  3. Double-clicking
  4. Press and drag

The right button can be customized to the needs of the user, but is not primarily used except in Windows 95 where it displays special menus.

Keyboard Diagram

Keyboard Diagram

Keyboard: A computer Keyboard looks much like a typewriter keyboard, except that it has extra keys. Practice lightly touching the keys instead of pressing or hitting the keys. Some of the keys are repeating keys and when pressed, will repeat the same action over and over.

The Function Keys (F-keys) perform specific actions. Different pieces of software use the Function Keys differently. The Function Keys are located across the top of the keyboard and are labeled F1, F2, …

There are three Modifier Keys on a keyboard: SHIFT, ALT, and CTRL. You use modifier keys in combination with another key(s). In general when you use modifier keys, you hold down the modifier key and tap the other key lightly.

Directional arrows (Right, Left, Up, and Down), also called Cursor Movement Keys are used to move the cursor around in the document one character or one line at a time.

BACK SPACE and/or DELETE are Editing Keys used to erase. BACK SPACE erases to the left of the cursor location; DELETE erases the current cursor location. For example, if my cursor is flashing after the "D" in "DELETE" in the previous sentence, and I press BACK SPACE I will erase in turn, the space, ;, n, o, … If I press DELETE, I will "draw in" the letters to the right of the "D" and erase the E, L, E, T, ….

A Memory Chip

Illustration of a Computer Memory Chip

Memory: Memory is where the work is done and where information is stored. The computer itself has two types of memory—RAM and ROM.

RAM (Random Access Memory) is the working memory that is supplied by electrical currents going through computer chips. Information changes as you edit and enter data. RAM is temporary memory; when you turn off the machine, your information is no longer "in memory." You must store the contents of RAM to a disk in order to save it.

ROM (Read Only Memory) is contained in the hardware itself. It is permanent. ROM is the part of memory that is "built-in" at the factory and is always available. Arithmetic functions are stored in ROM. The procedure to initially start up your computer is contained in ROM.

Floppy Disk Diagram

A Floppy Disk

Floppy Disk: Floppy disks are a common form of storage that is portable. You will often use floppies so that you can work on projects both at home and on campus.

(1) Protective Jacket: The disk is enclosed inside this square, plastic protective jacket. The disk itself is actually round. The protective jacket should NEVER be removed from the disk.

(2) Read/Write Window: The Read/Write Window is the oblong area at the bottom of the disk. As the disk revolves in the disk drive, the special heads in the disk drive code the magnetic surface of the disk with data.

(3) Timing Hole: The Timing Hole, in conjunction with the Centering Hole are used to assure that the disk is positioned properly in the disk drive.

(4) Centering Hole: The Centering Hole, in addition to working with the Timing Hole, is where the motor spindle fits through the disk.

Do NOT touch the disk in the areas of the Read/Write Window, the Timing Hole and the Centering Hole. The recording surface of the disk is exposed and could be damaged easily.

(5) Write Protect Notch/Window: The computer checks this notch when it attempts to write to a disk (save data onto the disk). If the window is open on a 3 1/2 inch disk, the disk is "write protected" and cannot be written to—the contents of the disk cannot be altered. You can slide the cover to open the window and write protect the disk. HINT: You can not write on an open window.

Computer Components

Your computer system is made up of both hardware and software components:

The main function of the operating system (Windows 95) is to manage the information you enter, store, and retrieve through your computer. It does this by storing information in files.

You give each file a name and the operating system does the rest:

Booting the System

Before you can begin using your computer, you must first Boot the system. This term comes from the phrase "pulling yourself up by the bootstraps."

Booting the system involves turning on the computer (both Monitor and CPU) by simply pushing/switching the power button/switch on. The computer checks ROM (Read Only Memory) to perform a few self-tests, then starts the operating system (OS).


Computer systems use disk drives to read information from or to store information. There are several types of disk drives—hard disks, floppy disks, removeable disks (Zip disks), and CD-ROMs.

Disks are used to store programs and data. Data is read from the disk into the computer's RAM (temporary) memory. As you need more information, it is retrieved from the disk. Whether you are using a floppy disk or a hard disk, data is stored on the disk and retrieved in exactly the same way.

Hard Disk Drives may be built into your machine or they may be external. Built-in hard disks are not removable. Hard disks can store much more information than floppy disks; they are faster than floppies, but they are also more expensive.

Floppy Disks are small disks of Mylar containing magnetized particles, all covered by a protective jacket. You insert these disks into disk drives. Your system will usually have one floppy disk drive. The current standard size for a floppy disk is 3 1/2 inches. Some older computer systems may also have a 5 1/4 inch drive.

Storage capacity is affected by the density, or how close together the data is stored. The standard double-sided, high-density disk (3-1/2 inch) can contain about 1,440K bytes of information.

NOTE: Kbytes means about 1000 characters.

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Attaching to other Network Servers

You can use Windows 95 to access space on a network server, a computer that might be in the next room or the next building. Champion is a server. You may also have a Local Area Network (LAN) server available to you.

You have to "log in" to a network server, giving an ID and password (although sometimes this process is automated for you when your computer is first booted and thus, is transparent). The login process is for security reasons. You may have a Local Area Network (LAN) ID to enable you to access applications such as Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect from a departmental server because you are an IUPUI faculty. Your LAN server ID may not be the same ID as your IUPUI Network ID.

Sometimes, LAN servers will have a special icon on your desktop or a listing in Programs to make it easier for you to access. If not, you can find these servers and log into them through the Network Neighborhood.

Network Neighborhood Icon To open Network Neighborhood, DOUBLE CLICK the Network Neighborhood Icon. The Network Neighborhood window opens, displaying an icon representing the Entire Network and other servers that your machine has connected to recently.

Network Neighborhood Icon To search for all the servers you could connect to, DOUBLE CLICK Entire Network. It may take a few seconds for your computer to find all the computers on the network.

To log into a server, scroll to the name of the server to which you wish to connect (they are listed alphabetically), then DOUBLE CLICK on the name of the server. You normally will see Dialog Box prompting you for a username and password.

To enter your ID and password, type: your server ID, then press ENTER, then type your server password. CLICK OK. The server window opens and you can then open files from the server and save information there.

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System Tools

System Tools are used to ensure your system is running as efficiently as possible. Regular use of the computer over time can create a cluttered hard drive with bad pieces of data that can slow the system's overall performance. There are three system tools provided with Windows 95.

Disk Defragmenter

Files are stored by the computer on a hard drive in the most physically convenient location. Over time, this can create small gaps on the drive, fragmenting your data and causing the drive to take longer to find and retrieve your files. Defragmenting essentially condenses your existing data more efficiently.

Depending on the amount of use your computer receives, a good maintenance schedule is to use this tool twice a month.

Start Key To open Disk Defragmenter, CLICK the Start Button, then POINT to Programs, to Accessories, and to System Tools; then CLICK Disk Defragmenter.

To select the hard drive for defragmenting, CLICK OK to see:

Defragmentation Dialog Box

Defragmentation Dialog Box

Disk Defragmenter will analyze the selected drive and tell you just how fragmented it is. Defragmenting a drive that is less than 10% fragmented is a waste of time, and Disk Defragmenter will tell you that. Defragmenting can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 3-4 hours depending on how large the drive is and how badly it is fragmented. Regular maintenance will prevent long defragmenting sessions.

To close Disk Defragmenter without proceeding, CLICK Exit.

Drive Space

The Drive Space tool allows you to compress the contents of your hard drive so that it can hold more data than it normally would. If you are running out of room on your hard drive, you can almost double your hard drive space with this tool. The trade-off is that the more you compress a drive, the slower it will run. However, it may be a viable alternative to buying a new hard drive.

Start To open Drive Space, CLICK the Start Button. Then POINT to Programs, to Accessories, to System Tools; then CLICK Drive Space.

To compress the selected drive (C:) CLICK Drive, then CLICK Compress… You see a before/after depiction of your hard drive. Compressing a drive can take hours, so plan accordingly. The amountof compression can be altered after initial compression by selecting Adjust Free Space from the Drive menu.

To cancel drive compression and exit Drive Space without proceeding, CLICK Close, then CLICK the Close Window Icon.

Scan Disk

Scan Disk can check the disk surface and correct data errors. A good maintenance schedule is to use Scan Disk once a month.

Start To open Scan Disk, CLICK the Start Button. Then POINT to Programs, to Accessories, to System Tools; then CLICK Scan Disk.

Select a disk to scan then choose either the Standard or Thorough scan. Thorough scans take much longer and should only be used if you have been experiencing serious problems like frequent system crashes.

To exit Scan Disk, CLICK Close.

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This handout developed in part from materials originally created by University Computing Services, IU Bloomington and later adapted for use on the IUPUI campus by the TIPS personnel of University Information Technology Services, Learning Environments. Additional resources included Windows 95 manuals.