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Webucator's Free Windows 7 Tutorial

Lesson: Logging On to Windows and Exploring the Windows 7 Interface

Welcome to our free Windows 7 tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Windows 7 course.

Windows 7 is a Microsoft computer operating system. It contains a number of new features designed to increase user productivity and improve efficiency.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn how to log on to Windows 7.
  • Learn about the Windows 7 interface.
  • Learn how to use the Windows 7 taskbar.
  • Learn how to navigate using Jump Lists.

Logging On to Windows 7

To log on to Windows:

  1. Start your computer.
  2. Enter your username and password in the Username and Password dialog boxes, respectively.

Switching Users

You can switch Windows 7 users while already logged in.

To switch users in Windows 7:

  1. Select the Windows Start button.
  2. Select the Shut down arrow.
  3. Select Switch User.
  4. Select the user you want to log in as.

Creating a New User Account

You may need to create an additional user account.

If you need to create a new user account in Windows 7:

  1. Select the Windows Start menu button.
  2. Select Control Panel.
  3. Select User Accounts.
  4. Select Manage another account.
  5. Select Create a new account.
  6. In the New Account Name text box, type a name for the new account.
  7. Click Create Account.
  8. The new user now appears in the Choose the account you would like to change box.

The Windows 7 Interface

The Windows 7 interface was designed to include many time-saving features to help improve users' productivity.

The Windows 7 interface includes the following features:

  • Desktop: The Windows 7 desktop is the main area on the screen.
  • Taskbar: The taskbar is the strip along the bottom of the screen.
  • Start menu: The Start menu is accessed by selecting the Start menu button, in the left corner of the taskbar.
  • Shut Down button: In Windows 7, the option to shut down, restart, or switch users is located on the Start menu.
  • Notification area: The area in the right corner of the taskbar; this is where you will receive Windows notifications.

The Windows 7 Task Bar

Users of Windows will be familiar with the taskbar, the area at the bottom of the screen you can use to navigate programs and files. The Windows 7 taskbar has been redesigned to assist users in accessing programs and files.

One of the new features of the Windows taskbar is the appearance of program buttons. Each button appears once, even if multiple program files are open.

The taskbar can be rearranged by simply dragging and moving the buttons.

Using Aero Peek

Windows 7 provides an easy way to see what programs and files are open, using a new feature called Aero Peek.

To use Aero Peek:

  1. Hover your cursor over a program button on the taskbar.
  2. The associated open windows will appear above the taskbar.
  3. To select one, simply click it and it will become active.

Using the Notification Area

The Windows 7 notification area provides status updates and notifications. Clicking the arrow shows the notification overflow area, which displays notifications that do not appear on the taskbar itself.

Viewing the Desktop

Another new feature in Windows 7 is the placement of the Show desktop button. It is now located on the far right of the taskbar, so that users do not accidentally open the Start menu when using it.

To view the desktop:

  1. Hover your cursor over the Show desktop button to the right of the taskbar.
  2. Temporarily view the desktop, or to switch to the Desktop view, click the button.
  3. Click the button again to return the windows.

Pinning Programs to the Taskbar

You can easily access programs that you use often by pinning them to the taskbar.

To pin a program to the taskbar:

  1. Open the program, and notice that its icon appears in the taskbar.
  2. Right-click the icon and choose Pin this program to taskbar.
  3. The program will now permanently appear on the taskbar unless you choose to unpin it.

Navigating Using Jump Lists

Among the new features of the Windows 7 interface are Jump Lists. Jump lists allow you to quickly go right to a document, such as a PowerPoint file or a Word document, or a photo, song, or even a website. Jump Lists also provide easy access to some common Windows tasks, such as opening a new tab in a browser or creating an email message.

Windows 7 features Jump Lists on the Start menu, as well as on the taskbar. The same items will be featured on both Jump Lists.

Opening a Jump List from the Start Menu

To open a Jump List on the Start menu:

  1. Select the Windows Start button.
  2. Scroll to and hover your cursor over the program's Jump List you want to access.
  3. On the right, in the program's Jump List, click the item you want to open.

Opening a Jump List from the Taskbar

To open a Jump List on the taskbar:

  1. Right-click the program in the taskbar.
  2. You will see a list of frequently accessed files or popular tasks.
  3. Scroll to select a file or task.

Pinning an Item to a Jump List

To ensure that a file always appears on a program's Jump List, you can pin that file.

To pin an item to a Jump List:

  1. Select the Windows Start button, point to the program, and locate the item on the Jump List you want to pin. Or if working from the taskbar, right-click the program and scroll to the Jump List of recently accessed items.
  2. Scroll over the item's pushpin icon.
  3. Click the pushpin icon.
  4. The item now appears in the Pinned section, and will remain here until you unpin it.