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What is a Window?

What Is a Window?

A window is a boxed area in which you view programs, files, folders, drives, icons representing programs, files or folders, and other elements. Many of these components are the same for all windows in Windows 98 and Windows applications, which makes it easy for you to manage your work. Keep in mind that although most windows are similar, some will not have all of the following components.

Most windows can be opened, closed, sized, reduced, enlarged and moved, or positioned on the desktop. You can open multiple windows simultaneously and maneuver them. Whether a window is open to run a program, or to display the contents of a file or the elements of your computer, some window elements remain constant. Table 3.1 briefly describes the common elements of windows.

Table 3.1. Window Elements.
Element Description
Title bar Contains the window's name, the Control menu, and the Minimize, Maximize or Restore, and the Close buttons.
Menu bar Contains menus with related commands and options that help you control the window and its contents.
Control menu button Contains menu commands that help you manage the window itself and can be used in lieu of Mimimize, Maximize, Restore, or Close buttons and can also be used to size and move a window.
Toolbar Displays graphic tool buttons that represent shortcuts to various menu commands.
Minimize button Reduces the window to a button on the taskbar.
Maximize button Enlarges the window to full screen.
Close button Closes the window and, if a program is running in the window, exits the program.
Folders Icons within windows that represent directories; folders can hold other folders and files.
Files Icons representing documents, spreadsheets, databases, program files, and other files stored in folders on a drive or floppy disk.
Windows border A rim around a window that you can use to resize the window.
Status bar A bar across the bottom of the window that describes the contents of the window, such as free space, number of objects or files in a window, and so on.
Scroll bar A vertical or horizontal bar that enables you to move the internal viewing area of a window.

No Toolbar or Status Bar Showing? If a window doesn't display the toolbar, choose the View menu, and the Toolbar command; to display the Status bar, choose View | Status Bar.


Windows Contents

Windows 98 is made up of a series of windows that often contain different items. When opened, each icon on your desktop, for example, displays different contents just as various folders, files, and applications display various contents. Additionally, after you open a window, you can usually open items within the window, such as icons, folders, programs, and documents. Often, you can open a window within a window within a window, and so on, until your desktop is filled with windows. Be aware, however, that having a lot of windows open (especially program windows) may slow down the operation of your computer.

Following is an example of a set of windows you can open from the My Computer icon: