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Computer Basics Absolute Beginner's Guide, Windows 8.1 Edition, 7th Edition

By Michael Miller

Published by Que

Published Date: Jan 14, 2014

Description

Make the most of your new Windows® 8.1 notebook, desktop computer, or tablet–without becoming a technical expert! This book is the fastest way to get comfortable, get productive, get online, get started with social networking, make more connections, and have more fun!

 

Even if you’ve never used a Windows computer before, this book shows you how to do what you want, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Computer basics have never, ever been this simple!

 

Who knew how simple using computers could be?

 

This is today’s best beginner’s guide to using your computer or tablet with the new Windows 8.1 operating system…simple, practical instructions for doing everything you really want to do! Here’s a small sample of what you’ll learn:

 

•   Set up Windows 8.1 and get online fast

•   Use the new Windows 8.1 Modern interface

•   Get started with social networking on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn

•   Use Windows 8.1’s built-in apps–and find great new apps in the Windows Store

•   Connect printers and external storage, and set up automatic file backup

•   Create a home network in just minutes

•   Go online to shop, sell your stuff, manage your money, and do research

•   Get your office work done fast

•   Organize, view, and share photos

•   Play music using Windows 8.1, iTunes, or streaming music services

•   Watch TV shows and movies online

•   Protect yourself against viruses, spyware, and spam

•   Keep your system running reliably at top speed

 

 

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION   .1

    How This Book Is Organized   3

    Which Version of Windows?   .4

    Conventions Used in This Book   .4

        Menu Commands   .............4

        Shortcut Key Combinations  ...5

        Web Page Addresses   .......5

    Special Elements   ..............5

    Let Me Know What You Think   ....6

Part I: Understanding Computers and Similar Devices

1 How Personal Computers Work   7

    What Your Computer Can Do   ....8

        Good for Getting Online   .8

        Good for Social Networking   .8

        Good for Communicating   .....9

        Good for Sharing Photos and Home Movies   .......9

        Good for Keeping in Touch   ...9

        Good for Entertainment   ..9

        Good for Keeping Informed   .10

        Good for Work   ................10

        Good for Play   ..................10

    Inside a Personal Computer   .....10

        The Motherboard: Home to Almost Everything   11

        Microprocessors: The Main Engine   .....................12

        Computer Memory: Temporary Storage   .............13

        Hard Disk Drives: Long-Term Storage   .................13

        Solid-State Drives: Faster Long-Term Storage   ...14

        CD/DVD Drives: Storage on a Disc   .....................14

        Keyboards: Fingertip Input   .16

        Mice and Touchpads: Point-and-Click Input Devices   17

        Network Connections: Getting Connected   ........18

        Sound Cards and Speakers: Making Noise   ........19

        Video Cards and Monitors: Getting the Picture   20

    Other Parts of Your Computer System   .....................21

    Providing Additional Functionality with Peripherals   ..21

    Doing What You Need to Do with Software and Apps   22

    Making Everything Work–with Windows   ..........22

    Different Types of Computers   ..23

        Desktop PCs   ...................23

        Notebook PCs   ................25

        Tablet PCs   .......................26

        Hybrid PCs   ......................28

        Which Type of PC Should You Choose?   .............29

    Don’t Worry, You Can’t Screw It Up–Much   ............29

2 Setting Up and Using a Desktop Computer   ........31

    Understanding the Components of a Desktop Computer System   32

    Before You Get Started   .......34

    Connecting a Traditional Desktop PC   ......................35

        Connect in Order   ...........35

        Connect by Color   ...........36

    Connecting an All-in-One Desktop     .37

    Turning It On and Setting It Up   .38

        Getting the Right Order   38

        Powering On for the First Time     ..38

3 Setting Up and Using a Notebook or Tablet Computer   ............41

    Understanding Notebook and Hybrid PCs   ..............42

    Understanding Tablet PCs   ..44

    Connecting Peripherals and Powering On   ..............45

        Getting Connected   ........45

        Powering On for the First Time     ..45

Part II: Using Windows

4 Getting to Know Windows 8.1   47

    Introducing Microsoft Windows   .48

        Welcome to Windows 8.1–If You’ve Used an Older Version of Windows ..............48

        Welcome to Windows 8.1–If You’ve Used Windows 8   ............50

    Different Versions of Windows 8.1   ......................51

    Starting and Logging into Windows   ........................52

    Using Windows with a Mouse   ..54

        Pointing and Clicking   .....54

        Double-Clicking   ..............54

        Right-Clicking   ..................54

        Dragging and Dropping   54

        Mouse Over   ....................55

    Using Windows with a Touchscreen Display   ...........55

        Tapping   ..55

        Pressing and Holding   .....55

        Swiping   ..55

        Panning   ..55

        Zooming   55

        Rotating   .56

    Learning Important Windows Operations   ...............56

    Getting Help in Windows   ...58

    Shutting Down Windows–and Your Computer   .....59

5 Using the New Windows 8.1 Interface   .................63

    Working Your Way Around the Start Screen  ............64

        Examining the Parts of the Start Screen   .............64

        Displaying the Start Screen   .66

        Scrolling Through the Tiles  ..67

        Opening a Tile   ................67

        Find Additional Apps on the Apps Screen   .........68

    Using the Charms Bar   .........69

    Personalizing the Start Screen   .71

        Changing the Background Color and Pattern   ...71

        Displaying Your Desktop Background on the Start Screen   .......72

        Making a Tile Larger or Smaller     ..73

        Rearranging Tiles   ............74

        Organize Tiles into Groups   .74

        Name Groups of Tiles   ....75

        Removing a Tile   ..............76

        Adding a New Tile   .........76

        Turning On or Off a Live Tile   77

        Show the Apps Screen Instead of the Start Screen   ...77

    Personalizing the Lock Screen  ..77

        Changing the Lock Screen Background   .............78

        Displaying a Slide Show on the Lock Screen   .....78

        Adding Apps to the Lock Screen   ........................79

    Changing Your Account Picture   .80

    Making Windows 8.1 More Like Windows 7   ...........81

        Reconfiguring Windows   .81

        Installing a Start Menu Replacement Tool   ..........82

    Setting Up Additional User Accounts   ......................82

        Setting Up a New Account with a Microsoft Account   ...83

        Setting Up a New Local Account   ........................85

        Switching Users   ...............85

        Logging Out   ...................86

        Logging In with Multiple Users     ...86

    Configuring Other Windows Settings   ......................87

        Configuring Settings from the PC Settings Screen   ...87

        Configuring Settings from the Traditional Control Panel   ...........89

6 Using the Traditional Windows Desktop   ..............91

    Displaying the Desktop   ......92

    Opening Desktop Applications   .93

        Creating a Shortcut on the Desktop   ...................93

        Pinning a Program to the Taskbar   .......................94

        Opening Desktop Applications     ..94

    Working with Windows on the Desktop   ..................94

        Moving and Resizing Windows     ...94

        Maximizing, Minimizing, and Closing Windows   95

        Scrolling Through a Window   .96

        Using Dialog Boxes, Tabs, and Buttons   ..............97

    Personalizing the Windows Desktop   ........................98

        Changing the Desktop Background   ....................98

        Changing the Color Scheme     .....100

        Choosing a Screen Saver   ...100

7 Working with Files, Folders, and Other Storage   ..... 103

    Understanding Files and Folders     ...104

    Using File Explorer   ............104

        Launching File Explorer   .....105

        Exploring the File Explorer Window   .................105

        Working with Ribbons and Tabs   ........................106

    Navigating the Folders on Your PC   ........................107

    Viewing Files and Folders   .107

        Changing the Way Files Are Displayed   ............107

        Sorting Files and Folders   ...108

        Grouping Files and Folders   .108

        Searching for Files   ........109

    Performing Basic File and Folder Operations   .......109

        Creating New Folders   ..110

        Renaming Files and Folders   110

        Copying Files   ................111

        Moving Files   ..................111

        Deleting Files   ................112

    Working with the Recycle Bin   112

        Restoring Deleted Files   .....112

        Managing the Recycle Bin   .113

    Working with Compressed Folders   ........................114

        Compressing a File   ......114

        Extracting Files from a Compressed Folder   .....115

    Copying Files to Another Computer   ......................115

        Copying Files over a Network     ..115

        Copying Files with a Portable Drive   ..................115

        Copying Files via Email  116

    Working with Microsoft SkyDrive     ...117

Part III: Setting Up the Rest of Your Computer System

8 Connecting Other Devices to Your PC–and Your PC to Other Devices .............. 119

    Getting to Know the Most Popular Peripherals   ....120

    Adding New Hardware to Your System   .................121

    Connecting Portable Devices to Your PC   ..............123

    Connecting Your PC to Your Living Room TV   .......124

9 Working with Printers   .... 127

    Selecting the Right Printer for Your Needs  ............128

        Understanding Inkjet Printers     ....128

        Understanding Laser Printers     ....129

        Black and White or Color?   129

        Understanding Multifunction Printers   ...............130

    Adding a Printer to Your System     ...131

        Connecting a Printer Directly to Your Computer   .....131

        Connecting a Printer to Your Network   ..............131

    Printing to Your System’s Printer     ....132

10 Adding Storage and Backup   . 135

    Understanding External Storage     ....136

    Connecting an External Hard Drive   ........................137

    Backing Up Your Important Files     ...137

        Backing Up to an External Hard Drive   ..............138

        Using the Windows File History Utility   ..............138

        Backing Up Online   .......139

11 Setting Up a Home Network    141

    How Networks Work   .........142

        Wired Networks   ............142

        Wireless Networks   ........142

        Connecting and Configuring     ....143

    Setting Up a Wireless Network in Your Home   ......144

        How It Works  .................144

        What You Need   ............145

        Making the Connections   ...146

    Connecting Your Computer to Your New Network   ......146

        Connecting via Ethernet   ....147

        Connecting Wirelessly   .147

    Adding Your Computer to a HomeGroup   .............149

    Accessing Computers on Your Network   ................150

        Accessing HomeGroup Computers  ...................150

        Accessing Other Computers on Your Network   151

Part IV: Using the Internet

12 Connecting to the Internet–at Home and on the Road   ........ 153

    Different Types of Connections in the Home   ........154

        Broadband DSL   ............154

        Broadband Cable   .........155

        FiOS Broadband   ...........155

        Broadband Satellite   ......155

    Sharing an Internet Connection     .....156

    Connecting to a Public Wi-Fi Hotspot   ...................156

    Activating Airplane Mode   .158

13 Using Internet Explorer to Surf the Web   .......... 161

    Understanding the Web   ...162

    Using Internet Explorer (Modern Version)   .............162

        Launching Internet Explorer from the Start Screen   .163

        Browsing the Web   ........164

        Opening Multiple Pages in Tabs   .......................164

        Saving Your Favorite Web Pages   .......................165

        Returning to a Saved Page   .166

        Browsing in Private   .......166

    Using the Desktop Version of Internet Explorer   ...166

        Launching Internet Explorer from the Desktop   .......167

        Browsing the Web   ........167

        Revisiting History   ..........168

        Opening Multiple Pages in Tabs   .......................168

        Saving Your Favorite Pages   .169

        Returning to a Favorite Page     ....170

        Browsing in Private   .......171

        Setting Your Home Page   ...171

14 Searching and Researching Online   ..................... 173

    How to Search the Web   ....174

        Constructing a Query   ...174

        Searching for an Exact Phrase    ...174

    Where to Search   ................175

        Google–The Most Popular Search Site on the Web   .175

        Bing–Microsoft’s Answer to Google   ................176

        Other Search Sites   ........178

    Smart Searching from Within Windows   .................178

    Searching for People and Businesses   ....................179

    Using Wikipedia for Research   179

        Understanding Wikipedia   ..180

        Searching Wikipedia   ....180

        Reading Wikipedia Articles   .181

15 Shopping and Selling Online    185

    How to Shop Online   .........186

        Step 1: Find an Online Store     ....186

        Step 2: Find a Product   .187

        Step 3: Examine the Product     ....188

        Step 4: Order the Product   .188

        Step 5: Check Out   ........189

        Step 6: Confirm the Order   190

    How to Shop Safely   ...........190

    Buying and Selling on eBay   ...191

        How Does an eBay Auction Work?   ...................192

        Buying Fixed-Price Items   ...193

        Protecting Yourself Against Fraudulent Sellers   194

        eBay Selling, Step-by-Step   195

    Buying and Selling on Craigslist     ....196

        Understanding Online Classifieds   .....................196

        Browsing the Listings   ...197

        Buying on Craigslist   .....198

        Listing an Item for Sale   199

        Making the Sale   ............200

Part V: Communicating Online

16 Sending and Receiving Email   203

    How Email Works  ...............204

    POP Email Versus Web Mail   ...204

        POP Email   .....................204

        Web Mail   .......................205

    Using Gmail   ........................206

        Navigating Gmail  ..........206

        Reading Messages   .......207

        Viewing Conversations  .207

        Replying to a Message   207

        Composing a New Message     .....208

    Sending Files via Gmail   ....209

        Dangers of File Attachments     ....209

        Attaching a File in Gmail   ...209

        Opening an Attachment in Gmail   .....................210

    Managing Your Email with the Windows Mail App   ......211

        Checking Your Inbox   ....211

        Sending New Messages   ....212

        Adding Another Email Account     213

17 Social Networking with Facebook   ...................... 215

    How Social Networking Works   .216

    Getting to Know Facebook   ....216

        Signing Up and Signing In with the Facebook App   217

        Getting to Know the Facebook App   .................217

    Keeping Tabs on Friends   ..218

    Finding Friends   .............218

        Searching for Friends   ...220

        Viewing a Friend’s Timeline Page   ......................221

    Keeping in Touch with Status Updates   ..................222

        Posting Status Updates   223

        Viewing Friends’ Updates in Your News Feed   .224

    Sharing Photos   ...................226

        Uploading Photos to Facebook     226

        Viewing Photos   .............228

    Managing Your Privacy on Facebook   .....................230

        Controlling Your Default Privacy   ........................230

        Selecting Who Can See (or Not See) Individual Posts   232

    18 More Social Networking with Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter   ..... 235

        Using Pinterest   ...................236

        What Pinterest Is and What It Does   ..................236

        Navigating the Pinterest Site     ....236

        Viewing Pinboards and Pins   237

        Following Other Users   .238

        Pinning Items to a Pinboard   238

        Repinning Existing Items   ...239

        Creating New Pinboards  ....240

    Using LinkedIn   ...................241

        Creating an Account   ....242

        Personalizing Your Profile   ..242

        Finding New Connections   .243

        Contacting Other LinkedIn Members   ...............243

    Using Twitter   ......................244

        Joining and Using Twitter   ..245

        Tweeting with Twitter   ...246

        Following Other Users   .247

        Customizing Your Profile   ....248

    Using Social Networks–Smartly and Safely   ..........248

        Protecting Your Children  ....248

        Protecting Yourself   .......249

19 Managing Your Social Activity (and Contacts) in Windows   .... 251

    Understanding the People App     .....252

    Adding Accounts to the People App   .....................252

    Monitoring Social Networks with the People App   .......253

        Viewing Your Friends’ Social Activity   ................253

        Posting to Facebook and Twitter   .......................254

    Managing Contacts in the People App   .................255

        Viewing Contact Information     ....255

        Adding New Contacts   .257

20 Video Chatting with Friends and Family   ........... 261

    Video Calling with Skype   ..262

        Configuring Your Skype Account   .......................263

        Adding a Contact   .........264

        Making a Video Call   .....264

    Video Calling in Facebook   .....266

Part VI: Working with Apps

21 Understanding and Using Windows Apps   ........ 269

    Using Apps in Windows 8.1   ...270

        Searching for Apps   .......270

        Displaying All Apps   ......271

        Pinning Apps to the Start Screen   ......................271

        Switching Between Apps   ...272

    Working with Modern-Style Apps     .274

        Viewing and Configuring App Options   ............274

        Snapping Open Apps   ..274

        Closing an Open App   ..275

    Working with Traditional Software Apps   ................276

        Using Menus   .................276

        Using Toolbars and Ribbons     .....277

        Closing an Open App   ..278

22 Exploring Windows 8.1’s Built-In Apps   .............. 281

    Discovering the Apps and Utilities Included with Windows 8.1   ..282

    Working with Popular Apps   ....285

        Weather     286

        Maps   ....287

        Bing News   .....................289

        Bing Sports   ....................290

        Bing Finance   .................291

        Bing Travel  .....................291

        Bing Food and Drink   ....292

        Bing Health and Fitness   .....293

        Alarms   ..294

23 Finding and Installing New Apps   ........................ 297

    Finding and Installing Apps from the Windows Store   .298

        Opening the Windows Store     ....298

        Browsing the Windows Store     ....299

        Searching the Windows Store     ...299

        Downloading an App   ...300

    Finding and Installing Apps from Your Local Retailer   ..300

    Finding and Installing Apps Online   ........................301

    Understanding Cloud Computing Apps   ................302

Part VII: Doing Fun and Useful Things with Your PC

24 Doing Office Work   .......... 305

    Working with Microsoft Office   .306

        Using Office on the Desktop    .....306

        Using Office on the Web   ...307

        Which Version of Office Should You Use?   ........309

    Word Processing with Microsoft Word   ...................309

        Exploring the Word Workspace     309

        Working with Documents   ..310

        Entering Text   .................311

        Editing Text   ...................311

        Formatting Text   ............312

        Checking Spelling and Grammar   ......................312

        Printing Your Document  .....312

        Working with Pictures   ..313

    Number Crunching with Microsoft Excel   ...............314

        Exploring the Excel Workspace     314

        Entering Data   ................315

        Inserting and Deleting Rows and Columns   ......316

        Adjusting Column Width   ...316

        Calculating with Formulas   .317

        Including Other Cells in a Formula   ...................317

        Quick Addition with AutoSum     ..318

        Using Functions   ............319

        Formatting Your Spreadsheet     ...320

        Creating a Chart   ...........321

    Giving Presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint   ..322

        Exploring PowerPoint Workspace   .....................322

        Applying a Theme   ........323

        Inserting New Slides   ....324

        Adding and Formatting Text     .....324

        Start the Show!   .............324

    Exploring Other Office Suites   324

25 Staying Organized   .......... 327

    Using the Windows Calendar App     328

        Displaying Different Views   .328

        Creating a New Appointment     ...329

    Using Web-Based Calendars   ..330

    Using Web-Based To-Do Lists   331

26 Viewing and Sharing Digital Photos   ................... 333

    Transferring Pictures from Your Camera, Smartphone, or Tablet   .334

        Connecting via USB   .....334

        Transferring Pictures from a Memory Card   .......334

        Transferring Photos from an iPhone or iPad   .....335

        Scanning a Picture   ........335

    Viewing Your Photos with the Windows Photos App   ...336

    Editing Your Photos with the Photos App   .............338

        Auto Fixing a Photo   .....338

        Rotating a Photo  ...........339

        Cropping a Photo   .........339

        Removing Red-Eye   .......340

        Retouching a Photo  ......341

        Adjusting Brightness and Contrast   ....................341

        Adjusting Color and Tint   ...342

        Applying Special Effects   ....343

        Using Other Photo-Editing Programs   ...............344

    Printing Your Photos   ..........345

        Choosing the Right Printer and Paper   ..............345

        Making the Print   ...........345

        Printing Photos Professionally     ...346

    Sharing Photos at an Online Photo Site   ................347

    Emailing Digital Photos   ....348

27 Playing Music   ................... 351

    Using the Xbox Music App   .....352

        Playing Music from Your Library   ........................353

        Creating and Playing Playlists     ...354

        Purchasing and Downloading Music   .................355

        Streaming Music Online   ....357

    Using iTunes   .......................358

        Playing Your Digital Music   .358

        Creating and Playing Playlists     ...359

        Playing a CD   .................360

        Ripping a CD to Your PC   ...361

        Burning Your Own CDs   361

        Downloading Music from the iTunes Store   ......361

        Listening to Streaming Music via iTunes Radio   363

    Listening to Streaming Music Online   .....................365

        Exploring Streaming Music Services   .................365

        Listening to Internet Radio   367

        Listening to AM/FM and Satellite Radio Online   ......368

    28 Watching Movies, TV Shows, and Other Videos   ..... 371

        Watching Streaming Video Online     372

        Viewing Movies and TV Shows on Netflix   ........372

        Viewing TV Shows on Hulu Plus   ........................374

    Viewing Videos on Network Websites   ..............377

        Using the Xbox Video App   ....377

        Purchasing Videos   ........378

    Viewing Videos   .............379

        Viewing Videos on YouTube   ...381

        Searching for Videos   ....381

        Viewing Videos   .............382

        Sharing Videos   ..............383

        Uploading Your Own Videos to YouTube   .........383

    Watching Online Videos on Your Living Room TV   .......384

    Making Your Own Home Movies     ...384

    Playing DVD Movies on Your PC     ...385

Part VIII: Keeping Your System Up and Running

29 Protecting Your PC from Computer Attacks, Malware, and Spam ........................ 387

    Safeguarding Your System from Computer Viruses   ......388

        Watching for Signs of Infection    .388

        Catching a Virus  ............388

        Practicing Safe Computing   389

        Disinfecting Your System with Antivirus Software   ....390

    Hunting Down Spyware   ....391

    Defending Against Computer Attacks   ...................392

        Using the Windows Firewall   392

        Using Third-Party Firewall Software   ...................393

    Fighting Email Spam   .........393

        Protecting Your Email Address     .393

        Blocking Spammers in Your Email Programs   ....394

    Resisting Phishing Scams   ..394

    Shielding Your Children from Inappropriate Content   ...395

        Using Content-Filtering Software   ......................395

        Kids-Safe Searching  ......396

        Encouraging Safe Computing     ...396

30 Performing Preventive Maintenance and Dealing with Common Problems ........ 399

    Maintaining Your Computer   ...400

        Cleaning Up Unused Files   .400

        Removing Unused Programs     .....401

        Performing a Hard Disk Checkup with ScanDisk   .....402

    Keeping Your Hardware in Tip-Top Condition   ......403

        System Unit   ...................403

        Keyboard   .......................403

        Display   .404

        Printer   ..405

    Maintaining a Notebook PC   ...405

        Using the Windows Mobility Center   .................405

        Conserving Battery Life   .....406

        Securing Your Notebook   ...407

    Troubleshooting Computer Problems   ....................407

    Troubleshooting in Safe Mode   .409

    Reacting When Windows Freezes or Crashes   .......409

        What Causes Windows to Freeze?   ....................410

        Dealing with Frozen Windows     ..410

        Dealing with a Frozen Program     410

        Dealing with a Major Crash   .411

    Restoring, Resetting, or Refreshing Your System   ..412

        Restoring Your System to a Previous State   .......412

        Refreshing System Files   .....414

        Resetting Your System to Its Original Condition   .....415

TOC, 9780789752338, 12/18/2013

 

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ISBN-10: 0-7897-5233-6

ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-5233-8

Format: Book

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