Starting a Program

With Windows, it's easy to run any of the applications that are installed on your machine. With a few exceptions, all applications are started using the Start button:

  1. Click the left mouse button on the Start button on the Taskbar.
  2. Move your mouse up to point to All Programs - no need to click. The available programs and groups will appear to the right.
  3. Move your mouse to the right to point to Accessories. Again available programs and groups will appear to the right.
  4. Click the left mouse button on WordPad.
  5. Type in some information.
  6. To close WordPad, click on the Close button (the one with the "X" on it) in the upper right corner of the WordPad window. You'll get a dialog box asking you what you want to name the file and where you want to save it. We'll talk about naming files and where to put them in Naming a File.
  7. Name your file My File.

The example above is from my Windows XP system.  I've customized it some, but the start menu is basically the same.  If you see the program you want to run on the left side of the start menu, there's no need to go looking for it in All Programs - just simply single click on it where you see it and it will come up.  The left side of the start menu is dynamic - it will change as you use your system.  The top few items are locked, but below that will be a list of the most frequently run programs.  The more you run a particular program, the higher in this list it will appear.

As an exercise, try opening and closing the program called Paint. You'll find it in the Accessories group where you found WordPad. Both Paint and WordPad come free with Windows. WordPad is a word processing program that isn't as powerful as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, but considerably more powerful than Notepad. Paint is a drawing program that can be used to create graphics.

Different versions of Windows will have different Start menus, but all will contain essentially the same thing.

 Hughes Glantzberg

Last Revised: 02/25/2005

Created by
The PC Help Desk
(Hughes Glantzberg)