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A

Active window The window in which the mouse pointer’s movements commands, or text entry occur when two or more windows are open.

Address bar A toolbar that displays the organizational path to the active file, folder, or window.

Aero See Windows Aero.

All Programs Command at the bottom of the Start menu that takes you to all available programs on your computer.

Archive To back up files and store them somewhere other than the main hard drive.

Ascending order Files or folders listed from a to z when sorted.

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B

Background See Desktop background.

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C

CD A compact disc—an optical storage device used to store data and which can be read-only or read-write.

Click To press the left mouse button one time.

Clipboard A temporary storage area in Windows that stores the most recently copied item.

Close button A shortcut button in a title bar that closes a window or a program.

Command bar The area at the top of a window that displays commands relevant to the open window.

Compress Reduce the size of a file or combine several files into one.

Computer icon An icon that represents the computer on which you are working, and that provides access to the drives, folders, and files on your computer.

Content pane Displays files and folders stored in the selected disk drive or folder in the Navigation pane.

Context-sensitive command A command associated with activities in which you are engaged; often activated by right-clicking a screen item.

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D

Descending order Files or folders listed from z to a when sorted.

Desktop The working area of the Windows 7 screen, consisting of program icons, a taskbar, a sidebar, and a Start button.

Desktop background The picture, pattern, or color that displays on the desktop.

Details pane Displays details about the drive, folder, or file selected in the Content pane.

Dialog box A box that asks you to make a decision about an individual object or topic. Dialog boxes do not have Minimize buttons.

Double-click Press the left mouse button two times in rapid succession, using caution not to move the mouse.

Drag Move the mouse pointer while holding down the left mouse button, and then release at the appropriate time.

Drive An area of storage that is formatted with the Windows file system and that has a drive letter such as C.

DVD A digital video (or versatile) disc—an optical storage device used to store data, and which can be read-only or read-write.

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E

Edit mode A Windows mode that enables you to change the name of a file or folder, and works the same in all Windows applications.

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F

Favorites The top part of the Navigation pane that displays favorite destinations associated with the current user.

File Work that you save and store on a drive, such as a Word document or a PowerPoint presentation.

File extension The three or four characters to the right of the period in a file name. Extensions tell the computer the program to use to open the file. File extensions can be displayed or hidden.

File list Displays the contents of the current folder or library.

Flash drive A small storage device that plugs into a computer USB port; also called a thumb drive or a USB drive.

Folder Storage area, represented on the screen by a picture of a paper file folder, used to store files or other folders.

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G

Gadget A dynamic program—such as a clock, a stock market ticker, or a weather window—that displays on the desktop, usually in the Windows Sidebar.

Gadget controls A set of tools that includes a Drag gadget button in the shape of 12 small dots, an Options button in the shape of a wrench, a Larger/Smaller size button, and a Close button.

Graphical user interface (GUI) A computer interface that shows documents as they will look in their final form and uses icons to represent programs.

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H

Hard drive A large disk drive inside your computer, also referred to as a Local Disk.

Hardware The computer memory, disk drive space, attached devices such as printers and scanners, and the central processing unit (CPU).

Horizontal scroll bar The bar at the bottom of a window that enables you to move left and right to view information that extends beyond the left and right edges of the screen.

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I

Icon A graphic representation; often a small image on a button that enables you to run a program or program function.

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J

Jump list A shortcut menu from an icon on the taskbar that displays frequent destinations you might want to visit from that program.

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L

Libraries Folders used to sort files by file type.

Library pane Displays above the file list when a library is selected in the Navigation pane.

Local disk A large disk drive inside your computer, also referred to as a hard disk.

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M

Maximize To increase the size of a window to fill the screen.

Menu A list of commands within a category.

Menu bar The bar near the top of a window that lists the names of menu categories.

Metadata Information about a file, such as tags, a title, a rating, the file name, and the file size.

Minimize To remove the window from the screen without closing it. Minimized windows can be reopened by clicking the associated button in the taskbar.

Mouse pointer The arrow, I-beam, or other symbol that shows the location or position of the mouse on your screen. Also called the pointer.

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N

Navigation pane The pane on the left side of the Computer or Windows Explorer window that contains Favorites, Libraries, access to personal files and folders, and other items.

Notification area Area on the right side of the taskbar that keeps you informed about processes that are occurring in the background, such as antivirus software, network connections, and other utility programs. It also displays the time.

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O

Operating system A set of instructions that coordinates the activities of your computer. Microsoft Windows 7 is an operating system.

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P

Paint A program included with Windows in which graphics are created or edited.

Peek Use the Show desktop button to make the open windows transparent so you can see the desktop.

Pinned programs area An area at the top of the Start menu that is reserved for programs that you want to display permanently, although you can also delete programs from this area.

Pointer See mouse pointer.

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R

Recycle Bin A storage area for files that have been deleted. Files can be recovered from the Recycle bin or permanently removed.

Restore Return a window to the size it was before it was maximized, using the Restore Down button.

Right-click Click the right mouse button to activate a shortcut menu.

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S

Screen saver A picture or animation that displays on your screen after a set period of computer inactivity.

ScreenTip A small box, activated by holding the pointer over a button or other screen object, that displays the name of a screen element.

Scroll box The box in the vertical and horizontal scroll bars that can be dragged to reposition the document on the screen. The size of the scroll box also indicates the relative size of the document.

Search box A box in which you type a search word or phrase.

Search folder Retains all of the search conditions you specified during your search, and recreates the search every time you click the search folder.

Shake Use the title bar to move a window back and forth quickly to hide all other open windows.

Shortcut menu A menu activated by placing the pointer over an object and clicking the right mouse button.

Snip A screen or part of a screen captured using the Snipping Tool.

Snipping tool A program used to capture a screen or part of a screen.

Start button The button on the left side of the taskbar that is used to start programs, change system settings, find Windows help, or shut down the computer.

Start menu A menu that enables you to access the programs on your computer, and also enables you to change the way Windows operates, to access and configure your network, and to get help and support when it is needed.

Status area Another name for the notification area on the right side of the taskbar.

Submenu A second-level menu activated by selecting a menu option.

System tray Another name for the notification area on the right side of the taskbar.

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T

Tags Custom file properties such as names, places, and descriptions that are added to files to enable you to categorize and find files more quickly.

Taskbar Displays the Start button and the name of any open documents. The taskbar also displays shortcut buttons for other programs.

Thumb drive A small storage device that plugs into a computer USB port; also called a USB drive or a flash drive.

Thumbnail A miniature representation of the contents of a window or file.

Title bar Displays the program icon, the name of the document, and the name of the program. The Minimize, Maximize/Restore Down, and Close buttons are grouped on the right side of the title bar.

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U

USB drive A small storage device that plugs into a computer USB port; also called a thumb drive or a flash drive.

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V

Vertical scroll bar The bar at the right side of a window that enables you to move up and down to view information that extends beyond the top and bottom of the screen.

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W

Wildcard A character, such as an asterisk, that can be used to match any number of characters in a file search.

Window A box that displays information or a program, such as a letter, Excel, or a calculator. Windows usually consist of title bars, toolbars, menu bars, and status bars. A window will always have a Minimize button.

Window name The name that displays in a window’s title bar.

Windows An operating system that coordinates the activities of a computer.

Windows Aero The Windows user interface that features a three-dimensional look, with transparent window frames, live previews of open windows, and multiple color schemes. Aero is an acronym for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective, Open.

Windows Explorer A program that enables you to create and manage folders, and manage copy, move, sort, and delete files.

WordPad A simple word processing program that comes with Windows 7.

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