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More Windows Elements Defined

More Windows Elements Defined: Commands, Menus, Sliders, etc.

You know one of the best things about Windows? How it labels things. You’ll have something pop up that looks like a box, but is a window and you are supposed to know the difference. Who cares? (No offense.) As I have said before, I call it like I see it. How else would I be able to explain things?

Windows, however, does not see it that way. There are definitions for every single thing you do and use in Windows. If you would like to know the types of boxes and the difference between a window and a box (yes, Lori, I have been waiting for just that, thank you), then click here [1]. In this article, I am going to cover just a few general terms.

Term: Command.

Any time you tell your computer where to go (oh, what I could do with this pun) or what to do, you are giving it a command. For instance, if you are typing a letter and delete something and then decide you want it back, you go up to Edit and click on Undo Typing. That is a command. To execute a command, you click on it.

Term: Command button.

A command button performs something when you click on it.

Inside dialog boxes: Most of the time command buttons are in dialog boxes [1] and you must click on them to go on to the next step in a task or to stop a task at any given point.

Outside dialog boxes: Command buttons look different when they are outside of a dialog box, and sometimes it’s hard to tell whether something is a command button or not. A lot of the time they are represented by small icons.

A way to tell if a button is a Command button is to position your cursor over the button (hover) and see if it lights up. If it does, it’s a Command button. Sometimes there will be text displayed along with it to tell you what the button actually does, and sometimes the button will be “framed”.

Term: Menu.

Programs contain options for you to perform tasks; sometimes there are hundreds. A menu is a way for those programs to organize all of the options that you have. A menu is a list of choices.

The Start menu is the menu that pops up when you click on your Start button. A drop-down menu is a menu that drops down after you click on a button. A context menu is sometimes called a right-click menu, or a shortcut menu. Here are examples of all three.

Term: Slider.

A slider is a term that describes a bar that slides to control or adjust the settings of a program. Sliders can be vertical or horizontal.

Note: Scroll bars are not sliders. They may look like sliders, but they aren’t. A scrollbar you use to move (slide) up and down or across a document, a web page, or a picture when it exceeds the size of the screen. A slider is within a program and adjusts and controls a small part of that program by sliding from side to side, or up and down.

Term: Tab.

Sometimes we will be performing a task and a dialog box will pop up. Across that box are tabs, just like the ones you use on index cards. Each tab has a general subject; clicking on a tab will result in specific information about that tab.

Okay, that’s it for today. Hopefully this article helped educate you in Windows terminology.

Hopefully you can use the terms. Hopefully I can remember them!

~ Lori Cline