THE  WINDOW  EXPLAINED

This category will teach you about the Window - One the core components of Windows 10. You will be taught about its different types (the Standard Window, the Requester, the Pop-Up, the Edit Box and so on), its components (Buttons, Sliders, Toolbars and so on) and how to modify it (Move, Re-Size, Close, Minimize and Maximize it). There are also some examples.


If you have not read this page before continue reading it, from top to bottom, as normal. Otherwise you can click on a subject below to get near/on the subject you was reading before. How To Minimize A Window is the next section - It is also linked at the bottom of this page.

Title Bar          Address Bar          Menu Bar          Tool Bar          Display Area          Status Bar
THE  WINDOW

Depending on the type of window (i.e. Standard Window. Requester. Edit Box) most windows normally have a display area (for displaying General Information, Folders and Files, Error Messages and so on) and interactive buttons for guidance (i.e. Cancel, OK, Search, Delete, Exit). Below I will explain how a standard (system) window is made up and throughout this category I will explain what some of its buttons are used for.

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Only important examples will be given, as the window is more about knowing what each button is used for as opposed to actually using them. Meaning: Out of 10+ buttons available you will be lucky if you use 6 all the time - This is due to the menus having more options than buttons and because menus take up less space than buttons. And also because a particular button might be hidden due to the way your Windows was setup (i.e. to save window space).

The Window Explained

A Standard Window - This window belongs to a folder, as opposed to a program.


Title  Bar

A Title Bar displays the title of the thing you are working with. For example: If you are using a folder the title bar will be on the very top of that folder's window, displaying the name of the folder you are currently inside/using; such as DOCUMENTS or DOWNLOADS.

The Window Explained

Fig 1.0 - The Title Bar displays the name of the folder you are currently inside

If you are using Internet Explorer 11 its title bar, also at the very top of its window, will display nothing! Previous versions of Internet Explorer used to display the name (url/path name/website address) of the website or web page currently being viewed, such as http://www.google.com, whereas the new Microsoft Edge web browser, which is a replacement of Internet Explorer, uses Tabbed Windows on its title bar - Tabbed Windows are explained in another section - The title bar on each tabbed window displays the name (url/path name/website address) of the website or web page currently being viewed; as Internet Explorer used to do.

The Window Explained

Fig 1.1 - Internet Explorer's title bar displays no information whatsoever!

The Window Explained

Fig 1.2 - The title bar on each tabbed window of Microsoft Edge displays the name of the website or web page currently being viewed

If you are using a program such as Microsoft WORD 2016 its title bar will be displaying the name of currently opened document whereas if you are using the Paint program for example it will be displaying the image currently being edited.

The Window Explained

Fig 1.3 - Microsoft Word uses its title bar to display the name of the document currently being edited

The Window Explained

Fig 1.4 - Microsoft Paint uses its title bar to display the name of the image currently being edited

Titles are used to identify folders, files, software and websites (and web pages) more easily when switching between different windows. Another identifier is the type of icon in the corner of the title bar. It normally contains the logo of the software company or the logo of a particular program, such as the paint palette icon in the top-left corner of the Micosoft Paint program window.

As you can see, apart from the title itself a title bar can also have buttons and/or an icon on its left-side (as just mentioned) as well as the standard Minimize, Maximize and Close/Exit buttons (explained in later sections) on its right-side. Some of these things help to identify the file (i.e. its file type and the program used to open it).


Address  Bar

The Window Explained

Fig 2.0 - The Address Bar of a folder

The Window Explained

Fig 2.1 - The Address Bar of web browser (Internet Explorer 11)

The Window Explained

Fig 2.2 - The Address Bar of web browser (Microsoft Edge)

The Address Bar can be found on a web browser's window, such as Internet Explorer and Micrsoft Edge, and on a Folder's window. It is made up of one Back button, one Forward button, one Edit Box and one GO button (or REFRESH button).

The Window Explained

Fig 2.3 - Backward - Move/Come Out of a folder (sub-folder)

The Window Explained

Fig 2.4 - Forward - Move/Go into a folder (sub-folder).

The Window Explained

Fig 2.5 - Backward / Forward - Move back into or reenter a folder, sub-folder, etc.

The Window Explained

Fig 2.6 - The ADDRESS BAR / PATH NAME Edit Box

The Window Explained

Fig 2.7 - GO to a Website Address (URL) or Path Name

When you first open a folder the BACK and FORWARD buttons will be clear/unavailable  ,  but as soon as you go into a sub-folder of that folder the BACK button becomes available (Fig 2.3 above). This is so that you can get back into the folder. The same applies if you go into a sub-sub-folder, the BACK button will always be available so that you can get back into the sub-folder. When you go BACK the FORWARD button (Fig 2.4 above) automatically becomes available so that you can reenter a sub-folder, sub-sub-folder and so on. Both BACK and FORWARD buttons (Fig 2.5 above) become available when you first BACK out of a sub-sub-folder, and therefore into a sub-folder. This is the only time you have a folder to go BACK into and a sub-sub-folder to reenter.

The edit box is explained in detail in the Edit Box section and throughout these lessons where applicable. Basically, you can either type the address of a website into the address bar's edit box or the path name to a folder or file. For more information on the address bar read the Path Names section, as well as the Edit Box section. For more examples read the Internet section.

The GO TO button (Fig 2.7 above) is used after typing a website's address, folder's path name or file's path name into the Address Bar edit box. You click on the GO TO button to open (go to) the web page, folder or file typed in the Address Bar edit box. Alternatively, you can press the ENTER keyboard key which does the same job as the GO TO button. Once the web page, folder or file has been opened the GO TO button turns into the REFRESH button; so you can refresh (reload) the website's, folder's or file's contents.

The Window Explained

Fig 2.8 - The REFRESH (RELOAD) CONTENT button

The REFRESH button allows you to refresh (update/redraw) the contents of what is currently being displayed inside a web browser's, folder's or program's window and more precisely inside its white display area (window pane) (explained below). So if the contents of a window's display area is a News web page for example, clicking on the REFRESH button would redraw/redisplay that News web page inside the window's display area. The REFRESH button is normally used to redisplay a web page that did not display itself properly, perhaps because on its first attempt its internet connection was lost and therefore its contents could not be fully downloaded and displayed.


Menu  Bar

The Menu Bar, which has Menu Titles (menus) on it, sits towards the top of a window whereby the menu titles (menus) are specific for the folder, program, web browser or software you are using; although the same menu titles (menus) are commonly found in a variety of programs for example.

The Window Explained

Fig 3.0 - A Standard Menu Bar

The most common menu titles (menus) are always FILE and EDIT. Although every menu has to have Menu-Items, they do not have to contain Sub-Menus and Sub-Menu Menu-Items - Many menus do though. The standard menu bar above has a FILE menu, EDIT menu, FORMAT menu, VIEW menu and HELP menu. Here is an example of using the EDIT menu. Menus in general are exampled in other sections.


Click on the window's EDIT Menu (Fig 3.1) and you will see its Menu-Items appear. Move the mouse pointer down (or up) the menu-items, temporarily highlighting each menu-item as you move downwards (or upwards), until you reach and highlight the menu-item called SELECT ALL (Fig 3.2). Now click the left mouse button (left click), whilst the mouse pointer is over the word SELECT ALL, to select all of the text inside the Notepad (text editor) program window (Fig 3.3); and more precisely inside the window's white display area, which is also an Edit Box. You could then click on the EDIT Menu again and use the COPY Menu-Item to make a memory copy of that selected text (ready for PASTEing later) or you could delete the selected text by using the DELETE Menu-Item. As you use menus more often you will come to realise that the EDIT menu is one of the more useful menus.

The Window Explained

Fig 3.1 - Click on the EDIT Menu to continue

The Window Explained

Fig 3.2 - Click on the SELECT ALL Menu-Item to continue

The Window Explained

Fig 3.3 - All of the text has been selected - You can now COPY it or DELETE it for example


Tool  Bar

The traditional Tool Bar is primarily made up of Buttons, with modern tool bars having Drop-Down menus on them as well. A traditional tool bar will have standard buttons on it that, when clicked on, allow you to OPEN a file, PRINT a document, SAVE a document and so on whereas a modern tool bar might have buttons on it that interact with the Internet and drop-down menus that give a greater choice of options for your document; namely the Ribbon type of tool bar. Here are some example Tool Bars/Ribbons:

The Window Explained

Fig 4.0 - A folder tool bar (ribbon) allows you to organise the layout of the folder and provides tools for the files within it

The Window Explained

Fig 4.1 - The Internet Explorer 11 tool bar allows you to save/print web pages, view/clear internet history, use favorites, set security levels, etc

The Window Explained

Fig 4.2 - The Microsoft Office 2016 tool bar (also known as the Ribbon) allows you to edit documents, insert pictures and charts, and much more

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Fig 4.3 - A traditional tool bar, from Wordpad (Windows XP), that allows you to OPEN, PRINT and SAVE a document as well as COPY/PASTE text

The Window Explained

Fig 4.4 - The new tool bar for Wordpad (Windows 10) that is modelled on the Microsoft Office 2007 ribbon

The above tool bar (and ribbon) descriptions are only main descriptions - Each tool bar (and ribbon) has more to offer in terms of functionality. Also, unlike years ago where most tool bars looked like the traditional, buttons only, Wordpad tool bar (Fig 4.3) these days the tool bar has become more advanced with the addition of drop-down menus and buttons whose functions do more complex things. For example: Some internet tool bars stop bad websites from appearing (popping up) and have a button to switch this option off/on. They might also have a drop-down menu that gives you a choice of news items to view and/or a button that either takes you to a weather website or simply displays the weather inside a window. Another advanced feature, found on many tool bars, is the ability to customise the buttons on the tool bar.

The Window Explained

Fig 4.5 - The Bing tool bar can be customised by adding/removing featured buttons onto it such as News, Facebook, Skype and Weather buttons

The Window Explained

Fig 4.6 - The tool bar on the Preview program allows you to zoom, rotate and delete a photo

Tool Bar and Toolbar are the generic names for a tool bar - They can be called Quick Access Toolbar, Quick Launch Toolbar, Drawing Toolbar, Music Toolbar, Bing Bar or whatever name the software developer/programmer has chosen.


Display  Area

The Display Area is really an EDIT Box that is used equally as a Display Area and an Edit Area. On the display side of things the edit box is used mainly with Text Editors (such as Microsoft Word, NotePad and WordPad) to display the text (Document) being edited/read. It is also used with File Requesters (to display Folders and Files) and Web Browsers (such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge) to display Web Page content. On the editing side of things the edit box is used mainly with Text Editors (for editing text) and with windows that allow the editing of folder and/or file names (such as a File Requester and a folder's own window with sub-folders and/or files inside it).

The Window Explained

Fig 5.0 - The display area of Notepad's window is displaying text that is editable

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Fig 5.1 - The display area of the web browser called Microsoft Edge is displaying the contents of a web page

The Window Explained

Fig 5.2 - The display area of this File Requester (window) is displaying 1 Folder and 1 File whose names are editable (rename-able)

The Window Explained

Fig 5.3 - The display area of this JOHN CAIRNS sub-folder is displaying photo files that can be edited (renamed)

A Display Area is basically the mid-section/main section of a window, that can be one piece or cut up into smaller sections known as window panes. This is usually done by the programmer or software developer who created the program and therefore who created the window. Regardless of this though, you should always take the biggest window pane to be the display area so that in the future you know what you are looking at/for and have a better understanding of navigating around a window. For example: The window of the File Requester (Fig 5.2) is split into two window panes, with the display area being the right-hand-side window pane that is displaying the folder and file.


Status  Bar

The Status Bar, if it is available, is the tool bar you see on the very bottom of a window. Its purpose is to provide you with status information with regards to the task you are doing with that window. So if you are selecting four files within a sub-folder for example, perhaps to rename or delete them, the status bar on that sub-folder's window might display the number of files selected (i.e. 4 Items Selected) and/or the size of those four files combined (i.e. 66.7 MB).

The Window Explained

Fig 6.0 - The status bar on this folder shows the combined file size of 4 selected files

This next example was taken just after checking for new e-mail messages with the program called Windows Live Mail. It shows I have three messages in total with one of those messages not opened (read) yet and that I am currently Working Online (on the Internet), as opposed to Offline (without the Internet). A program such as Windows Live Mail will show more status information as you send and receive email.

The Window Explained

Fig 6.1 - The status bar of the Windows Live Mail program shows details about e-mail messages

The status bar on the Internet Explorer 11 window is good for security reasons because when you hover the mouse pointer over a hyperlink (i.e. over a photo or piece of text) it shows you the website address (url) of that hyperlink, which is good to know before actually clicking on that link. In other words, it tells you which website or web page you would be visiting.

The Window Explained

Fig 6.2 - The status bar of Internet Explorer 11 shows the website address of a link you are about to click on

This last example is from Microsoft Word 2016. It shows how many pages and words are in the document (file) I opened, as well as which language is used for editing and so on.

The Window Explained

Fig 6.3 - The status bar on Microsoft Word 2016 shows details about the file's word count, etc

The status bar is one of those things that is rarely used or taken notice of, even though it can be of help. If you really want explanations as to why an internet website is not showing properly or why a piece of software is taking so long to open you might find a clue on its status bar.