Using the Start Menu
All the software programs and utilities on your computer are accessed via Windows’ Start menu. You display the Start menu by using your mouse to click the Start button, located in the lower-left corner of your screen.
As you can see in Figure 3.9, the Windows 7 Start menu consists of two columns of icons. Your most frequently and recently used programs are listed in the left column; basic Windows utilities and folders are listed in the right column. To open a specific program or folder, just click the name of the item.
Figure 3.9 Access all the programs on your system from the Start menu.
To view the rest of your programs, click the All Programs arrow. This displays a submenu called the Programs menu. From here you can access various programs, sorted by type or manufacturer. (When more programs are contained within a master folder, you’ll see an arrow to the right of the title; click this arrow to expand the menu and display additional choices.)
Launching a Program
Now that you know how to work the Start menu, it’s easy to start any particular software program. All you have to do is follow these steps:
- Click the Start button to display the Start menu.
- If the program is displayed on the Start menu, click the program’s icon.
- If the program isn’t visible on the main Start menu, click the All Programs button, find the program’s icon, and then click it.
Another way to find a program to launch is to use the Instant Search box on the Start menu. Just start entering the program’s name into the search box, and a list of matching programs appears on the Start menu. When the program you want appears, click it to launch it.
Reopening Recent Documents
In Windows 7, you can quickly access the most recent documents opened with an application directly from the Start menu. Look for a right arrow next to an application on the main Start menu (not the All Programs menu); click this arrow, and you’ll see a list of that application’s most recent documents. Click a document from this menu, and you’ll open both the application and that document.