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This chapter is from the book

Trying Fancier Methods for Starting

So far this chapter has covered the most common ways to start a program. As you become more proficient, you might experiment with other ways of starting as explained in the following scenarios:

  • You can start a program from the actual program file (not the same as a shortcut icon although you do the same thing: double-click the icon to start the program). When you install a program, the installation program copies the program file(s) to your hard drive. These programs are most often stored in the Program Files folder. (You learn more about navigating among your computer's folders in Chapter 6, "Understanding File Management Basics.") You can open this folder and double-click the program icon to start the program.

  • You can start a program using the Run command on the Start menu. This command is often used to run installation programs or DOS programs.

  • You can add a program to the Startup group. Windows XP automatically starts any programs in this special system folder each time you start Windows.

  • You can assign a shortcut key to a program and press this key combination to start the program.

You can find out more about these methods in Chapter 16, "Setting Up Programs."


You might hear different terms used to describe starting a program, including running, launching, and starting. These all mean the same thing. Also, programs can be referred to as programs, software, applications, or some combination (software application).

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