Graphical User Interface

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Windows 95

Graphical User Interface

The Elements Of The Windows 95 Graphical User Interface

Long time Windows 3.1 users are going to have a bit of temporary culture shock the first time they encounter the totally redesigned Windows 95 Graphical Object Oriented User Interface. The noticeable difference is going to be the neat and tidy appearance of the desk top. Gone are the often confusing Program Manager program group icons. Gone is the Windows File Manager, and say good bye to the old and difficult to work with File Search facility.

The three major components of the Windows 95 desktop are:

(1) The "Task Bar" along the bottom (which is configurable as to location)

(2) The "Recycle Bin" Icon

(3) The "My Computer" Icon

The Task Bar will show you all programs that are currently running on your system.  If another program, say Word for Windows was active, its icon would also appear in the task bar. Switching between active applications only requires a single left mouse click on the icon within the title bar.

Also of major importance on the Task Bar, is the "Start" button. With a single left mouse click, the Start button will display a hierarchical menu that will let you launch programs that you have set up in groups of shortcuts (what the icons in the program manager groups used to do), search your entire system for a particular file, open the control panels to change system settings such as hardware configurations and software installations, let you view the last set of documents you were working on, give you access to the extensive interactive online help facility, and even offer you a DOS-like command line for running a command or program.

The "Recycle Bin" is where a deleted file goes to. No longer is that file gone into oblivion when you tell the computer to delete it. Instead, it goes to the Recycle Bin, and awaits a RIGHT mouse click from the user, and a selection to "Empty the Recycle Bin." You now have that one last chance to save that accidentally deleted file.

The "My Computer" icon will display all attached devices of your system, including printers, display monitors, and all disk drives, be they floppy, hard drives - local and networked, and CD-ROM Readers. Double clicking on any of these objects invokes the "Windows Explorer" which will allow you to search the contents of these devices, making changes where necessary.

The last thing mentionable about the Windows 95 interface, is Microsoft's extensive use of the RIGHT mouse button. Almost every object you will encounter in Windows 95 has properties that can be changed by clicking the right mouse button. For example, if you right click on the desk top, you'll be presented with the properties for the video display. You can make adjustments for the color pattern, the wallpaper and screen savers, and even change the resolution of your monitor (If your video driver supports multi-resolution mode) without restarting windows.

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