Computer Basics for Beginners

Want to learn how to use a computer? Let’s start at the beginning. First, you have your tower, where you will find your computer’s on/off button. Please note that some computers have no towers, and all of their “tower stuff” is located on the monitor. If you are working with one of these computers, you will find your on/off button on your monitor.

So now that we have your computer on, let’s talk about your screen. When you power up, you will reach your desktop. A computer desktop is basically a digital representation of a real desktop, where you will find a workspace, files, folders in which to save your files and a trashcan for deleting items. You can customize your desktop with color, background and icons which provide shortcuts to your commonly used programs.

There’s also a mouse in the house. Move it around on the surface of your desk to navigate around on your screen. You can also “choose” certain items with your mouse. For instance, if you place your mouse arrow over an item on your screen and click on the left mouse button, you will select that item. If you double click left, you will execute that item. Right click and you will receive a menu of options. If you right click by accident, left click to go back to where you were. You can also move items or words by dragging your mouse across to highlight them. Then go above on your tool bar and click Cut. Then move your mouse where you want to place that item and click Paste. Voila!

Then you have your keyboard. Your keyboard enables you to type copy as well as perform functions. Here are just a few of the functions you can perform with your keyboard:

  • The Backspace key deletes backwards.
  • The Delete key deletes forward.
  • The Shift key, when pressed at the same time as another key, will capitalize the letter on that other key.
  • Enter jumps you to the next line.
  • Arrow keys can navigate through documents.

Another helpful item is the Start menu which pops up when you click the icon at the bottom left of your screen. This will give you options to log off and shut down, find documents and pictures, access the Internet, view a list of the programs on your computer, get help and search for things.