Terminology and Conventions

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If you are new to the computer or Windows, some of the nomenclature can be confusing. Here is a description of some of the terminology that is used throughout this documentation:


1. Clicking-On. In many situations, you will be expected to move the mouse cursor to a specific location on the screen and then press the left or right mouse button. This is often referred to as “clicking-on.” So if you read that you should “click the left mouse button on” something, it means that you should move the mouse to that location and press the mouse button.


2. Double-Clicking vs. Single-Clicking. Double-clicking means clicking twice, in rapid succession, on the same point. In Windows, single clicking is usually used to select some item on the screen and double clicking is used to carry out some action. However, Windows can now be configured so it works like a web page, where actions are carried out with a single click. For this reason, when you see the phrase “double-click” in this document, it may actually mean single-click, depending on how you have set Windows to work. To control this option, select the  “View|Folder Options” from Windows Explorer or My Computer.


3. Left- and Right-Mouse Clicks. There are always at least two buttons on a PC mouse. “Left-mouse-clicking” means pressing the left button. Likewise, “right-mouse-clicking” means pressing the right button. The left button usually carries out actions; the right button usually displays menu relevant to the portion of the screen you are clicking on. (If you are left handed, Windows can be configured to reverse the meaning of the buttons.)


4. Dragging and Dropping. Dragging is usually accomplished by moving the mouse cursor to a specific location on the screen, pressing the left mouse button down, and while the button remains pressed, moving the mouse cursor to a new location. This process is usually used to move something from one place to another and it gives the sensation of actually “dragging” the object around. Once the object reaches its destination, you “drop” the object by releasing the mouse button.


5. Menu Terminology. Most Windows programs have something called a “Menu Bar” at the top of the screen. The Menu Bar has a series of words like “File, Edit, View, etc.,” along its length. If you click-on a menu item, a menu box will drop down. Each menu box can contain additional menus so that you may have a series of menus, one inside the other. In this documentation, a series of menu items like this are specified by the words separated by a vertical bar. For example, “View|Toolbars|Forms” tells you to select “View” from the main menu bar and then “Toolbars” and then “Forms” from its submenus.