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Using the Windows Explorer, Page 2

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2016 update: These principles are still valid. Some windows may look a little different.

On page 1, we learned how to start the program, what it's purpose is and how to display it in different ways. Now we will see how we use it.

The left window pane displays the drives and folders of any drive depending on what is selected. The right pane displays the contents of the selected item in the left pane. There are a couple of selection differences that the user must understand.

If you click on an item that has no disk, such as the floppy, you will get an error message.

In the left pane, each displayed item consists of a selection box, an icon and a text description. Clicking on the box is not the same as clicking on the icon or text.

This is a critical point to understand

Clicking on the box expands the left display but does not select it.
Clicking on the icon or text selects it, but does not expand it.

Experiment with each. Click the box on your C drive. (Everyone has this) Note that the + in the box changes to a — and the display in the right pane does not change.

Then click the icon or text for your C drive and watch the contents displayed in the right pane.

At this point, you see the folders in the first sub level of the C drive in both panes. The right pane also lists any files in the top folder as well. This how it looks:

Notice the folders displayed in both panes are identical. If you scroll the right pane, the files will start to display. If you maximize the window, more will be displayed. The window looks like this when the right pane is scrolled down:

Now you start to see the files in the "Root" folder of the C drive. Currently the selection remains in the left pane. If you click the mouse on any item in the right pane, the selection changes. Before any actions can be taken, the appropriate item must be selected (Highlighted).

Now go back to the left pane. Click the box on My Documents or any folder with a plus box. Notice nothing changes in the right side. Now click the icon or text and the contents will be displayed on the right. This expands the second level. You can click and expand any folder and sub folder and then display the contents.

To collapse any expansion, click the minus box and it changes to a plus.

Now that you understand the display, what can you do with it?

Continue on to Page 3

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