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Windows Vista for Starters: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Chapter 6. PROGRAMS, DOCUMENTS, AND GADGETS

When you get right down to it, an operating system like Windows is nothing more than a home base from which to launch applications (programs). And you, as a Windows person, are particularly fortunate, since more programs are available for Windows than for any other operating system on earth.

But when you launch a program, you’re no longer necessarily in the world Microsoft designed for you. Programs from other software companies work a bit differently, and there’s a lot to learn about how Windows handles programs that were born before it was.

This chapter covers everything you need to know about installing, removing, launching, and managing programs; using programs to generate documents; understanding how documents, programs, and Windows communicate with each other; and exploiting Vista’s great new hybrid document/program entity, the Sidebar gadget.

Opening Programs

Windows lets you launch (open) programs in many different ways:

  • ▸ Choose a program’s name from the Start→All Programs menu.

  • ▸ Click a program’s icon on the Quick Launch toolbar (Section 3.9.4).

  • ▸ Find a program using the Start menu’s Search box (Section 3.2.1.2).

  • ▸ Open a document using any of the above techniques; its “parent” program opens automatically. For example, if you used Microsoft Word to write a file called Last Will and Testament.doc, double-clicking the document’s icon launches Word and automatically opens that file.

What happens next depends on the program you’re using ...

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