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Hour 3. Managing the Windows XP Interfac... > Starting Programs with the Start Men...

Starting Programs with the Start Menu

The Start menu offers an extremely simple way for you to start the programs on your computer. Two or three clicks start virtually any program on your disk drive. When you install new programs on your computer, those programs add themselves to your Start menu. (Hour 8, "Installing Programs with Windows XP," explains how to install programs on your computer.)

As you open programs and use your computer, Windows XP keeps track of your most recent programs and places them in a handy position on the Start menu as Figure 3.11 shows.

Figure 3.11. The Start menu keeps track of the programs you've used recently.

The More Programs command on the Start menu enables you to launch any program on your disk. To start a program, you display the menu that contains that program and then click the program's name or icon.

Microsoft gives you the Solitaire card game. You can practice starting programs from the Start menu's More Programs command by starting Solitaire.

To Do: Playing Solitaire

  1. Click the Start button to display the Start menu.

  2. Select the More Programs command. A cascaded menu will appear next to the Start menu.

    Each of these items in the menu represents either a program or a folder of programs. When you buy a program such as a word processor, the word processor might come with several related programs that help you manage the word processor environment. The word processor folder opens to yet another window (you can tell by the presence of an arrow at the right of the word processor's folder) that then lists all the related programs in the folder.

  3. Select the Games option to display the programs in the Games folder. If you don't see Games, first select Accessories and look there.

  4. Select the Solitaire option. You'll see the opening Solitaire card game screen.

  5. There's no time to play right now! This hour's closing quickly. Therefore, terminate the Solitaire program by clicking the window's Close button (the button with the X, as you learned in Hour 2). Solitaire goes away and you are back to the regular Windows XP desktop.

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