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In this chapter

  • How to Use This Book

  • Special Features in This Book

  • Conventions

Windows 95 is more than a piece of computer software—it's a genuine phenomenon. Since its original release on August 24, 1995, Microsoft has sold more than 100 million copies of Windows 95, and it has become the undisputed standard for personal computing. Today, virtually every PC sold includes a copy of Windows 95, and there are thousands of productivity programs, utilities, and games that run on top of Windows 95.

Microsoft released its first web browser within weeks of shipping Windows 95. If you tried to use that crude 1.0 version to explore the World Wide Web today, you'd have trouble viewing even the simplest pages, and you'd appreciate the enormous progress the Internet has made in that time. A little more than two years later, Internet Explorer 4.0 appeared; more than just a great web browser, it's a sweeping upgrade to Windows 95.

The first copies of Special Edition Using Windows 95 hit bookstore shelves the same day as Windows 95, and through the years that book had become an international bestseller. This updated edition follows the same basic organization as that first release, but more than half of the material in this book is completely new. Just as Microsoft has continually updated Windows 95 and Internet Explorer, we've produced a brand-new volume designed to help you work effortlessly and productively with both products.

It doesn't matter how you use Windows 95 and Internet Explorer 4.0. If your computer sits on the kitchen table and you dial in to a local Internet service provider, you will find plenty of help here. We've also included detailed information that can help you integrate your computer into a business network, whether your business is a simple storefront or a far-flung multinational corporation.

How to Use This Book

This book was designed and written expressly for intermediate and advanced users of Windows 95 who understand the importance of keeping up with advances in technology. Special Edition Using Windows 95 with Internet Explorer 4.0 contains detailed information about each version of Windows 95 (including OEM service releases) and Internet Explorer. It also includes step-by-step instructions on how to find and install online updates, including Internet Explorer and its components.

Special Edition Using Windows 95 with Internet Explorer 4.0 is a comprehensive reference that makes it easy for you to accomplish any task quickly and effectively. It covers every version of Windows 95 and every component of Internet Explorer 4.0. To help organize this enormous breadth of coverage, we've divided the book into eight parts, beginning with the essentials and progressing to more specialized or advanced subjects.

Part I: Installing & Configuring Windows 95

This chapter covers the absolute essentials of Windows 95 and Internet Explorer 4.0. Pay particular attention to Chapter 1, "What's New in Windows 95 and Internet Explorer 4.0," which includes an overview of the new features that Internet Explorer adds to Windows 95. If you're still using the original retail version of Windows 95, turn to Chapter 2, "Installing and Upgrading Windows 95," for details on how you can add important patches and updates to your system.

Part II: Navigation Skills

You will notice dramatic improvements to Windows 95 when you install the Windows Desktop Update. This optional (but highly recommended) component of Internet Explorer 4.0 completely replaces the old-style Windows Explorer with a single browser that enables you to manage files, folders, and web pages in the same window. If you're puzzled by new features such as Web view and the Active Desktop, you're not alone. Read Chapter 11, "The Overview of the Windows Desktop Update," for step-by-step instructions on how to install and configure the Windows Desktop Update, as well as a clear explanation of what it does and how the new Windows shell can help you become more productive.

Part III: Working with Files and Folders

After you install the Windows Desktop Update, you will have access to a new set of file-management tools. In this completely revised section, you will learn basic and advanced techniques for programs, files, and folders, whether they're stored on a local disk or on a corporate network. You also will find detailed information to help you customize the new Explorer and manage associations between data files and programs. Are you puzzled by disk compression and the FAT32 file system? Chapter 15, "Working with Disks and Disk Drives," demystifies both features.

Part IV: Working with the Internet

When Windows 95 was first released, the Internet was an obscure research tool and playground for techies. Today it's a crucial source of information for tens of millions of people, and increasingly, it's a major force in banking, commerce, and stock trading. This comprehensive section is completely new for this edition. It covers every aspect of Internet connectivity, from configuring TCP/IP options to downloading files from FTP servers. If you have questions about the World Wide Web, email, newsgroups, or Internet security, you can find the answers here.

Part V: Working with Applications

There are literally tens of thousands of applications available for Windows 95. Collectively, they give you the power to organize your thoughts, communicate with other people, run a business of any size, and even create your own custom applications. This section covers the essentials of installing, running, and managing applications—including 32-bit programs written for Windows 95, as well as older 16-bit Windows and MS-DOS programs. You also will find details about applets included with Windows itself.

Part VI: Customizing Windows 95 and Sharing Data Effectively

Windows 95 owes much of its enormous popularity to its incredible flexibility. This section details how you can modify Windows 95 to suit your personal preferences. Customize the Windows desktop, Start menu, and taskbar. Change the colors, fonts, and background images to make Windows more visually appealing. Reset the many system-level options that help define how Windows works—from which keyboard layout and language you prefer to which sounds play in response to system events.

You will also find a chapter covering basic information-sharing tools, as well as how to link data from one document to another. Turn here for help on cutting, copying, and pasting within and between documents in Windows.

Part VII: Networking with Windows 95

Even a two-person office can benefit from Windows 95's capability to communicate and share files over a network. In this section, we cover the full range of network topics: setting up a simple workgroup, sharing resources on a small network, using shared printers, and setting up Windows 95 as a client on larger networks with Novell NetWare and Windows NT servers.


Appendix A, "Additional Help and Resources," tells you where to find what wouldn't fit between the covers of this book. This appendix lists the telephone and FAX support numbers for Microsoft and third-party suppliers. You will also learn how to use the Internet, The Microsoft Network, CompuServe, and TechNet CDs to access the same comprehensive databases that Microsoft's telephone support staff and consultants use.

Special Features in This Book

Que has over a decade of experience writing and developing the most successful computer books available. With that experience, we've learned what special features help readers the most. Look for these special features throughout the book to enhance your learning experience.

A sidebar on the first page of each chapter contains a list of topics to be covered in the chapter. This list serves as a road map to the chapter so that you can tell at a glance what is covered. It also provides a useful outline of the key topics you will be reading about.


Notes present interesting or useful information that isn't essential to the discussion. This secondary track of information enhances your understanding of Windows, but you can safely skip notes and not be in danger of missing crucial information.


Tips present quick advice on shortcuts or often-overlooked procedures.


Cautions warn you about potential problems that a procedure may cause, unexpected results, and mistakes to avoid.

Troubleshooting Tip

What is a troubleshooting section? No matter how carefully you follow the steps in the book, you eventually come across something that just doesn't work the way you think it should. Troubleshooting sections anticipate these common errors or hidden pitfalls and present solutions.

Throughout this book, you will find Internet references that point you to World Wide Web addresses or online addresses where you can find out additional information about topics. Internet references look like this:

On the Web

You can learn about the Registry's organization on the Internet, too. PC Magazine has a three-part description of the Registry on the Web that you can read by pointing your web browser at:




Throughout the book, you see references to other sections and pages in the book (like the one that follows this paragraph). These cross references point you to related topics and discussions in other parts of the book.

See "Improved Performance and Reliability."


In addition to these special features, several conventions are used in this book to make it easier to read and understand. These conventions include the following.

Shortcut Key Combinations

In this book, shortcut key combinations are joined with plus signs (+). For example, Ctrl+V means hold down the Ctrl key and then press the V key.

Menu Commands

Instructions for choosing menu commands have this form:

Choose File, New.

This example means open the File menu and select New, which is one way to open a new file.

Instructions involving the new Windows 95 Start menu are an exception. When you are to choose something through the Start menu, the form is as follows:

Open the Start menu and choose Programs, Accessories, WordPad.

In this case, open the WordPad word processing accessory. Notice that in the Start menu, you simply drag the mouse pointer and point at the option or command you want to choose (even through a whole series of submenus); you don't need to click anything.

This book also uses certain typeface enhancements to indicate special text, as described in the following table:

Typeface Description
Italic Italic indicates new terms and variables in commands or addresses.
Boldface Bold indicates text you type, as well as Internet addresses and other locators in the online world.
MYFILE.DOC Filenames and directories are set in all caps to distinguish them from regular text, as in MYFILE.DOC.
Monospace Mono indicates screen messages, code listings, and command samples.
Underline Underline indicates keyboard hotkeys. For example, to choose the Properties button, press Alt and then R.

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