Some Advance Features of Windows XP

Q11. Discuss some advance features of Windows XP.

Ans. Windows XP has got some very useful features that add to its user-friendliness. A few of them are as follow:

  1. The Desktop:

In Windows Operating System, the screen upon which icons, Windows, etc. are displayed is known as desktop. The Windows Operating System desktop may contain a background, one or more active or inactive windows, a task bar, and icons. A background can be anything from a single-color screen to an elaborate artistic image. All windows and icons are superimposed on the background, whether it may be.

  1. The Window:

A window is a typical rectangular area pertaining to an application or a document or a dialog.

Following are the types of windows:

(i) The Application Window

(ii) The Document Window


The Application Window

An application window contains an open application that is, a running application such as Word or Paint. Several applications can be open or running simultaneously, but there is only one active window at any given time.


An application window has many elements: the title bar, the menu bar, the workspace, the scroll bar, and the corners and borders. Each of these are as follow:

  • The Application Icon

It is the icon representing the open application. When you click at application icon, a pull-down control menu appears which is also called system menu. Control menu options vary, depending upon the type of application being displayed in the window.

  • Maximize/Restore

This button is used to restore an enlarged window to its previous size or vice versa.

  • Minimize

This button shrinks the active window to a button in the taskbar.

  • Close

Choosing this button deactivates the active window from the desktop.

  • Window Title and Active File Name

Along with the title of the application, title bar also contains the name of file displayed in the application workspace.


The Menu Bar

The menu bar for an application window is a horizontal bar just below the title bar. The menu bar lists the menus available for that application. Choosing an option from the menu bar results in a pull-down menu.


The Workspace

This is the area in a window below the title bar and menu bar. Everything that relates to the current application is displayed in the workspace.


The Scroll Bars

Depending on the size of a window, the entire application may not be visible. When this happens, the window is outfitted with Vertical and/or Horizontal Scroll bars. Each scroll bar contains a scroll box and two scroll arrows (one up and one down). Keyboard movement keys or mouse can be used to move scroll box up/down or left/right on a scroll bar to display other parts of the application.


Corners and Borders

To resize a window, use the mouse and point to a window’s border or corner. The mouse cursor changes to a double arrow when positioned over a border or corner. Drag the border or corner in the direction indicated by the double arrow to the desired shape.


(ii) The Document Window

The document windows are the windows within an application window. These are displayed in the parent application window’s workspace.


  1. The Icons

As you know, icons are the pretty pictures representing Windows elements like files, folders, shortcuts etc. Icons play a very important role in graphical user interfaces. Commonly used icons are: application icons, shortcut icons, document icons, and disk-drive icons. These are:


(i) Application Icons

These are the graphic renderings of the software package’s logo. If you double click over this icon, the related application gets invoked.


(ii) Shortcut Icons

These are little graphics pointing to a particular application, document or folder etc. By double clicking over them the concerned application/document/folder etc. becomes active.


(iii) Document Icons

The active document window, which is a window within an application window, can be minimized to a document icon. Point and double-click on the document icon to restore the document window.


(iv) Disk-drive Icons

The disk-drive icons graphically represent five disk-drive options: floppy disk, hard-disk, network, RAM, and CD-ROM. The floppy disk (A:), hard disk (C:) and CD-ROM (D:) icons resemble the faceplates of disk drives. Typically, PCs have only one or two floppy drives, assigned to A and B.


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