Computer Basics Lesson 6: Opening and Closing an Application

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In this lesson we will learn how to Open and Close an application. An application, sometimes called a program, performs a certain task. There are literally hundreds of applications and it would be impossible for us to know them all. The good news is that applications Open (start) and Close (end) in the same manner.

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What is an Application?

An application is defined as a computer program designed to help people perform a certain type of work (or recreation!).  Examples of applications include word processing programs, spreadsheets, media players, and even games. 

Open an Application via the Desktop

Let’s review a few concepts we covered on a previous lessons. The Desktop is the image you see when your computer powers on. Located on your Desktop are Icons and these Icons are graphic images that when clicked will Open or “start” a program. Placed on your Desktop is an Icon to a commonly played card game called Solitaire. We will use this application to practice Opening and Closing an application.

Click on the Solitaire Icon to open the application.

Solitaire icon 

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Close an Application

After clicking on the Solitaire Icon, the application will Open or start. A screen similar to below will appear.

Solitaire window 

On the screen in the upper right corner is a red X : red x to close application .  Click on the red x to close the application.  Closing the application will stop or end the program, putting it away.

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Open an Application via the Start Menu

Earlier we opened the Solitaire application by clicking the Solitaire Icon on the Desktop. Now, let’s use the Start button to open the Solitaire application. The Start button is located in the lower left corner of the Desktop and looks like this:

start button

Click on the Start Button located on your Desktop. The Start Menu will appear. The Start Menu allows for accessing your applications, getting help, or changing options on your computer. Slowly move your mouse to the All Programs.

All Programs on the start menu 

The All Programs menu will expand showing you the programs in your computer. The All Programs menu may vary from computer to computer as each computer could have different programs loaded. In the list of programs, look for the menu option that says Games and looks like:

Notice there is a triangle beside the word Games. The triangle is referred to as an arrow and indicates there are more menu options. If you move your mouse to the arrow the other options will appear. Move your mouse to the arrow and the Games Menu appears. The list of games may be different from computer to computer.

games menu

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Slowly move your mouse over to the list of games and down (not diagonally - straight over and then straight down!) to Solitaire. Once your mouse is on Solitaire click your mouse to open the application. Solitaire should open as you saw earlier.  Once again, you can close the application with the X in the upper right hand corner.

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It's a good idea to close any open applications before you shut down your computer!

Interesting Tidbit

Many of the games on the computer will help strengthen your mouse skills, so it is like mouse practice!

Vocabulary and Glossary

An application, sometimes called a program, performs a certain task. These tasks can be opening a game, word processing, or accessing the Internet.
The term open means to start the application or program.
The term close means to exit the application or program.
Start Button
The button that will provide access to the menu allowing you access to your applications, getting help, or changing options on your computer.
Start Menu
This is the menu that is displayed after clicking the Start Button. This menu allows for accessing your applications, getting help, or changing options on your computer.

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More Information

Practice mouse skills with solitaire:

Create a shortcut on the desktop:

To visit the previous websites, place your mouse over the underlined link above then click. You must be connected to the internet in order for the link to work.

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