How To Use The Computer As A Word Processor
Putting The Computer To Work
Now that we have covered most of the basics of operating the computer, it is time to put our computers to work. By now, most of us have used our machines to play games. As pleasurable as this might have been, it has not scratched the surface of the functionality of this remarkable tool. It is only when we use this tool for more serious tasks that we are able to realize the power of this highly programmable machine.
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A Programmable Tool
Here is an invention that can become whatever we desire by using programs that tell it how to do a certain task (programming). This machine (along with requisite attachments) then transforms itself into the needed tool without affecting its basic structure. In this lesson, we shall use the computer to perform word processing (create documents). This was a task that required either a typewriter or an electronic word-processor a few years ago.
Using Programs To transform The Computer
Within the computer, we shall input a word processing program, (you can get one free here) and begin the process of transforming our machine into a word processor, complete with all tools needed to create a complete document and store it. This tutorial will only cover the basics. More information can be gotten by studying the program’s help files.
Main Menu Functions
Once we have input the program and activated it (run), pay attention to the main menu bar which is displayed atop the screen (desktop). It is a mix of words and corresponding icons which tell you what the program is designed to do. Each word on the menu operates a series of functions. These can be accessed by clicking the left mouse key or right mouse key. Note that each key may bring up differing series of functions.
Tabs To Activate Major Functions
Pay attention to the “File”, “Edit” and “Help” tabs. From the “File” tab, the program is set up to allow the task to be operated and opens a blank page to begin creating a document. It also stores the finished document and prints it, if desired. The “Edit” tab allows for making changes in the document and the “Help” tab provides help to use the program, if you need to understand how to perform a function within that specific program. Note: All programs do not approach a function in the same, exact way.
Opening Files and Choosing a Font
Before beginning to write in a document, we need to prepare our work surface. When we click on “File”, it gives us the options “new” to open a new blank document or “open” to work with a previous one. Choose the task by clicking the left mouse key. (Mouse keys are programmable for either hand, I am right-handed). In the space beneath the “File” icon, click on “default style” to set the type of document you are creating. This property is usually set for standard documents. In the next box, choose a style and size of font (character) you wish to use to write your document. Your document page is now ready to use.
Paragraphs, Indents and Line-spacing
Many word processing programs try to provide functions for most common tasks performed by word processors. As you can see on the menu bar at the top of your workspace, there are many little icons and sub-menus outlining these functions. Some actions are preset, such as page size, width and height, standard margins, paragraph structure, line spacing, etc. To indent a page, tapping on the tab key or the space key works just as well. To separate paragraphs, use the paragraph function on the menu-bar or double-tap the ENTER key.
To the right of the menu-bar at the top of the page, there are symbols for aligning paragraphs and writing lists. There are also icons for inserting pictures and changing the text appearance. You can bold or italicize and underline text simply by using the corresponding icons. The “tab” symbols at the top of the page allow for resetting the size of the width of the writing area to suit non-standard pages. As you can see, almost all necessary functions have been built into this program to make paragraphs, indents and line-spacing effortless.
Editing And Making Changes To The Document
When using your computer as a word processor, the “EDIT” function takes the responsibility for performing all editing actions. Since the existence of computers, many changes to performing common tasks have been made. Prior to computing, simple tasks like erasing words and repositioning portions of text or images required completely redoing the document. Now through a computer’s “EDIT’ function, blocks of text or images can be re-positioned, highlighted, or even resized in the blink of an eye. Since most of these functions are programmed into mouse-keys, editing documents are so much easier to perform in a computing environment. By the use of “cut” and “copy” commands, the mouse will allow you to immediately redesign a document.
Storage And Printing
As pointed out at the beginning of this tutorial on how to use your computer as a word processor, this is not a complete discussion of all the functions of a word processing program. There are so many functions in the average program that learning to use a word processing program is a course in itself. However this has been a general overview of how your computer can be used as a word processor. That being said, let’s assume that the document is finished.
Before storing or printing the document, the computer allows for spell checking and sentence structure correction through the spell check function (Abc icon on the menu-bar). With this function, the computer will not only check your spelling and correct it automatically but it also suggests better ways of handling your topics. On completion, it certifies the correction of your writing. Storage of your work is accomplished either through choosing “save” on the FILE menu or clicking on the little disk icon. Either will accomplish the same task. To “print” out the document, simply click on the “printer” icon. Of course a printer must be attached to your computer to complete this task. Bonus: once the document is saved, any amount of copies can be made without diminishing the original; another benefit of computing.
This completes the lesson on our topic of how to use the computer as a word processor. To become really versed with this task, practice this lesson a few times. There is a lot that went undisclosed in this lesson so it’s vital to read the help files to find out more about the program’s capabilities. Your task for this lesson is to read the program’s help files and practice creating a document on the computer.
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