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Windows Accessories

Using Windows XP Calculator

Like a calculator you keep in a desk drawer, the Windows Calculator is small but saves you time by performing all the calculations common to a standard calculator.

The Standard Windows Calculator, works so much like a pocket calculator that you need little help getting started.

To display the Calculator, open the Start menu and choose Programs, Accessories, Calculator. The Calculator opens in the same view (Standard or Scientific) in which it was displayed the last time it was used.

To close the Calculator, click the Close button in the title bar. If you use the Calculator frequently, however, don't close it; click the Minimize button to minimize the Calculator to a button on the taskbar.

The Calculator has only three menus: Edit, View, and Help. The Edit menu contains two simple commands for copying and pasting; the View menu switches between the Standard and Scientific views; and the Help menu is the same as in all Windows accessories.

Operating the Calculator

To use the Calculator with the mouse, just click the appropriate numbers and sign keys, like you would press buttons on a desk calculator. Numbers appear in the display window as you select them, and the results appear after the calculations are performed. To enter numbers from the keyboard, use either the numbers across the top of the keyboard or those on the numeric keypad (you must first press the NumLock key if the NumLock feature is not enabled). To calculate, press the keys on the keyboard that match the Calculator keys.

NOTE: To calculate a percentage, treat the % key like an equal sign. For example, to calculate 15 percent of 80, type 80*15%. After you press the % key, the Calculator displays the result (in this case, 12).

2.   Using Windows XP Notepad

Notepad is a miniature text editor. Just as you use a notepad on your desk, you can use Notepad to take notes onscreen while working in other Windows applications.

Because Notepad stores files in text format, almost all word processing applications can retrieve Notepad's files. However, if you want the capability of formatting your documents, you'll need a true word processor.

Starting Notepad

To start Notepad, open the Start menu and choose Programs, Accessories, Notepad. Notepad starts up and displays a blank document in the Notepad window (see Figure 15.1). You can begin typing.

Working with Documents in Notepad

You can move the insertion point by using either the mouse or the keyboard. You select and edit text in Notepad the same way you select and edit text in WordPad. See "Selecting and Editing Text" later in the chapter for details.

Limited formatting is available from the File, Page Setup command. You can change margins and add a header or footer, but you cannot format characters or paragraphs in any way. You also can use the Tab, Spacebar, and Backspace keys to align text. Tab stops are preset at every eight characters.

With the commands on Notepad's Edit menu, you can cut, copy, and move text from one place in a file to another. Text that you cut or copy is stored in the Clipboard. When you paste text, the contents of the Clipboard is copied from the Clipboard to the document at the location of the insertion point.

Explore the following two Windows XP Accessories on your own.

 3. Using Windows XP WordPad

Word Pad is the word processor that comes with Windows XP that can perform most basic word processing tasks. Although it is not nearly as powerful and versatile as a full-featured word processing application (such as Microsoft Word XP), it is much more powerful than Notepad, the text editor that comes with Windows XP.

Creating a New Document in WordPad

WordPad is located in the Accessories submenu of the Start menu. To start WordPad, open the Start menu and choose Programs, Accessories, WordPad. The WordPad window appears. When you first open WordPad, you are presented with a blank document.

Using Windows XP Paint

Paint is n easy-to-learn graphics application that you can use to create and modify graphics images.

Starting Windows Paint

To start Paint, click Start, Programs, Accessories, Paint. Paint starts up and opens a new, empty Paint file.

Learn to Use Paint

To learn how to use this application, from the Menu Bar, click on the

Help Menu | Help Topics | Paint


Various accessories can be summarized as -


The Windows XP calculator is a great addition. Essentially, it is Windows calculator, which has a number of options. For example, there is a standard calculator and a scientific calculator, which has a many more calculations and includes four types of numbers.


Essentially Notepad is a basic word processor where notes can be added. It is indeed very limited and has only a few options limited to fonts, but is suitable for taking notes. However, do not consider Notepad as a potential alternative to Word or Office Suite Writer, because it is not.


Paint is art software that comes with Windows XP. Overall, it has a few options for painting, such as brushes, text and shapes. However, even for freeware it is a limited art package.

Address book:

The Windows XP address book is another of its accessories. This is an address book, where various names and addresses can be added. There are a few record options included here, including name, business and personal. Details can then be added and removed from the address book. The address book also includes a search option, to search records added.

Command prompt:

For some DOS nostalgia, the command prompt is included with Windows XP. Essentially, it is like DOS windowed, and can be used like DOS. However, no command prompt listings are included, so if you are not familiar with DOS then Command prompt is not ideal.

Tour Windows XP:

Tour Windows XP is a good place to start with Windows XP. It provides at tour of Windows XP, with commentary and music provided. Overall, the tour includes four subtitles, which provide details on XP multimedia, network and various options including start menu, desktop, folders, icons and taskbar. This tour is actually one of the better accessories included with Windows XP.

Word Pad:

Word Pad is included with the Windows XP accessories. This is a relatively simple word processor, with a few formatting options for text, bullet points and headings.

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