Using Software

As stated earlier software is anything created and/or stored on a computer or computer storage device (like a disk). The work that is produced using an application or program is also software and is usually referred to as a file or a document.

The following section looks at using files. It covers saving, printing and exiting files, compressing and backing up your files, managing files and folders, using menus, installing software, using the desktop and working with software applications. It provides a basic introduction to word processing, spreadsheets, database, multimedia programs and desktop publishing.

Installing Software

Most software has an automated install sequence that is activated with the press of a button. The installation process will create a directory to store the files related to the new program, uncompress and copy the files to the directory and often adds itself the desktop (Start) menu. Many installation processes will also copy files to other parts of the computer and register itself with the operating system by updating the registry. Some programs will associate themselves to a certain filename extension.

Older software may not have this option. The installation procedure is the same though. First create a folder or drawer to store the program and it's related files in. This makes it easy to find them and minimizes file clutter in the main directory. Copy the files from the installation disk to the folder that you will be running the program from. A lot of Software is compressed and you may need to uncompress it before you can use it. You then can create a new item, create a short cut to the program or add it to your desktop menu or utility program.

Uninstalling software can also be an automatic process. Access the uninstall feature by choosing Add/Remove Software or Apps. A list will display all the programs that are currently installed on the computer. Clicking on one of the programs will give you the option to remove it. Be certain that you want to remove the program and that you have the installation file or registration information if you ever want to re-install it at another time.

Unistalling programs will not always remove everything that was installed. Files that where created with the program will not usually be removed. Also some fonts and clipart may be left behind. Programs do not always remove their registry settings.

Last updated: February 17, 2021