Simple steps towards screen sophistication

18th October 1996 at 01:00
Windows for Beginners Projects for Windows for Beginners Usborne, both Pounds 4.99 (pb) Pounds 7.99 (hb)

The beauty of the Projects book is that all its tasks can be completed without any additional software like clip art or a drawing package. Because Write and Paintbrush are both integral to Windows, no extra costs are involved. It is an ideal resource for schools and teachers as it has strong links with design and technology and is full of exciting ideas to develop IT skills in a classroom with limited resources.

Some schools will not have a colour printer, but there are many suggestions to overcome this problem and make the work attractive to children. The two books together are useful for teachers with little experience of Windows computing, as Windows for Beginners is easy to follow, well-illustrated with many screen shots, and explores many of the applications in Windows. At the same time it shows how to organise a desktop, find missing files and work with two applications at the same time.

The Projects book assumes some knowledge of Windows but still offers brief explanations of the main applications. Each project has clear step-by-step instructions starting with the easier tasks and gradually becoming more complex.

For the experienced computer user there are opportunities to develop more sophisticated projects such as including hidden files in documents, recording a macro (a short-cut for longish procedures you use often), and sending messages in code. Other ideas include personalising the screen background graphics, creating a logo, leaving a message as a screen-saver and making a mouse mat.

Usborne publish both books in one volume, The Complete Book of Windows, Pounds 6.99 in paperback, or hardback Pounds 9.99. A terrific resource in any classroom and a wonderful starter book for the first-timer.

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