Basic Computer Use


Richard, CAP Youth Intern
Starting Up
The First thing you need to do is turn on the computer and monitor. To turn on the computer, look for a button on the tower labeled “POWER” or marked with a symbol such as this:
To turn on the monitor, press the similarly marked button below the screen. The computer will then take a few moments to start up. When the screen shows several pictures on the left (called “icons”), and a bar at the bottom, the computer is up and running.
Using the Mouse
The mouse is your primary means of interacting with the computer. Its position on the screen is shown with a small arrow. You can move the pointer around the screen by making the corresponding movements with your mouse.

All PC mice have two main buttons*, positioned left and right at the top of the mouse. Your index finger should be over the left button and your middle finger over the right. Pressing the left mouse button, called “clicking”, performs many actions on your computer. This is used to select and choose actions in the various programs. Pressing the right button, “right-clicking”, will perform a context-sensitive function based on the situation. In order to perform some actions, you need to press the left button twice in quick succession, or “double-click”. This is mainly done to activate an icon. *This lesson is for PC use. Mac computers and mice operate differently than PC’s.

Using the Keyboard
Computer keyboards perform many functions in several different programs. They are laid out with letters and symbols on the left, and arrows and the number pad on the right. Across the top are found the Escape and Function keys (Labeled F1 to F12). It should be noted that pressing F1 will almost always bring up a Help menu for the program you are using. There are certain buttons or combinations of buttons that will perform special functions, called shortcuts.
Useful Shortcuts
There are many keystrokes that can save you going through menus to perform basic tasks. Here are some of the most helpful:
Save: CTRL+S
Open: CTRL+O
Print: CTRL+P
Undo: CTRL+Z
Redo: CTRL+Y
Copy: CTRL+C
Paste: CTRL+V
Select All: CTRL+A
Bold Text: CTRL+B
Italics: CTRL+I
Underline: CTRL+U
Align Left: CTRL+L
Centre: CTRL+E
Align Right: CTRL+R
Single Spacing: CTRL+1
Double Spacing: CTRL+2