The Writing Center

Windows of Perception: Word-processing and Your Writing

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Obviously you have some level of adroitness on the computer to have found your way here, but for those of you who may still be scratching your head as to some of the basics of using a computer the first part of this section includes some very basic information.

For those of you who want to leap into the fray immediately, the path to the word-processing information is before you.

Some Basics

What's a GUI do?

GUI stands for Graphical User Interface. Without getting into the war between Mac users and Windows lovers, let's just say that a GUI allows the user to interact with the computer by way of symbolic pictures and icons rather than weird word commands an keystrokes (Most applications still allow you to continue using all of the secret keys you learned as a child).

Why is there a rodent on my desk and why should I have to touch him?

The Mouse is an integral part of many word-processors. When you place the pointer on an object on the screen and click the buttons, it is like pressing an "on" button on that item.


Pressing and releasing a mouse-button once is called "clicking."


Clicking twice in rapid succession is called "double-clicking."

Click and drag

The "click-and-drag" technique involves holding down the button while you move the cursor with the mouse. Used in highlighting, or selecting, text.

With these basic techniques you should be able to navigate any software that requires a mouse. If you are using a word-processor that does not use a mouse, the functions performed by the mouse are executed with keyboard commands that vary from processor to processor.

This is the way to learn some basics about word-processors.
This is the way to learn about writing and your word-processor.

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