Windows are areas on the screen which are rectangular and bordered and form a communication concept between the user and his task.
Every application that you run has its own corresponding window on the desktop, and so multiple applications will result in multiple windows on the screen. This fact gave the operating system its name: Windows.
Windows uses the 'parent-child' concept to organize windows into logical groups.
The Desktop is a window without borders and parent to all other windows. It forms the base, on which all the other open applications lay. A child window is always contained within the borders of its parent window. A parent window is usually an application window, its child windows are either a so-called document window or dialog boxes.
Some applications have more than one child window. For example, a word processor could handle more than one file open at a time, and each file appears in its own document window.
You only reach one Window at a time, although there might be multiple windows on the screen. This window is in front of all the other windows. It is called the active window and is indicated by a blue title bar. The Inactive windows continue to run as 'background tasks'. So your Internet Browser could for example download some files in background whereas you edit a text.
Note: To feel the window components, see the tactile foil A13.
Each window consists of several components:
The frame defines the resizable edges of a Window. Just as in reality, the size of the frame of a Window defines the portion of information you can see at a moment.
The title bar is at the very top of every window and it displays the title of the window. Normally the title of an application window contains also the name of the file open in the application, if any.
The Title Bar is colored blue, when the system has the focus on it (active Window) and light-gray, when it is in the background.
The title bar of any window displays an icon for its Control Menu on the left hand side.
For windows which are sizeable the title bar also displays some standard icons on the very right-hand side:
The menu bar is only found in application windows. It is a horizontal list of options for controlling all the activities of an application.
Some applications have a line (mostly at the bottom of the window) which displays different information about the status of the program.
This information can contain for example:
The main area of an application window contains an so-called child window. There are two kinds of child windows:
A document window of a text processing application contains the text of a document, one of a graphic processing application a picture or a drawing currently in process.
The dialog boxes, as their name says, organize the dialog between the user and an application. Here you can set various options and start actions.
The Control Menu or System Menu provides a pull-down menu list of options for manipulating an application or a document window. This is typically used to perform tasks such as
without the use of the mouse.
The Control Menu has an icon on the title bar of every window which you can access using its shortcut key.
You can access the Control Menu for an application window with ALT+SPACE.
The Control Menu for a document window you open with ALT+MINUS.
I recommend strongly to ever maximize all your application and document windows. This way you reserve enough place on the screen for your text, spreadsheet etc. and have not to scroll too much. Otherwise you have often to deal with the cut text lines and can get confused easily.