ARCHIVED SAMPLE - course no longer available

University of VictoriaIntroduction to IT English
Home  |  Study Guide  |  IT Guide  |  Grammar & Structure  |  Glossary  |  WebBoard
  • IT Guide
    • » Installing and Using Software

Installing and Using Software

Starting your Software

To start a program, click its icon with your mouse.

Some common icons

Places to find program icons are:

  • Start menu (Microsoft Windows)

Click the Start button to see the Start Menu

  • Program folder (Microsoft Windows)

The Programs folder is on the Start Menu

  • The Quick Launch bar (Microsoft Windows)

The Quick Launch bar

  • The Dock (Mac OS X)

The Dock on Mac OSX

Some icons need to be double-clicked. These include icons on your desktop and icons in folders on your computer.

Other words that mean “to start a software program” are launch, open, and run.

You can also double-click documents. If the software you need is on your computer, it will start and show you the document.

Installing Software from the Internet

When you get software from the Internet, you get a single file called an installer. Save this file to somewhere convenient, such as your desktop.

Start the installer by double-clicking it. A series of dialog boxes will tell you what to do next.

Different installers have different messages, but normally you will:

  • agree to follow certain rules, such as not copying the software;
  • choose where you want to put the software on your computer's hard drive (the suggested place is usually okay);
  • pick any optional settings; and
  • choose whether you want to start the new software once it is installed.

The installer will tell you when it is done. Press the OK button or the Finish button.

You can delete the installer now.

Getting Help with Software

Most software comes with help messages. If you are having problems, remember to read these messages.

To get help with the Windows operating system, click the Start button in the lower-left corner of your screen. Then click Help and Support. You can read about a general topic or search for help messages about a specific topic.

To get help with the Macintosh operating system, click the Help menu in the Finder, then click Mac Help. Type a question into the search box or click the link that says Browse Mac OS Help. You can also click the Help Center icon to get a list of other topics.

To get help with many other types of software, click the Help menu, click a button with a question mark (?) on it, or press F1 (in Windows).