Structure of a Window

Almost all windows look something like this: Example of a Window In this example we can see many of the features of a window. It is useful to know all of these.


This is the bit right at the top-left of the window, which will be a little picture. If you are using Internet Explorer, the icon will probably be Internet Explorer's window icon. The icon has two functions:

  1. To show you what program the window belongs to. All Notepad windows have the same icon, all Paint windows have the same icon, and so on.
  2. Clicking on the icon displays a menu allowing you to manipulate the window.

Try clicking on this icon. A menu will appear, and at least one of the items on it will be greyed. The items are: Restore, Move, Size, Minimize, Maximize and Close. Click on the links to see what each of them does. Double clicking on this icon closes the window.


These are along the top-right of the window. They have the same functions that are listed above, but provide a quicker way of accessing them. The symbols have the following meanings:

Minimize buttonMinimize
Maximize buttonMaximize
Resore buttonRestore
Close buttonClose

You will notice that these symbols are the same as those displayed beside the list items when you click on the window icon.

Title bar

This is the bit at the top of the window. It is usually dark blue with white writing on (as shown in the picture above), but on your computer it might be different (depending how it has been set up).

The title bar includes the window icon and buttons (described above).

Try clicking on the main part of the title bar (i.e. not on the icon or buttons) and dragging (move the mouse while still pressing the left mouse button). You will see that the window moves around. This only works if the window has not been maximized (i.e. it does not take up the whole screen).


The border of a window is the grey bit running all the way around the window. The border is only displayed if the window has not been maximized. Move the mouse to the edge of the window, and you will see it turns into a black double arrow, something like one of the following: Window resize pointer Window resize pointer Window resize pointer Window resize pointer

Now try clicking and dragging when the mouse pointer looks like one of these. It will change the size of the window. The horizontal and vertical pointers only move one of the sides of the window, and the diagonal ones move two sides. If you haven't found the diagonal pointer, move the mouse to a corner of the window.

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