Common Software Features, Continued
HOURGLASSES: The appearance of an hourglass on the monitor screen
indicates that the computer is accessing memory or a function. While the
hourglass is displayed, the keyboard or mouse is inoperable. Hourglasses
with an arrow indicate the computer is working, but you are free to access
another function. The hourglass or hourglass with arrow disappears when
the computer completes the requested activity.
DIRECTIONAL ARROWS on bars or cross hairs: Directional arrows
attached to bars or cross hairs indicate that the curser may shift selected items
or lines in the direction of the arrows to another position in documents.
Directional arrows also allow you to resize information windows.
PROHIBITING CIRCLES: Circles crossed diagonally by a line that may or
may not have an additional icon let you know that the application or function
you request is prohibited.
HANDS: Hands or question marks indicate that clicking in a particular
space, phrase, or image accesses the HELP feature of the software program.
On the Internet or web pages, these helpers indicate internal and external
links to web sites.
Icons are small graphic images representing functions or applications of
software. Icons eliminate memorizing multiple keystrokes by replacing the
keystrokes with pictures. Icons speed up selection and execution of options.
The ability of software to use graphics to make software more user friendly is
part of the software graphical user interface (GUI).
Screen displays are the entire monitor face capable of showing information.
Some screens show only a portion of text requiring the viewer to scroll.
Screens that show a portion of the whole image are difficult to work with and
make it hard to develop a feel for page aesthetics. Monitors having more
pixels and larger working monitors may allow you to see exactly how pages
will appear when printed. Monitor resolution is adjustable. On-screen
information appears and disappears through what are called windows.
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