Computer Skills Tutorial

Using web browsers to read hypertext documents


The text you're now reading is like pages in a book. But these electronic pages have capabilities that Guttenberg never imagined. Only four basic skills are needed to operate this electronic book effectively, and you've used the first two of them already.

The first skill, the foundation for all the others, is learning to point and click with the mouse. This involves learning the terms, mouse, cursor, and click,, that sliding the mouse on the desk moves cursor on the screen, and that to click means to tap (press and quickly release) the mouse button. (the left button for those who have mice with more than one button).

The second skill is realizing that clicking on a link (colored text) will move you to a new destination. Do it now. Click this link to go elsewhere in this tutorial.

The third skill is called scrolling. Scrolling is what you do when you're reading successive lines of text in a book. Since electronic pages are often too long to fit on the screen, scrolling new information onto the screen involves using the mouse. Along the right edge of this text is a vertical bar with arrowheads at each end. This bar is called a scroll bar because it provides several ways to scroll text. The simplest is to click on the arrowheads to scroll information in either direction. Do it now. Use the scroll bar to scroll new information onto your screen.

The fourth skill is the inverse of the second; the skill of going back to where you came from. You arrived at this page by following on a link from an earlier page titled Using Computer Networks in the K12 Classroom. The link brought you here, to a page titled Tutorial; Basic Computer Skills. The two arrows by the house at the top of this page will move you back and forth along the chain of links you've followed, regardless of how long the chain might be (this chain only contains two links right now if you've only been to these two pages). The left arrow moves you outwards, to the page you came from. The right one brings you back in. Do it now. Use the left arrow to return to the previous page and the right one to bring you back here. The house button (by the arrows) is rarely used; it takes you "home", to the page you started from.


Contratulations! You've just learned the four basic skills you need to traverse the World Wide Web effectively. This is all you need to read information on computers throughout the world. There are further skills to learn as your interests and abilities grow. But there's no need to learn them until you need them and you can learn them by reading the Web. Its far more important to start exploring, and much more fun than bossy tutorials. Do it now. Use the top arrow to return to the entry page and start exploring the links you'll find there. You read the rest of this tutorial when you practiced the [Click this link] button earlier.


Link Practice Target

Congratulations! You've just followed a link to elsewhere in the Web. Usually this will take you to an entirely new file, often on different machines around the world.

But in this case, the link took you to another place in the same file. This capability is often used for putting clickable footnotes in academic articles. You'll come to this text again when you scroll to the end of this tutorial.

Now Click this link to return to the tutorial page.


HTML markup by Brad Cox (bcox@gmu.edu)