Windows 7 and Quicken 2012 Dialog Boxes - dummies

Windows 7 and Quicken 2012 Dialog Boxes

By Stephen L. Nelson

Windows 7 (and application programs like Quicken 2012) uses a special type of window, called a dialog box, to communicate with you. In fact, after you choose a command, Windows 7 and application programs often display a dialog box to get the information they need to carry out the command.

Dialog boxes have these unique design elements: text boxes, check boxes, tabs, option buttons (also called radio buttons), command buttons, and list boxes.

Windows 7 and Quicken 2012 text boxes

Text boxes provide a space into which you can enter text. To see what a text box looks like, start WordPad (if you haven’t already), type Semper fidelis, and then click the Home tab’s Find button. WordPad, responding nicely to your deft touch, displays the Find dialog box. The text box is the box to the right of the words Find What.

If the selection cursor — the flashing line or outline that selects the active element of a dialog box — isn’t already in the text box, you need to move it there by clicking in the text box. Then type in the text. If this “active element” mumbo-jumbo seems too technical, just press Tab a bunch of times and watch the dialog box. See that thing that moves around from box to button to box? It selects the active element.

You can move the selection cursor several ways:

  • Click in the text box.

  • Press Tab or Shift+Tab until the selection cursor is in the text box. (Pressing Tab moves the selection cursor to the next element; pressing Shift+Tab moves the selection cursor to the preceding element.)

  • Press the Alt+key combination. For example, press Alt+N to move the selection cursor to the Find What text box.

If you make a typing mistake in the text box, use the Backspace key to erase incorrect characters.

You also can move the insertion bar — the vertical line that shows where what your type gets placed — by using the left- and right-arrow keys. The left-arrow key moves the insertion bar one character to the left without deleting any characters. The right-arrow key moves the insertion bar one character to the right without deleting any characters.

Windows 7 and Quicken 2012 check boxes

Check boxes work like on-off switches. A check box is “on” if the box is selected with a check mark. A check box is “off” if the box is empty.

To turn a check box on or off with the mouse, click the check box. If the check box is on, your click turns off the check box. If the check box is off, your click turns on the check box.

You also can use the spacebar to select and deselect a check box. After you move the selection cursor to the check box, press the spacebar to alternatively select and deselect the check box. Toggle, toggle, toggle.

Windows 7 and Quicken 2012 option buttons

Option buttons (or radio buttons) are sets of buttons representing mutually exclusive choices. The Insert Object dialog box, which appears when you click WordPad’s Insert Object, uses the Create New and Create From File option buttons.

You can select only one option button in a set. Windows 7 or the Windows 7 application identifies the selected button by putting a bullet, or darkened circle, inside the button. The easiest way to select an option button is to click the option button you want.

Windows 7 and Quicken 2012 command buttons

Every dialog box has command buttons. Command buttons tell Windows 7 or an application program what you want to do after you finish with a dialog box.

To choose a command button, either click it or move the selection cursor to a command button, and then press Enter.

Windows 7 and Quicken 2012 list boxes

List boxes list a series of possible choices. And you see list boxes all over the place. Windows 7 and Windows 7 applications use two types of list boxes: a regular list box like and a drop-down list box.

Drop-down list boxes look like text boxes with a down-arrow key at the right end of the box, and the Home tab of the WordPad program window supplies several drop-down list boxes.

After it’s opened, a drop-down list box works the same as a regular list box. After you select an item from the list box (by using the mouse or the arrow keys), press Enter.

Unfortunately, a list is sometimes too long for the list box to completely display. When this minor tragedy occurs, you can use the PgUp and PgDn keys to page through the list.

You also can use the scroll bar — the vertical bar with arrows at either end. Just drag the square scroll bar selector up or down. You also can click the arrows at either end of the scroll bar, or you can click the scroll bar itself. (This last trick moves the scroll bar selector toward the place where you clicked.)