Understanding Properties

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 1, 2015)

Windows uses objects to represent logical or physical items, such as files, printers, or disk drives. The characteristics of an object are known as properties. Windows allows you to control different properties for different types of objects. The properties that are available for any given object are always displayed in a dialog box. The easiest way to display the properties for an object is to right-click on the object and then choose Properties from the context menu.

For example, if you right-click on the icon for a file and choose Properties, you see a Properties dialog box for the file. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Properties dialog box for a file.

Remember that different objects possess different properties. Some may have only a couple of properties, while others have quite a few. The Properties dialog box for a file allows you to set quite a few properties, as evidenced by the tabs at the top of the dialog box. As you change properties, you affect any of several things:

  • The way that the object functions or behaves
  • The way that Windows behaves in relation to the object
  • The way that the object can be used by you or by other parts of Windows

As you seek to customize Windows or make it behave in the way you prefer, you will spend a lot of time working with properties. If you are not already familiar with them, you may want to take some time to look at various properties for different objects.

 This tip (10862) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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