I have just downloaded three programs, including Audacity from the Software Center, and, while they are listed in my 'downloads' folder, I don't see how to open and run them. When I write click "open", all I get is read-only files like ".exe." The Software Center also says "installed". No icon has appeared for Audacity. Suggestions? thanks.
If you are using Unity, the default desktop environment that comes with Ubuntu, then running a program can be done as follows.
1. Open the launcher: On the left task bar you'll see the icons for apps. The top icon is to bring up the launcher. If you want to use the keyboard instead of the mouse, use the "Super" button, which is also known as the "Windows key" between "Control" on the left and "Alt" on the left.
2. Start your apps: Use the search feature of the launcher to search for your apps. To run LibreOffice Writer, type "LibreOffice" and then select the Writer option. You can also drag the icon from the launcher to the left menu bar (if it's a commonly used app).
You can also use the launcher to find files. On the bottom of the launcher there are a few tabs to seach "Files," "Folders," etc.
See the image below for a reference of what the launcher should look like when open.