ZOOMING-IN TO GET A CLOSER LOOK
Click on the + button "add theme"
Navigate to .shp files:
click on cntry94.shp, for example.
Note now that there is, to the left of the view area, a small bar with a little swatch of color in it. Click on the small button to the left of the color swatch to draw the map.
Click on the small magnifying glass with a plus sign in it. Put the cursor (magnifying glass) in the map. Click and drag a box (upper left to lower right) around some region on the map. Now you will see a close up map of that region. You have "zoomed-in" on it.
To return to the original map, go to View|Full Extent
Try zooming-in in a number of stages; note that the land boundaries are really just line segments joined together; countries are polygons.