can't find the boolean operators using 2.57

I have just started using blender and downloaded the latest version. When I try to do boolean operations, the “w” key doesn’t show up as the manual says, and the “F9” key does nothing. All I’m trying to do is subtract a horizontal column from a flat plate to create a coin holder. I have spent 4 hours looking for the magic key and can’t find it.

Please help

You have 2 options:
Boolean operators are a modifier - so go to the modifier properties (Properties buttons - Look for a spanner icon in the menu bar) and add a Boolean modifier for you plane. Make it Subtract, use the cube as the other object and then his “Apply” to make the change permanent.

Alternately (Sans Modifier): Select the plane in edit mode, hit “E” for Extrude, then hit “S” to scale the extruded section. You’ll end up with a smaller square in your plane. Now scale the square to the shape you want it - select and delete “X” the face only from the middle, then extrude the edges of your hole down to make the coin slot!

Hope this helps!

outstanding assistance. the first suggestion was a path I had not tried. man there are a ton of features embeded in the program!!!