by Greg Harvey, PhD Windows Vista

by Greg Harvey, PhD Windows Vista
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Windows Vista
™
FOR
DUMmIES
‰
QUICK REFERENCE
by Greg Harvey, PhD
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Windows Vista™ For Dummies® Quick Reference
Published by
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com
Copyright © 2007 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published simultaneously in Canada
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trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and other countries, and may not be used
without written permission. Windows Vista is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is not associated with any
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Manufactured in the United States of America
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1O/QW/RS/QW/IN
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About the Author
Greg Harvey, the author of a slew of For Dummies books running the gamut from
Excel For Dummies to The Origins of Tolkien’s Middle-earth For Dummies, has had a
long career of teaching business people the use of IBM PC, Windows, and Macintosh
software application programs. From 1983 to 1988, he conducted hands-on computer
software training for corporate business users with a variety of training companies
(including his own, PC Teach). From 1988 to 1992, he taught university classes in
Lotus 1-2-3 and Introduction to Database Management Technology (using dBASE)
in the Department of Information Systems at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
In mid-1993, Greg started a new multimedia publishing venture, Mind over Media, Inc.
As a multimedia developer and computer book author, he hopes to enliven his future
online computer books by making them into true interactive learning experiences
that will vastly enrich and improve the training of users of all skill levels. In 2006,
he received his PhD in Comparative Philosophy and Religion with a concentration
on Asian Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco,
California. When he isn’t busy writing, Dr. Greg works as a patient care and bereavement volunteer with the Hospice of Marin in Larkspur, California and Hospice by the
Bay in San Francisco, California and a home and hospital volunteer with the Center
for Attitudinal Healing in Sausalito, California.
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Dedication
To my alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, birthplace
of NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications) Mosaic, the great-granddaddy of Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.
Thanks for helping me gain the analytical, language, and writing skills that all came
into play in the creation of this work.
Author’s Acknowledgments
Many thanks to Christopher Aiken at Mind over Media, Inc. for all his help and support
with this revision of Windows Quick Reference.
I want to thank the following people at Wiley Publishing, Inc. who have worked so
hard to make this book a reality: Katie Feltman for her consistent and inspiring help
in getting this revision off the ground; Linda Morris for her dedicated editorial assistance; and the amazing layout folks in Production. Thanks, too, to Joyce Nielsen for
the technical review.
Last, but never least, I want to acknowledge my indebtedness to Dan Gookin, whose
vision, sardonic wit, and (sometimes) good humor produced DOS For Dummies, the
“Mother” of all For Dummies books. Thanks for the inspiration and the book that
made it all possible, Dan.
Greg Harvey
Point Reyes Station, California
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Publisher’s Acknowledgments
We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our online registration form located at
www.dummies.com/register/.
Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:
Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media Development
Project Editor: Linda Morris
Acquisitions Editor: Katie Feltman
Copy Editor: Linda Morris
Technical Editor: Joyce Nielsen
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Composition Services
Project Coordinator: Adrienne Martinez
Layout and Graphics: Denny Hager,
Joyce Haughey, Stephanie D. Jumper,
Barbara Moore, Barry Offringa,
Lynsey Osborn, Erin Zeltner
Proofreaders: Laura Albert, Techbooks
Indexer: Techbooks
Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies
Richard Swadley, Vice President and Executive Group Publisher
Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher
Mary Bednarek, Executive Acquisitions Director
Mary C. Corder, Editorial Director
Publishing for Consumer Dummies
Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher
Joyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director
Composition Services
Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services
Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services
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Contents at a Glance
Part 1: The Vista User Experience ..................................................................1
Part 2: Computer Management ....................................................................49
Part 3: Networking ........................................................................................81
Part 4: Communications ................................................................................95
Part 5: System Maintenance ........................................................................139
Part 6: Security ............................................................................................163
Part 7: Entertainment ..................................................................................173
Glossary: Tech Talk......................................................................................205
Index ............................................................................................................209
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Table of Contents
Part 1: The Vista User Experience ............................1
Aero Glass Interface ..........................................................................................2
Ah, That’s What They Did with It! ....................................................................6
Start is a very good place to begin ............................................................6
Using the All Programs item ........................................................................8
The role of Start Search ..............................................................................8
Looking at virtual folders with Windows Explorer ................................10
Notable differences in the Vista Windows Explorer ..............................10
The Navigation pane ..................................................................................11
The standard buttons on the toolbar ......................................................12
Taking a good look at the Views................................................................14
Using the address bar ................................................................................15
Making the most of the Details pane ........................................................16
Displaying the Search pane and Preview pane ......................................18
Restoring the Classic pull-down menus to Windows Explorer ............19
Restoring the Classic Windows Start menu ............................................19
Getting rid of the Vista glassiness ............................................................20
Adopting a Classic view of the Control Panel ........................................21
Things that haven’t changed a bit ............................................................21
Flip and Flip 3D ................................................................................................22
Personalize........................................................................................................23
Search ................................................................................................................25
Adding tags for searches ..........................................................................27
Doing advanced searches with the Search pane ....................................27
Saving search results in a search folder ..................................................28
Sidebar and Gadgets........................................................................................29
Changing where and how the Sidebar appears ......................................30
Hiding or eliminating the Sidebar ............................................................31
Adding new gadgets to your Sidebar ......................................................31
Customizing the contents of a gadget......................................................32
Changing the opacity of a gadget..............................................................33
Detaching a gadget from the Sidebar and freely moving it
around the desktop..................................................................................33
Vista Desktop....................................................................................................34
Displaying additional desktop icons ........................................................34
Creating desktop shortcuts ......................................................................35
Vista Taskbar ....................................................................................................36
The Start menu............................................................................................37
Customizing the taskbar ............................................................................38
Customizing the Start menu ......................................................................38
Using the Quick Launch toolbar ..............................................................40
Adding other toolbars to the taskbar ......................................................41
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Creating new toolbars ................................................................................41
The Notification area..................................................................................42
Customizing the Notification area ............................................................42
Switching between open windows............................................................43
Arranging windows on the desktop..........................................................43
Using the Task Manager ............................................................................44
Welcome Center ..............................................................................................45
Windows Help and Support ............................................................................46
Part 2: Computer Management ..............................49
Disk Management ............................................................................................50
Opening folders on drives in the Computer window ............................51
Formatting a disk ........................................................................................51
Mapping a network folder as a local drive ..............................................52
File and Folder Management ..........................................................................53
Assigning filenames ....................................................................................54
Creating new files and folders ..................................................................55
Customizing a window’s Folder Options ................................................56
Changing how you select and open items ..............................................57
Changing how items are displayed in a folder ........................................57
Creating compressed (zipped) folders ....................................................58
Extracting files from a compressed folder ..............................................59
Selecting files and folders ..........................................................................60
Copying (and moving) files and folders ..................................................61
Deleting files and folders ..........................................................................65
Renaming files and folders ........................................................................66
Sharing files ................................................................................................67
Program Management ....................................................................................72
Removing or repairing a program ............................................................72
Changing the program defaults ................................................................72
Restart, Sleep/Hibernate, Lock, Log Off, and Shut Down............................74
Windows Explorer............................................................................................75
Changing the display of an Explorer window..........................................76
Sorting and filtering items in an Explorer window ................................77
Part 3: Networking ................................................81
Connect to a Network......................................................................................82
Manage Network Connections ......................................................................83
Manage Wireless Networks ............................................................................84
Modifying the order in which Vista automatically
connects to wireless networks ..............................................................85
Manually adding a new wireless network ................................................85
Removing an unused network from the list ............................................86
Network Access................................................................................................87
Turning on File Sharing or Discovery and Sharing ................................87
Opening and exploring shared computers on the network ..................89
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Network and Sharing Center ..........................................................................90
Network Map ....................................................................................................91
Set Up a Connection or Network....................................................................92
Part 4: Communications ........................................95
Internet Explorer 7 ..........................................................................................96
Connecting to the Internet ........................................................................96
Launching Internet Explorer 7 ..................................................................96
Adding and changing home pages............................................................97
Navigating the Web ....................................................................................98
Zooming in on page ....................................................................................99
Using the Panning Hand to scroll the Web page ..................................100
Address AutoComplete ............................................................................101
Adding Web Favorites ..............................................................................101
Opening Favorites ....................................................................................102
Organizing Favorites ................................................................................103
Using Internet Explorer 7 tabs ................................................................105
Saving Web graphics ................................................................................106
Saving Web pages......................................................................................107
Printing Web pages ..................................................................................108
Working offline ..........................................................................................111
Searching from the Live Search text box ..............................................112
Autosearching from the address bar......................................................113
Adding a search provider to Internet Explorer 7..................................113
No phishing allowed ................................................................................115
Pop-ups anyone? ......................................................................................116
Subscribing to RSS feeds..........................................................................116
Speech Recognition ......................................................................................118
Setting up Speech Recognition................................................................119
Changing Speech Recognition settings ..................................................120
Windows Fax and Scan ..................................................................................122
Sending and receiving faxes ....................................................................122
Scanning documents ................................................................................123
Windows Mail ................................................................................................123
Creating a new e-mail account ................................................................124
Composing and sending messages ........................................................125
Adding recipients to the Contact List ....................................................128
Reading e-mail ..........................................................................................130
Organizing e-mail ......................................................................................132
Deleting e-mail ..........................................................................................133
Windows Meeting Space ..............................................................................134
Setting up Windows Meeting Space........................................................134
People Near Me ........................................................................................135
Inviting participants to the session........................................................136
Sharing computer resources ..................................................................137
Sharing programs, files, or your Vista desktop ....................................137
Presenting a document as a handout ....................................................138
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Part 5: System Maintenance ................................139
Backup and Restore Center ..........................................................................140
File and Folder Backup ............................................................................140
CompletePC Backup ................................................................................141
Restoring files to your computer............................................................142
Control Panel ..................................................................................................143
System and Maintenance ........................................................................146
Hardware and Sound ................................................................................147
Printers ......................................................................................................148
AutoPlay ....................................................................................................151
Manage Audio Devices and Sound Themes ..........................................152
Mouse ........................................................................................................152
Scanners and Cameras ............................................................................152
Clock, Language, and Region ..................................................................153
Date and Time ..........................................................................................153
Regional and Language Options..............................................................155
Ease of Access Center ..............................................................................156
System Restore ..............................................................................................158
Windows Update ............................................................................................160
Part 6: Security ..................................................163
BitLocker Drive Encryption ..........................................................................164
Parental Controls ..........................................................................................164
Security Center ..............................................................................................166
User Account Control ....................................................................................168
Managing your own account ..................................................................168
Managing other user accounts................................................................169
Changing the User Account Control status ..........................................170
Windows Defender ........................................................................................170
Part 7: Entertainment ..........................................173
Games ..............................................................................................................174
Media Center ..................................................................................................175
When it’s TV time......................................................................................177
Watching recorded programs..................................................................179
Playing your favorite tunes......................................................................179
Playing your much-loved movies............................................................180
Viewing your preferred photos and videos ..........................................180
Windows DVD Maker ....................................................................................181
Windows Media Player 11 ............................................................................183
Now Playing ..............................................................................................186
Using the Media Library ..........................................................................187
Ripping and burning CDs ........................................................................188
When you get the URGE for music..........................................................189
Using the Media Guide ............................................................................190
Synching up with a portable MP3 player ..............................................191
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Windows Movie Maker ..................................................................................192
Importing media files and capturing video clips ..................................193
Assembling media files in your movie ..................................................193
Adding special effects to clips ................................................................194
Adding transitions ....................................................................................195
Adding movie titles and credits ..............................................................195
Publishing the final movie ......................................................................196
Windows Photo Gallery ................................................................................197
Playing a slide show ................................................................................200
Adding ratings, tags, and captions ........................................................201
Fixing a photo............................................................................................202
Glossary: Tech Talk..............................................205
Index ..................................................................209
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Part 1
The Vista User Experience
If such a thing as a beautiful user interface for a personal computer operating
system exists, Microsoft’s Windows Vista, shown in the following figure, is surely
at the top of this list. However, as you find out in this part, the Windows Vista
desktop is much more than just a pretty face. Indeed, Vista is also Microsoft’s
most powerful and usable personal computer interface to date (and this is
coming from someone who really liked Windows XP).
In this part . . .
⻬
⻬
⻬
⻬
⻬
Meet the Aero Glass Interface
Guide for displaced Windows XP Users migrating to Windows Vista
Personalizing your copy of Windows Vista
Using the Start Search and Search features
Using the Vista taskbar
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Part 1: The Vista User Experience
Aero Glass Interface
In Windows Vista, A is for Aero Glass, the name given to the operating system’s
graphical user interface (GUI). The name is a combination of the acronym
AERO — Authentic, Energetic, Reflective, and Open — which describes the
original design goals for the new operating system, and glass (the stuff of which
actual windows are made), this stunning new user interface is all about clarity,
in the sense of both brightness and simplicity.
The first thing to note about the Aero Glass desktop when first installed (and after
you close the Welcome Center window that automatically appears) is the overall
openness of the screen (due to a decided lack of program icons) and a rather minimalist Start button and taskbar, as shown in Figure 1-1. This open screen makes
the most of your screen space, whatever the size of your monitor, by accommodating more open windows and more information within each open window.
Figure 1-1
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Aero Glass Interface
3
The second thing to notice is the relative transparency and high degree of reflectiveness displayed by the various Vista screen elements, especially the taskbar,
Start menu, and title bars of open windows (depending upon the graphics capability of your computer). You notice the transparency most in the title bars of
windows and in the right column of the Start menu (especially when the menu is
on top of another open window, as in Figure 1-2). You notice the reflectiveness
most when you position the mouse pointer over buttons and desktop icons —
they actually appear to glow. This effect is accomplished by backlighting the
graphic with various contrasting colors — blue for most buttons and icons and
bright red for a window’s Close button.
The third thing to notice about the Aero Glass interface is the extremely smooth
way in which screen elements change and the high degree to which this version
of the operating system supports live visual previews.
You notice the screen smoothness whenever you open or close a new window
and resize or move it on the Windows desktop. When Vista opens a window, it
does so in a much more fluid manner than previous Windows versions. So too,
when you drag an open window around the Vista desktop (even one playing a
video or showing a music visualization), the graphics don’t break up and
become pixilated as they pass over other screen elements.
Figure 1-2
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Part 1: The Vista User Experience
The live visual previews in Vista show up in several really cool desktop features:
live taskbar thumbnails, Flip, and Flip 3D, which are used to switch between
open windows. The live taskbar thumbnails feature enables you to see a thumbnail version and name of any window that is currently minimized on the Vista
taskbar simply by positioning the mouse pointer over its icon. That way, you
can get tell whether a particular window icon on the taskbar contains the particular application or Vista window you want to restore to its previous position and
size on the Vista desktop.
Note that the Flip feature is a more graphic version of a switching feature first
introduced in Windows XP (and still activated by pressing Alt+Tab). This feature
enables you to activate a particular open window from among those currently
minimized on the Windows taskbar by selecting its icon and window name in a
band that appears in the middle of the desktop. In the Vista version of the Flip
feature, however, rather than just a generic window icon, you see an actual live
thumbnail of the contents of the window along with its window name (see Figure
1-3). This live preview helps you immediately identify the window you want to
open on the desktop.
Figure 1-3
The Flip 3D offers an even faster visual method for activating an open window
among those you have open. It accomplishes this by showing a stack of live 3-D
representations for all the windows you have open in Vista (see Figure 1-4). You
can then quickly flip through this stack until the thumbnail of the window you
want to activate is displayed at the front of the stack. See “Flip and Flip 3D” later
in this part for details on how to use Flip and Flip 3D to select a window.
Visual previews also show up in windows that contain file folders when using
the Extra Large Icons viewing option. Figure 1-5 illustrates such a situation. Here,
you see the contents of a few of the folders inside an Excel Wrkbk folder on my
computer’s hard drive after selecting Extra Large Icons on the window’s Views
pop-up slider. When any size between Large Icons and Extra Large Icons are
selected, Vista actually shows a live preview of the first few documents within
that folder so that you see a thumbnail of an actual graphic image, if the folder
contains photos, and a worksheet, if it contains spreadsheets.
As you can begin to see from this brief overview, the Aero Glass interface in
Windows Vista offers you an extremely visual and highly dynamic environment
in which to work. All around, when coupled with the many less glitzy enhancements that the Microsoft software stuck under the hood, Windows Vista makes
for a very satisfying user experience.
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Aero Glass Interface
Figure 1-4
Figure 1-5
5
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Part 1: The Vista User Experience
Ah, That’s What They Did with It!
If you’re coming to Windows Vista as a user of Windows XP who was completely
comfortable with its tried and true ways of doing business, the new Windows
Aero Glass desktop may appear to you initially as less open and simple than
originally promised. In fact, if your first few minutes with the new and improved
Windows graphical user interface are anything like mine, you may feel just a wee
bit lost when you first start doing the everyday tasks you seemingly did so
effortlessly in the past with Windows XP.
Never fear! You have absolutely no reason to panic: In no time at all, I can set
you straight on the new, more efficient ways of finding all the stuff on your computer system that you used in the past, while at the same time pointing out what
they did with some of your more familiar Windows elements such as the muchbeloved My Documents and the underrated Run command.
Start is a very good place to begin
The first thing to note is that the Start button on the Vista taskbar is no longer a
rectangular green button that says Start and sports the four-color Microsoft
Office banner. Instead, it’s now a real circular button sporting only the four-color
Microsoft Office banner icon.
Clicking the Start button on the Vista taskbar (or pressing the Start key on your
keyboard, if it’s so equipped) still opens the Start menu in a two-column format.
However, as shown in Figure 1-6, this Start menu has some new buttons and a
whole new way of displaying the information about the stuff on your computer.
The new elements located along the bottom of the Vista Start menu include
⻬ Start Search text box, where you can enter search text to find any folder or
document on your computer or any topic on the Internet by typing the first
few characters of its name. Note that Vista immediately starts matching the
characters in the Start Search text box against the contents on your computer (displaying the results in left-hand column of the Start menu) as you
type them.
⻬ Sleep button to save your work session and put your computer into a low
power mode so that you can quickly resume working with the current
desktop arrangement simply by pressing a key (such as Shift or Enter) or
by clicking the mouse button.
⻬ Lock This Computer button to lock up your computer when you’re away
from your desk so that nobody else can use it — keep in mind that you
must be able to accurately produce your user password in the text box at
the startup screen with your login and picture in order to unlock the computer so you can use it once again (assuming that you’ve been assigned a
password).
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Ah, That’s What They Did with It!
7
Figure 1-6
Start
Power
Lock This Computer
Shut Down Options
⻬ Shut Down Options button to open a pop-up menu containing the follow-
ing options: Switch User to enable you to log onto the computer with a different user account, Log Off to close down your work session and select a
different user account, Lock to lock your computer (see the previous bullet
“Lock This Computer”), Restart to completely reboot the computer, Sleep
to put the computer into a low-power state (see “Sleep” earlier in this list),
Hibernate (if you’re running Vista on a laptop computer) to save any work
in memory to your hard drive and shut your machine down, and Shut
Down to close all windows and shut down all power to the computer.
The left-hand column of the Start menu still contains the icons for Windows programs you recently used (which you can fix to this part of the Start menu by rightclicking it and then clicking Pin to Start on the shortcut menu). The right-hand
column, although vaguely familiar, lacks all of your accustomed “My” windows
(from My Document to My Network Places). All of its items (from Documents to
Help and Support) are arranged under the icon you selected for your user account
and your username (see the dog icon above Admin in Figure 1-6). As you mouse
over the items in this column, you’ll notice that a new icon representing the type
of item replaces your user account picture at the top of the right-hand column.
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Part 1: The Vista User Experience
Documents, Pictures, Music, Computer, and Network on the Windows Vista Start
menu respectively take the place of My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, My
Computer, and My Network Places on the Windows XP Start menu.
Using the All Programs item
The All Programs item on the Windows Vista Start menu performs the exact
same function as it did in Windows XP — opening menus that you can use to
launch Windows utilities and applications programs installed on your computer.
Here, however, Vista has it all over XP because it performs this in a much tidier
and more efficient manner.
Instead of opening sprawling menus and submenus that can take over pretty
much your entire desktop (depending upon how many programs you’ve
installed), Vista keeps all the All Programs menu action restricted to the lefthand column of the Start menu. When you click its All Programs button, Vista
displays a list of all the application programs and Windows utilities on your
computer (with a vertical scroll bar if there are too many items to display on the
left-hand column) and the button changes from an All Programs to Back.
To launch a program or utility, simply click its item in the left-hand column. If
the item sports a folder icon (such as Microsoft Office or Accessories), clicking
the icon causes an indented submenu to appear (still within the left-hand
column of the Start menu) and you can then click the icon for the program you
want to launch.
The role of Start Search
You may have noticed the Search item that appeared on the right side of the
Windows XP Start menu has changed into a Start Search text box at the very
bottom of the Start menu in Windows Vista. This Start Search text box is part of
the Search feature that permeates the Vista operating system (you find a similar
Search text box in most of the utility windows such as Documents, Pictures,
Music, and so on).
Unlike the old clunky search feature in Windows XP that simply opened a dialog
box where you had to specify the type of search before you entered the search
text and then started the search operation, Quick Search in Vista is always ready
to go. All you have to do to initiate a search is to start typing the first few characters of the item you’re looking for. Vista starts displaying matching items in
the open window (or on the left-hand side of the Start menu when using Start
Search) as you type.
For example, if I want to open Microsoft Word to create a new document on my
computer, I simply type wo in the Start Search text box. Doing this almost immediately displays Microsoft Office Word 2007 (among other items such as
WordPad and folders and files whose names contain the letters “wo” as part of
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their names) above the Start Search text box in the left-hand column of the Start
menu (see Figure 1-7). Then all I have to do is click this Microsoft Office Word
2007 link to launch this application in its own program window. (Note that to display the link for launching Excel, I only have to type e, which also gives me
access to Windows and Internet Explorer.)
In the same vein, on the rare occasion that I need to open the Run dialog box to
do something like enter a setup command to install a new program, I only type r
in the Start Search text box (no need even to type the u to display the Run icon)
and then click the Run item. To display the Command Prompt link to open the
Command Prompt window where I can access the system directly by typing
weird old DOS commands, I only have to type c in the Start Search text box (of
course, doing this also enables me to open the Media Center, the Calculator utility, and my personal contact list).
The key to living happily ever after with Windows Vista is to stop worrying
about where the items you want to use are actually located on your computer
system and just start finding them with Search. Use Start Search on the Start
menu to find application programs, Windows components, folders, and files just
by entering a few characters in their names.
Figure 1-7
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Looking at virtual folders with Windows Explorer
Windows Vista, like all versions of Windows before it, relies on a structure of
Explorer windows that display all the document files and subfolders stored
within it. The big difference in Windows Vista is the appearance of an entirely
new type of folder called a virtual folder that can appear in these windows.
Virtual folders are quite a bit different from the ones you create manually by
actually moving and copying particular document files and subfolders into
them. Instead, virtual folders are created from some type of search. Because of
this, they can contain files that are not actually stored in the same folder (directory) and their contents are dynamically updated (as you add new files that fit a
virtual folder’s search criteria, they automatically appear in that virtual folder).
The best examples of virtual folders are found in the Documents window (opened
by clicking the Documents link in the right-hand column of the Start menu). When
this window opens, you see a list of Favorite Links in the Navigation pane on the
left side of the window that includes links to two virtual folders: Recently Changed
and Searches.
If you click the Recently Changed link, Windows displays the Recently Changed
virtual folder containing a listing of all the various files on your computer that
you’ve modified during the current day’s work session (including files you’ve
created, edited, or copied or moved onto your computer’s hard drive).
You can then filter this list of folders and files by clicking Organize 䉴 Layout 䉴
Search Pane to display the Search pane at the top of the Recently Changed
window, where you can click the particular type of files you want listed. Note
that the Search pane contains the filtering buttons E-mail, Document, Picture,
Music, and Other to the right of the already selected All button.
If you click the Searches link, Vista displays a number of virtual folders from
Attachments through Unread E-mail in the Name column to the immediate right
of the Navigation pane. To open the contents of one of these virtual folders such
as the Recent E-mail or Unread E-mail, double-click its folder icon. Note that you
can also use the Search pane to filter the contents of any of these virtual folders
by selecting the button representing just the kinds of file you want listed.
Notable differences in the Vista Windows Explorer
When you first open a folder such as Documents or Computer in Vista, you
immediately notice a big difference between the layout of its Windows Explorer
and that of earlier Windows versions such as Windows XP. For one thing, in
Vista, the Navigation pane on the left contains only Favorite Links in place of the
usual File and Folder and Other Places links of XP. For another, the address bar
in Vista now appears on top of the Standard Buttons toolbar (which doesn’t contain any of the standard buttons!). You also don’t see a menu bar in any of the
windows unless you click Organize 䉴 Layout 䉴 Menu Bar or press the Alt key.
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Finally, in Vista, Windows Explorer contains a fourth pane, the Details pane, that
appears at the very bottom of the window.
Pressing the Alt key when one of these windows is open acts like a toggle switch:
The first time you press it, Vista displays the menu bar; the second time you
press it, Vista hides the menu bar display.
In addition, you have the option to display two more new panes in Vista: a
Search pane, which appears immediately below the address bar and enables you
to quickly filter the contents of any open folder, and a Reader pane, which
appears on the right side of the Explorer window and shows you a large thumbnail of the currently selected folder or file.
Don’t forget that you can manipulate the size of the Navigation pane and Details
pane (when this pane is displayed) in the Vista Windows Explorer by positioning
the mouse pointer anywhere on the edge of the pane that abuts the central display of the subfolders and files in the open folder. When the pointer becomes a
two-headed arrow, drag the mouse to the left or right (or up and down in the
case of the Details pane) to make the pane smaller or larger.
The Navigation pane
When you first open Windows Explorer, the Navigation pane contains only the
Favorite Links Documents, Pictures, and Music along with the Recently Changed
and Searches links to its virtual folders. To display the contents of any of the
three main folders — Documents, Pictures, or Music — you simply click its link
in the Favorite Links area. Vista then displays a complete listing of all the folders
and files this folder contains to the right of the Navigation pane in the main part
of Windows Explorer.
When, however, you need to display the contents of a folder other than the three
main and two virtual listed in Favorite Links section of the Navigation pane, you
have to remember to click the Folders button, the one with the triangle pointing
upward at the bottom of this pane.
Clicking the Folders button displays a hierarchical listing of all the different components and folders on your computer (see Figure 1-8). You can then switch to a
new component on your system such as the Desktop, Control Panel, or Recycle
Bin or to open a new folder such as Downloads, Favorites, or Searches by clicking
its icon on this list. When you do, Vista displays the contents of the component
or folder you selected in the main part of Windows Explorer.
You can easily expand or collapse this hierarchical list of folders in the
Navigation pane. To expand a folder by displaying its subfolders indented and
underneath it, click the open triangle pointing to the right in front of the folder’s
icon and name. To contract a folder by removing the display of all its subfolders,
click the black triangle pointing downward to the right at a 45-degree angle.
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Figure 1-8
The standard buttons on the toolbar
When you open Windows Explorer either by clicking the Windows Explorer or
Documents link on the Start menu, the toolbar may contain a variety of buttons,
depending on whether you’ve selected individual folder or file icons that are displayed in the open Windows Explorer window. These buttons can include
⻬ Organize button opens a drop-down menu with options that perform
common folder and file tasks including New Folder, Cut, Copy, or Paste,
Select All (to select the items in the current window), Delete, and Rename
along with a Layout option that enables you to display the Classic pulldown menus and to control which panes are displayed and hidden in the
Explorer. A Properties option opens the Properties dialog box (to turn on
and off sharing, revert to earlier versions, and to customize the default
appearance of its icons) and a Close item that closes the window (just like
clicking the red Close button in the window’s upper-right corner).
⻬ Views button changes the way that the file and folders in the current
window are displayed by selecting the next view option (Extra Large Icons,
Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, List, Details, and Tiles) — click its
drop-down button to display a slider that enables you to try out different
sizes in each of these views before selecting the one you want.
⻬ Open button to open the currently selected file with the XPS (XML Paper
Specification) Document Viewer or the application program that created it.
⻬ Explore button to open the currently selected folder and display its
contents.
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⻬ E-mail button to open a new mail message in the default e-mail program
with the selected file or files (if a folder icon is selected) as attachments to
the new message.
⻬ Share button to open the File Sharing dialog box, where you can designate
the people on the network with whom you want to share the computer’s
files.
⻬ Burn button to copy the items selected in the Explorer to a temporary
folder from which you can then burn them to a CD or DVD disc.
When you open Windows Explorer by clicking the Computer link in the Start
menu or by clicking Computer in the Folders section of the Navigation pane after
opening the Documents Explorer, the toolbar contains the standard Organize and
Views buttons. In addition, this toolbar also includes the following buttons when
one of the hard drives or a network drive on your system is selected:
⻬ Properties button to open the General tab of a Properties dialog box for
the selected drive. The General tab enables you to change the drive’s
name, view the amount of used and free space on the drive, compress it,
and index the folders and files on it for faster searching. In addition, this
dialog box contains tabs with options for customizing and sharing the
drive on a network, among other things.
⻬ System Properties button to open a new System window that displays
basic system information about your computer including its microprocessor, the amount of memory, version of Windows Vista installed as well as
the computer’s name, and its domain or workgroup on a network and the
Vista product ID.
⻬ Uninstall or Change a Program button to replace the Computer Explorer
window with the Programs and Features Control Panel window, where you
can remove a program you’ve installed or modify its installation (either by
adding components or reinstalling them).
⻬ Map Network Drive button to open the Map Network Drive dialog box,
where you can assign a drive letter to a folder located on a physical drive
of a network computer (to which you have access). You can then use the
mapped drive letter to open that network folder from the Computer
window in Windows Vista.
If you click the icon for a removable storage drive such as a CD or DVD disc
drive installed on your computer system, the following three additional buttons
appear on the toolbar:
⻬ AutoPlay button to begin playing the setup or multimedia files on the CD
or DVD disc you’ve inserted into the selected removable drive (on the odd
occasion when Vista doesn’t automatically start playing them right after
inserting the disc).
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⻬ Eject This Disk button to have Vista open the CD or DVD disc drive so that
you can either remove the current disc or insert a new disc to play or
record to.
⻬ Burn to Disc button to open the Burn to Disc Wizard, which takes you
through the steps of burning selected folders and files to the CD or DVD
disc. Note that for this to work, your computer must be equipped with a
drive that is capable not only of reading but also of burning files, and a disc
of the correct type that is either blank or is re-recordable and has sufficient
room for all the files and folders you select.
Remember that a continuation button (>>) automatically appears on the toolbar
if the screen resolution is too large and the current size of the Windows Explorer
window too small to display all the buttons on the toolbar. In that case, click the
continuation button to display a drop-down menu with the missing options that
don’t currently fit.
Taking a good look at the Views
You have to admit that earlier versions of Windows such as XP did an excellent
job of hiding the Views button that you use to change the appearance of the icons
of the subfolders and files contained in the folder currently open in Windows
Explorer (this unmarked button at the right end of the Standard Buttons toolbar
uses a static icon with a dialog box with rows of tiny colored rectangles that just
doesn’t do a very good job of indicating its function). Contrast this to the Views
button in the Vista Windows Explorer that always appears as the second button
right after Organize on the toolbar, is clearly marked Views, and dynamically
changes its icon to reflect the currently selected view.
In addition, clicking the drop-down button attached to the Vista Views button
displays a slider rather than a static drop-down menu of options in XP. You can
then use this slider not only to select a new look for your folders and files (in
Vista, you have a choice between Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons,
Small Icons, List, Details, and Tiles), but also, when settling on one of the Icons
selections, you can use the slider to dynamically opt for sizes in between the
actual preset Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, and Small Icons
sizes.
Keep in mind that you can cycle through four of the seven preset views (Extra
Large Icons, List, Details, and Tiles) by repeatedly clicking the Views button
without having to even open the slider. Each time you click the Views button to
select the next preset, Vista also updates the icon on the Views button itself to
reflect the new view you’ve selected.
Also, remember that you can sort the subfolders and files displayed in the open
folder in Windows Explorer by using any of the column headings listed at the
top of the area containing their icons regardless of what view you select
(although it’s only when you select the Details view that the folder and file info
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only line up with these column headings). To reorder the icons, click the column
heading or field. Click one time to sort the folders and files in ascending order
(from A to Z alphabetically, smallest to largest, or least recent to most recent)
and a second time to sort them in descending order (Z to A, largest to smallest,
or most recent to least recent).
Using the address bar
In Windows Vista, the address bar that keeps you abreast of the path of the
folder whose contents is currently displayed in Windows Explorer is not only at
the top of the window above the toolbar (in XP, it’s located immediately below
the Standard Buttons toolbar), but this bar is also flanked on the right by a
Search text box with its own More Search Options button and with Back,
Forward, and Recent Pages buttons on the left.
In Windows XP, the Back and Forward buttons are part of Standard Buttons toolbar along with an Up button, which is totally absent in Vista. Rather than the
Up button (to move up a level in the navigation hierarchy), Vista gives you a
Recent Pages drop-down button (the blue triangle pointing downward). When
you click this button, Vista displays a drop-down menu showing you all the folders you opened both before and after opening the current folder. To redisplay
the contents of a particular you folder you visited, just click its name on this
drop-down menu.
One really big difference between the address bar in Vista and that in Windows
XP is the way in which the current folder path is displayed on the bar. In place of
the backslash (\) separators and the all-squished-together-with-no-spaces pathname, Vista employs black right-pointing triangles (䉴) with plenty of space in
between the different folder names that make up the path. Moreover, the Vista
pathname begins with your username rather than the drive letter.
If you select the wrong folder as you’re building the path by opening subfolders
at lower levels in the file hierarchy, you can back up a level and select another
folder on that level by clicking the right-pointing triangle immediately in front of
the folder you selected by mistake. Vista then displays a drop-down menu with
the names of all the folders at that level and you can select the correct one by
clicking its name on this list.
If the path is too long to display all its components on the address bar, a <<
button appears at the beginning of the pathname. Click this button to display a
drop-down menu that lists all individual folders and subfolders in the hierarchical path in the top portion of the menu from the folder immediately above to the
Windows desktop. The bottom portion of this drop-down menu lists other folders (from your personal folder to the Recycle Bin) on your computer that you
can open by clicking their names.
Just like the address bar in the Windows XP Explorer Window, the one in the
Vista Explorer Window contains a drop-down button that that enables you to
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select the paths of previously opened folders from a drop-down menu. Surprise
of surprises, clicking this drop-down button immediately converts the Vista path
separated by black triangles into the old backslash-separated and mushedtogether pathname of Windows XP. That’s the way that all the paths to all the
previously opened folders on the drop-down menu appear as well!
However, the moment that you click one of the old-fashioned mushed-together
pathnames on this drop-down menu, Vista immediately converts it back into the
new-fangled path separated by right-pointing black triangles.
For example, suppose earlier in my work session, I opened the Program Files
folder on my computer’s local hard drive, given the designation Local Disk (C:),
and I now want to reopen it in Windows Explorer. When I click the address bar’s
drop-down button, this path appears on the drop-down menu:
C:\Program Files
However, as soon I click the C:\Program Files item on this pull-down menu, Vista
opens this folder and displays the following path on Windows Explorer’s
address bar following an initial folder icon:
䉴 Computer 䉴 Local Disk (C:) 䉴 Program Files 䉴
Note how the new Vista pathname designations with the right-pointing triangles
are more accurate than the old ones in describing the actual process you followed to open the current folder. In the previous example, I actually selected the
Computer link on the Start menu followed by double-clicking the Local Disk (C:)
icon in the Computer window and the Program Files folder icon. The older designations with the backslashes are, however, more accurate in describing the
actual location of the folder in the computer’s hierarchy of directories and files.
Making the most of the Details pane
The Details pane at the bottom of the window gives you extra information about
the folder or file that’s currently selected in the main section of Windows
Explorer. When a folder is selected, the categories of this information can
include the folder name, number of files, and the date the folder was last modified. When a file is selected, the categories of the information can include the
filename, size, type, date created, date last modified, and date last accessed, as
well as any keywords that you’ve assigned to the file such as title, authors, and
rating. In the case of graphic files and Excel workbook files, Vista also automatically displays a tiny thumbnail of the image or initial worksheet on the left side
of the Details pane (see Figure 1-9).
Sometimes you need to enlarge the size of the window to display all the categories and information about the file currently selected in the Details pane.
Remember that you can also increase the height of the Details pane by dragging
its top border upward.
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Figure 1-9
The information displayed in the Details pane can be quite helpful in identifying
a folder or file for use. Moreover, the tags, ratings, and keywords assigned to
particular files can be used in doing searches for the file. (See “Search” later in
this part).
Vista enables you to add tags and edit keywords that you can assign to a file
directly from the Details pane. After clicking the file icon in Windows Explorer to
select it, you then position the mouse pointer over the category in the Details
pane and then, when an outline appears around the current entry and the pointer
becomes an I-beam shape, click the insertion point in the field and type the new
tag or keyword or edit its contents. Depending upon the type of file (text, graphic
image, audio, or video), you are able to edit various fields on this tab.
After you add or edit a tag, you then need to click the Save button that appears
the moment you set the insertion point in one of the fields to save the new data
as part of the file. Click the Cancel button if you decide not to add the tag or
save the editing change.
When you select a music or graphics file, you can give the file a rating between
one and five stars by clicking the star (from left to the right) that represents the
highest star you want to give it.
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Displaying the Search pane and Preview pane
Vista’s version of Windows Explorer offers you the use of two extra panes that
aren’t normally displayed in the window. These are the Search pane (see
“Search” later in this part), which appears immediately beneath the address bar
when displayed (by clicking Organize 䉴 Layout 䉴 Search Pane) and the Preview
pane, which appears on the right side of the window when displayed (by clicking Organize 䉴 Layout 䉴 Preview Pane).
Figure 1-10 shows Windows Explorer with all its auxiliary panes — Navigation,
Search, Details, and Preview — displayed. Because I selected one of the chapter
files created in Microsoft Word in an open folder, the Preview pane in this figure
displays the first part of the actual document text.
Figure 1-10
Note that when you select a Microsoft Excel workbook file, the Preview pane displays the first part of the initial worksheet. So too, when you select a graphics
file, the Preview pane displays a larger version of the graphic image. When you
select a folder rather than a file icon, the Preview pane displays a large semiopen folder on its side with its best representation of the types of documents it
contains (assuming the folder’s not empty).
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Moreover, when you select a video clip or a movie file (perhaps created with
Windows Movie Maker — see Part 7) in Windows Explorer, the Preview pane
displays the first frame of the video file with a video controller beneath complete with Stop, Play/Pause, and Switch to Full Mode buttons that you can use
to actually preview the video from start to finish if you so desire.
Likewise, when you select an audio file in Windows Explorer, the Preview pane
displays a stock image of a multimedia file (including a music file above the same
controller with its Stop, Play/Pause, and Switch to Full Mode buttons). You can
then use the Play/Pause button to play the selected audio file from the Preview
pane.
Click the Switch to Full Mode button in the Preview pane if you want to listen
to the selected video or audio file in a separate Windows Media Player window.
Doing this gives you access to the full array of playback features of this muchimproved media player application (see “Windows Media Player 11” in Part 7
for details).
Restoring the Classic pull-down menus to Windows Explorer
If you’re anything like me, in your time working with earlier versions of Windows
such as 98, ME, and XP, you’ve come to rely upon the so-called Classic pull-down
menus in the Explorer Window and, to a lesser extent, the ordering and arrangement of items on the Start menu that you now know so well. Fortunately, you
can easily restore some of the good old classic look and feel of bygone Windows
versions to Vista anytime you want to.
By far the most important classic element to know how to restore to Vista is the
display of the Classic pull-down menus (File, Edit, View, Tools, and Help) in the
Windows Explorer windows. To bring back these very valuable (and in rare
cases indispensable) menus to all your Explorer windows, click Organize 䉴
Folder and Search Options to open the Folder Options dialog box. There, click
the View tab and then select the Always Show Menus check box at the top of the
Advanced Settings list box before you click OK. After this check box is selected,
these pull-down menus automatically appear on their own row between the
address bar and the toolbar in every Windows Explorer window you open
(including windows opened by clicking the Computer, Network, and Control
Panel links on the Start menu).
You can also restore the Classic pull-down menus to your Explorer windows by
pressing the Alt key one time. Press the Alt key a second time to once again hide
the menus.
Restoring the Classic Windows Start menu
Although I personally do not prefer the rather sloppy cascading submenu
arrangement of the Start menu in older Windows versions, preferring instead
the tidy new self-contained Start menu of Vista, you can, if you want, return
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quite readily to the tried-and-true Start menu of your mother’s Windows. (After
all, the Classic Start menu does include a Run option immediately above the old
familiar Shut Down option.)
To make the switch back, right-click the Start button and then click Properties
on its shortcut menu to open the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box
with its Start Menu tab selected. On this tab, you click the Classic Start Menu
option button and then click OK.
Note, however, that when you first switch back to the Classic Start menu in
Vista, this menu does not resemble so much the Windows XP Start menu as it
hearkens back to an even earlier vintage, more like the Start menu of Windows
98 (now that takes me back a bit).
You can however, customize the look and feel of the Classic Start menu. One way
to do this is to click the Default Programs option that now appears at the very
top of the Start menu and then click the Set Your Default Programs link in the
Default Programs Control Panel window. You can then select the programs such
as Internet Explorer, Windows Mail, and the like that you always want to appear
on the Start menu.
The other way to customize the Classic Start menu is to reopen its Properties
dialog box and then click its Customize button on the Start Menu tab to open the
Customize Classic Start Menu dialog box. There, you can use Add, Remove, and
Sort buttons as well as the check boxes in the Advanced Start Menu Options list
box to customize what items do and don’t appear on the menu and in what order.
Getting rid of the Vista glassiness
Let’s face it: You either love the shiny new Aero Glass look of Windows Vista or
you find it to be totally distracting and a big waste of your precious computer
resources. If you happen to hold the latter opinion, follow these steps to get rid
of the ritzy glassy look and go back to the old clunky opaque view of yesteryear:
1. Right-click anywhere on the Vista desktop and then click the Personalize
item on its shortcut menu.
2. Click the Window Color and Appearance link in the Personalization
Control Panel window.
3. Click the Open Classic Appearance Properties for More Color Options link
at the bottom of the Window Color and Appearance Control Panel window.
4. Click the Windows Classic selection in the Color Scheme list box and then
click OK.
And that’s all there is to it: Vista fades to black. When the screen comes back up,
in place of all that glittery, semitransparent taskbar and windows nonsense,
every Vista screen now has a thick-as-mud look and feel that would do Windows
95 proud!
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Just click the Enable Transparency check box in the Window Color and
Appearance Control Panel window to remove its check mark if you’re happy
with the default Windows Vista color scheme and only want to get rid of the
transparency effects.
Adopting a Classic view of the Control Panel
Finally, you may find the default look of the Vista Control Panel (which is, fortunately a little less sparse than the Category View of the Windows XP Control
Panel) not to your liking. Switching back to the display of rows of individual
Control Panel icons (in alphabetical order from Add Hardware through Windows
Update) is really simple.
Click the Control Panel link on the Start menu and then click the Classic View
link in its Navigation pane immediately beneath Control Panel Home. Just
remember that when the Control Panel is in Classic View, you must double-click
the Control Panel icon whose settings you want to modify in order to open its
dialog box.
Click the Control Panel Home link in the Navigation pane to return to the default
category display.
Things that haven’t changed a bit
Although it may seem as though quite a bit of the user interface is radically different, you’ll be glad to know that many, many of the ways of doing things in
Windows Vista have remained the same. Here’s a short list of such things to give
you an idea of just how much you already know how to do:
⻬ You still move a window by dragging it by its title bar (which is a bit easier
given the larger size in Vista) and minimize, maximize, and close windows
with these buttons in the upper-right corner.
⻬ You still resize windows by dragging one of their side borders or corners.
⻬ All items still have shortcut menus associated with them that are opened
by right-clicking them.
⻬ All your common shortcut keystrokes such as Ctrl+C (for Copy), Ctrl+X (for
Cut), Ctrl+V (for Paste), Ctrl+Z (Undo) as well as Alt+← for Back, Alt+→ for
Forward, Alt+F4 for Close Current Window (or shut down Vista if all windows are closed) still work just as before.
⻬ You can still modify the desktop by selecting a new desktop background
image, screen saver, as well as add standard desktop icons (such as
Documents, Computer, and Internet Explorer) if you don’t like having
to choose them from the Start menu — right-click the desktop and then
click Personalize on its shortcut menu to open the Personalization Control
Panel window.
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⻬ You can still map folders located on your network to virtual drive letters
(up to Z just as long as they don’t duplicate drive letters already assigned
to physical devices connected to the machine) that appear each time you
log on to the computer — just choose Tools➪Map Network Drive when the
Classic menus are displayed in Windows.
⻬ You can still add desktop shortcuts for any item (drive, program, folder, or
file) on your computer, network, or the Internet that you can then open by
double-clicking — see “Displaying additional desktop icons” later in this
part for details.
Flip and Flip 3D
When you have many windows open in Vista, the Flip and Flip 3D (also known as
the Window Switcher) features provide you with two quick methods for activating the window you want to work by displaying it on the top of the others.
To use the Flip feature, hold down Alt+Tab. Vista displays a band in the middle of
the desktop showing thumbnails of each open window in the order in which they
were opened (refer to Figure 1-3). To activate a new window, press Alt+Tab (or
hold down the Alt key as you press → or ←) until the thumbnail of that window
is highlighted and its name appears centered above in the band. Then release the
Alt key along with Tab or the left or right arrow key. To minimize all the open windows as buttons on the Vista taskbar, highlight the Desktop, Windows Explorer
thumbnail that appears as the last image on the right of the group.
To use the Flip 3D feature (refer to Figure 1-4), click the Switch between
Windows button (shown in left margin) on the Quick Launch toolbar. Vista
then dims the background of the desktop and displays all open windows in
3-D cascading arrangement. If your mouse is equipped with a center wheel,
you can then zip (and I mean zip) through the 3-D stack by turning the wheel
(forward to flip backward through the stack and backward to flip forward).
As soon as you’ve brought the image of the window you want to activate to the
front of the 3-D stack, click anywhere on the image. Vista then returns the desktop to normal, collapsing the 3-D stack while at the same time activating the
window you clicked by placing it on top. If your mouse doesn’t have a center
wheel, you can still select a window to activate by clicking the part of it that is
exposed in the 3-D stack.
When all the open windows in Vista are minimized as buttons on the taskbar —
as after clicking the Show Desktop button (shown in left margin) on the Quick
Launch toolbar — remember that you only need to position the mouse pointer
over each button to display a thumbnail of its window. Then when you see the
image of the window you want to activate, click its button on the taskbar to display it on the Vista desktop either full-screen or in its previous position and size.
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Personalize
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Personalize
Vista makes it easy for you to personalize your computer by selecting a new
desktop background image, a color scheme for the various Windows elements,
a screen saver to use when the computer has been idle for a certain period, as
well as the sound effects to play when different events take place.
The easiest way to open the Personalization window (see Figure 1-11) for changing these settings is by right-clicking anywhere on the desktop background and
then clicking Personalize at the bottom of the desktop’s shortcut menu.
Figure 1-11
Note that you can also open this dialog box through the Control Panel (Start 䉴
Control Panel) by first selecting the Appearance and Personalization link followed by the Personalization link, but this method requires a whole lot more
steps to do the same thing.
The options for customizing Vista in the Personalization window include
⻬ Window Color and Appearance to replace the Personalization window
with the Window Color and Appearance window (see Figure 1-12), where
you can select a new color and the amount of glassiness for the title bars of
windows, the Start menu, and taskbar. To select a Windows XP color
scheme, click the Open Classic Appearance Properties for More Options
link to open the Appearance Settings dialog box, where you then select or
customize one of its ready-made schemes.
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Figure 1-12
⻬ Desktop Background to replace the Personalization window with the
Desktop Background window (see Figure 1-13), where you can select a
new ready-made wallpaper image, select your own photo image as the
wallpaper (with the Browse button), change how the wallpaper image is
displayed on the desktop (Fit to Screen, Tile, or Center), or select a new
solid color for the background by clicking Solid Colors on the Picture
Location drop-down list.
⻬ Screen Saver to open the Screen Saver Settings dialog box, where you can
select a new screen saver to use, customize the amount of idle time before
the screen saver kicks in, and adjust your monitor and hard drive power
settings (by clicking the Change Power Settings link).
⻬ Sounds to open the Sounds dialog box, where you can assign new sounds
to different program events and save your new choices as a custom sound
scheme to reuse.
⻬ Mouse Pointers to open the Mouse Properties dialog box with the Pointers
tab selected, where you can select a new mouse pointer scheme (very
helpful if you suffer a vision impairment that makes it difficult to track the
normal mouse pointer), as well as customize what icons are used in various pointing situations.
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Search
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⻬ Theme to open the Theme Settings dialog box, where you can select a new
ready-made theme to use or save the changes you’ve made to the color
scheme, desktop background, screen saver, and sound effects (as
described below) as a new theme to reuse.
⻬ Display Settings to open the Display Settings dialog box, where you can
select a new monitor (if you have more than one connected to your computer) as well as new screen resolution and color-depth settings for the
monitor or monitors you have attached to your computer. Note that the
range of the resolution and color settings you have to choose from
depends on the capabilities of the monitor or monitors you have.
Figure 1-13
Search
The Search feature provides you an extremely efficient way to locate any program, folder, or file on your computer system. A Search text box appears in the
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upper-right corner of all the major Explorer windows — Computer, Documents,
Network, Control Panel, Pictures, Music, and the like — where it’s labeled
Search, and at the bottom of the Start menu, where it’s labeled Start Search.
Search immediately starts searching your computer system for matches to any
characters you enter into one of its search text boxes the moment you type
them. The feature not only automatically searches for matches in the names of
programs, drives, folders, files, and so on on your computer, but in the metadata
in files (that is, keywords you assign and statistics such as author, date modified, and so on that Windows and other programs automatically assign), and
even in text contained in document files.
Keep in mind that Search automatically searches all the indexed files on your
computer system for the characters you type into a search text box. If you only
want to search a particular drive or folder on your computer system, you need
to perform an advanced search by using the Search pane (see “Doing advanced
searches with the Search pane” later in this part).
Figure 1-14 illustrates this point. This figure shows the results in a Search
Results in Indexed Locations window (opened by clicking Search on the Start
menu) after conducting a search for the term blue. Note that Vista not only finds
all the files whose filenames contain the word blue, but also several Excel workbook files whose spreadsheets contain references to blueberry muffins. It even
finds a Word document named Hidden Gems of Wisdom whose text contains a
reference to a precious blue gem.
Figure 1-14
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Search
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Adding tags for searches
Because Search automatically searches the metadata added to your files, you can
make these searches much more effective by adding your own tags, including keywords and other types of search data, whenever possible.
When creating documents with application programs such as Microsoft Word or
Excel, you can add all kind of your own metadata tags including subject, category,
keywords, and comments by opening the document in the program and then
selecting the Summary tab of its Properties dialog box (File➪Properties). In a
program such as Adobe Reader 7, you can add keywords by opening the PDF file
and then selecting the Description tab of the Document Properties dialog box
(File➪Document Properties).
For media files on your computer (music, video, and photos and other graphic
images), Vista actually enables you to add tags in the Preview pane that appears
along the bottom of Music, Videos, and Pictures Explorer windows. To add tags
to one of these media files, all you have to do is select the file in its Explorer
window, and then add the desired tags to the appropriate fields on the Details
tab pane.
Music, video, and graphic media files also enable you to specify other metadata
tags on the Details tab of their Properties dialog boxes such as titles, dates and
time taken, and a rating between one and five stars (by clicking the appropriate
star).
Doing advanced searches with the Search pane
Most of the time, you only need to perform simple searches in order to find the
item you’re looking for. Vista does, however, provide an Advanced Search button
on the right side of the Search pane that you can display in any Windows
Explorer window (Organize 䉴 Layout 䉴 Search pane). When you click the
Advanced Search button, Vista expands the Search pane (see Figure 1-15) by
adding the following options you can use in a search:
⻬ Location drop-down list box to select a particular drive on your computer
to search
⻬ Date drop-down list box to search for documents by the Date Modified,
Date Created, or Date Accessed (selected on the Date drop-down list) that
you specify in its text box, using the criteria you select on its Any dropdown list box (Is, Is Before, or Is After)
⻬ Size (KB) drop-down list box to search for documents by the file size that
you enter in the text box, using the criteria you select on its Any dropdown list box (Equals, Is Less Than, or Is Greater Than)
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⻬ Name text box to search for a document by its filename by entering all or
part of the filename in this text box — you can use the asterisk (*) to stand
for one or more wild-card characters in the filename and a question mark
(?) to stand for individual wild-card characters
⻬ Tags text box to search for a document by the tags assigned to it by enter-
ing one or more of them into this text box
⻬ Authors text box to search for documents by a particular author whose
name is entered in this text box
Figure 1-15
When creating searches in the Advanced Search pane, keep in mind that all the
conditions you specify with the Location, Date, Size (KB), Filename, Tags, and
Authors options are inclusive so that all their conditions must be met in order
for the types of files you’ve specified to be returned to your Search Results
window.
Saving search results in a search folder
Instead of having to go through the whole rigmarole of reentering the same
search criteria each time you want to find the same types of items on your computer, you can save the results of your search as a search folder. That way, you
have access to the items simply by opening the search folder after selecting the
Searches link in a Windows Explorer window.
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Sidebar and Gadgets
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To save your search results as search folder, follow these steps:
1. Click the Save Search button on Windows Explorer or Search window’s
toolbar.
Vista opens a Save As dialog box where you specify the name and description for your new virtual folder.
2. (Optional) Add additional author names to the folder by clicking Authors
and entering them, or add tags that identify the search folder and can be
used in searching for it by clicking the Add a Tag text in the Tags field.
3. Click the Save button to create your search folder and close the Save As
dialog box.
After saving your search results as a search folder, Vista automatically re-creates
the search criteria, performs the Search, and then displays the same results
each time you select the folder in a Windows Explorer window.
Vista automatically saves your search folder as part of the Searches virtual
folder so that all you have to do to find your search folder and open up it up
again is to click the Searches link near the top of the Navigation pane in your
Windows Explorer window and then double-click its search folder icon.
Sidebar and Gadgets
Sidebar and gadgets are the names given to a new Vista’s desktop feature that
gives you instant access to volatile information such as the current time,
weather, stock quotes, and the like. The Sidebar is the name of the pane —
appearing either on the right or left side of your computer’s desktop — that contains the gadgets, the name given to the specialized miniapplications that give
you the up-to-date information.
Figure 1-16 shows you my desktop with the Search All Gadgets window displayed (see “Adding new gadgets to your Sidebar” later in this part) and the
Sidebar itself appearing on the right side of the computer’s desktop (its default
position). This Sidebar is running the three default gadgets that automatically
install with Windows Vista:
⻬ Clock, which shows an analog clock with the current time for any time
zone you select.
⻬ Slide Show, which displays a continuous slideshow of the images that you
have stored in your Pictures folder.
⻬ Feed Headlines, which shows you headlines for the RSS you select. (See
“Internet Explorer 7” in Part 4 for details on RSS feeds and how to subscribe
to them.)
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Figure 1-16
Changing where and how the Sidebar appears
To display the Sidebar on the left side of your computer’s desktop or to make
sure that it always appears on the top of other windows you have open on the
desktop, you need to open the Windows Sidebar Properties dialog box. The easiest way to do this is by right-clicking somewhere in the Sidebar area on the right
side of the screen (but outside any of the gadgets) and then clicking Properties
on the Sidebar’s shortcut menu.
To have Vista display the Sidebar on the left side of the screen, click the Left
option button — just keep in mind that opening of the Start menu may overlap
some of the gadgets when the Sidebar is displayed on the left side of the screen.
To have Vista display the Sidebar on top of all open windows on the desktop, click
the Sidebar is Always on Top of Other Windows check box before clicking OK.
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Note that when you do elect to have Vista display the Sidebar on the left side of
the screen and display the Sidebar on top of all other windows, Vista makes sure
that none of its gadgets obscure the Recycle Bin (and any other desktop icons
you add) by automatically offsetting such desktop icons to the right, out of the
way of the Sidebar. Vista also ensures that none of its gadgets obscure any items
on the Start menu by always displaying the Start menu on top of the Sidebar
when the Sidebar appears on the left side of the screen.
If you have more than one monitor connected to your computer, you can select
the monitor on which the Sidebar is displayed as well. To switch the Sidebar to a
new monitor, open the Windows Sidebar Properties dialog box and then select the
number of the monitor in the Display Sidebar on Monitor drop-down list box.
If you don’t know the number of the monitor on which you want the Sidebar
displayed, right-click the desktop. On the shortcut menu that appears, click
Personalize, followed by the Display Settings link in the Personalization Control
Panel window to open the Display Settings dialog box. Then click the Identify
Monitors button to find out the number of each monitor connected to your
computer.
Hiding or eliminating the Sidebar
If you want to temporarily hide the Sidebar and all its gadgets, right-click anywhere on the Sidebar outside of its gadgets and then click Close Sidebar on the
shortcut menu.
To redisplay the hidden Sidebar, click the Windows Sidebar icon (the blue icon
that at first glance looks like an old TV set) in the Notification area of the
Windows taskbar.
If you want to get rid of the Sidebar on a more-or-less permanent basis, open the
Windows Sidebar Properties dialog box by right-clicking somewhere on the
Sidebar (outside of the gadgets) and then click Properties on its shortcut menu.
Then click the Start Sidebar When Windows Starts check box to remove its
check mark before you click OK. Doing this prevents Vista from starting up the
hidden Sidebar the next time you boot up your computer.
You can also open the Windows Sidebar Properties dialog box by clicking Start
䉴 Control Panel 䉴 Appearance and Personalization 䉴 Windows Sidebar Properties.
Adding new gadgets to your Sidebar
You can easily add gadgets to the few that are initially displayed on the Sidebar
when you first install Windows Vista. Not only can you select new gadgets from
among those that are automatically shipped with the Vista operating system
(but just not displayed on the Sidebar), but you can always download gadgets
from an ever-expanding online library.
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To add gadgets to the Sidebar from among those that are included with
Windows Vista, follow these steps:
1. Click the plus sign (+) that appears at the top of the Sidebar or right-click
somewhere on the Sidebar outside of any gadgets, and then click Add
Gadgets on the shortcut menu.
Vista opens the Gadget Gallery window that displays all the gadgets on
your computer similar to the one shown in Figure 1-16.
2. Click the Show Details link to expand the dialog box before you click the
thumbnail of the gadget you’re interested in adding to the Sidebar.
The Details pane of the Gadgets Gallery window displays a brief description of the purpose of the gadget whose thumbnail you click.
3. When you locate a gadget you want to add to the Sidebar, drag its thumb-
nail to the Sidebar or double-click its thumbnail or right-click it and then
click Add on its shortcut menu.
When you double-click the thumbnail or right-click and click Add, Vista then
immediately adds the gadget you selected to the top of the Sidebar, moving all
the existing gadgets down one. Note, however, that you can reorder any of the
gadgets displayed on the Sidebar by dragging them to a new position.
To download more gadgets from the Internet, open the Gadgets Gallery window
as outlined in the previous steps and then click the Get More Gadgets Online link.
Vista then opens the Microsoft Gadgets Web page in the Internet Explorer. This
page offers not only gadget news and instructions on how to download new gadgets, but also information how to build your own gadgets, if you’re so inclined.
To remove a gadget from the Sidebar, position the mouse pointer in the upperright corner of the gadget you want to remove and then click the X that appears.
Note that removing a gadget from the Sidebar does not delete it from your
computer — to do that, you need to open the Search All Gadgets window, and
then right-click the gadget’s thumbnail and click Uninstall on its shortcut menu.
To restore a gadget that you’ve removed from the Sidebar, just repeat the previous steps for adding a new gadget.
Customizing the contents of a gadget
Many of the gadgets you add to the Sidebar are generic and need to be customized. For example, you can customize the Clock gadget by selecting a new
clock face, giving it a name, and selecting a time zone other than your own (this
analog clock automatically displays the same time as the digital time display in
the Notification area of the Vista taskbar). You also need to customize the Feed
Headlines gadget so that it displays headlines for a particular RSS feed to which
you’ve subscribed (see “Internet Explorer 7” in Part 4 for details on how to subscribe to an RSS feed).
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To customize the contents of a gadget, position the mouse pointer in the upperright corner of the gadget and then click the wrench icon that appears immediately beneath the X. Alternatively, you can also right-click its icon on the Sidebar
and then click Options on the gadget’s shortcut menu. Vista then opens a dialog
box specific to the gadget that enables you to customize its display.
For example, if you open the settings dialog box for the Clock gadget, you can
then select a new clock face by clicking the button with 䉴 symbol, and entering
a clock name (such as London or Beijing that then appears on the face of the
clock) in the Clock Name text box. Next, select the appropriate time zone for the
clock in the Time Zone drop-down list box. In addition, this dialog box contains
a Show the Second Hand check box that you select if you want the Clock gadget
to display a moving red second hand.
Changing the opacity of a gadget
In addition to customizing what information appears in the gadget (as in the RSS
feed headlines shown in the Feed Headlines gadget), you can also customize the
overall opacity of the gadget. Any gadget you add to the Sidebar is automatically
displayed at 100% opacity (making it as opaque and non-see-through as possible). You can, however, lighten up any of your gadgets, thereby making them
more see-through by changing the gadget’s opacity.
To modify the opacity of a gadget, right-click the gadget and then highlight
Opacity on its shortcut menu. Doing this displays a submenu where you click
the new opacity percentage you want to use (20%, 40%, 60%, or 80%). The lower
the percentage, the more transparent the gadget is.
Detaching a gadget from the Sidebar and freely moving it
around the desktop
Finally, Vista enables you to customize any gadget on the Sidebar by completely
detaching it from the Sidebar. This makes it possible for you to then drag the
gadget to any position you want on the entire desktop (to move a detached
gadget, you just drag its icon around the desktop like you would any other desktop icon or title bar of any open window).
To detach a gadget, position the mouse pointer in the upper-right corner of the
gadget and then drag the gadget off of the Sidebar to a new position on the desktop by using the handle that appears beneath the wrench. (This handle looks
like eight tiny white dots in two columns.)
You can also detach a gadget by right-clicking the gadget and then clicking
Detach from Sidebar on its shortcut menu. Vista then immediately redisplays the
gadget on the desktop off to the side of the Sidebar. You are then free to drag
the gadget to a new position on the desktop.
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If you decide you no longer want a gadget to be free-floating on the desktop, you
can easily reattach it to the Sidebar by dragging it to the Sidebar and then dropping it into the position where you want it to appear.
Note that if you add a new gadget when the Sidebar is hidden, Vista automatically adds it as a detached gadget that you can immediately drag to the desired
position on the desktop.
Vista Desktop
The Vista desktop consists of the taskbar (see “Vista Taskbar” immediately following) that appears along the bottom of the screen, a background image (or
color) that fills the rest of the screen (see “Personalize” earlier in this part), the
Sidebar with its gadgets on the right side of the screen (see “Sidebar and
Gadgets” earlier in this part), and whatever desktop icons and desktop shortcuts you then choose to place on this background.
In keeping with Vista’s open and spacious Aero Glass design (see “Aero Glass
Interface” earlier in this part), the Windows desktop starts out with just a single
Recycle Bin desktop icon (where you drop any files, folders, and desktop shortcuts you want delete from the system).
Displaying additional desktop icons
In addition to the Recycle Bin icon, you can add the following icons to your Vista
desktop:
⻬ Computer to open your Computer window (same as choosing Start 䉴
Computer from the taskbar), which shows all the drives and components
connected to your computer (including virtual drives that you’ve mapped
onto a drive letter).
⻬ User’s Files to open your Documents window (same as choosing Start 䉴
Documents from the taskbar), which shows all the document files on your
computer. (See “Windows Explorer” in Part 2.)
⻬ Network to open the Network window (same as choosing Start 䉴 Network),
which shows all the computers on your local area network. (See Part 3.)
⻬ Internet Explorer to launch the Internet Explorer 7 (same as choosing
Start 䉴 Internet Explorer), which you use to browse the Web. (See
“Internet Explorer 7” in Part 4.)
⻬ Control Panel to open the Control Panel window (same as Start 䉴 Control
Panel), which enables you to customize all sorts of computer settings. (See
“Control Panel” in Part 5.)
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To add any or all of these desktop icons, follow these steps:
1. Right-click somewhere on the desktop background (outside of any icon)
and then click Personalize on the shortcut menu.
2. Click the Change Desktop Icons link in the Navigation pane of the
Personalization window to open the Desktop Icon Settings dialog box.
3. Click the check boxes for all the desktop icons (Computer through
Control Panel) you want to appear on the Vista desktop.
4. Click OK to close the Desktop Icon Settings dialog box and then click the
Close button in the upper-right corner of the Personalization window.
After adding a desktop icon to the Vista desktop, you can open its window by
double-clicking the icon or right-clicking it and then selecting Open on its shortcut menu.
Creating desktop shortcuts
You can create desktop shortcuts to launch application programs you’ve
installed as well as to open drives, folders, and documents on your computer
system, and Web pages on the Internet.
To create a desktop shortcut, you need to do just two things:
⻬ Locate the icon for the program, drive, folder, or document for which you
want to create the shortcut on the Start menu or in the Computer, Network,
or Documents window. (To create a shortcut to a Web page, open the page in
the Internet Explorer.)
⻬ Right-click the program, drive, folder, or document icon and then select
Send To 䉴 Desktop (Create Shortcut) on the icon’s shortcut menu. (In the
case of a Web page, choose File 䉴 Send 䉴 Shortcut to Desktop on the
Internet Explorer’s pull-down menu when the Classic menus are displayed.)
Note that to create a desktop shortcut to a drive on your computer system, you
must choose the Create Shortcut item on its shortcut menu (there is no Send To
item).
You can also use a Wizard to create a desktop shortcut by following these few
steps:
1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop outside of an existing desktop item
and then choose New 䉴 Shortcut on the shortcut menu.
2. Enter the location of the item to which you want to create the shortcut
either by entering its path and filename or URL (Web) address or by clicking
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the Browse button and locating the item in the Browse for Files or Folders
dialog box before you click OK.
3. Click the Next button and then, if you want, edit the name for the shortcut
in the Type a Name for This Shortcut text box before you click Finish.
After creating a desktop shortcut, you can open the program, drive, folder, document, or Web page associated with it by double-clicking the shortcut icon or by
right-clicking it and then clicking Open on its shortcut menu.
Use the options on the View desktop shortcut menu to change the size of all
desktop icons, to remove automatic arrangement of the icons and alignment to
an invisible grid, as well as to temporarily remove the display of all icons. Use
the options (Name, Size, Type, and Date Modified) on the Sort By desktop shortcut menu to change the order in which your desktop shortcuts appear in
columns across the desktop.
Vista Taskbar
The taskbar is your constant companion in Windows Vista. No matter where you
go or what you do, the taskbar and the buttons of the various toolbars continue
to be displayed along the bottom of the screen. That way, you have access to all
those features no matter whether you’re writing a letter in your favorite word
processor, surfing the Web with Internet Explorer 7, or perusing your favorite
graphic images in the Windows Photo Gallery or Media Center.
The taskbar forms the base of the Windows desktop. Running along the bottom
of the complete width of the screen, the taskbar is divided into three sections:
⻬ The Start button, with the accompanying Start menu at the far left
⻬ Buttons for open toolbars and minimized windows in the center area
⻬ The Notification area (at the far right; also called the system tray), with
current time and icons showing the current status of computer components and programs and processes that are running in the background
When you open an Explorer window or program window on the Vista desktop,
Windows adds a button representing that window to the center section of the
taskbar. When you have multiple windows open at a time, you can bring a
window to the top of the stack by clicking that button on the taskbar or with the
Flip or Flip 3D features (see “Flip and Flip 3D” earlier in this part).
Whenever you minimize a window by clicking the Minimize button, Windows
reduces it to just a button on the taskbar. When you click this button on the
taskbar, Windows restores the window to the previous size and position on the
Windows desktop.
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The Start menu
The Start button that opens the Start menu (shown in the left margin) always
appears as the first button on the taskbar. The Start menu is the most basic
menu in Windows, giving you access to all the stuff on your computer.
To open the Start menu, simply click the Start button icon in the lower-left
corner of the taskbar or press Ctrl+Esc or press the Windows button on your
keyboard (if your keyboard has this button).
The Start menu is divided into two columns, and your user picture and name
appears at the top of the second column on the right. The options appearing on
this right column of the Start menu are fixed and never change. In the left
column, only the All Programs button and Start Search button at the bottom and
the Internet Explorer options at the top are fixed. All the other icons that appear
in the area in between change over time as they represent icons of the programs
that you launch most frequently.
To fix a particular item on the Start menu, open the menu and then right-click
the item before you click Pin to Start Menu on its shortcut menu.
To open an Explorer window, such as Documents or Network, to connect to the
Internet, or to run one of the recently used programs, you simply click that icon
in the right column of the Start menu. To launch a program or open a Windows
component that does not appear in the right column, click the All Programs item
and then click the desired item in the left-hand column.
To lock your computer when you’re away from it so that nobody else in the office
can go messing with your files (unless you’re naïve enough to give them your
password), click the Lock button (the one with the padlock icon). Vista then displays a screen containing your username and personal icon below which you find
a Password text box. In order to get back to your desktop and resume work, you
must then correctly enter your password into this text box and then press Enter
or click the Arrow button to the right of the Password text box.
To give your computer a much-needed nap during lunch or when you’re on
break, you can put it to sleep (a lower-power mode in which all your work is
kept in memory for quick startup when you return) by clicking the Sleep button
(the one with the vertical bar in the middle of a circle) to the immediate left of
the Lock button.
To log off the computer, switch users, or to lock, restart, or shut it down, click
the pop-up button that appears to the immediate right of the Lock button (the
one with padlock — refer to Figure 1-6) and then click the desired item on its
pop-up menu.
To locate a program or Windows component on your computer, type the first
characters of the item’s name in the Start Search text box.
See “Customizing the Start menu” later in this part for details on how you can
change the look and contents of the Start menu.
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Customizing the taskbar
The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box enables you to customize the
settings for the taskbar and the Start menu. To open this dialog box, right-click
the Start button or any open area (with no buttons) on the taskbar and then
click Properties on the taskbar shortcut menu. Click the Taskbar tab in the
Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box that appears.
The check boxes in the Taskbar Appearance section at the top of the Taskbar
tab do the following:
⻬ Lock the Taskbar: Locks all the bars so that you can’t adjust the size of the
different areas of the taskbar, such as the Quick Launch toolbar.
⻬ Auto-hide the Taskbar: Hides the taskbar until you roll the mouse pointer
somewhere over that position. This way, the taskbar appears only when
you need it.
⻬ Keep the Taskbar on Top of Other Windows: Always places the taskbar in
front of any window that you move down so far that they overlap it.
⻬ Group Similar Taskbar Buttons: Displays buttons for files opened by the
same program in the same area of the taskbar. Moreover, if the taskbar
becomes so crowded with buttons that become too small to display,
Windows collapses the buttons for a particular program into one button
that, when clicked, displays a pop-up menu from which you can select the
file you want to display on the desktop.
⻬ Show Quick Launch: Displays the Quick Launch toolbar on the Windows
taskbar immediately following the Start button.
⻬ Show Window Previews (Thumbnails): Displays a thumbnail of each open
window that’s minimized on the taskbar when you position the mouse over
its button.
Customizing the Start menu
To customize the appearance of the Start menu, you need to click the Start
Menu tab in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box. This tab gives
you a choice between the Start menu as it now appears in two columns and the
old single-column classic method used in previous versions of Windows. To
switch to this single-column view, click the Classic Start Menu option button.
Should you later decide to switch back to the default two-column arrangement,
you can do so by clicking the Start Menu option button.
Both option buttons are accompanied by Customize buttons that open dialog
boxes in which you can change what icons appear on the Start menu. Figure 1-17
shows the Customize Start Menu dialog box, which appears when you click the
Customize button associated with the Start Menu option button that controls
the default two-column Start menu arrangement.
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Figure 1-17
Use the check boxes in the list box of this dialog box to control which items
appear in the right-hand column of the Start menu. For example, to add a
Printers item that opens the Printers window (where you can add new printers),
click the Printers check box to put a check mark in it. Likewise, to remove the
Default Programs item that opens the Default Programs dialog box (where you
can configure what default programs to use for tasks such as Web browsing and
reading e-mail), click the Default Programs check box to remove its check mark.
To change the way fixed icons, such as Computer, Control Panel, Documents,
and the like, are displayed, click one of the following option buttons:
⻬ Display As a Link: This option button is the default setting for all fixed
items. It causes Windows to open a folder window showing the item folders
and files.
⻬ Display As a Menu: Select this option button when you want Vista to dis-
play the item folders and files as menu items on a continuation menu that
you can select and open from the Start menu.
⻬ Don’t Display This Item: Select this option button to remove the display of
the fixed item, such as Network Places.
After changing items in the Customize Start Menu dialog box, click its OK button
and then click the Apply button in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog
box. This enables you to open the Start menu to check that the modifications
you want on the Start menu have been put into place before you click OK in the
Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box to close it.
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By default, at the top of the Start menu, Vista displays the Internet Explorer as
the Internet link and Windows Mail as the e-mail link. If you have another Web
browser and e-mail program installed on your computer and you want to use
them, you can change these Start menu links by selecting the desired browser and
e-mail program in the Internet Link and E-mail Link drop-down list boxes, respectively, that appear near the bottom of the Customize Start Menu dialog box.
Using the Quick Launch toolbar
The Quick Launch toolbar adds a group of buttons to the Windows taskbar that
you can use to start commonly used modules to get back to the desktop. These
buttons may include
⻬ Internet Explorer: Starts Internet Explorer 7 for browsing Web pages —
note that this button does not appear until after your first use of the
Internet Explorer.
⻬ Show Desktop: Minimizes all open windows in order to obtain immediate
access to the Windows desktop and all the desktop icons and shortcuts it
contains.
⻬ Switch between Windows: Displays all open windows in a 3-D stack that
you can flip through by using the center wheel on your mouse (see “Flip
and Flip 3D” earlier in this part).
⻬ Windows Media Player: Starts Windows Media Player 11 so that you can
play music or video on your computer (see “Windows Media Player 11” in
Part 7).
In addition to these standard buttons, you can add your own custom buttons to
the Quick Launch toolbar by dragging a desktop shortcut to the desired position
on the Quick Launch toolbar. The mouse pointer indicates where the new button
will be inserted with a dark I-beam cursor at the tip of the pointer. A button for
the shortcut then appears at the position of the I-beam in the Quick Launch toolbar.
You can delete any of the buttons from the Quick Launch toolbar by right-clicking
the button, clicking the Delete command on the shortcut menu, and then clicking
the Yes button in the alert dialog box that asks you to confirm the deletion.
As you continue to add new buttons to the Quick Launch toolbar, some of the
existing buttons at the end of the bar become hidden from view when the Lock
the Taskbar option is selected (as it is by default). Vista then adds a continuation button (>>) to the end of the Quick Launch toolbar, which you can click to
display a pop-up menu with the other options you add.
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Adding other toolbars to the taskbar
Vista also includes the following toolbars that you can display on the taskbar:
⻬ Address toolbar where you can directly enter pathnames for folders and
files you want to open or URL addresses for Web pages you want to visit.
⻬ Windows Media Player to display the Windows Media Player as a button
on the taskbar when you minimize its window.
⻬ Links toolbar that enables you to add links to Web pages you visit regularly
by dragging the Web page icon to the immediate left of the page’s URL
address to a place on the toolbar.
⻬ Tablet PC Input Panel toolbar (button, really) that opens the Input Panel
on the Vista desktop where you can write rather than type your entries
(assuming that you’re running Vista on a Tablet PC laptop computer).
⻬ Desktop toolbar that gives you access to all the desktop items on your
computer.
To add any (or all) of these toolbars to your taskbar, right-click the bar at a
place where there isn’t already a toolbar and then click Toolbars on the pop-up
menu followed by the name of the toolbar to add.
Creating new toolbars
You can add your own custom toolbars to the Vista taskbar from the folders that
you keep on your computer. When you create a custom toolbar from an existing
folder, Windows creates buttons for each of the shortcuts and icons that the
folder contains.
To create a custom toolbar from a folder, follow these steps:
1. Right-click the taskbar (without clicking any of the buttons or icons it con-
tains) and then choose the Toolbars 䉴 New Toolbar command on the
shortcut menu that appears.
Windows opens the New Toolbar dialog box, where you select the folder
to be used in creating the new toolbar.
2. Select the folder whose contents are to be used in creating the new toolbar
by clicking the folder icon in the navigation list box.
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3. Click the Select Folder button to close the New Toolbar dialog box.
As soon as you close the New Toolbar dialog box, Windows adds the new
toolbar, indicated by the folder’s name followed by a continuation button
(>>). When you click this continuation button, Vista displays a pop-up
menu showing all the subfolders and documents that it contains.
All custom toolbars that you create are automatically deleted the moment you
remove their display from the Vista taskbar (by right-clicking the taskbar and
then choosing Toolbars followed by the name of the custom toolbar).
The Notification area
The Notification area (or system tray) displays the current time and icons that
indicate the active status of various components such as the status of your network connection, Active Sync connection to your hand-held device, PCMCIA cards
inserted into a laptop computer, or the printer queue. In addition, the Notification
area displays icons representing various programs or processes that run in the
background, such as the Windows Sidebar for hiding and redisplaying the Sidebar,
the Language Bar for using Voice Recognition and Handwriting Recognition in
Microsoft Office programs, the Windows Clipboard when it contains multiple
items, and Windows Messenger.
This is also the place from which the Windows Update feature displays its
Update Reminder message telling you that new updates for the system are available; see “Windows Update” in Part 5.
To identify an icon that appears in the status area, position the mouse pointer
over it until the ScreenTip appears. To change the status of an icon, right-click it
to display the pop-up menu and then click the appropriate menu option. For
example, to open the Volume Control dialog box to adjust the volume of your
speakers, you right-click the speaker icon in the Notification area and then click
Open Volume Mixer on the pop-up menu.
To temporarily expand the Notification area so that all of its icons are displayed,
click the Show Hidden Icons button (the one to the left of the first displayed
icon in this area with an arrowhead pointing to the left). Note that you can also
customize the Notification area as part of customizing the taskbar and Start
menu properties. See the upcoming section, “Customizing the Notification area”
for more information.
Customizing the Notification area
You can also customize the settings for the Notification area of the taskbar by
altering the settings on the Notification tab of the Taskbar and Start Menu
Properties dialog box.
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By default, all the system icons and Hide Inactive Icons check boxes are
selected. To remove a system icon from the Notification area, click its check box
to remove the check mark. To display all the Notification icons, even when the
processes they represent are inactive, click the Hide Inactive Icons check box to
remove the check mark. Note that when the Hide Inactive Icons setting is active,
Windows adds a Show Hidden Icons button that you can click to temporarily display all the Notification icons.
In addition to changing these two settings for the Notification area, you can
change the circumstances under which particular notification icons are displayed in the Notification area. To do this, click the Customize button near the
bottom of the taskbar to open the Customize Icons dialog box.
The Customize Notification Icons dialog box contains a list box that is divided
into Current Items and Past Items sections. You can change the display status
for any icon listed in either section. To do this, click the icon and then click the
drop-down button that appears next to the current status (Hide when Inactive is
the default setting for all the icons). To always have the icon displayed in the
Notification area, click Show in this pop-up menu. To never have the icon appear
in this area, click Hide instead.
Switching between open windows
The Vista taskbar makes switching between programs and other open windows
as easy as clicking its minimized button. Doing this immediately activates the
program by restoring its window on the desktop.
Don’t forget that you can preview the contents of a window by positioning the
mouse over its minimized button on the taskbar. Also, you can quickly flip
through all the minimized windows to find the one you want to activate by using
the Flip and Flip 3D features (see “Flip and Flip 3D” earlier in this part).
Arranging windows on the desktop
Normally when you open multiple windows on the desktop, they overlap one
another, with only the most recently opened window fully displayed on top. As
you open more windows, it becomes increasingly difficult to arrange them so
that the information you need is displayed on-screen (this is especially true
when copying or moving files and folders between open windows).
To help you organize the windows you have open, Vista offers several arrangement options. To rearrange the open windows with one of these options, you
need to right-click the taskbar at a place that isn’t occupied by a window button
and then click one of the following options:
⻬ Cascade Windows to overlap the open windows so that the title bars are
all displayed one above the other in a cascade
⻬ Show Windows Stacked to place the windows vertically one on top of
the other
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⻬ Show Windows Side by Side to place the windows horizontally side by side
⻬ Show the Desktop to reduce all the windows open on the desktop to mini-
mized buttons on the taskbar
Using the Task Manager
Windows Task Manager keeps tabs on your system and how it’s running. You
can use Task Manager to get an overview of what programs and processes are
running on your computer. You can also use it to switch to programs and to end
programs that have stopped responding (in other words, programs that have
frozen up on you).
To open Windows Task Manager, right-click the taskbar at a place where there
are no buttons and then click Task Manager on the shortcut menu. Figure 1-18
shows you Windows Task Manager when running three different applications.
Figure 1-18
To switch to another program or window from Windows Task Manager, click it in
the list box on the Applications tab and then click the Switch To button. Windows
then minimizes Task Manager and displays the selected window on the desktop.
To end a process or program that has frozen up on you, click it in the list box on
the Applications tab and then click the End Task command button. Note that
you will probably get an alert dialog box indicating that the program has
stopped responding. Click the End command button in this dialog box (as many
times as you have to) to get Vista to kill the process.
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The status bar of Windows Task Manager shows you statistics on the number of
processes running under the program, the percentage of the CPU (Central
Processing Unit, the big chip at the heart of the computer), and the memory
usage of the program. If you like to look at schematics, click the Performance
tab in this window to see a dynamic charting of the total CPU and memory usage
on your computer (and to find really useful stuff like the number of handles,
threads, and processes that are being run).
Welcome Center
The Vista Welcome Center (similar to the one shown in Figure 1-19, except that it
has your name and picture rather than mine) automatically opens on the desktop when you first start your computer — and every time thereafter until you
remove the check mark in the Run at Startup check box in the lower-left corner).
Figure 1-19
The top section of the Welcome Center window (Welcome) displays statistics on
your computer including its name, processing chip, and total amount of memory,
and the like. (To open the System Control Panel, where you can change a few
settings such as the computer name, click the Show More Details link in this top
section.)
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The center section of the Welcome Center window (Getting Started with
Windows) displays icons that enable you to become more familiar with Windows
Vista as well as customize your computer. (To display a complete list of icons,
click the Show All 14 Items link in this section.)
The bottom section of the Welcome Center window (Offers from Microsoft) displays icons that you can click to get even more stuff for your Windows Vista,
including Microsoft’s new Windows Live programs. (To display a complete list of
icons, click the Show All 7 Items link in this section.)
To display information about the function of a particular icon in the top section
of the Welcome Center window, click the icon. To open a new information
window or start a new process (such as installing a new printer for use with
Windows), double-click its icon in the Getting Started with Windows section.
Windows Help and Support
Vista has an extensive help system that you can use not only to get general and
detailed information on how to use Windows, but also to get answers from
Microsoft on specific problems that you’re experiencing. To open the Windows
Help and Support window (see Figure 1-20), click Start 䉴 Help and Support.
The Windows Help and Support window contains six main links in the Find An
Answer section at the top:
⻬ Windows Basics to display a list of basic topics ranging from Introduction
to Computers to What Accessibility Features Does Windows Offer?
⻬ Security and Maintenance to display a page of information on Vista’s vari-
ous maintenance features including Security Center (see Part 6) and
Windows Update (see Part 5)
⻬ Windows Online Help to open the Windows Vista Help and Support
Web page in your computer’s Web browser (probably Windows Internet
Explorer 7)
⻬ Table of Contents to display a table of contents with links to the help
topics ranging from Getting Started to Mobile PC
⻬ Troubleshooting to open a page of troubleshooting tips with links to help
you identify particular problems in the areas of networking, surfing the
Web, using e-mail, and getting the correct drivers for your computer
hardware
⻬ What’s New? to display a page with an article on all the new and cool
features in Windows Vista
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Figure 1-20
In addition to these links, the Windows Help and Support window contains a
Search Help text box that you can use to search for particular topics. This text
box works just like any other Search text box in Windows Vista: Simply type the
name of the feature you need help on (such as printing or searching files) and
then click the Search Help button (the one with the magnifying glass icon) to
display links to all related topics in the Windows Help and Support window.
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Part 2
Computer Management
Computer processing is really not much more than managing the application
programs and data files on your computer. In order to do this with Windows
Vista, you also need to know about the physical media on which they’re stored
(hard drives, CD-ROMs, and the like), as well as the structure of the folders in
which they’re arranged. In this part, you get the lowdown on disk, file, folder,
and program management. For good measure, I throw in info on how to use
Windows Explorer to keep tabs on this stuff.
In this part . . .
⻬
⻬
⻬
⻬
⻬
Accessing hard drives and all kinds of removable media
Creating new files and folders
Copying and moving files and folders
Deleting files and folders
Navigating your computer with Windows Explorer
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Disk Management
In Vista, the Computer window (Start 䉴 Computer) is the place to go when you
need access or information about all the drives (including virtual drives mapped
to network folders) and disks connected to your computer system.
Figure 2-1 shows the Computer window for my laptop computer running
Windows Vista. As you can see, Vista automatically separates the various drive
icons into the following three categories:
⻬ Hard Disk Drives, of which there are four: Local Disk (C):, RECOVERY (D:),
Local Disk (E:), and the USB-connected BUSLINK (G:)
⻬ Devices with Removable Storage, of which there are currently four con-
nected to the computer: DVD-RW Drive F: and three Removable Disks
named H:, I:, and J:
⻬ Network Location, which contains a single network drive named Dilbert
mapped to drive Z:
Figure 2-1
Note that the Preview pane gives you valuable statistics about any drive that
you select in the Computer window, including the total size, the amount of free
space (which is also shown visually in the Space Used indicator), and the type of
file system (the older FAT32 supported by Windows 95, 98, and ME or the newer
NTFS supported by Windows XP, 2000, and Vista).
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Opening folders on drives in the Computer window
To open any of the drives or disks that appear in your Computer window and
display the folders and files they contain, double-click its drive icon in the central area of the Computer window.
To collapse a category in the Computer window to temporarily hide its drive
icons, click the collapse button (the one with the black triangle pointing upward
at the far right of the category name). To later expand a collapsed category to
once again display its hidden drive icons, click the expand button for the hidden
category. (The expand button automatically replaces the collapse button.)
Formatting a disk
In this day and age, when floppy disk drives are almost never included in new
computer systems, most of you will never experience the “joy” of formatting a
floppy disk. Almost all the disks that you purchase today, including CDs and DVDs,
are preformatted (this is done as part of the automated process that checks the
disks for errors). From time to time, you may want to reformat a prepared disk
that has become corrupted or that contains data that you no longer need. In very
rare situations, you may even have to reformat a hard drive on your computer.
To format a disk or computer drive, follow these steps:
1. When formatting a floppy, CD, or DVD disc, insert the blank disk or a disk
that holds files and folders that you don’t give a hoot about.
2. Open the Computer window (Start 䉴 Computer) and then right-click the
icon of the drive that holds the disk (or that you want to reformat).
3. Select the Format command from the drive shortcut menu to open the
Format dialog box.
In order to format any hard drive on your computer, your user account
must be an administrator type. You cannot, however, reformat the drive
that contains the Windows Vista operating system.
4. (Optional) Select the Capacity for the size of the disk that you’re formatting.
When formatting a floppy disk, choose the lesser (double-density) capacity 3.5", 720KB, 512 bytes/sector if you inserted that kind of disk into your
floppy drive.
5. (Optional) By default, Windows XP selects NTFS (supported by Windows
XP, 2000, and Vista) in the File System drop-down list box as the file
system for which to format the disk. If you’re formatting a floppy disk for
an older system running Windows 95, 98, or ME, select FAT on the File
System drop-down list.
6. (Optional) Type a label in the Volume Label text box if you want to attach
a name to the floppy, hard, or flash disk that you can use to identify it.
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When you format by using the FAT system, you’re restricted to 11 characters; when you’re using the NTFS system, you’re limited to a maximum of
32 characters.
7. (Optional) Click the Quick Format check box in the Format Options (if
you’re reformatting a disk that contains files and folders that you no longer
need). If you’re formatting a brand-new disk, leave this check box empty.
8. (Optional) If you’re formatting a floppy or CD as a startup disk for a MS-
DOS computer, click the Create an MS-DOS Startup Disk check box.
9. Click the Start button to begin formatting the disk and then click OK in the
alert dialog box warning you that formatting erases all data currently on
the disk.
After you click Start and then OK, Windows keeps you informed of the progress
in the Formatting box at the bottom of the Format dialog box. If you need to stop
the process before it’s complete, click the Cancel button.
Mapping a network folder as a local drive
If your computer is part of a local area network and you use files that are stored
in folders on another networked computer, you will find it helpful to map a drive
letter to that network folder so that you can access it directly from the
Computer window.
In order to be able to map a network folder to a local drive, the folder must be
shared and you must have permission to access it on the other computer.
To map a network folder to a drive letter on your computer, follow these steps:
1. Open the Computer window by clicking Start 䉴 Computer.
2. Click the Map Network Drive button on the toolbar to open the Map
Network Drive dialog box (see Figure 2-2).
3. Select an unused drive letter for the network folder in the Drive drop-
down list box.
4. In the Folder text box, enter the network share pathname (following the
\\server\share example shown beneath the Folder text box), click the
drop-down button to the immediate right of the text box and select its
previously entered pathname from the list, or click the Browse button
and locate the shared network folder in the Browse For Folder dialog box.
Click OK.
5. (Optional) If you want Vista to re-create this network drive by mapping
the network folder to the same drive letter each time you start the computer, click the Reconnect at Logon check box.
6. Click the Finish button.
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Figure 2-2
When you click Finish, Vista creates the network drive and automatically opens
it in Windows Explorer. After that, you can access any of the folder’s subfolders
and files by simply opening the network drive in the Computer Explorer window.
Note that Vista indicates a mapped network drive by automatically assigning it
to the Network Location category in the Computer window. A special network
icon is also added to the normal drive icon.
File and Folder Management
Files contain all the precious data that you create with those sophisticated
Windows-based programs. Files occupy a certain amount of space rated either
in kilobytes (KB, or thousands of bytes) or megabytes (MB, or millions of bytes)
on a particular disk, be it your hard drive, a CD-ROM, DVD disc, or even, in very
rare cases, a removable floppy disk.
Folders are the data containers in Windows Vista. They can contain files or other
folders, or a combination of files and folders. Like files, folders occupy a certain
amount of space (rated in KB or MB) on the particular drive.
As you open folders and subfolders to get to the file you want to use in one of the
Explorer windows, Vista keeps track of the path in the address bar at the top of
the window. This path starts with the disk or folder icon followed by the names
of drives, folders, and subfolders in succession separated by the 䉴 symbol (indicating a new sublevel).
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For example, the address bar in the Computer window shown in Figure 2-3
shows you the path for finding an Excel worksheet file named Invoice 021507
that is stored in a Payables subfolder within an Accounts folder on my computer’s local hard drive (C:).
Figure 2-3
If you click the drop-down button at the right end of the address bar (or anywhere outside path list), Vista converts the path on the address bar into the
more traditional form of a pathname separated by backslashes that is used
exclusively in the previous versions of Windows. For example, after clicking the
address bar’s drop-down button in the Computer window shown in Figure 2-3,
its path immediately changed to:
C:\Accounts\Payables\
This more traditional pathname format is what you see when open a drop-down
menu in an address bar in an Explorer window or the Address toolbar on the
taskbar (see “Adding other toolbars to the taskbar” in Part 1). When specifying
the pathname for a file by using this format, you simply append the filename to
the path, as in:
C:\Accounts\Payables\Invoice 021507
Assigning filenames
Each filename in Windows consists of two parts: a main filename and a file extension. The file extension, which identifies the type of file and what program created it, is traditionally three characters, although extensions for newer apps
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such as Microsoft Office Word 2007 (.docx) and Excel 2007 (.xlsx), as well as
.html for Web pages, are four characters. File extensions are automatically
assigned by the creating agent or program and Vista does not normally display
extensions as part of filenames that appear in Windows Explorer. For information on how to display file extensions as part of the filename, see “Customizing a
window’s Folder Options” later in this part.
Whereas the creating program normally assigns the file extension, Windows
Vista enables you to call the main part of the filename whatever the heck you
want, up to a maximum of 255 characters (including spaces!). Keep in mind,
however, that all pre-Windows 95 programs, and even some that run on
Windows 98, don’t support long filenames. These programs allow a maximum of
only eight characters, with no spaces.
In Vista, files are assigned distinctive file icons indicating the type of file along
with the filenames. These icons help you quickly identify the type of file when
you’re browsing the files in your folders with Windows Explorer. This also
enables you to launch the appropriate program while at the same time opening
the file by simply double-clicking its file icon.
You can change what program opens a particular file. Right-click its file icon and
then click Properties to open its Properties dialog box. Then click the Change
button that appears to the immediate right of the program that currently opens
the file. Select the new program in the Open With dialog box. Note that if you can’t
locate the program you want to assign to the file in the Open With list box, click
the Browse button and use the Navigation pane to open the Program Files folder
and locate the application there (see “Program Management” later in this part).
Creating new files and folders
You can create new files to hold new data and new folders to hold your files
right within Windows Vista.
To create a new, empty folder, follow these steps:
1. Open Windows Explorer window (such as Documents or Computer) in
which the new folder is to appear.
2. Click the Organize button on the window’s toolbar and then click New
Folder.
If the Classic menus are displayed in the Explorer window, you can also
choose File➪New➪Folder or, if not, press Alt+F+W+F.
3. Replace the temporary folder name (New Folder) by typing a name of
your choosing and pressing Enter.
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To create an empty file that holds a certain type of information, follow these steps:
1. Open Windows Explorer window where the new file is required.
2. Right-click a blank area in the folder’s display area and then highlight New
on the shortcut menu.
If the Classic menus are displayed in the Explorer window, you can also
choose File➪New from the menu bar or, if not, press Alt+F+W.
3. Choose the type of file you want to create (such as Microsoft Office Word
Document, Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet, Text Document, Briefcase,
and so on) from the New submenu.
4. Replace the temporary filename (such as New Microsoft Word Document)
by typing a name of your choosing and pressing Enter.
Create a new folder when you need to have a new place to store your files and
other folders. Create an empty file when you want to create an empty file in a
particular folder before you put something in it — remember that you can
always launch the associated program and open the blank file in it by doubleclicking its file icon.
Customizing a window’s Folder Options
Vista enables you to customize many aspects of a folder’s appearance and
behavior in an open window by using the controls in the Folder Options dialog
box (see Figure 2-4). To open this dialog box, click the Organize button (the first
button on a window’s toolbar) and then click Folder and Search Options on its
drop-down menu.
If the Classic menus are displayed in the window, you can also open Folder
Options by choosing Tools➪Folder Options. If they aren’t displayed, press
Alt+T+O.
The Folder Options dialog box contains three tabs:
⻬ General controls whether Explorer windows display Classic pull-down
menus (the Use Windows Classic Folders options button) or the toolbar
with the Organize button, Views button, and so on (the default Show
Preview and Filters option button). The General tab also controls whether
folders open in the same or a new window, as well as how you select items
in an open window and how you select and open folders and files.
⻬ View controls how files and folders appear in an open window.
⻬ Search to control how searches are conducted in Explorer windows and
whether the searches use nonindexed locations for searching the contents
of files or just their filenames.
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Figure 2-4
Changing how you select and open items
Normally, you click to select an item in an open window (indicated by highlighting its name and/or icon) and double-click to open the item. If you’re more of the
Web surfing type, you can change this scheme by clicking the Single-Click to
Open an Item (Point to Select) option button on the General tab of the Folder
Options dialog box. After selecting this option, you have only have to point to an
item in a folder to select and click it once to open it.
When you choose the Single-Click to Open an Item (Point to Select) option
button on the General tab, Vista automatically activates and selects the
Underline Icon Titles Only When I Point at Them option button as well. When
this option is in effect, you only see the underlining (akin to a hyperlink on a
Web page) when you actually position the mouse pointer over the item. If you
want this hyperlink-type underlining to always appear beneath items you open
in a window (making windows even more like your typical Web page), click the
Underline Icon Titles Consistent with My Browser option button instead.
Changing how items are displayed in a folder
The View tab of the Folder Options dialog box (see Figure 2-5) contains a wide
variety of check boxes and option buttons for controlling the appearance of the
items in the Explorer windows you open. Among the most important options on
this tab, you find the following:
⻬ Always Show Menus check box to ensure that each window displays a bar
of pull-down menus, File through Help (not selected by default)
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⻬ Hidden Files and Folders option with its two option buttons: Do Not Show
Hidden Files and Folders (selected by default) to hide the display of certain
system-type files and folders, and Show Hidden Files and Folders to display
them
⻬ Hide Extensions for Known File Types check box (not selected by default)
to suppress the display of the filename extensions such as .doc, .xlsx,
and .html
⻬ Remember Each Folder’s View Settings check box (selected by default) to
have Vista retain a folder’s individual arrangement of menus and panes
⻬ Restore Previous Folder Windows at Logon check box (not selected by
default) to have Vista open at start-up all the Explorer windows you had
open when you last shut the machine down
Figure 2-5
Click the Restore Defaults button at the bottom of the View tab of the Folder
Options dialog box whenever you want to restore all the Windows Vista original
view settings.
Creating compressed (zipped) folders
If you’re running short on disk space, you can conserve precious free space by
creating compressed folders that automatically compress every file and subfolder
that you put into them. To create a blank compressed folder, follow these steps:
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1. In Windows Explorer, navigate to where you want the new compressed
folder to be.
2. Right-click in a blank area anywhere in the central part folder’s display
area and then highlight New on the shortcut menu. Click Compressed
(Zipped) Folder on its continuation menu.
If the Classic menus are displayed in the Explorer window, you can also
choose File➪New➪Compressed (Zipped) Folder. If not, press Alt+F+W and
then click Compressed (Zipped) folder on the continuation menu.
Windows creates a new folder icon (sporting a zipper to indicate its special zip-type compression abilities) that sports the temporary filename
New Compressed (Zipped) Folder.
3. Replace the temporary filename, New Compressed (Zipped) Folder, by
typing your own filename; press Enter.
After creating a compressed folder, you can copy or move files and folders into
it just as you would a regular file folder. As you copy or move files or folders,
Vista compresses their contents. You can then copy compressed folders to
removable media, such as CD-ROMs and flash drives. You can also attach them
to e-mail messages.
Microsoft has even gone so far as to make the compression schemes that compressed folders use compatible with other compression programs. This means
that you can send compressed folders to people who don’t even use Windows (if
you know any), and they can extract (decompress) their contents by using their
favorite compression/decompression program.
Note that Windows Vista automatically appends the name you give a compressed
folder with the .zip file extension to help identify the folder as containing zippedup files. Of course, you must make sure the Hide Extensions For Known File
Types check box on the View tab of the Folder Options dialog box is unselected
in order for this filename extension to be displayed in Windows Explorer.
You can run program files from within compressed folders simply by doubleclicking their program icons, provided that the program doesn’t depend upon
any other files (such as those pesky .DLL files or some sort of data files). If the
programs in the compressed folder do depend upon these kinds of auxiliary
files, you must extract them before you can run the program. Also, be aware that
when you open text or graphic documents stored in a compressed folder, they
open in read-only mode. Before you or anyone else can edit such documents,
they must be extracted from the folder as described in the following section.
Extracting files from a compressed folder
Because the files placed in a compressed folder automatically open in read-only
mode, you may need to extract them (that is, decompress them) so that you can
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again edit their contents. To extract files from a compressed folder, you follow
these steps:
1. Open the window in Windows Explorer that contains the compressed
folder whose files you want to extract.
2. Right-click the compressed folder (remember, its icon should sport a
zipper down the front) and then click Extract All on its shortcut menu.
If the Classic menus are displayed in the Explorer window, you can perform this step by clicking the compressed folder’s icon and then choosing
File➪Extract All on the pull-down menus. If not, press Alt+F+T.
Vista then opens an Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders dialog box,
where you designate the folder into which the extracted files are to be
copied.
3. (Optional) Replace the path and the filename of the compressed folder in
the Files Will Be Extracted to This Folder text box with the pathname of
the folder in which you want to store the extracted (decompressed) files.
To browse to the folder in which you want the extracted files copied, click
the Browse button; select the (destination) folder in the outline of your
computer system, and click OK. To extract the files in their original compressed folder, don’t replace the path and filename for the compressed
folder that appears in this text box. Just be aware that the only way to
recompress the files that you extract in the compressed folder is to first
move them out of the folder and then move them back in!
4. Click the Extract button at the bottom of the Select a Destination and
Extract Files dialog box to begin extracting the files.
As soon as Windows finishes extracting the files, Vista opens the destination folder displaying the uncompressed files.
Selecting files and folders
To select the files and folders to which you want to do stuff like copy, move,
open, or print, you select the file or folder icons (the small pictures identifying
the folder or file). Most of the time, you click the file and folder icons in the windows to select them. Windows lets you know when an icon is selected by highlighting it in a different color (normally, a light blue unless you change the
Windows appearance settings).
If you change the click options in the Folder Options dialog box so that singleclicking opens an item (see “Changing how you select and open items” earlier in
this part for details), remember that instead of clicking a folder or file icon to
select it (which succeeds only in opening the item), you just hover the mouse
pointer over it.
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When you need to select more than one file or folder in a window, you have a
choice of things to do:
⻬ To select all the items in an Explorer window (this includes all drive, file,
and folder icons located within it), press Ctrl+A or click the Organize button
on the window’s toolbar and then click Select All on its drop-down menu.
If the Classic menus are displayed in the Explorer window, you also choose
Edit➪Select All on the window menu bar. If not, press Alt+E+A.
⻬ To select multiple folder or file icons that are located all over the place in
the window, hold down the Ctrl key as you click each folder or file icon
(the Ctrl key adds individual icons to the selection) — if you use singleclicking to open items, you need to hover over each item as you hold down
the Ctrl key (no easy feat).
⻬ To select a series of folder or file icons that are all next to each other in the
window, click the first one in the series and then hold the Shift key as you
click the last icon in the series (the Shift key adds all the icons in between
the first and last one you click to the selection). If you use single-clicking
to open items, you need to hover over the first item until it’s selected and
then hold the Shift key as you hover over the last icon in the series (and if
you think Ctrl+hovering is hard, wait till you try Shift+hovering).
⻬ If the Classic menus are displayed, you can reverse the icon selection in a
window so that all the icons that aren’t currently selected become
selected, and all those that are currently selected become deselected by
choosing Edit➪Invert Selection. If not, you can press Alt+E+I.
Note that the Invert Selection menu command is really useful when you want to
select all but a few folders or files in a window: First, use one of the aforementioned methods to select the icons of the files you do not want selected; then
choose Edit➪Invert Selection (Alt+E+I). Voilà! All the files in the window are
selected except for those few you selected in the first place.
Copying (and moving) files and folders
Windows Vista provides two basic methods for copying files and folders from
one disk to another or from one folder to another on the same disk:
⻬ Drag-and-drop, whereby you select items in one open Explorer window
and then drag them to another open Explorer window (on the same or different disk) where you drop them into place.
⻬ Cut-and-paste, whereby you copy or cut selected items to the Windows
clipboard and then paste them into another folder (on the same or different disk).
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The technique of moving files and folders with drag-and-drop is really straightforward:
1. Open two separate Explorer windows and arrange them on the Vista desk-
top with as little overlap as possible: the first is the source Explorer window
that contains the item(s) you want to move and the second is the destination Explorer window where these items are to be moved.
To eliminate all overlap between the source and destination Explorer
window and thereby make it easy to drag from one to the other, use
Vista’s Show Windows Side by Side or Show Windows Stacked option on
the taskbar’s shortcut menu before proceeding to Step 2.
2. Select the item(s) you want to move in the first source Explorer window.
See “Selecting files and folders” earlier in this part for the techniques Vista
provides for selecting folders and files.
3. While continuing to hold down the mouse button, drag the folder/docu-
ment icon representing the selected items (and showing the number of
items selected) to the destination Explorer window.
4. Vista shows you where selected items are to be inserted in the destination
window by using either a vertical or horizontal I-beam (depending upon
which View option the destination window uses) along with a ScreenTip
that says, “Move to such and such folder” (where such and such a folder is
the actual name of the destination folder). When you’ve positioned the
I-beam pointer at the place in the destination Explorer window where you
want the items to appear, release the mouse button to drop and insert the
moved items there (see Figure 2-6).
To copy files with drag-and-drop, you only have to vary these foregoing steps by
remembering to hold down the Ctrl key as you drag the selected items from the
source Explorer window to the destination window. Vista lets you know that
you’re copying rather than moving the selected items by displaying a + (plus)
sign under the folder/document icon and displaying a “Copy to such and such
folder” ScreenTip when you reach a place in the destination folder where the
items being copied can be dropped.
If you don’t care where the items you move or copy with drag-and-drop are positioned in the destination folder, you don’t even have to bother opening the destination folder in its own window: Just drag the folder/document icon representing
the selected items from the source Explorer window to the destination folder’s
icon and then drop it on this icon. Note that this drop-directly-on-the-destinationicon method works on shortcuts of other drives (both local and on your network), folders, and printers (to print the selected documents) on the Vista
desktop (see “Creating desktop shortcuts” in Part 1).
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Figure 2-6
Keep in mind that when you drag files or folders from one drive to another,
Windows Vista automatically copies the files and folders, instead of moving
them. This means that you don’t have to hold down the Ctrl key when you
intend to copy them from one disk to another. This also means that you must
still delete them from their original disk after making the copies if you need to
free up the disk space.
Drag-and-drop moving from folder to folder is great because it’s really fast. This
method does have a major drawback, however: It’s pretty easy to drop your file
icons into the wrong folder. If you forget to undo your last action (Ctrl+Z),
instead of panicking when you open what you thought was the destination
folder and find that your files aren’t there, locate them by using the Search feature; see “Search” in Part 1.
Instead of turning to drag-and-drop, you can use the cut-and-paste method, the
oldest way of moving and copying items in Windows. Cut-and-paste, as the name
implies, involves two distinct processes. In the first, you cut or copy the selected
files or folders to a special area of the computer memory known as the Windows
Clipboard. In the second, you paste the item(s) saved on the Clipboard into the
new folder.
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You can perform the cut, copy, and paste commands by selecting the Cut, Copy,
and Paste commands on the Organize button on the Explorer window’s toolbar,
or by using standard Ctrl+X (Cut), Ctrl+C (Copy), and Ctrl+V (Paste) keyboard
shortcuts.
To move or copy files with cut-and-paste (using either method), follow these steps:
1. Open the folder with Windows Explorer (Documents, Computer, or
Network) that holds the subfolders or files that you’re moving or copying.
2. Select all the items to be copied and then press Ctrl+C or on the Organize
button’s drop-down menu, click Copy to copy them, or press Ctrl+X or
click Cut on the Organize button’s drop-down menu to move them.
3. Use the Navigation pane in the Explorer window to open the destination
folder (that is, the one into which you’re moving or copying the selected
folder or file items).
Don’t forget to click the Folders button in the Navigation pane to display
the hierarchy of components and folders on your computer.
4. Press Ctrl+V or click Paste on the Organize button’s drop-down menu to
paste them into the destination folder.
When using the cut-and-paste method to move or copy files or folders, keep in
mind that you don’t have to keep open the folder with the files or folders you’re
moving or copying during the paste part of the procedure. You can close this
folder, open the folder to which you’re moving or copying them, and then do the
paste command. Just be sure that you don’t use the Copy or Cut commands
again in Windows Vista until after you’ve pasted these files and folders in their
new location.
If the Classic menus are displayed in the Explorer window, you can also access
the Cut, Copy, and Paste commands by choosing Edit➪Cut, Edit➪Copy, and
Edit➪Paste respectively from the source and destination Explorer window’s
drop-down menus. If not, you can press Alt+E+T to cut, Alt+E+C to copy, and
Alt+E+P to paste.
In addition, when the Classic menus are displayed, you have access to the special Edit➪Copy to Folder and Edit➪Move to Folder commands (or if they’re not
displayed, you can press Alt+E+F for Copy to Folder and Alt+E+V for Move to
Folder). When you choose either of these menu commands (after selecting the
items to be moved or copied), Vista displays a Copy Items or a Move Items
dialog box (depending upon which you command you choose). You then select
the icon of the destination folder in the outline map of your system before clicking the Move or Copy button to perform the move or copy operation.
Keep in mind that if all you want to do is back up some files from your hard
drive to a CD or DVD disc in your computer’s CD-ROM/DVD drive (D:, E: or some
other letter), you can do so with the Send To shortcut menu command. After
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selecting the files to copy, just right-click to open the shortcut menu attached
to one of the file icons and then choose the correct drive on the Send To menu
such as DVD-RW Drive (E:). Oh, and one thing more: Don’t forget to insert a
blank CD-ROM or DVD disc or one to which you can append new files before
you start this little operation.
Deleting files and folders
Because the whole purpose of working on computers is to create junk, you need
to know how to get rid of unneeded files and folders to free space on your hard
drive. To delete files, folders, or shortcuts, follow these steps:
1. Open the window in Windows Explorer that holds the files or folders that
need to be given the old heave-ho.
2. Select all the files, folders, or shortcuts to be deleted.
3. Press the Delete key on your keyboard or choose Delete on the Organize
button’s drop-down menu on the window’s toolbar.
If the Classic menus are displayed in the Explorer window, you can also
choose File➪Delete or, if not, press Alt+F+D. If you’re really motivated, you
can drag the selected items and drop them on the Recycle Bin desktop icon.
4. Click the Yes button in the Delete File or Delete Multiple File dialog box
that asks whether you want to send the selected items to the Recycle Bin.
Windows Vista puts all items that you delete in the Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin
is the trash can for Vista. Anything you delete anywhere in Windows goes into
the Recycle Bin and stays there until you either retrieve the deleted item or
empty the Recycle Bin.
Note that the Recycle Bin icon (shown in the left margin) is the one permanent item on the Windows desktop. To open the Recycle Bin window (see
Figure 2-7), you simply double-click the icon on the desktop.
Use the following tips to work efficiently with the Recycle Bin:
⻬ To fill the Recycle Bin: Select the folders or files you no longer need, drag
their icons to the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop, and drop them in.
⻬ To rescue stuff from the Recycle Bin: Open the Recycle Bin and then select
the icons for the items you want to restore. Next, click the Restore This
Item button (if only one item is selected) or the Restore the Selected Items
button (if multiple items are selected) on the Recycle Bin window’s toolbar.
If the Classic menus are displayed, you can also select File➪Restore on the
pull-down menu to remove the selected item or items (if not, you can press
Alt+F+E. Also, you can always drag the icons for the files and folders you
want to save out of the Recycle Bin and drop them in the desired location.
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⻬ To rescue all the stuff in the Recycle Bin: Open the Recycle Bin and click
the Restore All Items button on the Recycle Bin window’s toolbar. Note that
this button is replaced by the Restore This Item or Restore the Selected
Items button when you select one or more items.
⻬ To empty the Recycle Bin: Open the Recycle Bin and click the Empty the
Recycle Bin button on Recycle Bin window’s toolbar.
If the Classic Menus are displayed, you can also choose File➪Empty Recycle
Bin from the menu bar. If the menus are not displayed, press Alt+F+B.
Figure 2-7
Keep in mind that choosing the Empty Recycle Bin command immediately gets
rid of everything in the Recycle Bin window. Don’t ever empty the Recycle Bin
until after you examine the contents and are absolutely sure that you’ll never
need to use any of those items ever again. Delete items in the Recycle Bin only
when you’re sure that you’re never going to need them again (or you’ve backed
up the files on disks or some other media, such as CD-ROM or DVD discs).
If you hold down the Shift key when you press the Delete key, Windows displays
a Delete File dialog box that asks you to confirm the permanent deletion of the
selected items. Click the Yes button or press Enter only when you want to kiss
these babies goodbye forever! They won’t be placed in the Recycle Bin.
Renaming files and folders
You can rename file and folder icons directly in Windows Vista by typing over or
editing the existing file or folder name, as I outline in these steps:
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1. Open the window that contains the folder or file you want to rename.
2. Right-click the file or folder icon, and select Rename on the shortcut menu.
3. Type the new name that you want to give the folder (up to 255 characters)
or edit the existing name. You can use the Delete key to remove characters and the → or ← key to move the cursor without deleting characters.
4. When you finish editing the file or folder name, press the Enter key to
complete the renaming procedure.
When the file or folder name is selected for editing, typing anything entirely
replaces the current name. If you want to edit the file or folder name rather than
replace it, you need to click the insertion point at the place in the name that
needs editing before you begin typing.
Sharing files
You can share your files with all the users across your network or with selected
users on the same computer. To share files on a network, you copy or move the
files you want to share into your Public folder. To access the Public folder on
your computer, follow these two steps:
1. Open the Documents window (Start 䉴 Documents). If only the Favorite
Links are displayed, click the Folders button.
2. Scroll way down to almost the bottom of the list of components and fold-
ers and then click the Public folder icon in the Navigation pane to display
all subfolders within the Public folder on your computer (see Figure 2-8).
Figure 2-8
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Vista automatically creates six subfolders within your Public folder: Public
Documents, Public Downloads, Public Music, Public Pictures, Public Videos and
Recorded TV. The operating system can also create Public subfolders for particular types of media files unique to your computer.
If your user account status is that of an administrator (see “User Account
Control” in Part 6 for details), you can add your own subfolders to the Public
folder in which you want to store certain types of files you want to share with
everybody on the network.
Changing the settings for the Public folder
You can easily change the settings for the shared files you place in your Public
folder. To do this, click the Sharing Settings button on Public window’s toolbar
(after selecting Public in the Navigation pane of the Documents window) to open
the Network and Sharing Center Control Panel window.
In the Sharing and Discovery section of this Control Panel window, click the
expand button to the right of Public Folder Sharing to display the following
three options:
⻬ Turn On Sharing So Anyone with Network Access Can Open Files option
button, which enables all network users to open your shared files as readonly files but does not enable them to make any changes in your Public
folder (including creating and deleting Public subfolders).
⻬ Turn On Sharing So That Anyone with Network Access Can Open,
Change, and Create Files option button, which enables all network users
to open all shared files as well as to make any necessary changes in your
Public folder. (You must select this option before you can create new subfolders in your Public folder even on your own computer.)
⻬ Turn Off Sharing (People Logged On to This Computer Can Still Access
This Folder) option button (the default), which prevents all users on the
network from opening the Public folder on your computer and therefore
displaying any of the shared files in their subfolders.
In addition to changing the Public Folder Sharing settings in the Network and
Sharing Center to allow at least reader access to files in the subfolders of your
Public folder, you must also turn on sharing for your computer’s hard drive (C:):
1. Open the Computer window (Start➪Computer) and then right-click the
hard drive icon and click Share on its shortcut menu.
Vista then opens a Disk Properties dialog box for the hard drive you
selected with the Sharing tab selected.
2. Click the Network and Sharing Center link in the Disk Properties dialog
box to open the Network and Sharing Center Control Panel window.
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3. Select the File Sharing , Public Folder Sharing, Printer Sharing, Password
Protected Sharing, and Media Sharing options you want used when sharing your computer’s file in the Sharing and Discovery section Public
Folder of the Network and Sharing Center Control Panel window and then
click the Close button.
To grant access to anyone who can connect to your network rather than
just those who have a user account and password for the computer, click
the Turn Off Password Protection Sharing option button in the Password
Protected Sharing subsection.
To grant reader access to the files in your public folders, click the Turn On
Sharing So Anyone with Network Access Can Open Files option button in
the Public Folder Sharing subsection. To give complete access to the files
(not usually recommended), click the Turn On Sharing So Anyone with
Network Access Can Open, Change and Create Files option button instead.
To enable the users who have access to your computer to use the
printer(s) installed on it, click the Turn On Printer Sharing option button
in the Printer Sharing subsection.
To enable users who have access to your computer to share the music,
pictures, and videos that you place in your public folders, click the
Change button in the Media Sharing subsection and then click the Share
My Media option button. Next click OK in the Media Sharing dialog box
and Continue in the User Account Control dialog box.
4. Click the Advanced Sharing button in the Disk Properties dialog box, and
then click the Continue button in the User Account Control dialog box to
open the Advanced Sharing dialog box.
5. Click the Share This Folder option button.
6. Enter a descriptive name for the shared drive in the Share Name text box.
Note that this share name can contain spaces.
7. (Optional) If you want to restrict the maximum number of users who can
access the share, click the Limit The Number of Simultaneous Users To
option button and then enter the number (or select it with the spinner
buttons) in its text box.
8. (Optional) To set read and write permissions for individual users, click the
Permissions command button and then make the necessary changes in the
Permissions dialog box before you click OK. To determine whether the files
and programs on the shared drive are available offline and how they are
cached on the other computers, click the Caching command button and
then make your changes in the Offline Settings dialog box and click OK.
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9. Click the OK button in the Advanced Sharing dialog box.
Vista then closes the Advanced Sharing dialog box and returns you to the
drive’s Properties dialog box where the word Shared now appears
beneath the hard drive’s letter at the top of the Sharing tab.
10. Click the OK button in the drive’s Properties dialog box to close it and
start sharing the hard disk drive.
After closing the Properties dialog box, you’ll notice that the hard drive icon in
the Computer window now sports the picture of two people to indicate that the
drive is now being shared with others on the network.
Keep in mind that after you move or copy a file or folder to one of the subfolders
in the Public Explorer window, all the network users who have access to your
computer can use its files by opening the Public folder on your computer (the
path to which is C:\Users\Public).
Although you can restrict network users from making changes to the contents of
the Public folder on your computer, keep in mind that Vista provides no way for
you to limit the display of the files you place in any of its subfolders. Therefore,
don’t ever put any files there to which not every single soul on the network
should have access.
To stop sharing a drive, right-click the drive icon and click Share to once again
open the drive’s Properties dialog box. Click the Advanced Sharing command
button and then click the Continue button in the User Account Control dialog
box. Click the Share This Folder check box to remove its check mark. Click OK
to close the Advanced Settings dialog box and then Close to close the drive’s
Properties dialog box.
Sharing folders and files with other users on the same computer
If you share your computer with other co-workers, you can share any of your
files with them provided that you (or your computer’s administrator) have set
up a user account and password on your computer (see “User Account Control”
in Part 6 for details).
To share a file with a networked co-worker who has a user account and password on your computer, you follow these simple steps:
1. Open the Explorer window with the folder(s) and/or file(s) you need to
share.
2. Select the folder(s) and file(s) and then click the Share button on the
window’s toolbar.
Vista opens a File Sharing dialog box listing the names of all the users who
have accounts on your computer (see Figure 2-9).
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3. Select the names of the user accounts to add in the Choose People to
Share With drop-down list box and then click the Add button to add the
names to the Sharing list box below.
If a particular user’s name is not listed, click the Create a New User item at
the bottom of the drop-down list to open the User Accounts Control
Panel, where you can set up a new user account for the person (see “User
Accounts Control” in Part 6).
4. (Optional) By default, Vista assigns the Reader permission level to all new
user accounts that you add to the Choose People to Share With list box. If
you want to grant other permissions, click Contributor or Co-owner in the
Permission Level drop-down list.
The levels of permission are
• Reader, to restrict the user to viewing the files in the folder
• Contributor, to allow the user to add as well as view the folder and
delete only those files that they add to it
• Co-owner, to give full permission to the user to make any editing
changes to the files in the folder, including adding, deleting, and
modifying them
5. After adding the accounts of all the users who need to share the selected
folder(s) and file(s) and setting their permission levels, click the Share
button to close the File Sharing dialog box.
Figure 2-9
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Program Management
All application programs that you purchase out of the box have their own setup
programs that lead you through the entire installation procedure. Most of these
setup programs launch automatically as soon as you place their program
CD-ROMs or DVDs in your computer’s CD-ROM/DVD drive.
On the rare occasion that a setup program does not start running on its own,
you can jump-start the procedure by opening the Run window from the Start
menu (just type ru in the Start Search text box if Run doesn’t appear on the
Start menu and then click its hyperlink) and then typing setup.exe in its Open
text box before you click OK or press Enter.
After you’ve installed your application programs on your Vista computer, you
can use its Installed Programs Control Panel window to monitor these programs
as well as to repair or remove them.
Removing or repairing a program
To remove a program installed on your computer, you need to open the
Programs and Features Control Panel window. To do this, click Start 䉴 Control
Panel and then click the Uninstall a Program link under Programs in the Control
Panel Home window. Next, select the application name in the list and then click
the Uninstall (sometimes called Uninstall/Change) button on the Programs and
Features Control Panel window’s toolbar. Next, Vista may open a User Account
Control dialog box when you do to this, in which case you need to click the
Continue button. Then click the Yes button on the alert dialog box that appears
asking you if you’re sure that you want to remove the program and all its components from your computer.
If you’re having trouble running one or more of the Microsoft Office application
programs (in Microsoft Office 2003 or some earlier version), you can try fixing
the programs by clicking the Microsoft Office listing and then clicking the Repair
button on the Programs and Features Control Panel window’s toolbar.
Changing the program defaults
By default, Windows Vista automatically configures particular programs to do
certain tasks such as browse the Internet, receive and send e-mail, and play
audio and video files on your computer. You can, if you desire, change these program associations on your computer by opening the Set Program Access and
Computer Defaults dialog box.
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You open the Set Program Access and Computer Defaults dialog box by clicking
Start 䉴 Default Programs. Next click the Set Programs Access and Computer
Defaults link in the Default Programs Control Panel window followed by the
Continue button in the Permission dialog box.
The Set Program Access and Computer Defaults dialog box contains three
Configuration option buttons:
⻬ Microsoft Windows to select all Microsoft programs for your Internet and
media playing needs
⻬ Non-Microsoft to select all the non-Microsoft programs that you’ve
installed on your computer for your Internet and media playing needs
⻬ Custom (the default) to use whatever Internet or media-playing program
that you’re currently using on the computer but still retain access to
Microsoft’s Internet and media software (just in case you one day see the
light and decide that you want to junk your non-Microsoft browser, e-mail
client, or media player in favor of Internet Explorer, Windows Mail,
Windows Media Center, and Windows Media Player)
To completely change a new configuration, simply click its option button in the
Set Program Access and Computer Defaults dialog box and then click OK. To
change only certain program associations within a configuration (especially the
Custom configuration), click its expand button (the one with two >> pointing
downward) and then modify individual settings within that configuration before
you click OK.
Figure 2-10 shows you the Set Program Access and Computer Defaults dialog
box on my computer after expanding its Custom section to display the default
Web browser and default E-mail program settings.
Figure 2-10
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Restart, Sleep/Hibernate, Lock, Log Off, and Shut Down
After you press the computer’s power button to power up the machine and start
the Windows Vista operating system, the Vista Start menu contains all the other
controls you need in order to switch between users, reboot the system, and, at
the end of the day, power down and shut the machine off.
To the immediate right of the Start Search text box at the bottom of the Start
menu, you find a brown button (with a vertical bar in the middle of a circle). On
a desktop computer, this is the Power button that, when clicked, saves all open
files and programs to the computer’s hard drive before putting the machine in a
low-power state for quick start-up. If you’re running Vista on a laptop computer,
the Power button functions as a sleep button that keeps all your open windows
and programs in the computer’s memory before going into a low-power mode
for even quicker start-up.
You can change the function of the Power button. Open the System Settings
Control Panel window (Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴 Hardware and Sound 䉴 Change
What the Power Buttons Do) and then click the When I Press the Power Button
drop-down button and select an option (Do Nothing, Sleep, Hibernate) on its
drop-down list. If you’re changing the settings for the Power button on a laptop,
you can select different settings for the Power button when the laptop is on battery power and when it’s plugged in.
To the immediate right of the Power button, you find the Lock This Computer
button (with a picture of a padlock). When you click this button, Vista locks up
the computer so that no one can use it again without first correctly entering
your password at your start-up screen. This mode is very useful when you’re
going to be away from your computer (as when on break or lunch) and want to
make sure that no unauthorized person can access your files.
To the immediate right of the Lock This Computer button, you find a pop-up
button called the Shut Down Options button. When you click this button, a
menu with the following items appears:
⻬ Switch User to switch to another user account on the computer without
closing your open programs and Windows processes
⻬ Log Off to switch to another user account on the computer after closing all
of your open programs and Windows processes
⻬ Lock to lock up the computer while you’re away from it (same as clicking
the Lock button)
⻬ Restart to reboot the computer (often required as part of installing new
software programs or Windows updates)
⻬ Sleep to put the computer into a low-power mode that retains all running
programs and open windows in computer memory for super-quick restart
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⻬ Hibernate (found only on laptop computers) to put the computer into a
low-power mode after saving all running programs and open windows on
the machine’s hard drive for quick restart
⻬ Shut Down to quit all programs you have running and close all open win-
dows before completely powering down the computer
Vista shows its old DOS roots by still honoring the good old three-finger salute —
Ctrl+Alt+Del. When you press these keys in unison in Vista, the screen blacks
out for a moment before presenting you with a blue-green screen containing the
following text options: Lock This Computer, Switch User, Log Off, Change a
Password, and Start Task Manager.
In addition to these text options, this screen contains the following buttons:
⻬ Cancel button to return to the Vista desktop along with all of your open
program windows.
⻬ Ease of Access button — the blue button in the lower-left corner of the
screen — to open the Ease of Access dialog box where you can select
among various accessibility settings for making the computer easier to use
for those visual and other physical impairments.
⻬ Power button — the red button — to shut down the computer equipped
with its own pop-up button in the lower-right corner of the screen — note
that the items on the menu attached to this pop-up button include Restart,
Sleep, Hibernate (on a laptop), and Shut Down.
Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer (not to be confused with Internet Explorer, its Internet equivalent) provides you the means for navigating your computer system by giving
you access to all aspects of your computer system from your user files (simply
called documents) to the Control Panel.
You can access Windows Explorer by clicking any of the following links that
appear in the right column of the Start menu:
⻬ Documents typically contains the text and data type files (also known as
document files) you create — this is the default location for saving document files for programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel and is the Vista
equivalent of My Documents in Windows XP.
⻬ Pictures typically contains the digital photographs and other types of
graphic files you store on your computer — this is the Vista equivalent of
My Pictures in Windows XP.
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⻬ Music typically contains the music audio files (in all different audio formats
such as MP3, WMA, and WAV) you store on your computer — this is the
Vista equivalent of My Music in Windows XP.
⻬ Games contains all the games that come installed with Windows Vista (see
“Games” in Part 7).
⻬ Search to open a window where you can quickly search the entire contents
of your computer (see “Search” in Part 1).
⻬ Computer displays all the local and mapped network drives on your com-
puter as well as all peripheral devices currently connected to it (see “Disk
Management” earlier in this part).
⻬ Network displays all the computers currently a part of your local area net-
work (see “Network and Sharing Center” in Part 3).
⻬ Control Panel displays all the settings you can change on your computer
system (see “Control Panel” in Part 5).
Changing the display of an Explorer window
You can control how the information returned to any Explorer window is displayed through the use of the Layout item on the Organize button’s drop-down
menu and the View buttons on its toolbar.
The Layout menu item on the Organize button’s drop-down menu contains the
following submenu:
⻬ Menu Bar to turn on and off the display of the pull-down menus File
through Help.
⻬ Search Pane to turn on and off the display of the Search pane, where you
can perform a quick or advanced search for particular folders or files. (See
“Search” in Part 1.)
⻬ Details Pane to turn on and off the display of the Details pane along the
bottom of the window that gives you information about the currently
selected item in the window and often enables you to add searchable information through the use of its Edit link.
⻬ Preview Pane to turn on and off the display of the Preview pane on the
right side of the window that displays a live view of whatever folder or file
is currently selected in the window.
⻬ Navigation Pane to turn on and off the display of the Navigation pane on
the left side of the window that you use to open new folders on your computer system.
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The pop-up slider attached to the Views button contains the following view
options (you can also select Large Icons, List, Details, and Tile options in succession by repeatedly clicking the Views button):
⻬ Extra Large Icons to display the folders and files in the window as really
huge icons with their name displayed as a caption beneath the icons.
⻬ Large Icons to display the folders and files in the window as fairly larger
icons with their name displayed beneath the icons.
⻬ Medium Icons to display the folders and files in the window as medium-
sized icons with their name displayed beneath the icons.
⻬ Small Icons to display the folders and files in the window as fairly small
icons with their name displayed as a caption to the right side of the icons.
⻬ List to display icons followed by the folder and file names in a single-
column list.
⻬ Details to display information about the folders and files in the window in a
strict columnar format that includes Name, Date Modified, Type, Authors,
and Tags — note that you can widen and narrow these columns as needed
by dragging the borders of their labels to the left and right.
⻬ Tiles to display the folders and files in the window as icons with text giving
their names and file size arranged in one or two vertical columns.
Keep in mind that when selecting any one of the Icons options, you can use the
Views slider to select sizes in between the preset sizes utilized by selecting
the Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, or Small Icons option.
Sorting and filtering items in an Explorer window
Regardless of which view you use in an Explorer window, the Name, Date
Modified, Type, Authors, and Tags buttons continue to appear at the top of the
display area (although they only function as column headings when you select
Details as the Views option).
You can use any of these buttons to sort or filter the current contents of any
Explorer window. To sort the contents, simply click the button that you want to
use in sorting: once to sort the list of folders and files in descending order (Z to
A for text and most recent to least recent for dates) indicated by a triangle pointing downward in the middle above the name of the column, and a second time
to return the files to their original ascending order (A to Z for text and least
recent to most recent for dates) indicated by a triangle pointing upward.
When using a view other than Details, all these buttons also enable you to
rearrange the folder and file contents of the current window into different
related bundles by using the Stack option that appears at the bottom of the
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button’s drop-down menu. Figure 2-11 illustrates this kind of stacked arrangement. Here, I have selected the Stack by Name option on the Name columns’
drop-down menu (with the Large Icons view selected). Vista then opens a Search
Results window that arranges all the documents on my computer into five different stacks: Other for files whose names begin with symbols, 0-9 for files whose
names begin with numbers, A-H, I-P, and Q-Z for files whose names begin with
those groups of letters. To open an Explorer window listing of all the files in any
one of these different stacks, all I have to do is to double-click its stack icon.
Figure 2-11
All the buttons (Name through Tags) enable you to rearrange their contents into
related groups, using a Group search option on the button’s drop-down menu.
Figure 2-12 shows an example of this kind of arrangement. Here, you see the
Search Results windows after I’ve selected the Group option on Type column’s
drop-down menu when the Details view is selected. As you can see, Vista provides both expand (the downward-pointing > symbol) and collapse (the upwardpointing > symbol) buttons for each kind of folder and file group it creates so
that you can easily hide and display its individual listings.
To return the contents of an Explorer window to its normal display after using a
button’s Stack or Group option, all you need to do is click the Sort option on
that column’s drop-down menu (to the immediate left of the Group option).
In addition to being able to sort and rearrange the items in an Explorer window,
Vista also enables you to filter their contents to just those types of folders and
files you want to see. All you have to do to filter the contents by using any of the
different buttons (Name through Tags) is to open its drop-down menu and then
click the check boxes for all the types of folders and files you want displayed.
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Figure 2-12
For example, Figure 2-13 shows you my Documents window after filtering its
contents by selecting the July 3 through July 21, 2006, by dragging through these
dates on the Date Modified column’s Filter by a Specific Date calendar. As soon
as I do this, Vista filters out all folders and files except for those that I worked
with sometime during these three work weeks in July, 2006.
Figure 2-13
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Note that when filtering the contents of a window, you can select settings from
more than one button’s drop-down menu to refine the results. For example, if I
want to see only the Excel workbook files I modified during the first week of
May, 2006, I would not only select the dates on the Date Modified button’s dropdown calendar but click the Microsoft Office Excel check box on the Type
button’s drop-down menu as well.
To restore an Explorer window to its previous contents after filtering it, simply
remove the check marks from all the check boxes on the different buttons’ dropdown menus that you selected.
You can always filter a stacked or grouped list to display only those folders and
files you want to work with. In addition, keep in mind that you can save these
stacked and grouped arrangements as search folders that you can redisplay
simply by opening them in the Search window (Start 䉴 Search). See “Search”
in Part 1 for details.
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Part 3
Networking
Windows Vista is right at home with all types of private networking currently
in use, everything from peer-to-peer or ad hoc networks in the home to smallscale local area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs) in business.
Networks like the one shown in this figure enable the computers you have to
share resources such as network printers, scanners, and, most important,
broadband connections to the Internet.
In this part . . .
⻬
⻬
Connecting to a dialup, VPN, or wireless network
Viewing and exploring the computers on the network
Managing network connections for wired and wireless networks
⻬ Viewing a map of the network
⻬ Managing and setting up your network connections
⻬
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Connect to a Network
Types of connections to such private networks include the more traditional
Ethernet connection, with its network adapters and cabling, along with the newer,
and ever increasingly popular, wireless connection (commonly referred to as WiFi), with its wireless network adapters and access points (also known as hotspots).
Fortunately, during installation, Vista is super at detecting existing private networks and often requires little or no additional network setup. The topics covered in this part of the book pinpoint the networking features in Vista and how
you use them to create networking connections as well as how to maintain them.
If your computer running the Vista operating system connects to your network
via a dialup, VPN (virtual private network), or wireless connection, you can click
the Connect To item on the Start menu either to disconnect from a current connection or to make a new connection.
When you click Start 䉴 Connect To, Vista opens a Connect to a Network dialog
box similar to the one shown in Figure 3-1. By default, Vista shows all the networks to which your computer is or can be connected. To limit this listing to
just those wireless networks that are in range, click the Wireless option on the
Show drop-down list. To limit the network connection listing to just those dialup
or VPN networks to which you can connect, click the Dial-up and VPN item on
the Show drop-down list.
Figure 3-1
To connect to a listed network, click its name and then click the Connect button.
If the network requires you to supply a key, Vista then prompts you to enter
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your network security key in the Connect to a Network dialog box, assuming
that your wireless connection requires some type of authentication — click the
Show Characters check box to have the characters you type displayed in the
Encryption text box. After you successfully enter your security key, click the
Connect button to have Vista use the key in establishing the connection.
To disconnect from the network to which you’re currently connected, click it
and then click the Disconnect button. Vista then prompts you to confirm your
disconnection in the Connect to a Network dialog box by clicking the Disconnect
link, after which you can click the Close button.
Manage Network Connections
You can use the Network Connections window to manage any of the Ethernet
and wireless connections you use to connect your computer to the company’s
network or the Internet. To open this window, click the Manage Networks
Connections link that appears in the Navigation pane of your computer’s
Network and Sharing Center Control Panel (opened by clicking Start 䉴 Network
and then clicking the Network and Sharing Center button, or by clicking Start 䉴
Control Panel 䉴 View Network Status and Tasks).
When you click the Manage Network Connections link, Vista opens a Network
Connections Control Panel window similar to the one shown in Figure 3-2. This
windows shows all the wired and wireless networks that your computer
attempts to automatically access when you turn on your computer.
Figure 3-2
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To change any of the settings for a particular network connection displayed in
this window, right-click the Connection icon and then click the appropriate
option on its shortcut menu. Click the Diagnose option when you’re having trouble using a particular connection to get online and you want to see if Windows
can suggest ways to fix the problem. Click the Properties option when you need
to view or change any of the networking or sharing settings. Note, however, that
you must have administrator user status in order to open up the properties
dialog box for any of your computer’s network connections.
Manage Wireless Networks
If your computer uses a Wi-Fi adapter to connect to your company’s network as
well as to the Internet, you can use the Manage Wireless Networks link that
appears in the Navigation pane of your computer’s Network and Sharing Center
Control Panel (opened by clicking Start 䉴 Network and then clicking the Network
and Sharing Center button, or by clicking Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴 View Network
Status and Tasks).
When you click the Manage Wireless Networks link, Vista opens a Manage
Wireless Networks Control Panel window similar to the one shown in Figure 3-3.
This windows shows all the wireless networks that your computer attempts to
automatically access when the computer (assuming it’s a laptop) is in range of
the network, along with the type of security it uses.
Figure 3-3
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Modifying the order in which Vista automatically
connects to wireless networks
To modify the order in which your computer tries to connect to one of the wireless networks listed in the Manage Wireless Networks Control Panel window, all
you have to do is drag its network icon to a new position in the list (up to the
top of the list to promote it as the first network to try to connect to, and down
to the bottom to demote it as the last network to try to connect to).
You can also change the order of a wireless connection by clicking it in the
Manage Wireless Networks window and then clicking either the Move Up or
Move Down buttons that appear on the toolbar above the list of the connections
as needed.
Manually adding a new wireless network
Sometimes, you will want to manually add a wireless network to the list in the
Manage Wireless Networks Control Panel window for which you’re currently out
of range, but to which you want Vista to automatically connect whenever you do
come in range.
To add a new wireless network to the Manage Wireless Networks Control Panel
window, follow these steps:
1. Open the Network and Sharing Center Control Panel either by clicking
Start 䉴 Network and then clicking the Network and Sharing Center button,
or by clicking Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴 View Network Status and Tasks.
2. Click the Manage Wireless Networks link in the Navigation pane of the
Network and Sharing Center Control Panel window.
3. Click the Add button on the Manage Wireless Networks window toolbar to
open the How Do You Want to Add a Network? dialog box.
4. Click the Manually Create a Network Profile option to open the Manually
Connect to a Wireless Network dialog box.
5. Enter the name of the wireless network in the Network Name text box.
6. If the wireless network is secured, select the type of security used (WEP,
WPA-Personal, WPA2-Personal, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise, or
802.11x) in the Security Type drop-down list box that currently contains
No Authentication (Open).
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) are
two security standards currently in use. Of the two, WEP is older and less
reliable. WPA2 (also known as 802.11i) is the latest version of WPA security for wireless networks. Personal mode is the one most often used by
home and small business wireless networks.
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7. If you select WPA2-Personal or WPA2-Enterprise as the Security Type and
your wireless network uses TKIP rather than AES type encryption, click
TKIP in the Encryption Type drop-down list box.
AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) is a block-type cipher adopted by the
U.S. government. TKIP (Temporary Key Integrity Protocol) is an older security protocol created to correct deficiencies in the WEP security standard.
8. Click the Security Key/Passphrase text box and there enter the security
key or passphrase assigned to the type of security and encryption used
by your wireless network.
WEP security keys are normally from either 5 to 13 case-sensitive characters or 10 to 26 hexadecimal case-sensitive characters. WPA and WPA2
security keys contain between 8 to 63 case-sensitive characters. To display the characters in the Security Key/Passphrase text box as you type
them, click the Display Characters check box.
9. (Optional) By default, Vista automatically connects to the network when
the computer comes into range. If you want to manually connect to the network each time the computer’s in range (using Start 䉴 Connect To), click
the Start Connection Automatically check box to remove its check mark.
10. (Optional) To have Vista connect to the in-range network even when it’s
not broadcasting, click the Connect Even If the Network Is Not
Broadcasting check box.
Vista opens a version of the Manually Connect to a Network dialog box
displaying a Successfully Added message along with a Connect To and
Change Connection Settings option.
11. Click the Connect To option if you now want to connect by using the new
wireless connection. Click the Change Connection Settings to open the
Wireless Network Properties dialog box for the new connection (where you
make modifications to the Connection or Security settings). Otherwise,
click the Close button.
After you close the Manually Connect to a Wireless Network dialog box, Vista
displays the name of the new wireless network connection at the top of the list
in the Manage Wireless Networks Control Panel window. You can then adjust the
order in which Vista uses this connection by dragging it down or demoting it by
clicking the Move Down button on the toolbar.
Removing an unused network from the list
To remove a wireless network that you no longer use from the list, click its network icon in the Manage Wireless Networks Control Panel window and then
click the Remove button on the window’s toolbar. Vista then displays a Warning
dialog box cautioning you that if you proceed by clicking OK, you will no longer
be able to connect to the wireless network automatically.
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Network Access
Clicking Start 䉴 Network opens a Network window similar to the one shown in
Figure 3-4. This Network window displays all the computers currently connected
to the network and gives you access to their files (assuming that the network file
and Discovery and Sharing has been turned on).
Figure 3-4
Figure 3-4 shows you the shared computers currently connected to my local
area network. Note that all five of these computers (including Vista-Two, the
computer on which this screenshot was taken) are a part of the same workgroup
called LUNKHEADS, indicated by the group heading (of which DILBERT happens
to be the name of the network server). (To create this arrangement by workgroup, I simply clicked the Group option on the menu opened by clicking the
Domain field’s drop-down button.)
Icons for the computers connected to your network for which File Sharing (in
computers running pre-Vista Windows) or Discovery and Sharing has not been
turned on do not show up in the Network window even when the computers
are turned on and connected to the network.
Turning on File Sharing or Discovery and Sharing
When a computer on the network is running an earlier version of Windows
such as Windows XP, the Sharing and Security settings for the hard drive whose
files you want to share must be enabled in order to allow sharing and for the
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computer’s icon to appear in Vista’s Network window. To turn on file sharing for
the computer’s hard drive or a folder, follow these steps:
1. Click Start→My Computer to open the My Computer window.
2. Right-click the hard drive icon for the drive whose files you want to share
and then click Sharing and Security on the drive’s shortcut menu.
Windows opens the Properties dialog box for the selected drive with the
Sharing tab selected displaying a message that sharing the root drive of
your computer is not recommended.
3. Click the If You Understand the Risk but Still Want to Share the Root of the
Drive, Click Here link.
The Local Sharing and Security and Network Sharing and Security options
replace the warning message on the Sharing tab.
4. Click the Share This Folder on the Network check box in the Network
Sharing and Security section of the Sharing tab.
5. (Optional) Click the Shared Name text box and there enter the name you
want to appear (Windows selects the disk’s drive letter as the default
share name).
6. (Optional) If you want to give permission to other users who have access
to the network to change the files in the folders on the disk you’re sharing, click the Allow Network Users to Change My Files check box.
7. Click the OK button to close the Properties dialog box and begin sharing
the drive on the network (indicated in the My Computer window by the
appearance of the hand underneath the drive icon).
Windows closes the Properties dialog box and the next time you open the My
Computer window, the icon for the drive you’ve just shared will have a hand
holding the disk indicating that it’s now being shared.
When a computer on the network is running Windows Vista, the Network
Discovery and File Sharing settings for that computer must be enabled in order
for that computer’s icon to appear in the Network window. To do this, assuming
that your user account has administrator status, follow these steps:
1. Open the Network window by clicking Start 䉴 Network.
2. Click the Network and Sharing Center button on the Network window tool-
bar to open the Network and Sharing Center window.
3. Click the downward pointing > to the right of Network Discovery in the
Sharing and Discovery section of the window, and then click the Turn On
Network Discovery option button and click the Apply command button.
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4. Click the Continue button in the User Account Control dialog box that
appears.
Windows replaces the Off after Network Discovery to On, indicating that
this setting is now enabled.
5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4, this time for the File Sharing listing immediately
below Network Discovery in the Sharing and Discovery section of the
Network and Sharing Center Window.
After clicking the Turn On File Sharing option button and the Continue
button in User Account Control dialog box, On now appears after File
Sharing in the Sharing and Discovery list.
6. Click the Close button to close the Network and Sharing Center window.
Opening and exploring shared computers on the network
You can open any of the computers displayed in the Network window and access
their files in whatever drives and folders are shared on that computer. To do this,
double-click the computer’s icon in the Network window, or right-click it and then
click the Open (or Explore) item on the shortcut menu.
Vista then opens a window showing all the shared drives, folders, and devices
such as shared printers (which you can then open by double-clicking their icons).
Figure 3-5 shows you the window that opens when I double-click the INSPIRON
computer icon shown in the Network window in Figure 3-4. As you can see, this
window contains a folder for shared C: drive on this computer, its SharedDocs
folder, and a bunch of printers.
Figure 3-5
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If you find yourself accessing the same files in a particular folder on a network
computer or network server on a regular basis, consider mapping that folder as
a local drive on your computer. That way, instead of having to open the folder
via the Network window, you can access the folder quickly and directly from the
Computer window (Start 䉴 Computer), where it appears as though it were a
local drive. The best part is that you can have Vista map this folder as a local
drive in the Computer window each and every time that you boot the computer
so that you only have to perform the actual mapping procedure one time. See
“Mapping a network folder as a local drive” in Part 2 for details.
Network and Sharing Center
Vista’s Network and Sharing Center enables you to view at a glance the status of
your networks as well as the connections they utilize. To open a Network and
Sharing Center Control Panel window similar to the one shown in Figure 3-6,
either click the Network and Sharing Center button on the Network window’s
toolbar (Start 䉴 Network), or open it via the Control Panel by clicking Start 䉴
Control Panel 䉴 View Network Status and Tasks.
Figure 3-6
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The Network and Sharing Center window contains three sections:
⻬ Network and Sharing Center, which contains a simple schematic showing
how your computer (marked This Computer) is connected to the network
and the Internet — questionable connections are indicated in the map by
exclamation points in a yellow triangle, whereas breaks in the connections
are indicated by red Xs.
⻬ Private or Public Network, which shows how your computer is connected
as well as the category of the network connection. (Private indicates home
or business networks that are not open to the general public; Public stands
for networks that broadcast in public places such as cafes and airports.)
⻬ Sharing and Discovery, which displays a list showing the current status of
the various sharing settings on your computer (either On for enabled or
Off for disabled — see “Turning on File Sharing or Discovery and Sharing”
earlier in this chapter for details).
If you find some sort of trouble with your computer’s connection to the network
or to the Internet in the schematic displayed in the Status area, click the yellow
triangle with the exclamation point or the red X in the map to have Vista diagnose the particular problem and, in some cases, even repair the connection.
Network Map
In addition to the simple schematic that Vista displays in the Status area of the
Network and Sharing Center Control Panel window (showing your computer’s
basic connection to the network and Internet), you can have Vista display a
more detailed network map. To do this, click the View Full Map link that appears
in the upper-right corner of the Status area in the Network and Sharing Center
window.
Figure 3-7 shows you the complete Network Map that Vista created in a Network
Map Control Panel window when I clicked the View Full Map link in the Network
and Sharing Center window shown in Figure 3-6. As shown in Figure 3-7, this
detailed map traces all the intermediary steps followed by the two computers in
my office that run Windows Vista.
According to the detailed map in Figure 3-7, the computer named Vista-One connects directly to the network Gateway through the Ethernet switch, whereas the
computer named Vista-Two connects to the network via a wireless connection
(indicated by the dashes in the schematic) to a wireless access point connection
called Invmom, which, in turn, connects directly to the Ethernet switch. All traffic routed by the Ethernet switch then goes directly to file server (DILBERT, not
included in the schematic), which connects to the Gateway (a broadband cable
modem), which provides the Internet access to the network.
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Figure 3-7
Keep in mind that Vista does not include network computers running non-Vista
versions of Windows in the full map created in the Network Map Control Panel
window. Icons for network computers not running Vista are orphaned to the
Preview pane at the bottom of the Network Map Control Panel window (in the
example shown in Figure 3-7, this includes SHANDY and INSPIRON, both running
Windows XP, and DILBERT, the network file server running Microsoft Windows
Server 2003).
Just as with the simple map shown in the Status area of the Network Center
window, if you find some sort of trouble is indicated in the connections shown in
the full Network Map, simply click the yellow triangle with the exclamation point
or the red X in the full map to have Vista diagnose the particular problem and,
hopefully, even repair the connection.
Set Up a Connection or Network
Vista makes it easy to set up a connection to an existing network as well as to a
new peer-to-peer or ad hoc network so that you can share files, peripherals such
as printers and scanners, and even the Internet.
To set up a network connection, click Set Up a Connection or Network link in
the Navigation pane of the Network and Sharing Center Control Panel window
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(Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴 View Network Status and Tasks). Vista then opens the Set
Up a Connection or Network dialog box, shown in Figure 3-8, where you select the
type of connection to create before selecting the Next button:
⻬ Connect to the Internet to open the Connect to the Internet dialog box
where you select the type of connection (wireless, broadband (PPPoE) or
dialup) to use. Next, specify the information required for you to log onto
the Internet Service Provider (ISP) or wireless network for the type of connection you select.
⻬ Set Up a Wireless Router or Access Point to start a wizard that walks you
through the steps of configuring a new wireless router or access point.
⻬ Set Up a Dial-Up Connection to open the Set Up a Dial-Up Connection dialog
box, where you enter the dialup information for your Internet Service
Provider (ISP) including the dialup phone number, username, and password.
⻬ Connect to a Workplace to open the Connect to a Workplace dialog box,
where you choose between using a VPN or dialup connection for connecting. If you click Use My Internet Connection (VPN) button, a Connect to a
Workplace dialog box opens, where you enter the Internet address and destination name you use to log onto the network at your workplace as provided by the network’s administrator or your company’s IT department. If
you click the Dial Directly button, a Connect to Workplace dialog box opens,
where you enter the dialup information for your Internet Service Provider
(ISP) including the dialup phone number, username, and password.
Figure 3-8
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If you’re running Vista on a laptop computer equipped with wireless networking,
the Set Up a Connection or Network dialog box also contains the following two
options:
⻬ Manually Connect to a Wireless Network that enables you to select a
hidden network or create a new wireless connection by using a different
wireless network adapter installed in your computer.
⻬ Set Up a Wireless Ad Hoc (Computer to Computer) Network that you can
use to create a temporary network connection between two wireless
laptop computers for sharing files, peripherals, and the Internet (note that
the laptops must be within 30 feet of one another).
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Part 4
Communications
Windows Vista offers you some pretty exciting communication features in the
form of a brand new version of its award-winning Internet Explorer, shown in the
following figure, plus a whole new e-mail program simply called Windows Mail.
You can also use the new Windows Collaboration feature to share files and programs, and even your Vista desktop, with other computers on your network.
In this part . . .
⻬
⻬
⻬
⻬
⻬
Browsing the Web with Internet Explorer 7
Using Vista’s speech recognition and text-to-speech features
Faxing and scanning documents with Windows Fax and Scan
Doing e-mail with Windows Mail
Collaborating with other Vista PCs on the network
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Internet Explorer 7
Windows Vista includes Windows Internet Explorer 7, which enables you to
browse Web pages anywhere on the Internet. This most recent version of the
Microsoft Web browser is equipped with all the latest and greatest features for
helping you find, visit, and retrieve any online information that might interest you.
Two basic steps are involved in browsing Web pages with the Internet Explorer 7
browser:
⻬ Connecting to the Internet
⻬ Going to the Web page
You can also launch Internet Explorer 7 from a folder window, such as
Documents or Computer. When you select a Web page in one of these windows,
either by typing the URL in the address bar or selecting a bookmarked Web page
on the Favorites menu (when Classic Menus are displayed), Windows launches
Internet Explorer 7 and opens the specified page.
Connecting to the Internet
You connect to the Internet either with a dialup modem or a cable or DSL
modem connection (all of which use a modem directly connected to your computer), or with a connection to a LAN that’s connected to the Internet through
some sort of high-speed telephone line, such as a T1 or T3.
When you connect to the Internet via a dialup connection (as you might still
have do at home), your modem must call up an Internet service provider (ISP),
such as America Online (AOL), whose high-speed telephone lines and fancy
switching equipment provide you (for a fee) with access to the Internet and all
the online services.
When you connect to the Internet via a cable or DSL modem or a LAN (as is
becoming more and more common from home as well as from work), you don’t
have to do anything special to get connected to the Internet: You have Internet
access any time you turn on your computer and launch Internet Explorer.
To configure a connection to the Internet, click Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴 View
Network Status and Tasks (under Network and Internet) to open the Network
Center window. There, click the Set Up a Connection or Network link to open
the Set Up a Connection or Network dialog box, where you click the link for the
type of connection. See “Set Up a Connection or Network” in Part 3 for more
information.
Launching Internet Explorer 7
To launch Internet Explorer 7, click the Start button on the Windows taskbar
and then click the Internet option at the very top of the Start menu.
Alternatively, click the Launch Internet Explorer Browser icon (the one with
the blue e shown in the left margin) in the Quick Launch toolbar that appears
on the Windows Vista taskbar.
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The first time you launch Internet Explorer 7, Vista displays a Customize Your
Settings page, where you specify your language and region before clicking the
Save Your Settings button. After doing that, the program displays a Tour of New
Features page that you can use to become familiar with the new features. From
then on, when you launch Internet Explorer, the program connects to Windows
Live home page, which enables you to search for stuff on the Web or customize
what content is displayed on this page (see Figure 4-1).
Figure 4-1
When first installed, Internet Explorer 7 displays neither the menu bar with the
pull-down menus (File through Help) nor the Links toolbar to its right (as was
the case in all earlier versions of this Web browser). To temporarily bring back
the menu bar so you can perform a particular menu command, press the Alt key
(you can then complete the command sequence by typing the hot key letters
assigned to the other menu items). To permanently bring the menu bar, click the
Tools button and then click Menu Bar on the drop-down menu. To display a
Links button with its own continuation button (>>) to the right, click the Links
option on the Tools 䉴 Toolbars menu. After that, you can add new Web pages to
the Links continuation menu by simply dragging the current page’s icon (that
appears to the immediate left of the page’s URL in the address bar) and dropping it on the Links button. You can then easily go to the page by selecting its
name on this continuation menu.
Adding and changing home pages
When you click the Home button or press Alt+M in Internet Explorer 7, the
browser immediately opens whatever page’s URL address is listed at the very
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top of the Home button’s drop-down menu. To change this home page, navigate
to the Web page you want to use as your new home page. Click the drop-down
button attached to the Home button followed by Add or Change Home Page item
on this drop-down menu. Doing this opens the Add or Change Home Page dialog
box. Then click the Use This Webpage as Your Only Home Page option button
before you click the Yes button to close this dialog box.
In Internet Explorer 7, you can have more than one Web page designated as a
home page and therefore assigned to the additional Home page tabs. If you want
to add another home page, open the Web page you want to add as a home page in
Internet Explorer and click the Add This Webpage to Your Home Page Tabs option
button in the Add or Change Home Page dialog box. Then click the Yes button.
After you create an additional home page, when you next click the Home button,
Internet Explorer 7 then adds a tab for this additional home page that automatically appears to the right of the first home tab each time you launch this Web
browser. Then all you have to do to open one of the home pages is click its tab
or select the page with the Quick Tabs button (see “Using Internet Explorer 7
tabs” later in this part).
Keep in mind that if you ever want to remove a home page and its tab from
Internet Explorer 7, you can do so by clicking Remove on the Home button’s
drop-down menu, and then clicking the page to remove — Home Page, Home
Page (2), Home Page (3), and so on — from the submenu. Finally, click Yes in the
Delete Home Page dialog box to confirm its removal.
Navigating the Web
After your connection to the Internet is made and the home page appears in the
browsing window, you’re free to begin browsing other pages on the World Wide
Web by doing any of the following:
⻬ Entering the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of the Web page in the
address bar and pressing Enter or clicking the Go To button (the one with
the right-pointing arrowhead that appears as soon as you begin typing the
URL in the Address Bar).
⻬ Clicking hyperlinks on the currently displayed Web page that take you to
other Web pages, either on the same Web site or on another Web site.
⻬ Selecting a bookmarked Web page that appears in the Favorites Center or
the Favorites Explorer bar (Ctrl+I), or one that you’ve recently visited on
the History Explorer bar (Ctrl+H). See “Adding Web Favorites” later in this
part for details on how to add Web pages to the Favorites menu.
⻬ Using the MSN Search text box to the right of the Address bar to display
hyperlinks for the home pages of Web sites that might possibly fit some
search criteria, such as “IRA investments” or, better yet, “Hawaiian vacations.” See “Web search” later in this part for details on searching.
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Note that Internet Explorer 7 automatically displays the title of the Web page
you’re visiting in the current tab as well as on the Windows Internet Explorer
program’s title bar. See “Using Internet Explorer 7 tabs” later in this part for
information on adding tabs for the pages you visit.
After you start exploring different Web pages, you can start clicking the Back
button to the left of the address bar to return to any of the previously viewed
pages. Each time you click Back (or press Alt+←), Internet Explorer goes back to
the very last page you viewed. If you’ve visited several pages during the same
browsing session, you can jump to a particular page that you viewed by clicking
the Recent Pages drop-down button that appears to the immediate right of the
Forward button and then clicking the page you want to revisit from the dropdown list.
You can clear the list of recently browsed Web pages at any time by clicking
Tools 䉴 Delete Browsing History. Vista then opens the Delete Browsing History
dialog box, where you click the Delete History command button followed by the
Yes button in the alert dialog box that appears. You can also delete all copies of
Web pages, images, and other media cached on your computer for faster viewing from this Delete Browsing History dialog box by clicking its Temporary
Internet Files command button and then clicking Yes in its alert dialog box.
You can also revisit the list of pages that are in the browser’s history (that is, the
pages you’ve visited in the last 20 days unless you’ve changed the History
option) by clicking the address bar’s drop-down button and then clicking the
URL of the page you want to revisit from the drop-down list.
After using the Back button to revisit one or more previously viewed pages, the
Forward button (right next door) becomes active. Click the Forward button (or
press Alt+→) to step forward through each of the pages that you’ve viewed with
the Back button, or select a page to jump to in the Forward button drop-down list.
If you come upon a page that doesn’t seem to want to load for some reason
(including a broken hyperlink or too much Web traffic), click the Stop button
(with the red X to the immediate left of the MSN Search text box) or press Esc to
stop the process; then select a new Web site to visit. When revisiting a page, you
can make sure that the content currently displayed by Internet Explorer is completely up-to-date by clicking the Refresh button (with the two arrows pointing
down and up to the immediate left of the Stop Loading button).
Zooming in on page
If the text on the Web page you’re visiting is too small for you to read comfortably on your screen, click the 100% button on the Status bar at the bottom of the
Internet Explorer 7 window to zoom in on the page: Click once to zoom up to
125% magnification and a second time to zoom up to a 150% magnification.
Clicking this button a third time returns you to 100%. Note that you can also
zoom in by using the keyboard and pressing the Ctrl key and the plus key (+).
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If you need to boost the magnification of a Web page beyond 150%, you can select
the percentage from the Zoom drop-down menu, which you access by positioning
the mouse pointer over or clicking the Page button and then highlighting or clicking Zoom. The Zoom menu percentage selections include 50%, 75%, 100%, 125%,
150%, 200%, 400%, and Custom. You can also do this by clicking the Change Zoom
Level button (the drop-down button to the immediate right of the 100% button on
the Status bar) and clicking the percentage item from its pop-up menu.
If none of these presets work for you, click Custom to open the Custom Zoom
dialog box, where you can type any whole percentage number between 1 and
1,000 in the Percentage Zoom text box, or select it with the up and down spinner
buttons before you click OK.
You can also use the shortcut keys Ctrl+plus sign (+) and Ctrl+minus sign (–) to
zoom the Web page up and down, respectively, in 10% increments.
Using the Panning Hand to scroll the Web page
The Panning Hand button (the one with the right-hand icon to the immediate
right of the Home drop-down button) provides a really cool alternative to using
Internet Explorer’s vertical and horizontal scroll bars to bring new Web page
information into view in the Internet Explorer window when all the info won’t fit
in the window display.
When you click the Panning Hand button (or press Alt+G) to select it, your
mouse pointer assumes the hand shape, and you can then use this pointer to
drag new, unseen parts of the current Web page into view. Drag to the left to
bring hidden information on the right-hand side of the page into view. Drag
upward to bring hidden information on lower parts of the page into view.
Be careful to differentiate the hand mouse pointer for selecting hyperlinks on a
Web page from the hand mouse pointer for panning up and down and across the
page. The hand shape for selecting hyperlinks is a right hand with the thumb
and index fingers extended. The hand shape for panning the Web page is a right
hand with all the fingers bent and only the thumb extended.
Before you click the mouse to begin dragging across or down a Web page after
clicking the Panning Hand button, be sure that you’re not over a hyperlink (in
which case, the mouse pointer assumes the shape of a hand with the thumb and
index fingers extended). Otherwise, you end up selecting the link and jumping to
a new page rather than panning the current page.
When you’re finished using the Panning Hand mouse pointer to scroll through
the information on the page, click the Panning Hand button again to return the
mouse pointer to its original arrowhead shape.
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Address AutoComplete
Of all the methods for browsing pages on the Web that I mention in the list in the
preceding section, none is quite as bad as having to type URL addresses with
the http:// and the www. something or other .com in the address bar. To help
eliminate errors in typing and speed this tedious process, Windows employs a
feature called AutoComplete. This nifty feature looks at the first few characters
of the URL address you type in the address bar and, based on that, attempts to
match them to one of the complete addresses that is stored in the address bar
drop-down list.
For example, if you click the cursor in the address bar, select all the characters
in the current Web address that follow http://www (the standard beginning for
most Web addresses), and then replace the last part of the current address with
the letter h, AutoComplete opens the address bar drop-down list, displaying all
the Web sites that you’ve visited recently whose URL (after the standard http://
www. stuff) begins with h.
To visit any one of the pages listed in the address bar drop-down list, click that
name in the drop-down list. Internet Explorer then enters the complete URL
address of the Web site you clicked in the address bar and automatically displays the page.
The AutoComplete feature also works when you browse folders on a local or network disk. To display a list of recently viewed documents on your hard drive, click
the address bar, and then type the letter of your hard drive (c, in most cases); next
click the document you want to open in the Address Bar drop-down list.
Adding Web Favorites
You keep bookmarks for all of your preferred Web pages for easy revisiting. You
can access your Favorite bookmarks from the Favorites Center, opened by clicking the Favorites Center button (with the star) or pressing Alt+C.
If you display the pull-down menus in Internet Explorer 7 (by clicking Tools 䉴
Menu Bar), you can access your bookmarks directly from the Favorites dropdown menu.
When you first start adding to the Favorites Center, you’ll find that it already
contains folders such as Links and Microsoft. In addition, the Favorites folder
may contain a folder with your computer manufacturer’s favorite Web sites
(called something like “XYZ” Corporation Recommended Sites), Mobile
Favorites (if you connect a hand-held device to the computer), and a folder
called Imported Bookmarks, if you imported bookmarks from the address book
created with another Web browser e-mail program into Windows Mail.
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To add a bookmark to the Favorites Center for a favorite Web page on the
Internet, follow these steps:
1. Launch Internet Explorer 7 (Start 䉴 Internet) and visit the Web page for
which you want to add a bookmark in your Favorites folder.
See “Navigating the Web” earlier in this part for details on how to open a
Web page.
2. Click the Add to Favorites button (the star with the plus sign) and then
click Add to Favorites on its pop-up menu to open the Add a Favorite
dialog box similar to the one shown in Figure 4-2.
You can also open the Add a Favorite dialog box by right-clicking anywhere on the Web page itself and then clicking Add to Favorites on its
shortcut menu.
3. (Optional) If you want a different bookmark description to appear on the
Favorites menu, edit the name that currently appears in the Name text box.
4. (Optional) To add the bookmark in a subfolder of the Favorites folder, click
the Create In drop-down button to display a list of subfolders and then click
the icon of the subfolder in which to add the bookmark. To add the bookmark to a new folder, click the New Folder button, enter the folder name in
Folder Name text box in the Create a Folder dialog box, and click Create.
5. Click the Add button to close the Favorites Center dialog box and add the
bookmark to the Favorites Center.
Figure 4-2
Opening Favorites
After you add a Web page to your Favorites folder (or one of the subfolders),
you can open the page simply by selecting the bookmark, either from the
Favorites Center or from the Favorites pull-down menu (if the Classic menus are
displayed or press Alt+A, if the menus are hidden).
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To open the Favorites Center list in a temporary pane, click the Favorites Center
button (the one with the star) or press Alt+C. To visit a favorite listed on the
pane, click its link in the Favorites Center and then, when the content of the
page is loaded in Internet Explorer, click anywhere outside the Favorites Center
pane to close it. If the favorite you want to visit is saved in a subfolder, click that
folder’s icon in the Favorites Center pane to expand and display a list of the
favorite links it contains, which you can click to display the page.
To open the Favorites Center list in an Explorer bar that stays open until you
close it, press Ctrl+I or click Tools 䉴 Toolbars 䉴 Favorites. When you are finished
browsing your favorite Web pages, you can close the Favorites Center Explorer
bar by clicking its Close the Favorites Center button (the one with the X).
You can also keep the Favorites Center open by clicking the Pin the Favorites
Center button (the one with the green arrow pointing to the left in the right-hand
corner of the Favorites Center list).
To select a bookmark from the Favorites pull-down menu when the classic
menus are displayed in Internet Explorer, choose Favorites on the menu bar and
then select the name of the bookmark on the Favorites menu. If the bookmark is
located in a subfolder of the Favorites, you need to drill down to the subfolder
icon to open the submenu, where you can click the desired bookmark.
Organizing Favorites
Many times, you’ll find yourself going along adding bunches of bookmarks to
your preferred Web pages without ever bothering to create them in particular
subfolders. Then to your dismay, you’ll find yourself confronted with a seemingly endless list of unrelated bookmarks every time you open the Favorites
Center pane or Explorer bar.
Fortunately, Windows makes it easy to reorganize even the most chaotic of
bookmark lists in just a few easy steps:
1. In the Internet Explorer 7 window, click the Add to Favorites button (with
the plus sign) or press Alt+Z and then click Organize Favorites on the popup menu to open the Organize Favorites dialog box.
The list box of the Organize Favorites dialog box shows all the subfolders,
followed by all the bookmarks in the Favorites folder (similar to the one
shown in Figure 4-3).
2. To move a bookmark into one of the subfolders of Favorites, drag its icon
and then drop it on the icon of the subfolder. Alternatively, click the
favorite to select it and then click the Move button to open the Browse for
Folder dialog box. Then click the destination folder in the Browse for
Folder dialog box and then click OK.
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Figure 4-3
Use the following options in the Organize Favorites dialog box to create new
folders to hold your bookmarks, to rename bookmarks, or even to get rid of
unwanted bookmarks:
⻬ To create a new folder, click the New Folder button to add a new folder
icon; then type a new name for the folder, and press Enter.
⻬ To rename a link to a favorite Web page, click the icon to select it, click the
Rename button, edit the item name, and then press Enter.
⻬ To delete a link to a favorite Web page, click the icon and then click
the Delete button. Click Yes in the Delete File dialog box when it asks
whether you’re sure that you want to send that particular favorite to
the Recycle Bin.
Don’t delete or rename the Links folder in the Organize Favorites dialog box.
Internet Explorer 7 needs the Links folder so that it knows what items to list on
the Links button’s continuation menu (when the Links button option is selected
in Internet Explorer 7).
You can also use the drag-and-drop method to reorder the bookmarks in the
Favorites Center Explorer bar (Ctrl+Shift+I):
⻬ To open one of the folders on the Favorites Center Explorer bar to display
the folder contents, click the folder icon. Internet Explorer then displays a
series of icons for each of the subfolders and bookmarks its contents. To
close a folder to hide the contents, click the folder icon again.
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⻬ To move a bookmark to a new position in the folder, drag that icon up or
down until you reach the desired position. As you drag, you see where the
item will be inserted by the appearance of a heavy, horizontal I-beam
between the bookmarks. You also see where you cannot move the icon
because of the display of the international no-no symbol.
⻬ To move a bookmark icon to a different (existing) folder, drag the book-
mark icon to the folder icon. When the folder icon is highlighted, you can
drop the favorite icon into it.
Using Internet Explorer 7 tabs
Internet Explorer 7 displays each Web page that you browse in a tab showing
the page name. This current tab is not the only one you have in the Internet
Explorer window. To add a tab to Internet Explorer, click the New Tab button
(the blank button to the immediate right of the current tab in which a page icon
appears as soon as you position the mouse pointer on it) or press Ctrl+T.
When you click the New Tab button or press the Ctrl+T key combination,
Internet Explorer adds a Welcome to Tabbed Browsing Web page in a new tab
that appears to the right of the tab for the page you were viewing. The program also inserts a Quick Tabs button (shown in the left margin) on the tab
row to the immediate right of the Add to Favorites button.
When you navigate to another Web page after adding a new tab with a blank
page, Internet Explorer replaces the standard Welcome to Tabbed Browsing
page with that page and enters its title in the new tab. You can then go back and
forth between the Web page open in the first tab and the one you just navigated
to in the new tab by clicking their tabs.
You can also switch between open pages by clicking the Quick Tabs button or
pressing Ctrl+Q to display thumbnails of all the pages open on different tabs
(see Figure 4-4). Finally, click the thumbnail of the page you want to display in
the current tab.
Click the Quick Tabs button or press Ctrl+Q a second time to close the Quick
Tabs view and return to the normal page display in Internet Explorer 7. You can
also click the drop-down button to the immediate right of the Quick Tabs button
to display a list of all the tabs you have open in Internet Explorer (helpful when
you have so many tabs open that you can no longer read the names of their
pages on the tab bar). To select a new tab and display a new Web page, you
simply click its name on this drop-down list.
Note that you can close the tab for an open page’s tab in the Quick Tabs view by
clicking the close button (with the black X) that appears in the upper-right
corner of the title bar of its thumbnail image (opposite the page title). You can
also close a tab by clicking the close button that appears to the immediate right
of the current page’s tab when Internet Explorer is not in Quick Tabs view.
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Figure 4-4
When you exit Internet Explorer 7 after creating a bunch of tabs for the different
Web pages you’ve been visiting, the program displays an alert dialog box asking
you if you want to close all the tabs (which you must do by clicking its Close
Tabs button in order to shut down th Internet Explorer).
Click the Show Options drop-down button to display the Open These the Next
Time I Use Internet Explorer and the Do Not Show Me This Dialog Again check
boxes. Click the Open These the Next Time I Use Internet Explorer check box if
you want Internet Explorer to automatically display the same tab arrangement
the next time you launch the program. Click the Do Not Show Me This Dialog
Again check box before you click the Close Tabs button when you no longer
need to be reminded about how to restore multiple tabs from a previous session
in Internet Explorer — that way, you’ll be able to exit Internet Explorer without
having to deal with this alert dialog box again even when you have multiple tabs
open in its window.
Saving Web graphics
As you’re browsing Web pages with Internet Explorer, you may come upon some
sites that offer graphics or other images for downloading. You can save Web
graphics on your computer hard drive
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⻬ As a graphic file for viewing and printing in the Pictures folder by right-
clicking the graphic and then clicking Save Picture As on the image shortcut menu.
⻬ As the wallpaper for your desktop by right-clicking the graphic and then
clicking Set as Background on the image shortcut menu. Click the Yes
button in the alert dialog box that appears asking you if you’re sure you
want to replace the current background.
Keep in mind that when you save a Web graphic as the wallpaper for your desktop, Vista uses its Fit to Screen option to stretch the picture so that it fills the
entire desktop (which most often results in a severely distorted image). To center
it in the middle of the desktop or to tile the image (by duplicating it across the
entire desktop), right-click the desktop, click Personalize on the shortcut menu,
and then click the Desktop Background link. Click the Center or Tile option
button under How Should the Picture Be Positioned before you click OK.
You can also save a graphic on a Web page as an attachment in a new e-mail
message that you can then send to a friend or colleague by right-clicking the
image and then clicking the E-mail Picture option on the shortcut menu. An
Internet Explorer Security alert dialog may then appear asking your permission
to open the Web content on your computer where you click the Allow button to
continue. Vista then opens an Attach Pictures and Files dialog box that shows
the current size of the image and enables you to select a more or less compressed version to send by clicking its new size on the Picture Size drop-down
list. After selecting the size, click the Attach button to open a new message in
your e-mail program that you can then address and send. See “Windows Mail”
later in this part for more information on sending new e-mail messages.
Saving Web pages
Occasionally, you may want to save an entire Web page on your computer (text,
hyperlinks, graphics, and all). To save the Web page that currently appears in
Internet Explorer 7, click the Page button on the tab row and then click Save As
on its drop-down menu to open the Save Webpage dialog box. In this dialog box,
you can select the folder in which to save the page, assign a filename to it, and
even change its file type.
If the Classic menus are displayed in Internet Explorer, you can also open the
Save Webpage dialog box by choosing File➪Save As on the pull-down menus. If
the menus are not displayed, you can press Alt+F+A to open the Save Webpage
dialog box.
By default, Internet Explorer saves the Web pages as a Web Archive file with a
.mht file extension that this browser can read. If you want to save all the text
and graphics on the page as a full-fledged HTML file that any Web browser and
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many other programs can open, click the Webpage, complete (*.htm, *html)
item on the Save as Type drop-down list box of the Save Webpage dialog box
before you click the Save button. If you’re only concerned about having the text
on the page saved in HTML, click the Webpage, HTML only (*.htm, *html) item
instead. If you want to be able to use the text on the Web page in any Word
processor or with any text editor, click the Text File (*.txt) item on the Save as
Type drop-down list box.
After saving a Web page as an HTML file on your hard drive, you can open it in
Internet Explorer and view the contents even when you’re not connected to the
Internet. If your motive for saving the Web page, however, is to be able to view
the content when you’re not connected to the Internet, you’re better off saving
the page as a Favorite marked for offline viewing. That way, you can decide
whether you want to view other pages linked to the one you’re saving, and you
can have Internet Explorer check the site for updated content.
You can also e-mail a Web page in the body of a new e-mail message by clicking
the Page button and then clicking the Send Page by E-mail item on the dropdown menu. Vista then opens up an Internet Explorer Security dialog box where
you click the Allow button. After that, a new e-mail message opens in your computer’s e-mail program that you can address and send (see “Windows Mail” later
in this part for more information on sending new e-mail messages).
When visiting a complex Web site with loads of graphics, you may not want to
take the time to send an entire page from the site in an e-mail message. Instead,
send a link to the page by clicking Page 䉴 Send Link by E-mail to open a new
message with your E-mail program containing a link to the page in the body of
the message and the name of the page in the Subject field.
Printing Web pages
Many times, when browsing Web pages in Internet Explorer 7, you want to print
the pages you visit. Internet Explorer 7 not only makes it easy to print the Web
pages you go to see, but also gives you the ability to preview the printout before
you commit your printer.
To preview the current Web page, click the drop-down button attached to the
Printer button on the tab row (don’t click the Print button itself as doing this
opens the Print dialog box rather than the Print Preview window) and then click
Print Preview on its drop-down menu. Vista then opens the first printed page for
the Web page you’re printing in a Print Preview window similar to the one
shown in Figure 4-5.
If the Classic menus are displayed in Internet Explorer, you can also open the
Print Preview window by choosing File➪Print Preview on the pull-down menus.
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Print Document
Portrait
Turn header and footers on and off
Landscape View full width
Page
Setup
Show multiple pages
View
full page Change print size
Help
Figure 4-5
First page
Previous page
Last page
Next page
The Print Preview toolbar at the top of this window contains some important
buttons for modifying the view of the pages in the preview window:
⻬ Portrait (Alt+O), to display the printed page in portrait mode, which prints
text across the shorter edge of the paper in lines running down the longer
edge.
⻬ Landscape (Alt+L), to display the page in landscape mode, which prints text
across the longer edge of the paper in lines running down the shorter edge.
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⻬ Page Setup (Alt+U), to open the Page Setup dialog box, where you can
change paper size and source as well as add a header and footer for the
printout and specify the top, bottom, left, and right margins.
⻬ Turn Headers and Footers On and Off (Alt+E), to turn off and on the dis-
play of any headers and/or footers you specify for the printout in the Page
Setup dialog box.
⻬ View Full Width (Alt+W), to adjust the magnification of the current page
so that it fills the full width of the Print Preview window.
⻬ View Full Page (Alt+1), to adjust the magnification of the page preview so
that the full length of the current page fits within the Print Preview window.
⻬ Show Multiple Pages (Alt+N), to switch between 1-Page View (the default),
2-Page View, 3-Page View, 6-Page View, and 12-Page View settings that determine the number of pages (displayed in the Print Preview window) over
which Internet Explorer spreads the printed contents of the current Web
page.
⻬ Change Print Size (Alt+S), to stretch or shrink the printout of the pages a
particular percentage of its actual size (between 30% and 200% or a
Custom setting). Alternatively, use the Shrink To Fit default setting to have
Internet Explorer automatically make all the content fit on the number of
pages selected in the Show Multiple Pages drop-down list box.
⻬ Help (F1), to open a Microsoft Internet Explorer Help window with informa-
tion on using Print Preview.
The status bar at the bottom of the window contains the following controls for
displaying different pages of the printout in the Print Preview window (when the
default 1-Page View Show Multiple Pages setting is selected) and sending the
printout to the printer:
⻬ Current Page (Alt+A), to select the text box that displays the number of
the current page. Type another page number in this text box and press
Enter to display that page of the preview.
⻬ First Page (Alt+Home), to display the first page of the preview.
⻬ Previous Page (Alt+Left Arrow), to display the previous page of the preview.
⻬ Next Page (Alt+Right Arrow), to display the next page of the preview.
⻬ Last Page (Alt+End), to display the last page of the preview.
⻬ Print Document (Alt+P), to print the page(s) as it appears in the Print
Preview window. Click the Print button (or press Alt+P) to open the Print
dialog box.
⻬ Close Print Preview (Alt+C), to close the Print Preview window without
printing the page.
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If you choose not to print from the Print Preview window, or you’re sure that
you don’t need to use Print Preview to get the information you want, you can
print the Web page currently displayed in Internet Explorer by clicking the Print
option on the Page drop-down list or pressing Ctrl+P to open the Print dialog
box. In this dialog box, you can specify such options as the printer name, pages
to print, and number of copies before you click the Print button to send the
pages to the printer.
Working offline
To facilitate the use of RSS feeds (see “Subscribing to RSS Feeds” later in this part)
and Web page subscriptions, Internet Explorer 7 supports offline browsing (as
opposed to online browsing, which indicates being connected to the Internet).
Offline browsing is especially beneficial when you’re using a laptop computer and
can’t get connected to the Internet (as when in transit on a bus, train, or plane). It
can also come in handy when you rely on a relatively slow dialup connection (as
with 28.8 or 33.3 Kbps modems) to the Internet, enabling you to download Web
content during nonpeak hours and browse it with maximum efficiency during the
peak surfing hours (thereby totally avoiding the “World Wide Wait”).
To turn offline browsing on and off, click Work Offline on the Tools drop-down
menu (or you can choose File➪Work Offline if Internet Explorer pull-down
menus are displayed or press Alt+F+W when they are hidden). Note that after
you put the browsing window in offline mode, it remains in this work mode until
you restart your computer. In other words, if you shut down the browsing
window and then launch it again during the same work session, it opens in
offline mode. If you decide that you want to do some serious online surfing, you
need to start by choosing Tools 䉴 Work Offline to turn off the offline mode.
When offline mode is on (indicated by a check mark in front of the Work Offline
command on the Tools drop-down menu), Windows will not automatically
attempt to connect to the Internet, and you can browse only pages stored
locally on your computer, such as those that have been downloaded into the
cache on your computer hard drive. Also known as the Temporary Internet Files,
the cache contains all Web pages and their components that are downloaded
when you subscribe to Web sites or channels.
When you browse a Web site offline from a local drive, you have none of the wait
often associated with browsing online when connected to the Internet. You may
also find, however, that some of the links aren’t available for offline viewing.
Internet Explorer lets you know when a link isn’t available by adding the international “No” or “Don’t” symbol (you know, the circle with a backslash in it) to the
normal hand mouse pointer.
If you persist and click a hyperlink to a page that has not been downloaded with
the hand-plus-Don’t-symbol mouse pointer, the browsing window displays a Web
Page Unavailable While Offline alert dialog box, indicating that the Web page you
requested is not available for browsing. To have Internet Explorer connect you
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to the Internet and go to the requested page, click the Connect button or press
Enter. To remain offline and close the alert dialog box, click the Stay Offline
button instead.
Most of the time when browsing offline, you do your local Web surfing in one of
two ways:
⻬ Visit updated Web pages stored in the cache as Favorites marked for offline
viewing. You open these pages by selecting them from the Favorite
Explorer bar (opened by clicking the Favorites button) or by choosing
them from the Favorites pull-down menu.
⻬ Revisit Web pages stored in the cache as part of the History. You open
these pages by selecting them from the History Explorer bar, which you
open by pressing Ctrl+Shift+H, by clicking the History button on the
Explorer toolbar (the one with the arrow curving around backwards), or by
clicking View➪Explorer Bar➪History on Internet Explorer menu bar.
In addition to using these two browsing methods, you can open Web pages that
are stored in folders on local disks, such as the hard drive or a CD-ROM in your
CD-ROM drive. The easiest way to open these pages is by selecting the drive
letter in the address bar of Internet Explorer. You can also open a local Web page
with the Open dialog box (choose File➪Open when the classic menus are displayed or press Ctrl+O).
Searching from the Live Search text box
The World Wide Web holds an enormous wealth of information on almost every
subject known to humanity — and it’s of absolutely no use if you don’t know
how to get to it. To help Web surfers such as yourself locate the sites containing
the information you need, a number of so-called search engines have been
designed. Each search engine maintains a slightly different directory of the sites
on the World Wide Web (which are mostly maintained and updated by automated programs called by such wonderfully suggestive names as Web crawlers,
spiders, and robots!). Internet Explorer 7 uses the Live Search engine to find
your next new favorite Web sites.
Internet Explorer 7 makes it easy to search the World Wide Web from the Live
Search text box located to the immediate right of the Address bar. After you
click the text box and then enter the keyword or words (known affectionately as
a search string in programmer’s parlance) to search for in this text box, you
begin the search by clicking the Search button (the one with the magnifying
glass) or by pressing Enter.
Internet Explorer conducts a search for Web sites containing the keywords and
then displays the first page of matching results. To visit one of the sites in this
list, click its hyperlink. To view the next page of Web search results (assuming
that there are more than one page of matches, which they’re usually are), click
the number of the next page or the Next hyperlink at the bottom of the Windows
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Live Search page. To redisplay the search results from a Web page that you visit,
click the Back button or press Alt+←.
After you’re convinced that you’ve seen the best matches to your search, but
you still haven’t found the Web site(s) you’re looking for, you can conduct
another search in the Live Search text box by using slightly different terms.
To search for particular information on the Web site you’re visiting (as opposed to
finding a page on the World Wide Web), click the drop-down button to the immediate right of the Search button and then click Find on This Page on its drop-down
menu. Internet Explorer opens a Find dialog box, where you can enter your search
text (in the Find text box), and specify whether to match whole words only and
case as well as the direction by clicking its Next or Previous button.
Autosearching from the address bar
In addition to searching from the Live Search text box, Internet Explorer 7
enables you to perform searches from its Address bar by using a feature
referred to as Autosearching. To conduct an Autosearch from the Address Bar,
you need to click the Address bar to select the current entry and then preface
the search string with one of the following three terms:
⻬ Go
⻬ Find
⻬ ?
To search for Web sites whose descriptions contain the terms Thai cuisine, for
example, you could type
go Thai cuisine
or
find Thai cuisine
or even
? Thai cuisine
in the Address bar. After you enter go, find, or ? followed by the search string,
press the Enter key to have Windows conduct the search.
When you press Enter, Internet Explorer opens the Windows Live Search page
with the first 10 to 20 matches to your search string (depending upon your
screen resolution).
Adding a search provider to Internet Explorer 7
Live Search is not the only search provider supported by Internet Explorer 7. If
you’re more confident using another provider such as Google or Yahoo!, you can
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add it to the Internet Explorer browser and even make it, rather than Live
Search, the default search engine. Here’s how:
1. Click the drop-down button to the immediate right of the Search button in
the Live Search text box and then click Find More Providers on the dropdown menu.
The program opens the Add Search Providers to Internet Explorer 7
window, similar to the one shown in Figure 4-6.
2. Click the link for the Web Search provider you want to add (AOL, Ask.com,
Google, and so on).
Vista displays an Add Search Provider dialog box asking you if you want
to add the selected search provider to Internet Explorer.
3. (Optional) To make the selected search provider the default search engine
that Internet Explorer first uses whenever you search the Web, click the
Make This My Default Search Provider check box.
4. Click the Add Provider button to close the dialog box and add the provider.
After adding a new search provider to Internet Explorer 7, to use the provider,
click its name on the Live Search button’s drop-down menu. As soon as you do, its
name appears in the erstwhile Live Search text box as in Google, AOL, and so on.
Figure 4-6
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You can also use this four-step procedure to add topical search engines to
Internet Explorer 7 such as Amazon, eBay, cnet.com, ESPN, Shopzilla.com, and
Wikipedia.org.
Keep in mind that after you follow this procedure to add Web and topical search
providers to Internet Explorer, their names then appear (in alphabetical order)
near the top of the Search drop-down menu. This enables you to select a new
search provider on the fly simply by clicking the provider’s name on this dropdown menu before you conduct a search that would utilize its particular expertise. For example, to quickly find the best price on a new Tablet PC laptop
computer, enter tablet pc in Internet Explorer’s Live Search text box and then
select Shopzilla (assuming that you’ve already added it to Internet Explorer 7)
on the Search drop-down menu.
No phishing allowed
Phishing (and, no that’s not a misspelling) refers to a very special kind of illegal fishing on the Internet, whereby someone fraudulently poses as a legitimate business
entity in order to get you to pony up some very private and sensitive information
such as your Social Security number, passwords, and/or credit card numbers,
which, if they obtain, they put to no good use (at least as far as you are concerned).
The damage caused by phishing can run the gamut from a simple inability to
access your e-mail all the way to some pretty heavy financial losses. To help you
guard against this kind of identity theft, Internet Explorer 7 includes a Phishing
Filter feature that automatically checks each site you visit to determine whether
it might possibly just be somebody’s big old phishing hole rather than a legitimate business with whom you can share sensitive information with a modicum
of confidence.
If you visit a Web page that is on Microsoft’s list of phishing Web sites, Internet
Explorer displays a warning Web page and notification on the address bar. You
can then continue to browse the site or close it from the warning Web page. If
you visit a Web page that is not on this list but which exhibits suspicious characteristics, Internet Explorer only warns you that the site might be a phishing site
on the address bar.
If you become suspicious of a particular Web site that you’ve never visited
before, you can have Internet Explorer 7 check the site by clicking Tools 䉴
Phishing Filter 䉴 Check This Website. A Phishing Filter alert dialog box then
appears, telling you that the current Web site address will be sent to Microsoft
to check against a list of known Phishing sites. Click OK.
If you’re more than a little suspicious of a particular site, you can submit a
report to Microsoft indicating that you think this is a Phishing site (so that they
can check out the site and, if it proves to be fishy, redline it for other Internet
Explorer 7 users) by clicking Tools 䉴 Phishing Filter 䉴 Report This Website.
Click the Submit button in Feedback – Windows Internet Explorer window after
clicking the I Think This Is a Phishing Website check box.
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Pop-ups anyone?
Perhaps one of the most annoying aspects of browsing the World Wide Web is
coming across those pages littered with awful automated pop-up ads. (You
know, the ones that appear the moment you load the page, with ads offering you
all sorts of unusable stuff and unreal opportunities.) Fortunately, Internet
Explorer 7 comes equipped with a Pop-up Blocker feature — turned on by
default — that prevents the display of any automated pop-ups on a page that
want to magically materialize the moment you load the page.
Internet Explorer lets you know that it has blocked a pop-up on a page by displaying a message to that effect at the top of the page. To go ahead and display
an automated pop-up, you then click Show Blocked Pop-up.
If you have a favorite Web site whose automated pop-ups you want to see, you
can add that site’s Web address to a list of exceptions in the Pop-up Blocker
Settings dialog box (opened by clicking Tools 䉴 Pop-up Blocker 䉴 Pop-up
Blocker Settings).
By default, Vista sets the Pop-up Blocker to Medium: Block Most Automatic Popups, meaning that all automated pop-ups on a page that are not on the Trusted
sites list (see Part 6: Security) are blocked. If you really, really hate pop-ups, you
can block them even on a trusted Web site by clicking the High: Block All Popups (Ctrl+Alt to Override) option on the Filter Level drop-down list in the Pop-up
Blocker Settings dialog box.
Subscribing to RSS feeds
Internet Explorer 7 now supports RSS feeds (RSS either stands for Really Simple
Syndication or Rich Site Summary, depending upon whom you ask). RSS feeds
are Web feeds that typically provide summaries of particulars types of Web content that you’re interested in keeping up-to-date on, although they may occasionally include full text and even some multimedia attachments.
RSS feeds are mostly used by news Web sites such as Reuters, CNN, NPR, and
the BBC, to feed their syndicated headlines to the users who subscribe to them
(subscribers can then click particular headlines of interest to go to the page
containing the full news story). The feeds are also used by Weblog sites to keep
their subscribers up-to-date on the latest podcasts and vodcasts posted to the
blog. See the Tech Talk Glossary at the end of this book if podcast, vodcast, and
blog are not yet in your vocabulary.
RSS feeds are normally indicated on a Web page you’re browsing by the words
Subscribe or Subscribe to This Feed, with an orange rectangle with radio waves
emanating from a single point (same as the Feeds button on the Tab row shown
below) or with the letters RSS or XML in an orange rectangle. Of course, if you’re
interested in finding RSS news feeds to subscribe to, the easiest way to do this is
by doing a Web search for RSS feeds or for a particular news organization (see
“Web search” earlier in this part for details).
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Internet Explorer 7 indicates that the Web page you’re visiting contains RSS
feeds by turning the Feeds button on the tab row (shown in the left margin)
to orange (so that it matches the color of the RSS rectangles on the page).
Then to subscribe to a particular RSS feed on that page, either click its RSS
rectangle on the page or click the drop-down list button attached to the Feeds
button on the Tab row of the browser and then select the name of the feed in
the drop-down list.
After selecting the RSS feed in this manner, you can then subscribe to the feed by
clicking the Subscribe or Subscribe to This Feed link on the Web page that lists
the current headlines or Webcasts. Figure 4-7 shows you the NPR Topics: Business
Web page, to which you can subscribe by clicking its Subscribe to This Feed link.
Figure 4-7
After you click a Subscribe or Subscribe to This Feed link, Internet Explorer
opens a Subscribe to this Feed dialog box similar to the one shown in Figure 4-8.
You can then change any of the following options in the alert dialog box before
you click its Subscribe button to add this RSS feed to your Favorites Center:
⻬ Name text box to modify the name automatically given to the feed by its
Web site
⻬ Create In drop-down list box to select a folder other than Feeds in which to
add the RSS feed
⻬ New Folder button to create a new folder in which to save the RSS feed
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Figure 4-8
After you click the Subscribe button to close this alert dialog box, a message
appears at the RSS Feed Web page, indicating that you have successfully subscribed to the Web feed and that you can access the RSS feed by clicking the
View Feeds link. You can also do this by opening the Favorites Center (the
button with the star), clicking the Feeds button at the top of the Favorites
Center drop-down list (or just pressing Ctrl+J), and finally clicking the name of
the feed in the Feeds Explorer bar.
The easiest way to access an RSS feed is from the Feed Headlines gadget on the
Vista Sidebar, one of the three default gadgets automatically displayed (see Part
1 for details). To select the RSS feed whose headlines you want displayed in this
gadget, position the mouse pointer over the right edge of the Feed Headlines
gadget and then click its wrench icon to display the Feed Headlines pop-up
dialog box. Click the name of the RSS feed in the Display This Feed drop-down
list box and the number of headlines to display in the Number of Recent
Headlines to Show drop-down list before you click OK.
Keep in mind that when you’re visiting an RSS feed Web page to view its syndicated headlines or podcast listings, you access the news story or podcast in
Internet Explorer 7 by clicking its link. To see the last time that Internet Explorer
downloaded information from an RSS feed Web page, position the mouse pointer
over the name of the Web page when the Feeds button is selected in the
Favorites Center drop-down list.
Speech Recognition
The Speech Recognition feature in Windows Vista enables you to set up your computer to receive voice commands as well as to dictate text in application programs
such as Microsoft Word and Excel. In addition, you can configure the Text to
Speech feature that reads aloud text in Vista windows and dialog boxes when you
turn on the Narrator feature (see “Ease of Access Center” in Part 5 for details).
You can set up and fine-tune Speech Recognition by using the links in the Speech
Recognition Control Panel window shown in Figure 4-9. To open this window,
click the Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴 Ease of Access 䉴 Speech Recognition Options.
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Figure 4-9
Setting up Speech Recognition
Before you can start barking commands at your Vista computer, you have to get
a microphone connected to your Vista PC (preferably one with headphones like
the telemarketers you like so well all wear), and then you have to set up the
Speech Recognition feature by following these steps:
1. Open the Speech Recognition Control Panel window by clicking Start 䉴
Control Panel 䉴 Ease of Access 䉴 Start Speech Recognition.
Vista displays a Welcome to Speech Recognition dialog box.
2. Click Next and then select the Headset Microphone, Desktop Microphone,
or Other option button in the Select the Type of Microphone You Would
Like to Use dialog box.
3. Click Next and then position the microphone connected to your Vista
computer next to your mouth. Click Next in the Set Up Your Microphone
dialog box.
4. Read the “Peter dictates to his computer . . . “ passage in a normal voice
and then when you finish dictating this passage, click Next.
If the computer heard you distinctly, the message, “The microphone is
ready to use with this computer” appears in the Your Microphone Is Now
Set Up dialog box. If you see a message indicating that the computer did not
hear you very well, click the Back button and repeat Step 4, perhaps after
adjusting the microphone’s position and making sure that it’s properly connected to the computer’s microphone jack (and not the speaker jack).
5. Click Next in the Your Microphone Is Now Set Up dialog box.
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6. Click the Enable Document Review option button in the Improve Speech
Recognition Accuracy dialog box and then click Next.
7. Click the View Reference Sheet button in the Print the Speech Reference
Sheet dialog box to open a Windows Help and Support window.
8. Click the topics such as Basics, Top 10 Commands, and Commanding
Windows to display their tables of commands. Click the Print button on
the window’s toolbar if you want to print the commands.
9. Click the Close button in the Windows Help and Support window to close it.
10. Click the Next button in the Print the Speech Reference Sheet dialog box
to open the Run Speech Recognition Every Time I Start the Computer
dialog box.
By default, Vista selects the Run Speech Recognition at Startup check box.
If you don’t want Windows to automatically start the Speech Recognition
each time you boot Vista, click this check box to clear its check mark
before you proceed to Step 12.
11. Click the Next button in the Run Speech Recognition Every Time I Start
the Computer dialog box to open the You Can Now Control This Computer
By Voice dialog box.
12. Click the Start Tutorial button to run the Speech Recognition Tutorial,
which is necessary to train the computer to understand your voice and
very good for practice.
After you finish the Speech Recognition Tutorial, Vista automatically returns you
to the Speech Recognition Control Panel window. The Sleeping Speech toolbar
now appears docked in the center at the top of the Windows desktop.
To undock the Speech Recognition toolbar and move it to a new position on the
Vista desktop, drag the toolbar by any area outside the microphone icon, the
level meter, Close, and Minimize buttons. To hide the toolbar (while still running
the Speech Recognition feature) as an icon in the Notification area of the
Windows taskbar, click the Speech toolbar’s Minimize button.
Remember that you say “Start Listening” in your microphone whenever you
want the sleeping Speech Recognition feature to wake up and start listening to
what you have to say!
Changing Speech Recognition settings
After initially setting up Speech Recognition on your Vista computer, you can
modify its settings by using the options on the Speech Recognition tab of the
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Speech Properties dialog box shown in Figure 4-10. To open this dialog box with
this tab selected, click the Advanced Speech Options link in the Speech
Recognition Control Panel window.
Figure 4-10
The options on the Speech Recognition tab of the Speech Properties dialog box
are divided into four areas:
⻬ Language, where you can select a new language other than the default
English in which to dictate commands and text (assuming that you
installed other Language Packs for use with Windows Vista)
⻬ Recognition Profiles, where you can create new speech profiles for differ-
ent users on the same computer and then select them for use with the
Speech Recognition feature
⻬ User Settings, where you enable or disable the Run Speech Recognition At
Startup and the Allow Computer to Review Your Documents and Mail to
Improve Speech Recognition Accuracy check boxes
⻬ Microphone, where you can select a new microphone to use in Speech
Recognition (by clicking the Audio Input button) and then get it ready for
use with Speech Recognition (by clicking the Configure Microphone button)
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Windows Fax and Scan
The Windows Fax and Scan utility enables you to send or receive and organize
faxes via your Vista computer as well as scan documents and pictures, provided
that you have a scanner connected to your computer. You can even use the utility’s two features together by faxing a document that you’ve scanned with it.
To launch the Windows Fax and Scan utility, click Start 䉴 All Programs 䉴
Windows Fax and Scan. Vista then opens a Windows Fax and Scan window, as
shown in Figure 4-11.
Figure 4-11
As you can see in this figure, at the bottom of the Navigation pane of the
Windows Fax and Scan window you find two buttons: Faxes and Scans. You click
these buttons to switch between the fax and scanning features.
To be able to send and receive faxes with Windows Fax and Scan, your computer
must either be connected to a fax server that’s part of your computer network,
or you must have a phone line connected to a fax modem installed on your
computer (you can’t use separate fax machines). To be able to scan documents
and pictures, you must have a scanner installed on your computer.
Sending and receiving faxes
Before you can send and receive a fax with the Windows Fax and Scan utility,
you must set up a fax account for yourself. To do this, click Tools➪Fax Accounts
in the Windows Fax and Scan window when the Faxes button is selected. Then
click the Add button to open a Create Fax Account dialog box, where you click
either the Fax Modem Connection or Windows Fax Server, depending upon
whether you use a fax modem or a server to send and receive faxes.
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After you set up your fax account, you can then use it to create a new fax to send.
Simply click the New Fax button on the toolbar in the Windows Fax and Scan
window to open the New Fax dialog box, where you can select a cover page, select
the contact to whom to delivery the fax, and input the text of the fax message.
Don’t forget that you can insert text that you’ve already typed in another document in the body of the fax via the Windows Clipboard (Ctrl+C to copy the
selected text and Ctrl+V to insert it into the New Fax dialog box). You can also
attach a text document to the fax message with the Attach button on the New
Fax toolbar, insert a picture in the body of the fax with the Insert Picture button,
and insert a scanned document or picture in the body of the fax with the Insert
From Scanner button.
When you finish composing the new fax, you have Vista send it by clicking the
Send button in the New Fax dialog box.
To receive a fax when the Windows Fax and Scan window is open, click the
Receive a Fax Now button on the window’s toolbar.
Scanning documents
Before you can scan a document with the Windows Fax and Scan utility, your
scanner must be listed in the Scanners and Cameras Control Panel (Start 䉴
Control Panel 䉴 Hardware and Sound 䉴 Scanners and Cameras). To scan a document, open the Windows Fax and Scan window and then click the Scans button
in the Navigation pane before you click the New Scan button on the far left of the
window’s toolbar.
Vista then opens a New Scan dialog box for your scanner, where you can preview the document and then scan the final version. To save the scanned document, click the Save As button and then enter the filename and select the type of
graphics file you want the scanned document to be saved as before you click the
Save button.
To automatically forward the document you just scanned as an attachment to a
new fax message, click the Forward as Fax button.
The scan feature in the Windows Fax and Scan utility is set primarily to scan text
documents. If you want to scan a photograph or other graphic, keep in mind
that you can do this as well directly from within the Windows Photo Gallery (see
Part 7 for details).
Windows Mail
Windows Mail is the name of the e-mail software installed with Windows Vista.
You can use this program to compose, send, and read e-mail messages and to
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subscribe to the newsgroups supported by your Internet service provider,
which enables you to read the newsgroup messages as well as respond to them.
Creating a new e-mail account
The first time you launch Windows Mail by clicking Start 䉴 E-Mail, the program
leads you through the steps of setting up a new e-mail account. You can also set
up a new account from within Windows Mail by following these steps:
1. Choose Tools➪Accounts to open the Internet Accounts dialog box.
2. Click the Add button to open the Select Account Type dialog box and
then, after making sure that E-mail Account is selected, click Next.
3. Enter your name in the Display Name text box and then click Next.
4. Enter your e-mail address in the E-mail Address text box and then click
Next to open the E-mail Server Names dialog box.
5. If your incoming e-mail server does not use the POP3 protocol, click IMAP
on the My Incoming Mail Server Is a POP3 Server drop-down list box.
Your ISP’s mail server that sends your e-mail messages to the Windows Mail
program uses one of two protocols: POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3)
or IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol, also known as IMAP version 4),
just as its mail server that receives the messages you send out through
Windows Mail uses the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) protocol.
Check with your ISP about the type of incoming server when you find out
the names of their incoming and outgoing mail servers, which you need in
order to set up an e-mail account.
6. Enter the name of your ISP’s mail server in the Incoming Mail (POP3 or
IMAP) Server text box.
7. Enter the name of the outgoing mail server in the Outgoing Mail (SMTP)
Server text box.
8. If your outgoing mail server requires you to enter a user ID and password,
click the My Server Requires Authentication check box.
9. Click Next to open the Internet Mail Logon dialog box.
10. Edit the e-mail account name automatically entered in the E-mail
Username text box if it is not correct.
11. Enter your logon password in the Password text box and then click OK.
12. Click the Finish button in the Congratulations dialog box to return to the
Windows Mail window.
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Composing and sending messages
To compose and send a new e-mail message in Windows Mail, follow these steps:
1. Click the Start button and then click the E-Mail button (which lists
Windows Mail) at the top of the Start menu to launch Windows Mail in its
own window, similar to the one shown in Figure 4-12.
The Windows Mail window contains three panes: on the left, Folders
showing the various Local mail folders on your computer; on the right,
the larger Windows Mail pane with a list of all the messages currently in
your Inbox; and below, the Current Message pane showing the first part of
the currently selected message.
2. Click the Create Mail button on the Windows Mail toolbar to open a New
Message dialog box, or choose Message➪New Message (or simply press
Ctrl+N) to open a New Message window.
The first thing to do in a new message is to specify the recipient’s e-mail
address in the To: field (which automatically contains the cursor). You can
either type this address in the To: text box or click the To button to display
the Select Recipients dialog box, in which you can select the recipients from
a list of contacts in your Contacts List or from one of the online directories.
To send a new message to someone who’s already listed in your Contacts
List, click the Contacts button on the Windows Mail toolbar and then click
the person’s name in the Contacts window followed by the E-mail button.
Windows Mail then opens a New Message window, with the recipient’s
e-mail address already entered in the To: field.
Alternatively, you can type the recipient’s e-mail address in the text box of
the To: field or, if the recipient is listed in your Contact List, click the To
button to open the Select Recipients dialog box. Click the name of the
recipient in the Name list box, click the To button, and finally click OK.
When composing a new message, you can send copies of it to as many
other recipients (within reason) as you want. To send copies of the message to other recipients, type their e-mail addresses in the Cc: field.
3. (Optional) Click somewhere in the Cc: field and then type the e-mail
addresses, separated by semicolons (;) in the Cc: field. Alternatively, if
the addresses appear in the Contacts List click the Cc button to open the
Select Recipients dialog box and then choose the e-mail addresses there
(after clicking the names in the Name list box, click the Cc: button to add
them to the copy list).
After filling in the e-mail addresses of the recipients, you’re ready to enter
the subject of the message. The descriptive text that you type in the
Subject: field of the message appears in the upper pane of the recipients’
Inbox when they read the message.
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4. Click somewhere in the Subject: field and then enter a brief description of
the contents or purpose of the e-mail message.
In Windows Mail, you can change the priority of the e-mail message from
normal to high or low. When you make a message either high or low priority, Windows Mail attaches a priority icon to the message (assuming that
the recipients of the message are using Windows Mail, Outlook Express, or
Outlook to read their mail) that indicates its relative importance. The
high-priority icon has a red flag in front of the envelope, whereas the lowpriority icon has an arrow pointing downward.
5. (Optional) To boost the priority of the message, choose Message➪Set
Priority and then choose High in the submenu that appears. To decrease
the priority of the message, click the Priority button, and choose Low
Priority on the submenu.
6. Click the cursor in the body of the message and then type in the text of
the message as you would in any text editor or word processor, ending
paragraphs and short lines by pressing the Enter key.
When composing the text of the message, keep in mind that you can
insert text directly into the body of the message from other documents
via the Clipboard (the old Cut, Copy, and Paste commands).
7. (Optional) If you’re not sure of some (or all) of the spelling in the text of
the body of the message, you can have Windows Mail check the spelling
by inserting the cursor at the beginning of the message text and then
clicking the Spelling button on the New Message toolbar or by choosing
Tools➪Spelling on the menu bar (or by pressing F7).
When spell-checking the message, Windows Mail flags each word that it
cannot find in the dictionary and tries its best to suggest an alternative.
To replace the unknown word in the text with the word suggested in the
Change To text box of the Spelling window, click the Change button or, if
it’s a word that occurs frequently in the rest of the text, click Change All.
To ignore the unknown word and have the spell checker continue to scan
the rest of the text for possible misspellings, click Ignore or, if it’s a word
that occurs frequently in the rest of the text, click Ignore All.
8. (Optional) To send a file along with your e-mail message, click the Attach
button on the New Message toolbar (the one with the paper-clip icon) or
choose Insert➪File Attachment on the menu bar; then select the file in the
Open dialog box and click the Open button.
When you include a file with a message, an icon for the file appears in a
new Attach field immediately below the Subject field above the body of
the e-mail message.
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9. To send the e-mail message to its recipients, click the Send button on the
New Message toolbar or choose File➪Send Message on the menu bar (or
press Ctrl+Enter or Alt+S).
Windows/Calendar Find
Contacts
Folder List
Figure 4-12
Note that when composing a new message, you can send blind copies of the message to several recipients by filling in the Bcc: field. To display the Bcc: field
between the Cc: and Subject: fields, select View➪All Headers on the Windows Mail
new message menu bar. You can fill in this field with the names of the recipients as
you do in the Cc: field (see Step 3 in the preceding list). When you add names to
the Bcc: field rather than to the Cc: field, none of the Bcc: recipients sees any
other names that you’ve entered. When you add names to the Cc: field, each recipient sees the names of everyone else to whom you’ve sent this same message.
If you have more than one e-mail account that you’ve set up in Windows Mail,
the New Message dialog box contains a From field at the top of the message
header. You can use the drop-down button attached to this field to select from
which of your e-mail accounts the new message is to be sent.
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If you compose e-mail messages when you cannot get online to send them,
choose File➪Send Later from the New Message window menu bar after you
finish composing each message. Windows Mail then displays an alert box indicating that the message will be stored in the Outbox and will be sent the next
time you click the Send and Receive button. To send the messages stored in the
Outbox when you can connect or are connected to the Internet, just click the
Send and Receive button on the Windows Mail toolbar.
Adding recipients to the Contact List
Windows Mail makes it easy to maintain an address book (referred to as
Contacts), where you can store the e-mail addresses for all the people you regularly correspond with. If you’re switching from some other e-mail program (such
as the one that comes with Netscape Navigator), and you’ve created an address
book with that program, you can even import all the addresses into the Contacts
List, making it unnecessary to reenter them.
To add a new recipient to the Contacts List, follow these steps:
1. Launch Windows Mail (Start 䉴 E-Mail).
2. Click the Contacts button (the one with the address book icon) on the
Windows Mail toolbar to open the Contacts window.
3. Click the New Contact button on the toolbar in the Contacts window to
open a Properties dialog box for a new contact with the Name and E-mail
tab selected.
You can also choose File➪New➪Contact on the menu bar to open this
dialog box.
4. Fill in the Name information for the new contact in the various name fields
and then select the E-Mail text box, where you type the recipient’s e-mail
address before clicking the Add button.
When you click the Add button, Windows Mail adds the e-mail address you
entered into the list box, automatically designating it as Default E-Mail.
If the person you are adding to the Contacts List has more than one e-mail
address (as would be the case if, for example, he maintains an e-mail
account at home with one address and an e-mail account at work with
another address), you can add the additional e-mail address.
5. (Optional) Enter the recipient’s alternate e-mail address in the E-Mail text
box and then click Add again to add other e-mail addresses for the same
recipient.
If you want to make the second e-mail address the default address that
Windows Mail automatically uses when you compose a new message, you
need to select the second address in the list box and then click the Set
Preferred button.
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To use a contact’s alternate e-mail address in a new message, you need to
select the person’s name in the Select Recipients dialog box and then click
the Properties button, where you make the alternate e-mail address the
new default with the Set Preferred button.
6. (Optional) If you want to add other information about the contact such as
home and work contact information or personal notes, fill in the necessary fields on the appropriate tabs (Home, Work, Personal, or Notes).
7. Click the OK button to close the Properties dialog box.
Windows Mail returns you to the Contacts window, where an icon for the
new contact appears. If you want to see particulars such as the name,
e-mail address, business phone, and home phone displayed in this
window, you need to select the Details setting on the Views pop-up slider.
8. When you finish adding and modifying contacts in the Contact window,
close it by clicking its Close button or choosing File➪Exit to return to the
Windows Mail window.
To import the addresses from an existing address book created with Eudora,
Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Internet Mail for Windows, Outlook Express,
Outlook, or Netscape Navigator, or addresses stored in a comma-separated text
file, into the Contact List, follow these steps:
1. Launch Windows Mail (Start 䉴 E-Mail).
2. Choose File➪Import➪Windows Contacts from the Windows Mail menu bar
to open the Import to Windows Contacts dialog box.
3. Click the type of address book file you want to import in the list box of the
Import to Windows Contacts dialog box and then click the Import button.
4. After Windows Mail finishes importing the names and e-mail addresses of
all the contacts in the existing address book (indicated by a slider), close
the Import to Windows Contacts dialog box by clicking its Close button to
return to the Windows Mail window.
5. Open the Contacts window by clicking the Contacts button.
Icons for all the contacts in the imported address book now appear in the
Contacts window (assuming that this window uses one of the Icons
Views). To display a list of the full names along with e-mail addresses and
business and home phone numbers in the window, select Details on the
Views pop-up slider.
6. (Optional) To filter out all contacts except for those in different groups of
the alphabet (A-H, I-P, or Q-Z), click the Name field’s drop-down button
and then click the check boxes for the group(s) of contacts you want displayed. To sort the contacts in the list on a particular field, click its dropdown button and then click the Sort button (the first time to sort Z-A and
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a second to return to the default A-Z sort order). To display the contacts
in alphabetical groups (A-H, I-P, and Q-Z), click the Name field’s drop-down
list box and then click the Group button at the top of the drop-down list.
7. When you finish viewing and arranging the expanded contacts list with
the imported contacts, click the Close button in the upper-right corner of
the Contacts window to close it.
Reading e-mail
When you use Windows Mail as your e-mail program, you read the messages
that you receive in an area known as the Inbox. To open the Inbox in Windows
Mail and read your e-mail messages, take these steps:
1. Launch Windows Mail (Start 䉴 E-Mail).
2. Click the Send/Receive button on the Windows Mail toolbar, or press
Ctrl+M, to have Windows Mail check your Mail server and download any
new messages and switch to the Inbox view.
As soon as you click the Send/Receive button, Windows Mail opens a connection to your Mail server, where it checks for any new messages to
download. New messages are then downloaded to your computer. The
program also selects the Inbox view so that the Windows Mail pane is
replaced with two vertical Inbox panes: the one above, which lists the
messages in the Inbox, and the one immediately below, which displays the
first part of the text of the currently selected message.
You can also open this Inbox view either by clicking the Inbox icon in the
Folders pane — the status bar at the bottom tells you the total number of
messages as well as the number of unread messages in your Inbox.
Descriptions of any new messages appear in bold at the bottom of the list
in the upper pane of the Inbox, which is divided into the following
columns: Priority (indicated by an exclamation mark), Attachments (indicated by the paper clip), Flagged Messages (indicated by the flag), From,
Subject, and Received (showing both the date and time that the e-mail
message was downloaded on your computer).
Note that mail messages that you haven’t yet read are indicated not only
by bold type, but also by a sealed-envelope icon in the From column. Mail
messages that you have read are indicated by an opened envelope icon.
3. To read one of your new messages, click any column of the description in
the upper pane of the Inbox.
The text of the message that you select then appears in the lower pane of
the Windows Mail window, and the From and Subject information appears
on the bar right above it. If the message has one or more files attached to
it, a paper clip appears on the right side of this bar.
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4. (Optional) To open the file or files attached to the e-mail message with its
native program (or at least one that can open the file), click the paper-clip
icon and then click the name of the file to open in the pop-up menu. To
save the attachments as separate files on your hard drive, click Save
Attachments on this pop-up menu (or click File➪Save Attachments on the
Windows Mail menu bar) and then select the folder in which to save the
files in the Save Attachments dialog box and click Save.
Sometimes, you may need to get a hard copy of the message to share with
other, less fortunate workers in the office who don’t have e-mail. (If they
do have e-mail, forward the message to them instead, as I cover in
optional Step 8.)
5. (Optional) To print the contents of an e-mail message, click the Print
button on the Windows Mail toolbar or choose File➪Print (Ctrl+P) and
then click Print in the Print dialog box.
Occasionally, an e-mail message contains some information that you want
to be able to open and print separately from the other messages in the
Windows Mail program.
6. (Optional) To save the contents of an e-mail message as a separate e-mail
message file, choose File➪Save As to open the Save Message As dialog
box. If you want to edit the filename, make your changes to the name in
the File Name combo box. To save the file in a folder different from the
one shown in the Save In field, position the mouse over this field and then
click the drop-down button and select a new destination on its list.
Alternatively, click the Browse Folders button to expand the Save Message
As dialog box and then select a new folder by using its Navigation pane.
Then click the Save button.
If the e-mail message uses the High Priority exclamation-mark icon, chances
are good that you may have to reply to it right away. You can respond to the
message by clicking either the Reply or the Reply All button.
After you click one or the other of these buttons, Windows Mail opens a
message window in which
• The sender of the original message is listed as the recipient in the To:
field.
• The subject of the original message appears in the Subject: field, preceded by the term Re: (regarding).
• The contents of the original message appear in the body of the reply
beneath the heading Original Message, followed by the From:, To:,
Date:, and Subject: information from the original message.
7. (Optional) To reply to the author of the e-mail message, click the Reply
button on the Windows Mail toolbar. To send copies of the reply to all the
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others copied on the original message as well, click the Reply All button
instead. Then add the text of your reply above the text of the original message and send the reply (by pressing Ctrl+Enter or Alt+S).
Sometimes, in addition to or instead of replying to the original message,
you need to send a copy of it to someone who wasn’t listed in the Cc:
fields. To send a copy to this person, you forward a copy of the original
message to the new recipients of your choosing. When you forward a message, Windows Mail copies the Subject: and contents of the original
message to a new message, which you then address and send.
8. (Optional) To forward the e-mail message to another e-mail address, click
the Forward button on the Windows Mail toolbar. Then fill in the recipient
information in the To: field and, if applicable, the Bcc: or Cc: fields; add
any additional text of your own above that of the original message; and
send the forwarded message on its way (by pressing Ctrl+Enter or Alt+S).
If you ever open an e-mail message and then don’t have time to really read
through it and digest the meaning, you can, if you like, have Windows Mail mark
the message as unread to remind you to reread it when you have more time. To
mark a read e-mail message as unread, click Edit➪Mark as Unread on the Windows
Mail menu bar. Windows Mail then replaces the open-envelope icon in front of the
current message with the closed-envelope icon. To temporarily hide all messages
in the Inbox except those you haven’t yet read, click View➪Current View➪Hide
Read Messages on the menu bar. To later redisplay both the read and unread messages in the Inbox, you then click View➪Current View➪Show All Messages.
Keep in mind that as part of the security features in Windows Vista, Windows
Mail now automatically blocks the display of all pictures in incoming messages
(to prevent the sender from identifying your computer). If you trust the source
of the message, you can display the images by clicking the note at the top of
body of the e-mail message indicating that the pictures are blocked.
Organizing e-mail
Getting e-mail is great, but it doesn’t take long for you to end up with a disorganized mess. If you’re anything like me, your Windows Mail Inbox will end up with
hundreds of messages, some of which are still unread — and all of which are
lumped together in one extensive list.
Windows Mail makes it easy for you to arrange your e-mail messages in folders.
To send a bunch of related e-mail messages into a new or existing folder, follow
these steps:
1. Launch Windows Mail (Start 䉴 E-Mail) and then click the Inbox icon in the
Folders pane on the left side of the Windows Mail window.
2. Select all the messages that you want to put in the same folder. To select a
single message, click the description. To select a continuous series of
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messages, click the first one and hold down the Shift key as you click the
last one. To click multiple messages that aren’t in a series, hold down Ctrl
as you click the description of each one.
3. After you select the messages that you want to move, choose Edit➪Move
To Folder on the Windows Mail menu bar (Ctrl+Shift+V) to open the Move
dialog box, or you can just drag the message to the folder.
4. Click expand button to the immediate left of the Local Folders icon to dis-
play its subfolders (Inbox, Outbox, Sent Items, and so on) and then click
the name of the subfolder into which the selected messages are to be
moved. If you need to create a new folder for the selected items, click the
New Folder button, type the name in the Folder Name text box, and click
OK. Then click the Inbox folder icon before clicking the name of the newly
created subfolder.
5. Click OK in the Move dialog box to move the messages into the selected
folder.
To verify that the items are now in the correct folder, click the folder icon in the
outline (beneath the Inbox icon) that appears in the left pane of the Windows
Mail window.
Don’t forget that the most basic way to organize your e-mail is by sorting all the
messages in the Inbox (or any of the other Windows Mail folders, for that
matter) by clicking the column button. For example, if you want to sort the
e-mail in your Inbox by subject, click the Subject button at the top of the list. So,
too, if you want to sort the messages by the date and time received (from earliest to most recent), click the Received button at the top of that column.
Deleting e-mail
When you have messages (especially those unsolicited ones) that you no longer
need to store on your computer hard drive, you can move those messages to the
Deleted Items folder by selecting them and then choosing Edit➪Delete (Ctrl+D).
You can then get rid of them for good by right-clicking the Deleted Items icon
in the Folders bar, clicking Empty Deleted Items Folder, and then clicking Yes in
the alert box telling you that you’re about to permanently delete the selected
messages.
If you receive unsolicited messages from advertisers or people whose e-mail
you don’t want to receive again in the future, click one of the sender’s e-mail
messages in the Inbox and then select Message➪Junk E-mail➪Add Sender to
Blocked Senders List on the menu bar. You then receive an alert dialog box
informing you that the person has been added to your blocked senders list and
telling you that the sender’s message has been moved to the Junk E-mail folder.
Click the OK button to close this message dialog box.
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To remove someone you’ve blocked from your Blocked Senders list so that you
can once again get e-mail from that person, open the Junk E-mail folder and then
select the sender’s message before you choose Message➪Junk E-mail ➪Add
Sender to Safe Senders List on the menu bar.
To remove messages from the Inbox without permanently getting rid of them,
select them and then press the Delete key. They instantly disappear from the
Inbox window. If you ever need them again, however, you can display them by
clicking the Deleted Items icon in the Windows Mail window Folder pane. If you
find a message in the Deleted Items folder that you intended to keep, drag its
message icon and drop it on the Inbox folder (or whatever other special folder
you’ve created for your mail messages) in the Folders pane.
Windows Meeting Space
Vista’s Windows Meeting Space feature enables you to share documents, programs, and even your Windows desktop with up to ten other networked computers that are also running Windows Vista (sorry, Windows XP people). The great
thing about Windows Meeting Space is that, although it can take advantage of a
formal network that uses a dedicated network server, it can also make use of an
informal peer-to-peer or ad hoc wireless network by creating the network right
at the time new computers join the collaborative session (the very essence of ad
hoc). All you need are Vista computers that can connect to one another through
Ethernet cabling or a wireless connection. See Part 3 for more information on
networking in Vista and the various types of networks it supports.
Setting up Windows Meeting Space
Before you and your fellow Vista computer users can get together and collaborate your socks off, you need to set up Windows Meeting Space. To do this,
follow these steps:
1. Click Start 䉴 All Programs 䉴 Windows Meeting Space to open the Windows
Meeting Space Setup dialog box.
2. Click the Yes, Continue Setting Up Windows Meeting Space and then click
the Continue button in the User Account Control permission dialog box.
The People Near Me dialog box appears.
3. Click OK in the People Near Me dialog box to sign you into this utility each
time Windows starts.
The Windows Meeting Space window then appears.
4. Click the Start a New Meeting link to display the Meeting Name and
Password text boxes.
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5. Edit the default session name containing your name and the current time
in the Meeting Name text with a descriptive name and then enter a password of at least eight characters in the Password text box (see Figure 4-14).
Click the View Characters check box if you want to be able to see the
characters as you enter them.
6. (Optional) If you need Vista to create a new ad hoc, peer-to-peer wireless
network for the collaborative session, click the Options link. Next click the
Create a Private Ad Hoc Wireless Network check box and, if you’re not in
the U.S.A., click it in the Select Your Country or Region drop-down list
before you click OK.
7. Click the Create a Session button (the one with the arrow pointing to the
right).
Vista then creates the session and displays a Windows Collaboration window
with the name of the session similar to the one shown in Figure 4-13. From this
window, you can then invite the participants with whom you will then share
resources such as documents, programs, and your computer’s desktop.
Figure 4-13
People Near Me
You can use Vista’s People Near Me feature to identify yourself for potential collaborative sessions by using the Windows Collaboration feature. To sign into
People Near Me, you follow these steps:
1. Click Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴 Network and Internet 䉴 People Near Me to
open the People Near Me dialog box with the Sign In tab selected.
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2. (Optional) Edit the name automatically entered in Type the Name You
Want Other People to See text box if you want another name to appear in
the Windows Meeting window.
3. (Optional) If you don’t want Vista to automatically sign you into People
Near Me each time you start the computer, clear the check mark from the
Sign Me In Automatically When Windows Starts check box.
4. (Optional) If you want Vista to include a picture of you when sending invi-
tations to a collaborative session, click the Include My Picture When
Sending Invitations check box.
5. (Optional) If you want to restrict the invitations to participants to only
those on your Trusted contacts list (see Part 6: Security), click Trusted
Contacts on the Allow Invitations From drop-down list.
6. (Optional) To sign yourself into People Near Me each time you start
your computer, click the Sign Me in Automatically When Windows Starts
check box.
7. Click the Sign In tab in the People Near Me and then click the People Near
Me option button.
8. Click OK to close the People Near Me dialog box.
Inviting participants to the session
The next thing to do after you create your Meeting Space is to invite all the
people you want to participate in the collaborative session. To do this, you
follow these simple steps:
1. Click the Invite People link in the Windows Meeting Space window to open
the Invite People dialog box.
2. Click the check boxes in front of the names of all the people you want to
participate in the collaborative session in the Invite People list box.
Note that the names of the folks that appear in the Invite People list are
just those who are currently signed into People Near Me.
3. (Optional) If you don’t want your participants to have to enter the pass-
word you assigned to the session when setting it up, click the Require
People Near Me to Enter a Session Passphrase check box to remove its
check mark.
4. Click the Send Invitations button.
As soon as you click Send Invitations, Vista closes the Invite People dialog box
and sends messages to all those you selected as participants. Vista then displays an invitation on the Vista desktop of each participant. After a participant
clicks the Accept button, the Windows Collaboration window opens on her
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desktop, where she then enters the session password — assuming that you left
the Require People Near Me to Enter a Session Passphrase check box selected in
the Invite People dialog box — to join the session.
To invite people who are not currently signed into People Near Me, click the
Invite Others button in the Invite People dialog box and then click Send an
Invitation in E-mail in the Choose an Option for Inviting Other People dialog box
to open a new e-mail message. The message not only invites the potential participant to your collaborative session but also gives him instructions on joining the
session by using a file that’s automatically attached to the new message.
Sharing computer resources
After you’ve set up the session, invited your participants and had them join,
you’re ready to start sharing various computer resources with them (see Figure
4-14). You can share documents as handouts that are copied to each participant’s computer, application programs you’re currently running, or even your
Windows Vista desktop, using one of the two following options:
⻬ Share to enable session participants to view application programs that are
running on Vista or the Vista desktop — click the Share button or the Share
a Program or Your Desktop link in the Meeting Space window and then
click the program, file, or Desktop icon in the Start a Shared Session dialog
box before you click the Share button.
⻬ Add to send documents that you designate as handouts with all the ses-
sion participants, enabling them to make changes to the document one at a
time during the collaborative session.
When you’re ready to terminate a collaborative session that you’ve created,
click Meeting 䉴 Exit. Vista then asks whether you want to save any handouts
distributed during the collaborative session.
Sharing programs, files, or your Vista desktop
After selecting a running program, file, or your Vista desktop to share with all
the session participants, all changes that you make in the program, to the file, or
on the Windows desktop show up in all the participants’ Windows Meeting
Space windows on their computers. To stop sharing an application, file, or the
desktop, click the Stop Sharing button on the bar above the program’s or file’s
window. Alternatively, when presenting your desktop, click the Stop Sharing link
that appears in the You Are Presenting Your Desktop area in your Windows
Collaboration window.
To see how a shared application or your Vista desktop appears on the participants’ computers, click the Show Me How My Shared Session Looks on Other
Computers link that appears in the You Are Presenting Your Desktop area in
your Windows Meeting Space window.
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Figure 4-14
Presenting a document as a handout
To open a document that you’re sharing as a handout in the Windows Meeting
Space window on the participants’ computers, right-click the handout’s icon in
the Handouts section of your Meeting Space window and then click Open With
on its shortcut menu and then click the name of the program in the Open With
dialog box before you click OK. All during the time you present this document,
all the changes you make to the file immediately appear in all the documents
displayed in the participants’ Meeting Space windows.
To hand control of the document to another participant so that he can make
changes to it, click Control 䉴 Give Control To followed by the participant’s name
on the continuation menu. To take back control later in the session, click
Control 䉴 Take Control. To display the presented document on a network projector to which you have access, click Options 䉴 Connect to a Projector and
then click the name of the networked projector.
When you’re finished presenting a document, click Options 䉴 Show Windows
Meeting Space window in the upper-right corner of the application in which the
file is open and then click the Stop Sharing link in the middle of your Meeting
Space window. You can then close the document (and decide whether to save
the changes made to it during the session and, if so, under what filename).
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Part 5
System Maintenance
The foremost utility for system maintenance in Windows Vista is the Control
Panel, as shown in the following figure. The Control Panel enables you to control
computer settings relating to both hardware components and Windows software. In addition, this part gives you the specifics on synchronizing files on your
computer with other devices, backing up the data on your computer, moving
your system settings from your current computer to another, and keeping your
copy of the Windows Vista operating system up-to-date.
In this part . . .
⻬
Backing up your computer system
⻬ Changing your computer’s settings with the Control Panel
⻬ Restoring your computer system to a prior state
⻬ Getting automatic Windows updates
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Backup and Restore Center
The Backup and Restore Center encompasses a File and Folder Backup utility
that enables you to make, compare, or restore backup copies of selected files and
folders on your computer, as well as the CompletePC Backup utility that enables
you to back up your entire hard drive (unless you’re running the Home Basic or
Vista Home Premium versions, in which case you don’t have this program). Use
these utilities to maintain copies of all the files you can’t live without, in case
(knock on wood) anything ever happens to your computer or the hard drive.
To open the Backup and Restore Center, click Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴 Back Up
Your Computer. Vista then opens the Backup and Restore Center window in
Figure 5-1.
Figure 5-1
File and Folder Backup
To use the File and Folder Backup utility to make backups of just certain folders
and files on your computer, follow these steps:
1. Click the Backup Files button in the Back Up Files or Your Entire
Computer section of the Backup and Restore Center window (Start 䉴
Control Panel 䉴 System and Maintenance 䉴 Back Up Your Computer).
2. Click the Continue button in the User Account Control dialog box to open
the Back Up Your Files window.
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3. Select the drive or network folder where you want the backup of your
computer’s folder and files to be stored.
To back up the files on another local hard drive, select it in the On a Hard
Disk , CD, or DVD drop-down list box. To back up the files on a CD or DVD
disc, select your computer’s CD/DVD drive letter in the drop-down list box
and then be sure to insert a blank CD or DVD disc into this drive.
To back up the files on a network drive, click the On a Network option
button and then enter the folder’s pathname or use the Browse button to
select the folder in the Browse for Folder dialog box.
4. Click Next to open the Which File Types Do You Want to Backup? window.
In this window, clear the check boxes for any types of files that you don’t
want included in the backup.
By default, the File and Folder Backup utility includes all types of files, pictures, documents, music, video, e-mails, and recorded TV. The only files
that are not included in the backup are system files and temporary files.
5. Click Next to open the How Often Do You Want to Create a Backup? dialog
box.
6. Select how often (Daily, Weekly, or Monthly), on what day of the week or
month, and at what time Vista is to perform the file and folder backup.
7. Click the Save Settings and Start Backup command button.
Vista then displays the Backup Up Files dialog box, which keeps you informed of
the backup progress. The operating system backs up all the selected files, first
by creating a shadow copy of the files and then by actually copying them to the
designated drive, disc, or network folder. While Windows performs the backup,
you can continue to work.
To call a halt to a backup before Vista finishes copying all the files, click the Stop
Backup button in the Backup Files dialog box.
CompletePC Backup
To use the CompletePC Backup utility to make a complete backup of all the files
on your computer’s hard drive, follow these steps:
1. Click the Back Up Computer button in the Back Up Files or Your Entire
Computer section of the Backup and Restore Center window.
2. Click the Continue button in the User Account Control dialog box to open
the Windows Complete PC Backup window.
3. Select an alternate hard drive or the letter of your computer’s CD/DVD drive
where you want Vista to make the backup of your computer’s hard drive.
To back up the files on another local hard drive, select it in the On a Hard
Disk drop-down list box. To back up the files on one or more DVD discs,
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click the On One or More DVDs option button and then select your computer’s CD/DVD drive letter in the drop-down list box. Be sure to insert a
blank DVD disc into this drive.
4. Click Next to open the Confirm Your Backup Settings dialog box, where
the letter of your computer’s hard drive appears in the Backup Location
list box.
5. Click the Start Backup button.
Vista then displays the Windows Complete PC Backup dialog box, which keeps
you informed of its progress in making the backup. If you’re backing up the computer to DVD discs, Vista displays dialog boxes prompting you to insert and label
all the DVD discs needed to do the backup. If a DVD disc that you insert needs
formatting, a dialog box prompting you to format that disc then also appears.
Restoring files to your computer
After using the File and Folder Backup or the CompletePC Backup utility to back
up certain files or your entire computer, you can then use the Backup and
Restore Center to restore the backed-up files if you ever need to due to a hard
drive malfunction or reformatting.
To restore files and folders backed up with the File and Folder Backup utility,
follow these steps:
1. Click the Restore Files button in the Restore Files or Your Entire Computer
section of the Backup and Restore Center window.
Vista opens a window entitled, What Do You Want to Restore?
2. Make sure that the Files From the Latest Backup option button is selected,
and then click Next.
Vista opens a window entitled, Which Files and Folders Do You Want to
Restore?
3. Select the Restore Everything in This Backup check box or browse for the
individual files or folders to restore.
4. Click Next and then click the Start Restore button in the Where Do You
Want to Save the Recovered Files? window with the In the Original
Location option button selected.
To restore files backed up with the CompletePC Backup utility, click the Restore
Computer button in this same Restore Files or Your Entire Computer section of
the Backup and Restore Center window.
Be very cautious about using the Restore Computer feature of the Backup and
Restore Center: When you click the Restore Computer button, Vista displays an
alert dialog box informing you that as part of restoring your computer, Vista will
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reformat your hard disk, thereby destroying all of its data (this includes all
Windows files, program files, and document files you’ve created).
Therefore, you only want to proceed with restoring an entire computer backup
when you know that your backup disk or discs contains the latest backups of all
your files and you don’t care about losing all the data on your hard drive. If this
is the case, follow these steps:
1. Click the Close button in the Backup and Restore Center alert dialog box,
insert the system image backup DVD in your computer’s DVD drive or, if
the image backup is on an external drive, connect it to your computer and
then click the Start button and click Restart on the Shut Down Options
button’s pop-up menu to reboot your computer.
Proceed to Step 2 while the computer is rebooting.
2. Hold down the F8 key during reboot to start Vista in the Windows
Recovery Environment.
3. Click Windows System Image Backup in the Windows Recovery
Environment and then let it guide you through the process of backing up
your entire computer.
Control Panel
The Control Panel in Windows Vista is the place to go when you need to make
changes to various settings of your computer system. To open the Control Panel
window, click the Start button on the taskbar and then click Control Panel on the
Start menu.
In Vista, you can view the Control Panel in two different views:
⻬ Category view (the default), which contains links representing groups of
related Control Panel programs displayed in columns (see Figure 5-2)
⻬ Classic view, where the individual Control panel program icons are dis-
played in rows running down and across the window (see Figure 5-3)
To switch from Category view into Classic view, click the Classic View link in the
Control Panel window’s navigation bar. This link appears immediately underneath the bold Control Panel Home heading. To switch back into Category view,
click the Control Panel Home link that appears in smaller type above the now
bold Classic view heading.
As you see in Figure 5-2, in Category View, Vista organizes the Control Panel
window into ten categories, ranging from System and Maintenance to Additional
Options. To open a window with the Control Panel options for any one of these
categories, simply click the category’s hyperlink.
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Figure 5-2
In Figure 5-3, you notice that when the Control Panel window is in Classic view,
Vista displays an alphabetical listing of all the Control Panel options on your
system with a program icon and name from Add Hardware to Windows Update.
To view and possibly change the settings for a particular Control Panel option in
Classic view, you need to double-click the Control Panel program icon.
If you’re running Vista on a laptop computer, the Control Panel has an extra
Mobile PC category that appears between the Programs and User Accounts and
Family Safety categories.
The following table gives you a descriptive list of all the Control Panel categories
except for Additional Options (which varies according to your computer’s configuration) and including Mobile PC for laptops that appear in the Control Panel
window when you have it in Category view. Use this table to figure out what
type of computer settings you can change by clicking each category’s hyperlink.
The Groups of Category Links in the Control Panel Home
Click this Category Link
To Display These Groups of Links
System and Maintenance
Welcome Center, Backup and Restore Center, System,
Windows Update, Power Options, Indexing Options, Problem
Reports and Solutions, Performance Information and Tools,
Device Manager, and Administrative Tools
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Click this Category Link
To Display These Groups of Links
Security
Security Center, Windows Firewall, Windows Update,
Windows Defender, Internet Options, Parental Controls, and
BitLocker Drive Encryption (if your version of Vista supports
this utility)
Network and Internet
Network and Sharing Center, Internet Options, Offline Files,
Windows Firewall, People Near Me, Sync Center
Hardware and Sound
Printers, AutoPlay, Sound, Mouse, Power Options,
Personalization, Scanners and Camera, Keyboard, Device
Manager, Phone and Modem Options, Game Controllers,
Windows SideShow, Pen and Input Devices, Color
Management, and Tablet PC Settings
Programs
Programs and Features, Windows Defender, Default
Programs, Windows Sideshow, Windows Sidebar Properties,
and Get Programs Online
Mobile PC (laptops only)
Windows Mobility Center, Power Options, Personalization,
Tablet PC Settings, Pen and Input Devices, and Sync Center
User Accounts and Family Safety
User Accounts, Parental Controls, Windows CardSpace, and
Mail
Appearance and Personalization
Personalization, Taskbar and Start Menu, Ease of Access
Center, Folder Options, Fonts, and Windows Sidebar
Properties
Clock, Language, and Region
Date and Time, and Regional and Language Options
Ease of Access
Ease of Access Center and Speech Recognition Options
As you can see from this table, Vista’s Control Panel programs are numerous,
and different categories have duplicate links for opening the same Control Panel
windows or dialog boxes. The following sections give you detailed information
on the most commonly used Control Panel groups: System and Maintenance,
Hardware and Sound, Clock, Language, and Region, and Ease of Access.
See Part 1 for information on customizing your computer with the
Personalization and Windows Sidebar Properties Control Panel programs.
See Part 2 for information on using the Programs and Default Programs Control
Panel programs.
See Part 3 for information on configuring and changing network settings with the
Network and Internet Control Panel options.
See Part 4 for information on configuring and using speech recognition and text
to speech with the Speech Recognition Control Panel options.
See Part 6 for information on configuring and changing your computer’s security
settings by using the Security Control Panel option.
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Figure 5-3
System and Maintenance
When you click the System and Maintenance link in the Control Panel home
window when the Category view is selected, Vista opens a new window (see
Figure 5-4) containing the following groups of options:
⻬ Welcome Center to open the welcome screen to your computer window
that automatically appears each time you boot your computer until you
deselect the Run at Startup check box. This window displays basic information about your computer, including Windows edition, processor,
memory, video adapter, and the computer name, manufacturer, and model,
along with links such as Add New Users and What’s New in Windows.
⻬ Backup and Restore Center to launch the Windows Backup utility, which
allows you to back up all or just certain files on your computer’s harddrive
as well as restore them (see “Backup and Restore Center” for details earlier
in this part).
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⻬ System to open a window displaying information about your computer
system such as rating (based on its processor, memory, hard drive, and
graphics capability), memory, and type of operating system (32-bit or 64-bit)
and the edition of the Windows operating system including the product key.
⻬ Windows Update to open the Windows Update window, where you can
check for updates to the Windows Vista operating system (see “Windows
Update” for details later in this part).
⻬ Power Options to open the Power Options Control Panel window, where
you can select or edit a power scheme that determines when and if
Windows should turn off your monitor or power down your hard drive
after so many minutes of inactivity. You can also use the Require a
Password on Wakeup link in the Navigation pane to designate whether to
shut down the computer or put it to sleep when you click the Power button
on your computer, and whether to require you to enter your password
when you wake your computer from sleep (see “Restart, Sleep/Hibernate,
Lock, Log Off, and Shut Down” in Part 2).
⻬ Indexing Options to open the Indexing Options dialog box, where you can
designate which user’s files on your computer to include and which to
exclude from indexing for the purpose of doing Searches (see “Search” in
Part 1).
⻬ Problem Reports and Solutions to open a Problem Reports and Solutions
window displaying links to solutions for Vista problems your computer is
experiencing.
⻬ Performance Rating and Tools to open a window displaying ratings for
and ratings of your PC in five performance areas, (processor, memory, hard
drive storage, graphics, and gaming graphics), and detailing any issues that
are adversely affecting your computer’s performance.
⻬
Device Manager to open the Device Manager dialog box, which displays all
the devices installed on your computer and tells you whether they are all
working properly.
⻬
Administrative Tools to open the Administrative Tools Control Panel
window, which contains shortcuts to a number of utilities used by the
Systems Administrator to review and control your computer. (Don’t fool
with these options unless you know what you’re doing.)
Hardware and Sound
When you click the Hardware and Sound link in the Control Panel home window
when the Category view is selected, Vista opens a new Hardware and Sound
window (see Figure 5-5) displaying a long list of links to hardware devices from
printers to Tablet PC settings (even when you don’t have a Tablet PC and have
no use for the settings).
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Figure 5-4
Among the most commonly used of Hardware and Sounds options are the
following:
⻬ Printers enables you to change the settings for the printers you’ve
installed on your computer as well as add a new local or network printer
(see “Printers” later in this part for details).
⻬ AutoPlay enables you to designate which Windows program to use in play-
ing various types of media files (see “AutoPlay” later in this part for details).
⻬ Sound enables you to manage your sound devices and assign new sounds
to common Windows events (see “Manage Audio Devices and Sound
Themes” later in this part for details).
⻬ Mouse enables you change the settings for your mouse (see “Mouse” later
in this part for details).
⻬ Scanners and Cameras enables you to transfer images from digital scan-
ners or cameras to your computer (see “Scanners and Cameras” later in
this part for details).
Printers
When you click the Printers link under Hardware and Sound in the Control Panel
home window or on the Hardware and Sound Control Panel window, Vista opens
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a Printers Control Panel window that displays all the printers (physical, virtual,
local, and network) installed on your computer.
Figure 5-5
To add a new local printer to your computer system in the Printers window,
follow these steps:
1. Click the Add a Printer button on the Printers window toolbar to start the
Add Printer Wizard, choose the option that applies to you and click Next.
2. Select the port for the printer to use in the Use the Existing Port drop-down
list box in the Choose a Printer Port dialog box and then click the Next
button.
3. Click the manufacturer and the model of the printer in the Manufacturers
and Printers list boxes, respectively, of the Install the Printer Driver dialog
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box. If you have a disk with the software for the printer, put it into your
floppy or CD-ROM drive and then click the Have Disk button: Select the
drive that contains this disk in the Copy Manufacturer’s Files From dropdown list box and then click OK.
4. Click the Next button to advance to the Type a Printer Name dialog box. If
you want, edit the name for the printer in the Printer Name text box. If you
want to make the printer that you’re installing the default printer that is
automatically used whenever you print from Windows or a Windows program, leave the Set as the Default Printer check box selected.
5. Click the Next button to advance to the final Add Printer Wizard dialog box.
To print a test page from your newly installed printer, select the Print a
Test Page check box. Click the Finish button or press Enter to finish
installing the new printer.
To use the Add Printer Wizard to install a printer that’s available through your
Local Area Network, follow slightly different steps:
1. Click the Add a Printer button on the Printers window toolbar and then
click the Add a Network, Wireless or Bluetooth Printer option before you
click Next.
2. After Vista is finished searching for all printers on your network and all
wireless printers in your vicinity, click the name of the printer to install in
the Searching for Available Printers list box, and then click Next.
3. (Optional) If the printer you want to install is not on this list or Vista fails
to find and list the network or wireless printer, click the The Printer That I
Want Isn’t Listed link. To browse for the printer on the network, click the
Browse for a Printer option button and then click Next. To enter the pathname for the printer, leave the Select a Shared Printer by Name option
button selected, and then type the pathname in its text box or use the
Browse button to locate it before you click Next.
If you can’t locate the printer on the network by browsing and don’t know
its pathname but do happen to know its IP (Internet Protocol) address,
click the Add a Printer Using a TCP/IP Address or Hostname option button
before you click Next. Then enter the IP address in the Hostname or IP
Address text box, its port in the Port Name text box, and click Next. Vista
will then detect the printer, using the address you provide. After Windows
locates the printer, click Next.
4. In the Type a Printer Name dialog box, edit the name for the printer in the
Printer Name text box if you want. To make the printer that you’re
installing the default printer that is automatically used whenever you
print from Windows or a Windows program, leave the Set as the Default
Printer check box selected.
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5. Click the Next button to advance to the final Add Printer Wizard dialog box.
To print a test page from your newly installed printer, select the Print a
Test Page check box. Click the Finish button or press Enter to finish
installing the new printer.
In addition to installing new printers in the Printers Control Panel window, you
can use it to change settings and to control the jobs you send to a printer:
⻬ To share a printer, assuming that the administrator of the computer has
configured the Windows firewall to permit printer sharing (see Part 6),
right-click its printer icon and then click Sharing on its shortcut menu.
Click the Share This Printer option button and give the printer a share
name in the text box provided.
⻬ To change the default printer for your computer programs, right-click the
printer’s icon and then click Set as Default Printer on its shortcut menu.
⻬ To change the layout, paper, and print quality settings for a particular
printer, right-click its printer icon and then click the Printing Preferences
on its shortcut menu.
⻬ To pause a print job that is in progress by the printer currently selected in
the Printers Control Panel window, double-click the printer icon to open its
window and then click Printer➪Pause Printing.
⻬ To open the currently selected printer when it’s processing or printing a
print job to view the status of the jobs in the print queue or to cancel print
jobs, click the See What’s Printing button on the toolbar of the Printers
Control Panel window. To cancel a job, click it in the queue and then click
Document➪Cancel.
To be able to print documents directly from Windows Vista, create a desktop shortcut to your printer by right-clicking its icon in the Printers Control Panel window,
selecting Create Shortcut, and then drag the icon of the file you want printed and
drop it on the printer’s desktop shortcut. Vista responds by opening that file in the
program associated with its file type. That program then immediately sends the file
to that printer for printing.
AutoPlay
When you click the AutoPlay link in the Hardware and Sound Control Panel
window, Vista opens an AutoPlay Control Panel window. This window displays
all the various types of audio, video, and still digital image files that you can
have on your computer in the Media column on the left. You can then have a
particular program such as the Windows Media Player or Media Center open
certain kinds of media files, or have Vista take a particular action with certain
types of media. For example, you can have Vista open them from Windows
Explorer or burn them to disc by selecting Windows Media Player in the dropdown list box to the immediate right of that kind of media file.
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See “Media Center” and “Windows Media Player 11” in Part 7 for details on using
these Vista programs to play your media files.
Manage Audio Devices and Sound Themes
When you click the Manage Audio Devices link in the Hardware and Sound
Control Panel window, Vista opens the Sound dialog box, which contains the following three tabs:
⻬ Playback, which lists all the audio output and output audio devices con-
nected to your computer. To review the properties for a particular device
or modify its parameters, click the device to select it and then click the
Properties button to open a Properties dialog box for that device showing
all the options you can change.
⻬ Recording, which enables you to select a new recording device such as
external microphone or line in.
⻬ Sounds, where you can modify or create a new sound scheme that deter-
mines what sounds, if any, to play when particular events take place, such
as closing programs, displaying an alert box, receiving new e-mail, emptying the Recycle Bin, and so on.
To manage the overall volume setting for your computer and for the applications
on your system that play sound, either click the Adjust System Volume link under
Sound in the Hardware and Sound window or click the speaker icon in the
Notifications area of the taskbar and choose Mixer. Vista then opens a Volume
Mixer dialog box containing both a Device and Applications slider that you can
drag up to increase the volume or down to decrease it. Note that you can move
the Applications volume slider independently of the Device slider.
Mouse
When you click the Mouse link under Hardware and Sound in the Control Panel
home window or on the Hardware and Sound Control Panel window, Vista opens
a Mouse Properties dialog box. you can modify the settings for your mouse,
including switching the primary and secondary buttons, changing the doubleclick speed, and selecting new pointer icons and pointer movement options for
the mouse. If your mouse has a wheel, you can also modify the behavior of
rolling the wheel one notch.
Scanners and Cameras
When you click the Scanners and Cameras option in the Hardware and Sound
Control Panel window, Vista opens a Scanners and Cameras dialog box showing
all digital scanners and cameras currently connected to your computer.
If you don’t see your scanner or camera listed in this dialog box and you’ve previously installed it, click the Refresh command button. Click the Add Device
button and then follow the steps by using the Scanner and Camera Installation
Wizard if you need to install the device.
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To get information about a particular scanner or camera that’s connected to
your computer and possibly adjust its settings, click its icon in the Scanners and
Cameras dialog box and then click the Properties command button.
To scan a text document with a scanner shown in the Scanners and Cameras
dialog box, you need to use the Windows Fax and Scan utility — see “Windows
Fax and Scan” in Part 4. To scan a graphic image or photo, you can also scan right
from within the Windows Photo Gallery — see “Windows Photo Gallery” in Part 7.
Clock, Language, and Region
When you click the Clock, Language, and Region link in the Control Panel home
window, Vista opens a new Clock, Language, and Region Control Panel window
containing the two following links:
⻬ Date and Time to open the Date and Time Properties dialog box, where
you can reset the date and time, add up to two additional clocks, and synchronize the time on your computer to Internet time. (See the “Date and
Time” section that follows.)
⻬ Regional and Language Options to open the Regional and Language
Options dialog box, where you can change the way numbers, currency,
dates and times are normally displayed in Windows, change the locality
of your computer, and add new languages and keyboards to use. (See
“Regional and Language Options” later in this part.)
Date and Time
When you click the Date and Time link in the Clock, Language, and Region Control
Panel window, Vista opens the Date and Time Properties dialog box with the Date
and Time tab selected, as shown in Figure 5-6. You can use the options on this tab
to correct the date or time used by your computer as well as to update your time
zone and observance of daylight savings time. Note that Vista uses the date and
time information displayed on the tab of this dialog box not only to date-stamp
files that you create and modify, but also for its time display at the far right of the
Notification area of the Windows taskbar. (To display the current date including
the day of the week, position the mouse pointer over this time display.)
You can use the options on the Additional Clocks tab to keep tabs on the local
time in two other time zones besides your own. Just click either of the Show
This Clock check boxes and then select the time zone in the associated dropdown list box for the new clock. Give it a name in its Enter Display Name text
box before you click OK.
After adding additional clocks, you can check their local time anytime you want
simply by clicking the local time that appears at the far right of the Notifications
area of the Windows taskbar. Doing this displays a Date and Time Settings pop-up
bar that contains a monthly calendar with the current date highlighted along with
analog representations of all your clocks on your computer with their current
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time. (Simply click anywhere on the desktop outside this Date and Time Settings
bar to hide its display.)
Figure 5-6
Figure 5-7 shows the Date and Time Settings bar that appears when I click the
local time displayed on my taskbar. This display contains a calendar with the current month, lists the current time, and shows all the clocks I’ve created. In this
figure, you can see that I’ve created two additional clocks: a New York clock, so I
always know my publisher’s local time, and a Hawaii clock, so that I know the local
time of the place where I’ll be when this book is done! To get rid of this date and
time display, simply click anywhere on the desktop outside of its graphic.
Figure 5-7
To have Vista display a temporary pop-up display that lists the current date and
the time for the system clock and each of the clocks you’ve created, simply position the mouse pointer on the time in the Notification area. This pop-up display
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then disappears the moment you move the mouse pointer off the time in the
Notification area.
You can synchronize the time shown in the Time text box on the Date and Time
tab with one of the various online time servers (such as time.windows.com or
time.nist.gov). To do so, click the Change Settings button on the Internet Time
tab. Next, simply select the time server to use in the Server drop-down list box in
the Internet Time Settings dialog box that appears. Click the Update Now button.
Regional and Language Options
When you click the Regional and Language Options link in the Clock, Language,
and Region Control Panel window, Windows opens the Regional and Language
Options dialog box with the Formats tab selected, as shown in Figure 5-8. Here,
you can customize the default number, currency, and date formats on your computer by clicking the Customize This Format button, and then clicking the
appropriate tab (Numbers, Currency, Time, or Date) in the Customize Regional
Options dialog box. Use the individual drop-down lists boxes to modify all the
settings of the selected format that you need to change.
To select a new country location for your computer, click the Location tab in the
Regional and Language Options dialog box and then select the new country in
the Current Location drop-down list box.
To switch to a new keyboard or language or to make changes to the language
bar settings, click the Keyboard and Languages tab in the Regional and
Language Options dialog box, and then click the Change Keyboards command
button to open the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box. There, you
can use the options on the General tab to add and select new input languages
for Windows as well as a new keyboard layout for those languages.
To control how the Language bar (which enables you to switch from using one
language to another while working in Windows programs) appears on the desktop, click the Language Bar tab in the Text Services and Input Languages dialog
box. Use its option buttons and check boxes to modify its desktop behavior.
To change the hot keys you can use to switch from one language to another in
Windows (instead of having to do this from the Language bar), click the
Advanced Key Settings tab in the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box
and then click the language for which you want to select a set of predefined hot
keys. Click the Change Key Sequence command button to open the Change Key
Sequence dialog box. There, click the option button for the predefined sequence
under Switch Input Language before you click OK.
To add or remove languages on your computer, click the Install/Uninstall
Languages button on the Keyboard and Languages tab of the Regional and
Language Options dialog box. After you click the Continue button in the permissions dialog box that appears, Vista opens the Install or Uninstall Display
Languages window where you either click Install Languages to add new
languages (provided that you have already copied their language files on your
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computer and know their location) to the computer, or Remove Languages to
delete them.
Figure 5-8
Ease of Access Center
When you click the Ease of Access link in the Control Panel Home window, Vista
opens an Ease of Access Control Panel window that contains the following two
links:
⻬ Ease of Access Center to open an Ease of Access Center Control Panel
window, which contains a whole range of options for aiding users with various degrees of vision and hearing impairments.
⻬ Speech Recognition Options to open a Configure Your Speech Recognition
Experience Control Panel window, where you can set up speech recognition on your computer enabling you to issue voice commands as well as
dictate text in Windows application programs. (See “Speech Recognition”
in Part 4 for details).
When you click the Ease of Access Center link, the Ease of Access Center
Control Panel window, shown in Figure 5-9, appears. The controls in this window
enable you to change a number of keyboard, sound, display, and mouse settings
that can make using the computer easier if you have less-than-perfect physical
dexterity. The Quick Access to Common Tools section of this window contains
the following options in two columns:
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⻬ Start Magnifier to turn on and off the Magnifier dialog box that shows each
element of the screen magnified many times. Use the settings in the
Microsoft Screen Magnify dialog box that appears when you first turn this
feature on to control various settings, including whether the Screen
Magnify window appears full-screen at start-up and assigning a new magnification factor (2x is the default).
⻬ Start On-Screen Keyboard to turn on and off the display of the On-Screen
Keyboard. The On-Screen Keyboard enables you to make text entries by
clicking its keys to input letters, numbers, and punctuation, plus the accelerator keys (Shift, Ctrl, and Alt), function keys (F1 through F12), and cursor
keys (Tab, Home, End, ←, ↑, →, ↓, and so on). Don’t confuse this On-Screen
Keyboard window with the Input PC Panel. The Input PC Panel enables you
to make keyboard entries via written inputs with the mouse or a special
pen tablet connected to your PC or directly on the screen of a Tablet PC
running Windows Vista for Tablet PCs.
⻬ Start Narrator to turn on and off the Narrator feature that reads aloud the
names of each key you press, all system messages and on-screen messages
that you receive, as well as all menu and toolbar options you select with
the mouse.
⻬ Set Up High Contrast to turn on and off High Contrast, which displays all
Windows elements in very high contrasting colors. Click the Choose a High
Contrast Color Scheme link to open the Appearance Settings dialog box,
where you can select the high contrast color scheme to use.
Vista automatically uses the Text to Speech feature to narrate the name of each
check box option while highlighting it whenever the Ease of Access Center Control
Panel is open, provided that you don’t clear the Always Read This Section Aloud
and the Always Scan This Section check boxes at the bottom of this section.
In addition to these options in the Quick Access to Common Tools section, this
window contains the following links in the Explore All Settings section that you
can use to make your PC easier to use:
⻬ Use Computer without a Display to open a window of audio accessibility
options, including Narrator and Audio Description, that make it possible
for a user with a hearing impairment to interact with the computer through
audio cues
⻬ Make the Computer Easier to See to open a window of visual accessibility
options, such as turning on the Magnifier and changing the size of text and
icons that make it easier for a user with a visual impairment to see and
decipher screen elements
⻬ Use the Computer without a Mouse or Keyboard to open a window con-
taining options for activating the On-Screen Keyboard and enabling you to
configure and activate Speech Recognition (see Part 4) on your computer
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⻬ Make the Mouse Easier to Use to open a window with mouse settings you
can adjust, including activating Mouse Keys, which enables you to use the
numeric keypad to move the mouse
⻬ Make the Keyboard Easier to Use to open a window with keyboard
options that you can adjust, including Mouse Keys (see above), Sticky
Keys, Toggle Keys (to sound a tone when you press the Caps Lock, Num
Lock, or Scroll Lock keys), and Filter Keys
⻬ Use Text or Visual Alternatives for Sounds to open a window of visual
accessibility options, including turning on Sound Sentry to display visual
on-screen warnings (rather than audible ones), and text captions for
spoken dialog when that’s available
⻬ Make It Easier to Focus on Tasks to open a window containing options for
configuring and turning on the Narrator as well as Sticky Keys, Toggle
Keys, and Filter Keys, and to control Windows on-screen animations
Figure 5-9
System Restore
System Restore enables you to turn back the clock on your computer system.
For example, say that you’re about to install a antivirus software program that
you suspect will change a number of system settings. Before installing and using
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this software, you can use the System Restore accessory to create a restore
point. That way, in the unlikely event that you find that the new software destabilizes your computer when it changes your system settings, you can remove
the offending software (with the Add or Remove feature — see “Program
Management” in Part 2) and then use the System Restore accessory to go back
to the systems settings that were in effect at the restore point (that is, before the
new software had a chance to mess with them).
Before you use the System Restore program, you need to create a protection
point to which the system can later be restored:
1. Open the Backup and Restore Center window (Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴
System and Maintenance 䉴 Backup and Restore Center) and then click the
Create a Restore Point or Change Settings link in the Navigation pane.
2. Click the Continue button in the User Account Control dialog box.
Vista opens the System Properties dialog box with the System Protection
tab selected.
3. Click the Create command button.
Vista opens the System Protection dialog box with the heading Create a
Restore Point.
4. Enter a descriptive name for the new protection point in the text box in
the System Protection dialog box (note that Vista automatically adds the
date and time to this description); then click the Create button.
When creating this name, make sure that you enter a name that clearly
indicates to you the current state of your computer, as in “Prior to ACME
Anti-Virus Install.”
When Vista completes the creation of the restore point, an alert box
appears.
5. Click OK to close the alert dialog box indicating that the protection point
was successfully created.
After you create a protection point for your Windows settings, you can restore
your system to that point by taking these steps:
1. Click the Start button and then type sy in the Start Search text box. Click
System Restore in the Programs List, and then click the Continue button
in the User Account Control dialog box to open the first System Restore
dialog box entitled Restore System Files and Settings.
If the System Properties dialog box is still open, you can also open this
dialog box by clicking the System Restore command button on the System
Protection tab.
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2. By default, the Recommended Restore option button is selected to undo
the most recent updates to your computer. To select one of the restore
points you created (as outlined in the preceding steps), click the Choose a
Different Restore Point option button before you click Next.
Vista opens the second System Restore dialog box, entitled Choose a
Restore Point.
3. Click Next to open the System Restore dialog box entitled Confirm Your
Restore Point dialog box where you click the Finish button and then click
Yes in the alert dialog box that tells you that you can’t interrupt the
restoration process nor can you undo the procedure until it’s finished.
As soon as you click Yes, the screen displays a bar showing the Windows
progress in preparing your system for restoration and restoring your
system settings. As soon as Windows finishes restoring your settings, it
will automatically restart your computer so that the newly restored settings are put into effect. Windows will then display a System Restore
screen indicating that your system settings were successfully restored.
4. Click the Close button in the System Restore window to close the System
Restore accessory.
If you use System Restore only to discover that the restore point you selected
made Windows Vista run even worse than it did before you did the restoration
(heaven forbid!), you can undo the restoration by launching System Restore and
then clicking Undo System Restore: Restore Operation for the date and time of
this restoration. Click Next and then follow Steps 3 and 4 in the preceding list.
Windows Update
The Windows Update feature notifies you of the latest updates and bug fixes for
the Windows Vista operating system directly from the Microsoft Web site. You
can set Windows Update to automatically download Vista updates on a regular
schedule and have it either ask you to install them on your computer or install
them automatically.
To launch Windows Update, click Start 䉴 All Programs 䉴 Windows Update. Vista
then opens a Windows Update window similar to the one shown in Figure 5-10.
This window informs you of any updates that have been downloaded but not yet
installed and enables you to install them by clicking the Install Updates button.
It also enables you to review all the updates that have been made to your
system by using the Windows Update feature (by clicking the View Update
History link in the Navigation pane).
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Figure 5-10
You can also open the Windows Update window from the Control Panel Home
window by clicking the Check for Updates link under Security, or from the
Windows Security Center window (Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴 Check This
Computer’s Security Status) by clicking the Windows Update link in its
Navigation pane.
To turn automatic updates off and on, as well as to modify how often Windows
checks for and downloads and/or installs updates, follow these steps:
1. Open the Windows Update window (Start 䉴 All Programs 䉴 Windows
Update) and then click the Change Settings link in its Navigation pane.
Windows opens a Change Settings Control Panel window similar to the
one shown in Figure 5-11, where Vista automatically selects the Install
Updates Automatically (Recommended) option button.
2. (Optional) To change how often and at what time Vista installs new
updates to your computer, click the Install New Updates drop-down list
button and select the day of the week (Every Sunday through Every
Saturday). Next click the Time drop-down list button and select the time
of day (12:00 AM midnight to 11:00 PM).
3. To prevent Vista from automatically downloading and installing updates
on your computer, click the appropriate option button for the type of
updating you want to put into effect:
• Download Updates but Let Me Choose Whether to Install Them
to have Windows automatically check for and download critical and
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security updates. You can then review them in the Windows Update
Control Panel window and install them if you choose by clicking the
Install Updates button.
• Check for Updates but Let Me Choose Whether to Download and
Install Them to have Windows only check for updates and install them
when you open the Windows Update Control Panel window and click
the Download and Install button.
• Never Check for Updates (Not Recommended) to turn off the
Windows Updates feature entirely.
4. (Optional) Click the Include Recommended Updates When Downloading,
Installing, or Notifying Me About Updates check box to have Vista check
for optional recommended updates.
Keep in mind that when you select this check box, Windows Update not
only checks for critical updates to Windows System files but also for
optional updates to your system (such as the latest drivers for hardware
on your system) that can greatly improve the performance of your system.
5. Click OK or press Enter to close the Change Settings window.
Click the View Update History link in the Windows Update window to open the
View Update History window, which displays a complete log of all updates made
to your computer with Windows Update. This update log includes the name of
the update, its current status, type (Recommended or Important), as well as the
date of installation.
Figure 5-11
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Part 6
Security
In Windows Vista, your computer’s security and integrity are paramount concerns. In addition to the Security Center, shown in this figure, which has been
carried over from earlier versions of Windows, the Enterprise and Ultimate
versions of Vista introduce BitLocker drive encryption, which protects all
the files in your computer’s System folder. And, all versions of Vista include
Windows Defender (previously known as Microsoft AntiSpyware) — a utility
that works with Internet Explorer and Windows Mail to protect your computer
from spyware.
In this part . . .
⻬
Turning on BitLocker drive encryption
Setting up parental controls
⻬ Monitoring the security of your PC with the Security Center
⻬ Setting up and maintaining user accounts on your PC
⻬ Monitoring the computer for harmful software with the Windows
Defender
⻬
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BitLocker Drive Encryption
The BitLocker Drive Encryption feature offered in the Enterprise and Ultimate
versions of Windows Vista enables you to protect your hard drive by encrypting
all its files and thus protecting them from unauthorized access and use. When
you encrypt a drive, all files that you store on that drive are automatically
encrypted, including any shared files (see “Sharing files” in Part 2).
To access this security feature, click Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴 Security 䉴
BitLocker Drive Encryption to display the BitLocker Drive Encryption Control
Panel window.
Before you can turn on BitLocker Drive Encryption for your computer, your
machine must meet the following criteria:
⻬ Your computer’s hard drive must be formatted by using the NTFS system
rather than the FAT or FAT32 file system.
⻬ Your NTFS-formatted hard drive must be partitioned into two volumes: one
that holds the drive with the operating system files (typically the C: drive)
that BitLocker encrypts, and another partition that remains unencrypted
in order to start the computer.
⻬ Your computer must support and be equipped with a separate TPM
(Trusted Platform Module) module or a USB flash drive on which BitLocker
stores a recovery key. You’ll need the recovery key to once again access
the files on a BitLocker encrypted drive that Vista has locked up in
response to a perceived security threat.
Don’t attempt to engage BitLocker Drive Encryption on your computer if it does
not meet these three criteria or your user account is not an administrator type.
Also, be aware that if you turn on BitLocker encryption and Vista then detects
any condition that it looks upon as a security risk (such as disk errors and
changes to the computer’s BIOS or Windows start-up files), it will then lock the
drive. Should this happen, you must be able to produce the BitLocker recovery
key and password in order to be able to access your hard drive’s data files!
Parental Controls
Vista offers a set of parental controls to help control how children sharing the
computer can use it. Vista’s Parental Controls enable you to set limits on children’s access to Web pages on the Internet, the hours they can use the computer, as well as the games they can play.
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To open the Parental Controls window where you can set these limits for particular users, click Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴 Security 䉴 Parental Controls. Then
click the name of the user for whom you want to set certain limits in the Choose
a User and Set Up Parental Controls area of this window. Vista then opens a User
Controls window for the user you select, similar to the one shown in Figure 6-1.
Figure 6-1
This User Controls window enables you to make the following changes to the
selected user’s settings:
⻬ Parental Controls to turn on and off the enforcement of the parental con-
trol settings you put in place.
⻬ Activity Reporting to turn on and off activity reporting that collects infor-
mation about the selected user’s computer usage.
⻬ Windows Vista Web Filter to open a Web Restrictions window for the user
(see Figure 6-2) where you can block particular Web sites, choose a restriction level of Web filtering (from Custom to High), select the type of Web
content you want to block (from Alcohol to Weapons), and block downloading Internet files.
⻬ Time Limits to open the Time Restrictions window for the user, where you
can drag through the hours squares in the hours/days of the week matrix
for each of the days you want to block computer usage — all red squares in
the matrix represent hours that the user cannot log on the computer.
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⻬ Games to open the Game Controls window for the user where you can
block the playing of particular computer games by the game’s rating or
content, or block its usage by name.
⻬ Allow and Block Specific Programs to open the Application Restrictions
window for the user, where you can click the check box for each program
on the computer to which you want to allow access. Note that the selected
user will then be able to launch any program whose check box you select
in this window.
⻬ View Activity Reports to open an Activity Viewer window containing a
summary report showing the weekly computer activity of the user for
whom you’re setting these controls.
Figure 6-2
Security Center
The Windows Security Center window enables you to keep a watchful eye on all
your computer’s security settings. To open the Windows Security Center
window, similar to the one shown in Figure 6-3, click Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴
Security 䉴 Security Center and then click expand buttons to the right of
Firewall, Automatic Updating, Malware Protection, and Other Security Settings.
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Figure 6-3
Here, you can see at a glance the status of the following security settings:
⻬ Firewall displays whether the Windows firewall protection that helps
block harmful information from entering your network from the Internet
is active — to change the firewall settings, click the Windows Firewall link
in the Security Center’s Navigation pane.
⻬ Automatic Updating displays whether the Windows Update program that
checks online for important Windows updates that it can then download is
operative — to change the Windows Update settings, click the Windows
Update link in the Security Center’s Navigation pane (see “Windows
Update” in Part 5 for more information).
⻬ Malware Protection displays whether your computer is running a third-
party Virus Protection program and lets you know whether the Windows
Defender anti-spyware program is running — to obtain information on various Virus Protection programs, click the Find a Program button. To change
the Windows Defender settings, click the Windows Defender link in the
Security Center’s Navigation pane (see “Windows Defender” later in this
part).
⻬ Other Security Settings indicates the overall status of your computer’s
Internet security settings and your user account — to change your Internet
security settings, click the Internet Options link in the Security Center’s
Navigation pane.
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Click the Get the Latest Security and Virus Information from Microsoft link to go
online to the Microsoft Security Web page, read the latest security and virus bulletins, and download important security updates for Windows Vista.
Clicking the Change the Way Security Center Alerts Me link in the Security
Center’s Navigation pane and then clicking the Don’t Notify Me and Don’t
Display the Icon (Not Recommended) button in the Windows Security Center
dialog box halts all security alerts. Don’t do this unless you’re certain that you
no longer want Vista to display alerts in the Notification area of the taskbar
when a threat to computer’s security arises or one of your security utilities is
inadvertently disabled.
User Account Control
The User Accounts Control Panel window (see Figure 6-4) contains the controls
for adding users and changing the properties of existing user accounts on your
computer.
Figure 6-4
To open the User Accounts Control Panel window, click Start 䉴 Control Panel 䉴
User Accounts and Family Safety 䉴 User Accounts.
Managing your own account
The User Accounts Control Panel window contains the following links that
enable you to make changes to your own account:
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⻬ Create a Password for Your Account to create a password for your
account that you must reproduce each time you log on to, start, or unlock
your computer. (See “Restart, Sleep/Hibernate, Lock, Log Off, and Shut
Down” in Part 2.) If you already have a password assigned, you see a
Change Your Password link you can click to modify your password and a
Remove Your Password link you can click to delete your password without
assigning a new one (assuming that you can correctly reproduce your current password).
⻬ Change Your Picture to select a new picture to represent you on top of the
Start menu and on various Vista start-up and welcome screens.
⻬
Change Your Account Name to assign a new name to your account.
⻬
Change Your Account Type to change your account type from
Administrator to Standard User to restrict your ability to make changes to
computer settings that affect its security — note that you can only change
your account status from Administrator to Standard User provided that at
least one other user account is currently designated as an administrator.
Managing other user accounts
If your user account is designated Administrator, you can not only make
changes to your account name and your account type, but you can also manage
other user accounts on the computer.
To add or make changes to other accounts on the computer, click the Manage
Another Account link in the User Accounts Control Panel window. Doing this
opens a Manage Accounts window.
To create a new account in the Manage Accounts window, click the Create a New
Account link and then enter the account name. Designate the account as either
Standard User or Administrator before you click the Create Account button.
Too many administrators on a single computer make it impossible to keep centralized control over the number and type of user accounts created on it.
Therefore, keep the number of administrator accounts to a bare minimum. (I
recommend just one, or perhaps two, if several people share the same computer
and only one of them might be available when you need to make security setting
changes on the machine.)
To modify the settings for an existing user account, click the name of the
account you want to change to open the Change an Account window, which contains the following links:
⻬ Change the Account Name to assign a new name to the user’s account.
⻬ Create a Password to create a password for the user’s account that he
must reproduce each time he logs on to, starts, or unlocks his computer
(see “Restart, Sleep/Hibernate, Lock, Log Off, and Shut Down” in Part 2).
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⻬ Change the Picture to select a new picture to represent the user at the top
of his Start menu and on various Vista start-up and welcome screens.
⻬ Set Up Parental Controls to open the Parental Controls window where you
can restrict the user’s access to Web pages on the Internet, the hours he
can use the computer, as well as the games he can play (see “Parental
Controls” earlier in this part).
⻬ Delete the Account to get rid of the account when it’s no longer needed.
Changing the User Account Control status
If your user account is designated as Administrator, you can use the Turn User
Account Control On or Off link at the bottom of the links in the User Accounts
window to turn off the User Account Control for your computer by clearing the
Use User Account Control (UAC) to Help Protect Your Computer check box in
the Turn User Account Control On or Off window.
Although turning off UAC is not normally recommended, especially when you
share the computer with several different people whose accounts are not designated as Administrator, you may want to do this if you are the sole user of the
computer (as in a home situation) and you’re not in an environment where other
people (like roommates or friends who stop by) can mess up your settings. That
way, you’re no longer bothered by all those pesky permission alert dialog boxes
each and every time you need to tweak the slightest of the computer’s security
settings.
Windows Defender
The Windows Defender enables you to scan your computer for any type of spyware that might have infected your computer (especially if you use Internet
Explorer to subscribe to online services or make online purchases). To open the
Windows Defender window similar to the one shown in Figure 6-5, click Start 䉴
Control Panel 䉴 Security 䉴 Windows Defender.
After the Windows Defender window is open, you can click the Scan button to
have Vista perform a quick scan of your computer and report on any spyware
anomalies.
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Figure 6-5
In addition, you can click the Tools button to display the Tools and Options
screen of the Windows Defender shown in Figure 6-6. This screen includes the
following options:
⻬ Options to open the Options screen, where you can determine when or if
automatic scanning takes place, what actions Vista is to take when it
locates a potential spyware program, and turn on and off real-time protection (that alerts you right at the time a spyware program tries to install
itself), as well as select the software and settings that you want Windows
Defender to monitor.
⻬ Microsoft SpyNet, to join the Microsoft SpyNet online community to share
information about how Windows Defender responds to suspected spyware
programs.
⻬ Quarantined Items, to display all the programs that Windows Defender
has quarantined by preventing them from running until you give the
approval.
⻬
Software Explorer, to open the Software Explorer window, which displays
the classification of all the programs on your computer that Windows
Defender monitors. The Software Explorer lets you to remove or just disable start-up programs or programs that are currently running on your
computer. In addition, it lets you block incoming connections made to Web
sites when Internet Explorer is running. You can also use the Software
Explorer to reenable any programs that you previously disabled.
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⻬ Allowed Items, to open the Allowed Items window, which displays all the
programs you’ve allowed despite warnings of their potential spyware
status by Windows Defender and enables you to clear particular programs
so that the Defender once again monitors them.
⻬ Windows Defender Web site, to open the Windows Defender Home page in
Internet Explorer, where you can get more information on stopping spyware as well as updates to the Windows Defender.
Figure 6-6
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Part 7
Entertainment
Windows Vista is full of fun stuff to keep you entertained. In Vista, the diversions
run the gamut from games to making your computer a part of your larger home
entertainment center, thanks to Windows Media Center, shown in the following
figure. Also part of the fun is Movie Maker, a video-editing program that you can
use to turn your video clips into digital movies; Windows Media Player 11, which
you can use to rip tracks from audio CDs as well as to play CDs and DVDs; and
Windows Photo Gallery, which helps you organize your digital photos.
In this part . . .
⻬
⻬
⻬
⻬
⻬
Playing games on your PC
Listening to music, viewing photos, and watching TV with the Media
Center
Playing music and DVDs with Windows Media Player
Creating your own movies with Windows Movie Maker
Maintaining your digital photos in the Windows Photo Gallery
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Games
Let the games begin! To open the Game window similar to the one shown in
Figure 7-1 in Windows Vista, all you have to do is click Start 䉴 Games. To play
any of the games included with Vista, click the game to select it and then click
the Play button on the Games window toolbar. Vista then opens the game in its
own window.
Figure 7-1
Keep in mind that when you click a game in the Games window, the Details pane
not only displays general information about the game’s publisher and developer
but also the date you last played the game. In addition, the Preview pane displays the game’s rating: And, by the way, you don’t have to worry about the content: All games supplied with Vista are rated E for Everyone.
You can get help on the rules for playing the game you’ve selected by clicking
Help➪View Help on the game window’s pull-down menu or by pressing F1. If you
have to close a game before you’ve had a chance to win, Vista gives you the
option of saving the game in its present state when you close the game’s
window.
If you always want Vista to save your game when you exit it, click the Always
Save Game on Exit check box before you click the Save button.
The next time you open the game that you’ve saved, Vista opens a Saved Game
Found alert dialog box that asks you if you want to continue your saved game.
To open the saved game rather than start a new one, click the Yes button in this
alert dialog box.
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Media Center
Windows Vista now integrates the Media Center as a part of its entertainment
programs. Originally developed as an interface for the so-called Media Center PC
(a computer running Windows XP that’s specially configured for playing multimedia and often is equipped with a TV tuner card and a special wireless
remote), you can use the Vista version of this nifty application to play music,
view your digital pictures, play movies, and even watch and record TV (assuming that your computer is equipped with a TV tuner card).
Keep in mind that you can connect your computer that runs the Media Center
for Vista to your home entertainment center by purchasing the Media Center
Extender. You can connect your computer to your Xbox 360 by purchasing
Media Center Extender for Xbox.
The first time you launch the Media Center, you see the Welcome to the Media
Center Wizard that walks you through the steps of setting up the center for your
screen display and configuring it to receive a TV signal and download the online
TV guide, if your computer’s equipped with a TV tuner card.
Thereafter, when you launch the Media Center (Start 䉴 All Programs 䉴 Media
Center), the program opens full screen in a predominantly dark-blue window
similar to the one shown in Figure 7-2. Because the Media Center options are
designed to be accessed by using a special Media Center remote control
(included with many Media Center PCs and with some brands of Media Center
TV tuner cards) as well as with a standard computer mouse, its interface is
much more fluid than what you find in other conventional Vista application windows (including the Windows Media Player) and dialog boxes.
The first thing you notice about the Media Center interface is the amount of
audio and visual feedback it provides. At the time you launch the program and
each time you select a menu option thereafter, Vista provides you with distinctive
(and fairly harmonious) tones and clicks as well as visual clues to let you know
which menu option you’re about to select and when you’ve actually selected it.
The next thing to note is how easily you can cycle up and down through the
main menu options either by positioning the mouse pointer on the up and down
arrowheads (which look like white greater-than and less-than symbols rotated
90 degrees) or, if your mouse has a center wheel, by rolling it forward and backward to speed (and I do mean speed) through them. After you’ve highlighted the
option you want, you can select it and display its submenu options by clicking
the mouse button.
If you’re using the Media Center remote control, you move up and down through
the main menu options by pressing the device’s up and down arrowheads (the
black triangles pointing up and down). Click the OK button the center of the
remote (separating these arrowheads) to select the main option you want.
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Figure 7-2
The Media Center’s main menu options include
⻬ TV + Movies to access live TV, recorded TV, and the online TV guide (if
your computer has a TV tuner card and is connected to a cable or satellite
dish), to play movies on DVD that you’ve inserted into your computer’s
DVD drive, and to get a listing of all the movies currently playing (assuming
that you have a TV tuner card in your computer), or to search for movies
on your computer by title, actor, or director
⻬ Online Media to play your favorite games on the computer or access the
Showcase, where you can sign up for special online services such as Comedy
Central, MSN Remote Record (to schedule your TV recordings on the Web),
ABC Enhanced TV and ABC Family, AOL Music, Napster, and MTV Overdrive
to download music, and Movielink and CinemaNow to download movies
⻬ Tasks to burn media files stored on your computer’s hard drive to a CD or
DVD (assuming that your computer has DVD recording capabilities), synchronize media between your computer and another device connected to
it, shut down the Media Center, or add the Media Center Extender or Media
Center Extender for Xbox and to change your Media Center settings
⻬ Pictures + Videos to access the digital photos that are stored in your picture
library, which you can then view as a slideshow, or to access the video files
in your video library, which you can then play in the Media Center window
⻬ Music to access your music library and play tunes saved in it or to listen to
your favorite Internet radio stations
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When you select the main menu option you want in the vertical listing, Media
Center lists its submenu options horizontally. To view more submenu options,
move the mouse pointer to the right, highlighting each one as you go, and then
click the mouse button to select the one you want to use.
If you’re using the Media Center remote control, press the right arrowhead key
(with the black triangle pointing to the right) to highlight each option in succession and then click the OK button to select the one you want to use.
Some submenu options lead to yet further levels of suboptions. Keep in mind,
however that you can always return to the previous level, all the way back to the
main menu, by clicking the Back button (the black arrow pointing left that
appears in a bar at the top of the Media Center window whenever you position
the mouse pointer in this vicinity) or by pressing the Back button (which is
labeled and uses the same black left-pointing arrow) when using the Media
Center remote control.
When it’s TV time
Who needs a separate TV when the Media Center is completely capable of playing your favorite TV shows right on your computer’s fancy new 20-inch flat
panel display? All you need to make this happen in Vista’s Media Center is for
your computer to be equipped with a TV tuner card and hooked up to your local
cable system or a satellite TV dish.
To watch TV on your PC, you follow these steps:
1. Launch the Media Center by choosing Start 䉴 All Programs 䉴 Media
Center.
Press the green button (sporting the Windows four-color flag logo) on the
Media Center remote control.
2. Highlight TV + Movies on the Media Center main menu and then click the
Live TV option.
Press the Live TV button on the Media Center remote.
3. Select the channel you want to watch either by entering the channel
number from the keyboard and then pressing Enter, pressing the ↑ or ↓ key
and then pressing Enter, or by clicking the CH plus (+) or minus (–) buttons
on the playback controls displayed in the lower-right corner of the Media
Center window when you position the mouse pointer in this area.
Use the numeric keypad to type in the channel number.
4. To adjust the volume, click the plus (+) or minus (–) buttons that appear
after the speaker icon on the playback controls displayed in the lowerright corner of the Media Center window when you position the mouse
pointer in this area.
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Click the plus (+) or minus (–) pad of the button marked Vol on the Media
Center remote.
5. (Optional) To record the show you’re watching, click the Record button
on the playback controls displayed in the lower-right corner of the Media
Center window.
Click the Record button on the Media Center remote.
Selecting TV programs to record
Instead of recording TV programs as you’re watching them, you can use your TV
guide to schedule recording ahead of time. That way, not only can you watch
them whenever you want to, you can also use the Skip button (the one with the
triangle pointing right against a vertical bar) either on the Media Center’s playback controls or on the Media Center remote control to skip over all those
annoying commercials.
To have the Media Center record a program, follow these steps:
1. Launch the Media Center by choosing Start 䉴 All Programs 䉴 Media
Center.
Press the green button (sporting the Windows four-color flag logo) on the
Media Center remote control.
2. Highlight TV + Movies on the Media Center main menu and then click the
Guide option to display the online TV guide where you can select the program to record.
Press the Guide button on the Media Center remote.
3. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to select the time and channel of a
program playing sometime later in the day that you want the Media
Center to record in the on-screen TV guide.
4. Press the Enter key to display a Program Info screen and then click its
Record button — note that the program now displays a red dot in the TV
guide indicating that it will be recorded.
Press the Record button on the Media Center remote.
If you want the Media Center to record all episodes of the show you’ve
selected, click the Record Series button on the Program Info Media Center
screen rather than the Record button.
If you decide that you don’t want to record one of the programs that you’ve
selected for recording, click the program in the on-screen TV Guide and then
click the Do Not Record button in the Program Info screen.
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Watching recorded programs
After recording TV programs on your computer’s hard drive, you can use the
Media Center to play them back at any time you want. To do this, launch the
Media Center and then highlight TV + Movies and then click Recorded TV (or
press the Recorded TV button if your Media Center remote control has this
button) to open the Recorded TV screen in the Media Center, similar to the one
shown in Figure 7-3.
Figure 7-3
To play one of the recorded TV programs, click its thumbnail, press the Enter
key to open its Program Info screen, and click its Play button.
The Media Center automatically deletes recorded programs according to the
Keep Until settings (often a particular date or until the disk space is needed). To
prevent Media Center from deleting a recorded program that you haven’t yet
seen, click the Keep Until button in the Program Info screen and then click the
Keep Until I Watch or Keep Until I Delete items.
Playing your favorite tunes
You can use the Media Center rather than the Windows Media Player to play the
music you’ve stored on your computer’s hard drive. To do this, launch the
Media Center and then click Music 䉴 Music Library (or press the My Music
button on the Media Center remote control) to open the Music Library screen in
the Media Center.
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To play a song, click its album thumbnail in the Music Library screen. To play all
the tracks on the album, click the Play Album button in the Album Details
screen. To play a single track from the album, click its name and then click the
Add to Queue button or the Play button in the on-screen playback controls.
Playing your much-loved movies
The Media Center (as well as the Windows Media Player) can play movies stored
on DVD disc — either those that you create with the Windows DVD Maker or
professionally produced DVDs that you purchase or rent. To play a DVD with
Media Center, insert the DVD disc you want to play in your DVD drive. Launch
the Media Center and then click TV + Movies 䉴 Play DVD (or press the DVD
Menu button on the Media Center remote control) to open the DVD’s main
menu, where you can then select the option you want such as Chapter List,
Language Selection, Bonus Materials, Play or Play Movie, and the like.
Click the Pause button if you need to temporarily pause the movie. If you click
the Stop button on Media Center playback controls or press it on the remote
control, the Media Center displays a screen of options, including Resume to
resume the movie from the frame where you selected Stop, Restart to restart the
movie from the beginning, and Eject to open the DVD drive so you can remove
the disc.
Viewing your preferred photos and videos
Instead of using the Windows Photo Gallery to view the digital photos you store
on your computer and the Windows Media Player to play back your videos
(both of which are discussed later in this part), you can use the Media Center.
To view your photos, launch Media Center and then click Pictures + Videos 䉴
Picture Library (or press the My Pictures button on the Media Center remote
control).
The Media Center then displays all the digital photos it has catalogued in your
Picture Library by date. To display the photos by folder, click the Folders
option. To open a folder and display its photos, click its name. Figure 7-4 shows
you the photos stored in a folder called Tibet in the Pictures folder on my hard
drive as they appear in my Picture Library in the Media Center.
To scroll quickly (and I do mean, quickly) through the photos, position the mouse
pointer on the left or right edge of the screen with the displayed thumbnails. A
< or > symbol appears on the screen as you fly through the thumbnails. When you
locate a photo that you want to view full size in the Picture Library screen or an
image that want to be the first in a slide show, click its thumbnail. To manually
scroll through the photos, press the → or ← key. To start a slide show that automatically scrolls through each of the images one after the other, click the Play
button in the on-screen playback controls. (You can also start a slide show from
the very first photo by clicking the Play Slideshow link in the Picture Library.)
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Figure 7-4
If you want to play a video you’ve stored on your computer rather than view
photos, all you need to do is open the Video Library by clicking Pictures +
Videos 䉴 Video Library from the Media Center Start screen (or by pressing the
My Videos button on the Media Center remote control). To play a video in the
library, you simply click its thumbnail.
Windows DVD Maker
Vista’s new Windows DVD Maker program enables you to burn video DVDs by
using digital photos or videos you’ve saved on your computer that you can then
play back in stand-alone DVD players connected to a TV. Best of all, this handy
little program lets you create menus for your video DVD just like those created
for professional movies released on DVD disc for purchase or rent. All you need
is a DVD drive on your computer that is capable of writing DVDs and a blank
DVD disc.
To create a new video DVD disc with Windows DVD Maker, follow these steps:
1. Insert a blank DVD disc into your computer’s DVD drive.
2. Click Start 䉴 All Programs 䉴 Windows DVD Maker to launch Windows
DVD Maker.
3. (Optional) If the Share Your Memories on a DVD start screen appears
(because you didn’t remove the check mark from the Don’t Show This
Page Again check box), you must click the Choose Photos and Videos
command button in the initial Windows DVD Maker window to open the
Add Pictures and Video to the DVD screen.
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4. Click the Add Items button on the Windows DVD Maker window’s toolbar
to display the Add Items to DVD dialog box.
5. Select all the digital videos you want to add to your DVD by clicking the
appropriate media folder in the Favorite Links section of the Navigation
pane and then selecting their file icons before you click Add.
Hold down the Ctrl key and click individual icons to select multiple video
files for the DVD.
6. Replace the title with the current date that automatically appears in the
Disc Title text box in the lower portion of the Windows DVD Maker
window with a title that you want to appear on the DVD menu.
7. (Optional) After selecting all the video files for the DVD, select the video
thumbnail and then use the Move Up or Move Down button to modify the
order in which they automatically play on the DVD.
8. (Optional) Click the Options link to the immediate right of the Disc Title
text box to open the DVD Options dialog box, and then make any necessary changes to how the DVD plays, its aspect ratio (4:3 or 16:9), or its
video format (NTSC or PAL) before you click OK.
If you’re making the DVD for a DVD player sold in the United States you
won’t need to change the Video Format option from NTSC to PAL.
9. Click Next to open the Ready to Burn Disc screen in the Windows DVD
Maker window (see Figure 7-5).
10. Click the thumbnail with the type of menu style you want your DVD disc
to use in the Menu Styles list box on the right side of Windows DVD Maker
window.
Note that you can click the Menu Text button to customize the text that
appears on the buttons used by the menu style you select. You can also
click the Customize Menu button if you want to modify certain aspects of
the menu style, including adding a foreground or background video as well
as a menu audio track that plays until the user selects one of the menu
options.
11. (Optional) Click the Preview button on the Windows DVD Maker window’s
toolbar to preview it and then, after experimenting with the menu and previewing your video content, click OK.
12. Click the Burn button below the Menu Styles list box to start burning your
videos to the DVD disc.
After you click Burn, a Burning dialog box appears, which keeps you informed of
the progress of the burn. After the entire project is burned to disc, Windows
DVD Maker automatically ejects the DVD disc.
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Windows Media Player 11
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Figure 7-5
If you want to make another copy of the DVD, replace the ejected disc with a new
blank disc and then click the Make Another Copy of This Disc link in the Your Disc
Is Ready dialog box. If you don’t want to make another copy, remove the ejected
disc, close the DVD drive door, and then click the Close button in the dialog box
instead.
When using Windows DVD Maker to create a slide show of a selection of your
digital photos, click the Slideshow button on the Windows DVD Maker window’s
toolbar so that you can customize the number of seconds each photo in the
slide show is displayed, the type of transition to use when going from one image
to another, and to add any background music you want playing during the show.
Windows Media Player 11
You can use Windows Media Player 11 to play audio, video, and animation files
that you either save on your computer or (if you have a fast connection to the
Internet, also known as broadband) play online as they’re being downloaded to
your computer (a technique known as streaming). This means that you can use
Windows Media Player to play Internet radio stations, as well as to view video
clips from trailers from upcoming movies. Of course, the most important thing is
that Windows Media Player also plays all the MP3 (short for MPEG3, which is a
compression scheme developed by the motion picture entertainment industry)
audio files that you’ve downloaded from your favorite music Web sites, including URGE, the most recent addition to Napster, Rhapsody, and all the rest.
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To launch the Windows Media Player, click the Media Player button (shown in
the left margin) on the taskbar’s Quick Launch toolbar or click Start 䉴 All
Programs 䉴 Windows Media Player. You’re able to use Windows Media Player
in one of three modes:
⻬ Full mode (Ctrl+1) shown in Figure 7-6 (the default)
⻬ Skin mode (Ctrl+2) shown in Figure 7-7
⻬ Minimized mode on the Vista taskbar shown in Figure 7-8
When the Media Player is in Full Mode, you can collapse it into a compact mode
wherein only the name of the song playing along with the Stop, Previous,
Play/Pause, Next, Mute, and Volume buttons are displayed. To do this, click the
Switch to Compact Mode button. (This button then turns into a Return to Full
Mode button that you can click to restore Full Mode.)
Back
Hide Last Pane
Forward
Clear List Pane
Figure 7-6
Turn Shuffle On/Off
Stop
Turn Repeat On/Off
Mute
Play/Pause
View Full Screen
Switch to Compact Mode
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Fit Screen to Original Size
Captions Switch to Full Mode
Figure 7-7
Rewind
Fast Forward
Stop Next
Volume
Mute
Previous
Play/Pause
Figure 7-8
Show Video and
Visualization Window
Stop
Next Restore
Previous Mute
Play/Pause Volume
You can also play music or watch videos in full-screen mode by pressing
Alt+Enter or by clicking the View Full Screen button in the lower-right corner
when the Windows Media Player is in full mode. In full-screen mode, the music
visualization or video takes up the entire screen except for a bar at the bottom
that contains the playback controls and an Exit Full-Screen Mode button on the
far right.
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When you use Windows Media Player in full mode, the program displays a toolbar at the top of the window that contains a number of buttons that you can use
to switch between the types of media that you’re playing, and to control how
you view and play them:
⻬ Now Playing: Media Player shows the video you’re playing or represents
the audio you’re playing with some sort of visual pattern representing the
sounds.
⻬ Library: Media Players shows you all the music on your computer and
enables you to select audio files to play and arrange them into playlists.
⻬ Rip: Media Player rips the tracks from an audio CD that you insert in your
computer’s CD/DVD drive.
⻬ Burn: Media Player burns tracks saved in your music library to a CD disc
in your CD/DVD drive.
⻬ Sync: Synchronizes content to and from a compatible portable device you
have connected to your computer such as a portable MP3 player.
⻬ URGE: Connects you to the URGE music store, where you can purchase
tunes for playback on Windows Media Player. If you sign up for an URGE
subscription, the Media Player then adds a Sign In button to the right of
the URGE button. After you sign in, you can play snippets of your favorite
tunes and possibly download them. (See “When you get the URGE for
music” later in this part for details.)
Now Playing
When you click the Now Playing button on the Media Player’s toolbar, the program shows you the video movie or video DVD you’re playing. If you’re playing
music instead of video in the Media Player, the program then represents the
sounds visually. You can then use the buttons on its playback controller (see
Figure 7-6) to manage the playback.
When the Play List pane is displayed in the Now Playing view (Now Playing 䉴
Show List Pane), you can select a new track to play from the currently playing
CD or playlist, a new video, or a new chapter in the currently playing DVD by
double-clicking their names in the list.
To change the visualization for audio, click Now Playing 䉴 Visualizations and
then click the type of visualization (Album Art, Alchemy, Bars and Waves, or
Battery), followed by the name of the visualization (when there’s more than
one). To tweak to the audio and video settings for the Media Player, click Now
Playing 䉴 Enhancements 䉴 Show Enhancements. Click the 䉴 button to cycle
through the various enhancements: Graphic Equalizer, Media Link for E-Mail,
Play Speed Settings, Quiet Mode, SRS WOW Effects, Video Settings, Color
Chooser, and Crossfading, and Auto Volume Leveling, or click these items on the
Enhancements submenu listed below the Show Enhancements item.
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Using the Media Library
The Media Library in the Windows Media Player enables you to view and organize all the various types of media files (music, photos, video, and recorded TV)
that Media Player can deal with currently in your Media Library. When you first
open the Media Library by clicking the Library button on the Media Player toolbar, the music category is automatically selected (as shown in Figure 7-9 when
the List pane is closed). All the music files found on your computer appear in
Expanded Tile view in alphabetical order by artist and album.
View Options
Layout Options
Show List Pane
Figure 7-9
You can then reorder this list of music files by selecting another link — Recently
Added, Artist, Album, Songs, Genre, Year, or Rating — in the Navigation pane
and then selecting another view on the View Options button’s drop-down list.
Vista automatically adds all media files that it finds in the Documents folder to
the Media Library of the Windows Media Player. To manually add other media
files to the Media Library, click Library 䉴 Add to Library to open the Add to
Library dialog box. Click the Advanced Options button and then select all the
folders and drives in the list box whose media files you want added to the
Library.
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Creating playlists
To select the music you want to play in the Media Player, simply drag the icon
of album or songs you want to hear to the List Pane (in the area that says “Drag
Items Here”) and then click the Play button on the playback controller at the
bottom of the window.
To save the list of songs you’ve manually assembled in the List Pane as a playlist
that you can then later play by simply selecting the playlist’s name in the Media
Player’s Navigation pane, click the Save Playlist button at the bottom of the List
Pane and then enter a name for the new playlist in the text box that appears
above the first song selection. Press Enter.
After creating a playlist, you can play its songs simply by opening the Media
Library, locating the playlist in the Playlists section of the Navigation pane, and
then dragging it to the List Pane.
You can edit the contents of a playlist at any time after creating it. To remove a
song from the list, right-click it and then click Remove From List on its shortcut
menu. To change the order of a song in the list, right-click it and then click Move
Up or Move Down on its shortcut menu as needed to get it into the desired position in the list. To add a new song to the playlist, drag its icon from the Media
Library and drop it at the desired position in the list in the List Pane.
Displaying other media types in the Media Library
You can use the Windows Media Player to play more than audio files. To display
another type of media file in the Library, click the Library button and then select
the type of media: Pictures, Video, or Record TV, assuming that you have a TV
tuner connected to your computer and use a program such as the Media Center
to record TV programs. (See “Media Center” earlier in this part for details.)
Although Windows Media Player 11 is capable of displaying digital photos and
playing recorded TV programs, I don’t recommend Media Player as your first
choice for showing either type of media files. Instead, use the Windows Photo
Gallery to manage and view your photos (see “Windows Photo Gallery” later in
this part): It enables you tag and edit photos and has a terrific slide show. Use
Media Center to play your recorded TV programs because it enables you to fastforward through those awful, incessant commercials (and Windows Media
Player does not).
Ripping and burning CDs
You can use the Rip button on the Windows Media Player toolbar to rip tracks
from audio CDs you own for playback on your computer or on a compatible
portable MP3 player. Likewise, you can use its Burn button to burn tracks to a
blank CD disc.
To rip tracks from an audio CD and save them on your computer’s hard drive,
insert the audio CD into your computer’s CD/DVD drive, and then click the Rip
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button on the toolbar. The Media Player then opens a screen, similar to the one
shown in Figure 7-10, displaying all the tracks on the CD along with the status of
the burn progress for each track. Be aware that Media Player automatically
copies all tracks in the Windows Media Audio file format. To rip the tracks by
using the more compressed MP3 file format, you need to click Rip 䉴 Format 䉴
MP3 before you insert the audio CD in the computer’s drive.
Figure 7-10
To burn tracks to a blank CD disc, insert the blank disc in your computer’s
CD/DVD drive and then click the Burn button on the Media Player toolbar. The
Media Player then displays a Burn List in the List Pane where you assemble the
tracks you want to copy to a blank CD disc by dragging their album and song
icons from the Media Library, or by dragging their playlists and then dropping
them on the “Drag Items Here” section.
After you’ve assembled all the tracks in the order in which you want them
copied in the Burn List, click the Start Burn button at the bottom of the List
Pane in the Media Player.
When you get the URGE for music
URGE is the name of the new online MTV Networks digital music service integrated into Windows Media Player 11. URGE offers you the opportunity to either
purchase music by the song or by the album. You can also sign up for one of two
monthly download subscriptions: All Access, which allows unlimited download
and playback on just your computer, or the All Access To Go service, which
allows unlimited download and playback on your computer as well as four other
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machines, including portable MP3 players such as the iriver clix and the
Creative ZEN Vision:M.
To access the URGE online music store, click the URGE button at the far-right
end of the Windows Media Player toolbar. The first time you click this button, a
Confirm Software Download dialog box appears that asks for confirmation in
downloading the URGE software and accepting the store’s end user license
agreement. After clicking the I Accept button and downloading the software, the
URGE Home screen appears in the Windows Media Player window. Here, you can
sign up and start purchasing and downloading the music you want to listen to.
After establishing an account at the URGE Web site, you can click any of the links
that appear in the upper part of the Windows Media Player window when you
mouse over the Guide button: MTV, VH1, CMT, Informer Blogs, Feature Stories,
Playlists, Radio, New Releases, Charts, Genres, or Feeds. Figure 7-11 shows the
URGE Home displaying its latest offerings in the Windows Media Player window.
Using the Media Guide
The Windows Media Player gives you access to all the various media files on its
WindowsMedia.com Web site. These media files include videos of the latest song
releases, video clips for the latest TV shows, movie releases, and top news stories as well as video games and online radio stations whose music you can play
with the Windows Media Player.
Figure 7-11
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To display the Media Guide in the Media Player window, click URGE 䉴 Media
Guide. Then click the link at the top of the Media Guide screen to access the
part of the guide you’re interested in browsing: Music, Movies, Entertainment,
Radio, Current Events, or Site Index.
Keep in mind that many of the clips available for download from the
WindowsMedia.com Web site are quite large in size and therefore require a
broadband Internet connection if you want to download them sometime in the
21st century. Also, remember that after clicking a link to a video file in the Media
Guide, you still need to click the Now Playing button in order to actually be able
to see the video as it’s playing in the Media Player.
Synching up with a portable MP3 player
If you own a compatible portable MP3 player such as the iriver clix or a Creative
ZEN Vision:M, you can synchronize the music files (as well as photos and videos,
if your device can display and play them) in your Media Library with the portable
device.
To do this, first connect your portable device to the computer and then, if a dialog
box asking you to sync with Windows Media Player doesn’t automatically appear,
launch the Media Player and then click the Sync button on its toolbar. Next, drag
all the media files (including playlists) you want to copy onto the portable device
from the main area of the Media Player to the Sync List in its Reader pane, and
then, finally, click the Start Sync button at the bottom of the pane.
To display media files that you want to add to the Sync List, expand the Playlists
or Library link in the Navigation pane and then click the particular link of interest to display its files or click the Library button and select the media type on its
pop-up menu (Music, Pictures, Video, or Recorded TV). After displaying the
media files you want to add, click the Sync button again to display the Sync List
where you can add them.
If your portable device is capable of displaying photos and playing videos, you
can sync these files as well by dragging them to the Sync List.
The Windows Media Player then displays each of the files you added to the Sync
List in the main area of the Windows Media Player, showing you the progress
on synchronizing each file. To stop the synchronization before all the files you
added to the Sync List are copied, click the Stop Sync button. When Media
Player finishes synchronizing all the files added to the Sync List, it then displays
the free space left on your portable device at the top of the Reader pane.
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Windows Movie Maker
You can use the Windows Movie Maker program to capture video and audio
clips, which you can then edit and arrange into your very own movies. You can
play these movie files on your computer or distribute them to family, friends,
and colleagues by e-mail so that they can play them on their computers.
Launch Windows Movie Maker by selecting Start 䉴 All Programs 䉴 Windows
Movie Maker. Windows Movie Maker opens its program window full screen, similar to the one shown in Figure 7-12 (except that yours doesn’t have any content
in it).
The Windows Movie Maker window is divided into several different sections:
⻬ Task Area, which contains links to all the common Movie Maker tasks and
subdivided into three major tasks: Import for bringing video clips into a
collection; Edit for adding video effects, transitions, and titles; and Publish
To for rendering the final movie so that you can save it on your computer,
send in an e-mail message, upload it to a Web site, or transfer it to a tape
on a digital video camera.
⻬ Collections Area, which shows thumbnails of the various still graphic
images, video clips, and audio clips in that collection that you can add to
your movie by dragging them to the storyboard area or by clicking the
thumbnail and pressing Ctrl+D.
Figure 7-12
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⻬ Storyboard Area or Timeline Area along the bottom of the window, which
either contains the storyboard view (the default), indicating the progression of the movie video clips, or the timeline view (View➪Timeline or
Ctrl+T), indicating the order and duration of both the video and audio (in
separate tracks).
⻬ Preview Area, which displays whatever video image or clip is selected in
the Collections Area. You can also use this area to preview the movie that
you’re putting together by clicking the various control buttons (which use
the standard VCR-control symbols) or by dragging the slider bar located
under the preview window.
Importing media files and capturing video clips
To add the media clips for your movie, you have a choice between importing
existing media files and capturing video clips directly from your video camera:
⻬ Import sound files, graphic images, and video clips into the collections
area (by clicking the Import Media button or pressing Ctrl+I) and then
selecting the audio files, photos, video clips, or even finished movies to
add in the Import Media Items window.
⻬ If you’ve attached a movie camera to your computer, you can digitally cap-
ture video footage as clips to add to your movie project by clicking the
From Digital Video Camera link in the Tasks area or press Ctrl+R and then
entering a name for the clip, the location, and the video file format in the
Import Video: Microsoft DV Camera and VCR window. Leave the Import the
Entire Videotape to My Computer option button selected to record all of its
scenes or, after cueing up the tape to the place you want to start importing,
click the Only Import Parts of the Videotape to My Computer option button.
After capturing your video footage into individual date-and-time-stamped video
clips, Movie Maker automatically adds them to the Collections Area. From there,
you can add the clips to your project in the Storyboard or Timeline by dragging
them to it or by selecting them and pressing Ctrl+D.
Assembling media files in your movie
To assemble the graphic images, sound files, and video clips you’ve added to
your movie project, you sequence them in the work area in one of two views:
⻬ Choose the Storyboard View (View➪Storyboard) to add video clips or still
graphic images to the movie — you can also use this view to check and
alter the order and duration of these video elements.
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⻬ Choose the Timeline View (View➪Timeline), shown in Figure 7-13. to add
audio clips to the track beneath the video or to add a title overlay that
appears in all video clips (or both) — you can also use this view to change
the sequence of the audio clips in relation to the video elements in the
movie.
To preview your edits to get an idea of how they will play in the final version of
the movie, choose Play➪Play Storyboard, press Ctrl+W, or click the Play button
on the controls under the Preview area (the one with the triangle pointing to the
right). To pause the movie, press Ctrl+W again or click the Pause button in the
preview controls (the one with the two vertical bars). To save your editing work,
choose File➪Save Project (Ctrl+S) and give the project a new filename. Windows
Movie Maker automatically appends the filename extension MSWMM (for
Microsoft Windows Movie Maker) to whatever filename you give the project.
Adding special effects to clips
Movie Maker includes a variety of special effects that you can apply to the clips
you’ve added to your movie. These effects run the gamut from the 3D Ripple
effect all the way to the Zoom, Focus Upper Right effect. They also include the
ever-popular Fade In, From Black to fade the image in from a solid black background and Fade Out, To Black to fade out the image to a solid black background.
Figure 7-13
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To add a special effect to a clip in the project, click the Effects link in the Edit
section of the Tasks Area to display a list of all the special effects supported by
Windows Movie Maker. To preview a particular effect, click its thumbnail in the
Collections Area and then click the Play button (the one with the triangle pointing right) in the Preview Area.
After you locate the special effect that you want to use, drag the effect’s thumbnail from the Collections Area and then drop it on the clip in the Storyboard.
Movie Maker then adds a star icon to the lower-left corner of the clip in the
Storyboard indicating that you’ve added an effect to it. To delete an effect from a
clip, all you have to do is right-click this star icon and then click Remove Effects
Del on its shortcut menu.
You can add comic effects to your video clips with the Slow Down, Half effect
that plays the video footage at half normal speed and the Speed Up, Double
effect that plays the footage at twice normal speed.
Adding transitions
Transitions are the effects that smooth out the changeover from one clip to the
next in the movie project. In Windows Movie Maker, the transitions run the
gamut from Bars, Horizontal to Zig Zag, Vertical.
To add a transition between two clips in the project, click the Transitions link in
the Edit section of the Tasks Area to display a list of all the transitions supported by Windows Movie Maker. To preview a particular transition, click its
thumbnail in the Collections Area and then click the Play button (the one with
the triangle pointing right) in the Preview Area.
After you locate the transition you want to use, drag the transition’s thumbnail
from the Collections Area and then drop it on the blank square between the two
clips in the Storyboard. Movie Maker then adds the transition’s icon to a square
between those clips in the Storyboard, indicating the type of transitions you’ve
added. To delete a transition, click its icon in the Storyboard and then press the
Delete key.
Adding movie titles and credits
Windows Media Player enables you to add credits to the beginning or end of
your movie as well as to add titles to individual photo and video clips. To add
titles and credits to your movie, you need to click the Titles and Credits link in
the Edit section of the Task Area and then click one of the following links that
then appear in the Where Do You Want to Add a Title? section of the Windows
Movie Maker window:
⻬ Title at the Beginning to add a title as the very first frame of your movie
⻬ Title Before the Selected Clip to add a title to a new frame that is inserted
immediately in front of the clip that’s currently selected in the Storyboard
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⻬ Title Overlay on the Selected Clip to add a title to the frame that’s cur-
rently selected in the Storyboard
⻬ Credits at the End to add movie credits as the final frame of the movie
After you finish adding the text for your title, click the Add title to insert its text
into the movie project.
Publishing the final movie
When you finish your edits and are satisfied with the final version, you need to
convert your Windows Movie Maker project into a movie that Windows Media
Player can use. To do this, click the Publish button on the Windows Movie
Maker toolbar or choose File➪Publish Movie on the menu bar (Ctrl+P) to open
the Publish Movie dialog box entitled Where Do You Want to Publish Your
Movie?. (Be sure that you don’t use File➪Save Project, because that action saves
the project file only for playing in Windows Movie Maker.)
If you know the type of media to which you want to publish your movie project,
you can just click its link (This Computer, DVD, Recordable CD, E-Mail, or Digital
Video Camera) in the Publish To section of the Tasks area.
In the initial Publish Movie dialog box, choose the movie location (This
Computer, DVD, Recordable CD, E-Mail, or Digital Video Camera) and then click
the Next button to open the screen entitled, Name the Movie You Are Publishing.
Then edit the movie title (as in Puppy Play) if you want it to be different from the
movie project name in the File Name text box. Select the folder in which to save
the movie in the Publish To drop-down list box before clicking Next to open
the Publish Movie dialog box entitled Choose the Settings for Your Movie (see
Figure 7-14).
Note that when saving the movie to your hard drive, this screen of the Publish
Movie dialog box also prompts you to select the video quality, which directly
affects its file size. (Higher quality equals a larger file size.) By default, Vista
selects Best Quality for Playback on My Computer. If space is at a premium on
your system, click the Compress To option button and then use the spinner buttons to select a smaller compressed size. Alternatively, click the More Settings
option button, which enables you to create a smaller-size movie file by selecting
the device it’s going to be played back on (DVD, DVD Widescreen, HD, Low
Bandwidth, or VHS Quality) and the rate at which the video data can be sent
(Mbps for megabits per second or Kbps for kilobytes per second).
After you finish specifying the vital information for the type of location you
select, Vista publishes the movie by saving your movie to the designated location in the selected format.
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Figure 7-14
When Windows Movie Maker finishes publishing the movie, Vista automatically
plays it in Windows Media Player when you click the Finish button. If you don’t
want to view the movie right away, click the Play Movie When I Finish check box
to remove its check mark before you click the Finish button.
Then after closing the Windows Movie Maker window, you can test out your finished movie in the Windows Media Player: Simply open the folder where the
movie was saved and double-click the file icon to open both the movie file and
Windows Media Player and then click the Play button.
Windows Photo Gallery
The Windows Photo Gallery is a brand-new Windows Vista utility that enables you
to more easily keep track of and manage the digital photos and videos that you
save on your computer. To open the Windows Photo Gallery window similar to the
one shown in Figure 7-15, click Start 䉴 All Programs 䉴 Windows Photo Gallery.
When you first open the Windows Photo Gallery window, the All Pictures and
Videos favorite link is selected in its Navigation pane so that thumbnails of all
the photo and video media files on your computer are displayed, grouped by the
date they were taken.
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Figure 7-15
Change the Display Size
Reset Thumbnails to Default Size
Previous (Left Arrow)
Play Slide Show (F11)
Delete
Rotate Clockwise (Ctrl + .)
Rotate Counterclockwise (Ctrl + ,)
Next (Right Arrow)
Keep in mind that you can change the orientation of any photo displayed in the
Gallery that was taken when you rotated the camera 90 degrees to the left or right
so as to fit a tall image in the picture. Simply click the Rotate Counterclockwise
button in the image controls at the bottom of the window or press the
Ctrl+comma (,) key combination to rotate counterclockwise. To rotate clockwise,
click the Rotate Clockwise button or press the Ctrl+period (.) key combination.
When you click the Change the Display Size button in the image controls at the
bottom of the Gallery window, a slider appears that you can drag up and down to
quickly make all the media files’ thumbnails larger or smaller. Then click the Set
Default Thumbnail Size button to its immediate right or press Ctrl+0 (zero) to
immediately reset all the thumbnails to their original, default size in the Gallery.
To filter which media files are displayed in the Windows Photo Gallery window,
expand the desired category link in the Navigation pane by clicking the 䉴
symbol in front of the link name and then click the filtering criterion in the list.
For example, to display only pictures taken in 2006 in the Windows Photo
Gallery, I would first click Pictures in the All Pictures and Videos category followed by 2006 in the Date Taken category.
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To change the view used to display the photo and video media files shown in the
Windows Photo Gallery, click the Choose a Thumbnail View button to the immediate left of the Search box and then click the desired menu item:
⻬ Thumbnails (default) to display just the thumbnail pictures for each photo
and video media file displayed in the Gallery
⻬ Thumbnails with Text to add text to each media file thumbnail displayed
in the Gallery, reflecting the Arrange By option currently selected (dates, if
Date Taken is selected, filenames if File Name is selected, and so on)
⻬ Tiles to display the media files displayed in the Gallery as tiles, that is, as
thumbnails arranged in two columns with pertinent information including
filename, file size, duration (for video), image size (for photos), five-star
rating, and caption (if assigned) displayed to the immediate right of the
thumbnail image
⻬ Group By to determine whether the media file thumbnails displayed in the
Gallery are ordered into groups and, if so, using what attribute (Date
Taken, File Size, Image Size, Rating, and so on)
⻬ Sort By to determine the order in which the media file thumbnails dis-
played in the Gallery appear (sorted by Date Taken, File Size, Image Size,
Caption, File Name, and so on in either Ascending or Descending order)
⻬ Table of Contents to add a column to the Windows Photo Gallery with
links representing the major attributes selected with the Group By option
that you can click to jump immediately to that group in the Gallery window
⻬ Refresh to have Vista do a search for all the newly added photo and video
media files in the folders you’ve added to the Windows Photo Gallery
The toolbar at the top of the Windows Photo Gallery window contains the following buttons that you can use to manage your photo and video media files:
⻬ File to perform all file-related tasks on selected files including duplicating,
renaming, copying, and deleting them as well as adding new folders to the
Gallery, importing images from a scanner or camera, and syncing images
and videos to a compatible portable device.
⻬ Fix to open a selected photo in a special Gallery window containing con-
trols for adjusting the image’s color and exposure, cropping the image, and
fixing red eye (see “Fixing a photo” later in this part).
⻬ Info to display a Reader pane on the right side of the Windows Photo
Gallery window containing a thumbnail with all vital information about a
photo or video, such as ratings, search tags, and, in the case of photos, a
caption. (See “Adding ratings, tags, and captions” later in this part.)
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⻬ Print to print all selected photos in the Gallery or to open the Order Prints
dialog box, where you can select an online printing company from which
you can order professional prints of your photos.
⻬ E-mail to open a new e-mail message in Windows Mail with the selected
media files attached. When you select photos to attach to a new message,
Vista first opens an Attach Pictures and Files dialog box, where you can
select the size of the images in the Picture Size drop-down menu (Smaller:
640 x 480, Small: 800 x 600, Medium: 1024 x 768, Large: 1280 x 1024, or No
Compression), which is very helpful in controlling file size, before clicking
the Attach button.
⻬ Burn to open a drop-down menu from which you can choose either of the
following:
• Video DVD to add the selected media files to an Add Pictures and
Video to the DVD screen in the Windows DVD Maker. (See “Windows
DVD Maker” earlier in this part.)
• Data Disc to burn them to a CD or DVD data disc in your computer’s
CD/DVD drive.
⻬ Make a Movie to import the files into a new movie project in the Windows
Movie Maker. (See “Windows Movie Maker” earlier in this part.)
⻬ Open to open up the selected photos in some other graphics editing pro-
gram on your computer such as Microsoft Office Picture Manager or Vista’s
Paint program.
Keep in mind that you can select photo and media files in the Windows Photo
Gallery by positioning the mouse pointer over each thumbnail and then clicking
the check box that appears in the upper-left corner of the thumbnail. Photos and
videos selected in this manner then remain selected (indicated by the blue highlighting around their thumbnail images), enabling you to scroll through the
other thumbnails adding others, until you click the mouse in a blank area
between the thumbnails. The great thing about this method of selecting media
files (as opposed to Ctrl+clicking, Shift+clicking, or dragging through the thumbnails) is that you can deselect a media file simply by positioning the mouse over
its thumbnail and then clicking its check box again to clear its check mark without automatically deselecting all the other selected media files in the Gallery.
Playing a slide show
Windows Photo Gallery has a great slide show feature that enables you to view
all the photos and videos in the gallery (or all those whose thumbnails you’ve
selected beforehand) full screen in their current sequence in the Gallery.
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To start the slide show, simply click the Play SlideShow button (in the center of
the image controls at the bottom of the Windows Photo Gallery window) or press
F11. Vista then begins the show by displaying the first media file in the Gallery
(or the first one of those you’ve selected) full screen. In the case of photos, Vista
displays them for a several seconds before dissolving into the next image.
To display the slide show’s playback controller, simply position the mouse
pointer at the bottom of the screen near the center. To select another effect such
as pan and zoom that makes it feel like the lens is moving in the photo, click the
Themes button at the far left of this controller, and then click the effect you want
to use on this button’s pop-up menu. (To once again view the videos and photos,
using the default dissolve effect, click the Fade item at the top of this menu.)
To change the amount of time that photos are displayed in the slide show, click
the button with the picture of the gear on it (to the immediate right of the
Themes button) and then click Slow to increase the time or Fast to decrease the
time on the pop-up menu. To randomize the order in which the images are
shown, click Shuffle on this pop-up menu.
If you want to take manual control of the photo portion of the slide show, click
the Play button in the center of the controller first to change it to Pause and
then click the Pause button to both pause the show and turn the button back
into Play. To advance to the next photo in the sequence, click the Next button on
the controller or press the → key. To return to the previous photo in the
sequence, click the Previous button on the controller or press the ← key.
When you’re finished enjoying the slide show and want to return to the Windows
Photo Gallery, click the End Slide Show button on the right of the controller.
Adding ratings, tags, and captions
Clicking the Info button on the Gallery’s toolbar displays a special Preview pane
to the Windows Photo Gallery window (see Figure 7-16) that enables you to add
five-star ratings and search tags to selected photo and video thumbnails that
you can then use in filtering the media files displayed in the Gallery. In the case
of photos, you can also add captions to the files that appear beneath the photo’s
thumbnail when you select Tiles as the view and can be used in the Gallery’s
Search text box to quickly filter the images.
To rate the selected media file shown in the Preview pane, click the star you
want to give it (between one and five, from left to right, with one as the lowest
and five stars as the highest).
To add tags to the selected media file, click the Add Tags button in the Preview
pane, and then enter each search tag in the text box that appears and then press
Enter. (You can add as many tags as you want in this manner.)
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To rename a photo that the camera automatically named, such as DSC_0034.jpg,
click the generic filename near the bottom of the Preview pane and then edit the
name before you click outside its outline. Note that the photo’s filename does
not appear in this pane if you’ve already assigned a descriptive name to it. In
that case, to rename the photo, you have to open its folder in the Documents
window and use Vista’s rename command (see Part 2).
Figure 7-16
To add a caption to a photo, click its <Add Caption> button near the bottom of
the Preview pane and then enter the caption in the text box that appears and
press Enter.
To filter out all media files besides those that carry a particular five-star rating,
expand the Ratings category in the Navigation pane and then click the number
of stars from five down to one that represents the rated images you want displayed. To filter out all media files besides those that have a certain tag, expand
the Tags category in the Navigation pane and then click the tag for the images
you want displayed.
Fixing a photo
You can use the Fix button on the Window Photo Gallery’s toolbar to edit photos
in the gallery that need some touching up. When you click Fix after selecting a
photo’s thumbnail in the Gallery, Vista displays the image in the Gallery along
with five buttons on the right, representing the types of fixes you can make to it
(see Figure 7-17).
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Figure 7-17
These buttons enable you to make the following modifications:
⻬ Auto Adjust to have Vista automatically adjust the image’s exposure and
color — click the Undo button or press Ctrl+Z to restore the original
settings.
⻬ Adjust Exposure to display Brightness and Contrast sliders that you can
drag to manually adjust the brightness and contrast level in the image.
⻬ Adjust Color to display Color Temperature, Tint, and Saturation sliders
that you can drag to manually adjust the color in the image.
⻬ Crop Picture to display a cropping frame in the image that you can posi-
tion and size (by dragging its corners) to indicate where Vista should crop
the image when you click the Apply button. Click the Rotate Frame button
if you need to change the orientation of the cropping frame.
⻬ Fix Red Eye to remove red eye from subjects in the photo by drawing a
rectangle around the eye. Before you draw the rectangle, you may want to
click the Changes the Display Size button in the image controller and drag
its slider up to zoom in on the subject whose eye needs fixing.
After you finish making all the modifications to the image that you want to make,
click the Back to Gallery button to return to the normal Windows Photo Gallery
window display and, at the same time, have Vista save the changes to the graphics file. If, however, you decide that you don’t want to keep all the changes, press
Ctrl+R. Click the Revert button in the Revert to Original alert dialog box that
appears asking you to confirm reverting back to the original version of the photo.
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Glossary: Tech Talk
accessories: Tiny (by Microsoft standards)
auxiliary programs shipped with Windows
Vista, such as Calculator, Notepad, Paint,
Sound Recorder, and the like, that aren’t
really necessary to run your computer but
can be really handy. Click Start All
Programs Accessories to see the
complete list.
Aero Glass: Aero is a “backcronym” (that’s an
acronym consciously created after the
fact) that stands for Authentic, Energetic,
Reflective, and Open, the keywords coined
by the Microsoft engineers to describe the
design objectives for Windows Vista. In a
nutshell, Aero Glass refers to the highly
transparent, more reflective, smoothed
out, and less jagged look and feel of Vista
graphical user interface.
applications: A techie way of saying “programs” — you know, the things that make
your computer run around the room and
jump through hoops.
blog: See Weblog.
desktop: The basic background for the
Windows Vista environment made up of
the background graphic, Windows taskbar,
Sidebar, and Recycle Bin. The desktop is
the place from which you start and end
your work session with a Windows
computer.
dialog box: A special, limited type of window
that contains any number of buttons,
boxes, tabs, and sliders, which you use to
specify a whole bunch of settings all at
once in Windows Vista or in any other particular Windows program you have open.
DOS: An acronym for disk operating system.
DOS is almost irrelevant with the advent of
Windows Vista. You can, however, open a
command window with an old-fashioned
DOS prompt within Windows Vista —
simply type cmd in the Start Search box on
the Start menu and then click the C:\ cmd
on the Start menu to open its window; if
you really miss that kind of stuff!
e-mail: Electronic mail. You send and receive
e-mail in Windows Vista with Windows Mail.
browsing offline: See work offline.
Clipboard: The place in your system memory
where items you want to cut or copy from
one place to another are stored. The
Clipboard is available in most Windows
programs that you run, most notably
Microsoft Office.
context menu: See shortcut menu.
Control Panel: Refers to the collection of utilities that enables you to customize the
many Windows Vista settings available for
your computer.
filename: The name you give your files, silly.
I’m only bringing it up here because
Windows Vista allows users to name their
files and folders with up to 255 characters,
including spaces. Imagine that.
firewall: A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to your computer system
through the Internet or a network to which
it is connected. A firewall can be implemented through hardware or software or a
combination of the two. Vista implements a
software form of firewall that blocks all suspect data entering or leaving the system.
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Glossary
folder: A data container that holds files, other
folders, or a combination of the two.
Folders used to be called directories, even
though their icons look like folders.
gadgets: Little desktop programs such as the
Slide Show, Clock, and Feed Viewer (for
RSS feeds) that normally run in the
Sidebar on the right side of the Windows
Vista screen. You can add more gadgets to
the Sidebar and even create gadgets of
your own. See also RSS feed and Sidebar.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language): The traditional computer programming language for
the Web (traditional since 1989–1990,
when the World Wide Web and HTML language first began to make themselves a
presence in the world). HTML can run on
almost any computer platform and can
combine text with pictures, sounds, and
other multimedia enhancements.
HTML document: See Web page.
hyperlink: Text or graphics images that you
click with the mouse to take you to a certain Web destination (or, rather, have that
Web destination appear in your browser
window). You can spot a hyperlink when
the mouse pointer changes to an outline of
a hand. Also, words or other text hyperlinks are almost always underlined text
and in blue — which, after you follow the
link, changes to purple.
hypertext: Text to which a hyperlink is
attached.
icon: A small picture used in Windows Vista to
make your computer a more GUI (gooey, as
in Graphical User Interface) place to be.
Icons identify all manner of objects associated with your computer and positively
run rampant in Windows Vista.
Internet: A large number of computers of all
types all hooked together all around the
World. The popular multimedia part of the
Internet is the World Wide Web.
Internet Explorer: The Microsoft Web browser
that connects you to the Internet and
enables you to browse the Web pages on
the World Wide Web (see Web browser).
Internet Explorer also opens files on the
same computer on which it’s running and
displays the local files as Web files.
intranet: A small-scale version of the Internet
that works the same way as the Internet,
but only the authorized members of the
corporation or organization that sponsors
the intranet get to use it.
Media Center: The name of the full-screen program in Windows Vista that gives you
access to all the photos, music, videos,
and, if your computer is equipped with a
TV tuner card, TV programs.
multimedia: Yeah! It’s what we want: music,
color, sound, and video — all the stuff that
separates the computer experience from
just plain document text on a monochromatic screen. Vista, more than any other
version of Windows, supports multimedia
throughout, from the desktop Sidebar to
the new version of Windows Media Player
and the newly integrated Media Center.
phishing: Pronounced just like fishing, the
activity of trying to catch our finny friends
in the deep blue sea, the people who do
indulge in this kind of illegal “sport” are
casting about for a very special kind of
flounder. It refers to the crooked practice
of attempting to swindle you online (usually through e-mail messages) by obtaining
personal and profitable information such
as passwords, Social Security numbers,
and credit card numbers. Microsoft’s new
Internet Explorer 7 supports a form of antiphishing software that tries to identify
suspicious Web sites.
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Glossary
podcast: A method of downloading or streaming audio or video files on the Internet for
playback on personal computers and other
portable devices. Commonly, podcasts represent single episodes of a Web “show” that
are updated on a regular basis such as daily
or weekly. See also RSS feed and vodcast.
properties: A description of the settings
assigned to folders and files in Windows
Vista. A listing of all the properties is found
in a special dialog box that you access
through the folder’s or file’s shortcut menu.
Recycle Bin: The trash can of Windows Vista,
where you can drag the files, directories,
and other stuff that you want to get rid of.
Somebody at Microsoft was positively
gushing with political correctness when he
or she named this thing, because nobody
is going to drive up, take the stuff you
throw away, and make something wonderful and new with it.
RSS feed: Depending upon whom you talk to,
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication,
Rich Site Summary, or even RDF (Resource
Description Framework) Site Summary. It
refers to a type of Web feed syndication
used by a lot of news Web sites, weblogs,
and podcasts. RSS feeds often provide
summaries with links to full Web content
and are now fully supported in Windows
Internet Explorer 7. See also podcast.
ScreenTips: Windows Vista extensively uses
ScreenTips to provide a way of adding commentary or footnotes to features. When you
run your mouse pointer over a certain part
of the screen, a little black-outlined, paleyellow rectangle pops up with some more
or less informative text. In some cases,
such as with some Internet search results,
this text can amount to a paragraph’s
worth of context-sensitive material.
search: The ability to search for any program,
folder, and file simply by entering part of
its name or, in the case of text documents,
207
its contents in any of the Search text
boxes that appear on the Start menu
(where it’s called Start Search) as well as
all the Explorer windows in Vista.
shortcut: A remarkable way in Windows Vista
to open a favorite document, folder, Web
page, or program directly from the desktop of your computer without needing to
know its real whereabouts.
shortcut menu: A pull-down menu containing
commands that relate directly to the
object to which they’re attached. Shortcut
menus can be found almost everywhere
in Windows Vista. They’re attached to program, folder, or file icons, toolbar buttons,
and even the desktop itself. To open a
shortcut menu, simply right-click the object
in question. Also known as a context menu.
Sidebar: The bar with all gadget thingamajigs
including the slide show, clock, and RSS
Viewer that appear on the right side of the
Windows Vista desktop. See also Gadgets.
SideShow: No, this does not refer to all of
Microsoft’s hype around the introduction
and rollout of Windows Vista — it’s the
new technology that enables you run gadgets on auxiliary laptop computer displays
when the machine is in Sleep mode and on
certain compatible devices such as PDAs
and smart cellphones.
Start menu: The mother of all pull-down
menus in Windows Vista. Located by clicking the ever-present Start button on the far
left at the very beginning of the taskbar, it
contains almost all the commands you’ll
ever need to use.
taskbar: The bar at the bottom of Windows
Vista that contains the Start button, buttons for all open programs and windows
currently in use, and the Notification area
with the clock and other little icons letting
you know what system utilities are running
and alerting you to any system problems.
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toolbar: A bar containing a row of buttons that
perform the routine tasks you used to
have to do with pull-down menus or keystroke combinations in the old days of
Windows XP.
vodcast: Either stands for video podcast or
video on demand (VOD) podcast. It refers
to the online delivery via downloading or
streaming of video clips using RSS feed
technology. See also podcast and RSS feed.
Weblog: A contraction of Web log that is normally shortened to just blog. It refers to a
form of online publication that is periodically updated and whose updates appear
in reverse order (most to least recent).
The most basic form of a blog is a Web
diary dedicated to chronicling a person’s
day-to-day thoughts and activities,
although blogs can cover any subject and
are often professionally maintained.
Web browser: A program, such as Microsoft
Internet Explorer 7, Firefox, or Opera,
which enables the user or client to visit
various Web sites and experience the content found there.
Web page: The basic display unit of the World
Wide Web: When you see something on
the Internet, it is most likely a Web page.
The Web page itself may be composed of a
number of parts, including the HTML
source and various multimedia images.
window: The basic on-screen box used in
Windows Vista to contain and display
each and every program you run on your
computer.
wizards: A particular set of dialog boxes used
in Windows Vista and other Microsoft
products to step the user through complex procedures, such as installing a new
printer, sending a fax, or performing coronary angioplasty.
work offline: When you aren’t connected to the
Internet and you use a browser (like
Internet Explorer 7) to browse Web pages
or e-mail and newsgroup messages that
have been downloaded onto your own
computer, you’re working offline. With the
advent of RSS feeds and Web page subscriptions, you can have new content automatically downloaded during the wee
hours of the night, when you’re not bothered by Internet traffic and lengthy downloads. You can then view the downloads
offline at your leisure.
XML (Extensible MarkUp Language): Like its
cousin HTML (HyperText Markup
Language, which renders Web pages on
the Internet), XML is a markup language
that uses codes called tags to define the
documents structure and appearance.
Unlike HTML, whose tags are all predefined and set in stone (at least until a new
version comes out), XML is extensible in
the sense that you (well, actually not you,
but a programmer) can define and create
new tags as needed for any particular project. Also, XML actually describes the
structure and meaning of its data, whereas
HTML only defines how its data looks (and
beauty, as they say, is only skin-deep). It is
this latter quality that makes XML so valuable in terms of sharing data among different incompatible systems, making it easy
to reuse the data wherever it’s needed.
(Now, aren’t you sorry you asked?)
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Index
Numerics
100% button (Internet Explorer 7), 99–100
A
accessibility options, 156
accessories, 205
account types, 169
accounts (administrative), 169
accounts (e-mail), 124
accounts (user)
account types, 169
adding, 169
creating, 169
deleting, 170
managing, 168, 170
names, 169
Parental Controls, 170
passwords, 169
pictures, 169–170
switching, 74
User Account Control (UAC), 170
activity reporting, 165
activity reports, 166
Add Printer Wizard, 149–151
Add to Library dialog box, 187
adding
bookmarks to Favorites Center, 102
gadgets, 31–32
icons, 35
languages, 155–156
music, 187
printers, 149–151
user accounts, 169
address bar, 15–16
address book, 128–130
Address toolbar, 41
adjusting volume, 152
Administrative Tools, 147
administrator accounts, 169
Aero Glass, 2–5, 205
alerts, 168
AntiSpyware, 163
appearance
Appearance and Personalization category (Control Panel), 145
Appearance and Settings dialog box, 23
folders, 56
taskbar, 2–3, 38
windows, 23–24
applications (defined), 205. See also programs
arranging windows, 43–44
assigning sounds to program events, 24
audio
visualizations, 186
Windows Media Player 11, 183, 185–186
audio CDs. See CDs
Audio Description feature, 157
AutoComplete feature (Internet Explorer 7), 101
automatic updates with Windows Update, 161–162, 167
AutoPlay, 13, 148, 151
Autosearching feature (Internet Explorer 7), 113
B
backgrounds for desktop, 24
Backup and Restore Center, 140–143, 146
Backup Files dialog box, 141
backups
CompletePC Backup utility, 140–142
DVD discs, 142
File and Folder Backup utility, 140–142
Send To shortcut menu command, 64–65
stopping, 141
BitLocker drive encryption, 163–164
blocking
computer use, 165
Web sites, 165
blog, 208
bookmarks (Internet Explorer 7)
adding to Favorites Center, 102
deleting, 104
importing, 101
moving, 103–105
organizing, 103–105
renaming, 104
selecting, 103
browser (defined), 208. See also Internet Explorer 7
browsing offline. See work offline
browsing with Internet Explorer 7
offline browsing, 111–112, 208
online browsing, 98–99
tabbed browsing, 105–106
Burn button, 13
Burn to Disc button, 14
Burn to Disc Wizard, 14
burning
CDs, 13–14, 188–189
DVDs, 13–14, 182
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C
cameras, 148, 152–153
Cancel button, 75
canceling print jobs, 151
captions for pictures, 201–202
capturing video clips, 193
Category view (Control Panel), 143–144
CDs
burning, 13–14, 188–189
ripping, 188–189
checking for updates, 147
Classic Windows features
Control Panel, 21, 143–144
pull-down menus, 19
Start menu, 19–20
Clipboard, 63, 205
Clock gadget, 29–30
Clock, Language, and Region category (Control Panel),
145, 153–156
Collaboration feature, 135–137
colors
high contrast color schemes, 157
pictures, 203
windows, 23–24
Compact mode (Windows Media Player 11), 184
CompletePC Backup utility, 140–142
composing e-mail messages, 125–128
compressed folders, 58–59
computer
blocking use of, 165
hibernate, 75
locking, 37, 74
logging off, 37, 74
Power button, 74–75
restarting, 74
shutting down, 75
sleep, 37, 74
Windows Explorer, 76
Computer icon, 34
computer resources, sharing, 137
configuring
Internet connections, 96
programs, 72–73
Connect to a Network dialog box, 82–83
Connect to a Workplace dialog box, 93
Connect to the Internet dialog box, 93
connecting
to Internet, 93, 96
to networks, 82–83
Contacts List, 128–130
context menu. See shortcut menus
continuation button on toolbar, 14
contrasting color schemes, 157
Control Panel
Appearance and Personalization category, 145
Category view, 143–144
Classic view, 21, 143–144
Clock, Language, and Region category, 145, 153–156
defined, 205
Ease of Access category, 145, 156–158
features of, 139
Hardware and Sound category, 145, 147–153
icon, 34
Mobile PC category, 144–145
Network and Internet category, 145
opening, 143
Programs category, 145
Security category, 145
settings, 144
System and Maintenance category, 139, 144, 146–147
User Accounts and Family Safety category, 145
views, 21, 143–144
Windows Explorer, 76
copying
files, 61–64
folders, 61–64
Create Fax Account dialog box, 122
creating
compressed folders, 58–59
desktop shortcuts, 35–36
e-mail account, 124
files, 55–56
folders, 55–56
playlists, 188
sounds, 152
toolbars, 41–42
user accounts, 169
credits (for movies), 195–196
cropping pictures, 203
Custom Zoom dialog box, 100
Customize Icons dialog box, 43
customizing
folders, 56–58
gadgets, 32–33
Notification area, 42–43
Start menu, 38–40
system tray, 42–43
taskbar, 38
cut-and-paste, 63–64
D
date, 153–155
Date and Time Properties dialog box, 153–154
date stamp on video clips, 193
decompressing folders, 59–60
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defaults
printers, 151
programs, 72–73
Delete File dialog box, 66
deleting. See also removing
bookmarks, 104
e-mail messages, 133–134
files, 65–66
folders, 65–66
user accounts, 170
desktop. See also graphical user interface (GUI)
assigning sounds to program events, 24
background, 24
defined, 205
display settings, 25
icons, 34–35
mouse pointers, 24
personalizing, 21, 23
screen savers, 24
shortcuts, 22, 35–36
Sidebar, 29–34, 207
taskbar, 2–3, 34, 36, 38, 207
themes, 25
Welcome Center, 45–46
Desktop toolbar, 41
Details pane, 16–18
Details pane (Windows Explorer), 16–18, 76
detecting networks, 82
Device Manager, 147
dialog box (defined), 205
dialup network, 82
dictation, 118–121
digital cameras, 148, 152–153
directories. See folders
disabling programs, 171
disconnecting from a network, 83
disk operating system (DOS), 205
disks
formatting, 51–52
managing, 50
opening, 51
display settings, 25
Display Settings dialog box, 25
documents
handouts, 138
scanning, 123
Windows Explorer, 75
DOS (disk operating system), 205
downloading gadgets, 31–32
drag-and-drop, 61–63
drives
encryption, 163–164
formatting, 51–52
211
mapping a network folder as a drive, 22, 52–53, 90
opening, 51
statistics, 50
DVDs
backup discs, 142
burning, 13–14, 182
playing, 180
Windows DVD Maker program, 181–183
E
Ease of Access button, 75
Ease of Access category (Control Panel), 145, 156–158
editing
pictures, 202–203
playlists, 188
sounds, 152
Eject This Disk button, 14
e-mail
composing messages, 125–128
Contact List, 128–130
creating a new e-mail account, 124
defined, 205
deleting messages, 133–134
forwarding messages, 132
launching Windows Mail, 123–124
marking messages, 132
organizing messages, 132–133
reading messages, 130–131
replying to messages, 131–132
saving messages, 131
security features, 132
sending messages, 125–128
E-mail button, 13
E-mail Server Names dialog box, 124
emptying Recycle Bin, 66
encryption, 163–164
ending programs, 44
Explore button, 12
Explorer. See Internet Explorer 7; Windows Explorer
Extensible Markup Language (XML), 208
extensions (filenames), 54–55
Extra Large Icons, 4–5, 77
extracting files from compressed folders, 59–60
F
Favorites Center (Internet Explorer 7), 101–105
faxes, 122–123
Feed Headlines gadget, 29–30, 118
File and Folder Backup utility, 140–142
file extension, 54–55
File Sharing dialog box, 70–71
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files
backups, 64–65, 140–141
BitLocker drive encryption, 163–164
contents of, 53
copying, 61–64
creating, 55–56
cut-and-paste, 63–64
deleting, 65–66
drag-and-drop, 61–63
extracting files from compressed folders, 59–60
File and Folder Backup utility, 140–142
filenames, 54–55, 205
Indexing Options, 147
moving, 61–64
naming, 55
opening, 12
organizing, 12
paths, 53–54
permissions, 69–70
renaming, 66–67
restoring, 142–143
selecting, 60–61
sharing, 13, 67–71, 87–90, 137
tags, 27
views, 12
filtering items in Windows Explorer, 77–80
finding programs, 37
firewall
defined, 205
settings, 167
Flip feature, 4, 22
Flip 3D feature, 4, 22
Folder Options dialog box, 56–58
folders
address bar, 15–16
appearance, 56
backups, 64–65, 140–141
compressed, 58–59
contents of, 53
copying, 61–64
creating, 55–56
customizing, 56–58
cut-and-paste, 63–64
decompressing, 59–60
defined, 206
deleting, 65–66
drag-and-drop, 61–63
extracting files from compressed folders, 59–60
File and Folder Backup utility, 140–142
mapping as drives, 22, 52–53, 90
moving, 61–64
naming, 55
opening, 12
organizing, 12
paths, 53–54
permissions, 69–70
Public folder, 68–70
renaming, 66–67
restoring, 142–143
search, 56
selecting, 60–61
views, 12, 56–58
virtual folders, 9–10
zipped, 58–59
formatting disks or drives, 51–52
forwarding e-mail messages, 132
Full mode (Windows Media Player 11), 184–186
G
gadgets
adding, 31–32
Clock, 29–30
customizing, 32–33
defined, 206
downloading, 31–32
Feed Headlines, 29–30, 118
moving, 33–34
opacity of, 33
removing, 32
SideShow, 207
Slide Show, 29–30
games
graphics, 147
help, 174
online games, 176
opening, 174
Parental Controls, 164–166
playing, 174
ratings, 174
saving, 174
Windows Explorer, 76
graphical user interface (GUI). See also desktop
Aero Glass, 2–5, 205
Extra Large Icons, 4–5
Flip feature, 4, 22
Flip 3D feature, 4, 22
Large Icons, 4–5
live taskbar thumbnails, 4
live visual previews, 3–5
Notification area, 42
opaque view, 20–21
Start button, 2, 6
Start menu, 3, 6–8, 19–20, 37–40
system tray, 42
taskbar, 2–3
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transparency of screen elements, 3
Welcome Center, 45–46
graphics
Performance Rating and Tools, 147
scanning, 123
Web graphics, 106–107
GUI (graphical user interface). See graphical user
interface (GUI)
H
handouts, 138
hard drive
backups, 140–142
managing, 50
Performance Rating and Tools, 147
reformatting, 143
restoring, 142–143
Hardware and Sound category (Control Panel), 145,
147–153
hearing-impaired users, 156–158
help system, 46–47, 174
hibernate, 75
high contrast color schemes, 157
history
Internet Explorer 7, 99
Windows Update, 162
Home button (Internet Explorer 7), 97–98
home page (Internet Explorer 7), 98
HTML document. See Web pages
HTML (HyperText Markup Language), 206
hyperlink, 206
hypertext, 206
I
icons
adding, 35
Computer, 34
Control Panel, 34
defined, 206
Extra Large Icons, 4–5, 77
Internet Explorer, 34
Large Icons, 4–5, 77
Network, 34
Recycle Bin, 34
resizing, 36
User’s Files, 34
importing
bookmarks, 101
video clips, 193
Indexing Options, 147
Install Printer Software dialog box, 149–150
installing
printers, 149–151
updates, 160–161
Internet
blocking Web sites, 165
configuring connections, 96
connecting to, 93, 96
defined, 206
Parental Controls, 164–166
phishing, 115, 206
Internet Accounts dialog box, 124
Internet Explorer 7
AutoComplete feature, 101
Autosearching feature, 113
bookmarks, 101–105
browsing the Internet, 98–99, 105–106
defined, 206
Favorites Center, 101–105
history, 99
Home button, 97–98
home page, 98
icon, 34
launching, 96–97
Live Search, 112–113
offline browsing, 111–112, 208
100% button, 99–100
Panning Hand button, 100
phishing filters, 115
Pop-up Blocker feature, 116
printing Web pages, 108–111
Quick Tabs button, 105
RSS feeds, 116–118
saving Web graphics and pages, 106–108
scrolling, 100
search, 98, 112–115
tabbed browsing, 105–106
Web graphics, 106–107
zooming in on Web pages, 99–100
Internet Mail Logon dialog box, 124
Internet time, 154–155
intranet (defined), 206
ISP (Internet Service Provider), 93, 96
K
keyboard
language options, 155
on-screen, 157
keys, 82–83
keywords. See tags
213
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L
language options, 153, 155–156
Large Icons, 4–5, 77
launching
Internet Explorer 7, 96–97
Media Center, 175
programs, 8
Windows Fax and Scan utility, 122
Windows Mail, 123–124
Windows Media Player 11, 184
Windows Movie Maker, 192
Windows Update, 160–161
Links toolbar, 41
Live Search (Internet Explorer 7), 112–113
live taskbar thumbnails, 4
live visual previews, 3–5
locking
computer, 37, 74
taskbar, 38
logging off computer, 37, 74
M
magnifying the screen, 157
Mail
composing e-mail messages, 125–128
Contact List, 128–130
creating a new e-mail account, 124
deleting e-mail messages, 133–134
forwarding e-mail messages, 132
launching, 123–124
marking e-mail messages, 132
organizing e-mail messages, 132–133
reading e-mail messages, 130–131
replying to e-mail messages, 131–132
saving e-mail messages, 131
security features, 132
sending e-mail messages, 125–128
malware protection, 167
Manage Audio Devices, 152
managing
disk drives, 50
network connections, 83–84
programs, 72
user accounts, 168, 170
Map Network Drive button, 13
mapping folders as drives, 22, 52–53, 90
marking e-mail messages, 132
Media Center
defined, 206
DVDs, 180
launching, 175
movies, 176–181
music, 176, 179–180
online games, 176
pictures, 176, 180
remote control, 176–177
starting, 175
TV, 176–179
videos, 176–181
Xbox extender, 175
Media Guide, 190–191
Media Library
adding music files, 187
opening, 187
organizing music files, 187
playlists, 188
Media Player 11
audio visualizations, 186
burning CDs, 188–189
capabilities, 183
Compact mode, 184
Full mode, 184–187
launching, 184
Media Guide, 190–191
Media Library, 187–188
Minimized mode, 184–185
Now Playing button, 186
pictures, 188
ripping CDs, 188–189
Skin mode, 184–185
synchronizing with MP3 player, 191
toolbar, 41, 186
TV, 188
URGE music store, 186, 189–190
Meeting Space feature, 134–138
memory, 147
menus
Classic pull-down menus, 19
shortcut menu, 21, 207
Start menu, 3, 6–8, 19–20, 37–40, 207
metadata. See tags
microphones, 119, 152
Microsoft AntiSpyware, 163
Microsoft Security Web page, 168
Microsoft SpyNet online community, 171
Minimized mode (Windows Media Player 11), 184–185
Mobile PC category (Control Panel), 144–145
modifying. See editing
mouse
pointers, 24
settings, 148, 152, 158
Movie Maker, 192–197
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movies
Media Center, 176–181
movie titles, 195–196
playing, 186
publishing, 196
Windows Media Player 11, 183, 185–186
Windows Movie Maker, 192–197
moving
bookmarks, 103–105
files, 61–64
folders, 61–64
gadgets, 33–34
windows, 21
MP3 files, 183
MP3 players, 191
multimedia (defined), 206. See also music; videos
music
adding, 187
Media Center, 176, 179–180
Media Library, 187
organizing, 187
playlists, 188
synchronizing with MP3 player, 191
Windows Explorer, 76
Windows Media Player 11, 183, 185–187
music store, 186, 189–190
N
names for user accounts, 169
naming
files, 55
folders, 55
pictures, 202
Narrator feature, 157
Navigation pane, 10–12, 18
Navigation pane (Windows Explorer), 10–12, 18, 76
Network and Internet category (Control Panel), 145
Network and Sharing Center Control Panel, 83–84, 90
Network Connections window, 83
Network icon, 34
network map, 91–92
networks
benefits of, 81
connecting to, 82–83
detecting, 82
dialup, 82
disconnecting from, 83
drives, 50
file sharing, 87–90
Internet Service Provider (ISP), 93
managing connections, 83–84
215
private, 91
public, 91
repairing connections, 91
security keys, 82–83
setting up connections, 92–94
troubleshooting connections, 84, 91
viewing connections, 87, 90–91
VPN (virtual private network), 82
Windows Explorer, 76
wireless, 82, 84–86, 94
New Fax dialog box, 123
New Message dialog box, 127
New Scan dialog box, 123
Notification area, 42–43
Now Playing button (Windows Media Player 11), 186
O
offline browsing, 111–112, 208
100% button (Internet Explorer 7), 99–100
online games, 176
on-screen keyboard, 157
opacity of gadgets, 33
opaque view of GUI, 20–21
Open button, 12
opening
Control Panel, 143
disks, 51
drives, 51
files, 12
folders, 12
games, 174
Media Library, 187
Windows Photo Gallery, 197
Organize button, 12
organizing
bookmarks, 103–105
e-mail messages, 132–133
files, 12
folders, 12
music, 187
P
Panning Hand button (Internet Explorer 7), 100
Parental Controls, 164–166, 170
passwords for user accounts, 169
paths, 53–54
pausing print jobs, 151
People Near Me feature, 135–137
Performance Rating and Tools, 147
permissions, 69–70
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Permissions dialog box, 69
Personalization window, 23
personalizing desktop, 21, 23
phishing, 115, 206
pictures
captions, 201–202
colors, 203
cropping, 203
editing, 202–203
Media Center, 176, 180
naming, 202
ratings, 201
red eye, 203
scanning, 123
slide shows, 180, 183, 200–201
tags, 201
user accounts, 169–170
Windows Explorer, 75
Windows Media Player 11, 188
Windows Photo Gallery, 197–203
playing
DVDs, 180
games, 174
movies, 180
music, 176, 179–180
slide shows, 200–201
videos, 186
playlists, 188
podcast, 207
Pop-up Blocker feature (Internet Explorer 7), 116
portable MP3 players, 191
Power button, 74–75
Power Options, 147
Preview pane (Windows Explorer), 10–11, 18–19, 76
print jobs
canceling, 151
pausing, 151
printers
adding, 149–151
default printer, 151
Hardware and Sound category (Control Panel), 148–151
installing, 149–151
settings, 151
sharing, 151
printing Web pages, 108–111
private networks, 91
Problem Reports and Solutions, 147
processor performance, 147
programs
assigning sounds to program events, 24
configuring, 72–73
defaults, 72–73
disabling, 171
ending, 44
finding, 37
launching, 8
managing, 72
removing, 72, 171
repairing, 72
sharing, 137
starting, 8
switching, 44
Programs category (Control Panel), 145
Properties button, 13
properties (defined), 207
Public folder, 68–70
public networks, 91
publishing movie projects, 196
Q
Quick Launch toolbar, 40–41
Quick Tabs button (Internet Explorer 7), 105
R
ratings
for games, 174
for pictures, 201
Reader pane, 11
reading e-mail messages, 130–131
Ready to Install Printer dialog box, 150
receiving faxes, 122–123
recording devices, 152
recording TV shows, 178
Recycle Bin, 34, 65–66, 207
red eye, 203
reformatting hard drive, 143
Regional and Language Options dialog box, 155–156
remote control (Media Center), 176–177
removable storage disks, 50
removing. See also deleting
gadgets, 32
languages, 155–156
programs, 72, 171
renaming
bookmarks, 104
files, 66–67
folders, 66–67
repairing network connections, 91
repairing programs, 72
replying to e-mail messages, 131–132
resizing
icons, 36
windows, 21
restarting computer, 74
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restoring
Classic pull-down menus, 19
Classic Start menu, 19–20
files, 142–143
folders, 142–143
hard drive, 142–143
ripping CDs, 188–189
RSS feeds
defined, 207
Feed Headlines gadget, 29–30, 118
Internet Explorer 7, 116–118
subscriptions, 116–118
S
Saved Game Found alert dialog box, 174
saving
e-mail messages, 131
games, 174
search results in a search folder, 28–29
Web graphics, 106–107
Web pages, 107–108
scanners, 123, 148, 152–153
scanning documents, graphics, and pictures, 123
screen. See also graphical user interface (GUI)
keyboard, 157
magnifying, 157
transparency of screen elements, 3
screen savers, 24
ScreenTips, 207
scrolling Web pages, 100
search. See also tags
defined, 207
folders, 56
help system, 47
Internet Explorer 7, 98, 112–115
saving search results in a search folder, 28–29
Search pane (Windows Explorer), 11, 18, 26–28, 76
Search text box, 25–26
Start Search text box, 7–9, 26
Windows Explorer, 76
search engines, 112–115
search providers, 113–115
security
BitLocker drive encryption, 163–164
e-mail, 132
firewall, 167, 205
malware protection, 167
Microsoft Security Web page, 168
Microsoft SpyNet online community, 171
Parental Controls, 164–166, 170
phishing, 115, 206
settings, 167
217
spyware, 170–172
Windows Defender, 163, 167, 170–172
Security category (Control Panel), 145
Security Center, 163, 166–168
security keys, 82–83
Select a Printer Port dialog box, 149
selecting
bookmarks, 103
files, 60–61
folders, 60–61
Send To shortcut menu command, 64–65
sending
e-mail messages, 125–128
faxes, 122–123
Set Program Access and Computer Defaults dialog box,
72–73
Set Up a Connection or Network dialog box, 93, 96
Set Up a Dial-Up Connection dialog box, 93
settings
Control Panel, 144
date, 154–155
display, 25
firewall, 167
mouse, 148, 152, 158
network connections, 84, 92–94
printers, 151
security, 167
speech recognition, 156
Speech Recognition feature, 120–121
time, 154–155
Windows Meeting Space feature, 134–135
Share button, 13
sharing
computer resources, 137
files, 13, 67–71, 137
printers, 151
programs, 137
sharing files, 87–90
shortcut keystrokes, 21
shortcut menus
defined, 207
opening, 21
shortcuts (on desktop), 22, 35–36, 207
shutting down computer, 75
Sidebar, 29–34, 207
SideShow, 207
Skin mode (Windows Media Player 11), 184–185
sleep, 37, 74
slide shows
Media Center, 180
Slide Show gadget, 29–30
Windows DVD Maker, 183
Windows Photo Gallery, 200–201
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Software Explorer, 171
sorting items in Windows Explorer, 77–80
Sound dialog box, 152
sounds
assigning to program events, 24
creating, 152
editing, 152
Hardware and Sound category (Control Panel), 145,
147–148, 152
text or visual alternatives, 158
special effects for video clips, 194–195
Speech Properties dialog box, 121
Speech Recognition feature, 118–121, 156
SpyNet online community, 171
spyware, 163, 167, 170–172
Start button, 2, 6
Start menu
customizing, 38–40
new features, 3, 6–8, 37, 207
restoring Classic Start menu, 19–20
Start Search text box, 7–9, 26
starting
Media Center, 175
programs, 8
Windows Media Player 11, 184
Windows Update, 160–161
statistics for drives, 50
stopping backups, 141
streaming, 183
subscribing to RSS feeds, 116–118
support, 46–47
switching
programs, 44
user accounts, 74
windows, 43
synchronizing music with MP3 player, 191
System, 147
System and Maintenance category (Control Panel), 139,
144, 146–147
System Properties button, 13
System Properties dialog box, 159
System Restore, 158–160
system tray, 42–43
T
tabbed browsing, 105–106
Tablet PC Input Panel toolbar, 41
tabs (Internet Explorer 7), 105
tags
files, 27
pictures, 201
Task Manager, 44–45
taskbar
Address toolbar, 41
appearance, 2–3, 38
customizing, 38
defined, 207
Desktop toolbar, 41
features, 36
Links toolbar, 41
location of, 34, 36
locking, 38
Quick Launch toolbar, 40–41
Start button, 36–37
Tablet PC Input Panel toolbar, 41
Windows Media Player toolbar, 41
technical support, 46–47
television
Media Center, 176–179
Windows Media Player 11, 188
text alternatives for sounds, 158
Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, 155
Theme Settings dialog box, 25
themes for desktop, 25
time, 153–155
time stamp on video clips, 193
toolbars
Address, 41
continuation button, 14
creating, 41–42
defined, 208
Desktop, 41
Links, 41
Quick Launch, 40–41
Tablet PC Input Panel, 41
Windows Media Player, 41, 186
transitions for video clips, 195
transparency of screen elements, 3
trash can, 65–66
troubleshooting
help system, 46–47
network connections, 84, 91
Problem Reports and Solutions, 147
TV
Media Center, 176–179
Windows Media Player 11, 188
U
UAC (User Account Control), 170
Uninstall or Change a Program button, 13
updates
automatic updates, 161–162, 167
checking for updates, 147
history, 162
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installing updates, 160–161
launching, 160–161
starting, 160–161
URGE music store, 186, 189–190
URL (Uniform Resource Locator), 98
User Account Control dialog box, 72, 140–141
user accounts
account types, 169
adding, 169
creating, 169
deleting, 170
managing, 168, 170
names, 169
Parental Controls, 170
passwords, 169
pictures, 169–170
switching, 74
User Account Control (UAC), 170
User Accounts and Family Safety category (Control
Panel), 145
User Accounts Control Panel, 168
user interface. See also desktop
Aero Glass, 2–5, 205
Extra Large Icons, 4–5
Flip feature, 4, 22
Flip 3D feature, 4, 22
Large Icons, 4–5
live taskbar thumbnails, 4
live visual previews, 3–5
Notification area, 42
opaque view, 20–21
Start button, 2, 6
Start menu, 3, 6–8, 19–20, 37–40
system tray, 42
taskbar, 2–3
transparency of screen elements, 3
Welcome Center, 45–46
User’s Files icon, 34
utilities
CompletePC Backup, 140–142
File and Folder Backup, 140–142
Windows Fax and Scan, 122–123
V
video clips
capturing, 193
credits, 195–196
date stamp, 193
importing, 193
movie titles, 195–196
special effects, 194–195
time stamp, 193
transitions, 195
views, 193–194
videos
Media Center, 176–181
playing, 186
Windows Media Player 11, 183, 185–186
Windows Movie Maker, 192–197
viewing network connections, 87, 90–91
views
Control Panel, 21, 143–144
files, 12
folders, 12, 56–58
video clips, 193–194
Windows Explorer, 77–80
Views button, 12, 14–15
virtual folders, 9–10
virtual private network (VPN), 82
vision-impaired users, 156–158
visual alternatives for sounds, 158
visualizations for audio, 186
vodcast, 208
voice commands, 118–121
volume, 152
W
Web browser (defined), 208. See also Internet
Explorer 7
Web graphics, saving, 106–107
Web pages
defined, 208
home page (Internet Explorer 7), 98
printing, 108–111
saving, 107–108
scrolling, 100
Uniform Resource Locator (URL), 98
zooming in on, 99–100
Web sites
blocking, 165
Parental Controls, 164–166
Windows Defender, 172
WindowsMedia.com, 191
Weblog, 208
Welcome Center, 45–46, 145
windows
appearance, 23–24
arranging, 43–44
colors, 23–24
defined, 208
moving, 21
resizing, 21
switching between open windows, 43
Windows Collaboration feature, 135–137
219
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Windows Defender, 163, 167, 170–172
Windows Defender Web site, 172
Windows DVD Maker program, 181–183
Windows Explorer
changes in, 10–11
Details pane, 16–18, 76
display options, 76–80
features, 75
filtering items, 77–80
Navigation pane, 10–12, 18, 76
Preview pane, 10–11, 18–19, 76
Reader pane, 11
Search pane, 11, 18, 26–28, 76
sorting items, 77–80
virtual folders, 9–10
Windows Fax and Scan utility, 122–123
Windows Mail
composing e-mail messages, 125–128
Contact List, 128–130
creating a new e-mail account, 124
deleting e-mail messages, 133–134
forwarding e-mail messages, 132
launching, 123–124
marking e-mail messages, 132
organizing e-mail messages, 132–133
reading e-mail messages, 130–131
replying to e-mail messages, 131–132
saving e-mail messages, 131
security features, 132
sending e-mail messages, 125–128
Windows Media Player 11
audio visualizations, 186
burning CDs, 188–189
capabilities, 183
Compact mode, 184
Full mode, 184–187
launching, 184
Media Guide, 190–191
Media Library, 187–188
Minimized mode, 184–185
Now Playing button, 186
pictures, 188
ripping CDs, 188–189
Skin mode, 184–185
synchronizing with MP3 player, 191
toolbar, 41, 186
TV, 188
URGE music store, 186, 189–190
Windows Meeting Space feature, 134–138
Windows Movie Maker, 192–197
Windows Photo Gallery, 197–203
Windows Sidebar Properties dialog box, 30
Windows System Image Backup dialog box, 142
Windows Update
automatic updates, 161–162, 167
checking for updates, 147
history, 162
installing updates, 160–161
launching, 160–161
starting, 160–161
WindowsMedia.com Web site, 191
wireless networks, 82, 84–86, 94
wizards
Add Printer Wizard, 149–151
Burn to Disc Wizard, 14
defined, 208
work offline
browsing experience, 111-112
defined, 208
X
Xbox, 175
XML (Extensible Markup Language), 208
Z
zipped folders, 58–59
zooming in on Web pages, 99–100
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