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B o o k
✓beginning
✓intermediate
advanced
Microsoft
Windows Vista
Visual QuickStart Guide—the quick and easy way to learn!
Easy visual approach uses pictures to guide you through Microsoft Windows
Vista and show you what to do.
n
Concise steps and explanations let you get up and running in no time.
n
Page for page, the best content and value around.
n
Chris Fehily is a writer and consultant living in San Francisco. He admits to
having used Windows even before version 1.0, when it was called Interface
Manager. His other books for Peachpit Press include Visual QuickStart Guides to
Windows XP and to the Python and SQL programming languages.
Visual quickstart guide
n
Microsoft
Visual quickstart guide
le v el
Windows Vista
US $21.99 Canada $26.99 UK £15.99
Peachpit Press
1249 Eighth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710 800 283-9444 510 524-2178 fax 510 524-2221
Find us on the Web at: www.peachpit.com
For Computers Using: Microsoft Windows Vista Home/Business/Enterprise/Ultimate Editions
Computer Book Shelf Category: Windows / Windows Vista
434528_windows_vista_vqs.indd 1
FEHILY
Visual quickstart guide
MICROSOFT
WINDOWS VISTA
Start Menu • printing • installing programs • security • Internet Explorer • Mail
• search • Sidebar and Gadgets • Media Player • Photo Gallery • Movie Maker •
Windows Live Messenger • organizing files • networks • Start Menu • printing
• installing programs • security • Internet Explorer • Mail • search • Sidebar and
Gadgets • Media Player • Photo Gallery • Movie Maker • Windows Live Messenger • organizing files • networks • Start Menu • printing • installing programs
• security • Internet Explorer • Mail • search • Sidebar and Gadgets • Media
Player • Photo Gallery • Movie Maker • Windows Live Messenger • organizing files • networks • Start Menu • printing • installing programs • security •
Internet Explorer • Mail • search • Sidebar and Gadgets • Media Player • Photo
Gallery • Movie Maker • Windows Live Messenger • organizing files • networks
• Start Menu • printing • installing programs • security • Internet Explorer • Mail
• search • Sidebar and Gadgets • Media Player • Photo Gallery • Movie Maker •
Windows Live Messenger • organizing files • networks • Start Menu • printing
• installing programs • security • Internet Explorer • Mail • search • Sidebar and
Gadgets • Media Player • Photo Gallery • Movie Maker • Windows Live Messenger • organizing files • networks • Start Menu • printing • installing programs
• security • Internet Explorer • Mail • search • Sidebar and Gadgets • Media
Player • Photo Gallery • Movie Maker • Windows Live Messenger • organizing files • networks • Start Menu • printing • installing programs • security •
Internet Explorer • Mail • search • Sidebar and Gadgets • Media Player • Photo
Gallery • Movie Maker • Windows Live Messenger • organizing files • networks
• Start Menu • printing • installing programs • security • Internet Explorer • Mail
• search • Sidebar and Gadgets • Media Player • Photo Gallery • Movie Maker •
Windows Live Messenger • organizing files • networks • Start Menu • printing
Learn Windows Vista the
Quick and Easy Way!
CHRIS FEHILY
12/1/06 4:21:14 PM
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Page i
VISUAL QUICKSTART GUIDE
Microsoft
WINDOWS VISTA
Chris Fehily
Peachpit Press
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Page ii
Visual QuickStart Guide
Microsoft Windows Vista
Chris Fehily
Peachpit Press
1249 Eighth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
510/524-2178
800/283-9444
510/524-2221 (fax)
Find us on the Web at: www.peachpit.com
To report errors, please send a note to [email protected]
Peachpit Press is a division of Pearson Education
Copyright © 2007 by Chris Fehily
Managing editor: Clifford Colby
Editor: Kathy Simpson
Production editor: Andrei Pasternak
Compositor: Owen Wolfson
Indexer: Rebecca Plunkett
Cover design: The Visual Group
Notice of Rights
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written
permission of the publisher. For information on getting permission for reprints and excerpts,
contact [email protected]
Notice of Liability
The information in this book is distributed on an "As Is" basis without warranty. While every
precaution has been taken in the preparation of the book, neither the author nor Peachpit shall
have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to
be caused directly or indirectly by the instructions contained in this book or by the computer
software and hardware products described in it.
Trademarks
Visual QuickStart Guide is a registered trademark of Peachpit Press, a division of Pearson
Education.
Throughout this book, trademarks are used. Rather than put a trademark symbol in every
occurrence of a trademarked name, we state that we are using the names in an editorial fashion
only and to the benefit of the trademark owner with no intention of infringement of the
trademark.
ISBN 0-321-43452-8
987654321
Printed and bound in the United States of America
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Page iii
For Brian, Ken, Steve,
Stu, Cliff, and Darren
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Special Thanks to…
Kathy Simpson for staying ahead of me
Cliff Colby for working backstage
Andrei Pasternak for coordinating
Owen Wolfson for squashing
Rebecca Plunkett for rotating terms
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Page v
Contents at a Glance
Introduction
xiii
Getting Started
1
Chapter 2:
The Desktop
55
Chapter 3:
Getting Help
103
Chapter 4:
Personalizing Your Work Environment
117
Chapter 5:
Organizing Files and Folders
181
Chapter 6:
Installing and Running Programs
251
Chapter 7:
Printing, Scanning, and Faxing
285
Chapter 8:
Setting up Hardware
313
Chapter 9:
Digital Photos
331
Chapter 10: Windows Media Player
357
Chapter 11:
391
Windows Movie Maker
Chapter 12: Connecting to the Internet
411
Chapter 13: Security and Privacy
421
Chapter 14:
Internet Explorer
445
Chapter 15:
Email, Contacts, and Calendars
471
Chapter 16:
Windows Live Messenger
497
Chapter 17: Managing User Accounts
509
Chapter 18:
Setting up a Small Network
519
Chapter 19:
Working Remotely
539
Chapter 20:
Maintenance & Troubleshooting
551
Installing Windows Vista
571
Index
581
Appendix:
Contents at a Glance
Chapter 1:
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Table of Contents
Introduction
xiii
Table of Contents
What Windows Does . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiv
The Editions of Windows Vista. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv
What’s New in Windows Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvi
Upgrading to Windows Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xviii
About This Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xix
Chapter 1:
Getting Started
1
Logging On and Logging Off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Using Welcome Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Exploring the Windows Interface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
The Mouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
The Keyboard. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Menus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Toolbars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Icons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Dialog Boxes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Transferring Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Chapter 2:
The Desktop
55
Exploring the Start Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Using the Start Menu. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Customizing the Start Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Exploring the Taskbar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Managing Windows by Using the Taskbar . . . . . . 74
Customizing the Taskbar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Using the Notification Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Adding Toolbars to the Taskbar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Using the Quick Launch Toolbar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Using the Sidebar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Managing Shortcuts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Tidying Your Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
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Table of Contents
Chapter 3: Getting Help
103
Starting Help and Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Browsing Help and Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Searching Help and Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Getting Help on the Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
Capturing Screen Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Allowing Others to Connect to Your
Computer Remotely. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Chapter 4: Personalizing Your
Work Environment
117
Chapter 5: Organizing Files and Folders
181
Exploring Your Computer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
Storing Stuff in Your Personal Folder. . . . . . . . . . 185
Using Windows Explorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
Navigating in Windows Explorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
Tagging Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Filtering, Sorting, Stacking, and
Grouping Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
Customizing a Folder. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206
Setting Folder Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
Creating Folders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
Naming Files and Folders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211
vii
Table of Contents
Using Control Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Setting the Window Color and Color Scheme. . 121
Setting the Desktop Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
Setting the Screen Saver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Setting the Desktop Theme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Configuring the Monitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Configuring the Mouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
Configuring the Keyboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
Configuring Sound and Audio Devices . . . . . . . . 140
Setting the Date and Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
Localizing Your System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
Accommodating Disabled Users. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
Using Speech Recognition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Using Alternative Mouse Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
Conserving Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
Managing Fonts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
Managing Visual Effects and Performance . . . . 175
Restoring the Old Windows Look . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
Getting General System Information. . . . . . . . . . 179
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Moving and Copying Files and Folders . . . . . . . . 212
Sending Files and Folders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215
Deleting Files and Folders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
Compressing Files and Folders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Searching for Files and Folders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228
Saving Searches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241
Burning CDs and DVDs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242
Using Keyboard Shortcuts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248
Chapter 6:
Installing and Running Programs
251
Table of Contents
Installing Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252
Removing Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
Turning Windows Features On or Off . . . . . . . . . 259
Launching Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260
Launching Programs Automatically . . . . . . . . . . 262
Running Older Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263
Switching Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264
Exiting Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
Killing Unresponsive Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267
Using the Free Utility Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
Saving Documents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
Opening Documents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
Associating Documents with Programs . . . . . . . 281
Chapter 7:
Printing, Scanning, and Faxing
285
Installing a Printer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286
Sharing a Network Printer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293
Setting Printer Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295
Printing Documents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297
Controlling Printouts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300
Scanning and Faxing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 302
Chapter 8:
Setting up Hardware
313
Connecting Devices to Your Computer. . . . . . . . 314
Installing a New Device. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320
Setting up Bluetooth Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 324
Managing Device Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 326
Chapter 9:
Digital Photos
331
Importing Photos to Your Computer. . . . . . . . . . 332
Getting Started with Windows Photo Gallery . . 338
Viewing Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 344
Finding Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347
Touching up Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 351
Printing Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 352
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Table of Contents
Ordering Prints Online . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353
Emailing Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 354
Using Keyboard Shortcuts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355
Chapter 10: Windows Media Player
357
Chapter 11:
Windows Movie Maker
391
Getting Started with Movie Maker. . . . . . . . . . . . 392
Importing Content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 394
Organizing Your Clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 398
Creating a Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 399
Editing a Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 400
Editing Clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 403
Adding Visual Content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 405
Adding Audio Tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 407
Publishing a Movie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 409
Chapter 12: Connecting to the Internet
411
Understanding Connection Types . . . . . . . . . . . . 412
Connecting to the Internet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 415
Chapter 13: Security and Privacy
421
Checking Your Security Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 422
Using a Firewall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 426
Updating Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 431
Defending Against Viruses and Spyware . . . . . . 434
Setting Parental Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 440
Encrypting Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 442
ix
Table of Contents
Getting Started with Media Player . . . . . . . . . . . . 358
Playing Music CDs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361
Customizing the Now Playing Tab . . . . . . . . . . . . 364
Viewing Visualizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 366
Changing Player Appearance with Skins . . . . . . 367
Shopping Online . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 368
Listening to Radio Stations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 369
Ripping CDs to Your Hard Drive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 370
Organizing Your Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 374
Working with Playlists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 382
Burning Music CDs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 386
Playing DVDs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 388
Using Keyboard Shortcuts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 390
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Table of Contents
Chapter 14:
Internet Explorer
445
Getting Started with Internet Explorer. . . . . . . . 446
Navigating the Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 447
Using Tabs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 454
Bookmarking Pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 457
Blocking Pop-Up Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 460
Browsing Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 462
Chapter 15:
Email, Contacts, and Calendars
471
Table of Contents
Getting Started with Windows Mail . . . . . . . . . . 472
Setting up an Email Account. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 473
Sending Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 475
Reading Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 480
Receiving Attachments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 487
Applying Message Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 490
Using Newsgroups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 492
Managing Your Contacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 494
Creating a Personal Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 495
Chapter 16:
Windows Live Messenger
497
Setting up Messenger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 498
Signing in to Messenger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500
Creating a Contacts List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 503
Using Messenger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 504
Chapter 17: Managing User Accounts
509
Setting up User Accounts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 510
Using User Account Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 517
Managing User Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 518
Chapter 18:
Setting up a Small Network
519
Understanding Network Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520
Sharing an Internet Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 524
Setting up a Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525
Managing a Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 530
Sharing Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 534
Chapter 19:
Working Remotely
539
Dialing Direct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 540
Connecting to a Virtual Private
Network Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 541
Controlling a Computer with
Remote Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 542
Making Network Files and Folders
Available Offline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 548
Using Laptop Utilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 550
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Table of Contents
Chapter 20: Maintenance & Troubleshooting
551
Getting System Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 552
Managing Tasks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 553
Cleaning up a Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 554
Defragmenting a Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 555
Checking for Disk Errors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 556
Managing Disks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 557
Scheduling Tasks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 558
Editing the Registry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 560
Reporting and Solving Problems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 561
Boosting Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 562
Restoring Your System. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 563
Backing up Your Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 566
Recovering After a Crash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 570
571
Getting Ready to Install Windows Vista. . . . . . . 572
Choosing an Installation Type. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 575
Installing Windows Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 576
Activating Windows Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 579
Transferring Existing Files and Settings . . . . . . . 580
Index
581
xi
Table of Contents
Appendix: Installing Windows Vista
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Page xiii
Introduction
i
Windows Vista, the successor to Windows XP,
is the latest Microsoft operating system for PC
users at home, work, and school. Feature for
feature, Vista is better than XP, but to make
people want to upgrade to Vista, Microsoft
put special effort into:
Security. Vista protects you against malicious
websites, viruses, spyware, and other online
threats. You also can control what your children
or guests view and play. Vista’s reduced-privilege
mode (turned on by default) defends even
administrators against attacks.
Connectivity. It’s easy to connect quickly
(and wirelessly) to people, data, and devices
that you need to interact with.
Performance. Vista scales to your machine’s
hardware and, provided that you feed it
enough memory, is faster than XP. Vista’s
broad driver support means that your existing hardware and software will work right
(in most cases).
xiii
Introduction
The user interface. The new UI, called Aero,
is slick and lets you find and launch your
stuff instantly no matter how your files and
folders are organized (or disorganized). The
Start menu, the taskbar, Windows Explorer,
and other redesigned controls retain enough
of their old personalities to let you jump in.
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Page xiv
Introduction
What Windows Does
Windows—like every operating system,
Microsoft or otherwise—is software that
controls:
The user interface. Windows manages
the appearance, behavior, and interaction
of the windows, buttons, icons, folders,
mouse pointers, cursors, menus, ribbons,
and other visual elements on your computer
screen, either directly or indirectly through
another program.
What Windows Does
Storage. Windows’ file system allocates
space for and gives access to files—programs
and documents—stored on disk or in memory.
Other software. Windows is a launching
platform for programs. When you run
Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, The
Sims, or any other Windows program, it
relies on the services and building blocks
that Windows provides for basic operations
such as drawing a user interface, saving files,
and sharing hardware.
Peripheral devices. Windows controls or
syncs with peripheral hardware such as your
mouse, keyboard, monitor, printer, scanner,
USB flash drives, digital camera, PDA, and iPod.
Networks and security. Windows controls
the interaction of a group of computers and
peripheral devices connected by a communications link such as Ethernet or wireless.
Windows also protects your system and
data from harm or loss.
System resources. Windows handles the
allocation and use of your computer’s low-level
hardware resources such as memory (RAM)
and central processing unit (CPU) time.
Task scheduling. Windows acts like a traffic
cop, setting priorities and allocating time
slices to the processes running on your PC.
xiv
Freeware and Shareware
Many of the third-party (meaning nonMicrosoft) programs that I recommend
in this book are freeware or shareware.
Freeware is software that you can use for
an unlimited time at no cost, whereas
shareware is software that you can use
for a tryout period—usually 30 days—
before you’re expected to pay for it. I say
“expected to” because much shareware
keeps working beyond the trial period, so
you can escape payment. Paying the fee,
however, often gets you a keycode that
unlocks features or turns off nag messages.
If you pass along copies of shareware to
others, they’re expected to pay too.
Freeware and shareware are copyrighted
and have licenses that may impose restrictions (“free for personal, noncommercial
use,” for example). Unlike commercial
software, freeware and shareware isn’t
shrink-wrapped or sold in stores but is
downloaded from the internet (or provided on magazine cover disks). I give the
publisher’s website for each recommended
program, but you also can browse download sites like www.download.com,
www.tucows.com, and www.fileforum.com
or an index like http://dmoz.org/Computers/
Software. http://sourceforge.net has
lots of free high-quality software. Also,
to keep up with the latest releases, try
www.betanews.com, http://freshmeat.net,
and www.microsoft-watch.com.
If a popular free program isn’t labeled
“public domain,” “public license,” or “open
source” (www.opensource.org), you should
check it for spyware. See “Defending Against
Viruses and Spyware” in Chapter13.
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Introduction
The Editions of
Windows Vista
The editions of Windows Vista are:
Figure i.1 The edition of Windows Vista that you’re
using is displayed with your computer details near
the top of the window.
◆
Windows Vista Home Basic
◆
Windows Vista Home Premium
◆
Windows Vista Business
◆
Windows Vista Enterprise
◆
Windows Vista Ultimate
The core features in the different Vista editions
look and work alike, so most discussions apply
to all editions equally. This book points out
the differences among the editions where
necessary. To find out which edition you’re
running, choose Start > Control Panel >
System and Maintenance > Welcome Center
(Figure i.1).
✔ Tips
■
Windows Anytime Upgrade, new in
Vista, lets you upgrade your copy of Vista
to another edition. You can upgrade from
Home Basic to either Home Premium or
Ultimate, for example. Choose Start >
Control Panel > System and Maintenance >
Windows Anytime Upgrade.
■
There’s also an inexpensive—and severely
hamstrung—Starter edition, sold only
in developing countries and not covered
in this book.
xv
The Editions of Windows Vista
The home editions have entertainment features
that aren’t in the business editions, which
themselves have management features that
aren’t in the Home editions. Ultimate edition
combines the Home and Business features,
for a complete package, and lets you get
additional programs and services by using
the Windows Ultimate Extras utility in
Windows Update.
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Introduction
What’s New in
Windows Vista
◆
Windows Defender. See “Defending
Against Viruses and Spyware” in
Chapter 13.
If you’re familiar with earlier versions of
Windows, here are Vista’s significant new
and updated features and programs.
◆
Parental Controls. See “Using Parental
Controls” in Chapter 13.
◆
Windows Contacts (replaces Address
Book). See “Managing Your Contacts”
in Chapter 15.
Welcome Center. See “Using Welcome
Center” in Chapter 1.
◆
Windows Calendar. See “Creating a
Personal Calendar” in Chapter 15.
Taskbar thumbnail previews. See
“Customizing the Taskbar” in Chapter 2.
◆
User Account Control. See “Using User
Account Control” in Chapter 17.
Sidebar and gadgets. See “Using the
Sidebar” in Chapter 2.
◆
Aero color scheme. See “Setting the
Window Color and Color Scheme” in
Chapter 4.
Sync Center and Windows Mobility
Center. See “Using Laptop Utilities” in
Chapter 19.
◆
ReadyBoost. See “Boosting Memory”
in Chapter 20.
Live icons. See “Using Windows
Explorer” in Chapter 5.
Major updates
New programs and features
◆
◆
What’s New in Windows Vista
◆
◆
◆
◆
File tagging. See “Tagging Files” in
Chapter 5.
◆
Speech recognition. See “Using Speech
Recognition” in Chapter 4.
◆
Filtering and stacking files. See
“Filtering, Sorting, Stacking, and
Grouping Files” in Chapter 5.
◆
Power Options utility. See “Conserving
Power” in Chapter 4.
◆
Windows Explorer. See Chapter 5.
◆
Instant search. See “Searching for Files
and Folders” in Chapter 5.
◆
Windows Photo Gallery (replaces Windows
Picture and Fax Viewer). See Chapter 9.
◆
Saved searches. See “Saving Searches”
in Chapter 5.
◆
Internet Explorer. See Chapter 14.
◆
Flip 3D. See “Switching Programs” in
Chapter 6.
◆
Network setup. See Chapter 18.
◆
Task Scheduler. See “Scheduling Tasks”
in Chapter 20.
◆
Backup and Restore Center (formerly
Windows Backup). See “Backing up Your
Files” in Chapter 20.
◆
Problem Reports and Solutions (replaces
Error Reporting and Dr. Watson). See
“Reporting and Solving Problems” in
Chapter 20.
◆
Windows Ultimate Extras. See “Using
the Free Utility Programs” in Chapter 6.
◆
XPS document support. See “Installing
a Printer” in Chapter 7.
◆
Windows DVD Maker. See “Publishing
a Movie” in Chapter 11.
xvi
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Page xvii
Introduction
Moderate updates
Start menu. See “Exploring the Start
Menu” in Chapter 2.
◆
Windows Help and Support.
See Chapter 3.
◆
Control Panel. See “Using Control Panel”
in Chapter 4.
◆
Taskbar clock. See “Setting the Date and
Time” in Chapter 4.
◆
Ease of Access (formerly Accessibility).
See “Accommodating Disabled Users”
in Chapter 4.
◆
Personal folder (reorganizes My
Documents, My Music, and so on). See
“Storing Stuff in Your Personal Folder”
in Chapter 5.
◆
Disc burning. See “Burning CDs and
DVDs” in Chapter 5.
◆
Programs and Features (formerly Add
or Remove Programs). See “Removing
Programs” in Chapter 6.
Meeting Space (formerly NetMeeting).
See “Using the Free Utility Programs” in
Chapter 6.
◆
Windows Fax and Scan (formerly
Windows Fax). See “Scanning and
Faxing” in Chapter 6.
◆
Windows Media Player. See Chapter 10.
◆
Windows Movie Maker. See Chapter 11.
◆
Internet connections. See “Connecting
to the Internet” in Chapter 12.
◆
Windows Mail (formerly Outlook
Express). See Chapter 15.
◆
Windows Live Messenger (formerly
Windows Messenger). See Chapter 16.
◆
System Restore. See “Restoring Your
System” in Chapter 20.
◆
Windows Easy Transfer (formerly Files
and Settings Transfer Wizard). See
“Transferring Existing Files and
Settings” in the appendix.
xvii
What’s New in Windows Vista
◆
◆
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Page xviii
Introduction
Upgrading to
Windows Vista
Not Eligible to Upgrade?
If you’re moving to Vista from an earlier
version of Windows, Microsoft gives you
upgrade options that depend on the version
that you’re currently running. A Windows
Vista version upgrade is much cheaper than
a full copy. You can upgrade from only
Windows XP or Windows 2000; if you have
an earlier version, you must install a full
copy of Vista. You have two ways to upgrade:
Upgrading to Windows Vista
◆
◆
An upgrade lets you install Vista and
keep your programs, files, and settings
as they were in your previous edition of
Windows.
A clean install overwrites your current
copy of Windows with Vista, erasing
everything. You can use Windows Easy
Transfer (see the appendix) to reload your
files and settings on your upgraded PC.
If you’re not eligible to upgrade because
you’re a first-time Windows customer or
your current Windows version doesn’t
qualify, then it’s cheaper to buy the Vista
upgrade version and get Windows 2000
—from a friend, coworker, computer
swap meet, www.craigslist.org. . . there
are plenty of copies around. (You can get
a copy of Windows XP instead, but you
might have trouble with its activation key
if it’s already been used.)
Install Windows 2000 on your PC and
then apply the Vista upgrade, first making
sure that your hardware meets Vista
system requirements (see the appendix).
Don’t throw out Windows 2000; you may
need it to reinstall Vista someday.
Table i.1 tells you which Windows versions
qualify for an upgrade to Vista Home,
Business, or Ultimate editions.
Table i.1
Upgrading from Earlier Windows Versions
C u r r e n t Ve r s i o n
Home Basic
Home Premium
Business
U lt i m a t e
Windows XP Professional
Windows XP Home
Windows XP Media Center
Windows XP Tablet PC
Windows XP Professional x64
Windows 2000
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
• Clean install only.
• In-place upgrade or clean install.
xviii
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Introduction
About This Book
This book is for you if you’re new to
Windows, moving or upgrading to Vista
from a previous Windows version, or need
a quick reference at hand. My audience is
beginning and intermediate Windows Vista
users, including people who are buying Vista
along with their first computers. Windows
veterans can look up specific tasks quickly
or scan the tips and sidebars for tricks,
shortcuts, and subtleties. Wherever possible,
I give step-by-step instructions for using
features and programs.
Conventions used in this book
◆
Choose Start > Computer >
Local Disk (C:) > Users > Public.
This sequence means: Click the Start button
(on the taskbar, in the bottom-left corner of
the desktop) to reveal the Start menu; then
click Computer. Inside the Computer window,
double-click the drive icon labeled Local
Disk (C:) to open it. Inside that window,
double-click the icon Users to open it.
Inside that window, double-click the icon
Public to open it.
Here’s a command that launches the
Notepad program:
◆
Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > Notepad.
This one shows file extensions:
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance
and Personalization > Folder Options >
View tab > uncheck Hide Extensions for
Known File Types > OK.
Keyboard shortcuts. Use keyboard shortcuts so that you don’t waste time moving
your hand from keyboard to mouse repeatedly. These shortcuts involve the modifier keys
that sit at the bottom corners of the keyboard’s
main section. Press these keys—Shift, Ctrl
(Control), and Alt (Alternate)—together
with other keys to change the action. The C
key pressed by itself types a lowercase c;
pressed along with the Shift key, it types an
uppercase C; and pressed along with the
Ctrl key, it issues the Copy command.
xix
About This Book
Commands. I use shorthand instructions
rather than list steps separately. Here’s a
command that opens a nested folder:
Each shorthand element (between the >
symbols) refers to an icon, window, dialog
box, menu, button, check box, link, tab, or
some other user-interface component; just
look for the component whose label matches
the element name. Whenever a particular
step is unclear or ambiguous, I spell it out
rather than use shorthand.
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Introduction
About This Book
Modifier keys are joined to other keys with
a plus sign. Ctrl+C, for example, means “Press
the Ctrl key, hold it down while you press the
C key, and then release both keys.” A threekey combination such as Ctrl+Alt+Delete
means “Hold down the first two keys while
you press the third one; then release all
three.” The modifiers always are listed first.
An Alt-key shortcut joined by commas rather
than plus signs (Alt, F, O, for example)
means press and release each key in succession rather than pressing them all at once.
The Windows logo key, next to the Alt
key on most PC keyboards, pulls up
the Start menu when pressed by itself, but
it also can be used as a modifier. Windows
logo key+D, for example, minimizes all windows. When I give a Windows-logo-key
shortcut, mentally add “if my keyboard has
one,” because not all keyboards do.
✔ Tip
■
xx
Use Windows Help and Support to view
or print a list of keyboard shortcuts:
Choose Start > Help and Support, and
search for keyboard shortcuts.
Default settings
Throughout this book, I refer to Vista’s defaults,
or predefined settings, that Microsoft set
when it shipped Windows from the factory.
In some cases a middleman—such as your
PC’s manufacturer, a network administrator,
or whoever unpacked your computer—will
have changed some default options, so your
initial Windows setup might look or behave
a little differently than I describe.
Companion website
For corrections and updates, go to
www.fehily.com. Click the Contact link
to send me questions, suggestions, corrections, and gripes related to this book.
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Page 1
1
Getting Started
“Windows needs your
permission to continue”
This chapter and the next one get you up
and running and introduce you to Windows
fundamentals. Chapter 3 tells you how to get
help with learning and configuring Windows,
on or off the internet. After that you’re on
your way to becoming a power user.
If you’re logged on as an administrator,
UAC asks you to click Continue or Allow.
If you’re a standard user, the UAC prompt
provides a space for you to type an
administrator password. When the UAC
prompt appears, the rest of the screen
darkens until you consent to (or deny)
the action. Windows marks administrator actions with a shield icon:
UAC, administrators, and standard users
are covered in Chapter 17.
1
Getting Started
Windows Vista has a new security feature,
named User Account Control (UAC), that
interrupts program installations and
attempts to make significant changes to
your computer’s setup. UAC alerts you to
system changes and gets your approval
via the User Account Control prompt:
Windows Vista is complex software, but its
user interface—the aspects of it that you see
and hear and use to control Vista—is designed
to let you wield a lot of power with a modest
amount of learning. The secret is understanding the underlying consistency of the ways
that Windows works. As you use Windows,
techniques like switching programs, searching
for files, resizing windows, drag-and-drop,
and copy-and-paste will become familiar.
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Chapter 1
Logging On and
Logging Off
Logging On and Logging Off
Logging on is the process of starting a session
in Windows Vista—the first thing you do
after turning on your computer. After your
computer powers up—or boots—you’ll see
the Welcome screen, in which you enter
your user name and (optional) password.
Windows user accounts identify who has
permission to use a particular computer (or
network). User accounts are covered in
Chapter 17, but for now you need to know
only your user name and password, which
depend on your installation:
◆
If your PC came with Windows Vista
installed, either the Welcome screen will
appear with a factory-installed account
name or the computer will start in
Windows Setup (see the appendix) the
first time you turn it on. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
◆
If you upgraded to Windows Vista from
Windows XP by doing an in-place installation, your existing accounts migrated
to the new installation and appear on the
Welcome screen.
◆
If you did a clean install of Windows Vista,
you set up an account during installation.
Use that user name and password.
◆
If you’re on a large network at work or
school, ask your network administrator
how to log on.
◆
If your computer has only one user account
with no password, Windows bypasses
the Welcome screen and boots to that
account’s desktop directly. (Vista comes
with hidden Guest and Administrator
accounts, but they don’t apply here.)
2
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Page 3
Getting Started
Logging on Automatically
You can set up your computer to log on automatically at startup even if it has more than one
account or if your account is password-protected. You may like automatic logon if you’re the
main user but sometimes others log on, or if you keep your own separate accounts for different tasks.
To log on automatically at startup:
1. Choose Start, type control userpasswords2 in the Search box, and then press Enter.
or
If you’re connected to a network domain, choose Start > Control Panel > User Accounts >
Advanced Options.
If a security prompt appears, type an administrator password or confirm the action.
2. In the User Accounts dialog box, on the Users tab, uncheck Users Must Enter a User
Name and Password to Use This Computer.
This check box won’t appear if your computer doesn’t support automatic logon or if your
network administrator has disabled it.
Logging On and Logging Off
3. Click OK.
4. In the Automatically Log On dialog box, type the user name and password (twice) of the
account that you want to log on to automatically; then click OK.
Now the system invisibly enters your user name and password at power-up. Anyone who
turns on your computer can access the same files and resources that you do.
You can use the other accounts on the computer by using Fast User Switching or by logging
off and then logging on to another account.
3
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Page 4
Chapter 1
Logging on
Table 1.1
Logging on to a computer identifies you
uniquely so that Windows can load your
personal settings and grant you certain permissions. You use the Welcome screen to log
on to Windows; it lists all the accounts on
your computer.
Welcome Screen Options
Button
To log on to Windows:
1. On the Welcome screen, click your user
name or picture.
Cancel
C l i c k To
Adjust your computer for vision, hearing,
and mobility, and use speech recognition.
See “Accommodating Disabled Users” in
Chapter 4.
Choose a turn-off option: Restart, Sleep,
Hibernate, or Shut Down. See “Turning off
your computer” later in this section.
Return to the CTRL + ALT+ DELETE screen if
secure logon is enabled.
2. If your account is password-protected,
type your password in the Password box
and then press Enter or click the arrow.
Your personalized Windows desktop
appears.
Logging On and Logging Off
✔ Tips
■
If you’ve set a password hint (see “Setting
up User Accounts” in Chapter 17), it
appears below the password box if you
mistype your password.
■
The bottom portion of the Welcome
screen shows the edition of Vista that
you’re running and offers the options
listed in Table 1.1.
■
To cancel logon after you’ve started
typing your password, press Esc.
■
Windows XP lets you turn off the
Welcome screen and use the classic
logon prompt; Vista doesn’t.
Secure Logon
For added security, force users to press
Ctrl+Alt+Delete to log on. Secure logon
halts any other programs running on
your PC, preventing user-name and password theft by Trojan-horse programs that
mimic the logon screen.
To enable secure logon:
1. Choose Start, type control userpasswords2
in the Search box, and then press Enter.
or
If you’re on a network domain, choose
Start > Control Panel > User Accounts >
Advanced Options.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
2. In the User Accounts dialog box,
choose Advanced tab > check Require
Users to Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete > OK.
From now on, users are greeted with
“Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE to log on.”
4
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Page 5
Getting Started
Domain Logons
If you’re a home or small-business user, you’re probably using a stand-alone computer or one
that’s part of a small workgroup network (Chapter 18), so you log on by using the Welcome
screen. If you’re on a large network at work or school, your machine is part of a centrally
administered domain. You can log on to any computer in the domain without needing an
account on that machine. Your network administrator or IT department will give you logon
instructions, but here are a few basics:
Windows Vista Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions can join domains (Home editions can’t).
◆
Secure logon usually is enabled on domains; press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to display the logon
screen.
◆
The domain logon screen, unlike the standard Welcome screen, doesn’t list everyone’s
account (doing so would be insecure and impractical). Instead, you have a single place to
enter your user name and password.
◆
By default, the logon screen shows the last account to log on and gives you the option to
log on as a different user. Include the domain name with your user name: Log on as
[email protected]_name or domain_name\user_name. To log on to the local machine, type
.\user_name, where user_name is a local (not domain) account.
◆
After logon, you can connect to the domain’s shared network resources (printers, servers,
and so on). Your computer might run an automated logon script to handle permissions,
security, maintenance, updates, system scans, or whatever else your network administrator wants.
◆
To find the domain that you’re on, choose Start > Control Panel > System and
Maintenance > System (or press Windows logo key+Break). If your computer is connected
to a domain, under Computer Name, Domain, and Workgroup Settings, you’ll see the
domain name; otherwise, you’ll see a workgroup name.
◆
To connect to a domain, choose Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance >
System (or press Windows logo key+Break). Under Computer Name, Domain, and
Workgroup Settings, click Change Settings. (If a security prompt appears, type an administrator password or confirm the action.) On the Computer Name tab, click Network ID to
start the Join a Domain or Workgroup wizard and then follow the onscreen instructions.
(Alternatively, click Change instead of Network ID to set the domain quickly without
using the wizard.)
◆
If your computer was a member of a workgroup before you joined a domain, it is removed
from the workgroup.
Logging On and Logging Off
◆
5
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Chapter 1
Switching users
Fast User Switching lets more than one person log on at the same time. If you step away
from your computer for a short time, you
can leave your programs running and let
someone else log on to, say, check email.
When you log back on, Windows resumes
your session where you left off.
Only one person at a time—the active user—
actually can use the computer (type at the
keyboard). People who are logged on but not
active—disconnected users—can keep their
programs running and files open in the
background, invisible to the active user.
Logging On and Logging Off
To switch users without logging off:
1. Choose Start, click the arrow next to the
Lock button, and then click Switch User
(Figure 1.1).
or
Press Windows logo key+L.
or
Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete; then click
Switch User.
2. If secure logon is enabled, press
Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
3. In the Welcome screen, click another
account name or picture; then log on
normally.
6
Figure 1.1 Choose Switch User to keep all your work
running in background memory while someone else
uses the computer.
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Page 7
Getting Started
✔ Tips
Save all your work before switching. If the
other user shuts down the computer or
logs you off, Windows won’t save your
open files automatically.
■
In Vista (unlike Windows XP), Fast User
Switching works if you’re on a network
domain.
■
To turn off Fast User Switching, choose
Start, type gpedit.msc in the Search box,
and then press Enter. (If a security prompt
appears, type an administrator password
or confirm the action.) In the Group Policy
Object Editor, choose Local Computer
Policy > Computer Configuration >
Administrative Templates > System >
Logon > enable Hide Entry Points for
Fast User Switching > OK.
Figure 1.2 The Users tab tells you who else is logged
on via Fast User Switching.
To find out who else is logged on to
your computer:
1. Right-click an empty area of the taskbar
and choose Task Manager.
or
Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
2. Click the Users tab to view users and
their status (Figure 1.2).
7
Logging On and Logging Off
■
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Page 8
Chapter 1
If your computer is running slowly, use
Task Manager to see the programs that
other logged-on users are running and how
much memory they’re chewing up. Task
Manager lists filenames (winword.exe, for
example) in the Image Name column and
program names (Microsoft Word) in the
Description column.
To find out which programs other
users are running:
1. Right-click an empty area of the taskbar
and choose Task Manager.
or
Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
Logging On and Logging Off
2. Click the Processes tab.
3. Click Show Processes from All Users
(Figure 1.3).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
✔ Tips
■
If Task Manager is missing its menus
and tabs, double-click the window border
to bring them back.
■
To identify the active user quickly, click
Start and read the user name in the topright section of the Start menu.
■
To log off another user, see “Logging off ”
later in this section.
■
Fast way to switch users: Right-click a
user name in Task Manager’s Users tab
and choose Connect or Disconnect from
the shortcut menu (see Figure 1.6 later in
this chapter).
8
Figure 1.3 This list is sorted by user name. Click any
column heading to sort by that column, or drag the
headings to rearrange columns.
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Page 9
Getting Started
Locking your computer
Figure 1.4 Your programs continue to run while your
computer is locked.
Without logging off, you can lock your computer—that is, set it so that the keyboard and
mouse won’t change anything—to protect
your programs and personal information
while you’re away from your PC. Locking lets
others know that you’re using the computer
and prevents everyone except you (or an
administrator) from viewing your files or
programs, though other users still can log on
via Fast User Switching.
To lock your computer:
◆
To unlock your computer:
◆
On the Locked screen, type your password in the Password box; then press
Enter or click the arrow. (If secure logon
is enabled, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to display the Locked screen.)
✔ Tips
■
You can set your screen saver to lock
your computer automatically after a set
period of idle time; see “Setting the
Screen Saver” in Chapter 4.
■
A locked computer still is subject to
power-management settings; see
“Conserving Power” in Chapter 4.
■
A locked computer doesn’t interfere
with shared printers or other network
resources.
9
Logging On and Logging Off
Choose Start > Lock button (Figure 1.4).
or
Press Windows logo key+L.
or
Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete; then click Lock
This Computer.
Windows displays a Locked screen with
your user name until you return.
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Chapter 1
Logging off
Logging off ends your session in Windows
Vista. When you log off your user account:
◆
Windows closes all your open programs
and files. (Each program prompts you to
save any unsaved work.)
◆
Windows disconnects your dial-up and
other external connections.
◆
You prevent curious or malicious
passersby from using your user account
to access your files or network.
◆
Your computer remains turned on.
Logging On and Logging Off
To log off:
1. Choose Start, click the arrow next to the
Lock button, and then click Log Off
(Figure 1.5).
or
Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete; then click Log Off.
2. If there’s a problem logging off (usually
because you haven’t saved your work in
some program), Windows displays a dialog
box listing the currently running programs
and explaining the problem. Do one of
the following:
10
▲
Click Cancel to cancel the logoff.
Resolve the issue with the problem
program (by saving your work and
exiting the program, for example).
▲
or
▲
Click Log Off Now to continue logging off. Windows forces the problem
program to close. You might lose your
work as a result.
Figure 1.5 After you log off, Windows displays the
Welcome screen (or the Secure Logon screen, if
enabled) to let the next person log on.
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Getting Started
If other users are logged on to your machine
(via Fast User Switching), you can use Task
Manager to log them off.
To log off someone else:
1. Right-click an empty area of the taskbar
and choose Task Manager.
or
Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
2. Click the Users tab to view logged-on
users.
3. Select a user; then click Logoff.
or
Right-click a user and choose Log Off
(Figure 1.6).
Logging On and Logging Off
Figure 1.6 Logging other users off without warning is
impolite because it kills their programs without
saving their unsaved work.
4. Confirm the logoff in the message box
that appears.
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Chapter 1
Turning off your computer
Windows prepares itself for shutdown by
saving session and system information and
by disconnecting network, dial-up, and other
external connections. Windows still can
recover if you lose power suddenly or yank
your PC’s plug from the wall, but you may
get an “improper shutdown” message when
you return (and your unsaved work will be
lost). For peace of mind, always use one of
the official Windows turn-off options.
Figure 1.7 Choose Restart, Sleep, Hibernate, or
Shut Down.
By default, turning off your computer puts
it in a power-saving state called Sleep. Sleep,
new in Vista, differs from the Shut Down
(power-off) state used by default in earlier
Windows versions.
Logging On and Logging Off
To turn off your computer:
◆
To put your computer to sleep, choose
Start; then click the Power button (
).
On laptop PCs, closing the lid puts the
computer to sleep by default.
or
To use a different turn-off option, choose
Start, click the arrow next to the Lock
button (Figure 1.7), and then choose
one of the options listed in Table 1.2.
Table 1.2
Turn-Off Options
Option
Wh at I t D o e s
Sleep
Turns off the display, stops the hard disks and fan, and enters low-power-consumption mode. Windows saves
your work automatically, so you don’t have to save your files and exit programs before putting your computer
to sleep. A light on your computer case may blink slowly or turn yellow while the computer sleeps. A sleeping
computer springs to life quickly—with your desktop exactly as you left it—when you start working again. Use
Sleep to stop using your computer for a short time and save power (especially useful for laptops).
Ends your session and shuts down Windows so that you can turn off the power safely. Most computers turn
off the power automatically; if yours doesn’t, push the power button on the computer after the “It’s safe”
message appears. This option quits your programs, prompting you to save any unsaved work. After shutdown,
it may take several minutes to turn on your computer, log on, and then start the programs that you were
using. Use Shut Down when you’re done for the day or when you need to muck around inside your computer.
Ends your session, shuts down Windows, and starts Windows again automatically. This option quits your programs, prompting you to save any unsaved work. Use Restart if you’ve installed hardware or software that
requires a restart, or if Windows is acting erratically or sluggishly.
Hibernate saves your session to a file on your hard disk before turning off the power. When you restart the
computer, your desktop is restored quickly and exactly as you left it. Older computers may not support this option.
Shut Down
Restart
Hibernate
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Getting Started
To wake a computer from sleep state:
◆
Press the power button on the computer’s case, press a key on the keyboard,
click the mouse, or (for a laptop PC)
open the lid. The computer usually will
wake within seconds.
✔ Tips
A sleeping computer uses a tiny amount
of power to maintain your work in memory. Sleeping laptops lose about 1 or 2
percent of battery power per hour. If a
laptop has been sleeping for a few hours
or its battery is low, Windows saves your
work to hard disk and turns off your
computer, drawing no power. To learn
about power options for laptops, see
“Conserving Power” in Chapter 4.
■
If the Power button looks like this,
your computer will shut down instead
of sleep because either your hardware
doesn’t support the sleep option (possibly because you have an old video card or
outdated video driver) or an administrator has set the Power button to always
shut down (see “Conserving Power” in
Chapter 4).
■
A shield on the Power button
means that automatic updates are ready
to be installed on your computer (see
“Updating Windows” in Chapter 13).
Clicking this button ends your session,
installs the updates, and then shuts
down your computer.
■
The turn-off options also are available on
the Welcome screen; see “Logging on”
earlier in this section.
13
Logging On and Logging Off
■
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Chapter 1
If the desktop is active, you can press
Alt+F4 to chose a turn-off option
(Figure 1.8).
■
For reasons of convenience, parts
wearout, power consumption, power
interruption, and heat stress, it’s unclear
whether you should leave your PC on or
shut it down overnight. (I know people
who rarely turn off their PCs.) Either way,
you should always turn off your monitor
when you’re done.
Figure 1.8 The old-style Shut Down Windows dialog
box still is available.
Logging On and Logging Off
■
When Installing Hardware
You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing hardware on your PC, but
here are a few general rules (see Chapter 8 for details):
◆
Before you install hardware inside your computer (memory, disk drive, sound card, video
card, and so on), shut down your computer and unplug it.
◆
Before you attach a peripheral device (printer, monitor, external drive) that does not connect to a USB or IEEE 1394 (FireWire) port, shut down your computer (no need to unplug it).
◆
When adding a USB or IEEE 1394 device (most newer devices), you don’t have to shut down.
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Getting Started
Using Welcome Center
At startup, Windows displays Welcome
Center (Figure 1.9) to help you set up your
computer for the first time. Common tasks
include connecting to the internet (Chapter
12), adding user accounts for other people
(Chapter 17), transferring files and settings
from another computer (appendix), and
personalizing Windows (Chapter 4).
Welcome Center appears automatically
when you log on for the first time. If you
don’t want to see it on future starts,
uncheck Run at Startup in the bottom-left
corner. You can always bring it back.
Using Welcome Center
Figure 1.9 Welcome Center puts tasks that help you get started using Windows Vista in one easy-to-find place. Click
a task, and a description and link appear in the top pane. Click the link to get started.
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Chapter 1
To open Welcome Center:
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > Welcome Center.
✔ Tips
By default, only some tasks are shown.
To see them all, click the Show All Items
link in the Get Started with Windows
section.
■
Below Get Started with Windows is at
least one Offers section with more tasks
and (free or pay) offers from Microsoft or
your computer’s manufacturer.
■
Some Welcome Center tasks depend on
your Windows setup. Add New Users
won’t appears if you’re on a network
domain, for example, and Windows
Ultimate Extras appears only in Vista
Ultimate edition.
Using Welcome Center
■
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Getting Started
Exploring the Windows
Interface
Figure 1.10 shows the basic elements that
you’ll find on the Windows Vista desktop.
Toolbar
Desktop
Dialog box
Exploring the Windows Interface
Icons
Mouse
pointer
Windows
Menu
Start-menu
button
Taskbar
Sidebar
Figure 1.10 Basic elements of the Windows Vista desktop. The desktop lets you move items and manage your tasks
vaguely the same way that you would on a physical desktop.
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Chapter 1
Microsoft modeled Windows on a real-world
office environment: You have a desktop, on
which you work and use tools, and folders,
in which you organize files.
Desktop. After you log on to Windows, the
desktop—a work area that uses menus,
icons, and windows to simulate the top of a
desk—appears automatically.
Exploring the Windows Interface
Start menu. The Start menu is the central
menu that lets you access the most useful
folders, programs, and commands on your
computer. Chapter 2 covers the Start menu.
Taskbar. The taskbar lets you switch among
open programs and documents. It also lets
you launch programs and alerts you to certain events, such as appointment reminders
or incoming email. Chapter 2 covers the
taskbar.
Sidebar. The sidebar, new in Vista, is a long
vertical bar on the edge of the desktop. It
holds mini-programs, called gadgets, that
show live information (time, weather, headlines, and so on) and provide access to frequently used tools (calendar, contacts,
notes). Chapter 2 covers the sidebar.
Mouse pointer. Use your mouse, stylus,
trackball, touchpad, or similar input device
to move the mouse pointer to select items,
drag icons, or choose commands onscreen.
Menus. A menu is a list of related commands. Most programs use menus to provide
an easy-to-learn, easy-to-use alternative to
memorizing instructions.
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Getting Started
Toolbars. A toolbar is a row, column, or
block of buttons or icons. When you click
one of these buttons or icons, the program
carries out a command or task.
Icons. An icon is a small image that represents an item to be opened, such as a file,
folder, disk, program, or the Recycle Bin.
An icon’s picture is a visual cue designed to
help you recall what the icon represents.
Windows. A window is a rectangular portion of your screen where a program runs.
You can open many windows at the same
time. Each window can be independently
resized, moved, or closed; maximized to
occupy the entire screen; or minimized to
a button on the taskbar.
The User Interface
You work with Windows through its
graphical user interface (GUI, pronounced
gooey), which offers pictures along with
words to help you perform tasks. To
make learning easier, Windows displays
visual clues about how things work. Often,
these clues are analogous to those you
see in the real world. If a door has a flat
plate rather than a handle to grasp, it’s a
clue to push that door, not pull it. The threedimensional (3D) look of buttons on your
screen implies that you’re supposed to
push them (click them). You’ll recognize
similar hints throughout the user interface. This chapter and the next introduce
Windows’ standard GUI elements.
19
Exploring the Windows Interface
Dialog boxes. A special type of window
called a dialog box contains text boxes, buttons, tabs, scrolling lists, or drop-down lists
that let you set preferences or run commands.
Some dialog boxes—such as Open, Save As,
and Print—are similar in every Windows
program. Others, such as the Properties dialog box shown in Figure 1.10, depend on the
program or context.
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Chapter 1
The Mouse
The mouse is one of two primary input
devices in Windows (the other is the keyboard). Moving the mouse on your physical
desk controls the motion of the mouse
pointer on your screen. By moving the mouse
pointer over an icon or control and then
clicking, you can select an item, open or
move a file, run a program, or throw something away, for example.
A mouse has a left and a right button. You’ll
use the left button for most actions, but
skillful use of the right button, which displays a shortcut menu, is a key to working
quickly. Advanced mice have extra buttons
for other functions.
The Mouse
✔ Tips
■
Most mice have a scroll wheel (a small
wheel between the two main buttons)
that helps you scroll through documents
and webpages. On some mice, you can
press the scroll wheel as a third button.
■
Instead of a mouse, you may have a
touchpad (used on laptops), trackball,
or stylus (used on Tablet PCs).
■
Lefties can swap the functions of the
left and right mouse buttons. See
“Configuring the Mouse” in Chapter 4.
■
The pointer’s shape changes depending
on what it’s pointing to. Table 1.3 shows
the default pointers. To change the
shapes, see “Configuring the Mouse” in
Chapter 4.
■
In text documents, don’t confuse the
cursor, which blinks steadily, with the
mouse pointer, which never blinks. The
cursor (also called the insertion point)
indicates where text will be inserted
when you type (Figure 1.11).
20
Figure 1.11 The cursor—the vertical bar at the end of
the text—marks the insertion point for newly typed
text. To move the insertion point, click the mouse
pointer—the I-beam on the right—at a new insertion
point or use the arrow keys.
Table 1.3
Mouse Pointers
Shape
When It Appears
The normal pointer. Click the area or item
that you want to work with.
Appears when you click the question mark
(?) in the top-right corner of a dialog box.
Click any dialog-box item to get “What’s
This?” help.
Windows is doing something in the background—opening or saving a temporary
file, for example. You can keep doing your
own work, but response time may be longer
than usual.
Windows is busy with a task and will ignore
you until it finishes. Typically, this pointer
will appear in only one program window at
a time; if it appears everywhere, your computer is indeed busy.
Appears when you point to a window’s border (side or corner). Drag the border to
resize the window. See “Windows” later in
this chapter.
Appears when you point to a word or image
linked to a help page, command, or website. Click the link to jump to a related destination or display pop-up information.
The action that you’re trying to perform is
forbidden, or the item that you’re pointing
to is unavailable.
The I-beam or I-bar appears where you can
select or edit text. Click to set the insertion
point, or click and drag to select (highlight) text.
Helps you move an item precisely. This
pointer often appears in drawing programs.
Appears when you choose Move or Size
from a window’s control menu. When it
does, use the arrow keys to move or resize
the window and then press Enter, or press
Esc to cancel. Also see “Windows” later in
this chapter.
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Getting Started
Figure 1.12 One tiny pixel is the
pointer’s hot spot, which you use
to point precisely. For an arrow
pointer, it’s the tip of the arrow.
In Microsoft’s wilder alternative
pointer schemes, finding the hot
spot takes a little practice.
To point:
◆
Move the tip of the pointer over the item
to which you want to point (Figure 1.12).
To click:
◆
Point to an item; then press and release
the left mouse button without moving the
mouse (Figure 1.13 and Figure 1.14).
To double-click:
◆
Figure 1.13 Click to select an icon...
Point to an item and click the left mouse
button twice in rapid succession without
moving the mouse.
✔ Tip
■
Figure 1.14 ...or activate a dialog-box item.
Double-click too slowly, and Windows
interprets it as two single clicks, which
isn’t the same thing. To change the speed
of what Windows recognizes as a doubleclick, see “Configuring the Mouse” in
Chapter 4.
◆
The Mouse
To right-click:
Point to an item; then click the right
mouse button without moving the
mouse (Figure 1.15).
To drag:
◆
Figure 1.15 Right-click an item to display
its shortcut menu.
Figure 1.16 Drag to move items such as icons and
folders. What this action actually accomplishes
depends on where you drag to.
Point to an item; press and hold the left
mouse button while you move the
pointer to a new location; then release
the button (Figure 1.16).
✔ Tips
■
Drag an object with the right mouse button to display a shortcut menu when you
reach the new location.
■
Press Esc during a drag to cancel it.
■
Drag in a folder window or on the desktop to draw a rectangular marquee
around icons. Releasing the mouse button selects the enclosed icons.
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Chapter 1
The Keyboard
The keyboard isn’t just for typing text.
Experienced Windows users use keystrokes
instead of the mouse to issue commands.
Windows provides hundreds of keyboard
shortcuts that replicate almost every common
mouse maneuver. You can use keyboard shortcuts to open, close, and navigate the Start
menu, desktop, menus, windows, dialog
boxes, programs, documents, and webpages.
Using a keyboard shortcut usually is faster
than using the mouse to do the same thing
The Keyboard
In addition to keys for letters, numbers, and
symbols, your keyboard has other types of keys:
◆
Modifier keys alter the meaning of the
other key(s) being pressed (Table 1.4).
◆
Function keys are the keys along the
keyboard’s top or left side labeled F1, F2,
and so on. Their functions depend on the
program that you’re using.
◆
Navigation keys scroll windows and
move things around (Table 1.5).
Table 1.4
Modifier Keys
Key
P r e s s To
Shift
Type symbols or uppercase letters, or
extend the selection when used with
the mouse.
Modify the function of other keys. (Ctrl
stands for Control.)
Access menus or modify the function of
other keys. (Alt stands for Alternate.)
Ctrl
Alt
Table 1.5
Navigation Keys
Key
P r e s s To
Home
Scroll to the beginning or move to the
start of a line or row
Scroll to the end or move to the end of
a line or row
Scroll up one page or windowful
Scroll down one page or windowful
Scroll in that direction, move the insertion point or selected item(s), or select
the adjacent item.
End
Page Up
Page Down
Arrow keys
The Esc Key
The Esc (for Escape) key, at the keyboard’s
top-left corner, usually means “Never mind”
or “Stop what you’re doing.” Press it to
cancel commands, interrupt long processes,
cancel dialog boxes, close menus, and dismiss message boxes. Sometimes Esc does
nothing. Its exact function depends on
the context and the active program.
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Getting Started
To use a keyboard shortcut:
1. Hold down the modifier key(s) Shift,
Ctrl, or Alt.
2. Press the specified letter, number,
symbol, or function key.
3. Release all the keys.
✔ Tips
For a list of keyboard shortcuts, choose
Start > Help and Support; then search
for keyboard shortcuts.
■
Alt behaves a little differently from Shift
and Ctrl. Shift or Ctrl does nothing when
pressed by itself, but Alt pressed by itself
activates the menu bar or ribbon. (If you
press Alt accidentally, press Alt again to
get back to normal.)
■
Most PC keyboards have extra Windowsspecific keys on either side of the spacebar.
Press the Windows logo key alone
to open the Start menu or press it
in combination with letter keys for other
actions, which I discuss where they’re
appropriate.
The Application key displays the
shortcut menu for the selected
item (the same as right-clicking).
■
Some keyboard shortcuts are consistent
across all programs (F1 for help and
Ctrl+C to copy, for example), but programs also define custom shortcuts.
■
Some keyboard shortcuts won’t work if
Sticky Keys is turned on in Ease of
Access Center. See “Accommodating
Disabled Users” in Chapter 4.
23
The Keyboard
■
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Chapter 1
Modifier keys also work with mouse clicks.
To Shift-click:
◆
Hold down Shift; then click before releasing the key.
To Shift-drag:
◆
Hold down Shift; then drag and drop
before releasing the key.
✔ Tip
The Keyboard
■
Windows also has Ctrl+click, Alt+click,
Ctrl+drag, and Alt+drag commands for
file operations.
Keyboard Tricks
If you were raised on IBM 84-key, nonstandard laptop, or ergonomic keyboards, you may be
near madness from the placement of the Caps Lock, Ctrl, and Windows logo keys on standard 102-key keyboards.
PC Magazine’s TradeKeys utility ($8 U.S.; www.pcmag.com) lets you change, swap, or disable
keyboard keys (including modifier keys) in almost any way. Different users can switch among
different mappings quickly.
A few keyboard utilities automate repetitive typing and reduce errors:
◆
ShortKeys ($20 U.S.; www.shortkeys.com) lets you set up replacement text for keystrokes
that you define. ShortKeys autoreplaces the keystrokes with the text as you type (like
Word’s AutoCorrect feature).
◆
Keyboard Express ($25 U.S.; www.keyboardexpress.com) lets you define keyboard macros,
which are keystroke sequences that run automatically.
◆
Microsoft’s IntelliType Pro (free; www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/
Download.mspx) works with some non-Microsoft keyboards too. Use it to reassign or disable keys, issue common commands, open programs and webpages, and more.
◆
If you, like me, are a fan of the old IBM Model M keyboards, with their heavy-duty casings and
springy clacky keys, you can buy them at www.clickykeyboards.com or www.pckeyboard.com.
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Getting Started
Menus
Windows uses menus to list commands in
groups (Figure 1.17). Menus are especially
convenient when you’re new to a program
because they show you what commands are
available and make experimenting easy.
Experienced users prefer to use keyboard
shortcuts instead of the mouse to choose
menu commands. Programs often provide a
keyboard shortcut for a frequently used
command, which appears to the right of the
command on its menu line. To choose Copy,
for example, press Ctrl+C. If no shortcut key
is listed for the command, you can use Alt+
the command’s underlined menu letter
instead.
Menu name
Menu bar
Menus
Shortcut keys
Commands
(menu items)
Submenu
Underlined letter
Unavailable
(dimmed)
commands
Command
separator
Figure 1.17 Menus are located in the menu bar at the top of a program’s
window.
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Chapter 1
✔ Tips
■
Commands with a triangular arrowhead
next to them have additional choices
listed in a submenu. To open a submenu,
click or point to the command.
■
Checked commands (Figure 1.18)
represent on/off options or mutually
exclusive choices.
■
Dimmed commands are unavailable in
the current context. Cut and Copy are
unavailable if nothing is selected, for
example.
■
Within individual menus, commands
are grouped logically by horizontal lines
called command separators.
■
Some menus are consistent across programs. The File menu almost always has
the commands New, Open, Save, Save As,
Print, and Exit; the Edit menu has the
commands Undo, Cut, Copy, and Paste.
Figure 1.18 A checked command
indicates an option that’s turned
on or selected.
Menus
To choose a menu command:
1. Click the menu name.
The menu appears, displaying its
commands.
2. Point to the desired menu command.
3. Click to choose the command.
The menu disappears.
…
Most menu commands take effect as
soon as you choose them. If a command
needs more information to complete, it’s
followed by an ellipsis (…), which lets you
know that a dialog box will appear to let
you enter more information. The Find
command in Figure 1.17, for example, has
an ellipsis because the command isn’t
complete until you specify what you want
to find.
Some commands, such as Properties and
Help > About, show a dialog box but have
no ellipsis because no more information
is needed to run the command.
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Getting Started
To choose a menu command by using
the keyboard:
1. Hold down Alt, press the underlined letter in the menu name, and then release
both keys.
In some programs, the underlines or menu
bar won’t appear until you press Alt.
2. On the keyboard, press the underlined
letter of a menu command.
3. If a submenu appears, press the underlined letter of a submenu command.
✔ Tips
To display underlines in dialog boxes and
other windows, choose Start > Control
Panel > Ease of Access > Ease of Access
Center > Make the Keyboard Easier to
Use > check Underline Keyboard
Shortcuts and Access Keys > Save.
■
If two or more menu commands have the
same underlined letter, press the letter
repeatedly until you select the right command; then press Enter.
■
Another way to use the keyboard: Press
F10 or Alt (by itself) to activate the
menu bar, use the arrow keys to navigate
to a command, and then press Enter.
■
In some Vista programs—Windows
Explorer, Internet Explorer, and Windows
Media Player, for example—you have to
press and release Alt to make the menu
bar appear.
■
To close a menu without choosing a
command, press Esc twice (or click outside the menu).
27
Menus
■
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Chapter 1
Shortcut menus
A shortcut menu (also called a right-click
menu or context menu) is a context-sensitive
menu that appears when you right-click an
item (Figure 1.19). Windows provides
shortcut menus for nearly all interface elements: icons, files, folders, disks, desktop,
taskbar, Start button, Start-menu items,
Recycle Bin, and so on. Shortcut menus are
among the most useful features in Windows.
Try right-clicking any item to see whether a
shortcut menu pops up.
Menus
✔ Tips
■
Shortcut-menu commands apply only
to the item (or group of items) to which
you point.
■
Programs provide their own custom
shortcut menus. Right-click a link in
Internet Explorer, selected text in
Notepad or Microsoft Word, or an image
in Adobe Photoshop, for example.
■
Right-clicking a taskbar button or a title
bar displays the control menu (sizing
menu) for that program’s window. See
“Windows” later in this chapter.
Figure 1.19 The right mouse button’s shortcut menus
offer common commands quickly. Here are shortcut
menus for a Microsoft Excel file in Explorer, the
Recycle Bin, and selected text in Notepad. Figure 1.15
shows the Computer shortcut menu.
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Getting Started
To choose a shortcut-menu command:
Uninvited
Shortcut-Menu Entries
Utilities, shareware, and other programs
often add their own entries to shortcut
menus with or without your permission.
If a shortcut menu gets too crowded, you
usually can remove items via the programs’
Options or Preferences dialog boxes; look
for options labeled context menu. WinZip,
for example, adds commands (such as
Add to Zip) to Explorer’s shortcut menus.
WinZip’s Option > Configuration >
Explorer Enhancements tab lets you
show or hide these commands.
In some cases, the keys are hidden elsewhere in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, and
you’ll have to hunt for the program’s key
(sometimes tricky—Adobe.Acrobat.
ContextMenu, for example) or choose
Edit > Find to find the menu-item text
(Scan for Viruses or whatever). For instructions, see the software publisher’s website or
search the web by using the terms context
menu, registry, and the name of the program. Sometimes no keys are available,
and you must live with the custom menu
item. Back up your registry before you
edit it.
2. Point to the desired menu command.
3. Click to choose the command.
The menu disappears.
To choose a shortcut-menu command
by using the keyboard:
1. Select (highlight) an item.
Press the Application key (or press
Shift+ F10).
2.
3. Press the underlined letter of a menu
command.
or
Use the arrow keys to navigate to a command; then press Enter.
✔ Tips
■
Some shortcut menus have a default
command in boldface; you can press
Enter to choose this command.
■
To close a shortcut menu without choosing a command, press Esc or left-click
outside the menu. (Right-clicking outside the menu only makes the menu
jump to the pointer.)
■
If multiple icons are selected, right-click
any one of them to open the shortcut
menu for the group.
Menus
If no context-menu option is available,
you can edit the registry (see “Editing
the Registry” in Chapter 20). Many
context-menu commands are in
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell
and HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell.
Double-click shell to reveal the keys corresponding to each menu command. (You
won’t see and can’t remove Windows’
built-in commands.) Delete the keys that
you don’t want.
1. Right-click an item.
The shortcut menu appears, displaying
its commands.
29
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Chapter 1
Menu buttons
Menus
In Vista you’ll also find menu buttons, which
look like ordinary buttons except that they
have a menu drop-down arrow within them.
In some cases, clicking the button reveals a
menu (Figure 1.20, top). In others, hovering
the mouse pointer “splits” the button into
two parts: a larger part that runs the main
command and a smaller one (with the dropdown arrow) that shows a small menu of
related commands and options (Figure 1.20,
middle). Some task-pane buttons and links
have menus that are displayed within the
pane (Figure 1.20, bottom).
Figure 1.20 A menu button in Windows
Photo Gallery (top), a split menu button
in Windows Media Player (middle), and a
task-pane menu in Windows Photo
Gallery (bottom).
30
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Getting Started
Ribbons
In Microsoft Office 2007, released about the
same time as Windows Vista, Microsoft
introduced the ribbon to replace the traditional
menus and toolbars. A ribbon (Figure 1.21)
is organized as a set of tabs that exposes
many more commands than the system of
menus, toolbars, task panes, and dialog boxes
that people worked with in earlier Office
versions. The ribbon appears in Word 2007,
Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, Excel 2007,
and Microsoft Access 2007. If it catches on,
expect to see the ribbon in other Windows
applications.
Menus
Figure 1.21 The ribbons in Word 2007 (top) and Excel 2007 (bottom) make it easier to find commands that previously
were buried deep in the interface.
31
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Chapter 1
Toolbars
A toolbar is a row, column, or block of buttons
with icons that you click to perform some
action, choose a tool, or change a setting
(Figure 1.22). Toolbar buttons often duplicate
menu functions, but they’re more convenient
because they’re always visible—generally at
one edge of the work area. Programs typically have several toolbars, each responsible
for a group of tasks. In a word processor, for
example, there’s one toolbar for formatting
text and paragraphs, and there’s another for
performing file operations.
Toolbars
✔ Tips
■
Many programs display tooltips or
screentips—short descriptions of toolbar
buttons and icons that appear temporarily when the mouse pointer pauses on
them (Figure 1.23).
■
A toolbar button with a small triangular
arrow pointing right or down will reveal
its own small, self-contained menu when
clicked (Figure 1.24). See also “Menu
buttons” earlier in this chapter.
■
Often, you can customize toolbars,
create new ones, and move them around
onscreen to suit your preferences.
Experiment. Right-click a toolbar to see
whether a shortcut menu appears. Click
an empty area of a toolbar (usually its
left side), and try dragging to dock it at
an edge of the window or just let it float
in the middle.
■
Some toolbars have toggle buttons that push
in (turn on) with one click and pop out
(turn off) with the next. They can set global
options or conditions that apply to only
the current selection (Figure 1.25).
■
Toolbars can appear and disappear automatically, depending on what you’re
doing in the program.
32
Figure 1.22 Toolbars from Windows Explorer (top) and
Photoshop (middle). The bottom toolbar shows
Microsoft’s standard Office icons, which many
programs adopt for consistency. Left to right: New,
Open, Save, Print, Print Preview, Spell Check, Cut,
Copy, Paste, Format Painter, Undo, and Redo.
Figure 1.23 A wordprocessing tooltip. Some
tooltips also give the
keyboard shortcut for the
command.
Figure 1.24 In Internet Explorer, the
Recent Pages button’s menu lets you
revisit websites that you’ve seen recently.
Figure 1.25 Toggle buttons stay pressed
until they’re clicked a second time.
These pushed-in buttons boldface and
left-align the selected text in a word
processor.
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Getting Started
Icons
An icon is a small picture that represents an
item you can manipulate. Windows uses icons
on the desktop and in folders to represent
folders, files, disks, documents, programs,
the Recycle Bin, and hardware devices
(Figure 1.26).
You select (highlight) an icon or group of
icons to perform an action. Left-click to
select; right-click to open the shortcut menu.
To select an icon:
◆
Click it (Figure 1.27).
or
Press the arrow keys until the icon is
selected.
or
Press the first letter of the icon’s name.
If two or more icons have the same initial
letter, press the letter repeatedly until
you select the right icon.
✔ Tips
■
Selecting an icon deselects any other
selected icons.
■
You can configure Windows to select an
icon just by pointing at it. See “Using
Alternative Mouse Behavior” in Chapter 4.
Figure 1.27 Click an icon to select it.
33
Icons
Figure 1.26 An icon’s image depends on what
it represents. System objects such as
Computer, Control Panel, and the Recycle Bin
have default images. All documents of the
same type—text (.txt) files, for example—
have the same icon. Programs (.exe) files such
as Internet Explorer have icons that the
software publisher built into the program.
What happens when you open an icon
depends on the icon’s type. A folder, drive,
removable-storage or portable-device icon
opens in a Windows Explorer window. A
document, picture, video, or music icon opens
in its associated program, launching that
program if it’s not already open. A program
icon launches the program. A saved search
icon, new in Vista, searches your computer
and lists all files that match what you’re
looking for. The Recycle Bin icon displays the
items to be deleted when you empty the bin.
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Chapter 1
To select multiple icons:
◆
Ctrl+click each icon that you want to
select (Figure 1.28).
or
Drag a selection rectangle around the
icons (Figure 1.29). The area always is
a rectangle; you can’t surround an oddshaped area.
or
Click the first icon that you want to
select; then Shift+click the last icon.
All icons in between are selected automatically—at least by Windows’ definition
of “in between.”
✔ Tip
Icons
■
In Windows Explorer it’s easiest to work
with multiple icons in details or list view,
in which all icons appear in columns:
Choose Views > Details or Views > List
(on the toolbar). See “Using Windows
Explorer” in Chapter 5.
Figure 1.28 Ctrl+click to select multiple
(nonconsecutive) icons. This window shows icons in
details view.
To select all icons in a window:
◆
Choose Organize > Select All (on the
toolbar) or Edit > Select All (on the menu
bar), or press Ctrl+A.
To deselect an icon:
◆
If the icon is the only one selected, click
anywhere in the window or desktop
other than the selected icon.
or
If the icon is part of a multiple selection,
Ctrl+click it to remove it from the selection.
✔ Tips
■
To select almost all the icons in a window, press Ctrl+A; then Ctrl+click the
icons you don’t want.
■
Choose Edit > Invert Selection (or press
Alt, E, I) to reverse which icons are
selected and which are not.
34
Figure 1.29 You can drag across icons in any direction
to create a selection. Icons within the rectangle
darken to confirm that they’re selected.
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Getting Started
To move an icon:
◆
Drag it to a new position (Figure 1.30
and Figure 1.31).
✔ Tips
■
Click the column headings (Name, Date
Modified, Type, Size, and so on) to sort
the icons within a window.
■
You can’t drag icons to new positions
within a window set to list view.
■
You can move multiple icons at the same
time by dragging any icon in a multiple
selection.
To open an icon:
◆
Figure 1.30 Drag and drop an icon to move it to…
Double-click it.
or
Select it; then press Enter.
✔ Tips
To open multiple icons at the same time,
select the icons; then press Enter.
■
To open a document or picture with
something besides its associated
(default) program, right-click its icon and
choose Open With.
■
You can configure Windows to open
an icon with a single click. See “Using
Alternative Mouse Behavior” in Chapter 4.
Figure 1.31 …a new position in the window (or on the
desktop).
35
Icons
■
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Chapter 1
Close button
Windows
The Windows interface takes its trademark
name from the rectangles on your screen—the
windows—in which you work. Figure 1.32
shows a typical window with its parts labeled.
When you work with Windows Vista you’ll
have multiple (overlapping) windows open at
the same time so that you can, say, alternate
working with a word processor, email program,
and web browser.
Windows
In a window for an application (such as
Internet Explorer, Word, or Photoshop), you
identify the window by its title bar, which
lists the name of the program and the current document. In a folder window (such as
Documents or Control Panel), the title bar is
blank, and the address bar displays your current location as a series of links separated by
arrows (Figure 1.33).
Title bar
Control menu
Maximize/
Restore button
Minimize button
Border
Figure 1.32 An application window.
Address bar
Each window has its own boundaries and
can present different views of its contents.
To manage multiple windows, you need to
learn a few basic skills.
✔ Tips
■
■
36
The windows that you actually work with
often are crowded with other items, such
as menus, toolbars, status bars, and navigation and other panes.
Windows don’t have to be rectangular.
Some applications (Windows Media
Player, for example) let you apply oddshaped “skins.”
Figure 1.33 A folder window. The address bar shows
the current location.
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Getting Started
Activating a window
If you have multiple windows open, only
one window is active at any time. The active
window is the one that receives your keystrokes
(text entry, navigational movements, or commands). You can identify the active window
by its dark-colored title bar and border; the
edges of inactive windows have a washed-out
color. If you’re using the Aero color scheme,
the active window has a heavier shadow that
makes it look like it’s floating above the
inactive ones (Figure 1.34). An inactive
window can be hidden partially or entirely
behind another window, where it remains
inactive until you bring it to the foreground.
To activate a window:
◆
37
Windows
Figure 1.34 You can tell which window is active by
looking for the darker color of the title bar and
borders—the center one, in this case.
Click anywhere on the window (but don’t
click a button or menu lest you activate
it accidentally).
or
Click the window’s taskbar icon.
or
In the Quick Launch toolbar on the taskbar,
click the Switch Between Windows button ( ), use the arrow keys to select a
window, and then press Enter.
or
Hold down Alt, press Esc repeatedly until
the desired window appears, and then
release both keys.
or
Hold down Alt, press Tab repeatedly until
the desired program icon is highlighted
in the pop-up selection bar, and then
release both keys. (This common technique is called Alt-tabbing.)
or
If you’re using the Aero color scheme, hold
down the Windows logo key, press Tab
repeatedly until the desired program window appears, and then release both keys.
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Chapter 1
✔ Tips
■
Programs whose windows are inactive can
still carry out tasks—called background
tasks—such as downloading files or printing documents. Inactive means that you
are ignoring the window, but Windows
still gives it the resources to do its job.
■
Generally, the active window is in front
of all other windows. But some windows,
such as Task Manager and Help, can be
set to stay on top—in the foreground—
even when inactive.
■
See also “Switching Programs” in
Chapter 6.
Figure 1.35 A maximized window reduces the need for
scrolling but hides other windows. When a window is
maximized, its Maximize button changes to the
Restore button.
Windows
Resizing, moving, and closing
windows
You can maximize a window to the size of
your whole screen (Figure 1.35), minimize
it to a button on the taskbar (Figure 1.36),
or restore it to a free-floating rectangle on
your screen (Figure 1.37). To change the
size of a restored window, drag its corners
or edges.
Figure 1.36 A minimized window reduces screen
clutter and reveals other windows hidden behind it.
To resize a window:
◆
38
Drag any window border (side or corner).
The pointer changes to a double-headed
arrow when it’s moved over a border. See
“The Mouse” earlier in this chapter.
or
Activate the window, press Alt+spacebar,
press S, use the arrow keys to resize the
window, and then press Enter. (Hold
down Ctrl to make the arrow keys resize
in fine increments.)
Figure 1.37 You can resize or move a restored window
to work with multiple windows conveniently. When a
window is restored, its Restore button changes to the
Maximize button.
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Getting Started
To maximize a window:
◆
Figure 1.38 Right-clicking a taskbar button displays
its window’s control menu.
If the window is minimized, right-click
its taskbar button and choose Maximize
(Figure 1.38).
or
If the window is restored, click its Maximize
button (
) or double-click its title bar.
or
If the window is restored, activate it;
press Alt+spacebar; and then press X.
To minimize a window:
◆
Click its Minimize button (
).
or
Activate the window, press Alt+spacebar,
and then press N.
To restore a window:
◆
Windows
Right-click its taskbar button and
choose Restore.
or
If the window is maximized, click its
Restore button (
) or double-click
its title bar.
or
If the window is maximized, press
Alt+spacebar and then press R.
✔ Tips
■
If you use Alt+spacebar+(underlined
letter) to maximize or restore a window,
that window remains active; if you minimize it, it doesn’t.
■
You can resize only restored windows,
not maximized or minimized ones.
■
To arrange multiple (restored) windows
neatly on your desktop, see “Managing
Windows by Using the Taskbar” in
Chapter 2.
■
Some utility programs, such as Calculator
and Character Map, can’t be maximized
or resized.
39
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Chapter 1
To move a window:
◆
Drag its title bar (Figure 1.39).
or
Activate the window, press Alt+spacebar,
press M, use the arrow keys to move the
window, and then press Enter. (Hold
down Ctrl to make the arrow keys move
in fine increments.)
✔ Tips
■
You can move only restored windows,
not maximized or minimized windows.
■
You can move a window so that a portion of it lies off the screen’s edge.
To close a window:
Windows
◆
40
Click its Close button (
).
or
Right-click its taskbar button and choose
Close (refer to Figure 1.38).
or
Right-click its title bar and choose Close
from the control menu.
or
Double-click the icon or an empty area
at the far-left end of the title bar.
or
Activate the window and press Alt+F4.
or
Activate the window, press Alt+spacebar,
and then press C.
or
Choose File > Close (or press Alt, F, C) to
close the file or File > Exit (Alt, F, X) to
quit the application, whichever is appropriate. (This distinction between Close
and Exit isn’t consistent across programs.)
You’ll be prompted to save any unsaved
work.
Figure 1.39 The title bar provides convenient ways to
move and resize a window: Drag it to move the
window, double-click it to alternate between restored
and maximized states, or right-click it (or left-click
near the left corner) to show the control menu.
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Getting Started
Figure 1.40
If a document window is
maximized, its window
controls appear directly
below the program’s
window controls.
✔ Tips
■
The desktop itself is a window open
under all other windows; you “close” it by
logging off or shutting down. Pressing
Alt+F4 when the desktop is active displays
the Shut Down Windows dialog box.
■
Many programs, such as Word and
Photoshop, let you have more than one
document or picture open at the same
time. Each document window has its
own title bar and dedicated controls,
letting you work in it without affecting
other windows (Figure 1.40).
Windows
41
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Chapter 1
Scrolling
If a window is too small to display all its
contents, scroll bars appear. A scroll bar is
a vertical or horizontal bar at the side or
bottom of a window that you can move
with the mouse to slide that window’s contents around.
A scroll bar has three components: scroll
arrows at its ends for moving incrementally,
a sliding scroll box for moving to an arbitrary
location, and the scroll-bar shaft (gray background) for jumping by one windowful at a
time (Figure 1.41).
To scroll a window’s contents:
Windows
◆
To scroll up or down line by line, click
the up or down scroll arrow.
or
To scroll up or down incrementally,
press an arrow key.
or
To scroll up or down by a windowful, click
the shaft above or below the vertical scroll
box, or press Page Up or Page Down.
Scroll-up arrow
Page-up area
Vertical scroll box
Window
contents
Page-down area
Scroll-left
arrow
Horizontal scroll box
Scroll-down arrow
Drag to resize window
Scroll-right arrow
Page-right area
Figure 1.41 The size of a scroll box is proportional to the fraction of the window contents displayed, so the
scroll box indicates visually how much you can’t see, as well as showing you where you are.
42
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Getting Started
or
To scroll left or right incrementally, click
the left or right scroll arrow.
or
To scroll left or right by a windowful,
click the shaft to the left or right of the
horizontal scroll box.
or
To move to an arbitrary location, drag a
scroll box to the place you want. (Some
programs show the scrolling content or a
location indicator while you drag so you
know when to stop; other programs
make you guess.)
✔ Tips
Figure 1.42 The scroll-bar shortcut menu
makes it easy to jump long distances.
If your mouse has a wheel, you can scroll
up or down by turning it.
■
In many programs you can press
Ctrl+Home and Ctrl+End to go to a document’s beginning or end. If yours won’t,
the fastest way to scroll is to drag the
scroll box to the top or bottom of the
scroll bar.
■
In Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer,
Notepad, and some other programs, you
can right-click anywhere on a scroll bar
to show a navigation shortcut menu
(Figure 1.42).
■
Holding down the mouse button on a
scroll arrow or shaft autorepeats the
scrolling behavior. (If you lean on the shaft
for more than a few seconds, Windows
can lose track of video memory, and the
window contents will appear distorted or
sliced up before Windows recovers.)
■
You can use the mysterious Scroll Lock
key for keyboard scrolling. When Scroll
Lock is toggled on (its keyboard indicator is lit) and you press a navigation key,
some programs scroll the view without
affecting the cursor or selection.
Automatic Scrolling
Many programs scroll automatically in
the following situations:
◆
◆
When you drag highlighted text or
graphics near the window’s edge, the
area scrolls in the direction of the drag.
When you extend a highlighted selection by dragging past an edge, the
area scrolls in the direction of the
drag (sometimes at high velocity).
◆
When you drag an object past the
edge of a scrollable window, the area
autoscrolls at a speed proportional to
how far past the edge you drag.
◆
When you tab to a text box or type or
paste text into a partially hidden text
box, the form autoscrolls to reveal the
whole box.
◆
Using Find, Replace, or a similar command autoscrolls to show the matching selection or new cursor location.
43
Windows
■
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Chapter 1
Dialog Boxes
OK, Cancel, Apply
Dialog boxes let you enter new information
or view or change existing settings. A dialog
box is a small temporary window that a program displays to respond to a command or
event (Figure 1.43).
✔ Tips
■
■
Dialog boxes appear when you must
enter more information to complete a
command. See the sidebar in “Menus”
earlier in this chapter.
The specialized dialog boxes for saving
and opening files are covered in “Saving
Documents” and “Opening Documents”
in Chapter 6.
Dialog Boxes
Clicking a button with an ellipsis (…)
makes yet another dialog box appear.
Most dialog boxes have an OK button
and a Cancel button, and many have an
Apply button too. The differences are:
OK. Saves your changes and closes the dialog box (often equivalent to pressing Enter).
Cancel. Discards your changes and closes
the dialog box (equivalent to pressing Esc).
Apply. Saves your changes and leaves the
dialog box open for more changes. Apply
is handy if you want to try out a change
with the chance to change it right back.
The Apply button’s behavior has a slight
wrinkle: If you click Apply and then click
Cancel, changes made before you click
Apply are saved, but changes made after
you click Apply are lost—usually, that is.
Some programs behave differently.
Type (input) text in
text boxes.
Click tabs
to show
individual
pages.
Slide to set a
value in a range.
Press Enter to
“click” the button
with the thicker
border.
Hold down
Alt; then
press the
underlined
letter to
jump to
that item.
Buttons are
labeled by
actions.
Click an option
button to select
one of several
choices.
Check or uncheck a box
to turn an item on or off.
Select one item from
a drop-down list.
Dimmed items
are unavailable.
Figure 1.43 Dialog boxes let you change settings by using buttons, check boxes, text boxes, lists, and other controls.
44
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Getting Started
Table 1.6
Dialog-Box Keyboard Shortcuts
Press
To
Ctrl+Tab
Ctrl+Shift+Tab
Tab
Shift+Tab
Alt+underlined letter
Select the next tab
Select the previous tab
Select the next option
Select the previous option
Select the corresponding option or
click the corresponding button
Click a button, toggle a check box,
or choose an option button (if that
option is active)
Select an item in an option-button
group or list, or move a slider
Display Help
Display list items
Click the selected button (with
the dotted outline) or the default
button (with the shadow)
Click the Cancel button
Spacebar
Arrow keys
F1
F4
Enter
Esc
The differences between dialog boxes and
normal windows are:
File Open and File Save As dialog boxes
usually are resizable, to let you vary the
number of files that they display. Most
other dialog boxes aren’t resizable.
◆
Some open dialog boxes won’t let you
keep working in their program until you
close them. You still can use other programs, though.
◆
When you edit text in a dialog box, you
can’t use the Edit menu to cut, copy, and
paste, but you can use keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V) or
right-click to use a shortcut menu.
◆
Use keyboard shortcuts to navigate dialog boxes quickly (Table 1.6).
◆
A wizard is a series of interactive dialog
boxes that steps you through a complex
task (Figure 1.44).
◆
Windows uses a message box to notify
you of events or ask for a decision
(Figure 1.45).
Dialog Boxes
◆
Figure 1.44 The purpose of each wizard page is stated
clearly at the top. Many pages have links that you can
click for help. The Back button is in the top-left corner.
Figure 1.45 Message boxes bring your program to a
halt. You must respond before the program can do
anything further.
45
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Chapter 1
Properties
Almost every object in Windows has a
Properties dialog box full of information
about its contents and settings. Items with
properties include files, folders, drives, documents, programs, hardware devices, fonts,
the taskbar, the Start menu, the sidebar, the
desktop, the notification area, Computer,
and Network.
To display an item’s properties:
Properties
◆
46
Right-click the item and choose
Properties (Figure 1.46).
or
Select (highlight) the item and press
Alt+Enter.
or
Hold down Alt and double-click the item.
Figure 1.46 You can choose an item’s properties from
its shortcut (right-click) menu. The Properties
command usually is at the bottom of the menu.
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Getting Started
Figure 1.47 shows Properties dialog boxes
for a Word file and a hard disk. Windows
lets you change some properties; you can
rename the file or compress the hard disk,
for example. Many properties are read-only,
however, meaning that Windows sets them
and you can’t change them. You can inspect—
but not change—a hard disk’s capacity or a
file’s creation date, for example.
✔ Tips
A read-only property usually is shown
as black text on a gray background;
a modifiable (read–write) property is set
in a text box, check box, drop-down list,
or similar control. If it’s not obvious
whether you can change a property, try
to click it or tab to it. You can copy the
text of some read-only properties by
dragging across the text to select it and
pressing Ctrl+C. Paste it somewhere
with Ctrl+V.
■
Some dialog boxes have a button labeled
Restore, Restore Defaults, Defaults, or
Reset. Clicking this button changes your
current settings back to Windows’ factoryinstalled settings. Be careful, because you
(or the programs that you’ve installed)
have probably made more changes than
you remember—or even know about.
■
Some programs let you add file properties such as comments and custom
name-value attributes. In the Properties
dialog box of a Word document, for
example, click the Details tab (or choose
File > Properties inside Word itself). Also
see “Tagging Files” in Chapter 5.
■
To see how much disk space a group of
files or folders occupies, select the files’
or folders’ icons; then display the properties for the selected group.
47
Properties
Figure 1.47 The properties information shown is
appropriate for the item you select. Here are properties
for a Word document (top) and a hard disk (bottom).
■
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Chapter 1
Transferring Data
One thing you’ll do regularly in Windows is
move data around: copy webpage text to an
email message, put graphics-editor images
in a word-processing document, move paragraphs around in a text file, export spreadsheet
rows to a database, embed a chart in a presentation slide, and so on. Windows gives you
a few ways to do so.
Cut, copy, and paste
Cut, copy, and paste, which are second nature
to experienced Windows users, are used to
organize documents, folders, and disks.
Transferring Data
Cut-and-paste removes (cuts) information
and places it on the clipboard so that it can
be moved (pasted) elsewhere. Cutting
deletes the data from its original location.
Copy-and-paste copies information to the
clipboard so that it can be duplicated (pasted)
elsewhere. Copying leaves the original data
intact (nothing visible happens).
You’ll find Cut, Copy, and Paste commands
in a program’s Edit menu (Figure 1.48), but
each program may handle these operations
differently. In Windows Explorer, for example,
you can copy or move files and folders from
one disk or folder to another. In Word, you
can copy or move text or graphics to
another part of a document or to a different
document. In Internet Explorer, you can only
copy material from webpages, not cut it.
48
Figure 1.48 If nothing is selected, the
Cut and Copy commands are dimmed.
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Getting Started
To cut:
1. Select (highlight) the material to remove.
2. Choose Edit > Cut.
or
Press Ctrl+X.
or
Right-click the selection and choose Cut.
To copy:
1. Select (highlight) the material to copy.
2. Choose Edit > Copy.
or
Press Ctrl+C.
or
Right-click the selection and choose Copy.
To paste:
2. Choose Edit > Paste.
or
Press Ctrl+V.
or
Right-click and choose Paste.
49
Transferring Data
1. Click the mouse (or move the cursor to)
where you want to the material to appear.
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Chapter 1
If you mean to copy (Ctrl+C) something and
accidentally cut (Ctrl+X) it instead, or if you
paste something in the wrong place, you can
recover by undoing your action.
To undo a cut or paste:
◆
Immediately after you cut or paste,
choose Edit > Undo (or press Ctrl+Z).
✔ Tips
Keyboard shortcuts save time, but
they’re especially useful when the Edit
menu is unavailable (Figure 1.49).
■
Many programs have an Edit > Paste
Special command that pastes, links, or
embeds the clipboard contents in a document in the format you specify. The
Paste Special command in Word, for
example, lets you strip all formatting
from pasted text, for example.
Figure 1.49 In windows that have no Edit menu, such as
this dialog box, you can cut, copy, and paste by using
keyboard shortcuts or the shortcut (right-click) menu.
Transferring Data
■
The Clipboard
The clipboard is the invisible area of memory where Windows stores cut or copied data,
where it remains until it’s overwritten when you cut or copy something else. This scheme lets
you paste the same thing multiple times in different places. You can transfer information
from one program to another provided that the second program can read data generated by
the first. A little experimenting shows that you often can combine dissimilar data; you can
paste text from Notepad or Word into Photoshop, for example. Note that you can’t paste
something that you’ve deleted or cleared (as opposed to cut), because Windows doesn’t place
that something on the clipboard.
If you’re a writer, editor, researcher, or graphic artist, try something more powerful than the standard
clipboard: ClipCache Pro ($25 U.S.; www.clipcache.com), ClipMate ($35 U.S.; www.thornsoft.com),
Clipboard Recorder (free; www.lw-works.com), or Ditto (free; http://ditto-cp.sourceforge.net).
These alternatives let you save, organize, combine, preview, and control many persistent clips.
50
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Getting Started
Drag-and-drop
WordPad, Windows Mail, Microsoft
Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and many
other email and word-processing programs
let you drag-and-drop as a faster alternative
to cut-and-paste. Figure 1.50 shows you
how. Move any amount of text, from single
character to epic poem. This technique
doesn’t involve the clipboard and won’t
change its contents.
Figure 1.50 Click in the middle of some highlighted text
(top), and drag it elsewhere within the same document
(bottom) or to a different window or program.
✔ Tips
■
Press Ctrl as you drag to copy, rather
than move, the highlighted material.
■
When you drag highlighted material near
the window’s edge, the document autoscrolls until you move (usually jerk) away
from the edge. See the “Automatic
Scrolling” sidebar earlier in this chapter.
Figure 1.51 Excel’s Save As dialog box lets you save a
spreadsheet in formats other than the native Excel
format.
Another way to exchange data between programs is to save it in a format that both the
source and target programs can read and
write. To read a list of addresses into a mailinglist program from a spreadsheet or database,
for example, save the addresses in a CSVformat file (a text file of comma-separated
values); then open it in the mailing-list program. The source program’s Save As dialog
box lists the format types that you can save
(Figure 1.51). The target program usually
autoconverts the CSV file when you open it
with File > Open, but you may have to step
through a wizard to organize the incoming
data. Image-editing programs such as
Photoshop and Microsoft Paint can exchange
files in JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, and other
popular graphic formats.
51
Transferring Data
Intermediate formats
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Chapter 1
Transferring Data
Import/export
Use import and export tools to transfer
large amounts of data or data in incompatible formats. Most address-book, browser,
email, spreadsheet, database, and statistical
programs have Import and Export commands, typically in the File menu. The commands vary by program (they’re not part of
Windows), so read the documentation for
both the source and target programs.
Import/export operations can be routine—
most database and accounting programs
can skip the CSV step and export to the
native Excel format directly, for example—
but they’re superlative when no standard
exchange-format exists. If you want to try
new email and browser programs,
import/export is the only practical way to
transfer all your addresses, messages, bookmarks, cookies, and other information
(Figure 1.52).
52
Figure 1.52 The Import wizard in the Mozilla Firefox
browser (free; www.mozilla.com) imports settings,
cookies, bookmarks (favorites), passwords, and other
items from Internet Explorer and other browsers.
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Getting Started
OLE
OLE (pronounced oh-lay), for Object Linking
and Embedding, lets you insert self-updating
material from a source document in one
program into a target document running in
another. If you insert an Excel spreadsheet
as a linked object into a Word document, for
example, any changes that you make to the
spreadsheet separately in Excel appear in
the Word document automatically.
To insert an OLE object:
1. Open or create a document in a program
that supports OLE (WordPad, Word,
Excel, or PowerPoint, for example).
Figure 1.53 Click the Create New tab to insert a new
object; click the Create from File tab to insert an
existing file. Check Link to File if you want the data to
self-update when the source file is edited. The Result
box explains the inserted object’s behavior.
2. Click or move the cursor to where you
want the inserted object to appear.
4. In the Object dialog box, choose the
object type and link type that you want
to create (Figure 1.53).
5. Click OK.
✔ Tips
■
You can cut, copy, and paste OLE objects.
To delete one, click it; then press Delete.
■
To edit an OLE object, double-click it.
If it’s linked to a file, the document opens
in its own window. If it’s not linked, the
source program’s menus appear in place
of the current program’s menus; click off
the object or press Esc when you’re done
editing, and the original menus reappear.
■
After editing a linked object, you may
have to “encourage” it to update itself.
Select it; then use the program’s Update
function (the F9 key in Microsoft Office
programs).
53
Transferring Data
3. Choose Insert > Object.
This command may appear elsewhere in
non-Microsoft programs.
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2
The Desktop
After you log on, Windows displays the
desktop (Figure 2.1). The desktop is the
backdrop of your working environment and
lets you organize the resources on your computer. The Start menu is the central location
that lists the most useful folders, programs,
and commands. The taskbar tells you what
programs are running on your computer and
lets you activate or close them. The sidebar
contains handy mini-programs called gadgets.
The Desktop
Start menu
Desktop
Sidebar
Taskbar
Figure 2.1 Basic desktop elements. Your desktop may have a different background or
icons, depending on your setup and regular use.
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Chapter 2
Exploring the Start Menu
The Start menu (Figure 2.2) lets you:
◆
Start programs
◆
Open commonly used folders
◆
Search for files, folders, and programs
◆
Get help
◆
Adjust computer settings
◆
Switch users, lock your computer, log off,
or turn off your computer
User picture
Exploring the Start Menu
Pinned Items list
Most Frequently Used
Programs list
Personal
folders
Windows
system
components
All Programs menu
Search box
Click to show the
Start menu
56
Power, Lock,
and Options
buttons
Figure 2.2 The Start menu’s icons vary by installation and regular
use, but the overall layout stays the same.
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The Desktop
Start Menu: What’s New?
Here are the main changes that Vista makes to the Start menu:
◆
◆
The redesigned Start button now holds the Windows logo. The button actually
extends past the logo, so you can click at either side of the “orb” or at the edge of
the screen.
The search box lets you search your entire computer for files, folders, or programs.
◆
The All Programs menu now expands as a single in-place list rather than as
cascading submenus.
◆
The “My” has been dropped from folder names: My Documents is now just
Documents, My Computer is Computer, and so on.
◆
The logoff and turn-off buttons in Windows XP have been replaced by the
Power, Lock, and Options buttons.
◆
The picture at the top of the menu, which used to display only the user-account picture,
now changes to the icon of what you’re pointing to. You still can click it to access
your user account.
◆
The Run command is no longer in the Start menu, but you can get it back: Rightclick the Start button and choose Properties > Customize > check Run Command > OK.
(Alternatively, press Windows logo key+R to open the Run dialog box at any time.)
Exploring the Start Menu
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Chapter 2
To open the Start menu:
◆
Click the Start button (at the left
end of the taskbar), or press
Ctrl+Esc.
or
Press and release the Windows logo key.
The left side of the Start menu lists programs
and has a search box (Table 2.1). The right
side has links to personal folders and Windows
system components (Table 2.2). The Power,
Lock, and Options buttons are described in
“Logging On and Logging Off ” in Chapter 1.
To close the Start menu without
choosing a command:
Exploring the Start Menu
◆
Press and release the Windows logo key,
or press Esc.
or
Click anywhere off the menu (on the
desktop or in a program, for example).
✔ Tips
■
Hover your mouse pointer over an item in
the Start menu, and you’ll get a pop-up
tip describing that item. If these tips distract you, you can turn them off: Choose
Start > Control Panel > Appearance and
Personalization > Folder Options > View
tab > uncheck Show Pop-up Description
for Folder and Desktop Items > OK.
■
In Windows XP, personal folders
are stored in \Documents and
Settings\username. In Vista, they’re
in \Users\username.
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The Desktop
Table 2.1
Start Menu Left Column
Section
Description
Pinned Items list
Items in the top section of this column remain there, always available to open. You can select programs
to appear here, as well as their order. By default, your web browser and email program are in the list.
See “Adding items to the Start menu” in the next section.
Windows maintains this list by appending programs as you use them. Each added program replaces
one that you haven’t used recently. You can delete items from this list and set the number of items
displayed, but you can’t reorder or add them manually.
This menu lists all the programs that you’ve installed and that come with Windows. Click or hover over
All Programs to expand the menu. Click the word Back to collapse it. Use the menu’s scroll bar or your
mouse’s scroll wheel to move up and down the list.
This feature find files, folders, and programs on your computer. Type search text in the Search box. As
you type, items that match your text appear instantly in the menu’s left column. Search looks at your
personal folder, offline files, email, contacts, calendar events, and internet favorites and history, basing
its search on the filename, the program title (excel, for example), text in the file, tags, and other file
properties. Click an item in the results list to open it, or press Esc to cancel the search. For details, see
“Searching for Files and Folders” in Chapter 5.
Most Frequently
Used Programs list
All Programs menu
Search box
Table 2.2
Start Menu Right Column
Description
User picture
Shows your account picture. This picture initially shows your user-account picture and changes to the
icon of whatever you’re pointing to on the right side of the menu. If you click the picture, the User
Accounts tool opens to let you make changes to your account.
Opens your personal folder. This link (chris, in Figure 2.2) shows the user name of the currently
logged-on user—you, usually. See “Storing Stuff in Your Personal Folder” in Chapter 5.
Opens subfolders in your personal folder that contain specific types of files.
Personal folder
Documents,
Pictures, and Music
Games
Search
Recent Items
Computer
Network
Connect To
Control Panel
Default Programs
Help and Support
Lets you play games (this entry doesn’t appear in Vista Business editions).
Opens a window where you can search your computer by using advanced options. See “Searching for
Files and Folders” in Chapter 5.
Shows a menu of your recently opened files; click any entry to reopen that file.
Opens a window that lets you access disk drives, cameras, and other hardware connected to your computer. See “Exploring Your Computer” in Chapter 5.
Opens a window that lets you access the computers and devices on your network, and provides quick
access to Network and Sharing Center. See Chapter 18.
Shows the Connect to a Network dialog box for connecting to wireless and other networks. See Chapter 18.
Opens Control Panel, which lets you configure and manage your system. See “Using Control Panel” in
Chapter 4.
Shows the Default Programs window, which lets you choose the programs that Vista uses by default for
web browsing, email, documents, pictures, and more. You also can associate file types with programs,
change AutoPlay settings, and set program access.
Gets Windows help. See Chapter 3.
59
Exploring the Start Menu
Section
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Chapter 2
Using the Start Menu
Start-menu commands are a click away. If you
don’t like the Start menu’s default layout,
you can change it. Changes you make apply
only to you, the logged-on user.
To choose a Start-menu item:
◆
Click the item.
or
Use the arrow keys to navigate to the
item and then press Enter.
or
Press any arrow key once to move out of
the Search box, press the key of the item’s
first letter, and then press Enter.
If two or more items have the same first
letter, press that letter repeatedly until
the desired item is highlighted and then
press Enter.
Using the Start Menu
✔ Tips
■
A menu item with a right-pointing arrow
(such as Recent Items in Figure 2.2)
opens a submenu when you click or
point to it.
■
If you open the All Programs menu, you
can click the word Back to close it again.
■
If you prefer the old one-column Start
menu, right-click the Start button and
choose Properties > Classic Start Menu >
OK. See also “Restoring the Old Windows
Look” in Chapter 4.
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The Desktop
Adding items to the Start menu
Icons in the Start menu are shortcuts—links
to computer or network items such as programs, files, folders, disks, webpages, printers,
connected hardware, and other computers.
You can add items to the Start menu by
dragging and dropping or by pinning. You
also can remove or reorder items.
✔ Tip
■
Changing or deleting a shortcut has no
effect on the item that it’s linked to.
Removing a shortcut won’t uninstall a
program, delete a file or folder, or erase
a disk, for example.
To pin an item to the Start menu:
1. Locate the item (icon) that you want to
display at the top of the menu.
2. Right-click the icon and choose Pin to
Start Menu (Figure 2.3).
or
Drag the item to the Start button
(Figure 2.4 and Figure 2.5).
Figure 2.4 You can pin a program, folder, file, or
even a disk to the Start menu by dropping it on
the Start button.
Figure 2.5 The Start menu pops open if you pause on
the Start button while dragging, letting you drop the
item in the desired position.
Using the Start Menu
Figure 2.3 You can right-click a program in the Start
menu, in Windows Explorer, in Computer, or on the
desktop. For documents, pictures, folders, and disks,
use drag-and-drop.
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Chapter 2
Using the Start Menu
✔ Tips
■
If you don’t know the item’s location,
choose Start > Search, use the Search box
to find it, and then drag it from the
results list to the Start button. If you’re
looking for a program (rather than a document, folder, or disk), type the program
name in the Start menu’s Search box,
right-click it in the results list, and
choose Pin to Start Menu.
■
If you can’t drag icons onto the Start
menu, or if right-clicking the menu has
no effect, turn on Start-menu dragging
and dropping: Right-click the Start button
and choose Properties > Customize >
check Enable Context Menus and
Dragging and Dropping > OK.
■
Hold down Shift when you right-click a
file in a folder window, and Pin to Start
Menu will appear in the shortcut menu.
■
You can’t pin items to the classic
(one-column) Start menu.
Figure 2.6 The horizontal black line shows where the
item will land when it’s dropped.
To move a pinned item:
◆
Drag the item to a new position
(Figure 2.6).
To remove a pinned item:
◆
Right-click the item and choose Remove
from This List (Figure 2.7).
Figure 2.7 This technique works in both the Pinned
Items and Most Frequently Used Programs lists. In the
Pinned Items list, you also can choose Unpin from
Start Menu.
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The Desktop
Modifying the All Programs
menu
The All Programs menu, which appears
when you click or point to All Programs in
the Start menu (Figure 2.8), displays all the
programs that you, Windows Setup, your PC
manufacturer, and/or your administrator
have installed on your computer. Program
installers add their own icons to the All
Programs menu, but you can add, delete, or
reorder them manually. The menu accepts
not only program icons, but also document,
folder, and disk icons.
By default, Windows keeps the All Programs
menu sorted automatically: files alphabetically at top, followed by folders alphabetically. If you want to add an item to a specific
place without having it jump to its sorted
position, or if you want to move an item
within the menu, turn off autosorting.
Figure 2.8 The All Programs menu superimposes
itself over the left side of the Start menu.
To turn off All Programs autosorting:
Right-click the Start button and choose
Properties > Customize > uncheck Sort
All Programs Menu by Name > OK.
To add an item to the All Programs
menu:
1. Locate the item (icon) that you want to
add.
2. Drag the icon over the Start button and
pause until the Start menu opens.
3. Continue to drag and pause over All
Programs until the menu opens.
continues on next page
63
Using the Start Menu
◆
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Chapter 2
4. Drag the icon to the place in the All
Programs menu where you want it to
appear.
You can drag near the menu’s top or
bottom edge to autoscroll up or down,
or pause over a folder to open it.
A black horizontal line shows where the
icon will appear when you drop it
(Figure 2.9).
5. Hold down Alt.
Holding down the Alt key guarantees that
Windows will create a link (shortcut) in the
All Programs menu rather than moving or
copying the item to the All Programs folder.
6. Drop the icon on the All Programs menu
and release Alt.
Using the Start Menu
✔ Tips
■
Instead of dragging in step 2, you can
right-drag instead. When you drop the
icon, a shortcut menu appears to let you
create the link (you don’t have to hold
down Alt).
■
Adding a folder to the All Programs menu
creates a subfolder that lists its contents.
■
The default name for an item’s shortcut
ends with - Shortcut (Downloads - Shortcut,
for example). To change the name, rightclick the item and choose Rename.
■
If you can’t drag icons onto the All
Programs menu, or if right-clicking the
menu has no effect, turn on Start-menu
dragging and dropping: Right-click the
Start button and choose Properties >
Customize > check Enable Context Menus
and Dragging and Dropping > OK.
■
If you’re using the classic (one-column)
Start menu, you can manage icons with
the Customize Classic Start Menu dialog
box: Right-click Start and choose
Properties > Customize.
64
Figure 2.9 If All Programs autosorting is turned off,
the item stays where you drop it; otherwise, it jumps
to its proper position in the sort order.
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The Desktop
To delete an item from the
All Programs menu:
1. Right-click the item and choose Delete
(Figure 2.10).
2. Confirm the deletion if a message box
appears.
✔ Tip
■
To undelete an item from the Recycle
Bin, see “Deleting Files and Folders” in
Chapter 5.
To move an item in the All Programs
menu:
1. Make sure that All Programs autosorting
is turned off (described earlier in this
section).
2. Drag the item to a new position.
This technique works as shown in
Figure 2.6.
To sort the All Programs menu
alphabetically:
◆
Right-click any menu item and choose
Sort by Name. (This command isn’t available if autosorting is turned on.)
Windows sorts files in alphabetical order
at the top, followed by folders in alphabetical order.
✔ Tip
■
You can use this command to sort any
subfolder individually within the All
Programs menu.
65
Using the Start Menu
Figure 2.10 If your desktop is clear, you also can drag
an item off the menu and drop it into the Recycle Bin
to delete it.
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Chapter 2
Managing All Programs items
with folders
To keep your All Programs menu from growing too long, you can consolidate menu items
into submenus (Figure 2.11). You add submenus by creating folders.
Every item that appears in the Start menu
is contained in one of two folders: a folder
that applies only to you, the logged-on user
(which only you can access); and a folder
that applies to all users (which everyone
who has a user account can access).
To add or delete All Programs items:
1. Right-click the Start button (Figure 2.12).
Figure 2.11 A menu item with a folder icon
spawns a submenu when you click it.
Using the Start Menu
2. To add or delete items for only you,
choose Open or Explore.
or
To add or delete items for everyone with
a user account, choose Open All Users or
Explore All Users.
Figure 2.12 You can add or delete items
that are visible only to you or to all
users.
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The Desktop
3. To add (or delete) menu items, drag
icons into (or delete icons from) the Start
Menu folder, the Programs folder, or any
folder nested in the Start Menu or
Programs folders (Figure 2.13).
Icons placed inside the Start Menu folder
or the Programs folder appears in the All
Programs menu. Subfolders inside the
Programs folder appear as submenus.
Using the Start Menu
Figure 2.13 The Start Menu folder and its subfolders
determine what appears in the All Programs menu.
Click the right-pointing triangle next to a folder (or
double-click the folder icon itself ) to reveal its nested
folders.
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Chapter 2
To add an All Programs submenu:
1. Right-click the Start button (refer to
Figure 2.12).
Using the Start Menu
2. To add a submenu for only you, choose
Open or Explore.
or
To add a submenu for everyone with a
user account, choose Open All Users or
Explore All Users.
3. Click Organize (on the toolbar) >
New Folder, or press Alt, F, W, F.
or
Right-click an empty area in the right
pane and choose New > Folder.
or
Right-click the Start Menu folder or one
of its subfolders in the Folders list (on the
left) and choose New > Folder. (If the list
is hidden, click the Folders bar at the
bottom left.)
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm the
action.
4. Type the name of the folder and press
Enter.
You create an empty folder, which is an
empty submenu (Figure 2.14).
Figure 2.14 A subfolder within the Start Menu
folder or the Programs folder appears as a
submenu in the All Programs menu.
5. To make a particular item appear in the
new submenu, drop a shortcut to it on
the new folder and then close the
Explorer window.
6. Choose Start > All Programs to see the
new submenu (Figure 2.15).
✔ Tip
■
68
To create a nested submenu, create a
new folder inside the first folder that
you added.
Figure 2.15 The new folder appears as
an empty submenu in the All Programs
menu. If All Programs autosorting is
turned off, you can drag the folder up or
down the menu to reposition it.
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The Desktop
Customizing the
Start Menu
The Start menu’s Windows components
and default behavior are easy to change. You
can, for example, change the name of your
Documents folder, decide which icons the
menu displays, and highlight recently
installed programs.
To rename a Start-menu item:
Figure 2.16 The keyboard shortcuts for Cut,
Copy, and Paste (Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V)
work when you’re editing the name.
1. Right-click a menu item and choose
Rename.
If the Rename command doesn’t appear
in the shortcut menu, you can’t rename
that item.
2. Type a new name or edit the existing
one, and press Enter (Figure 2.16).
✔ Tips
Don’t rename the Startup folder. If you
do, Windows won’t launch programs
automatically when the computer starts.
■
To cancel renaming an item, press Esc
while editing.
To customize the Start menu:
1. Right-click the Start button and choose
Properties (Figure 2.17).
or
Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance
and Personalization > Taskbar and Start
Menu > Start Menu tab.
continues on next page
Figure 2.17 Besides letting you configure the Start
menu, this dialog box lets you choose the old-style,
one-column Classic Start menu.
69
Customizing the Start Menu
■
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Chapter 2
2. In the Privacy section, clear one or both
check boxes if you don’t want someone
else to know what you’ve been running
or working on.
The Files check box applies to the Recent
Items submenu (in the right column of
the Start menu). The Programs check
box applies to the Most Frequently Used
Programs list (in the left column) and the
Run command history (if it’s displayed).
Checking these boxes again makes
Windows repopulate the lists over time.
3. Make sure that Start Menu (not Classic
Start Menu) is selected, and click
Customize to open the Customize Start
Menu dialog box (Figure 2.18).
Customizing the Start Menu
4. Choose the desired options, described in
Table 2.3.
5. For Start Menu Size, type or select the
number of frequently used programs to
display in the menu’s left column.
Displaying more programs gives you
quicker access but takes up more vertical
space.
Figure 2.18 The Customize Start Menu dialog box
affects what you see in the menu’s left column, where
programs are listed, and the right column, where your
personal folders and the Windows system
components are listed.
6. If you want to revert to the Start menu’s
original factory settings, click Use
Default Settings.
7. In the Show on Start Menu section,
check the boxes if you want your web
browser and email program pinned at
the top of the menu’s left column. Use
the drop-down lists to choose among the
installed browsers and email programs.
✔ Tips
■
You still can open a folder even if you’ve
chosen Display As a Menu: Right-click it
in the Start menu and choose Open.
■
To clear the Recent Items list, right-click
Recent Items in the Start menu and
choose Clear Recent Items List. To clear
an individual item in the list, right-click
it in the Recent Items submenu and
choose Delete. Clearing recent items
from the list doesn’t delete the originals
from your computer.
■
In the classic Start menu, Recent Items is
named Documents.
8. Click OK in each open dialog box.
70
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The Desktop
Table 2.3
Start-Menu Options
Computer, Control Panel, Documents, Games, Music, Personal Folder, Pictures
Option/Setting
Description
Display As a Link
Display As a Menu
Don’t Display This Item
Displays a shortcut that opens that folder.
Opens a submenu (Figure 2.19).
Removes that folder from the Start menu.
Connect To, Default Programs, Help, Run Command, Search
Option/Setting
Description
Checked
Unchecked
Item appears in the Start menu’s right column.
Item doesn’t appear in the Start menu. (If you use these commands rarely or invoke them with
keystrokes, clear their check boxes to save menu space.)
Enable Context Menus and Dragging and Dropping
Option/Setting
Description
Checked
Lets you drag icons on, off, and within the Start menu, and also display their shortcut
(right-click) menus.
Locks Start-menu items in place.
Unchecked
Favorites Menu
Description
Checked
Adds a link to your Favorites folder, which contains shortcuts to webpages, documents,
and folders that you’ve bookmarked.
The Favorites menu doesn’t appear.
Unchecked
Highlight Newly Installed Programs
Option/Setting
Description
Checked
Unchecked
Highlights new programs in orange for a few days.
Doesn’t distinguish new programs.
Table continues on next page
Figure 2.19 Display As a Menu makes a Start-menu
folder expand as a submenu that displays its
contents (rather than open as a window).
71
Customizing the Start Menu
Option/Setting
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Chapter 2
Table 2.3 continued
Start-Menu Options
Network
Option/Setting
Description
Checked
Unchecked
Shows a link to shared resources on your network.
Shows this computer and its peripherals only.
Open Submenus When I Pause on Them with the Mouse Pointer
Option/Setting
Description
Checked
Unchecked
Displays a submenu when you point to it or click it.
Displays a submenu when you click it.
Printers
Option/Setting
Description
Checked
Unchecked
Adds a link to the Printers folder.
Displays printers only in Control Panel.
Customizing the Start Menu
Search Files (affects searches from the Start-menu Search box)
Option/Setting
Description
Don’t Search for Files
Search Entire Index
Search This User’s Files
Excludes your documents from searches.
Searches everything that Windows has indexed.
Includes your documents in searches.
Search Communications/Favorites and History/Files/Programs
Option/Setting
Description
Checked
Unchecked
Searches for these items when you type in the Start-menu Search box.
Omits these items from the results when you use the Start-menu Search box.
Sort All Programs Menu by Name
Option/Setting
Description
Checked
Windows keeps the All Programs menu sorted automatically: files alphabetically at top, followed by folders alphabetically.
Windows doesn’t sort the All Programs menu, letting you add or move a menu item to a specific
place without having it jump to its sorted position.
Unchecked
System Administrative Tools
Option/Setting
Description
Display on the
All Programs Menu
Display on the
All Programs Menu
and the Start Menu
Don’t Display This Item
Tools appear in the All Programs menu and Control Panel.
Tools appear in the All Programs menu, Start menu, and Control Panel.
Tools appear only in Control Panel.
Use Large Icons
Option/Setting
Description
Checked
Uses large icons in the Start menu’s left column. The menu is easier to read, and its icons are
easier to click. (This setting doesn’t affect the All Programs menu, which always uses small icons.)
Uses small icons in the Start menu’s left column. The menu displays its items compactly (like
the All Programs menu) but is harder to read.
Unchecked
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The Desktop
Exploring the Taskbar
The taskbar provides quick access to programs
and the status of background processes. It
appears at the bottom of your screen by
default and is divided into segments with
distinct functions (Figure 2.20):
Start button. Click this button to open the
Start menu.
Quick Launch toolbar. This customizable
toolbar lets you display the desktop or
launch a program with a single click. The
taskbar has a few other toolbars that you
can show or hide.
Taskbar buttons. Buttons on the taskbar
represent all open windows. You can use
these buttons to resize, switch among, or
close programs.
Notification area. This area displays the
clock and shows the status of programs and
activities.
✔ Tip
■
Start-menu
button
Quick Launch
toolbar
Taskbar buttons
Point (without clicking) to any icon on
the taskbar to show a helpful tooltip or
thumbnail view of the window contents
(if you’re using the Aero color scheme).
Empty area
Notification area
(system tray)
Figure 2.20 The parts of the taskbar.
73
Exploring the Taskbar
Empty area. The taskbar has its own shortcut menu, which you reach by right-clicking
an empty area. If your taskbar is crowded,
right-click just to the left or right of the
Start-button “orb,” where there’s always an
unoccupied sliver.
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Chapter 2
Managing Windows by
Using the Taskbar
The windows of multiple open programs tend
to overlap or hide one another, making them
hard to tell apart or find. When you launch a
program, its button appears on the taskbar;
you can use the taskbar to manage open
programs and switch among windows easily.
Figure 2.21 Clicking a window’s toolbar button brings
the window to the top of the pile, if it happens to be
hidden by other windows.
To view several windows at the same time,
you can drag and resize them or use taskbar
controls to tile them on your desktop. To
clear your desktop, you can minimize all
windows to taskbar buttons.
To activate a window:
Managing Windows by Using the Taskbar
◆
Click the taskbar button representing
that window (Figure 2.21). If the
button shows a menu when you click it
(Figure 2.22), click the name of the
desired window in the menu.
Figure 2.22 A group button on the taskbar
will display a pop-up menu of window choices
rather than activate a particular window.
✔ Tips
■
The active window’s taskbar button
appears pressed in; other buttons appear
normal (popped out) whether their
windows are minimized, restored, or
maximized.
■
If a window is active, clicking its taskbar
button minimizes (hides) it.
■
If a program is busy, clicking its taskbar
button may not activate the window.
■
Right-click a taskbar button to open the
window’s control menu (Figure 2.23).
■
To switch windows without using the
taskbar, press Alt+Tab, or see “Switching
Programs” in Chapter 6.
■
Some programs—usually, programs that
run all the time—have notification-area
icons (covered later in this chapter)
instead of taskbar buttons.
74
Figure 2.23 Among other things, the control menu
lets you close a window, sometimes without restoring
it first.
■
To press taskbar buttons by using the
keyboard: Press Ctrl+Esc to open the
Start menu, press Esc to close it, and
then tab to the first taskbar button.
Next, use the arrow keys to highlight the
desired button; then press the spacebar
to activate the window or Shift+F10 to
open its control menu.
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The Desktop
To minimize all windows:
◆
Figure 2.24 Showing the desktop even
minimizes dialog boxes (which don’t
appear as taskbar buttons).
Right-click an empty area of the taskbar
and choose Show the Desktop.
or
If the Quick Launch toolbar is
displayed, click the Show Desktop icon
(Figure 2.24).
or
Press Windows logo key+D or Windows
logo key+M.
To restore minimized windows:
◆
To arrange windows on your desktop:
1. Minimize the windows that you don’t
want arranged on the desktop.
2. Right-click an empty area of the taskbar
and choose Cascade Windows, Show
Windows Stacked, or Show Windows
Side by Side (Figure 2.25).
or
Right-click a group button on the
taskbar (refer to Figure 2.22) and choose
Cascade, Show Windows Stacked, or
Show Windows Side by Side.
✔ Tips
Figure 2.25 Arrange windows in a cascade (top),
vertical stack (center), or side by side pattern
(bottom). Minimized windows aren’t arranged, so
your taskbar may have more buttons than are tiled on
the desktop.
■
To reverse the arrangement, right-click
an empty area of the taskbar and choose
the Undo command.
■
To display the Quick Launch toolbar,
right-click an empty area of the taskbar
and choose Toolbars > Quick Launch.
75
Managing Windows by Using the Taskbar
Right-click an empty area of the taskbar
and choose Undo Minimize All or Show
Open Windows.
or
Click the Show Desktop icon on the
Quick Launch toolbar.
or
Press Windows logo key+D or Windows
logo key+Shift+M.
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Chapter 2
Customizing the Taskbar
You can change many aspects of the taskbar.
A space-saving feature groups similar windows
in one menulike taskbar button rather than
crowding the taskbar with one truncated
button for each open window.
To customize the taskbar:
1. Right-click an empty area of the taskbar
and choose Properties (Figure 2.26).
or
Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Taskbar and Start Menu > Taskbar tab.
Customizing the Taskbar
2. Check Lock the Taskbar to keep the
taskbar at its current size and position;
uncheck it if you want to resize or move
the taskbar or any of its toolbars.
Figure 2.26 The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties
dialog box lets you change the taskbar’s appearance
and behavior.
3. Check Auto-Hide the Taskbar to hide the
taskbar when you’re not using it.
The taskbar disappears until you point to
the edge of the screen where it’s located.
4. Check Keep the Taskbar on Top of Other
Windows to prevent other windows—
even maximized windows—from covering the taskbar.
5. Check Group Similar Taskbar Buttons to
reduce taskbar clutter.
Windows rearranges taskbar buttons for
each program so that they’re all adjacent.
If the taskbar becomes so crowded that
button text is truncated, buttons for the
same program are consolidated into one
button displaying the number of program
instances or documents (Figure 2.27).
76
Figure 2.27 A group button displays a small arrow
and the number of open documents for the
program. Click the button to show the document
that you want. Button grouping won’t work in a
taskbar docked to the screen’s left or right edge.
You can right-click each window name in a group
menu to display a control menu.
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The Desktop
6. Check Show Quick Launch to display the
Quick Launch toolbar on the taskbar.
Quick Launch lets you show the desktop
or open a program with a single click. See
“Adding Toolbars to the Taskbar” later in
this chapter.
Figure 2.28 Thumbnail previews, new in
Vista, appear if you’re using the Aero color
scheme. Thumbnails show static images
for documents and pictures or playing
images for videos, movies, animations,
and progress bars. Pointing to a grouped
taskbar button shows a stack of previews,
but only the topmost one is visible. Click a
group button and hover your mouse
pointer over each window name to see its
individual preview.
7. Check Show Window Previews
(Thumbnails) to show a small pop-up
image of a window’s contents when you
hover the mouse pointer over its taskbar
button (Figure 2.28).
A thumbnail is useful when you can’t
identify a window by its title alone. This
setting works only if you’re using the
Aero color scheme.
8. Click OK (or Apply).
As the uniform command center for all your running programs, the taskbar is one of the
most powerful features of Windows and among the ones that you’ll use most often. The right
taskbar settings can make using your computer more pleasant. Here are my recommendations for taskbar Properties settings.
Lock the Taskbar: On.
Auto-Hide the Taskbar: Off, unless you’re working with a small screen or want to devote
every pixel to a particular window.
Keep the Taskbar on Top of Other Windows: On.
Group Similar Taskbar Buttons: On, unless you work regularly with few open windows.
Show Quick Launch: On.
Show Window Previews (Thumbnails): On, unless they annoy you or you’re low on memory or battery power.
77
Customizing the Taskbar
Taskbar Recommendations
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Chapter 2
✔ Tips
■
To show an autohidden taskbar by using
the keyboard, press Ctrl+Esc or the
Windows logo key.
■
To toggle the taskbar lock on or off
quickly, right-click an empty area of the
taskbar and choose Lock the Taskbar.
■
Right-click a group button to manage
multiple windows as a group (Figure 2.29).
■
If the taskbar becomes too crowded,
Windows hides some taskbar buttons
and displays scroll buttons instead
(Figure 2.30).
■
Figure 2.29 A group button’s shortcut menu lets you
arrange all the group’s windows, minimize them, or
close them (without affecting other windows).
Figure 2.30 These scroll buttons
let you access hidden buttons on
a jam-packed taskbar.
The taskbar won’t group a program’s
windows into one button if there’s
enough room for a separate button for
each window.
Customizing the Taskbar
To move the taskbar:
1. If the taskbar is locked, unlock it (rightclick an empty area of the taskbar and
then uncheck Lock the Taskbar).
2. Point to an empty area of the taskbar
and drag to any edge of your screen
(Figure 2.31).
✔ Tip
■
Try docking the taskbar to the screen’s
left edge. It may feel awkward at first, but
it reduces the amount of mousing
needed for routine tasks, shows the day
and date (not just the time), and displays
more icons in the Quick Launch toolbar
and notification area.
Figure 2.31 The taskbar widens automatically
when you drag it to the left or right edge.
Open windows self-adjust to accommodate
the taskbar’s new location.
78
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The Desktop
To resize the taskbar:
Figure 2.32 Taskbars at the screen’s top or bottom
resize in button-height increments. Taskbars to the
left or right resize without constraints.
1. If the taskbar is locked, unlock it (rightclick an empty area of the taskbar and
then uncheck Lock the Taskbar).
2. Point to the inside edge of the taskbar
(the pointer becomes a double-headed
arrow), and drag toward the desktop for
a larger taskbar or toward the screen
edge for a smaller one (Figure 2.32).
✔ Tip
■
If you make your taskbar more than one
line deep, truncated buttons and toolbars will expand.
Customizing the Taskbar
79
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Chapter 2
Using the Notification Area
The notification area lives at the right end of
the taskbar, holding the clock and small
icons that monitor activities on your computer or network (Figure 2.33).
Figure 2.33 Notification-area icons give the status of
background programs, tasks, and services. The
number of icons grows as you install more programs.
Windows and other programs use icons here
to let you know things—that you’ve received
new email, for example. Some icons flash to
get your attention, whereas others appear
for the duration of an event (such as printing a document). Hover the mouse pointer
over an icon to find out what it represents
(Figure 2.34).
These icons have no standard controls.
Some, you click; others, you double- or rightclick; and some ignore clicks.
Using the Notification Area
✔ Tips
■
Programs can display what they please
in the notification area (and some abuse
the privilege). You can dismiss some
icons with a right-click, whereas others
cling like barnacles. A program’s options
or preferences (usually listed in the Edit or
Tools menu) may let you control
notification-area settings.
■
Before Windows XP, the notification area
was called the system tray (or just tray).
Some programs still call it that in their
documentation and dialog boxes.
80
Figure 2.34 The tooltip for the Network icon shows
your computer’s connection status.
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The Desktop
Figure 2.35 A < button indicates that Windows has
hidden some notification-area icons (refer to Figure
2.33). Click the button to expand the notification area
and display all icons, as shown here. (Note that the <
button changes to >.)
Windows manages the notification area by
watching you work. If you don’t use an icon
regularly, Windows calls it inactive and
hides it, but you can control icon display
rather than accept the default behavior
(Figure 2.35). You also can control the display of the Windows system icons.
To customize the notification area:
1. Right-click an empty area of the notification area (clicking to the right of the
clock is easiest) and choose Properties
(Figure 2.36).
or
Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Taskbar and Start Menu > Notification
Area tab.
2. In the System Icons section, check or
uncheck the icons that you want always
to show or hide.
4. To customize the behavior of icons, click
Customize.
The Icon column shows the programs
(Figure 2.37).
5. In the Behavior column, click each program that you want to customize and
choose Hide When Inactive, Hide, or
Show from the drop-down list.
or
Click Default Settings to restore the
icons’ standard behavior.
6. Click OK in each open dialog box.
Figure 2.37 You can specify the notification behavior
for items displayed currently as well as in the past.
81
Using the Notification Area
Figure 2.36 The Notification Area tab lets you change
the notification area’s appearance and behavior.
3. In the Icons section, to always show all
icons, uncheck Hide Inactive Icons, click
OK, and then skip the remaining steps.
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Chapter 2
✔ Tips
■
If Hide Inactive Icons is turned on, you
can customize notifications directly.
Right-click an empty area of the notification area and choose Customize
Notification Icons.
■
A taskbar on the left or right screen edge
(or a tall one at the top or bottom) displays the day and date automatically
(Figure 2.38).
■
Occasionally, an icon in the notification
area will display a small pop-up window
(called a notification) to tell you about
something (Figure 2.39).
Using the Notification Area
■
82
Point to the clock to show the day and
date, or click it to show a calendar and
an analog clock.
Figure 2.38 A tall or vertical
taskbar displays the day, the date,
and more icons.
Figure 2.39 You may see this message after adding a
new hardware device to your computer. Click the
Close button ( ) in the top-right corner of the
notification to dismiss it, or do nothing, and the
notification will fade away on its own after a few
seconds.
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The Desktop
Adding Toolbars to the
Taskbar
Specialized toolbars are available on the
taskbar (Figure 2.40):
Quick Launch. Provides one-click access—
much quicker than the Start menu—to
commonly used items. It also lets you minimize all windows to show the desktop and
switch among windows. By default, only this
toolbar is displayed.
Desktop. Links to all desktop shortcuts, so
that you don’t have to minimize all windows
to reach them.
Links. Links to Internet Explorer’s Favorites
folder. You can drag file or webpage shortcuts
onto this toolbar or right-click to delete links.
Quick Launch
toolbar
Address toolbar
Desktop
toolbar
Figure 2.40 Toolbars occupy a lot of taskbar space. Click the chevron button (
end to display a menu of items or commands that won’t fit on the taskbar
Links toolbar
) that appears at a toolbar’s right
83
Adding Toolbars to the Taskbar
Address. A text box that accepts any
address on the web, on your network, or on
your computer. Enter a web address (URL)
to launch or activate Internet Explorer (or
your default browser), a program name to
launch the program, a document name and
path to open the document in its associated
program (launching the program if necessary), or a folder name to open it in
Windows Explorer.
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Chapter 2
✔ Tips
The Address toolbar autocompletes—
that is, proposes matching entries that
you’ve typed before. You can keep typing,
or you can use arrow keys to select a
match and then press Enter. If you type
something that Windows doesn’t understand, Windows searches and either
finds what you want or displays an error
message.
■
Many tasks in this section require an
unlocked taskbar. Right-click an empty
area of the taskbar. If Lock the Taskbar is
checked, uncheck it.
Adding Toolbars to the Taskbar
■
Other Toolbars
These toolbars also are available:
84
◆
The Windows Media Player toolbar
appears on the taskbar only when
Media Player (Chapter 10) is open and
minimized. Use it to control the
player’s main functions.
◆
If you’re using a Tablet PC, the
Tablet PC Input Panel toolbar
provides a quick way to enter text
without a keyboard.
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The Desktop
To show or hide taskbar toolbars:
◆
Right-click an empty area on the taskbar,
point to Toolbars, and then check or
uncheck a name in the submenu to toggle that toolbar (Figure 2.41).
✔ Tips
Figure 2.41 You can show or hide each toolbar
independently of the others.
Resize a toolbar by dragging the vertical
rib at its left end.
■
To create a custom toolbar, right-click an
empty area of the taskbar, choose
Toolbars > New Toolbar, navigate to a
folder whose contents you want to make
into a toolbar, and then click Select
Folder. Sadly, this toolbar vanishes when
you close it or log off; you repeat the New
Toolbar process to get it back.
■
To create a custom shortcut
toolbar on the desktop, rightclick an empty area of the
desktop, choose New > Folder,
type a folder name, press Enter,
and then drag the folder to the
very edge of the screen. The
folder will look like a new toolbar. Drag shortcuts to it or right-click it
to display a shortcut menu.
85
Adding Toolbars to the Taskbar
■
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Chapter 2
To customize a taskbar toolbar:
Adding Toolbars to the Taskbar
◆
86
Right-click an empty area of the toolbar
and choose one of these commands at the
top of the shortcut menu (Figure 2.42):
View. Shows large (double-size) or small
(default) toolbar icons.
Open Folder. Opens the folder that the
toolbar represents. Adding, changing,
and deleting shortcuts in the folder is
easier than manipulating the toolbar’s
small icons.
Show Text. Displays a text label next to
each toolbar icon, which takes a lot of
space. This feature is on by default for
Links but not for Quick Launch.
Show Title. Shows the toolbar name—
generally a waste of space except as an
extra empty area for right-clicking.
Close Toolbar. Closes the toolbar.
Figure 2.42 The Open Folder command works with
only the Links and Quick Launch toolbars (and with
custom toolbars created with Toolbars > New Toolbar).
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The Desktop
Figure 2.43 (Left to right) The Show Desktop button
hides all windows; click it again to restore them to
their original positions (keyboard shortcut: Windows
logo key+D). The Switch Between Windows button
changes the active window (keyboard shortcut:
Windows logo key+Tab or Alt+Tab). The next two
buttons launch Internet Explorer (Chapter 14) and
Windows Media Player (Chapter 10)
Using the Quick Launch
Toolbar
Quick Launch begins with four Microsoftsupplied buttons (Figure 2.43). You can
add buttons for instant one-click access to
favorite files and folders or delete buttons
that you don’t need.
To add a button to Quick Launch:
◆
Locate the item (icon) that you want to
add, drag it over the toolbar, and then
drop it where you want it to appear
(Figure 2.44).
or
Locate the icon in the Start menu, rightclick it, and then click Add to Quick
Launch (Figure 2.45).
✔ Tips
Figure 2.45 If you don’t see the Add to Quick Launch
command in the shortcut menu, you can drag a Startmenu icon directly to the Quick Launch toolbar.
You can add almost anything to the
Quick Launch toolbar: a program, file,
folder, disk, web address (URL), hardware
device, Control Panel program, and so on.
■
Drag buttons within the toolbar to
reorder them.
■
Hold down Shift when you right-click a
file in a folder window, and Add to Quick
Launch will appear in the shortcut menu.
■
If, instead of buttons that you’ve added,
you see the chevron button ( ), it means
that the hidden buttons won’t fit on the
toolbar. You can click the chevron to
reveal the hidden buttons or—better—
preserve one-click access by resizing the
toolbar. To do that, right-click an empty
area of the taskbar and make sure the
taskbar is unlocked; then drag Quick
Launch’s ribbed sizing handle (refer to
Figure 2.43) to the right until you see all
your buttons.
87
Using the Quick Launch Toolbar
Figure 2.44 When you drag over the Quick Launch
toolbar, an I-beam will appear to show where the item
will land when you drop it.
■
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Chapter 2
To delete a button from Quick Launch:
1. Right-click the button and choose
Delete.
2. Confirm the deletion if a message box
appears.
✔ Tips
Deleting a shortcut doesn’t remove
the file or uninstall the program that
it represents.
■
You can drag an unwanted button from
the toolbar to the Recycle Bin.
■
Don’t delete the Show Desktop button;
it’s a command, not a shortcut. If you
delete it accidentally, go to http://
support.microsoft.com/?kbid=190355,
“How to Re-Create the Show Desktop
Icon on the Quick Launch Toolbar.”
Using the Quick Launch Toolbar
■
88
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The Desktop
Using the Sidebar
Gadgets
Detached
gadgets
Sidebar
Windows Sidebar (Figure 2.46), new in
Vista, is a long, vertical strip along the edge
of your desktop that holds mini-programs
called gadgets, such as slide-show viewers,
scrolling headlines, weather forecasts, search
boxes, games, and sticky notes. Windows
comes with a small collection of gadgets,
and you can get more online.
You can customize the sidebar (and individual gadgets) to organize the information
that you want to access quickly without
cluttering your screen with open windows.
You also can detach gadgets from the sidebar and place them on your desktop so that
they’re still visible when the sidebar is closed.
✔ Tips
You need an internet connection for continuously updating or “live” gadgets like
news feeds and stock tickers. An always-on
connection like DSL or cable works best,
but a regular dial-up modem works too,
in a creaky sort of way.
■
Windows Sidebar replaces the Active
Desktop feature (live web content
embedded in the desktop) of earlier
Windows versions.
Figure 2.46 When you start Windows, the sidebar
appears on the desktop’s right edge with the Clock,
Slide Show, and Feed Headlines gadgets. You can
open and close the sidebar, and decide which
gadgets to put on it and which to remove.
89
Using the Sidebar
■
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Chapter 2
To open the sidebar:
◆
Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > Windows Sidebar.
or
Click the Windows Sidebar button in
the notification area of the taskbar.
or
Press Windows logo key+spacebar
(brings all gadgets to the front and
selects the sidebar).
or
Press Windows logo key+G (opens the
sidebar and cycles through the gadgets).
or
Choose Start, type sidebar in the Search
box, and then select Windows Sidebar in
the results list.
Figure 2.47 The sidebar’s shortcut menu is available
even if the sidebar is closed.
✔ Tip
Using the Sidebar
■
You can right-click the Windows Sidebar
button to display the sidebar’s shortcut
menu (Figure 2.47).
To close the sidebar:
◆
Right-click the sidebar and choose Close
Sidebar (Figure 2.48).
Closing the sidebar won’t close detached
gadgets on your desktop.
To exit the sidebar:
◆
90
Right-click the Windows Sidebar
button in the notification area of the
taskbar and choose Exit.
Exiting removes the sidebar from the
desktop and the sidebar button from the
notification area. It also shuts down the
gadgets so that they’re not using memory, as they do invisibly when the sidebar
is closed.
Figure 2.48 Right-click the sidebar (but not a gadget)
to show the sidebar’s shortcut menu.
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The Desktop
To customize the sidebar:
1. Right-click the sidebar and choose
Properties.
or
Right-click the Windows Sidebar
button in the notification area of
the taskbar and choose Properties.
or
Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Windows Sidebar Properties.
or
Choose Start, type sidebar in the Search
box, and then select Windows Sidebar
Properties in the results list.
Figure 2.49 Use the Windows Sidebar Properties
dialog box to control the position and behavior of the
sidebar. If you’re using multiple monitors, you can
choose which one the sidebar appears on.
2. Set the desired options and click OK
(Figure 2.49).
✔ Tip
■
If you check Sidebar Is Always on Top of
Other Windows, maximized windows
lock against the sidebar automatically.
Figure 2.50 The Gadget Gallery initially displays the
gadgets that come with Windows.
1. Right-click the sidebar and choose Add
Gadgets.
or
Right-click the Windows Sidebar
button in the notification area of
the taskbar and choose Add Gadgets.
or
Click the plus sign (+) at
the top of the sidebar.
2. Double-click a gadget to add it
(Figure 2.50).
or
Right-click a gadget and choose Add.
or
Drag a gadget to the sidebar or desktop.
91
Using the Sidebar
To add a gadget:
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Chapter 2
Using the Sidebar
✔ Tips
■
To download and install more gadgets, in
the Gadget Gallery, click the link Get More
Gadgets Online to open the Microsoft
Gadgets website.
■
If you have a lot of gadgets installed,
click the arrows in the top-left corner of
the Gadget Gallery to page through
them, or type a gadget name in the
Search box in the top-right corner. (You
can narrow the search further by clicking
the arrow to the right of the Search box.
Choosing Recently Installed Gadgets, for
example, narrows the search to gadgets
installed in the past 30 days.)
■
You can add multiple instances of a particular gadget and customize each one.
You can add clocks set to different time
zones, for example.
■
To uninstall a gadget, right-click it the
Gadget Gallery and choose Uninstall.
If you uninstall gadgets that came with
Windows, you can restore them by
clicking Restore Gadgets Installed with
Windows in the sidebar’s Properties
dialog box (refer to Figure 2.49).
To remove a gadget:
◆
92
Right-click the gadget and choose Close
Gadget (Figure 2.51).
or
Click the Remove button that
appears when you hover your
mouse pointer over the gadget.
Figure 2.51 Each gadget (on the sidebar or on the
desktop) has its own shortcut menu.
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The Desktop
To place a gadget on the desktop:
◆
Right-click the gadget on the sidebar and
choose Detach from Sidebar.
or
Drag the gadget to the desktop from the
sidebar or from the Gadget Gallery.
✔ Tips
■
You can reposition detached gadgets by
dragging them around on the desktop.
■
To make a detached gadget always float
on top of other windows, right-click it
and choose Always on Top.
■
To move a detached gadget back to the
sidebar, drag it to the sidebar, or rightclick it and choose Attach to Sidebar.
To customize an individual gadget:
◆
Figure 2.52 Each gadget has its own individual
options. These are the options for the Clock gadget.
✔ Tip
■
If a gadget is distracting, you can dim it
by displaying its shortcut menu and lowering its opacity (refer to Figure 2.51).
The gadget returns to full brightness
temporarily when you hover your mouse
pointer over it.
93
Using the Sidebar
Right-click the gadget and choose
Options (Figure 2.52).
or
Click the Options (wrench) button
that appears when you hover your
mouse pointer over the gadget.
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Chapter 2
Managing Shortcuts
I’ve covered creating, editing, and deleting
shortcuts in the Start menu and Quick
Launch toolbar. Shortcuts also can appear
on the desktop and in folders. A shortcut
can link to a program, file, folder, disk, printer
or other device, web address (URL), or system
folder (such as Computer). When you doubleclick a shortcut, its linked file opens. You
can create and modify a shortcut to any
item and store it anywhere; it’s a tiny file.
Windows offers two types of shortcut files:
Windows shortcuts (.lnk files) to items on
your computer or network, and internet
shortcuts (.url files) to webpages. A shortcut
shares the icon of the original but adds a small
boxed arrow in one corner (Figure 2.53).
Managing Shortcuts
✔ Tips
■
You can make several shortcuts to the
same object and store them in different
places.
■
You can make shortcuts to networkaccessible items, not just items on your
local computer.
■
Don’t confuse a shortcut icon, which is a
placeholder for an object, with a shortcut
(right-click) menu or a keyboard shortcut, which is a command keystroke.
94
Figure 2.53 You can distinguish a shortcut from the
original file to which it’s linked by the small curved
arrow. This makes it easy to identify the shortcut so
that you don’t mistakenly delete the original when
you meant to delete the shortcut.
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The Desktop
To create a shortcut:
1. Locate the item (icon) that you want to
create a shortcut to.
Figure 2.54 The shortcut menu lets you create a
desktop shortcut quickly.
95
Managing Shortcuts
2. Right-drag the icon to a destination
(typically, the desktop or a folder) and
choose Create Shortcut(s) Here.
or
Right-click the icon and choose Send To >
Desktop (Create Shortcut) (Figure 2.54).
or
Right-click the icon and choose Copy;
then right-click where you want the
shortcut to appear and choose Paste
Shortcut.
or
Right-click the icon and choose
Create Shortcut.
This method creates a shortcut in the
same location as the original. You can
move the shortcut anywhere.
or
Right-click an empty area of the desktop
or a folder window and choose New >
Shortcut.
The Create Shortcut wizard starts.
Follow the onscreen instructions.
or
Alt+drag the icon to a destination.
or
Ctrl+Shift+drag the icon to a destination.
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Chapter 2
To create a shortcut to a webpage:
1. In your web browser, go to the page that
you want to create a shortcut to.
2. Drag the small icon on the left end of the
address bar to the desktop or a folder
window.
Before you drag, move or resize your
browser window so you can see the
shortcut’s destination.
Figure 2.55 You can delete the shortcut or restore the
original file (if it’s in the Recycle Bin).
✔ Tips
If you create a shortcut and its icon
doesn’t have a small curved arrow, it’s not
a shortcut; you’ve moved or copied the
original. Press Ctrl+Z to undo your
action and try again.
■
If you create a shortcut to a shortcut, the
new shortcut points to the original target.
■
If you double-click a shortcut and the
Problem with Shortcut dialog box
appears (Figure 2.55), the original file
has been moved or deleted.
Managing Shortcuts
■
Creating Shortcuts to Programs
If you want to create a shortcut to a program, the easiest way is to right-click it
on the left side of the Start menu (or in
the All Programs submenu) and choose
Send To > Desktop (Create Shortcut).
If you can’t find a program in the Start
menu, look for it—specifically, for its .exe
file (Word’s executable file is winword.exe,
for example)—in a folder nested in the
\Program Files folder or, for the small
utility programs that come with Windows,
in the \Windows or \Windows\System32
folder.
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The Desktop
To display system-folder shortcuts on
the desktop:
1. Right-click an empty area of the desktop
and choose Personalize.
or
Chose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization.
2. Click the Change Desktop Icons link (in
the left pane).
3. In the Desktop Icons section, check the
boxes for the shortcuts that you want on
the desktop (Figure 2.56) and then click
OK (or Apply).
Figure 2.56 You can bring back the common icons
that were on the desktop by default in earlier versions
of Windows.
✔ Tip
■
Managing Shortcuts
The Desktop Icon Settings dialog box
also lets you change the system icons.
Select the icon and click Change Icon
to choose a new icon. (To restore the
original icon, select the icon and click
Restore Default.)
97
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Chapter 2
To rename a shortcut:
1. Right-click the shortcut and choose
Rename.
or
Select (highlight) the shortcut and
press F2.
or
Click the shortcut’s title (not its icon)
twice slowly; don’t double-click.
2. Retype or edit the name and press Enter
(Figure 2.57).
You can use the Cut, Copy, and Paste
keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, and
Ctrl+V) while editing.
Managing Shortcuts
✔ Tips
■
To cancel renaming a shortcut, press
Esc while editing.
■
Shortcut names can include letters,
numbers, spaces, and some punctuation
marks but not these characters: \ / : *
? “ > < |.
■
You can rename a shortcut in the
General tab of the shortcut’s Properties
dialog box.
To delete a shortcut:
◆
Right-click the shortcut and choose
Delete.
or
Select (highlight) a shortcut or multiple
shortcuts and press Delete.
✔ Tip
■
98
To recover (undelete) a shortcut from the
Recycle Bin, see “Deleting Files and
Folders” in Chapter 5.
Figure 2.57 Getting rid of
- Shortcut usually is the first
objective in renaming.
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The Desktop
To view or change a shortcut’s
properties:
◆
Right-click the shortcut and choose
Properties.
or
Select (highlight) the shortcut and press
Alt+Enter (Figure 2.58 and Figure 2.59).
✔ Tips
Privacy tip: An internet shortcut’s Web
Document tab (refer to Figure 2.59)
shows the number of times that you’ve
visited the page.
■
Run Maximized is useful for programs
that “forget” to run in full-screen mode
when you start them from the shortcut.
■
If you use Run Minimized for Startupfolder icons, programs will start automatically as taskbar buttons, and your
logon desktop won’t be cluttered with
windows.
■
You can update the target (path) of the
object that a shortcut points to, but
usually it’s easier to create a new shortcut.
Figure 2.59 …Properties dialog boxes for internet
shortcuts (URLs) have a Web Document tab. For
details, see the “Shortcut Properties” sidebar.
99
Managing Shortcuts
Figure 2.58 The Properties dialog box for Windows
shortcuts (to documents and programs) has a
Shortcut tab, whereas…
■
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Chapter 2
Shortcut Properties
Information in a shortcut’s Properties dialog box depends on what the shortcut represents.
Here are some common properties:
Target. The name of the item that the shortcut points to. A shortcut to a file needs the full
path to its location (unless the file is in a Windows system folder).
Start In. The folder in which the program looks for files to open or save, by default.
Shortcut Key. The keyboard shortcut with which to open (or switch to) the program. Press
any key to make Ctrl+Alt+key appear here. You can assign Ctrl+Alt+E to Windows Explorer,
for example, to open it without hunting for its shortcut. A shortcut key requires at least two
of Ctrl, Shift, and Alt but can’t use Esc, Enter, Tab, spacebar, Delete, Backspace, or
Print Screen.
Shortcut keys work for desktop and Start-menu shortcuts. Pick shortcuts that don’t conflict
with program-defined or other shortcut keys.
Run. Tells the program to open in a normal (restored), minimized, or maximized window.
Comment. Provides the descriptive text (tooltip) that appears when your mouse pointer
hovers over the shortcut.
Managing Shortcuts
Open File Location. Opens the folder containing the target file that the shortcut points to.
The file will be selected in the folder window that appears.
Change Icon. Allows you to change the default icon of a shortcut, which is the same as that
of the target. Changing this icon doesn’t change the target’s icon.
URL. Displays the target web address (URL) of an internet shortcut.
Details tab. Displays more properties and their associated values.
100
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The Desktop
Tidying Your Desktop
Over time, shortcuts tend to accumulate on
your desktop. Microsoft’s productivity elves
have provided cleanup tools.
To arrange desktop shortcuts:
Figure 2.60 This submenu lets you resize your
desktop shortcuts, align them, or hide them
temporarily.
continues on next page
101
Tidying Your Desktop
1. Right-click an empty area of the desktop,
point to View, and then choose a command from the submenu (Figure 2.60):
Large Icons, Medium Icons, or
Classic Icons. Changes the size of all
the icons on the desktop. The default is
Medium. Classic icons are the smaller
icons that appeared in earlier Windows
versions.
Auto Arrange. Places icons in neat
columns, starting on the screen’s left
side. Uncheck this option to drag icons
anywhere on your desktop. This option
won’t work if your desktop is full.
Align to Grid. Turns on an invisible grid
that makes icons snap into equally spaced
alignment when you move them. Uncheck
this option to turn off the grid (useful
only if Auto Arrange is turned off).
Show Desktop Icons. Uncheck this
option to hide all desktop icons; check it
to show them.
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Chapter 2
2. Right-click an empty area of the desktop,
point to Sort By, and then choose a command from the submenu (Figure 2.61):
Name. Sorts alphabetically by name.
Size. Sorts by file size, with the
smallest first. If the shortcut points to
a program, the size refers to the size of
the shortcut file.
Type. Sorts by file type, which keeps files
with the same file extension together
(.doc for Microsoft Word files or .exe for
programs, for example).
Date Modified. Sorts by the date when
the shortcut (not the original) was last
modified, with the most recent first.
✔ Tips
If your icons look grainy or badly drawn,
right-click an empty area of the desktop
and choose Refresh to redisplay icons.
■
Windows XP’s Desktop Cleanup wizard
has been removed from Vista.
Tidying Your Desktop
■
102
Figure 2.61 This submenu lets you choose the way
Windows sorts your desktop shortcuts.
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3
Getting Help
Windows’ help system has changed over the
years into something that’s actually useful
to beginning and intermediate users. Vista’s
Help and Support is a hybrid web-based and
on-disk help system that lets you use webstyle links and searches to access:
◆
Standard documentation
◆
Animated tutorials
◆
Troubleshooting guides
◆
Windows Help websites
◆
Help from other Windows users
103
Getting Help
Also, the Remote Assistance program lets a
remote user view your screen—or even control your PC—to help you solve problems.
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Chapter 3
Starting Help and Support
The first stop in Windows Help and Support
(Help for short) is the home page (Figure 3.1),
which includes links to basic information
and external help resources. Your home page
may differ slightly from the one pictured
because Microsoft sometimes updates Help
through Windows Update.
To start Help and Support:
◆
Choose Start > Help and Support.
or
Press Windows logo key+F1.
or
If the desktop is active, press F1.
or
Choose Start, type help in the Search
box, and then select Help and Support in
the results list.
✔ Tip
Starting Help and Support
■
Help and Support won’t help you with a
program that’s not part of Windows; for
that, you’ll need to consult the program’s
own help system (which almost every
program has). To open a program’s help
system, use its Help menu or press F1.
If you have an older program that uses
Windows Help format (.hlp files), see
http://support.microsoft.com/
?kbid=917607,
“Windows Help program
(WinHlp32.exe) is no longer included
with Windows.”
104
Figure 3.1 The home page for Windows Help and
Support.
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Getting Help
Table 3.1
Help Keyboard Shortcuts
Press
To
Alt+A
Alt+C
Alt+N
Alt+O or F10
Alt+left arrow
Show the customer support page
Show the table of contents
Show the Connection Settings menu
Show the Options menu
Move back to the previously viewed
topic
Move forward to the next previously
viewed topic
Show the home page
Go to the beginning of the current
topic
Go to the end of the current topic
Select all the text of the current topic
Copy the selected text of the current
topic
Search the current topic
Print the current topic
Move to the Search box
Alt+right arrow
Alt+Home
Home
End
Ctrl+A
Ctrl+C
Ctrl+F
Ctrl+P
F3
Browsing Help and
Support
You navigate Help and Support by using
weblike buttons, icons, and links. The Help
toolbar always is visible at the top of the
window. You can also navigate via the keyboard (Table 3.1).
To use the toolbar:
◆
In Help and Support, click the following
buttons on the toolbar:
Move back and forward through
recently viewed topics.
Show the home page (refer to
Figure 3.1).
Print the current help topic.
Show the table of contents.
Getting Help in
Dialog Boxes and Windows
If you see a question mark inside a circle
or square, or a colored and underlined
text link, click it to open the Help topic.
You’ll see the following Help links in
some dialog boxes and windows:
Help links
105
Browsing Help and Support
Show links to customer support
and other types of help.
Print, show the table of contents,
change the text size, search the
current topic, or change the
default help settings.
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Chapter 3
To browse Help by subject:
Click the Browse Help button on the
toolbar (or press Alt+C).
1.
2. Click an item in the list of subject headings that appears (Figure 3.2).
✔ Tips
If you see a blue compass at the top of a
Help topic (Figure 3.3, top), it means
that guided help is available to let you
actually see the steps required to do
something instead of reading them.
Figure 3.3, bottom, shows a step in
guided help.
■
Help commands also are available in the
shortcut menu; right-click anywhere in
the topics area.
Browsing Help and Support
■
Figure 3.2 Subject headings contain
Help topics ( ) or other subject
headings ( ). Click a Help topic to open
it, or click another heading to dig deeper
into the subject list.
Figure 3.3 Guided help, new in Vista, can perform the
steps for you by opening menus, starting programs,
and clicking buttons—just watch and learn. Or it can
show you each step but let you do the actual opening,
starting, or clicking.
106
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Getting Help
Searching Help and
Support
Help’s search function is easy; faster than
browsing by subject; and usually finds a
wide range of related topics, which can
acquaint you with features that you were
unaware of.
To search for help topics:
1. In Help and Support, type or paste a
search phrase (one or more keywords) in
the Search box and then press Enter or
click the magnifying glass.
Help displays a list of results (Figure 3.4).
Figure 3.4 The most relevant results are
at the top of the list. At the bottom of a
long list, you can click a link to see more
results.
2. Click one of the results to read the topic.
✔ Tips
If your search phrase contains multiple
words, Help searches for topics that contain all the words. A search for keyboard
shortcuts, for example, yields pages that
contain keyboard and shortcuts, though
not necessarily adjacent in the text. To
find an exact phrase, enclose it in quotes
(“keyboard shortcuts”).
■
Searches include common synonyms.
The search phrases erase file and delete
file and remove file, for example, all
return similar results (the official term is
delete). Help handles some misspelled
keywords too.
■
Search for troubleshoot to see a long list
of topics that help you identify and
resolve hardware, software, and networking problems.
■
Search terms aren’t case sensitive.
■
Help ignores a long list of articles,
prepositions, and other noise words:
a, the, of, like, from, and so on.
Getting Up-to-Date Help
If you’re connected to the internet, you
can include the latest content from
Microsoft’s Windows Online Help and
Support website (http://windowshelp.
microsoft.com) when you search so that
you have a better chance of getting your
question answered:
1. Choose Start > Help and Support >
Options (on the toolbar) > Settings.
2. Check Include Windows Online Help
and Support When You Search for
Help, and click OK.
The words Online Help appear in
the bottom-right corner of the Help
and Support window when you’re
connected.
107
Searching Help and Support
■
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Chapter 3
Getting Help on the Web
Getting Help on the Web
You can get Windows help from several
websites:
◆
Windows Online Help and Support.
An online version of Help and Support,
plus instructional videos, columns, and
other odds and ends. Go to http://
windowshelp.microsoft.com.
◆
Microsoft Help and Support.
A collection of solutions to common
problems, how-to topics, troubleshooting
steps, and the latest downloads. Go to
http://support.microsoft.com.
◆
Microsoft Knowledge Base.
A huge searchable database of articles
with detailed solutions to specific problems and computer errors. Go to
http://support.microsoft.com and
click Search Knowledge Base.
◆
Microsoft TechNet. A resource for
technical professionals. Go to http://
technet.microsoft.com and click the
link for Windows Vista.
◆
Google. A search engine that often
indexes Windows pages, articles, and
help topics better than Microsoft does.
Go to www.google.com and type a
search phrase.
If all else fails, you can get help—free or
paid—from a technical support professional
by phone, email, or online chat. If you bought
a new computer with Windows already
installed, your PC manufacturer provides
support; if you purchased Windows separately, Microsoft does.
Click the Ask button on the Help
and Support toolbar to see which
support options apply to your computer.
108
Newsgroups
A newsgroup is a free internet discussion group where people from all over
the world talk about a specific topic.
To get help from other Vista users, go
to www.microsoft.com/communities/
newsgroups/default.mspx and click the
link for Windows Vista. Search the newsgroup to get a feeling for how it works;
then see whether someone else has
already asked your question and had it
answered. If not, post a message and
check back later for an answer (likely, but
not certain). You can use a web-based
newsreader or Windows Mail (Chapter 15)
to read and post messages.
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Getting Help
Capturing Screen Images
If you want to ask a friend or colleague for
help over email, he may be able to solve your
problem better if you send him a screen
shot—an image of what’s on all or part of
your screen.
Figure 3.5 This image shows a problem—a greatly
oversized taskbar taking up half the desktop—that an
experienced Windows user could diagnose in a moment
by looking at a screen shot. A beginner would have
difficulty explaining the problem by using only words.
The simplest way to take a screen shot is to
use your keyboard: Press the Print Screen
(PrntScrn) key to capture the entire screen
(Figure 3.5) or Alt+Print Screen to grab
only the active window. The screen image is
now stored on the invisible clipboard, ready
for pasting into an email message (or a
graphics program, if you want to edit, save,
or print it).
Serious screen-shooters use more sophisticated tools: Try Snipping Tool (Figure 3.6),
SnagIt ($40 U.S.; www.snagit.com), or Gadwin
PrintScreen (free; www.gadwin.com).
Capturing Screen Images
Figure 3.6 Snipping Tool, new in Vista, lets you capture,
annotate, save, and share screen images. Choose
Start > All Programs > Accessories > Snipping Tool.
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Chapter 3
Allowing Others to
Connect to Your Computer
Remotely
Allowing Others to Connect Remotely
You’ll appreciate Remote Assistance if you’ve
ever endured the friendship-dissolving stress
of giving or receiving tech support over the
phone. Remote Assistance lets you invite a
friend or technical helper—anyone you trust
who’s running Windows Vista, Windows XP,
or Windows Server 2003—to help you by
connecting to your PC over the internet or
a network. That person can swap messages
with you, view your screen, or (with your
permission) use his mouse and keyboard to
control your computer. All sessions are
encrypted and password protected.
Remote Assistance relieves novices of having
to explain problems in jargon they haven’t
learned, and lets helpers cut the chatter and
work on the novice’s machine directly.
Helpers can even install software, update
hardware drivers, and edit the registry.
✔ Tip
■
Remote Assistance isn’t the same as
Remote Desktop (see Chapter 19). Among
other differences, in Remote Assistance,
both parties must be present at their PCs
and agree to the connection.
Security Concerns
Like all remote-control technologies,
Remote Assistance has security implications beyond the ordinary issues of strong
passwords and firewalls. When you invite
someone to take control of your PC, you
must balance your trust with others’
inclinations toward malice. That person
is free not only to fix your problem, but
also to, say, erase your hard drive or steal
your files. You can view everything he’s
doing onscreen, and if you don’t like what
you see, press Esc or click Cancel to break
the connection immediately.
Still, damage done in a moment can take
ages to undo. Even if that person can’t
control your PC, you could follow his bad
advice and delete critical files or turn off
security features yourself. Furthermore,
you may not be able to confirm the identity of the other person.
110
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Getting Help
Before starting a Remote Assistance session,
set invitation and time limits.
To configure Remote Assistance:
Figure 3.7 If you’re paranoid, uncheck this box to turn
off Remote Assistance.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > System > Remote
Settings (on the left) > Remote tab.
or
Press Windows logo key+Break and then
click Remote Settings (on the left) >
Remote tab.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm the
action.
2. If it’s unchecked, check Allow Remote
Assistance Connections to This Computer
(Figure 3.7).
3. Click Advanced to open Remote
Assistance Settings (Figure 3.8).
5. Use the two Invitations drop-down lists
to set the maximum duration of Remote
Assistance invitations that you send.
The default expiration is 6 hours.
continues on next page
111
Allowing Others to Connect Remotely
Figure 3.8 If you’re worried about security at the
helper’s end, you can shorten the maximum
expiration period to a few minutes or hours.
4. If you’re the novice, and you don’t want
the helper to control your computer (only
to see your desktop), uncheck Allow This
Computer to Be Controlled Remotely.
Even with this box checked, you must
approve each request for control of your
computer explicitly.
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Chapter 3
6. If you want to connect only to people
running Windows Vista or later (not
Windows XP or Server 2003), check the
Create Invitations check box.
7. Click OK in each open dialog box.
✔ Tip
■
If your firewall is blocking Remote
Assistance, you’ll need to create an exception to unblock it. If Windows Firewall
(Vista’s built-in firewall) is blocking
Remote Assistance, the Windows Remote
Assistance wizard will give you unblocking
instructions. See also “Using a Firewall”
in Chapter 13.
Allowing Others to Connect Remotely
In a Remote Assistance session, the two
connected parties—the novice and the
helper—must:
◆
Be using Windows Vista, Windows XP,
or Windows Server 2003 (subject to the
restrictions given in the “Remote
Assistance and Windows XP and Server
2003” sidebar)
◆
Be on the same local area network (LAN)
or have active internet connections
◆
Not be blocked by a firewall (Chapter 13)
The order of events in a Remote Assistance
session is:
1. The novice sends the helper an invitation
via email.
Remote Assistance and Windows
XP and Server 2003
If you’re connecting from a Vista computer to one running Windows XP or
Windows Server 2003, be aware of these
restrictions:
◆
XP and Server 2003 can’t pause a
Remote Assistance session, so if you
pause the session, the XP/Server user
won’t know it.
4. The helper views the novice’s desktop
and exchanges messages with the novice
or, with permission, takes control of the
novice’s computer.
◆
XP and Server 2003 support voice
capability, but Vista doesn’t; nothing
happens if the XP/Server user clicks
the Start Talk button.
5. Either party disconnects to end the
session.
◆
You can’t offer Remote Assistance
from Vista to XP or Server 2003.
2. The helper accepts the invitation.
3. Remote Assistance opens a window that
shows the novice’s desktop to the helper.
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Getting Help
To get help by using Remote
Assistance:
Figure 3.9 The Remote Assistance wizard steps you
through the process of inviting a helper via email.
(Note that you can detour here if you want to give
help rather than get it.)
1. Choose Start > All Programs >
Maintenance > Windows Remote
Assistance.
or
Choose Start > Help and Support > click
Use Windows Remote Assistance to Get
Help from a Friend or Offer Help (under
Ask Someone).
or
Choose Start, type remote assistance
in the Search box, and then press Enter.
The Windows Remote Assistance
wizard starts.
2. Click Invite Someone You Trust to Help
You (Figure 3.9).
Figure 3.10 If you’ve configured your email program,
Windows will start it for you to send the invitation
when you’re finished with the wizard; otherwise, it
will prompt you to set up Windows Mail.
4. Type and retype a password (and set a
disk location if you’re saving the invitation as a file), and then click Next.
continues on next page
113
Allowing Others to Connect Remotely
3. If you’ve already set up an email program
(such as Windows Mail; see Chapter 15),
click Use E-Mail to Send an Invitation
(Figure 3.10).
or
If you want to send the invitation as an
attachment via web-based email (such
as Yahoo or Gmail), click Save This
Invitation As a File.
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Chapter 3
Allowing Others to Connect Remotely
5. Give the password to the helper in person or on the phone; email and instant
messaging are insecure ways to send
passwords (Figure 3.11).
If your email program is set up, Remote
Assistance launches it and creates a message with boilerplate text telling the helper
how to respond to your invitation; you
can add some personal text if you like.
6. Type the helper’s email address in the To
box and send the message (Figure 3.12).
or
If you’re using web-based email, attach the
invitation file that you created in step 3 to
a message and send it to the helper. (Instead
of emailing it, you can transfer this file
over a network, on a floppy disk or USB
flash drive, or via instant messaging.)
After you send the invitation, the Windows
Remote Assistance window will appear
(Figure 3.13). It will notify you when the
helper accepts your invitation.
7. Approve the invitation to start the session.
If you let the helper use his mouse and
keyboard to control your desktop, you’ll
see ghostly pointer movements, selftyping text, and self-opening windows
as he fixes your problem.
8. To end the session (which either you
or the helper can do at any time), click
Cancel, click Stop Sharing, or press Esc.
Figure 3.11 All Remote Assistance sessions are
password protected. This password is used by the
person you’re inviting to help you and is valid for the
duration of the session.
Figure 3.12 The helper must open (double-click) the
attachment (a .MsRcIncident file) to accept your
invitation, sending a response message back to you.
Figure 3.13 Remote Assistance will notify you when
the helper accepts your invitation, which you must
approve to start the session.
114
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Getting Help
✔ Tips
The helper can use (and reuse) your
invitation until it expires. If he doesn’t
respond to your invitation within the
specified time period, it expires. To see
how to set the expiration time, refer to
Figure 3.8.
■
If you check Allow <helper> to Respond
to User Account Control Prompts when
the helper asks to control your desktop,
he can run administrator-level programs
without your participation. You can allow
him to run these programs only if you
can run them yourself, so you’ll be asked
for consent or credentials before giving
him these abilities. He can’t see your
desktop while you provide them.
■
If you are the helper and want the Remote
Assistance window out of your way
briefly while you’re helping the novice,
don’t close it; you’ll break the connection.
Minimize it instead.
■
When you invite a helper via email, you’re
actually transmitting your IP address,
which identifies you uniquely on the
internet. If you have a dynamic (rather
than static) IP address, which changes
every time you connect to the internet,
the helper won’t be able to connect to
your PC if you’ve broken your connection
since sending the invitation or if you share
an internet connection through a router.
115
Allowing Others to Connect Remotely
■
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Personalizing
Your Work
Environment
4
Each new version of Windows makes its
designers assume more about the preferences
and abilities of the “average” user. Because
this user doesn’t exist, Microsoft lets you
change Windows Vista’s factory settings.
117
Personalizing Your Work Environment
You can configure Windows in hundreds of
ways ranging from superficial to meaningful.
Changes to graphics, colors, and animation
usually are cosmetic, whereas some other
settings—the language used or adaptations
for disabled users—change the way you
work with Windows.
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Chapter 4
Using Control Panel
Control Panel is the central container of
tools for changing preferences, configurations,
and settings. These miniature programs
commonly are called applets or extensions.
Experienced Windows users are familiar
with the interface in Figure 4.1, now called
classic view. Windows Vista’s Control Panel
defaults to category view, much improved
since Windows XP (Figure 4.2). In either
view, you can hover your mouse pointer over
a category heading or icon to see a pop-up
description of it.
To open Control Panel:
Choose Start > Control Panel.
or
Choose Start, type control panel in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type control
and press Enter.
or
If you’re using the classic (one-column)
Start menu, choose Start > Settings >
Control Panel.
Using Control Panel
◆
Figure 4.1 Classic view consolidates all Control Panel
tools in one window.
Figure 4.2 Category view groups Control Panel tools
into functional categories.
118
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Personalizing Your Work Environment
To open an item in category view:
◆
Click a category heading or icon to display a list of related tasks and Control
Panel tools (Figure 4.3).
or
Click a task link under a category heading to go right to that task (Figure 4.4).
To open an item in classic view:
◆
Figure 4.3 Clicking the Appearance and
Personalization category heading displays this page.
Double-click the item.
or
Use the arrow keys to navigate to the
desired item; then press Enter.
or
Press the key of the item’s first letter;
then press Enter.
If multiple items have the same first letter, press that letter repeatedly until the
desired item is highlighted; then press
Enter.
To search for a Control Panel item:
◆
Figure 4.4 Clicking Customize Colors (under the
Appearance and Personalization category heading)
bring you right to this page.
Figure 4.5 This search lists mouse-related tasks. The
Search box, new in Vista, works best in category view.
119
Using Control Panel
In the top-right corner of
Control Panel, type search text (one or
more keywords) in the Search box.
Control Panel shows the matching tasks
as you type. Click any link in the results
list (Figure 4.5).
See also “Searching for Files and Folders”
in Chapter 5.
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Chapter 4
To switch Control Panel views:
1. Open Control Panel.
2. In the left pane, click Classic View (for
classic view) or Control Panel Home
(for category view) (Figure 4.6).
Using Control Panel
✔ Tips
■
When you’re browsing a category, the left
pane includes a link to take you to the
Control Panel Home page, links for each
category, and links for recently performed tasks (refer to Figure 4.3).
■
Unlike the Search box in the Start >
Search window or the Start menu (which
searches your whole computer), the
Control Panel Search box finds only tasks
related to Control Panel. Some example
searches to try: screen resolution, add a
printer, and connect internet.
■
If you’re using a laptop computer, you have
an additional Control Panel category—
Mobile PC—that desktop users don’t.
■
Some icons are appear in more than one
category. You can find Power Options, for
example, in both the Hardware and Sound
category and the Mobile PC category,
and Windows Firewall appears in both
Security and in Network and Internet.
■
If you can’t find the item you want in category view, click the Additional Options
category (or switch to classic view).
■
In either view, you can drag an item to
the desktop to create a shortcut.
■
A guided-help animation is available for
Control Panel: Choose Start > Help and
Support, type tour the control panel in
the Search box, and then press Enter. In the
results list, click Tour the Control Panel.
120
Figure 4.6 It’s easy to switch the current
view. Windows veterans may no longer
prefer classic view now that Control
Panel has a Search box.
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Personalizing Your Work Environment
Setting the Window Color
and Color Scheme
You can fine-tune the color and style of the
frames of your windows, and choose one of
the built-in color schemes.
To set window colors and the
color scheme:
Figure 4.7 The color and transparency of window
borders and title bars change dynamically as you
adjust these controls.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Window Color and
Appearance (Figure 4.7).
or
Right-click an empty area of the desktop
and choose Personalize > Window Color
and Appearance.
2. Click a color in the list or click Show
Color Mixer to create your own color.
Drag the Color Intensity slider to dilute
or deepen the chosen color.
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121
Setting the Window Color and Color Scheme
3. Check Enable Transparency if you want
to see through the edges of windows;
uncheck it for opaque edges (which uses
less computer horsepower).
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Chapter 4
4. Click Open Classic Appearance Properties
for More Color Options.
The Appearance Settings dialog box
(Figure 4.8) lets you choose the color
scheme. Windows picks one for you automatically based on your computer’s memory,
display hardware, and video card, but you
can change it manually in the Color Scheme
list. Table 4.1 describes the options.
The Effects button changes font smoothing, menu shadows, and window-dragging
animation. The Advanced button changes
individual interface elements if you’re
using the Classic scheme.
5. Click OK in each open dialog box.
✔ Tips
Setting the Window Color and Color Scheme
■
■
To get the hardware requirements for
Aero, choose Start > Help and Support,
type aero in the Search box, and then
press Enter. In the results list, click How
Do I Get Windows Aero? Other relevant
topics to search for: Video Cards:
Frequently Asked Questions and Ways to
Improve Display Quality.
If you open a program that won’t run in
the current scheme, Vista downgrades the
scheme temporarily and displays a message
in the notification area (Figure 4.9).
Figure 4.8 Without Aero you lose only flash, not
function, so you may want to change to a less-fancy
scheme if it makes your computer’s response snappier.
Figure 4.9 Windows changes the scheme back to
normal when you quit the incompatible program. You
also might see this message if you’re running low on
memory (quit some programs to reclaim the memory).
Table 4.1
Color Schemes
Scheme
Description
Aero
The top-tier display, with advanced visual effects like transparent-glass windows and Start menu; real-time
thumbnails on taskbar buttons and in the Alt+Tab window switcher, Flip 3D (Windows logo key+Tab); subtle
animations; dynamic reflections; drop shadows; and color gradients. This scheme is available in all Vista
editions except Home Basic and only with suitable display hardware.
Like Aero but without transparency, live thumbnails, Flip 3D, and other gee-whizzery. It has the same hardware requirements as Aero. If you’re using a laptop, use Standard or Basic to save battery power.
A basic desktop with no hardware requirements beyond those of Windows Vista itself.
Mimics the look of Windows 98/2000. It changes only appearance, not functionality; you still get Search
boxes, column controls, and so on. See also “Restoring the Old Windows Look” later in this chapter.
For people with vision problems. See also “Accommodating Disabled Users” later in this chapter.
Standard
Basic
Classic
High Contrast
122
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Personalizing Your Work Environment
Setting the Desktop
Background
You can change the image, or wallpaper, that
appears under the icons on your desktop. If
you don’t like the desktop backgrounds that
Windows or your PC manufacturer provides,
you can use one of your own pictures.
To set the desktop background:
Figure 4.10 By default, Windows looks for background
pictures in your personal Pictures folder
(\Users\username\Pictures), the shared Pictures
folder (\Users\Public\Pictures), and
\Windows\Web\Wallpaper.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Desktop Background
(Figure 4.10).
or
Right-click an empty area of the desktop
and choose Personalize > Desktop
Background.
3. In the How Should the Picture Be
Positioned? section, choose an option:
Resize the image to fit your
screen (with some distortion).
This option works best with large images
and photos.
Tile the image repeatedly over
the entire screen. This option
works best with small images.
Center the image on the desktop
background.
continues on next page
123
Setting the Desktop Background
2. Choose a location from the Picture
Location drop-down list, and click the
picture or color that you want for your
background.
or
To use your own picture, click Browse,
find the picture file on your computer or
network, and then double-click it to
make it your background. It will appear
in the list of desktop backgrounds.
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Chapter 4
4. If you chose to center the image in the
preceding step, click Change Background
Color to select a desktop color to fill the
space unoccupied by the picture.
5. Click OK.
✔ Tips
■
You can use bitmap (.bmp/.dib) or JPEG
(.jpeg/.jpg) files as background pictures.
■
If you choose Solid Colors from the
Picture Location drop-down list, the More
button lets you pick a custom color.
■
Setting the Desktop Background
■
To make any picture on your computer
your desktop background, right-click the
picture and choose Set As Desktop
Background.
To use a web image as wallpaper, rightclick the image in Internet Explorer and
choose Set As Background. The downloaded image appears in the Picture
Location list. Each new internet image
you define as a background replaces the
old one.
■
To save a web image permanently and use
it as wallpaper, right-click the image in
Internet Explorer, choose Save Picture As,
save the image in Pictures or a folder of
your own, and then proceed as described.
■
Go to “Managing Visual Effects and
Performance” later in this chapter and
experiment with Use Drop Shadows
for Icon Labels on the Desktop to see
which setting makes your desktop icons’
text labels easier to read against your
background.
124
Resizing Desktop Images
If the photos from your digital camera are
larger than your screen, here’s how to
trim them to use as wallpaper:
1. Right-click an empty area of your
desktop and choose Personalize >
Display Settings.
2. Under Resolution (bottom left), note
the number of pixels (for example,
1024 ✕ 768).
3. Find the icon or thumbnail of the
image that you want to use for wallpaper, and hover the pointer over it until
its file-information tooltip appears.
(Alternatively, right-click the icon and
choose Properties > Details tab >
Dimensions property.)
Dimensions gives the image’s width
and height size in pixels (for example,
1600 ✕ 1200).
If the image’s dimensions exceed your
computer’s screen resolution, Windows
fills your screen with the center portion
of the image, and the edges go wherever
leftover pixels go. This result will be fine
with you if the image edges are uninteresting. But if you want the uncropped
image to be your wallpaper, make a copy
and use the Resize function of a graphics
program (Windows Paint, GIMP, or Adobe
Photoshop, for example) to shrink it to
the same size as your screen (or close).
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Personalizing Your Work Environment
Setting the Screen Saver
A screen saver is a utility that causes a monitor to blank out or display images after a
specified time passes without keyboard or
mouse activity. (Pressing a key or moving
the mouse deactivates the screen saver.)
Screen savers were developed to prevent
hardware damage to your monitor, but
today’s monitors don’t need that protection,
so modern screen savers provide decoration
or entertainment instead. A screen saver
also can password protect your computer
and hide your screen when it takes effect.
To set a screen saver:
Figure 4.11 Set your screen saver’s wait time carefully
so your boss won’t realize how long it’s been since
you did anything.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance
and Personalization > Personalization >
Screen Saver (Figure 4.11).
or
Right-click an empty area of the desktop
and choose Personalize > Screen Saver.
2. Choose a screen saver from the dropdown list.
(To turn off the screen saver, choose
None from the list, click OK, and then
skip the remaining steps.)
4. Click Settings to see any options for the
selected screen saver—to change color or
animation style, for example.
5. (Optional) Check On Resume, Display
Logon Screen to display a logon window
when you begin using your computer
after screen-saver activation.
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125
Setting the Screen Saver
3. Specify how long your computer must be
idle before the screen saver activates.
Try 15 to 20 minutes.
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Chapter 4
6. Click Preview to see a full-screen preview
of the screen saver.
Press a key or move your mouse to end
the test.
7. Click OK (or Apply).
✔ Tips
■
Your screen-saver password is the same
as your logon password. If you have no
logon password, you can’t set a screensaver password.
■
Appearances aside, screen savers—particularly complex ones such as 3D Text—
waste energy and processor time. To save
resources, turn off your monitor manually or automatically after a certain
period of inactivity. See “Conserving
Power” later in this chapter.
Figure 4.12 The Photos screen saver scrolls through all
the pictures and videos in the selected folder or Photo
Gallery (Start > All Programs > Windows Photo Gallery).
To use personal pictures as a screen
saver:
Setting the Screen Saver
1. Make sure you have two or more pictures
in a folder on your computer (usually,
your Pictures folder).
2. In the Screen Saver Settings dialog box
(refer to Figure 4.11), choose Photos from
the drop-down list.
3. Click Settings to pick the folder containing your pictures and set other options
(Figure 4.12).
4. Click OK or Save in each open dialog box.
126
Idly Folding Proteins
Forget screen savers. Instead, put your
idle PC to work solving great math and
science problems. By participating in
distributed—or grid—computing projects,
you (and thousands of others) donate bits
of your computer’s spare processing power
to large-scale, not-for-profit research projects. It’s fascinating, free, and doesn’t interfere
with your normal computer use. Visit
www.grid.org, http://gridcafe.web.cern.ch,
or www.distributedcomputing.info to
learn about grid projects worldwide. You’ll
find projects for researching cancer, AIDS,
anthrax, and smallpox; predicting climate
change; searching for ETs; folding proteins;
finding prime numbers; and more.
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Personalizing Your Work Environment
Setting the Desktop
Theme
If Windows’ default appearance and sounds
aren’t to your taste, you can change them
with a different desktop theme—a stored set
of colors, icons, fonts, sounds, and other elements that redecorate your desktop. You can
pick a predefined theme or create your own.
To set a theme:
Figure 4.13 Each person with a user account can pick
or create a distinct theme.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Theme (Figure 4.13).
or
Right-click an empty area of the desktop
and choose Personalize > Theme.
2. From the Theme drop-down list, choose
a theme.
3. Click OK (or Apply).
✔ Tips
To populate the Theme list, Windows
looks in your Documents folder and in
\Windows\Resources\Themes. Choose
Browse from the Theme drop-down list
to open a theme located elsewhere.
■
Windows comes with only two themes,
but many others are freely available. Try
www.dowtheme.com and the Themes section
of www.download.com or www.tucows.com.
Movie and game sites have them too. Choose
Browse from the Theme drop-down list to
load a downloaded theme (.theme file). For
an extreme makeover, try WindowBlinds
($20 U.S.; www.windowblinds.net).
■
Select the Windows Classic theme to
restore the look of Windows 98/2000.
127
Setting the Desktop Theme
■
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Chapter 4
To create a custom theme:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Theme.
or
Right-click an empty area of the desktop
and choose Personalize > Theme.
2. From the Theme drop-down list, choose
an existing theme as a starting point for
creating a new one.
3. Choose the desired settings in Control
Panel to change the theme (see the
“Theme Settings” sidebar).
4. When you’re finished making changes,
click Apply in the Theme Settings dialog
box (refer to Figure 4.13).
Setting the Desktop Theme
5. Click Save As, type a theme name, and
then click Save.
By default, Windows saves the theme
in your Documents folder (Start >
Documents).
Theme Settings
6. Click OK (or Apply).
The following Control Panel settings
become part of your theme:
To delete a custom theme:
◆
Window color and appearance (see
“Setting the Window Color and Color
Scheme” earlier in this chapter)
◆
Desktop background (see “Setting the
Desktop Background” earlier in this
chapter)
◆
Screen saver (see “Setting the Screen
Saver” earlier in this chapter)
◆
Mouse pointers (see “Configuring the
Mouse” later in this chapter)
◆
Sounds (see “Configuring Sound and
Audio Devices” later in this chapter)
◆
Desktop icons (Choose Start >
Control Panel > Appearance and
Personalization > Personalization >
Change Desktop Icons [on the left])
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Theme (refer to
Figure 4.13).
or
Right-click an empty area of the desktop
and choose Personalize > Theme.
2. From the Theme drop-down list, choose
the theme that you want to delete; then
click Delete.
You can delete only the themes that you
created or installed, not the ones that
Windows provides.
128
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Configuring the Monitor
LCD Monitors
and Laptop Screens
If you’re using a flat-panel LCD (liquid
crystal display) monitor or laptop screen
rather than a traditional bulky CRT (cathode
ray tube) monitor, you can ignore some of
the discussions here:
◆
◆
◆
LCD displays produce sharp images
only at native resolution (and possibly
some fractions of native resolution,
depending on your model). Running
at other resolutions makes the screen
image blurry or blocky. The monitor
manufacturer will tell you the native
resolution, but it’s usually the maximum resolution available.
The refresh rate doesn’t apply to LCDs,
because they work with a continuous
stream of light and pixels don’t dim
unless instructed to. CRT pixels begin
to dim as soon as the electron gun’s
beam passes them.
Screen resolution is the amount (fineness)
of detail in your screen’s image, expressed in
pixels wide by pixels high. (A pixel is the smallest building block of the display.) Conventional
screens have resolutions of 640 ✕ 480 (largely
useless except in emergencies), 800 ✕ 600,
1024 ✕ 768, and 1152 ✕ 864. High-end monitors
support much higher resolutions.
Color quality ranges from 16 ugly colors
for archaic Standard VGA to 4 billion colors
(32 bits per pixel) for the best monitors and
video cards. The number of colors available
correlates to your resolution setting—most
video cards display fewer colors at higher
resolutions—so you may have to reduce
resolution to get higher color quality. The
available resolution and color choices adjust
automatically. If your digital photos look
blotchy, increase the color quality.
Refresh rate is the frequency at which the
screen is redrawn to maintain a steady
image. Higher refresh rates yield less flicker.
A refresh rate below 72 hertz, or 72 times
per second, can tire your eyes if you look at
the screen too long.
Color matching ensures that colors are represented accurately and consistently across
color printers, scanners, cameras, monitors,
and programs. Without color management,
onscreen and printed colors may vary: Orange
can appear brown, green can appear blue, and
so on. Graphic designers love color matching
because it does away with trial and error in
resolving color differences. Color matching
requires a separate color profile (.icm file) for
each device connected to your computer. This
profile conveys the device’s color characteristics to the color management system every
time colors are scanned, displayed, or printed.
129
Configuring the Monitor
ClearType, Microsoft’s font-smoothing
technology, makes text appear
sharper on LCD and plasma screens.
(Results vary on CRTs.) ClearType is
turned on by default. To use the
ClearType control, choose Start >
Control Panel > Appearance and
Personalization > Personalization >
Window Color and Appearance >
Open Classic Appearance Properties
for More Color Options > Effects button > Use the Following Method to
Smooth Edges of Screen Fonts.
More information about ClearType is at
www.microsoft.com/typography/cleartype.
You can download ClearType Tuner to
fine-tune your display. See also
“Managing Fonts” later in this chapter.
Windows lets you adjust your display hardware with these settings:
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Configuring the Monitor
✔ Tips
■
Changing these settings affects all users
who log on to your computer.
■
On CRT monitors, don’t always choose
the maximum resolution available. If you
spend most of your time typing memos or
reading email, you may find that medium
resolution reduces eyestrain. For general
use, try 800 ✕ 600 on a 15-inch monitor,
1024 ✕ 768 on a 17-inch monitor, or
1152 ✕ 864 on a 19-inch monitor.
■
Video-card memory largely determines
the maximum resolution and color quality that you can use. To see how much
video memory you have, choose Start >
Control Panel > Appearance and
Personalization > Personalization >
Display Settings > Advanced Settings >
Adapter tab > Adapter Information table
(Figure 4.14).
■
To access a monitor’s device driver,
choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Device Manager. If a security prompt appears, type an administrator password or confirm the action. In
Device Manager, double-click Monitors;
then double-click the name of the monitor. See “Managing Device Drivers” in
Chapter 8.
■
To adjust the monitor for vision impairments, see “Accommodating Disabled
Users” later in this chapter.
■
For general information about installing
and configuring hardware, see Chapter 8.
130
Figure 4.14 Better video cards have 128 MB or more
of dedicated memory—overkill for word processing
and email but just enough for gaming and digital
video. High-end video cards add extra tabs to this
dialog box or install their own Control Panel program
or Start-menu item.
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To set screen resolution and
color quality:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Display Settings
(Figure 4.15).
or
Right-click an empty area of the desktop
and choose Personalize > Display
Settings.
2. Drag the Resolution slider to set the
display size.
Figure 4.15 Increasing the number of pixels displays
more information on your screen, but icons and text
get smaller.
3. From the Colors drop-down list, choose
the number of colors.
Choose 16-bit or higher color; otherwise,
photographic images will appear grainy
(dithered).
continues on next page
Scaling for Easier Reading
1. Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Adjust Font
Size (DPI) (on the left).
2. If a security prompt appears, type an administrator password or confirm the action.
3. In the DPI Scaling dialog box, choose Default Scale (96 DPI) or Larger Scale (120 DPI), or
click Custom DPI to set a custom scale.
4. Click OK.
5. To see the changes, close all your programs; then restart Windows.
96 dpi
120 dpi
131
Configuring the Monitor
Dots per inch (dpi) is the standard way to measure screen and printer resolution—the more
dots per inch, the better the resolution. By increasing dpi, you can make text, icons, and
other screen items larger and easier to see. Decreasing dpi makes them smaller, fitting more
on your screen. To adjust dpi scaling:
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4. Click Apply.
Your screen turns black briefly and
refreshes with the new settings.
5. After your settings change, you have
15 seconds to accept the changes
(Figure 4.16).
Configuring the Monitor
✔ Tips
■
If you have more than one monitor
(driven by multiple video cards or by a
single card that supports multiple monitors), the Monitor tab displays a monitor
icon for each monitor. Click a monitor
icon to activate it before choosing its
resolution and color settings.
■
If you need a 256-color display to run an
old DOS game or program, don’t set your
entire system to 256 colors even if that
option is available. Instead, use the
Compatibility feature; see “Running
Older Programs” in Chapter 6.
■
The Advanced Settings button lets you
view the hardware properties of your
monitor and video card. You can adjust
some settings, but you usually don’t need
to unless you’re installing a new driver,
setting color matching, or changing the
refresh rate. The Troubleshoot tab lets
you control graphics-hardware acceleration manually.
132
Figure 4.16 If your new screen settings look good,
click Yes; otherwise, click No or just wait to revert to
your previous settings.
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To set the refresh rate:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Display Settings >
Advanced Settings > Monitor tab
(Figure 4.17).
or
Right-click an empty area of the
desktop and choose Personalize >
Display Settings > Advanced Settings >
Monitor tab.
2. If you have multiple monitors, in the
Monitor Type section, select the monitor
that you’re working with currently.
Figure 4.17 To reduce eyestrain, choose the highest
refresh rate that your monitor and video card support,
but check the documentation or the manufacturer’s
website to find out what the hardware will accept.
3. In the Monitor Settings section, choose
a refresh rate from the drop-down list.
4. Click Apply.
Your screen turns black briefly.
5. After your refresh rate changes, you have
15 seconds to accept the change (refer
to Figure 4.16).
✔ Tip
■
133
Configuring the Monitor
Don’t uncheck Hide Modes That This
Monitor Cannot Display to choose a
higher refresh rate. A refresh rate that
exceeds the capabilities of your monitor
or video card can distort images and
damage hardware.
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To manage color profiles:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Display Settings >
Advanced Settings > Color Management
tab > Color Management button >
Devices tab (Figure 4.18).
or
Right-click an empty area of the desktop
and choose Personalize > Display
Settings > Advanced Settings > Color
Management tab > Color Management
button > Devices tab.
2. To add a color profile, click Add; then use
the Associate Color Profile dialog box to
select a color profile to associate with
the current monitor (Figure 4.19).
or
To remove a profile, select it and click
Remove.
or
To set a profile as the default for the
current monitor, select it and click
Set As Default Profile.
Configuring the Monitor
3. Click OK in each open dialog box.
✔ Tips
■
I’ve only touched on color management
here. To learn more, click Understanding
Color Management Settings in Figure
4.18 or choose Start > Help and Support
and search for color management.
■
Right-click a color profile (.icc or .icm
file) in a folder window to install it or
associate it with a device.
134
Figure 4.18 The profiles list shows all color profiles
associated with the current monitor and video card
(none, in this case, which is fine for most people and
everyday use).
Figure 4.19 Color profiles installed with a monitor and
video card are stored in the folder \Windows\System32\
spool\drivers\color.
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Configuring the Mouse
Use the Mouse utility in Control Panel to
control settings such as button configuration, double-click speed, mouse pointers,
responsiveness, and wheel behavior.
To configure the mouse:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Mouse.
or
Choose Start, type mouse in the Search
box, and then press Enter.
2. To swap the left and right mouse-button
functions, choose Buttons tab > check
Switch Primary and Secondary Buttons.
Figure 4.20 ClickLock is a mercy for touchpad users.
3. If Windows often interprets your doubleclicks as two single clicks, choose
Buttons tab > drag the Double-Click
Speed slider toward Slow.
4. To make dragging easier, choose
Buttons tab > check Turn on ClickLock
(Figure 4.20); then you can select text
or drag icons without holding down the
mouse button continuously.
continues on next page
Figure 4.21 This tab lets you select predefined pointer
schemes (which range from cute to practical), create
your own pointer schemes, or browse to select an
individual pointer (rather than an entire scheme).
135
Configuring the Mouse
5. To customize mouse pointers, choose
Pointers tab > Scheme to set or create a
new pointer scheme (Figure 4.21).
Use the Customize list to change individual
pointers (see “The Mouse” in Chapter 1).
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6. On the Pointer Options tab, adjust how
the pointer responds to the mouse’s
physical actions (Figure 4.22).
7. If your mouse has a wheel, on the
Wheel tab, adjust its scroll behavior
(Figure 4.23).
8. Click OK (or Apply).
✔ Tips
Configuring the Mouse
■
Fancy mice from Microsoft, Logitech,
Kensington, and other manufacturers
come with their own driver software.
Installing these drivers adds new options
and can change some default mouse
settings. A cordless mouse may add a
tab that indicates remaining battery
life, for example. Some drivers add their
own Control Panel programs or Startmenu items.
■
A computer with a special default pointing device—such as a touchpad on a
laptop—may replace the Wheel tab with
a tab of controls for that device.
■
When you install an alternative pointing
device such as a stylus or tablet, look for
a Control Panel program or Start-menu
item devoted for that device.
■
To drag an icon with ClickLock turned
on, point to the icon, press the left
mouse button for the ClickLock interval,
release the button, drag the icon to a destination, and then press the button again
for the ClickLock interval.
■
To adjust the mouse and insertion point for
mobility impairments, see “Accommodating
Disabled Users” later in this chapter.
Figure 4.22 If the pointer distracts you while you
type, check Hide Pointer While Typing. If you need to
keep track of the pointer as it moves, check Display
Pointer Trails (useful for laptop screens). Adjust the
pointer’s speed to have it respond more quickly or
slowly to mouse movements.
Figure 4.23 A mouse wheel can stand in for scroll
bars; roll the wheel to scroll up or down a list,
document, or webpage. The wheel on some mice can
tilt left or right for horizontal scrolling. If your mouse
has no wheel, these settings are ignored.
136
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■
The Hardware tab lists the pointing
devices attached to your computer
(Figure 4.24).
■
To access a mouse’s device driver, choose
Start > Control Panel > Hardware and
Sound > Device Manager. If a security
prompt appears, type an administrator
password or confirm the action. In
Device Manager, double-click Mice and
Other Pointing Devices; then double-click
the name of the mouse (Figure 4.25).
■
For general information about installing
and configuring hardware, see Chapter 8.
Figure 4.24 Click Properties and then click Change
Settings to access the same dialog box as the one in
Device Manager.
Configuring the Mouse
Figure 4.25 Like all other peripherals, mice have
device drivers that you may want to inspect or update
from time to time. See “Managing Device Drivers” in
Chapter 8.
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Configuring the Keyboard
A standard keyboard should work after you
plug it in, with no adjustments in software.
You can use Control Panel’s Keyboard utility
to change some settings after installation.
To configure the keyboard:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Keyboard (Figure 4.26).
or
Choose Start, type keyboard in the
Search box, and then select Keyboard in
the results list.
Configuring the Keyboard
2. On the Speed tab, update the following
settings:
Repeat Delay controls the amount of
time that elapses before a character
begins to repeat when you hold down
a key.
Repeat Rate adjusts how quickly a character repeats when you hold down a key.
Cursor Blink Rate controls the blink
rate of the text cursor (insertion point).
To stop the cursor from blinking, set the
blink rate to None.
3. Click OK (or Apply).
138
Figure 4.26 If you type rapidly, drag the Character
Repeat sliders to the right to make your keyboard
more responsive.
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Personalizing Your Work Environment
✔ Tips
Fancy keyboards from Microsoft,
Logitech, Kensington, and other manufacturers come with their own driver
software. Installing these drivers adds
new options and can change some
default keyboard settings. A cordless
keyboard may add a tab that indicates
remaining battery life, for example. Some
drivers add their own Control Panel programs or Start-menu items.
■
To choose an international keyboard
layout, see “Localizing Your System” later
in this chapter.
■
To adjust the keyboard for mobility
impairments, see “Accommodating
Disabled Users” later in this chapter.
■
The Hardware tab lists the keyboards
attached to your computer (Figure 4.27).
■
To access a keyboard’s device driver,
choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Device Manager. If a security
prompt appears, type an administrator
password or confirm the action. In Device
Manager, double-click Keyboards; then
double-click the name of the keyboard
(Figure 4.28).
■
For general information about installing
and configuring hardware, see Chapter 8.
Figure 4.27 Click Properties and then click Change
Settings to access the same dialog box as the one in
Device Manager.
Figure 4.28 Like all other peripherals, keyboards
have device drivers that you may want to inspect or
update from time to time. See “Managing Device
Drivers” in Chapter 8.
139
Configuring the Keyboard
■
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Configuring Sound and
Audio Devices
Most computers have audio recording and
playback devices such as sound cards,
microphones, headphones, and speakers
(built-in or external). Use Control Panel’s
Sound program to configure these devices.
You also can customize system sound effects,
which are audio clips (beeps, chords, or music
snippets) associated with system events such
as emptying the trash or error messages.
To control sound volume:
Configuring Sound and Audio Devices
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Adjust System Volume
(under Sound) (Figure 4.29).
or
Click the Volume icon in the taskbar’s
notification area (Figure 4.30).
Figure 4.29 The Volume Mixer lets you adjust the
master volume (at left) and, independently, the
volume of individual programs that appear in the
Applications section (at right).To open the mixer
quickly, right-click the Volume icon in the notification
area and choose Open Volume Mixer.
2. Drag the slider to lower or raise the
volume.
or
Click the Mute button to turn off
sound.
✔ Tips
■
If the Volume icon doesn’t appear in the
notification area, right-click an empty
area of the notification area and choose
Properties > Notification Area tab >
check Volume > OK.
■
Hover your mouse pointer over the
Volume icon to see the current volume
level and playback device (Figure 4.31).
Figure 4.30 This slider
controls the volume for
your speakers or
headphones.
Figure 4.31 The current volume level is
given on a scale from 0 (muted) to 100
(loudest).
140
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To configure playback devices:
Figure 4.32 The Volume icon’s shortcut menu
provides quick access to sound functions.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Sound > Playback tab.
or
Right-click the Volume icon in the
taskbar’s notification area and choose
Playback Devices (Figure 4.32).
or
Choose Start, type sound in the Search
box, and then select Sound in the
results list.
2. Right-click a device in the list and choose
a command to configure or test the
device, or to inspect or change its properties (Figure 4.33).
3. When you’re done, click OK in each open
dialog box.
Configuring Sound and Audio Devices
Figure 4.33 A playback device’s shortcut menu lets
you set up the device—usually speakers or
headphones. Click Properties for more options.
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Chapter 4
To configure recording devices:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Sound > Recording tab.
or
Right-click the Volume icon in the
taskbar’s notification area and choose
Recording Devices (refer to Figure 4.32).
2. Right-click a device in the list and choose
a command to configure or test the
device, or to inspect or change its properties (Figure 4.34).
3. When you’re done, click OK in each open
dialog box.
Configuring Sound and Audio Devices
Figure 4.34 A recording device’s shortcut menu lets
you set up the device—usually a microphone or a
line-in. Click Properties for more options.
Audio Hardware
Depending on your computer’s audio hardware, you may see all or some of these devices (or
others not listed here) in the Playback and Recording tabs:
◆
CD Player controls the volume of audio CDs (if your CD drive is connected to the sound
card directly with a cable).
◆
Line In/Aux controls the volume of the sound card’s Line-In or Aux input (usually used
to record from a stereo or other external playback device).
◆
Microphone controls the sound card’s microphone input volume (usually used with a
microphone or dictation headset).
◆
Speakers/Headphones controls the volume of your PC’s headphones or external or
built-in speakers (connected to a USB port, motherboard audio port, or a sound card).
◆
SW Synth controls the volume of music produced by the sound card’s MIDI synthesizer
or wavetable.
◆
Wave Out Mix sounds are generated by Windows, games, MP3s, Windows Media Player,
and many other programs.
142
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Personalizing Your Work Environment
To configure system sounds:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Sound > Sounds tab.
or
Right-click the Volume icon in the
taskbar’s notification area and choose
Sounds (refer to Figure 4.32).
2. To choose a predefined group of sound
effects, choose a scheme from the Sound
Scheme drop-down list (Figure 4.35).
Figure 4.35 You can choose (or mute) each sound
individually or use a sound scheme to apply a group
of sounds.
3. To change a sound for a particular event,
click the event in the Program list; then
choose the sound from the Sounds dropdown list.
or
Select the event and click Browse to
select another sound file (in .wav audio
format) on your system.
or
Choose (None) from the Sounds dropdown list to remove a sound.
5. To save a changed sound scheme, click
Save As, type a name, and then click OK.
6. To delete a custom sound scheme, select
the scheme and click Delete.
You can delete only the schemes that you
created or installed, not the ones
Windows provides.
7. Click OK (or Apply).
143
Configuring Sound and Audio Devices
4. To preview a sound for a particular
event, select the event in the Program list
and click Test.
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Chapter 4
✔ Tips
Place .wav files in the folder
\Windows\Media to have them appear
in the system sounds list.
■
To adjust sounds for hearing impairments, see “Accommodating Disabled
Users” later in this chapter.
■
To access an audio device’s device driver,
choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Device Manager. If a security
prompt appears, type an administrator
password or confirm the action. In Device
Manager, double-click Sound, Video, and
Game Controllers; then double-click the
name of the audio device (Figure 4.36).
■
For general information about installing
and configuring hardware, see Chapter 8.
Configuring Sound and Audio Devices
■
144
Figure 4.36 Like all other peripherals, audio devices
have device drivers that you may want to inspect or
update from time to time. See “Managing Device
Drivers” in Chapter 8.
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Setting the Date and Time
Keep your system time accurate, because
Windows uses it to time-stamp files and
email, schedule tasks, and record events.
✔ Tip
■
If the clock doesn’t appear in the notification area, right-click an empty area
of the notification area and choose
Properties > Notification Area tab >
check Clock > OK.
To set the date and time:
Figure 4.37 You have to be an administrator to change
the date or time, but not the time zone.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Clock,
Language, and Region > Date and Time.
or
Click the clock in the taskbar’s notification area; then click Change Data and
Time Settings.
or
Right-click the taskbar clock and choose
Adjust Date/Time.
or
Choose Start, type date and time in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
Figure 4.38 To set the time in the Time box, type new
numbers, press the up- and down-arrow keys, or click
the small up and down arrows. Click the small arrow
at the top of the calendar to change months.
continues on next page
145
Setting the Date and Time
2. On the Date and Time tab (Figure 4.37),
click Change Date and Time (if a security
prompt appears, type an administrator
password or confirm the action), adjust
the date and time as needed (Figure 4.38),
and then click OK.
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3. On the Date and Time tab, click Change
Time Zone, choose your time zone from
the drop-down list (Figure 4.39), and
then click OK.
4. On the Additional Clocks tab, you can
add more clocks that show the time in
other time zones (Figure 4.40 and
Figure 4.41).
Setting the Date and Time
Figure 4.39 Windows assumes that you want to
Automatically Adjust Clock for Daylight Saving Time.
Uncheck this box if you don’t want to use daylight
saving time.
Figure 4.40 Add clocks that show the time in other
parts of the world and view them by…
Figure 4.41 …clicking the taskbar clock.
146
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Figure 4.42 When your computer is shut down, the
motherboard battery maintains the time.
5. On the Internet Time tab, click Change
Settings (if a security prompt appears,
type an administrator password or confirm the action), check Synchronize With
an Internet Time Server to synchronize
your computer clock with a highly accurate clock (Figure 4.42), and type or
choose any time-server address in the
Server box.
Once a week is the only interval you get
unless you click Update Now.
6. Click OK (or Apply) in all open dialog
boxes.
✔ Tips
Internet-time synchronization occurs
regularly only if you have a full-time
internet connection such as DSL or cable.
If you use dial-up, click Update Now
while you’re connected to the internet to
synchronize your clock immediately.
■
A time server won’t synchronize your
system time if your date is incorrect.
■
Hover your mouse pointer over the
taskbar clock to see the current day and
date (Figure 4.43).
■
The sidebar has a Clock gadget. See
“Using the Sidebar” in Chapter 2.
■
For hyperaccurate system time, use Tardis
2000 ($20 U.S.; www.kaska.demon.co.uk)
or Dimension 4 (free; www.thinkman.com)
to synchronize the clock at fine intervals.
Figure 4.43 Additional-clock times
appear too, if you’ve set them.
147
Setting the Date and Time
■
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Localizing Your System
Windows supports many international
standards, formats, and languages. Use
Control Panel’s Regional and Language
Options utility to adjust country-specific
settings such as unit of measurement; currency, number, and date formats; and keyboard
and display language.
To set formats for numbers,
currencies, times, and dates:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Clock,
Language, and Region > Regional and
Language Options > Formats tab
(Figure 4.44).
or
Choose Start, type regional and language
in the Search box, and then press Enter.
Figure 4.44 The language that you choose affects
how programs format numbers, currencies, times,
and dates.
2. Choose a language from the Current
Format drop-down list.
3. To change individual settings, click
Customize this Format (Figure 4.45).
4. Click OK in each open dialog box.
✔ Tip
Localizing Your System
■
You can’t save customized regional
settings as though they were themes.
If you customize and then choose
another language in the list, you lose
your customized settings.
Figure 4.45 The Example section shows how selected
settings affect the appearance of quantities.
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To set your location:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Clock,
Language, and Region > Regional and
Language Options > Location tab
(Figure 4.46).
2. Choose your location from the Current
Location drop-down list.
3. Click OK (or Apply).
To set the keyboard language:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Clock, Language, and Region > Regional
and Language Options > Keyboards and
Languages tab (Figure 4.47).
2. Click Change Keyboards.
Figure 4.46 Some programs and web services use
this location to deliver you local information such as
news and weather.
continues on next page
Localizing Your System
Figure 4.47 The input language controls the language
used when you type on your keyboard.
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3. On the General tab, click Add, specify the
language(s) and keyboard layout(s) to
install, and then click OK (Figure 4.48).
You can click the preview button to look
at the keyboard layout of each language
before you add it.
4. On the Language Bar tab, set the location and appearance of the language bar
(Figure 4.49).
Localizing Your System
Figure 4.48 Keyboard layouts rearrange the keys’
character assignments. Pressing the [ key on a U.S.
keyboard with a German layout, for example, types
the ü character.
Figure 4.49 The default location—on the taskbar—is
the most sensible place for the language bar.
150
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5. On the Advanced Key Settings tab,
define a hotkey for each language
(Figure 4.50).
6. Click OK (or Apply).
7. On the taskbar, click the language bar to
choose a keyboard layout (Figure 4.51).
✔ Tip
Figure 4.50 Defining hotkeys makes it easy to switch
among languages on the fly.
■
Use the Character Map program to view
the characters available on your keyboard; see “Using the Free Utility
Programs” in Chapter 6.
To set the display language:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Clock, Language, and Region >
Regional and Language Options >
Keyboards and Languages tab (refer
to Figure 4.47).
Figure 4.51 Click the language bar and
choose the language or keyboard layout that
you want to switch to; switch by pressing
the left Shift and left Alt keys at the same
time; or press the language’s hotkey (if you
defined one).
Figure 4.52 This wizard shows you how to get
additional languages.
151
Localizing Your System
2. In the Display Language section, choose
a language from the list and click OK.
or
If you don’t see the list of display languages, you need to install additional
language files first. Click Install/Uninstall
Languages (if a security prompt appears,
type an administrator password or confirm the action) and follow the onscreen
instructions (Figure 4.52).
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To set the preferred language for
older programs:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Clock,
Language, and Region > Regional and
Language Options > Administrative tab
(Figure 4.53).
2. In the Language for Non-Unicode
Programs section, click Change System
Locale (if a security prompt appears, type
an administrator password or confirm
the action), choose your preferred language in the list, and then click OK.
3. To apply your Regional and Language
settings to all new user accounts or to
system accounts, click Copy to Reserved
Accounts (if a security prompt appears,
type an administrator password or confirm the action), check the desired
account boxes, and then click OK.
Localizing Your System
4. Click OK (or Apply).
152
Figure 4.53 If an older program is unable to recognize
your preferred language, Windows can swap the
character set.
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Accommodating Disabled
Users
Windows can be set up to assist disabled
users. Ease of Access is Microsoft’s umbrella
term for tools that make a computer easier
to use for people with poor eyesight, hearing,
or mobility. Ease of Access Center is the
main switchboard that teaches you about
ease-of-access options and lets you turn
them on or off. Table 4.2 describes the
main features.
The easiest way to learn about Ease of
Access options is to answer a questionnaire
that recommends settings based on your
answers. If you prefer to skip the questionnaire, you can explore and set each option
individually.
Table 4.2
Fe at u r e
Description
Magnifier
Enlarges part of the screen in a small separate window while you work, leaving the rest of your
desktop in a standard display.
Reads onscreen text aloud and describes some computer events (such as error messages) when
they happen.
Displays a picture of a keyboard with all the standard keys so you can type with mouse clicks or a
joystick.
Makes things easier to read by increasing the contrast of colors. Keyboard shortcut: Press left
Alt+left Shift+Print Screen (or PrntScrn).
Lets you give commands and dictate text by using your voice. See “Using Speech Recognition”
later in this chapter.
Lets you use the arrow keys on your keyboard or the numeric keypad to move the mouse pointer
around the screen. Keyboard shortcut: Press left Alt+left Shift+Num Lock.
Lets you press key combinations, such as Ctrl+Alt+Delete, one key at a time. Keyboard shortcut:
Press Shift five times.
Plays an alert each time you press the Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock key. Keyboard shortcut:
Press Num Lock for 5 seconds.
Removes unintentional repeated keystrokes when you hold down a key too long. Keyboard shortcut: Press right Shift for 8 seconds.
Narrator
On-Screen Keyboard
High Contrast
Speech Recognition
Mouse Keys
Sticky Keys
Toggle Keys
Filter Keys
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Accommodating Disabled Users
Ease of Access Features
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To open Ease of Access Center:
◆
Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > Ease of Access > Ease of
Access Center (Figure 4.54).
or
Choose Start > Control Panel > Ease of
Access > Ease of Access Center.
or
Choose Start, type ease of access in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
or
Press Windows logo key+U.
Accommodating Disabled Users
Figure 4.54 Ease of Access Center starts by reading
its own text aloud. You can mute it by unchecking
Always Read This Section Aloud.
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To use the Ease of Access
questionnaire:
1. In Ease of Access Center, click Get
Recommendations to Make Your
Computer Easier to Use.
2. Follow the onscreen instructions
(Figure 4.55).
Accommodating Disabled Users
Figure 4.55 When you finish the questionnaire,
Windows presents you with a list of Ease of Access
options that you can turn on or off.
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To set Ease of Access options
individually:
◆
In Ease of Access Center, click the links
under Explore All Settings (the bottom
portion of Figure 4.54). Each link will
take you to a page of controls that lets
you turn on or off related Ease of Access
options (Figure 4.56).
✔ Tips
Some Ease of Access tools are for everyone. Graphic designers and developers
can use Magnifier for pixel-level design
work, and On-Screen Keyboard is handy
if you find yourself with a broken keyboard.
■
Ease of Access options also are available
on the Welcome screen. See “Logging On
and Logging Off ” in Chapter 1.
■
Ease of Access was called Accessibility
Options in Windows XP. Ease of Access
Center replaces XP’s Utility Manager,
and the questionnaire replaces the
Accessibility wizard.
Accommodating Disabled Users
■
156
Figure 4.56 These options appear if you click Make
the Computer Easier to See. (One assumes that
Microsoft actually is referring to the screen image
rather than the computer itself.)
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Using Speech Recognition
Control Panel’s Speech utility controls
Windows’ speech-recognition and text-tospeech (speech synthesizer) features.
Speech recognition lets you speak into a microphone to control your computer; you can give
commands that the computer will carry out or
dictate text that will self-type on your screen.
You can create a voice profile that trains your
computer to understand you better. You can
use speech recognition to dictate documents
and email messages, use your voice to control programs and browse the web, and avoid
repetitive-strain injuries by reducing the use
of your mouse and keyboard.
Currently, speech recognition works for:
◆
Nearly all applications that come with
Windows Vista
◆
Microsoft Word and Outlook (but not
Excel and PowerPoint)
✔ Tips
■
In addition to a microphone, you’ll need a
sound card if your computer’s motherboard
doesn’t have a built-in microphone jack.
■
Use a high-quality microphone such as a
USB headset microphone or an array
mic. Get a mic with noise-cancellation
technology if you work in a noisy place
like a call center or trading floor.
■
A better speech-recognition product
is Dragon NaturallySpeaking
(www.scansoft.com).
157
Using Speech Recognition
Windows’ Text-to-Speech (TTS) utility reads
aloud onscreen text, buttons, menus, filenames,
keystrokes, and other items by using a speech
synthesizer. The only built-in program that reads
to you is Narrator, which has its own voice
controls (see “Accommodating Disabled Users”
earlier in this chapter). You can find other
TTS programs at www.microsoft.com/enable.
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To set up speech recognition for
first use:
1. Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > Ease of Access > Windows
Speech Recognition.
or
Choose Start, type speech recognition
in the Search box, and then press Enter.
The Set Up Speech Recognition wizard
opens. Figure 4.57 shows the wizard’s
first two pages.
2. Follow the onscreen instructions.
Using Speech Recognition
Figure 4.57 This wizard helps you set up your
microphone, learn how to talk to your computer, and
train your computer to understand your speech.
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✔ Tips
■
To set up the parts of speech recognition
individually, choose Start > Control Panel
> Ease of Access > Speech Recognition
Options (Figure 4.58). Click Set Up
Microphone, Take Speech Tutorial, and
Train Your Computer to Better
Understand You. Follow the onscreen
instructions that appear after you click
each link.
■
The speech tutorial takes about 30 minutes to complete. Make sure that you
have enough uninterrupted free time to
finish it.
To set speech options:
Figure 4.58 Use this window to start, configure,
and get help for speech recognition.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Ease of
Access > Speech Recognition Options >
Advanced Speech Options (on the left) >
Speech Recognition tab (Figure 4.59).
2. In the Language section, choose a speechrecognition engine from the drop-down
list or click Settings (if available) to show
additional engine properties.
4. In the Microphone section, set and configure your audio input device.
5. Click OK (or Apply).
Figure 4.59 You must train a speech recognizer to
adapt to the sound of your voice, word pronunciation,
accent, and speaking manner.
159
Using Speech Recognition
3. In the Recognition Profiles section, click
New to create a new recognition profile
for your voice; then follow the onscreen
instructions when the wizard opens.
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To use speech recognition:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Ease of
Access > Speech Recognition Options
(refer to Figure 4.58).
2. Click Open the Speech Reference Card
to use a quick reference while you give
commands and dictate text.
3. Switch back to Speech Recognition
Options and click Start Speech
Recognition.
If you haven’t yet set up speech recognition, the Set Up Speech Recognition wizard
opens; see “To set up speech recognition
for first use” earlier in this section.
See the sidebar for an example session.
✔ Tips
Using Speech Recognition
■
■
■
To correct mistakes while dictating text,
say “Correct” and the word that the computer typed by mistake; then select the
correct word in the list offered by Speech
Recognition or repeat the correct word
again. If the computer misrecognized
“speech” as “peach,” say “Correct peach,”
and then select the right word in the list
or say “speech” again.
When you say a command that can be
interpreted in a few ways, the system
displays a disambiguation interface to
clarify what you intended.
Speak directly into your microphone, and
make sure that it’s properly attached and
not muted. If your computer still can’t
hear you, check the input level on the
Levels tab of the mic’s Properties dialog
box (see “To configure recording devices”
in “Configuring Sound and Audio
Devices” earlier in this chapter).
160
An Example Session
The most common way to use speech
recognition is to dictate a document.
Here’s a quick example that starts
WordPad, dictates the body of a document, names and saves the document,
and exits WordPad:
◆
“Start listening.” (This makes the
computer listen to you.)
◆
“Open WordPad.”
◆
“This is a test of speech recognition
period.” (Remember to pronounce
punctuation.)
◆
Say “File,” then “Save As,” then “My
test document,” and then “Save.”
◆
“Close WordPad.”
◆
“Stop listening.” (This makes the computer stop listening to you.)
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To set TTS options:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Ease of
Access > Speech Recognition Options >
Advanced Speech Options (on the left) >
Text to Speech tab (Figure 4.60).
2. In the Voice Selection section, choose
one of the available TTS voices from the
drop-down list or click Settings (if available) to display additional voice properties.
The selected voice speaks the text in the
“preview voice” box.
3. In the Voice Speed section, drag the
slider to adjust the voice’s rate of speech.
4. Click Audio Output to set the preferred
device for voice playback.
5. Click OK (or Apply).
Figure 4.60 For U.S. English, the robotic voice of
Windows is named Microsoft Anna.
Using Speech Recognition
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Using Alternative Mouse
Behavior
The mouse behavior described in “The
Mouse” and “Icons” in Chapter 1 is the
default. Windows’ alternative setting is a
weblike interface, letting you open icons by
single-clicking—instead of double-clicking,
which can be awkward for beginners. (Rightclicking and dragging remain unchanged.)
To open items with a single click:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance
and Personalization > Folder Options >
General tab (Figure 4.61).
or
Choose Start, type folder options in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
2. In the Click Items As Follows section,
select Single-Click to Open an Item
(Point to Select).
3. Choose icon title underlining: permanent
(like links on a webpage) or temporary
(only when you point to icons).
Using Alternative Mouse Behavior
4. Click OK (or Apply).
The instructions in this book assume that
you use the default behavior, but if you
choose the alternative:
◆
There’s no more double-clicking. To open
an icon, click it. To select an icon, move
the pointer over it; don’t click.
◆
To select multiple icons, hold down the
Ctrl or Shift key while moving the
pointer over each desired icon; again,
don’t click. Ctrl selects individual icons;
Shift selects a range of icons.
◆
To rename an icon, point to it, press F2,
type the name, and then press Enter.
or
Right-click it, choose Rename, type the
name, and then press Enter.
162
Figure 4.61 You can open items in folders and on the
desktop by single-clicking them, just as you click a
link on a webpage. To select an item without opening
it, move the pointer over it.
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Conserving Power
Environmental and money concerns make
power management an issue for desktop as
well as laptop users. Control Panel’s Power
Options utility lets you configure hardware
features that reduce power consumption,
affect how the power switch works, and extend
the life of computer parts by turning them
off or switching them to a low-power state.
Uninterruptible Power Supply
Don’t forget to plug your monitor into the
UPS. You also can plug in a power strip
for extra sockets and keep your modem,
printer, and electric stapler safe too.
◆
Make your computer go to sleep or turn
off the display after a specified idle period
◆
Adjust the brightness of your display
◆
Require a password to unlock the computer when it wakes from sleep
◆
Choose what your computer does when
you press the hardware power and sleep
buttons or (for a laptop) close the lid
A UPS doesn’t really have to interact with
Windows, but Windows includes built-in
support for monitoring that sounds
power-failure alerts, displays remaining
UPS-battery time, and—if power becomes
very low—shuts down the computer automatically. A UPS that plugs into a USB
port will install its driver and may come
with its own power-management software.
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Conserving Power
An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
is a sealed backup battery—connected
between the computer and the electrical
outlet—that kicks in to keep your computer running if power fails. The UPS’s
capacity is expressed in minutes available
to save your work and shut down normally
during a power outage—about 5 minutes
for a cheaper UPS and up to about 30
minutes for better ones. UPSes also protect against power surges, spikes, and
brownouts (low voltage), which damage
hardware more than blackouts.
To optimize your computer’s power use,
Windows uses a power plan—a collection of
settings that reduces the power consumption
of certain system devices or of your entire
system. (Power plans were called power
schemes in earlier Windows versions.) You
can use the default power plans provided with
Windows or create your own by using one of
the default plans as a starting point. You can
change settings for any of your custom plans
or the default plans to, for example:
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✔ Tips
■
Some computers may not be able to use
all the Power Options features. Windows
identifies your hardware configuration
automatically and makes available only
the settings that you can change.
■
See also “Turning off your computer”
in “Logging On and Logging Off ” in
Chapter 1.
To set a power plan:
Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Power Options and select a
power plan (Figure 4.62).
or
Conserving Power
◆
Figure 4.62 The Power Options page is the main switchboard for choosing, creating, and editing
power plans.
164
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Choose Start, type power options in the
Search box, press Enter, and select a
power plan.
or
If the battery icon appears in the notification area on the taskbar, click it and
select a power plan (Figure 4.63).
Table 4.3 describes the plans that come
with Windows. Your PC manufacturer or
system administrator may have added
others (or customized the battery icon).
Figure 4.63 Click the battery icon to pick
a power plan.
Table 4.3
Power Plans
Description
Balanced
Offers full performance when you
need it and saves power during
periods of inactivity. This plan is
fine for most people’s needs.
Maximizes battery life by reducing
system performance. If you’re a
laptop user, use this plan if you
travel often and rely on battery
power for long periods.
Maximizes system performance
and responsiveness. If you’re a
desktop user, use this plan for
processor-intensive tasks like editing video, playing 3D games, and
doing engineering or scientific
calculations.
Power Saver
High Performance
Conserving Power
Plan
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✔ Tips
■
If you’re on a network domain, your
administrator can block you from changing the power plan.
■
The battery icon appears on all laptop
computers. On desktop computers, it
appears only if you’re using a short-term
battery, such as a UPS supply that plugs
into a USB port.
■
The battery icon also responds to hovering and right-clicks (Figure 4.64). If
your laptop has more than one battery,
click the battery icon to see the charge
remaining on each battery. Hover over
the icon to see the combined charge.
■
To show or hide the battery icon, rightclick an empty area of the notification
area, choose Properties, and then check
or uncheck Power in the Notification
Area tab. (The Power check box is
unavailable if no battery is installed.)
You also can open this dialog box from
the battery icon’s shortcut menu (refer
to Figure 4.64).
Conserving Power
■
The battery icon is a graphical “fuel
gauge” that tells you the battery’s
remaining power and charging state
(Table 4.4). If you’ve customized your
power plan to let you know when your
battery is low, that notification appears
above the battery icon. System-intensive
tasks (like watching DVDs) drain a battery a lot faster than mundane ones (like
reading and writing email). Over time
you’ll learn how accurate the battery
meter is for your laptop, battery, and
computing tasks.
166
Figure 4.64 Hover your mouse pointer over the
battery icon for a status report (top) or right-click it
for a shortcut menu (bottom). Choosing Power
Options from the shortcut menu is a quick way to
open the Power Options page (refer to Figure 4.62).
Table 4.4
Battery Icons
Icon
Wh at I t M e a n s
Your laptop is plugged in, and the battery is
charging.
Your laptop is plugged in, and the battery is
fully charged.
Your laptop isn’t plugged in, and the battery is
draining.
The battery is low (yellow caution sign). See
“To set low and critical battery behavior.”
The battery is critically low (red circled x). See
“To set low and critical battery behavior.”
Your laptop is plugged in, but the battery isn’t
charging. (If the battery icon doesn’t fill for a
long time, you may have an old battery or a
hardware problem.)
Windows can’t determine the battery charge
(empty battery).
Windows can’t find a battery in the battery bay
(red x). Check the documentation that came
with your battery or laptop to know when it’s
safe to remove or insert the battery.
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To set low and critical battery
behavior:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Hardware and Sound > Power Options
(refer to Figure 4.62).
2. Under the selected plan, click Change
Plan Settings.
3. Click Change Advanced Power Settings.
4. On the Advanced settings tab, expand
Battery (Figure 4.65).
Figure 4.65 Windows monitors your battery’s charge
and warns you when it reaches low and critical levels.
Don’t set these levels so low that you won’t have a
chance to install a charged battery, find a power
outlet, or save your work and turn off your laptop. Try
25% (low) and 10% (critical) initially.
5. To set the charge levels at which battery
notifications occur, expand Low Battery
Level and Critical Battery Level; then
choose the percentage that you want for
each level.
or
To set what to do when a battery notification occurs, expand Low Battery
Action and Critical Battery Action; then
choose the action that you want for
each level.
or
To turn battery-level notifications on or
off, expand Low Battery Notification,
click On Battery, and then choose On
or Off.
7. Click Save Changes.
✔ Tips
■
To extend a battery’s charge, use the
Power Saver power plan, reduce your display brightness, and unplug the USB and
PC Card devices that you’re not using.
■
The Hibernate state is described in
“Turning off your computer” in “Logging
On and Logging Off ” in Chapter 1.
167
Conserving Power
6. Click OK.
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To create your own power plan:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Power Options (refer to
Figure 4.62).
2. Click Create a Power Plan (on the left).
3. On the Create a Power Plan page, select
the plan that’s closest to the type of plan
that you want to create (Figure 4.66).
4. In the Plan Name box, type a name for
your plan; then click Next.
5. On the Change Settings for the Plan
page, choose the display and sleep settings that you want to use when your
computer is running on battery and
when it’s plugged in; then click Create
(Figure 4.67).
Figure 4.66 If you want to create a plan to conserve
energy, for example, start with Power Saver.
✔ Tips
The plan that you just created automatically becomes the active plan.
■
If you’re using a laptop, your plan
appears under Plans Shown on the
Battery Meter. If you’re using a desktop
computer, your plan appears under
Preferred Plans. The plan that you based
your new plan on is moved under
Additional Plans (Figure 4.68).
Figure 4.67 If you’re using a laptop, On Battery will
appear.
Conserving Power
■
Figure 4.68 Your custom plans appear alongside the
default plans.
168
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To change an existing power plan:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Power Options (refer to
Figure 4.62).
2. Under the plan that you want to change,
click Change Plan Settings.
3. On the Change Settings for the Plan page,
choose the new settings (Figure 4.69).
Figure 4.69 This page will vary depending on whether
you’re using a laptop or a desktop computer.
4. If you don’t want to change any more
settings, click Save Changes.
or
To change additional power settings,
click Change Advanced Power Settings;
then complete steps 5 and 6.
5. Change the settings on the Advanced
Settings tab (Figure 4.70).
6. Click OK.
7. Click Save Changes.
To delete a power plan:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Power Options (refer to
Figure 4.62).
3. Under the plan that you want to delete,
click Change Plan Settings.
4. On the Change Settings for the Plan
page, click Delete This Plan.
5. When prompted, click OK.
✔ Tips
■
You can’t restore a plan after deleting it.
■
You can’t delete any of the three default
plans (Balanced, Power Saver, or High
Performance).
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Conserving Power
Figure 4.70 Expand the category that you want to
customize, expand each setting that you want to
change, and then choose the values that you want to
use when your computer is running on battery and
when it’s plugged in.
2. If the active plan is the one that you
want to delete, make a different plan the
active plan.
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To configure system settings for
power options:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Power Options (refer to
Figure 4.62).
2. Click Require a Password on Wakeup
(on the left).
3. Choose the settings for the power and
sleep buttons, laptop lid, and password
protection (Figure 4.71).
If any settings are unavailable, click
Change Settings That Are Currently
Unavailable, and type an administrator
password or confirm the action when
prompted.
Conserving Power
4. Click Save Changes.
170
Figure 4.71 These settings apply to all power plans. To
apply them to only a specific plan, use the Advanced
Settings dialog box for that plan (refer to Figure 4.70).
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Managing Fonts
A font is a collection of letters, numbers,
symbols, and other characters that describes
a certain typeface, along with size, spacing,
and other qualities. Windows includes dozens
of fonts used to display text onscreen and
in print. Most of these are TrueType or
OpenType fonts, which look smooth and
clear in all sizes and on all output devices.
Windows also supports PostScript fonts,
with no need for Adobe Type Manager.
You’ll also find a few hideous bitmapped
fonts, called raster fonts, included for compatibility with older programs. You manage
fonts in the Fonts folder.
If you want a font that prints well and is
easy to read on the screen, use a TrueType
or OpenType font. If you need a large character set for language coverage and fine
typography, use an OpenType font. For
printing glossy magazines and professionalquality publications, use an OpenType or
PostScript font.
171
Managing Fonts
For more font information, visit
www.microsoft.com/typography. Look for a
list of font foundries where you can buy
high-quality fonts online. You also can
download lots of free fonts, but they’re rarely
of good quality. (Make sure that you trust
the source when you download a font.)
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✔ Tips
■
To make your onscreen fonts clearer, you
can increase dpi scaling and use ClearType;
see the sidebars in “Configuring the
Monitor” earlier in this chapter. The
Windows fonts designed to work well
with ClearType include Constantia and
Cambria (serif); Corbel, Candara, and
Calibri (sans serif); Consolas (monospace); and Segoe UI (used throughout
the Windows interface).
■
Windows uses the font Segoe UI—new in
Vista—in menus, icons, and other screen
elements. To change the Windows font,
choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance
and Personalization > Personalization >
Window Color and Appearance > Open
Classic Appearance Properties for More
Color Options > Advanced button. In the
Item list, choose the part of Windows
where you want to change the font; then
pick a font, size, and color.
Figure 4.72 Choose Views > Tiles (on the toolbar) to
see each font’s name, type, and file size.
To open the Fonts folder:
Managing Fonts
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Fonts (Figure 4.72).
or
Choose Start, type fonts in the Search
box, and then press Enter.
or
In Windows Explorer, open the folder
\Windows\Fonts.
✔ Tip
■
To match the font names with their filenames and paths, choose Views > Details
(on the toolbar), right-click a column
heading in the file list, and then check
Font File Names (Figure 4.73). If a font
icon has a shortcut arrow, the font is
installed but located elsewhere; the Font
File Names column tells you where.
172
Figure 4.73 Right-click the column header to pick
which columns to show in details view. Click any
column header to sort by that criterion (in any view,
not just details). Click again to reverse the sort.
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To view or print a font:
◆
In the Fonts folder, double-click the font’s
icon (Figure 4.74).
or
In the Fonts folder, select one or more
font icons; then press Enter.
Windows displays font statistics, the full
alphabet, and a type sample at various
sizes. Click Properties to get more information or Print to print a font sample.
✔ Tips
Figure 4.74 Font Viewer shows a font’s summary
information along with a preview.
■
Font Viewer displays only a predefined
set of characters. To display every character in a font, use Character Map. See
“Using the Free Utility Programs” in
Chapter 6.
■
To view fonts with a program other
than Windows Font Viewer, right-click
a font icon, choose Properties, and then
click Change.
Managing Fonts
173
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Chapter 4
To install a new font:
◆
In the Fonts folder, choose File > Install
New Font (press Alt if the File menu isn’t
visible); then navigate to and select the
font files to install (Figure 4.75).
or
Drag a font file into the Fonts folder.
✔ Tips
■
You also can open Add Fonts by rightclicking an empty area in the file list of
the Fonts folder and choosing Install
New Font.
■
After a font is installed, it appears in
your programs’ Font dialog boxes and
lists. You may have to close and reopen
a program for the font to show up.
■
If a new font appears unexpectedly in
your Fonts folder, a recently installed
program probably put it there.
■
If you install a TrueType font and a
PostScript font with exactly the same
name, Windows won’t know which one
to access when you use it. Avoid
installing different fonts with the same
name; install only one.
Managing Fonts
To remove a font:
◆
In the Fonts folder, right-click the font’s
icon and choose Delete.
or
In the Fonts folder, select one or more
font icons; then press the Delete key.
or
Drag one or more font icons out of the
Fonts folder to the Recycle Bin or
another folder.
Figure 4.75 To install fonts from a network drive
without using disk space on your computer, uncheck
Copy Fonts to Fonts Folder.
Font Utilities
If you work with fonts regularly or your
font lists are getting crowded, try a fontmanagement utility such as Suitcase ($80
U.S.; www.extensis.com).
To convert PostScript Type 1 and TrueType
fonts between Windows and Mac, try
CrossFont ($45 U.S.; www.asy.com).
To create your own fonts, try FontCreator
($80 U.S.; www.high-logic.com).
For enthusiasts, Metafont, TeX, and
LaTeX—the best typography and typesetting programs on the planet—are free
and available at www.tug.org.
174
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Managing Visual Effects
and Performance
The Windows interface offers many visual
effects, such as animation, fading, and shadows. These effects can be entertaining or
useful, but they chew up processor time and
can degrade performance noticeably (particularly if you’re short on RAM, video processor speed, or battery power). Windows lets
you turn off individual visual effects, perhaps
making your system more responsive. It’s
worth experimenting.
To turn off visual effects:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > System > Advanced
System Settings (on the left).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
Figure 4.76 The Performance Options dialog box lets
you turn visual effects on and off.
3. Select Custom, uncheck the boxes for
the effects that you want to turn off, and
then click OK in each open dialog box.
175
Managing Visual Effects and Performance
2. On the Advanced tab, in the
Performance section, click Settings >
Visual Effects tab (Figure 4.76).
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Chapter 4
Restoring the Old
Windows Look
If you prefer the appearance of Windows
98/2000 to Windows Vista’s redesigned
look, you can revert to the classic look
(Figure 4.77). I’ve collected the settings
here for quick reference. They apply only
to the logged-on user.
To switch to the classic Start menu:
◆
Right-click the Start button > Properties
> Classic Start Menu > click OK
(Figure 4.78).
To switch to classic Control Panel
view:
Choose Start > Control Panel > Classic
View (on the left) (Figure 4.79).
Restoring the Old Windows Look
◆
Figure 4.77 A Windows Vista desktop with
the classic Start menu, Control Panel, and
visual style.
Figure 4.78 This setting activates the
classic single-column Start menu.
Figure 4.79 Classic view removes the extra
layer of fluff in category view, but Control
Panel’s Search box won’t work as well.
176
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To show the menu bar and hide the
Details and Preview panes in all
folder windows:
◆
Figure 4.80 This Classic Folders option shows the
classic menu bar and hides space-consuming panes in
folder windows. The Same Window option keeps your
desktop from becoming cluttered with folder windows.
Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization > Folder
Options > General tab > Use Windows
Classic Folders (Figure 4.80).
To browse folders by using a single
window:
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Folder Options > General tab > Open
Each Folder in the Same Window (refer
to Figure 4.80).
To switch to the classic visual scheme:
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Window Color and
Appearance > Open Classic Appearance
Properties for More Color Options >
Windows Classic color scheme
(Figure 4.81).
Restoring the Old Windows Look
Figure 4.81 This setting restores the squared-off,
muted look of windows and buttons. Click the
Advanced button to change the appearance of
individual elements.
177
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To show system icons on the desktop:
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Change Desktop Icons
(on the left) > Desktop Icons section
(Figure 4.82).
To use earlier versions of desktop
icons:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Change Desktop Icons
(on the left).
2. Select an icon and click Change Icon.
3. Browse to \Windows\System32\shell32.dll,
which contains most of the old icons
(Figure 4.83).
Figure 4.82 Check the icons that you want to appear
on your desktop.
4. Select an icon and click OK.
To use classic mouse pointers:
Restoring the Old Windows Look
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Mouse Pointers, and
choose (None) from the Scheme dropdown list.
✔ Tip
■
When you upgrade to Vista, Windows
Setup hijacks some file-type associations
without telling you. Your default program
for .htm and .html (web) files, for example,
changes to Internet Explorer. To change
your settings back, see “Associating
Documents with Programs” in Chapter 6.
Figure 4.83 Windows Vista still contains a treasure
trove of classic-style icons, if you want to go retro.
178
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Getting General System
Information
Control Panel’s System page is a helpful
information-only window that displays:
Figure 4.84 This page gives basic information about
your Windows edition, processor, RAM, network, and
product registration.
◆
Your Windows edition (including
Service Packs)
◆
Information about your processor and
physical memory (RAM)
◆
Your computer’s name and network
(workgroup or domain)
◆
Windows registration information
You’ll need some of this information when
you request tech support over the phone,
particularly if you’re talking to Microsoft.
To display general system
information:
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > System (or press
Windows logo key+Break) (Figure 4.84).
✔ Tips
Click Windows Experience Index in
Figure 4.84 to get your computer’s base
score: Microsoft’s numeric rating of your
computer’s capabilities (Figure 4.85).
Click the Help button ( ) in the topright corner for an explanation.
■
Another way to get basic system information: Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > Command Prompt, type
systeminfo at the prompt, and then
press Enter. To redirect the output to a
text file in the current directory, type
systeminfo > info.txt. This command
may not work in Home editions of Vista.
■
To get detailed system information, see
“Getting System Information” in Chapter 20.
Figure 4.85 A computer’s base score is determined by
the lowest subscore (here, the Gaming Graphics
subscore); it’s not an average.
179
Getting General System Information
■
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5
Organizing
Files and Folders
Windows creates a few system folders to
store its own files and settings but otherwise
doesn’t care how you structure your tree of
folders and files. In this chapter, I explain
how to use Windows Explorer to navigate
and manage your stored information.
181
Organizing Files and Folders
Like all modern operating systems, Windows
uses files and folders to organize your information so that you aren’t overwhelmed by
long file lists and can distinguish one set of
information from another. A file is the basic
unit of computer storage; it can be a program,
a program’s configuration data, a log that the
computer itself maintains, or a document
that you create or receive. You organize files
in containers called folders (or directories),
which can hold additional folders (called subfolders) to form a treelike hierarchy. Folders
in turn are stored on disks, or volumes—such
as hard drives, floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, USB
flash drives, and network servers.
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Chapter 5
Exploring Your Computer
Computer (Figure 5.1), a top-level folder, is
the window to your computer’s data structure. From it you can open files, folders, and
disks on your computer (or network), which
are categorized as follows:
Hard Disk Drives lists the hard drives
installed on this computer.
Exploring Your Computer
Devices with Removable Storage lists
floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, flash memory,
tapes, and other removable media.
Portable Devices shows icons for connected
digital cameras, personal digital assistants
(PDAs), and other portable devices. It’s not
always clear whether a gadget is a portable
device or removable storage; note that
Windows classifies the iPod music player
shown in Figure 5.1 as storage.
Depending on how your PC is configured,
more categories (such as Other and Network
Drives) may appear.
Figure 5.1 The Computer window shows the top-level
folders and disks on your PC, including network
drives and other storage devices. This window’s
appearance varies by computer and changes over
time as you add or remove drives and devices.
USB Flash Drives
USB flash drives are small devices (about
the size and weight of a car key) that are
similar in use to a hard drive. Just plug
one into a USB port, and its icon appears
in Computer—Removable Disk (F:) in
Figure 5.1, for example.
USB flash drives have largely supplanted
floppy disks and CD-Rs for portable storage. They currently can hold up to 4 GB
of data—about six times the content of a
standard CD or about 1,300 3-minute MP3
files (66 hours). Like digital-camera memory
cards, these drives have no moving parts
and can outlast spinning hard disks by years.
Flash drives also are called pen drives,
thumb drives, keychain drives, key drives,
or memory keys. They cost between $20
and $200 (U.S.), depending on capacity.
See also “Connecting Devices to Your
Computer” in Chapter 8.
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Organizing Files and Folders
To see what’s on your computer:
1. Choose Start > Computer.
or
Press Windows logo key+E.
Figure 5.2 Double-clicking a camera icon displays this
dialog box, asking whether you want to copy photos
to your hard drive or browse them on the camera.
The drive on which Vista is
installed has a Windows logo. If
you double-click it, you can browse the
top-level system folders that Windows
Setup created during installation:
Program Files contains all the programs
—Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer, or
Adobe Photoshop, for example—that you,
Windows Setup, or your PC’s manufacturer installed, along with all the support
files needed to run those programs. In
general, you shouldn’t need (or want) to
touch files in this folder.
3. Keep double-clicking folders to burrow
to the file or folder you want.
To return to the previous folder, press
Backspace or click the Back button ( )
in the window’s top-left corner.
Users (named Documents and Settings
in earlier Windows versions) contains a
subfolder for each user account or for
each user who has logged on to a network
domain. These subfolders contain the users’
personal settings and files. If you’re not
an administrator, you can’t open or see
other users’ subfolders (see Chapter 17).
The Public folder (in Users) stores files
available to every user, administrator or not.
Windows contains critical operating-system files. Look but don’t touch (with the
exception of the Fonts subfolder; see
“Managing Fonts” in Chapter 4).
183
Exploring Your Computer
Windows System Folders
2. To see what’s on a hard drive, in the
Hard Disk Drives section, double-click
the drive that you want to see.
or
To find a file or folder on a floppy disk, CD,
DVD, USB flash drive, or other removable
media, in the Devices with Removable
Storage section, double-click the item
you want to see. (You’ll get an error message if there’s no disk in the drive.)
or
To see what’s on a portable device, in the
Portable Devices section, double-click
the device that you want to see.
Windows may open a dialog box asking
you what you want to do (Figure 5.2).
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Chapter 5
✔ Tips
Exploring Your Computer
■
When you double-click a folder,
Windows replaces the original window
with a new one or opens a separate window atop the current one. Opening new
windows makes it easy to move or copy
files but clutters the screen quickly. To
choose the behavior you prefer, in
Computer, choose Organize (on the toolbar) > Folder and Search Options >
General tab and then select an option
under Browse Folders.
Figure 5.3 Even when Computer is set to expand as a
menu, you can right-click its icon in the Start menu to
open it in a window.
■
The horizontal separator for each category lists the number of disks or devices
in that category. Click a separator to
select all the icons in that category, or
double-click it or click its arrow button
( ) to show or hide them.
■
■
To make Computer appear as a submenu
in the Start menu, right-click the Start
button, choose Properties > Customize >
Computer > Display As a Menu > OK
(Figure 5.3).
To show the Computer icon on the desktop, open the Start menu, right-click
Computer, and then choose Show on
Desktop.
■
To rename a drive icon, right-click it and
choose Rename.
■
Tiles view (shown in Figure 5.1 and
available from the Views button on the
toolbar) shows you how much free space
remains on each hard disk drive. In other
views, right-click a drive icon and choose
Properties.
■
Computer was called My Computer in
earlier Windows versions.
184
Drive Letters
Like all Windows versions, Vista inherits
its drive-naming conventions from DOS.
Drives are named by a letter followed by
a colon.
A: is the first floppy-disk drive.
B: is the second floppy-disk drive
(if present).
C: is the first hard-disk drive or the first
partition of the first physical hard-disk
drive. This drive usually contains Windows
itself if you have only one operating system on your machine.
D: through Z: are assigned to other harddisk drives, partitions, CD/DVD drives,
USB flash drives, mapped network drives,
removable storage, and portable devices.
Windows assigns drive letters consecutively, but you can use Computer
Management to change them; see
“Managing Disks” in Chapter 20.
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Storing Stuff in Your
Personal Folder
The personal folder includes a handful of
specialized subfolders, each of which is
intended for the type of file that its name
suggests. Here’s a list of the most commonly
used subfolders and what Microsoft suggests you store in them:
Figure 5.4 Your personal folder comes with several
specialized subfolders meant for storing certain types
of files.
◆
Documents—Word-processing files,
spreadsheets, presentations, and text files
◆
Downloads—Files and programs downloaded from the internet
◆
Music—MP3s and digital music, downloaded or ripped from a CD
◆
Pictures—Digital pictures from a camera,
scanner, or email message
◆
Videos—Videos and clips from your digital camera or camcorder, or video files
downloaded or ripped from a DVD
These folders are just helpful anchors to
help you organize your files without having
to start from scratch, but this storage
scheme doesn’t really work when things get
complicated. It’s better to ignore file types
and nest folders deeply. If you create a shallow or “flat” folder structure, you’re forced to
use long, descriptive filenames rather than
succinct ones. A flat structure also makes
you fill folders with so many subfolders that
it’s hard to discern the structure quickly.
185
Storing Stuff in Your Personal Folder
Your personal folder (Figure 5.4) is a convenient location for storing your files and
folders in one place. The folder isn’t actually
called “personal”; it’s labeled with your logon
name. This folder is associated with the user
account (Chapter 17) of whoever is logged
on, so its contents are unique for every user.
Other users (besides administrators) can’t
see what’s in your personal folder; neither
can you see what’s in theirs.
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Storing Stuff in Your Personal Folder
Chapter 5
Suppose that your new advertising campaign
for olive oil includes files for photos, graphics,
text copy, layouts, video ads, radio spots, and
spreadsheets. It’s more sensible to organize
them in one place than to scatter them about
the factory-installed subfolders. You could
create your own hierarchy of folders in your
personal folder—something like Projects >
Clients > Genco Olive Oil Company > June
2007 Campaign > More Subfolders—and put
everything in there.
✔ Tips
■
■
■
Vista has some new features—file tagging
and instant search, covered later in this
chapter—that do let you scatter related
files around your hard drive and then
quickly list them all in a single window.
But any pro on a deadline will tell you
that nothing provides utility and peace of
mind like a well-designed folder hierarchy.
Even if your needs are more modest than
those of someone running an ad campaign,
you still can create subfolders anywhere
in your personal folder to organize your
files better. In your Pictures folder, for
example, you might create subfolders to
organize photos by date, by event, by
location, by the names of people in the
photos, or by any other scheme that
works for you.
Reduce clutter. Don’t store documents on
the desktop. Reserve your desktop
for shortcuts to your pending projects.
In general, don’t put anything—even
shortcuts—in the root C:\ folder.
186
Why to Use Your Personal Folder
You don’t have to store your stuff in your
personal folder (Windows doesn’t care
where you put it), but doing that is a
good idea, because the folder:
◆
Is easy to open from the Start menu,
Windows Explorer Navigation pane,
and other parts of Windows.
◆
Has specialized subfolders (Music,
Videos, Pictures) that are optimized
for faster searching and organizing,
and are preset to display their contents best.
◆
Is indexed by Windows automatically
so you can find files instantly by using
the Search box.
◆
Is where programs expect you to save
and open files.
◆
Segregates your work and programs
(which are stored in \Program Files),
preventing accidental document
deletion when you remove or upgrade
programs.
◆
Makes it easier to back up your work
by archiving only your personal folder
(and its subfolders) rather than folders
scattered about your hard disk.
◆
Keeps your personal files private.
(To share files, move them to the
Public folder.)
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To open your personal folder:
1. Choose Start.
Opens your
personal folder
Open personal
subfolders
Figure 5.6 Choose the option Display As a Menu to
show a cascading menu for your personal folder (or
its subfolders). Even when a folder is set to expand as
a menu, you can right-click its icon in the Start menu
to open it in a window.
✔ Tips
■
The path to your personal folder is
\Users\username.
■
To see your files in one place instead of
opening different folders to see different
kinds of files, see “Searching for Files and
Folders” later in this chapter.
■
If you back up your personal folder regularly, it might be convenient to create a
top-level folder—say, C:\nobackup—to
store miscellaneous files that you don’t
want archived.
■
To show or hide your personal folder and
subfolders in the Start menu, right-click
the Start button; choose Properties >
Customize; choose an option under
Documents, Music, Personal Folder, or
Pictures; and then click OK (Figure 5.6).
■
Vista drops the My from the folder names
of earlier Windows versions: My Documents
is now just Documents, My Music is Music,
and so on.
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Storing Stuff in Your Personal Folder
Figure 5.5 The Start menu is the easiest way to open
your personal folder and its subfolders.
2. To open your personal folder, click your
user name (below the icon in the topright section of the menu).
or
To open a personal subfolder, click one
of the links below your user name
(Figure 5.5).
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Chapter 5
Using Windows Explorer
Using Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer, or simply Explorer, is the
key tool for working with files and folders on
your local machine or network. Figure 5.7
shows the parts of an Explorer window, and
Table 5.1 describes them.
When Windows Help and Support or this book
refers to a folder window, it actually means a
Windows Explorer window. It’s common to
have several instances of Explorer open at the
same time, each one looking a little different
depending on the settings and filters in effect
for that folder. Microsoft presets folders to
show their contents a certain way; you’ll see
panes show or hide themselves and icons
grow or shrink or regroup, depending on
which folder you click. But you can change
the view by setting the options described
here and in the next few sections.
Address bar
Column headings
Search box
Preview pane
Back and
Forward
buttons
Menu bar
Toolbar
Navigation
pane
Folders list
File list
Details pane
Status bar
Figure 5.7 Windows Explorer gets a new look for Vista but retains its core functions.
188
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Organizing Files and Folders
Table 5.1
Parts of Windows Explorer
Description
Back and Forward buttons
Moves among previously visited locations. See “Navigating in Windows Explorer” later in this
chapter.
Shows or changes the current location. See “Navigating in Windows Explorer” later in this
chapter.
Finds files in the current folder and its subfolders. See “Searching for Files and Folders” later
in this chapter
Shows the classic folder menus. The menu bar is hidden by default. To show it, press Alt. To
always show it, choose Organize > Layout > Menu Bar (or choose Organize > Folder and
Search Options > View tab > check Always Show Menus).
Shows the most frequently used commands. The Organize and Views buttons always appear.
The other buttons change to show only what’s useful for what you’ve selected. If you click a
picture file, for example, the toolbar shows different buttons than it would if you clicked a
music file. (The toolbar replaces Windows XP’s task pane.)
Determines what information appears in details view and changes the way that the files in
the file list are filtered and arranged. See “Filtering, Sorting, Stacking, and Grouping Files”
later in this chapter.
Lets you navigate directly to the folder that contains the files you want. To show or hide this
pane, choose Organize > Layout > Navigation Pane. See “Navigating in Windows Explorer”
later in this chapter.
Part of the Navigation pane; shows your folders organized in a treelike structure. To show or
hide the tree, click Folders in the Navigation pane.
Shows the contents of the selected folder or files filtered by using column headings or the
Search box.
Shows the contents of the selected file. To show or hide this pane, choose Organize > Layout >
Preview Pane.
Shows details about the selection and lets you add or edit them. This pane is a shortened
version of the Properties dialog box. To show or hide this pane, choose Organize > Layout >
Details Pane. See “Tagging Files” later in this chapter.
Shows settings and statistics about the selection. It’s divided into sections that show different information. To show or hide the status bar, choose View > Status Bar (press Alt if the
View menu isn’t visible). The status bar displays a short explanation of any menu command
that you point to. Double-clicking the Computer icon on the status bar displays the Internet
Security Properties dialog box.
Address bar
Search box
Menu bar
Toolbar
Column headings
Navigation pane
Folders list
File list
Preview pane
Details pane
Status bar
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Using Windows Explorer
Pa r t
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Chapter 5
To open Windows Explorer:
Using Windows Explorer
◆
Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > Windows Explorer.
or
Right-click the Start button and choose
Explore or Open.
or
Choose Start, type windows explorer in
the Search box, and then press Enter.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type
explorer and then press Enter.
✔ Tips
■
Click the Organize button on
the toolbar to display a menu of commands for managing your files and folders (Figure 5.8).
■
Each time you click the Views
button on the toolbar, it changes the size
or arrangement of the file and folder
icons in the folder window, cycling
through List, Details, Tiles, and Large
Icons views. Click the down arrow next
to the word Views for more choices
(Figure 5.9).You also can change views
by right-clicking an empty area of the
file list and making a choice from the
View submenu.
■
Shortcut: Hold down the Ctrl key and
spin your mouse wheel in either direction to cycle through all the views.
Figure 5.8 This menu shows the basic
tasks: moving, copying, renaming,
deleting, and so on. If you can’t find
what you want on the toolbar, try the
menu bar or try right-clicking a file,
folder, or an empty area of the window.
Figure 5.9 The slider moves smoothly
between Extra Large Icons and Small
Icons. List, the most compact display,
lists only the names of files and folders,
preceded by small icons. Details
displays a columnar list of files, folders,
and their properties (this view shown in
Figure 5.7). Tiles displays medium icons
with three lines of descriptive text that
vary by file type.
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Figure 5.10 You still can apply distinct views to
individual folders after clicking Apply to Folders. To
return all folders of the same type to their default
views, click Reset Folders.
To make all folders of the same type use
the same view, set up one folder the way
you want it and then choose Organize >
Folder and Search Options > View tab >
Apply to Folders button (Figure 5.10).
Each folder remembers its own view
when revisited. To make folders forget
their views between visits, in the View
tab, uncheck Remember Each Folder’s
View Settings (under Advanced Settings).
■
Click Organize and use the Layout submenu to show or hide the various panes
of the folder window. To resize panes, drag
the vertical and horizontal separators.
(When you’re over a separator, your mouse
pointer changes to a double-headed arrow.)
The amount of information shown in the
Details pane increases or decreases with
the size of the pane.
■
As you type in the Search
box, the folder’s contents are filtered to
show only those files that match what
you typed. The Search box doesn’t automatically search your entire computer,
however—only the current folder and its
subfolders (if any). If the folder view is
already filtered (if it’s showing files only
by a certain author, for example), the
Search box will search only within that
limited view. See “Searching for Files and
Folders” later in this chapter.
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Using Windows Explorer
■
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Using Windows Explorer
■
Live icons let you see a preview of a file’s
or folder’s actual contents without having
to open it (provided that previewing is
supported for the file type or creating
application). This feature, new in Vista,
improves on generic system and program
icons. What’s displayed depends on the
type of file selected: the opening text of a
text file or Microsoft Word document,
the first slide of a Microsoft PowerPoint
presentation, the first worksheet of a
Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, the first
frame of a video, the album art of a song,
or a scaled-down image of a photo. Folder
icons show previews of the individual
files that they contain (Figure 5.11).
The Details and Preview panes show the
same images.
■
To view Explorer full-screen with minimal clutter, press F11. The Address bar
appears when you move your pointer
near the top edge of the screen. Press F11
again to restore normal view.
■
Click the Help button at the right end
of the toolbar to get online help.
Figure 5.11 This folder
icon shows highresolution thumbnails
of the actual photos
that the folder contains.
Larger icons provide
clearer previews.
Printing Directory Listings
Windows Explorer lacks the simple capability to print the contents of a folder; the Print button on the toolbar or the Print command in the File menu, if it appears, prints the selected
file, not the file list. You can create a file listing if you’re Command Prompt-savvy, however
(see “Using the Free Utility Programs” in Chapter 6). At a prompt, use the cd command to
change to the desired directory and then type:
dir /a /o:neg /-p > list.txt
This command creates the file list.txt in the current directory. Open list.txt in Notepad
(or any text editor) for a printable list of the files and folders in the directory. To change the
command to suit your preferences, search for command-line reference in Help and Support,
and look for the dir command and command redirection.
192
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Explorer usually opens with your Documents
folder selected, but you can modify an
Explorer’s shortcut icon to highlight a folder
of your choice initially.
To open Windows Explorer with a
specific folder selected:
1. Right-click a Windows Explorer shortcut
(in the Start menu, on the desktop, or in
a folder) and choose Properties.
2. In the Target box, type:
Figure 5.12 This setting opens Explorer at my
personal folder. If you see the text %SystemRoot%\ in
front of explorer.exe, you can leave it alone or
remove it, as desired.
explorer.exe /n, /e, C:\myfolder
3. Click OK.
When you double-click the shortcut,
Explorer opens with the specified folder
selected.
✔ Tip
■
Another way to open Explorer in a specific folder: Choose Start or press
Windows logo key+R, type or paste the
folder’s pathname in the box, and then
press Enter.
193
Using Windows Explorer
Replace C:\myfolder with the pathname
of the folder to select initially (Figure
5.12). The folder can be on a local,
removable, or network drive. If
C:\myfolder contains spaces, surround it
with double quotes.
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Navigating in Windows
Explorer
Figure 5.13 The location of a personal folder might
appear like this in the address bar.
You can use Windows Explorer’s address
bar or Navigation pane to move among the
folders on your computer or network.
Navigating in Windows Explorer
Address bar
The address bar appears at the top of every
folder window and displays your current
location as a path or “breadcrumb trail” of
links separated by arrows. The address bar
shows your current location on the computer or on a network (Figure 5.13).
Figure 5.14 Click any of the links between the arrows
to go directly to that location.
To click a new location:
◆
To go directly to a location that’s already
visible in the address bar, click the link in
the address bar (Figure 5.14).
or
To go to the subfolder of a link that’s
visible in the address bar, click the arrow
to the right of the link and then click the
new location in the list (Figure 5.15).
To type a new location:
1. Click an empty area in the address bar
to the right of the text that displays the
current location (Figure 5.16).
or
Press Alt+D.
The address bar changes to display the
pathname of the current location (see
the “Pathnames” sidebar).
2. Type or paste the pathname of the new
location and press Enter.
or
To go to a common location, type its
name and press Enter. The valid names
are Computer, Contacts, Control Panel,
Documents, Favorites, Games, Music,
Pictures, Recycle Bin, and Videos.
194
Figure 5.15 Clicking the arrow to the right of a location
displays a list of that location’s subfolders. The
boldface item is the current link.
Figure 5.16 You also can click the small icon at the left
end of the location to display the pathname.
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Organizing Files and Folders
✔ Tips
Figure 5.17 Click any
location in the list to
return to a recently
visited page. The item
with the check mark is
the current location.
Like a web browser, Explorer records
your recently visited locations, which you
can revisit by clicking Back or Forward.
Click the Recent Pages button (right of
the Forward button) to jump directly to
any of these locations (Figure 5.17).
■
Click the Previous Location button at
the right end of the address bar (or press
F4) for a drop-down list of your location
history, including web addresses. Click
any list item to go to that location. To
clear this list, choose Start > Control
Panel > Network and Internet > Internet
Options > General tab > Delete (under
Browsing History) > Delete History > Yes.
■
Click the Refresh button (or press F5)
if some icons are badly drawn or if you
think that the folder window is out of
date (which happens sometimes for network locations).
■
If the address bar is too narrow to display the entire location, click the chevron
button that appears to the left of it
(Figure 5.18).
■
If you type a web address (URL) in the
address bar, Internet Explorer opens and
displays the webpage.
Pathnames
Windows locates and identifies each file or folder by its unique address, called its pathname.
A pathname is a listing of the folders that lead from the top-level or root directory of a disk drive
to a particular file or folder. C:\ represents the C drive’s root directory, for example. A backslash (\)
separates the pathname components. The pathname C:\Users\Public\Pictures\Sample Pictures\
Creek.jpg traces the route from the file Creek.jpg to the C drive’s root directory. For files on a
network, the pathname can begin with a double backslash and a computer or server name
instead of a disk drive (\\someserver instead of C:, for example).
To see a pathname, right-click an icon and choose Properties (the pathname is in the
Location box). To copy a pathname, hold down Shift while you right-click an icon and then
choose Copy As Path.
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Navigating in Windows Explorer
Figure 5.18 This menu shows the links
that the address bar doesn’t have room
to show. Click any link to go to that
location.
■
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Navigation pane
Navigating in Windows Explorer
By using the Navigation pane, you can
navigate directly to the folder that contains
the files you want. To show or hide the
Navigation pane, choose Organize > Layout
> Navigation Pane.
Favorite Links (Figure 5.19), at the top of
the Navigation pane, offers one-click access
to commonly used folders. The top three
links are shortcuts to your Documents,
Pictures, and Music folders. The next link,
Recently Changed, is a saved search; click it
to display items from your personal folder
that you’ve created or modified in the past
30 days (see “Saving Searches” later in this
chapter). The next link, Searches, opens your
Searches folder, which contains your saved
searches. The Public link opens a folder containing files shared by all users.
To customize the Favorite Links list:
◆
To reorder the list, drag links higher or
lower.
or
To add a link, drag a folder or a saved
search from its original folder to the list.
You also can drag folders from the
Folders list.
or
To rename a link, right-click it, choose
Rename, type the new name, and then
press Enter. (Only the link is renamed,
not the original folder or saved search.)
or
To remove a link, right-click it and
choose Remove Link. (Only the link is
deleted, not the original folder or saved
search.)
or
To restore the default list, right-click an
empty area of the list and choose Restore
Default Favorite Links.
196
Figure 5.19 To open a saved search, click
Searches and then double-click the
saved search that you want to open.
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Organizing Files and Folders
The Folders list (Figure 5.20), at the bottom
of the Navigation pane, represents your files,
folders, and disks as a hierarchical structure
called a tree. A fully expanded tree is unwieldy,
so by default, the Folders list shows only the
tree’s top few levels. You can use the mouse
or keyboard to collapse and expand individual branches selectively. To show or hide the
tree, click Folders in the Navigation pane.
To navigate by using the Folders list:
◆
✔ Tips
■
Table 5.2 lists the keyboard shortcuts
for using the Folders list. For others, see
“Using Keyboard Shortcuts” later in this
chapter.
■
A security prompt may appear when you
try to navigate to some folders. If it does,
type an administrator password or confirm the action.
■
If no arrow appears next to an icon, that
branch can’t be expanded further
because it has no subfolders.
■
If the Folders bar is too narrow to show
its contents, drag the right edge of the
pane to widen it. If you point to a partially hidden folder, a pop-up tip displays
its full name.
■
Press F5 to refresh the display if you
notice that a folder is missing or that an
arrow appears next to a folder that has
no subfolders (which happens sometimes
for network folders).
Figure 5.20 This tree is
expanded to show the
user’s personal folder.
Table 5.2
Folders List Keyboard Shortcuts
To
Press
Expand or collapse the
selected branch
Jump to parent branch
without collapsing
Jump from top to bottom
of expanded branch
Jump from bottom to top
of expanded branch
Move up visible branches
Move down visible branches
Expand all branches below
the selection
Go to a visible branch
Cycle through visible
branches with same
initial letter
Cycle through the parts of
a folder window
Right arrow or left arrow
Backspace
Alt+Right arrow
Alt+Left arrow
Up arrow
Down arrow
* (on numeric keypad)
The branch’s initial letter
The initial letter repeatedly
Tab or F6
197
Navigating in Windows Explorer
To show a folder’s contents, click its icon
in the tree.
or
To expand or collapse a branch, click an
arrow ( or ) to the left of an icon in
the tree.
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Chapter 5
Tagging Files
Tagging Files
You saw in “Properties” in Chapter 1 that
every file has properties—bits of information about the file, some of which you can
edit. Windows also lets you define tags. Tags
are properties that you can attach to your
files to help you find and filter them. Unlike
predefined properties, a tag can be anything
you choose and, when created and attached
to a file, becomes one of the file’s properties.
Like predefined properties, tags aren’t part
of the actual contents of a file; they’re called
metadata (data about data).
The easiest way to add tags is to use the
Details pane in Windows Explorer (if the
pane isn’t visible, choose Organize > Layout
> Details Pane). You also can add or change
properties to a file when you create and save
it. If you share files, you can remove the
properties that you don’t want others to see.
✔ Tips
■
You can apply multiple tags to a single
file or apply a single tag across multiple
files.
■
You can’t add tags to text (.txt), RTF
(.rtf), and some other types of files.
■
See “Searching for Files and Folders” later
in this chapter to see how to use tags
and other properties to find files.
■
You also can add tags by using Windows
Photo Gallery (see “Finding Photos” in
Chapter 9) or Windows Media Player (see
“Organizing Your Library” in Chapter 10).
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To add or change properties by using
the Details pane:
1. Click a file or select a group of files to
apply properties to.
Figure 5.21 Editing the tag of a photograph in the
Details pane. You can click the other properties in this
pane to change them. Some intrinsic properties—
such as Size, Dimensions, and Date Created—are
read-only.
2. In the Details pane at the bottom of the
folder window, click the property that
you want to change, type the new property, and then click Save (Figure 5.21).
To add more than one property, separate
the entries with a semicolon (;). To rate
a file by using the Ratings property, click
a star.
✔ Tip
■
To add or change properties that don’t
appear in the Details pane:
1. Right-click a file or a group of files and
choose Properties.
Figure 5.22 Scroll down the list to see and change a
large number of properties.
2. In the Properties dialog box, click the
Details tab, click the properties box that
you want to change, and then type a
word or phrase (Figure 5.22).
To add more than one property, separate
the entries with a semicolon (;). To rate
a file by using the Ratings property, click
a star.
3. Click OK (or Apply).
✔ Tips
■
If you don’t see any text for the property
that you want to add, point to the place
where you would expect to see it, and a
box will appear.
■
For more ways to open the Properties
dialog box, see “Properties” in Chapter 1.
199
Tagging Files
To resize the Details pane, drag the horizontal separator at the top edge of the
pane. You also can right-click an empty
area of the pane and make a choice from
the Size submenu.
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Chapter 5
To add or change properties when
saving a file:
1. In the program that you’re using, choose
File > Save As (press Alt if the File menu
isn’t visible).
2. In the Save As dialog box, type tags and
other properties in the appropriate boxes
(Figure 5.23).
Figure 5.23 Not every Save As dialog box lets you
define properties.
3. Type a name for the file and click Save.
To remove properties:
Tagging Files
1. Right-click a file or a group of files and
choose Properties.
2. In the Properties dialog box, click the
Details tab.
3. Click Remove Properties and Personal
Information (at the bottom of Figure 5.22).
The Remove Properties dialog box opens
(Figure 5.24).
4. Select Create a Copy with All Possible
Properties Removed and click OK.
This lets you keep the original file with
all its properties and make a copy with
all the properties removed that you
can share.
or
Select Remove the Following Properties
from This File, check each property to
remove (or click Select All), and then
click OK.
200
Figure 5.24 Stripping individual properties from a file.
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Organizing Files and Folders
Figure 5.25 Column headings appear in all views in
Windows Explorer.
Filtering, Sorting,
Stacking, and Grouping
Files
Column headings (Figure 5.25) are more
useful than their appearance suggests. In
details view, which shows the most information about files, you can:
Reorder columns by dragging column
headings left or right.
◆
Resize a column by dragging the right
edge of its heading left or right.
◆
Make a column width match its widest
entry by double-clicking the right edge
of its column heading (or right-clicking
a column heading and choosing Size
Column to Fit or Size All Columns to Fit).
Figure 5.26 Right-click any column
heading to choose which columns to
display.
By default, the columns displayed depend on
the type of files in the folder—picture folders
show Date Taken, for example, and document
folders show Date Modified—but you can
choose which columns appear.
To choose which column headings to
show:
1. In Windows Explorer, right-click any column heading.
2. Check or uncheck a heading name to
show or hide it (Figure 5.26).
or
Click More, check or uncheck the headings to show or hide, and then click OK
(Figure 5.27).
✔ Tip
■
You can’t hide the Name column.
Figure 5.27 The Choose Details dialog box offers
dozens of properties to display, many of which apply
only to specific file types. You also can reorder
headings and set their widths here, but it’s more
cumbersome than dragging the headings directly.
201
Filtering, Sorting, Stacking, and Grouping Files
◆
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Chapter 5
Filtering, Sorting, Stacking, and Grouping Files
You also can use column headings to filter
and arrange files—in any view, not just
details. Viewing files this way helps you find
files that have something in common. Click
the arrow to the right of a column heading
to see the options (Figure 5.28).
Figure 5.28 Menus vary by column heading and the contents of the folder.
202
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Organizing Files and Folders
When you filter a folder’s contents by file
properties (such as filename, date, author,
or tag), only files with those properties are
displayed. To see only files written by a particular author, for example, filter by that
person’s name.
To filter files:
Figure 5.29 A file list before and after filtering by the
Wildlife tag. Note that a check mark appears in the
column heading when filtering is applied.
2. Click the arrow to the right of the heading that you want to filter by (refer to
Figure 5.28).
3. Click the name of the property that you
want to filter by.
To filter by two or more properties, check
the box for each property (Figure 5.29).
By default, Windows Explorer sorts files
alphabetically by name (listing all folders
first, followed by all files), but you can sort
them by any column heading.
To sort files:
1. Open the folder that contains the files
you want to sort.
Figure 5.30 The file list’s shortcut menu has menus
for sorting, grouping, and stacking.
2. Click the arrow to the right of the heading that you want to sort by and then
click Sort (refer to Figure 5.28).
To reverse the sort order, repeat this
action.
or
Click the heading of the column to sort
by. To reverse the sort order, click it again.
or
Right-click an empty area of the file list
and make a choice from the Sort By submenu (Figure 5.30).
203
Filtering, Sorting, Stacking, and Grouping Files
1. Open the folder that contains the files
you want to filter.
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Chapter 5
Filtering, Sorting, Stacking, and Grouping Files
✔ Tips
■
Subtle shading indicates the sort
column. A small arrowhead above the
column name points up for ascending
sort or down for descending sort.
■
You can sort filtered, stacked, or
grouped files.
■
In the Computer window, you can sort
by the disks’ free space or total size.
Stacking files arranges into them into piles,
called stacks, that correspond to a column
heading. If you stack by Author, for example,
you’ll see one stack for each author. If you
want to see only the files written by a particular author, open that author’s stack.
To stack files:
1. Open the folder that contains the files
you want to stack.
2. Click the arrow to the right of the heading that you want to stack by and then
click Stack (refer to Figure 5.28).
or
Right-click an empty area of the file list
and make a choice from the Stack By
submenu (refer to Figure 5.30).
✔ Tip
■
The stacks appear in a Search
Results folder (Figure 5.31). Click Save
Search (on the toolbar) to save the stacks,
or click Back ( ) or press Backspace to
return to the original folder. See “Saving
Searches” later in this chapter.
204
Figure 5.31 The results of stacking on the Rating
column. Double-click a stack to see its files.
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Organizing Files and Folders
Whereas a stack hides the files it contains
behind an icon, a group displays a list of all
the grouped files. When you group files by
Author, for example, several groups appear,
each one displaying all the files written by a
particular author. Grouping isn’t available in
list view.
To group files:
2. Click the arrow to the right of the heading that you want to group by and then
click Group (refer to Figure 5.28).
or
Right-click an empty area of the file list
and make a choice from the Group By
submenu (refer to Figure 5.30).
✔ Tip
■
Unlike stacked files, grouped files appear
in the original folder (Figure 5.32). You
can click the horizontal separator at the
top of each grouping category to select
all the files in that category or doubleclick the separator to hide them.
Figure 5.32 The results of grouping on the Tag
column.
205
Filtering, Sorting, Stacking, and Grouping Files
1. Open the folder that contains the files
you want to group.
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Chapter 5
Customizing a Folder
You can apply folder templates and custom
images to folders.
To customize a folder:
1. In Windows Explorer, open the folder
that you want to customize.
Customizing a Folder
2. Right-click an empty area of the file list
and choose Customize This Folder.
or
Choose View > Customize This Folder
(press Alt if the View menu isn’t visible).
3. Choose a folder template from the dropdown list (Figure 5.33), and specify
whether you want the template applied
to all subfolders as well.
The All Items template is for generic
folders. Other templates are designed for
document, photo, video, and music folders.
4. To place a picture of your choice on the
folder icon, click Choose File; then navigate to and select an image file.
If you change your mind, click Restore
Default to use default pictures.
5. To replace the standard folder icon, click
Change Icon; then navigate to and select
an icon.
6. Click OK (or Apply).
✔ Tip
■
Customize This Folder isn’t available
for the Windows and Programs Files
system folders.
206
Figure 5.33 The template choice determines the view
setting (Details, Large Icons, and so on) and column
headings for the folder.
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Organizing Files and Folders
Setting Folder Options
Windows offers a trainload of options that
control how folders appear and behave.
To set folder options:
Figure 5.34 Some options have default values that
can make Windows harder to use or drain your laptop
battery faster.
2. Select the desired options (Table 5.3).
Changes affect all Explorer windows.
3. To restore the options to their factory
settings, click Restore Defaults.
4. Click OK (or Apply).
Figure 5.35 A folder tip with size information.
Table 5.3
Folder Options
Option
Description
Always Show Icons, Never Thumbnails
Always shows static icons of files instead of their thumbnail previews. Turing
off this option may speed your computer a little and (for laptops) drain the
battery slower.
Turn on this option if you prefer always to see the classic menus above the
toolbar. The menu bar is hidden by default. If this option is turned off, press
Alt to show the menus.
Turn on this option to show file icons on thumbnail previews (applies if the
option Always Show Icons, Never Thumbnails is turned off).
Turn on this option to show size information in the folder tip that pops up
temporarily when your mouse pointer hovers over a folder icon (Figure 5.35).
If you turn it off, you still get pop-up contents information; to turn off folder tips,
choose the folder option Show Pop-Up Description for Folder and Desktop Items.
Always Show Menus
Display File Icon on Thumbnails
Display File Size Information in Folder Tips
Table continues on next page
207
Setting Folder Options
1. In Windows Explorer, choose Organize >
Folder and Search Options > View tab
(Figure 5.34).
or
Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization > Folder
Options > View tab.
or
Choose Start, type folder options in the
Search box, press Enter, and then click
the View tab.
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Chapter 5
Table 5.3 continued
Folder Options
Option
Description
Display Simple Folder View in
Navigation Pane
Turn off this option to restore the navigation method of earlier Windows versions,
which shows vertical dotted lines in the folder tree to indicate how deeply a
folder is nested.
When this option is turned on and you’re using the Classic color scheme
(unlikely), Explorer’s title bar shows the selected folder’s full pathname:
C:\Users\diane\Documents instead of only Documents, for example. To set the
color scheme, see “Setting the Window Color and Color Scheme” in Chapter 4.
By default, Windows hides critical files that it doesn’t want you to move, delete,
or rename. If you show these files, they appear as dimmed icons so that you
remember to leave them alone. (Technically, a hidden file has its Hidden attribute set; you can see this attribute in its Properties dialog box.)
By default, Windows hides file extensions (.doc for Word files and .exe for programs, for example). Beginners may be tempted to leave this option on to
make Windows appear less intimidating, but everyone should turn it off for the
reasons given in “Associating Documents with Programs” in Chapter 6.
By default, only one copy of explorer.exe is ever in memory, handling all
Explorer windows, the Start menu, the desktop, and much more. Turn this
option on to open a new program instance for each Explorer window so that if
one instance crashes, the rest don’t. For technical reasons, if the “wrong” one
crashes, you may be left without a Start menu and desktop. Favor leaving this
option turned off.
When you save a complete webpage in Internet Explorer, the page’s text is
stored in one HTML file, and its images and scripts are stored in a folder named
to match (Figure 5.36). To make Windows Explorer treat this file-and-folder pair
as a single entity, select Show and Manage the Pair As a Single File or Show
Both Parts but Manage As a Single File. If you move or delete one item, for
example, Windows Explorer takes the same action on the other, maintaining the
connection between them. To break the file-and-folder link, select Show Both
Parts and Manage Them Individually.
Turn on this option to make Explorer remember each folder’s view settings
independently. If you turn off this option, each folder inherits its view setting
from its parent folder.
Turn on this option to make Windows reopen all your previously opened folder
windows when you log on, preserving your desktop setup from session to session. Turn off this option for a clean desktop every logon.
Display the Full Path in the Title Bar
(Classic Folders Only)
Hidden Files and Folders and Hide
Protected Operating System Files
(Recommended)
Setting Folder Options
Hide Extensions for Known File Types
Launch Folder Windows in a
Separate Process
Managing Pairs of Web Pages and Folders
Remember Each Folder’s View Settings
Restore Previous Folder Windows at Logon
Table continues on next page
Figure 5.36 When I save Microsoft’s complete home page in Internet Explorer
(that is, visit www.microsoft.com and choose File > Save As), IE creates an HTML
file named Microsoft Corporation.htm and a folder named Microsoft
Corporation_files that contains the accompanying image (GIF and JPEG) and
script files.
208
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Table 5.3 continued
Folder Options
Description
Show Drive Letters
Turn off this option if you want to hide the drive letter of each drive or device in
the Computer folder. Drive letters are useful in many situations (particularly if
you need technical support); you should turn on this option unless you want to
see only the friendly name of each drive.
Turn on this option to show NTFS-encrypted and NTFS-compressed files and
folders in identifying colors. Turn off this option to turn all files the same color.
See “Compressing Files and Folders” later in this chapter and “Encrypting
Data” in Chapter 13.
Turn on this option to see pop-up information about almost any icon you point
to. Turn it off if the little pop-up boxes bug you.
Turn off this option to never show the contents of files in the Preview pane.
Turning off this option may speed your computer a little and (for laptops) drain
the battery slower.
Turn on this item to add check boxes to file views to make it easier to select
multiple files. This option is useful if it’s difficult for you to hold the Ctrl key
while clicking to select multiple files (Figure 5.37).
Turn on this option to use the friendly File Sharing wizard when you share your
files. Experienced network administrators may prefer to turn off this option.
See “Sharing Files” in Chapter 18.
When the file list is active in a folder window, this option determines whether
your keystrokes are used to select files in the list or are redirected to the
Search box to filter the files in the list.
Show Encrypted or Compressed
NTFS Files in Color
Show Pop-Up Description for Folder
and Desktop Items
Show Preview Handlers in Preview Pane
Use Check Boxes to Select Items
Use Sharing Wizard
When Typing in List View
Figure 5.37 Check boxes appear when you hover the
mouse pointer over a file of folder. To select all the
files, check the box in the column heading.
209
Setting Folder Options
Option
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Chapter 5
Creating Folders
If you’re creating a hierarchy of folders, see
“Storing Stuff in Your Personal Folder” earlier
in this chapter for some advice on organizing your files and folders.
To create a folder:
Creating Folders
1. In Windows Explorer, open the folder
where you want to create a subfolder.
2. Right-click an empty area of the file list
and choose New > Folder (Figure 5.38).
or
Choose File > New > Folder (press Alt if
the File menu isn’t visible).
3. Type a name for the new folder and press
Enter.
While editing, you can use the keyboard
shortcuts for Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo, and
Select All (Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+Z,
and Ctrl+A, respectively).
✔ Tips
■
To create a new folder on the desktop,
right-click an empty area of the desktop
and choose New > Folder.
■
The New submenu lets you create new
empty documents too, depending on
which programs are installed.
210
Figure 5.38 You can create a folder inside another
folder, on the desktop, at the root of a hard disk, or on
a USB flash drive or floppy.
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Organizing Files and Folders
Figure 5.39 To replace the current
name, just start typing. To change a
few characters in the existing name,
use the arrow keys to move to a
specific position and then insert,
delete, cut, or paste characters.
Naming Files and Folders
You can rename a file or folder to make its
name longer, shorter, or more explicit.
To rename a file or folder:
1. In Windows Explorer, select the file or
folder that you want to rename.
Naming Rules and Tricks
The 260-character limit actually applies
to the complete pathname (for example,
C:\downloads\myfile.txt). Avoid using
very long filenames.
A folder can’t contain two items with the
same name. Windows is case insensitive
(it considers MyFile.txt and myfile.txt
to be identical), but it preserves the case
of each letter you type.
If you select multiple items and rename
one of them, say, MyFile.txt, Windows
renames the others MyFile (1).txt,
MyFile (2).txt, and so on. If you bulkrename a bunch of files accidentally,
press Ctrl+Z repeatedly to revert to the
original names.
Use Better File Rename ($30 U.S.; http://
or Lupas Rename (free;
www.azheavymetal.com/~lupasrename) for
major surgery on filenames. You can find
and replace a common phrase in a set of
filenames, for example, or add dates and
sequence numbers to them. You can preview your changes before you commit them.
publicspace.net)
3. Type a new name and press Enter or click
outside the name area (Figure 5.39).
While editing, you can use the keyboard
shortcuts for Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo, and
Select All (Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+Z,
and Ctrl+A, respectively).
✔ Tips
■
You can rename a file or folder in the
General tab of its Properties dialog box.
■
Press Esc while editing to revert to the
original name.
■
You can’t rename the system folders
Program Files, Users, or Windows.
■
In applications, you can rename files and
folders in the Open and Save As dialog
boxes.
■
If the folder option Hide Extensions for
Known File Types is turned on, Windows
tracks the file association automatically.
See “Setting Folder Options” earlier in
this chapter.
211
Naming Files and Folders
A file or folder name can contain up to 260
characters, including the extension (the part
after the last dot). Spaces and punctuation
are permitted but names can’t contain
these characters: \ / : * ? “ < > |.
(Note that this paragraph contains 260
characters.)
2. Right-click the file or folder and choose
Rename (or press F2).
or
Choose File > Rename (press Alt if the
File menu isn’t visible).
or
Click the file or folder’s name (not its
icon) twice, slowly (don’t double-click).
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Chapter 5
Moving and Copying Files
and Folders
Moving and Copying Files and Folders
You can move or copy files and folders to
reorganize your folder structure, make
backup copies in a safe location, or move
files to the Public folder to share them with
other users. To copy or move items, you
must select (highlight) them. For an iconselection refresher, see “Icons” in Chapter 1.
To move or copy items by choosing a
destination:
1. In Windows Explorer, select the item(s)
that you want to move or copy.
2. To move the items, choose Edit > Move
to Folder (press Alt if the Edit menu
isn’t visible).
To copy the items, choose Edit > Copy
to Folder.
3. Navigate to the destination folder; then
click Move (or Copy) (Figure 5.40).
To move or copy items by using cut,
copy, and paste:
1. In Windows Explorer or on the desktop,
select the item(s) that you want to move
or copy.
2. To move the items, press Ctrl+X (or rightclick a selected item and choose Cut).
To copy the items, press Ctrl+C (or rightclick a selected item and choose Copy).
3. Select the destination folder, disk, or
window.
4. Press Ctrl+V (or right-click an empty
area and choose Paste).
212
Figure 5.40 Windows Explorer gives you several ways
to move and copy files, but using a highlighted target
is the easiest and most consistent.
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To move or copy items by dragging:
1. Make sure that the destination folder,
disk, or window is visible.
2. In Windows Explorer or on the desktop,
select the item(s) that you want to copy
or move.
3. Right-drag the items to the destination;
then release the right mouse button.
Figure 5.41 Here, I’m dragging the file Bo.jpg from my
Pictures folder to Public Pictures. The destination
folder in the folder tree darkens automatically as the
pointer moves on or close to it. If you hover briefly
over a folder that contains subfolders, it will expand.
Figure 5.42 Right-dragging to copy or move items is
safer than left-dragging.
When you drag an icon, a small indicator
appears when you arrive at the new location,
telling you whether you’re moving. copying,
or creating a shortcut (Figure 5.43). If you
use the left mouse button and drag normally
to copy or move items (bypassing the shortcut menu in Figure 5.42), the rules that
determine what happens are:
◆
If you drag an item to another place on
the same disk, it’s moved.
◆
If you drag an item from one disk to
another, it’s copied, not moved.
◆
To copy an item instead of moving it,
hold down Ctrl while dragging.
◆
To move the item instead of copying it,
hold down Shift while dragging.
◆
To create a shortcut to the item instead
of moving or copying it, hold down Alt
while dragging.
◆
If you drag a system icon such as
Computer or Control Panel, it’s never
moved or copied; instead, a shortcut is
created.
If that’s too much to remember, always
right-drag to copy or move items; it’s easier
and surer.
Figure 5.43 The small graphic near the mouse pointer
means (left to right) move, copy, and create shortcut.
213
Moving and Copying Files and Folders
4. Choose Move Here or Copy Here from
the shortcut menu (Figure 5.41 and
Figure 5.42).
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Chapter 5
Moving and Copying Files and Folders
✔ Tips
■
If you move or copy an item to a folder
that already has an item with the same
name, Windows asks you what to do
(Figure 5.44).
■
You can move or copy items anywhere
on your computer or network, so long as
you have privileges to do so. If a security
prompt appears, type an administrator
password or confirm the action.
■
If you copy an item to the folder in which
it already exists, Windows creates a
duplicate named ‘itemname - Copy’.
■
You can drag items between Explorer
windows, or cut or copy from one window and paste to another.
■
Items appear dimmed when they’re cut,
but they don’t actually move until you
paste them somewhere. Press Esc to
cancel a cut.
■
Press Esc during a drag to cancel it.
214
Figure 5.44 You can overwrite the file in the destination
folder, cancel the operation, or complete the operation
but rename the file being moved or copied so that its
name doesn’t conflict with the other file.
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Sending Files and Folders
One of the handiest file-management tools
is the Send To menu, which lets you send a
copy of a file or folder quickly to:
A compressed (zipped) folder (see
“Compressing Files and Folders” later in
this chapter)
◆
Your desktop (as a shortcut)
◆
Your Documents folder (or any folder)
◆
Another person via fax or email
◆
A USB flash drive, floppy disk, or
CD/DVD for burning
◆
Other destinations, depending on the
programs installed
To send an item:
1. In Windows Explorer or on the desktop,
select the item(s) that you want to send.
2. Right-click one item, choose Send To,
and then choose a destination from the
submenu (Figure 5.45).
✔ Tips
■
In Explorer, Send To is available in the
File menu (press Alt if the File menu isn’t
visible).
■
To move an item instead of copying it,
hold down Shift when you right-click.
215
Sending Files and Folders
Figure 5.45 The Send To menu often is faster than
dragging and dropping. Windows adds destinations
for removable storage automatically. The bottom
three menu items are a floppy disk, DVD/CD writer,
and USB flash drive.
◆
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Chapter 5
If you perform the same file-management
tasks regularly, you can add your own destinations to the Send To menu by adding new
shortcuts to your SendTo folder (which is
hidden by default). Every user on your computer has a separate SendTo folder. The
destination determines what happens to the
item being sent. If the destination is a program, for example, the program is launched
with the selected file open. For folder and
disk destinations, items are copied.
Sending Files and Folders
To add a destination to the Send To
menu:
1. Choose Start > Computer > Local Disk
(C:) > Users > username.
If Windows is installed on a
drive other than C, choose that
drive instead. Look for the drive with the
Windows logo.
Figure 5.46 Here, I’ve added a few custom destinations
to the standard ones. The Notepad shortcut opens any
file in Notepad, regardless of the file’s type. The Backups
shortcut copies files to a safe place. The printer (HP
LaserJet) shortcut prints documents with no need to
open their associated applications. The SendTo Folder
shortcut adds destinations to the Send To menu itself.
2. Make sure that hidden files and folders
are visible by choosing Organize > Folder
and Search Options > View tab > Show
Hidden Files and Folders > OK.
3. Choose AppData > Roaming > Microsoft
> Windows > SendTo.
The full pathname of your current location
is C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\
Microsoft\Windows\SendTo.
✔ Tips
■
If you have many destinations, you
can nest folders to create Send To
sub-submenus.
4. Add the desired shortcuts to the folder,
or right-click an empty area and choose
New > Shortcut (Figure 5.46).
■
You can create Send To shortcuts to
shared folders on other machines on
your network.
5. Close the window when you’re done
adding shortcuts.
(Don’t forget to rehide hidden files and
folders.)
■
If you put a shortcut to the SendTo
folder inside the SendTo folder itself, you
can create destinations quickly by sending them to the SendTo folder.
216
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Deleting Files and Folders
Figure 5.47 The Recycle Bin’s icon tells you whether it
contains deleted items (left) or is empty (right).
When you delete a file or folder, it’s not actually erased but compressed and stored in the
Recycle Bin on the desktop (Figure 5.47).
The Recycle Bin is a safeguard from which
you can restore (undelete) items if you change
your mind or delete them permanently.
To delete items:
1. In Windows Explorer or on the desktop,
select the item(s) that you want to
delete.
3. If an “Are you sure?” message appears,
click Yes (Figure 5.48).
Figure 5.48 If you’re deleting one item, Windows
gives you a thumbnail preview of it (top). For multiple
items, you’re given a count but no preview (bottom).
217
Deleting Files and Folders
2. Choose Organize > Delete (or press Delete).
or
Right-click one item and choose Delete.
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Deleting Files and Folders
✔ Tips
■
You also can drag items to the Recycle
Bin to delete them.
■
To suppress the “Are you sure?” message,
right-click the Recycle Bin, choose
Properties, and then uncheck Display
Delete Confirmation Dialog.
■
To delete selected items without sending
them to the Recycle Bin, press
Shift+Delete (do so with care).
■
You can bypass the Recycle Bin so that
all deleted files are erased immediately
(good for using a public computer):
Right-click the Recycle Bin icon, choose
Properties, and then choose Do Not
Move Files to the Recycle Bin.
■
Some programs let you delete items
within Open and Save As dialog boxes.
■
Items deleted from network drives and
removable storage (such as floppies and
USB flash drives) bypass the Recycle Bin,
as do deletions via the command-line del
and erase commands.
218
When You Can’t Delete
A few things may stop you from deleting
a file or folder:
◆
You lack the proper rights to delete it.
If you didn’t create it, you may not be
able to delete it, even if it’s in the
Public folder. Ask the file’s owner to
delete it.
◆
A program currently is using the file.
Find the program and close it. (Closing
only the file but leaving the program
running might not release the file lock
immediately.) If you’re not the only
person logged on, someone else might
be using the file.
◆
If you delete all the files in a folder but
can’t delete the folder itself, close all
open programs and then try to delete
the folder. If this doesn’t work, restart
the computer and try to delete it again.
The folder probably wasn’t deleted
because it was locked by another program or system utility.
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To empty the Recycle Bin:
1. Double-click the Recycle Bin icon
(Figure 5.49).
2. To remove all items, click Empty the
Recycle Bin (on the toolbar).
or
To remove some items, Ctrl+click each
item to remove (or click only one item);
then press Delete.
Figure 5.49 Details view tells you when items were
deleted and where from.
3. Click Yes in the “Are you sure?” message.
■
The Delete command also is available in
a Recycle Bin item’s shortcut menu.
■
To empty the Recycle Bin quickly without inspecting its contents, right-click its
icon on the desktop and choose Empty
Recycle Bin. (You can’t suppress the “Are
you sure?” message.)
Undead Files
Deleting files doesn’t actually destroy their data; it just makes that data harder to find. When
you empty the Recycle Bin, Windows doesn’t erase files but marks them as deleted, making
them invisible to you and to programs but leaving their data intact on disk. Only when
Windows needs disk space later will it overwrite deleted files with newly created ones. On a
large or sparsely populated drive, deleted files may survive for weeks before Windows
reclaims the disk space (unless you defragment the disk, which overwrites most deleted files).
To recover deleted files, use an undelete utility soon after you’ve emptied the Recycle Bin. Some
popular ones are SpinRite ($89 U.S.; www.grc.com/spinrite), Undelete ($30 U.S.; www.undelete.com),
and PC INSPECTOR File Recovery (free; www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/uk/welcome.htm).
You can find many others by searching the web for windows undelete files.
On the other hand, use a file shredder to make your files unrecoverable. File shredders—useful if you’re selling your PC or expecting an arrest warrant—overwrite deleted files or entire
disks with random data. Shredders let you overwrite a few times (to defeat ordinary undelete
software) or many times (to defeat an electron microscope). To shred files, try Eraser (free;
www.heidi.ie/eraser) or Sure Delete (free; www.wizard-industries.com).
Note that Windows’ format (formerly fdisk) command won’t shred files. If utterly destroying your
data is crucial—you know who you are—smash your hard disk and throw the pieces in a river.
219
Deleting Files and Folders
✔ Tips
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Chapter 5
To restore items from the Recycle Bin:
1. Double-click the Recycle Bin icon (refer
to Figure 5.49).
Deleting Files and Folders
2. Ctrl+click the items that you want to
restore (or click only one item).
3. To restore items to their original locations, click Restore the Selected Items
(or Restore This Item) on the toolbar.
or
To restore items to a specific location,
drag them out of the Recycle Bin to the
desired folder (in an Explorer window or
on the desktop).
✔ Tip
■
The Restore command also is available in
a Recycle Bin item’s shortcut menu.
220
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The Recycle Bin stores deleted items until
it runs out of space, at which point the
items are removed automatically, oldest first,
to accommodate new items. By default, the
size of the Recycle Bin folder is 10 percent
of the hard drive, but you can change that
percentage.
To change the Recycle Bin’s capacity:
1. Right-click the Recycle Bin icon and
choose Properties.
3. Click OK (or Apply).
Figure 5.50 Every disk has its own Recycle Bin. If you
have more than one drive or have a partitioned drive,
you can set each disk’s junk limit independently.
✔ Tips
■
On high-capacity drives, 10 percent is a
lot of space. On a 160 GB disk, for example,
10 percent is 16 GB of junk. Unless you
have a lot of music or video files, 1 GB or
2 GB should be enough.
■
The Recycle Bin’s status bar shows how
much space the deleted items occupy.
Choose View > Status Bar (press Alt if
the View menu isn’t visible).
■
To hide the Recycle Bin or change its
icon, choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Personalization > Change Desktop Icons
(in the left pane).
221
Deleting Files and Folders
2. Click a drive in the list, choose Custom
Size, and then specify how much drive
storage (measured in megabytes) to
allocate to the Recycle Bin (Figure 5.50).
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Chapter 5
Compressing Files and Folders
Compressing Files and
Folders
Compressing files and folders reduces the
space they occupy on your drives (fixed or
removable). Windows offers two compression schemes: Microsoft’s proprietary NTFS
compression (the same as in Windows 2000)
and industry-standard zipped folders. You
can use either scheme or both; each has its
relative advantages. NTFS compression is
simple, transparent, and suitable for everyday use, whereas zipped folders are best for:
◆
Emailing large attachments
◆
Archiving files that you no longer need
regularly
◆
Transferring files over the internet or
via FTP
◆
Gaining the maximum amount of disk
space
◆
Compressing encrypted files
NTFS compression
Some important points about NTFS compression are:
◆
It’s available only on NTFS-formatted
drives, not FAT or FAT32 drives (Figure
5.51). See “Getting Ready to Install
Windows Vista” in the appendix.
◆
You can compress individual files and
folders or an entire NTFS drive.
◆
It’s easy to use but doesn’t save much disk
space compared with zip compression.
222
Figure 5.51 To determine whether a drive is formatted
with NTFS, choose Start > Computer, right-click a
drive, and then choose Properties. The file system
appears on the General tab.
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NTFS-compressed files and folders act
normally in Explorer, programs, and dialog boxes. Windows decompresses and
compresses files invisibly and on the fly
when you open and close them, at the
cost of a small (probably not noticeable)
performance hit.
◆
Don’t compress system files in the
Windows folder, because Vista uses them
frequently.
◆
If you send an NTFS-compressed file to a
non-NTFS disk (via email or dragging, for
example), Vista expands it to its normal
size automatically and invisibly. A file
sent to a compressed folder or disk is
compressed automatically.
◆
NTFS-compressed files can’t be EFSencrypted (but you can encrypt zipped
folders). See “Encrypting Data” in
Chapter 13.
To NTFS-compress a file, folder,
or drive:
1. Close all files to be compressed.
Figure 5.52 If the Advanced button is missing (top),
the selected file or folder isn’t on an NTFS drive. The
Advanced Attributes dialog box (bottom) won’t let
you choose both compression and encryption.
2. To compress individual files or folders,
select their icons in Windows Explorer,
right-click one of the selected items,
choose Properties > General tab, click
the Advanced button, check Compress
Contents to Save Disk Space, and click
OK (Figure 5.52).
or
To compress a drive, right-click its icon
in Computer, choose Properties >
General tab, check Compress This Drive
to Save Disk Space, and click OK (refer to
Figure 5.51).
continues on next page
223
Compressing Files and Folders
◆
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Chapter 5
3. In the Confirm Attribute Changes dialog
box, indicate whether you want to compress subfolders too (Figure 5.53).
Compressing Files and Folders
✔ Tips
■
Compressing an entire hard disk may
take hours. Close all programs before you
start; otherwise, Windows halts midprocess to ask you to quit a program.
■
To display compressed files and folders
in a different color in Windows Explorer,
choose Organize > Folder and Search
Options > View tab > check Show
Encrypted or Compressed NTFS Files
in Color.
Figure 5.53 Usually, you’ll want to compress all
subfolders too.
Zipped folders
If you’ve used the popular WinZip program,
you’re familiar with the concept of compressing files and folders in zip format. Some
important points about zip files are:
◆
A zipped folder, called an archive, is a
collection of files compressed and combined into a single file (Figure 5.54).
◆
You can create archives on any drive, not
just an NTFS drive. Archives stay compressed when you send them elsewhere.
Mac and Unix users can work with
them too.
◆
Zipping squashes files much smaller
than NTFS compression does. Zipping
most image, video, music, and PDF files
won’t save much space because they’re
already compressed, but program, webpage, text, word-processing, spreadsheet,
database, bitmap, TIFF, and WAV audio
files shrink a lot.
224
Figure 5.54 An archive looks like a
folder, except with a zipper. An
archive has a .zip file extension.
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◆
Figure 5.55 Details view provides compression
information about each file. The Ratio column tells
you how much smaller a zipped file is relative to its
uncompressed size. (The closer the ratio is to 100%,
the more compressed the file is.)
Though they’re actually files, zipped folders still behave like folders in several
ways. Double-click an archive to see
what’s in it (Figure 5.55). Double-click a
document in the archive to open a readonly copy of it, or extract it from the
archive to work with the original (see “To
extract files and folders from a zipped
folder” later in this chapter).
Compressing Files and Folders
WinZip and WinRAR
If you zip files only occasionally, Windows’ built-in tools work fine; otherwise, get a copy of
WinZip ($30 U.S.; www.winzip.com), a superior utility that can:
◆
Zip and email in a single step
◆
Create self-extracting (.exe) archives that unpack themselves automatically when
double-clicked
◆
Use wildcard file specifications—like *.doc (Word files) or *.mp3 (MP3s)—to bulk-add
files to an archive instead of adding them one by one
◆
Split large archives across disks for easy reassembly later
◆
Encrypt and password-protect archives
◆
Work with many compression standards, not just zip
WinZip and zipped folders can coexist. When installed, WinZip takes over the .zip file extension and becomes the main way to handle zip archives (see “Associating Documents with
Programs” in Chapter 6).
A more capable but proprietary compression format is RAR (.rar files). It’s used mostly on
file-sharing networks (BitTorrent, for example). To pack and unpack RAR files, use WinRAR
(free; www.win-rar.com). WinRAR handles zip files too.
225
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To create a new zipped folder:
1. In Windows Explorer, select where you
want to create the new archive.
Compressing Files and Folders
2. Choose File > New > Compressed
(Zipped) Folder (press Alt if the File
menu isn’t visible).
or
Right-click an empty area of the file
list and choose New > Compressed
(Zipped) Folder.
3. Type a name for the new archive
(keeping the .zip extension, if it appears)
and press Enter.
✔ Tip
■
To create a zipped folder on the desktop,
right-click an empty area and choose
New > Compressed (Zipped) Folder.
To create a new zipped folder from
existing files or folders:
1. In Windows Explorer, select the file(s) or
folder(s) that you want to archive.
2. Right-click one of the selected items and
choose Send To > Compressed (Zipped)
Folder.
3. Type a name for the new archive (keeping the .zip extension, if it appears) and
press Enter.
226
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To add files or folders to a zipped
folder:
1. In Windows Explorer, find the zipped
folder that you want to add files or
folders to.
2. Right-drag the item(s) into the zipped
folder and choose Copy Here or Move Here.
To extract files and folders from a
zipped folder:
◆
To extract only some files or folders,
double-click the zipped folder to open it
and then drag the files or folders to a
new location, where they return to their
original sizes.
or
To extract all files and folders, right-click
the zipped folder and choose Extract All
(Figure 5.56).
✔ Tips
■
If a zipped folder window is already open,
click Extract All Files in the task pane.
■
To compress digital photos for email, see
“Emailing Photos” in Chapter 9.
227
Compressing Files and Folders
Figure 5.56 Use the Extract Compressed (Zipped)
Folders wizard to specify a destination folder and,
optionally, open it after extraction.
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Searching for Files and Folders
Searching for Files and
Folders
Even if you organize your files and folders
logically, sooner or later you’ll need to find
something: a newly installed program, a
downloaded file, a file or folder whose location you forgot, or a particular photo among
thousands, for example. Often, you’ll also
want to find all files that meet certain criteria: all or part of a filename, files containing
a specific phrase, documents written by a
given author, photos taken on a certain date,
and so on.
Vista’s Search feature greatly improves on
that of earlier Windows versions. It returns
results instantly and is available systemwide.
You’ll find Search boxes in, for example, the
Start menu, Control Panel, every folder window, Help and Support (Chapter 3),
Windows Photo Gallery (Chapter 9), and
Windows Media Player (Chapter 10).
When you type in the Search
box, Windows returns a results list or filters
the view based on what you’re typing. You
can type things like file and folder names,
program names, text contained within a file,
and file tags and properties (see “Tagging
Files” earlier in this chapter). Table 5.4 lists
some of the common properties that you
can type in the Search box.
Search is context sensitive, basing its results
on your current location and activity.
Searching from the Start menu finds stuff in
all your files, folders, and programs; searching from Control Panel finds only Control
Panel tasks; and searching from a folder
window finds items only in that folder and
its subfolders. For advanced searches, use a
Search folder.
228
Table 5.4
File Properties to Search On
Property
How to Use It in the Search Box
Filename
Type part or all of the filename that
you’re looking for. To find a file named
Golden Gate Bridge.jpg, for example,
you can type Gol or bridge.
Typically Document, Picture, or Music.
To find all your text, word-processing,
spreadsheet, and presentation files, for
example, type Document.
The last three letters of the filename,
called the file extension, identify the file
type. Common types include DOC (Word
document), XLS (Excel spreadsheet), JPG
(JPEG image), MP3 (music/audio file),
TXT (text file), and ZIP (compressed zip
file). Type the file extension. To find only
MP3 files, for example, type MP3 or (for
more accurate results) *.mp3. For details
about file extensions, see “Associating
Documents with Programs” in Chapter 6.
Words or phrases that you apply to your
files to describe them. Type any tag to
see a list of files for which that tag has
been added. See “Tagging Files” earlier
in this chapter.
The name of the person who created the
file to see a list of files by that author.
Kind of file
Type of file
Tags
Author
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✔ Tips
The keyboard shortcuts for Cut, Copy,
Paste, Undo, and Select All work in the
Search box (Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V,
Ctrl+Z, and Ctrl+A, respectively).
■
Search text is case insensitive: Search
considers John, john, and JOHN to be the
same search term.
■
Type from the start of the word. Typing
cycle finds cycle, cycles, and my cycle but
not bicycle. Words start after any of these
characters: space . - _ & \ / ( ) { } [ ].
■
You don’t have to wait until a search ends
to open or use a file in the results list.
■
You can use wildcard characters to
represent one or more filename characters when you don’t know what the real
character is or don’t want to type the
entire name. ? substitutes for any single
character, and * substitutes for zero or
more characters. Type *.do?, for example,
to find all files that end in .doc (Word
documents) or .dot (Word templates).
chapter*.doc finds all Word documents
that begin with the word chapter, followed
by any characters (or no characters).
■
In a Search Results window, you can press
F5 to update the results list. If you’ve
deleted a file or folder or changed it so
that it no longer meets the search criteria, it disappears from the list (or appears
in it if the change meets the criteria).
■
If you’re looking for a bunch of related
files, finding them by using column headings might be better than using Search.
See “Filtering, Sorting, Stacking, and
Grouping Files” earlier in this chapter.
229
Searching for Files and Folders
■
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Searching for Files and Folders
From the Start menu
The Search box is in the bottom-left corner
of the Start menu. It searches your computer
for files, folders, and programs, based on the
filename, the program title (excel, for example),
text in the file, tags, and other file properties.
It looks at your personal folder, offline files,
email, contacts, calendar events, and internet favorites and history. (It doesn’t search
the private files of other users.) To change
the scope of the search, right-click the Start
button, choose Properties > Customize, and
then turn on or off the Search options (see
“Customizing the Start Menu” in Chapter 2).
To search from the Start menu:
1. Click the Start button (or press the
Windows logo key) and type text in the
Search box.
You don’t need to click inside the Search
box before you begin typing; just type.
As you type, items that match your text
appear in the left pane of the Start menu.
2. To open an item in the results list, click it
or use the arrow keys to select it and
then press Enter.
If Search has already autoselected the
item that you’re looking for, just press
Enter (Figure 5.57).
or
To open a Search folder with a complete
list of results, click See All Results.
or
To open a browser window and expand
your search to the internet, click Search
the Internet.
or
Right-click an item in the results list to
show its shortcut menu.
or
To cancel the search, press Esc, backspace over the search text, or click the
close button ( ).
230
Figure 5.57 Search results superimpose
themselves on the left pane of the Start
menu. The results list narrows as you
type more characters.
✔ Tip
■
Typing all or part of a program name in
the Start menu’s Search box often is the
fastest way to launch that program.
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From Control Panel
The Search box is in the top-right corner of
Control Panel. Use it to search for Control
Panel tasks. Search works best in Category
view, which is the default view (see “Using
Control Panel” in Chapter 4).
To search from Control Panel:
Figure 5.58 Control Panel searches find only tasks
that you can access in Control Panel; they don’t
search your files, applications, or other parts of
Windows. This search shows tasks related to
connecting to a network.
2. Type text in the Search box.
You don’t need to click inside the Search
box before you begin typing; just type.
As you type, tasks that match your text
appear in the Control Panel window.
3. To open a task in the results list, click it,
or tab to it and press Enter (Figure 5.58).
or
To cancel the search, press Esc, backspace over the search text, or click the
close button ( ).
✔ Tip
■
You can omit noise words from your
search text. Type connect internet instead
of connect to the internet, for example.
231
Searching for Files and Folders
1. Choose Start > Control Panel.
or
Choose Start, type control panel in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
or
If Control Panel is already open, press
Ctrl+E.
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From a folder window
A Search box is in the top-right corner of
every folder window. Use it to search in the
current folder and all its subfolders, no matter how deeply nested. These searches are
useful if a folder contains hundreds of files
or subfolders. Search bases its search on filenames, text in the file, tags, and other file
properties. See also “Using Windows
Explorer” earlier in this chapter.
Searching for Files and Folders
To search from a folder window:
1. In Windows Explorer, navigate to the
folder that you want to search.
2. Click or tab to the Search box (or press
Ctrl+E) and type text.
As you type, the contents of the folder
are filtered to match your text.
3. When you see the file or folder that you
want, stop typing (Figure 5.59).
or
To cancel the search, press Esc, backspace over the search text, or click the
close button ( ).
The folder window goes back to its unfiltered state.
✔ Tip
■
For privacy reasons, only your own
files are searched. To search for files
belonging to another user, navigate to
C:\Users\username and do your search.
(If necessary, change C to whatever drive
Windows is installed on.) If a security
prompt appears, type an administrator
password or confirm the action.
232
Figure 5.59 The original folder contents (top) and its
contents after typing san in the Search box (bottom).
The file Sand Dunes.jpg appears because san is part of
its filename. itinerary.txt (from the Travel subfolder)
appears because it contains the text República de
Santa Cruz. And Golden Gate Bridge.jpg appears
because it has the tag San Francisco applied.
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From a Search folder
Use a Search folder when you want to:
◆
Get search results from more than
one folder
◆
Use multiple criteria for a search
◆
Choose specific disks and other locations
to search
To search from a Search folder:
1. Chose Start > Search (or press Windows
logo key+F).
or
In Windows Explorer or on the desktop,
press F3.
2. Type text in the Search box
You don’t need to click inside the Search
box before you begin typing; just type.
As you type, files and folders from a variety of locations that match your text
appear in the window.
continues on next page
233
Searching for Files and Folders
By default, this search is based on a set of
indexed locations, including everything in
your personal folder (Documents, Pictures,
Music, Desktop, and so on), email, offline
files, and other common locations. You can
add other places where you store files to
indexed locations; see “Indexes” later in this
section.
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Searching for Files and Folders
3. Click one of the filter buttons to show
only certain kinds of files: E-mail,
Document, Picture, Music, or Other.
or
Click the Advanced Search button ( )
to show additional filters.
To build a more advanced search,
enter search criteria in the lists and
text boxes; then click the Search button
(Figure 5.60).
Figure 5.60 The Advanced Search pane lets you narrow your search by location, date, file size, tags, and other
file properties.
234
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Organizing Files and Folders
✔ Tips
The default search, Indexed Locations,
usually works best. Windows indexes the
most common places for storing files
automatically, so the search is very fast.
You can use the Location list to pick a
different set of search locations (Figure
5.61). You can search an entire drive,
multiple drives, or—for a thorough search
of your entire computer—Everywhere.
To search in a custom set of places, click
Choose Search Locations (Figure 5.62).
You may want to add search locations for
system and program files, which aren’t
included in the index to make routine
searches faster.
■
Network locations, USB flash drives,
memory cards, CDs, DVDs, and other
removable storage aren’t indexed, so
searching them is slow compared with
searching on your computer. If Windows
complains that it can’t reach a location,
check your network connection or the
drive. If you’re searching a location that’s
not indexed, you may have to press Enter
to start the search.
Figure 5.61 If you can’t find a file that you know is on
your computer, the most likely reason is that you’re
searching a limited set of locations. When you choose
Everywhere, you get results from indexed locations
quickly; then results from outside the index appear
slowly as the rest of your computer is searched.
Figure 5.62 Navigate the location tree by clicking the
small arrows. Use the check boxes to include a place
in the search or omit a place from the search. For
some network or deeply nested places, it might be
quicker to type or paste the location in the box and
click Add.
235
Searching for Files and Folders
■
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Searching for Files and Folders
Chapter 5
■
Windows continually updates the index
with the latest information about files on
your computer. If you search while the
index is being updated, your results may
not be up to date for files that you’ve
created or changed recently. Wait a few
seconds for the index to update.
■
On the toolbar, click Search Tools >
Search Options (or choose Organize >
Folder and Search Options > Search tab)
to change the default behavior of the
Search folder (Figure 5.63).
Figure 5.63 Search options let you change the default
settings for searches. These settings reduce or
expand the scope and type of searches and can make
them much faster or slower.
236
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Advanced searches
Table 5.5
Search Operators
F i n d s F i l e s o r P r o p e r t i e s Th a t
word1 AND word2
Contain both word1 and word2,
even if those words aren’t next to
each other. aspen AND colorado
finds files that contain both those
words.
Contain either word1 and word2.
aspen OR tree finds files that contain either of those words.
Don’t contain word. aspen NOT
tree finds files that contain aspen
but not tree.
Contain an exact phrase. “aspen
tree” finds files in which aspen and
tree are right next to each other, in
that order.
Contain the specified words.
(aspen tree) finds files in that contain both those words in any order.
Expressions in parentheses are
evaluated before expressions outside them. If parenthesized expressions are nested, the innermost
expressions are evaluated first.
Are greater than a value or later
than a date. modified:>06/22/2007
finds files changed after that date.
Are less than a value or earlier
than a date. size:< 1.5 MB finds
files smaller than 1.5 megabytes.
word1 OR word2
NOT word
Quotes
Parentheses
>
<
Search results can be too broad. I typed
summer and got photos tagged with Summer
in Aspen, songs by Donna Summer, a file
named My Summer Vacation.doc, a computer game named _summer, and a 1917
novel by Edith Wharton.
To search more selectively, you can filter
your search in the Search box by specifying
which file property to search: Separate the
name of the property and the search term
with a colon (:). Type name:summer to find
only files that have the word summer in the
filename, for example. tag:summer finds
only files tagged with the word summer.
modified:2007 finds files changed at any time
during that year (or modified:06/22/2007 for
that particular date).
You can filter on any property that appears
in the column headings of a folder window.
To see the complete list of properties, rightclick any column heading and click More.
For details, see “Filtering, Sorting, Stacking,
and Grouping Files” earlier in this chapter.
Boolean and other search operators let
you combine search words by using logic
(Table 5.5). Type AND, OR, and NOT in
uppercase. You can combine Boolean and
property filters: author:david AND lodge
finds files that are authored by David and
any files that have Lodge in the filename or
in any file property. author:(david AND lodge)
finds only files authored by both names (not
how parentheses changed the meaning).
author:“david lodge” finds only files authored
by someone with this name exactly.
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F i lt e r
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Chapter 5
Natural-language search
Searching for Files and Folders
Natural-language search lets you type search
text the way you talk. You don’t have to type
AND, OR, and NOT in uppercase. kind:music
artist:(beethoven OR mozart) is equivalent
to the natural-language search music by
beethoven or mozart. You can use tags and
properties in your search text. Some examples:
◆
e-mail from joe sent last month
◆
documents modified today
◆
pictures of paris taken June 2007
◆
classical music rated ****
To turn on natural-language search:
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Folder Options > Search tab > check
Use Natural Language Search (refer to
Figure 5.63).
✔ Tip
■
When natural-language search is turned
on, you still can use the Search box in
the normal way, with property names,
colons, parentheses, and search operators.
238
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Indexes
Windows invisibly and continually keeps
track of the files on your computer by using
an index, which stores the filename, date
modified, size, file type, author, tag, properties, and other information. The index lets
Windows do very fast searches; when you
search, Windows consults the index instead
of scanning your entire hard disk.
If you frequently search in locations that
aren’t indexed, your searches may be slow.
You can add those locations to the index to
speed future searches. Bigger indexes make
for slower searches, however, so you shouldn’t
index any more than you have to (Windows
usually scans the entire index every time
you search).
To add or remove index locations:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > Indexing Options
(Figure 5.64).
Figure 5.65 To include a folder but not all its
subfolders, expand the folder and then uncheck the
box next to any folder you don’t want to index. These
folders appear in the Exclude column of the Summary
of Selected Locations list.
2. To add new files or locations to the
index, click Modify; click Show All
Locations (if a security prompt appears,
type an administrator password or confirm the action); and then check the
boxes in the Change Selected Locations
list (Figure 5.65).
or
To remove a location from the index,
uncheck its box in the Change Selected
Locations list (refer to Figure 5.65).
3. Close each open dialog box.
239
Searching for Files and Folders
Figure 5.64 The currently indexed locations are
shown in the Index These Locations list.
By default, Windows indexes the most common files on your computer, including all
the files in your personal folder (such as
Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos),
email, offline files, contacts, calendar events,
and internet favorites and history. It doesn’t
index program files and system files,
because you rarely need to search them.
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✔ Tips
■
You can’t turn off or pause the index.
■
You can’t index network locations.
■
For advanced indexed management, click
the Advanced button in the Indexing
Options dialog box (refer to Figure 5.64).
The Index Settings tab lets you rebuild
the index or change the hard disk or
folder where it’s stored (Figure 5.66).
The File Types tab lets you search for a
file type that’s not currently being
indexed (Figure 5.67).
Figure 5.66 Usually, your index requires no
maintenance. But if Windows can’t find files that you
know are in an indexed location, you may need to
rebuild the index. This takes a long time to complete,
so avoid rebuilding until you have given the index a
few hours to self-correct.
Figure 5.67 If you use an unusual file type that the
index doesn’t recognize, you can add it to the index
yourself.
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Saving Searches
If you work regularly with a certain group of
files and do the same search repeatedly to
find them, you can save your search results.
With a saved search (new in Vista), you
don’t have to keep rebuilding the same
search manually. Just open that search.
Windows repeats the search and lists the
most current files that match the original
search criteria.
Figure 5.68 Your saved searches are available from
the Favorite Links section of the Navigation pane. You
can add searches here by dragging them from the file
list. Windows provides a few saved searches to get
you started.
To save a search:
2. Find your files.
For more information, see “Searching for
Files and Folders” earlier in this chapter.
3.
When the search completes,
click Save Search (on the toolbar).
4. In the File Name box, type a name for
the search; then click Save.
The search is saved in your Searches folder.
To open a saved search:
1. In Windows Explorer, click Searches in
the Navigation pane (Figure 5.68).
2. Double-click the saved search in the
file list.
✔ Tips
■
To make a saved search easier to find,
tag it. See “Tagging Files” earlier in this
chapter.
■
You can move, copy, delete, rename, and
treat saved searches like any other files.
241
Saving Searches
1. Chose Start > Search (or press Windows
logo key+F).
or
In Windows Explorer or on the desktop,
press F3.
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Chapter 5
Burning CDs and DVDs
Burning CDs and DVDs
If your computer has a CD or DVD recorder,
you can copy—or burn—files to a writeable
disc. By default, Windows burns discs in the
Live File System format, but you also can use
the Mastered format (if you burned CDs in
Windows XP, you used Mastered). To decide
which format to use, see the “Picking a Disc
Format” sidebar.
Picking a Disc Format
Live File System discs:
◆
Work like floppy disks or USB flash drives, meaning that you can copy files to disc immediately by dragging them
◆
Let you keep a disc in the burner and copy a few files at a time when you need to
◆
Let you delete individual files or reformat the disc to free space on CD-RW, DVD-RW, and
DVD-RAM discs
◆
Don’t need additional hard-disk space during burning
◆
Don’t have a long recording step
◆
May need to be closed before you can use them in other computers
◆
Are compatible only with Windows XP and later
Mastered discs:
◆
Are convenient if you want to burn a large collection of files (always use this format when
you’re archiving backups)
◆
Don’t copy files immediately, meaning that you need to select the entire collection of files
that you want to copy to the disc and then burn them all at the same time
◆
Need temporary free hard-disk space at least the size of the files to be burned
◆
Have a long recording step
◆
Don’t need to be closed
◆
Are compatible with older computers and devices such as CD players and DVD players
242
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To burn a disc by using the Live File
System format:
1. Insert a writeable CD or DVD into your
computer’s disc burner.
2. In the dialog box that appears, click Burn
Files to Disc (Figure 5.69).
4. Open the folder containing the files that
you want to burn, and drag the files into
the empty disc folder.
As you drag files into the disc folder, they
are copied automatically to the disc.
Figure 5.70 You can give the disc a name more
meaningful than the current date. The default disc
format is Live File System.
243
Burning CDs and DVDs
Figure 5.69 Windows displays this dialog box when
you insert a blank CD or DVD. You may see other
options if you’ve installed third-party burner software.
3. In the Burn a Disc dialog box, type a
name for this disc; then click Next
(Figure 5.70).
It might take a few minutes for Windows
to format as Live File System. When the
formatting completes, an empty disc
folder opens.
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To burn a disc by using the Mastered
format:
1. Insert a writeable CD or DVD into your
computer’s disc burner.
2. In the dialog box that appears, click Burn
Files to Disc (refer to Figure 5.69).
3. In the Burn a Disc dialog box (refer to
Figure 5.70), type a name for this disc;
then click Show Formatting Options.
Burning CDs and DVDs
4. Choose Mastered and then click Next
(Figure 5.71).
An empty disc folder opens.
5. Open the folder containing the files that
you want to burn, and drag the files into
the empty disc folder.
6.
On the toolbar, click Burn to
Disc.
When Windows finishes burning the
files to the disc, the burner tray opens,
and you can remove the disc. Then you
can use it in other computers or
CD/DVD players.
244
Figure 5.71 Clicking Show Formatting Options in
Figure 5.70 reveals all the available formats.
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Organizing Files and Folders
✔ Tips
If you change your mind
about burning a Mastered disc after
you’ve selected files to burn, you can
delete the temporary files to recover hard
disk space. To delete the files, open the
disc folder, select the files, and then click
Delete Temporary Files (on the toolbar).
■
To configure your disc burner, choose
Start > Computer, right-click the burner
drive and then choose Properties >
Recording tab (Figure 5.72).
■
You can put a shortcut to your burner
on your desktop and then drop files on
the shortcut.
■
Burners are unreliable; during a Mastered
burn, don’t use other programs or stomp
around the room. When the burn completes, test the disc immediately to see
whether you can use it. (If you can’t, you
have a coaster.)
■
This section talks about copying data
files to CDs and DVDs. To burn music CDs,
use Windows Media Player. See “Burning
Music CDs” in Chapter 10. To burn multimedia DVDs with video, photos, and
audio, use DVD Maker (Start > All
Programs > Windows DVD Maker). See
also “Publishing a Movie” in Chapter 11.
■
For more recording features and verified
burning, try Nero Ultra Edition ($80 U.S.;
www.nero.com) or Roxio Easy Media
Creator ($80 U.S.; www.roxio.com). Your
computer or disc burner may have come
with a stripped-down version of one of
these programs.
Figure 5.72 The disc burner’s Recording tab lets you
pick a default burner (if you have more than one) and
choose the “scratch” drive for storing temporary files
during Mastered burns. You also can turn off disc
autoejection.
245
Burning CDs and DVDs
■
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Chapter 5
Closing a Live File System disc makes it
compatible with other computers and
devices. (Mastered discs automatically are
compatible with other computers and don’t
need to be closed.) You need to close only
CD-R, DVD-R, and DVD+R discs (but not
rewriteable discs, which end in RW). Discs
that have not been closed still can be used in
other disc burners but not in CD-ROM and
DVD-ROM drives. Windows closes a disc
automatically when you eject it.
To close a disc:
Burning CDs and DVDs
◆
Press the Eject button on your computer’s burner drive.
or
Choose Start > Computer, right-click the
burner drive, and then choose Eject
(Figure 5.73).
It may take a few minutes to close the
disc.
✔ Tips
■
To close a disc manually, choose Close
Session from the burner drive’s shortcut
menu.
■
To stop closing discs automatically, click
Global Settings in the burner drive’s
Properties dialog box (refer to Figure
5.72) and then uncheck Automatically
Close the Current UDF Session When
the Disc Is Ejected.
■
Some third-party burning programs
offer to finalize your disc. Unlike a closed
disc, a finalized disc can’t have any more
files added.
246
Figure 5.73 A disc burner’s shortcut menu.
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Organizing Files and Folders
If you’re using a CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD+RW,
or DVD-RAM disc, you can erase it and
write to it many times. Live File System
discs let you delete one or more files.
Mastered discs are an all-or-nothing erase.
To erase all files on a disc:
1. Insert a rewriteable CD or DVD into your
computer’s disc burner.
2. Choose Start > Computer, right-click the
burner drive, and then choose Erase This
Disc (refer to Figure 5.73).
or
3. Follow the onscreen instructions.
To erase some files on a disc:
1. Insert a rewriteable CD or DVD into your
computer’s disc burner.
2. Choose Start > Computer.
3. Double-click the burner drive to display
its contents.
4. Select the files or folders that you want
to delete.
5. Press Delete.
247
Burning CDs and DVDs
In a disc folder, click Erase
This Disc (on the toolbar).
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Chapter 5
Using Keyboard Shortcuts
Table 5.6 and Table 5.7 list keyboard shortcuts for the desktop, Computer, Windows
Explorer, and other programs. (Table 5.2 in
“Navigating in Windows Explorer” earlier
in this chapter contains additional Explorerspecific shortcuts.)
Table 5.6
Using Keyboard Shortcuts
General Keyboard Shortcuts
To
Press
Show the top of the active window or folder list
Show the bottom of the active window or folder list
Copy
Cut
Paste
Undo
Delete or move the selected item(s) to the Recycle Bin
Delete the selected item(s) permanently, bypassing the
Recycle Bin (use only if you’re sure)
Copy the selected item
Create a shortcut to the selected item
Rename the selected item
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph
Highlight a block of text
Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop,
or select text within a document
Select all contents
Search for a file or folder
Show the properties of the selected object
Close the active item or quit the active program
Open the shortcut menu for the active window
Close the active document in programs that allow you to have
multiple documents open at the same time
Switch among open windows
Use the arrow keys to switch among open windows
Cycle through windows in the order in which they were opened
Cycle through window panes or desktop elements
Show the address-bar list in Computer or Windows Explorer
Home
End
Ctrl+C
Ctrl+X
Ctrl+V
Ctrl+Z
Delete
Shift+Delete
Ctrl while dragging item
Ctrl+Shift while dragging item
F2
Ctrl+Right arrow
Ctrl+Left arrow
Ctrl+Down arrow
Ctrl+Up arrow
Ctrl+Shift+arrow key
Shift+arrow key
Ctrl+A
F3
Alt+Enter
Alt+F4
Alt+spacebar
Ctrl+F4
Alt+Tab
Ctrl+Alt+Tab
Alt+Esc
F6
F4
Table continues on next page
248
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Organizing Files and Folders
Table 5.6 continued
General Keyboard Shortcuts
Press
Toggle full-screen mode on and off
Show the shortcut menu for the selected item
Show the Start menu
Show a menu
Carry out a menu command
Activate the menu bar in the active program
Open the next menu to the right or open a submenu
Open the next menu to the left or close a submenu
Refresh the active window
View the folder one level up in Computer or Windows Explorer
Cancel the current task
Prevent the CD from playing automatically
F11
Shift+F10
Ctrl+Esc
Alt+underlined letter in the menu name
Underlined letter in the command name in an open menu
F10
Right arrow
Left arrow
F5
Backspace
Esc
Shift when you insert a CD into the CD drive
Table 5.7
Windows Logo Key Shortcuts
To
Press
Show or hide the Start menu
Show the System Properties dialog box
Show the desktop
Minimize all windows
Restore minimized windows
Open Computer
Search for a file or folder
Search for computers on a network
Show Windows Help
Lock your computer if you’re on a network domain or switch
users if you’re not
Open the Run dialog box
Cycle through programs on the taskbar
Open Ease of Access Center
Cycle through running programs by using Flip 3D
(Aero color scheme only)
Use the arrow keys to cycle through running programs by
using Flip 3D (Aero color scheme only)
Bring all gadgets to the front and select the sidebar
Cycle through sidebar gadgets
Open Windows Mobility Center (on laptops)
Windows logo key
Windows logo key+Break
Windows logo key+D
Windows logo key+M
Windows logo key+Shift+M
Windows logo key+E
Windows logo key+F
Windows logo key+Ctrl+F
Windows logo key+F1
Windows logo key+L
Windows logo key+R
Windows logo key+T
Windows logo key+U
Windows logo key+Tab
Ctrl+Windows logo key+Tab
Windows logo key+spacebar
Windows logo key+G
Windows logo key+X
249
Using Keyboard Shortcuts
To
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Installing
and Running
Programs
6
In this chapter, you’ll learn how to install,
remove, launch, and manage Windows programs. You’ll also learn about documents,
which are self-contained pieces of work
(files) that you create with programs.
251
Installing and Running Programs
Windows, like all operating systems, is a
launching pad for programs, or applications.
More programs from more software firms
are available for Windows than for any other
OS. Fortunately, Microsoft and sound design
enforce substantial consistency, so you can
apply knowledge of a few common operations
to many programs. Most programs share userinterface elements—scroll bars, copy-and-paste
functions, menus, buttons, and so on—as well
as setup and management options.
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Chapter 6
Installing Programs
How you install a program depends on
where its installation files are located. Most
shrink-wrapped programs are installed from
a CD or DVD. Windows’s AutoPlay feature
runs the Setup program automatically when
you insert the disc into the drive. You also
can install programs from the internet or
from a network.
To install a program from CD or DVD:
Installing Programs
1. Insert the program’s installation or
setup disc.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
Figure 6.1 When you insert a program’s disc, the
AutoPlay dialog box opens; click the option that runs
Setup. You may see a vague or puzzling message
when you try to install older programs made for
Windows 95/98.
2. If the program launches an install wizard,
the AutoPlay dialog box will appear, and
you can choose to run the wizard
(Figure 6.1).
or
If a program doesn’t start to install, check
the installation instructions that came
with the program (or on the publisher’s
website). If you can’t find instructions,
browse through the disc and open the
program’s setup file, usually named
setup.exe or install.exe.
3. Follow the onscreen instructions
(Figure 6.2).
Figure 6.2 This example is the first page of an install
wizard for an Adobe package. Install wizards usually
make you pick a language, specify a destination folder,
accept a license agreement, choose which components
to install, and type a serial number or product key from
the CD’s envelope or registration card.
252
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Installing and Running Programs
✔ Tips
Figure 6.3 If you’re using the Aero color
scheme, a live progress bar appears in the
pop-up thumbnail on the taskbar.
■
During lengthy installations, you can
switch to other programs and hover your
mouse pointer over the install wizard’s
toolbar button to check its progress
(Figure 6.3).
■
If you’re installing an older DOS-based
program from a floppy disk, try running
it from a command prompt. See “Using
the Free Utility Programs” later in this
chapter.
■
Software publishers create install wizards
with third-party programs such as
InstallShield, Wise Installer, or
Microsoft’s Windows Installer, so you’ll
see those program names in title bars.
Before You Install
Keeps these points in mind before you install a new program:
◆
You need Administrator credentials to install programs; see “Setting up User Accounts” in
Chapter 17.
◆
Your PC’s manufacturer may have added software—Microsoft Office or a virus scanner,
for example—at the factory. Check the Start > All Programs menu before you install new
stuff.
◆
Most installations go smoothly, though Windows’ security features won’t let some poorly
designed or malicious programs harm your system by installing outdated drivers or system
files that Microsoft knows to be dangerous.
◆
If you upgraded to Vista from Windows XP, Windows Setup configured your existing
programs to run; you don’t have to reinstall them. If an older program doesn’t run in
Vista, see “Running Older Programs” later in this chapter. If you were a member of XP’s
Power Users group, which Vista has dropped, you still have the same privileges and can
install programs.
253
Installing Programs
continues on next page
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Chapter 6
■
After installation, the program’s shortcuts
are highlighted in color in the Start >
All Programs menu. To turn off highlighting, right-click the Start button and
choose Properties > Customize, uncheck
Highlight Newly Installed Programs, and
click OK.
■
To configure AutoPlay for program discs,
choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > AutoPlay > Software and
Games drop-down list (Figure 6.4).
Installing Programs
Figure 6.4 The Software and Games drop-down list
lets you choose what happens when you insert a
program disc. The default setting, Ask Me Every Time,
launches the AutoPlay dialog box shown in Figure 6.1.
Who Can Use the Program?
A program installed by you—or any administrator—is available to all users by default; its
shortcuts appear in everybody’s All Programs menu. Sometimes shortcuts end up in your
personal All Programs menu because you (inadvertently) told Setup to do so or because
Setup gave you no choice. Recall from “Using the Start Menu” in Chapter 2 that Windows
inspects two folders to build the All Programs menu: one for All Users and another for the
logged-on user. To make a program available to everyone (instead of only you), do the following:
1. Choose Start > All Programs.
2. Right-click the item (icon) that you want everyone to be able to access and choose Copy.
3. Right-click the Start button and choose Open All Users.
4. In the folder tree, right-click the Programs folder and choose Paste.
If a security prompt appears, type an administrator password or confirm the action.
Now the program appears in everyone’s All Programs menu. If this method doesn’t work, or if
a program requires per-user settings, log on to each user account and rerun Setup.
254
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Installing and Running Programs
The internet is the preferred (sometimes
only) distribution method for many software
vendors. You can use Internet Explorer
(Chapter 14) or any web browser to download thousands of commercial, shareware,
demo, and free programs (and updates) from
vendors’ websites and from independent
sites such as www.download.com and
www.tucows.com.
To install a program from the internet:
Figure 6.5 The Save option is safer because you can
scan the downloaded file for viruses if you don’t trust
the website. It also leaves a copy of the program on
your hard disk if you have to reinstall.
1. In your web browser, click the link to
the program.
255
Installing Programs
2. To install the program immediately, click
Open or Run (Figure 6.5), and follow
the onscreen instructions.
or
To install the program later, click Save
and download the installation file to your
computer. (To install the program, doubleclick the file and follow the onscreen
instructions.)
In either case, if a security prompt
appears, type an administrator password
or confirm the action.
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Chapter 6
✔ Tips
■
Installing Programs
■
By default, Internet Explorer and other
Vista-aware browsers store downloads in
the Downloads folder inside your personal
folder. You can use the Save As dialog box
to pick a different place (Figure 6.6).
Downloaded programs usually are executable (.exe) files, which run when you
double-click them and start installation
automatically. If the download is a zip
archive, extract its files (see “Compressing
Files and Folders” in Chapter 5); then
look for a read-me file (readme.txt or
readme.html) or double-click the installer
program (usually named setup.exe or
install.exe) among the extracted
pieces. You can delete these pieces after
you install (keep the original zip file if
you need it).
If you’re on a large network at work or
school, your network administrator probably
set up an internal webpage with instructions
for installing licensed software from the network. If not, you can use Control Panel.
To install a program from a network:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Programs > Get Programs.
2. Select a program from the list and click
Install.
3. Follow the onscreen instructions.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
256
Figure 6.6 This dialog box appears if you click Save
in Figure 6.5. Your Downloads folder is the best place
for downloads—which are easy to “lose” if you’re not
consistent about where you put them.
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Installing and Running Programs
Removing Programs
Figure 6.7 The buttons on the toolbar change
depending on what uninstall/change/repair options
the selected program provides. Big packages like
Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite provide the
most options.
When you install a program, it scatters its
components all over your folder structure,
not just in the Program Files subfolder it
creates. Only an unwanted program’s uninstall utility can remove it completely. Don’t
just delete the program’s folder; if you do,
you’ll leave behind shortcuts, support files,
hidden folders, registry entries, and other
litter on your hard drive.
✔ Tip
■
Always exit the program that you’re
going to remove. If you’re using Fast
User Switching (see “Logging On and
Logging Off ” in Chapter 1), make sure
that no other logged-on users are using
the program.
To uninstall or change a program:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Programs > Programs and Features.
2.
To uninstall the program, select
the program and then click Uninstall (on
the toolbar) (Figure 6.7).
or
To change or repair the program,
click Change or Repair (on the toolbar).
continues on next page
257
Removing Programs
You can uninstall a program if you no longer
use it or if you want to free up space on your
hard disk. You also can change the program’s
configuration by adding or removing certain
options. (Some programs don’t offer this
option, in which case your only choice is
to uninstall.)
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Chapter 6
3. Confirm the removal or change if a dialog
box appears.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm the
action.
Windows runs the program’s uninstall or
change utility (which varies by program).
4. Follow any onscreen instructions.
Removing Programs
✔ Tips
■
The folder that contained the program
may persist after uninstall completes,
usually because it contains documents
created with the program. Games, for
example, often leave keyboard-binding
and saved-game files. If you don’t need
those documents, you can delete the
folder and its files safely.
■
Most uninstallers display a progress bar,
explain what they’re removing or not
removing, and tell you whether you must
restart your computer to complete the
removal.
■
If a program that you want to uninstall
isn’t listed, look for removal instructions
in the program’s read-me file (if any) or
at the publisher’s website. Or search the
web for uninstall and the program’s
name. As a last resort, drag the program’s
folder into the Recycle Bin.
■
You may get a midprocess message asking whether Windows should remove a
shared file that other programs may
need. Warnings of this type can look a
bit dire, but I’ve always removed them
with no ill effects.
258
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Installing and Running Programs
Turning Windows Features
On or Off
Some programs and features that are
included with Windows must be turned on
before you can use them, whereas others,
turned on by default, can be turned off if
you don’t need them.
To turn Windows features on or off:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Programs > Turn Windows Features On
or Off (in the Programs and Features
category).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm the
action.
2. In the list, check or uncheck the boxes
to turn features on or off (Figure 6.8).
3. Click OK.
✔ Tip
■
To learn about a feature, hover the
mouse pointer over it for a pop-up
description.
259
Turning Windows Features On or Off
Figure 6.8 Some features are grouped in folders,
which you can double-click to see. If a check box is
partially checked or dark, some of the items inside
are turned on and others aren’t.
In earlier versions of Windows, turning off
a feature uninstalled it. In Vista, all features
remain stored on disk, so you can turn them
back on when you want to. Turning off a
feature doesn’t free hard-disk space.
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Chapter 6
Launching Programs
Windows gives you many ways to launch
(open) a program. Even Windows veterans
may not know all of them.
To start a program:
Launching Programs
◆
Choose Start > All Programs and click
the program’s icon.
or
Choose Start, type the program’s name
in the Search box, and then click it in the
results list (Figure 6.9).
or
On the left side of the Start menu, click
the program’s icon (if it appears).
or
On the Quick Launch toolbar, click the
program’s icon (if it appears).
or
Choose Start > Computer > Local Disk
(C:) > Program Files. In the program’s
subfolder, double-click the program’s icon
(.exe file).
or
Right-click the program’s icon and
choose Open.
or
Press the keyboard shortcut that you
assigned to the program’s icon.
or
Press Windows logo key+R, type the
program’s name, and press Enter
(Figure 6.10).
You may have to include the full pathname. See “Navigating in Windows
Explorer” in Chapter 5.
Figure 6.9 You need type only part of a
program’s name for it to appear in the
results list. Windows highlights the most
relevant result; if that’s the program
you’re looking for, just press Enter.
Figure 6.10 The Run dialog box may seem oldfashioned, but for many experienced users and rapid
typists, it’s the fastest way to open a program or
document. Press F4 for a drop-down history of
previous commands.
260
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Installing and Running Programs
✔ Tips
You can use any of these methods to
open a document with its associated
program. If you created the document
stuff.doc in Microsoft Word, for example,
double-click the document’s icon to start
Word and open that file automatically.
■
Most Setup programs put an icon in the
All Programs menu or on the desktop.
To move these icons, see “Using the Start
Menu” in Chapter 2.
■
To customize the Quick Launch toolbar,
see “Using the Quick Launch Toolbar” in
Chapter 2.
■
To assign a keyboard shortcut to a
shortcut icon, change its Shortcut Key
property; see “Managing Shortcuts” in
Chapter 2.
■
You can open a program or document
from a command prompt just as you
can from the Run dialog box. See “Using
the Free Utility Programs” later in this
chapter.
261
Launching Programs
■
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Chapter 6
Launching Programs
Automatically
The Start > All Programs > Startup folder
contains programs that open automatically
every time you start Windows. To save yourself a few clicks or keystrokes every time you
log on, you can place your own shortcuts to
programs or documents in this folder.
Launching Programs Automatically
To open an item each time you start
Windows:
1. Choose Start > All Programs, right-click
Startup, and then choose Open
(Figure 6.11).
Choose Open All Users (instead of Open)
to change the Startup folder that applies
to all users, not only yourself.
Figure 6.11 Your All Users Startup folder probably has
a few icons already, put there by programs when they
were installed.
2. In Windows Explorer or Computer, navigate
to the disk, folder, program, or document
that you want to open automatically.
3. Right-drag the item to the Startup folder
and choose Create Shortcuts Here.
From now on, the item opens each time
you start your computer or log on.
✔ Tips
■
■
For an uncluttered desktop, open startup
programs as taskbar buttons rather than
as windows. Right-click a Startup shortcut, choose Properties > Shortcut tab,
and then choose Minimized from the
Run list.
To identify startup programs, press
Windows logo key+R; type msconfig.exe
and press Enter. (If a security prompt
appears, type an administrator password
or confirm the action.) You can use the
Startup tab’s check boxes to isolate
startup problems.
262
Unwelcome Startup Programs
Too many programs add their own shortcuts silently to the All Users Startup folder
(or the registry). Many of these programs
are unnecessary, slow the boot process,
and run invisibly in the background,
chewing up processor time. If you know
that you can delete or move a Startup
shortcut without affecting your system or a
program adversely, do so. (You’ll want to
keep some programs, such as virus scanners.) If you have trouble identifying a
startup item, visit www.pacs-portal.co.uk/
startup_index.htm for help.
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Installing and Running Programs
Running Older Programs
If you’re coming to Vista from an earlier
Windows version, you probably still need
to run your older programs. Vista still can
run many of them, even those written for
Windows 3.1/95 and DOS, but if it has trouble running a program that used to run fine
under your old copy of Windows, you can
try changing the compatibility mode.
To run a troublesome older program:
1. Right-click a program’s executable (.exe)
file or shortcut icon and choose
Properties > Compatibility tab
(Figure 6.12).
Figure 6.12 Choose the previous version of Windows
that the old program was made for.
3. Click OK.
The next time you open the program,
Vista tries to run it by using your settings.
✔ Tips
■
Windows 3.1 and DOS programs are
called 16-bit programs. Programs written
for Windows 95, NT, and later are called
32-bit programs. The 16-bit programs run
slowly because Vista runs them in a
leakproof, emulated space called a virtual
machine that draws on a common memory pool.
If you want to be stepped through the
process, use the Program Compatibility
wizard: Choose Start > Control Panel >
Programs > Use an Older Program with
This Version of Windows (in the
Programs and Features category).
■
To run DOS programs, choose Start >
All Programs > Accessories > Command
Prompt. See “Using the Free Utility
Programs” later in this chapter.
Never try to coerce obsolete hardwaredependent system utilities to run under
Vista. Upgrade to the latest version of
your virus scanner, backup program,
hard-disk partitioning tool, disc burner,
or whatever.
■
To run old LucasArts and SCUMMbased adventure games (Monkey Island,
Day of the Tentacle, and Sam & Max), try
ScummVM (free; www.scummvm.org).
Running 16-Bit Programs
If Vista displays an incompatibility message
when you try to install or run a 16-bit program, don’t ignore it. Either find a patch
(update) or scrap the program.
263
Running Older Programs
2. Change the compatibility settings for
the program.
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Chapter 6
Switching Programs
You’ll probably have multiple programs running simultaneously so that you can juggle,
say, a word processor, email program, and
web browser. You have several techniques
for switching programs.
To switch among running programs:
Switching Programs
◆
If the program’s window is visible in the
background, click it. (But click an empty
area, not a button or menu, lest you
activate it accidentally.)
or
Click the program’s taskbar button.
(The darkest button indicates the active
program.)
or
Hold down Alt, press Tab repeatedly until
the desired window is highlighted in the
pop-up list, and then release both keys
(or click an icon in the list to display that
window). This feature is called Alt-tabbing
(Figure 6.13).
or
Hold down the Windows logo key, press
Tab repeatedly until the desired window
comes to the front of the stack, and then
release both keys (or click any part of any
window in the stack to display that window). This feature, new in Vista, is called
Flip 3D and works only if you’re using the
Aero color scheme (Figure 6.14).
or
Hold down Alt, press Esc repeatedly until
the desired program appears, and then
release both keys.
264
Figure 6.13 Alt-tabbing pops up a list of icons
representing open windows. If you’re using the Aero
color scheme, the icons are live previews. Hold down
Alt and press Tab repeatedly to highlight a window. If
you press and release Alt+Tab quickly, you swap
between only two windows instead of cycling through
them all.
Figure 6.14 Flip 3D shows a stack of open windows. If
you release the Tab key but keep the Windows logo
key pressed, you can use the arrow keys or mouse
wheel to cycle through open windows.
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Installing and Running Programs
✔ Tips
You also can invoke Flip 3D by
clicking the Switch Between
Windows button on the Quick Launch
toolbar (on the taskbar).
■
If you press and release Ctrl+Alt+Tab or
Ctrl+Windows logo key+Tab, you can use
the arrow keys or Tab to cycle through
open windows and then press Enter to
activate a window.
■
Flip 3D, Alt+Tab, and Alt+Esc cycle
backward through programs if you hold
down Shift.
■
Alt+Esc—unlike Alt+Tab and Flip 3D—
has no pop-up window, doesn’t cycle
through minimized programs, and doesn’t
swap between two programs. (It simply
sends the active program to the bottom
of the pile.)
265
Switching Programs
■
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Chapter 6
Exiting Programs
When you finish using a program, you
should exit (or quit or close) it to get it out
of your way and to let Windows reclaim its
memory for other use.
To exit a program:
Exiting Programs
◆
Choose File > Exit (Figure 6.15).
or
In Windows Explorer, choose File > Close.
(Press Alt if the File menu isn’t visible.)
or
Activate the program’s window and
press Alt+F4.
or
Click the program’s close button (
).
or
Double-click the program’s icon at the
left end of the title bar (if visible).
or
Right-click the program’s taskbar button
and choose Close.
or
Activate the program’s window, press
Alt+spacebar, and then press C.
✔ Tip
■
Before exiting, the program prompts you
to save any unsaved work.
266
Figure 6.15 Pressing Alt+F4 is quicker
than choosing File > Exit.
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Installing and Running Programs
Killing Unresponsive
Programs
Programs that crash/freeze/lock up/hang
are said to be “not responding” in Microsoft
vernacular; you can move the mouse pointer
within the program’s window, but the program
itself won’t respond to clicks or keystrokes.
An unresponsive program rarely forces you
to restart your computer. Instead, use Task
Manager to send the frozen program to
its grave.
✔ Tip
Before you kill a program, make sure that
it’s really not responding. Wait a minute
or two; Windows may be struggling to
allocate extra memory. If you’re running
a Visual Basic macro in Microsoft Excel
or Word, for example, the program may
appear frozen while VB has control.
Global reformatting or a find-and-replace
operation on a long document can keep
a word processor hypnotized for minutes. An open dialog box or message box
may prevent you from doing anything
else in the program; look for one hiding
behind another window.
Desperate Measures
If killing an unresponsive program as described doesn’t work, you still have these options, in
order of preference:
◆
Click the Processes tab in Task Manager, click the program’s image name, and then click
End Process.
◆
Exit all other programs and log off.
◆
If you can’t log off but other users are logged on (via Fast User Switching), right-click
another user in Task Manager’s Users tab, choose Connect to switch to that user, and then
use Task Manager to log off (Disconnect) yourself.
◆
If none of these measures works, press your computer’s reset button.
267
Killing Unresponsive Programs
■
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Chapter 6
To kill an unresponsive program:
1. Right-click an empty area of the taskbar
and choose Task Manager.
or
Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
or
Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and click Start
Task Manager.
or
Choose Start, type taskmgr in the Search
box, and then press Enter.
Killing Unresponsive Programs
2. On the Applications tab, select the name
of the unresponsive task (Figure 6.16).
3. Click End Task.
4. In the dialog box that appears, click End
Now or Close the Program (Figure 6.17).
✔ Tip
■
As an alternative to killing programs via
Task Manager, you can use the tskill
command-line program, which allows
more control than Task Manager. For
usage and syntax, type the command followed by /? or search for command-line
reference in Help and Support. To use the
command prompt, see “Using the Free
Utility Programs” later in this chapter.
268
Figure 6.16 After Windows terminates the program,
you can launch it again immediately without
repercussions.
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Installing and Running Programs
Using the Free Utility
Programs
The All Programs menu teems with free programs that are part of the standard Windows
installation. Some of these programs (such
as Internet Explorer and Windows Mail) get
their own chapters. But Microsoft also includes
useful utility programs, described here.
Most utilities are available in the Start > All
Programs > Accessories menu (Figure 6.18).
Not every utility in the menu is described
here; I talk about others elsewhere in this
book, where they’re relevant.
Figure 6.17 Either of these dialog boxes may appear.
It may take Windows a few seconds—or minutes—to
kill the program.
Figure 6.18 The Start > All Programs >
Accessories menu.
269
Using the Free Utility Programs
To get program-specific help for a utility
program, use its Help menu (or press F1).
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Chapter 6
Calculator
In Standard mode, Calculator offers add,
subtract, square root, invert, and other basic
functions. Scientific mode (Figure 6.19)
adds trigonometric, statistical, logarithmic,
and base functions. To operate Calculator,
click its buttons with your mouse or press
the corresponding keyboard keys. Help >
Help Topics gives keyboard shortcuts for
Scientific mode.
Using the Free Utility Programs
✔ Tips
■
A better calculator is Calc98 (free;
www.calculator.org), an engineering,
scientific, statistical, and financial
calculator.
■
On the web, you can type equations
in the Google search box and press
Enter (see www.google.com/help/
features.html#calculator).
Figure 6.19 Choose View > Scientific to reveal
Calculator’s geeky secret identity.
Character Map
Character Map (Figure 6.20) displays all
characters and symbols for a particular font.
Use it to copy and paste diacritical marks,
currency symbols, copyright signs, and all
the other characters that don’t appear on
your keyboard. To open Character Map,
choose Start, type character map in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
✔ Tip
■
If you’re using Microsoft Word, the
Insert > Symbol command is faster than
using Character Map.
270
Figure 6.20 Here are the characters for the Arial font.
Double-click characters to put them in the Characters
to Copy text box; then click Copy. Now you can Edit >
Paste them into any document. The pop-up tip is for
typography experts and programmers: It shows the
character’s name and hexadecimal code.
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Installing and Running Programs
Command Prompt
Command Prompt (formerly called DOS
Prompt) lets you type commands rather
than point and click (Figure 6.21). Rapid
typists, Unix junkies, and people impatient
with Windows safeguards love the command line, but new users find it cryptic and
intimidating (experience teaches them to
appreciate its efficiency).
Figure 6.21 To quit Command Prompt, type exit and
then press Enter.
Scores of commands are available; search for
command prompt and command-line reference
in Help and Support. The basic commands
are cd (or chdir), cls, copy, del, dir, exit, md
(or mkdir), more, move, path, rename, rmdir,
set, tree, type, and xcopy.
271
Using the Free Utility Programs
Command Prompt is handy for many routine
tasks, but it shines when using a graphical
interface is impractical. (Network administrators don’t add 1,000 user accounts by
pointing and clicking, for example.) You also
can use Command Prompt to (try to) run
your old 16-bit DOS programs and games.
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Chapter 6
Using the Free Utility Programs
✔ Tips
■
Command Prompt remembers the commands you’ve typed. Press the up- and
down-arrow keys to review your command history.
■
To run a command as an administrator,
choose Start and type command prompt in
the Search box. In the results list, rightclick Command Prompt and choose Run
As Administrator.
■
To customize Command Prompt, rightclick its title bar and choose Properties.
A few recommendations: On the Options
tab, turn on QuickEdit mode, which lets
you drag over text and press Enter to
copy it to the clipboard. Font tab: Switch
the font to Lucida Console, bold, 14-point.
Layout tab: Set Window Size to 80 ✕ 40
and Screen Buffer Size to 80 ✕ 1000 (so
you can scroll a large results history).
Colors tab: Choose black text on a white
background. Click OK, and choose to modify the shortcut that started the window.
■
To open a command window for a particular folder quickly: In Windows
Explorer, hold down Shift, right-click the
folder in the file list, and then choose
Open Command Window Here.
■
A quick way to run a single command—
usually to open a program or file—without
opening a command window is to use
the Run dialog box. Press Windows logo
key+R, type the command, and then press
Enter. Or instead of typing a command,
press F4 for a list of your recent commands,
use the arrow keys to choose one, and
then press Enter.
272
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Installing and Running Programs
Connect to a Network Projector
This utility lets you give a presentation over
a network from any computer (desktop or
laptop). The Connect to a Network Projector
wizard connects to any available network
projector over a wireless or a wired network.
You can make a choice from a list of available projectors or enter a projector’s network
address. If the projector’s icon has a small
lock, you must enter a password to connect
to it. The wizard also lets you choose
whether all or part of your desktop appears
on the projected image.
Games
Figure 6.22 The Games folder is the central location
for games on your computer. Newer Vista-aware
games will install their icons in this window. (Older
games create their own entries in the Start > All
Programs menu.) Click Options (on the toolbar) to set
up this folder.
The Start > Games window offers world-class
productivity killers Solitaire, FreeCell, and
Minesweeper—plus some new ones
(Figure 6.22).
273
Using the Free Utility Programs
After the wizard completes, the Network
Presentation dialog box opens. Use it to configure more settings and then minimize it to
the taskbar when you give your presentation.
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Chapter 6
Meeting Space
Using the Free Utility Programs
Windows Meeting Space (Start > All
Programs > Windows Meeting Space) lets
you share documents, programs, or your
desktop with other people (Figure 6.23).
It’s a peer-to-peer application that sets up an
ad hoc network automatically if it can’t find
an existing one. You can use it in a conference room, a wireless hotspot, or a place
where no network exists. With it, you can:
◆
Share your desktop or any program with
other meeting participants
◆
Distribute and co-edit documents with
other meeting participants
◆
Pass notes to other participants
◆
Connect to a network projector to give a
presentation
You can join a meeting that someone else
sets up, or you can start a new meeting and
invite other people to join it. The first time
you open Windows Meeting Space, it
prompts you to turn on some services and
sign in to People Near Me (which identifies
people using computers near you, letting
you use peer-to-peer programs).
✔ Tip
■
Windows Meeting Space replaces
NetMeeting from earlier Windows
versions.
274
Figure 6.23 The Windows Meeting Space wizard lets
you start a new meeting or join an existing one.
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Installing and Running Programs
Notepad
Figure 6.24 If you find Notepad too limiting, you can
find many excellent shareware editors.
Notepad, a bare-bones text editor, is one of the
most useful tools in Windows (Figure 6.24).
Use it to open, create, or edit text files, which
contain only printable characters—no fonts,
formatting, invisible codes, colors, graphics,
or any of the clutter usually associated with
a word processor. Notepad is the default program for .txt and .log files, but you can use it
to view or edit .html files (saved web pages),
.ini files (program initialization settings), or
any other text-based file types.
✔ Tips
Notepad does offer a few handy features:
Press F5 to insert a time stamp (useful
for keeping logs); choose Format > Font
to set the display font; or choose File >
Page Setup to set headers and footers
for printouts.
■
Notepad alternatives abound. A few of
the better ones are TextPad ($30 U.S.;
www.textpad.com), EditPlus ($30 U.S.;
www.editplus.com), and NoteTab Pro
($30 U.S.; www.notetab.com).
■
If you need an outliner to organize
your thoughts, try KeyNote (free;
SourceForge and OpenSource
For lots of free, quality software,
browse around SourceForge.net (http://
sourceforge.net), a centralized location
for software developers to control and
manage open-source software projects.
Open-source software is free, not privately
owned, spyware-free, and dependable.
You can even have the source code. For
details, go to www.opensource.org.
www.tranglos.com/free/index.html).
It’s possible to set up your PC completely
while spending no money on programs or
utilities. Free alternatives to popular commercial products include OpenOffice instead
of Microsoft Office, The GIMP for Adobe
Photoshop, gzip for WinZip, and AbiWord
for Word. Look for them and others at
SourceForge, or do a web search.
275
Using the Free Utility Programs
■
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Chapter 6
Paint
Paint is a no-frills image editor with a few
drawing, color, and manipulation tools
(Figure 6.25). Use it to create your own
works of art or to view or touch up graphic
files that were created in other programs
(such as Adobe Photoshop) or that you
scanned or downloaded. Paint supports
bitmap (.bmp), JPEG, GIF, TIFF, and PNG
file formats.
✔ Tip
Using the Free Utility Programs
■
Figure 6.25 The Image menu lets you flip, rotate, and
stretch images.
Paint alternatives include Paint Shop Pro
($100 U.S.; www.corel.com), Adobe
Photoshop Elements ($90 U.S.;
www.adobe.com), Oriens Enhancer ($15
U.S.; www.oriens-solution.com), and
The GIMP (free; www.gimp.org).
Windows Ultimate Extras
If you’re running the Ultimate edition of
Windows Vista, you can download exclusive
programs and services from Microsoft.
When these Extras are available, they appear
in the Windows Ultimate Extras section on
the Windows Update page.
WordPad
WordPad (Figure 6.26) is a simple,
stripped-down word processor associated
with .doc files (unless you’ve installed
Microsoft Word), .rtf files (Rich Text
Format), and .wri files (Microsoft Write).
You also can use it to edit plain-text files,
but Notepad is more appropriate for that
task.
✔ Tip
■
WordPad’s native file format is RTF (Rich
Text Format). If you open a Word file in
WordPad, you’ll get the raw text mixed
with some garbage symbols.
276
Figure 6.26 Like any other word processor, WordPad
lets you apply formatting (italic, justification, colors,
fonts, and so on) to text. The Insert > Object command
lets you embed images, sounds, movies, charts,
spreadsheets, and other objects in your document.
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Installing and Running Programs
Saving Documents
Most programs let you save your work as
documents, which you can return to later,
print, send to other people, back up, and so
on. Documents generally are thought of as
being word-processed materials, but here I’m
using the word to mean images, spreadsheets,
presentations, databases, email, webpages,
digital photos, text files, videos, or any other
user-created work.
Nearly all programs use Windows’ standard
Save dialog box. The first time that you save
a document, Windows asks you to name it
and pick a folder to store it in. (Two files in
the same folder can’t have the same name.)
To save a document:
1. Choose File > Save.
or
To save a copy of a file under a different
name or in a different folder, choose
File > Save As.
(Press Alt if the File menu isn’t visible.)
2. Click Browse Folders to show the
Navigation pane (Figure 6.27).
3. Use the address bar or Navigation pane
to choose the folder to save the file to
(see “Navigating in Windows Explorer”
in Chapter 5).
4. In the File Name box, type the name of
the file.
You can use the Cut, Copy, Paste, and
Undo keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+X,
Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, and Ctrl+Z, respectively)
while editing. For file-naming rules, see
“Naming Files and Folders” in Chapter 5.
continues on next page
277
Saving Documents
Figure 6.27 The Save dialog box appears the first time
you save a file or when you choose File > Save As. The
standard Save dialog box (top) expands to show the
Navigation pane (bottom) when you click Browse
Folders.
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Chapter 6
5. To save a file in a format other than the
program’s default (native) format, choose
a target format from the Save As Type
drop-down list.
This feature lets you, say, save a Word
document as text (.txt), Rich Text
Format (.rtf), or HTML (.html) so that
users without Word can open it in a text
editor, WordPad, or a web browser.
6. Click Save.
Saving Documents
✔ Tips
■
To bypass step 3, type the filename’s full
pathname in step 4. See “Navigating in
Windows Explorer” in Chapter 5.
■
In the file list, you can click a document
to make its name appear in the File
Name box; then click Save to overwrite
the existing document or edit the name
to save a new document. The latter technique saves typing when you’re saving
similarly named documents.
■
The file list acts like an Explorer window.
You can right-click any file or folder to,
say, rename or delete it. You even can
drag items into and out of this box or use
the standard navigation keys.
■
You must close the Save dialog box
before you can use another part of the
program.
■
Some older programs use the old-style
Save dialog box, with Windows XP–style
navigation features.
■
You can’t save your work in some utility
and game programs, such as Calculator
and Solitaire.
■
Some programs can autosave your work
at a regular time interval that you set.
Check the program’s Options or
Preferences dialog box.
278
Read-Only Files
You can prevent yourself (and others)
from making accidental changes to a file
by making it read-only. To change a file to
read-only, right-click the file and choose
Properties > General tab, check ReadOnly (or uncheck it to make it readwrite), and click OK. Read-only files can’t
be changed, but they can be copied,
moved, renamed, or deleted.
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Installing and Running Programs
Opening Documents
You have several ways to reopen a document
that you’ve already named and saved.
To open a document:
◆
Figure 6.28 The Open dialog box works like the Save
dialog box described in the preceding section.
For details about pathnames, see “Navigating
in Windows Explorer” in Chapter 5.
279
Opening Documents
In the program that created the document,
choose File > Open, navigate to the document, and then click Open (Figure 6.28).
(Press Alt if the File menu isn’t visible.)
or
Choose Start, type the document’s name
in the Search box, and then click it in the
results list.
or
In Windows Explorer or on the desktop,
double-click the document’s icon (or
select it and then press Enter).
or
If the document was opened recently,
choose it from the Start > Recent Items
menu.
or
Press Windows logo key+R, type or paste
the document’s name and path, and then
press Enter.
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Chapter 6
✔ Tips
■
You also can open a document by using
any of the techniques described in
“Launching Programs” earlier in this
chapter.
■
Like the Save dialog box, the Open dialog
box must be closed before you can use
another part of the program.
■
To open a file that’s not associated with a
particular program, right-click the file,
choose Open With, and then select the
name of a program (Figure 6.29). See
“Associating Documents with Programs”
later in this chapter.
Opening Documents
■
Figure 6.29 If the Open With submenu doesn’t list the
program that you’re looking for, click Choose Default
Program to open this dialog box. Click Browse to find
the program.
If you open a document that somebody
else already has open, the program usually
will warn you or open a read-only copy of
the document (unless it’s a multiuser
document such as a database).
Access Denied
If Windows denies you access when you try to open a file or folder, it may be that:
◆
The file is encrypted. To check whether it’s encrypted, right-click the file and choose
Properties > General tab > Advanced. If Encrypt Contents to Secure Data is checked, see
the person who created the file. If you encrypted the file, you might have done so in
another user account. See “Encrypting Data” in Chapter 13.
◆
You don’t own the folder. To take ownership, right-click the folder and choose Properties >
Security tab > Advanced > Owner > Edit. If a security prompt appears, type an administrator password or confirm the action. Click your name or group in the Change Owner To
list. If you want to own the files and subfolders too, check Replace Owner on Subcontainers
and Objects. Click OK in each open dialog box.
280
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Table 6.1
Common File Extensions
Description or Program
.ai
.avi
.bmp
.dll
.doc
.exe
.gif
.htm/.html
.indd
.jpg/.jpeg
.mdb
.pdf
Adobe Illustrator
Windows Media Player
Bitmap image
System file (not a document)
Microsoft Word (or WordPad)
Program (not a document)
GIF image
Webpage (Internet Explorer)
Adobe InDesign
JPEG image (for photos)
Microsoft Access
Portable Document Format
(Adobe Reader)
PNG image
Microsoft PowerPoint
Adobe Photoshop
QuarkXPress
TIFF image
Temporary file
Text file (Notepad)
WordPerfect
Microsoft Excel
XML Paper Specification
(Microsoft XPS Viewer)
Compressed zip file
.png
.ppt
.psd, .pdd
.qxd
.tif
.tmp
.txt
.wpd
.xls
.xps
.zip
When you double-click a Word document,
Windows launches Word with that document open. Windows knows to launch
Word—rather than, say, Paint or Windows
Mail—because a document’s file type is
embedded in its filename, as the (usually
three) characters appearing after the name’s
last dot. These characters, called an extension
or file extension, associate a document with
a particular program.
Table 6.1 gives a short list of common
extensions; go to www.filext.com for a comprehensive list.
Viruses and Extensions
Viruses disguised as innocuous attachments often arrive via email. A virus file
with the extension .exe is a program that
runs when you double-click it, infecting
you. (Some other extensions are dangerous too.) Virus writers will try to trick
you into thinking a file is safe by naming
it, say, iloveyou.txt.exe. If extensions
are hidden, you see only iloveyou.txt,
which appears to be a harmless text file.
Even with extensions showing, the file
FreeMP3s.txt
.exe
will appear to be harmless if the embedded spaces hide the .exe extension in a
narrow column.
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Associating Documents with Programs
Extension
Associating Documents
with Programs
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Chapter 6
Associating Documents with Programs
Microsoft hides extensions by default to
make Windows appear friendlier. But even
beginners should show extensions for these
reasons:
◆
An icon alone can be insufficient to
distinguish a file’s type (particularly the
tiny icons in details and list views).
◆
Extensions impart the types of like-named
files quickly (resume.doc vs. resume.txt
vs. resume.html, for example) without
making you read the Type column in
Explorer.
◆
Extensions make it plainer to, say,
choose among Photoshop, Paint, Internet
Explorer, and Windows Photo Gallery to
open .jpg (JPEG) files.
◆
If a newly installed program hijacks an
extension’s association without asking
your permission (both rude and common), you can reassociate the extension
with your preferred program.
◆
If you don’t learn about extensions, you’ll
remain mired in beginner status and
pester people with trivial problems.
Figure 6.30 Uncheck this box to show file extensions in
folder windows, on the desktop, and in dialog boxes.
To show file extensions:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Appearance and Personalization >
Folder Options.
or
In a folder window, choose Organize >
Folder and Search Options.
or
Choose Start, type folder folder options
in the Search box, and then press Enter.
2. Click the View tab; then, in the Advanced
Settings section, uncheck Hide Extensions
for Known File Types (Figure 6.30 and
Figure 6.31).
282
Figure 6.31 Folder windows that hide (top) and
show (bottom) extensions.
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Installing and Running Programs
To change the program associated
with a file extension:
1. In a folder window, select a file having
the desired extension.
or
Choose Start > Search; then search for a
file having the desired extension (see
“Searching for Files and Folders” in
Chapter 5).
3. If the program that you want to use to
open this type of file is listed, select it.
or
If the program isn’t listed, click Browse,
select the program (.exe) file, and then
click Open.
4. Check Always Use the Selected Program
to Open This Kind of File.
5. Click OK.
When you double-click that type of file
in the future, the file will open in the program you selected.
283
Associating Documents with Programs
Figure 6.32 The Open With dialog box lists programs
capable of opening the selected file. Click Browse to
pick a program that’s not in the list.
2. Right-click the file and choose Open
With > Choose Default Program
(Figure 6.32).
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Associating Documents with Programs
✔ Tips
■
If you double-click a file with an unknown
extension, Windows lets you choose a
program or try to look up the extension
on Microsoft’s website (Figure 6.33).
You also can visit this website by clicking
Look for the Appropriate Program on the
Web in the Open With dialog box (refer
to Figure 6.32).
■
The Details pane in Windows Explorer
contains file-type information for the
selected file.
■
Some file types have multiple extensions
(.htm/.html and .jpg/.jpeg, for example).
Repeat the association for each form of
the extension.
■
To scroll through a (long) list of file
extensions and set them individually,
choose Start > Control Panel > Programs >
Default Programs > Associate a File Type
or Protocol with a Program (Figure 6.34).
Figure 6.33 This dialog box appears when you doubleclick a file with an extension that Windows doesn’t
recognize. A file with an unknown extension (or no
extension) often is a text file; try opening it in Notepad
before asking Windows to hunt for a program.
Figure 6.34 To change the default program for an
extension, select the extension in the list, click
Change Program, and then choose a new program in
the Open With dialog box (refer to Figure 6.32).
284
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Scanning,
and Faxing
7
Printer installation and configuration are
easy. After hardware connection and setup,
you can print individual documents with the
default settings or override them for special
purposes. In this chapter, you’ll learn basic
printer properties, printing tasks, and a few
topics beyond the routine. I’ll also describe
how to save paper by using your computer to
send and receive faxes without a fax machine.
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Printing, Scanning, and Faxing
Paperless-office propaganda notwithstanding,
computer users have felled forests to feed
printers and preserve paper trails. In Windows,
the operating system handles printing—not
individual programs. When you print something in any program, you activate Windows’
intermediary printing system, which accepts
print jobs from programs and feeds them to
the printer. This process, called background
printing, lets you keep working in your program while your documents print.
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Installing a Printer
A local printer attaches directly to your
computer through a USB, parallel, or serial
port, or via a Bluetooth or wireless signal.
Newer printers use USB, Bluetooth, or wireless connections; older ones use parallel or
(rarely) serial. You also can use a cableless
infrared connection if both your printer and
computer (typically a laptop) have infrared
lenses. Computers on a network (Chapter 18)
can share a network printer.
When you attach or connect a printer to
your computer, Windows often recognizes
the device and searches its extensive collection
of built-in drivers to run printers. A printer
driver is software that lets programs send
commands to a particular printer. If your
printer isn’t in Windows’ built-in list, you
can use the driver on the CD that came with
the printer. If you upgraded from Windows XP,
Vista inherited the existing printer driver
and settings, and your printer may work
fine. In any case, check the printer manufacturer’s website for a more recent driver.
✔ Tip
■
Installation is trivial for printers that
support Plug and Play, which lets Windows
detect and configure a connected device
automatically. Printers that use USB,
Bluetooth, wireless, or infrared connections always support Plug and Play.
Parallel connections may support it;
serial connections never do. For more
details, see Chapter 8.
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Read the printer manual before installation.
The manufacturer gives directions on how
to attach or connect the printer, which
Windows will install automatically. The
printer also may include a CD to run before
connection. You can add a printer manually
if Windows can’t install it, or if you removed
it and want to add it again.
To install a local printer:
1.
Figure 7.1 When Windows says “Add Printer,” it means
“Add Printer Driver.”
Choose Start > Control Panel
> Hardware and Sound > Add
a Printer (in the Printers category).
The Add Printer wizard opens.
2. Choose Add a Local Printer (Figure 7.1).
continues on next page
Figure 7.2 For most printer setups, you can accept the
default port setting. Windows refers to a parallel port
as an LPT port and a serial port as a COM port.
287
Installing a Printer
3. On the Choose a Printer Port page, make
sure that Use an Existing Port and the
recommended printer port are selected;
then click Next (Figure 7.2).
In almost all cases, LPT1 (the default) is
the correct port.
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Installing a Printer
4. On the Install the Printer Driver page,
select the manufacturer and model of
your printer; then click Next (Figure 7.3).
or
If your printer model isn’t listed and you
have the printer installation disc, insert
the disc, click Have Disk, and browse to
the driver software.
(If Windows refuses your installation
disc, download the current printer driver
from the printer manufacturer’s website.)
or
If your printer isn’t listed and you don’t
have the printer installation disc, click
Windows Update and then wait while
Windows checks for any available driver
software packages. When a new list of
manufacturers and printers is displayed,
select the appropriate items in each list
for your printer.
Figure 7.3 Clicking an entry in the Manufacturer list
(left) displays Vista’s standard drivers for that
manufacturer in the Printers list (right). The Windows
Update button connects you to Microsoft’s website
for drivers that were updated since Vista came out (or
since the last update).
5. Complete the additional steps in the
wizard and click Finish.
Along the way, you can name the printer
(Figure 7.4) and print a test page
(Figure 7.5).
Figure 7.4 Type a name for your printer or accept the
default name. Favor names that everyone on your
network will recognize. Indicate whether this printer
is the one that you’ll usually print with (the default).
288
Figure 7.5 You can print a test page to confirm that
your printer is working properly.
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After successful installation, the printer’s icon
appears in the Printers folder (Figure 7.6).
To install a network, wireless, or
Bluetooth printer:
1. Make sure that your computer is connected
to the network (or that your wireless or
Bluetooth printer and adapter are turned
on) and that you know the name of the
printer you want to add.
If the name isn’t posted on the printer
itself, ask the printer owner or your network administrator.
Figure 7.6 To open the Printers folder, choose Start >
Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Printers.
2.
Choose Start > Control Panel
> Hardware and Sound >
Add a Printer (in the Printers category).
The Add Printer wizard opens.
3. Choose Add a Network, Wireless or
Bluetooth Printer (refer to Figure 7.1).
5. Complete the additional steps in the
wizard and click Finish.
After successful installation, the printer’s
icon appears in the Printers folder (refer to
Figure 7.6) or the Network folder.
289
Installing a Printer
4. In the list of available printers, select
the one that you want to use and then
click Next.
Available printers can include all printers
on a network, such as Bluetooth and
wireless printers, or printers that are
plugged into another computer and shared
on the network. If you’re on a network
domain, only printers for that domain
are listed.
Make sure that you have permission to
use these printers before adding them
to the computer.
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✔ Tips
■
To place a shortcut to the Printers
folder in the Start menu, right-click the
Start button and choose Properties >
Start Menu tab > Customize > check
Printers > OK.
■
To remove a printer that you no longer
use, right-click it in Printers and choose
Delete (Figure 7.7). You can’t remove a
printer if you have items in the print
queue. Either wait until the items print
or cancel all the print jobs. See “Controlling
Printouts” later in this chapter.
■
A check mark appears on the
default printer’s icon. To change
the default printer, right-click the desired
printer in Printers and choose Set As
Default Printer (refer to Figure 7.7). This
command won’t appear if the printer
already is the default.
■
To rename a printer, right-click it in
Printers and choose Rename (refer to
Figure 7.7). The default name usually is
the manufacturer name and printer
model. For a shared printer, you may
want to add a bit of text indicating the
printer’s location and capabilities (color,
two-sided printing, and so on).
■
For information about installing fonts,
see “Managing Fonts” in Chapter 4.
290
Figure 7.7 Right-click a printer icon to show common
printer tasks (many of which are duplicated in the
toolbar). Tiles view (shown here) and details view
display printer status information.
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Microsoft’s “PDF Killer”
In the Printers folder, you’ll find a preinstalled icon for XPS Document Writer. XPS
(XML Paper Specification) is a new Microsoft-developed file format supported in
Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007. XPS competes with Adobe’s Portable
Document Format (PDF) as a standard file format for digital documents. Like PDF, XPS renders complex documents faithfully on any platform that supports it without font, layout,
viewing, or printing problems.
Vista has a built-in XPS viewer that opens in Internet Explorer when you doubleclick an XPS (.xps) file.
To save a document in XPS format, choose File > Print, and choose Microsoft XPS Document
Writer in the list of printers. As XPS becomes popular, more programs will let you save to
XPS directly in the Save As dialog box.
To encourage wide use of the format, Microsoft sent the XPS specification to an independent
standards board and released XPS under a royalty-free we-won’t-sue-you license that lets
companies freely create XPS readers, writers, and renderers.
Finding Printer Drivers
If the manufacturer provides no Vista driver for your printer, try the Windows XP driver. If no
XP driver exists, try the Windows 2000 driver. No luck? Try a 2000/XP/Vista driver for a different printer from the same manufacturer—but keep it in the family. Inkjet printers can’t
use laser-printer drivers, for example.
Still no luck? Try printer emulation. Check the manual to see whether your printer can mimic
a different printer, and use that printer’s driver. Many non–Hewlett-Packard laser printers can
work with HP LaserJet drivers, for example.
The manufacturer’s website will have printer-driver installation instructions, but you also can
update a driver manually: Right-click a printer in the Printers folder and choose Run As
Administrator (refer to Figure 7.7). If a security prompt appears, type an administrator password or confirm the action. Choose Advanced tab > New Driver and complete the steps in
the Add Printer Driver wizard.
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Installing a Printer
For installation and troubleshooting information, go to the printer manufacturer’s website: Select the printer in the Printers folder and click Go to the Manufacturer’s
Website (on the toolbar). You may have to click the chevron ( ) at the right end of the toolbar to see the command.
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Same Printer. Different Purposes.
You can install multiple drivers with different settings for the same physical printer and then
switch among these “virtual” printers easily to suit what you’re printing. If your printer has two
paper trays, create Letterhead and Plain printers; to switch between printing high-resolution
graphics and low-res text documents, create 1200 dpi (dots per inch) and 300 dpi printers.
Separate Landscape and Portrait printers are popular too.
To create another printer:
1. Install the printer a second time, but under a different name that indicates its purpose
(refer to Figure 7.4).
2. After installation, right-click the printer in the Printers folder, choose Printing Preferences
(refer to Figure 7.7), and then select the settings appropriate to the printer’s role.
3. In the Printers folder, right-click the printer that you use most of the time and choose Set
As Default Printer.
Installing a Printer
From now on, you can choose the appropriate printer in any program’s Print dialog box. See
“Printing Documents” later in this chapter.
292
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Sharing a Network Printer
Figure 7.8 Turn on printer sharing to allow others on
your network to use the printer connected to your
computer.
You can share a printer attached to your
computer with anyone on the same network,
as long as the printer is installed on your
computer and attached directly with a USB
or other type of printer cable. Whoever you
choose to share the printer with will be able
to use it to print, provided that they can
locate your computer on the network.
✔ Tip
■
A printer connected directly to a network—
rather than attached to a computer—via
a network port or wireless connection is
available to anyone on the same network,
without explicit sharing.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Network
and Internet > Network and Sharing
Center.
Figure 7.9 A printer’s Sharing tab offers a quick way to
turn sharing on or off.
2. Under Printer Sharing, click the arrow
button ( ) to expand the section, click
Turn on Printer Sharing, and then click
Apply (Figure 7.8).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
✔ Tip
■
To change a printer’s sharing options
quickly, right-click the printer in the
Printers folder and choose Sharing
(Figure 7.9).
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Sharing a Network Printer
To share a printer attached to your
computer:
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To use a shared printer:
1. Find out the name of the computer that
has the shared printer attached to it.
You can ask someone who uses that
computer, or go to the other computer
yourself and look it up: Choose Start >
Control Panel > System and Maintenance >
System (or press Windows logo key+Break)
(Figure 7.10).
2. Choose Start, and in the Search box, type
\\computername, where computername is
the name of the other computer (for
example, \\Office-PC).
Figure 7.10 The computer’s name is listed below
Computer Name, Domain, and Workgroup Settings.
Table 7.1
Printer Icons
Icon
Sharing a Network Printer
3. Press Enter.
A shared local printer has a small Users symbol.
4. If Windows finds the computer on
the network, a folder for the computer
opens; double-click Printers to show the
shared printer.
(If you don’t see the printer, ask a person
who uses that computer whether the
printer is connected, turned on, and
shared with other users on the network.)
5. Double-click the printer icon.
Windows adds the printer to your computer automatically and installs the
printer driver.
6. When the process completes, click Next
and follow the onscreen instructions.
When you finish, the shared printer appears
in your Printers folder. You can select this
printer in any program’s Print dialog box to
print a file.
Table 7.1 shows how a printer’s icon reflects
its status.
294
Description
A local printer has a normal printer icon.
A remote printer on the network has a cable
below it.
The default printer has a check mark on it.
✔ Tip
■
When you share a printer connected to
your computer, everybody’s print jobs go
through your copy of Windows, draining
your system resources. Busy networks
use a print server to arbitrate print
requests. Stand-alone Ethernet or wireless print servers (which require no dedicated PC) cost about $50 to $120 U.S.
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Setting Printer Properties
You can change a printer’s default settings
through its Properties dialog box. This dialog
box varies by printer model because the
manufacturer supplies the drivers whose
features appear there. Options common to
all printers include those in the General and
Advanced tabs.
To change a printer’s default settings:
Figure 7.11 If you’re sharing a printer, add its location
and a few helpful comments for other network users
to see.
2. Right-click a printer and choose
Properties.
3. On the following tabs, review or set the
printer’s default properties:
General. Change the printer’s name,
location, or comments. To test the
printer, click Print Test Page (Figure 7.11).
Sharing. See “Sharing a Network
Printer” earlier in this chapter.
Ports. Review the printer’s port assignment and configuration. You’ll rarely
want to change these settings.
Advanced. Change settings such as
printer access hours and spooling (queuing)
behavior. (Don’t select Print Directly to
the Printer; it turns off background
printing.) Click Printing Defaults to view
or change the default document properties for all users. Click Separator Page to
add or change a separator page that
prints between documents (Figure 7.12).
continues on next page
295
Setting Printer Properties
Figure 7.12 With shared printers, separator pages
make it easy to find your documents among others at
the printer. You can create custom separator pages.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Printers.
or
Choose Start, type printers in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
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Device Settings. These options differ by
printer model, depending on features
(Figure 7.13).
About. Review the printer’s make and
model, driver version numbers, and configuration date and status (Figure 7.14).
Security. Review or set the printer’s
security settings (Figure 7.15).
4. Click OK (or Apply).
✔ Tip
To set print server properties that affect
all networked printers, right-click an
empty area of the Printers folder and
choose Server Properties.
Figure 7.13 Printer-dependent settings affect such
things as color, tray selection, fonts, printer memory,
and duplex printing.
Setting Printer Properties
■
Figure 7.14 You can compare the versions of the driver
files with those of the latest drivers on the printer
manufacturer’s website.
296
Figure 7.15 You can fine-tune the security settings for
groups or individual users.
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Printing Documents
After your printer is up and running, printing
a document is simple.
To print a document:
1. Open the document that you want to print.
2. Choose File > Print, press Ctrl+P, or click
the Print button on the toolbar.
continues on next page
Figure 7.16 Print dialog boxes vary by program and
printer model, but you’ll find some common settings.
Here are Print dialog boxes for Notepad (top),
Microsoft Word (middle), and Microsoft Streets &
Trips (bottom).
Figure 7.17 This dialog box, which varies by printer,
lets you specify paper size (for multitray printers),
orientation (landscape or portrait), print quality (dots
per inch), and so on. These settings apply to the
current printout, not to the printer in general.
297
Printing Documents
3. In the Print dialog box (Figure 7.16),
select the printer and print options.
This dialog box varies by printer model
and program, but the basic settings are:
Printer. Choose a local or network
printer from the drop-down list or scrolling panel. If you’ve created several icons
for different modes of the same printer,
choose among them here.
Preferences/Properties. Click this to
open the Preferences or Properties dialog
box (Figure 7.17).
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Page Range. Specify which pages of the
document to print. The Selection option
isn’t available if you didn’t highlight any
text before you opened the Print dialog box.
Copies. Specify the number of copies to
print. You’ll usually want to turn on collation for multiple copies.
Program-specific settings. Any program can add extra features to the Print
dialog box.
Figure 7.18 Point to this icon (without
clicking) to see how many print jobs are
pending. Right-click it to open the Printers
folder. Double-click it for the print queue.
4. Click Print or OK (or press Enter).
Printing Documents
✔ Tips
■
During printing, a status icon appears in
the notification area (Figure 7.18).
■
To bypass the Print dialog box and use
the default printer and settings to print,
click the Print button on the toolbar
(Figure 7.19).
■
Internet Explorer’s Print dialog box lets
you print a webpage’s frames and links
(Figure 7.20).
■
You can print a document right from
Windows Explorer or the desktop without opening it; right-click the document’s
icon and choose Print. Or drag a document’s icon to a printer in the Printers
folder, to a print spooler window, or to a
desktop printer shortcut.
■
Most programs have additional print commands in the File menu or a toolbar. Page
Setup sets margins, orientation, and other
layout options. Print Preview shows how
a document will look when you print it.
■
If you have a color printer, see the part
about color management in “Configuring
the Monitor” in Chapter 4.
■
If you’re on a network domain, the Print
dialog box has a Find Printer button that
you can click to search the network for a
particular printer.
298
Figure 7.19 The standard Print button on the toolbar
(shown here in Microsoft Office) looks like this. This
pop-up tip displays the destination printer and
keyboard shortcut.
Figure 7.20 Click the Options tab in Internet Explorer’s
Print dialog box. If a webpage is divided into
independent rectangular sections (frames), you can
print them selectively. You also can print all the linked
pages, as well as a table at the end of the printout
that lists all the page’s links.
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Printer Troubleshooting
When you’re having printer troubles, you want to determine whether the problem lies with
the printer, Windows, or a particular program. Here are some things to check:
Make sure that the printer is plugged in and turned on. Check for snug cable connections
on the printer and computer ports.
◆
Remove the paper tray, pop the printer’s lid, and check for a jammed paper path.
◆
Streaks of white or gray in printouts mean you’re low on toner (ink).
◆
Turn the printer off and on to clear its memory.
◆
Create a file in Notepad, and print it from the command prompt. Choose Start > All
Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt; type print filename.txt and then press
Enter. (Replace filename.txt with the name of your homemade text file.) If the file prints,
you have a software problem; otherwise, you have a hardware problem.
◆
Consult the printer’s manual, and print a test page. (If the page prints, delete and reinstall
the printer driver.)
◆
Try Windows’ own troubleshooting pages: Choose Start > Help and Support, and search
for troubleshoot printer.
◆
You may have a malfunctioning printer port (unlikely and somewhat complex).
Printing Documents
◆
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Controlling Printouts
When you print a document, it’s intercepted
by an intermediary program, called the print
spooler, on its way to the printer. The print
spooler holds your documents (on disk or in
memory) until your printer can accept them.
The delay is short for text files but can be
substantial for large graphics files. The spooler
puts each document in a print queue, where
it waits its turn to be printed. You can change
the order of queued documents, pause or
resume printing, or cancel specific print jobs.
Spooling occurs in the background, so you
can keep working in your program—or even
quit the program—and documents still print.
Controlling Printouts
To manage the print queue:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Printers; then double-click
a printer icon.
or
Double-click the notification-area printer
icon (refer to Figure 7.18).
2. In the print-spooler window, do any of
the following (Figure 7.21):
To cancel printing a document,
right-click the document name and
choose Cancel.
To cancel printing all documents,
choose Printer > Cancel All Documents.
To pause (or resume) printing a
document, right-click the document
name and choose Pause (or Resume).
To pause (or resume) printing all
documents, choose Printer > Pause
Printing. (Choose it again to resume
printing.)
300
Figure 7.21 The print-spooler window lists the
documents waiting to print. The first document is
printing, the second one is paused, and I’m about to
cancel the fourth one. If you’re on a network, by
default you can pause, resume, restart, or cancel your
own documents but not those of other users.
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To add another document to the
queue, drag the document’s icon from
Explorer or the desktop into the printspooler window.
To rearrange the printing order,
right-click a document and choose
Properties > General tab; then drag the
Priority slider. Higher-priority documents
print before lower-priority ones. (You can’t
reorder the documents by dragging them.)
✔ Tip
■
FinePrint ($50 U.S.; www.fineprint.com)
is a printing utility that saves ink, paper,
and time by controlsling print jobs. Some
of its options: Print multiple pages on
one sheet of paper, scale webpages to fit
on standard paper sizes, and convert
colored text to black and skip graphics
(saving ink).
Printer manufacturers make money on replacement ink (toner) cartridges like razor manufacturers make money on blades, so be skeptical of your printer’s “low ink” warnings, especially
with inkjet printers; some multicolor cartridges shut down if even only one color runs out.
For laser printers, remove the cartridge and shake it for some extra life.
You have a few money-saving options:
◆
Try the free version of InkSaver (www.inksaver.com) to see whether it saves ink for your
printer.
◆
You can buy low-priced inkjet cartridges at Amazon Imaging (www.amazonimaging.com),
PrintPal (www.printpal.com), or other online stores. To find discount ink stores, visit
www.buyinkcartridges.com.
◆
Don’t throw out or return empty laser cartridges; look for a local computer-supplies store
that will refill them (or ask an online store).
Be wary of printer-makers that use lockout codes to prevent cartridge refills. Some HewlettPackard printers shut down cartridges on a fixed date regardless of whether they’re empty—
or have even been used.
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Controlling Printouts
Your Printer Is Lying
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Scanning and Faxing
Windows Fax and Scan lets you send and
receive faxes, fax or email scanned documents,
and forward faxes as email attachments
from your computer without an actual fax
machine (Figure 7.22). You’ll need a phone
line and almost any dial-up modem. Even an
old 33.6 Kbps modem can send a multipage
fax in a minute or two.
✔ Tips
Fax and Scan is included with only the
Business and Ultimate editions of Vista.
If you’re using a Home edition, you still
can scan documents or pictures with
Windows Photo Gallery (Chapter 9).
■
Install the modem (a dial-up modem, not
a DSL or cable broadband modem) before
you start the setup process. Make sure
that the modem is connected to a phone
line and that the phone line is connected
to a working jack. Almost all laptops have
built-in modems; for desktops, you may
have to install one. When you install a
modem, Windows usually finds it and
installs its drivers automatically. To install
a modem manually, choose Start > Control
Panel > Hardware and Sound > Phone
and Modem Options > Modems tab >
Add. You also can use the Modems tab to
remove modems and set their properties.
Scanning and Faxing
■
Figure 7.22 Windows Fax and Scan, in fax view.
PC-Based Faxing Advantages
Faxing through Windows offers these
advantages over a traditional fax
machine:
◆
Conserves paper
◆
Saves money on paper and faxmachine cartridges
◆
Faxes documents without printing
them
■
You can’t use a DSL or cable connection
or a digital phone line for faxing.
◆
Faxes from your computer via the
File > Print command
■
If you don’t want to buy a modem or tie
up your phone line, consider one of the
internet-based fax services listed at http://
◆
Lets you read incoming faxes
onscreen or print them automatically
◆
Lets you manage incoming faxes as
you would any other documents: read,
save, or delete them, or attach them
to email
◆
Generates cleaner, more legible faxes
than ones sent via fax machine
directory.google.com/Top/Computers/
Internet/Internet_Fax/Services.
■
For viewing pictures and faxes, Photo
Gallery Viewer, new in Vista, has
replaced Windows XP’s Windows Picture
and Fax Viewer.
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To fax documents that aren’t computer files,
you’ll need a scanner. You can connect a
local scanner directly to your computer, or
you can connect to a network scanner
shared over a network. In both cases, you
may need to install a driver or programs for
using the scanner on your computer.
To install a local scanner:
◆
Follow the instructions that came with
the scanner.
If the scanner has a USB connector
(most scanners do), you usually can plug
it into your computer, and Windows will
install its driver and other software automatically. Some scanners make you
install software before plugging in the
USB connector; others make you turn on
the scanner before or during installation.
To install a network scanner:
Scanned documents are stored in your
Documents folder under Scanned
Documents, where you can move or copy
them like any other files.
To organize your scanned documents in
Fax and Scan, you can create new folders
in scan view. In the left pane, right-click a
folder name and choose New Folder. To
move a scanned document to a folder,
right-click the document, choose Move to
Folder (refer to Figure 7.24), and then
select the target folder
2. Choose Start > Network.
3. Locate the scanner, right-click it, and
then choose Install.
4. Follow the onscreen instructions.
If you use Windows Explorer to create,
delete, move, or rename folders and
documents in the Scanned Documents
folder, the changes won’t appear in Fax
and Scan until you close and reopen the
program, or collapse and expand the
folder tree in the left pane in scan view.
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Organizing Scanned Documents
1. Make sure that your computer is connected to the network and that you
know the name of the scanner you want
to add.
If the name isn’t posted on the scanner
itself, ask the scanner owner or your network administrator.
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Scanning and Faxing
✔ Tips
■
To remove a local scanner, unplug it from
your computer at any time. To remove
scanner drivers, choose Start > Control
Panel > System and Maintenance >
Device Manager (on the left). If a security
prompt appears, type an administrator
password or confirm the action. Doubleclick Imaging Devices, right-click the
scanner name, and then choose Uninstall.
■
If Windows doesn’t recognize your
scanner, use the Scanner and Camera
Installation wizard to install its drivers.
Make sure that your scanner is connected
and turned on; then choose Start >
Control Panel > Hardware and Sound >
Scanners and Cameras (Figure 7.23).
Click Refresh if your scanner isn’t in the
list. If it still isn’t listed, click Add Device
and follow the onscreen instructions. If a
security prompt appears, type an administrator password or confirm the action.
Figure 7.23 Scanners and Cameras helps you install
older scanners and cameras that Windows doesn’t
recognize.
You can scan a document by using the software that came with your scanner or by
using Fax and Scan.
To scan by using Fax and Scan:
1. Make sure that your scanner is connected to your computer and turned on.
2. Place a document on the scanner or the
scanner’s document feeder.
3. Choose Start > All Programs > Windows
Fax and Scan (Figure 7.24).
4. Choose Scan (at the bottom of the left
pane) > New Scan (on the toolbar) >
Profile list > Documents.
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Figure 7.24 Windows Fax and Scan, in scan view. You
can rename, delete, and manage individual scans by
using the shortcut menu.
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Table 7.2
Image-File Formats
Description
Bitmap
Windows bitmap (.bmp) images tend to be
large because this format can’t be compressed. BMP is almost always the wrong
choice for scanned documents and photos.
Joint Photographic Experts Group (.jpg/.jpeg)
files are highly compressed and an excellent
choice for scanning photos, particularly if
you’re going to post them on the web. But the
JPEG process sacrifices image detail permanently during compression. In most cases, the
loss is invisible for onscreen viewing.
Portable Network Graphics (.png) files, which
all modern browsers support, is patent free
and license free, and it retains all detail during
compression.
Tagged Image File Format (.tif) files are compatible with most image-editing programs,
even ancient ones. TIFF is a good choice for
scanning text documents and grayscale
images. TIFF’s compression, like PNG’s, preserves detail but results in larger files than
JPEG. You can scan multiple pages into a single
TIFF file; Windows Fax and Scan uses TIFF to
send and receive faxes.
JPEG
PNG
TIFF
6. Click Preview to see how a document
will appear when scanned.
7. Change your scan settings if desired.
You can drag the cropping handles to
resize the image.
8. Click Scan to scan the document.
When the scan completes, Fax and
Scan displays the document to view
and manage.
✔ Tips
■
To configure scanner routing and settings,
use the commands in the Tools menu.
■
If you’re scanning a page with more than
one picture, you can save each picture as
a separate file by checking Preview or
Scan Images As Separate Files.
■
To forward scanned documents automatically to an email address or a network
folder, choose Tools > Scan Routing.
■
Faxes are sent in black and white at a
default resolution of 150 ✕ 150 dpi, which
any scanner can manage.
■
Scanning software usually lets you choose
an image format for your scan. Table 7.2
describes the common formats. If you
save an image in the wrong format, you
can open it in Paint and save it in
another format by choosing File > Save
As. To open Paint, choose Start > All
Programs > Accessories > Paint.
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Scanning and Faxing
Fo r m a t
5. Change the default settings for scanning
a document if desired.
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Chapter 7
Before you can send or receive faxes, you
must connect to a fax modem (or a fax
server on your network) and configure Fax
and Scan.
To connect to a fax device for the
first time:
1. Choose Start > All Programs > Windows
Fax and Scan.
2. Choose Fax (at the bottom of the left pane).
3. Click New Fax (on the toolbar).
Figure 7.25 The Fax Setup wizard appears the first
time you use Fax and Scan in fax view. To start the
wizard manually, choose Tools > Fax Accounts > Add.
4. Follow the onscreen instructions
(Figure 7.25).
✔ Tip
Scanning and Faxing
■
To set up your computer to send faxes
only, click I’ll Choose Later; I Want to
Create a Fax Now (Figure 7.26).
To configure Fax and Scan:
1. Choose Start > All Programs > Windows
Fax and Scan.
2. Choose Fax (at the bottom of the left pane).
Figure 7.26 If you choose the last option here, you’ll
be able to send faxes but not receive them, and you
won’t see a security prompt.
3. Choose Tools > Fax Settings.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
4. On the General tab, select your fax
modem; set it to send, receive, or both;
and specify whether you’ll answer
incoming faxes manually or automatically (Figure 7.27).
5. Click More Options.
Figure 7.27 You can set up Fax and Scan to only send
faxes, only receive them, or both.
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6. Set TSID (Transmitting Subscriber
Identification) and CSID (Called
Subscriber Identification) to your business name and fax number, and choose
whether you want to print or save
backup copies of incoming faxes in addition to the ones that Fax and Scan saves
automatically in its Inbox (Figure 7.28).
7. Click OK to return to the Fax Settings
dialog box.
9. On the Advanced tab, set the faxtransmission behavior, including where
to store incoming and outgoing faxes,
whether to include a cover sheet with
outgoing faxes, automatic redialing
attempts (for when a fax doesn’t go
through the first time), and times of
day for discount calling.
10. On the Security tab, review or set the
security settings for faxing and fax setup.
11. Click OK (or Apply).
✔ Tips
■
To set additional options, choose
Tools > Options.
■
Cover pages help when you fax to big
institutions where the fax might be misrouted. Fax and Scan has a few built-in
cover pages that work fine, but you can
design your own: Choose Tools > Cover
Pages. To set the information that cover
pages display, choose Tools > Sender
Information. The fields all are optional,
but include enough for the recipient to
contact you if a fax doesn’t go through
completely.
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Scanning and Faxing
Figure 7.28 The TSID is mandatory in some cases.
This identification information usually appears in the
header area of a received fax and serves to identify
the sending fax machine. Some fax-routing software
depends on TSIDs to determine where to direct
incoming faxes. The CSID is displayed on the sending
fax machine.
8. On the Tracking tab, specify when and
how you want to be notified about the
progress of a fax.
Click Sound Options if you want audio
indicators as well as visual ones.
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Chapter 7
To send a fax from Fax and Scan:
1. Choose Start > All Programs > Windows
Fax and Scan.
2. Choose Fax (at the bottom of the left pane).
3. Click New Fax (on the toolbar).
Figure 7.29 The New Fax window offers a complete
set of editing, formatting, and other options. Use the
toolbar options to attach a file or insert text and
pictures from other files to send with your fax.
Scanning and Faxing
4. Create a new fax by using the options in
the New Fax window; then click Send
(Figure 7.29).
The Fax Status Monitor automatically
displays the progress of the fax
(Figure 7.30).
Figure 7.30 Click View Details to see the detailed
status of each outgoing fax; click Hide Details if you
prefer Windows to do its faxing less conspicuously. A
pop-up message appears in the notification area
when a fax is sent successfully (or fails).
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To send a fax from another program:
1. Open the file that you want to send as
a fax.
2. Choose File > Print (or press Ctrl+P).
Figure 7.31 To fax a document by using a program
other than Fax and Scan, you “print” the document to
a fax printer. A Fax icon appears in the printer list of
every program’s Print dialog box. The document is
converted to a TIFF (.tif ) file so that it can be sent as
an attachment to a fax.
3. In the Print dialog box, click the Fax
icon or choose Fax from the printer list;
then click Print or OK, or press Enter
(Figure 7.31).
Fax and Scan opens a new fax with your
file attached (refer to Figure 7.29).
4. Specify the recipient fax numbers, cover
page, and other options in the New Fax
window; then click Send.
The Fax Status Monitor automatically
displays the progress of the fax (refer to
Figure 7.30).
✔ Tips
To send a fax to more than one person,
type the recipients’ fax numbers in the
To box, separated by semicolons (;). To
choose recipients from your Windows
Contacts folder, click To and then doubleclick each contact in the list. Make sure that
you’ve saved your recipients’ fax numbers
in the contact information (see “Managing
Your Contacts” in Chapter 15).
■
The Cover Page drop-down list shows
the built-in cover pages and any custom
pages you’ve created.
■
If the Dialing Rule drop-down list is set
to (None), type the recipient’s fax number
as it should be dialed. (Parentheses, commas, and hyphens are ignored.) To use
a Dialing Rule, choose one from the list
or choose New Rule to create one. You
also can create dialing rules by choosing
Start > Control Panel > Hardware and
Sound > Phone and Modem Options >
Dialing Rules tab.
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■
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■
To attach a document or picture to a fax,
drag the file to the New Fax window.
Attachments are converted to TIFF
images (.tif files) so that they can be
received by any fax device. (The original
file isn’t changed.)
■
If your recipient uses a stand-alone fax
machine (one not connected to a computer), each page of your fax—including
any attachments—will be printed in
order when the fax is received. If the
recipient uses Windows Fax and Scan or
a similar fax program, your fax will be
received as a TIFF (.tif) file that can be
viewed onscreen and treated like any
other file.
■
To fax or email a scanned file in Fax and
Scan, choose Scan (at the bottom of the
left pane), and click the file in the list of
scanned files. On the toolbar, click
Forward As Fax or Forward As Email. To
scan a document and attach it to a fax,
choose File > New > Fax from Scanner.
■
The Fax printer appears by default in the
Printers folder. Choose Start > Control
Panel > Hardware and Sound > Printers
(Figure 7.32).
310
Figure 7.32 Fax appears in every program’s Print
dialog box because the Printers folder contains
a generic fax driver. You can double-click this
icon to open Fax and Scan, but there’s not much
more to do with it than inspect its properties.
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Figure 7.33 If you’re expecting a fax, click this
message. Fax Monitor (refer to Figure 7.30) appears
and downloads the fax. If you’re expecting a person to
call, just pick up the phone, and this message
disappears. If you miss this notification, quickly open
Fax and Scan before the phone stops ringing, and in
Fax view, click Receive a Fax Now (on the toolbar)
To receive a fax, you must have chosen to
receive them in the Fax Setup wizard (refer
to Figure 7.26) or checked Allow the Device
to Receive Fax Calls in the Fax Settings
dialog box (refer to Figure 7.27). Faxes
received in Automatic answer mode (best
for dedicated fax lines) appear in the Fax
and Scan Inbox. Use Manual answer mode
if your computer and telephone share a line
that you use mostly for talking.
To receive a fax manually:
1. When the phone rings, click the pop-up
message in the notification area
(Figure 7.33).
2. To view the received fax, look in Fax and
Scan’s Inbox, discussed next.
To manage and view faxes:
2. Choose Fax (at the bottom of the left pane).
3. In the left pane, expand the Fax folder
if necessary.
Fax contains the following subfolders:
Incoming contains faxes that you’re
receiving now.
Inbox contains faxes that you’ve
received.
Drafts contains faxes that you’re still
working on and aren’t ready to send.
Outbox contains faxes that Fax will send
later or that failed to go through.
Sent Items contains faxes that you’ve
sent successfully.
continues on next page
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Scanning and Faxing
1. Choose Start > All Programs > Windows
Fax and Scan.
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Chapter 7
4. Click the folder that you want.
5. In the right pane, click a fax and choose
a toolbar command, or right-click it and
choose a shortcut-menu command (refer
to Figure 7.22).
✔ Tip
The Preview pane (below the list of faxes
in the right pane) shows the first page of
the selected fax. To open the fax, doubleclick it. Use the scroll and zoom controls
to view it.
Scanning and Faxing
■
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Setting up
Hardware
8
Windows treats any gadget connected to
your PC as a device. The software that controls it is called its device driver or simply
driver. A driver mediates communications
between a device and Windows.
313
Setting up Hardware
In the broadest sense, hardware is your computer and whatever connects to it; everything
else is software. Windows generally uses the
term to refer to a peripheral—nowadays
usually called a device—which is any part of
a computer other than the processor (CPU),
motherboard, and memory (RAM and ROM).
Your monitor, mouse, keyboard, hard disks,
scanner, and printer are devices, as are digital
cameras, MP3 players, backup drives, video
recorders, external speakers, USB flash drives,
and personal digital assistant (PDA) synchronization cradles.
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Chapter 8
Connecting Devices to
Your Computer
When you install a new device for your computer, you’ll either connect it to a port on
the front or back of the computer, or insert
it into a slot inside the computer case. The
port or slot provides the channel that the
computer and device use to exchange data.
Ordinarily, there’s more to installing a device
than just connecting it, but I cover connecting here and the larger process of installing
in the next section.
Connecting Devices to Your Computer
New-computer manuals usually contain
diagrams labeling the PC’s internal slots and
back-panel connectors. Look in the manual
for the motherboard, also called the mainboard
or desktop board (Figure 8.1).
Table 8.1 lists the hardware you need for
various tasks.
Line In
USB 2.0
Devices
USB 2.0
Devices
Figure 8.1 Here’s an example back-panel diagram from an Intel reference. Your computer manual should have a
similar diagram and a diagram of the computer’s internal slots.
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Setting up Hardware
Table 8.1
Hardware Needed for Various Tasks
Yo u N e e d
Rip or burn a disc
For ripping: a CD or DVD drive. For burning: a CD or DVD recorder. See “Burning CDs and DVDs”
in Chapter 5 (data discs) and “Ripping CDs to Your Hard Drive” in Chapter 10 (music discs).
A scanner or an all-in-one printer/scanner/fax. See “Scanning and Faxing” in Chapter 7.
A dial-up modem. See “Scanning and Faxing” in Chapter 7.
A digital camera and USB cable or a memory-card reader. See “Importing Photos to Your
Computer” in Chapter 9.
A digital video camera and a USB port or IEEE 1394 (FireWire) port. See “Importing Content” in
Chapter 11.
For a dial-up connection: a dial-up modem (preferably 56K). For a broadband connection: a DSL
or cable modem. Add a router for security. See Chapter 12.
For a wired connection: a network adapter, Ethernet cables, and a switch or hub. For a wireless
connection: an 802.11 wireless adapter and an access point. See Chapter 18.
A webcam. (Some digital cameras have webcam mode.)
A sound card or integrated audio, and speakers or headphones. See “Configuring Sound and
Audio Devices” in Chapter 4.
A radio tuner card.
A TV tuner card.
A Tablet PC with a stylus (or a graphics tablet).
Scan documents
Send or receive faxes
Transfer photos to your PC
Transfer video to your PC
Use the internet
Set up a network
Videoconference
Listen to audio
Listen to radio
Watch TV
Input with handwriting
Buying Hardware
Windows Vista probably will work with any hardware that worked with Windows XP or 2000,
and perhaps with Windows NT, 98, or Me. But if you can’t get your hardware to work with
Vista—because Vista refuses or doesn’t recognize the drivers, and the manufacturer hasn’t
updated them—you have to buy a new gadget.
Microsoft maintains the Windows Marketplace Tested Products list at http://testedproducts.
It’s a complete reference for hardware (and software) products that
have been tested for Windows compatibility. I don’t find this list to be all that useful, because
just about every product that you can buy today—listed or not—works under Windows. When
manufacturers design their products, they’re aware that Windows runs on 95% of PCs.
windowsmarketplace.com.
I get hardware-buying advice from www.hardwareguys.com, which makes reliable make-and-model
recommendations. The site’s authors also have written a few hardware books. For some hardware (like dial-up modems and Ethernet cards), it doesn’t much matter what brand you get.
For pricier items, do a little research. (For CD/DVD burners, for example, I pay extra for
Plextor drives because I’ve found that they ruin fewer discs.)
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To
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Chapter 8
External devices
External devices—ones that you can connect without opening your PC’s case—plug
into ports on the computer’s front or back
panel. Table 8.2 lists the common PC ports
and connections. If your PC doesn’t have a
particular port, you must install an expansion card to get it.
Table 8.2
Connecting Devices to Your Computer
Ports and Connections
Port
Description
Parallel (DB-25)
A long, narrow, female port with 25 holes along 2 rows. Windows calls it an LPT port. If your
printer doesn’t plug into a USB port, it plugs into this port (usually called a printer port). Older
backup, tape, CD, and other external drives use this port too. USB connections have replaced
parallel connections in newer hardware.
A short, slightly D-shape male port with 9 pins along 2 rows. Windows calls it a COM port.
Serial devices are rare nowadays. You might find a serial connector on an old mouse, external
modem, or serial printer. USB connections have replaced serial connections.
A small, round, female port with six holes. If your mouse and keyboard don’t plug into USB
ports, they plug into two PS/2 ports. The ports usually are color-coded: purple for keyboards
and green for mice. Or look for small pictures of a mouse and a keyboard, each next to its
proper port. USB has mostly replaced PS/2.
A small, thin, rectangular port that accepts almost all Plug and Play devices: mice, USB flash
drives, external drives, scanners, digital cameras, MP3 players, keyboards, printers, Bluetooth
adapters, and so on. Most PCs have at least two USB ports, but you can buy an internal or
external USB hub if you need extra ports. USB ports are hot-pluggable, allowing you to connect
and disconnect devices without shutting down your PC; Windows automatically loads or
unloads the drivers as needed. USB ports can provide power as well as data to the devices they
connect. USB 2.0 equipment is much faster than USB 1.1 equipment.
A small, rectangular, very fast port with a tapered (>-shape) plug. These ports are ideal for
video, external disk, multiplayer gaming, and network devices. Like USB, IEEE 1394 is Plug and
Play–compliant and hot-pluggable, and can provide power to peripherals. You can buy an internal or external hub to add IEEE 1394 ports to your computer.
A rectangular, female port with 15 holes along 3 rows. Laptop computers use this port to
connect external monitors.
A jack (which looks like a wide telephone jack) for Ethernet and network connections. If your
computer doesn’t have an RJ-45 jack, buy a network interface card (NIC) to add one.
A ordinary telephone jack that lets you run a telephone line from the wall to your computer for
faxing or dial-up internet connections. Laptops, but not desktops, usually have built-in RJ-11
jacks. If you need one, buy a 56K modem card.
A row of small circular holes for connecting external speakers, headphones, microphones, and
audio sources. Most PCs also have built-in sound ports, but adding a good sound card gives
you high-quality surround sound.
A small, circular, female port for connecting projectors, TVs, and VCRs.
A small red lens on laptops that uses line-of-sight infrared light to transfer data from the computer to a similarly equipped device (such as an infrared PDA or printer) without cables.
Serial
PS/2
USB (Universal Serial Bus)
IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
Video (VGA)
Ethernet (RJ-45)
Modem (RJ-11)
Sound
S-Video
Infrared (IrDA)
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Setting up Hardware
If you set up your own computer, you’re
familiar with ports because the monitor,
keyboard, mouse, and printer all have cables
or adapters that connect to ports. Different
shapes for different port types make it hard
to plug a cable into the wrong port, but
examine the plug and port, and don’t force
a connection; you’ll bend the pins.
To connect an external device:
◆
If the device is hot-pluggable (USB or
IEEE 1394), simply plug the device’s cable
or adapter into the appropriate port.
or
If the device isn’t hot-pluggable, turn off
the computer and the device, plug the
device’s cable into the appropriate port, and
then turn on the computer and device.
■
Some PC also have built-in slots for reading digital-camera memory cards.
■
If you want to add both USB and IEEE 1394
ports to your PC, save some money and
buy an (internal or external) hub that has
them both.
Removing Hardware Safely
A small icon ( ) appears in the notification area when a USB, IEEE 1394, or other hot-pluggable
removable-storage device is plugged into your PC. If no data is being transferred between the
device and the computer, you can unplug the device at will. Usually, a light on the device or
an onscreen warning signals whether data transfer is active. USB flash drives have an activity
light that blinks during read–write operations, for example.
If you want to be extra safe when you remove a device (make sure that an external drive’s
disks have stopped spinning, for example), you can stop the device before unplugging it:
1. Right-click the notification-area icon and choose Safely Remove Hardware.
2. In the dialog box that appears, select the device in the list; then click Stop.
3. Click OK in the confirmation dialog box.
The notification-area icon disappears, and it’s safe to unplug the device.
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Connecting Devices to Your Computer
✔ Tips
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Chapter 8
Internal devices
Connecting Devices to Your Computer
Internal devices are connected inside your
PC’s case. Storage devices such as CD, DVD,
floppy, tape, backup, and hard drives are
mounted on stacked shelves, called bays, at
the front of the case. Printed circuit boards
with edge connectors—such as sound cards,
video adapters, graphics accelerators, internal modems, Ethernet (network) adapters,
and USB hubs—are called expansion boards
or cards. These cards plug into expansion
slots (or simply slots) on the main circuit
board (motherboard). Table 8.3 lists the
common PC slots. You must open your computer’s case to see which slots are empty.
Each type of slot has a different shape and
color, so you’re unlikely to insert a card into
the wrong slot. Inserting a card into a slot
takes a little courage and practice. You must
seat the card firmly and accurately by using
neither too much force nor too little.
Table 8.3
Slots
S lot
Description
PCI
A white-cased socket about 3.25 inches (8.25 cm) long, with a white crossbar about three-quarters of the way
down the slot. PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) slots, developed by Intel but supported by all manufacturers, are the most common type.
PCI Express, invented in 2004 by Intel, is based on PCI but is much faster. Vista supports PCIe software and
hardware. Over time, PCIe will replace PCI and AGP. Almost all new high-end graphics cards from ATI and NVIDIA
use PCIe.
A black-cased socket about 5.25 inches (13.3 cm) long, with a black crossbar about two-thirds of the way down
the slot. Some computers include both ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) slots for older, slower devices and
PCI slots for modern ones.
A brown-cased slot about 3 inches (7.6 cm) long, with a brown crossbar about one-third of the way down the
slot. AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) is based on PCI but gives 3D graphics cards faster access to main memory
than PCI. A PC has only one AGP port, occupied by a video card or accelerated graphics card.
A slot on the side or back of a laptop computer that accepts a metal PC Card about the size of a credit card.
A PC Card adds a particular feature to a laptop: a modem, Ethernet port, wireless antenna, or extra memory, for
example. PC Cards are Plug and Play–compliant and hot-pluggable, and can provide power to peripherals.
PCIe
ISA
AGP
PCMCIA
(PC Card)
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✔ Tips
■
Before touching the motherboard or
handling a card outside its protective
packaging, touch a grounded metal surface (such as the computer case or a
pipe) to discharge static electricity.
■
Plugging a card into an expansion slot
connects it to the bus—the shared collection of hardware conductors that allows
computer components to exchange data.
■
PC Cards are hot-pluggable, so you
don’t have to power down your laptop
to insert them.
To connect an expansion card:
1. Shut down Windows, turn off the computer, and unplug the power cord.
3. Remove the cover plate of an empty slot
(to let the card’s ports protrude from the
computer case).
4. Seat the card in the slot firmly, according
to the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Replace the screw that held on the cover
plate, tightening it through the hole in
the bracket on the back of the card.
6. Replace the cover, reconnect the power
cord, and turn on the computer.
Windows will detect the new card after
it starts.
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Connecting Devices to Your Computer
2. Remove the computer’s cover.
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Chapter 8
Installing a New Device
Almost all devices made since 1995 are Plug
and Play (PnP) devices, which means that
you can install (plug in) and use (play with)
them immediately—no configuration needed.
To work properly, Plug and Play requires:
◆
A Plug and Play–compliant operating
system, which Vista is.
◆
A device that identifies itself to Windows
and that lets Windows configure it and
install its drivers, which almost all
devices do.
◆
A Plug and Play–compatible system
startup chip on the motherboard (called
the BIOS). Any computer with enough
horsepower to run Vista has PnP BIOS.
Installing a New Device
The port or slot that a device plugs indicates
its compatibility:
◆
All USB, IEEE 1394 (FireWire), Bluetooth,
and PCMCIA (PC Card) devices are Plug
and Play.
◆
All but the oldest PCI and parallel
devices are Plug and Play.
◆
No ISA or serial devices are Plug and Play.
Most such devices are quite old. If their
manufacturers still exist, check their
websites for a Windows Vista/XP/2000/NT
driver. If there’s no such driver, you may
be out of luck.
320
Installing Old Hardware
If you have an old piece of hardware that
doesn’t support Plug and Play, you can try
to install it by using the Add Hardware
wizard (a carryover from earlier Windows
versions). To start the wizard, choose Start >
Control Panel and type add hardware in
the Search box. In the results list, click
Install Drivers for Older Devices with Add
Hardware Wizard. If a security prompt
appears, type an administrator password
or confirm the action. Follow the onscreen
instructions.
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Setting up Hardware
Figure 8.2 When you connect a device, look for pop-up
messages in the notification area (top). You might see
several such messages, ending with the “success”
message (bottom). If you do, you’re in luck; the new
hardware is ready to use.
Windows stores thousands of drivers on
your hard drive and gets more regularly via
Windows Update, so Windows usually
detects your device when you connect it and
installs the proper driver automatically. If
Windows doesn’t have the right driver, you
can install it from either the CD that came
with the device or a driver file that you
downloaded from the manufacturer’s website. The following installation instructions
are generic; you should always favor the
instructions that came with your device.
To install a new device:
1. Run the device’s setup program (if any).
Many new devices come with a Setup CD
that includes driver files. Run this program before you connect the device so
that Windows can copy the drivers to
your hard drive and have them handy for
later in the installation.
3. Connect the device to your computer,
as described in the preceding section.
If Windows can install the device driver
automatically, you’ll be notified that the
device is ready to use (Figure 8.2).
You’re done.
or
If Windows can’t find the right driver, it
will prompt you to insert a disc containing
driver software for the device. Follow the
onscreen instructions (Figure 8.3).
Figure 8.3 Windows tries hard to make your device
work. You may see any of these pages when stepping
through the Found New Hardware wizard.
321
Installing a New Device
2. Check the device’s installation instructions to determine whether it should be
turned on before, during, or after connection and installation.
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Chapter 8
Installing a New Device
✔ Tips
■
If Windows can’t install your device, you
get Figure 8.4. Try the manufacturer’s
website for updated drivers.
■
Windows stores drivers in \Windows\
System32\DriverStore\FileRepository.
■
A downloaded driver usually comes as
a self-extracting executable (.exe) file or a
compressed (.zip) file that you must
decompress before installation. Look for
setup instructions on the webpage or,
after unzipping, in a read-me file.
■
To control how Windows Update finds
drivers, choose Start > Control Panel >
System and Maintenance > System (or
press Windows logo key+Break); then
click Advanced System Settings (on the
left). If a security prompt appears, type
an administrator password or confirm
the action. Choose Hardware tab >
Windows Update Driver Settings
(Figure 8.5).
■
If, when you plug in a device, AutoPlay
opens a program that you don’t want
to use, choose Start > Control Panel >
Hardware and Sound > AutoPlay
(Figure 8.6).
■
Figure 8.4 Windows gives up.
Figure 8.5 You need an internet connection for
Windows Update to check for the latest drivers. See
also “Updating Windows” in Chapter 13.
To use a game controller with an older
game that doesn’t recognize it, choose
Start > Control Panel > Hardware and
Sound > Game Controllers > Advanced.
Figure 8.6 If you never want to see the AutoPlay
dialog box, choose Take No Action next to the device.
To choose an action each time you plug in a device,
choose Ask Me Every Time. To have a program open
automatically each time, choose the program.
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Setting up Hardware
Unsigned Drivers
A signed driver is one that has a digital signature to certify that it works properly and hasn’t
been tampered with since its creation. Driver signing combats the sloppily written, systemdestabilizing, third-party drivers that plagued earlier Windows versions. The most stable systems run only signed drivers. When you try to install an unsigned driver, Windows displays
one of the following messages:
◆
Windows can’t verify the publisher of this driver software. This driver either lacks a
digital signature or has an unverified one. Install this driver only if you trust the source.
◆
This driver software has been altered. This driver might contain a virus or malicious
software. Don’t install it unless it came straight from the manufacturer’s CD or website.
◆
Windows cannot install this driver software. Windows maintains its own list of drivers that it refuses to install because they are known to cause stability problems. Go to the
manufacturer’s website, and look for an updated driver.
Driver Information (.inf ) Files
Hardware setup software can include an .inf file; a .sys file (the actual driver); and subordinate
library (.dll), help (.hlp), Control Panel (.cpl), and webpage (.htm) files. Some device drivers
are only .inf files. A monitor, for example, may be set up by a single .inf file listing the valid
resolutions, refresh rates, and other display settings.
323
Installing a New Device
When Windows searches for a driver, it’s actually looking for an information (.inf) file, which
lists the driver files to use and registry entries to make. Windows veterans may recognize
that .inf files and initialization (.ini) files are quite similar. But .inf settings are subtler than
.ini settings. Never edit an .inf file to try to solve your driver problems.
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Chapter 8
Setting up Bluetooth
Devices
Bluetooth is a wireless technology that provides short-range (about 30 feet) radio links
among desktops, laptops, PDAs, mobile phones,
printers, digital cameras, mice, keyboards, and
other Bluetooth-equipped devices. It aims
to eliminate cable clutter while simplifying
communications, sharing, and data synchronization between computers and devices.
Bluetooth doesn’t need a line-of-sight connection, so you can, say, listen to MP3 music
from the laptop in your briefcase on a
hands-free headset.
Bluetooth is an open standard (that is, it’s
not owned by Microsoft or anyone else); see
www.bluetooth.com for more information.
Setting up Bluetooth Devices
To set up a Bluetooth device:
1. Plug the Bluetooth adapter into a USB
port on your computer.
2. Turn on the device, and make it
discoverable (check the device’s instructions or the manufacturer’s website).
3. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware
and Sound > Bluetooth Devices.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm the
action.
4. Click Add and follow the onscreen
instructions.
The Add Bluetooth Device wizard finds
Bluetooth devices near you.
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Setting up Hardware
✔ Tips
■
To change the settings of a Bluetooth
device, click it in the Bluetooth Devices
window and then choose Properties.
■
To install a Bluetooth printer, see
“Installing a Printer” in Chapter 7.
■
To troubleshoot Bluetooth devices,
choose Start > Help and Support, type
troubleshoot bluetooth in the Search
box, and then press Enter. In the results
list, click Troubleshoot Problems with
Bluetooth Enabled Devices.
Setting up Bluetooth Devices
Bluetooth Passkeys
A passkey (or passcode) is a number that
associates your computer with a Bluetooth
device. For security, Bluetooth devices
(except mice and a few other exceptions)
make you use a passkey to ensure that
your computer is connecting to your
device and not someone else’s nearby.
Passkey exchange (or pairing) gets Windows
to positively identify the device that you
want to connect to. With some devices,
you do this by running the Add Bluetooth
Device wizard and typing your passkey
when prompted. Other devices use a different method; check the device’s instructions.
If a passkey is listed in the device’s documentation, use that one. If not, the Add
Bluetooth Device wizard can generate a
passkey for you or let you create your own
(up to 16 characters—the longer the better).
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Chapter 8
Managing Device Drivers
Device Manager is a powerful tool that lets
you inspect, manage, and troubleshoot drivers
for the hardware already installed on your
computer. It lists every device in or attached
to your system in an Explorer-like tree
(Figure 8.7).
To open Device Manager:
Managing Device Drivers
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > System > Device
Manager (on the left).
or
Press Windows logo key+Break and then
click Device Manager (on the left).
or
Choose Start, type device manager in
the Search box, and then press Enter.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type
devmgmt.msc and then press Enter.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
✔ Tips
■
Choose View > Show Hidden Devices to
display legacy (non–Plug and Play) devices.
■
To expand all branches of the Device
Manager tree, select the top-level (root)
entry and press * (in the numeric keypad).
326
Figure 8.7 Click a plus (+) symbol to expand a
category branch and list all installed devices that fit
into that category. Right-click a particular device for a
shortcut menu, or double-click it to show its
Properties dialog box.
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Setting up Hardware
Like any other file, a device driver has properties that determine its behavior.
To show a device’s properties:
◆
In Device Manager, right-click the device
and choose Properties (refer to Figure 8.7).
or
Double-click the device’s name.
The tabs of the Properties dialog box vary by
device. The standard ones are:
General shows the name, type, physical
location, and status of the device (Figure 8.8).
Advanced and Details (if they appear) contain device-specific properties.
Figure 8.8 The General tab tells you whether a device
is working properly.
Driver shows information about the currently
installed driver and has buttons that let you
manage it (Figure 8.9).
Resources lists the system hardware
resources (such as interrupts and memory
range) that the device uses.
■
Some devices install their own Control
Panel extensions, which let you view or
change additional properties.
Figure 8.9 The Driver tab tells you the driver’s
provider (which, unhelpfully, is its distributor, not its
manufacturer), its date and version, and whether it
has a signature.
327
Managing Device Drivers
✔ Tip
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Chapter 8
You can use Device Manager to install a
driver that’s newer than the current one.
But newer doesn’t always mean better or
more stable. If a driver isn’t broken, don’t
update it unless updating improves things.
To update a device driver:
1. In Device Manager, right-click the device
whose driver you want to update and
choose Update Driver Software (refer to
Figure 8.7).
2. Follow the onscreen instructions
(Figure 8.10).
✔ Tip
Managing Device Drivers
■
Some devices have proprietary update
programs that don’t support the Update
Driver Software wizard.
If a fresh driver causes more problems than
it solves (not uncommon for unsigned drivers
and prerelease drivers), the driver rollback
feature lets you uninstall and replace it with
the previous one.
To roll back a device driver:
◆
In Device Manager, right-click the device
whose driver you want to roll back and
choose Properties > Driver tab > Roll
Back Driver (refer to Figure 8.9).
✔ Tips
■
The rollback feature is available only if
the driver has been updated since
Windows was installed.
■
When you install a prerelease (beta)
driver, you’re helping the software developer. Don’t install a beta driver unless it
fixes a flaw that’s bugging you.
328
Figure 8.10 You can locate the new driver manually or
let the Update Driver Software wizard look for it on
your computer and on the internet (if you’re
connected).
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Setting up Hardware
You can remove a driver permanently and
erase all the configuration settings for its
device. Generally, you uninstall a driver to
reclaim system resources after you’ve removed
hardware from your PC. But you can remove
a troublesome driver completely, to scrap it
or to reinstall it from scratch.
To uninstall a device:
◆
In Device Manager, right-click the device
whose driver you want to uninstall and
choose Uninstall (refer to Figure 8.7).
✔ Tips
If you install and uninstall enough hardware on your system, you’re going to have
to deal with error messages and system
conflicts. When trouble comes, the first
step is to review Windows’ troubleshooting
articles: Choose Start > Help and Support,
type troubleshoot in the Search box, and
then press Enter. Scan the results list for
a topic that pertains to your problem.
You can uninstall a Plug and Play device’s
driver only if the device is plugged in;
otherwise, the driver isn’t in memory. To
reinstall the driver without unplugging,
in Device Manager, choose Action > Scan
for Hardware Changes.
■
If Device Manager displays icons for duplicate devices (such as two mice), uninstall
both of them; then restart your PC. If you
uninstall only one device, Windows
detects it again when you restart. Click
No if Windows asks you to restart after
you uninstall the first duplicate; restart
manually after removing the second.
No luck? Use Device Manager: Double-click
a device to show its Properties dialog box
and then click the General tab. If the device
isn’t working, the Device Status box (refer
to Figure 8.8) shows an error message and
code. For an explanation of the problem
and advice on how to fix it, go to http://
support.microsoft.com/?kbid=125174,
“Explanation of Error Codes Generated
by Device Manager.”
329
Managing Device Drivers
Troubleshooting Hardware
■
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Chapter 8
If you want to turn off a device without the
hassle of removing it, you can disable it.
Windows ignores a disabled device’s existence and releases the system resources that
it uses. You also can disable and enable
devices to resolve device conflicts. If two
devices are competing for the same resource,
disable one of them, restart, and then see
whether the other one starts working.
To disable a device:
◆
In Device Manager, right-click the device
that you want to disable and choose
Disable (refer to Figure 8.7).
A down arrow appears on the disabled
device’s icon (Figure 8.11).
✔ Tip
To enable a disabled device, repeat the
procedure. (The Disable command
becomes the Enable command.)
Managing Device Drivers
■
330
Figure 8.11 A down arrow means that a device isn’t
working, either because you’ve disabled it or because
it’s incompatible with Windows or your PC. Check the
Resources and General tabs of the Properties dialog
box for an explanation of the problem.
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9
Digital Photos
Windows comes with programs and features
that make it easy to import and organize
digital photos on your computer. Windows
Photo Gallery, new in Vista, copies photos
from your camera to your computer, and lets
you view, organize, find, retouch, print, and
email them. You also can watch and organize
videos in Photo Gallery. In Windows Explorer
(Chapter 5), you can treat photos like any
other files: delete, move, copy, rename, and tag
them. Icons and pop-up tips let you see a
miniature preview of a photo’s actual image
without having to open it.
Digital Photos
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Chapter 9
Importing Photos to Your
Computer
After connecting your camera to your computer, you can use the Importing Pictures and
Videos wizard to import and save pictures
on your computer.
Importing Photos to Your Computer
Most cameras come with a cable that plugs
into your computer’s USB port (see
“Connecting Devices to Your Computer” in
Chapter 8). Windows includes and installs
drivers for most camera models, sparing you
the chore of manual setup. If your camera is
too old (pre-2000) to understand Windows’
automated import features, buy an external
memory-card reader that plugs into a USB
port. Insert a memory card into the reader,
and Windows treats it like a floppy disk
(Figure 9.1).
Multislot readers can handle Secure
Digital (SD), SmartMedia, CompactFlash,
MultiMedia, Memory Stick, xD, and other
formats. Some computers—particularly
those sold as “multimedia” machines—have
built-in slots for memory cards.
332
Figure 9.1 If you connect a digital camera to your
computer, the top icon appears in the Computer
window (Start > Computer). If you connect a memorycard reader, the bottom icon appears.
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Digital Photos
✔ Tips
If you have an older camera, you might
need to install updated software provided by the camera’s manufacturer.
Check the manufacturer’s website for the
latest drivers and installation instructions.
(For general information about drivers,
see Chapter 8.)
■
If you use a card reader to import your
photos, you do so without draining your
camera’s battery, dealing with connection
cables, or installing additional software.
■
You can use a scanner to convert conventional photographs to digital pictures.
In Windows Photo Gallery (covered in
the next section), choose File > Import
from Camera or Scanner. To set up a
scanner, see “Scanning and Faxing” in
Chapter 7.
■
If you’re browsing in Internet Explorer
(Chapter 14) and see a photo that you
want to save to your computer, right-click
it and choose Save Target As. (Every
browser has a similar command.)
■
In the Computer window, you can doubleclick a camera or memory-card icon to
browse its files and folders, just as you
can for any other storage device. This lets
you see your photos before you import
them. For information about a camera,
right-click its icon and choose Properties
(Figure 9.2).
Figure 9.2 A camera’s properties include its model,
manufacturer, and remaining battery life.
333
Importing Photos to Your Computer
■
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Chapter 9
To import photos to your computer:
1. Make sure that the memory card is in
the camera, connect your camera to your
computer with the USB cable, and turn
on the camera; if the camera has a special connection mode, switch to it.
or
Remove the memory card from your
camera and slide it into the card reader.
Importing Photos to Your Computer
2. In the AutoPlay dialog box that appears,
click Import Pictures Using Windows
(Figure 9.3).
Windows finds the photos on your
memory card (Figure 9.4).
After Windows finds your photos, it
starts the Importing Pictures and Video
wizard, which asks whether you want to
assign a tag to the photos (Figure 9.5).
Figure 9.3 Your AutoPlay choices may differ depending
on the photo-management software—which may have
come with your camera—installed on your computer.
Check Always Do This for This Device if you don’t want
to see this dialog box every time you plug in your
camera.
3. To add a tag, type its name in the Tag
These Pictures (Optional) box.
If the photos don’t have any single thing
in common, leave the box blank. (You
always can add or change tags later; see
“Finding Photos” later in this chapter.)
Figure 9.4 This message appears while Windows
scans your camera for photos. It’s not actually
importing yet—just looking.
Figure 9.5 A tag is a word or a short phrase that
describes the group and makes your photos easier to
find and organize. See “To add tags to photos” later
in this chapter.
334
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Digital Photos
4. (Optional.) Click Options if you want to
change the import settings; then click
OK (Figure 9.6).
5. Click Import.
A progress window appears (Figure 9.7).
After your photos are imported,
Windows Photo Gallery opens and displays them (Figure 9.8).
✔ Tips
By default, Windows saves the imported
photos in your Pictures folder (Start >
Pictures), in a subfolder named for the
current date and the tag you assigned
them (if any). Each picture is given a filename that includes the tag and a serial
number—for example, Maui 001.jpg,
Maui 002.jpg, and so on.
■
Unlike earlier versions of Windows, Vista
doesn’t let you choose which photos to
import. Instead, Vista detects your newest
photos automatically and doesn’t import
duplicates. If you’ve already imported all
the photos on your camera, Windows
displays Figure 9.9 and stops; otherwise,
it imports only the subset of photos that
isn’t already on your computer. To review
and delete imported photos, use Windows
Photo Gallery.
Figure 9.6 You can set the default import options here
or in Windows Photo Gallery (see the next section).
Figure 9.7 As Windows imports your photos, you can
check Erase After Importing if you want to delete the
photos from your memory card after importing
finishes, clearing space on the card for new photos.
You can click Cancel to stop copying at any time.
Figure 9.8 Windows Photo Gallery opens automatically
to display your photos after you import them.
Figure 9.9 Windows won’t import copies of photos
that you’ve already imported.
335
Importing Photos to Your Computer
■
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Chapter 9
If the AutoPlay dialog box (refer to Figure
9.2) doesn’t appear, AutoPlay might be
turned off. Instead, you can import your
photos by using Windows Photo Gallery, or
you can change the AutoPlay options.
To import photos by using Windows
Photo Gallery:
1. Choose Start > All Programs > Windows
Photo Gallery.
or
Choose Start, type photo gallery in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
2. Click File (on the toolbar) > Import from
Camera or Scanner.
3. In the Import Pictures and Videos dialog
box (Figure 9.10), choose your camera
in the list and click Import.
The Importing Pictures and Videos
wizard starts (refer to Figure 9.5).
Importing Photos to Your Computer
4. Follow the onscreen instructions.
336
Figure 9.10 If your camera or memory card isn’t listed,
click Refresh.
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Digital Photos
To configure AutoPlay:
Figure 9.11 AutoPlay determines what happens when
you connect your camera to your computer.
Figure 9.12 This wizard helps you install drivers for
older cameras.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Hardware and Sound > AutoPlay.
or
Choose Start, type autoplay in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
2. Scroll to the entry for your camera and
choose an action from the drop-down
list (Figure 9.11):
To import photos automatically without
being prompted, choose Import Pictures
Using Windows.
To open a folder window showing the
photos on the camera’s memory card
(before importing), choose Open Device
to View Files Using Windows Explorer.
To suppress the AutoPlay dialog box,
choose Take No Action.
To choose an action each time you plug
in the camera, choose Ask Me Every Time.
✔ Tips
■
You also can open the AutoPlay window
by clicking the AutoPlay link in Figure 9.3
or Figure 9.6.
■
If Windows doesn’t recognize your camera,
use the Scanner and Camera Installation
wizard to install its drivers. Make sure
that your camera is connected and
turned on; then choose Start > Control
Panel > Hardware and Sound > Scanners
and Cameras. Click Refresh if your camera
isn’t in the list. If it still isn’t listed, click
Add Device, and follow the onscreen
instructions (Figure 9.12). If a security
prompt appears, type an administrator
password or confirm the action.
337
Importing Photos to Your Computer
3. Click Save.
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Chapter 9
Getting Started with
Windows Photo Gallery
You can use Windows Photo Gallery to view,
organize, find, retouch, print, and email your
photos. It opens automatically after you
import a batch of photos, but you can open
it at any time.
To open Photo Gallery:
◆
Choose Start > All Programs > Windows
Photo Gallery (Figure 9.13).
or
Choose Start, type photo gallery in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
or
Double-click an associated image file in
Windows Explorer or on the desktop.
✔ Tip
Photo Gallery replaces Windows XP’s
Picture and Fax Viewer.
Getting Started with Photo Gallery
■
Figure 9.13 By default,
Photo Gallery shows all
the photos and videos in
your Pictures folder. In
general, use Photo
Gallery to view, tag, find,
print, and email photos;
use the Pictures folder to
organize your photo
folders and files.
Changes made in one
appear in the other.
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Digital Photos
To change the default options for
Photo Gallery:
1. In Photo Gallery, choose File (on the
toolbar) > Options.
2. Click the General tab (Figure 9.14),
and set the following options:
Turn on or off the large previews that
appear you hover your mouse pointer
over a photo (Figure 9.15).
Choose how often to move originals to
the Recycle Bin.
Choose whether Windows checks periodically for updates to Photo Gallery, or
click Check for Updates to check now.
continues on next page
Figure 9.14 The Original Pictures setting applies to
photos that you edit by using the Fix command (see
“Touching up Photos” later in this chapter). If you
trash the original, you can’t undo your changes and
are stuck with the (possibly unsatisfactory) copy. Set
this option to Never or to a long period (6 months or
1 year) unless you’re short on disk space.
Getting Started with Photo Gallery
Figure 9.15 To see only the descriptive text in the
pop-up tip, without the bulky preview photo, uncheck
Show Picture and Video Previews in Tooltips.
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Chapter 9
3. Click the Import tab (Figure 9.16), and
set the following options:
In the Settings For drop-down list, specify whether the options apply to cameras,
CDs and DVDs, or scanners.
Click Browse if you want Windows to put
imported photos somewhere other than
your Pictures folder. (Usually, you don’t,
for the reasons given later in this section.)
Choose the names that Windows gives
the target folder and each photo file. The
tag is the text that you assigned in the
Importing Pictures and Video wizard
(refer to Figure 9.5).
Check or uncheck the other options as
desired.
To revert to the factory-installed options,
click Restore Defaults.
Figure 9.16 You can set import options for cameras,
CDs and DVDs, and scanners independently.
4. Click OK.
Getting Started with Photo Gallery
Image File Types
Photo Gallery can show photos (and videos) with these file types: BMP, JPEG, JFIF, TIFF, PNG,
WDP, ASF, AVI, MPEG, and WMV. The most common file types for photos are JPEG and
TIFF (you’ll rarely need other types).
JPEG (.jpg/.jpeg) uses compression to create high-quality photos with small file sizes, so
they’re great for email and web display. When you save a JPEG file in an image-editing program, you can choose the compression level, which trades off file size for image quality. Don’t
use too high a level; if you do, the image quality will be poor.
TIFF (.tif) files, unlike JPEGs, suffer no loss of quality when you save, so they have enough
resolution for, say, printing 8 ✕ 10 enlargements. Unfortunately, they’re sometimes too big for
email, and web browsers won’t display them.
To convert a photo to a different type, open it in Paint (Start > All Programs > Accessories >
Paint), choose File > Save As, and then select a type from the Save As Type drop-down list.
Better cameras can save photos in RAW format. RAW files are uncompressed, very large, and
professional quality. Each camera manufacturer uses a unique and proprietary RAW file type.
(Nikon RAW files end with .nef, for example, and Canon uses .crw or .cr2.) Photo Gallery may
be able to display RAW photos, depending on what software updates are installed. RAW editing usually is done in Adobe Photoshop via the Camera Raw plug-in. Some cameras can save
RAW files in Digital Negative (.dng) format, a royalty-free and publicly available format
designed by Adobe.
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The default storage location for photos (and
videos) is your Pictures folder and its subfolders. You can store your them elsewhere,
but Pictures is easy to open from the Start
menu and Explorer’s Navigation pane. It’s
also where Photo Gallery and most wizards
and photo-editing programs assume you
will open and save your photos.
✔ Tip
■
If Pictures doesn’t appear in your Start
menu, right-click Start, choose
Properties > Customize, and then
choose Display As Link (below Pictures).
To open the Pictures folder:
◆
Choose Start > Pictures (Figure 9.17).
or
Choose Start, type pictures in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
or
In any folder window, click Pictures in
the Navigation pane.
Getting Started with Photo Gallery
Figure 9.17 Windows Photo Gallery and the Pictures folder can do some of the same things. To see a
larger view of a picture, click the picture and then click Preview (on the toolbar). You can use other
toolbar buttons to print photos, see a slide show, and send photos in email.
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Chapter 9
Photo Gallery automatically shows all the
photos (and videos) in your Pictures folder,
but you can add and remove other folders
where you store photos. You also can add individual photos without adding an entire folder.
To add a folder to Photo Gallery:
1. In Photo Gallery, choose File (on the
toolbar) > Add Folder to Gallery.
2. Click the folder containing the photos
that you want to add; then click OK
(Figure 9.18).
The folder appears in the Navigation
pane, below Folders.
Getting Started with Photo Gallery
✔ Tips
■
If you double-click
a photo file in Windows
Explorer, you can add its containing
folder to Photo Gallery by clicking Add
Folder to Gallery on the toolbar of the
preview window.
■
Don’t add a top-level or system folder to
Photo Gallery. Adding a local disk from
the Computer window, for example,
makes Photo Gallery look at the entire
hard disk and run slowly.
342
Figure 9.18 Adding a folder to Photo Gallery is
convenient if you store some of your photos
somewhere other than Pictures.
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Digital Photos
To add a single photo to Photo Gallery:
1. Open the folder containing the photo
that you want to add to Photo Gallery.
2. Open Windows Photo Gallery.
3. Drag the photo from the folder to the
Photo Gallery window.
Windows copies the photo to your
Pictures folder and adds it to the gallery.
✔ Tip
■
Figure 9.19 You can’t remove a subfolder without
removing its top-level folder as well. Here, for
example, removing Top-Level Folder also removes its
three subfolders. But you can’t remove Subfolder 1, 2,
or 3 individually without removing all the other
subfolders and Top-Level Folder.
If you add a file other than a photo or
video, it’s copied to Pictures but not displayed in Photo Gallery.
Removing a folder from Photo Gallery doesn’t
delete that folder—just stops Photo Gallery
from displaying it. (The folder and its files
remain intact on disk.) You can remove
folders that you have added but not Photo
Gallery’s default folders. You can’t remove
individual photos, either. You can delete
them, however.
To remove a folder from Photo
Gallery:
◆
In Photo Gallery, in the Navigation pane,
right-click the folder that you want to
remove and choose Remove from Gallery
(Figure 9.19).
343
Getting Started with Photo Gallery
Deleting a photo or folder in Photo Gallery is
the same as deleting it in Windows Explorer:
It’s moved to the Recycle Bin. To delete a photo
or folder, right-click it and choose Delete.
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Chapter 9
Viewing Photos
Windows Photo Gallery is the easiest way to
browse and view photos on your computer.
By default, Photo Gallery displays all the
photos and videos in your Pictures folder
unless you’ve added other folders or photos
(see “Getting Started with Windows Photo
Gallery” earlier in this chapter).
Figure 9.20 To see all photos or all videos,
but not both, click either Pictures or Videos.
To see all photos:
◆
In the Navigation pane, click All Pictures
and Videos (Figure 9.20).
✔ Tip
■
To see only photos that you’ve imported
in the past 30 days, click Recently
Imported in Figure 9.20.
To see the photos in a particular
folder:
◆
Figure 9.21 Photo Gallery shows photos in the
selected folder and all its subfolders.
In the Navigation pane, expand Folders
and click the desired folder (Figure 9.21).
To see a larger preview of a photo
thumbnail:
Viewing Photos
◆
For a medium preview, hover the mouse
pointer over a thumbnail (refer to
Figure 9.15).
or
For a large preview, double-click a
thumbnail (or press Enter if the thumbnail is selected) (Figure 9.22).
When you’re zoomed in, you can
drag any part of the photo to
move it around.
344
Figure 9.22 To return to thumbnail view, click Back to
Gallery (on the toolbar) or press Backspace.
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Digital Photos
✔ Tips
Figure 9.23 Right-clicking a photo shows familiar file
commands plus some photo-specific ones. Right-click
an empty area to change the details displayed, group
or sort photos, or show a table of contents for fast
navigation.
A quick way to change the view is
to click the menu button to the
left of the Search box (below the toolbar).
■
For managing photo files, Photo Gallery
has a lot in common with Windows
Explorer (Chapter 5). You can click to
select individual photos, for example, or
Ctrl+click or Shift+click to make multiple selections. Many of the same mouse
maneuvers and keyboard shortcuts apply
(see “Using Keyboard Shortcuts” later in
this chapter). You can right-click a selection or an empty area to display a shortcut
menu (Figure 9.23).
■
To use a photo as your desktop background, right-click it and choose Set As
Desktop Background (refer to Figure 9.23).
■
To use your photos as a screen saver, see
“Setting the Screen Saver” in Chapter 4.
■
At the top of every group of photos is a
horizontal separator that you can click to
select or deselect all the photos in the
group. Click the small arrow at the right
end of the separator to expand or collapse
the group.
continues on next page
345
Viewing Photos
■
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■
Figure 9.24 describes the controls at the
bottom of the Photo Gallery window.
When you start a slide show, your screen
fills with a self-advancing sequence of
photos and video. Before starting the
show, select the items that you want to
see. (If nothing is selected, the show
includes all items in the current view.)
The slide-show controls appear when
you move your mouse. You also can use
the left- and right-arrow keys to move
backward and forward, or click the photo
itself to advance. To stop the show, click
Exit or press Esc.
Viewing Photos
■
To burn photos to a data disc,
select them and then click
Burn > Data Disc (on the toolbar). For
details, see “Burning CDs and DVDs” in
Chapter 5.
Change the size of the thumbnails (+ or – key)
Reset the thumbnails to their default
size (Ctrl+0)
Select the previous photo
(left arrow)
Play slide show (F11)
Select the next photo
(right arrow)
Rotate the selected photo(s)
90 degrees counterclockwise
(Ctrl+comma)
Rotate the selected photo(s)
90 degrees clockwise (Ctrl+period)
Delete the selected photo(s) (Delete)
Figure 9.24 If you forget what a button does, hover
your mouse pointer over it for a pop-up tip.
Other Viewers
Windows Photo Gallery is quick and
convenient, but if you manage a lot of
photos, look into Picasa (free; http://
picasa.google.com), IrfanView (free;
www.irfanview.com), ACDSee Photo
Manager ($40 U.S.; www.acdsee.com),
ThumbsPlus ($50 U.S.; www.cerious.com),
or FlipAlbum ($40 U.S.; www.flipalbum.com).
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Finding Photos
If you’ve accumulated thousands of photos
on your computer, you can use the search
and filtering tools in Windows Photo Gallery
to find them individually or in groups with
something in common. You can find photos
by using the information associated with
them, including the file and folder names set
during import, tags and other properties
that you or Windows assign, and the dates
photos were taken.
To see information about photos:
◆
Click Info (on the toolbar), or
press Ctrl+I or Alt+I.
The Info pane appears on the right side
of the window (Figure 9.25).
To find photos by date
◆
✔ Tip
■
To change the date photos were taken,
select one or more photos, and then
click the date and time fields in the Info
pane (refer to Figure 9.25). You also can
right-click a photo or selection and
choose Change Time Taken.
Figure 9.26 Your camera labels photos
with the date they were taken. The photos
taken during the selected period appear
in Photo Gallery.
347
Finding Photos
Figure 9.25 The Info pane shows a preview,
filename, date taken, tags, and other
information about the selected photo(s).
To close the pane, click the close button
in the top-right corner.
In the Navigation pane, expand Date
Taken, and click a year, month, or day
(Figure 9.26).
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Finding photos is easier if you apply tags
and ratings to them. Later, you can use the
Navigation pane or the Search box to filter
the photos by tags or ratings.
Tags are meaningful words and phrases that
describe your photos. You may want to create
separate tags to represent the location, people,
or event represented by each photo.
You had your first chance to apply tags when
you imported the photos (refer to Figure 9.5),
but you can add more at any time. You can
add tags to a single photo or to a bunch of
them at the same time. To avoid backlogs,
get into the habit of tagging photos immediately after you import them.
To add tags to photos:
1. Select the photos that you want to tag.
You can tag several photos at the same
time. To select adjacent items, click the
first item; then Shift+click the last item.
To select nonadjacent items, Ctrl+click
each item.
Finding Photos
2. In the Info pane, click Add Tags (refer to
Figure 9.25).
3. Type the tag in the box and press Enter.
The tag is added to all the selected photos.
You can add as many tags as you want.
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Digital Photos
✔ Tips
To delete a tag, right-click it in the Info
pane and choose Remove Tag.
■
In the Info pane, you also can add a
caption (click Add Caption) and give a
one- to five-star rating (click a star). To
find photos by rating, expand Ratings in
the Navigation pane and click a rating.
Ctrl+click for multiple ratings.
■
After you add a tag to a picture, the tag
will be displayed in the Navigation pane
(below Tags). To add an existing tag to
photos without retyping, drag the photos
to the tag in the Navigation pane
(Figure 9.27).
■
You can reorganize a long list of tags by
nesting them in related groups. In the
Navigation pane, drag a tag that you
want to be nested, and drop it on the tag
that you want to make the top-level tag
(Figure 9.28).
■
To create a nested tag when typing tags
in the Info pane, use a slash (/). Type
Animals/Mammals to add the Mammals
tag nested below the Animals tag, for
example. If the Animals tag doesn’t
already exist, it’s created automatically.
■
For general information about tagging,
see “Tagging Files” in Chapter 5.
Figure 9.27 To add an existing tag to a picture, drag
one or more pictures to the tag.
Figure 9.28 Nested tags work like
folders with subfolders. You can expand
and collapse a top-level tag to show or
hide its subtags. Click a tag to see all
the photos that are tagged with both
that tag and any of its nested tags.
349
Finding Photos
■
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Chapter 9
To find photos by filename, tag,
or caption:
◆
Click or tab to the Search
box (or press Ctrl+E) and type text. You
can type entire words or just the first
few letters.
As you type, the photos are filtered to
match your text.
Finding Photos
✔ Tips
■
To cancel the search, press Esc, backspace over the search text, or click the
close button ( ). The window goes back
to its unfiltered state.
■
You can type a file extension—such as
.jpg, .tif, or .wmv—to limit the results to
certain file formats,
■
If your photos have obscure filenames,
you can rename them all at the same
time. Select the photos that you want to
rename, right-click the photos, and then
choose Rename. In the Info pane, type a
new name in the name box and press
Enter. Each photo is given the new name
with a different serial number, like this:
Paris 2007 (1).jpg, Paris 2007 (2).jpg,
and so on.
■
For general information about searching,
see “Searching for Files and Folders” in
Chapter 5.
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Touching up Photos
Windows Photo Gallery includes a few tools
to touch up your photos.
To touch up a photo:
1. Select the photo that you want to touch up.
2.
3. Use the controls to make the following
changes:
Auto Adjust. Automatically optimize
the photo’s brightness, contrast, and
color.
Adjust Exposure. Manually adjust
brightness and contrast.
Adjust Color. Manually adjust color
temperature, tint, and saturation.
Crop Picture. Trim the photo to remove
distracting elements, focus on one part
of the scene, or change its proportions.
Fix Red Eye. Remove the appearance of
red eye caused by the flash reflecting off
the subject’s eyes.
4. To return to thumbnail view, click Back
to Gallery (on the toolbar) or press
Backspace.
✔ Tip
■
You can edit photos in Paint or a thirdparty image-editing program; see “Using
the Free Utility Programs” in Chapter 6.
351
Touching up Photos
Figure 9.29 Click a button in the Fix
pane to expand that section and make
adjustments. To compare before-andafter changes, use the Undo and Redo
buttons. To cancel all changes, click the
triangle on the Undo button and choose
Revert to Original (or press Ctrl+R).
Photo Gallery keeps the originals for
the period set in its Options dialog box
(refer to Figure 9.14).
Click Fix (on the toolbar), or
press Ctrl+F or Alt+X.
The photo enlarges, and the Fix pane
appears on the right side of the window
(Figure 9.29).
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Chapter 9
Printing Photos
If you have an inkjet or dye-sublimation
printer, you can use Windows Photo Gallery
to print high-quality color photos on special
paper. (To install a printer, see Chapter 7.)
To print photos:
1. Select the photos that you want to print.
Click Print > Print (on the
toolbar) or press Ctrl+P.
2.
3. In the Print Pictures dialog box, select
the printer, paper size, print quality, print
style, number of copies to print, and
other options (Figure 9.30).
4. Click Print to start printing.
Printing Photos
✔ Tips
■
You also can print photos from the
Pictures folder (choose Start > Pictures).
■
If you have a problem or questions
about the print settings, click the Help
button ( ) in the top-right section of
the Print Pictures dialog box.
■
Dedicated photo printers usually have
built-in memory-card readers and small
liquid-crystal display (LCD) screens so
that you can print photos without using
your computer.
352
Figure 9.30 The aspect ratio of a digital photo usually
doesn’t match the printed page, so your photos may
have blank borders to ensure that they print in their
entirety. Check Fit Picture to Frame to print without
any borders (which may cut off parts of the photos).
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Digital Photos
Ordering Prints Online
Windows Photo Gallery walks you through
getting digital photos printed via the internet. You select the photos to be uploaded
(copied) to an online photo processor and
then enter credit-card and shipping information. Your prints arrive by postal mail in
about a week.
To order prints online:
1. Select the photos that you want to order.
Click Print > Order Prints (on
the toolbar) or press Alt+P, O.
2.
Figure 9.31 Printing companies that have made a deal
with Microsoft are listed on this page. Companies
may come and go over time.
3. On the Select a Printing Company page,
select the printing company that you
want to use and click Send Pictures
(Figure 9.31).
4. Follow the onscreen instructions to
complete your order.
The ordering pages vary by print company.
✔ Tips
Your selected photos are sent to the
printing company over the internet. If the
photos reside on a camera, CD, USB flash
drive, or an external device, don’t disconnect or remove it from your computer
until the upload completes.
■
You also can take your camera’s memory
card to a camera store, pharmacy, retailer,
or other store that offers digital-photo
printing services. Some stores have selfserve photo kiosks.
353
Ordering Prints Online
■
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Chapter 9
Emailing Photos
A group of photos to be printed can be too
large for emailing. You may have trouble
sending photos if your (or your recipient’s)
ISP or mail service bounces attachments
larger than 1 or 2 MB. Even if the transfer is
successful, you may overload your recipients’
inboxes and annoy them. Windows Photo
Gallery solves this problem with imageshrinking tools.
Figure 9.32 Making your photos smaller for email
doesn’t affect the size or quality of the originals; it
simply resizes the email versions.
To email photos:
1. Select the photos that you want to send.
Click E-mail (on the toolbar)
or press Alt+E.
2.
3. In the Attach Files dialog box, choose a
size from the Picture Size drop-down list
(Figure 9.32).
4. Click Attach.
5. Finish composing the email message and
send it (Figure 9.33).
Emailing Photos
✔ Tips
■
If you want to compress photos without
emailing them, select the icons in the
Attach header of the email message (refer
to Figure 9.33) and drag them to the desktop or to any folder other than Pictures.
Then close the email without saving.
■
Another way to share photos is to upload
(copy) them to a photo-sharing website.
Anyone you invite can view the photos
on the site. Most sites are free, though
some will delete your photos if you don’t
buy prints or gifts by a certain time.
Some popular sites are www.flickr.com,
www.smugmug.com, www.shutterfly.com,
and http://photos.yahoo.com.
354
Figure 9.33 Windows opens a new email message in
your preferred email program and attaches your
photos to the message.
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Using Keyboard Shortcuts
Table 9.1 lists the keyboard shortcuts for
Windows Photo Gallery. Table 9.2 lists
keyboard shortcuts for watching videos in
Photo Gallery.
Table 9.2
Photo Gallery Keyboard Shortcuts
Photo Gallery Video Keyboard Shortcuts
To
Press
To
Press
Open the Fix pane
Print the selected picture
View the selected picture at a larger size
Open the Info pane
Rotate the selected photo(s)
90 degrees clockwise
Rotate the selected photo(s)
90 degrees counterclockwise
Rename the selected item
Search for an item
Go back
Go forward
Make thumbnails bigger
Make thumbnails smaller
Resize to best fit
Select the previous or next item or row
Go to the previous screen
Go to the next screen
Select the first item
Select the last item
Move the selected item(s) to the
Recycle Bin
Delete the selected item(s) permanently
Collapse a node (in Navigation pane)
Expand node (in Navigation pane)
Ctrl+F
Ctrl+P
Enter
Ctrl+I
Ctrl+period (.)
Move back one frame
Pause the playback
Move forward one frame
Set the start trim point
Set the end trim point
Split a clip
Stop and rewind back to the start
trim point
Advance to the next frame
Go back to the previous frame
Stop and rewind playback
Play from the current location
Move the start trim point
Move to the end trim point
Seek to nearest split point before
the current location
Seek to nearest split point after
the current location
J
K
L
I
O
M
Home
Ctrl+comma (,)
F2
Ctrl+E
Alt+Left arrow
Alt+Right arrow
Plus key (+)
Minus key (–)
Ctrl+B
Arrow keys
Page Up
Page Down
Home
End
Delete
Alt+Right arrow
Alt+Left arrow
Ctrl+K
Ctrl+P
Home
End
Page Up
Page Down
Shift+Delete
Left arrow
Right arrow
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Using Keyboard Shortcuts
Table 9.1
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10
Windows
Media Player
Windows Media Player:
Plays most of your digital media, including music, videos, CDs, and DVDs
◆
Acts like a digital jukebox that helps you
find and organize digital media files
◆
Plays internet radio stations
◆
Rips tracks from audio CDs to your
hard drive
◆
Burns music CDs
◆
Downloads songs to portable music
players
◆
Lets you buy music and other media
online
Windows Media Center
Windows Media Center (Start > All
Programs > Windows Media Center), not
covered in this book and not available
in Vista business editions, is a homeentertainment hub that handles a variety
of multimedia content. It can do many
of the same things as Windows Media
Player, plus it lets you watch live or
recorded TV, capture HDTV from cable
or satellite TV broadcasts, play on-demand
games, listen to FM radio stations, and
play digital media anywhere in your home
(by using an extender or Xbox 360). It’s
designed to be viewed on a big screen from
a distance of up to 10 feet and controlled
by a remote control.
Windows Media Player
◆
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Chapter 10
Getting Started with
Media Player
Media Player is shown in Figure 10.1. You
can hover your mouse pointer over any control for a pop-up tip. The interior section
changes depending on the tab you’ve
selected; Figure 10.1 shows the Library tab.
Tabs (see Table 10.1)
Getting Started with Media Player
Context-sensitive
toolbar
What’s playing
Elapsed time
Seek slider
Switch to
compact mode
View full
screen
Playback controls
Play/Pause (Ctrl+P or spacebar)
Shuffle (Ctrl+H)
Repeat (Ctrl+T)
Stop (Ctrl+S)
Previous (Ctrl+B)
Mute (F7)
Next (Ctrl+F)
Figure 10.1 Windows Media Player controls.
358
Volume slider
(F8 for quieter,
F9 for louder)
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Windows Media Player
Table 10.1
To start Media Player:
Media Player Tabs
◆
Click
To
Now Playing
View a video, visualization, song list, or
information about whatever is playing.
Organize media files by using a
Explorer-like interface or compile your
media files into sets of favorites
(playlists).
Copy (rip) songs from a music CD to
your hard drive.
Create (burn) your own music CDs from
the songs stored on your hard drive.
Transfer music and videos to a portable
music or video player.
Visit online stores to browse or buy
music, video, radio, audiobooks, and
other content.
Library
Rip
Burn
Sync
Online Stores
Choose Start > All Programs >
Windows Media Player.
or
Click the Media Player icon ( ) on
the Quick Launch toolbar, located
on the taskbar.
or
Double-click any associated media file.
or
Choose Start, type media player in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type
wmplayer and press Enter.
✔ Tips
Naturally, you need speakers or headphones
to hear anything. If your computer doesn’t
have built-in sound support (look for a
row of small circular ports), you can buy
a sound card (cheap and easy to install).
A pricier card plays surround sound and
high-definition (HDCD) content. If you’re
buying speakers, get ones that come with
a subwoofer.
■
Click the tabs to show the player’s main
features. See Table 10.1 for a summary
and later sections for details. As you
switch between tabs and views, you can
click the Back (Alt+Left arrow) and
Forward (Alt+Right arrow) buttons (left
of the tabs) to retrace your steps.
■
To see or set the file types that the player
opens by default, choose Start > Control
Panel > Programs > Default Programs >
Set Your Default Programs > Windows
Media Player > Choose Defaults for This
Program (Figure 10.2). Check the box
next to a file type to make Media Player
its default player or uncheck it to use
another player.
359
Getting Started with Media Player
Figure 10.2 Double-clicking a file with any of the
checked extensions opens Media Player. To change a
file-type association, see “Associating Documents
with Programs” in Chapter 6.
■
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Chapter 10
To use Media Player menus:
◆
To use a tab menu, click the down arrow
on the bottom portion of a tab. You
may have to hover the mouse pointer
over a tab to make its arrow appear
(Figure 10.3, top).
or
To show the classic menus as a shortcut
menu, right-click an empty area near the
tabs or playback controls (or press Alt)
(Figure 10.3, bottom).
or
To toggle the classic menu bar on and
off, press Ctrl+M.
✔ Tips
The playback controls shown in Figure 10.1
also are available in the Play menu.
■
Media Player is complex enough to
get its own troubleshooting website.
Choose Help > Troubleshooting Online.
You also can use this menu to check for
player updates.
Getting Started with Media Player
■
Figure 10.3 Menus keep out of the way until you
summon them. The tab menus (top), new in Vista, are
preferred, but you can use the classic menus (bottom)
at any time.
QuickTime and Real
Media Player doesn’t play a few of the
most popular media formats: QuickTime
(.mov and .qt) and RealMedia (.ra, .rm, .rv,
.ram, and .rmvb). To play these files, you
can download free players from Apple
(www.apple.com/quicktime) and Real
(www.real.com). I don’t like either player
for privacy reasons. Instead, search the
web for “QuickTime Alternative” and “Real
Alternative” (include the quotes) for players that are both free and nuisance free.
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Playing Music CDs
Playing a music CD on your computer isn’t
too different from playing it on a conventional CD player. You can play music while
you’re working with other programs.
You can set your CD (or DVD) drive’s
AutoPlay options to make Windows detect
various discs when you insert them.
To play a music CD:
1. Insert a music CD into your computer’s
CD drive.
Figure 10.4 Normally, you’ll want to play the music
CD. You also can rip tracks to your hard drive (covered
later) or open a standard folder window with an icon
for each song.
2. If Media Player is open already, the CD
starts playing automatically.
or
If the AutoPlay dialog box appears
(Figure 10.4), select Play Audio CD.
3. (Optional) Click the Now Playing tab to
show artist, title, and track information.
Playing Music CDs
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✔ Tips
■
Playing Music CDs
■
Use the playback controls to pause, play,
skip or repeat tracks, and so on (refer to
Figure 10.1). You can drag the Seek slider
to move to a different place within the
item that’s playing.
If the player is minimized, you can use
the player toolbar to perform basic playback functions. To turn on the toolbar,
right-click an empty area of the taskbar
and choose Toolbars > Windows Media
Player (Figure 10.5).
■
Media Player plays through the Now
Playing playlist (Figure 10.6) in order,
once, unless you click Shuffle ( or
Ctrl+H) to randomize the tracks or Repeat
( or Ctrl+T) to play them forever. If the
playlist is hidden, choose Now Playing
tab menu > Show List Pane.
■
If your CD doesn’t play automatically—
or if something else plays—choose the
drive that contains the disc from the Now
Playing tab menu (refer to Figure 10.3, top).
■
To eject a CD, choose Play > Eject or
press Ctrl+J. You also can use this command to open and close the CD tray.
If the library’s Navigation pane is visible,
right-click the disc and choose Eject.
(Ctrl+J won’t work if you have two or
more CD or DVD drives.)
■
If the music skips too much (assuming
that your CD is clean and unscratched),
try switching to analog playback: Choose
Now Playing tab menu > More Options >
Devices tab; select your CD drive; click
Properties; and then choose Analog (below
Playback). If that doesn’t work, go back
to Digital.
362
Hide/show visualizations
Show what’s
playing and Seek
slider
Mute
Volume slider
Restore Media Player
Figure 10.5 When you’ve turned on the toolbar and
minimized Media Player, the playback controls appear
in the taskbar.
Figure 10.6 The playlist lists the CD’s
track names and durations. Point to a
track for pop-up information, or rightclick a track for properties and related
commands. The drop-down list at the
top (labeled with the album name) lets
you change the playlist. Point to the
album art for album information.
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Windows Media Player
To configure AutoPlay:
Figure 10.7 You can specify the action that Windows
takes when you insert a specific type of disc, thus
suppressing dialog boxes like Figure 10.4. Select Ask
Me Every Time if you don’t want Windows to do the
same thing each time. Note that you also can set your
DVD Movie action while you’re here.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel >
Hardware and Sound > AutoPlay.
or
Choose Start, type autoplay in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
or
Click the AutoPlay link in the AutoPlay
dialog box (refer to Figure 10.4).
2. Scroll to an Audio CD entry and choose
an action from the drop-down list
(Figure 10.7).
3. Click Save.
Playing Music CDs
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Chapter 10
Customizing the Now
Playing Tab
The Now Playing tab has several panes that
you can use to view visualizations, video,
album art, audio and video controls, and the
current playlist. Figure 10.8 shows these
panes, and Table 10.2 describes them.
Customizing the Now Playing Tab
Visualization pane
Next
enhancement
Previous
enhancement
Enhancements pane
Figure 10.8 Now Playing panes and controls.
364
List menu
List pane
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Windows Media Player
Table 10.2
To show Now Playing:
Now Playing Panes
◆
Pa n e
Description
Visualization
Displays the current video or visualization that you’re playing. If you’re
playing a video or DVD, rather than
music, this pane appears automatically. This pane always appears when
the Now Playing tab is active.
Contains several controls that you
can use to adjust graphic-equalizer
levels, video settings, audio effects,
play speed, and the color of Media
Player. You also can use this pane to
share a streaming media clip with a
friend. Figure 10.8 shows the graphic
equalizer.
Displays the current playlist. For a CD,
this pane displays the track names
and durations. For a DVD, it displays
the title and chapter names.
To show or hide the Now Playing panes:
Enhancements
List
◆
Click the Now Playing tab.
To toggle the Enhancements pane,
choose Now Playing tab menu >
Enhancements > Show Enhancements.
or
To toggle the List pane, choose Now
Playing tab menu > Show List Pane.
✔ Tips
■
Right-click any pane to show its shortcut
menu. In the List pane, right-click a
specific item in the playlist.
■
To resize panes, drag the horizontal or
vertical lines that separate them. The
cursor becomes a double-headed arrow
when you hover it over a separator line.
■
If you’re connected to the internet,
Media Player retrieves CD information
and album art automatically. Press F5 to
refresh the information in the panes.
Customizing the Now Playing Tab
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Chapter 10
Viewing Visualizations
Media Player lets you “see” music with
visualizations—splashes of color and shape
that follow the music’s beat. The Visualization
pane displays the current visualization (refer
to Figure 10.8 to see a visualization).
To view a visualization:
1. Play a song.
2. Click the Now Playing tab.
3. Choose Now Playing tab menu >
Visualizations.
or
Right-click the Visualization pane.
Figure 10.9 Media Player comes with scores of
preinstalled visualizations, but you can download
more from the internet: Choose Now Playing tab
menu > Visualizations > Download Visualizations.
Viewing Visualizations
4. Choose a visualization from the submenu
or shortcut menu (Figure 10.9):
Info Center View shows album and
track details, gleaned from the internet.
No Visualization blanks the
Visualization pane.
Album Art shows the song’s album cover.
Full Screen fills your screen with a
current visualization.
The other commands choose abstract
visualizations.
✔ Tips
■
For full-screen visualizations, click Full
Screen ( ), press Alt+Enter, or doubleclick the visualization. To return to normal,
press Esc or repeat any of the full-screen
shortcuts.
■
To set options for or remove visualizations, choose Now Playing tab menu >
Visualizations > Options > Plug-Ins tab >
Visualization (in the Category list)
(Figure 10.10).
366
Figure 10.10 Choose a visualization in the right list and
click Properties to set its options (if it has any). Click
Remove to delete it. You can delete only visualizations
that you’ve downloaded, not preinstalled ones.
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Windows Media Player
Changing Player
Appearance with Skins
You can change Media Player’s appearance
by applying design schemes called skins.
Each skin offers the basic playback and
window controls; other features vary by skin.
Play around to see which skin has what.
To apply a skin:
1. Choose View > Skin Chooser (press Alt
if the View menu isn’t visible).
Figure 10.11 A preview of the skin appears in the right
pane.
2. Select a skin from the list (Figure 10.11).
3. Click Apply Skin on the toolbar (or press
Alt+A).
When you apply a skin, the player’s user
interface is in skin mode (Figure 10.12,
for example). You can return easily to full
mode—the default state in which all features
are displayed.
To switch modes:
◆
■
Right-click a skinned player to display its
shortcut menu.
Press Ctrl+1 for full mode or Ctrl+2 or
skin mode.
✔ Tips
■
In Skin Chooser, click More Skins on the
toolbar (or press Alt+S) to download
skins from Microsoft’s website.
■
To delete a skin from the skins list,
select it; then press Delete or click the
red X in the toolbar. You can’t delete
the preinstalled skins.
■
Compact mode shows only the basic
controls. To use it, click the Switch to
Compact Mode button ( ) near the
bottom-right corner of the player. Click
it again for full mode.
■
To make the player float over all other
windows, choose Tools > Options >
Player tab > check Keep the Player on
Top of Other Windows > OK.
367
Changing Player Appearance with Skins
Figure 10.12 Media Player in skin mode. You can
change skins as often as you like, but you must be in
full mode to do so.
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Chapter 10
Shopping Online
If you’re connected to the internet, you can
use the online stores to buy digital media on
the web. Each store is an independent website that offers content for purchase or by
subscription.
To shop at an online store:
1. Choose View > Online Stores > Browse
All Online Stores (press Alt if the View
menu isn’t visible).
or
Choose Online Stores tab menu >
Browse All Online Stores (Figure 10.13).
The actual text on the tab depends on
the current store. It might read URGE or
Media Guide, for example.
2. Click a category to see only the stores
that sell the type of content that you’re
looking for, or click All Services to see all
the stores.
3. Click a store and confirm that you want
to visit its website.
4. When the store’s site appears in the
player, follow the store’s onscreen
instructions.
Shopping Online
✔ Tips
■
Content from a store may be available
only as long as you’re registered with
that store, and you won’t be able to copy
downloaded media files that have DRM
(Digital Rights Management) safeguards.
Learn about your digital rights at the
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
website, www.eff.org.
■
To access your downloaded content,
click the Library tab and use the
Navigation pane.
368
Figure 10.13 The online stores that appear on this
page have signed a deal with Microsoft. Stores may
come and go.
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Windows Media Player
Listening to Radio Stations
Radio stations around the world stream
their signals over the internet. Media Player,
an internet connection, and speakers will
bring in these stations without a radio, extra
software, or extra hardware.
To listen to an internet radio station:
Figure 10.14 The left side of the Internet Radio page
has three expandable sections: Featured Stations
(starter stations chosen by Microsoft), My Stations,
and Recently Played Stations. The right side contains
genre links and a search feature.
1. Choose View > Online Stores > Media
Guide (press Alt if the View menu isn’t
visible).
or
Choose Online Stores tab menu >
Media Guide.
The actual text on the tab depends on
the current store. It might read URGE or
Media Guide, for example.
2. When the WindowsMedia.com page
appears, click Radio (near the top of the
page) and then click Internet Radio.
✔ Tips
Figure 10.15 You can browse stations around the
world by genre. Hidden by the expanded drop-down
list are two search boxes that let you find stations by
keyword (enter a talk-show host’s name, for example)
or zip code (U.S. only). Advanced search criteria such
as country, language, and call sign also are available.
■
To add stations to a preset list to access
quickly, click the desired station’s name
to expand it (refer to Figure 10.14) and
then click Add to My Stations. The station is added to the My Stations section
of the Internet Radio page.
■
The Speed column (visible in Figure 10.15)
lists the stations’ streaming speeds.
Faster means better sound. Don’t listen
to a 100K station with a dial-up modem.
■
To save streaming music to your hard
drive, try Super Mp3 Recorder ($30 U.S.;
www.supermp3recorder.com).
369
Listening to Radio Stations
3. To listen to a featured, preset, or recently
played radio station, click the green
arrow next to the station’s name; then
click Play (Figure 10.14).
or
To find a radio station, click Find More
Stations (Figure 10.15).
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Chapter 10
Ripping CDs to Your
Hard Drive
Media Player lets you rip (copy) an entire
album or selected tracks from a music CD
to your hard drive. Each track winds up as
a double-clickable file in your Music folder
(Start > Music). Disk-based music means no
more CD hunts; you can use your CD drive
for other things while you play music files.
You can organize your tracks into custom
playlists, burn them on custom music CDs,
or copy them to your portable music player.
Before you copy your first CD, set the
default options.
To set options for ripping CDs:
1. Choose Tools > Options > Rip Music tab
(press Alt if the Tools menu isn’t visible).
or
Choose Rip tab menu > More Options >
Rip Music tab (Figure 10.16).
Figure 10.16 You almost always want to rip MP3 files.
The link at the bottom of this dialog box launches a
webpage that compares MP3 and WMA (from
Microsoft’s point of view).
Ripping CDs to Your Hard Drive
2. Click Change if you want to store the
ripped tracks somewhere other than
your Music folder.
3. Click File Name to specify which details to
include in the filenames (Figure 10.17).
4. Choose a music format from the Format
drop-down list.
Usually, you’ll want to create MP3 (.mp3)
files rather than Windows Media Audio
(.wma) files—Microsoft’s proprietary,
more compact, and vastly less popular
format. If you choose the WMA format,
uncheck Copy Protect Music so you can
transfer tracks to other computers and
portable music players.
Figure 10.17 This dialog box lets you embed useful
information such as the track number, song title, and
bit rate in the track’s filename.
370
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Windows Media Player
5. Specify the player’s rip behavior for
when you insert a blank CD and whether
you want to eject the CD when ripping
completes.
For more control, uncheck Rip CD
When Inserted.
6. Drag the Audio Quality slider to set the
bit rate.
Set the slider in the middle of the range
for a good sound-quality/file-size tradeoff, or experiment with different settings
to see what suits your ears.
7. Click OK.
✔ Tips
■
Many of these options also are available
on the Rip tab menu.
■
A little hunting around on the internet
should find you a way to rip CDs that
give you copying troubles.
To rip tracks from a music CD:
2. In Media Player, click the Rip tab.
continues on next page
371
Ripping CDs to Your Hard Drive
1. Make sure that you are connected to the
internet.
When connected, the player retrieves CD
information from Microsoft’s Windows
Media database and adds it to the files
during ripping. (If the information is
wrong or missing, you can add or edit it
after ripping).
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Chapter 10
Ripping CDs to Your Hard Drive
3. Insert a music CD into your computer’s
CD drive.
By default, the player starts ripping the
CD automatically when you are in the
Rip tab (or switch to it after the CD is
inserted).
or
If you unchecked Rip CD
When Inserted in the
Options dialog box (refer to Figure 10.16),
the player starts playing the CD on
insertion (unless you’ve changed your
AutoPlay setting too). You can play and
copy tracks at the same time, but click
the Stop playback control if you prefer
silence while you rip. To start ripping,
click Start Rip (or press Alt+S).
4. (Optional) As the player begins ripping
the CD, uncheck the boxes for the tracks
that you don’t want to rip (Figure 10.18).
or
Click Stop Rip (or press
Alt+S), make your selections, and click Start Rip to restart ripping.
(Partially ripped tracks aren’t saved.)
By default, Rip appears with all tracks
checked or, if you ripped them previously,
unchecked. The topmost check box
selects or clears all the tracks.
The Rip Status column shows the
progress as tracks are copied to your
hard drive.
5. When ripping completes, click the
Library tab to see and play the tracks
(see “Organizing Your Library” later in
this chapter).
372
Figure 10.18 To rename a song, right-click it and
choose Edit. (You also can change the artist and
composer this way.) This figure shows the player in
the middle of ripping an album, so the Start Rip
button has changed to Stop Rip.
Figure 10.19 The ripped songs appear in your Music
folder, where you can treat them like any other files.
Changes that you make are reflected in the Media
Player library.
✔ Tip
■
The selected tracks are copied to your
Music folder (unless you changed it in
the Options dialog box; refer to Figure
10.16). In Music is a subfolder labeled
with the artist’s name (or labeled Various
Artists). In that folder is a subfolder labeled
with the album name. To open Music,
choose Start > Music (Figure 10.19).
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Windows Media Player
Sometimes you may be prompted to add
missing media information manually after
ripping completes.
To add or edit media information after
ripping:
Figure 10.20 In the Navigation pane, expand Library
and then click Album. Scroll the right pane to find
your newly ripped album.
1. Connect to the internet.
If media information is missing because
you weren’t connected to the internet
during ripping, the information usually
will appear for the newly ripped tracks soon
after you connect. If it doesn’t, or if it’s
wrong, continue with the following steps.
2. Click the Library tab.
3. In the Navigation pane, browse to the
album that you just ripped.
4. Right-click the album and choose Find
Album Info (Figure 10.20).
5. If you get an error message about your
privacy settings, choose Rip tab menu >
More Options > Privacy tab > check
Update Music Files by Retrieving Media
Info from the Internet > OK, and then
repeat step 4.
✔ Tip
■
If the song information is correct, but the
album art is a generic icon, try finding
the art on the internet and copying it
(right-click the picture in your web
browser and choose Copy). Switch back
to Media Player. Then, in the Library tab,
right-click the album-art box and choose
Paste Album Art.
373
Ripping CDs to Your Hard Drive
Figure 10.21 Media Player usually will find your CD in
its internet database, but if it can’t, you can keep
trying (using different search criteria each time) or
give up and enter the CD information manually.
6. If the correct album appears in the
search results, select it and click Finish;
otherwise, click Search to try again using
different criteria, or click Edit to add the
information manually (Figure 10.21).
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Chapter 10
Organizing Your Library
Over time, your hard drive will become
crowded with media files that you’ve copied
or downloaded. Media Player’s library is a
master list that helps you play and keep
track of them. The library lists all the music,
videos, and photos on your computer. It’s
different from the Music, Videos, and
Pictures folders because those folders contain actual files, whereas the library contains
only links to them, which gives you greater
control of how you organize and use the files.
✔ Tip
Because the library is only a database of
links, you can’t move it to another computer. (The links would break.) Instead,
you’d have to copy all the underlying files
(from the Music, Videos, and Pictures
folders) to the new machine and rebuild
the library by adding items to it.
Organizing Your Library
■
374
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Windows Media Player
To show the library:
◆
Click the Library tab (Figure 10.22).
The Library tab has many of the same view
and navigation controls as Windows
Explorer (Chapter 5), so it’s easy to change
how and which items are displayed.
List button
Navigation pane
Address bar
Details pane
List pane
Figure 10.22 The library uses an Explorer-like display of categories and subcategories. The Navigation pane lets you
access your music by artist, album, genre, or other category. The Details pane shows information about the
selection in the Navigation pane. You can drag items from the Details pane to the List pane to create a playlist that
you want to play, burn, or sync.
375
Organizing Your Library
Playback controls area
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Chapter 10
To change the library display:
◆
Do any of the following:
To change how items are displayed, click the View Options
button (on the toolbar) or press F4.
To show or hide the Navigation
or List pane, click the Layout
Options button (on the toolbar) and
choose one of the Pane commands.
To toggle the List pane, click the List
Pane button (at the right end of the toolbar) and then click a pane command.
To change the column headings
that are displayed, click the
Layout Options button (on the toolbar)
and then click Choose Columns.
To change the display category,
click the Select a Category button
(on the address bar) and choose a category
(Figure 10.23).
✔ Tip
Organizing Your Library
■
Column headings in the Details pane
work like they do in Windows Explorer.
To choose which columns appear, rightclick a heading and click Choose
Columns. To sort by a column, click that
column’s heading (click it again to
reverse the sort). To rearrange columns,
drag headings left or right.
It’s important that the media information
about your media files be correct for the
library to be able to organize the files (and
for you to be able to find them). Each piece
of information is called a tag. For music files,
the most important tags are title, album,
artist, contributing artist, genre, and rating.
Your music files are tagged automatically
when you rip them or buy them online. The
library lets you add or edit tags manually.
376
Figure 10.23 Each category has several
views. After you choose a category, in
the Navigation pane, right-click Library
and choose Show More Views. These
categories also are available in the
Library tab menu.
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Windows Media Player
✔ Tips
■
To use Find Album Info to tag music files
automatically from Microsoft’s online
database, see “Ripping CDs to Your Hard
Drive” earlier in this chapter.
■
Tagging photos is covered in “Finding
Photos” in Chapter 9. Tagging files in
general is covered in “Tagging Files” in
Chapter 5.
To add or edit media information
(tags) manually:
◆
Figure 10.24 The Advanced Tag Editor is the easiest
way to edit a music file’s many tags. You can find and
organize files based on the values of these tags.
✔ Tip
■
To prevent media information from
being overwritten, choose Library tab
menu > More Options > Library tab >
check Retrieve Additional Information
from Internet > select Only Add Missing
Information > OK. (This is the default
setting.)
377
Organizing Your Library
In the Details pane, right-click a file’s
title, artist, or other attribute, and choose
Edit. Type a new value and press Enter.
(This is easiest in details view.)
or
In the Navigation pane, expand Library
and click a view (such as Album, Artist,
or Genre). In the Details pane, drag the
item(s) with the incorrect tag
(“Unknown Album,” for example) on top
of an item with the correct tag.
or
In the Details pane, right-click a file
and choose Advanced Tag Editor. Type
new values in the boxes and click OK
(Figure 10.24).
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Chapter 10
Before you can create playlists, burn CDs, or
copy files to portable music players, you
must add (to the library) links to digital
media files. The following files become part
of the library automatically:
◆
CDs ripped to your hard drive
◆
Media files that you play on your computer
or on the internet (but not those on removable storage, such as CDs, DVDs, USB
flash drives, or shared network folders)
◆
Media files downloaded from online stores
◆
Music, video, and picture files from your
personal folders and other folders that
the library monitors
You can add links to other media files by
changing which folders the library monitors.
To add items to your library:
Organizing Your Library
1. Choose Library tab menu > Add to
Library (or press F3).
The Add to Library dialog box opens
(Figure 10.25).
2. Select My Personal Folders to monitor
the media files stored in your Music,
Pictures, and Videos folders, as well as
files in the public Music, Pictures, and
Video folders that everyone with a user
account can access.
or
Select My Folders and Those of Others
That I Can Access to monitor the same
folders as My Personal Folders, as well as
the shared Music, Pictures, and Videos
folders of other users.
378
Figure 10.25 This dialog box determines which links
appear in the library.
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Windows Media Player
3. Click Advanced Options and do any of
the following:
▲
To monitor more folders, click Add
and choose a folder.
▲
To stop monitoring a folder that you
added, select the folder and click
Remove.
▲
To stop monitoring a folder that was
added automatically, select the folder
and click Ignore.
▲
To specify whether the player should
add files previously deleted from the
library, check or uncheck Add Files
Previously Deleted from Library.
▲
To prevent files that are smaller than
a certain size from being added to the
library, enter size limits in the Audio
Files and Video Files boxes.
4. Click OK.
✔ Tips
To share a personal folder, right-click its
icon in Windows Explorer and choose
Share. In Media Player, sharing is available via Library menu tab > Media
Sharing. See also “Sharing Files” in
Chapter 18.
■
To specify whether media files are
added automatically to the library when
played, choose Library tab menu >
More Options > Player tab > check or
uncheck Add Media Files to Library
When Played > OK.
■
The Now Playing tab lists the item that’s
playing currently, even if that item hasn’t
been added to the library.
379
Organizing Your Library
■
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Chapter 10
In your library, you can delete links to files
and playlists on your computer. When you
delete a link, the file or playlist that it’s linked
to isn’t deleted unless you choose to do so.
To delete items from your library:
1. In the library, right-click the item to
delete and choose Delete.
You can delete several items at the same
time. To select adjacent items, click the
first item; then Shift+click the last item.
To select nonadjacent items, Ctrl+click
each item. Right-click the selected items
and choose Delete.
2. If prompted, choose whether to delete
only the link or delete the file on your
hard drive as well (to land in the Recycle
Bin) (Figure 10.26).
✔ Tip
Organizing Your Library
■
To remove a portable device from the
library, disconnect the device from your
computer. Then, in the Navigation pane,
right-click the device and choose End
Sync Partnership.
You can search for library items and then
play the ones that meet your search criteria
or add them to a playlist. Search on media
information (tags) or use the wildcard characters * (to represent any group of zero or
more characters) and ? (to represent any
single character).
To search for items in your library:
1. On the address bar, choose the category
that you want to search (refer to
Figure 10.23).
380
Figure 10.26 If you previously checked Don’t Show
This Message Again, and you want to get this dialog
box back, choose Library tab menu > More Options >
Library tab > check Delete Files from Computer When
Deleted from Library.
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Windows Media Player
2.
Click or tab to the
Search box (or press Ctrl+E) and type text.
You can type entire words or just the first
few letters.
As you type, matches are displayed in the
Details pane.
✔ Tips
Privacy and Security
The relevant options are on the Privacy
tab and the Security tab in the Tools >
Options dialog box. (Press Alt if the Tools
menu isn’t visible.) You should inspect
the options, changing them if necessary to
suit your preferences. For a description of
each option, click Read the Privacy/Security
Statement Online in the tabs.
To cancel the search, press Esc, backspace over the search text, or click the
close button ( ). The tab goes back to
its normal state.
■
Help for advanced searches is available:
Choose Start > Help and Support, type
windows media advanced searches in the
Search box, and then press Enter. In
the results list, click How Do I Perform
Advanced Searches in Windows Media
Player?
■
For general information about searching,
see “Searching for Files and Folders”
in Chapter 5.
■
To find music from the same album,
in the List pane, right-click a song and
choose Find in Library.
■
To find where a file is stored, right-click
it and choose Open File Location.
■
To see only files added in the past 30
days, in the Navigation pane, click
Recently Added.
■
To find files that you downloaded from
an online store, in the Navigation pane,
right-click Library and choose Show
More Views > Online Stores.
381
Organizing Your Library
Media Player relies on the internet to get
information about the music and DVDs
that you play. You also can use the player
to shop at online stores and share your
library with other users. All these third-party
interactions can expose information about
yourself that you’d rather keep private.
■
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Chapter 10
Working with Playlists
A playlist is a list of media files that you want
to watch or listen to. Media Player generates
a temporary playlist automatically when you
play a CD (refer to Figure 10.6), but you also
can create your own playlists that group any
mix of songs and videos in the order in
which you want them to be played. You can
create a playlist that includes tracks from
various CDs, for example. Classical-music
fans use playlists to compare the same piece
performed by different artists. You also can
use playlists to burn your own CDs or copy
files to portable music players.
Media player offers regular playlists and auto
playlists. Regular playlists don’t change unless
you manually add or remove items. An auto
playlist is compiled automatically, based on
criteria that you specify (songs rated four
stars or higher, for example). Auto playlists
are updated each time you open them,
based on the current contents of the library.
Working with Playlists
✔ Tips
■
You can add any audio, video, or photo
file that the player recognizes to a
playlist. Nonfiles, such as CDs and DVDs,
can’t be added.
■
Playlist files are saved by default in the
Playlists folder in your Music folder
(Start > Music).
■
Media Player plays through a playlist in
order, once, unless you click Shuffle (
or Ctrl+H) to randomize the tracks or
Repeat ( or Ctrl+T) to play them forever.
■
If you burn an audio or data CD, the
playlist items are burned to the CD, but
the playlist file isn’t. When you sync a
playlist to a portable device, both the
playlist file and its items are copied to
the device.
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Windows Media Player
To create a regular playlist:
1.
Figure 10.27 Save the playlist in M3U format if you’re
going to share it with others.
If you need to clear the List pane
before creating the playlist, click
the Clear List Pane button.
2. Drag items from the Details pane in the
library to the List pane to add them to
the new playlist.
You can select several items at the same
time. To select adjacent items, click the
first item; then Shift+click the last item.
To select nonadjacent items, Ctrl+click
each item.
3. To reorder items, drag them up or down
in the List pane.
Figure 10.28 To play a playlist, doubleclick it, or right-click it and choose Play.
Use the playback controls to pause, play,
skip or repeat tracks, and so on (refer to
Figure 10.1).
Click Save Playlist (at the
bottom of the List pane)
4.
or press Alt+S.
5. Type the playlist name and press Enter.
By default, the playlist is saved as a .wpl
file. To save as a (more popular) .m3u or
.asx file, click the List button (at the top
of the playlist) and choose Save Playlist
As (Figure 10.27).
6. To see the new playlist, expand Playlists
in the Navigation pane (Figure 10.28).
■
To create a new empty playlist quickly,
press Ctrl+N.
■
To create a playlist of favorite items,
turn on Library tab menu > Add Favorites
to List When Dragging. When you drag a
category (such as an Album or Genre)
from the Details pane to the List pane,
only the songs with the highest user and
auto ratings are added to the new
playlist. To add favorites one time only,
right-click a category in the Details pane
and choose Add To > “Untitled Playlist”
(Favorites Only).
383
Working with Playlists
✔ Tips
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Chapter 10
To edit a regular playlist:
1. Expand Playlists in the Navigation pane
(refer to Figure 10.28).
2.
Right-click a playlist
and choose Edit in List
Pane (or select it and click the Edit in
List Pane button in the Details pane).
3. Click the List button (at the top of the
playlist) or right-click any item; then use
the menus to edit the list (Figure 10.29).
You can select several items at the same
time. To select adjacent items, click the
first item; then Shift+click the last item.
To select nonadjacent items, Ctrl+click
each item.
Click Save Playlist (at
the bottom of the List
pane) or press Alt+S.
Working with Playlists
4.
384
Figure 10.29 The playlist menus let you
add, remove, shuffle, sort, reorder, and
rate items. You also can reorder items by
dragging them up or down the list.
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Windows Media Player
To create an auto playlist:
1. Choose Library tab menu > Create
Auto Playlist.
2. In the New Auto Playlist dialog box, type
the name of the new auto playlist.
3. Specify criteria for the items in the auto
playlist (Figure 10.30).
To remove a criterion, select it and click
Remove.
4. Click OK.
Figure 10.30 You can specify multiple filters for items
to be included in (or excluded from) an auto playlist.
Media Player updates the list automatically each time
you open it.
5. To see the new playlist, expand Playlists
in the Navigation pane (Figure 10.31).
✔ Tips
■
To edit an auto playlist, right-click it in
Figure 10.31 and choose Edit.
■
To save an auto playlist as a regular
playlist, clear the List pane (click the
red X); right-click the auto playlist in
Figure 10.31 and choose Add to “Untitled
Playlist”; then click Save Playlist (at the
bottom of the List pane) and type a
name for the playlist. The playlist no
longer autoupdates after conversion.
Working with Playlists
Figure 10.31 Auto playlists are distinguished
from regular playlists by a slightly different
icon containing a curved arrow.
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Chapter 10
Burning Music CDs
If your computer has a CD (or DVD)
recorder, you can copy—or burn—songs to
a writeable disc to create custom music
CDs. The Burn tab in Media Player lets you
burn a mix of songs from your library to a
blank CD-R or CD-RW, which will play in
a standard CD player.
✔ Tips
■
You can’t burn live streams, such as
radio stations.
■
Before you burn, you can set options
for CD burning: Choose Burn tab
menu > More Options > Burn tab
(Figure 10.32).
■
This section covers music CDs. To burn
data CDs or DVDs, see “Burning CDs
and DVDs” in Chapter 5. To burn multimedia DVDs with video, photos, and
audio, use DVD Maker (Start > All
Programs > Windows DVD Maker). See
also “Publishing a Movie” in Chapter 11.
Figure 10.32 It’s usually unnecessary to adjust the
default options. The bottom section applies only to
data discs (not music discs). Some of these options
also are available in the Burn tab menu.
To burn a music CD:
1. Click the Burn tab.
Burning Music CDs
2. Choose Burn tab menu > Audio CD.
Burning Problems
3. Insert a blank CD-R or CD-RW into your
CD burner.
A blank disc is required. If you insert a
rewriteable disc (CD-RW) that has files
on it, you can erase it by right-clicking
the drive in the Navigation pane and
choosing Erase Disc.
CD burners are so cranky and skittish
that you should close all other programs,
leave your PC alone, and not stomp around
until Media Player ejects the completed
CD. If you still get music files that skip
and pop, try slowing the burn speed
(refer to Figure 10.32).
4. If you have multiple burners, and the
one that you want to use isn’t selected,
click Next Drive in the List pane above
the playlist.
To make an exact duplicate of a CD, try
Nero Ultra Edition ($80 U.S.; www.nero.com),
Roxio Easy Media Creator ($80 U.S.;
www.roxio.com), or Exact Audio Copy
(free; www.exactaudiocopy.de). If you’re
recording from vinyl LPs, try Wave
Corrector ($39 U.S.; www.wavecor.co.uk).
386
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Windows Media Player
5.
If you need to clear the List pane
before building a burn list, click
the Clear List Pane button.
6. Drag items (playlists, individual songs,
albums, and so on) from the Navigation
and Details panes to the List pane to
build a burn list.
If a song isn’t in your library, you can
drag it to the List pane from Windows
Explorer (or right-click it and choose
Add to Burn List).
7. Drag items up or down the burn list to
their desired positions in the burning order.
The player calculates how many minutes
and seconds of empty space remain on
the CD after you add each song to the
burn list.
8. If you’ve added too many songs, rightclick items and choose Remove From
List until everything fits.
(Account for the player’s inserting 2 seconds between songs when burning.)
9.
Burning Music CDs
Syncing with a
Portable Music Player
Click Start Burn (or press
Alt+S).
The process takes a bit of time and disk
space. You can check the progress in the
burn list.
If you’re like most people, your portable
player is an Apple iPod. To sync your
music between it and your computer, use
iTunes, not Media Player. Download a free
copy at www.apple.com/itunes/download.
If you have a different player—such as a
Rio, Nomad, iRiver, Sansa, or Zune—you
can use the software that came with the
player or the Sync tab of Media Player.
For instructions on using the Sync tab,
choose Start > Help and Support and
then search for media player sync.
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Chapter 10
Playing DVDs
If you have a DVD drive, you can use Media
Player to watch DVD movies.
✔ Tips
■
To access the DVD menu and special features, right-click the movie picture and
choose DVD Features > Root Menu.
Other DVD commands are available in
the View and Play menus (press Alt if
these menus aren’t visible).
■
To turn on parental controls for DVDs,
choose Now Playing tab menu > More
Options > DVD tab > Change (Figure
10.33). See also “Setting Parental
Controls” in Chapter 13.
■
Media Player also can play VCDs
(video CDs).
Figure 10.33 You can prevent people with nonAdministrator accounts from playing DVDs based on
the movie’s rating. Not all DVDs support this feature.
To play a DVD:
Playing DVDs
1. Insert a DVD into your computer’s
DVD drive.
2. Depending on the DVD Movie setting in
AutoPlay (refer to Figure 10.7), Media
Player opens automatically or offers to
do so.
If not, open Media Player; then choose
the drive that contains the DVD from
the Now Playing tab menu.
DVD Decoders
DVD playback requires a software
decoder. If you bought your system with
Windows and a DVD drive installed, you
probably can play any DVD on your PC as
is. If you don’t have a compatible decoder
installed, Media Player will display an error
message. Click Web Help in the message
to learn how to download the decoder.
I never use Media Player for DVD movies.
A better player—one that plays just
about everything everywhere, without
error messages—is VLC media player
(free; www.videolan.org/vlc). VLC also
won’t force you to watch the intros, coming attractions, ads, and FBI warnings
that you have to sit through when you
watch a DVD on a conventional player or
Windows Media Player.
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Windows Media Player
Table 10.3
DVD Keyboard Shortcuts
To
Press
Play/pause
Stop
Rewind
Fast-forward
Previous/next chapter
Quieter/louder
Mute
Eject
Play fast
Play normal
Play slow
Toggle captions
and subtitles
Ctrl+P or spacebar
Ctrl+S
Ctrl+Shift+B
Ctrl+Shift+F
Ctrl+B/Ctrl+F
F8/F9
F7
Ctrl+J
Ctrl+Shift+G
Ctrl+Shift+N
Ctrl+Shift+S
Ctrl+Shift+C
3. In the List pane on the right, click a DVD
title or chapter name, if appropriate.
If the pane is hidden, choose Now
Playing tab menu > Show List Pane.
4. To enlarge the picture to fill the screen,
click Full Screen ( ), press Alt+Enter,
or double-click the movie.
To return to normal, press Esc or
repeat any of the full-screen shortcuts
(Figure 10.34).
You can control playback with the onscreen
controls or the keyboard shortcuts listed in
Table 10.3.
Playing DVDs
Figure 10.34 In full-screen mode, the playback controls appear automatically when you move the
mouse and disappear after the mouse is idle for a few seconds. To control playback, you can rightclick the movie or use the keyboard shortcuts listed in Table 10.3. The playlist (on the right) divides
the movie into discrete “chapters”; double-click a chapter to jump to a particular scene.
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Chapter 10
Using Keyboard Shortcuts
Table 10.4 lists Media Player’s keyboard
shortcuts. Table 10.3 in the preceding section
also contains some keyboard shortcuts.
Table 10.4
Using Keyboard Shortcuts
Media Player Keyboard Shortcuts
To
Press
Zoom to 50%
Zoom to 100%
Zoom to 200%
Display video in full screen
Revisit recent views
Switch to full mode
Switch to skin mode
Revisit the most recent library views
Search for an item
Shuffle the playlist
Eject the CD or DVD
Toggle the classic menu bar (full mode)
Create a new playlist
Open a file
Repeat the playlist
Specify a URL or path to a file
Close or stop playing a file
Rate the playing item from 0 to 5 stars
Return to full mode from full screen
Get help
Edit media information on a selected
item in the library
Add media files to the library
Cycle view options in the Details pane
Refresh information in the panes
Increase/decrease the size of album art
Show the classic menu bar
Quit Media Player
Alt+1
Alt+2
Alt+3
Alt+Enter or F11
Alt+Left arrow or Alt+Right arrow
Ctrl+1
Ctrl+2
Ctrl+7, Ctrl+8, or Ctrl+9
Ctrl+E
Ctrl+H
Ctrl+J
Ctrl+M
Ctrl+N
Ctrl+O
Ctrl+T
Ctrl+U
Ctrl+W
Ctrl+Windows logo key+[0–5]
Esc
F1
F2
390
F3
F4
F5
F6/Shift+F6
F10
Alt+F
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11
Windows
Movie Maker
✔ Tips
■
Video editing is a computer-intensive
activity that requires at least a 2 GHz
processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a fast hard
disk (7200 rpm or better) with a lot of
free space.
■
If Movie Maker doesn’t meet your needs,
try a video editor from Adobe, Avid,
or Pinnacle.
391
Windows Movie Maker
Windows Movie Maker lets you transfer
audio and video to your computer from a
digital video camera, web camera, or other
digital source and use that as raw material
for your own movies. You can combine
footage, still photos, music tracks, videos,
voice-over narratives, and other media files.
Then you can edit; add titles, video transitions, and special effects; and save the result
as a stand-alone file in Windows Media
Audio/Video (.wmv) format. Your movie is
ready to play or to share with friends and
enemies via email, web, DVD, or CD.
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Chapter 11
Getting Started with Movie Make
Getting Started with
Movie Maker
Like all video-editing software, Movie Maker is
a complex program; making a movie isn’t a
simple matter of opening, editing, saving, and
closing a document. Before you work with
Movie Maker, you’ll need to explore the interface and grasp a few concepts. Figure 11.1
shows Movie Maker’s main sections, which
are described in Table 11.1. You can point
(without clicking) to any Movie Maker control for a pop-up tip.
Tasks pane
Contents pane (clips)
Menu bar
Toolbar
Preview monitor
Storyboard/timeline controls
Storyboard view
Seek bar
Playback controls
Transition marker
Figure 11.1 Movie Maker is divided into three main horizontal sections: the menu bar and toolbar, the panes, and the
storyboard/timeline.
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Windows Movie Maker
Table 11.1
To start Movie Maker:
Movie Maker Sections
◆
Description
Tasks pane
Lists common moviemaking tasks,
such as importing video, editing a
movie, adding effects, and saving or
sending a movie.
(Not shown) Displays your collections
in an Explorer-like tree. A collection is
a container of video clips, audio clips,
and pictures that you’ve imported.
Each clip is a smaller continuous segment of audio and video. (Not everything in a collection must appear in a
final movie.) See “Organizing Your
Clips” later in this chapter.
Displays the clips that are contained
in the selected collection, including
all the video, audio, pictures, transitions, and effects that you can add to
the storyboard/timeline to include in
your movie.
Displays the sequence of the clips in
your project and lets you rearrange
them easily. This view also lets you
see any transitions or effects that
you’ve added.
(Not shown) Lets you review or modify the timing of clips in your project.
You can zoom in or out on project
details, record narration, add background music, adjust audio levels,
and trim unwanted portions of a clip
(among other things). See “Editing a
Project” later in this chapter.
Plays individual clips or an entire project. Use this feature to preview your
project before saving it as a movie.
Collections pane
Contents pane
Storyboard view
Timeline view
Preview monitor
✔ Tips
■
You can’t display the Tasks pane and the
Collections pane, or storyboard view and
timeline view, at the same time. Use the
View menu or toolbar buttons to show,
hide, or toggle panes and views.
■
Right-click any section (or specific item
in a section) to show its shortcut menu.
■
To resize sections, drag the horizontal or
vertical lines that separate them. The
cursor becomes a double-headed arrow
when you hover it over a separator line.
■
Choose Tools > Options to change Movie
Maker’s default settings.
■
For a list of keyboard shortcuts, choose
Start > Help and Support and search for
movie maker keyboard shortcuts.
393
Getting Started with Movie Make
Fe at u r e
Choose Start > All Programs > Windows
Movie Maker.
or
Choose Start, type movie maker in the
search box, and then press Enter.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type moviemk
and press Enter.
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Chapter 11
Importing Content
You edit and create movies with Movie
Maker by using footage transferred from
camera to computer.
To import digital video:
Importing Content
1. Connect your digital video camera to
your computer (see the sidebar in this
section).
2. Choose File > Import from Digital Video
Camera (or press Ctrl+R).
or
In the Tasks pane, below Import, click
From Digital Video Camera.
3. Follow the onscreen instructions.
The wizard lets you choose a device,
video settings, and what to import.
You can import:
▲
The entire video from a tape in
a digital video (DV) camera
▲
Parts of video from a tape in a
DV camera
▲
Live video
Movie Maker imports the content into
a new collection with the same name as
the specified video file.
✔ Tips
■
For help choosing video settings, choose
Start > Help and Support and search for
import videotape.
■
Copy-protected tapes may show up as
onscreen garbage.
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Windows Movie Maker
Your movie can combine footage that you’ve
imported from your video camera with
audio clips, still photos, and other video files
that you’ve downloaded from the internet,
copied from CDs, transferred from a digital
camera, or scanned into your computer.
To import existing video, audio, and
pictures:
2. In the Import Media Items dialog box,
locate the file that you want to import.
You can import these types of files:
Video files – .asf, .avi, .m1v, .mp2, .mp2v,
.mpe, .mpeg, .mpg, .mpv2, .wm, .wmv
Audio files – .aif, .aifc, .aiff .asf, .au,
.mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .snd, .wav, .wma
Picture files – .bmp, .dib, .emf, .gif, .jfif,
.jpe, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .tif, .tiff, .wmf
For a description of each file type, go to
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=31
6992,
“Windows Media Player
Multimedia File Formats.”
continues on next page
395
Importing Content
1. Choose File > Import Media Items (or
press Ctrl+I).
or
Click Import Media (on the
toolbar).
or
In the Tasks pane, below Import, click
the link for the type of file that you want
to import (Videos, Pictures, or Audio or
Music).
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Chapter 11
3. Select the file you want to import.
You also can import several files at the
same time. To select adjacent items, click
the first item; then Shift+click the last
item. To select nonadjacent items,
Ctrl+click each item.
4. Click Import.
New clips appear in the Contents pane
(Figure 11.2).
Importing Content
✔ Tips
■
After you import a video, you can have
Movie Maker separate it automatically
into smaller, more manageable clips.
Each new clip starts when there’s a substantial change from one frame of the
video to the next. If the source video is
from a DV camera, clips are based on the
time stamps as well. To create clips, select
the video in the Contents pane and choose
Tools > Create Clips (or right-click the
video and choose Create Clips).
■
Imported files actually remain in their
original locations. Movie Maker doesn’t
create copies; instead, a clip in the
Contents pane is a shortcut that points
to the source file. If you move, rename, or
delete a source file after you import it,
you’ll break the link. Movie Maker may try
to find moved or renamed files, but sometimes, you’ll have to import them again.
396
Figure 11.2 Imported clips appear as thumbnails in
the Contents pane. Icons indicate the clip type: The
top-left clip is a still photo, the top-right clip is an
audio file, and the bottom five clips are videos. The
five video clips actually come from a single file; I used
the Create Clips command to divide the video into
smaller segments, so they’re ready to edit.
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Windows Movie Maker
Connecting a Video Camera to Your Computer
A variety of hardware capture devices can transfer content to your computer from your digital
video devices. These are only guidelines about connecting; specific configuration will depend
on your hardware. See Chapter 8 for tips on installing hardware.
Digital video camera. Connect a DV camera (which uses MiniDV, MICROMV, or Digital8
tapes) to your computer’s USB or IEEE 1394 (FireWire) port. An IEEE 1394 port is preferred.
If your computer didn’t come with one of these ports, you can buy and install a card that
provides it. These connections transfer high-quality content very quickly because they’re
designed to transmit digital data like your camera’s audio and video information.
Web camera. A webcam connects to a USB port, to an IEEE 1394 port, or (if it’s a video
composite camera) to a video capture card. A laptop may have a webcam built into the lid.
Some webcams have a built-in microphone for capturing audio too.
Analog camera or VCR. You can’t import video from these devices by using Movie Maker.
Instead, install an analog video capture card on your computer to get extra video and probably audio ports. Connect a VCR or analog camcorder (which uses VHS, 8mm, or Hi8 tapes) to
the card. For video capture, you can connect your camera’s video line-out port to the card’s
video line-in port. For audio capture, you could then connect the left and right audio lines
(usually, through RCA-style single-channel connectors to a 3.5mm stereo plug Y-adapter) to
the line-in port on a sound card or a video capture card with audio ports.
If both your camera and video capture card have S-Video connectors, you can attach those
connectors to record video while the attached audio connectors capture sound. Use the software that came with the card to import the video.
Audio only. Use a stand-alone microphone connected to a sound card’s line-in port, a built-in
line-in port, or a USB port.
TV. You can capture video from TV if you have a TV tuner card installed on your computer.
397
Importing Content
Use the cable that came with your camera to connect the camera’s DV-out port to the IEEE
1394 port. The cable transfers both audio and video. Many digital cameras also have analog
outputs, which you can connect to a video capture card to transfer video and audio to your
computer, but converting the signal from digital to analog and back again will degrade picture
and sound quality.
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Chapter 11
Organizing Your Clips
After importing clips, you can organize them
in collections—Explorer-like folder hierarchies
(Figure 11.3). A collection doesn’t apply to
any specific movie project; you can use it
many times over in different movies.
To create a collection:
Organizing Your Clips
1. If the Collections pane is hidden, choose
View > Collections.
2. In the Collections pane, right-click the
collection folder where you want to add
the collection and choose New
Collection Folder (refer to Figure 11.3).
3. Type a name and press Enter.
✔ Tip
■
Right-click a collection to rename or
remove it. Removing a collection or clip
deletes only links; source files remain in
their original locations on disk.
Figure 11.3 Here’s a reasonable way to
organize clips in a collection hierarchy.
Alternatively, you can organize your
clips by event rather than by clip type.
If you have only a few clips, you can
stick them all in one collection folder.
To store a clip in a particular collection folder,
just drag the clip’s icon from the Contents
pane to the folder. You can sort the clips in
the Contents pane.
To arrange clips:
1. In the Collections pane, click the collection folder that contains the clips you
want to arrange.
The clips appear in the Contents pane.
2. To change how much detail is displayed,
choose View > Details or View >
Thumbnails.
3. Choose View > Arrange Icons By; then
choose a property (Figure 11.4).
Figure 11.4 You also can arrange clips via the shortcut
menu; just right-click an empty area of the Contents
pane. (You can’t drag and drop clips in this pane to
reorder them.)
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Windows Movie Maker
Creating a Project
Your works in progress in Movie Maker are
stored in projects. A project (.mswmm) file
isn’t an end-result movie but a framework
containing arrangement and timing information for audio and video clips, transitions,
effects, and titles that you’ve added to the
storyboard/timeline. Project files also have
properties that you can define and use to
organize your projects.
You open and save existing projects with the
usual Open, Save, and Save As commands in
the toolbar or File menu.
◆
Figure 11.5 You can specify values for different
properties (except Duration, which is preset) and use
Windows Explorer to search for specific projects or
organize them according to title, author, and so on.
Choose File > New Project.
✔ Tips
■
You can have only one project open at
a time.
■
Project files are saved by default in your
Videos folder (choose View > Windows
Photo Gallery).
■
Movie Maker opens by default with a
blank, untitled project. If you’d rather
start editing where you left off, choose
Tools > Options > General tab; then
check Open Last Project on Startup.
To view a project’s properties:
◆
Choose File > Project Properties
(Figure 11.5).
✔ Tips
■
The properties that you enter become
part of the project file and of your final,
saved movie. Don’t enter any information
in the Project Properties dialog box that
you don’t want others to see.
■
To view an individual clip’s properties
(such as duration, source file, and bit rate),
right-click the clip and choose Properties.
399
Creating a Project
To create a new project:
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Chapter 11
Editing a Project
Now the good part. To begin editing your
project, you add imported video, audio, or
pictures to the storyboard/timeline. The
storyboard/timeline clips become the contents of your project and future movie.
Both the storyboard and the timeline display
your work in progress, but from different
perspectives. The storyboard shows the
sequence of clips (Figure 11.6), whereas the
timeline shows their timing (Figure 11.7).
Figure 11.6 Use the storyboard to look at the
sequence of clips in your project and rearrange them,
if necessary. You can preview all the clips and see any
effects or transitions that you’ve added. Audio clips
aren’t displayed on the storyboard, but they are in the
timeline.
Editing a Project
You can preview your entire project or a
particular clip in the preview monitor.
To switch between storyboard and
timeline view:
◆
Press Ctrl+T (or choose View >
Storyboard or View > Timeline).
or
Click the Storyboard/Timeline
menu button.
Figure 11.7 Use the timeline to review or modify the
timing of clips; use its buttons to rewind, play, zoom
in or out, record narration, or adjust audio levels.
Click the small + icon next to the Video track to
expand it and display Transition and Audio tracks.
✔ Tips
■
■
Timeline time is displayed as hours:
minutes:seconds.hundredths of a second
(h:mm:ss.ss).
Some editing tasks can be performed
in both storyboard and timeline views;
others, in only one view.
Timeline Tracks
Each timeline track (refer to Figure 11.7)
shows specific items that you’ve added to
a project:
Video. Shows video clips, pictures, and
titles. If you add effects to a clip, a small
star icon appears on that clip.
Transition. Shows transitions between
clips.
Audio. Shows the audio that’s included
in any video clips.
Audio/Music. Shows audio clips that
aren’t part of the video track, such as narration and background music.
Title Overlay. Shows any titles or credits.
400
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Windows Movie Maker
To add a clip to a project:
1. In the Collections pane, click the collection that contains the clip that you want
to add to your project.
2. In the Contents pane, click the clip that
you want to add (or Ctrl+click or
Shift+click to select multiple clips).
3. Drag the clip (or multiple clips) onto the
storyboard/timeline in whatever order
you like, or choose Clip > Add to
Storyboard/Timeline (Ctrl+D).
✔ Tips
To rearrange your clips, just drag them
to a different location on the storyboard/
timeline. You also can move or duplicate
clips with the usual Cut, Copy, and Paste
commands in the Edit menu.
■
To move a clip only slightly, select it;
then choose Clip > Nudge Left/Right or
press Ctrl+Shift+B/N (timeline view only).
■
To remove a clip from the storyboard/
timeline, right-click it and choose
Remove (or select it and press Delete).
To remove all clips, press Ctrl+Delete or
choose Edit > Clear Storyboard/Timeline.
■
If the timeline’s clips become too cramped
or too spread out, you can zoom to change
the level of detail displayed. From the
View menu, choose Zoom In, Zoom Out,
or Zoom to Fit (or press Page Down, Page
Up, or F9, respectively).
401
Editing a Project
■
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Chapter 11
To preview a project or clip:
◆
To preview a project, choose Play > Play
Storyboard/Timeline (or press Ctrl+W).
or
To preview a clip, select the clip and
choose Play > Play Clip (or press K).
Editing a Project
✔ Tips
■
The Play menu and the preview monitor’s
playback controls let you play the current
selection continuously or frame by frame.
■
Press Alt+Enter to preview in full-screen
mode. Press Esc (or Alt+Enter again) to
go back to normal.
Movie Maker’s AutoMovie feature creates a
movie quickly and automatically based on
the selected clips or collection.
To create a movie automatically:
1. Select a collection in the Collections pane
or multiple clips in the Contents pane.
2. Choose Tools > AutoMovie.
3. Select an AutoMovie editing style.
4. If desired, click the More Options links
to enter a movie title and select audio or
background music (Figure 11.8).
5. Click Create AutoMovie.
✔ Tip
■
After you create an AutoMovie, you can
save it with the Publish Movie wizard or
make further edits, just as you would when
creating a project and movie manually.
402
Figure 11.8 AutoMovie analyzes the selected video,
audio, and picture clips, and combines them to make
one movie based on the automatic editing style that
you choose.
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Windows Movie Maker
Editing Clips
You have several ways to edit the clips that
you’ve arranged on the storyboard/timeline.
You can split an audio or video clip into
smaller, more manageable clips. By splitting
a clip, you can, say, insert a transition or title
into the middle.
To split a clip:
1. In the Contents pane or on the storyboard/
timeline, select the clip that you want
to split.
3. Choose Clip > Split (or press M).
Conversely, you combine an audio or video
clip that’s divided into small clips. You can
combine only contiguous clips. (The second
clip’s start time immediately follows the first
clip’s end time.)
To combine a split clip:
1. In the Contents pane or on the storyboard/timeline, hold down the Ctrl key;
then select two or more contiguous clips
that you want to combine.
2. Choose Clip > Combine (or press N).
403
Editing Clips
2. Press the spacebar to play the clip; then
press the spacebar again to pause at the
point at which you want to split the clip.
or
On the preview monitor, move the Seek
bar to the point at which you want to
split the clip, or click the Previous Frame
and Next Frame playback controls for
precise movements.
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Chapter 11
You can trim a clip to hide its unwanted
parts. By trimming an audio or video clip,
you edit its starting and ending points,
therefore editing its length. Trimmed content isn’t removed but merely hidden from
the movie’s audience.
To trim a clip:
1. Choose View > Timeline.
2. Select the clip that you want to trim.
3. Drag the trim handles to set the start
and end trim points (Figure 11.9).
Editing Clips
✔ Tips
■
For precise trimming, use the preview
monitor’s playback controls to pause at
a trim point; then use the Clip menu’s
Trim commands.
■
To clear trim points, select the trimmed
clip on the timeline and choose Clip >
Clear Trim Points (or press U).
Start trim handle
End trim handle
Figure 11.9 Drag the trim handles to set start and end trim points. The start trim point determines
when the clip will begin to play; the end trim point determines when the clip will stop playing.
404
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Windows Movie Maker
Adding Visual Content
You can embroider your movies with transitions, effects, and titles and credits.
A transition controls how your movie plays
from one video clip or picture to the next.
To add a transition:
1. Choose Tools > Transitions (Figure 11.10).
Figure 11.10 Several transitions appear in the
Contents pane. Double-click a transition to test it in
the monitor.
Figure 11.11 The box between these clips shows a
checkerboard transition, which plays before the first
clip ends and while the other clip starts to play. In
timeline view, you can drag the transition’s left edge
to change its duration. The starred boxes in each
clip’s bottom-left corner indicate effects. You can
right-click a transition or effect to remove it.
405
Adding Visual Content
2. In storyboard view, drag a transition to
the transition marker between two video
clips or pictures (Figure 11.11).
or
In timeline view, drag a transition
between two clips on the Video track.
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Chapter 11
An effect is a special effect that determines
how a video clip, picture, or title appears in
a movie. The effect lasts for the clip’s entire
duration.
To add an effect:
1. Choose Tools > Effects (Figure 11.12).
Adding Visual Content
2. In storyboard view, drag an effect to a
clip’s effects box (refer to Figure 11.11).
or
In timeline view, drag an effect to the
Video track.
Titles and credits add text-based information, such as a movie title or your name, to a
movie. You can add multiple titles to a track
at different points in a movie. The titles
overlay the video.
To add a title or credit:
1. Choose Tools > Title and Credits.
2. In the pane that appears, select where
you want to add text.
3. Type the text.
Use the More Options link to tailor the
text’s appearance.
4. Click Add Title.
406
Figure 11.12 These effects are maintained when you
split, cut, copy, or move a video clip or picture. You
can add multiple effects to each clip.
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Windows Movie Maker
Adding Audio Tracks
If you’ve imported music or audio files, you
can add them to your movie as background
music or sounds.
To add audio:
1. Choose View > Timeline.
2. In the Collections pane, click the collection that contains the audio clip you
want to add to your project.
3. Drag the clip from the Contents pane
to the timeline’s Audio/Music track
(Figure 11.13).
407
Adding Audio Tracks
Figure 11.13 You can drag an audio clip left or right to
adjust its position in the movie or drag the clip’s left
or right edge to trim its length. (The Audio track—
above the Audio/Music track—holds the video’s
audio track.) You can add video clips to the
Audio/Music track if you want the audio, but not the
video, to play in your movie.
If you have a microphone connected to your
computer, you can add audio narration to
video clips. Your narration is synchronized
with the video automatically, so the narration describes the action in your movie as
it plays.
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Chapter 11
To narrate the timeline:
1. Choose View > Timeline.
2. Move the timeline’s playback indicator
(the square with a vertical line; refer to
Figure 11.13) to an empty point on the
Audio/Music track where you want to
begin your audio narration.
3. Choose Tools > Narrate Timeline
(Figure 11.14).
Adding Audio Tracks
4. Click Start Narration; then speak into
the microphone to narrate the movie as
it progresses.
5. Click Stop Narration.
6. Save the file.
✔ Tips
■
■
You can record audio clips in Sound
Recorder and import them into your
project. To start Sound Recorder, choose
Start > All Programs > Accessories >
Sound Recorder (Figure 11.15). A much
better sound editor, however, is Audacity
(free; http://audacity.sourceforge.net).
Figure 11.14 Click Show Options to set
additional recording options. If the Limit
Narration box is unchecked, you can
keep talking past the end of the movie.
Right-click an audio clip to adjust its
volume levels or to remove it.
Figure 11.15 Sound Recorder is a free Windows
program. Click the Help button for instructions.
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Windows Movie Maker
Publishing a Movie
Now you’re ready to use the Publish Movie
wizard to save your final project as an actual
movie. The wizard lets you choose among
destinations: You can store the movie on
your computer, burn it on a DVD or CD,
send it as an email attachment, or record it
to a tape in your DV camera. The wizard’s
pages vary by the destination.
Figure 11.16 The Publish Movie wizard simplifies and
automates the process of assembling your clips and
compressing digital video to create movies.
To publish a movie:
1. Choose File > Publish Movie (or press
Ctrl+P).
3. Follow the onscreen instructions.
✔ Tips
Figure 11.17 You can launch and use DVD Maker
independently of Movie Maker. Choose Start > All
Programs > Windows DVD Maker.
■
Movies are saved in Windows Media
Audio/Video (.wmv) format. You can
watch them in Windows Media Player,
Internet Explorer, Windows Photo
Gallery, or any media player that can
play .wmv files.
■
You also can start the wizard from the
Publish To section of the Tasks pane.
■
If you choose to burn a DVD in Figure 11.16,
Movie Maker opens Windows DVD Maker,
new in Vista (Figure 11.17). DVD Maker
is a wizard that helps you create DVDs
with video, photos, and audio. Click the
Help button ( ) for instructions. (See also
“Burning CDs and DVDs” in Chapter 5.)
409
Publishing a Movie
2. Select where you want to publish your
movie (Figure 11.16); then click Next.
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12
Connecting
to the Internet
As an individual, you can’t connect to the
internet directly. You must pay a go-between
internet service provider (ISP) and rely on it
to provide setup instructions, turn on your
service, equip and maintain dependable connections, and help you when things go wrong.
In this chapter, you’ll learn about connection
types and how to connect. Subsequent chapters show you how to armor your computer
against outside attacks, browse the web,
send email, and chat after you’re hooked up.
411
Connecting to the Internet
After you finish using your computer to
write memos, create spreadsheets, and cook
books, you can connect to the internet to
browse the web, pirate music, flirt with
strangers, send email, and chat online.
Windows’ Connect to the Internet wizard
simplifies connections.
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Chapter 12
Understanding
Connection Types
Understanding Connection Types
First, you can skip this chapter if:
◆
You upgraded from Windows XP and
had internet access. Windows Setup
preserved the configuration; your Vista
connection should work fine.
◆
You want to transfer internet
connection settings from another
computer. Use Windows Easy Transfer;
see “Transferring Existing Files and
Settings” in the appendix.
◆
Your computer is on a local area
network (LAN) at work or school.
You have internet access through the
network. Ask your network administrator about connection details.
◆
You want to share an internet
connection provided by another
computer. Use Internet Connection
Sharing (or a router); see “Sharing an
Internet Connection” in Chapter 18.
If you’re not in any of these situations, you
can set up your own internet connection
by using:
◆
A dial-up connection through an analog
modem over ordinary phone lines
◆
A high-speed broadband connection
such as DSL or cable
◆
A wireless connection through a wireless
router or wireless network, or a hotspot
412
For any connection type, you’ll need an
account with an ISP. If you don’t have one
already, ask a friend or colleague to recommend one; find an online computer and go
to www.dslreports.com; or look in your local
phone directory under, say, Computers—
Online Services. Internet junkies use traditional ISPs, which provide direct, unsanitized
internet access. Some beginners like online
services like America Online (AOL) or the
Microsoft Network (MSN) because they’re
easy to use and set up, and they have their
own little nonhostile online communities.
After you’ve signed up, see “Connecting to
the Internet” later in this chapter.
Dial-up
Each time you connect to the internet via
dial-up, your analog modem dials your ISP
over a standard phone line. (If you have only
one line, callers can’t reach you while you’re
online.) Dial-up connections are slow compared with broadband, but they’re a good
choice for frequent travelers, because big
ISPs provide local access numbers over large
geographic areas. In some areas, dial-up is
your only choice. Dial-up service costs
upward of $7 U.S. a month for unlimited
access (plus your cost for the calls).
You need an analog modem for a dial-up
connection. Plug the telephone cable from
your wall jack into the modem’s Line (not
Phone) jack. If you have to run your modem
and a phone off the same line at the same
jack, run a second cable from the modem’s
Phone jack to the telephone’s Line jack. If
your computer didn’t come with a built-in
modem, buy a 56 Kbps model and install it
(see Chapter 8).
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Broadband
Broadband (DSL and cable) connections are:
Fast. Broadband modems are 10 to 50
times faster than dial-up modems.
◆
Persistent. Broadband connections are
always on. No dialing is involved.
◆
Easy to set up. Sometimes a technician
comes to your home to install and configure everything; otherwise, your ISP
will mail you a kit with equipment and
setup instructions.
◆
Cheaper (maybe). Broadband service
costs upward of $15 a month for unlimited access (plus one-time setup and
equipment costs ranging from zero to a
few hundred dollars). Dial-up’s monthly
fee is cheaper, but with broadband, you
don’t need to pay for a second phone
line for internet access or for the extra
connect time needed for big downloads.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) uses a DSL
modem to operate over a standard phone
line without interfering with normal voice
calls. For some areas, DSL is available only if
you’re no more than 3 miles from a phonecompany central office. (The closer you are,
the faster the connection speed.) For other
areas, you can be outside the 3-mile limit.
Cable uses a cable modem to operate over a
cable TV line (coaxial cable). If you’re wired
for cable TV, you can get a connection
through your cable company. Cable speed
can drop precipitously when too many people in your area use the system.
Next, check the setup instructions or ask
your ISP or network administrator whether
you have a static IP address or a dynamic IP
address (for Point-to-Point Protocol over
Ethernet, or PPPoE, connections). An IP
address identifies your computer uniquely
on the internet.
A static (or fixed) IP address stays the same
every time you connect. In a PPPoE connection, the IP address changes each time. Unlike
a static IP connection, PPPoE requires a user
name and password; the IP address must be
initiated (leased) each time you reconnect
to the internet. For some ISPs, your connection hardware can handle reconnection; for
others, you have to initiate it yourself, as
with a dial-up connection.
Most connections are PPPoE. ISPs usually
make groups of static IP addresses available
only to business customers at extra cost,
if at all.
Use the Connect to the Internet wizard to
set up a PPPoE connection. Static connections are set up differently.
413
Understanding Connection Types
◆
Before you set up a broadband connection,
make sure that there’s a cable running from
your computer’s Ethernet (network) port to
a DSL modem, a cable modem, or a network
jack. The correct lights on the modem must
be lit. (Typically, you want to see four steady
green lights, but refer to the documentation.)
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Chapter 12
Understanding Connection Types
Wireless
Wireless isn’t a really connection type but
a network type—a way to use an existing
broadband connection. For a wireless connection, you need a wireless router or wireless
network (see “Understanding Network Types”
in Chapter 18). Or you can connect through
a hotspot—a public place (such as a café,
airport, hotel, or sometimes even an entire
town) with a wireless network. Many workplaces have secured hotspots throughout
the floor or building. If you’re at a friend’s
house, you can connect through his wireless
network, provided that he gives you the
security key.
Other connection types
Other connection types include satellite
and ISDN (an older, slower sort-of-DSL).
If your connection doesn’t fit neatly into a
particular category, your setup still may be
similar to those described in the following
section. In any case, your ISP will provide
equipment, instructions, and possibly an
on-site technician.
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Connecting to the Internet
Connecting to the Internet
The Connect to the Internet wizard guides
you through the steps of setting up an internet connection. The setup pages vary by
connection type.
Figure 12.1 Network
Connections lists your
current internet and
network connections.
Type descriptive
connection names when
you’re prompted; the
names appear as icon
labels in this window.
✔ Tips
Before you start, look in the Network
Connections window for existing connections: Choose Start > Control Panel >
Network and Internet > Network and
Sharing Center > Manage Network
Connections (on the left) (Figure 12.1).
■
Always favor your ISP’s own instructions
over the generic instructions given here.
■
Set up a firewall and secure your computer as soon as you’re connected; see
Chapter 13.
To connect to the internet:
Figure 12.2 These connection types are described in
“Understanding Connection Types” earlier in this
chapter.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Network
and Internet > Network and Sharing
Center > Set up a Connection or
Network (on the left) > Connect to the
Internet > Next.
or
If Welcome Center is open (see “Using
Welcome Center” in Chapter 1), click the
Connect to the Internet icon; then click
Connect to the Internet in the top pane.
2. Click your connection type (Figure 12.2).
or
If a connection already exists, and you
want to set up another one, click Set up a
New Connection Anyway (Figure 12.3);
select No, Create a New Connection; and
then click Next. Figure 12.2 will appear;
click your connection type.
continues on next page
Figure 12.3 If you’re connected already, this page
appears instead of Figure 12.2. You still can create a
new connection.
415
Connecting to the Internet
■
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Connecting to the Internet
3. Follow the onscreen instructions.
For dial-up connections, enter the local
access telephone number, user name,
and password that your ISP gave you
(Figure 12.4).
For broadband (PPPoE) connections, the
data-entry page is similar to Figure 12.4,
but no local access number is needed.
For wireless connections, choose your
wireless network (Figure 12.5). If the
network is secured, type the password
(Figure 12.6).
4. For dial-up and broadband connections, in
Figure 12.4, check Allow Other People to
Use This Connection to let all logged-on
users use this connection; uncheck it if
you don’t want to share the connection.
Figure 12.4 If you’re a traveler with multiple dial-up
connections on your laptop, use connection names
like AOL (New York) or ATT (San Francisco).
5. On the last page of the wizard, click
Connect to test the connection.
If the wizard can’t connect, it gives you a
chance to retry connecting, diagnose the
problem, or create the connection anyway.
Figure 12.5 Depending on where you are, you may see
ten or more in-range wireless networks in this list.
Each list entry tells you whether the network is
secured and gives its signal strength. (In the case of
hotspots, you can move for a better signal.) To update
the list, click Refresh (
).
416
Figure 12.6 This page appears when you try to
connect to a secured wireless network, for which you
need a password. Ask whoever set up the network.
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Connecting to the Internet
✔ Tips
Figure 12.7 Set the default connection to the one that
you use most often. A check mark appears on the
default’s icon.
For every new connection, an icon
appears in Network Connections (refer
to Figure 12.1). The newest connection
becomes the default. To change the
default, right-click the desired connection
and choose Set As Default Connection
(Figure 12.7). If a security prompt
appears, type an administrator password
or confirm the action.
■
If you’re disconnected, and you use a
program that requires an internet connection (a web browser, for example),
Windows displays a dialog box to let you
connect. To connect manually, doubleclick a connection in Network Connections
(Figure 12.8). If you double-click an
active connection, you get its status
(Figure 12.9).
continues on next page
Figure 12.8 This dialog box appears when you start a
connection.
Figure 12.9 A connection’s Status dialog box provides
details about a connection, including how long you’ve
been connected, how much you’ve downloaded or
uploaded, and (on the Details tab) the IP address.
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Connecting to the Internet
■
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Chapter 12
■
To suppress the Connect dialog box
(refer to Figure 12.8), right-click the connection and choose Properties > Options
tab > uncheck Prompt for Name and
Password, Certificate, Etc.
■
To have Windows connect automatically
when needed, choose Start > Control
Panel > Network and Internet > Internet
Options > Connections tab > check
Always Dial My Default Connection.
■
To add alternative numbers to a dial-up
connection, right-click it and choose
Properties > General tab > Alternates.
■
To create another connection quickly,
right-click an existing connection and
choose Create Copy; then right-click the
new icon and edit its properties.
■
Network and Sharing Center is the main
hub for network and internet connections
and activities. Choose Start > Control
Panel > Network and Internet > Network
and Sharing Center (Figure 12.10).
■
Hover your pointer over the Network
icon in the notification area for a quick
look at your current connections. Clicking
the icon shows the same information
plus a few links to related windows
(Figure 12.11). Right-click the icon for
even more commands.
Figure 12.10 Network and Sharing Center shows an
overview of your network and internet connections.
The links in the left pane take you to related activities.
Figure 12.11 If the Network icon doesn’t
appear, right-click an empty area of the
notification area and choose Properties >
Notification Area tab > Network > OK.
Troubleshooting Tools
Windows includes a few tools that let you inspect and troubleshoot your internet and network connections.
Try Help first: Choose Start > Help and Support and search for troubleshoot internet connection.
The following command-line commands are faster and more useful than almost anything
else in the graphical interface: ipconfig, netsh, netstat, pathping, ping, and tracert. Also try
3d Traceroute (free; www.d3tr.com).
To determine your actual internet connection speed (as opposed to what your ISP tells you),
go to www.testmyspeed.com or http://speedtest.dslreports.com.
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Connecting to the Internet
Figure 12.12 Right-click any connection to connect or
disconnect, check its status, or see and change its
properties. To access this window from Network and
Sharing Center (refer to Figure 12.10), click Connect
to a Network (in the left pane) or choose Start >
Connect To.
■
Click Connect or Disconnect in
Figure 12.11 for a quick way to review
and control all your connections
(Figure 12.12).
■
When you close your browser or other
internet program, a dial-up connection
doesn’t hang up automatically; it ties up
your phone line until disconnected. By
default, Windows disconnects automatically after 20 minutes of inactivity. To
change this period, right-click the dial-up
icon (refer to Figure 12.12) and choose
Properties > Options tab; then select a
time limit from the Idle Time Before
Hanging Up list.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Network
and Internet > Network and Sharing
Center > Manage Network Connections
(in the left pane) (refer to Figure 12.10).
2. Right-click the Local Area Connection
icon and choose Properties.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
3. On the Networking tab, double-click
Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
in the connections list (Figure 12.13).
continues on next page
Figure 12.13 TCP/IP is the standard protocol for
computer communications over the internet.
419
Connecting to the Internet
To set up a static IP connection:
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Chapter 12
4. On the General tab, select Use the
Following IP Address, select Use the
Following DNS Server Addresses, and then
type your IP addresses (Figure 12.14).
5. Click OK in each open dialog box.
✔ Tips
If you’re using IPv6, repeat the procedure,
but double-click Internet Protocol
Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) in step 3.
■
If you have a static IP connection, and
Windows ever prompts you to connect,
choose Start > Control Panel > Network and
Internet > Internet Options > Connections
tab > check Never Dial a Connection.
Connecting to the Internet
■
Figure 12.14 Your ISP may have sent you your static IP
addresses, but you can type these settings while
you’ve got your DSL provider, cable company, or
network administrator on the phone.
Why Dynamic IP Addresses?
Dynamic IP addresses are more complicated than static ones, but they’re needed because of the
IP-address shortage. About 4.3 billion addresses exist (ranging from 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255),
but along with the growing number of networked computers, IP-aware cell phones and consumer toys, car navigation systems, shipping containers, and other devices are swallowing
them up.
The problem with static addresses is that once an IP address is allocated to a particular computer or device, it’s off the market—even when that machine is offline. With dynamic addresses,
an online machine asks the server, “Got an IP address I can use temporarily?”, and the server
replies, “Take this one while you’re here.” It’s a technically more difficult but more efficient
use of a scarce resource.
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Security
and Privacy
13
Computer security is no longer an afterthought, and a three-pronged defense will
protect you from most attacks:
“Hackers”
When computer insiders call someone a
hacker, it’s not an insult. Though the term
is pejorative in the mainstream press and
common usage, it actually acknowledges
the person’s advanced computer skills and
ethos. Hackers generally aren’t malicious,
though some practice “electronic civil
disobedience” to, say, expose flaws in electronic voting machines. In fact, hackers
who discover security holes often report
them quietly to software makers to be fixed
before becoming common knowledge.
Cracker is the correct term for someone
who breaks into systems to steal data and
passwords, cause trouble, or make money.
Software updates. Windows Update
monitors the Microsoft website for new
security patches, updates, bug fixes, and
hardware drivers, which it downloads and
installs promptly.
Malware protection. Malicious software,
or malware, includes viruses and spyware.
Antivirus and antispyware programs find and
remove malware from your hard drives, downloaded files, and email attachments. Most
malware programs include an autoupdate
feature to counter emerging threats.
This chapter also covers parental controls
and encryption. Other security measures,
such as User Account Control (Chapter 17),
are covered where they’re relevant.
For more information, search for “hacker
vs. cracker” on the web. Look especially at
Eric S. Raymond’s The Jargon File (http://
catb.org/jargon/html).
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Security and Privacy
Firewall. A firewall is a secure boundary
between your computer (or network) and the
internet, protecting you against external threats
such as crackers and malicious programs.
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Chapter 13
Checking Your
Security Status
Windows Security Center is a one-stop
Control Panel program for checking the
status of your firewall, automatic updates,
antivirus and antispyware software, and
other security essentials on your computer.
When something’s amiss, a Security Center
warning message appears in the notification
area (Figure 13.1). This message and icon
appear (or sometimes only the icon does) if
Security Center thinks that your computer
has insufficient protection, or if it doesn’t
recognize the firewall and antivirus software
that you’re using.
Checking Your Security Status
✔ Tip
■
If you’re on a network domain, you may
not be able to use Security Center if your
network administrator manages your
security settings.
To open Security Center:
◆
Click the Security Center icon ( ) or
pop-up message, if it appears.
or
Choose Start > Control Panel > Security >
Security Center.
or
Choose Start, type security center in
the Search box, and then press Enter.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type
wscui.cpl and press Enter.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
422
Figure 13.1 A message like this means that your
computer’s security settings need attention.
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Security and Privacy
Security Center (Figure 13.2) has a dashboard of indicator “lights” for your computer’s
firewall, updates, malware, and other components. For each item, a green bar and
green light labeled On mean that everything
is OK. Otherwise, you’ll see a yellow or red
bar and light labeled Off, Check Settings,
Not Found, Not Monitored, or Out of Date.
Click one of the headings to expand that
section and to learn what the problem is and
what to do about it. Security Center offers a
status report and provides links to the relevant help screens, online resources, and
Control Panel programs that you’ll need to
fix things.
Checking Your Security Status
Security status reports
Open individual
security programs
Open the Microsoft
security webpage
in a browser
Change Security
Center alert options
Figure 13.2 Security Center displays security-related settings and links in a single window.
423
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Chapter 13
If you don’t want to be bothered with alerts,
you can turn them off. You might want to do
this if Security Center doesn’t recognize your
firewall or antimalware program, usually
because you’re using a third-party program
that came out before Vista was released
(look for an update).
To turn on or off Security Center alerts:
1. In Security Center, click Change the
Way Security Center Alerts Me (in the
left pane).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
Checking Your Security Status
2. Click the alert option that you want
(Figure 13.3).
3. Click OK.
✔ Tips
■
Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer is a
little-known but excellent tool that scans
your computer for security holes and
suggests how to fix them. Download it for
free at www.microsoft.com/technet/
security/tools/mbsahome.mspx. Its diagnoses contain some technical language
but make clear where the problems lie.
■
A good general site on web privacy and
security is www.junkbusters.com.
424
Figure 13.3 Security Center monitoring continues
silently even if you switch off the alert notifications
and icons.
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Security and Privacy
Viruses and Spyware
Malicious software (malware) comes in two broad categories: viruses and spyware. They can
resemble each other—they’re both installed without your knowledge or consent and make
your system unstable—but have some important differences.
A virus is a program that infects your computer. The type of attack depends on the skill and
intent of the virus writer. A virus can erase or corrupt files, steal your personal data, spread
other viruses, email copies of itself to people in your address list, chew up memory to slow or
halt your system, install a backdoor that lets remote attackers log on to your computer, turn
your computer into a zombie that sends spam without your knowledge . . . or only display a
practical-joke screen. A virus often arrives as an innocent-looking email attachment with an
executable file extension such as .exe, .scr, .bat, or .pif (see “Associating Documents with
Programs” in Chapter 6).
Spyware (or adware) relies on people’s credulity or ignorance—children are a favorite target—
to download and install it. Trickery or bait often are part of the repertoire. If a pop-up window that looks like a legitimate Windows dialog box appears when you’re browsing, don’t
click an Agree, OK, or Close button; that might trigger a spyware installer. Instead, always
click the red close button (
) or press Alt+F4 in this situation.
Other programs, such as the popular Kazaa and BearShare file-swapping programs, promise
free music or software but also install spyware surreptitiously. Some spyware exploits security
flaws in Internet Explorer to install itself when you simply visit a website (usually a pornographic
or “Free Stuff!” site—you’ll learn to recognize them); it’s not unusual for these drive-by downloads
to install dozens of spyware programs on your PC in a single visit.
Like those of viruses, spyware’s effects depend on the creator’s intent. Spyware can report
your browsing habits to third parties, hijack your browser’s home page, redirect your web
searches, inundate you with ads (even when you’re offline), steal online-store affiliate commissions, or plant a new barnaclelike toolbar in your browser. You also may notice system slowdowns
and instability, but these are only side effects; spyware’s aim is profit, not destruction.
425
Checking Your Security Status
Viruses have specialized variants. A worm is a self-replicating virus that spreads quickly over
a network. A Trojan horse is a destructive program disguised as legitimate or enticing software,
or even as a logon screen. (A file named sexy.exe or FreeMP3s.bat probably is dangerous.)
Trojans don’t replicate themselves like worms, but they can be just as destructive. A dialer
uses your modem to make calls to premium-rate telephone numbers (at, say, $20 per minute).
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Chapter 13
Using a Firewall
A firewall is a piece of software or hardware
that helps screen out crackers and viruses
that try to reach your computer over the
internet. It’s the most important security
component on your PC or network; attackers can compromise your computer easily if
you don’t have one. Always turn on a firewall
before you connect to the internet, no matter
how you connect. It’s no exaggeration to say
that unprotected computers often are compromised minutes after going online.
Using a Firewall
Windows provides Windows Firewall for
free, but you have choices:
Router (hardware). A router is a small box
that distributes the signal from your modem
(DSL, cable, or dial-up) to the computers on
your network (Figure 13.4). A router has a
built-in firewall and appears to the outside
world to be a computer without programs
and hard drives to attack or infect; it’s the
safest type of firewall, because it protects
your entire network and is always on. Even
if you’re not on a network, you can put a
router between your PC and your modem.
(Chapter 18 covers routers in more detail.)
If you’re on a network, a router won’t protect
you from other computers on the network
if one of them becomes infected because
someone downloaded a virus. For that kind
of protection, you’ll need a software firewall
on your individual computer. Also, laptop
users will want a software firewall so that
they don’t have to lug around a router. If all
you need is a router, turn off the Windows
(software) firewall, ignoring the dire warning
that appears.
426
Figure 13.4 This Linksys firewall router is popular for
home and small-office networks. Other brand-name
router makers include 3Com, D-Link, NETGEAR,
Belkin, SMC, and Microsoft.
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Security and Privacy
Third-party firewall (software). You can
use a non-Microsoft firewall instead of
Windows’ built-in one. You can find lots of
free and for-pay software firewalls on the
web by searching for personal firewall or by
visiting www.firewallguide.com/software.
Popular ones include ZoneAlarm, BlackICE,
Norton, Sunbelt Kerio, Kaspersky, and F-Secure.
Personal firewalls block inbound and outbound traffic. Blocking outbound traffic
selectively can stop spyware and viruses on
an already-infected PC from sending your
personal information out. Every time that a
program (any program) tries to access the
internet, the firewall intercepts it and asks
for your approval (Figure 13.5).
Windows Firewall (software). Windows
Firewall is available in Control Panel and
turned on by default with the safest
settings chosen.
427
Using a Firewall
Figure 13.5 This personal firewall, ZoneAlarm (free;
www.zonealarm.com), asks you whether you want
to allow or forbid a program to access the internet
from your computer. (It might surprise you how many
programs try this.) Check Remember This Setting to
always allow or always deny a program access,
suppressing this dialog box for that program.
Security Center recognizes popular thirdparty firewalls and turns off its own firewall
automatically. (Don’t run two software firewalls at the same time; you might not be
able to get online.) If Security Center doesn’t
know your firewall, turn off Windows
Firewall manually—and look for a post-Vista
update of your firewall.
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Chapter 13
To turn on or off Windows Firewall:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Security >
Windows Firewall.
or
In Security Center, click the Windows
Firewall link (in the left pane).
or
Choose Start, type windows firewall in
the Search box, and then select Windows
Firewall in the results list.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type
firewall.cpl and press Enter.
Figure 13.6 This window shows the status of Windows
Firewall and provides links for changing the default
settings.
Using a Firewall
2. Click Turn Windows Firewall On or Off
(in the left pane; Figure 13.6).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
3. Click On or Off; then click OK
(Figure 13.7).
✔ Tips
■
■
You can check Block All Incoming
Connections (refer to Figure 13.7) to
block all unsolicited incoming traffic,
even traffic that normally would be permitted by an exception (described next).
Use this extra-secure mode when you
connect to a public wireless hotspot in a
café, airport, or hotel, or when a virus is
spreading over your network.
A very secure way to protect yourself
from wireless hotspot hazards is
HotSpotVPN ($8.88 per month U.S.;
www.hotspotvpn.com).
428
Figure 13.7 In general, the only reason to switch off
Windows Firewall is if you’ve installed a third-party
firewall. (Windows Firewall turns itself off
automatically if you install a Vista-aware firewall.)
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Security and Privacy
Figure 13.8 Online gamers see this dialog box often.
You’ll never see it on a public or network PC on which
the administrator has blocked all exceptions.
Traffic flows in and out of your computer
through ports—small, authorized doors in
the firewall. (These ports aren’t the same as
the hardware ports that you connect devices
to.) A port number identifies each port
uniquely, and certain ports handle only a
specific type of traffic. Port 80 is used for
HTTP (web) traffic, for example. Other ports
allow instant messages, printer sharing, and
so on. (You can find others by searching the
web for “well-known ports”.)
Windows Firewall leaves some ports open
by default (File and Printer Sharing and your
local network connections, for example) but
blocks most of them to incoming traffic, so
when a new program wants to get online,
the firewall displays a dialog box asking you
whether it’s OK (Figure 13.8). Click:
Unblock if you recognize the program
name. The firewall opens the relevant
listening port for this connection and
future incoming connections. If a security
prompt appears, type an administrator
password or confirm the action.
◆
Keep Blocking if you don’t know which
program the firewall is asking about, or
if you know it but don’t want it phoning
home. The program might not work
properly if it can’t accept incoming traffic
(desirable in some cases).
Figure 13.9 A sterling security report for a firewalled
computer.
✔ Tip
■
To test your computer for online vulnerabilities, go to www.grc.com and navigate
to the ShieldsUP! page; then run the tests
(Figure 13.9). (The tests take some
reading and clicking to find.) This website also contains a lot of useful internet
security information, as well as free and
for-pay software.
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Using a Firewall
◆
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Chapter 13
Common sense applies to opening ports:
Open one only when you really need it, never
unblock a program that you don’t recognize,
and close a port when you no longer need it.
But sometimes you’ll change your mind about
a program or will be tricked into unblocking a
hostile program named to fool you. Windows
Firewall lets you create exceptions for these
programs and manage them manually.
To configure programs and ports:
1. Open Windows Firewall.
Using a Firewall
2. Click Allow a Program Through
Windows Firewall (in the left pane; refer
to Figure 13.6).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
3. On the Exceptions tab of the Windows
Firewall Settings dialog box (Figure 13.10),
do any of the following:
▲
To open or close ports for specific
programs, check or uncheck the boxes.
▲
To add a program, click Add Program;
then select it in the list or browse to it.
▲
To delete a program, select it in the
list; then click Delete. (You can’t
delete the preconfigured programs.)
▲
To open an individual port by number,
click Add Port; then type the port name
(any name) and number, and select a
protocol. (Windows assumes that
you’re geeky enough to know the port
number and protocol or that you read
it in the program’s documentation.)
If you’re adding a program or port, you
can click Change Scope to change the set
of computers that can use this port.
4. Click OK in each open dialog box.
430
Figure 13.10 The Exceptions tab lists every program
that’s been granted an open port in the firewall.
✔ Tips
■
Adding a program is preferable to opening a specific port because it’s easier to
do, you don’t need to know which port
number to use, and the firewall is open
only while the program is waiting to
receive the connection.
■
To protect or unprotect individual internet and network connections, or to
restore the firewall’s default settings,
click the Advanced tab in the Windows
Firewall Settings dialog box (refer to
Figure 13.10).
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Security and Privacy
Updating Windows
Figure 13.11 This window shows the status of
Windows Update and provides links that let you
control and view updates.
Microsoft publishes patches, bug fixes, and
other improvements on its website. These
changes include minor additions to the
Windows feature set, upgrades to the free
programs, and driver updates. The most important changes are those designated critical
updates or hotfixes, which plug security
holes or fix stability problems. Periodically,
Microsoft combines new fixes and previously
released ones into a package called a Service
Pack (SP). Never wait for an SP to install
updates, particularly critical updates (which
appear with alarming regularity).
To set up Windows Update:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Security >
Windows Update.
or
In Security Center, click the Windows
Update link (in the left pane).
or
Choose Start, type windows update in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
2. Do one of the following (Figure 13.11):
▲
To check for updates now, click
Check for Updates.
continues on next page
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Updating Windows
You can use Windows Update to choose
how and when updates are installed on your
computer. By default, Windows Update is set
to the most secure option: Automatic, which
checks Microsoft’s website regularly for
important fixes and, if they’re available,
downloads and installs them automatically.
Security Center objects to any other setting
and alerts you with a Not Automatic or Off
message if you choose something weaker
than Automatic.
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Updating Windows
Chapter 13
▲
To change when and how updates
are applied, click Change Settings,
choose among the options described
in Table 13.1, and then click OK
(Figure 13.12). If a security prompt
appears, type an administrator password or confirm the action.
▲
To review the updates installed to
date, click View Update History
(Figure 13.13).
▲
To see or install updates that you
previously declined to install, click
Restore Hidden Updates.
Figure 13.12 Windows can download and install
updates without your intervention (first option), ask
for your permission (second or third options), or leave
everything for you to do manually (fourth option).
Table 13.1
Windows Update Options
Option
Description
Install Updates Automatically (Recommended)
This set-it-and-forget-it option downloads and installs all patches automatically, according to the schedule you choose. This option is appropriate if
you have an always-on internet connection (DSL or cable). If you miss an
update because you’re offline, it’ll catch up with you when you go back on.
The download happens in the background, silently and without interfering
with anything that you might be downloading yourself. After download,
Windows alerts you to get your permission to install the update. This
option lets you research the patch before you install it; try Google or
www.annoyances.org to see whether it’s giving people trouble.
Windows alerts you when it detects an update on the Microsoft website.
With your permission, it downloads and installs it in separate steps. This
option is a good choice for on-the-go laptop users.
No updates occur. Choose this option if you want to update Windows manually (by clicking Check for Updates) or if you’re on a network domain and
you update from a network server rather than from Microsoft directly.
Uncheck this box if you want Windows Update to download and install only
critical updates, and omit less important (but often useful) “recommended
updates.”
Download Updates but Let Me Choose
Whether to Install Them
Check for Updates but Let Me Choose
Whether to Download and Install Them
Never Check for Updates (Not Recommended)
Recommended Updates
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✔ Tips
■
Try Help if you’re having a problem
updating: Choose Start > Help and
Support, and search for troubleshoot
updates.
■
If you ignore Windows Update
when it’s ready to install an
update and try to shut down, a shield
appears on the Power button in the Start
menu (see “Logging On and Logging Off ”
in Chapter 1). Clicking this button ends
your session, installs the updates, and
then shuts down your computer.
Figure 13.13 You can uninstall an update if it’s causing
problems. Click Installed Updates in this window, or
choose Start > Control Panel > Programs > Programs
and Features > View Installed Updates.
Updating Windows
Updating Device Drivers
Windows Update can provide new device drivers for your PC’s hardware. Unlike the other
types of updates, this one should be approached skeptically, because Windows Update has a
habit of recommending the wrong drivers for some hardware.
I recommend that you install drivers for only Microsoft-branded hardware, such as mice, keyboards, and game controllers. For other products, download drivers from the manufacturers’
websites directly. And don’t be surprised if the sites don’t offer an updated driver; it means
only that Windows Update guessed wrong about your equipment.
If Windows Update installed a driver, and your device stopped working, you can roll back; see
“Managing Device Drivers” in Chapter 8.
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Chapter 13
Defending Against
Viruses and Spyware
Security Center helps protect your computer
against viruses and spyware (called malicious
software, or malware) by checking whether
your computer is using up-to-date antivirus
and antispyware programs (Figure 13.14).
Figure 13.14 If an antimalware program is turned off
or out of date, Security Center tells you here and
posts an alert in the notification area.
Defending Against Viruses and Spyware
Viruses
Windows doesn’t provide an antivirus program. If you want one (see the “Is Antivirus
Software Necessary?” sidebar), you’ll have to
install your own. If it’s Vista-aware, Security
Center will find it, monitor it, and respond
with a green On light when happy. If it’s not
Vista-aware, click Show Me My Available
Options in Figure 13.14 and choose a monitoring option (Figure 13.15). (To show this
link, you may have to click the Monitor Now
button in the Malware Protection section of
Security Center; refer to Figure 13.2.)
Figure 13.15 Both these options are identical as far as
Windows is concerned. The “Not Recommended”
option is just Microsoft’s way of reminding you to
install an antivirus program.
Is Antivirus Software Necessary?
No. Plenty of people—including me—use no virus protection and don’t get infected. I don’t
like antivirus programs because they display chronic Chicken Little warnings that interfere
with my workflow, program installations, and routine internet transactions.
If you think that you have a virus, run an antivirus program to eradicate it. The 24/7 protection that continuously running antivirus programs promise is cold comfort.
The best way to avoid viruses is to behave safely: Use hardware and software firewalls, keep
Windows updated, use a Standard (not Administrator) account for everyday use, delete executable or risky email attachments (even from friends), browse with Mozilla Firefox instead
of Internet Explorer, use an aggressive spam filter, learn to recognize untrustworthy websites
and email, and use open-source software whenever possible (try www.sourceforge.net and
www.freshmeat.net).
Also, ignore virus myths, publicity stunts, hoaxes, chain letters, and hysteria. Take a look at
some back issues of Crypt Newsletter (http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~crypt).
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To get Microsoft’s recommendations for
antivirus programs, click Find a Program in
Figure 13.14. This launches your browser to
show a list of programs at Microsoft’s website.
Spyware
Windows Defender (Figure 13.16), new in
Vista, protects your computer against spyware
infections. You can use real-time (always-on)
protection and manual (on-demand) scanning.
To open Windows Defender:
◆
Figure 13.16 Spyware can try to install itself secretly any time you’re connected to the internet, or
possibly when you install some programs from a CD, DVD, or other removable media.
435
Defending Against Viruses and Spyware
Choose Start > Control Panel > Security >
Windows Defender.
or
In Security Center, click the Windows
Defender link (in the left pane).
or
Choose Start, type windows defender in
the Search box, and then press Enter.
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Chapter 13
By default, Defender is turned on and alerts
you when spyware tries to self-install, run,
or change important Windows settings.
Table 13.2
Windows Defender Actions
Action
Defending Against Viruses and Spyware
Defender uses color-coded severity levels
for alerts: Severe, High, Medium, Low, and
Not Yet Classified. Depending on the alert
level, you can choose one of the actions in
Table 13.2 to apply to the software. For
Severe and High, remove the software immediately. For Medium, consider removing or
quarantining it if you don’t trust the publisher.
For Low and Not Yet Classified, the software
is probably benign, but it’s your call. If software
tries to change a system setting, Defender
asks you to permit or deny the change.
Description
Ignore
Allows the software to be installed or run.
If the software still is running during the
next scan, or if it tries to change securityrelated settings, Defender alerts you again.
Quarantine
Moves the software to another location on
your computer and prevents it from running until you restore or delete it. To view
and manage these items, choose Tools >
Quarantined Items.
Remove
Deletes the software permanently.
Always Allow Adds the software to the Allowed Items
list and lets it run. Defender stops alerting
you about the software. Choose this option
only if you trust the software and the software publisher. To move and manage this
list, choose Tools > Allowed Items.
Is DRM Software a Virus?
Almost all antivirus programs are worthless. Security experts (real ones) know this, but it’s
the elephant in the living room that no one talks about.
In 2005, for example, Sony distributed a nasty program called a rootkit on its music CDs. This
rootkit installed itself secretly with the purpose of preventing music copying. It was nominally digital rights management (DRM) software, but what it really did was leave PCs vulnerable to attacks.
Almost no antivirus program removed the rootkit until the whole sorry mess went public;
some vendors apparently were appeasing Sony. For details, see Bruce Schneier’s article “Sony’s
DRM Rootkit: The Real Story” (www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/11/sonys_drm_rootk.html).
When I need antivirus software, I try Kaspersky (www.kaspersky.com) and F-Secure
(www.f-secure.com) first. I never bother with Norton or McAfee.
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Security and Privacy
To turn Windows Defender on or off:
1. Choose Tools > Options.
Figure 13.17 You can uncheck the bottom box to
prevent nonadministrators from using Defender.
2. Under Administrator Options, check
or uncheck Use Windows Defender
(Figure 13.17).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
3. Click Save.
By default, Defender checks for new spyware
definitions and regularly scans your hard
disks for spyware, removing any that it finds.
You can run a quick, full, or custom scan
manually at any time.
◆
Figure 13.18 Use a custom scan if you think that
spyware has infected a specific area of your
computer.
To run a quick scan, click Scan.
or
To run a full system scan, click the down
arrow next to the Scan button and
choose Full Scan.
or
To run a custom scan, click the down
arrow next to the Scan button and
choose Custom Scan. Click Select,
choose the drives and folders that you
want to check (Figure 13.18), click OK,
and then click Scan Now.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
437
Defending Against Viruses and Spyware
To run a scan:
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Chapter 13
Defender’s default options are safe and
unintrusive, but you can customize them
to change:
◆
Whether and how often automatic scans
take place
◆
Actions to display or apply for a specific
alert levels
◆
The aspects of Windows that real-time
protection monitors
◆
Advanced options
To set Windows Defender options:
1. Choose Tools > Options (Figure 13.19).
Defending Against Viruses and Spyware
2. Set the desired options.
3. Click Save.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm the
action.
Figure 13.19 You can set dozens of options in
Windows Defender.
✔ Tips
■
To see (or clear) the history of your
Windows Defender activities, click
History (on the toolbar).
■
Defender offers access to the online
Microsoft SpyNet community to help you
see how other people respond to software
that has not yet been classified for risks.
To join, choose Tools > Microsoft SpyNet
and follow the onscreen instructions.
■
You can use the Software Explorer tool to
see detailed information about software
that is currently running on your computer,
including programs that run automatically at startup. Choose Tools > Software
Explorer (Figure 13.20).
438
Figure 13.20 Use the Category list to monitor startup
programs, currently running programs, networkconnected programs, or low-level networking and
communication (Winsock) services.
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Security and Privacy
Antispyware Resources
You’re most likely to pick up spyware when you download free file-sharing (peer-to-peer),
shopping, animated-buddy, weather, toolbar, or search utilities. The home sites of some utilities swear that they’re spyware free, but they define “spyware” very narrowly.
PC Pitstop publishes a regularly updated “Top 25 Spyware and Adware” list at www.pcpitstop.com/
spycheck/top25.asp. Before you visit a suspect website, check it out at www.siteadvisor.com
or www.stopbadware.org .
Spyware is very difficult to remove without a spyware cleaner (and sometimes with one), so
do a little research before you download a suspicious program. Search the Web for the program name and “spyware”. A kazaa spyware search, for example, yields more than 3 million
hits. Some sites that list clean freeware are www.nonags.com, www.pricelessware.org,
www.onlythebestfreeware.com, and www.majorgeeks.com.
Defending Against Viruses and Spyware
Some spyware-laden programs fraudulently promise to remove spyware. Spyware Warrior
(www.spywarewarrior.com) publishes a list of such products (click the Rogue/Suspect AntiSpyware link). Other worthwhile sites are www.benedelman.org and www.spywareinfo.com.
No spyware cleaner can detect every spyware program, so use a second cleaner in tandem.
Try Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition (free; www.lavasoftusa.com), Spybot Search & Destroy
(free; www.safer-networking.org), or Spy Sweeper ($30 U.S.; www.webroot.com).
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Chapter 13
Setting Parental Controls
Parental Controls, new in Vista (Home and
Ultimate editions only), lets you manage
how your children (or anyone) can use the
computer. You can set limits on web access,
logon hours, games played, and programs run.
Before you start, set up a standard user
account for each child, and log on yourself
as an administrator. Parental Controls can
be applied only to standard users, not
administrators. To create accounts, see
“Setting up User Accounts” in Chapter 17.
Setting Parental Controls
To set up Parental Controls:
Figure 13.21 If you haven’t set up Standard accounts
for your kids, this screen provides links to the User
Accounts tool.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Security >
Parental Controls.
or
Choose Start, type parental controls in
the Search box, and then press Enter.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
2. Click the Standard user account to which
you want to apply parental controls
(Figure 13.21).
3. Under Parental Controls, select On,
Enforce Current Settings (Figure 13.22).
Figure 13.22 The settings apply only to the indicated
user account. You can apply different parental
controls to each child individually.
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Security and Privacy
Table 13.3
Parental Control Settings
Description
Windows Vista
Web Filter
Specifies which websites your
children can and can’t visit. You
can create a custom Allow list
or Block list. You also can block
websites based on their content
(pornography, drugs, hate speech,
and so on), but this filter isn’t
dependable. You can disable
downloads too.
Specifies, in a 24 x 7 grid, the
times when your children can and
can’t log on. If they’re already
logged on during a blocked time,
they’ll be logged off automatically.
Specifies whether any gameplaying is allowed and, if so,
which game ratings (Mature,
Teen, Everyone, and so on) are
permitted. You also can limit
specific games.
Specify whether all installed
programs can be run or only the
ones you choose.
Time Limits
Games
Allow or Block
Specific Programs
5. Click OK.
✔ Tips
■
When your child is logged on, he can
click a notification-area icon ( ) to see
which restrictions you’ve applied.
■
When Parental Controls blocks access to
a webpage or game, it displays a “You’ve
been blocked” message (Figure 13.23).
■
You can use activity reports to check
your child’s online comings and goings.
In Figure 13.21, click the account of
whoever you want to spy on. Under
Activity Reporting, select On, Collect
Information About Computer Usage
(refer to Figure 13.22). To see the reports,
go back to the same page and click View
Activity Reports.
Figure 13.23 Your child can click a link to request
permission for access to that webpage or program.
You can allow access by entering your account
information.
441
Setting Parental Controls
Setting
4. Adjust the individual settings that you
want to control (Table 13.3).
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Chapter 13
Encrypting Data
Encryption is one of the strongest ways to
secure your sensitive documents and personal information. When you encrypt files,
Windows’ Encrypting File System (EFS)
scrambles them so that only you can read
them, providing an extra measure of protection for user accounts (Chapter 17). EFS is
transparent: Encrypted file and folder icons
change color, but otherwise, you open, edit,
and save them in the usual way.
Encrypting Data
✔ Tips
■
EFS isn’t available in Vista Home editions,
but see the “Stronger Encryption Tools”
sidebar.
■
EFS works on only NTFS-formatted hard
drives, not FAT or FAT32. To check a
drive, choose Start > Computer, right-click
a drive icon, and choose Properties >
General tab. The File System entry
should be NTFS.
■
NTFS-compressed files can’t be EFSencrypted (but you can encrypt zipped
folders). See “Compressing Files and
Folders” in Chapter 5.
■
You can’t encrypt system files, such as
those in the Windows folder.
To encrypt a file or folder:
1. In Windows Explorer, right-click the file
or folder that you want to encrypt and
choose Properties > General tab >
Advanced.
If the Advanced button is missing,
the selected file or folder isn’t on an
NTFS drive.
2. Check Encrypt Contents to Secure Data
(Figure 13.24).
3. Click OK in each open dialog box.
442
Figure 13.24 If you’ve selected a folder to encrypt,
Windows responds with a Confirm Attribute Change
message box, asking you whether you want to encrypt
just that folder or everything that it contains too.
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Security and Privacy
✔ Tips
Figure 13.25 Generally, you should encrypt folders
and all their contents so that it’s easier to track what’s
encrypted and what’s not.
If you encrypt only a folder, EFS won’t
encrypt any files currently in the folder,
but it will encrypt any new files that you
copy, move, or create within the folder.
■
If you encrypt a file in an unencrypted
folder, Windows displays an Encryption
Warning dialog box that lets you choose
whether to encrypt only the file or both the
file and its parent folder (Figure 13.25).
■
EFS encrypts any file or folder that you
move into an encrypted folder but won’t
decrypt one that you drag out unless you
decrypt it manually by unchecking the
Encrypt box in Figure 13.24, drag it to a
FAT or FAT32 drive, or transmit it via
email or network. (Lesson: Don’t keep
encrypted material on shared network
drives; other users can read it without
your account password.)
■
When you decrypt a folder, Windows
asks whether you want all files and subfolders within the folder to be decrypted
as well. If you choose to decrypt the
folder only, the encrypted files and folders
within the decrypted folder remain
encrypted. But EFS won’t encrypt new
files and folder that you copy, move, or
create within the decrypted folder.
■
To display encrypted files and folders in
a different color in Windows Explorer,
choose Organize > Folder and Search
Options > View tab > check Show
Encrypted or Compressed NTFS Files
in Color > OK. Consider not coloring
encrypted files so that onlookers won’t
know that you’re using EFS.
Stronger Encryption Tools
EFS isn’t all that safe, because an
administrator can use a Group Policy
“backdoor” to recover your encrypted
data. For better protection, use a standalone encryption tool such as TrueCrypt
(free; www.truecrypt.org).
Before you pick a tool, read Matt Curtin’s
“Snake Oil Warning Signs: Encryption
Software to Avoid” (www.interhack.net/
people/cmcurtin/snake-oil-faq.html).
And try Bruce Schneier’s free monthly CryptoGram newsletter (www.counterpane.com/
crypto-gram.html). After encrypting files,
paranoids should flush RAM and shred
the swap file so that enemies can’t lift
passwords and keys with forensic tools.
A simple alternative to encrypting files
is hiding them. (You can’t steal what
you can’t find.) Try Hide Folders ($30
U.S.; www.fspro.net), Magic Folders
($25 U.S.; www.pc-magic.com), or
bProtected ($20 U.S.; www.clasys.com).
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Encrypting Data
■
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14
Internet Explorer
After your internet connection is working
(Chapter 12), use Internet Explorer (IE) to
browse the web. If you’ve used IE before,
turn the page; otherwise, here’s a 30-second
tutorial:
The internet is a global network that
connects millions of computers. Unlike
online services like AOL, the internet is
decentralized—by design. You can use to
it exchange data, news, opinions, ideas,
and things (you can buy or sell almost
anything on it).
◆
The World Wide Web, or simply web, is a
way of viewing and sharing information
over the internet via specially formatted
documents—webpages—that support
text, graphics, sounds, video, and links
to other webpages. A website is a group
of related webpages.
◆
A web browser is an application that
locates and displays webpages, and
downloads files to your hard drive.
Mozilla Firefox
IE is popular because it’s included with
Windows, but Mozilla Firefox (free;
www.mozilla.org/products/firefox) is a
better browser, even accounting for IE 7’s
new features. Firefox is smaller, faster,
simpler, more secure, and updated more
frequently. You can customize it with
easily installed extensions (free add-ons)
that include a Google toolbar, Adobe
Flash–animation suppressor, banner-ad
killer, weather-forecast display, and hundreds more. One of its best features finds
webpage text as you type, with no need
for a Find dialog box.
Firefox can import and export IE settings
and bookmarks. Also, it has an extension
that opens a webpage in IE in case it doesn’t
display or work properly in Firefox (which
happens occasionally).
✔ Tip
■
The web is a portion of the internet.
(The terms are not synonyms.) The
internet contains not only the web, but
also channels for email and newsgroups
(Chapter 15), as well as instant messages
(Chapter 16).
445
Internet Explorer
◆
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Chapter 14
Getting Started with
Internet Explorer
To start Internet Explorer:
◆
Figure 14.1 shows Internet Explorer’s main
controls. You can point (without clicking) to
any control for a pop-up tip. The important
part of IE is not the program itself but the
webpages and resources that it gives you
access to. You’ll spend most of your browsing
time working within the web itself—reading,
searching, scrolling, clicking links, filling out
forms, downloading files—rather than using
IE’s controls and menus.
Choose Start > Internet Explorer (or
Start > All Programs > Internet Explorer).
or
Click the Internet Explorer icon ( )
on the Quick Launch toolbar, located on
the taskbar.
or
Double-click an internet shortcut.
or
Choose Start, type internet explorer in
the Search box, and then press Enter.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type iexplore
and press Enter.
Getting Started with Internet Explorer
Graphics links
Address bar
Tab row
Form (text box)
Search box
Toolbar
Menu bar
Links
Favorites Center
Status bar
Text links
Webpage
Figure 14.1 Internet Explorer’s main panel shows a webpage (Microsoft’s home page, in this case).
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Internet Explorer
Navigating the Web
Figure 14.2 The address bar displays the address
(URL) of the current webpage. Type a new address to
go to a different page.
You have a few ways to move among
webpages:
Figure 14.3 (Left to right) Back
button, Forward button, and
Recent Pages menu.
◆
Type a web address (URL) (Figure 14.2).
◆
Click a navigation button (Figure 14.3).
◆
Click a link, or hyperlink (Figure 14.4).
◆
Search for a webpage on a specific topic
(Figure 14.5).
Figure 14.4 Links take
you to a new webpage
(or another place on
the same page).
Figure 14.5 Type keywords in the Search
box and press Enter to search the web.
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a case-insensitive address that identifies a webpage
uniquely. The URL for Microsoft’s home page, for example, is http://www.microsoft.com. The
transmission standard for all webpages is http://, so you don’t type it (IE fills it in for you).
The rest of the address specifies the web server and the webpage’s location on it. Some URLs
don’t need the www.; others require additional dot-separated elements.
The server name’s last part (called the top-level domain, or TLD) usually tells you about the
website’s owner or country. .com is a business, .gov is a government, .edu is a school, and
.org is a not-for-profit organization, for example. .uk is a United Kingdom site; .ca is a
Canadian site, and so on. For a list of TLDs, see www.iana.org/domain-names.htm.
Like your own documents, webpage files are organized in folder trees on the server, so a long
URL (www.microsoft.com/windows/support, for example) works like a pathname. Complicated
URLs that contain ?, =, and & symbols are pages created on the fly in response to a query.
Note that URLs use forward slashes, not backslashes as in Windows pathnames.
By the way, articulate each letter: U–R–L. Don’t say earl.
447
Navigating the Web
URLs
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Chapter 14
✔ Tips
■
■
Navigating the Web
■
■
■
■
Text links typically are underlined blue
phrases (or they were until web designers
decided to be artists). Pictures and buttons
also can be links. Some links sprout a
menu when you point to them. If links
are hard to spot at first, watch your
pointer; wherever it turns from an arrow
into a finger-pointing hand ( ), you’ve
discovered a link.
To show or hide the menu bar,
status bar, Links, and other
parts of the IE interface, use the Tools
menu (on the toolbar). To set which buttons appear on the toolbar itself, choose
Tools (Alt+O) > Toolbars > Customize
(Figure 14.6). If you don’t show the
menu bar permanently, you can always
summon it by pressing Alt.
To visit a page on a particular website, go
to the site’s home page; then use the site’s
search and navigation tools to find your
target. Table 14.1 lists a few sites to get
you started.
If an error message (“Cannot find server”
or “The page cannot be displayed”)
appears instead of a webpage, you may
have mistyped the URL, or the webpage
may have been moved.
The status bar shows IE’s progress
(“Waiting for . . .” or “Done”) and displays
the target URL of any link that you
point to.
Press Alt+L to show IE’s Help menu.
448
Figure 14.6 To lock the toolbar (and other bars) after
you’ve made changes, choose Tools > Toolbars > Lock
the Toolbars.
Table 14.1
Website Sampler
To p i c
Site
Auctions
Blogging
Classifieds
Dating
Encyclopedia
Everything
File sharing
Great books
Internet security
Jobs
Legal
Maps
Movie reviews
Movies
Open source
Photo galleries
Search
Shareware
Shopping
Socializing
Tech terms
Travel
Videos
Weather (U.S.)
Web design
www.ebay.com
www.blogger.com
www.craigslist.org
www.match.com
www.wikipedia.org
www.yahoo.com
www.torrentspy.com
www.bartleby.com
www.cert.org
www.monster.com
www.nolo.com
http://maps.google.com
www.rottentomatoes.com
www.imdb.com
http://sourceforge.net
www.flickr.com
www.google.com
www.download.com
www.amazon.com
www.myspace.com
www.webopedia.com
www.travelzoo.com
www.youtube.com
www.weather.gov
www.useit.com
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Internet Explorer
To visit a webpage by typing a URL:
1. Click the address bar (or press Alt+D).
2. Type or paste the URL and press Enter.
✔ Tips
If you type a URL in the Windows
Explorer address bar, it launches IE with
that webpage. If you type a pathname
(C:\Users\John\Documents, for example)
in the IE address bar, Windows Explorer
goes to that location.
■
The address bar autocompletes—that is,
proposes a list of matching sites that
you’ve visited recently. Keep typing or
use the down-arrow key to select a
match; then press Enter. To show or hide
the address list manually, press F4.
■
Typing shortcut: To visit a .com site,
type only the business name; then press
Ctrl+Enter. IE adds the http://www. and
.com bits automatically. (Even without
this shortcut, IE adds http:// if you don’t.)
■
When you’re editing a URL, Ctrl+Left
arrow or Ctrl+Right arrow jump back or
forward to the URL’s next logical break
(dot or slash).
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Navigating the Web
■
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Chapter 14
To visit a webpage via navigation
buttons or links:
◆
Click a link in a webpage, email message,
or document.
or
To revisit pages that you’ve seen recently,
click Back (Backspace or Alt+Left arrow),
Forward (Alt+Right arrow), or Recent
Pages (Figure 14.7).
or
To return to a page you’ve
visited in the past few weeks,
choose Tools > Toolbars > History (or
press Ctrl+Shift+H); then click a link on
the History bar (Figure 14.8).
or
To go to a bookmarked page, choose
it from the Favorites Center (press
Alt+C); see “Bookmarking Pages” later in
this chapter.
Figure 14.7 Click the Recent Pages button
to jump back or forward several pages.
Navigating the Web
✔ Tips
■
To stop downloading a page, click Stop
( ) at the right end of the address bar
(or press Esc).
■
To reload a stale or incomplete page,
click Refresh ( ) at the right end of the
address bar (or press F5). But Refresh
decides for itself what and what not to
fetch from the web server; Ctrl+Refresh
forces a reload of everything and may
bring you newer content.
■
To erase your browsing history, choose
Tools > Internet Options > General tab >
Delete (below Browsing History) > Delete
History > Yes > Close. To change the
number of days that pages are saved in
the History list, click Settings (below
Browsing History) (Figure 14.9).
450
Figure 14.8 The History bar is an
organized list of pages that you’ve
visited recently. Click a calendar icon to
list the websites visited during that
period; then click a website icon to view
each page visited within that site. To
sort or search the history, click the
History button. To delete or copy a link,
right-click it.
Figure 14.9 If you don’t want people peeking at the
sites you’ve visited, after you clear your history, set
Days to Keep Pages in History to zero, thus covering
your tracks and disabling the History feature.
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Internet Explorer
To search for a webpage:
1. Click in the Search box (or press Ctrl+E).
2. Type one or more keywords and press
Enter, or press Alt+Enter to display the
results in a new tab.
IE responds with a list of links, ordered
by relevance.
3. Click any result link to visit the page.
✔ Tips
By default, the Search box uses Live
Search (Windows’ search engine;
www.live.com). To use a different search
provider, click the Search Options button
to the right of the search box and then
select a different provider (Figure 14.10).
The search is repeated with the new
provider. Note that some providers are
general search engines (Google and
Yahoo, for example) and others search
only within a specific website (Amazon
and eBay).
■
If the cursor is in the Search box, press
Ctrl+Down arrow to open the provider
menu.
■
To search directly from the address bar,
press Alt+D; type go, find, or ?, followed
by a space and a search phrase; and then
press Enter.
■
After you go to a webpage, press Ctrl+F
to search for specific text on that page.
Figure 14.10 If no search providers
besides Live Search are listed in this
menu, choose Find More Providers to add
them. After you’ve added a few, choose
Change Search Defaults to specify the
default provider.
continues on next page
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Navigating the Web
■
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Chapter 14
You can increase the accuracy of your
searches by adding operators that finetune your keywords. Use the minus sign
(–) before a keyword, for example (with
no intervening space), to exclude pages
with that term. The search text aspen -tree
finds pages that contain aspen but not
tree. Use quotes to find exact phrases:
“aspen tree” finds pages with those two
words adjacent in the text. Google’s
operators, for example, are described at
www.google.com/help/refinesearch.html.
Many operators are common to all major
search engines, but check the search
engine’s help pages for idiosyncrasies.
■
Beware of advertisements posing as
“sponsored links” interlaced with results.
Reputable search engines color-code
paid links or set them apart from legitimate results.
Navigating the Web
■
Search Engines
Search engines index billions of webpages
and put them at your fingertips. Google
(www.google.com) is best for all-around
searching, but you may prefer other
engines for specialized searches or if
Google doesn’t do what you want. (No
one engine knows about every webpage.)
Each engine has a different spin on analyzing and organizing relevant links. Search
engines rank pages by using proprietary
(and competing) “relevance” formulas;
Google’s is called PageRank, for example.
You can find search-engine recommendations, news, tips—and about everything
else you’d want to know about the subject—at http://searchenginewatch.com.
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Internet Explorer
You can move around a webpage by using
scroll bars, but it’s faster to use keyboard
shortcuts or the mouse wheel. Almost all
web scrolling is up/down; some pages or
large images will make you scroll left/right.
To move around a webpage:
◆
.comBAT
When you search for information about
health, science, weather, scholarly disciplines, government services, high culture,
charitable causes, not-for-profits, news,
and religion (not shopping, sports, or
celebrities), favor .org, .gov, .edu, and
other noncommercial domains over .com
sites. A comparison should convince you:
Visit www.weather.gov (the U.S. government’s National Weather Service site) and
www.weather.com (The Weather Channel’s
commercial site), and behold:
◆
The NWS site loads quickly, has no
ads, shows only weather information,
uses graphics sparingly and effectively,
plants no cookies, has an obvious search
function, and shows a clear map of
nationwide weather and warnings.
✔ Tip
■
If the insertion point isn’t blinking in a
text box or the address bar, press the
spacebar or Shift+spacebar to scroll
down or up.
The Weather Channel site greets you
with a pop-up ad; has banner ads that
occupy substantial screen real estate;
plays Flash animations; is inundated
with sales pitches, self-promotion, and
slow-loading images; plants a cookie;
and has one tiny weather map.
The site operator, for example, can help
you. To search for, say, philosophy pages
at only educational sites, use the query
philosophy site:edu. To search at only
United Kingdom academic sites, use
philosophy site:ac.uk.
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Navigating the Web
◆
To scroll up or down incrementally (or
line by line), press the up- or down-arrow
key or spin the mouse wheel.
or
To scroll up or down by a windowful,
press Page Up or Page Down.
or
To scroll to the beginning or end, press
Home or End.
or
To move the cursor forward or back
through webpage items, the address bar,
and the History Center, press Tab or
Shift+Tab.
If a link is selected, press Enter to activate it.
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Chapter 14
Using Tabs
Tabbed browsing, new in IE 7, lets you open
multiple webpages in a single browser window. You can open webpages or links in new
tabs and switch among them by clicking a
tab. If you have many tabs open, you can
use Quick Tabs to switch easily or save them
as a group to open all at the same time in
the future.
To open a tab:
◆
To open a new blank tab, click the New
Tab button in the tab row (or press
Ctrl+T) (Figure 14.11).
or
To open a new tab when you follow a
link on a webpage, press Ctrl as you
click the link (or right-click the link and
choose Open in New Tab). If you have a
mouse with a wheel, click a link with the
wheel to open a new tab.
Using Tabs
✔ Tips
■
To reorder tabs, drag them left or right in
the tab row.
■
To open a new IE window, press Ctrl+N.
454
Figure 14.11 The New Tab button is at the
right end of the tab row. You also can
right-click a tab and choose New Tab.
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Internet Explorer
To close a tab:
◆
Figure 14.12 The shortcut menu lets you close any tab
(not just the active one).
To close the active (frontmost) tab, click
the close button on the tab ( , visible in
Figure 14.11).You also can press Ctrl+W
to close the tab, but if it’s the only open
tab, IE will close too.
or
To close any tab, right-click the tab and
choose Close (Figure 14.12). If you have
a mouse with a wheel, click a tab with
the wheel to close it.
or
To close all tabs but one, right-click the
tab that you want to keep open and choose
Close Other Tabs (refer to Figure 14.12).
To save a group of tabs:
Figure 14.13 You can save the current set of tabs as a
group to open in tandem at any time.
1. Click the Add to Favorites button ( )
and choose Add Tab Group to Favorites.
2. Type a name for the group, select the
folder that you want the group to be stored
in, and then click Add (Figure 14.13).
To open a saved group of tabs:
Figure 14.14 All the webpages in the
group will open in separate tabs.
2. Navigate to the folder that contains the
tab group you want to open and click
the arrow to the right of the folder name
(Figure 14.14).
✔ Tip
■
You can reopen the current set of tabs
the next time you start IE. When you
close IE and are prompted whether to
close all tabs, click Show Options, check
Open These the Next Time I Use Internet
Explorer, and then click Close Tabs
(Figure 14.15).
Figure 14.15 You can reopen the same tabs
automatically the next time you start IE.
455
Using Tabs
1. Click the Favorites Center button ( );
then click the Favorites button (or
press Ctrl+I).
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Chapter 14
To see all open tabs at the same time:
◆
Click the Quick Tabs button (or press
Ctrl+Q) (Figure 14.16).
✔ Tips
■
To close the Quick Tabs view, click the
Quick Tabs button again. The last webpage that you viewed will be displayed.
■
Click the arrow next to the Quick Tabs
button to see a menu of open webpages.
To configure tabbed browsing:
◆
Choose Tools > Internet Options >
General tab > Settings (below Tabs)
(Figure 14.17).
Table 14.2 shows keyboard shortcuts for
tabbed browsing.
Figure 14.16 Quick Tabs shows all your open
webpages on one screen. Click the thumbnail that you
want to view. You also can click the close button in the
top-right corner of a thumbnail to close that page.
Table 14.2
Tab Keyboard Shortcuts
To
Press
Open links in a new tab in
the background
Open links in a new tab in
the foreground
Open a new tab in the
foreground
Ctrl+click
Using Tabs
Switch among tabs
Close the current tab (or IE
when there are no open tabs)
Open a new tab in the
foreground from the
address bar
Switch to a specific
tab number
Switch to the last tab
Close other tabs
Open Quick Tabs
(thumbnail view)
Open a link in a tab with
a wheel mouse
Close a tab with a
wheel mouse
456
Ctrl+Shift+click
Ctrl+T (or double-click
an empty area of the tab
row)
Ctrl+Tab or Ctrl+Shift+Tab
Ctrl+W or Alt+F4
Alt+Enter
Ctrl+n (where n is a
number between 1 and 8)
Ctrl+9
Ctrl+Alt+F4
Ctrl+Q
Click the link with
the mouse wheel
Click the tab with the
mouse wheel
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Internet Explorer
Bookmarking Pages
You can keep track of webpages that you
like and open them quickly in the future.
You can add a page to your
Favorites list (Figure 14.18). Any
time you want to open that page, click the
Favorites Center button ( ), click Favorites
(or press Ctrl+I), and then click the shortcut.
To add a page to your Favorites list:
1. Go to the page that you want to add.
2. Click the Add to Favorites button ( )
and choose Add to Favorites (or press
Ctrl+D) (Figure 14.19).
Figure 14.17 You can change the default behavior of
tabs, including whether pop-ups are displayed in a
new window or on a new tab. You can even turn off
tabbed browsing if you want to go back to the old
one-webpage-per-window display.
3. Type a new name for the favorite, if
you like.
4. Click Create In to choose the folder
(or create a new folder) to store the
favorite in.
5. Click Add.
Bookmarking Pages
Figure 14.18 To pin the Favorites Center so that it’s
always open, click the Pin button ( ) in the top-right
corner. (The Pin button turns into a close button.)
Figure 14.19 The new favorite will appear in the folder
you specify in Figure 14.18.
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✔ Tips
■
To open Favorites Center by using the
keyboard, press Alt+C. To open Add
to Favorites, press Alt+Z. Press
Ctrl+Shift+I/H/J to toggle the
Favorites/History/Feeds list.
■
As your Favorites list grows, you can
organize your bookmarks into folders:
Click Add to Favorites ( ) and choose
Organize Favorites (or press Ctrl+B)
(Figure 14.20). It’s easier, however, to
work in the Favorites folder directly.
In Windows Explorer, navigate to
C:\Users\username\Favorites and use it
like any other folder (see Chapter 5).
Figure 14.20 Drag shortcuts up or down to organize
the list. Click a list item and use the buttons to
rename it, delete it, or stick it in a folder.
You can add a few pages that you visit often
to the Links bar for one-click access.
To add a page to your Links bar:
Bookmarking Pages
1. Go to the page that you want to add.
2. Drag the page icon from the address bar
to Links (Figure 14.21).
458
Figure 14.21 You can drag a link to the Links folder in
your Favorites list. If the Links bar is hidden, choose
Tools > Toolbars > Links. Right-click a link to rename
it, delete it, or see its properties. Drag links around
the Links bar to rearrange them.
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Internet Explorer
Your home page appears when IE first
opens or when you click the Home
button (or press Alt+Home). It can be a single page or a set of pages.
To set your home page:
1. Open your desired home page(s) in a tab
or tabs.
Figure 14.22 You can use the active page or set of
pages as your home page, or add the active page to
the existing set.
2. Click the arrow to the right of the Home
button and choose Add or Change Home
Page (Figure 14.22).
3. Select an option and click Yes.
✔ Tip
■
Choose Tools > Internet Options >
General tab > Home Page section to
reset the home page to the default (the
one used when IE was first installed) or
use a blank home page (handy if you
work offline).
Bookmarking Pages
Bookmark Tools
The Import/Export Wizard lets you
import and export your bookmarks (and
cookies) to other browsers or files. In IE,
click the Add to Favorites button ( ),
choose Import and Export, and then follow the onscreen instructions.
AM-DeadLink (free; http://aignes.com/
scans your bookmarks for
dead links and duplicate links, and lets
you delete them.
deadlink.htm)
BookmarkBridge (free; http://
bookmarkbridge.sourceforge.net)
lets
you synchronize and share your bookmarks among all your browsers.
459
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Blocking Pop-Up Windows
Pop-up and pop-under ads are separate windows that appear uninvited above or beneath
your browser window. When you visit a webpage and the taskbar starts sprouting new
buttons, you have pop-unders. Kill this
pestilence with IE’s Pop-Up Blocker. It’s on
by default, but you can turn it off or customize its settings to let certain pop-ups
through. Pop-ups are useful in some circumstances, such as showing small help windows,
seating diagrams for concert halls or airplanes,
and larger versions of thumbnail images.
Figure 14.23 The Information bar appears near the
top of the browser window to alert you when IE
blocks a pop-up window or a download file that might
not be safe.
To block pop-up windows:
Blocking Pop-Up Windows
◆
Choose Tools > Pop-Up Blocker >
Turn on Pop-Up Blocker.
From now on, when IE blocks a pop-up,
the Information bar appears with a
“Pop-up blocked” message (Figure 14.23).
To see a blocked pop-up:
1. Click the Information bar when it notifies
you that a pop-up has been blocked
(Figure 14.24).
2. Click Temporarily Allow Pop-Ups.
460
Figure 14.24 Click the Information bar to reveal a
menu of pop-up customization options.
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Internet Explorer
To allow pop-ups from a specific
website:
1. Choose Tools > Pop-Up Blocker >
Pop-Up Blocker Settings (Figure 14.25).
2. In the Address of Website to Allow box,
type the address (URL) of the website
that you want to see pop-ups from; then
click Add.
Use the Remove and Remove All buttons
to delete previously added sites.
✔ Tips
Figure 14.25 This dialog box lets you manage your list
of approved sites. You also can turn off the “blocked
pop-up” sound, suppress the Information bar, and
adjust the pop-up filter’s aggressiveness.
If you’ve installed the Google Toolbar
(or other third-party utility) to block
pop-ups, you can turn off the IE blocker:
Choose Tools > Pop-Up Blocker > Turn
off Pop-Up Blocker.
■
Pop-Up Blocker doesn’t block pop-ups
that appear when you click a link . . .
unless you’ve chosen the High filter level
(refer to the bottom of Figure 14.25). To
see pop-ups when you have this setting
turned on, hold down the Ctrl key while
the webpage loads.
Unblockable Pop-Ups
Some reasons why you still may see pop-ups when Pop-Up Blocker is turned on:
◆
The site is in your Allowed Sites list (refer to Figure 14.25).
◆
The ad designer found a way to circumvent Microsoft’s blocking method. (Nothing you
can do here.)
◆
You have spyware. Remove it. See “Defending Against Viruses and Spyware” in Chapter 13.
◆
It’s a window with animated content that Pop-Up Blocker doesn’t block.
◆
It’s a website in the Local Intranet or Trusted Sites web-content zone. Choose Tools >
Internet Options > Security tab; click the zone that you want to block pop-ups from; click
Sites; in the Websites box, click the website for which you want to block pop-ups; and
then click Remove.
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Blocking Pop-Up Windows
■
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Chapter 14
Browsing Tips
This section contains tips for browsing the
web and using Internet Explorer’s features.
Using shortcut menus. Right-click toolbars,
tabs, favorites, shortcuts, links, or images to
select commands quickly (Figure 14.26).
Using keyboard shortcuts. For a complete
list of IE’s keyboard shortcuts, choose Help
(Alt+L) > Contents and Index, and search
for internet explorer keyboard shortcuts.
Browsing Tips
Navigating frames. Some webpages are
divided into independent rectangular sections
called frames (Figure 14.27). Press F6 to
cycle forward through frames or Shift+F6
to cycle backward.
Changing text size, font, and color.
To change the size of text displayed in webpages, choose a relative size from the Page >
Text Size submenu. To change the text’s
typeface or link colors, choose Tools >
Internet Options > General tab; then click
the Fonts or Colors button. Some rude webpages won’t let you change text properties.
To override this restriction, click
Accessibility on the same tab.
Zooming. Zoom, new in IE 7, lets
you enlarge or reduce the view of
a webpage. Unlike changing text size, zoom
enlarges or reduces everything on the page,
including images and some controls. You
can zoom from 10% to 1000%. Use the Change
Zoom Level button or menu in the bottomright corner. If you have a mouse wheel, hold
down Ctrl and spin the wheel to zoom. Or
press Ctrl+plus (zoom in), Ctrl+minus
(zoom out), or Ctrl+0 (zoom to 100%).
Full-screen browsing. Press F11 to toggle
between full-screen and normal view. In fullscreen view, the address bar and toolbars
will autohide until you move the pointer to
the top edge of the screen.
462
Figure 14.26 This shortcut menu appears when you
right-click an image link. Note that you can save a
copy of a web image on your own disk.
Figure 14.27 Each frame is really a separate webpage.
The three sets of scroll bars show that this page has
three frames. On some pages, frame boundaries are
invisible.
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Internet Explorer
Figure 14.28 The Print dialog box’s Options tab lets
you print a webpage’s frames and links. Be sure to
click the desired frame before you print.
Printing webpages. To preview a
webpage before printing, click the
arrow next to the Print button to show the
Print menu, choose Print Preview, and then
use the toolbars to view each page to be
printed. To set margins, headers, footers,
and other printing options, choose Print >
Page Setup (or press Alt+U while you’re in
Print Preview). To print a webpage, choose
Print > Print or press Ctrl+P (Figure 14.28).
To bypass the Print dialog box and print
immediately, click the Print button (not
the arrow).
Figure 14.29 This site has two feeds (top).
Subscribing to feeds adds them to Favorites Center
(bottom). A feed can have the same content as the
source webpage, but it’s formatted differently.
Using RSS feeds. An RSS feed is
frequently updated free content
published by a website. RSS feeds are common for news sites and blogs, but they also
can be used to distribute photos, video, and
audio (the latter is called podcasting). When
a website has a feed, the Feeds button ( )
on the toolbar, new in IE 7, turns from gray
to orange and plays a sound. Click the icon
to see the feed and, if you want, subscribe to
have the feed sent to your computer automatically. When you click the Subscribe
button ( ), the feed is added automatically
to the Feeds section of Favorites Center.
Press Ctrl+Shift+J to toggle Feeds quickly
(Figure 14.29).
463
Browsing Tips
Saving pages. To save a webpage on your
hard drive, choose Page > Save As. From the
Save As Type drop-down list, choose Web
Archive, Single File (*.mht) to save the page
as a single file. If you want to edit the page
rather than simply view it, use one of the
other options to save the page as a group of
files or save only parts of the page. To open
the saved webpage, double-click it or, in IE,
choose File > Open or press Ctrl+O. (Press
Alt if the File menu isn’t visible.) To specify
how Windows treats saved webpages, see
Table 5.3 in Chapter 5.
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Chapter 14
Foiling phishers. Online phishing (pronounced fishing) tries to trick you into
revealing financial data through an email
message or website. A phishing scam starts
with a legitimate-looking email from a bank,
credit-card company, or online store arriving
in your inbox. The message directs you to a
fraudulent (but also legitimate-looking)
website where the phishers hope you’ll enter
your personal data, account numbers, passwords . . . you get the picture.
Browsing Tips
Phishing Filter (Tools > Phishing Filter),
new in IE 7, helps detect phishing websites
and warns you with color-coded alerts in
the address bar when you visit a known
or suspected one. You can check sites manually or automatically and report suspected
sites to Microsoft. For more information,
choose Start > Help and Support, and search
for phishing.
Figure 14.30 Delete selected categories or everything
at the same time.
Covering your tracks. New in IE 7, the
Delete Browsing History dialog box lets you
delete your temporary files, cookies, webpage history, saved passwords, and form
information in one place. Choose Tools >
Delete Browsing History (Figure 14.30).
Removing banner advertisements.
The Pop-Up Blocker stops pop-up ads, but
that still leaves banner ads—rectangular
“billboards” at the edges of a page. You can
remove them with a third-party filter such
as Privoxy (free; www.privoxy.org) or,
better, by modifying your hosts file; see
www.everythingisnt.com/hosts.html or
http://pgl.yoyo.org/adservers
(Figure 14.31).
Figure 14.31 The same page with (top) and without
(bottom) banner ads.
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Internet Explorer
Using graphics features. Right-click a
picture to save it, email it, print it, or use it
as a desktop background (refer to Figure 14.26).
IE resizes large images automatically to fit in
your browser window. To always see images
in the original size, choose Tools > Internet
Options > Advanced tab > uncheck Enable
Automatic Image Resizing. While you’re
there, you can set other image options in the
Multimedia category. For faster browsing
with no graphics, uncheck Show Pictures.
(To see a particular picture, right-click it and
choose Show Picture.)
Figure 14.32 Click the Custom Level button to specify
individual security settings for add-ons, downloads,
scripting, and more. Or choose a preset group of
settings. The High option provides the safest way to
browse but may inactivate some websites.
Setting security options. IE’s Tools >
Internet Options > Security tab features help
prevent intruders from seeing your personal
information, such as credit-card numbers
that you enter when shopping online. Security
features also can protect your PC from
unsafe software (Figure 14.32).
Figure 14.33 Increase the Disk Space to Use setting
(the size of the cache folder) so that revisited pages
load faster. If IE displays stale pages from the cache
instead of fresh ones from the web, select an option
that makes IE check for newer versions more
frequently than Automatically.
465
Browsing Tips
Managing temporary files. When you
visit a page, IE stores, or caches (say “cashes”),
temporary internet files on your hard disk.
These files speed the display of pages that
you visit frequently or already have seen,
because IE can open them from your hard
disk instead of from the web server. To view
or manage these files, choose Tools > Internet
Options > General tab > Settings (below
Browsing History) (Figure 14.33). Change
the disk space to decrease or increase the
cache size (a browsing-speed/disk-space
trade-off). To delete existing cache files,
click Delete Files in the Delete Browsing
History dialog box (refer to Figure 14.30).
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Chapter 14
Managing cookies and privacy. Cookies
are messages given to IE by websites and
stored in text files on your hard disk. A cookie’s
main purpose is to identify you and possibly
prepare customized webpages for you.
When you enter shopping preferences and
personal information at, say, Amazon.com,
that information is stored in a cookie, which
Amazon can read when you return. (Other
sites can’t read the Amazon cookie.)
Browsing Tips
Most cookies are innocuous and spare you
from having to fill out forms repeatedly,
but some sites and advertisers use tracking
cookies to record your browsing history.
To control how IE handles cookies, choose
Tools > Internet Options > Privacy tab
(Figure 14.34). To delete existing cookies,
click Delete Cookies in the Delete Browsing
History dialog box (refer to Figure 14.30).
Using Content Advisor and Parental
Controls. IE’s Content Advisor (Tools >
Internet Options > Content tab > Content
Advisor section > Enable) purportedly filters
material (sex, violence, nudity, language)
that you may find offensive or may not want
your kids to see. Don’t bother—Content
Advisor and all programs that make similar
claims are 21st-century snake oil. They
invariably filter legitimate topics (such as
breast cancer) and let offensive stuff through.
You’re better off using Parental Controls, on
the same tab; see “Setting Parental Controls”
in Chapter 13.
Surfing anonymously. Surfing the web
exposes certain information about you,
including (possibly) your IP address, rough
geographic location, browsing history, clipboard contents, cache contents, and
machine name. To surf anonymously, try
Tor (free; http://tor.eff.org), Anonymous
Surfing ($30 U.S.; www.anonymizer.com),
the-Cloak (free; www.the-cloak.com), or
JAP (free; http://anon.inf.tu-dresden.de/
index_en.html).
466
Figure 14.34 The more paranoid you are, the higher
you should drag this slider. Tip: Always block thirdparty cookies, which come from spying advertisers.
Click Sites to specify websites that are always or
never allowed to use cookies, regardless of your
privacy-policy setting. Click Advanced to override
automatic cookie handling.
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Internet Explorer
These services are called anonymous proxy
servers. Your browser doesn’t visit a site
directly. Instead, it tells the proxy server which
site to visit and deliver back with no direct
contact from you. The price of anonymity is
slower surfing as you’re relayed through a
chain of servers and, for some sites, oddly
displayed text and graphics.
Figure 14.35 AutoComplete shows a list of suggested
matches based on the previous entries you’ve typed.
For security, uncheck User Names and Passwords on
Forms.
Using AutoComplete. AutoComplete not
only works in the address bar, but also can
autocomplete forms (text boxes), user names,
and passwords. To turn AutoComplete on
or off, choose Tools > Internet Options >
Content tab > Settings (below AutoComplete)
(Figure 14.35).
Managing internet connections.
To display and manage your internet connections (Chapter 12), choose Tools > Internet
Options > Connections tab (Figure 14.36).
Figure 14.36 Configure your existing internet
connections or create a new one on this page.
Cutting, copying, and pasting. You can
copy (but not cut, of course) selected text
and images from webpages and paste them
into other programs by using the usual Editmenu commands or keyboard shortcuts.
467
Browsing Tips
Setting the default browser. A newly
installed browser usually assumes defaultbrowser status. To reinstate IE, choose Tools >
Internet Options > Programs tab > Make
Default. To be warned of future hijackings,
check Tell Me If Internet Explorer Is Not the
Default Browser. You also can click Set
Programs to set the defaults for other internet programs, such as email. Alternatively,
you can pick your default browser via the
Start menu: Right-click the Start button,
choose Properties > Customize, and then
select a browser from the Show on Start
Menu list.
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Chapter 14
Downloading files. When you click a link
to a file that you can download to your
computer, IE displays Figure 14.37. Click
Save, specify a download location on your
hard drive, and then click Save to start the
download. When the download completes
(Figure 14.38), you can move, double-click,
or rename the new file.
Viewing HTML. Webpages are created
with HTML (Hypertext Markup Language).
To view a page’s source HTML, choose
Page > View Source.
Figure 14.37 To bypass this dialog box, right-click a
download link and choose Save Target As.
Browsing Tips
Using Java applets. The Java virtual
machine (JVM) or Java run-time environment
(JRE) is a useful add-on that may be missing from IE. The JVM or JRE runs many
stock tickers, games, and other complex
web programs, called applets. IE should
prompt you when it encounters an applet,
but you can get the JVM at http://
java.sun.com. If you’re having trouble, visit
www.microsoft.com/mscorp/java.
Bypassing site registration. Some sites,
such as www.nytimes.com, require you to
register before you can read their content.
Registration usually means handing over
your location and email address so that the
site can compile marketing and demographic
databases. Like most people, you can simply
enter fake details, but that’s still a waste
of time. Instead, use BugMeNot (free;
www.bugmenot.com) to bypass logging on to
websites that make registration compulsory.
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Figure 14.38 When the download completes, click
Open Folder to open a window containing the
downloaded file.
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Internet Explorer
Getting add-ons. For webpages with video,
sounds, and animation, you need free plug-in
programs called add-ons. Popular add-ons
include QuickTime (video), Adobe Flash and
Shockwave (animations), and Adobe Reader
(documents). When a website tries to install
a plug-in, ActiveX control, or toolbar, IE will
warn you with the pop-up Information bar
(refer to Figure 14.23) or a dialog box. Allow
installation only if you trust the source.
Figure 14.39 If you think that an add-on has been
causing trouble or crashes, turn it off. From the Show
drop-down list, choose Add-Ons That Have Been Used
by Internet Explorer; click an entry in the Name
column; then click Disable. Keep an eye on the
Publisher column for mysterious, and possibly
untrustworthy, companies.
To manage add-ons, choose Tools > Manage
Add-Ons > Enable or Disable Add-Ons. The
Manage Add-Ons dialog box (Figure 14.39)
lets you see where add-ons came from (usually), turn them on and off individually, and
delete them.
To get more free and for-pay add-ons,
choose Tools > Manage Add-Ons > Find
More Add-Ons. If you think that an add-on
is causing your trouble, you can open IE
without them: Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > System Tools > Internet
Explorer (No Add-Ons).
Figure 14.40 Dozens of settings are available to make
browsing faster, stop animations, strengthen security,
and so on.
469
Browsing Tips
Setting other options. IE has a slew of
other options that you can change to suit
your preferences; choose Tools > Internet
Options > Advanced tab (Figure 14.40).
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15
Email,
Contacts,
and Calendars
A few other (and better) email programs
are available. Trying an alternative
doesn’t lock you into it; email programs
can import one another’s messages and
account settings.
Eudora (free; www.eudora.com) existed
before Outlook and Windows Mail, is
still going strong, and is still the choice of
serious emailers. It has all sorts of features
that you won’t find elsewhere. Eudora
was commercial software but became
open source in 2007.
Thunderbird (free; www.mozilla.com/
is from the same folks who
brought you the Mozilla Firefox browser.
It has enough features to compete with
Outlook as well as Windows Mail, and it’s
updated more frequently.
thunderbird)
You can’t use Windows Mail to manage your
email with any of the web-based (HTTP)
mail services (Hotmail and free Yahoo
accounts, for example).
This chapter also covers Windows Contacts
and Windows Calendar—both new in
Vista—for managing your contacts and for
creating and sharing personal schedules,
respectively.
✔ Tip
■
The bigger brother of Windows Mail is
Outlook, in the Microsoft Office suite.
Outlook is a complex program that manages your email, schedule, meetings,
contacts, and more.
471
Email, Contacts, and Calendars
Other Email Programs
Email is a fast, convenient, and cheap way
to exchange written messages and files over
the internet. Windows Mail (which replaces
Outlook Express) lets you send and receive
email, as well as read newsgroups (internet
discussion forums). You can communicate
with anyone who has an email account. Your
recipient doesn’t have to have Windows
Mail, or even Windows, to read and reply to
your messages; any email program can talk
to any other one.
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Chapter 15
Getting Started with
Windows Mail
Figure 15.1 shows Windows Mail’s main
panes and controls. If your copy of Windows
Mail doesn’t look like the pictured one, it’s
configured differently; choose View > Layout
to show, hide, customize, or rearrange the
panes. To resize panes, drag the horizontal
or vertical lines that separate them.
To start Windows Mail:
◆ Choose Start > Windows Mail (or Start >
All Programs > Windows Mail).
or
Choose Start, type windows mail in the
Search box, and then press Enter.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type winmail
and press Enter.
Message list
Views bar
Toolbar
Getting Started with Windows Mail
Folders list
Preview
pane
header
Preview
pane
Status bar
Figure 15.1 The parts of Windows Mail. Click a message name in the Message list to make the
message itself appear in the Preview pane. You can delete the “Welcome to Windows Mail”
message from Microsoft; it didn’t arrive via the internet.
472
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Setting up an Email
Account
Figure 15.2 This name appears in the From header of
email that you send. Don’t type something cute or
clever; people or spam filters may mistake your
messages for junk mail.
Before you set up an email account, you
must connect to the internet (Chapter 12).
If you upgraded from Windows XP or used
Windows Easy Transfer, your email settings
may be in place already, and you can skip this
section. Otherwise, use the wizard that appears
the first time you start Windows Mail. (If it
doesn’t appear, choose Tools > Accounts >
Add > E-Mail Account.) The wizard helps
you enter the addresses (provided by your
ISP or network administrator) that let
Windows Mail find your electronic mailbox.
To set up an email account:
1. If the Account Type page appears,
choose E-Mail Account and click Next.
Figure 15.3 A email address has two parts. To the left
of the at symbol (@) is the alias, which you choose; to
the right is the domain, which depends on your ISP.
2. On the Your Name page, type your display name (Figure 15.2) and click Next.
4. On the Set up E-Mail Servers page, type
the information that your ISP provided
about its mail servers (see the “Email
Protocols” sidebar) (Figure 15.4) and
click Next.
continues on next page
Figure 15.4 Your ISP provider will tell you the server
type and server names, which will look something like
this.
473
Setting up an Email Account
3. On the Internet E-Mail Address page,
type the email address that you chose
when you signed up with your ISP
(Figure 15.3) and click Next.
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Chapter 15
5. On the Internet Mail Logon page, type
your logon name and password, check
Remember Password to avoid being
prompted for it each time you check your
mail (Figure 15.5), and then click Next.
6. On the Congratulations page, click Finish
to create the account.
(Optional) Uncheck the Download box
if you don’t want Windows Mail to get
your email from the mail server yet; you
can always get it later.
Now you should be able to send and
receive email.
Figure 15.5 If you and someone else share a Windows
logon account but have separate email accounts,
uncheck Remember Password if you don’t want the
other person to be able to read your email.
Setting up an Email Account
✔ Tips
■
If you have multiple email accounts,
choose Tools > Accounts > Add > E-Mail
Account. The wizard appears, ready to
accept another account. You also can use
the Accounts dialog box to edit, delete,
import, and export existing accounts.
■
For computers with separate user accounts
(Chapter 17), each user must create his
own email account when logged on.
Email Protocols
Mail servers are networked computers that manage your mailbox. ISP server administrators
limit the number and size of messages that you can send or receive, as well as how much
space is available in your mailbox. A server handles incoming messages by using one of three
standards, or protocols (your ISP can tell you which protocol it uses):
◆
A POP3 server (the most common type) transfers your messages to your hard drive before
you read them and then deletes its server copies. You save, manage, delete, and back up
messages yourself.
◆
An IMAP server lets you read, delete, and search your messages while they’re still on the
server. Then you can choose which messages to download to your hard drive. If your
server mailbox reaches its capacity, incoming messages bounce back to their senders.
◆
An HTTP server, such as Hotmail and other web-based email providers, lets you send, receive,
and manage your email with any web browser. Windows Mail no longer supports HTTP mail.
SMTP servers handle outgoing messages.
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Sending Email
After you’ve set up your email account, you
can compose a message and send it.
To compose and send a message:
1. Choose Message > New Message
(or press Ctrl+N).
or
Click Create Mail on the
toolbar.
A new message window appears
(Figure 15.6).
Figure 15.6 The two sections of a message are the
headers (top), which contain information about the
message, and the body (bottom), which contains the
message itself. Each message window contains its
own menu bar and toolbar.
3. To send a copy of the message to other
recipients, type additional email
addresses in the Cc box, pressing Tab
when you’re finished.
The address box autocompletes, and the
recognized contacts autoexpand as before.
Cc (carbon-copy) recipients receive the
same message as To recipients, but Cc
lets them know that you sent them the
message as a courtesy and that you’re
not expecting them to reply.
continues on next page
475
Sending Email
2. Type the recipient’s email address in the
To box.
The box autocompletes—that is, proposes
a list of matching addresses that you’ve
typed recently. Keep typing or use the arrow
keys to select a match; then press Enter.
To send the message to more than one
person, separate the addresses with
semicolons (;).
Mail recognizes and autoexpands names
that you’ve entered in Windows Contacts
(see “Managing Your Contacts” later in
this chapter). Type all or part of a contact name and press Tab to jump to the
Cc box, or press the semicolon to stay in
the To box and type another address.
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Chapter 15
4. Type the message’s topic in the Subject
box and press Tab.
Recipients appreciate a descriptive subject rather than, say, “Hi,” which makes
your mail look like junk.
5. Type the text of your message.
You can use cut, copy, paste, undo, and
all the standard editing techniques.
6.
Click Send on the toolbar
(or press Alt+S).
Your computer sends the message over
the internet, first connecting to it if
necessary.
Sending Email
✔ Tips
■
To attach a file to a message, click
Attach on the toolbar, locate the
file, and then click Open. Or drag files
from Windows Explorer to the message
window (Figure 15.7). Or right-click the
file and choose Send To > Mail Recipient
(thereby creating a new message).
■
ISPs limit attached-file sizes to a few
megabytes, and many email programs
block executable attachments, so zip
your files before attaching them (see
“Compressing Files and Folders” in
Chapter 5). If you attach a photo, Windows
automatically gives you a chance to shrink
it. See also “Receiving Attachments” later
in this chapter.
■
To embed (rather than attach) an image
in a message, choose Format > Rich Text
(HTML) while in the message body; then
choose Insert > Picture, browse to the
image to insert, and click Open. Your
recipient won’t have to open a viewing
program to see the picture.
476
Figure 15.7 Attached files appear in the Attach header.
To remove a file from the outgoing message, rightclick its icon and choose Remove.
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Figure 15.8 Click the To or Cc button (both visible
in Figure 15.7) to open this dialog box. You can
specify your recipients by pointing and clicking rather
than typing.
Names that you add to your contacts list (choose Tools > Windows
Contacts, press Ctrl+Shift+B, or click
Contacts on the toolbar) appear in the
Select Recipients dialog box (Figure 15.8).
To add the sender of a message to your
contacts list quickly, right-click the message in the Message list and choose Add
Sender to Contacts.
■
Click Spelling on the toolbar (or press
F7) to spell-check your message.
■
A signature is a distinctive bit of text—
usually, your choice of contact information,
a quotation, or something flippant—
added at the bottom of outgoing messages.
To create signatures, choose Tools >
Options > Signatures tab > New and type
a signature in the Edit Signature box.
Click New again if you want to create
multiple signatures. You can add a signature to all messages by checking Add
Signatures to All Outgoing Messages in
this dialog box or to individual messages
by choosing Insert > Signature in the
message window.
■
The Bcc (blind carbon copy) header is
hidden by default. To show it, choose
View > All Headers in the message window. Bcc recipients receive the same
message as To and Cc recipients, but
secretly, without the other recipients
knowing. If you send, say, a joke or
announcement to many recipients, it’s
polite to put them all in the Bcc list; then
no one has to scroll through the long list
of To or Cc names that appears at the
top of the message, and individual email
addresses aren’t revealed to the entire list.
continues on next page
477
Sending Email
■
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■
To save an incomplete message in the
Drafts folder, choose File > Save (or press
Ctrl+S), and finish composing it later.
■
To keep a copy of all outgoing messages,
choose Tools > Options > Send tab >
check Save Copy of Sent Messages in the
“Sent Items” Folder.
■
If you’ve defined multiple email accounts
and want to send from an account other
than the current one, choose the account
that you want to use from the From
drop-down list in the message window.
■
Windows Mail has scores of options. To
see or change them, choose Tools >
Options (Figure 15.9). Many options are
self-explanatory, but you can click the
Help button (
) in the top-right corner
for help with each tab.
In Outlook Express, you could send
instant messages; in Windows Mail, you
can’t. See Chapter 16 instead.
■
Try Help if you’re having trouble setting
up an account or sending or receiving
mail: Choose Start > Help and Support,
and search for troubleshoot windows mail.
Sending Email
■
478
Figure 15.9 Most tabs have buttons that open even
more dialog boxes.
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Plain Text or HTML?
You can format your message body as plain text or HTML. Plain-text messages contain
only unadorned text without italics, boldface, colors, custom font sizes, and so on. HTML—
the language used to format webpages—permits fancy formatting. In general, use plain
text because:
◆
Some older email programs (especially in Unix) can’t read HTML formatting.
◆
Amateurish HTML formatting irritates recipients.
◆
Most junk email (spam) uses HTML formatting. Your HTML messages may be caught by
filtering software and routed—unread—to the recipient’s trash.
◆
HTML formatting is inconsistent across programs. What looks good on your screen
might look bad on your recipient’s.
◆
Extra formatting increases download and display times.
To change the default format for all new messages, choose Tools > Options > Send tab > Mail
Sending Format section, select HTML or Plain Text, and then click OK.
No matter what the default format, you can switch it for individual messages: In the message
window, choose Format > Plain Text or Format > Rich Text (HTML). Choosing HTML activates the HTML toolbar, which contains buttons for styles, formatting, hyperlinks, and so on.
Choosing Plain Text brings up a warning that certain embellishments, such as images, won’t
be possible.
Sending Email
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Chapter 15
Reading Email
When you open Windows Mail, it retrieves
(downloads) your messages automatically
from your ISP’s mail server. If you keep
Windows Mail running, it checks for new
mail every 30 minutes, but you can change
the interval or check on demand.
To check now for new messages:
◆
Click Send/Receive on the
toolbar (or press Ctrl+M).
Reading Email
✔ Tips
■
The preceding method receives messages
and sends any messages in your Outbox.
To receive only, choose Tools > Send and
Receive > Receive All, or click the small
arrow on the Send/Receive button and
choose Receive All (Figure 15.10).
■
If you’ve defined several email accounts,
you don’t have to check them all. To turn
off an account, choose Tools > Accounts,
double-click the account in the list, and
then uncheck Include This Account
When Receiving Mail or Synchronizing.
To check a disabled account occasionally,
choose its name at the bottom of the
Send/Receive menu (refer to Figure 15.10).
■
To change the mail-retrieval interval,
choose Tools > Options > General tab
and change the time period for Check for
New Messages Every __ Minute(s) (refer
to Figure 15.9).
480
Figure 15.10 Click the arrow to the right of the
Send/Receive button to reveal a drop-down list, where
you can choose to send messages, receive them, or
both. To check an individual email account (rather than
all of them), click its name at the bottom of the list.
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Newly arrived messages land in your Inbox
(Figure 15.11) unless they’re redirected by
rules (see “Applying Message Rules” later in
this chapter). Arrivals display an icon in the
notification area ( ) and play a sound.
Figure 15.11 The names of new (unread) messages
appear in bold in the Message list (on the right).
Folders (on the left) containing new messages appear
in bold, too, along with the number of unread
messages in each folder.
Figure 15.12 You’ll get spam eventually. Practicing
safe email (posting disguised addresses in
newsgroups, for example) only delays it. Spammers
scour the web for email addresses, and nothing stops
ISPs (yours or your recipients’) from selling your
address. Eventually, you’ll end up on a spammer’s
list—and soon thereafter, on hundreds of them.
When you open Windows Mail, you may see
Figure 15.12. Mail automatically redirects
spam—unsolicited commercial email—to
the Junk E-Mail folder. Junk E-Mail filtering,
new in Windows Mail, keeps spam out of
your Inbox and is turned on by default.
Inspect the Junk E-Mail folder occasionally
to make sure that Mail didn’t put any legitimate messages in there. To configure spam
filtering, choose Tools > Junk E-Mail Options.
Mail also filters messages with suspected
phishing links; see “Browsing Tips” in
Chapter 14. To learn more about spam, visit
http://spam.abuse.net or the websites
listed at www.google.com/Top/Computers/
Internet/Abuse/Spam.
To read messages:
1. Click Inbox (or another folder) in the
Folders list.
3. To move back or forward through messages, press Ctrl+<, Ctrl+>, or (in preview
mode) the up- or down-arrow key.
or
To view the next unread message, press
Ctrl+U.
481
Reading Email
2. To view a message in the Preview pane,
click the message in the Message list.
or
To view a message in a separate
window, double-click the message in
the Message list.
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Chapter 15
✔ Tips
■
To view all of a message’s information,
right-click it in the message list and
choose Properties, or press Alt+Enter in
a message window.
■
To switch a message’s read/unread status
manually, right-click the message and
choose Mark As Unread or Mark As Read.
■
To read, send, and manage messages
from any browser, anywhere, visit a POP3access website such as www.mail2web.com.
Your ISP also may provide a webpage that
lets you manage your mail in a browser.
■
Reading Email
■
Organizing Your Messages
To hide read messages, choose View >
Current View > Hide Read Messages, or
click the Views bar (to the right of the
toolbar) and choose Hide Read Messages.
To customize and save views, use the
Customize and Define commands in the
View > Current View submenu. Your new
views appear in the Views bar.
Use the Folders list (refer to Figure 15.1)
to organize your messages. It contains
the following folders initially (but you can
create new ones):
The Message list behaves like Windows
Explorer in details view. Choose View >
Columns to choose which columns to
display. To resize a column, drag its heading’s right edge left or right (or double-click
the right edge to autosize the column).
To reorder columns, drag the headings
left or right. To sort by a column, click its
heading; click again to reverse the order.
Sent Items holds copies of messages
that you’ve sent.
Inbox holds mail that you’ve received.
Outbox holds mail that you’ve written
but haven’t sent.
Deleted Items holds received mail that
you’ve deleted.
Drafts holds mail that you’re working on
but aren’t ready to send.
Junk E-Mail holds messages that Mail
thinks are spam.
The Folders list acts like a normal
Windows Explorer tree. Click a folder to
see what’s in it. Choose File > New > Folder
(Ctrl+Shift+E) to create a new folder.
Right-click a folder that you’ve created to
rename or delete it. To file a message,
drag it from the Message list to a folder
icon, or right-click it and choose Move to
Folder or Copy to Folder. To save a message in a Windows Explorer folder,
choose File > Save As.
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After you’ve read a message, you can print it,
delete it, reply to it, forward it (that is, pass it
on to a third person), or file it in a folder (see
the “Organizing Your Messages” sidebar). You
can process a message that’s displayed in the
Preview pane or one that’s open in a separate
window. The Search box, new in Windows
Mail, lets you find messages instantly based
on their header and body contents.
To print, delete, forward, or file multiple
messages simultaneously, Ctrl+click each
message to select it. (Ctrl+clicking again
deselects it.) To select a group of contiguous
messages, click the first message and then
Shift+click the last.
To print a message:
◆
Select a message and click Print on
the toolbar (or press Ctrl+P).
To delete a message:
1.
Select a message and click Delete
on the toolbar (or press Delete).
Deleted messages aren’t erased but are
placed in the Deleted Items folder.
3. To rescue a deleted message, drag it from
Deleted Items to another folder.
483
Reading Email
2. To erase all deleted messages permanently, choose Edit > Empty Deleted
Items Folder.
or
To erase a specific deleted message permanently, select it in the Deleted Items
folder and press Delete.
or
To erase all deleted messages permanently and automatically when you quit
Windows Mail, choose Tools > Options >
Advanced tab > Maintenance button >
check Empty Messages from the Deleted
Items Folder on Exit.
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Chapter 15
To reply to a message:
1.
To reply to only the sender, select
a message and click Reply on the
toolbar (or press Ctrl+R) (Figure 15.13).
or
To reply to everyone in the To
and Cc lines (for group discussions), select a message and click Reply
All on the toolbar (or press Ctrl+Shift+R).
2. Type a response to the message.
Click Send on the toolbar (or
press Alt+S).
3.
To forward a message:
1.
Select a message and click
Forward on the toolbar (or
press Ctrl+F).
A new message opens, containing the
original message’s text.
2. Type the email addresses of the recipients (see “Sending Email” earlier in this
chapter).
Reading Email
3. Edit the subject line or original message,
or add your own comments, if you want.
4.
484
Click Send on the toolbar (or
press Alt+S).
Figure 15.13 A preaddressed reply opens with Re:
(regarding) added to the subject line and the original
message’s text (which you can edit, cut, or commingle
with your own comments) in the body. To turn off the
original-text feature, choose Tools > Options > Send
tab > uncheck Include Message in Reply.
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To find a message:
1. In the Folder list, click the folder that you
want to search.
2.
Click the Search box (or
press Ctrl+E) and type text.
You can type entire words or just the first
few letters, including email addresses.
As you type, the messages are filtered to
match your text based on their header
and body content.
3. Stop typing when you see the message
you want, and double-click the message
to open it.
or
To cancel the search, press Esc, backspace over the search text, or click the
close button ( ).
The list goes back to its unfiltered state.
✔ Tips
For general information about the Search
box, see “Searching for Files and Folders”
in Chapter 5.
■
To search by a particular field or date,
choose Edit > Find > Message (or press
Ctrl+Shift+F).
■
When you receive an important message,
you can flag it for later reference. Select
a message and choose Message > Flag
Message, or click the flag column next to
the message. A small red flag appears
(refer to Figure 15.11). You can click a flag
icon to remove it or click the flag-column
header to sort flagged messages together.
continues on next page
485
Reading Email
■
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Chapter 15
Message headers contain detailed information about who sent a message and
the path it took. Windows Mail hides
headers, which is fine for everyday use, but
you can reveal them if you’re curious or
want to troubleshoot messages that bounce
back to you. In the message window,
choose File > Properties > Details tab.
■
If your mailbox fills up, and your friends
complain that their messages to you are
bouncing back, choose Tools > Accounts,
click the relevant account, and then
choose Properties > Advanced tab. If
Leave a Copy of Messages on Server is
checked, check Remove from Server
After __ Days, and change 5 (the default)
to 1 or 2.
■
By default, the Preview pane (refer to
Figure 15.1) marks messages as read
whether or not you’ve actually read them.
To turn off the Preview pane, choose
View > Layout > uncheck Show Preview
Pane. If you want to keep the Preview
pane but not mark messages as read,
choose Tools > Options > Read tab >
uncheck Mark Message Read After
Displaying for __ Seconds.
Reading Email
■
486
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Receiving Attachments
Figure 15.14 If the selected message has a
file attached, a paper-clip icon appears at
the right end of the Preview pane header.
Click the icon for a shortcut menu and
choose the name of the attached file to
open (in Microsoft Word, Windows Photo
Gallery, Microsoft Excel, or whatever), or
choose Save Attachments to save it to
your hard drive.
If someone has sent a you a file, a paper-clip
icon appears next to the message name in
the Message list (refer to the top message in
Figure 15.11). Windows Mail stores an
attachment with its message in a single,
specially encoded mail file. You can open
an attachment from the mail file or save it
separately as a normal file on your hard
drive. (To send attachments, see the Tips in
“Sending Email” earlier in this chapter.)
To open an attachment:
◆
In the Preview pane, click the paper-clip
icon in the header and choose the filename (Figure 15.14).
or
At the top of the message window,
double-click the file icon in the Attach
header (refer to Figure 15.7).
To save an attachment:
2. Select a folder for the file and click Save
(Figure 15.15).
487
Receiving Attachments
Figure 15.15 After you’ve saved an attachment on your
hard drive, you can delete the message it came with.
1. In the Preview pane, click the paper-clip
icon in the header and choose Save
Attachments (refer to Figure 15.14).
or
Select the message and choose File >
Save Attachments.
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Attachment Manager is a background
security program that handles email attachments and internet downloads. Attachment
Manager is part of Windows, but Windows
Mail, Windows Live Messenger, and Internet
Explorer (and possibly other programs) use it.
To combat email-borne viruses, Windows
Mail blocks attachments with high-risk
extensions because you could infect your
computer if you open them. The extensions
include common ones such as .exe and .bat;
the “Risky File Types” sidebar has a complete list. In the message window or Preview
pane header, you’ll see a warning strip letting
you know that the file has been blocked.
You can unblock the file if you’re sure that it
isn’t dangerous.
Figure 15.16 Uncheck the Always Ask box if you don’t
want to be bothered by future security warnings.
To unblock and open a blocked
attachment:
Receiving Attachments
1. Choose Tools > Options > Security tab >
uncheck Do Not Allow Attachments to
Be Saved or Opened That Could
Potentially Be a Virus > OK.
2. Save the attachment to your hard drive
(as described in “To save an attachment”
earlier in this section).
3. In Windows Explorer or on the desktop,
double-click the file.
4. If an Open File - Security Warning dialog
box appears, click Run (Figure 15.16).
The file opens normally.
Risky File Types
.ade, .adp, .app, .asp, .bas, .bat, .cer, .chm,
.cmd, .com, .cpl, .crt, .csh, .exe, .fxp, .hlp,
.hta, .inf, .ins, .isp, .its, .js, .jse, .ksh, .lnk,
.mad, .maf, .mag, .mam, .maq, .mar, .mas,
.mat, .mau, .mav, .maw, .mda, .mdb, .mde,
.mdt, .mdw, .mdz, .msc, .msi, .msp, .mst,
.ops, .pcd, .pif, .prf, .prg, .pst, .reg, .scf, .scr,
.sct, .shb, .shs, .tmp, .url, .vb, .vbe, .vbs,
.vsmacros, .vss, .vst, .vsw, .ws, .wsc, .wsf,
.wsh
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✔ Tips
■
Instead of completing steps 3 and 4,
you can right-click the file and choose
Properties. The Properties dialog box
that appears contains an Unblock button.
Clicking it is the same as unchecking the
Always Ask box in Figure 15.16, and it
removes the Unblock button from future
Properties dialog boxes.
■
Even attachments from friends are risky
because a self-forwarding virus may
have picked your name out of a friend’s
contacts list.
■
To remove viruses, see “Defending Against
Viruses and Spyware” in Chapter 13.
Virus scanners can check your incoming
and outgoing messages automatically.
Blocked Pictures
Receiving Attachments
Windows Mail also blocks graphics in
HTML-format email—not attached
graphic files, but references to graphics
that sit on a web server somewhere. When
you open such a message, Windows Mail
won’t fetch the image from the server,
because most of these images come from
spammers trying to confirm (and sell)
your email address. To download images
and see them in the message, click the
Some Pictures Have Been Blocked warning strip that appears in the message
header. To turn off this feature, choose
Tools > Options > Security tab > uncheck
Block Images and Other External Content
in HTML E-Mail. You might want to disable this feature if you get a lot of email
containing photos from online dating sites.
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Chapter 15
Applying Message Rules
Windows Mail lets you define message rules
that answer, redirect, or delete incoming
messages automatically, based on subject,
sender, message text, size, or other criteria.
To set up message rules:
1. Choose Tools > Messages Rules > Mail >
New (Figure 15.17).
2. In the top section, specify selection
criteria for messages.
To look for messages from a certain
person, for example, check Where the
From Line Contains People.
Applying Message Rules
3. In the second section, specify what
happens to messages that meet the
selection criteria.
You can define complex rule systems
that move, copy, delete, reply to, forward,
flag, ignore, or highlight messages
automatically.
Figure 15.17 This rule, named Resumes, moves a
message to my Hiring folder if the message is
addressed to fehily directly, contains editorial
assistant in the Subject line, and has an attachment
(presumably, a résumé).
4. In the third section, click underlined
phrases to specify which people, words,
or values the message rules apply to
(Figure 15.18).
5. In the bottom text box, type the rule’s
name; then click OK (Figure 15.19).
Figure 15.18 Enter the values to watch for in the
dialog box that appears when you click an underlined
phrase.
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✔ Tips
Figure 15.19 All the rules that you’ve created appear
in this dialog box. Select a rule to see what it does, or
double-click it to edit it. Use the Move Up and Move
Down buttons to change the order in which rules run.
■
Don’t expect to get all your rules right
the first time. Windows Mail applies the
rules in the Message Rules dialog box
from top to bottom. You may find that
an earlier rule contradicts a later one or
that legitimate messages are deleted
inadvertently. After creating a new rule,
watch how it’s applied as new mail arrives.
■
To create a rule based on a selected
message, choose Message > Create Rule
from Message.
■
Message rules apply to all active email
accounts.
Applying Message Rules
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Chapter 15
Using Newsgroups
The internet’s uncensored anarchy is evident
in the tens of thousands of online forums,
called newsgroups (or Usenet), that cover
almost every conceivable interest. A newsgroup consists of messages and follow-up
posts, which are (supposed to be) related to
the original message’s subject line. A message and its follow-ups are called a thread.
To view and post newsgroup messages, use
Windows Mail as a newsreader.
Setting up a news account is similar to
setting up an email account.
Figure 15.20 Get your user name, password, and
NNTP news-server address from your ISP. If your
ISP doesn’t provide access to newsgroups, try
www.newsguy.com, www.easynews.com, or
www.mailgate.org.
To set up and use a newsgroup
account:
1. Choose Tools > Accounts > Add >
Newsgroup Account.
Using Newsgroups
2. Follow the onscreen instructions and click
Finish when you’re done (Figure 15.20).
3. When you’re prompted to subscribe to
newsgroups, choose one of the Show
Available Newsgroups options.
You may have to wait a few seconds or
minutes for the list to populate.
4. In the Newsgroup Subscriptions dialog
box that appears, click a newsgroup
account (in the left pane), and type a
term of interest in the text box.
The newsgroups are filtered to match
your text (Figure 15.21).
To summon Newsgroup Subscriptions at
any time, choose Tools > Newsgroups (or
press Ctrl+W).
5. When you find an interesting newsgroup,
select it and click Subscribe.
An icon appears near the newsgroup
name.
492
Figure 15.21 A newsgroup name is a series of dotseparated words that indicates the newsgroup’s topic
in increasingly narrow categories, such as
microsoft.public.windows.vista.games. The
Microsoft Communities newsgroups, shown here, are
installed by default.
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Email, Contacts, and Calendars
6. When you finish subscribing to newsgroups, click OK.
The new newsgroups appear in the
Folders list, below the news-server name.
7. In the Folders list, click a newsgroup
name to download its recent threads
(Figure 15.22).
Figure 15.22 Lurk on a newsgroup before
participating. Asking recently answered (or dumb)
questions irritates people and marks you as a fool.
8. Click (or double-click) a header in the
Message list to read the message.
Reply to or post newsgroup messages as
you would normal email. Note the Reply
(to individuals) and Reply Group (for
public posts) toolbar buttons.
✔ Tips
The Search box lets you find newsgroup
messages instantly based on their header
and body contents; see “To find a message”
in “Reading Email” earlier in this chapter.
■
Usenet, home of newsgroups, is one of
the oldest parts of the internet and is
encrusted with etiquette and rules, some
of which may seem silly. They’re not.
Before you post extensively to a newsgroup, observe it silently (lurk) for a few
days to test the waters.
■
Learn the ropes by joining and reading
news.answers and news.announce.newusers.
Find out what crossposting is and how
not to do it.
■
Usenet, like instant messaging, will gobble
your life if you dive into it. Don’t plan on
joining more than three or four newsgroups, but if you do, make yourself cut
back to what really interests you.
■
If you join a newsgroup, find and read its
FAQ (frequently asked questions) file,
which may answer your questions before
you ask the group.
493
Using Newsgroups
■
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Chapter 15
Managing Your Contacts
Windows Contacts, new in Vista (and
replacing Address Book), stores information
about people and organizations so you can
send them email quickly. You also can combine multiple contacts into contact groups
so you can send email to many people at the
same time.
To open Windows Contacts:
◆
Choose Start > All Programs > Windows
Contacts (Figure 15.23).
or
Choose Start, type windows contacts in
the Search box, and then press Enter.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type contacts
and press Enter.
Figure 15.23 Contacts (.contact files) and contact
groups (.group files) are stored in the Contacts folder
inside your personal folder. Because your contacts
are stored centrally and not tied to Windows Mail,
other programs are free to use them.
To add a contact:
Managing Your Contacts
1. Click New Contact or New Contact
Group (on the toolbar).
2. Fill out the information in the Properties
dialog box (Figure 15.24).
3. Click OK.
✔ Tips
■
Treat contacts and groups like any other
files. Double-click to edit or right-click
to delete, rename, print, send email, and
so on.
■
To find a contact, type one or more keywords in the Search box (top-right corner
of the window).
■
The Import and Export commands (on
the toolbar) let you work with contacts
in other formats, such as CSV (commaseparated values), vCard (VCF file),
Windows Address Book (Outlook
Express files), and LDIF (LDAP server).
494
Figure 15.24 To add a photo to a contact, click the
picture icon on the Name and E-Mail tab. You can add
multiple email addresses to each contact and
designate one Preferred.
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Creating a Personal
Calendar
Windows Calendar, new in Vista, manages
your appointments and tasks. Your calendar
is private by default, but you can publish it
to share with others or subscribe to calendars that others have published. If you’ve
used Microsoft Outlook’s scheduling features, you’re already familiar with how
Calendar works.
To open Windows Calendar:
◆
Choose Start > All Programs > Windows
Calendar (Figure 15.25).
or
Choose Start, type windows calendar in
the Search box, and then press Enter.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type wincal
and press Enter.
Creating a Personal Calendar
Figure 15.25 Appointments and tasks are color-coded so you can distinguish other people’s schedules when they
appear on the same calendar. When you make an appointment with someone (that is, click Attendees in the bottomright corner), Calendar looks that person up in Windows Contacts.
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✔ Tips
Calendar’s main functions are on the
toolbar, where you can create and delete
tasks and appointments, change the time
period displayed, and subscribe to other
people’s calendars. You also can use the
menus or right-click individual calendars, tasks, and appointments or empty
areas of the various panes. To share your
calendar, choose Share > Publish.
■
To find an appointment or task, type
one or more keywords in the Search box
(top-right corner).
■
To change Calendar’s default settings,
choose File > Options.
Creating a Personal Calendar
■
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16
Windows
Live Messenger
Windows Live Messenger (formerly Windows
Messenger, and MSN Messenger before that)
is instant gratification for those of you
impatient with email delays. Messenger lets
you chat privately with other people on the
internet—one or several at a time—by typing
live comments in a small window. This communications channel, called instant messaging
or IM, also is the idea behind AOL Instant
Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, and Google
Talk. Unfortunately, whoever you want to
chat with must use the same messaging network that you do, so if you chat with a lot of
friends, it’s not unusual to have two or three
of these programs on your computer.
Besides chatting or even while you’re chatting, you can monitor your email, exchange
files, have a teleconference, and make free
voice calls.
497
Windows Live Messenger
To get around this limit, use Trillian (free;
Gaim (free;
http://gaim.sourceforge.net), or Mercury
Messenger (free; www.mercury.to), which let
you chat on several IM networks at the same
time (and without advertisements).
www.ceruleanstudios.com),
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Setting up Messenger
Windows Live Messenger isn’t included
with Windows. You have to download it
from Microsoft.
To download and install Windows
Live Messenger:
1. Choose Start > All Programs >
Windows Live Messenger Download.
A web browser opens to the Messenger
download page.
2. Click the download link (Figure 16.1).
Figure 16.1 In this version of the Messenger page, the
download link is labeled Get It Free.
3. If a File Download - Security Warning
dialog box appears, click Save.
4. In the Save As dialog box, choose a target
folder for the download and click Save.
5. When the download completes, click
Open Folder in the Download Complete
dialog box (Figure 16.2).
Setting up Messenger
6. Double-click the download file.
If an Open File - Security Warning dialog
box appears, click Run.
7. Follow the onscreen instruction in the
Windows Live Messenger Setup wizard,
choosing the features and settings that
you want (Figure 16.3).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
Figure 16.2 If this dialog box disappears when the
download completes, use Windows Explorer to open
the target folder.
Figure 16.3 You can uncheck all these features if you
want only a basic Messenger setup.
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When Setup completes, it:
◆
Plants Messenger icons ( ) on the
Quick Launch toolbar and the notification area
◆
Adds a Windows Live Messenger entry
to the Start > All Programs menu
◆
Opens the Messenger sign-in page
(Figure 16.4)
✔ Tip
■
To use Messenger, you need an internet
connection (Chapter 12). A broadband
(DSL or cable) connection is ideal, but a
28K or 56K dial-up connection is adequate
for chat.
Figure 16.4 The Messenger sign-in page.
Setting up Messenger
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Chapter 16
Signing in to Messenger
You need a Windows Live ID to run Messenger,
even to chat within your local area network.
Your Live ID is Microsoft’s way of identifying
you uniquely on the internet. It’s free and
requires only a (real) email address. If you don’t
have one, click Get a New Account at the
bottom of the Messenger sign-in page (refer
to Figure 16.4) and follow the instructions
on the webpage that opens (Figure 16.5).
Your Live ID password doesn’t have to be
the same as your Windows password.
If Messenger doesn’t sign you in automatically when you go online, you must do so
manually. When you’re finished using
Messenger, sign out.
Signing in to Messenger
When you sign in for the first time, you might
see a Windows Security Alert (Figure 16.6).
Click Unblock to punch a hole in your firewall
that Messenger can communicate through.
If a security prompt appears, type an administrator password or confirm the action.
Figure 16.5 Windows Live ID replaces
(actually, renames) the .NET Passport you
needed for previous versions of Messenger.
Microsoft prefers that you use a Windows
Live (Hotmail) email address, but you can
use your own address in most cases. If you
sign up for a Hotmail account, you can
manage your email in Messenger or at
www.hotmail.com.
Figure 16.6 Click Unblock to create an exception in
Windows Firewall; see “Using a Firewall” in Chapter 13.
If you’re using a different firewall, add msnmsgr.exe to
the firewall’s list of allowed programs.
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Windows Live Messenger
To open Messenger and sign in:
Figure 16.7 The Messenger icon appears whether or
not you’re online and signed in. The left icon indicates
that you’re offline; the right one means you’re online
and signed in.
1. Choose Start > All Programs > Windows
Live Messenger.
or
Click the Messenger icon ( ) in the
Quick Launch toolbar.
or
Double-click the Messenger icon in the
notification area (Figure 16.7).
or
Choose Start, type messenger in the
Search box, and then select Windows
Live Messenger in the results list.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type msnmsgr
and press Enter.
2. On the sign-in page (refer to Figure 16.4),
type your Windows Live ID email
address and password.
3. To sign in automatically in the future,
select the check boxes below the
Password box.
Don’t check these boxes on public PCs
or a PC on which your user account
is shared.
Figure 16.8 The main Messenger window.
501
Signing in to Messenger
4. Click Sign In to go online (Figure 16.8).
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Chapter 16
To sign out:
◆
Choose File > Sign Out (press Alt if the
File menu isn’t visible).
or
Right-click the Messenger notificationarea icon and choose Sign Out.
Signing out doesn’t break your internet
connection or close Messenger. When you
sign out, you’ll appear offline to others,
but you’ll still be online.
✔ Tips
To return to manual sign-in, sign out and
uncheck the auto-sign-in boxes.
■
The Windows Live Today window that
appears alongside Messenger is mostly
gossip, ads, and fake news. To never see
it again, check the box in the bottomleft corner.
■
To stop Messenger from starting automatically, choose Tools > Options >
General section > uncheck Automatically
Run Windows Live Messenger When I
Log on to Windows (below Sign In). You
can start Messenger manually from the
Start menu.
Signing in to Messenger
■
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Creating a Contacts List
To send instant messages, you need a list of
contacts who have Live ID accounts and
Messenger (or MSN Messenger) installed.
To add a contact:
1.
In the main Messenger window, at
the top of your contacts list, click
the Add a Contact button.
2. Type the instant-messaging address in
the space provided (Figure 16.9).
Figure 16.9 To keep contact information current,
check Subscribe to Updates for This Contact (at the
bottom). To learn more about this feature, click Learn
About Windows Live Contacts.
3. If your contact doesn’t have Windows
Live Messenger, check Type a Personal
Invitation and type your message in the
space that appears below it.
4. In the Contact, Personal, Work, and
Notes sections, add any additional information, such as a nickname or birthday.
5. Click Save.
Contacts are listed in the main window.
✔ Tips
To save your contacts in a file so that you
can import them on other computers,
choose Contacts > Save Instant Messaging
Contacts. The Import command is in the
same menu.
To edit, delete, or block a contact, rightclick the contact in the list or use the
Contacts menu (press Alt if the Contacts
menu isn’t visible). To rearrange the contacts list, use the Sort, Filter, and View
commands in the Contacts menu.
■
To search for your contacts, click inside
the Find a Contact or Number box at
the top of the main window and start
typing. Matching contacts appear in the
list. To cancel the search, press Esc, backspace over the search text, or click the
clear button ( ).
■
You can create and edit groups to make
finding contacts easy. Contacts can be
members of more than one group. Use the
Group commands in the Contacts menu.
503
Creating a Contacts List
■
■
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Chapter 16
Using Messenger
This section contains instructions and
tips for using the features of Windows
Live Messenger.
Getting help. Messenger help isn’t part
of Windows Help and Support; it’s at the
Messenger website. Choose Help > Help Topics.
You also can hover your mouse pointer over
any Messenger control for a pop-up tip.
Using the notification-area menu.
If Messenger is closed, right-click its
notification-area icon to sign in or out
quickly, open or exit Messenger, change your
chat status, or send an instant message.
Changing the default settings. Choose
Tools > Options in the main window or a
conversation window to change Messenger’s
default settings.
Sending an instant message. To send an
instant message:
1. Choose Actions > Send an Instant
Message.
2. Click a contact or group, or enter an
email address, and then click OK.
Using Messenger
3. In the conversation window that opens,
type your message and click Send.
504
If the person replies, you’re chatting. You
can cut, copy, paste, undo, and use all the
standard editing techniques. The conversation’s transcript rolls down the top box,
identifying each message’s speaker. Close the
conversation window when you’re done
chatting or leave it open to continue the
conversation later. (You remain signed in
to Messenger when you close a conversation window.)
Sending another type of message.
Choose Actions > Send Other to send an
email, a message to a mobile device, a message to an MSN Direct device, a wink, or a
single file.
Showing the menu bars. To show the
menu bar in the main window or a conversation window, press Alt or click Show
Menu ( ) on the title bar. To show the
menu bar permanently, choose Show Menu >
Show Menu Bar. (Click Show Menu again
to hide the menu bar.) To toggle toolbars
in a conversation window, choose Tools >
Show Toolbars.
Keeping Messenger in sight. To make
the main window or a conversation window
remain in front of all other windows unless
minimized, choose Tools > Always on Top.
Changing fonts. Change the font or color
of your messages to distinguish them from
the other person’s messages. In the main
window, choose Tools > Options > Message
section > Change Font, or in a conversation
window, choose Edit > Change Font. Both
of you will see the change (assuming that
you have similar fonts installed). You can’t
change the other person’s font in your window, but you can change text size with the
Tools > Text Size submenu.
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Windows Live Messenger
Adding other chatters. To add more people
to a chat, in a conversation window, choose
Actions > Invite a Contact to Join This
Conversation; then double-click the name
of an online contact.
Cold-shouldering someone. To block
somebody from chatting with you:
◆
In a conversation window with the person you want to block, choose Actions >
Block or click Block on the toolbar.
or
In the main window, right-click a contact’s name and choose Block Contact.
or
In any window, choose Tools > Options >
Privacy tab; then click the victim’s name
and add it to the Block list.
Among veteran chatters, blocking can be a
mild to significant insult, depending on circumstances. To unblock someone, repeat
the Block command (Block toggles to
Unblock) or move the person back to the
Allow list.
Sending winks. You can send a wink to
express your mood. A wink is an animated
greeting that you can send to your contacts.
Choose Tools > My Winks, choose a wink,
and click Send. Click Get More Winks to
download more winks.
Saving conversations. To save a transcript
of your chat on disk, in a conversation window, choose File > Save As. To preserve the
transcript’s colors and fonts, save as an RTF
file; to save only the text, save as a text file.
Customizing your display settings.
Choose Tools > Options > Messages section;
then define how you want the Messenger
window to appear and how you want
Messenger to respond when you receive
messages from others.
505
Using Messenger
Ignoring people. If you step away from
your computer or don’t want to be bothered,
broadcast your status by using the File >
My Status submenu in the main window.
(Choose Busy, Be Right Back, Away, Appear
Offline, and so on.) You also can change
your status by right-clicking the Messenger
icon in the notification area.
Expressing your feelings. On the toolbar
near the bottom of a conversation window
is a drop-down list of smiley-face icons. You
can insert these emoticons into your messages
to indicate how the message should be interpreted (that is, your mood—embarrassment,
anger, surprise, delight, whatever). Emoticons
may be annoying, but they help prevent misunderstandings if your correspondent has no
sense of irony. Messenger converts common
text emoticons to graphic ones automatically;
type :) to make a smiley face ( ), for example. To turn off autoconversion, choose Tools >
Options > Messages section > uncheck Show
Emoticons and Show Custom Emoticons.
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Chapter 16
Playing sounds and showing alerts.
Messenger can play a sound during certain
events, such as when contacts sign in or send
you a message. Choose Tools > Options >
Alerts and Sounds section. Below Sounds,
uncheck the boxes for silence or check them
for event-triggered sounds. To change a
sound, choose an event and click Browse. (For
information about sounds, see “Configuring
Sound and Audio Devices” in Chapter 4.)
Below Alerts in the same section, you can
control the display of visual notifications for
various events.
Rearranging the tabs. Choose Tools >
Options > Tabs section, and use the Up and
Down buttons to reorder the tabs in the
main window. Click Restore Defaults to go
back to the original order.
Displaying personal information.
Choose Tools > Options > Personal section
to set what information others see about
you when you send them messages.
Using Messenger
Putting a background in your message.
Choose Tools > My Backgrounds and choose
a background for your messages. Click Browse
to choose other backgrounds on your computer or click Get More Backgrounds to
download more.
Changing your display picture. Choose
Tools > Change Display Picture to change
or create the display picture for your message window.
Setting security options. Choose Tools >
Options > Security section to make a messaging session a little safer. You may want to
change some of these options when you use
a public computer.
506
Seeing which contacts lists you’re on.
Choose Tools > Options > Privacy section.
Below Contact Lists, click View to see a list
of people who have added you to their contacts list. If you want to be alerted each
time someone adds you, check the nearby
Alert Me box.
Checking your connection. Choose Tools >
Options > Connection section. Click Refresh
to update your display and view current
information, such as signal strength, account
name, and connection type. To test or
change connection settings, click Advanced
Settings. To troubleshoot a connection, click
Start (if available).
Sending and receiving email. In the main
window, right-click a contact and choose
Send Other > E-Mail to open your email
program with a preaddressed message to
the contact. To check your email, click the
E-Mail Inbox button (
).
Sharing or transferring files. You can share
files with your contacts by using Sharing
Folders, or you can transfer one file at a
time. Sharing Folders lets you share the
same files with more than one contact and
update the content automatically. To share
a file:
1. Choose Tools > Options > Sharing
Folders section.
2. Check both check boxes below
Sharing Folders.
3. Add contacts to or remove contacts
from the Sharing Folders list to set
whether they can access shared files.
4. Click OK.
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Windows Live Messenger
Now you can drag the file from your file
folder onto the contact in the main window
(or onto the message area of a conversation
window). Click the Sharing Folders button
( ) in the main window to add files, pause
sharing, or view the activity logs of files that
you’ve shared.
To send a single file, choose Actions > Send
Other > Send a Single File. To set transfer
options, choose Tools > Options > File
Transfer section. Here, you also can choose
where to save files that you receive.
Sharing games and activities. You and
your contacts can share music, games,
and applications; collaborate on a project
by using a whiteboard; and more. You also
can provide assistance to a friend by using
Remote Assistance. From the Actions
menu, choose Start an Activity, Play a
Game, or Request Remote Assistance; then
follow the onscreen instructions.
To stop voice clips from playing automatically, choose Tools > Options > Messages
section > uncheck Play Voice Clips
Automatically When They Are Received.
To set up your microphone and speakers,
choose Tools > Audio and Video Setup.
Making video calls, sending your webcam, or viewing a contact’s webcam.
To add video to your conversations, use the
Actions > Video submenu in the main window or a conversation window. To set up your
webcam, choose Tools > Webcam Settings.
Making a telephone call. To make free
internet phone calls via Windows Live Call,
choose Actions > Call in the main window
(or click ) and call a contact’s computer, a
contact’s phone, or any other phone. A phone
dialer appears for the latter two options.
Using Messenger
Sending, saving, or playing a voice clip.
If you have a microphone, you can send a
voice clip, which will appear in your contact’s
conversation window and play automatically. To send a voice clip, click and hold the
Voice Clip button ( ) in a conversation
window (or press and hold F2), say your
message, and then release the button. To
save a clip, drag it from the conversation
window onto your desktop or into a folder
window. To forward or recycle a clip, drag it
to other conversations. Press Esc or click
Play/Stop to stop a clip during playback.
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17
Managing
User Accounts
The type of network (Chapter 18) that
you’re on determines how you administer
accounts.
A workgroup is a simple home or smallbusiness network whose computers each
maintain separate user accounts and
security settings. These informal networks
exist primarily to help users share printers, folders, files, and other resources.
User accounts don’t float around the network; you need a separate account on
each networked PC to access its files.
In this chapter, you’ll learn to create, edit,
and delete user accounts as an administrator. If you’re a standard user who’s not called
on to administer, you still can change your
account password and picture.
A domain is a large, business-oriented,
centrally administered network. Files can
reside on local hard disks or on a network
server that distributes files across the
network. Centralized user accounts let
you log on to any domain computer. Vista
Home editions support only workgroups.
The Business and Ultimate editions support both workgroups and domains.
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Managing User Accounts
Workgroup vs. Domain
Windows is a true multiple-user OS that
lets several people use one PC without intruding on—or even viewing—one another’s files,
settings, and tastes. To start a Windows session, you log on to your user account, which
gives you personalized access to the system.
You, like each user, have your own desktop,
Start menu, personal folder, Control Panel settings, email account, internet details (favorites,
history, feeds, cookies, and cached webpages),
program settings, permissions, network connections, and other odds and ends. Your
private files, folders, and preferences are stored
on the Windows drive in \Users\username,
which lets Windows personalize your desktop each time that you log on.
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Chapter 17
Setting up User Accounts
Use Control Panel’s User Accounts program
to create, change, and delete accounts. Your
computer will have at least one account:
yours. It might have other accounts if you
upgraded from Windows XP. If your PC is
new, its manufacturer may have created a
predefined account named, say, Owner. See
“Logging On and Logging Off ” in Chapter 1.
To open User Accounts:
Setting up User Accounts
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel >
User Accounts and Family Safety >
User Accounts (Figure 17.1).
or
If you’re on a network domain, choose
Start > Control Panel > User Accounts >
User Accounts.
Figure 17.1 User Accounts opens to your account and
shows links to account-management tasks.
To create an account:
1. In User Accounts, click Manage Another
Account (refer to Figure 17.1).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
A list of accounts appears (Figure 17.2).
2. Click Create a New Account.
Figure 17.2 This page lists everyone who has a user
account.
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3. Type a user name and select an account
type (see the “Account Types” sidebar;
Figure 17.3).
4. Click Create Account.
The new account will appear in the
account-management window (refer to
Figure 17.2).
✔ Tip
■
Figure 17.3 Best practice: Don’t use spaces in a user
name for easy typing in programs and command-line
tools. Capitalization doesn’t matter, but favor only
lowercase letters. Most punctuation is forbidden. Use
a short name that will fit easily in messages and
dialog boxes.
Account Types
An account type defines a user’s privileges—rights to perform specific tasks. The account type
appears below each user’s name.
An Administrator account has sweeping systemwide rights to create, change, and delete user
accounts and passwords; access all files (including other users’ files); and install programs
and hardware. Many of the settings described in this book require administrative privileges,
which you should grant to few users besides yourself. Windows must have at least one
Administrator account, and if you installed Windows or maintain it, this is your account type.
If you’re not an administrator, you have an everyday Standard account. You can change your
own password, picture, desktop theme, and Start menu; change some Control Panel settings
(you can’t change the system time, for example); and access files in your personal folder (everyone
else’s files are off limits) and the Public folder (which Windows creates automatically under
the Users folder as a shared location for all users).
Windows also comes with a no-password Guest account that has about the same privileges
as a Standard account. This account, intended for visitors, is turned off by default and should
stay that way.
511
Setting up User Accounts
To create an account if you’re on a network domain, in User Accounts, click
Manage User Accounts, click Add, and
then follow the onscreen instructions.
The new account works only for the
computer that you’re using; it doesn’t
roam on the domain.
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Chapter 17
After creating a user account, you edit it to
set up its other information. You can change
a user account’s details, such as its password
and picture, at any time after creating it.
To edit an account:
Setting up User Accounts
1. In User Accounts, click Manage Another
Account (refer to Figure 17.1).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
A list of accounts appears (refer to
Figure 17.2).
Figure 17.4 Administrators have full access to all
accounts. Standard users see about the same options,
but if they don’t have an administrator password, they
can change only their account password and picture.
2. Click the account that you want to change.
3. In the page that appears (Figure 17.4),
choose among these options:
Change the Account Name. Type a
new user name, which will appear in the
Welcome screen, Start menu, and User
Accounts window.
Change the Password. Type (and retype)
a password (capitalization counts) and
optional logon hint to remind you of a
forgotten password (Figure 17.5).
Remove the Password. If the account
has a password, you can remove it. (In
most situations, you should passwordprotect every account.)
Figure 17.5 For advice on creating a password, click
How to Create a Strong Password.
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Figure 17.6 Click Browse for More Pictures to post
your own picture, automatically scaled to fit. To open
User Accounts for your account quickly (refer to
Figure 17.4), click your Start-menu picture.
✔ Tips
■
To edit an account if you’re on a network
domain, in User Accounts, click Manage
User Accounts. On the Users tab, under
Users for This Computer, click the user
account name and then click Properties.
■
If you provide a password hint, use one
that’s meaningful to only you, because
everyone who uses your PC can see it on
the Welcome screen.
■
If an administrator removes or changes
the password of another user (of any
account type), the secondary passwords
stored in that user’s account for certain
websites, network files and folders,
encrypted files, and so on are lost, thus
preventing someone unscrupulous from,
say, cleaning out a bank account courtesy
of a password memorized by a browser.
513
Setting up User Accounts
Change the Picture. Change the picture associated with you in the Welcome
screen, Start menu, and User Accounts
window (Figure 17.6). (The picture
doesn’t appear if you’re a domain member or if you use the classic Start menu.)
Set up Parental Controls. See “Setting
Parental Controls” in Chapter 13.
Change the Account Type. Change an
Administrator account to a Standard
account, or vice versa. See the “Account
Types” sidebar and Figure 17.3.
Delete the Account. See “To delete an
account” later in this section.
Manage Another Account. Choose
another account to edit after you’re
finished with this one.
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Chapter 17
If you’re worried that you’ll forget your password and draw a blank on your password
hint, create a password reset disk to recover it.
You must create it now, before you actually
need it. Keep the disk safe; anyone can use it
to change your password. (An administrator
always can reset your forgotten password,
but a reset wipes your secondary passwords,
as described in the preceding tip.)
Setting up User Accounts
To create a password reset disk:
1. In User Accounts (refer to Figure 17.1),
click Create a Password Reset Disk (in
the left pane).
The Forgotten Password wizard opens
(Figure 17.7).
2. Follow the onscreen instructions.
You’ll need a formatted floppy disk.
If you mistype a password in future logons,
Windows displays a message that the
password is wrong. Close the message
and click Reset Password. Insert your
password reset disk and follow the steps
in the Password Reset wizard. You don’t
need to make a new password reset disk
after you’re logged on; reuse the old one.
You, as an administrator, can delete any
account that’s not logged on. (Press
Ctrl+Shift+Esc and click the Users tab to
see who’s logged on.) You can’t delete the
account that you’re logged on to or the last
Administrator account. A deleted account
is gone forever, along with its settings and
secondary passwords. If you create a new
account with the same name and password,
Windows considers it to be a different account.
514
Figure 17.7 You can have only one password reset disk
for each account. If you make a new one, the old one
becomes unusable.
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Managing User Accounts
To delete an account:
1. In User Accounts, click Manage Another
Account (refer to Figure 17.1).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
A list of accounts appears (refer to
Figure 17.2).
Figure 17.8 If you click Keep Files, Windows saves
documents and media files but not email or settings.
2. Click the account that you want to
delete.
4. Click Keep Files to save the user’s desktop and personal files on your desktop
in a folder named after the deleted user
(Figure 17.8).
or
Click Delete Files to erase the user’s files.
5. Click Delete Account.
✔ Tips
Figure 17.9 This dialog box, courtesy of User Account
Control, appears when you try to install a program as
a standard user. To continue, type the password for
one of the listed Administrator accounts (only one
appears here) and click OK. If you’re logged on as an
administrator, you’ll see a similar dialog box, only you
won’t have to enter a password.
■
For information about sharing files and
folders with other users, see “Sharing
Files” in Chapter 18.
■
Manage accounts only through User
Accounts. Don’t tinker with accounts
directly in the Users folder.
■
For security reasons, consider using a
Standard account for everyday use and
an Administrator account for special
occasions. If you’re logged on as a standard user and try to install a program
that requires administrator privileges,
Figure 17.9 appears to let you install it
as an administrator.
continues on next page
515
Setting up User Accounts
3. Click Delete the Account (refer to
Figure 17.4).
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Chapter 17
■
Power users prefer the old-style User
Accounts dialog box to manage
accounts. It’s hidden in Vista. To open
it, press Windows logo key+R; type
control userpasswords2 and press Enter
(Figure 17.10). If a security prompt
appears, type an administrator password
or confirm the action.
■
Upon graduation to advanced user management, you’ll use the Local Users and
Groups console (Figure 17.11). Click
the Advanced tab in Figure 17.10 and
then click the Advanced button (or press
Windows logo key+R; type lusrmgr.msc
and press Enter). If a security prompt
appears, type an administrator password
or confirm the action.
With this console, you can create and
manage users and groups. Groups are
named collections of users that transcend
the Administrator/Standard account
types and give you great flexibility in
fine-tuning file and folder permissions. It’s
also here that you can manage the built-in,
no-password, hidden Administrator
account that’s used in emergencies (like
recovering after a bad crash).
Figure 17.10 This dialog box is more powerful and direct
than Control Panel’s User Accounts. You can create,
edit, and delete accounts without slogging through a
wizard. Click the Advanced tab for more options.
Figure 17.11 Despite its austere appearance, this tool
offers power and flexibility. Double-click an account
name to set advanced options, for example.
Disabling Accounts
One thing Local Users and Groups lets you do that User Accounts doesn’t is disable accounts
temporarily, which may be preferable to deleting them in some cases. A disabled account’s
files and settings aren’t touched; they just become unavailable to the user.
To disable an account, double-click the user in the list (refer to Figure 17.11). In the Properties
dialog box, on the General tab, check Account Is Disabled. That user won’t be able to log on
until you enable the account again.
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Using User Account
Control
Microsoft’s security-minded answer to years of
viruses and spyware is User Account Control
(UAC), new in Vista. If you’ve used Windows
for even a little while, you’ve seen a UAC
dialog box like Figure 17.9 or Figure 17.12.
Figure 17.12 UAC helps stop unauthorized changes to
your computer by asking you for permission or an
administrator password before doing something that
affects your computer’s operation or changes settings
for other users.
UAC Messages
Icon
Message and Description
Windows needs your permission to continue.
A Windows function or program that can affect
other users wants to start.
A program needs your permission to continue.
A program that’s not part of Windows wants to
start. It has a valid digital signature indicating
its name and its publisher, which helps ensure
that the program is what it claims to be.
An unidentified program wants access to your
computer. A program without a digital signature wants to start. Many older, legitimate programs lack signatures. Run the program if you
trust the source. You can trust the original CD
or the publisher’s website, for example.
This program has been blocked. An administrator has specifically blocked this program
from starting. Contact an administrator to
unblock it.
Table 17.1 describes the different UAC
dialog boxes, each of which has its own
shield icon, color, and message. In each case,
check the name of the action or program in
the dialog box to make sure that it’s the one
you want to run.
✔ Tips
■
You can turn off UAC. In User Accounts
(refer to Figure 17.1), click Turn User
Account Control On or Off. If a security
prompt appears, type an administrator
password or confirm the action. Uncheck
Use User Account Control (UAC) to Help
Protect Your Computer and then click OK.
You must restart your computer (now or
later) for the change to take effect.
■
Best security practice: Log on with a
Standard account most of the time.
You can surf the web, send email, and
use a word processor, all without an
Administrator account. When you perform an administrative task, you don’t
have to switch to an Administrator
account; UAC will prompt you for permission or an administrator password.
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Using User Account Control
Table 17.1
Some of the actions that UAC intercepts
might seem trivial to you at first, but they’re
chosen sensibly. By verifying actions before
they start, UAC can stop malware from
installing or making changes.
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Chapter 17
Managing User Profiles
Managing User Profiles
A user profile contains an account’s personal
settings that Windows uses to configure the
desktop each time the user logs on. Each user’s
settings, network connections, and so on are
saved in \Users\username. Windows also has
a default profile that defines settings for newly
created accounts. (The default profile is a
hidden folder in Users.) To change this starting
point, change the desktop, Start menu,
favorites, and theme of a normal account (your
own, perhaps) to what you want the new
default to be; then complete the following steps.
To change the default user profile:
1. In Windows Explorer, choose Organize >
Folder and Search Options > View tab,
select Show Hidden Files and Folders,
and then click OK.
2. Choose Start > Control Panel >
System and Maintenance > System >
Advanced System Settings (in the left
pane) > Settings (below User Profiles)
(Figure 17.13).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
3. Select the account whose settings you
want to copy and click Copy To.
The Copy To dialog box opens.
4. Click Browse and navigate to
\Users\Default on the drive that
contains Windows.
5. Click OK in each open dialog box.
6. In Explorer, rehide hidden files.
✔ Tip
■
A roaming user profile, which your network administrator creates, is available
every time you log on to any computer
on a network domain.
518
Figure 17.13 The (hidden) Default profile determines
what a newly created user sees on the desktop. Use
the User Profiles dialog box to change the default
appearance by copying other profile settings to the
Default profile.
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18
Setting up
a Small Network
Networks let you:
Workgroups and Domains
This chapter describes how to set up a
simple workgroup network (also called a
peer-to-peer network), appropriate for ten
or fewer computers, in all Vista editions.
The Business and Ultimate (but not Home)
editions also support domain networks
for large organizations. A full-time geek
(or department) sets up and administers
a domain, which can have thousands of
users. Ordinary users can set up and
administer their own workgroup but not
a domain. In this chapter, I cover domain
file-sharing but not setup.
Share files. You can designate disks, folders,
and files as shared network resources.
Share printers and devices. Any computer
on the network can use a printer connected
to another network computer. Ditto for
backup devices, scanners, and other devices.
Share an internet connection. You can
set up an internet connection on one computer and let every computer on the network
share that connection.
To join an existing domain, see the
“Domain Logons” sidebar in “Logging On
and Logging Off ” in Chapter 1.
519
Setting up a Small Network
You create a network when you connect two
or more computers to exchange data or share
equipment. Cheap hardware and simpler
configurations have made networks common in homes and small businesses. Setup
is no longer a bad experience, thanks to
Windows’ setup tools and wizards (but the
hassle of buying and installing network
hardware remains). You can add computers
running Windows XP to your network too.
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Chapter 18
Ethernet (802.3)
Understanding
Network Types
Before you can set up Windows’ network
software, you must install and configure
network hardware. Your choice of network
depends on your budget, the proximity of
the computers to be networked, and your
inclination to lay cable.
✔ Tip
A geographically limited network that
spans a small area (typically, a building
or two) is called a local area network
(LAN).
Understanding Network Types
■
The most popular network standard,
Ethernet, is cheap, fast, and reliable, and it
imposes few limits on where the networked
PCs are placed in your home or office. To
create an Ethernet network, you’ll need
three components along with your PCs
(Figure 18.1):
Network adapter. Each computer must
have a network adapter (about $15 U.S.) that
provides a physical connection to the network.
An adapter has an RJ-45 jack that you connect an Ethernet cable to. If you have an older
computer that didn’t come with a built-in
Ethernet jack, you can buy a network interface card, or NIC (a PCI expansion card that
you open your computer to install), or an
external network adapter that plugs into a
USB port. For laptops, plug in a PC Card
(about $30) that provides an Ethernet jack.
All newer NICs are Plug and Play.
Internet
Cable, wire, or (wireless) radio waves
Shared printer
Router/ hub
DSL or cable modem
Figure 18.1 A typical network, in which three computers share a printer and a broadband internet connection.
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For installation tips, see “Connecting
Devices to Your Computer” in Chapter 8.
If you’re drilling through walls to lay cable,
consider hiring a professional cable installer
(or using a wireless network).
Hub. On an Ethernet network, you connect
each cable from a PC’s network adapter to a
central connection point called a hub (about
$30)—a small box with a row of five to eight
or more jacks (called ports) that accept RJ-45
connectors. Small green lights on the hub
glow or flicker to signal an active connection. Computers communicate through the
hub, so there’s no direct connection
between any two PCs.
One port, labeled Uplink, connects to a
router, broadband modem, or another hub to
expand the network. The other ports are numbered, but it doesn’t matter which port you
plug which cable into. You also can connect
shared devices, such as printers, to the hub.
Wireless (802.11)
Wireless networks are versatile and don’t
require cables. The wireless standard is called
Wi-Fi or 802.11 (say eight-oh-two-eleven).
To set up a wireless network, install a wireless network adapter (about $60) in each
PC. Most laptops have a built-in wireless
adapter. To make sure, choose Start >
Control Panel > Network and Internet >
Network and Sharing Center > Manage
Network Connections. For desktops, the
adapter has a small antenna that sticks out
the back of the computer to transmit and
receive radio waves over a range of about
150 feet (through walls). To share a broadband internet connection, you need a base
station or access point (about $100).
To stop neighbors or passersby from stealing
your internet bandwidth and eavesdropping, turn on the password or encryption
option—usually labeled WPA or WPA2.
(Don’t use WEP, an older and easily broken
protocol.) Position the router or access
point near the center of your house rather
than near a window or outside wall. Also,
change the default service set identifier
(SSID) to stop your network from overlapping with other wireless networks using the
same SSID.
521
Understanding Network Types
Ethernet cables. The cables used in
Ethernet networks are a little thicker than
telephone cables, and the RJ-45 connectors
at each end are wider than ordinary phone
(RJ-11) connectors. You can buy Ethernet
cables—called 10BaseT, 100BaseT, CAT5,
CAT5e, CAT6, or twisted-pair cables—with
preattached connectors ($5 to $50, depending on length). For custom lengths, you (or
someone at the store) can cut the cable off
a spool and attach the connectors. Or you
can join two lengths by using an RJ-45
female/female coupler. A connection’s
length shouldn’t exceed 100 meters (328 feet).
If you have an internet connection, use a
router/hub instead of an ordinary hub to
share the connection, as described later in
this chapter.
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Understanding Network Types
Wireless equipment comes in one of three
flavors: 802.11a, 802.11b, or 802.11g. These
three protocols vary by compatibility, band,
range, and speed. If you’re not interested in
the details, buy only g equipment and stop
reading. Otherwise, here are a few things to
know about a, b, and g gear:
◆
a and g are about five times faster than b
(54 Mbps versus 11 Mbps).
◆
b and g have a greater range than a
(150 feet versus 60 feet).
◆
b and g work in the 2.4 GHz band and
are subject to interference from pipes,
weather, microwave ovens, 2.4 GHz
cordless phones, and Bluetooth devices.
(a works in the 5 GHz band.)
◆
g is backward-compatible with b. You
can mix a b card with a g base station,
and vice versa.
◆
a isn’t compatible with b or g unless
the equipment is labeled dual-band
or tri-mode.
◆
a hasn’t been adopted widely because
of the popularity of b and g.
◆
Faster wireless equipment doesn’t make
your internet connection faster. (The
modem is the bottleneck.)
◆
A wireless network is compatible with
an Apple AirPort (802.11b) or AirPort
Extreme (802.11g) network.
◆
The next standard, 802.11n, is due for
approval in 2007 and offers greater
throughput and increased range over
802.11a/b/g.
◆
The Wi-Fi Alliance (www.wi-fi.org) is a
trade organization that tests and certifies equipment compliance with the
802.11 standards.
522
Telephone lines (HomePNA)
Network equipment certified by the Home
Phoneline Networking Alliance, or HomePNA,
uses your existing phone wires to connect
computers. HomePNA networks don’t interfere with other wire communications. You
can use standard telephones, dial-up
modems, DSL or cable modems, faxes, and
answering machines simultaneously with
HomePNA, because even though the devices
use the same telephone wires, they occupy
different frequency bands. These networks
don’t require a hub; instead, you plug your
HomePNA network adapter (about $70) into
the nearest phone jack. For more information, see www.homepna.org.
Electrical outlets (HomePlug)
Network equipment certified by the HomePlug
Powerline Alliance uses the existing electrical
wiring in your home to connect computers.
Unlike phone jacks, power outlets are available in almost every room, ready to pull double
duty as power sources and network ports.
A HomePlug network is easy to set up; you
simply plug your HomePlug network
adapter (about $100) into the nearest power
outlet. The network range is about 1,000
feet, including the length that the wires
travel in your walls. For more information,
see www.homeplug.org.
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✔ Tips
You can form a simple network if your computers all have IEEE 1394 (FireWire) jacks,
which usually are used to capture video from
a digital video camera. (You can buy a 1394
card to get these jacks; see “Connecting
Devices to Your Computer” in Chapter 8.)
Just hook together the computers with 6-pinto-6-pin IEEE 1394 cables (about $20). There’s
no need to buy a hub or router. Each computer should have two free 1394 ports so
that you can form a chain.
■
Network speeds are measured in
megabits per second (Mbps). 10 Mbps,
called 10BaseT or Ethernet, is adequate
for most homes and small businesses.
Most new hubs and adapters handle
both 10BaseT and 100BaseT or Fast
Ethernet (100 Mbps) on the same network; look for the label 10/100 or dual
speed. Pricier Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Mbps)
equipment also is available. Wireless,
HomePNA, and HomePlug speeds are
comparable to 10BaseT. (Network speed
doesn’t affect internet-connection speed;
DSL and cable modems are 10 to 20
times slower than 10BaseT.)
■
Brand-name network equipment manufacturers include 3Com, Belkin, D-Link,
Linksys, Microsoft, Motorola, Netgear,
and SMC. No-name hardware is cheaper,
but the few dollars extra that you pay for
a name brand get you phone and web
support, better documentation, and regularly updated drivers.
The computers have to be close; 1394 cables
can’t be more than 15 feet (4.5 meters) long.
And you can’t use this arrangement to share
a printer or DSL/cable modem. 1394 also is
sometimes called i.Link or Lynx.
Crossover cable
If your network has only two computers
that are close together, you can connect
them with a crossover cable (about $10),
which runs directly between the two PCs’
Ethernet jacks. This no-hassle network saves
you the cost of a hub and works exactly like
a “real” Ethernet network. (If you expand
the network to three computers, you must
buy a hub.)
523
Understanding Network Types
IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
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Sharing an Internet
Connection
Sharing an Internet Connection
To share one internet connection with every
computer on a network, you have two options:
Install a router. A router—also called a
residential gateway by Microsoft—is a small
box with one jack that connects to a hub
and another jack that connects to a DSL,
cable, or dial-up modem. A router/hub (about
$70) doubles as a hub, sharing the modem’s
bandwidth among multiple Ethernet ports
that the network PCs connect to. A slightly
more expensive router/switch is faster than
a router/hub and should be used when you’re
passing lots of data around the network
(when playing network games or sharing
music, for example).
You’re better off using a router than dealing
with the limits of ICS (described next). A
router is easy to install and configure, uses
little power, lets any PC go online at any
time, and has a built-in firewall. To the outside world, a router appears to be a computer,
but one without programs and hard drives
to attack or infect.
Use Internet Connection Sharing (ICS).
ICS is a built-in Windows feature that acts
like a software router. It’s free but difficult to
configure. You must designate one computer
as the host, or gateway, PC through which all
internet traffic passes. For broadband connections, the host PC must have two Ethernet
adapters: one that connects to the DSL or
cable modem and one that connects to a
hub. If the host PC is turned off, the other
PCs—called clients—can’t go online.
Like a router, ICS works best with a highspeed internet connection, but a dial-up
modem works acceptably.
ICS Setup
Some setup tips for Internet Connection Sharing:
◆
Make sure that the host PC can go online before you enable ICS.
◆
The client PCs can be running pre-Vista Windows versions (except Windows 95/3.x).
◆
Turn on the host PC before turning on the client PCs. Turning off the host kills all client
internet connections.
◆
To enable ICS on the host, choose Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network
and Sharing Center > Manage Network Connections. Right-click the connection that you
want to share and choose Properties > Sharing tab > check Allow Other Network Users to
Connect Through This Computer’s Internet Connection. Check the other boxes, if desired.
(The Sharing tab isn’t available if you have only one network connection.)
◆
When you enable ICS, your LAN connection gets a new static IP address. For instructions
on reestablishing the TCP/IP connections between the host and clients, click Using ICS
on the Sharing tab described in the preceding tip.
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Setting up a Network
After you’ve decided what type of network
you want and bought the necessary hardware, you’re ready to set up the network.
To set up a network:
Figure 18.2 If your network is wireless, run the Set up
a Wireless Router or Access Point wizard on the
computer attached to the router. The wizard walks
you through the process of adding other computers
and devices to the network. For details on adding
devices, search for the Help and Support topic Add a
device or computer to a network.
1. Install network adapters in any computers that need them, according to the
manufacturer’s instructions (see
“Understanding Network Types” earlier
in this chapter).
2. Connect the computers.
The connections depend on the type of
network adapters, modem, internet connection, and internet sharing.
3. Turn on all computers and devices (such
as printers) that you want to be part of
your network.
If your network is wired (Ethernet or
HomePNA, for example), Windows will
set it up automatically, and it should be
ready to use.
or
If your network is wireless, choose Start >
Control Panel > Network and Internet >
Network and Sharing Center > Set up a
Connection or Network (in the left pane) >
Set up a Wireless Router or Access Point
(Figure 18.2).
continues on next page
525
Setting up a Network
2. (Optional) Set up an internet connection
(see Chapter 12).
A network doesn’t need an internet connection, but most networks have one.
To share an existing internet connection
on the network, see “Sharing an Internet
Connection” earlier in this chapter.
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Setting up a Network
The wizard saves your network settings
to a USB flash drive, which you insert
into each computer or device that you
want to add to the wireless network. (You
still can use the wizard even if you don’t
have a USB flash drive, but it’s tedious.)
4. Test your network to make sure that all
the computers and devices are connected
and working properly.
On each network computer, choose
Start > Network. (On computers running
Windows XP, choose Start > My Network
Places.) You should be able to see icons
for the computer you are on and for all
the other computers and devices that you
have added to the network (Figure 18.3).
Icons for network printers won’t appear
until you turn on Printer Sharing; see
“Managing a Network” later in this chapter.
Figure 18.3 This simple Ethernet network has two
computers and a router (and a shared printer not
visible at this level). Here, the Network folder shows
tiles view, grouped by category; switch to details view
if you want to see more information about each
computer and device.
Finding Missing Network Computers
If computers on the network are missing from the Network folder (refer to Figure 18.3), try
these solutions to common problems.
◆
On each computer, choose Start > Connect To and connect to the network.
◆
On each computer, choose Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and
Sharing Center. If Network Discovery is off, click the arrow button ( ) to expand the section, select Turn on Network Discovery, and then click Apply. If a security prompt
appears, type an administrator password or confirm the action.
◆
Right-click the Network icon (
Diagnose and Repair.
◆
Make sure all the computers are turned on and connected.
◆
Make sure that your hub, switch, or router is plugged in and turned on, and that all network adapters are firmly seated and cables are firmly connected to their jacks and ports.
Use Device Manager to make sure that each network adapter is working properly (see
“Managing Device Drivers” in Chapter 8).
◆
For other solutions, search for the Help and Support topic Troubleshooting network problems.
526
) in the notification area of the taskbar and choose
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Setting up a Small Network
When you set up a network, Windows creates
a workgroup and gives it a name automatically. You can join an existing workgroup on
a network or create a new one. You also can
change the name of the computer.
To rename a computer, join an existing
workgroup, or create a new workgroup:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > System > Change
Settings (Figure 18.4).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
2. On the Computer Name tab, click
Change.
3. Type a new name for the computer,
if desired (Figure 18.5).
4. In the Member Of section, select
Workgroup.
5. Type the name of an existing workgroup
that you want to join.
or
Type the name of the new workgroup
that you want to create.
6. Click OK in each open dialog box.
Figure 18.5 If you change the name of a workgroup
on any computer, you also have to change the
workgroup name (to match the new name) on each
networked computer that you want to include in
the new workgroup.
527
Setting up a Network
Figure 18.4 The name of each computer (here,
Office-PC) appears in the Network folder (refer to
Figure 18.3) and in other network tools and windows.
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✔ Tips
To change the computer and workgroup
name on a network computer running
Windows XP, choose Start > Control
Panel > Performance and Maintenance >
System > Change Settings.
■
The Network folder (refer to Figure 18.3)
behaves like any other folder window, as
described in Chapter 5. Double-click
items to open or explore them, just as
though you were working in your Computer
folder or a Windows Explorer window.
You can see the contents of other people’s
shared disks, folders, and files (see
“Sharing Files” later in this chapter). You
can move and copy items between network computers or rename, delete,
select, sort, group, tag, search for, view
properties of, and manipulate them just
as you would items on your local drive.
(Beware: If you delete a shared item on
another computer, the item bypasses the
Recycle Bin and disappears forever.) To
navigate the network in the Folders list,
expand the Network branch of the tree
(Figure 18.6).
Setting up a Network
■
■
In applications, shared files are available
via the standard File > Open and File >
Save As dialog boxes. File > Save saves a
file in its original network location; to
save a local copy on your hard disk,
choose File > Save As.
528
Figure 18.6 The Network folder shows
what’s available to you over the network.
Here, I’m logged on to OFFICE-PC, and I’ve
expanded LAPTOP-PC to get to Wendy’s
travel folder (under Users\wendy\
Documents), which she has shared. Also,
note the shared network printer visible
below OFFICE-PC.
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Setting up a Small Network
You can map (assign) a shared disk or
folder to a drive letter so that you can
access the item via Start > Computer or
the Open or Save As dialog box. In a
folder window, choose Tools > Map
Network Drive (press Alt if the Tools
menu isn’t visible). Then select a drive
letter, browse for an item or type its
Uniform Naming Convention (UNC)
name, check Reconnect at Logon, and
click Finish (Figure 18.7). The new
“drive” appears in your Folders tree. To
kill the mapping, choose Tools >
Disconnect Network Drive.
■
To connect a laptop to an Ethernet network, plug one end of an Ethernet cable
into the laptop and the other end into
the hub, switch, or router. To connect to a
wireless network, choose Start > Connect To
and select the network in the list. If the
network is secured, type the password.
■
You also can set up a wireless ad hoc
network, which is a temporary connection between computers and devices
used to, say, share files, play multiplayer
games, or share an internet connection.
Choose Start > Connect To > Set up a
Connection or Network > Set up an Ad Hoc
(Computer-to-Computer) Network. Click
Next and follow the steps in the wizard.
■
You can use command-line tools to get
network information. The most useful
are hostname, ipconfig, net, netstat,
ping, and tracert.Type each command
following by a space and /? for usage and
syntax. To open the command window,
choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > Command Prompt.
Figure 18.7 Mapping a shared network item lets you
refer to it by a drive letter, the same way you refer to
your local A or C drive.
UNC Names
The Uniform Naming Convention (UNC) is
a system of naming network files, folders,
and other shared resources so that an
item’s address identifies it uniquely on the
network. UNC uses the following format:
\\server\resource_pathname
is a computer name (refer to
Figure 18.4) or an IP address;
resource_pathname is a standard pathname (see “Navigating in Windows
Explorer” in Chapter 5). Some example
UNCs for a folder, file, and printer are:
server
\\yangtze\budget\2003\qtr2
\\nile\books\mynovel\chap1.doc
\\thames\HPcolor
To view a shared item quickly, type its
UNC name in an address bar or in the Run
dialog box (press Windows logo key+R).
529
Setting up a Network
■
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Chapter 18
Managing a Network
Network and Sharing Center (Figure 18.8),
new in Vista, is a dashboard for managing
your network and viewing its status in real
time (useful when you’re having setup or
connection problems). It also has links to
Windows’ other networking tools and wizards.
To open Network and Sharing Center:
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel > Network
and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
or
Right-click the Network icon ( ) in the
notification area of the taskbar and
choose Network and Sharing Center.
✔ Tip
If the Network icon is hidden, right-click
an empty area of the taskbar and choose
Properties > Notification Area tab >
check Network > OK.
Managing a Network
■
Figure 18.8 Network and Sharing Center lets you see whether your computer is connected to your network
or the internet, the type of connection, and what level of access you have to other computers and devices
on the network.
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Setting up a Small Network
To see the current status of a network
connection:
◆
In Network and Sharing Center, click
View Status (Figure 18.9).
You chose a network location (Home, Work,
or Public Place) the first time that you connected to a network, letting Windows know
which firewall and security settings to use
when you connect:
Home and Work locations. Windows
assumes that you trust the people and
devices on the network, so it turns on
network discovery, which lets you see other
computers and devices on a network, and
allows other network users to see your
computer. You also can access shared files
and devices on other computers, and
other people can access files and devices
on your computer that you’ve shared.
◆
Public Place locations. Windows keeps
your PC invisible to the other computers
around you (at a café, for example) by
turning off network discovery.
If you’re a traveling laptop user who connects
to networks at home, school, work, airports,
and coffee shops, you can change the network location based on where you are.
To change the network location:
1. In Network and Sharing Center, click
Customize (Figure 18.10).
Figure 18.10 You also can choose a new name and
icon for your network, which will appear in Network
and Sharing Center and on network maps (useful if
you have multiple networks).
2. Select Public (for Public Place networks)
or Private (for Home or Work networks).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
3. Click Next and then click Close.
531
Managing a Network
Figure 18.9 The Status dialog box shows the dead-oralive state of the network and statistics on maximum
speed, connection duration, and bytes uploaded and
downloaded. Click Details for the IP address or
Properties for more-advanced settings.
◆
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Chapter 18
You can control how your computer is seen
and shared on the network by setting
options in Network and Sharing Center.
To configure the network connection
settings:
◆
In Network and Sharing Center, turn on
or off the settings below Sharing and
Discovery (Figure 18.11).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
Managing a Network
✔ Tips
■
Most of the network settings are covered
elsewhere in this book. Network discovery is described earlier in this section.
File sharing and Public folder sharing are
covered in “Sharing Files” later in this
chapter. For printer sharing, see “Sharing
a Network Printer” in Chapter 7. The
media folders—Pictures, Music, and
Videos—are covered in chapters 9, 10,
and 11, respectively.
■
The network map at the top of Network
and Sharing Center is live and interactive
(Figure 18.12). Click (or right-click) your
computer to open the Computer folder,
for example. Click another computer on
the network to bring up its shared devices
and folders. Click a network icon to show
the Network folder (refer to Figure 18.3).
Click Internet to open a web browser.
532
Figure 18.11 To expand or collapse a section, click the
On/Off light or the arrow button ( ). Each section
contains an explanation of the setting; the setting’s
options; a button to apply changes; and in some cases,
links to change related settings and to display Help
topics that explain the consequences of the change.
Figure 18.12 The X means that this network has lost
its internet connection. Click the X to have Windows
try to diagnose and solve the problem, or look for an
unplugged cable or switched-off modem or router.
Click View Full Map to see a detailed map, with icons
for all the computers on the network, connections,
router, switch, and so on.
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If you don’t want your computer to be on a
network, you can disconnect it without
unplugging cables.
To disconnect from a network:
1. In Network and Sharing Center, click
Manage Network Connections (in the
left pane).
2. In the Network Connections folder,
right-click the connection that you
want to disconnect from and choose
Disconnect or Disable.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
✔ Tip
If you disable a LAN connection, the
network adapter is disabled until you
reconnect.
533
Managing a Network
■
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Chapter 18
Sharing Files
Windows gives you two ways to share disks,
folders, and files: Public folder sharing and
any-folder sharing. Either method lets you
share with someone using your computer or
another computer on the same network.
Sharing Files
The Public folder
The easiest way to share files and folders is
to put them in the Public folder. Everyone
with a user account and password on your
computer can access the Public folder, but
you decide whether people on the network
can access it. You can’t choose who on the
network can access it. You must grant
access either to everyone on the network or
to no one. You can set the permission level,
however, by choosing whether those who
have network access can only open files or
also change and create them.
Other Ways to Share
Ways to share files that don’t make you share from specific folders:
◆
Removable media (floppies, CDs, DVDs, portable hard disks, flash-memory cards, and
USB flash drives)
◆
Email attachments (see “Sending Email” in Chapter 15)
◆
Instant messaging (see “Using Messenger” in Chapter 16)
◆
Photo-sharing websites (see “Emailing Photos” in Chapter 9)
◆
Ad hoc network (see the Tips in “Setting up a Network” earlier in this chapter)
◆
Windows Meeting Space (see “Using the Free Utility Programs” in Chapter 6)
534
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Setting up a Small Network
Use the Public folder if you want to able to
see everything you’ve shared just by looking
in one place, separate from your personal
folders (Documents, Music, Pictures, and so
on), or if you want to set sharing permissions
for everyone on your network rather than
individual users.
To open the Public folder:
◆
Choose Start > Documents, and in
the Navigation pane, click Public
(Figure 18.13).
✔ Tips
By default, network access to the Public
folder is turned off. Use Network and
Sharing Center to control access to it
(Figure 18.14).
■
Password-protected sharing doesn’t work
if you’re on a network domain, limiting
access to the Public folder to only those
people with password-protected accounts
on your computer.
Any-folder sharing
Using the Public folder can be inefficient.
If you’re sharing hundreds of photos, for
example, it’s wasteful to store copies in both
your (unshared) Pictures folder and your
Public folder. If you create or update files
frequently, it’s cumbersome to keep copying
them to your Public folder.
Use any-folder sharing to share files and
folders directly from the location where
they’re stored (typically, in your Documents,
Pictures, or Music folder). You can set sharing
permissions for individual users rather than
for everyone on your network, giving some
people more or less access (or no access).
Figure 18.14 To control the level of access to the
Public folder, use the Public Folder Sharing option. To
control who can access the Public folder, set the
Password Protected Sharing option.
535
Sharing Files
Figure 18.13 Copy or move whichever files you
want to share to the Public folder or one of its
subfolders, which help you organize shared files
by content type. You have to place the files
themselves; shortcuts won’t work.
■
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Chapter 18
To share files from any folder on
your computer:
1. In a folder window, locate the folder with
the files that you want to share.
2. Select one or more files or folders that
you want to share and click Share on the
toolbar (or right-click and choose Share).
Sharing Files
3. In the File Sharing dialog box (Figure
18.15), do one of the following:
▲
If your computer is on a domain or
workgroup, type the name of the
person you want to share files with
and click Add.
▲
If your computer is on a domain,
click the arrow to the right of the
text box and choose Find. Type the
name of the person you want to share
files with, click Check Names, and
then click OK.
▲
If your computer is on a domain,
click the arrow to the right of the text
box, choose Everyone to share the
files with everyone on your network,
and then click Add.
▲
If your computer is on a workgroup,
click the arrow to the right of the text
box, choose the person’s name in the
list, and then click Add.
▲
If your computer is on a workgroup,
and you don’t see the name of the
person you want to share files with
in the list, click the arrow to the right
of the text box and choose Create a
New User to create a new account for
the person.
The name of the person or group that
you selected appears in the list of people
you want to share files with.
536
Figure 18.15 If you’re sharing a file instead of a folder,
there’s no option to set the permission level to
Contributor. You also can choose Remove to stop
sharing with someone.
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Setting up a Small Network
4. In the Permission Level column, click the
arrow for that person or group and choose
one of the following sharing permissions:
Figure 18.16 This dialog box lets you tell people that
they can access your shared files.
▲
Reader restricts the person or group
to viewing files in the shared folder.
▲
Contributor lets the person or group
view all files, add files, and change or
delete the files that they add.
▲
Co-Owner lets the person or group
view, change, add, and delete files in
the shared folder,
5. Click Share.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
▲
Click Email to open a Windows Mail
message automatically with the link
to your shared files.
▲
Click Copy (or right-click the shared
item in the list and choose Copy
Link) if you want to paste the link
into an email message manually (if
you don’t use Windows Mail).
▲
Click Done if you don’t want to send
an email message.
537
Sharing Files
6. After you receive confirmation that your
folder is shared (Figure 18.16), you can
notify the people that you’re sharing with
and send them a link to access the files.
Do one of the following:
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Sharing Files
✔ Tips
■
A small indicator appears in the
bottom-left corner of the icon
of shared files and folders.
■
Make sure that File Sharing is turned on
in Network and Sharing Center (refer to
Figure 18.14).
■
To see what you’re sharing, click Show
Me All the Files I Am Sharing in the File
Sharing confirmation dialog box (refer to
Figure 18.16) or in Network and Sharing
Center (refer to Figure 18.8).
■
A share name makes it easy for someone
to find a shared folder on your computer.
Right-click a folder that you’ve already
shared and choose Properties > Sharing
tab > Advanced Sharing (Figure 18.17).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
■
To share an entire hard disk, choose
Start > Computer, right-click the disk,
and choose Properties > Sharing tab >
Advanced Sharing.
■
You can’t share encrypted files and folders
(see “Encrypting Data” in Chapter 13).
538
Figure 18.17 On the Sharing tab, click the Share button
to start sharing, stop sharing, or change the existing
sharing permissions. Or click Advanced Sharing for
more-complex administrator-level sharing options.
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19
Working Remotely
Remote Connections
Windows’ remote-access features come
in two flavors: remote networking (direct
dialing and VPN) and remote control
(Remote Desktop).
Remote control doesn’t have this problem;
all work is done on the remote PC. If you
double-click that same Word file, the
remote PC’s copy of Word opens. Only
keystrokes, mouse gestures, and desktop
images are transmitted between the two
PCs. Depending on your connection
speed, refresh of the remote desktop may
be slow on your local screen.
In this chapter, you’ll learn three preferred
remote-access techniques:
◆
Traditional direct dialing connects to
a faraway computer via phone lines,
racking up toll charges.
◆
Virtual private networking (VPN)
lets you connect to a workplace network
via the internet, avoiding long-distance
charges.
◆
Remote Desktop lets you control a
remote computer, whose desktop
appears on your local PC’s screen just as
though you were sitting at the remote
PC’s keyboard.
This chapter also covers features especially
for traveling laptop users.
539
Working Remotely
Remote networking lets your local PC
access remote-PC or network resources
over a modem or internet link. If you
double-click a Microsoft Word file that
resides on the remote PC, for example,
the file is transmitted to your local PC
and opens in your local copy of Word. If
you have no copy of Word on your local
PC, Word is transmitted, too—which
would take days over dial-up. The moral:
Avoid running programs that reside only
on the remote PC, especially for slow
connections.
Windows gives you several ways to connect
to a computer remotely. If you’re a business
traveler on the road or a late sleeper working
from home, for example, you can connect
from your laptop or home PC (the local computer) to the unattended, distant machine
(the remote computer or host computer) in
your office to access its files and resources.
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Dialing Direct
A wizard takes you through the steps of
creating a dial-up (modem-to-modem)
connection.
To set up a dial-up connection:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Network
and Internet > Network and Sharing
Center > Set up a Connection or
Network (in the left pane).
2. Select Connect to a Workplace and click
Next (Figure 19.1).
Figure 19.1 This window launches various wizards for
creating connections on your computer.
Dialing Direct
3. If you have an existing dial-up connection, select No, Create a New Connection
and click Next; otherwise, skip this step.
4. Click Dial Directly and follow the
onscreen instructions.
Along the way, you’re asked for the
phone number, destination name (for
the icon label), user name, password, and
(optional) domain. You can get this information from your network administrator.
5. To connect, choose Start > Connect To;
then right-click the dial-up connection in
the list and choose Connect.
or
To disconnect, right-click the dial-up
connection in the Connect To window
and choose Disconnect (Figure 19.2).
✔ Tips
■
To manage all your connections in one
place, click Manage Network Connections
in Network and Sharing Center.
■
To configure your modem, choose
Start > Hardware and Sound > Phone
and Modem Options.
540
Figure 19.2 If you’re already connected, right-click to
disconnect. The shortcut menu also lets you
reconfigure the connection and see the status of an
active connection.
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Connecting to a Virtual
Private Network Server
A virtual private network (VPN) lets you
connect from your PC to a network securely
and privately by using the internet as a conduit. VPNs overcome direct dialing’s twin
evils: slow speeds and high costs.
To set up a VPN connection:
Figure 19.3 For a quick tutorial, click What Is a VPN
Connection?
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Network
and Internet > Network and Sharing
Center > Set up a Connection or
Network (in the left pane).
2. Select Connect to a Workplace and click
Next (refer to Figure 19.1).
4. Click Use My Internet Connection (VPN)
and follow the onscreen instructions
(Figure 19.3).
Along the way, you’re asked for the internet address, destination name (for the
icon label), user name, password, and
(optional) domain. You can get this information from your network administrator.
5. To connect, choose Start > Connect To;
then right-click the VPN connection in
the list and choose Connect.
or
To disconnect, right-click the VPN connection in the Connect To window and
choose Disconnect (refer to Figure 19.2).
✔ Tip
■
To manage all your connections in one
place, click Manage Network Connections
in Network and Sharing Center.
541
Connecting to a VPN Server
3. If you have an existing dial-up connection, select No, Create a New Connection
and click Next; otherwise, skip this step.
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Chapter 19
Controlling a Computer w/Remote Desktop
Controlling a Computer
with Remote Desktop
Remote Desktop lets you connect to a
remote computer and use it as though you
were sitting in front of it. Much more than
a simple direct-dial or VPN connection,
Remote Desktop lets you control the remote
PC’s full desktop, with its Start menu,
taskbar, icons, documents, and programs.
Programs run on the remote computer, and
only the keyboard input, mouse input, and
display output are transmitted over the connection. The remote computer is the PC that
you want to control from afar. The local (or
client) computer is the one that you’ll be
sitting at, driving the remote PC.
To set up a remote computer:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > System (or press
Windows logo key+Break) > Remote
Settings (in the left pane).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
Remote Desktop Requirements
You can access a computer running Windows from another computer running Windows
that’s connected to the same network or to the internet. To connect to the remote computer:
◆
That computer must be turned on.
◆
It must have a network connection.
◆
Remote Desktop must be enabled.
◆
You must have network access to it. (This could be through the internet.)
◆
You must have permission to connect. (For permission to connect, you must be in the list
of users.)
You can’t use Remote Desktop to connect to computers running the Home editions of
Windows Vista and XP, though you can create outgoing connections from those editions.
(XP Pro works with incoming and outgoing connections.)
542
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Working Remotely
2. On the Remote tab, select the one of
the options below Remote Desktop
(Figure 19.4).
3. Click Select Users (Figure 19.5).
If you are enabling Remote Desktop for
your current user account, your name is
added to the list of remote users automatically, and you can skip the next
two steps.
4. Click Add.
6. Click OK in the open dialog boxes.
Now the remote computer listens for
incoming Remote Desktop connection
requests.
Figure 19.5 Don’t add anybody you don’t trust to this
list. For security reasons, only users with passwordprotected accounts can make a Remote Desktop
connection.
543
Controlling a Computer w/Remote Desktop
Figure 19.4 Select the second or third Remote
Desktop option to let other users control this
computer remotely.
5. In the Select Users dialog box, do the
following:
To search for a different location, click
Locations.
or
In Enter the Object Names to Select,
type the name of the user that you want
to add and click Check Names.
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Chapter 19
To connect to a remote desktop:
1. Connect to the internet normally.
Skip this step if the remote PC is on your
local area network.
2. Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > Remote Desktop Connection.
The Remote Desktop Connection dialog
box appears.
3. Click Options to expand the dialog box,
if necessary; then change the settings
as desired for this remote session
(Figure 19.6).
Controlling a Computer w/Remote Desktop
4. Click Connect.
5. Enter your credentials for the remote
computer.
You can type the remote computer’s
network name, IP address, or registered
DNS name. Type your name and password (and domain, if necessary) exactly
as you would if you were logging on to
the remote PC in person.
6. Click OK.
Your screen goes black momentarily;
then the remote PC’s desktop fills the
screen, hiding your desktop and taskbar
(Figure 19.7).
Now you can operate the distant PC as
though you were sitting in front of it.
All your actions—running programs,
printing, sending email, installing drivers,
whatever—happen on the remote PC.
Anyone looking at the remote PC in person sees a Welcome screen or an Unlock
Computer screen; that person can’t see
what you’re doing.
544
Figure 19.6 You can configure Remote Desktop before
you connect. You may want to try a remote session or
two before adjusting the default settings. If you connect
regularly to multiple PCs by using different settings,
you can save each group of settings as an .rdp file to
open in future sessions. Logon credentials aren’t
saved in the file.
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Working Remotely
Minimize—Reduces the remote
desktop to a taskbar button on
your own desktop
Restore—Displays the remote
desktop in a floating, resizable
window on your own desktop
Pushpin—Locks this title bar in place
or makes it hide automatically
Close—Disconnects the remote
PC but doesn’t log off
545
Controlling a Computer w/Remote Desktop
Figure 19.7 A full-screen remote desktop shows a title bar at the screen’s top edge, letting you switch between your
own desktop and the remote desktop. The title bar retracts from view unless you lock it or move your pointer to the
top edge.
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Chapter 19
Controlling a Computer w/Remote Desktop
✔ Tips
■
If you have trouble connecting, search
Help and Support for the topics Remote
Desktop connection: frequently asked
questions and Troubleshoot Remote Desktop
problems. Be sure to check that the
Windows Firewall exception for Remote
Desktop is turned on (see “Using a
Firewall” in Chapter 13).
■
Clicking Restore (refer to Figure 19.7)
puts the remote desktop in a floating,
resizable window on your local desktop
(Figure 19.8).
■
You can use the standard cut, copy, and
paste commands to transfer text, graphics,
and files between the two PCs. If both
desktops are visible (as in Figure 19.8),
you can drag between local and remote
windows.
■
Clicking the close button (refer to Figure
19.7) disconnects the remote PC but
doesn’t log it off; it leaves your documents
open and programs running, as though
you had used Fast User Switching (see
“Logging On and Logging Off ” in
Chapter 1). To pick up where you left off,
reconnect via Remote Desktop or log on
in person at the remote PC. To log off the
remote PC, choose Log Off from its Start
menu, not yours.
■
To shut down the remote PC, choose
Start > Windows Security remotely; then
use the security screen to shut down,
restart, log off, hibernate, lock the computer, and so on. (The Windows Security
command appears only when you’re connected remotely.)
546
Figure 19.8 Click Restore to show your own desktop.
To return to full-screen view, click Maximize in the
remote window’s title bar.
Logon Conflicts
If someone else already is logged on to
the remote PC that you’re connecting to,
Windows warns you and asks whether
you want to continue. If you do, the other
person gets the chance to accept or reject
your connection and must respond
within 30 seconds or be disconnected
automatically. Fortunately, that user
remains logged on, loses no work, and
can resume the session later, just as in
Fast User Switching.
If someone logs on to the remote PC in
person while you’re connected, the situation is opposite: You get the chance to
accept or reject the connection within
30 seconds. If you disconnect your
remote session (by choice or automatically), you remain logged on and lose no
work; you can reconnect after the other
party logs off.
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Working Remotely
■
Table 19.1
Keyboard Shortcuts
Loc al Desktop
Shortcut
R e m ot e D e s k to p
Shortcut
Alt+Tab
Alt+Page Up
Alt+Shift+Tab
Alt+Esc
Ctrl+Esc
Ctrl+Alt+Delete
N/A
Switches among
programs
Alt+Page Down Switches among
programs in reverse
order
Alt+Insert
Cycles through
programs in the order
in which they were
started
Alt+Home
Opens the Start menu
Ctrl+Alt+End
Displays Task
Manager or, for
domains, the
Windows Security
dialog box
Ctrl+Alt+Break Switches the remote
desktop between a
window and full
screen
Alt+Delete
Displays the active
window’s control
menu
Fortunately, keyboard junkies can use
the standard shortcuts in the first column
of Table 19.1 to control the local desktop and the second-column shortcuts to
perform the equivalent function on an
active, floating Remote Desktop window.
■
You can use Remote Desktop to let
someone connect to your PC to give you
technical help, much like Remote
Assistance (Chapter 3), except that you
don’t have to be present at your PC to
accept the connection.
■
Remote Desktop alternatives: [email protected]
(free; http://ultravnc.sourceforge.net)
is a more versatile remote-control program. To find commercial products,
search the web for remote control software. Some popular products are
CoSession, Laplink, and pcAnywhere.
Read reviews first; these programs vary
in ease of setup, connection options,
and response time.
547
Controlling a Computer w/Remote Desktop
N/A
Description
If the Remote Desktop window is maximized (refer to Figure 19.7), the standard
Windows keyboard shortcuts apply to the
remote computer. Alt+Tab, for example,
switches between programs on the distant PC, not your local one. But if the
Remote Desktop window is active and
floating on your desktop (refer to Figure
19.8), those same shortcuts apply to the
local PC. (Alt+Tab will switch between
locally running programs.)
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Chapter 19
Making Network Files and
Folders Available Offline
Making Files and Folders Available Offline
Offline Files is designed for travelers who
work with a laptop computer that’s often
disconnected from the network. When you
make a file or folder available offline,
Windows makes a temporary copy of it on
your laptop; you can work with this copy as
you would the original. When you reconnect
to the network, Windows synchronizes your
laptop documents with the network originals
so that you have up-to-date versions in both
places. Offline Files isn’t available in Vista
Home editions.
To turn on offline files:
◆
Choose Start > Control Panel > Network
and Internet > Offline Files > General
tab > Enable Offline Files > OK (Figure
19.9).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
548
Figure 19.9 If you work with offline files in many
different folders, click View Your Offline Files to see
them all without opening each folder individually. You
can use the other tabs to limit disk space for offline
files, encrypt offline files, or work offline automatically
if your network connection is slow.
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Working Remotely
To make a file or folder available
offline:
1. Choose Start > Network (on your laptop)
and locate the network file or folder that
you want to make available offline.
2. Right-click the file or folder and choose
Always Available Offline.
The next time that you try to access the
file or folder, you’ll be able to open it even
if the network version is unavailable.
✔ Tips
You open offline files as though
you were working with them
online. A small indicator in the
icon’s bottom-left corner reminds you
that you’re working offline.
■
You must log off or shut down to effect
synchronization. If you simply disconnect from the network, Windows won’t
have time to synchronize files.
■
Synchronization is at Windows’ discretion
by default. To synchronize manually when
you’re connected to the network, choose
Start > All Programs > Accessories >
Sync Center; select Offline Files and then
click Sync (on the toolbar).
■
To make an item unavailable offline,
right-click it; then choose Always
Available Offline again to uncheck it.
■
I’ve covered only the basics here. For
details, search Help and Support for
offline files.
549
Making Files and Folders Available Offline
■
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Chapter 19
Using Laptop Utilities
Sync Center and Windows Mobility Center,
both new in Vista, are designed especially
for laptop users.
Windows Mobility Center. Mobility Center
(Figure 19.10) lets you adjust your laptop
settings in a central location. To open Mobility
Center (on laptops only), choose Start >
Control Panel > Mobile PC > Windows
Mobility Center, or press Windows logo key+X.
You also can click the battery icon ( ) on the
taskbar and choose Windows Mobility Center.
Using Laptop Utilities
Sync Center. Sync, short for synchronization,
keeps two or more versions of the same file
stored in different locations matched with
each other. If you add, change, or delete a
file in one location, Windows can add,
change, or delete the same file in the other
locations that you choose to sync with,
whenever you choose to sync.
Sync Center (Start > All Programs >
Accessories > Sync Center) lets you keep information in sync between your computer and
offline files (covered in the preceding section),
programs that support Sync Center, and
mobile devices (plugged-in or wireless music
players, digital cameras, and mobile phones).
Search Help and Support for sync center.
Figure 19.10 You can adjust the speaker volume, check the status of your wireless network connection, and change
the power plan, for example.
550
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20
Maintenance
& Troubleshooting
Periodic checkups and routine maintenance
will keep your system running smoothly. In
this chapter, you’ll learn how to use Windows
tools to monitor your PC’s health and:
Manage your hard disks
◆
Schedule tasks
◆
View or edit the registry
◆
Restore your PC to a previous working
condition
◆
Back up your files
◆
Recover from a crash
✔ Tip
■
Search for troubleshoot in Windows Help
and Support to see a list of topics designed
to help you identify and resolve hardware,
software, and networking problems.
551
Maintenance and Troubleshooting
◆
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Chapter 20
Getting System
Information
System Information compiles and reports
information about your PC’s hardware, drivers,
system resources, and internet settings. This
overview saves you from visiting scores of
Control Panel dialog boxes to see how your
PC is configured. You can find information
quickly to give to a techie who’s troubleshooting your system.
To display system data:
Getting System Information
1. Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > System Tools > System
Information.
2. Use the Explorer-like tree to display
information in the various categories
(Figure 20.1):
Hardware Resources displays hardware
settings, such as IRQs and memory
addresses. The Conflicts/Sharing view
identifies devices that are sharing
resources or are in conflict.
Components displays Windows configuration information for device drivers,
as well as networking and multimedia
software.
Software Environment displays a
snapshot of the software loaded into
computer memory. Use this information
to see whether a process is still running
or to check version information.
552
Figure 20.1 To find system data, type search text in the
Find What box at the bottom of the window, check the
appropriate search-option boxes, and then click Find.
✔ Tips
■
To get system information for a different
computer on your network, choose
View > Remote Computer.
■
To save system data in a System Information
file—which you can archive or email to
a techie to open in his copy of System
Information—choose File > Save. To save
system data in a text file, choose File >
Export.
■
File > Print produces a 50-page printout.
It makes more sense to export the data
to a text file and print your choice of sections in Notepad.
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Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Managing Tasks
Task Manager is one of the most useful tools
in Windows. It displays running programs,
background processes, performance statistics,
network activity, and user information. It also
can shut down misbehaving programs.
To start Task Manager:
1. Right-click an empty area of the taskbar
and choose Task Manager (or press
Ctrl+Shift+Esc).
Figure 20.2 This tab shows all programs (including
background tasks) running on your PC. Click a column
header to sort by that column. This display is sorted
by memory use.
✔ Tips
Figure 20.3 This tab shows real-time graphs of the
load on your CPU and physical memory.
■
Use the Options and View menus to select
preferences. These menus’ commands
change depending on the selected tab.
■
Choose Options > Always on Top to make
Task Manager float over all other windows.
■
You can right-click an entry in the
Applications, Processes, Services, or
Users tab for a shortcut menu.
■
If you’re curious about a process, go to
www.processid.com/processes.html.
553
Managing Tasks
2. Click any of the following tabs:
Applications for a list of foreground
applications and the status of each one.
See also “Killing Unresponsive Programs”
in Chapter 6.
Processes for a list of all programs running on your computer, including background programs and those shown on
the Applications tab (Figure 20.2).
Services for a list of programs that run in
the background to support other programs.
Performance for real-time graphs and
statistics that show your system’s performance (Figure 20.3).
Networking is similar to the Performance
tab except that it shows real-time graphs
of network traffic.
Users displays logged-on users and the
status of each one. See “Logging On and
Logging Off ” in Chapter 1.
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Chapter 20
Cleaning up a Disk
Over time, your hard disk will accumulate
temporary files, stale components, recycled
junk, and space-wasters that you can
remove safely. Use Disk Cleanup to reclaim
disk space if you’re running out of room.
To remove unneeded files:
Cleaning up a Disk
1. Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > System Tools >
Disk Cleanup.
or
Choose Start > Computer, right-click a
disk, and choose Properties > General
tab > Disk Cleanup.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type cleanmgr
and press Enter.
2. Select whether you want to clean up only
your own files or those of all users.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
3. In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, check
the boxes of the files that you want to
delete (Figure 20.4).
The right column shows how much space
you can make available. The text below
the list box describes the selected option.
Figure 20.4 Disk Cleanup searches your drive and then
shows you temporary files, internet cache files, and
unnecessary program files that you can delete safely.
✔ Tips
■
The More Options tab contains other
cleanup tools that let you remove
installed programs and all but your most
recent System Restore restore point.
■
Avoid deleting Downloaded Program
Files, which often are useful add-ons.
■
The Temporary Files option deletes only
temporary files more than a week old, so
the right column may show 0 KB even if
your temporary folder contains many
files. To clean out this folder manually,
close all programs; press Windows logo
key+R; type %temp% and press Enter; and
then delete the files in the folder window
that appears.
4. Click OK.
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Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Defragmenting a Disk
Figure 20.5 Defragmentation takes between a few
minutes and a few hours to finish, depending on the
size and degree of fragmentation of your hard disk.
While you’re here, you can change whether and when
Disk Defragmenter runs automatically.
When a file grows, it won’t fit back into its
original disk location and becomes physically
fragmented into noncontiguous pieces on
the disk. As more files become fragmented,
Windows has to retrieve the chopped-up
pieces and reassemble them, which impairs
the disk’s performance and reliability. Disk
Defragmenter consolidates fragmented files,
making both files and free space contiguous.
Large blocks of available space make it less
likely that new files will be fragmented. Disk
Defragmenter runs on a schedule, but you
can defragment manually.
To defragment a disk:
1. Exit all programs, turn off antivirus software, and then run Disk Cleanup (see
“Cleaning up a Disk” earlier in this chapter).
3. Click Defragment Now (Figure 20.5).
You can cancel at any time.
✔ Tips
■
You still can use your computer during
defragmentation, but the process is delicate. It’s less risky to do nothing until
defragmentation completes.
■
A better defragmenter is Diskeeper
($30 U.S.; www.diskeeper.com).
555
Defragmenting a Disk
2. Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > System Tools >
Disk Defragmenter.
or
Choose Start > Computer, right-click a
disk, and choose Properties > Tools tab >
Defragment Now.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type dfrgui
and press Enter.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
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Chapter 20
Checking for Disk Errors
Improper shutdowns—usually caused by
power outages, mechanical problems, or
system crashes (blue screens)—may create
defects on disk surfaces. These errors can
cause numerous problems, such as random
crashes, data corruption, or the inability to
save or open files. Check Disk scans the disk
surface for errors and fixes any that it finds.
To detect and repair disk errors:
Figure 20.6 Check Disk usually completes
in less than a minute.
1. Exit all programs.
Checking for Disk Errors
2. Choose Start > Computer, right-click a
disk, and choose Properties > Tools tab >
Check Now (Figure 20.6).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
3. Check or uncheck the following boxes:
Automatically Fix File System Errors.
Check this box to make Windows repair
any errors it finds; if it’s unchecked, errors
are merely reported, not fixed. If the disk
is in use, or if you’re checking the system
disk (the one with Windows on it), you’ll
see Figure 20.7; click Schedule Disk
Check to defer the scan until the next
time you restart your PC.
Scan for and Attempt Recovery of
Bad Sectors. Check this box to make
Windows recover readable files and folders
it finds in the disk’s defective sections,
and move them elsewhere on the disk.
This option fixes errors as well, even if the
other option is unchecked. Unrepairable
sections are locked out of available storage.
4. Click Start to begin the checking process.
The progress bar indicates the phase
Check Disk is in. When all phases are
complete, a dialog box tells you how
things turned out.
556
Figure 20.7 This message appears if the disk is in use.
Check Disk runs the next time you restart your
system. The disk won’t be available for other tasks
during the check.
✔ Tip
■
The best protection against disk dings from
power fluctuation is an Uninterruptible
Power Supply (UPS). See “Conserving Power”
in Chapter 4.
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Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Managing Disks
Disk Management lets you inspect and manage hard disks. On new hardware, you can
initialize a disk and create or format partitions.
You also can assess a disk’s health, assign
drive letters, format, and do related tasks.
To open Disk Management:
Figure 20.8 Drive Management is a cog in the larger
machine named Computer Management, which
groups many tools described elsewhere in this book.
Click a tool in the left pane’s console tree to open it.
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > Administrative
Tools > Computer Management; then
click Disk Management in the left pane
(Figure 20.8).
or
In the Start menu, right-click Computer;
choose Manage and then click Disk
Management in the left pane.
or
Press Windows logo key+R; type
diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
Partitions
A partition, or volume, is a portion of a physical disk that functions as though it were a separate disk. After you create a partition, you must format it and assign it a drive letter before
you can store data on it. Every hard disk has one partition, but you can create several on one
disk, mainly to:
◆
Separate files and folders from the operating system, keeping your personal documents
safe if an OS upgrade turns ugly
◆
Create dual-boot systems with multiple OSes
Unfortunately, Disk Management erases a hard disk before partitioning it, which makes it
suitable for only blank or new disks. To create or resize partitions without erasing, try
PartitionMagic ($70 U.S.; www.partitionmagic.com/partitionmagic) or Partition Manager
($50 U.S.; www.partition-manager.com).
557
Managing Disks
2. Right-click any disk or partition for a list
of commands, or use the View menu to
specify how disks are displayed.
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Chapter 20
Scheduling Tasks
Periodic maintenance and backups aren’t useful unless they actually occur periodically—
and human memory often fails here. Task
Scheduler schedules automated tasks that
perform actions at a specific time or when a
certain event occurs.
Scheduling Tasks
Task Scheduler can open programs, send
email, and show pop-up messages. In some
cases, it’s adequate simply to open a program
or remind yourself of something on schedule,
but for true automation you should use
command-line commands that run to completion without your intervention.
A command name is a program’s filename as
typed at a command prompt (choose Start >
All Programs > Accessories > Command
Prompt). Disk Defragmenter’s command
name is defrag, and Backup’s is wbadmin, for
example. Command-line options, or switches,
are space-separated parameters—prefixed
by the - or / character—that follow the command name and control that command’s
behavior.
Search for the Help and Support topic
Command-line reference for IT pros and click
the link for the command-line reference to
find commands, their switches, and examples (Figure 20.9).
✔ Tips
■
To run a command-line program as an
administrator, choose Start and type
command prompt in the Search box. In the
results list, right-click Command Prompt
and choose Run As Administrator.
■
You can place multiple command-line
commands in a text file with a .bat
extension and run this batch file as a
single task instead of running each command individually.
558
Figure 20.9 The description of the defrag command
and its command-line options. The command defrag
C: /f defragments your C drive, for example.
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Maintenance and Troubleshooting
To schedule a task:
1. Choose Start > All Programs > Accessories >
System Tools > Task Scheduler
(Figure 20.10).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
Figure 20.10 If you use a specific program on a
regular basis, you can use Task Scheduler to create a
task that opens the program for you automatically
according to the schedule you choose.
2. In the right pane, below Actions, click
Create Basic Task.
Follow the steps in the Create Basic Task
wizard. When you finish, the task will
run according to schedule, even if somebody else (or nobody) is logged on.
✔ Tips
Task Scheduler is fairly complex. For
help, choose Help > Help Topics. (Task
Scheduler help isn’t available in Windows
Help and Support.)
■
The center pane in Task Scheduler lists
tasks that have run (and whether they
completed successfully) and have yet
to run.
■
Click the taskbar clock to confirm that
your system date and time are accurate.
Task Scheduler relies on this information.
■
Command-prompt junkies can use the
at command instead of Task Scheduler.
559
Scheduling Tasks
■
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Chapter 20
Editing the Registry
Windows stores its configuration information in a large database called the registry,
containing information about all hardware,
software, and drivers. Windows references
this information and updates it quietly and
continually. Editing it incorrectly can damage
your system severely. Lots of books, magazines, and websites, however, offer useful tips
that involve registry changes. As long as you
have precise instructions, editing the registry
is easy; it’s common even for beginners.
To edit the registry:
Editing the Registry
1. Press Windows logo key+R; type regedit
and press Enter.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
Registry Editor opens.
Figure 20.11 Windows stores its configuration
information in a database (the registry). Registry
Editor organizes the data in tree format.
2. In the left pane, use the Explorer-like
tree to navigate to the desired folder
(Figure 20.11).
3. Double-click an entry (called a key) in the
right pane, edit its value (Figure 20.12),
and then click OK.
✔ Tips
■
To back up the registry before you edit it,
choose File > Export.
■
Visit www.winguides.com/registry and
www.annoyances.org for registry tricks.
■
To learn about the registry, read
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=25
6986,
“Description of the Microsoft
Windows Registry.”
560
Figure 20.12 Double-click a registry key to edit it.
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Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Reporting and Solving
Problems
Figure 20.13 Problem Reports and Solutions, new in
Vista, searches Microsoft’s online database of
problems reported by others to try to help you with
your own.
When you have hardware or software
problems—a program stops working or
responding, for example—Windows creates a
problem report so you can check online with
Microsoft for a solution. You can use Problem
Reports and Solutions (Figure 20.13) to
check for solutions automatically, or you can
check manually at any time.
To check online for solutions:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > Problem Reports
and Solutions.
✔ Tips
■
To choose which information to send
to Microsoft when a problem occurs,
click Advanced Settings on the Change
Settings page.
■
Some problems and solutions can be
viewed and fixed only by an administrator.
■
Problem Reports and Solutions replaces
Dr. Watson, the system-failure tool in
earlier Windows versions.
561
Reporting and Solving Problems
2. To check automatically, click Change
Settings (in the left pane), select Check for
Solutions Automatically (Recommended),
and then click OK.
or
To check manually (now), select Check
for New Solutions (in the left pane).
When a problems occurs, Windows
notifies you of steps that you can take to
prevent or solve the problem, or tells you
that Microsoft needs more information to
find or create a solution (usually because
your problem is new, complex, or caused
by a bug that the company is fixing).
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Chapter 20
Boosting Memory
ReadyBoost, new in Vista, can use storage
space on USB flash drives and other flashmemory devices to speed your computer.
ReadyBoost uses only fast flash memory.
(If your device contains both slow and fast
memory, only the fast is used.)
Set ReadyBoost memory to one to three
times the amount of physical memory
(RAM) installed in your computer. If your
computer has 512 MB of RAM, and you plug
in a 4 GB USB flash drive, set aside between
512 MB and 1.5 GB of that drive for the best
performance boost.
To use flash memory to speed your
computer:
1. Insert a USB flash drive or other flashmemory device.
Figure 20.14 If the AutoPlay dialog box doesn’t
appear, use the ReadyBoost tab in the device’s
Properties dialog box: Choose Start > Computer,
right-click the device, and choose Properties. Or you
can turn on AutoPlay: Choose Start > Control Panel >
Hardware and Sound > AutoPlay.
Boosting Memory
2. When the AutoPlay dialog box appears,
click Speed up My System (Figure 20.14).
3. Select Use This Device and choose how
much memory to use for system speed
(Figure 20.15).
4. Click OK.
Figure 20.15 Use the slider to choose an amount one
to three times the amount of your physical memory.
To see how much physical memory you have, press
Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager and then click
the Performance tab.
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Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Restoring Your System
If your system becomes persistently unstable—
thanks to an incompatible program, faulty
driver, or bad system setting, or for no
apparent reason—use System Restore to
return Windows to its previous working
state without risk to your personal files.
Figure 20.16 Restore points are created every day
automatically and just before significant system
events, such as the installation of a program or device
driver. You can turn off System Restore by unchecking
all the boxes below Available Disks (which erases
existing restore points).
System Restore uses a feature called System
Protection to create and save restore points
regularly on your computer. These restore
points contain snapshots of the system files,
registry, and settings that Windows needs to
work properly. You also can create restore
points manually. Note that System Restore
protects only Windows system files; use
Backup and Restore Center (described later
in this chapter) to protect your personal files.
To configure System Restore:
2. Click Advanced System Settings (in the
left pane) > System Protection tab
(Figure 20.16).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
3. Below Automatic Restore Points, use
the check boxes to select the disks for
which you want System Restore to create
restore points automatically.
4. To create a restore point now for the
selected disks, click Create, type a description for the restore point (something like
Before video driver update), and then
click Create in the System Protection
dialog box.
5. Click OK (or Apply).
563
Restoring Your System
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > System (or press
Windows logo key+Break).
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Chapter 20
When your PC behaves badly, you can return
Windows to one of the restore points that
System Restore, or you, created. But do so
only as a last resort. Remember, if a driver
upgrade doesn’t work out, you can roll back
just the driver rather than your entire system
(see “Managing Device Drivers” in Chapter 8).
Similarly, you can uninstall a suspect program
(see “Removing Programs” in Chapter 6).
To restore system files and settings:
1. Save your work and close all programs.
Restoring Your System
2. Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > System Tools > System
Restore (Figure 20.17).
or
Click System Restore in the System
Protection tab of the System Properties
dialog box (refer to Figure 20.16).
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
Figure 20.17 If no restore points exist, you’ll see a
different page explaining how to create them and
configure System Restore.
3. Click Next.
4. Select the restore point that you want
to use and click Next (Figure 20.18).
5. Click Finish.
Your computer restarts in its previous
state. Check the system to see whether
it’s running correctly.
564
Figure 20.18 All restore points are time-stamped. Pick
the one just before things went bad. You always can
roll back farther if that one doesn’t work.
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Maintenance and Troubleshooting
✔ Tips
If restoring the system didn’t fix your
problem (or made it worse), you can
repeat the process and choose a restore
point farther back in the past. Or you
can undo the restoration: Open System
Restore, click Undo System Restore,
click Next, review your choices, and then
click Finish.
■
System Restore requires at least 300 MB
of free disk space and uses up to 15 percent of the disk. (Older restore points are
deleted to make room for new ones.)
When a disk runs low on space, System
Restore turns itself off silently, losing that
disk’s restore points. It turns itself back
on when you free enough space.
■
You can’t rely on System Restore to protect you from viruses. By the time you
discover the infection, it may have spread
to other files that System Restore doesn’t
touch, in which case rolling back does
you no good. Use an antivirus program
instead (see “Defending Against Viruses
and Spyware” in Chapter 13).
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Restoring Your System
■
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Chapter 20
Backing up Your Files
The love that you shower on your hard drive
isn’t requited. Eventually it will betray you
and fail catastrophically, taking your data
with it. Make backup copies of your work.
Copies protect you against misbehaving
hardware and software, accidental deletions,
and virus attacks. They also let you archive
finished projects for remote storage.
You’ll worry less if you schedule regular,
automatic backups. How often you back
up—daily, weekly, or monthly—should
depend on how often you update or create
files and on the pain involved in re-creating
them. You also can back up manually
between automatic backups.
✔ Tips
Backing up Your Files
■
■
■
You can’t set up automatic backups in
Vista Home Basic edition; however,
Windows will remind you periodically
to back up your files.
Backup Locations
You can back up to:
If you store your files on a network server
at work, you don’t need to back them up.
Your network administrator does it for you.
If your disk fails, and you have no backup,
try to recover with SpinRite ($90 U.S.;
www.spinrite.com). You also can hire a
data recovery service (quite expensive).
◆
Hard disks (internal and external)
◆
Other removable disks
◆
Network locations
◆
Writeable CDs and DVDs
◆
USB flash drives
You can’t back up to:
◆
Windows system or boot disks
◆
Non-NTFS, -FAT, or -UDF drives
◆
The same disk that you’re backing up
(you can’t back up drive C to drive C,
for example)
◆
Tape drives
Never back up to a different partition on
the same physical hard drive, because if
the drive fails, all partitions go with it.
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Maintenance and Troubleshooting
To back up files:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > Backup and Restore
Center (Figure 20.19).
2. Click Back up Files and follow the steps
in the wizard.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
Backing up Your Files
Figure 20.19 Backup and Restore Center lets you back up an entire hard disk or specified files and folders
periodically. Wizards walk you through the process of backing up your files or restoring backed-up files when
disaster strikes.
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Chapter 20
✔ Tips
Backing up Your Files
■
Only the last saved version of each file is
backed up, so any files that you change
during backup will need to be backed up
the next time.
■
To change automatic backup settings, click
Change Settings (below Back up Files).
■
Windows Complete PC Backup and
Restore creates a backup copy of your
entire computer (a snapshot of your programs, system settings, and files), which
you can restore if your PC dies. Though a
complete backup includes your personal
files, you still should back them up separately by using the Back up Files wizard.
To create a complete backup, click Back
up Computer (refer to Figure 20.19).
Create a complete image when you first
set up your computer and update it
every 6 months. This feature isn’t included
in Vista Home editions.
To restore backed-up files:
1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > Backup and Restore
Center (refer to Figure 20.19).
2. Click Restore Files and follow the steps
in the wizard.
✔ Tips
■
Restore backups regularly to a test folder
to confirm that they’re working properly.
■
To restore a backup made on another
computer, click Advanced Restore (below
Restore Files).
568
Files Omitted from Backups
The following files aren’t included in
backups:
◆
System files
◆
Program files
◆
Files in the Recycle Bin
◆
Files on FAT-formatted drives
◆
Temporary files
◆
Web-based email not on a hard drive
◆
EFS-encrypted files (see “Encrypting
Data” in Chapter 13)
◆
User profile settings
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Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Real-Life Backups
Serious backer-uppers use third-party programs and have multiple backup strategies. Some
popular backup schemes are:
◆
Traditional backup. Copies selected files on a regular schedule to a target such as an
external drive or network server.
◆
Zip archives. Copies selected files to a compressed zip file to be stored on an external
drive or network server.
◆
Online backup service. Copies selected files over an internet connection to a remote
server. (Go to http://mozy.com for 2 GB of free online backup space.)
◆
Cloning. Creates an exact byte-for-byte replica of your hard drive on a different
physical drive.
◆
Rollback. Maintains copies of files so that you can roll back to earlier versions.
You can find backup-software articles and reviews on the web. For starters, see
http://db.tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart=07912 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backup.
Don’t store your only backup on the same premises as the original, lest a fire destroy both.
One tactic: Keep daily backups in a fireproof box purchased from an office-supply store; then
make weekly trips to a safe-deposit box to swap your penultimate backup with the latest one.
If you have an iPod or other portable music player, you can back up to that too; it’s really just
an external disk or flash drive.
569
Backing up Your Files
The poor man’s online backup system uses free high-capacity email accounts. (A Google Gmail
account, for example, has a few GB of storage.) With WinZip or PKZip, create an encrypted
zip archive of backup files and email it to yourself. Let it sit on the mail server until your next
backup. Or use GMail Drive (free; www.viksoe.dk/code/gmail.htm) to turn your Gmail account
into a virtual drive for backup storage.
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Chapter 20
Recovering After a Crash
If a faulty driver or program keeps Windows
from booting—perhaps greeting you with
a black screen—you can use a boot option
to recover.
To choose a boot option:
1. Remove all floppies, CDs, DVDs, and USB
flash drives, and restart your computer.
2. When the computer startup messages
finish (and before the Windows logo
appears), tap the F8 key repeatedly until
the Advanced Options menu appears
(Figure 20.20).
If you have a dual-boot system, use the
arrow keys to select the OS that you
need; then press F8.
Figure 20.20 If Windows won’t boot, this screen gives
you a chance to recover.
Recovering After a Crash
3. Use the arrow keys to select a boot
option; then press Enter.
Table 20.1 lists the most appropriate
boot options.
Table 20.1
Boot Options
Option
Safe Mode
Description
Starts Windows with only its fundamental files, drivers, and components. Only your mouse, keyboard, monitor, and disk drives will work. A generic video driver makes everything appear in jaggy
640 x 480 screen resolution. Safe mode lets you run most essential configuration and troubleshooting tools, including Device Manager, System Restore, Registry Editor, Backup, Services, and
Help and Support. You can uninstall a program or driver that you suspect is causing the problems.
Safe Mode
Offers the same functions as safe mode, plus access to your network connections. Use this mode if
with Networking
you need files or drivers from another PC on the network. This mode won’t work for laptops that
connect via a PC Card network adapter; PC Card drivers are disabled in safe mode.
Safe Mode with
Loads the same set of services as safe mode but displays only the command prompt instead of the
Command Prompt
Windows graphical interface. This mode is for command-line geeks only.
Enable Boot Logging
Creates a file, ntbtlog.txt, that lists all drivers installed during startup.
Enable Low-Resolution
Starts the PC with the safe-mode VGA driver but doesn’t invoke any other part of safe mode. Use
Video (640 x 480)
this option to boot past a bogus video driver.
Last Known Good
Starts the PC by using the registry information and drivers that were in effect the last time your PC
Configuration (Advanced) was working, effectively undoing the changes that caused the problems. (This is the old Windows
2000 system rollback option; System Restore is preferable, because it restores OS system files too.)
Disable Automatic
Stops Windows from restarting automatically when an error occurs. Choose this option if you’re
Restart on System Failure stuck in a loop where Windows fails, restarts, fails . . .
Start Windows Normally Starts Windows in the usual way.
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A
Installing
Windows Vista
If your PC came with Windows Vista
installed, you may be able to use it for the
life of the machine without ever referring to
this appendix. But if you’re upgrading to
Vista, this appendix will show you how to
install your new operating system. Tinkerers
and hobbyists will find useful information
here too; a clean Windows installation is the
last word in restoring the speed of a computer that has grown slow with accumulated
software glitches, partially uninstalled programs, and other baggage.
Installing Windows Vista
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Appendix
Getting Ready to Install
Windows Vista
This section describes the preparations to
make before you install Vista. Some steps
are only for those of you upgrading from a
previous Windows version.
Check system requirements
Windows Vista has two levels of system
requirements: Vista Capable and Premium
Ready. Machines that are only Vista Capable
can run Vista but won’t display the new Aero
user interface (see “Setting the Window
Color and Color Scheme” in Chapter 4).
Getting Ready to Install Windows Vista
A Windows Vista Capable PC includes at least:
◆
800 MHz processor
◆
512 MB of system memory (RAM)
◆
DirectX 9–capable graphics processor
A Windows Vista Premium Ready PC
includes at least:
◆
1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64)
processor
◆
1 GB of system memory (RAM)
◆
Support for DirectX 9 graphics with
a WDDM driver, 128 MB of graphics
memory (minimum), Pixel Shader 2.0,
and 32 bits per pixel
◆
40 GB hard drive with 15 GB free space
◆
DVD-ROM drive
◆
Audio output capability
◆
Internet access capability
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Installing Windows Vista
Figure A.1 Upgrade Advisor tells you whether your PC
can run Vista and recommends an edition (Home
Basic, Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate).
If these requirements seem tame, keep in
mind that they’re minimal. Running Vista
on a PC that’s barely Vista Capable probably
would be intolerable. And you’ll need better
than Premium Ready if you’re going to edit
digital video, do scientific calculations, or
play network games or Half-Life. If you’re
upgrading a PC to run Vista, don’t skimp on
RAM. Lots of memory and a fast hard disk
can compensate for a slowish processor.
Check system compatibility
Upgrade Advisor tells you about potential
problems that your computer may have if
you upgrade to Windows Vista. Upgrade
Advisor checks the system and generates
an action list for you. You can download
Upgrade Advisor from www.microsoft.com/
windowsvista/getready/upgradeadvisor/
Back up your files
Back up your files just before installation
by using your usual backup medium (such
as another hard drive, CD/DVD burner,
USB flash drive, network location, second
PC, or web-based backup service). See also
“Transferring Existing Files and Settings”
later in this appendix.
Figure A.2 Click the Task List tab in the report and
print it. This list tells you what you need to do to make
your hardware, programs, and drivers Vista ready.
Turn off your antivirus program
If you’re upgrading to Vista, update your
antivirus program and then turn it off, lest
it interpret Vista as a harmful infestation.
573
Getting Ready to Install Windows Vista
default.mspx. Install and run it. This wizardlike program scans your system and tells you
whether your computer can run Vista and
what you need to do before you install
(Figure A.1 and Figure A.2).
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Getting Ready to Install Windows Vista
Appendix
Connect to the internet
Get network settings
If you’re upgrading to Vista, make sure that
your internet connection is working so that
you can get the latest security and driver
updates that Microsoft has released since it
published the Vista disc. The installer will
download and apply these updates. If you
don’t update during installation, you can do
it later via Windows Update (see “Updating
Windows” in Chapter 13).
You’ll need your computer name if your
computer is connected to a network. If you’re
using Windows XP, choose Start, right-click
My Computer, choose Properties, and then
click the Computer Name tab.
If you’re doing a clean install, you can use
Windows Easy Transfer to transfer your
internet connection settings from your old
OS to Vista (see “Transferring Existing Files
and Settings” later in this appendix). If
you’re worried, you can gather your connection settings beforehand and write them
down. Your ISP’s website will have information, such as access telephone numbers;
customer service has a record of your
account user name and password, if you’ve
mislaid them. While you’re at it, you may
want to write down or back up your user
names and passwords for websites that you
visit regularly.
You also will need:
◆
The name of your workgroup or domain
◆
If you’re on a domain, your domain user
name and password
◆
An IP address, if your network doesn’t
have a DHCP or WINS server
To connect to a workgroup after you install,
see Chapter 18. If you’re on a domain, see
the “Domain Logons” sidebar in “Logging
On and Logging Off ” in Chapter 1.
Find your product key
You can find your Vista product key stuck
on the side of your computer or on the
installation disc holder inside the Windows
package. It looks like this:
Plug in and switch on devices
Make sure that devices, such as your printer
or scanner, are attached to your computer
and powered up so that Windows can
detect them during installation.
574
✔ Tips
■
Vista uses the NTFS file system only;
you can’t use the FAT or FAT32 file
system. If you upgrade a Windows XP
computer that uses FAT, it’s converted
to NTFS, which might affect some
older programs.
■
You can’t uninstall Vista to revert to
your previous operating system. To use
your old OS again, you must reinstall it.
■
You can’t boot a Vista drive off a DOS
floppy disk. Boot off the Vista disc.
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Installing Windows Vista
Choosing an
Installation Type
Figure A.3 Windows Boot Manager appears when
you turn on your PC and offers you a choice of
operating systems. If you don’t choose within 30
seconds, the computer chooses for you. To change
the default OS, choose Start > Control Panel > System
and Maintenance > System > Advanced System
Settings > Advanced tab > Settings (below Startup
and Recovery) > System Startup.
If your PC is running Windows XP, choose one
of the three installation types in Table A.1.
If you’re running any version of Windows,
choose a clean install or dual boot. If your
target PC has a blank drive, your only choice
is a clean install.
✔ Tip
■
The upgrade version of Windows Vista is
cheaper than the full version, but if you
ever need to install the upgrade version
on a clean drive, you must first install the
older Windows version and then install
Vista on top of it (one reason to take
care of your old Windows discs).
Table A.1
Windows Vista Installation Types
Description
Clean install
Installs a fresh copy of Vista on your hard drive, replacing any existing operating system and erasing all
files on the drive. During a clean install, you reformat or repartition your hard drive, wiping out all its
accumulated crud, including outdated drivers, fragmented files, incompatible programs, and stale registry entries. A clean install has a restorative effect on a PC that’s grown sluggish over time.
First, check “Upgrading to Windows Vista” in the introduction to see whether your current Windows version qualifies for the upgrade to Vista; if not, you must perform a clean install. Upgrading preserves
your existing settings; installed programs; and data files, including your personal desktop elements,
Favorites list, and everything in your personal folder. Windows also attempts to upgrade device drivers
to Vista-compatible versions. Upgrading saves you from rebuilding or transferring your files and settings but doesn’t invigorate your PC the way a clean install does. Before you upgrade, use Upgrade
Advisor to flag potential problems. Following the upgrade, you may find that Upgrade Advisor missed
some problems. If a program runs poorly under Vista, try reinstalling it, or look for an update on the
publisher’s website.
If you want to preserve your existing copy of Windows and run Vista, you can set up your PC to maintain both of them side by side. Each time you turn on your PC, it asks you which operating system to
run (Figure A.3). Dual booting is useful if you have a critical piece of hardware or software that runs
only on the older OS, or if you’re not sure whether you want to use Vista as your everyday OS and want
to be able to fall back on the older one.
Never install both OSes on the same hard-disk partition. Even if Windows let you do it, it would be a
disaster—and technical-support people usually don’t even answer questions about such setups.
Instead, take one of the following paths:
◆ Buy a second hard drive, and use it for one of the two OSes.
◆ Partition your existing disk—that is, divide it so that each portion functions as though it were a separate disk, with its own icon and drive letter in the Computer folder. The Windows installer offers a
disk tool that can create, extend, delete, and format partitions, but see “Managing Disks” in
Chapter 20 for recommendations on better partitioning software.
Upgrade
Dual boot
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Choosing an Installation Type
I n sta l l at i o n
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Appendix
Installing Windows Vista
To install Windows Vista, follow the steps
below for your installation type.
To upgrade to Windows Vista:
1. Insert the Windows installation disc
into your computer’s DVD or CD drive.
2. On the Install Windows page, click
Install Now (Figure A.4).
3. On the Get Important Updates for
Installation page, choose whether to get
the latest Vista updates during installation or wait until later (Figure A.5).
Figure A.4 This window is the starting point for
installing Windows Vista.
4. On the Type Your Product Key for
Activation page, type your 25-character
product key (Figure A.6).
Installing Windows Vista
5. On the Please Read the License Terms page,
click I Accept the License Terms.
Figure A.5 If you’re not online, choose Do Not Get the
Latest Updates for Installation. Windows will prompt
you to get them later.
Figure A.6 If you want to test-drive Windows Vista
before you commit to it, leave the Product Key box
blank and uncheck Automatically Activate Windows
When I’m Online.
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Installing Windows Vista
6. On the Which Type of Installation
Do You Want? page, click Upgrade
(Figure A.7).
7. Follow the onscreen instructions
(Figure A.8).
To do a clean install or a dual-boot
install:
1. Insert the Windows installation disc into
your computer’s DVD or CD drive and
then do one of the following:
Figure A.7 This page is the branching point for doing
an upgrade or clean install.
✔ Tips
■
If you see a compatibility report during
installation, you can resolve any issues
after installation completes.
■
Windows Firewall is turned on by default
after all installations. See “Using a Firewall”
in Chapter 13.
If your PC already has an OS installed,
and if you don’t want to partition, go
to step 2.
▲
If your PC doesn’t have an OS installed,
or if you want to partition, restart
your computer with the Windows
disc inserted in the drive. This causes
your PC to start (boot) from the disc.
If you’re prompted to press a key to
boot from DVD or CD, press any key.
If the Install Windows page appears
(refer to Figure A.4), go to step 2. If that
page doesn’t appear, and you’re not
asked to boot from a disc, use BIOS
to change the startup drive (see the
sidebar “Booting from the Windows
Disc”). Restart your PC and then start
Windows from the installation DVD
or CD as described previously.
continues on next page
577
Installing Windows Vista
Figure A.8 All installations converge on this page.
Installation takes about a half-hour. You’ll have to go
through one more short wizard before you can use
Vista.
▲
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Appendix
2. On the Install Windows page, follow any
instructions that might appear and then
click Install Now (refer to Figure A.4).
3. On the Get Important Updates for
Installation page, choose whether to get
the latest Vista updates during installation or wait until later (refer to Figure A.5).
4. On the Type Your Product Key for
Activation page, type your 25-character
product key (refer to Figure A.6).
5. On the Please Read the License Terms
page, click I Accept the License Terms.
6. On the Which Type of Installation Do
You Want? page, click Custom
(Advanced) (refer to Figure A.7).
Installing Windows Vista
7. On the Where Do You Want to Install
Windows? page (Figure A.9), do one of
the following:
▲
If you don’t partition your hard disk,
click Next to start the installation.
▲
If you have an existing partition and
want to dual-boot, install Windows
on a partition other than the one
containing the existing version of
Windows. Select the target partition
and click Next to start the installation.
▲
If you want to partition, start
Windows from the installation DVD
or CD. If you didn’t begin installation
this way, follow the instructions for
booting from the disc in step 1 and
then follow the onscreen instructions.
On the Where Do You Want to Install
Windows? page, click Drive Options
(Advanced), click the option that you
want, and then follow the onscreen
instructions. Click Next to start
installation.
8. Follow the onscreen instructions (refer
to Figure A.8).
578
Figure A.9 What you do here depends on whether you
want to partition or dual-boot.
Booting from the Windows Disc
If your computer doesn’t give you the option
to boot from a CD or DVD at startup, use
BIOS to select the CD or DVD drive as the
startup drive. BIOS (basic input/output
system) is the set of low-level hardware routines that your computer invokes at startup.
The procedure varies by computer, so check
the manufacturer’s instructions or website.
Here’s a typical way to change the startup
drive:
1. Turn on your computer, insert the
Windows installation disc, and then
restart your computer.
2. Look for a startup (boot) menu and
choose BIOS Setup, BIOS Settings, or
something similar.
3. When the BIOS menu appears, look
for an option named Boot Order or
something similar.
4. Select your CD or DVD drive as the
first startup device.
5. Save your settings and exit BIOS setup.
Don’t mess with any other BIOS settings
unless you know what you’re doing.
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Installing Windows Vista
Activating Windows Vista
Figure A.10 The System page tells you whether you’re
activated (top) or not (bottom) and, if not, counts
down the days until Windows locks you out.
Figure A.11 Windows nags you to activate.
Activating Windows prevents you from
running the same copy on more than one
computer. During installation, Windows
examines your PC; computes a unique identifier by using the system time and data about
key internal parts (hard drive, video card,
motherboard, memory, and so on); and sends
this identifier, along with your 25-character
product key, over the internet to Microsoft,
thereby activating Windows Vista.
To check whether Windows is activated,
choose Start > Control Panel > System and
Maintenance > System (or press Windows
logo key+Break); then look in the Product
Activation section (Figure A.10). If you
skipped activation during installation (refer
to Figure A.6), reminders pop up occasionally
on the taskbar (Figure A.11). Click a reminder
or the link in Figure A.10 (bottom) to start
the Windows Activation wizard. You have 30
days to activate; if you don’t, Windows will
stop working.
✔ Tips
■
Activation is anonymous and transfers
no personal information to Microsoft.
■
Bulk-purchased business, government,
and school copies of Windows are
exempt from activation, and many new
PCs come with a preactivated copy.
579
Activating Windows Vista
Later, if you install the same copy of Windows
on another PC without uninstalling the first
one, Microsoft will discover your duplicity
during activation and lock you out of Windows.
Unless you activate Vista on the second PC,
lockout occurs automatically in 30 days.
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Appendix
Transferring Existing Files
and Settings
Windows Easy Transfer is a step-by-step program for transferring files and settings from
one computer running Windows to another.
You can choose what to transfer: user accounts,
internet favorites, email contacts, and so on.
You also can choose the transfer method
(Easy Transfer Cable, network, CD, DVD,
USB flash drive, or external hard disk).
Transferring Existing Files and Settings
You can transfer from a PC running Windows
2000 (files only), XP, or Vista to another computer running Vista. Start Windows Easy
Transfer on the computer running Vista
and follow the onscreen instructions. (If you
upgraded from XP to Vista, your files, settings,
and programs were transferred automatically.)
You can copy Easy Transfer to your old PC
by using a CD, DVD, network connection, or
USB flash drive. If you are using an Easy
Transfer Cable (available in computer stores),
use the CD that came with the cable to install
both Easy Transfer and any drivers on your
old computer before plugging in the cable.
To use Windows Easy Transfer:
1. Choose Start > All Programs >
Accessories > System Tools > Windows
Easy Transfer.
If a security prompt appears, type an
administrator password or confirm
the action.
2. Follow the onscreen instructions
(Figure A.12).
✔ Tip
■
If you’re chucking your old computer,
check the phone directory or the web for
recycling programs in your area (try
www.eiae.org). Be sure to shred the files
on all your hard drives before you disown
your PC (see “Deleting Files and Folders”
in Chapter 5).
580
Figure A.12 You can transfer your settings, files, or both.
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Index
... (ellipsis), 26, 44
< and > buttons, 81
>> (chevron) button, 83, 87
\ (backslash), 195
10/100BaseT networks, 523
16- and 32-bit programs, 263
A
Index
about this book, xix
access points, 421
Accessibility Options. See Ease of Access options
activating
windows, 37, 74
Windows Vista, 576, 579
active users, 6
add-ons, 469
Address bar
autocompletion of, 84, 449
Internet Explorer’s, 446
Windows Explorer’s, 188, 189, 194–195
Address toolbar, 36, 83
addresses
email, 473
IP, 413, 420
Administrator account
defined, 511
managing power plans, 166
privileges for, 512
ads
blocking pop-up, 460–461
commercial website, 453
removing banner, 464
sponsored web links and, 452
Advanced Options dialog box
File Types tab, 240
Index Settings tab, 240
advanced searches, 234, 237
Aero color scheme
about, xiii, 122
Flip 3D with, 264–265
album art, 366, 373
All Programs menu
adding icons to, 63–64
checking for factory-installed programs, 253
consolidating items on, 66–67
deleting items from, 65
disabling autosorting of, 63, 64
free utilities on, 269
sorting, 65
submenus on, 68
Alt-tabbing, 37
analog video capture, 397
anonymous website surfing, 466–467
antispyware resources, 439
antivirus software
disabling, 573
pros and cons of, 434–435
System Restore function vs., 565
Appearance Settings dialog box, 177
Application key, 23
applications. See also installing
about, 251
antispyware, 439
antivirus software, 434
associating documents with, 281, 283–284
before installing, 253
configuring firewall exceptions for, 430
disabling Windows features, 259
downloading from website, 255–256
exiting, 266
freeware and shareware, xiv, 269, 275, 425
icons for opening, 33
installing from disc, 252–254
keyboard utilities, 24
killing, 267–269
launching, 260–262
581
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Index
Index
making available to all users, 254
opening documents not associated with, 35
recommended email, 471
removing, 257–258
saving documents in, 277–278
selecting encryption, 443
shortcuts to, 88, 96
switching among, 264–265
third-party firewall, 427
viewing those running, 8, 553
Apply button, 44
Attach Files dialog box, 354
Attachment Manager, 488
attachments
adding to email, 476
appending documents to fax, 310
opening and saving, 487–488
sharing files via, 534
unblocking and opening, 488–489
audio. See also sound
Movie Maker audio tracks, 407
recording clips of, 408
audio CDs. See music CDs
audio devices, 142, 144
auto playlists, 382, 385
autocompletion
Address toolbar, 84, 449
using with Internet Explorer, 467
auto-hiding
Internet Explorer elements, 462
taskbar, 77, 78
automatic logon, 3
automatic program launch, 262, 502
automatic scrolling, 43
AutoMovie, 402
AutoPlay dialog box
choices for digital camera import, 334
configuring, 337
configuring to play music CDs, 361, 363
selecting options on, 243, 252, 254
Take No Action option on, 322
B
background pictures, 123–124
background printing, 285, 296
background tasks, 38
backing up files, 566–569
about, 566
before Vista upgrades, 573
restoring backed-up files, 568
schemes for, 569
steps for, 567
backslash (\), 195
Backup and Restore Center, 567
balanced power plan, 165
582
banner advertisements, 464
base stations, 521
Basic color scheme, 122
battery icons, 166
BIOS (basic input/output system), 320, 578
blocking
digital photos, 489
Messenger contacts, 503, 505
pop-up windows, 460–461
Bluetooth devices
printer installation, 289–290
setting up, 324–325
bookmarks, 457–459
Boolean filters, 237
booting
defined, 2
options for, 570
Windows Boot Manager, 575
from Windows disc, 578
broadband internet connections, 412, 413, 416
browsing. See also Internet Explorer; web browsers
tips for Internet Explorer, 462–469
Vista folders in same window, 177
Windows Help and Support, 105–106
Burn a Disc dialog box, 243, 244
Burn tab (Options dialog box), 386
burning CDs and DVDs, 242–247
Mastered format for, 244
music CDs, 245, 386–387
photos on CDs or DVDs, 346
publishing movies to DVD, 409
troubleshooting, 386
using Live File System format, 243
bus, 319
buttons
< and >, 81
dialog box, 44
group, 78
menu, 30
New Tab, 454
Options (wrench), 93
Organize, 190
Power, 13
Quick Launch, 87–88
Quick Tabs, 456
Start, 17, 57, 58, 73
taskbar, 73
toggle, 32
Welcome Screen, 4
Windows Photo Gallery, 346
Windows Sidebar, 90
buying
compatible hardware, 315
media online, 368
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Index
C
Index
cable internet connections, 413
caches for Internet Explorer, 465
Calculator, 270
Calendar, 495–496
Cancel button, 44
category view for Control Panel, 118, 119
CDs. See also burning CDs and DVDs; music CDs
burning, 242–247, 346, 386–387
closing, 246
data, 245
erasing files on, 247
flash drive capacity vs., 182
installing programs from, 252–254
Live File System format for, 242, 243
Mastered format for, 242, 244
music, 245, 361–363, 386–387
photo, 346
ripping to hard drive, 370–373
Character Map, 270
character sets, 151, 152
characters
adding to web search strings, 452
excluded for shortcut names, 98
using in file and folder names, 211
wildcard, 229
chats. See instant messaging
Check Disk utility, 556
checked commands, 26
checking email, 480–481
chevron (>>) button, 83, 87
Choose Search Locations dialog box, 235
classic look, 176–178
color scheme for, 122
Control Panel view for, 118, 119
mouse pointers for, 178
themes for, 127
Clean Install
about, xviii, 575
steps for, 577–578
ClearType fonts, 129
ClickLock, 135
clients, 524
clipboard, 50
clips
adding to projects, 401
creating and organizing, 398
editing, 403–404
previewing Movie Maker, 402
using with instant messaging, 507
viewing, 396
Clock gadget, 93
closing
CDs, 246
Start menu, 58
tabs, 455
windows, 40
Windows Sidebar, 90
collections, 398
color
customizing interface, 119
monitor, 129, 131–132
setting window, 121–122
color profiles, 134
columns
selecting Windows Explorer, 201
Start menu, 59
command line
Command Prompt utility for, 271–272
running programs from, 558, 559
command separators, 25, 26
commands
checked, 26
choosing, 27
conventions in book for, xix
Cut, Copy, and Paste, 48–49
dimmed, 25, 26
displaying on photo’s shortcut menu, 345
ellipsis following, 26
format, 219
illustrated on menu, 25
Invert Selection, 34
Paste Special, 50
Run, 57
Undo, 50
compatibility
hardware, 315
Plug and Play, 320
Program Compatibility wizard, 263
using older programs after upgrading, 253
composing email, 475–479
compressing files and folders, 222–228
Computer folder
about, 57, 182, 184
viewing hard drive content in, 183–184
computers. See also remote computers
BIOS, 320, 578
checking system compatibility of, 573
common ports and connections for, 316
connecting devices to, 314–319
finding missing network, 526
installing hardware on, 14
local and remote, 539
locking and unlocking, 9
recycling, 580
Remote Assistance for Vista from earlier
Windows, 112
remote desktop connections with, 544–547
renaming network, 527
setting up for Remote Desktop, 542–543
testing for online vulnerabilities, 429
transferring files to other, 580
turning off, 12, 14, 546
583
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Index
video camera connections, 397
viewing Windows Experience Index for, 179
Vista Capable vs. Vista Premium Ready, 572
waking from sleep state, 13
configuring. See also Control Panel
audio hardware, 142
AutoPlay, 337, 361, 363
background pictures, 123–124
date and time, 145–147
desktop themes, 127–128
email rules, 490–491
internet connections, 415–420
keyboard, 138–139
local currency, numbers, dates, and times, 148
monitor, 129–135
mouse, 135–137
network connection settings, 532
newsgroups, 492–493
Parental Controls, 440–441
playback devices, 141
recording devices, 142
refresh rate for monitor, 133
Remote Assistance, 111–112
sound and audio devices, 140–144
speech recognition, 158–159
System Restore, 563
system to local settings, 148–152
system’s power options, 170
tabbed browsing, 456–457
window colors and color scheme, 121–122
Windows Mail options, 478
Windows Update, 431–433
Connect to a Network Projector utility, 273
Connect to the Internet wizard, 415–416
connections
blocking all incoming, 428
checking IM, 506
disconnecting from network, 533
external device, 317
internet, 415–420, 467
Remote Desktop, 544–547
required for Windows Live Messenger, 499
sharing internet, 519
static IP, 419–420
Status dialog box for, 417
status of network, 531
troubleshooting internet, 418
types of internet, 412–416
connectors on motherboard, 314
conserving power, 163–170. See also power
management
contacts
adding, 494
blocking Messenger, 503, 505
creating Messenger, 503
making email senders, 477
584
Content Advisor, 466
context menus. See shortcut menus
Control Panel
classic or category view for, 118, 119
connecting VPNs to remote computers, 541
creating user accounts, 510
displaying general system information, 179
Ease of Access Center, 154
modifying power plans, 168–169
opening, 118
Parental Controls, 440–441
Search box in, 119, 231
searching for items in, 119
setting up wireless networks, 525
starting dial-up connections to remote
computers, 540
switching view in, 120, 176
system settings for power options, 170
themes incorporating settings from, 128
Windows Defender, 435–436
Windows Firewall, 428–429
cookies, 466
copies for printing, 298
Copy command
about, 48, 49
moving and copying files and folders with, 212
undoing, 50
copy-and-paste, 48
copying
pathnames, 195
text from webpages, 467
cover pages for faxes, 307
CPUs
displaying system information about, 179
viewing use of, 553
Vista’s requirements, 572
crashes, 556, 566, 570
credits for movies, 406
crossover cable, 523
currency formats, 148
cursor, 20, 138
customizing
folders, 206
gadgets, 93
Media Player’s Now Playing tab, 364–365
notification area, 81
own themes, 128
Start menu, 69–72
taskbar, 76–77
taskbar toolbar, 86
toolbars, 85
Windows Sidebar, 91
Cut command
about, 48, 49
moving and copying files and folders with, 212
undoing, 50
cut-and-paste, 48
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Index
D
585
Index
data encryption, 442–443
date
localizing, 148
searching for digital photos by, 347
setting, 145–147
decoders, 388
default settings
about, xx
changing default printer, 290
changing shortcut’s default icon, 100
editing printer’s default properties, 295–296
modifying Photo Gallery’s, 339–341
restoring Vista’s, 47
defragmenting disks, 555
Delete Browsing History dialog box, 464
Delete File dialog box, 217
deleting
buttons on Quick Launch, 87–88
custom themes, 128
email, 483
files and folders, 217–218, 219
items from All Programs menu, 65, 66–67
Mastered disc files, 245
Media Player library items, 380
Messenger contacts, 503
photo tags, 349
power plans, 169
shortcuts, 98
unneeded startup programs, 262
user accounts, 515
deselecting icons, 34
desktop, 55–102. See also Start menu; taskbar
arranging shortcuts on, 101–102
background settings for, 123–124
defined, 18
displaying system-folder shortcuts on, 97
gadgets on, 18, 55
illustrated, 17, 55
interface for, 17–19
placing gadgets on, 93
restoring local computer’s, 546
screen saver displays, 125–126
shortcuts on, 94–100
showing system icons on, 178
Start menu on, 18, 55, 56
taskbar, 73–82
themes for, 127–128
toolbar for, 83
as window, 41
Windows Sidebar, 17, 55
Desktop Icon Settings dialog box, 97
device drivers. See also devices
audio device, 144
defined, 313
displaying information about, 552
finding and downloading, 322
.inf files, 323
keyboard, 139
managing, 326–330
monitor’s, 130
mouse’s, 137
printer drivers, 286–289, 291, 292
removing scanner drivers, 304
rolling back, 328
uninstalling PnP, 329
unsigned, 323
updating, 328, 433
Device Manager
disabling devices, 330
displaying device properties, 327
icons for duplicate devices, 329
opening, 326
troubleshooting hardware, 329
updating or rolling back drivers, 328, 433
devices. See also device drivers
attaching, 14
Bluetooth, 289–290, 324–325
configuring playback, 141
connecting to computers, 314–319
defined, 313
disabling, 330
displaying information about, 552
installing, 320–322
plug in and switch on during upgrade, 574
setting up Bluetooth, 324–325
sharing, 519
tasks requiring special, 315
types of external, 316
uninstalling, 329
Vista’s control of, xiv
dialog boxes. See also Folder Options dialog box;
Properties dialog box
defined, 19
help links in, 105
illustrated, 17, 44
keyboard shortcuts for, 45
OK, Cancel, and Apply buttons for, 44
windows vs., 45
wizards, 45
dial-up internet connections, 412, 416, 540
digital cameras, 332, 333, 347
digital photos
adding file tags to, 348–349
adding/removing from Photo Gallery, 343
blocked, 489
configuring AutoPlay for, 337
contact’s, 494
default storage location for, 341
emailing, 354
embedding in email, 476
finding, 347
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Index
image file types, 340
importing, 332–337
including in movies, 395
ordering prints online, 353
printing, 352
saving as screen savers, 126
seeing all, 344
tagging, 334
thumbnail previews, 344
touching up, 351
user account pictures, 512, 513
viewing, 344–346
digital rights management (DRM) software, 436
digital video cameras, 397
dimmed commands, 25, 26
directories
pathnames to, 194, 195
printing listings of, 192
disabled user’s access, 153–156
disabling
All Programs autosort, 63, 64
antivirus programs, 573
Defender, 437
devices, 330
Fast User Switching, 7
features, 259
Firewall, 428–429
offline files, 548
pop-up tips, 58
Security Center alerts, 424
User Account Control, 517
user accounts, 516
visual effects, 175
disconnected users, 6
disconnecting from network, 533
Disk Cleanup, 554
disks, 181. See also CDs; DVDs; hard drives
Display As A Menu option (Start menu), 71
displaying
Media Player library, 375
Quick Launch toolbar, 75
distributed computing projects, 126
documents
associating with programs, 281
attaching to fax, 310
dictating into WordPad, 160
managing printing of, 300–301
opening, 279–280
organizing scanned, 303
printing, 297–299
using with program not associated with, 35
XPS, 291
Documents folder, 57
domains
domain logons, 5
domain networks, 519
workgroups vs., 509
586
DOS programs
installing, 253
running, 263
using 256-color DOS support, 132
DOS Prompt utility, 271–272
double-clicking mouse, 21
Download Complete dialog box, 468
downloading
drive-by, 425
files, 468
freeware or shareware, xiv
gadgets, 92
picking up spyware while, 439
programs from website, 255–256
stopping or reloading webpage, 450
themes, 127
Windows Live Messenger, 498–499
Downloads folder, 256
dpi (dots per inch), 131
dragging, 21, 213
drive-by downloads, 425
drivers. See device drivers
drives. See hard drives
DSL internet connections, 413
dual-boot installations, 575, 577–578
DVD decoders, 388
DVDs
booting from Windows, 578
burning, 242–247
erasing files on, 247
installing programs from, 252–254
keyboard shortcuts for playing, 389
Live File System format for, 242, 243
Mastered format for, 242, 244
photos placed on, 346
playing, 388–389
publishing movies to, 409
E
Ease of Access options, 153–156
list of, 153
opening Ease of Access Center, 154
setting individual, 156
using questionnaire on, 155
Easy Transfer, 580
Edit menu, 48–49, 50
editing
clips, 403–404
file tags, 199–200
media information, 373, 377
Messenger contacts, 503
Movie Maker projects, 400–402
networks location, 531
property tags, 199
registry, 560
regular playlists, 383–384
user accounts, 512–513
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Index
exporting
bookmarks, 459
contacts, 494
transferring data via, 52
extensions. See file formats
external devices, 316, 317
Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders wizard, 227
F
factory-installed programs, 253
Fast User Switching, 6–7, 9, 257
Favorite Links list, 196
Favorites Center
illustrated, 446
opening, 458
pinning open, 457
subscribing to RSS feeds, 463
viewing tabs saved on, 455
Favorites List, 457–458
Fax icon, 309, 310
fax modems, 306
Fax Settings dialog box, 306
Fax Status Monitor, 308, 311
faxes. See also Windows Fax and Scan
advantages of PC-based, 302
configuring Windows Fax and Scan for, 306–307
cover pages for, 307
device set up for, 306
receiving, 311
sending from Windows Fax and Scan, 308
using other programs for, 309
viewing, 302, 311–312
file formats
associated with programs, 178, 281–284
choosing for scanned images, 305
compatible Movie Maker, 395
high-risk, 488
image, 340
RAW, 340
viruses disguised as, 281
.wmv, 391, 409
XPS, 291
File Name Options dialog box, 370
File Sharing dialog box, 536
file shredders, 219
file systems, xiv
file tags
editing, 199
grouping files by, 205
manually inserting media information, 377
nested, 349
photo, 199, 348–349, 350
properties and, 198
saving files with, 200
587
Index
editions of Vista, xv, 276, 566
EFS (Encrypting File System), 442, 443
ejecting CDs, 362
ellipsis (...), 26, 44
email, 471–491
applications recommended for, 471
attaching files to, 476
blocking photos, 489
checking messages, 480–481
composing and sending, 475–479
embedding images in, 476
finding messages, 485
flagging, 485
formatting, 479
forwarding, 484
mailing photos, 354
message rules for, 490–491
opening and saving attachments, 487–488
organizing messages, 482
printing and deleting, 483
reading, 481–482
replying to, 484
saving drafts of, 478
sending scanned mail from Fax and Scan, 310
setting up in Mail, 473–474
types of mail servers, 474
unblocking and opening attachments, 488–489
embedding images in email, 476
emoticons, 505
emptying Recycle Bin, 219
enabling
devices, 330
printer sharing, 293
secure logon, 4
Security Center alerts, 424
Windows Defender, 437
Windows features, 259
Windows Firewall, 428–429
encryption, 280, 442–444
Encryption Warning dialog box, 443
End Program... dialog box, 268–269
erasing CD and DVD files, 247
Esc (Escape) key, 22
Ethernet networks, 520–521, 529
etiquette for newsgroups, 493
.exe files, 256
exiting
applications, 266
Windows Sidebar, 90
expansion boards
connecting, 319
defined, 318
expansion slots, 318
Explorer. See Windows Explorer
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Index
File Types tab (Advanced Options dialog box), 240
files. See also file formats; searches; shortcuts
access denied to, 280
attaching to email, 476
backing up, 566–569
caching Internet Explorer, 465
common extensions for, 281
compressing, 222–228
defined, 181
deleting, 217–218, 219
encrypting, 442–443
erasing on CDs and DVDs, 247
.exe, 256
extracting zipped, 227
filtering by column headings, 202–203
grouping in folders, 205
high-risk extensions for, 488
image file types, 340
.inf, 323
.lnk, 94
moving and copying, 212–214
naming, 211
offline availability of, 548–549
omitted from backups, 568
opening Media Player, 359
organizing with subfolders, 186
original vs. shortcuts for, 94
playing QuickTime and RealMedia, 360
.rar, 225
read-only, 278
recovering deleted, 219, 220
removing unneeded, 554
restoring system, 564–565
saving before switching users, 7
scanning with Windows Defender, 437–438
selecting with check boxes, 209
sending, 215–216
sharing, 506–507, 534–538
sorting, 203–204
stacking, 204, 205
tagging, 185, 198–200
transferring to another computer, 580
unable to delete, 218
.url, 94
.wmv, 391, 409
zipping, 226
file-type associations. See file formats
Filter Keys, 153
filtering
DVD play with Parental Controls, 388
files, 202–203
filters
Boolean, 237
Phishing Filter, 464
spam, 481
firewalls, 426–430
about, 426
588
allowing Messenger communications through,
500
configuring exceptions for programs, 430
defined, 421
enabling/disabling Windows Firewall, 428–429
port protection by, 429
Remote Assistance blocked by, 112
third-party applications for, 427
turned on after Vista installations, 577
FireWire (IEEE 1394)
attaching FireWire devices, 14
networks using, 523
flash memory, 562
Flip 3D feature, 264–265
Folder Options dialog box
Classic Folders option, 177
opening folders with single click, 162
Search tab, 236
setting options, 207
showing file extensions, 282
folder templates, 206
folder window. See Windows Explorer
folders. See also Folder Options dialog box; searches;
and specific folders
access denied to, 280
adding to Photo Gallery, 342
appearance and behavior options for, 207–209
applying views to, 191
archive, 224
available offline, 548–549
browsing in same window, 177
compressing, 222–228
Computer, 182
consolidating All Programs menu items in,
66–67, 68
creating, 210
customizing, 206
defined, 181
deleting, 217–218, 219
Downloads, 256
encrypting, 442–443
filtering files in, 202–203
Fonts, 172
Games, 273
grouping files in, 205
moving and copying, 212–214
Music, 372
naming, 211
organizing bookmarks into, 458
personal, 58, 185–188, 379
Pictures, 335, 341
previewing icons of, 192
Printers, 289, 290, 310
Program Files, 183
Public, 534, 535
Recycle Bin, 217, 218, 219–221
Search box in window, 232
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searching, 233–236
sending, 215–216
sharing, 379, 528
sorting files in, 203–204
stacking files in, 204, 205
Startup, 262
unable to delete files or items in, 218
Users, 183
viewing contents of hard drives, 183–184
Windows, 183
zipped, 224–227
Folders list, 197, 482
Font Viewer, 173
fonts, 171–174
changing Internet Explorer, 462
changing Messenger, 504
ClearType, 129
defined, 171
installing new, 174
making clearer onscreen, 172
opening Fonts folder, 172
removing, 174
utilities for managing, 174
viewing or printing, 173
Forgotten Password wizard, 514
format command, 219
forwarding email, 484
Found New Hardware wizard, 321
frames, 462
free email accounts, 471
freeware
instant messaging, 497
shareware vs., xiv
spyware-clean, 439
using, 269, 275, 425
function keys, 22
G
hackers, 421
hard drives
changing startup drive, 578
defragmenting, 555
detecting and repairing errors, 556
determining file system format for, 222
letters assigned to, 184
partitions, 557, 577, 578
Recycle Bin for, 221
removing unneeded files, 554
ripping CDs to, 370–373
sharing entire, 538
space required for System Restore, 565
time required to compress, 224
USB flash, 182
viewing contents of, 183–184
Vista’s requirements, 572
hardware. See also devices; hard drives; speakers;
video cards
adding older, 320
Bluetooth, 324–325
buying, 315
configuring audio, 142
connecting external devices, 317
defined, 313
disabling devices, 330
displaying information about, 552
fax modems, 306
hubs, 521
installing new devices, 320–322
managing device drivers, 326–330
network, 520–521, 523
network adapters, 520
removing safely, 317
routers, 426
rules for installing, 14
slots for internal devices, 318
sound cards, 157
tasks requiring special devices and, 315
troubleshooting, 329
uninstalling devices, 329
USB flash drives, 182
video cards, 122, 130, 132, 134
hardware requirements
Aero color scheme, 122
Ethernet network, 520–521
firewall, 426
needed for dial-up internet connection, 412
video editing, 391
Vista, 572–573
Windows Live Messenger, 499
Windows Media Player, 357
headers for email, 475, 486
headphones, 140, 142
589
Index
gadgets
about, 18, 55
adding, 91–92
customizing, 93
detached, 89
downloading and installing, 92
illustrated, 89
placing on desktop, 93
removing, 92
games, 273, 507
Google, 452, 569
graphics processors, 572
group buttons, 78
grouping files in folders, 205
groups, 253, 516
Guest accounts, 511
GUI (graphical user interface). See user interface
H
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help, 103–115
about, 103
browsing by subject, 106
Control Panel guided tour, 121
finding troubleshooting topics, 551
internet connection, 418
links in windows and dialog boxes to, 105
Remote Assistance, 110–115
searching Help and Support, 107
sharing screen shots to get, 109
starting Help and Support home page, 104
website resources for, 108
Windows Live Messenger, 504
Help toolbar, 105
helpers, 112, 114, 115
Hibernate option, 12
High Contrast color scheme, 122, 153
high performance power plan, 165
hints for logon password, 4
history
clearing website browsing, 450, 464
clearing Windows Defender’s, 438
reviewing update, 433
History bar, 450
home pages, 425, 459
HomePlug networks, 522
HomePNA networks, 522
host PC, 524
hotfixes, 431
HTML
formatting email in, 479
viewing webpages in, 468
hubs, 521
Index
I
icons. See also shortcut icons
adding to All Programs menu, 63–64
adjusting size for Windows Explorer, 190
archive folder, 224
auto playlist, 385
battery, 166
defined, 19
digital camera, 332
displayed on toolbars, 32
Fax, 309, 310
illustrated, 17
moving and opening, 35
offline indicator for, 549
opening, 33
previewing folder, 192
printer, 294
Security Center, 422
selecting and deselecting, 33–34
shared file and folder, 538
showing system icons on desktop, 178
590
User Account Control, 517
using earlier versions of desktop, 178
using Start menu, 61
Windows Live Messenger, 501
IEEE 1394. See FireWire
Import/Export Wizard, 459
importing
bookmarks, 459
contacts, 494
digital photos, 332–337, 340
digital video, 394–397
transferring data via, 52
inactive windows, 38
Indexed Locations default search, 235
indexes, 239–240
Information bar (Internet Explorer), 460
insertion point, 20
installing. See also uninstalling
activating Windows Vista after, 579
considerations before, 253
devices, 320–322
DOS-based programs, 253
fonts, 174
gadgets, 92
internet programs, 255–256
local and network scanners, 303–304
local printers, 286–289
network, wireless, or Bluetooth printers, 289–290
network-based programs, 256
older hardware, 320
programs from disc, 252–254
turning off antivirus programs when, 573
Vista software, 576–578
Windows Live Messenger, 498–499
instant messaging, 497–507. See also Windows Live
Messenger
about chats, 497
allowing through firewalls, 500
blocking contacts, 503, 505
creating contacts for, 503
downloading and installing Messenger, 498–499
freeware for, 497
playing sound during, 406
sending, 504
sharing files with, 534
signing in and out, 500–502
winks and emoticons, 505
internal devices, 318, 319
internet
buying media online, 368
connecting to, 415–420
defined, 445
finding album art on, 373
installing programs from, 255–256
managing connections, 467
ordering prints online, 353
parental controls for, 440–441
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radio stations, 369
sharing connections to, 519, 524
testing for vulnerabilities on, 429
types of connections for, 412–414, 415
Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), 524
Internet Explorer, 445–469
blocking pop-ups and pop-unders, 460–461
bookmarking pages, 457–459
browsing tips for, 462–469
bypassing website registration, 468
clearing browsing history, 450, 464
illustrated, 446
keyboard shortcuts for, 462
links for webpage navigation, 447, 450
navigating webpages on, 447–453
Parental Controls, 466
Phishing Filter, 464
Print dialog box for, 298
removing banner advertisements, 464
searching webpages, 446, 451–452
security settings, 465
setting home page, 459
starting, 446
tabbed browsing in, 454–457
using URLs to navigate webpages, 447, 449
Internet Options dialog box, 465, 466, 469
Internet Time Settings dialog box, 147
IP addresses, 413, 420
iPod syncing, 387
ISDN internet connections, 414
ISPs (internet service providers), 411, 474, 476
J
Java virtual machine (JVM), 468
JPEG file format, 340
K
L
languages, 149–152
LANs (local area networks), 520
laptops
battery icons on, 166
configuring LCD screens, 129
connecting to Ethernet networks, 529
Mobile PC category, 120
network files and folders available offline,
548–549
power plans for, 168–169
setting low and critical battery behavior, 167
software firewalls for, 426
system settings for power options, 170
utilities for, 550
Last Known Good Configuration, 570
launching applications, 260–262
LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor, 129
library for Windows Media Player, 374–382
about, 374
adding items to, 378–379
changing display for, 376–377
deleting items from, 380
searching for items in, 380–381
showing, 375
license terms, 576, 578
links
color of, 448
navigating webpage with, 447, 450
sponsored search, 452
Links toolbar, 83, 458
Live Call, 507
Live File System format, 242, 243, 246
Live Search, 451
Index
keyboard. See also keyboard shortcuts; keys
about, 22
choosing shortcut-menu command from, 29
configuring, 138–139
pressing taskbar buttons from, 74
selecting commands from, 27
setting language for, 149–150
types of keys on, 22
using keyboard shortcuts, 22, 23
utilities for, 24
Keyboard Properties dialog box, 138–139
keyboard shortcuts
conventions in book for, xix–xx
Cut, Copy, and Paste, 49, 50
defining, 100
dialog-box, 45
DVD, 389
Folders list, 197
general, 248–249
Help, 105
Internet Explorer, 462
on menus, 25
Remote Desktop, 547
shortcut icons vs., 94
tab, 456
using, 22, 23
Windows logo key, xx, 249
Windows Media Player, 390
Windows Photo Gallery, 355
keys. See also Ease of Access options
Application, 23
Esc, 22
function, 22
modifier, xix–xx, 22, 24
navigation, 22
Scroll Lock, 43
Sticky Keys, 23, 153
Windows logo, 23, 249
killing programs, 267–269
591
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Local Area Connection Properties dialog box, 419
local computers, 539, 542, 547
local printers, 286, 287–289
local scanners, 303–304
Local Users and Groups console, 516
localizing system, 148–152
choosing display language, 151
configuring currency, numbers, dates, and times,
148
setting location and keyboard language, 149–150
locations, 149, 194
locking
taskbar, 77, 78, 84
your computer, 9
logging off, 10, 11
logging on
automatically, 3
domain logons, 5
entering user name and password, 2
logon conflicts in Remote Desktop, 546
switching users after, 6
Welcome screen options for, 4
Index
M
Magnifier, 153
Mail. See email; Windows Mail
maintenance
backing up files, 566–569
checking online for solutions, 561
defragmenting disks, 555
detecting and repairing disk errors, 556
disk cleanup, 554
Disk Management, 557
editing registry, 560
flash memory to speed computer, 562
getting system information, 552
scheduling tasks, 558–559
Windows Task Manager for, 553
malware
about, 421, 425
checking protection status for, 423
spyware, 425, 435–436, 439
viruses, 281, 425, 434–435
mapping shared disks to drive, 529
Mastered format, 242
maximizing windows, 38, 39, 74
Mbps (megabits per second), 523
media information, editing, 373, 377
Media Player. See Windows Media Player
Meeting Space, 274, 534
memory
displaying system information about, 179
flash, 562
video card, 130
viewing use of, 553
Vista’s requirements, 572
592
memory-card readers, 332
menu bars, 177
menu buttons, 30
menus, 25–32. See also All Programs menu; Start
menu
All Programs, 63–68
choosing commands, 27
command separators, 25, 26
defined, 18
displaying navigation shortcut, 43
displaying personal folder as, 187
illustrated, 17, 25
menu buttons, 30
ribbons, 31
Send To, 215–216
shortcut, 28–29
Windows Media Player, 360
message boxes, 45
message rules, 490–491
messages and warnings
displayed for unsigned drivers, 323
Encryption Warning dialog box, 443
File Download - Security Warning dialog box, 255,
468
Internet Explorer, 448
pop-up messages when installing devices, 321
removing shared files, 258
Security Center, 422, 424
suppressing “Are you sure?”, 218
Messenger. See Windows Live Messenger
microphone, 142, 157
Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer, 424
Microsoft Help and Support. See Windows Help and
Support
Microsoft Knowledge Base, 108
Microsoft SpyNet community, 438
Microsoft TechNet, 108
minimizing windows
about, 38, 39
Remote Assistance, 115
using taskbar, 75
Mobility Center, 550
modes in Media Player, 367
modifier keys, xix–xx, 22, 24
monitors
configuring, 129–135
making onscreen fonts clearer, 172
turning off, 14
motherboard, 318, 319
mouse. See also mouse pointers
about, 20
clicking and using modifier keys, 24
configuring, 135–137
device driver for, 137
drag-and-drop with, 51
scrolling with, 42–43, 453
Shift key with, 24
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single-click opening of items, 162
using, 21
Mouse Keys, 153
mouse pointers
classic, 178
customizing, 135–136
defined, 18
illustrated, 17
shapes and functions of, 20
Move File dialog box, 214
movies. See also clips; projects; Windows Movie
Maker
creating automatically, 402
effects, titles, and credits for, 406
importing footage for, 394–397
narrating, 408
publishing, 409
transitions for, 405
moving
files and folders, 212–214
icons, 35
item in All Programs menu, 65
pinned items on Start menu, 62
taskbar, 78
windows, 40
Mozilla Firefox, 52, 445
music CDs
burning, 245, 386–387
ejecting, 362
playing, 361–363
showing album art in Media Player, 366
Music folder, 372, 382
muting volume, 140
My Computer. See Computer folder
My Documents. See Documents folder
N
593
Index
names
changing network computer and workgroup, 528
file and folder, 211
finding photos by, 350
printer, 288
share, 538
UNC system for network resources, 529
user account, 511, 512
narrating movies, 408
Narrator, 153, 157
natural-language searches, 238
navigating
displaying navigation shortcut menu, 43
Folders list for Windows Explorer, 197
selecting commands from keyboard, 27
URLs for, 447, 449
webpages, 447–453
Windows Explorer with Address bar, 194–195
navigation keys, 22
Navigation pane, 196, 197
network adapters, 520
Network and Sharing Center
changing network locations, 531
checking status of connections, 531
configuring network connection settings, 532
disconnecting from network, 533
illustrated, 418
opening, 530
Sharing and Discovery options, 530, 532, 535
Network Connections window, 415
Network folder, 528
network printers, 286
networks, 519–538
about, 519
changing location, 531
checking connections status for, 531
configuring connection settings for, 532
creating user accounts on, 511
crossover cable, 523
disconnecting from, 533
Ethernet, 520–521, 529
files and folders available offline, 548–549
finding missing computers on, 526
FireWire, 523
hardware for, 520–521, 523
HomePlug, 522
HomePNA, 522
installing programs from, 256
joining or creating new workgroups, 527–528
managing, 530–533
mapping shared disks to drive, 529
moving and copying files and folders on, 214
printer installation for, 289–290
remote networking, 539
renaming computers, 527
scanners installed for, 303–304
setting up, 525–526
settings needed for Vista upgrades, 574
sharing files, 534–538
sharing internet connections, 519, 524
sharing printers, 293–295
types of, 520–523
Vista’s control of, xiv
VPNs, 539, 541
wireless, 521–522
New Auto Playlist dialog box, 385
new features
about Vista’s, xiii, xvi–xvii
file tagging, 185, 198–200
Flip 3D, 264–265
Network and Sharing Center, 530
Parental Controls, 440–441
Photo Gallery Viewer, 302
Problem Reports and Solutions, 561
ReadyBoost, 562
Search box, 119
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security, xiii
Snipping Tool, 109
Start menu, 57
thumbnail previews, 77
User Account Control, 1, 517
Windows Calendar, 495–496
Windows Contacts, 494
Windows Mobility Center, 550
Windows Sidebar, 89–93
newsgroups
defined, 471
help resources from, 108
setting up and using, 492–493
newsreaders, 492–493
noncommercial websites, 453
notebooks. See laptops
Notepad, 275
Notification area
about, 73, 80, 82
customizing, 81
pop-up messages when installing devices, 321
pop-up windows in, 82
novices, 112
Now Playing tab (Windows Media Player), 364–365
NTFS compression, 222–224
NTFS file system, 574
number formats, 148
Index
O
Object dialog box, 53
Offline Files, 548–549
OK button, 44
OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) objects, 53
online backup services, 569
On-Screen Keyboard, 153
Open dialog box, 279
Open With dialog box, 280, 283
opening
Control Panel, 118
Device Manager, 326
Disk Management, 557
documents, 279–280
Ease of Access Center, 154
email attachments, 487–488
Favorites Center, 458
Fonts folder, 172
icons, 33, 35
items with single mouse-click, 162
Network and Sharing Center, 530
personal folder, 187
Pictures folder, 341
Public folder, 535
saved searches, 241
Security Center, 422–423
Start menu, 58
startup programs automatically, 262
594
submenus, 26
tabs, 454, 455
user accounts, 510
Welcome Center, 16
Windows Calendar, 495
Windows Contacts, 494
Windows Defender, 435–436
Windows Explorer, 190, 193
Windows Live Messenger, 501
Windows Media Player files, 359
Windows Photo Gallery, 338
Windows Sidebar, 90
open-source software, 275
ordering prints online, 353
Organize button (Windows Explorer), 190
organizing email messages, 482
Outlook, 471
Outlook Express. See Windows Mail
ownership of files/folders, 280
P
page ranges for printing, 298
Paint, 276, 305
panes
Advanced Search, 234
Details, 199
Fix, 351
Info, 347
Media Player library, 375
Navigation, 196, 197
Now Playing tab, 365
Parental Controls
filtering DVD play with, 388
setting, 440–441, 466, 513
partitions, 557, 577, 578
passkey exchange, 325
passwords
creating password reset disk, 514
editing user account, 512
entering at log on, 2
hints for user account, 513
logon hints, 4
Paste command
about, 48, 49
moving and copying files and folders with, 212
undoing, 50
Paste Special command, 50
path to personal folders, 58
pathnames, 194, 195
peer-to-peer networks, 519
performance
deleting unneeded startup programs, 262
disabling visual effects, 175
flash memory, 562
Performance tab (Windows Task Manager), 553
peripherals, 313. See also devices
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previewing
folder icons, 192
Movie Maker projects or clips, 402
window thumbnails, 77
Print dialog box, 297, 298, 309
print queues, 300–301
print servers, 294, 296
print spoolers, 300
printer drivers
defined, 286
finding, 291
installing, 286, 287–289
using multiple, 292
printers. See also printer drivers
changing default settings for, 295–296
finding drivers for, 291
icons for, 294
installing local, 286–289
money-saving options for ink cartridges, 301
naming, 288
renaming, 290
reviewing or setting security for, 296
sharing, 293–295, 519
test pages for, 288
troubleshooting, 299
Printers folder, 289, 290, 310
printing
background, 285, 296
directory listings, 192
documents, 297–299
email messages, 483
fonts, 173
managing print queue, 300–301
photos, 352
print server advantages for, 294
separator pages for shared, 295
system information, 552
webpages, 463
privacy
erasing browsing history, 450, 464
Media Player options for, 381
searching files of other users, 232
viewing webpage visits on Web Document tab, 99
Privacy tab (Internet Options dialog box), 466
Problem Reports and Solutions, 561
Problem with Shortcut dialog box, 96
processors. See CPUs
product key
entering during installation, 578
finding, 574
leaving blank during installation, 576
Program Compatibility wizard, 263
Program Files folder, 183
programs. See applications; utilities
595
Index
permissions
account types and, 511
file and folder access denied, 280
read-only files, 278
setting for file sharing, 536, 537
unable to delete files or folders, 218
personal folders
about, 185
opening, 187
path to, 58
reasons to use, 186
sharing, 379
Phishing Filter, 464
Photo Gallery. See Windows Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery Viewer, 302
photos. See digital photos
photo-sharing websites, 354
Pictures folder, 335, 341
pinned items on Start menu, 56, 61–62
playing
DVDs, 388–389
music CDs, 361–363
playlists
auto, 382, 385
creating and editing regular, 383–384
defined, 382
DVD, 389
Media Player, 362
Plug and Play (PnP) devices, 286, 320, 329
pointing, 21. See also mouse pointers
POP3-access websites, 482
Pop-Up Blocker, 460–461, 464
pop-up tips, 58
portable computers. See laptops
portable devices
connected to computer, 182
letters assigned to, 184
removing from library, 380
portable music players, 387, 569
ports
common PC, 316
configuring firewall exceptions for, 430
firewall protection of, 429
printer, 287, 295
Power button, 13
power management, 163–170
about, 163–164
battery icons, 166
locked computers and, 9
power used by sleeping computers, 13
setting low and critical battery behavior, 167
working with power plans, 164–169
Power Options dialog box, 167, 169
power saver power plan, 165, 167
Power Users group, 253
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projects
adding clips to, 401
creating, 399
editing, 400–402
previewing Movie Maker, 402
viewing properties of, 399
properties
adding and changing, 199–200
changing printer’s default, 295–296
common search, 228
dialog boxes for, 47
digital camera’s, 333
displaying item’s, 46
editing Recycle Bin’s capacity, 221
read-only, 47
removing, 200
shortcut, 99–100
showing device’s, 327
tagging digital photos, 334
tags as, 198
viewing email, 482
Properties dialog box
changing printer’s defaults in, 295–296
checking drive’s format in, 222
customizing folders in, 206
displaying device’s properties, 327
opening from Print dialog box, 297
Sharing tab for, 538
types of, 47
Unblock button for Mail, 489
Web Document tab, 99
Public folder, 534, 535
publishing movies, 409
Index
Q
questionnaire for Ease of Access, 155
Quick Launch toolbar
about, 73, 83
adding and deleting buttons on, 87–88
displaying, 75
launching programs, 260–261
Quick Tabs button, 456
QuickTime files, 360
R
radio stations, 369
RAW format, 340
reading email, 481–482
read-only properties, 47, 278
ReadyBoost memory, 562
rearranging clips, 401
receiving faxes, 311–312
recommended websites, 448
596
recording
audio clips, 408
configuring devices for, 142
recovering
after crash, 566, 570
deleted files, 219, 220
Recycle Bin, 217–221
recycling old computers, 580
refresh rate, 129, 133
refreshing webpages, 450
Regional Language Options dialog box, 148, 149
registration information, 179
Registry Editor, 560
regular playlists, 383–384
Remote Assistance, 110–115
about, 110
configuring, 111–112
connecting to earlier Windows computers, 112
getting help with, 113–114
minimizing windows for, 115
Remote Desktop and, 547
remote computers
configuring VPN connections to, 541
defined, 539, 542
dialing up, 540
Remote Desktop keyboard shortcuts for, 547
retrieving system information for, 552
setting up for Remote Desktop, 542–543
shutting down, 546
Remote Desktop
about, 539
connecting to, 544–547
illustrated, 545
keyboard shortcuts, 547
setting up remote computer, 542–543
remote networking, 539
Remote tab (System Properties dialog box), 542
removable devices
digital cameras as removable disks, 321
listing, 182
sharing files with, 534
removing
banner advertisements, 464
fonts, 174
gadgets, 92
hardware, 317
photos from Windows Photo Gallery, 343
pinned items on Start menu, 62
printers, 290
programs, 257–258
properties, 200
scanner drivers, 304
shortcut-menus entries, 29
unneeded files, 554
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S
Safe Mode, 570
satellite internet connections, 414
Save As dialog box, 256
Save dialog box, 277
saved search icons, 33
saving
data in intermediate formats, 51
documents in applications, 277–278
drafts of email, 478
email attachments, 487–488
files before switching users, 7
IM conversations, 505
Messenger contacts, 503
modified files, 200
playlists, 382, 383, 385
searches, 241
webpages, 463
scanners, 303–304, 337
scanning. See also Windows Fax and Scan
choosing file formats for images, 305
files with Defender, 437–438
organizing scanned documents, 303
removing scanner drivers, 304
using Fax and Scan, 304–305
Windows Photo Gallery for, 302
scheduling tasks, 558–559
screen capture, 109
screen resolution, 129, 131–132
Screen Saver Settings dialog box, 125
screen savers, 125–126
Scroll Lock key, 43
scroll wheel, 20
scroll-bar short-cut menu, 43
scrolling, 42–43, 453
Search box. See also searches
common search properties for, 228
Control Panel, 119, 231
finding photos by name, tag, or caption, 350
folder window, 232
Internet Explorer’s, 446, 451–452
Mail, 472, 485
searching newsgroup messages with, 493
Start menu, 56, 230
webpage searches from, 447
Windows Explorer’s, 188, 189, 191
search engines, 451, 452
Search folder, 233–236
Search tab (Folder Options dialog box), 236
searches, 228–241
about, 228
advanced, 234, 237
Control Panel, 119, 231
digital photos, 347
file properties for, 228
folder window, 232
Help and Support, 107
indexes and, 239–240
Mail for messages, 485
Media Player library, 380–381
natural-language, 238
saving, 241
Search folder for, 233–236
Start menu, 56, 230
using photo file tags, 348–349
webpages, 446, 451–452
wildcard characters for, 229
Windows Explorer, 191
Index
renaming
files and folders, 211
network computers, 527
printers, 290
shortcuts, 98
songs, 372
Start menu items, 69
repairing
hard drive errors, 556
programs, 257–258
replying to email, 484
resizing
desktop images, 124
taskbar, 79
toolbar, 85
windows, 38
Restart option, 12
restoring
backed-up files, 568
classic visual scheme, 177
local computer’s desktop, 546
system files, 564–565
windows, 38, 39, 75
Windows Vista defaults, 47
ribbons, 31
right-click menus. See shortcut menus
right-clicking mouse, 21
right-dragging, 213
ripping CDs, 370–373
roaming user profiles, 518
rolling back
as backup strategy, 569
device drivers, 328, 433
routers, 426, 524
RSS feeds, 463
Run command, 57
Run dialog box, 260
running older programs
16-bit programs, 263
compatibility of upgraded systems with
programs, 253
installing DOS-based programs, 253
setting preferred language, 152
using 256-color DOS support, 132
597
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Index
security. See also Windows Defender; Windows
Security Center
against viruses and spyware, 434–439
Bluetooth passkeys, 325
checking status of, 422–424
data encryption, 442–443
enabling/disabling Windows Firewall, 428–429
erasing browsing history, 450, 464
Media Player options for, 381
new features in, xiii
Parental Controls, 388, 440–441, 466, 513
printer, 296
Remote Assistance and, 110, 114
secure logon, 4
setting Internet Explorer, 465
testing online vulnerabilities, 429
unblocking and opening attachments, 488–489
updating Vista, 431–433
User Account Control, 1, 515, 517
using firewalls, 426–430
Windows Live Messenger options for, 506
Security Center. See Windows Security Center
Select Recipients dialog box, 477
sending
email, 475–479
faxes, 308–310
files and folders, 215–216
instant messages, 504
servers
anonymous proxy, 467
mail, 474
print, 294, 296
URLs for, 447
Service Packs (SP)
about, 431
displaying information about, 179
share names, 538
shared printers, 293–295, 519
shareware, xiv
Sharing and Discovery options (Network and
Sharing Center), 530, 532, 535
sharing files, 534–538
any-folder sharing, 535–538
icon for shared files and folders, 538
Messenger for, 506–507
Network folder for, 528
sharing personal folders, 379
using Public folder for, 534, 535
Sharing tab (Properties dialog box), 293, 538
Shift-click, 24
Shift-drag, 24
shortcut icons
changing default, 100
deleting, 88
shortcut menus vs., 94
598
shortcut menus
about, 28
choosing properties from, 46
displaying Windows Sidebar, 90
scroll-bar, 43
selecting commands from, 29
shortcut icons vs., 94
shortcuts, 94–102. See also keyboard shortcuts
arranging on desktop, 101–102
creating, 95
deleting, 98
displaying system-folder, 97
properties of, 99–100
renaming, 98
setting up application and webpage, 96
showing/hiding
Details and Preview panes, 177
elements of Internet Explorer interface, 448
email headers, 486
file extensions, 282
files and folders, 443
read email, 482
taskbar, 77, 78
taskbar toolbars, 85
Windows Live Today window, 502
shutting down computer, 12, 14, 546
sidebar. See Windows Sidebar
signatures, 477
signed device drivers, 323
signing in/out of Messenger, 499, 500–502
single-click opening of items, 162
skins, 367
Sleep option, 12, 13
Snipping Tool, 109
Software Explorer tool, 438
software updates. See updates
sorting
All Programs menu alphabetically, 65
files, 203–203
sound
adding audio tracks to Movie Maker, 407
controlling volume of, 140
playing during instant messaging, 406
setting up system, 143
sound cards, 157
Sound Recorder, 408
spam filters, 481
speakers
adjusting volume for, 140
configuring volume of, 142
required for Media Player, 359
Speech Properties dialog box, 161
speech recognition, 157–161
splitting clips, 403
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switching
Control Panel views, 120
programs, 264–265
users, 6, 7
Sync Center, 550
synchronizing
computer times, 147
documents, 548, 549, 550
portable music players, 387
system folders
displaying shortcuts on desktop, 97
maintaining uncompressed files, 223
Vista, 183
system information, 179, 552
System page, 179
system requirements
Remote Desktop, 542
Vista’s, 572–573
System Restore, 563–566
system settings. See Control Panel
system tray. See Notification area
T
tab keyboard shortcuts, 456
tabbed browsing, 454–457
Tablet PC Input Panel toolbar, 84
tags. See file tags
Task Manager. See Windows Task Manager
task scheduling, xiv, 558–559
taskbar, 73–82
activating windows from, 74
adding toolbars to, 83–86
auto-hiding, 77, 78
custom toolbar for, 86
customizing, 76–77
defined, 18, 73
illustrated, 17, 73
locking, 77, 78, 84
moving, 78
notification area of, 80–82
pressing buttons from keyboard, 74
recommended settings for, 77
resizing, 79
showing/hiding toolbars of, 85
Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box, 69,
76, 81
telephones
HomePNA networks, 522
making calls with Live Call, 507
templates, folder, 206
testing
computer for online vulnerabilities, 429
printers, 288
restored backups, 568
text editors, 275
599
Index
spyware
about, 425
antispyware resources, 439
blocking pop-up, 461
checking free programs for, xiv
protecting against, 435–436
stacking files, 204, 205
Standard accounts, 511, 512, 517
Standard color scheme, 122
Start button, 17, 57, 58, 73
Start menu, 56–72
about, 18, 55, 56
adding items to, 61
All Programs menu, 63–68
choosing item from, 60
columns on, 59
customizing, 69–72
illustrated, 56
launching programs, 260–261
new features of, 57
opening and closing, 58
opening personal folder from, 187
pinned items on, 56, 61–62
renaming items on, 69
using Search box, 56, 230
Starter edition, xv
starting
Internet Explorer, 446
Windows Mail, 472
Windows Media Player, 359
Windows Movie Maker, 393
Windows Task Manager, 553
startup drive, 578
Startup folder, 262
startup programs, 262, 502
static IP connections, 419–420
Status dialog box, 417, 531
Sticky Keys, 23, 153
storage devices. See also hard drives; portable devices
letters assigned to, 184
listing of removable, 182
USB flash drives, 182
storyboard view
adding transitions in Movie Maker, 405
rearranging or removing clips in, 401
switching to, 400
streaming music, 369
subfolders
defined, 181
organizing with, 186
suggested for personal folder, 185
submenus
illustrated, 25
opening, 26
setting up on All Programs menu, 68
Switch Between Windows button, 87
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Index
Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, 150
themes, 127–128
third-party firewall applications, 427
threads, 492
thumbnails
previewing, 77
viewing imported video clips as, 396
TIFF file format, 340
time
configuring, 145–147
controlling internet use by, 441
labeling photos with, 347
localizing, 148
timeline display for, 400
Time Zone Settings dialog box, 146
timeline view
adding transitions in Movie Maker, 405
rearranging or removing clips in, 401
switching to, 400
title bars, 36, 40
titles for movies, 406
toggle buttons, 32
Toggle Keys, 153
toner cartridges, 301
toolbars. See also Quick Launch toolbar
about, 32
adding to taskbar, 83–86
Address, 36, 83, 84
custom, 85
defined, 19
Desktop, 83
Help, 105
illustrated, 17, 32
Internet Explorer’s, 446
Links, 83, 458
Quick Launch, 73, 75, 83, 87–88
resizing, 85
showing/hiding on taskbar, 85
Tablet PC Input Panel, 84
Windows Media player, 84
tooltips, 32, 73
transferring data, 48–53
clipboard for, 50
cut, copy, and paste for, 48–49
drag-and-drop, 51
importing and exporting data, 52
inserting OLE objects, 53
saving data in intermediate formats, 51
transitions in Movie Maker, 405
trimming clips, 404
troubleshooting
Bluetooth devices, 325
burning CDs, 386
checking online for solutions, 561
correcting speech recognition errors, 160
detecting hard disk errors, 556
emailed photos too large, 354
600
hardware, 329
Help and Support topics for, 551
internet connections, 418
killing programs, 267–269
printers, 299
problems with shortcut, 96
recovering after crash, 566, 570
Remote Desktop connections, 546
System Restore, 563–566
updates, 433
Windows Mail, 478
Windows Media Player online website for, 360
Windows Task Manager for, 553
tskill command-line program, 268
TTS (Text-to-Speech) utility, 157, 161
turning off you computer, 12, 14, 546
U
UAC (User Account Control), 1, 515, 517
Ultimate Edition extras, 276
UNC (Uniform Naming Convention), 529
Undo command, 50
uninstalling
drivers for PnP devices, 329
gadgets, 92
programs, 257–258
updates, 433
unlocking you computer, 9
unsigned device drivers, 323
Update Driver Software wizard, 328
updated features in Vista, xvi–xvii
updates
checking during Vista upgrades, 574
device driver, 328, 433
digital camera software, 333
security patches and, 421
uninstalling, 433
Windows Vista, 431–433
Upgrade Advisor, 573
Upgrade installations, 575
upgrading
backing up files before, 573
choosing installation types, 575
clean install vs., xviii
connecting to internet, 574
earlier Windows versions capable of, xviii
file-type associations changed during, 178
finding product key, 574
installing Vista software, 576–578
network settings needed for, 574
to other Vista editions, xv
plug in and switch on devices, 574
program compatibility after, 253
system requirements for, 572–573
turning off antivirus programs, 573
Uplink port, 521
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users. See also user accounts
access for disabled, 153–156
active and disconnected, 6
deleting or adding All Programs items for all,
66–67
making programs available to all, 254
viewing logged on, 7
Users folder, about, 183
utilities
Calculator, 270
Character Map, 270
Check Disk, 556
clipboard, 50
Command Prompt, 271–272
Connect to a Network Projector, 273
Disk Cleanup, 554
Disk Management, 557
font management, 174
free, 269, 275, 425
games, 273
keyboard, 24
laptop, 550
Notepad, 275
Paint, 276, 305
ReadyBoost, 562
Registry Editor, 560
shortcut-menus entries added by, 29
System Restore, 563–566
Text-to-Speech, 157, 161
undelete utilities and file shredders, 219
Windows Meeting Space, 274, 534
WordPad, 276
V
video. See also Windows Movie Maker
capturing from VCR and TV, 397
hardware requirements for editing, 391
importing, 394–397
watching in Windows Photo Gallery, 355
video calls, 507
video cards
color representation and memory of, 130
managing color profiles for, 134
requirements for Windows Aero with, 122
viewing hardware properties of, 132
viewing
all tabs at once, 456
computer’s Windows Experience Index, 179
contents of hard drives, 183
digital photos, 344–346
faxes, 311–312
filtered files, 202–203
fonts, 173
imported video as thumbnails, 396
Media Player library, 375
Index
UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply), 163
URLs (Uniform Resource Locators)
about, 447
navigating webpages using, 447, 449
USB devices, attaching, 14
USB flash drives, 182
Usenet, 492–493
User Account Control dialog box, 1, 515
user accounts, 509–518. See also users
about, 2
deleting, 515
disabling, 516
editing, 512–513
entering name at log on, 2
Parental Controls for, 513
password reset disk for, 514
setting up, 510–511
types of, 511
user profiles, 518
User Accounts dialog box, 516
user interface, 17–19. See also desktop; menus
about, 19
about Aero, xiii
Backup and Restore Center, 567
clipboard, 50
customizing color and appearance, 119
desktop, 17
desktop themes, 127–128
dialog boxes, 17, 19, 44–45
elements of, 18–19
icons, 17, 19, 33–35
illustrated, 17
Internet Explorer, 446
Media Player library, 375
menus, 17, 18, 25–32
modifying folder appearance and behavior,
207–209
Network and Sharing Center, 530
Remote Desktop, 545
ribbons, 31
screen savers, 125–126
Security Center, 423
setting desktop background, 123–124
setting window colors and color scheme, 121–122
shortcut menus, 28–29
showing/hiding elements of Internet Explorer,
448
toolbars, 17, 19, 32
Vista’s control of, xiv
windows, 36–44
Windows Live Messenger, 501
Windows Mail, 472
Windows Media Player, 358, 359, 362, 364
Windows Mobility Center, 550
Windows Movie Maker, 392
user profiles, 518
601
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Movie Maker project properties, 399
programs and processes running, 8, 553
users logged on, 7
visualizations, 366
webpages in HTML, 468
views
applying to folders, 191
changing photo, 345
switching between Movie Maker views, 400
Views button (Windows Explorer), 190
viruses
about, 425
defending against, 434–435
disguised as file extensions, 281
DRM software as, 436
high-risk file types, 488
System Restore and, 565
visual effects, 175
visualizations, 365, 366
volume, sound, 140
volumes, hard disk, 181, 557
VPNs (virtual private networks), 539, 541
Index
W
wallpaper, 123–124
web browsers. See also Internet Explorer
clearing browsing history, 450, 464
defined, 445
Mozilla Firefox, 52, 445
tips for Internet Explorer, 462–469
web cameras, 397
Web Document tab (Properties dialog box), 99
websites
adding to Links bar, 458
add-ons for, 469
anonymous surfing of, 466–467
bookmarking, 457–459
book’s, xx
browsing Windows Help and Support, 105–106
bypassing registration for, 468
defined, 445
downloading programs from, 255–256
help resources, 108
links to, 448
navigating, 447, 450
noncommercial, 453
photo-sharing, 354
POP3-access, 482
printing and saving pages, 463
recommended, 448
scrolling on, 453
searching, 446, 451–452
setting as home page, 459
shortcuts to, 96
SourceForge, 275
tracking cookies, 466
602
URLs for navigating, 447, 449
viewing in HTML, 468
Welcome Center, 15, 16
Welcome screen, 4
wildcard characters, 229
windows, 36–44. See also classic look
about, 36
activating, 37, 74
blocking pop-up, 460–461
closing, 40
defined, 19
desktop as window, 41
dialog boxes vs., 45
displaying folders in, 184
Flip 3D feature, 264–265
folder, 188
help links in, 105
hiding Details and Preview panes in, 177
illustrated, 17, 36
inactive, 38
managing from taskbar, 74–75
maximizing, 38, 39, 74
minimizing, 38, 39, 75, 115
moving, 40
previewing thumbnails of, 77
resizing, 38
restoring, 38, 39, 75
scrolling in, 42–43
selecting all icons in, 34
setting colors and color scheme, 121–122
Windows 3.1/95, 263
Windows Anytime Upgrade, xv
Windows Boot Manager, 575
Windows Calendar, 495–496
Windows Contacts, 494
Windows Defender, 435–438
Windows Easy Transfer, 580
Windows Experience Index, 179
Windows Explorer, 188–197
about, 188
Address bar for navigating in, 194–195
customizing Favorite Links list, 196
Folders list for navigation, 197
icons opening in, 33
keyboard shortcuts for, 248–249
launching Internet Explorer from, 449
moving and copying files/folders, 212–214
opening, 190, 193
parts of, 188, 189
printing directory listings, 192
Search box in, 188, 189, 191
selecting column headings displayed, 201
using, 190–192
working with multiple icons in, 34
Windows Fax and Scan
about, 302
configuring faxing, 306–307
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Windows Media Center, 357
Windows Media Player. See also library for Windows
Media Player
about, 357
burning music CDs, 386–387
buying media online, 368
customizing Now Playing tab, 364–365
DVD play in, 388–389
keyboard shortcuts for, 390
library for, 374–382
listening to radio stations on, 369
menus for, 360
music CD play with, 361–363
online troubleshooting website, 360
playlists, 382–386
privacy and security options for, 381
ripping CDs, 370–373
skins for, 367
starting, 359
tabs for, 358, 359
toolbar for, 84
user interface, 358, 359, 362, 364
visualizations for, 366
working with media information, 373, 377
Windows Meeting Space, 274, 534
Windows Messenger. See Windows Live Messenger
Windows Mobility Center, 550
Windows Movie Maker, 391–409
about, 391
adding clips to projects, 401
audio tracks inserted with, 407
compatible file formats for, 395
creating movies automatically, 402
creating projects in, 399
effects in, 406
getting started in, 392–393
importing digital video to, 394–397
inserting title and credits, 406
narrating movies, 408
organizing clip collections, 398
previewing projects or clips, 402
publishing movies, 409
splitting and combining clips, 403
switching between storyboard and timeline views,
400
transitions in, 405
trimming clips, 404
viewing project properties, 399
Windows Online Help and Support website, 107, 108
Windows Photo Gallery
adding and removing photos in, 343
button controls for, 346
changing default options for, 339–341
displaying photos in, 335
folders added to, 342
importing photos with, 336
Info pane in, 347
603
Index
emailing scanned files in, 310
installing local and network scanners, 303–304
monitoring status of faxes, 308, 311
organizing scanned documents, 303
scanning with, 304–305
sending fax with, 308
Windows Features dialog box, 259
Windows Firewall
about, 427
configuring exceptions for programs, 430
enabling and disabling, 428–429
port protection by, 429
Remote Assistance blocked by, 112
Windows folder, 183
Windows Help and Support
browsing, 105–106
finding troubleshooting topics in, 551
searching, 107
starting, 104
Windows Live Call, 507
Windows Live Messenger, 497–507
allowing communications through firewalls, 500
blocking contacts, 503, 505
creating contacts for, 503
downloading and installing, 498–499
help for, 504
icon for, 501
illustrated, 500, 501
security options for, 506
sharing or transferring files, 506–507
sign-in page, 499
signing in and out, 500–502
using, 504–507
Windows logo key, xx, 23, 249
Windows Mail, 471–491
attached files, 476, 487–488
blocking digital photos, 489
checking for messages, 480–481
composing and sending email, 475–479
configuring message rules for, 490–491
finding messages, 485
flagging mail, 485
formatting email, 479
forwarding email, 484
illustrated, 472
options for, 478
printing and deleting messages, 483
reading email, 481–482
replying to messages, 484
saving email drafts, 478
setting up account in, 473–474
starting, 472
troubleshooting, 478
types of mail servers, 474
unblocking and opening attachments, 488–489
using as newsreader, 492–493
Windows Marketplace Tested Products list, 315
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Index
keyboard shortcuts, 355
opening, 338
Pictures folder and, 341
scanning documents with, 302
touching up photos, 351
viewers other than, 346
Windows Security Alert dialog box, 500
Windows Security Center
checking security status, 422–424
defending against viruses and spyware, 434–439
enabling/disabling alerts, 424
messages and warning, 422, 424
user interface, 423
working with third-party firewalls, 427
Windows Sidebar, 89–93
about, 18, 89
adding gadget, 91–92
customizing, 91
gadgets on, 89
illustrated, 17, 55, 89
opening, closing, and exiting, 90
removing gadgets, 92
Windows Task Manager
killing programs from, 267–269
logging off someone else, 11
starting, 553
viewing logged-on users from, 7
viewing programs running, 8, 553
Windows Update, 431–433
Windows Update Driver Settings dialog box, 322
Windows Vista, 571–580. See also classic look; new
features; user interface
about, 1
activating, 576, 579
buying compatible hardware for, 315
changing display font for, 172
choosing installation types, 575
classic look for, 176–178
detecting and importing newest photos, 335
displaying system information, 179, 552
editions of, xv, 276, 566
file-type associations changed in upgrade, 178
functions provided by, xiv
handling deleted files, 219
help in, 103
installing, 576–578
interface for, 17–19
logging on, 2–4
network support in, 519
new and updated features in, xiii, xvi–xvii
Parental Controls, 440–441
product key, 574
restoring factory defaults for, 47
running older programs with, 132, 152, 253, 263
search feature in, 228
system requirements for, 572–573
604
updates for, 431–433
Upgrade Advisor for, 573
Vista Capable vs. Vista Premium Ready
computers, 572
Windows versions capable of upgrading, xviii
XPS viewer in, 291
Windows XP/ Windows XP Server 2003, 112
winks, 505
WinRAR, 225
WinZip, 225
wireless networks
about, 521–522
ad hoc networks, 529
printer installation for, 289–290
setting up, 525
wireless internet connections, 412, 414, 416
wizards, 45, 252–253
WordPad, 160, 276
workgroup networks, 519
workgroups, 509, 527–528
X
XPS Document Writer, 291
Z
zipped folders
about .zip files, 224, 225
adding and extracting files and folders for, 227
backing up files, 569
creating, 226
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