Tag Archives: windows-explorer

What’s New in Windows 7: Window Management

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I’ve been playing with Windows 7 on my HP TouchSmart for a few days now. I have to admit – I really like it. One of the most interesting upgrades Microsoft has incorporated is the way windows are managed inside of the operating system.

I opened a Windows Explorer window, along with an IE8 window. Let’s say you want to have them running side-by-side. It’s kind of tricky to get them optimized to take up only part of the screen. Well, Microsoft has made it simple inside of Windows 7.

Simply grab one of the windows and drag it over to the left until a window skeleton appears, and drop it. Grab the other window and drag it to the right until the window skeleton appears again, and drop it. Now I can browse both. Windows 7 will automatically resize it. When I’m finished, I just drag-and-drop them away.

When I want to maximize, I could double-click the title bar, but that’s so old school. I just click and drag the window to the top of the screen and let go… or drag it away. If you want to go full-screen with an app, drag it to the top. If you want to minimize it to the task bar, just drag it there, as well.

No matter what kind of computer or screen you’re running, I think you’ll have an easier time managing your windows inside of Windows 7… especially if you’re using a smaller screen and trying to maximize your screen real estate.

If you know of any other cool shortcuts or upgrades inside of Windows 7, be sure to send me an email so I can check them out – and share them with the rest of the world!

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Features in the Vista Explorer are Somewhat Lost

The question, as asked by live chatter Alix:

I just bought a new laptop that came pre-installed with Vista Business. I upgraded DIRECTLY from 2000, more or less. I have used and still do use it, but I didn’t like it for my personal use. Vista, I am very happy with.

My question is… what happened to the toolbar that was in folder view (and can I get it back)? It’s a tiny think, I know. The toolbar (for clarity) that’s similar to a browser toolbar that had the icons for delete and refresh etc. I know that these options are still available through the ‘Organise’ or through keyboard shortcuts like ‘delete’ and f5′ etc… All Google has come up with (for my search terms anyway) are results on adding toolbars (folders) to the taskbar or desktop.

Thank you (in advance) for any info you can direct my way.

Solution: upgrade back to Windows XP. Microsoft changed the Explorer interface in Vista, and there’s no way around it (other than possibly using third-party Windows Explorer replacements / alternative file manager tools).

And before any of you Windows apologists swing in to “save the day,” Alix is most certainly talking about the Toolbar (which cannot be customized at all). He’s not refering to the Explorer Menu bar, which remains hidden by default (but can be toggled on). There’s a difference.

Ten Things I Love About Windows Vista

I’m not blind, folks.

  1. ReadyBoost. This feature really does make Vista infinitely more responsive. You must pick up an Apacer HT203 2GB stick or two – immediately. I hate its casing, but I can’t argue with the Apacer’s speed. ReadyBoost isn’t just optional – it’s necessary. They should bundle an Apacer 2GB with every copy of Windows Vista Ultimate, IMHO.
  2. Start Menu’s Start Search. Very, very nice. I wish Microsoft would remap the Win+R key combo to it, though. I can tell it’s going to be a time saver for many users – myself included. It reminds me of OS X’s Spotlight. Too bad I hate the rest of the Start Menu.
  3. Future Fix Notifications. So, sometimes when Windows Vista crashes, the operating system actually tells you that a fix for the error is coming in a future build of the software. Awesome. No more guesswork! Microsoft Office seems to be enabled with the same feature. A crash isn’t so bad if you know it’s going to be fixed.
  4. Windows Explorer’s Details Pane. This is very useful, especially when I can edit information without actually having to open up a properties sheet for a file. It’s not perfect, but this is an example of how I believe Windows Vista will help users understand that certain files have extended metadata. I only wish more fields could be edited (like for Word documents).
  5. Windows Explorer’s Folders Pane. Horizontal scrollbars are the bane of my existence. They’ve eliminated them partially from the Windows Explorer. When you navigate the Folders pane, it will auto-scroll for you – never displaying a horizontal scrollbar. Intuitive.
  6. Volume Mixer Changes. “Sounds” crazy, but this is a feature everybody wishes they had. You can set volume levels for various programs independently – without touching your default system volume. It’s not amazing, but this is certainly better than what we had before.
  7. Task Manager Additions. While truncated fields lack tool tips, at least you can finally right-click a process to “Open File Location.” I’ve needed that more than a few times. The Services tab should also come in handy.
  8. Windows Explorer’s Breadcrumb Bar. This one may take a little getting used to, but I’m convinced that this is a much more natural way of exploring the files and folders in my system. Very smart use of space.
  9. Richer Drags. When you select multiple objects and drag them around, you’ll see a small box near your cursor which displays how many objects you have selected.
  10. Voice Recognition. It’s not perfect but then again one-eight navigation work the helm a lot better than beat the period. I swear not me without. Why is it to me that. Enough of you at varying. I don’t think we think the software will agree with anybody want you or me and I did bring. Not even close. Let’s try that again. Wow, it might have worked at time. Interesting. You can correct sentences on the fly, though it’s not totally intuitive. This entire paragraph was dictated. I wonder if it’s learning my speech patterns?

Okay, so that last one was thrown in for good measure. All work and no play makes Homer go something-something.

Windows Explorer ToolTips

I don’t know how it happened, but I somehow lost ToolTip functionality in Windows the other day. I’d hover over an icon and NOTHING would show up. Needless to say, I was more than a little perturbed. I did a quick look around the ‘Net and discovered The Elder Geek had an answer that might work. It involves a bit of Registry diving, which is no problem from a seasoned power user like myself. To Enable or Disable Tool Tip Displays, fire up your Registry editor and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer Advanced. Look for “ShowInfoTip” and make sure its value is set to 1. That’s it. Shouldn’t even need a reboot in XP to see ‘er work again.