January 3, 2010

How to Use the Desktop Features of your Vista Computer

snapshot of vista computer desktop included in the article How to Use your Vista Computer's Desktop Features

Microsoft has radically changed the desktop look and feel in the Vista operating system and added a host of new features that were not found on the old XP operating system. Most noticeable would be the bold and colorful icons on the desktop and the new rounded and solid look of the Vista windows.

Of course you can't help but notice the new sidebar where you can add or remove a lot of interesting gadgets. But most interesting to notice also are the many changes Microsoft has made on the start menu and taskbar. Be sure you know how your Vista computer's desktop features work so you can use them when you feel the need to avail of the utility that they are offering.

The Vista start search tool provides an extensive search capability that encompasses both web pages and files on the computer. Typing a search term will initially display files containing the search term on their names as well as web pages that have the search term on their title or file names.

Pressing the enter key on your keyboard will open the highlighted document on the short list. Clicking on the search everywhere option will bring up a list of files that contain the search term either on their file names or inside the document. Clicking on the advanced search on the long list will bring up a form which you can fill out to locate the document that you are looking for.

This search feature comes in handy when the number of files in your folders has grown to a large number that you can't exactly remember the names of the files that you want to work on. Of course you don't want this to happen and when it does, it signals the need to reorganize the mother folder and create new folders where some of the files can be moved.

When the contents of my document folder reached more than five hundred items and before I have reorganized the folder, this search feature had become a really useful tool for me. I just have to type one word in the file name that I can remember and then I immediately find the file I am interested in. A nice feature of this search tool is that it displays the most recently worked on files first so you can be sure that the file you're looking for is near the top of the selections.

Beside the Vista start button to the right of the taskbar are two icons that can help you get out of the cluttered desktop to find a missing window that you want to work on. Use the show desktop to minimize all windows on the desktop so you can see and click any desktop icon that you want to work on. Use the switch between windows icon to display all the open windows in an orderly arrangement so that you can easily choose the open window that you're interested in.

Another very useful feature of the Vista taskbar is the quick launch toolbar which you can find just beside the Vista start button. You can put most of your frequently used programs in the quick launch toolbar so that you can save a number of start menu clicks and immediately bring up the program that you want to use.

To place an item in the Quick Launch Toolbar, just click on your Vista computer's start button and look for the program that you're interested in. Right click the program and then click on add to the quick launch toolbar option. To remove an item, just right click that item on the quick launch toolbar and click the delete option.

When you right click your Vista computer's taskbar, you are given a choice for arranging the open windows on your desktop. You can choose to put the windows in a cascading view or on top of each other or side by side of each other. From here, you can also enable or disable any toolbar or add another one as well view or change the properties of the taskbar.

Toward the right hand side of the taskbar are notification icons which you can also customize. Not frequently used items in the notification area are automatically hidden and you can use the arrow button to display or hide the other icons that are not visible.

Just because your Vista computer's desktop features are there does not mean you have to use them all. You just have to choose which ones would be most useful to you based on your knowledge of how you use your computer. For others that are not of immediate usefulness, just know that they are there so you can look for them when the time comes that you feel a need to use them.

Read this article so you can figure out how you can hear your microphone on your Vista computer's speakers: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2009/03/why-cant-my-voice-be-heard-on-speakers.html.

Read an article on working quickly while taking care of your Vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2011/12/working-quickly-while-taking-care-of.html.

Read this article so you can know how you can increase the volume of you Vista computer's microphone: http://sites.google.com/site/thetechnicaljournal/how-to-increase-the-sound-pickup-of-your-vista-computer-s-microphone-2.