# Tuesday, 22 September 2009

As I mentioned before, for all the flak that it got Windows Vista introduced some pretty nifty features. Which of course will be available in Windows 7 as well. I'd like to just point out 2 things here which are great time savers and I think most people don't know about.

The first is the Start Menu.

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In previous versions of Windows, the Start Menu got pretty crowded after you have been using Windows for years. You had to sort through and dig around multiple layers of program groups and sub menus before you can find what you're looking for. From Windows Vista onwards you don't need to worry about sorting your items properly because YOU don't have to FIND the items, Windows will do it for you.

And doing it is as simple as bringing up the Start Menu, and just typing what you're looking for. For example say you're looking for WORD, so you just type WORD into the textbox, if you're using a keyboard just press the Windows key and IMMEDIATELY type WORD. It doesn't get any easier than this.

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And then you're presented with the search results, not only from the Start Menu, but also from your documents as well, so your Start Menu is not just a gateway to your Program shortcuts, but also your documents as well. With this little feature I've basically stopped organising my Start Menu since Windows Vista, why bother when everything can be found easily?

The 2nd feature is something that veteran Windows users take for granted.

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Whenever presented with a list of items, and we need a random selection of them. The veteran Windows users will hold down CTRL and start clicking on each item to make the selection. This works of course, but the problem is, what about users who are new to Windows? Or for some reason are unable to hold the CTRL key and click on an item at the same time? For that Microsoft introduced a new feature in Windows Vista to allow such users an easy way of doing multiple selections. First go to the Folder Options dialog.

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Then in the View tab, check the Use check boxes to select items option.

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Now when you mouse over an item, a checkbox will appear to allow you to select the file.

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Notice how there's also a checkbox on the upper left corner of the list to select everything. I found out about this feature after I installed Windows Vista onto my Tablet PC, it seems like it's on by default on computers with touchscreens and pen interfaces. But I find it so useful that I've enabled it on all my systems, and I don't understand why Microsoft didn't set the option to be enabled by default since I feel that it empowers the beginner users to easily select multiple items.


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