Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Windows 7 Cool New Features: Cont’d

After my last post, I decided I really needed to talk about a few other features. There may even be one more after this one. :-)


Have an application that you use a lot? Well now you can access it even faster. Windows 7 has done away with the concept of a quick launch bar in favor of Pinning. With this feature, you can take applications and pin them to either the Taskbar or the Start Menu. Just take an application in the start menu, right click on it and select either Pin to Taskbar or Pin to Start Menu.
But pinning can be even easier.  You can simply drag and drop an icon from your desktop to your Taskbar and it will automatically pin it to the task bar. And even easier than that: if you are currently running a program, you can simply right click on its icon on the Taskbar, select Pin this program to taskbar and presto! Your application is now pinned and will show up on the Taskbar even when it isn’t running, giving you quick access to launch it whenever you want.

Windows Search

Gone are the days of having to sift through the morass that is the Programs folder in the Start Menu. Gone are the days of having to manually hunt down files in your My Documents or Recent Documents folders. Enter Windows Search. Now just open up the Start Menu and start typing. “Typing what?" you might ask. Just about anything. Windows Search can find files and programs based on partial names, descriptions, even the date you last modified them. For example: Say I don’t remember the name of a digital picture I took because I never renamed it from the random set of numbers the camera assigns to it. And say I don’t remember where in my 7GB of pictures I put the thing. But I do remember what day I took the photo. Just type in the date into Windows Search and BOOM. There’s the photo in the list. And all of this, happens in an instant without having to click a single button.

Aero Flip 3D

So you know that you can focus on a single window by simply shaking it now. But how do you find that window. Simple: Aero Flip 3D1. Just hold down the Windows Logo key Windows Logo Key and press the TAB key. You will be able to select the window you want by either continuously pressing TAB or by clicking on it when you see it. Note that the standard ALT+TAB method of switching between windows is also still available.
Aero Flip 3D


Wow, that is a lot so far and I’ve barely scratched the surface. Come back next time when we will take a look at Desktop Gadgets, Aero Peek, and Libraries.
1 Aero needs to be enabled in order to use this feature. As such, your PC will have to support Aero and you will have to be using a Windows 7 theme.

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