Windows: Exploring the desktop | lynda.com


At first glance, the Windows 7 Desktop doesn’t
look much different from the Windows Vista Desktop, but there have been
some changes and improvements. So let’s explore them now. We will begin in the bottom left corner with
the Start button. Now this is
still where you are going to go to start most anything including shutting down
your computer, but we’ll find some subtle changes here too. For example,
when you install new applications like Microsoft Office, for example, you longer
have the choice of displaying a shortcut icon on the Taskbar. Instead what you will
see a newly installed programs appearing for short time on the left-side
of the Start menu down at the bottom of the most recently used list. So you can both be reminded that it’s been
installed and if you so choose, you can pin it to the Taskbar from here. Let’s do this with any application. I’m going to use Microsoft Office Outlook
2007. By right-clicking and choosing Pin
to Taskbar, I now have the shortcut to Outlook that I can access at any time from my Taskbar. You will also notice that it disappeared from
my most recently used list and the next application in this case, Microsoft
Office Excel, is available for me to do the exact same thing and I can repeat
this for any program I want pin to the Taskbar. For example, if we wanted to pin the calculator
there, just move up to the Calculator, right- click and we
can pin that as well. Now you also have the ability to move them
away from the Taskbar if you no longer want them pinned. Let’s just click anywhere on the Desktop to
close up our Start menu. We’ll go down to Outlook, right-click and
you will notice the two choices are to launch the application or unpin
the program from the Taskbar. We’ll do the same with the Calculator. Now you may want to add shortcuts to the Desktop
itself and that’s easily done by dragging the program directly to the Desktop. We’ll go back to our Start button. Let’s say we’d rather have the Calculator
showing up right on the Desktop itself. We can click-and-drag the Calculator away
from the Start menu. Notice it’s going to create a link on the
Desktop and when we release, that’s exactly what we get. This little arrow icon indicates it’s a shortcut. It’s not the application itself and of course,
we can move it around anywhere we want on the Desktop. Now one cool new feature to Windows 7 is something
called Aero Themes and with Aero Themes comes some very handy functionality
as well. First, let’s explore
this by right-clicking anywhere on the Desktop and we’ll choose Personalize. From here, you are going to see Themes starting
with Aero Themes and you will notice with this particular build, we have
got seven different themes to choose from, the Default Theme, and you can see we have
got some other themes to choose from as well. You will see different color schemes. You will see different backgrounds for
wallpaper and so on. We’ll just keep the Windows default, close
this up and now we’ll explore some of that functionality I
was talking about. Let’s open up
some applications. Go to the Start menu and let’s start with
opening up one that we all have, Paint. We’ll go back to the Start menu. We’ll go to All
Programs. You can click that to open it up, click Games
and let’s open up of a game of Solitaire let’s say. Now we are going to open up a couple of Windows
Explorer windows. So back to
the Start button and let’s choose Computer and we can also access Explorer by
default from the Taskbar down at the very bottom. But we’ll go back to the
Start button and choose a different one this time. Let’s go to Documents. So here you can see we’ve got number of windows
opened and if we wanted to focus on let’s say working with Paint, the
easiest way to minimize the other windows is to go to the title bar where we
see Paint, click, hold you mouse button down and shake. This is called Aero Shake and it automatically
minimizes all of the other applications. So now we can focus on what we need to focus
on. To bring them back, we can do the exact same
thing. With our Paint title bar,
click, drag and shake and all the other windows open back up. Now if you also wanted to get organized, let’s
say you have two windows opened side-by-side, so you could move or copy files
from one to the other. Well let’s
go to one of our Windows Explorer windows, click once to select it and
now anywhere in the title bar, click and then drag to the very far left. When you
mouse pointer hits the left side, you can see the outline of a window appear
and when you release, your window is resized and positioned on the left side of your screen. Now all we have to do is find the other one. It’s over here and we’ll go to
the title bar, click-and-drag to the right side, when we release, notice it
snaps into position, this is called Aero Snaps ,and now we have two windows
opened side-by-side. This is ideal, for example, if we wanted to
copy or move files from one location to another. Now we still have our Minimize, our Maximize
and Restore buttons as well as the Close buttons. So let’s close up all of our windows that
we have opened up right now. And this returns us back to our Desktop. Now one last item that we need to discuss
is something you may have noticed was missing when you first installed Windows 7
and accessed the Desktop and that’s the Getting Started or Welcome Center. Now while it no longer appears by
default, you can always access it when needed from the Accessories folder. So let’s click Start, we’ll go to All Programs,
click Accessories and in here you will find Getting Started. When you select Getting Started, which by
the way is the ideal place to learn about all of the Windows features, everything
that’s available, help you get started doing things like backing up the files
and adding users, personalizing Windows and your Aero Themes for example. But once you have loaded it once,
you will notice from the Start menu now, you can click the Start button, move up to
Getting Started and without clicking, move to the right-side to zero in on a
specific task. In other words, you can skip by this whole
window and go directly to the task you want help with. When you are done, just simply close
by clicking the Close button. So that covers some enhancements made to the
Desktop itself but the Taskbar at the bottom of the Desktop has been greatly
improved as well. We’ll explore
that Taskbar in great detail in the next movie.

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