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First published in 2009 by Mike Halsey

www.thelongclimb.com

Copyright © Mike Halsey 2009

The right of Mike Halsey to be identified as the


author of this work has been asserted by him in
accordance with the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication


may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into
a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or
by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording or otherwise, without
the prior written permission of the copyright
holder.

This is a pre-release chapter exclusively for


Windows7News.com that may contain errors
and omissions.

Windows 7 Power Users Guide by Mike Halsey


www.thelongclimb.com 18
Part 3

Exploring
EXPLORING
The Windows 7 Desktop ........................................................................ 22
The taskbar ................................................................................. 22
The notification area ..................................................................... 22
The Start Menu .................................................................................... 23
Pinning start menu items ............................................................... 23
Getting started ............................................................................. 23
Using the taskbar ................................................................................. 24
Live thumbnails ............................................................................ 24
Show desktop .............................................................................. 24
Notification area ........................................................................... 24
Taskbar jumplists ......................................................................... 25
Pinning items to jumplists .............................................................. 25
Pinning programs to the taskbar ..................................................... 25
The action centre.......................................................................... 26
Windows Explorer ................................................................................. 27
Navigation Pane ........................................................................... 27
The Breadcrumb Bar ..................................................................... 28
Previous locations ......................................................................... 28
Choosing how to view files ............................................................. 28
Sorting and Grouping Files ............................................................. 29
Previewing Files ............................................................................ 29
Collapsing groups ......................................................................... 29
Working with folders ..................................................................... 29
The details pane ........................................................................... 30
The menu bar .............................................................................. 30
Hiding picture and photo names ............................................................. 31
Switching between windows................................................................... 31
Flip 3D ........................................................................................ 31
Step-by-step—Changing the default view in Windows Explorer ................. 32
Remembering windows sizes .................................................................. 33
Moving your files away from Windows ..................................................... 33
Step-by-step—Moving your files for data security .............................. 34-36
Part 1—Creating a new partition ..................................................... 34
Part 2—Moving your files ............................................................... 36
QUICK TIPS

A call to action ..................................................................................... 22


Jumplists in the Start Menu ................................................................... 23
Pin items to the Start Menu ................................................................... 23
Using thumbnails to organise Windows .................................................... 24
Running two instances of a program from the Taskbar .............................. 25
Where have all the notification area icons gone? ...................................... 26
Customise your favourite links ............................................................... 27
Change the default explorer view ........................................................... 28
Sorting and grouping by more criteria ..................................................... 29
Different Views in different folders .......................................................... 29
Use the details pane ............................................................................. 30
Want more detail on files? ..................................................................... 30
Hide the names of all your pictures ......................................................... 31
Keep your documents safe..................................................................... 33
THE WINDOWS 7 THE NOTIFICATION
DESKTOP AREA
There have been some changes One of the criticisms in
QUICK TIP
made to the desktop with previous versions of
Windows 7. Some of these Windows was how annoying A call to Action
changes may be familiar to the notification area became.
you, especially if you’ve been This is the area on the right
The new flag in the
using Windows Vista, others side of the taskbar that filled
are completely new. up with icons and alert notification area,
the far right of the
taskbar, is now the
only place you need
to go to , to receive
notifications about
Windows and other
software (including
anti-virus software).

The flag will


highlight with a
cross when there’s a
message for you.

THE TASKBAR balloons, telling you about


things happening on your
Sometimes called the superbar PC.
this is completely redesigned in
Windows 7. You can read more I will talk at more length
about the new taskbar and how about the new notification
it works later in this chapter area later in this chapter.
but it is now a place from
which you can both launch and
manage running and non-
running programs and
applications.
It is
essentially a
merging of
the old
taskbar and
quick launch
area.

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22 www.thelongclimb.com
THE START MENU
The Start Menu hasn’t
QUICK TIP changed much since
Windows Vista but now
includes jumplists which
Jumplists in the will pop out when you
Start Menu click the arrow on the
right side of some Start
Some Start Menu Menu items.
items have a small There is also a search
arrow to their right. box you can
Clicking this will use to find
programs and
bring out a list of files.
options or recent
files / disk locations.

This can simplify


access to common
files and features
within programs. PINNING START
MENU ITEMS
You can pin programs
Pin items to to the Start Menu so
the Start Menu they always
appear there.
If you pin a program You can do this by
right clicking with
to the Start Menu it your mouse and
will always appear selecting Pin to
in the Start Menu taskbar. You can
also pin items to
whenever you press the taskbar this
the Windows key. way and unpin
items.
Right click the
program with your
mouse and select GETTING STARTED
pin / unpin to Start
The first item in the
Menu to do this. Start Menu is called
Getting Started.
You can click on
this to open it in
it’s own window or
open its jumplist.

Here you can


perform post-install
duties such as
personalising your
desktop and adding
more users.

23
USING THE TASKBAR SHOW DESKTOP
The new taskbar is the main
place from which to launch QUICK TIP
programs and manage running
programs.
At the very bottom right of
Using
You can pin programs to the your screen (the far right of thumbnails to
taskbar in the same way as the taskbar) is a small organise
pinning them to the Start button which will show you
Menu (see Pinning Start Menu your desktop. windows
Items) on the previous page.
If you have a lot of
windows open on
your desktop you
can use the live
thumbnails to
organise them.
Hovering over a
thumbnail on the
taskbar will make all
other windows
transparent and
show you the
Rolling your mouse over this selected window,
LIVE THUMBNAILS button will make all the
windows on your desktop go even if that window
transparent. Clicking it will is minimised.
minimise every window. If
you click this button again
every window will be
The live thumbnails have been restored to its full-size.
improved since Windows Vista.
Rolling over an icon on the
taskbar will show you NOTIFICATION AREA
thumbnails of the program. In
the case (above) there are two By default Windows 7 shows
tabs open in Internet Explorer three icons in the
and it will show you both tabs. notification area. The flag is
the new action centre, more
Rolling your mouse over a on that in a bit. Next is
thumbnail will show you the your network connection,
Window full size, making all either wired or wireless.
other windows transparent. The icon for wi-fi
This will also work for connections will show
minimised windows, it will connectivity and signal
restore them for you. strength. The final icon is
for sound. Clicking on it
will bring up the volume
control.

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24 www.thelongclimb.com
TASKBAR
JUMPLISTS
QUICK TIP The new Taskbar
also has jumplists
Running two for many
instances of a programs. You
program from can access these
either by right
the taskbar clicking on the
icon with your mouse
If a program is open or by left clicking with
your mouse and
clicking it’s taskbar pushing the mouse
icon will only upwards, away from
minimise and the icon.
maximise it. There
These jumplists can show
are two ways to you recent files and disk
open a new locations. They can also
instance of the contain features within a
program you may want to
program (say, two access easily.
explorer windows).

1) right click the icon PINNING ITEMS TO


and click on the
JUMPLISTS
name of the
program to open a You may want to pin
second instance of items to jumplists on
it. the taskbar.

2) click the scroll You can do this by right


clicking on the jumplist
wheel between the item and selecting pin /
buttons on your unpin to this list.
mouse (if you have
This can be used to gain
one) which will also quick access to documents
open a second or disk locations you use
instance of the regularly, such as a home
finance spreadsheet.
program

PINNING PROGRAMS
TO THE TASKBAR
If you want to pin a
program to the new
taskbar you can either
right click on it in the
Start Menu and select
Pin to Taskbar or right
click on it’s icon when it is
running and do the same.

25
THE ACTION CENTRE The action centre is your
first port of call to diagnose
Clicking on the flag in the notification and fix problems with
area will bring up the action centre. Windows 7.
This is where all the alert messages,
informing you about things There are options here to
happening with your computer are to Troubleshoot problems
be found. with Windows or use QUICK TIP
Recovery tools if Windows
If there is a message this flag with needs repairing. Where have all
change from plain white to a flag the notification
with a red cross on it. Alerts will be colour-coded
red, yellow or green
area icons gone
The first alert you will see after depending how serious
installing Windows 7 is one advising Windows believes they are. Icons that the new
you to install anti-virus notification area
software. You can click on
the message to find out more hides by default can
about it or click on open be displayed by
action centre to see the action clicking a small up
centre full size.
It’s in the full action centre arrow that appears
that you have control over next to the action
what alerts you choose to centre flag.
see. You can follow step-
though guides to fix common
problems and also view Clicking the
archived messages. customise link in the
window that
appears will allow
you to set
programs, such as
anti-virus software,
to always display in
the notification
area.

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WINDOWS EXPLORER NAVIGATION PANE
As with previous versions The new navigation pane on
QUICK TIP of Windows, Windows the left side of explorer
Explorer is the main way windows allows quick access
you access and organise to Libraries, drives and your
your files and folders. It’s network.
Customise your not changed much since
favourite links Windows Vista, but there Each section is collapsible and
are important changes folds out into a full tree. In
Customising the none the less. addition you can view your
Homegroup
favourite links in the (more on this
Navigation Pane on in the chapter
the left side of Connecting)
There is also a
explorer windows new Favourites
can be a section into
tremendous time which you can
drag and drop
saver. folders, drives
and other
Here you can drag locations for
and drop your quick and
easy access
favourite and most
to them.
commonly accessed
folders and drives, It’s well
either on your own worth
spending
PC or on a local some time
network. By default now, starting putting your
Windows Explorer will most
It’s well worth show you the new commonly
Libraries. I’ll write about used places
spending some time into the
these more later in this
setting this up. chapter. The toolbar along Favourites
the top of the screen now section as
has handy text labels that it’s an
will change depending on enormous
the content you’re looking time saver.
at. These commands will
allow you to do things from
creating folders to burning
files to CD or DVD.

The Breadcrumb bar also


still sits at the top of
Windows Explorer and I’ll
talk about this more in a
moment.

The biggest change is the


Navigation pane along the
left side of the window.

27
THE BREADCRUMB BAR CHOOSING HOW TO
As with Windows Vista the
VIEW FILES
breadcrumb bar is your main QUICK TIP
way of navigating Windows The default way of viewing
Explorer through the drives files and folders is by no
and folders on your PC. means the only way of doing
so. Change the
Each section (folder) is default
separated by an arrow. In the top explorer view
Clicking this arrow will display right of
a drop-down menu that will explorer
allow you to instantly move to windows By default,
any other branch in that point are two Windows Explorer
of the tree. icons to will just show you
an alphabetical list
of a folder’s
contents.

It’s worth
customising this
view to another
that is more helpful
and better suits
your personal
For instance, in the image needs.
(above) you can see we’re on
the Windows 7 (C:) drive, in Follow my step-by-
the Users folder and then in step guide on how
the Mike and Contacts folders,
both sub-folders of that. to do this later in
this chapter.

PREVIOUS LOCATIONS
In the top left of explorer
windows are left and right
arrows to take you to back
and forward between the change the view you can see.
folders and disks you’ve Clicking the first icon will
looked at. bring up a slider control you
can use to change the
You can also thumbnail and icon size
jump directly for files and folders in
to anywhere that explorer view. You
you’ve can also select other
recently been views here including List,
by clicking Details and my personal
the down favourites, the very
arrow interesting and helpful
between Tiles and Content.
these buttons
and the
breadcrumb
bar.

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SORTING AND COLLAPSING GROUPS
GROUPING FILES When you are viewing files
QUICK TIP and folders organised by
By default the standard groups you can collapse some
view of files and folders in groups to make it easier to
Windows Explorer isn’t very see and get access to the files
Sorting and helpful, being just a simple you want.
Grouping by alphabetical list. You can
more criteria change this as per previous At the left side of each group
versions of Windows easily is a small arrow you can click
though. to collapse and restore the
There are more group.
than just the Right clicking anywhere in a
standard criteria for blank space in the
explorer window will
sorting and bring up a context
grouping files. menu that will allow
Clicking on More... you to sort and
group files by
Will bring up a long different criteria
list of many such as when they
different criteria were last modified,
how big they are
you can sort files or, my personal
and folders by. favourite, what
type of file they are.
These include Exif
Sorting files by a
data from a digital
criteria will keep them
camera and artist as one large list. Grouping
and composer them will separate them WORKING WITH
details for music into groups determined by
the criteria you have set. FOLDERS
files.
While the Favourites in the
PREVIEWING FILES Navigation Pane and the
Breadcrumb bar make it easy
Different views to navigate through your files
and folders, if you have lots of
in different files sitting together in your
folders documents folder, creating
additional folders you can
The view you set for Just next to the help button move some files into can help
in the top right of explorer make things easier to find and
an individual folder organise.
windows is a button to
will not affect any toggle the preview pane.
others, so you can This will open up at the side The New Folder button on the
of the window and will give explorer toolbar will allow you
set different sets of to do this.
you a large preview of
folders to display many file types when you
files differently. click on
them.

29
THE DETAILS PANE You can change the size of
the details pane by right
clicking in it when
Along the bottom of explorer no file is selected
windows sits the details pane. and choosing how QUICK TIP
Clicking on a file will bring up big you want
information about that file from the size
here. This information could context menu Use the details
include the date the file was that appears. pane
created, it’s size, tags or The bigger it is
ratings (for information on the more
tags and ratings see the information it will display. The details pane
chapter Searching). along the bottom of
explorer windows is
interactive, you can
use it to add and
update information
about a file, such as
its Tags or Rating
(see the chapter
Searching for ore
information on
these).

Want more
detail on files?

If you want more


details about the
files you click on
displayed in the
details pane you can
This can be especially useful
with digital photographs where
THE MENU BAR right click in the
the details pane can show details pane when
what camera the photo(s) Along the top of every no file is selected
were taken with, the resolution explorer window is the menu and change its size.
of the photograph and bar. The menu items will
additional information. change depending on the The bigger it is, the
content the window is more information it
displaying but can include will display.
options from sharing files to
burning them to disc.

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HIDING PICTURE AND FLIP 3D
PHOTO NAMES
QUICK TIP With most photos from
digital cameras named A more attractive way to
Hide the DSC123 we don’t really switch between windows is to
need to know what the hold down the Windows key
names of all names of the photos are. while also pressing the Tab
your pictures Fortunately we can turn key will bring up Flip 3D. This
this feature off when will show all your windows in
looking at a folder of an attractive three-
You might want to pictures. dimensional way.
hide the names of
all your pictures, Right click
anywhere in
especially if all the a blank
images on your PC space and in
tend to be digital the context
menu that
photographs. appears
select View
To do this right click and then
in any folder Hide file
displaying images names. You
will now only
and select View and see
Hide file names. thumbnails
of the
Then click on the pictures in
that folder.
Organise button in
the top left of the
explorer window
and Folder and
Search options from SWITCHING BETWEEN You can cycle through these
by pressing the Windows key
the menu that WINDOWS + Tab or by using the scroll
appears. wheel on your mouse.
There are two ways to
In the window that switch between open
pops up click on the windows. Hold down the
Alt key on your keyboard
View tab and press while pressing the Tab key
the Apply to folders will bring up each window
button. in a panel of
thumbnails across the
middle of your screen.

31
CHANGING THE DEFAULT VIEW IN WINDOWS EXP LORER

Click on the Change your view


button near the top right of any
explorer window.

Here you can select the view you like. My


preference is Tiles.

Right click anywhere in a


black space in the
explorer window and
select Sort by or Group by and
then select a criteria.

My preference is so group by Type.


This will separate files and folders into
their file type.

Click the Organise button in


the top left of the explorer
window and select Folder and
Search options.

In the window that appears, click on the View


tab and press the button Apple to Folders. All
your documents folders will not take on this
appearance.

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32 www.thelongclimb.com
REMEMBERING DRIVE LETTERS AND
WINDOWS SIZES FILE EXTENSIONS IN
QUICK TIP By default all Explorer
WINDOWS 7
windows will always open at
the same size, but this size Why do we need to see drive
Keep your may not suit you. The good letters (C:, D: etc) and file
documents safe news is that this is easily extensions (.doc, .pdf) in
changed. Windows? Fortunately they’re
easily turned off.
By default all your
You can resize the window
documents are by dragging and dropping it
stored in the same from a corner. When you
place as Windows have it the size you want
hold down the ctrl key while
stores all its files. closing it. The next time
This means that if you open that windows it
disaster strikes and will be the size you want.
Windows 7 needs a
clean install, all MOVING YOUR
those documents
will be wiped. DOCUMENTS AWAY
FROM WINDOWS
You can use a
second hard disk or Your hard drive is a big
create a new block of storage space, a
partition on which bit like a garage. In this
space is installed your copy
to keep your files of Windows 7 and also kept
safely. Follow the here are all your
step-by-step guide documents, photographs,
music and video.
later in this chapter
for details on how Windows 7 is extremely
to do this and keep stable but disasters do
your documents, unfortunately happen.
Should your copy of
photographs and Windows 7 become corrupt
videos safe. and need a fresh install,
those files could be wiped.

You can back up your files


and restore them from that
but how recent will your
backup be? Will you still
lose files?
Click the Organise button in
A simpler way is to move the top left of an explorer
your files to another hard window and select Format and
disk or partition. When you search options. Under the
partition your hard drive, view tab you can untick Show
you divide it into several drive letters and toggle Hide
sections using software, extensions for known file
each of which is treated as types, which will be on by
its own drive. So if one of default.
those partitions needs to be
wiped, the others won’t be.

33
MOVING YOUR FILES FOR DATA SECURITY
Moving your documents away from the drive Windows 7 is installed on can remove any
chance that your files will be lost if there is a serious problem with the operating
system.

If you have two separate hard disks on your PC, or your hard disk is already partitioned
into separate drives you can ignore steps 1 to 9 and go straight to step 10.

Always back up your files before doing


this. If you can move them to an external
disk while you partition your disk you will be
able to shrink your Windows 7 disk more.

PART 1—CREATING A NEW PARTITION


Firstly, make sure all your files are backed up.
Changing anything with the partition structure on
your computer can occasionally result in disaster!

Open the Start Menu and type computer


into the search box there. When
Computer Management appears, click to
run it.

If you already have third-party partitioning tools


you can also use those.

In the window that


appears click on Disk
Management in the left
column.

Next right click on your


Windows 7 drive and in
the context menu that
appears select Shrink Volume.

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34 www.thelongclimb.com
Windows will then tell you
how much space it can
shrink the drive to. Select
the amount you want.

You should leave your Windows 7 drive


as a minimum of 50Gb ideally, but
make sure you will have plenty of room
left for your files.

The shrinking process might take some


time so be patient. Press Shrink when
you are ready to start.

You will now see some disk


space that is marked as
unallocated. Right click in
this space and select New Simple
Volume.

The New Simple Volume


Wizard will now appear and walk
you through creating a new
partition. It will ask what size you
want it to be, use the maximum space
it offers, and what drive letter you
want to give it.

Finally it will ask if you want to format the


disk. Select NTFS and format it. You will
not be able to write files to the new
partition. [step continued on next page]

35
You now have a fresh partition. The next step
is to move your document folders to it.

PART 2—MOVING YOUR FILES


Open the Start Menu and
click on your name at the
top right to open your
user folder.

Select all the folders in the


user folder (except
Desktop which
doesn’t like being
moved). You can do this
by holding down the CTRL
key and clicking each folder.

Right Click on one of


them when they are
highlighted and select
Cut.

Use the Navigation


Pane to find the new
empty partition you have
created. In any blank
space right click and select
Paste from the context menu
that appears.

You user folders will now be


moved to the new drive or
partition.

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36 www.thelongclimb.com