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What’s New in Windows 7 Windows Explorer

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Two applications that allow you to view and manipulate files, folders, libraries, and other computer information: Computer and Windows Explorer. You may remember that Computer was dubbed My Computer in Windows XP, and both Computer and Windows Explorer are present in Windows 7 with many of the same functions and features as in Vista, XP, and previous versions of Windows. For example, you can use the built-in tools in Computer and Windows Explorer to move, copy, delete, rename, and create new files and other items on your computer. Indeed, Computer and Windows Explorer have nearly identical interfaces and options. If you’re in Windows Explorer, you can open the Computer folder in the Navigation pane to view your computer’s media. With the
Computer window open, you can view other directories and files.

By default, the Computer folder (or window) opens in the Content pane on the right and shows the current hard drives and removable drives installed on the computer. Windows Explorer is still hidden away in the Accessories area of the Start menu. This is because Microsoft wants to draw your attention away from how files are managed on the hard drive and to direct your attention to displaying folders and documents within libraries (or collections).

Although Computer and Windows Explorer have many of the same features and are highly similar to their counterparts in Windows Vista, they differ from My Computer and Windows Explorer in older versions of Windows as follows:

• The menu bar at the top of the window is hidden by default and is replaced with features closely aligned with the navigation and search tools in Internet Explorer. These include Back and Forward buttons, a box that shows breadcrumbs of where you are in relation to other windows, and the Search box replaces the Search pane in older versions of My Computer/Windows Explorer.

• The toolbar has been combined with organizational features of the menu bar in older versions of My Computer/Windows Explorer; the options in the toolbar change to reflect the type of information you’re viewing in the Content pane so that you can perform tasks more quickly. For example, if you’re viewing picture files in your Pictures Library, you may see toolbar options for burning a disc or creating a slideshow. If you’re viewing your computer media in the Computer window, you’ll see toolbar options to view system properties, uninstall or change a program, map a network drive, and more.

• You now have a wider variety of views when you look at objects in the Computer or Windows Explorer window.

• Instead of clicking Help in the menu bar as you did in earlier versions of My Computer/Windows Explorer, the Computer and Windows Explorer window toolbars in Windows 7 include a Get Help button at the right side of the toolbars. When you click this button, the Windows Help and Center opens and displays the topic that is most germane to your current situation.

• The Favorites group appears at the top of the Navigation pane. This group lets you quickly access the Desktop, master folder for Downloads, and Recent Places. Clicking Recent Places, for example, displays the Windows applications and libraries you’ve recently visited.

• The Libraries group follows the Favorites group in the Navigation pane, followed by Homegroup, Computer, and Network. Clicking Libraries reveals the Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos libraries in the Content pane. Homegroup lets you easily share music, pictures, and documents on your home network. You should already be familiar with the Computer window at this point, so the last item is Network, which enables you to access network settings.

• The Details pane appears at the bottom of the window and displays metadata, or information about the information in the computer (in the Computer window) or in the folder (in the Windows Explorer window).

Source of Information : QUE Microsoft Windows in Depth (09-2009)

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