Vista—What You’ll See on the Desktop
by Steve Giesel
As Joe Lear mentions later in his article titled, “Hey! Where’s the ‘My Documents’ Folder?” many of the icons on your desktop have changed. I’ll tell you a little bit about that now, and about the
quick launch shortcuts we’ve included on the Taskbar.
2 links on the desktop that allow you to fast switch between “Vista-style,”
To make effective use of this feature, please refer to Zimm Reeves
that Classic Look with Vista," in the December, 2007 issue of
By now you should be familiar with the Taskbar function that allows you
to add single-click shortcuts for your favorite programs. Your new Vista
computer has a number of defaults included for you.
The first four are fairly standard, but be sure to check out Flip 3D.
It’s a new visually interactive way to switch between open windows on your
desktop. For a description of Flip 3D, see Zimm's article referenced
can still use the familiar keyboard shortcut of Alt + Tab to switch
Switch Between Windows (Flip 3D)
There are also links to two important system utilities here. Both of
which you should use on a weekly basis for a well maintained and speedy
Cleanup: Removes old unused files, temp files, etc. and compresses
needed files not recently used in order to conserve space.
Defragmenter: Gets all your bits and bytes lined up on your
hard drive so your system doesn’t have to work as hard to find, and
work with your data.
You will also find shortcuts for the two new graphics editing programs
we’re including, plus a cool system tool that helps you take screen snippets.
2: An open source image editor giving you full control over
your photos and graphic images.
Another open source image editor. This one is probably a little easier
to use, but it’s limited in its functionality compared to GIMP. More
about both of these in another article in this issue.
Tool: This is a handy built-in tool that comes with Vista.
It allows you to quickly create screen snips and Save, Email, or annotate
them as you need.
I used the Snipping Tool to make the screen captures in this article, and you
can see I turned off the border function after 3 snips. You can save
these snips and then insert them into your document, or you can copy
and place them directly out of the “Snipping” screen.
Click, Drag, Release! That’s all there is to it.
Finally, there are shortcuts to all the major Microsoft Office applications.
If some these icons don’t seem to be on the Taskbar, just click the double
arrow to bring up a list, or grab the separator bar and drag it to the right.
Your Toolbar icons will be revealed.