Windows 7 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Choosing how your folders and user interface behave


Windows 7 Essential Training

with David Rivers

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Video: Choosing how your folders and user interface behave

With Windows Explorer you have full control over how your files and folders are displayed. You also have full control over how those files and folders behave, and that's what we were going to explore in this lesson. Now you can use any folder you like, your Documents, or Pictures folder. If you've got the Exercise Files folder and you want to follow along with me, we are going to double-click to open it up, double-click the Chapter 3 folder, and in there we'll double-click the 03_03 folder, because these are the files and subfolder we are going to work with.
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  1. 16m 28s
    1. Welcome
      1m 54s
    2. Windows basics for first-time users
      13m 47s
    3. Using the exercise files
  2. 29m 18s
    1. Assessing your hardware and Windows 7 versions
      6m 57s
    2. Upgrading from other Windows versions
      2m 56s
    3. Transferring old files with Windows Easy Transfer
      7m 2s
    4. Dealing with device drivers
      6m 42s
    5. Running a Windows XP program in Windows 7
      5m 41s
  3. 33m 12s
    1. Getting familiar with the desktop
      8m 55s
    2. Handling tasks with the improved task bar
      8m 50s
    3. Accessing your favorites quickly with jump lists
      3m 59s
    4. Finding files and programs with Windows Search
      2m 18s
    5. Using the Action Center
      3m 48s
    6. Keeping information at your fingertips with desktop gadgets
      5m 22s
  4. 34m 24s
    1. Navigating folders and their contents
      6m 59s
    2. Staying organized with your own folders
      4m 44s
    3. Choosing how your folders and user interface behave
      7m 30s
    4. Sharing and protecting folders and files
      5m 27s
    5. Simplifying organization with libraries
      3m 48s
    6. Backing up by burning to CD or DVD
      5m 56s
  5. 24m 44s
    1. Windows Media Center
      7m 22s
    2. Playing media files with Windows Media Player
      3m 59s
    3. Organizing and sharing photos in Windows Explorer
      7m 22s
    4. Taking screenshots with the Snipping tool
      6m 1s
  6. 24m 35s
    1. Taking notes with sticky notes, Notepad, and WordPad
      11m 33s
    2. Creating graphics with Paint
      4m 58s
    3. Performing simple and advanced calculations with the calculator
      5m 20s
    4. Playing Windows games
      2m 44s
  7. 33m 5s
    1. Getting under your computer's hood with the Control Panel
      5m 28s
    2. Controlling system settings
      6m 38s
    3. Controlling sound device volume settings
      6m 38s
    4. Uninstalling programs that are no longer used
      2m 42s
    5. Setting default programs
      5m 10s
    6. Exploring accessibility options
      6m 29s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Connecting hardware with Device Stage
      2m 56s
    2. Create a home network using HomeGroup
      4m 49s
    3. Controlling what is shared on a network
      3m 26s
    4. Troubleshooting a network and HomeGroup
      3m 58s
    5. Reconnecting quickly with jump lists
      2m 18s
    6. Boosting your computer's memory with ReadyBoost
      3m 34s
  9. 31m 53s
    1. Keeping your PC secure with Windows Update
      3m 44s
    2. Battling spyware with Windows Defender
      7m 41s
    3. Controlling access with user accounts
      4m 32s
    4. Streamlining passwords in Credential Manager
      4m 38s
    5. Using parental controls to block unwanted content
      4m 49s
    6. Securing drives with BitLocker Drive Encryption
      6m 29s
  10. 15m 11s
    1. Printing files directly from Windows
      2m 48s
    2. Troubleshooting printer problems
      5m 15s
    3. Printing power tips
      3m 56s
    4. Printing to and viewing the XPS file format
      3m 12s
  11. 25m 4s
    1. Finding issues in the Troubleshooting control panel
      3m 53s
    2. Sharing issues with the Problem Steps Recorder
      3m 56s
    3. Backing up folders and drives
      6m 36s
    4. Restoring files and drives
      4m 39s
    5. Handling an entire system crash
      6m 0s
  12. 28m 23s
    1. Exploring changes to the UI
      4m 46s
    2. Access sites quickly using Favorites and History
      5m 17s
    3. Connecting to RSS feeds and web slices
      6m 1s
    4. Displaying similar sites with Suggested Sites
      2m 16s
    5. Browsing without navigating using accelerators
      6m 36s
    6. Keeping your browsing private using InPrivate Browsing and filtering
      3m 27s
  13. 1h 14m
    1. Setting up your Windows Live profile
      4m 37s
    2. Downloading Windows Live Essentials
      2m 23s
    3. Tracking dates and events with the Windows Live calendar
      7m 22s
    4. Free email with Windows Live Mail
      6m 14s
    5. Texting live with Windows Live Messenger
      7m 13s
    6. Organizing and sharing photos in Photo Gallery
      9m 46s
    7. Synchronizing photos on two computers with Live Sync
      4m 0s
    8. Controlling content and communications with Family Safety
      6m 26s
    9. Keeping a blog with Windows Live Writer
      6m 50s
    10. Accessing free online storage with SkyDrive
      4m 44s
    11. Creating a movie with Windows Live Movie Maker
      14m 46s
  14. 18s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Windows 7 Essential Training
6h 31m Beginner Oct 22, 2009

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In Windows 7 Essential Training, David Rivers helps users of any level feel comfortable with the improvements and enhancements found in Microsoft's operating system. From simple navigation through the updated graphic user interface, David shows how to install or upgrade and get the most out of Windows 7. He covers using the new Internet Explorer 8 and boosting a computer's memory with the ReadyBoost tool. He also highlights hardware configuration options and explores the advances made connecting a home or work system with Windows Live, the cloud-computing environment made available for Windows 7 users. Exercise files accompany this course.

Topics include:
  • Running Windows XP programs within a Windows 7 installation Accessing favorites quickly through jump lists Establishing user settings through Windows Explorer Setting up a home network with Homegroup Displaying similar sites with suggestions in Internet Explorer 8 Syncing photos on two computers with Live Sync
Business Education + Elearning
David Rivers

Choosing how your folders and user interface behave

With Windows Explorer you have full control over how your files and folders are displayed. You also have full control over how those files and folders behave, and that's what we were going to explore in this lesson. Now you can use any folder you like, your Documents, or Pictures folder. If you've got the Exercise Files folder and you want to follow along with me, we are going to double-click to open it up, double-click the Chapter 3 folder, and in there we'll double-click the 03_03 folder, because these are the files and subfolder we are going to work with.

Now you can see by default what happened here in Windows Explorer I have a list of different types of files. I also have a subfolder, which automatically appears, at the top of my list. I see details as well like the date they were modified, the Type and Size. Now that's a default view for this type of folder. If we double-click the Photos subfolder, you'll notice it appears much differently. Here I am seeing actual thumbnails of each of the photos, as well as their names down below, and I can get additional information, just by hovering over a photo.

You can see the date it was taken, dimension, size, etcetera. All right, let's go back up to our 03_03 folder simply click it up here in the path. Now we're going to change the way we're viewing the contents of this folder. Well one option is to change the order. By default everything is listed in alphabetical order, in ascending order, by name, and when we click the heading you'll notice it reverses order. It's in descending order, now any folders will appear at the end. I can do the same for Date modified to see the most recent, or the oldest to newest.

I can do that with the Type, and this is great for getting different types of files together for example, my two Excel files are together, and then the rest are on their own. But you'll notice there is little dropdowns to next each of these as well. If we click the dropdown for example, next to the Name heading, we can choose to split the group up. So if we got a huge list of files and folders, and we want to see a section of them, you can click a checkbox and it narrows down the list. If we click the checkbox for the others, we see them all and of course if we deselect all of our checkboxes, we get the default, which is every single file and subfolder.

Now the more files you have, the more checkboxes you are going to see here, and the better you are going to be able to narrow down that list of files and folders. Watch what happens though when we just click anywhere down below to turn that off and go to Date modified dropdown button. This is cool, we get to choose Dates, so we can choose the files and folders that will be displayed using a date or date range, if we select this first checkbox, your default date will be the current date. And I happen to have one that was created today, my Photos folder.

But if I want a Range, I can go back. Let's go back to August for example. You can use your own dates here. Of course they are going be different from mine, because you'll be doing this on a different date from me. And I'm going to hold down my Shift key to get a whole range of dates, and you can see that increases my list by one. I am going to deselect that checkbox, and I have some other options. If I want to see older files, you can see A long time ago, I can also just click, and it's going to take me to that list, and you'll notice a little checkmark now next to Date modified indicating I've made a selection, here I am not seeing necessarily every single file and folder.

So I can go back to that now, and include files from Earlier this year, maybe the ones from last week. Maybe I want to take away the long time ago and include today. You can see how the list keeps changing and changing, when we deselect everything, we get the default back. Now we can just click anywhere here to see that default. We can do it by size as well, and you can see from the dropdown, we can do Empty ones, Small ones, Medium or Unspecified. Let's go to Medium files, and it looks like we do have a couple that fall into the 100 KB to 1 Megabyte file size.

We'll deselect that again, and click to see the default list. And the way it's listed here is by Details. So if we go up to our toolbar, we've seen this before. We can view using just a list and in this case we don't see any details about the actual files, just a little icon and the name. We can use Small Icons, Medium or Large Icons allow us to peek into the actual files, to get a field for the content. And if we go down to very bottom, and choose Content you can see what happens, each one on its own line, so we get additional information such as the Authors, Dates, Sizes etcetera.

Let's go back to the default, which is Details. We can select Details by clicking it. Well if you want to change the default, and now when we go to Photos for example, let's double-click our photos, we are seeing actual icons here, and if we go to our dropdown, they are Large Icons. So how does Windows know to display photos this way, and in my other folder a list of files using details, also a part of some of those customizable options, I was talking about. Let's start by making sure you've got your menu bar appearing across the top, where you have got File, Edit, View, tools, and Help, if you don't, click the Organize button, move down to Layout and make sure menu bar is checked off.

Next we are going to go to View, and here you can see the current selection, which is Large Icons. But we can customize down below. Notice for example we can choose the details, and Customize this folder. Let's start with Customize this folder. Notice right at the top that this folder is optimized for Pictures, but if we click this button, we could say make it act like it's a full of documents, and when we choose Document and click Apply. I'll just move this out of the way to see that it now looks like my other folder, and I've got icons with names.

I have got the details that I saw in the previous folder. I am going to change this back to Pictures. So if your folder contains music, videos and so on, you can choose how it behaves by default. You can change these views at anytime, but the default view is what we were selecting here. Let's close this up. We'll go back up to the parent folder 03_03, and in the Details view you'll notice, we were using these headers across the top. How do we decide which headers appear and which ones do not? Well, these are the Folder Options.

So let's go up to View and choose the Details that can or cannot be viewed. Here is the default Name, Date modified, Type and Size, or maybe we're not concerned with the type, we can deselect that checkbox, and we can see down below, we've got all kinds of options to choose from. Maybe the Authors is important information, for working with music Beats Per Minute might be important, and as we scroll down the list is very extensive. For pictures Date Taken, lots of cool options to choose from here.

When we click OK, our changes appear. You can see now we've got Authors, if you don't like the order, well we could have changed it from that screen, but you can change it from here as well. I want Authors before Size, so I just click-and-drag it over, simple as that. So let's close up our Windows Explorer, returning to the desktop, and those are just some of the examples of how you can customize the user interface in Windows Explorer and choose how your folders and files behave.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Windows 7 Essential Training .

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Q: Is there a way to share files and printers between computers on network running Windows XP and Windows 7 without using the HomeGroup share method of Windows 7, since XP does not have this feature?
A: While Windows XP does not support the new HomeGroup found in Windows 7, there is another way to share files and printers between the two operating systems.  There are a number of steps to follow, but they are all listed here:
Q: Is it possible for a computer running Windows XP to join a Windows 7 HomeGroup?
A: Unfortunately, only Windows 7 supports HomeGroup.  If the Windows XP computer must connect with the Windows 7 computer, there are have two options:

1.  Upgrade the XP machine to Windows 7 and joining will be no problem.
2.  Change the Windows 7 HomeGroup to a regular Workgroup and the XP machine will be able to connect to it.  

Here are the steps to changing a HomeGroup to a Workgroup:
  1. On the Windows 7 computer, click the Start button at the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Go to the Control Panel and choose Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Click the link for "View your active networks.” 
  4. In the next window choose "Work network." That will switch the group from a HomeGroup to a Workgroup so the two computers can talk to each other. However, the same workgroup name and share folders in Explorer must be assigned to both computers before they can be networked.
For ease of use, if there is already an existing HomeGroup on the Windows 7 computer, upgrading the XP machine to Windows 7 would be the recommended course of action. There is a course in the Online Training Library, Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7, that explains the steps for transitioning to Windows 7.
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