Windows 7 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Connecting to RSS feeds and web slices


Windows 7 Essential Training

with David Rivers

Video: Connecting to RSS feeds and web slices

If you've ever needed to track information on a website, maybe with sports headlines, auctions, weather or financials, you typically have to load the website to view those updates. Well, with RSS feeds and web slices in Internet Explorer 8, you can now automatically subscribe to and receive those updates from web pages that change frequently, and even view the updates without having to load the entire website. So let's start by exploring RSS feeds. These are feeds that will display constantly updating information.
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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

Connecting to RSS feeds and web slices

If you've ever needed to track information on a website, maybe with sports headlines, auctions, weather or financials, you typically have to load the website to view those updates. Well, with RSS feeds and web slices in Internet Explorer 8, you can now automatically subscribe to and receive those updates from web pages that change frequently, and even view the updates without having to load the entire website. So let's start by exploring RSS feeds. These are feeds that will display constantly updating information.

Notice I am at the homepage here, and if you want to follow along with me can come here to and on the toolbar, I see this little icon representing an RSS feed. Now when I click this button I'll be able to view the feeds on this page. If I click the dropdown button next to it, I can also see that the Microsoft PressPass, which is information for journalists, is the feed that I can access here. So when I click it, look at that. I get some the updated headlines. These are stories that are of special information to journalists.

If I want to subscribe to this feed, so I'm always getting the latest, notice there is a link here to subscribe to this feed. So we click the link. You can see the name that appears and then we can change that if we wanted to. I am just going to leave it at Microsoft PressPass, so I am going to take out the rest by highlighting and deleting. It's going to go into my Feeds section, so if I click my Favorites button and then the Feeds tab that's where I am going to find it. If I want to create a separate folder for this type of feed, I can do that, just like we did for creating Favorites.

We can even add it directly to the Favorites bar. So we don't have to access it through the Favorites button. Let's do that by clicking the checkbox and Subscribe. So when we do this we are now subscribed, and if I was to go back let's say to the page and I want to access the feeds, I could be it anywhere. Let's go to the site, for example. Well, I have added it here to my Favorites toolbar, so you'll notice Microsoft PressPass and I can click that to see each of those headlines.

So I don't have to open up the actual website to get there. I can go directly to one of these just by clicking them. You can see it takes me directly there. That's the equivalent of clicking the Favorites button, clicking the Feeds tab, and then clicking Microsoft PressPass. Now that does take me to the page where I can access those different links. And I am always getting the latest information. So let's go back with the Back button, all the way back to, I am going to go to the website and let's talk about something else, something that's new here to Internet Explorer called web slices.

In the address field, I am going to click once and type I am into sports and I always like to get the latest headlines. When I go this site, I don't see an RSS feed icon on the toolbar. I see a web slice icon. It looks a little bit different, a green with a little slice of pie in there. So if I wanted to, I can click the dropdown to see RSS feeds or ESPN: Headlines. And when I click the button, I can add the web slice to my Favorites. It's going to go directly to the Favorites bar.

So watch what happens when I click this button. You can see it just got added to my Favorites Bar. It's right there on the toolbar. So if I am somewhere else looking at some other information and I want to get the latest headlines, I just click the little dropdown, and I don't have to access the ESPN site. Look it. I have got these little headlines. If I wanted to go to one of those headlines, I simply click to read all about it. It opens up a brand-new tab for me. So when I am done reading, I click Close. And I can go back to the original site where I was.

So that's the beauty of a web slice. Now of course there are options for, when you subscribe to RSS feeds, and web slices. Let's go to the tools button on the toolbar and down to Internet Options. Now we'll select Content. Down below you'll see a section for Feeds and Web Slices and a Settings button where we can manipulate the settings. For example, how often are the feeds and web slices updated? Well, you can see here automatically everyday is the default, but we can change that to every half an hour, four hours a day, or every week.

I am going to change mine to 4 hours so I've always got the latest information at my fingertips without bogging down my system with constant updates. And you don't even have to have it automatically check feeds and web slices for updates. You can turn that off altogether. But I am going to have a check every four hours. Down below, Automatically mark feed as read when reading a feed. So if I go to any of those feeds that I've subscribed to, and I read them, they'll show up as read. So I know which ones I've looked at, which ones I haven't. I like that. I'll leave it on.

Turn on feed reading view so when I go to an actual feed, I am going to be reading that feed. It's an automatic setting. Do I want to hear sounds when a feed or a web slice is found for a web page, or when it's updated? These next two checkboxes are deselected so I am not hearing sounds, but if it's a important information you're tracking, you want to know when there's an update, you might want to turn on the sound checkbox for updating for example, and Turn on in page Web Slice discovery. So in this case when you're visiting the actual page you know as we saw the icon appear on the toolbar it was discovered.

This is automatically discovering your RSS feeds and your web slices and displaying the appropriate icon. I am going to leave that turned on as well and click OK to save those changes. I am going to click OK again. It's locked in, closes up the window, and I am back to Internet Explorer. So just remember if you need to keep an eye on constantly updating information on a website, you've got RSS feeds, but you have also web slices, and with a web slice you'll never need to load the entire page to stay informed.

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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