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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.
Windows 7 installs with a number of desktop gadgets you have at your disposal. So if there is information you like to have on your screen at all times, you can use a gadget to display that information. Let's explore them now. The easiest way to get a gadget on your desktop is to right-click the desktop. So we'll do that, and you'll notice from the pop-up menu we've got Gadgets down near the bottom. So click that to display the default gadgets that are installed with Windows 7. Let's say you always like to have the current time available to you, no matter what you're working on.
There is one called Clock and we can drag that over to the desktop and release and we now have a gadget sitting there. If you like to have access to a Calendar, let's double-click the Calendar gadget to pop it onto the desktop. Notice some other cool ones here, like the Weather for example. If you always need to know what the current and forecasted weather is, there is a Weather gadget. Currency conversion at your fingertips, if you use this gadget. The CPU Meter I like, because it always shows you your computer's performance, the CPU and your memory.
Let's say you load up an application that bogs down your system. You'll know exactly which application is doing it when you watch the meters change. You've also got some fun ones, like a Picture Puzzle, and a Slide Show that's going to go through your different photos. You've got RSS Feeds as well available to you, Feed Headlines. So if you want to have headline news at your fingertips. If any of these, you need more information on, let's see the CPU Meter. We'll click once to select it, and then down below, click Show Details. This allows you to read a little bit of information down below.
So you can see the current computer CPU, and system memory in action. If we click the Feed Headlines, we see that we can track the latest news, sports and entertainment headlines. Now let's just leave this open for a moment and explore the two gadgets we've added already to our desktop. When you hover over them, you're going to see some buttons appear. One to close it up, if you no longer need it, another one to create a larger sized version of the gadget. Now in this case with the Calendar, we are going to see the current date and if we click the little Larger Size icon, we get to see the actual month at a glance, and we've got arrows to move back and forth through the Calendar.
So I like that feature. I am going to leave it maximized. Same thing goes for your Clock. You'll notice you've got a Close button. Down below we've got options for our clock. Let's click that. Now, you can see we get to choose our Time Zone. You can name your clock. I am going to call this one, Ottawa, and you can see we choose different clock faces as well. I like that one there, 2 of 8. Current Time Zone is selected by clicking the dropdown. For me, I am going to look for Eastern time in the US and Canada.
You can see how it changes the time there on my screen. Do I need that second hand ticking? Maybe I do. I am going to click that check box and click OK and there is my updated gadget on my desktop. Now, you may have also noticed when you hover over these gadgets, there is the third button. That allows you to just move it around on your desktop. So if you want to change its location, just go to that third button to drag the gadget, if you want it down there. I am going to move this one to the top- right corner, it kind of snaps into place, and that looks good just like that. Now, you can also go to these gadgets and right-click.
There are some additional options. For example, while you're running any other application if you want that clock to be on top, maybe you're waiting for an important appointment, choose Always on top, and it will always appear on top of anything else that's running. See when we move this window it goes in behind the clock but on top of the Calendar. One other option is the Opacity. That's kind of important. You can adjust the Opacity. Set at 100% by default means you can't see through it at all, nut if you want to be able to see through, you have some other options to choose from.
I am going to go to 40%. It's kind of faded there, until I hover over it, then I see it in full opacity but it's still going to show up Always on top. You can see it just allows me to see through the clock when I am not hovering over it what's going on. So it's another cool option. You can also access additional gadgets from the Gadgets window, down in the bottom right-hand corner, Get more gadgets online. This is going to launch your default Browser and take you to the Microsoft site where you can choose from Additional Desktop gadgets.
You can see this tab is selected in the Desktop Gadgets section. Here is one that will show me the date and time together, so I don't need two gadgets. Outlook Tasks, if you're using Microsoft Outlook, you'll always have your tasks at your fingertips. Same thing goes for upcoming appointments. That might be a good idea. There is a Blogger Buddy, and you can get access to Radio, all kinds of cool things from the Microsoft site. Let me just close this up, and we'll close up our Gadgets window, and now we are ready to continue working with gadgets on our Desktop.
At anytime, if you don't want them there, just hover over, click the Close button and you'll close them up. Now, you know how to get them back, right-click, go to Gadgets. They are still there, and the options you select, for example, when I move the clock over, are lost. So if you want to keep the gadget there and keep your options, don't close it up. As soon as you close it up, you are back to the default gadget, and that's how you can keep information at your fingertips using Desktop Gadgets in Windows 7.
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