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If you think of your computer as a huge file cabinet with many drawers and in those drawers you might find programs and in other drawers you might find folders with sub-folders containing files, we need in Windows 7, some kind of program to manage those files, a file management system known as Windows Explorer. We are going to get a brief overview of Windows Explorer in this lesson, because there have been a few subtle changes made to Windows Explorer in Windows 7 that differ from Windows Vista, for example.
We can access Windows Explorer from a number of different locations. If you've got a shortcut to your Exercise Files for example, it appears as a Folder Icon. Double-clicking this will open it up in a Windows Explorer Window. Let's close that up. By default you've also got a shortcut to Windows Explorer on the taskbar. Clicking once will launch Windows Explorer, but it will display a different location by default. In this case, you can see Libraries. Let's close this up one more time, and access Windows Explorer from the Windows Orb.
Here we'll go to the right-hand side and select Documents, for example. This will display a different location, but no matter how you access Windows Explorer, you can always navigate around to the various folders and areas of your computer. We'll start at the very top. Here is where you're going to see the path. For example, if you selected documents from the Windows Orb, you'll see Libraries and Documents. On the right-hand side, you now have a re-sizable search field. In other words, if you want to make this field bigger, move in between it and the actual field showing the path, you'll see a double-arrow.
Now, click-and-drag to the left to increase the size of your Search field. Now, it's just a matter of clicking inside, and searching for whatever it is you want to look for. For example, if we type in the word Hockey again, like we did in a previous lesson, and press Return, we're going to be searching in this case, the Documents Library and you can see no items match our search. However, if we go to the Desktop and select that one, so if you've got the Exercise Files, you've probably stored the Exercise Files folder, to get inside a folder we just double-click and now if we go up to the Search field and select Hockey because we've already typed it in once, you can see what happens.
We've got a couple of files containing the word 'Hockey' and they happen to be Excel files. Notice that down below, we can search again in Libraries. The entire computer gives us access to every single file and folder on our computer. We can also search the Internet from here. Well let's go back to the left- hand side and examine what's known as the Navigation Pane. You'll notice little arrows, which allow us to expand or collapse the various sections. If we don't care about Favorites, we can collapse that by clicking, and we might want to collapse our libraries as well, and down under Computer, expand our Local Disk, drive C.
Under Users for example, we'll find ourselves in here. If it's your own computer you'll find your own User account as well as any other accounts and a Public account. To go inside my own, I'd click that arrow. You can see I am expanding all the way down and I could access My Documents from here. Of course that's a long way to do. Let's go back to the Exercise Files now, and experiment a little bit. So in this case, we're going to go back up to Favorites and click Desktop. To open up the folder Exercise Files, we can double-click, and we will go to the Chapter 03 folder and double-click it as well.
Now, we'll double-click 03_01. These are all sub-folders within folders and now we actually see the files inside a folder. And they're different types of files, and how these files are displayed is up to you. Yours may not look like mine. I've got the Name showing up, the Date modified, the Type of file it is, the Size, these are details that are being displayed in the Window. If we go up to this little toolbar that we see across the top, we've got buttons for organizing, including them in Libraries. There is a whole lesson devoted to working with Libraries coming up shortly.
We can share our files, we can burn them, even create our own folders. We will be doing that in another lesson as well. But over here on the right-hand side, we've got a button to change our view. This little dropdown allows us to view the different options in a slider format. You can see mine is next to Details. I can click these or move the slider. For example, if I just want to see a list, I can move that up. I no longer see the details, just the list of my different files. So if I got lot of files, I may not want to clutter up the screen with details, I just want to see the files.
If you want to have an idea of what's inside the files, you might choose a different option such as an Icon. Now the smaller icons don't give you much of a hint. As you move up to Medium, Large and Extra Large icons, you can start to see the content inside some of these files. Now, another option is to use the Preview Pane. It's not showing by default, so if yours is showing, it was probably turned on at some point. But click the Preview Pane to view that on the right-hand side and now when you click once to simply select the file, like a Word document, you will be able to see the first page of that document.
Now, it may not look exactly the way it's going to look when you open it up, but it gives you a good idea of what's inside. If we go to the other one, which is an XPS file where you can see, it's straight text. To close up the Preview Pane, click the exact same button that you used to open it up. I am going to go back to my Options and choose Details. I always like to see the Date modified, the Type, and, because I've got these displayed this way, I can also change the order that they appear. You'll notice above Name, there is this tiny little arrow indicating that these are sorted in alphabetical order.
That's why Annual Report shows up before HumbugStory. But if I'd rather see them sorted by the date they were modified, I can click that button. Click it again to reverse the order. Same thing goes for Type and Size. Now, when an item is selected, let's go to the Annual Report, you are also going to see some information down below about that file. And across the top, the toolbar is ever changing. It's dynamic. You'll notice the Open button displays a Microsoft Word icon.
So clicking the Open button will launch Microsoft Word, in this case, the default program, and display my Annual Report. If I click the dropdown, I could choose a different program or choose a different default program. We'll be doing that later on as well. So with Windows Explorer, you can navigate your entire computer, go to your Favorites. We'll also be talking about Libraries in an upcoming lesson, and choose the way you're going to display them and whether or not you want to preview their contents.
Let's close up Windows Explorer before we move onto the next lesson.
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