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Windows Vista Usability Tips


Checkbox Select Alternative

Windows Vista includes a new method to select files when using explorer. Instead of holding down CTRL and then clicking on all the files you want to select, Vista includes the option to check boxes to select items instead.  This new feature can be a little hard to get used to at first, but after you use it for a little while, it will be helpful if you were a big user of the CTRL method.

This feature has helped me in situations where I had to select dozens of files or folders and would accidentally click in the wrong area and then I would loose all of my selections, forcing me to start over selecting folders. With the check box feature enabled, accidental clicks that lead to mass de-selection are no longer possible.

Enabling the new feature is very easy, just about anyone could do it. To get started, follow the steps below:

   1. In order to begin, you will need to use the Tools menu. In Windows Vista the menu-bar is hidden by default in most windows. Just hit ALT on your keyboard to bring it back. Now that you can see it again, click on Tools and then select Folder Options.

   2. Once the Folder Options dialog is displayed, click on the View tab.

   3. Under Advanced Settings, scroll down to the bottom of the list and check Use check boxes to select items.

   4. Next, click OK and you are finished.

In order to see the new changes you may have to close and reopen all open windows.

Missing the old File, Edit, View menu bar

One of the main concepts of Windows Vista is to make things more simple, basically take some of the complexity out of Windows. The decision was made to do away with the old menu bar in many of the windows of Windows Vista because they simply looked too busy and offered the user too many, often confusing, choices.

This all sounds great but we are power users and most of us like complexity because it gives us more control. Thankfully, Microsoft didn't really do away with it completely, they just hid it. The next time you are using Windows Vista and wish that old menu bar was still around, just hit ALT on your keyboard and it magically appear!

Kill Security Center Notifications

The new Windows Security Center in Windows Vista can be just as annoying as the security centers in previous versions of Windows. I am an advanced of a computer user to know that I do not have anti-virus software installed. I don't need the Windows Security Center to remind me that all the time.

Thankfully there is a new easy way to disable the security center messages.

   1. Click on the Security Center/Windows Security Alerts logo in the system tray.

   2. Click Change the way Security Center alerts me.

   3. Select I do not want notification messages from Security Center.

It is now that easy.







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