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Windows Vista Section

Windows Explorer

Key elements of the Windows Vista Explorer include:

Instant Search
In Windows Vista, users can search directly from the start menu. Click the Windows Orb, enter a search query and have results immediately returned within the start menu's item pane. This feature can also be used to execute applications. This is great for starting applications that may be nested several levels into the start menu. Instant Search is also available in all Explorer windows, and provides context-specific search results.

 Instant Search - Start MenuInstant Search - Windows ExplorerInstant Search - Control Panel

Address Bar
The Address bar in in Windows Explorer displays the user's current location, and enables them to type and navigate to local and remote locations.
"Breadcrumbs" are added to the Address bar in Windows Vista, enabling users to navigate a folder hierarchy by either clicking a location displayed in the Address bar, or clicking the arrow to the right or left of a location, which contains subfolders and parent folders respectively.

Windows Explorer - Address Bar

Command Bar
The Command bar combines the functionality of menus and task panes into one interface that presents commands relevant to the documents selected, as well as commands common to all tasks.

Windows Explorer - Command Bar

Navigation Pane
The Navigation Pane provides a list of Favorite Links enabling quick navigation to document explorers and saved searches. Users may add their desired locations to the list of links via drag and drop, or opening the Favorite Links folder via a context menu and creating new items there. An expandable folder control provides quick access to the entire file heirarchy.

Windows Explorer - Navigation Pane Windows Explorer - Navigation Pane with expanded folder control

Search Folders
Search Folders are similar to normal file folders, but their content is not static, and is based on saved searches that run each time the search folder is accessed. Users can create search folders that display files based upon any combination of file properties (metadata), which can include system and/or user-defined criteria. Whenever a search folder is opened, documents that match the saved search are displayed. If the user creates new documents that match the saved search’s criteria, they will automatically appear in the search folder. Likewise, as documents displayed in the search folder change such that they no longer match the criteria of the saved search, they will no longer appear in the search folder.

Windows Explorer - Search Folders

Windows Vista's Explorer provides several tools that enable users to visualize and organize data to best fit how they work. The Search Pane, search box, context menu, and column headings, enable users to filter, sort, group, and stack their documents, and construct saved searches according to their needs. Under the covers, saved searches are XML files .

Windows Explorer - Search PaneWindows Explorer - Context Menu (Stacks)Windows Explorer - Column Headings (Filter, Group, Sort, Stack)Windows Explorer - Saved Search Text


Live Icons
Live icons provide scalable views of actual document content, enabling users to quickly and easily find their documents. 

 Windows Explorer - Live Icons

Drop Target Tooltips
Drop target tooltips enable users to preview the results of drag and drop operations by hovering the mouse pointer over potential targets.

Mouse Drop Target ToolTips

Preview Pane
The Preview Pane provides users with a read-only view of their documents from within Windows Explorer.

Windows Explorer - Preview Pane

Details Pane
Windows Vista's Explorer windows have a preview pane at the bottom that presents relevant information about currently selected documents, and enables users to quickly modify document metadata. The details pane may be expanded to increase the number of properties visible for viewing or editing in-situ, rather than having to open a properties dialog. Metadata may also be quickly removed, to guard against the transmission of sensitive data when publishing documents.

 Windows Vista Explorer - Details PaneWindows Vista Explorer - Details PaneWindows Vista Explorer - Details PaneWindows Vista Explorer - Details PaneWindows Vista Explorer - Details Pane

Windows Sidebar
The Windows Sidebar enables mini applications called Gadgets to reside on the desktop. Gadgets are created using Windows and/or web technologies, and provide constant availability for the information users deem most valuable. Gadgets may reside either in the Windows Sidebar
or on the desktop. The Windows Sidebar docks to either side of the desktop and can be set as the topmost window so the information it contains is always available at a glance, or it can reside beneath other windows (or be hidden) to give the full desktop real estate to other applications. 

Windows SidebarWindows Sidebar GadgetsWindows Sidebar - View Gadgets DialogWindows Sidebar Properties

Windows Sidebar (Sidebar on Top)Windows Sidebar (Applications on Top)Windows Sidebar (Sidebar on Top)


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