The humble Search command looks no more special than anything else on the Start menu. But in fact, it's a powerhouse, and you'll probably use it often. The Search function (which was called Find in Windows NT, 95, and 98) can quickly find all kinds of computery things: file and folder icons, computers on your network, email addresses and phone numbers, Web sites, and even maps that pinpoint any address in the United States and Canada.

If the Search program looks vaguely familiar, that's because it's actually a component of Internet Explorer, the Web browser. You can read more about Internet Explorer in Chapter 11.

Finding Files and Folders by Name

If you save your new files only in the My Documents folder on the desktop, you'll have little need to use the Search function to locate your files. You'll always know where they are—right in that folder.

Every now and then, however, you won't be able to remember where you filed something, or you'll download something from the Internet and not be able to find it again, or you'll install something and not know where to look for it. In those situations, the Search program, shown in Figure 3-6, is just what you need. It lets you look for a particular file or folder based on its description—by its name, size, date stamp, and so on.

When you're looking for files, the Search feature is like having a bloodhound available. You can use as much information as you manage to remember to initiate a search, and it doesn't matter if you can't remember the exact name of the file that's gone missing. The Search feature ordinarily finds both folder titles and filenames; to search only for files, add .* to the end of the name you're looking for (for example, memo.*).

Figure 3-6.  When you're looking for files, the Search feature is like having a bloodhound available. You ...

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