Controlling the Interface

This chapter doesn’t cover only the building blocks of the interface, it also covers all the elements of the interface itself—including all the applets, controls, and features that make up the interface and let you customize it, such as the Control Panel, Windows Aero, the Windows Sidebar, and Gadgets. In addition, it discusses how to personalize your Desktop, the Taskbar, and the System Tray. Windows Vista offers a richer visual experience than previous versions of Windows, and its interface is far more open to customizing and tweaking. This chapter will show you all the ways you can control Windows Vista to your heart’s content—everything from customizing the transparency of windows to changing the system font size to displaying Gadgets, and more.


In this chapter, you will see some steps listed in brackets, as in Control Panel → [Appearance and Personalization] → Personalization. If you are using Control Panel categories, include the step in brackets; if you have categories turned off, ignore the bracketed step. For more information on categories, see the "Control Panel" section, later in this chapter.

Here is an alphabetical reference of entries in this chapter:

Address Bar

Font Viewer


Bread Crumbs

Fonts Folder

Shut Down



Start Menu

Change Your Color Scheme


Start Search

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