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Windows Vista Security: Praxisorientierte Sicherheit für Profis by Marcus Nasarek

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Chapter 2: Optimizing Windows Vista’s Interface
Customizing Windows Vista’s Desktop
The enhanced user interface in Windows Vista is visually stunning, and a key com-
ponent in the interface is the desktop. As you’ll discover in this section, you can
work with the desktop and its related features in many new and exciting ways. If
you’re familiar with earlier releases of Windows, you may be tempted to skip this
section, but don’t—there are a lot of new features and new ways you can work with
the desktop.
Getting Around the Desktop
As Figure 2-1 shows, the desktop has standard features, but you can customize it
with additional features as well. Standard desktop features include the Start menu,
the taskbar, and the notification area.
Figure 2-1. Windows Vista desktop with Aero glass
Customizing Windows Vista’s Desktop
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Programs or folders you open appear on the desktop in separate windows. You can
arrange open program and folder windows on the desktop by right-clicking an empty
area of the taskbar and then selecting one of the following viewing options:
Cascade Windows
Arranges the open windows on the screen so that they overlap, with the title bar
remaining visible
Show Windows Stacked
Resizes the open windows and arranges them each in a portion of the screen
Show Windows Side by Side
Resizes the open windows and stacks them side by side
If you right-click an empty area of the taskbar and then select Show the Desktop,
Windows Vista minimizes all open windows and displays the desktop. If you later
right-click an empty area of the taskbar and select Show Open Windows, Windows
Vista restores the minimized windows to their previous states.
In addition to opening program and folder windows, you can store files, folders, and
shortcuts on the desktop. Any file or folder you save on the desktop appears on the
desktop. Any file or folder you drag from a Windows Explorer window to the desk-
top stays on the desktop. You can add a shortcut to a file or folder to the desktop by
following these steps:
1. Click Start and then click Computer.
2. Use the Windows Explorer window to locate the file or folder you want to add
to the desktop.
3. Right-click the file or folder.
4. On the shortcut menu, point to Send To and then select Desktop (Create Shortcut).
You can add system icons to the desktop, too. By default, the only system icon on
the desktop is the Recycle Bin. You can add or remove system icons by completing
the following steps:
1. Right-click an empty area of the desktop and then select Personalize.
2. In the left pane of the Personalization window, click Change Desktop Icons
under the Tasks heading.
3. Click Customize Desktop. This opens the Desktop Icon Settings dialog box, as
shown in Figure 2-2.
4. Add or remove the Computer, Control Panel, Internet Explorer, Network, and
User’s Files icons by selecting or clearing the related checkboxes.
5. Click OK.
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Chapter 2: Optimizing Windows Vista’s Interface
Once you’ve added an icon to the desktop, you can work with it using the techniques
summarized in Table 2-1. If you no longer want an icon or shortcut on the desktop,
right-click it and select Delete. When prompted, confirm the action by clicking Yes.
Figure 2-2. Adding and removing desktop icons
Table 2-1. Working with desktop icons
Desktop icon Usage
Computer Double-clicking the Computer icon opens a window where you can access hard disk drives and
devices withremovable storage.Right-clicking theComputer iconand selectingManage opensthe
Computer Management console. Right-clicking the Computer icon and selecting Map Network
Drive allows you to connect to shared network folders.
Control Panel Double-clicking the Control Panel icon opens the Control Panel, which provides access to system
configuration and management tools.
Internet Explorer Double-clicking the Internet Explorer icon opens Internet Explorer to your default home page.
Right-clicking the Internet Explorer icon and then selecting Start Without Add-ons starts Internet
Explorer without using browser extensions or other add-ons.
Network Double-clicking the Network icon opens a window where you can access the computers and
devices on your network. Right-clicking the Network icon and selecting Map Network Drive allows
you to connect to shared network folders.
Recycle Bin Double-clicking the Recycle Bin icon opens the Recycle Bin, which you can use to restore deleted
items or permanently remove items. Right-clicking the Recycle Bin icon and selecting Empty the
Recycle Bin permanently removes all items in the Recycle Bin.

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