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Windows Vista Security: Praxisorientierte Sicherheit für Profis by Marcus Nasarek

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177
Chapter 6
CHAPTER 6
Mastering Windows Explorer and
Searching Your Computer
6
When it comes right down to it, regardless of what you use your computer for, its most
important function is to make it possible for you to create and store documents, pic-
tures, music, videos, and other files. Thanks to Windows Vista’s extensive interface
enhancements, you have many new options for working with your files and searching
your computer. To get the most out of these new features, you need to master Win-
dows Explorer and Windows Search, which is exactly what this chapter is all about.
Windows Explorer: Whats Changed
You might not have realized it before, but the Control Panel, My Computer, and My
Network Places as used in earlier versions of Windows were simply different faces
for Windows Explorer that allowed you to view and work with the features of your
computer in different ways. While these various faces for Windows Explorer weren’t
tightly integrated previously, Windows Vista corrects this so that Windows Explorer
behaves more like a console or browser shell, and its many faces are now all well
integrated so that you always have similar functionality and features.
As you start working with the new Windows Explorer, you should know right away
that Microsoft renamed My Computer and My Network Places as Computer and Net-
work. One of the key reasons for this change was to simplify the naming and make
them easier to reference. Microsoft also renamed My Documents, My Pictures, My
Music, and My Videos as Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos.
As Figure 6-1 shows, Microsoft gave Windows Explorer a complete makeover that
includes:
A new Address bar to replace the old one
A Search box for fast searches
A new menu bar to replace the old one
New layout and view panes to replace the Explorer bars
New options for previewing folders and files
178
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Chapter 6: Mastering Windows Explorer and Searching Your Computer
As also shown in Figure 6-1, Windows Explorer organizes information according to
a specific layout setting that includes several standard view panes, including a Navi-
gation Pane for making quick selections and a Results Pane for viewing the folders
and files stored in a selected location. Unlike summary details provided in earlier
releases of Windows, the current version of Windows Explorer provides visual sum-
maries of the types of content in your folders when you are working with certain
views. A folder containing pictures will show a thumbnail graphic for some of those
pictures stacked within the folder graphic. A folder containing documents will show
a preview of those documents within the folder graphic.
When you select an item, you’ll see details about that item in the Details Pane. The
details listed depend on the type of item.
For disk drives, you’ll see a visual summary of space used. You’ll also see drive desig-
nator, filesystem type, free space, and total size (Figure 6-2).
For devices with removable storage, you’ll see drive designator and filesystem type
(Figure 6-3).
Figure 6-1. Windows Explorer’s enhanced interface, which is much easier to work with than
previous releases of Windows
Figure 6-2. Summary for a disk drive
Details pane
Navigation pane
Menu bar
Results pane
Search pane
Windows Explorer: What’s Changed
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179
For shortcuts, you’ll see folder name, creation date, last modified date, and size. If
the shortcut is within a shared folder, you’ll see details regarding how the related
folder is shared (Figure 6-4).
For folders, you’ll see folder name and last modified date. If the folder is shared,
you’ll see details regarding how the folder is shared (Figure 6-5).
For pictures, you’ll see filename, file type, the date the picture was taken, the pic-
ture’s width and height dimensions, and file size. You’ll also see tags and ratings
associated with the picture (Figure 6-6).
For music and audio books in Windows Media Player-supported formats, you’ll see
album cover, filename, file type, and size. You’ll also see the artists’ names, album
name, genre, play time (length), rating, and year produced (Figure 6-7).
Figure 6-3. Summary for a removable storage device
Figure 6-4. Summary for a shortcut
Figure 6-5. Summary for a folder
Figure 6-6. Summary for a picture
Figure 6-7. Summary for an audio file

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