Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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Customizing The Taskbar In Windows Vista

Customizing the Taskbar

The Windows Taskbar can be customized to meet your needs. You can resize the taskbar, hide it, and even add toolbars to it.

Moving the Taskbar
By default, the taskbar resides at the bottom of your screen. You can move the taskbar to any side of the screen or even to another screen if you use more than one monitor. To move the taskbar, do the following:
1. Right click the taskbar and ensure 'Lock the Taskbar' is unchecked
2. Point to a blank spot on the taskbar and drag the taskbar to the side of the Desktop where you want it

Resizing the Taskbar
By default, the taskbar is one 'row' wide. You can resize the taskbar to any size you want. To resize the taskbar, do the following:
1. Right click the taskbar and ensure 'Lock the Taskbar' is unchecked
2. Place the mouse pointer on the outer edge of the taskbar until the pointer turns into a two-headed arrow
3. Drag the border to change the size of the taskbar


Controlling Taskbar Grouping
Grouping common items on the taskbar can reduce clutter. If you have five instances of internet explorer running, the grouping option will display them as one button the taskbar. Clicking the internet explorer button will bring up a list of all active Internet Explorer windows.

Disabling Grouping
Grouping isn't for everyone (including me). To disable grouping, do the following:
1. Right-click the Start button
2. Select „Properties‟
3. Select the „Taskbar‟ pane in the „ Taskbar And Start Menu‟
4. Uncheck the „Group Similar Taskbar Buttons‟ checkbox

Setting Grouping Limitations
To change the number of similar windows that need to be open to 'kick in' grouping, do the following:
1. Press the Start button
2. Type in regedit and hit enter
3. Navigate to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
4. Create a new DWORD value named TaskbarGroupSize

In the value field, specify the minimum number of similar windows that need to be open to enable grouping. A setting of 2 groups related items as soon as you open a second window, even if there‟s plenty of room on the taskbar; 3 enables grouping as soon as you have three or more similar windows; and so on. Now log off and log back in to put your new settings
into effect.

Auto-hiding the Taskbar
You may find the taskbar gets in the way when you are using a program, or even when you are on your desktop. You can auto-hide the taskbar in two different ways. The first way is to have the taskbar auto-hide when it is not in focus. The other way is to have the taskbar in the background when you maximize a window or move a window over it. 

Auto-hiding the Taskbar All the Time

To autohide the taskbar, do the following:
1. Press the Start button
2. Type taskb in the Search box
3. click „Taskbar And Start Menu? The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box will now display.
4. Check 'Auto-Hide The Taskbar' To access the taskbar, simply move your mouse to the side of the screen the taskbar is located on and it will appear.

Hiding the Taskbar Behind Active Windows
To hide the taskbar behind active windows, do the following:
1. Press the Start button
2. Type taskb in the Search box
3. click „Taskbar And Start Menu? The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box will now display.
4. Uncheck 'Keep The Taskbar On Top Of Other Windows'

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Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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