Tuesday, August 10, 2010

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Managing Your Desktop In Windows 7

No matter how hard Microsoft tries to make people stop leaving icons out on the desktop—remember the Automatic Desktop Cleanup Wizard in Windows XP?—we keep doing it. People like leaving icons out on the desktop. Things are handy that way. Gives people a sense of control, of order.

“Well, fine,” Microsoft seems to say. “But as long as you’re going to leave your junk strewn everywhere, at least make it look neat.” And sure enough, you can control the sorting, spacing, size, and even the visibility of the icons you put on the desktop.

Icon size.
You can make all the desktop icons larger or smaller by turning your mouse’s scroll wheel while pressing the Ctrl key. (Or use the View  - Large, Medium, or Small commands.) Visibility. You can also hide all those desktop icons—for example, when you’re trying to show someone the beautiful baby photo that’s your desktop wallpaper, but your Quarterly Expense Reports folder is covering her eye. To do that, right-click the desktop; from the shortcut menu, choose View - “Show desktop icons” so that the checkmark disappears— along with all your icons. Use the same command to make the icons reappear.

Align to grid.
Right-click a blank spot on the desktop. In the shortcut menu, the View command offers submenus called “Auto arrange icons” and “Align icons to grid.” If both of these options are turned off, then you can drag icons anywhere. For example, some people like to keep current project icons at the top of the window and move older stuff to the bottom.

Ordinarily, though, Windows tries to impose a little discipline on you. It aligns your icons neatly to an invisible grid. If you choose this option, then all icons on the desktop jump to the closest positions on the invisible underlying grid.

Even so, this setting doesn’t move icons into the most compact possible arrangement. If one or two icons have wandered off from the herd to a far corner of the window, then they’re merely nudged to the grid points closest to their current locations. They aren’t moved all the way back to the group of icons elsewhere in the window.

Consolidate.
If you’d rather have icons sorted and bunched together on the underlying grid—no strays allowed—then choose ViewÆ“Auto arrange icons.” This command places the icons as close as possible to one another on the desktop, rounding up any strays.

Sort.
Right-click a blank spot on the desktop or in a window. The “Sort by” menu sorts the icons according to different criteria: name, date, and so on. Now if you add more icons to the window, they jump into correct alphabetical position; if you remove icons, the remaining ones slide over to fill in the gaps. This setup is perfect for neat freaks.

Adjust the grid spacing. 
Finally, you can control the spacing of the grid used for your desktop icons—in a place you’d never think of looking. Open the Start menu. In the Search box, type enough of the word metrics until “Change window colors and metrics” appears in the results list; click it. (In Windows 7 Starter Edition, type enough of the word color until “Change the Color Scheme” appears in the results list; click it, and then click Advanced from the dialog box that appears.)

Now you will see a dialog box. From the Items pop-up menu, choose Icon Spacing (Horizontal) or Icon Spacing (Vertical), and then adjust the Size number accordingly to nudge the grid spacing larger or smaller.

Click Apply as you go to check your work; click OK when the desktop icons look perfect.

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About bench3 -

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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