New book: Windows 7 Step by Step


New book: Windows 7 Step by Step

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We’re pleased to announce that Windows 7 Step by Step by Joan Preppernau, Joyce Cox, and  Online Training Solutions, Inc., is now available for purchase in bookstores (Microsoft Press, 2010; ISBN: 9780735626676; 544 pages)!

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To give you a taste of what you’ll find in the book, here are excerpts of the Introduction and two sample chapters.

Introducing Windows 7
Windows 7 is the computer operating system we’ve all been waiting for!

This latest version of the Windows operating system provides a deceptively simple computing experience; deceptive because on a Windows 7 computer, you can perform more—and more advanced—computing operations than ever before.

One of the first things you might notice about Windows 7 is the elegant look of the user interface. If you’re accustomed to working with Windows Vista, you’ll find a refined and enhanced interface with only a few new navigational features to learn. If you have been using an earlier version of Windows, you’ll find there have been significant changes, and will quickly appreciate the high-quality visual effects of the Windows 7 interface. Windows 7 includes several new features that utilize the Aero functionality introduced with Windows Vista. Features such as animations, translucent glass window frames, Windows Flip, Windows Flip 3D, Aero Peek, and Aero Shake provide an amazing desktop computing experience.

Beneath the attractive and efficient interface lies a powerful yet unobtrusive operating system. Windows 7 operates very efficiently, so your computing experience is faster than ever before—you’ll particularly notice this if you upgrade your computer from Windows Vista. Security features that were introduced with Windows Vista have been refined to maximize usability and minimize interruptions.

A new view of the file storage structure, called a library, gives you access to multiple storage locations from one window. Locating files, programs, and utilities has never been easier, and various tools and gadgets make it simple to do the things you want and need to do with your computer. Certain programs that were formerly installed with Windows, such as the e-mail management program known, in its various versions, as Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, or Outlook Express, have been removed from the operating system to concentrate Windows 7 resources on managing your computer. These programs are now available to all Windows users as part of the Windows Live family of programs.

You might have purchased a new computer with Windows 7 pre-installed or you might have already upgraded your existing computer from another operating system to Windows 7. If Windows 7 is already running on your computer, you can skip most of the information in this section. For readers who are still in the planning stages, this section provides information about the editions of Windows 7 that are available and the process of installing Windows 7 on a computer that is running Windows Vista, Windows XP, or another operating system.

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

Explore Windows 7

In this chapter, you will learn how to

  • Log on to Windows 7.
  • Explore the desktop.
  • Use the Start menu.
  • Use the Windows Taskbar.
  • Explore Control Panel.
  • Find information about your computer system.
  • Update Windows system files.
  • End a computing session.

This chapter will help you quickly become familiar with the Windows 7 user interface and the tools you’ll use to interact with your computer’s operating system.

Each time you turn on your computer, it goes through a startup process during which it loads the system files necessary for you to interact with your computer and for your computer to interact with other devices, such as the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. When the startup process is complete, you log on to Windows 7 by providing identification information that uniquely identifies you to the system. After you log on, Windows 7 presents a working environment individually tailored to your preferences. The process might sound somewhat complicated, but in actual practice, it’s quite simple.

When you first set up your computer, or if it’s been a while since you used it, it’s a very good idea to check for and install any updates released by Microsoft to keep your system running smoothly. You can configure Windows 7 to update itself with available updates at regularly scheduled intervals (provided your computer is on). By setting up automatic updating, you can be sure that your computer system always includes the most current features and security tools.

When you finish working with your computer, you can either shut down the computer entirely or leave it running in various ways. For example, you can log off from Windows 7 to end your computing session, lock the computer to restrict access to your session, or put the computer into Sleep mode to conserve power.

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(Exploring the Desktop…) Another way icons might appear on your desktop is if you save or move files or folders there. For example, if you download a program or other file from the Internet that you’ll need to use only once, you might save it on your desktop so that you can quickly find it, use it, and then delete it. When you install a program on your computer, you often have the option of creating a shortcut to it on the desktop. (Some installation programs automatically create a desktop shortcut, but others give you the courtesy of choice.) If you created desktop shortcuts before upgrading your computer operating system to Windows 7, your existing desktop shortcuts are still available after you upgrade.

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Pointing to an item on the desktop displays a ScreenTip indicating its function or properties.

Below each icon on the desktop is the name of the item it represents. If the name is too long to fit onto two lines, it is truncated by an ellipsis (…) when not selected and displayed in full when you click it, or sometimes when you click the desktop. When you point to an icon, a ScreenTip containing identifying information appears. Pointing to a program shortcut, for example, displays the location of the file that starts the program. Pointing to a file displays the file name, type, size, and modification date. You can start a program, open a folder or file, or jump to a network location or Web site by double-clicking the associated icon or shortcut.

Tip You can create your own shortcuts to programs, to specific folders or files, to other computers, or to Web sites, on the desktop or in any other folder. You can delete an item from the desktop as you would from any folder. When you delete a shortcut, however, you aren’t actually deleting the linked program, folder, or file—only the link to that item.

See Also For information about creating desktop shortcuts, see “Creating Shortcuts” in Chapter 5, “Manage Folders and Files.”

Excerpt from Chapter 4:

Navigate Windows and Folders

In this chapter, you will learn how to:

  • Work with windows.
  • Understand files, folders, and libraries.
  • Find your way around your computer.
  • Connect to network resources.
  • Find specific information.

To simplify the way you work with files on your computer, Windows uses a hierarchical storage system to organize information on your computer in a way similar to the way you would organize information in an office. Instead of organizing pieces of paper in cardboard folders in filing cabinets, you organize electronic files in electronic folders on the storage disks accessible to your computer.

You use Windows Explorer to look at the folders and files stored on your computer. With earlier versions of Windows, the Windows Explorer window could display the contents of only one folder at a time. With Windows 7, you can look at the contents of multiple folders in one window, by adding the folders to a library. This new feature allows you to easily access files while still maintaining an organizational system.

No matter how organized you are and how skillful you become at working with libraries, sometimes you might not remember where you stored a particular file. No problem! Windows 7 includes powerful search features that can help you almost instantly locate files and other information on your computer.

In this chapter, you’ll first learn how to size, arrange, hide, and otherwise manage windows on your desktop. You’ll learn about the standard file storage structure Windows 7 uses, and about the types of files you’ll find on your Windows 7 computer. Then you’ll explore the Windows 7 file storage structure. You’ll also experiment with searching for files by using the different search methods that are available.

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(Finding Specific Information) In this exercise, you’ll quickly locate items on your computer. You will then use advanced criteria in the Search Results folder to look for other files and will open the Preview pane to help identify the correct file.

SET UP You need the practice files located in your Documents\Microsoft Press\Windows7SBS\Navigation folder to complete this exercise.

1. Click the Start button.

The Start menu opens with the cursor blinking in the Start menu Search box.

2. In the Start menu Search box, type ice.

As you type the search term, Windows filters the program files, folders, and e-mail messages stored on your computer.

3. Point to each file in the search results in turn.

A ScreenTip displays the properties of each file you point to.

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The properties shown in a ScreenTip vary based on the file type.

If you get in the habit of entering properties for your files, this handy trick can help you quickly identify the file you want.

See Also For information about file properties, see “Working with Folder and File Properties” in Chapter 5, “Manage Folders and Files.”

4. At the bottom of the search results list, click See more results.

The Search Results In Indexed Locations window opens, displaying the full list of results. You can change the view and sort the files the same way you would with any folder.

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Be sure to visit the Microsoft Learning Windows 7 Training Portal, where you can download free sample chapters (previews) as well as learning snacks and online clinics.

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/training/windows.aspx.

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