Windows 7 is the latest operating system from Microsoft. An operating system is the software that allows interaction between all the programs you use and the hardware, such as the printer, mouse and keyboard. When you use a computer with Windows 7 you may notice that a some things look a bit different.
Some people will also find they have different versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint to the older ones they were used to. See the University's Office 2007 web pages for more information and self-help guides.
You can also add program shortcuts to the Taskbar (the strip between the Start menu and the clock). To do this, use the method above, and choose Pin to Taskbar.
If you change your mind, simply right click on a pinned program and choose to ‘unpin’ it.
Jump Lists, new to Windows 7, are shortcuts to recently used files, organised by program. They appear on the Start menu and the Taskbar.
To access a Jump List on the Start menu, click the arrow next to a program name and a list of recently used files will appear (Jump Lists are only available once you have opened a file in a package at least once). Click on a file name to open it.
Jump Lists also appear when you right click a program icon on the Taskbar.
Regularly used files can be pinned to a Jump List so that they are always easily accessible, regardless of how many other files you have opened since. To pin a file to a Jump List, hover over the file in the list of Recent files and click on the drawing pin icon to Pin to this list.
Screenshot: pinning a file to a Jump List
The Taskbar now shows just one icon per program, regardless of how many windows you have open. Hover over a program icon to see a thumbnail-sized preview of all its open windows. Hover over one of these thumbnails to see a full screen preview. To switch to one of these windows, click on the thumbnail (hovering over it isn't sufficient).
The shortcut to the desktop has moved to the other side of the screen. Click on the bar next to the clock in the bottom right corner to go to the desktop. Note that if you just hover over this bar, you can preview the desktop without going to it.
Windows 7 has renamed and reorganised some of the folders that you might be used to seeing when organising your files. If you can't see the networked file locations you're used to, click on the link to Computer on the left hand menu (eg when you open or save a file). This is like the old My Computer folder. If you are unsure where to save your files or can't see the networked folders you expect, speak to your IT support staff.
Screenshot: the Computer folder
Notice that you can no longer select a drive location from the dropdown box at the top when you try to open or save a file, or work in Windows Explorer. Instead, use the folders listed on the left to navigate to a particular file or folder.
Tip: To quickly search for files, type all or part of the file name into the Search programs and files box on the Start menu, wait a couple of seconds and then you'll see files listed on the Start menu.
You may find that the your personal file space has been moved. If you can't find it, speak to your IT support staff to find out where you can now access it from.
When using a university PC many of your network file locations should have been set up for you. If you do need to map a new network drive, double click on the Computer folder to open it and then click on the Map network drive option.
When you save or open a file, or look in Windows Explorer, the file management options are different to previous operating systems you may be used to. Windows 7 has introduced Libraries as a new way of managing files from more than one location on your computer in one place. Libraries do not store files/folders as such, rather they store links to files and folders which might be physically stored in a number of different places.
When you save a file at work, always browse to the correct network folder via the Computer folder, rather than saving via libraries, to ensure that you are saving your files in the right place.
More information about Libraries is available online.
Windows 7 comes with new features you can try, some of which are outlined below.
It is often helpful to be able to see 2 windows side by side, eg a Word document and an Excel spreadsheet. Use the Restore Down icon (between the minimise and the close package icons) to reduce the size of a full screen window, then drag the title bar to the left or right of the screen. When your cursor hits the edge of the screen, the window will resize to fit half the screen. Drag another window to the opposite side to compare them. More information about the other features of Windows Snap is available
This is an updated feature which was found in previous versions and allows you to scroll through all your open windows and switch to another one using the keyboard rather than the mouse. Hold down the Alt key and press the Tab key to show thumbnails of all open windows. Keep pressing the tab key to scroll through the different windows and release both keys when you find the window you want to bring to the front.
An alternative version of Windows Flip. This shows a larger stack of open windows. Hold down the Windows key on the keyboard and keep pressing the Tab key to scroll through the windows.