replaced Windows XP as the main operating system from
Microsoft. It is primarily used for personal computers
including home and business environments. Microsoft Vista was
released to the market on November 8, 2006.
There are a lot of new and exciting features in
this operating system. However we are going to focus on a
handful of topics in this Windows Vista Tutorial. We will not cover the Desktop
or the Start button here. If you would like to know more
about those topics, please visit that the
Desktop Basics tutorial page. Instead today, we will be focusing on the
following topics for Vista training
-Programs and Applications
-Windows Explorer and
-Working with Media
In addition we have
partnered up with Lynda.com to get you FREE 7 day
access to Windows
Vista training courses for Free!!
One of the new features in
Windows Vista is the ability to start programs and applications
without knowing the complete hierarchal path. Let us say that
you tend to use PowerPoint a lot to create presentations. In
the previous versions of Windows, you would have to browse to
Programs, Microsoft Office and then Microsoft PowerPoint, not
anymore! Let us show you a quick and easy way of finding the
When you click on the Start button, right
below All Programs you will see an area that reads Start
Search. Go ahead and enter PowerPoint in this location
and click Enter. You will notice that the computer will go
ahead and search Files and Programs with the word PowerPoint in
it. The first option on the top under Programs is Microsoft
Office PowerPoint 2007, go ahead and select it. This will
launch Microsoft PowerPoint in just one step. Very Nice!
Here is what it looks like on the computer
monitor, notice the Start Search
area is highlighted in red.
Using the Start Search
method, not only
are you able to find Programs and Applications, you can
also look for files and related documents We saw this in action above when
it found files and communications (Outlook) related to PowerPoint. In this
manner you can work more efficiently in Vista operating system than you
could in previous Window environments.
Let us do the same thing to launch the
WordPad application next. In the Start Search area, simply type wordpad.
Under Programs you will see WordPad, go ahead and launch the
This is shown in the
In the above screen
shot, we have highlighted different sections which are common
in a typical Windows application.
The top portion
where it reads File, Edit .. is known as the"File menu"
This menu can be used to do a number of tasks like opening or
closing a document, changing the font properties, format
options, browsing through the Help section etc.
Right below the File
menu is what's known as "the Toolbar"
This contains several commonly used commands. For example in order to
save a file, you can use the File menu, or simply click on the
Save icon which is highlighted in green square. You will notice the
ruler below the Toolbar which is helpful from a printing point of
Next you will notice the big white space where
you will be entering the actual information.
On the top right corner you will notice three
icons. These let you control the behavior of the actual program
window. The first one is used to minimize the
program that you're working in, the second one (square) is used to
restore the program to its original viewing size and the
last one (x) is used to close
We just felt
necessary to cover some of the basics of working with Windows
programs and applications especially if this all new to
Windows Explorer and
Now that we have covered windows training
on how to start an application and manage the
environment, let us move on to second part of our Windows Vista Tutorial,
working with files and folders. In order to work with files,
you will need to use Windows Explorer
. It can be found under the Start
menu. When I did this on my computer, it went ahead and took me to
the Documents folder. This is considered to be the default
location where Windows Vista will store your files.
Here is a screen capture of what it looks like on my
You will notice
that the Windows Explorer area above is split into two panes
The one on the left is the
Navigation pane and the one on the right is the
pane. The navigation pane is further broken down into Favorite Links
and Folders. You can easily browse to the needed location by double
clicking on the desired folder. As you click on these folders,
the detail area will change accordingly and will list
different files and folders. On the right side you can see
detailed information on the files and folders. This can include things like
name of the file, when it was modified, what type of document it is,
so on and so forth. Also observe that our files are listed by
the Date modified in descending order.
From the details pane, you can simply open up the necessary document
by either double clicking on it or using right click and
then selecting Open. One of the things that I find myself
doing is customizing the look and feel
of Documents folder. I typically like to
see the file extensions and also want to see the Date modified on
the left side. How do we do that?
First let us move
the Date modified to the left. You can select the column heading
and holding the left mouse button you can simply drag
the column to the left. This will rearrange the details pane and
now you're left most column would be modified date.
Here is a
screen capture of this action right below.
For the next step,
you need the File menu which currently is not
visible. Go ahead and select Alt + F which will make
the File menu visible. Next select Tools menu .
You will see a drop down like the one
below and select Folder Options.
This will launch a
new dialog box titled Folder Options . Go to the View tab and under Advanced
settings check the option Hide extensions for known file
types-Off. Go ahead and click on Apply and then select
included the screen shot of this step as follows. By the way you can
always revert back to the original settings by clicking on
This time when
you open up Windows Explorer, you will notice that the first column
is Date modified and for the file names,
you will notice extensions like .docx (Microsoft Word), .xlsx (Microsoft Excel), etc. I find this
helpful if I am working with different versions and not sure what type
of file I am working
This is what it looks like on my computer
We have already seen how easy it is
to search for programs earlier. Next we will search files and
folders using Windows Explorer. Let us say that you are starting to do
some job hunting and would like to pull up all your resumes that
are floating around on your computer, I know I have a few of them
around! How do you do that?
You can simply click on the Start button and
then select Windows Explorer
. In the left pane, select
Computer from Favorite Links. In the detail pane you can see
all the fixed and removable storage devices (disk or drive). You will
also see a Search bar in the top right corner (highlighted
in red). This is where you can type resume and hit Enter. The
computer will go ahead and search all the documents with title or
text that includes resume.
The next two computer snapshots
show what we are talking about.
While the computer is searching for
documents, you do not need to wait for it to finish. If you notice
0 the file that you are looking for, you can double click
on it which will open it. Another way you can search for files
is to use the Search option from the Start menu which will essentially
lead to the same results as above.
I will say one more thing about searching
files and folders. In the past I have preferred using Google
over the Windows
native search tool as it was a lot faster. However in the new
version of Windows, the search capability has improved considerably so either
one should work just fine.
Working with Media
Media can include a number of things like music, videos, digital pictures and external
sources like TV, cameras etc. We will go over
some of these options in this portion of Vista Tutorial. When you are
trying to play an audio CD or a DVD, the first thing you will need to
do is put the CD/DVD in the CD tray.
will see a similar dialog box to the one shown below. In my case, I am
trying to play some videos from a DVD.
If you find
yourself using the same application all the time, I would go ahead
and check the box Always do this for video files so that it
does not prompt you again. Go ahead and select Play using
Windows Media Player and then click OK. This should launch Windows
Media Player and start playing your music CD or DVD. If you want
more info on Windows Media Player, we cover the details in our
Windows XP Trainingpage.
The next thing we will a cover
in our Vista training is working with USB devices. Let us say that you
are trying to copy some files from your computer hard drive to a
USB drive also known as a Thumb drive. We will show you how you can get
this done. First you need to stick your thumb drive into one of the many USB ports on a
When you do that, you will get something similar
to the following dialog box.
Go ahead and choose
Open folder to view
then click OK. It will go ahead and open Windows Explorer and let
you browse files and folders that are currently on the Thumb
drive. We are going to copy one of my resumes from the Documents
folder to the Removable Disk J. We browse to the Documents folder,
select the correct resume and choose Copy from the Edit
This step is shown in the figure below.
back to the Removable Disk which is J in our case. Select
Pate from the Edit menu to copy the resume to the new location.
have included the screen capture of this step.
We are not going to go into a lot of detail on the Control Panel
as there are several topics here. We do have some video training
with details on the Control Panel features in
Windows XP lesson so
feel free to check it out also. For today we will be covering
Administration Tools, Program and Features, and Security
You can launch
Control Panel by selecting Control Panel from the Start menu. This is
what it looks like on my computer
For this part
of Windows Vista
Tutorial, we are going to take a look at the Administration tools which can
be used to control Services, view Events, perform
Computer Management etc. Let's go ahead and look at the Computer
Management features. When I clicked on this option, I got a dialog box which
is in place for as a security mechanism. You have to click on
OK to proceed to the next step.
I have included a screen shot
of the options available under Administration Tools.
Next you will be given
a window that is also known as a MMC or a Microsoft
management console. As you can see there are quite a few options
under the Computer Management. We're going to briefly explain
a few these here:
Event Viewer: This
important tool can help you troubleshoot issues that may be
occurring with your computer. The Event Viewer is further
broken down into Application, Security and System related events and
Tasks Scheduler: The task
scheduler can help you automate different actions on your
computer. For example you could set up a task to shut down the
computer at a certain point. A task needs a trigger or a
condition to start the task and secondly it needs an
action which is the actual work done by the
Performance Monitor: This is a
simple yet powerful tool that can provide graphical information on
things like CPU, memory, network, disk utilization etc about your
Device manager: When you run into
hardware type issues or you need to update a driver, you can use the
Device Manager to take care of such problems. The typical
device manager will provide all the hardware components by category
and then you can further drill down to the component
services tab will let you start and stop different
services on your machine.
included a screen shot off a Device Manager here with some of the
tabs expanded so you can see the details. If you would like more
info on Device Manager, this website
does a good job of explaining it
Using the Program
and Features, you can install or uninstall
applications from your computer. This is also useful when you are trying to
update some of the optional features under Windows operating
system. When you click on it, it will go ahead and list all the installed
the applications in an alphabetical order.
I have included a
screen shot of what is currently on my computer.
next Window Vista demo
step, let us go ahead and try to uninstall one of
these applications. I do not use the Camstudio any more so I can
safely remove that program from my computer. When I double
clicked on Camstudio, I was given the following dialog
box. It is simply confirming that I want to indeed
uninstall Camstudio. I will go ahead and click on Yes. It will
go through a few steps and uninstall the application as
The last important item
we want to cover in our Windows Vista Tutorial is Security. Security
center allows you to turn on important features related to
protection of your computer from viruses, worms, spyware and adware.
When you launch the Security center, you will notice the different
settings that are either turned on or off. On the left site, you
have additional features which we will look at first.
Using windows update,
your computer will automatically check for latest updates, bug fixes
and service packs for your operating system. Microsoft is
constantly coming up with new patches and updates so it is a good
idea to turn this feature on.
Windows firewall helps protect your
computer by blocking traffic from the outside. This could
include traffic from the Internet or a Computer Network. It can
also stop your computer from sending malicious software to other
Windows defender is a
free tool from Microsoft. It detects viruses, spyware, malware
and adware applications from your computer. In order to use
this, you will need to first validate your copy of Microsoft
The Internet options let you
control configuration settings for your Internet browser. You
can set up your homepage, delete browsing history, manage
security levels, privacy settings, enable or disable other
configuration parameters. You can also get to this from the Tools
menu in Internet Explorer.
go ahead and look at the Security Center on our computer.
When we selected this option, it launched the following dialog
You will notice
that most of the security
mechanisms are in place for our computer which is a good thing.
However the Virus protection is turned off, that is not good! You
can click on Monitor now which will let you enable this option. We
are using AVG Anti-virus in our computer, so that is the option we
After we turned this protection on, the Security
center is not reporting that we are indeed protected against
Here is a screen shot of this shown below.
Links related to Windows Vista Tutorials:
windows vista themes
-Downloads related to windows vista
-Microsoft Windows Vista Homepage
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