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35 Things You Didn't Know About Windows Vista: 1 - 5

written by: sammy•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 5/12/2009

If you are upgrading from XP to Vista, you might find it a bit slower than XP. This is because of the fact that Vista includes dozens of handy features that are very useful but less advertised. Here are some of these lesser-known features, tools and settings that every Vista user should know about.

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    1. Hassle free Search tool to find anything fast

    Vista has completely changed the way you search for documents, applications and settings. Unlike XP's start menu, you don't have to manually hunt down what you need. Press the Windows key and type in the name of what you're looking for. As you type, Vista searches your hard disk for all files, applications, and settings for items that match, displaying the items you have searched for instantly. As you continue typing characters, Vista filters out the results even more. So far, it’s the best search tool that has been incorporated in any version of Windows.

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    2. Flip through various application windows

    When Vista was introduced there was much hype about its new look, but this appearance is not just skin deep. The new interface provides a handy way to browse the applications and open documents on your PC. It’s called Flip 3D. To use this feature you just need to hold down the Windows key and press Tab. Vista then displays a 3D image of all the pro­grams you have opened. Also, pressing the Tab key again flips to the next application. Unfortunately this feature is not available in Vista Home Basic.

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    3. Parental lock for keeping the kids in check

    If children use your PC without your supervision, their meddling fingers can play havoc with your set­tings and controls. So it’s very important that children are protected and supervised while using your PC. Vista’s Parental Control enables you to set a specific time of the week when children can access the computer, also blocking inappropriate websites or programs which need parental guidance. To access this feature type “parental” into the Start menu search box.

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    4. More sensible printing

    Internet Explorer 7, which is included with Vista, has a print preview tool that enables you to manage your web page printing. Unlike in Windows XP where printing web pages could be a frustrating experience (with ink and paper wasted as elements of the page that fell outside of a conventional A4 sheet and were printed on new pages), Vista makes it easy. To access this feature click the down arrow next to the printer icon at the top-right of the IE7 window.

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    5. Play and record Live TV

    If you have a TV tuner card installed on the PC running with Windows Vista you can watch and record television programs with Windows Media Center. Media Center uses an Electronic Program Guide (like free-view and sub­scription TV services) so you can see a schedule of what is coming up over the next seven days and plan what to watch or record. You can also access radio stations and manage your digital photo collection either online or on your PC. However, Home Basic users will again be a little disappointed as it does not have this feature.

Unveiling Windows Vista's secrets

Windows Vista offers a huge range of possibilities. You might be using Vista for a long time now but there are some tools, features and functions which you might not even heard about. Let us unveil Vista's best kept secrets
  1. 35 Things You Didn't Know About Windows Vista: 1 - 5
  2. 35 Things You Didn't Know About Windows Vista: 6 - 10
  3. 35 Things You Didn't Know About Windows Vista: 11 - 15
  4. 35 Things You Didn't Know About Windows Vista: 16 - 20
  5. 35 Things You Didn't Know About Windows Vista: 21 - 25
  6. 35 Things You Didn't Know About Windows Vista: 26 - 30
  7. 35 Things You Didn't Know About Windows Vista: 31 - 35