How to learn Windows Vista - Customize your Windows desktop look and feel

Page content

Do you face Interface issues while exploring Vista?

There is no question that Windows Vista looks better than its predecessor Windows XP. Excellent new wallpaper images, high resolution icons, trans­parent and flipped windows, and a clever graphical interface help to create an appealing working environment for users.

However, many of us feel that Vista is lag­ging behind the competition - Linux and Mac OS - in several significant areas. For instance there is only one desktop in Vista. If you have a number of applications running, you may face a problem switching between them. Linux users can have several vir­tual desktops, with a full-screen browser running in one, a word processor in another, and some smaller applications in the third. Switching between them is very easy.

This limits Vista users to managing all their applications in a single desktop, which is a little difficult sometimes.

Don’t worry, though. There are some utilities that can help you solve this problem. One of them is Dexpot that turns your monitor into 20 virtual desktops and enables you to work far more efficiently and comfortably with many simultaneously opened windows. Another one is Virtuawin which also lets you arrange your applications across anything up to 20 desktops.

Also Microsoft has released a similar tool of its own in the shape of its Desktops utility called Desktops 1.0 which does the similar function as the applications discussed before. Maybe Microsoft will add this feature in future version of Windows.

There is also an application called Flip 3D which I must talk about here. This is Vista’s three-dimensional alternative to switching through open applications using the Alt and Tab shortcuts. This is a real cool application, but there is a drawback that application windows may overlay each other, which makes it hard to pick out the program you require.

But don’t be depressed, as there is another application called Switcher that tiles the windows for better visibility, and also adds searching shortcuts and other productivity boosting tweaks to the interface.

Let us also mention the Start menu. Not every user likes the new Start menu as it is more complicated than the one which XP had, which was much more easy to use. So if you don’t like the Vista Start menu, I will tell you a trick that may make you fall in love with it. Right click on the Start button, select Properties, and choose Classic start menu.

This Start menu doesn’t have a search box, but you can get that by installing a tool called Launchy.

There is another option for those who prefer keyboard to the mouse, and this application is called Start++ that enables you to create easy keyboard shortcuts to quickly execute any task you want.

This post is part of the series: Taming Windows Vista

There is an old saying that nothing is born perfect. Same goes with Vista too, as this new Windows isn’t perfect at all. Some drawbacks are easier to spot and can be fixed to provide ultimate perfection. In this series, I have tried to find out what Windows Vista lacks and how to fill these spaces.

  1. Taming Windows Vista - Poor Performance Tweaks
  2. Taming Windows Vista - Optimize Your Windows Interface
  3. Taming Windows Vista - Security Options
  4. Taming Windows Vista - Backup & Recovery Solutions
  5. Taming Windows Vista - Bundled Applications & Add-ons
  6. Taming Windows Vista - User Access Control
  7. Taming Windows Vista - Installing the Latest Windows Updates
  8. Taming Windows Vista - Restore, Monitor Management & More
  9. Taming Windows Vista - Media Burning, Remote Access & More
  10. Taming Windows Vista - Sample Registry Tweaks & More