Interacting with the Windows 7 Desktop – Fun Time Savers

Windows Vista provides some fun animation and effects to the Windows Desktop, (Flip 3D and Alt-Tab-2D). Windows 7 adds further pizzazz with a set of entertaining visual cues that makes working with Windows a great time on the PC. Let’s check some of them out!

Click image to enlarge

Aero Peek – Allows you to see behind windows revealing the desktop without the need to minimize windows by simply placing your mouse pointer in the right hand corner of the screen.

Tip for this visual effect: (Windows Key + Space)

Click image to enlarge

Aero Snaps – For persons who often do data comparisons with content from two windows on screen, Windows 7 has made this a cinch by simply making it possible to drag the window to opposite sides of your screen; automatically each window will fill its half of the screen.

Tip for this visual effect: (Windows Key + arrow)

Click image to enlarge

Aero Shake – Grab a window title bar, shake it and all windows behind the active window will minimize to the Taskbar, shake it again and all windows will return to the screen.

Desktop SlideshowThis is not really a time saver, but if you want to use up some idle time at work before the clock hit’s 5 P.M. here’s is a nice feature of the Windows Desktop you definitely will enjoy. In 7, Microsoft provides in addition to window colour, the ability to choose pre-packaged themes that matches the bundled wallpapers. Glass colour options have increased from 8 in Vista to 16 now in 7. The Personalization explorer supports changing your desktop wallpaper automatically at timed intervals or you invoke it manually by right clicking the desktop and click the ‘Next Desktop Background Picture’ contextual menu option. You can selectively choose different wallpapers you would like to be added to the slideshow, you can even create your own themes and save them. The Personalization explorer itself is more centralized providing a one stop approach to customizing your Desktop Background, Sounds and Screen Saver while you are at it. Let me show you how to setup a Slideshow and Save a theme in Windows 7.

Right click Desktop > click Personalize

In the Personalization shell, click Desktop Background 

Hover over wallpaper and check the box that appears, do this for more than one wallpaper.

Then click in the ‘Change picture every:’ list box and select a timed interval > Save Changes.

You can also save custom backgrounds and Aero Glass colour by simply selecting the ‘Save theme’ in Personalization.

The Windows Team has promised additional improvements to the effects in Windows 7 Release Candidate expected May 5th. This includes Alt-Tab thumbnail supporting full preview’s of windows when invoked. You can get more themes and backgrounds online if you are not satisfied with the pre-bundled collection at the Windows 7 beta Personalize your PC website.

Related:

In depth look at the Windows 7 Taskbar and Start Menu

Resources:

Desktop Experience in Windows 7
A few more changes from Beta to RC…
Some Changes Since the Beta for the RC

Previously:

Windows Explorer – What’s new in Windows 7?
Networking made easy with HomeGroups in Windows 7
Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade – Unlocking more benefits with less effort
A Look at Windows Backup and Windows Update in 7
Playing with Windows Media Player 12

 

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