Windows 7 Catch-up: Usability

Yes, we’re still playing catch-up on Windows 7. But then so is half the Windows user-base which is only now migrating from XP.  Unlike Vista which was bloated, obtuse and slow to respond, Windows 7 incorporates some new features to enhance usability. Here’s a list of some of my favourites…


  • Windows Snap: The Windows 7 Snap function lets you drag a window to the edge of the screen and then snap it in place.
  • Shake to Minimise: Click a title bar and shake your mouse, making all other open Windows minimize.
  • Preview running applications: Hover over taskbar icons to preview open windows of that program.
  • Areo Peek: multiple windows running on your desktop? Use Win+Space & Aero Peek shows just your desktop icons & gadgets.
  • Pin to taskbar: You can drag icons and shortcuts to the task bar, enabling you to launch them with a single click
  • Jump Lists: Right click on taskbar icons to open a jump list of items related to that program.
  • Multiple program instances: To quickly open up a second instance of the same application, hit Shift + click the taskbar menu.
  • Taskbar ordering: You can change the order of icons on the taskbar by clicking & dragging them to the order and locations you prefer.
  • Drag across multiple monitors: You can move windows across multiple monitors without having to minimize or shrink the window first.
  • Windows 7 Short-cuts: Create keyboard shortcuts for any program by selecting the shortcut tab and setting a Shortcut Key.
  • Pin frequently used folders to the taskbar: These will show up in the Jump List when you right click Explorer.
  • Task Switching: ALT+TAB enables you to dynamically bring windows to the top of the list for a full preview.
  • Minimise all but active window: To de-clutter your display,  use Windows+Home to minimize all inactive windows, while active one stays in focus.


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