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Searching in Vista

Searching in Vista

Are you new to Windows Vista? Are you having trouble figuring out the new search feature it offers? If so, come along with me as I explain everything about this new searching method!

Microsoft’s Windows Vista includes a great search facility that enables you to search for documents and files from the Windows Explorer window or even directly from a text area under the Start menu.

It will search not only for the file name like in previous versions of Windows, but also inside the document or file itself.

For example, if you have a document that has the words “Dear Tom” as part of the text, but you cannot remember where you saved it, you can simply type “Dear Tom” into the search field and it will look in every file on your hard drive to show you all the files with the words “Dear Tom” in them. This means that you will have found the file you wanted right away. That is, unless you have a couple hundred files with the same words in them. If that’s the case, you may have to be a bit more specific.

So, what else is good about this search feature? Well, it is available in every Windows Explorer window, as I mentioned above. (Now, in case you’re not sure, Windows Explorer is your My Computer, My Documents, My Music, etc. folders). Also, a new feature that has been added to the Start menu is the ability to search for programs and documents from a text field in the bottom of the menu. This is very handy for when you want to find documents, without having to launch Windows Explorer.

To search from Windows Explorer, follow these simple steps.

1.) Open your My Documents folder.

2.) Put your cursor in the search box, which can be seen in the top right of the window.

3.) Type in the phrase you want to search for (for example, “Dear Tom”).

4.) A list of all the files with your phrase in the file name will appear in the main area.

5.) Double click the file you want to open and it will automatically launch.

It is important to know that when using the Windows Explorer search, it will only search through folders and files within the folder you are currently viewing. For example, in your My Documents folder, if you do a search, it will look for all the files in the My Documents folder only. (And of course, any other folders within the My Documents folder. For example, a work folder). It will not find a file on your external hard drive, for example. That is, unless you open a flash drive folder, etc.

Now, if you don’t like that method, you can choose to search everywhere. To do so, you can use the following method.

Searching From the Start Menu

1.) Click the Start menu button.

2.) Type in the text box, located at the bottom left of the menu, the phrase you want to search for.

3.) Click on the file you want to open and it will launch.

So, there you have it. You can now search for your files so much quicker in Windows Vista and if you ever forget where you saved a file, this can act as your “keyfinder” (or lifesaver, depending on how you look at it). Enjoy this tip!

~ Simon North