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Vista Navigation Pane

Friday, December 14th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized
 
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Q:
What exactly is the navigation pane in Windows Vista? What am I supposed to be using it for? Any information you can give me would be great. Thanks!

A:
Sure thing! I’m sure you’re not the only Windows Vista user out there who has wondered that very same thing. The navigation pane is a little something new Microsoft threw into Vista and I think once you figure out how to use it, you’ll be glad they did. It’s a very easy way to keep all of your files organized and put in place. So, without further ado, I bring you Vista’s navigation pane!

I think a good place to begin is actually finding the navigation pane, what do you think?! To get to it, just double click on the Computer icon on your desktop. It’s located on the left hand side of that window. Across the top, you’ll see tabs for Organize, Views, Explore and so on. Below that, there are two sections broken up into Favorite Links and Folders. Under Favorite Links, there are a few entries there for Documents, Pictures, Music, etc. and under the Folders section, you’ll see some of the folders you work with on a regular basis. Here’s a sample of what it looks like:

Let’s start with the Favorite Links section. By default, you have the Documents, Pictures and Music links, but you can add as many others as you’d like. If you have a few other files you use on a daily basis that you’d like to have easier access to, you can add them to the navigation pane. That way, you don’t have to go through a line of folders and files to find the single one you need. You can just click on your Computer icon and they’ll be there! For example, maybe you’re working on a big project and you need quick access to one of your Word documents. Just add it to your Favorite Links and it will be right there waiting for you each time you need it. Or, maybe you have some pictures you’re editing and you need to be able to open them fast. Add them to your Favorite Links and voila. The options are endless!

To add a file to your Favorite Links, all you have to do is drag and drop it into your navigation pane. It’s as easy as that! Once you have all the files added that you want, you’ll also want to check out the Recently Changed link. If you click on that, it will show you which files you have created or modified in the last 30 days. So, if you make a change to one of your files, you can look it up right there. There is also a Searches link and you can use that to look up any searches you’ve performed on your Vista computer. You can use it to quickly find files, no matter where they are on your hard drive. It’s just an easy way to find exactly what you need, without having to look in a million places. You can even add custom saved searches to your Favorite Links if you’d like.

Now, if you prefer the traditional way of looking through your folders to find the files you need, you can resort back to using the Folders link on the navigation pane. You can even resize it to fit the whole pane if you don’t like the idea of the Favorite Links section. It’s up to you, depending on the way you like to do things. Either way, Microsoft has done a really good job of giving you more options when it comes to navigating through your data. The navigation pane is a great way to keep all of your files organized and it just couldn’t be easier to use. So, if you’re a Vista user, I recommend giving this a try today. You never know, it could be your next best favorite thing!

~ Erin

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