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Windows 7 demo: Taskbar featuresSociologists say that multitasking has shortened our attention spans and made us more easily distracted than ever. Apparently it's a losing battle. With 4GB or more of memory in the standard Windows PC these days, it's possible to open dozens of windows...
[ Background noise ] ^M00:00:03 >> Ed: I'm Ed Bock for ZD Net. And in this screen cast, I'll show you how some new features in Windows 7 that can help you multitask more effectively. In the past, the task bar was devoted exclusively to programs that were already running. If you click the Start button and run Excel, it gets a new task bar button. When you close Excel, the button goes away. In Windows 7 for the first time, task bar buttons can be used both for opening programs and for switching between running programs. To pin a favorite program to the task bar, right click its icon on the task bar. Now when I close Excel, it remains there so I can start it again with one click. You can also pin programs from the Start menu. This new design takes the icons you used to keep in the quick launch bar and makes them available any time. On the new style task bar, you can move buttons around so they always appear in the same position. Pinned buttons stay exactly where you move them. After you open a program or an Explorer window, you can point to its task bar button and see a thumbnail of its contents. Nothing new there. What is new in Windows 7 is a feature called Arrow Peak. As you point to each thumbnail preview, you actually see the window itself in place. Notice how all the other windows disappear into the background, letting you focus on the one you're pointing to. Click to bring that window to the foreground. Each of the first 10 buttons on the task bar gets its own keyboard shortcut, which consists of the Windows logo key plus its number. Here, when I press Windows logo key plus 2, it opens Windows Explorer, which is button number 2 on the task bar. I can hold down the Windows key and keep pressing that shortcut to cycle through all its open windows. For some programs, the preview itself is live. If you're playing an album in Windows Media Player, you can pause, play or skip tracks from the controls on the thumbnail. Jump lists are another new feature in Windows 7. To access a jump list, drag the mouse up and away from the task bar or just right click. These short cut menus give you quick access to tasks and files associated with a given program. Each program that has a jump list keeps track of items you've opened recently. You can pin items to the jump list by dragging them to the top of the list. Programs have to be adapted to work with jump list, but it isn't a lot of work and we should start seeing more programs support this feature soon. In the next video, I'll take a closer look at search tools that can help you keep your digital life more organized. For ZD Net, I'm Ed Bock. ^M00:02:50 [ Background noise ]