Navigating Windows 7

Windows 7 desktop image

Smart Classrooms supported by Academic Technologies have been updated to Windows 7 for the Fall 2011 semester. We’ll guide you through a few of the differences you might find between Windows 7 and Windows XP.


Icons in the taskbar

The Windows taskbar along the bottom of the screen starts with eight icons:

  • Start Orb
  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • TurningPoint 2008
  • TurningPoint AnyWhere

Start Menu

Windows 7 start menu

Clicking the Start Orb brings up brings up a menu with additional software icons as well as links to documents on the computer and removable storage devices such as USB flash drives and CD-ROMs. Click “All Programs” to bring up a list of more software available on the computer.

Start Menu: All Programs

Windows 7 start menu

The “All Programs” menu lists all software installed on the computer. The scroll bar on the right can be used to navigate the list of available software. Folders within the list can be clicked on and expanded to show additional software.

Start Menu: Search programs and files

Searching for a program in the Windows 7 start menu

An easier way to access software on the computer is to type the name of the software into the "Search Programs and Files" box.

More specific search term for a program in the Windows 7 start menu

Typing more letters narrows the number of possible matches for your search.

Searching for a different program in the Windows 7 start menu

Letters in the search can be from any part of the program's name -- not just the beginning.

Taskbar: Running Programs

Windows 7 taskbar highlighting difference between icons for running programs and non-running programs

Running programs can be distinguished by a transparent box surrounding the program's icon. Running programs in the above image are: Internet Explorer, Microsoft PowerPoint, TurningPoint AnyWhere, Google Earth, and Microsoft Paint.

Programs with multiple windows (or tabs) running will have multiple transparent boxes around the program's icon. Internet Explorer has multiple tabs open in the image above.

Windows 7 taskbar Aero Peek option

Holding your mouse pointer over an icon for a running program will bring up a preview of all windows of that application. In the image above, the mouse pointer is positioned above the Internet Explorer icon.

Windows 7 Aero Peek option without preview for each open window

If too many windows of a program are open, previews are not generated. The windows are presented as a list.

Taskbar: New window of running program

Clicking a the icon of a running program in the taskbar will not start a new copy of that program.

Opening a new window by right clicking on the taskbar icon

To start a new copy of a running program from the taskbar, right click on the program's icon and click on the name of the program. Another option is to hold down the "Shift" key while clicking the program's icon.

Start Menu: My Documents

Windows 7 start menu with

To access documents stored on the computer in the "My Documents" folder, click the Start Orb and select "Documents."

Windows 7 documents folder

Files stored in the My Documents folder ("T:" drive) will remain on the computer if it is shut down or rebooted. Other users of the computer can change or delete any files stored here.

Removable Devices

Windows 7 flash drive autoplay options

Inserting a removable storage device such as a USB flash drive or CD-ROM should bring up an AutoPlay menu with options based on the types of files stored on the device. Click on "Open folder to view files" to browse through the files on the drive.

Windows 7 flash drive in

If an autoplay menu does not appear, click on the Start Orb then on "Computer." Select the drive you want to view from the window that appears.