Computer Lady Lessons

Windows 7 Chapter 2b - The Middle of the Taskbar

Welcome to this issue of Computer Lady Lessons! Did you know that more than a billion people use Microsoft Windows every day?

Some people use Windows in their workplace, some use it with their hobbies, just for relaxation, or to keep in touch with loved ones. I find that I use Microsoft Windows in all these areas of my life. I do most of my work using Windows, I relax playing games in Windows, I keep in touch with friends and family from around the corner to across the country, and I even use it with my sewing hobby from digital patterns to creating embroidery designs for my embroidery machine.

No matter what you use your computer for, the quality of your experience relies on two things. One is that that your computer works, and the second is that you know how to make it work. This course is here to help you know how to make your Windows 7 computer work for you.  It is my hope that this course will help you to quickly become comfortable with Windows 7, and learn a few extra tips and tricks along the way.

Today we continue taking look at the taskbar. Did you know that you can move it to any edge of your screen? We will learn how to do that, as well as discover some new features that are new to the Windows 7 taskbar.

Elizabeth

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Moving & Hiding The Taskbar

Last week, I mentioned that you can move your taskbar to any edge of your desktop, and you can have the taskbar hide from view when you are not using it. Let's take a look at how to make these changes to the taskbar.

First, we will move the taskbar. Before you can move the taskbar, you need to make sure it is not locked in place. Simply right click on a blank spot of the taskbar and if there is a check mark in front of "Lock The Taskbar" click on it to remove the check mark. If there is not a check mark in front of "Lock the Taskbar" just click again on the taskbar to close the menu.

Once you are sure the taskbar is unlocked, moving it is as simple as dragging it. Point your mouse cursor to a blank spot on the taskbar somewhere near the middle. Hold down the left mouse button and drag the cursor to the middle of a different side of the screen. Don't worry if the taskbar doesn't look like it is moving at first, it won't actually move until you are very close to the edge of the screen you are heading for. Once the taskbar has moved to the desired edge of the screen, release the mouse button.

When you have the taskbar on the side of your screen that works best for you, it is a good idea to lock it again. That way it doesn't accidentally get moved. I have seen many computers with the taskbar on the top or side of the screen, and when I ask the owner about it, they tell me that it appeared there one day, and they had no idea how to get it back where they wanted it.

To lock the taskbar again, just right click on a blank spot of the taskbar, and click once on "Lock The Taskbar".

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Auto-hide the Taskbar

Now that we have moved the taskbar around, it is time to hide the taskbar.

Your Windows taskbar has a feature called, Auto-hide. This feature allows you to use your entire screen and only displays the taskbar when you want it to show. Once you put your taskbar on auto-hide, the taskbar will slide out of view. When you want to use the taskbar, just hover your mouse pointer near the edge of the screen, and the taskbar will slide into view.

Note: Sometimes Auto-hide displays the taskbar when you don't want it to show as well. Many people don't like auto-hide because every time you move your mouse near the edge of the screen, the taskbar slides into view.

Vocabulary

Taskbar:
A special toolbar that is usually located at the bottom edge of the Microsoft Windows desktop. Includes a start button, button for each open window and a status area.
Start Button:
The round button located on the Windows Taskbar that is used to open the start menu.
Notification Area:
An area in the Windows taskbar that displays icons of some programs, and system alerts.
Aero Peek:
A new function that allows you to "peek" at the desktop when hovering your mouse pointer over a button.

Quick Steps

Another way to move the taskbar:

  1. Right click on a blank spot on the taskbar.
  2. Click on "Properties" in the context menu that appears.
  3. In the Properties dialog box, locate the setting that says, "Taskbar Location on Screen" and click the drop down list to select the edge you want.
  4. Click the "OK" button to save your changes and close the dialog box.

How to lock or Unlock the Taskbar:

  1. Right click on a blank spot on the taskbar.
  2. Click on "Properties" in the context menu that appears.
  3. In the Properties dialog box, click to check or uncheck the option that says, lock the taskbar.
  4. Click the "OK" button to save your changes and close the dialog box.

How to Auto-Hide the Taskbar:

  1. Right click on a blank spot on the taskbar.
  2. Click on "Properties" in the context menu that appears.
  3. In the Properties dialog box, click to check or uncheck the option that says, Auto-hide the taskbar.
  4. Click the "OK" button to save your changes and close the dialog box.

How to turn off the Aero Peek function:

  1. Right click on a blank spot on the taskbar.
  2. Click on "Properties" in the context menu that appears.
  3. In the Properties dialog box, click to remove the check mark from the option that says, "Use Aero Peek to preview the desktop".
  4. Click the OK button to save your changes and close the dialog box.
    
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