Weekly Computer Tip # 327
14 January 2011

Quickly find and open your files or programs - wherever they are
(Windows 7)

No idea what the figures are right now, but in July last year (sounds ages ago, doesn't it?) Microsoft claimed it was selling seven copies a second of the latest Microsoft operating system, Windows 7. They also reported that 74 percent of work PCs still used Windows XP (and mine was one of those). But as I'm getting requests (and orders) for Windows 7 training I felt I had to bite the bullet and upgrade. And you know what? It's the old clich: wished I had done it earlier! Not sure which improvement I love most, but I'd better "warn" you that over the next couple of months this weekly tip might contain a high dose of Windows 7 tips. (Don't unsubscribe though... I'll still do Office tips and if there is an equivalent in Windows XP I haven't covered, I'll mention it!)

This week's tip shows a quick way to open, say, Microsoft Word. Obviously, "the old way" still works. You click on the Start menu in the lower left corner of the desktop and click on the relevant program button. Or, if it isn't there, you rummage around All Programs. But Windows 7 gives a quick way to find (and open) your files and programs - wherever they are.

Here's how:

  1. Click on the Start button or press the Windows (WIN) key. (The WIN key is the key with the Windows/Start button logo on it, to the left of the ALT key.)
  2. The blinking cursor should appear in the Search box (to the left of the Shut down button), so you can simply type the first letter(s) of program or file you want to open. (To narrow your search, type more characters.) It is not necessary to click a Search or OK button; any files or programs that contain the text that you typed are displayed in the Start menu.
  3. If necessary, use your up and down arrows on your keyboard to highlight the file or program you want to open and press ENTER.

Finally, don't forget to take part in Roem's 10th anniversary quiz,which will be running through January. All you have to do is identify events that took place in 2001; see 1111.html for further details. By the way, if you sent your answers in but didn't get a confirmation from me, please let me know. (The really early birds, who sent the answers to ten@roem.co.uk, might have gone lost!)