Tip

Vista's Search Bar finds programs, email messages fast

The Search Bar, a new feature built into the Windows Vista's Start Menu and Windows Explorer, can locate programs, files and communications such as email messages stored on your computer. It starts looking for matches as soon as you start typing, and will often find what you are looking for before you finish entering the search term.

To use the Start Menu Search Bar, click on the Vista Icon on your task bar to open the Start Menu. At the bottom of the Start Menu is a search box where you can enter what you are looking for. By default, the Search Bar automatically searches your computer's index of files. However, by clicking the down arrow next to the Search Bar entry, you can choose to search either the Index or the Internet. If you choose the Internet, a Web page to your default search provider will open.

There are many programs which are somewhat hidden within Windows Vista; the Search Bar is a quick way to open the programs you want. Say you want to open the Services Management Console to see what services are currently on your system. Instead of having to wade through menus or look through Windows Explorer, you can just type the word "services." Windows Search will give you a set of results, and by hovering over each program result, you will get a small tool-tip which gives you information about the program.

Windows Search will also allow you to find documents and email messages by searching for a word in the title, or even within

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the document itself. Having this feature available through the Start Menu will make getting to what you what much easier and faster.

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This was first published in July 2006

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