November 7, 2009

Windows 7 - Start Menu

Windows 7 - Using the Start Menu

Clicking the Start button displays the Start menu. The left side of the Start menu shows icons for some (but not all) of the programs on your computer. The right side of the menu offers links to commonly used folders and other features.

The icons on your Start menu won’t necessarily match those shown in the figure, so don’t worry if yours looks different. The picture is just an example. You will notice, however, that some of the program names on the left side of the Start menu are boldface and some are not. There’s a horizontal line separating the two types of names.

Items above the horizontal line are pinned to the Start menu and never change. Items below the horizontal line are dynamic, meaning they change automatically based on the programs you use most frequently. As the weeks and months roll by, the left side of your Start menu will eventually list just the programs you use most often.

To see all the programs available on your system, click All Programs near the bottom of the Start menu. In the All Programs menu, some icons look like folders, others like logos. Any icon that looks like a logo represents a program. To start (open) a program, you click its name or logo. Icons that look like folders represent program groups. To see the names of programs in a group, click the folder icon or name. So now the left side of the Start menu includes programs and program groups from the Windows 7 Accessories program group.

You can choose from many more programs than can it on the left side of the Start menu. Use the vertical scroll bar just to the right of the program name to scroll up and down through the complete list. If you want to leave the All Programs menu and return to the dynamic menu, click the

The right side of the Start menu

The right side of the Start menu shows menu items for frequently used folders and features. The name at the top of the list (jboyce in the previous examples) is the name of the user account into which you’re currently logged. Clicking the user name opens a folder containing icons for other folders that represent things like documents, pictures, music, and other information saved and stored by this user.

Items labeled Documents, Pictures, and Music open folders in which you can store documents, photographs, songs, respectively. The Games link opens a folder of games you can play on your computer.

The Start menu Search box

Below the list of programs that contain the search letters, you may see Control Panel items, files, contacts, and e-mail messages that also contain those letters. As you type more letters, the list shrinks to show only the items that contain all the letters you’ve typed so far. When you see the item you want to open, just click its name in the Start menu.

To cancel a search without making a selection, press Escape (Esc)

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