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Chapter 3. Advanced File Management with... > Customizing Explorer's Appearance

Customizing Explorer's Appearance

If you've been using Windows for years, you might be tempted to skip over this chapter. After all, how many changes could Microsoft have made to Windows Explorer? Surprisingly, the basic file management tools that come with Windows Me contain dozens of small changes, most of them designed to make everyday tasks more usable. A few features have been completely redesigned as well, with the following dramatic improvements:

  • The old Find Files and Folders dialog box has been replaced by the more powerful Search Assistant, which is tightly integrated into the Explorer window.

  • Techniques for controlling the association between file extensions, file types, and applications are completely different. Although changing file associations still requires some jumping through hoops, the process is now much easier to control.

  • The ability to view thumbnail images of files in an Explorer window is an easily accessible option; in previous Windows versions, this feature was well hidden.

  • A toolbar button shows or hides the Folders bar with a single click. In some older Windows versions, the only way to show the Folders bar was by restarting Explorer.

  • Explorer toolbars are completely customizable; in previous Windows versions, toolbar buttons were fixed and unchangeable.

  • The annoying Active Desktop features introduced in Internet Explorer 4.0 and Windows 98 are streamlined or even eliminated.



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