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Windows Vista hints and tips

Use hidden display options in Control Panel

There are more ways of displaying the Control Panel in Windows Vista than most users realise and it is an easy task to set up an alternative view if you don't like the default one. The most obvious way to change the view is to click the Classic View link in the task pane on the left, and this is useful of course, but many more options are available if you press the Alt key to display the menu at the top of the window.

On the View menu are seven different Control Panel views and these are Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, List, Details, and Tiles. Select one and look at the new Control Panel view. Press the Alt key again and try a different view.

The Control Panel items can be sorted by name or category in ascending or descending order, and grouped by name or by category. Choosing the option to group by category (press Alt and go to the View menu again) is interesting because in addition to grouping the icons in the Control Panel window, there are now small arrows at the right hand side of the window and these can be used to expand or collapse each of the groups.

Try experimenting with all the different views that are available and find the one that suits you the best. Whatever view is selected, it will be remembered for next time.

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