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 Customizing the Taskbar

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PostSubject: Customizing the Taskbar   Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:23 am

Customizing the Taskbar
The taskbar houses the Start button, the notification area, and a button for each running program.
You can use these task buttons to switch from one running program to another.
You can also click a task button to minimize an open window or to reopen a minimized window.
The taskbar can also hold one or more toolbars. (Typically, it hosts the Quick Launch toolbar, described in the previous section. You can also put additional toolbars there as well.)

Changing the Taskbar’s Size and Appearance
The default height of the taskbar is enough to display one taskbar button.
You can enlarge it and given the typical size and resolution of computer displays these days, enlarging it is often a great idea.
Before you can change the taskbar’s dimensions, you need to unlock it. Right-click an unoccupied area of the taskbar, and if a check mark appears next to the Lock The Taskbar command, choose the command to clear the check mark.
Then position the mouse along the upper border of the taskbar. When the mouse pointer becomes a two-headed arrow, drag toward the center of the screen to expand the taskbar.

Controlling Taskbar Grouping
Windows Vista, like Windows XP, preserves space on the taskbar by grouping similar items when the taskbar fills up.
For example, if you have seven folders open in Windows Explorer, the taskbar buttons for those seven are grouped into a single button, and a number on the button indicates how many items are included in the group.
Clicking the button displays a list of windows, Click one of the taskbar button’s list of items to select its window.
In addition to reducing taskbar congestion, grouping offers some other benefits that aren’t immediately apparent.
The menu that appears when you right-click the group button provides several useful commands. With a single click, you can:
* Display all windows in the group (choose Show Windows Stacked or Show Windows Side By Side)
* Close all windows in the group

Taskbar grouping is enabled by default. If you don’t prefer it, right-click the Start button,
choose Properties, and click the Taskbar pane in the Taskbar And Start Menu Properties dialog box. Then clear the Group Similar Taskbar Buttons checkbox.
By default, taskbar grouping comes into play only when the taskbar fills up.
Even if you have multiple windows from the same application open, if there’s room for a separate button for each window, that’s what you get.

Getting the Taskbar Out of Your Way
By default, the taskbar remains visible even when you’re working in a maximized program. If that’s inconvenient for any reason, you can tell it to get out of the way.
The Taskbar And Start Menu Properties dialog box, offers two options to control this behavior.
* Keep The Taskbar On Top Of Other Windows Clearing this check box means that you’ll be able to see the taskbar at all times except when a window is maximized or placed over the taskbar.
* Auto-Hide The Taskbar With this option selected, the taskbar retreats into the edge of the desktop. To display the taskbar, move the mouse pointer to the edge of the desktop where the taskbar is hidden.

**Note: Regardless of how you set options in the Taskbar And Start Menu Properties dialog box, you can make the taskbar visible at any time by pressing the Windows logo key or Ctrl+Esc.**

Moving the Taskbar
The taskbar docks by default at the bottom of the screen (the primary screen, if you have more than one), but you can move it to any other edge, including any edge of a secondary screen.
(If you move to an edge that’s already occupied by the Sidebar, the Sidebar steps aside.)
To move the taskbar, unlock it (right-click an unoccupied spot and choose Lock The Taskbar. unless no check appears beside that command, which means that taskbar is already unlocked).
Then drag any unoccupied part of the taskbar in the direction you want to go. (Don’t drag the inside edge of the taskbar, doing that changes the taskbar’s size, not its position.)
Be aware that with the taskbar docked against either side or the top of the screen, the Start menu descends from the Start button when you click that button (or press the Windows logo key or Ctrl+Esc).
If your customary destination in the Start menu is the Search box, you might find it disconcerting not to have the Search box right next to the Start button.

**Note: Regardless of how you set options in the Taskbar And Start Menu Properties dialog box, you can make the taskbar visible at any time by pressing the Windows logo key or Ctrl+Esc.**



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