I've recently purchased the document "50 Essential Windows 7 Tips" from PC World. It was only $4.99 for a PDF copy, so I figured it was worth a read. I've never used Windows 7 before and I'm expecting my new laptop any day, which has it, so I'd like to be prepared.
Here are a few of the tips that I found the most useful:
Adding fly-out menus to the Start menu - this seems like it would be great for the things that I use the most. Anything that gets me to stuff with fewer clicks or less searching is always good.
Removing pre-installed software - recommended a tool called Revo Uninstaller, which is free. I will definitely be trying this one as I hate all that junk that comes pre-loaded.
Move the taskbar - this is great if you use multiple monitors. Rather than having my taskbar at the bottom of my laptop screen, I now have it running down the left side of my large monitor. This tip actually works with Windows Vista as well as other versions. Since my large monitor is very wide, that horizontal space is often unused.
Creating a system-repair disc - I will definitely be doing this when the new laptop arrives, and at several points during my process of installing software, etc. onto it. It was the fact that I had an old restore disk that allowed me to recover at least the basics of my operating system when my hard drive died this summer, so I'm a believer.
Copy the file path - you can now copy the path to an object (like a picture) from the right click menu. This might be a time saver when uploading a picture to Facebook, for example. I'm thinking it would be nice to find the file only once, then copy the path, rather than having to navigate to it all over again.
Special characters - useful if I need to send an email to my French cousins and really need to use those French accents!
Uses for the new Windows key - this will be something I need to remember to try. You can use the Windows key to lock the screen, open a Windows Explorer window, go to your Desktop and get to the Run command, among others.
Upgrading the task manager - recommends a free tool called Process Explorer, which gives more detail that the default windows task manager. This sounds like it might be useful when the day comes that my brand new laptop starts to run sluggishly (hmmm, maybe around day 5?).
Using Windows Problem Steps Recorder - makes a recording of the steps when you're using your PC. This could be really helpful as a demonstration tool.
I'll share more tips later this week. For now, if you'd like to purchase your own copy of this useful guide, please see this link: