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This chapter is from the book

Locating and Running Programs

Once you start using your favorite programs on a regular basis, just like XP, you'll find that they will start to appear on your Start menu in the left column. Windows Vista tracks the programs you use the most and tacks them onto the Start menu. After all, the odds of you running the same program you've run every day for a week are greater than you starting up a program that you haven't run in months. By keeping your most recent programs in the Start menu's recent program list, Vista makes them available to you again with a single click once you've displayed the Start menu.

All your other programs are available on the Start menu even if they don't appear in the recent list of programs to the left. Click the All Programs option above the search box to change the list of programs from your recent programs list to a new menu with your major program categories, as shown in Figure 3.2. After you display the Start menu, you can press your keyboard's up-arrow and down-arrow keys to select All Programs or any other Start menu option.

Figure 3.2

Figure 3.2 When you select the Start menu's All Programs option, Vista displays a list of programs and program folders from which you can select.

If you don't see the program you want to run, click any program folder to see more programs and menu options. For example, you could click the Accessories folder to see all programs and folders (sometimes called subfolders or submenus) within the Accessories menu. You could then click the System Tools folder, shown in Figure 3.3, to locate a program you want to run, such as the Disk Cleanup program. If you rest your mouse pointer over a menu option, a pop-up description typically appears that describes that program or option.

Figure 3.3

Figure 3.3 When you select the Start menu's All Programs option, Vista displays a list of programs and program folders.

When you click a program (or press the Enter key after highlighting to select a program with your arrow keys), Vista starts the program and the Start menu disappears.

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