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Start Menu Search Box

Start Menu Search Box

The Start menu Search box provides shortcuts to quickly find and open files or programs that match whatever search string you provide. You don't even have to know the exact location or spelling of a file, folder, or program you want.

Instead of browsing through a dense list of program entries, you can type part of a name (such as avg) and receive a complete list of matching entries (such as "AVG Tray Icon," "AVG User Interface," and "Uninstall AVG").

When results return multiple hits, matches are sorted and tallied under corresponding categories, rather than appearing in a single unsorted list.

Figure 4 Search results are categorized and tallied.

Another noteworthy difference in the way the Windows 7 Start menu conducts searches appears in the form of clickable categorical listings (see Figure 5). Each matching entry is categorized under a summarized group of associated file types. Each categorical entry is a hyperlink that corresponds to a folder location with any number of related items in parentheses.

Figure 5 Clicking a search result category link (such as Programs in Figure 4) opens Windows Explorer, which displays all matching search entries for that category.

Clicking on the hyperlink opens Windows Explorer to the specified location, in which all matching search entries are highlighted. Windows Vista doesn't do this: although you can highlight categorical search entries, nothing happens when you click on them.

Multiple matches are delivered in laundry-list format under Vista, so Windows 7's visual organization, which tallies and summarizes findings gives a welcome boost to the end-user experience.

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