This pocket reference is intended to provide the information Windows Vista users need most often in a quick and concise format. This tiny volume is small enough to fit in your pocket or laptop case, yet it is packed with hundreds of tips, shortcuts, and other tidbits of information that will make Windows Vista easier to use.

Less-experienced Windows Vista users should turn to the brief crash course in Chapter 1 of the book. If you're a hands-on learner, you should be able to pick up any of the concepts discussed there in no time at all. Chapter 2 lists dozens of keyboard and mouse shortcuts available for every aspect of Windows Vista, and Chapter 3 provides a listing of the most useful components, features, and settings that make up Windows Vistaan encyclopedia of everything you can do with Windows out of the box. Chapter 4 highlights how to use the Registry, along with several Registry hacks, while Chapter 5 documents the most important command-line prompts and how to use them.

Anyone wishing to learn more will benefit from the additional background and details provided by full-size books such as my recently published book, Windows Vista in a Nutshell, also available from O'Reilly.

Conventions Used in This Book

The following typographical conventions are used in this book:

Constant width

Used to indicate anything to be typed, as well as command-line computer output, code examples, Registry keys, and keyboard accelerators (discussed below).

Constant width bold

Used to indicate user input.

Constant width italic

Used to indicate variables in examples and so-called "replaceable" text. For instance, to open a document in Notepad from the command line, you'd type notepad filename, where filename is the full path and name of the document you wish to open.

[Square brackets]

Square brackets around an option (usually a command-line parameter) mean that the parameter is optional. Parameters and keywords not shown in square brackets are typically mandatory. If you see two or more options separated by the | character, it means that they are mutually exclusive; only one or the other can be specified, but not both.


Used to introduce new terms and to indicate URLs, variables in text, file and folder/directory names, and UNC pathnames.

Rather than using procedural steps to tell you how to reach a given Windows Vista user interface element or application, I use a shorthand path notation. For example:

Start Programs Accessories Calculator

means "Open the Start menu (on the Desktop), then choose Programs, then choose Accessories, and then click Calculator." The path is always relative to a well-known location, such as the following:

Control Panel

Start Control Panel (in the Windows Vista-style Start menu)

Start Settings Control Panel (in the Classic Start menu)

My Computer, My Network Places, Recycle Bin

The familiar Desktop icons by these names, any of which may or may not be visible, depending on your settings


The Start button on the Taskbar

Windows Explorer/Explorer

The two-pane folder view, commonly referred to as simply "Explorer": Start Programs Accessories System Tools Windows Explorer

xxxx menu

Menu xxxx in the application currently being discussed (e.g., File, Edit)

Note that the elements of the Control Panel may or may not be divided into categories, depending on context and a setting on your computer. So, rather than a cumbersome explanation of this unfortunate design every time the Control Panel comes up, the following notation is used:

Control Panel [Performance and Maintenance] Scheduled Tasks

where the category (in this case, Performance and Maintenance) is shown in square brackets, implying that you may or may not encounter this step.

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Windows Vista Pocket Reference
Windows Vista Pocket Reference: A Compact Guide to Windows Vista (Pocket Guides)
ISBN: 0596528086
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 63

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