SANDY BERGER: Windows Vista Has Good Photo Features
Since Microsoft released Windows Vista, there has been a lot of complaining.
People have blamed Vista for everything from slowing down their computers to making it more difficult to perform computer tasks. You rarely hear anything good about Vista.
So today I'd like to give you just a few of Vista's more helpful features. Although Microsoft could have done better (and it will with Windows 7), Vista does some things much better than Windows XP.
Here's a quick example. The other day, I was showing someone how to work with photographs on a Vista computer. When we right-clicked on a picture to rename it, Vista was smart enough to know that we probably wanted to rename only the first part of the name, so only that part was highlighted and renamed.
The three-digit extension (the part after the period) remained .jpg, which is just what we wanted. In comparison, Windows XP always highlights the entire name, and if you forget to retype the extension, it throws up an error and makes you retype the new name all over again.
When we started moving the pictures around, another nice feature of Vista came into play. In Windows XP, when you dragged a picture from one place to another, sometimes it would copy the picture and sometimes it would move it, depending on the circumstances.
The same thing is true in Vista, but Vista tells you what it is doing so you can confirm that it is performing the proper function. In Vista, when you drag a file or folder to another place, it tells you right on the screen if the item is being moved or copied.
When it came time to make a slight correction to a photo, Vista came through again. Windows XP would let you do a slideshow of your photos and rotate them, but Vista lets you create a slideshow, rotate the picture, fix red eye, crop the picture, and adjust the color and/or exposure -- all without having to open a photo editing program.
In fact, right from Vista's picture viewer you can add a caption, e-mail the photo, burn it to a CD, and add a descriptive tag, and/or put the photo in and organize it with others in Windows Photo Gallery.
Also, when we opened a folder that contained photographs in Vista, the headers gave us the ability to sort the photos quickly in many different ways. Our choices were to sort by name, date taken, tags, size or rating. We could also view the pictures in the folder in seven different ways, including small, medium, large, and extra large icons.
We couldn't sort like that in Windows XP, and XP didn't give us as many useful options for viewing the photos in different sizes.
When we wanted to do some serious photo editing, the new features in Vista again made it easier than Windows XP. In Windows XP, we would have had to click on Start button and look through the All Programs list to find the Photoshop program that we wanted to use.
It was much easier in Vista. We simply clicked on Start and started typing the word photoshop. By the time we got to the third letter, Vista had found Adobe Photoshop and put it at the top of the window for us to click on.
Vista also makes it easier to switch between one application and another. While pressing Alt+Tab in Windows XP gave us a view of the running applications, pressing the same keys in Vista gave us a much more graphic representation, showing us exactly which documents and programs were running.
We were able to get an even better look by pressing the Windows Key and the Tab key at the same time. This gave us a three-dimensional representation of each running application that flipped by in a visually appealing manner.
Vista may not be the best operating system ever invented, but it has some very nice features that most users overlook.
And you can expect that these features and more will also be available in Microsoft's next operating system which has been named Windows 7.
In the meantime, though, if you take a good look, you will find that Vista isn't all bad!
Sandy Berger welcomes all of your questions and comments on today's column. Please post them on the Compu-Kiss Message Board at www.compukiss.com/ happycomputing.
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