Windows Vista Features that I Like, Part 2 – Windows Search

This is Part 2 in my mini-series, Windows Vista Features that I Like. For Part 1 in this series, see Windows Vista – Snipping Tool, Part 1

Let me start out by saying that, before Vista, I have never really used desktop search much. Occasionally I search for a lost file, but for the most part, I have my stuff organized or I clod around until I find it.

I saw the Windows Search box when I first started poking around in Vista … and my first thought was yuck! I have to get that search box out of there. I want my “run” command back.

Windows Search in Vista - 1

Obviously (based on the title of this post), you can tell that I have become quite fond of Windows Vista Search. Here is why:

1. Windows Search starts searching immediately when you type in content. In this example, I am looking for an email relating to PPC (Pay-Per-Click advertising).

I simply type PPC into the search box and almost instantly I get information about IE favorites, IE history, Emails and files … all relevant to PPC.

Windows Search in Vista - 2

2. Clicking See all results will give you even more information. You see results for files/folders, emails, calendar entries, contacts, Office documents, images, Internet Explorer favorites, Internet Explorer history and more. The names of files are searched AND so are their contents.

Windows Search in Vista - 3
3. Windows Search can also be used to start programs. In this case, I want to launch the calculator program that comes with Vista. This is as simple as typing “c-a” (for calculator) and then watching the results above.

Calculator is the default selection (see the blue highlight bar on it?), so I just hit my Enter key. If you want to open a different program (say Windows Calendar), you can also use your arrow keys to choose a program before hitting enter.

Windows Search in Vista - 4

4. Search is not convenient if you are waiting around for it to finish and/or it delivers results that are not what you were looking for. Windows Search in Vista is fast and smart.

The Windows Search (Indexing) service makes it happen. You can make changes to your search functionality by going to Indexing Options in Control Panel.

Windows Vista Indexing Options

You can also make changes to Windows Search functionality in the Customize Start Menu dialog box

Search Options in the Start Menu

That wraps it up! Very handy “new” tool. Check back (or subscribe to our feed), I will be posting more Vista features I like soon.

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