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Working with Windows Aero

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Submitted by Tim Roper on Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Windows Aero is a graphical user interface enhancement available in Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Ultimate, and Windows Vista Enterprise.

You’re probably already familiar with the “peek” function. It’s the small rectangle to the right of the clock in the system tray that displays your desktop when you click on it.

It’s also what brings up a thumbnail of a window when you hover the mouse over a program in the taskbar. But there is more to AERO than merely the peek feature.

Flip 3D allows you to scroll through all your open windows. This is especially handy if you have several windows open at once, and you want to find a specific one quickly.

Just press Windows logo key+TAB to open Flip 3D. This creates a stack of the windows you have open and allows you to flip through them like a Rolodex using either the mouse wheel or by pressing the TAB key again. Then, either click on the windows you want or bring it to the front of the stack and release the Windows logo key.

AERO’s “Shake” feature provides another method of dealing with several open windows.

Click on the top of the pane of the window you wish to view, give your mouse a quick shake, and every window but the one you’ve selected disappears (a small ripple will appear under your mouse pointer when you do it right). Shake the mouse again, and they reappear.

“Snap” gives you an easy way to automatically resize open windows.

Click and drag a window to the edge of the screen. Depending on where you drag it, it will expand vertically, take up the entire screen, or align side-by-side with another window.

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