Windows 7 brings two subtle improvements to searches.

As always, search results in Windows Explorer can be displayed as thumbnail images (useful for photos), as a list with or without file details, or as icons.


The new part is the default presentation of search results in a new view called “Content” – panes that are rich with detail, including a preview of a few lines from each document, with search terms highlighted. The order that files are listed can be changed from a dropdown list in the upper right corner.


The other new Windows 7 feature is an additional chance to refine search results with a “dynamic filter.” Once a search is done, an additional line appears under the search bar in the upper right where the search can be narrowed in useful ways.

The results of a search for documents with a particular word in them can then be focused on files of a certain type, or by author, date modified, or size. It’s easy to start with a search for a client’s name, then quickly display only the files edited in the last week.


If you’re in a music folder, the search can start with the name of a song, then narrowed by album, artist, genre, or length.


You should never find yourself scrolling through a long list in Windows 7 – not on the menu, not in your files. Learn to use the search bars to save time!

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