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Organizing The Windows Desktop (xp/sp3 And Win 7) Rooms, fences, or virtual desktop?

#1 User is offline   trueblue 

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:29 PM

I have a very messy Windows Desktop ... all sorts of icons scattered all over the place. I try to keep them in little groups by more-or-less related function so, for instance, all the shortcut icons for anything related to acquiring, managing editing and publishing photos are kept in generally the same potion of the desktop (so I'll know where to look for them), and similarly, all my music related stuff, anti-malware tools, printing tools, and stuff for occasional remote work I do for a law firm, is each clustered in it's own part of my screen. But the screen is a mess! I would like have just a few 'category' icons on the desktop so that when I select one of them the only things that are visible on my desktop are my music tools, or my photo tools, or my legal work tools, etc. I have heard about something called Virtual Desktop and something else called Fences, and I think I remember way back when Sun Microsystems had something called Rooms that served a similar purpose. What are today's best practices for maintaining a manageable Windows Desktop in XP/SP3 and Win 7, and what are some easy to use, reasonably effective, and preferably free tools used to support those best practices?

Thanks,

BubbaMac
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#2 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 03:38 PM

I use Stardock Fences myself. It seems like a great tool.
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#3 User is offline   Rommel 

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 06:35 PM

View PostLiveBrianD, on 10 February 2011 - 03:38 PM, said:

I use Stardock Fences myself. It seems like a great tool.


I agree.
The free version will offer enough tools to fence your icons according to their purpose.
If you don't mind double clicking, it offers a neat feature where a double click on the desktop they disappear.
Double click again they reappear.

Perhaps you know this already if not here are some things that help me.

I use my start button to place short cuts inplace of the desktop.

In XP, right click the start button/properties/customize.
Here, click clear list then roll that number down to zero.
Doing this will empty the short cuts under the start button.
From here, right click on a desktop short cut and choose, pin the start button.
Now that desktop short cut can be deleted.

In w7, right click start button/properties/start menu tab/uncheck store and display recently opened programs in the start menu.
Uncheck the option below this too.

Same thing here, pin your programs here and then delete your shortcut icons.

One last option.
Create a folder in documents ( or wherever) and place what shortcuts you want in it.
Right click your task bar/toolbars/new toolbar.

Then browse and select the folder you just made.

Hope this helps.

Rommel
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#4 User is offline   coastie65 

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 06:38 PM

View Posttrueblue, on 10 February 2011 - 01:29 PM, said:

I have a very messy Windows Desktop ... all sorts of icons scattered all over the place. I try to keep them in little groups by more-or-less related function so, for instance, all the shortcut icons for anything related to acquiring, managing editing and publishing photos are kept in generally the same potion of the desktop (so I'll know where to look for them), and similarly, all my music related stuff, anti-malware tools, printing tools, and stuff for occasional remote work I do for a law firm, is each clustered in it's own part of my screen. But the screen is a mess! I would like have just a few 'category' icons on the desktop so that when I select one of them the only things that are visible on my desktop are my music tools, or my photo tools, or my legal work tools, etc. I have heard about something called Virtual Desktop and something else called Fences, and I think I remember way back when Sun Microsystems had something called Rooms that served a similar purpose. What are today's best practices for maintaining a manageable Windows Desktop in XP/SP3 and Win 7, and what are some easy to use, reasonably effective, and preferably free tools used to support those best practices?

Thanks,

BubbaMac


Hey Bubba, If you saw my XP desktop, I doubt if you would be complaining. :lol: In fact it was just posted on the Desktop discusson in the general Topics area. My Vista and Windows 7 desktops are quickly heading in that direction. :P
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#5 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 07:03 PM

Apperantly you can also hide the icons by pushing escape while on the desktop. Here's my desktop with Fences: http://dqkiuw.blu.li...nces.png?psid=1
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#6 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 08:55 AM

I'm a fan of fences, as well. A very nice little program.

However, a better solution, IMHO, is to avoid putting a lot of stuff on the desktop. It's not the easiest place to get to a file or program, as there are usually windows covering large portions of it. I tend to purge my desktop after it gets five or six things on it.

Lincoln
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#7 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 07:43 PM

View PostLincolnSpector, on 11 February 2011 - 08:55 AM, said:

I'm a fan of fences, as well. A very nice little program.

However, a better solution, IMHO, is to avoid putting a lot of stuff on the desktop. It's not the easiest place to get to a file or program, as there are usually windows covering large portions of it. I tend to purge my desktop after it gets five or six things on it.

Lincoln


You should've seen what my desktop looked like before organizing it (or rather throwing all my crap in folders). More than half the desktop (one screen) was filled with icons! And that's with the small icon size.
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#8 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 04:47 PM

View PostLincolnSpector, on 11 February 2011 - 08:55 AM, said:

I'm a fan of fences, as well. A very nice little program.

However, a better solution, IMHO, is to avoid putting a lot of stuff on the desktop. It's not the easiest place to get to a file or program, as there are usually windows covering large portions of it. I tend to purge my desktop after it gets five or six things on it.

Lincoln


I tend to be real BAD about icon/stuff on the desktop.

On my Macs, it is not a big issue...you can use Expose to "zap" all of the windows out of the way when you want to get to the desktop. Thus, I can get away with it.

I honestly do not know if something similar exists in Windows as I have never really looked for it.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#9 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 05:32 PM

View Postsmax013, on 12 February 2011 - 04:47 PM, said:

View PostLincolnSpector, on 11 February 2011 - 08:55 AM, said:

I'm a fan of fences, as well. A very nice little program.

However, a better solution, IMHO, is to avoid putting a lot of stuff on the desktop. It's not the easiest place to get to a file or program, as there are usually windows covering large portions of it. I tend to purge my desktop after it gets five or six things on it.

Lincoln


I tend to be real BAD about icon/stuff on the desktop.

On my Macs, it is not a big issue...you can use Expose to "zap" all of the windows out of the way when you want to get to the desktop. Thus, I can get away with it.

I honestly do not know if something similar exists in Windows as I have never really looked for it.


On Windows 7, you can click on the far-right of the taskbar (aero peek) to see the desktop. I hardly do though.
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#10 User is offline   4537256 

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 05:50 PM

7stacks, its a launcher and freeware. create as many launchers as you need.
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#11 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 06:16 AM

View PostLiveBrianD, on 12 February 2011 - 05:32 PM, said:



On Windows 7, you can click on the far-right of the taskbar (aero peek) to see the desktop. I hardly do though.


Thanks...I'll have to check that out.

That made me recall something...I believe that XP has a "show desktop" "quick link". I will have to fire up XP (and Vista) to see if my memory is correct (unfortunately, the office is slightly "disassembled" for home improvement stuff, so my desktop is not hooked up at the moment).
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#12 User is offline   compnovo 

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 08:09 AM

View Postsmax013, on 13 February 2011 - 06:16 AM, said:

View PostLiveBrianD, on 12 February 2011 - 05:32 PM, said:



On Windows 7, you can click on the far-right of the taskbar (aero peek) to see the desktop. I hardly do though.


Thanks...I'll have to check that out.

That made me recall something...I believe that XP has a "show desktop" "quick link". I will have to fire up XP (and Vista) to see if my memory is correct (unfortunately, the office is slightly "disassembled" for home improvement stuff, so my desktop is not hooked up at the moment).

Or, you can simply hit Windows key + D. :D
One of my favorite features in the Win7 desktop is how you can hover over an open app in the taskbar and it comes to the front on the desktop with the others transparent.

This post has been edited by compnovo: 13 February 2011 - 08:09 AM

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#13 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 11:18 AM

View Postsmax013, on 13 February 2011 - 06:16 AM, said:

View PostLiveBrianD, on 12 February 2011 - 05:32 PM, said:

On Windows 7, you can click on the far-right of the taskbar (aero peek) to see the desktop. I hardly do though.


Thanks...I'll have to check that out.

That made me recall something...I believe that XP has a "show desktop" "quick link". I will have to fire up XP (and Vista) to see if my memory is correct (unfortunately, the office is slightly "disassembled" for home improvement stuff, so my desktop is not hooked up at the moment).


I know Vista, XP, 2000, and maybe 98 have that in the quick launch. How much stuff do you guys typically run at once? I often don't have a ton of windows (lots of browser tabs though), so it's easy enough to just minimize them all (or hold Winkey+down arrow).
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#14 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:47 AM

View PostLiveBrianD, on 13 February 2011 - 11:18 AM, said:

I know Vista, XP, 2000, and maybe 98 have that in the quick launch. How much stuff do you guys typically run at once? I often don't have a ton of windows (lots of browser tabs though), so it's easy enough to just minimize them all (or hold Winkey+down arrow).


I usually have anywhere from two to five applications running, some of them with multiple Windows.

How do I launch programs in Windows 7? Let's see:

  • I've got five apps pinned to the taskbar (the Win7 equivalent to the quick launch bar).
  • I've got eight apps pinned to the Start menu.
  • The 10 other programs I've used most recently are automatically on the Start menu, below the pinned ones.
  • After that, I'm more likely to click Start and start typing the program's name than to click All Programs and start hunting the menus, which I almost never do.
Lincoln
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