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Windows 8 : Navigating the Windows 8 Folder Windows (part 2) - Instant Search, The Ribbon, The Navigation Pane

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Instant Search

The next major element in the Windows 8 folder window interface is the Instant Search box, which appears to the right of the address bar in all folder windows. Search is everywhere in Windows 8. For folder windows, however, the Instant Search box gives you a quick way to search for files within the current folder. Most of us nowadays have folders that contain hundreds or even thousands of documents. To knock such folders down to size in Windows 8, you need only type all or part of a filename, and Windows 8 filters the folder contents to show just the matching files, as shown in Figure 3. Windows 8 also matches those files that have metadata—such as the author or tags—that match your text.

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Figure 3. With Instant Search, Windows 8 displays just those files with names or metadata that match your search text.

The Ribbon

Windows 8’s version of the venerable File Explorer file management program comes with a new ribbon interface that replaces the menu bar and toolbar in previous versions. As with all ribbons, File Explorer’s is divided into several tabs: File, Home, Share, and View. Also, when you open certain folders or activate certain features, the ribbon sprouts extra contextual tabs that display commands related to the folder or feature. For example, in Figure 3 you can see that when you run a search, File Explorer adds the Search Tools contextual tab to the ribbon. Note, too, that because the search was run in the music library, Figure 3 also shows a Music Tools contextual tab.

The Navigation Pane

The Navigation pane appears on the left side of each folder window, and it offers quick links to the major sections of your system, including your libraries, Homegroup, Computer, and Network. The Favorites section offers access to a few common folders, including Desktop, Downloads, and Recent Places (folders that you’ve visited recently).


Tip

The Favorites section is fully customizable. For example, you can add a link to one of your own favorite folders by clicking and dragging that folder and dropping it inside the Favorites section. You can also rename links (right-click a link and then click Rename) and remove links you don’t use (right-click a link and click Remove).

 
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