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Microsoft Windows Vista Step by Step

By Doniver Peterson

January 12, 2008


Editor's Note: Microsoft Windows Vista Step by Step was generously donated to CUGG by Microsoft in return for a written review by one of our members.


I found this book by Joan Preppernau and Joyce Cox very helpful in getting acquainted with Windows Vista. Each of the eleven chapters contains step-by-step exercises to become familiar with the many features Windows Vista has. Several chapters have a companion CD which contains downloadable practice files to use with these exercises. I have Windows Vista Home Premium on my computer.

I’ll report on features which are new in Vista as well as those on Vista which already existed in Windows XP.

Sleep Mode

Sleep mode is one of the best features of Vista. It conserves power, using only 10% of the power ordinarily used, and keeps work quickly available. Launch internet browser > start > right arrow to right of Start Search > Sleep. To waken Vista, press Enter. (Page 19)

Sound for Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock

To hear a sound when depressing Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock go to Start > Ease of Access Center > Adjust Settings for the Keyboard > check Turn on Toggle Keys > check Turn on Toggle Keys by holding down the Num Lock key for 5 seconds. (Page 22)

Pinned Programs

Programs used often can be pinned to the Start menu. To pin Calculator, Start > All Programs > Accessories > Right click Calculator > Pin to Start menu. (Page 39)

Displaying Applications on Desktop

Applications can be displayed in a variety of ways on the desktop. on Quick launch toolbar (bottom left corner of screen) > click Internet Browser button > Repeat 10 times > click Games > click Calculator > click Internet Browser button > click first application from bottom > on Quick Launch toolbar, click Switch between windows button > press left and right arrow buttons. (Page 49)

Changing Desktop Background Using Practice Files

I have downloaded practice files from the book’s CD to use in this exercise showing how to navigate to folders and files. Changing the Desktop Background. Go to Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > click Change desktop background > Windows Wallpapers selected in the Picture Location list, click on any thumbnail > or click Picture Location arrow > choose location > or click Browse > navigate to Documents\MSP\SBS_WindowsVista\Chapter04 folder, and double-click the 00_Arizona02 image. Click on a picture > OK. (Page 108)

Windows Calendar

This stand-alone calendar can be reached by going to Start > All Programs > Windows Calendar. (Page 215)

Windows Mail

Windows Vista comes with an e-mail program called Windows Mail. It is a successor to Outlook Express and can be reached by going to Start > All Programs > Windows Mail. One feature that I like is Junk Mail, under Messages, which provides a variety of options. (Page 217)


My computer has 35 games, some of them provided by H.P. If Games doesn't appear on the Start Menu, right-click Start > Properties > on Start Menu tab, click Customize. In the Customize Menu, and under Games, select Display as a link > OK. A link is now on the right side of the Start menu. (Page 220)

Sidebar and Gadgets

Sidebar, located on the right side of the screen, contains several programs called Gadgets. Click the plus sign at the top of the Sidebar. This displays the 11 gadgets. To see Clock settings, click Options button, labeled with a wrench icon. Click right or left arrows to see different settings. Other settings can be changed.

Click the plus sign at the top of the Sidebar to see the gadgets. Drag one or two to the Sidebar. To show local weather temperature, drag Weather to Sidebar, click wrench icon, and type in desired location. You can get more gadgets online by clicking the button at the lower right corner. (Page 223)


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