I was digging around in the Windows 7 Control Panel this week. Normally, I have the Control Panel set to display the Category View, which is the default setting.
When you use the Category view, you see major types of functions and several specific links shown below each of them. The most important thing to know is that those detailed functions are not a complete list.
Click on each of the header links (for each type of function) and you’ll open dialog windows or dialog boxes that will have many more functions and options.
That’s what I usually did. However, this week, I decided to check some of the options listed when I displayed the Control Panel in its Icon View. Guess what? I found some things I didn’t know were in Windows 7. I also found new ways to access some functions.
Some of the things that are easily accessible via the Icons display, but fairly well hidden via the Categories display, are:
Color Management — adjust the display colors on your monitor (assuming your monitor is capable of this) to match a specific color palette.
Why might you want to do this? If you are creating an image that might be displayed on multiple types of monitors, you might want to make sure yours was adjusted to display the "standard" palette.
Another use might be to adjust your monitor’s display to match the colors as printed by your printer, or, if you’re preparing an image for publication, to match the color palette used by the printing company.
Notification Area Icons — this gives you control over each of the individual icons that show in the Notification Area of the Windows Task Bar (usually, the lower right-hand corner, by the clock). For each icon, you can select
- Show icon and notifications
- Hide icon and notifications
- Only show notifications
- Parental Controls — This is actually similarly available via the Categories view. The interesting facet is that Windows 7 does have some minimal Parental Controls built into it. It also has "hooks" for third party parental control programs to be added, and which would be able to be accessed via this icon. The built in controls allow you:
- to set time windows when users (e.g., children) can log into the computer,
- to control access to games that have the industry game ratings, or control access to individual games
- to allow or block access specific programs.
- Speech Recognition — I didn’t know that speech recognition was built into Windows 7 Professional. That’s cool. I assume it’s not as flexible and extendible as Dragon Naturally Speaking, but this is a great start for Windows.
As a side note, OS/2 Warp had speech recognition built into the operating system in 1994. Nice of Windows to get with the program…