The Organize drop down box in Windows Explorer (accessed via the Windows Key + E shortcut) hides a little known feature of Windows Vista. Under the Layout option you’ll find the ability to switch on the Menu Bar from Windows XP plus two handy new panes: the Search Pane and the Preview Pane.
Here’s what they each do:
The Menu Bar
The Menu Bar is simply the conventional drop down menu choices we had in Windows XP. I suggest you leave this switched off. If you ever need to revert to the old menus you can make them reappear at any time simply by pressing the ALT key.
The Search Pane
The Search Pane allows you to quickly narrow a search using filter buttons like E-Mail and Music or input more precise filtering details like tags and file size.
The Preview Pane
The Preview Pane shows a thumbnail preview of your selected file which can be very handy when hunting through photos and documents. If the file is multimedia you’ll see a mini Windows Media Player appear allowing you to preview music and videos right there in Windows Explorer.
Note that the selections you make in the Layout option only apply to your current location. When you move to a new folder the default view will reappear. However, once you make a change in a folder, that change is persistent. So, for example, if you’d like the Preview Pane to appear when viewing your music folder, make this change once and it will reappear every time you visit that folder.
Have a fun weekend!