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  1. #1
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    WOODY'S WINDOWS

    Classic Shell puts XP Retro back into Win7


    By Woody Leonhard

    If you've made the jump from Windows XP to Win7 and are asking yourself, "Why did I do this?" perhaps you miss familiar XP controls.

    Well, take heart — there's an excellent free application that will give you back some of the better features in XP's Start Menu and Explorer.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/04/01/07 (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.


    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-20 at 15:56.

  2. #2
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    I certainly don't miss the up arrow in Windows 7 Explorer although, like Virginia, I was a great user of that button. Now I see that the full path to the folder I am viewing is displayed in the address bar at the top of the Explorer window. That allows me to click on the folder one level up and go straight to it. But of course it's much better than that; I can click on any folder anywhere in the path, two, three or rmore levels up, and go straight there. I find this is much more usable than an up arrow.

    Oh, you can get me started on the Ribbon. I hated it until my young grandchildren came round and used my computer (I like to live dangerously!) They immediately said they liked the new Ribbon much more than the old menus because they could find what they wanted much faster and it made more sense. The difference between them and me? I was a a fairly competetent and experienced Office user and they were learning as they needed to find out about new features. So, they weren't shackled by what they knew, as I was. I learned my lesson and started relaxing and allowing the ribbon to take me to where I wanted to go, rather than fighting it to follow the pre-decided route I has fixed in my mind.

  3. #3
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    Not only are there people who do not like the Vista or Win7 menus there are even those, of which I am one, who did not even manage to live with the XP Menu and I have been using the Classic Start Menu from day 1 in XP. My interpretation of Woody's article is that this utility gives Win 7 the 'new' XP menu but not the 'original' Classic Start Menu. Does anyone know of a program which would return many Senior Citizens to the days of yore by changing to the original Classic Start Menu?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Arntsen View Post
    Not only are there people who do not like the Vista or Win7 menus there are even those, of which I am one, who did not even manage to live with the XP Menu and I have been using the Classic Start Menu from day 1 in XP. My interpretation of Woody's article is that this utility gives Win 7 the 'new' XP menu but not the 'original' Classic Start Menu. Does anyone know of a program which would return many Senior Citizens to the days of yore by changing to the original Classic Start Menu?
    I noted that the screen shot Woody used to show the Classic menu appears to be the Classic menu rather than the menu introduced with XP. In fact, the alternative menu in Vista that he referenced is called "Classic Start Menu" and it is the menu we all used in Win95 and 98, so I am inclined to believe Woody is indeed referring to the old "Classic" menu.

    Just a quick download and test will confirm it, and if you do not find it acceptable, you can uninstall it.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  5. #5
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    I know there are many people who prefer the XP Start Menu (including my son - a computer power user), but you missed the easy Windows 7 way to open Paint. Click Start or use the Windows keyboard key and type "Paint." That's it! No searching through Programs, Accessories.

  6. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeri Stodola View Post
    I know there are many people who prefer the XP Start Menu (including my son - a computer power user), but you missed the easy Windows 7 way to open Paint. Click Start or use the Windows keyboard key and type "Paint." That's it! No searching through Programs, Accessories.
    Well, I almost always use Paint.NET anyway, so problem solved.

    And (to all who have posted here) I think there are enough options in Classic Shell to simulate the Windows 98 Classic Menu as well as the Windows XP Classic Menu. To each their own.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I must be one of the few who actually like the W7 start menu
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    3 Star Lounger Woody's Avatar
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    Ha! Great posts, everybody.

    I, too, greatly prefer the Win7 Start Menu - but I think it's important for MS to keep backward compatibility with its old interfaces. Like John, I'm gradually being absorbed into the Office 2007 borg, and have learned to live with the Ribbon. But sometimes my old reflexes take over and I find myself deeply frustrated when I can't find something I want.

    Ken, yes, the Classic Menus is very much like the Win95/98 menu - but, as Bob notes, there are lots of options.

    As for using the cookie crumb navigation method - sometimes it's great, but sometimes the crumb trails aren't strictly hierarchical - and sometimes they're too long to fit in the navigation bar.

    Jeri, there's an even faster way to Paint. Click the Start button (or push the Windows key), type P and press Enter. That's all it takes - the letter P. Similarly, the Calculator only takes the letter C.

    Keep 'em comin' - love those tips!
    Woody

    For Dummies book author, Senior Contributing Editor for InfoWorld, and long-suffering Windows victim. Check out the latest at AskWoody.com.

  9. #9
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    RE the ribbon in Office 2007/2010
    Check out http://www.ubit.ch/software/ubitmenu-languages/
    They have added a menu to the ribbon with the old menu.
    Helped me with the learning curve to the new way.
    (reminds me of "old math new math")

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeri Stodola View Post
    but you missed the easy Windows 7 way to open Paint. Click Start or use the Windows keyboard key and type "Paint." That's it! No searching through Programs, Accessories.
    I can't remember half the programs I have installed, so I've got them sorted into categories which I can root through in about 1.5 seconds with the mouse. Faster than I can remember how to spell "Komposer" or what the name of that mormon genealogy program is. (I have CRS Syndrome.)

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