Windows Vista Column Header List
Column headers in Windows Vista allow one to group, sort, and/or stack content within a range of specific attributes. Support for custom column headers was removed.
Unlike Windows XP, column headers are available for all viewing modes in Windows Vista. In addition to changing the order of contents within a folder, column headers allow one to apply potentially complex filters.
The “Date modified” column header filter.
It is still possible to sort and group content in Windows 7 by using the Sort By and Group By contextual menus. However, Windows 7 removes column headers from all viewing modes besides Details view (like Windows XP). There are programs available, such as Classic Shell, that fix this shortcoming.
Unfortunately, it seems that many aren’t aware of the many filters included with the Windows Vista operating system.
My plan was also to include a list of column header filter options, but it would be extremely difficult to create collections of files that met the criteria.
The following is a list of over 300 filters in Windows Vista. Filter names are written and categorized exactly as they appear in the operating system. Windows Update column headers do not include any filters.
Now available for download.
Default User Folder:
35mm focal length
Business home page
Business P.O. box
Business postal code
Business state or province
Company main phone
Connection In Use
Date last saved
E-mail display name
Home P.O. box
Home postal code
Home state or province
Optional attendee addresses
Other P.O. box
Other postal code
Other state or province
Parental rating reason
Part of set
Required attendee addresses
State or province
Station call sign
To do title
Total editing time
Total file size
User web URL
Recommended Windows Experience Index
Required Windows Experience Index
Control Panel (All Tasks):
Connection In Use
Font file names
Last Used On
Update Info Link
Phone # or Host Address
Programs and Features:
Last Used On
Update Info Link
Sync Center (View sync partnerships):
Conflicts and Errors
Sync Center (View sync conflicts):
Sync Center (View sync results):
Sync Center (Set up new sync partnerships):
Windows Update (Restore hidden updates):
Windows Update (View update history):
Every now and then, there is a article or comment that praises Windows 7 for features that its predecessor introduced.
One of the most recent I’ve found is titled WinFS Forever – 2010, written by metaactive.
My post is dedicated to giving Windows Vista the credit it deserves.
Information about WinFS can be found on the official (though outdated) MSDN page.
Metaactive lists several features present in Windows 7, while making no mention of the operating system that introduced them.
The first feature is the Preview Pane.
The Preview Pane is a feature of Windows Explorer which allows one to preview (and/or play) certain files without opening them. Examples of compatible file types include:
“The new preview pane supports a much wider range of formats than the Windows XP and Windows Vista preview pane did, including the ability to preview HTML, text files, XML files, images, videos, music, and WordPad files without any additional software installed.”
This text appears to have been taken from an old article by Scott Dorman.
It is apparently wrong. I just previewed the following file types in Windows Vista:
Only the XML format failed to preview.
Metaactive then writes how one can make the Preview Pane in Windows 7 work with more file types, but neglects to mention that one can do the same for Windows Vista.
He is honest about one other thing: While noting that there are some file types that are not natively supported by the Preview Pane, he links to Shark007 Windows 7 codecs.
Shark007 also offers a Windows Vista codec package.
Windows Live Photo Gallery is not a part of Windows 7 and can also be downloaded on its predecessor.
The following features are the only two that weren’t included in Windows Vista.
Libraries in Windows 7 aggregate content from multiple locations and displays the content in a single window.
When Windows Vista was in its beta stage, it had a feature called Virtual Folders, which is very similar to what is currently offered in Windows 7.
From the Understanding Windows 7 Libraries article at The Windows Blog:
In many ways, a Library is similar to a folder. As we mentioned before, when users open a Library, they can see one or more files or folders. However, unlike a folder, a Library can display files that are stored in several folders at the same time. This is a subtle, but important, difference. Libraries don’t actually store items. They monitor folders that contain a user’s items, and provide a single access point and rich view pivots (by file Type, date or author) of this aggregated content. Libraries promote a user’s data and let the file system fade into the background.
Federated Search allows one to search for items in remote locations from within Windows Explorer through search providers.
From the Windows 7 Federated Search article located at The Windows Blog:
“Windows 7 supports hooking up external sources to the Windows Client via the OpenSearch protocol. The OpenSearch v1.1 standard defines simple file formats that can be used to describe how a client should query the Web service for the data store and how the service should return results to be rendered by the client. Basically, this means that you can point Windows Explorer to an external data source. Using the standard OpenSearch protocol, Windows Explorer submits the search query and the remote data source returns a well-formatted data structure that can then be parsed and presented to the user.
To add a new OpenSearch provider, you need to “install” a Search Connector Description file (a
.osdx file). The internal file format for a
.osdx file is an OpenSearch Description XML document.”
Examples of remote locations include:
As written in the Ghacks article, titled WinFS, Was it Really so Good?,
“Perhaps what is the most frustrating thing with WinFS is that Vista actually does include much of what WinFS was intended for but without the kind of disadvantages previously mentioned. It clearly doesn’t have WinFS, but most of what was relevant and useful for end users has been included. You’ll find much of those features present in the Windows Indexing and Search technologies.
The irony of this is that if consumers and developers have so far been so unwilling to utilise the current technologies of Vista than what does this say about their willingness to adopt something even more radical which would have been the result of WinFS?
As Paul Thurrott wrote some time ago about WinFS, ‘the big deal, of course, was desktop search, a capability that had always been part of the plan, but was being promoted because of the sudden rise in Internet-based searches.’ This never changed through the Longhorn/Vista development and integrated searching is the single biggest improvement in Windows.
Other WinFS features included metadata sorting, filtering and indexing, virtual folders and shared data between applications. All these are essential aspects of WinFS and can be found in Vista. Here is one more detailed example of just how powerful some of the Vista search tools are.”
On this day (November 8th) in 2006, Windows Vista was Released to Manufacturing.
Happy Sixth Birthday, Windows NT 6.
Windows Vista Ultimate. Happy Birthday.
I am pleased to announce that the most recent (at this time of writing this draft) versions of the following browsers work on Windows Vista without any operating system updates installed.
Opera 12.02 (12.02.1578)
Google Chrome 21 (21.0.1180.89)
Mozilla Firefox 15.0
Pale Moon 15.0
Recently I found a gem in the form of a Gadget.
The Windows Vista Countdown Gadget.
It counted the days before the general availability of Windows Vista.
While the general availability for Windows Vista occurred a while ago (January 30, 2007), the Gadget is still a nice way to celebrate the operating system.
The Windows Vista Countdown Gadget.
As one would expect, the Gadget no longer serves its intended purpose, as Vista was released quite some time ago.
However, as mentioned above, one can use the Gadget to celebrate the release of Windows Vista. It’s right at home on my Sidebar.
It should be noted that after installing the Gadget, one can click on the “Get it Now” link that’s displayed. It will take you to the official Microsoft Windows Vista website, which looked better in late November, 2006.
Microsoft bundled Windows Defender, an anti-spyware program with Windows Vista. It has features not found in subsequent versions of the program. If you decide to continue reading, you will learn about these.
A screenshot of Windows Defender in the Home view, the “homepage” of the program.
All real-time protection agents included in Windows Defender in Windows Vista.
Windows Defender provides extensive real-time protection. Below is a list of real-time protection agents included with the software.
Auto Start – This agent monitors applications that start with Windows Vista. Programs that require administrative permission must be approved before they can run.
System Configuration (Settings) – Monitors and notifies of changes made to security-related settings in Windows Vista.
Internet Explorer Add-ons – This monitors add-ons (components) that start with Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer Configurations (Settings) - Monitors security-related browser settings and notifies you when changes occur. An example of this is when a program changes the homepage of Internet Explorer.
Internet Explorer Downloads - This agent supervises files and programs that work with Internet Explorer.
Services and Drivers – Monitors Services and drivers.
Application Execution- Monitors the execution of applications and the behavior performed after execution. If suspicious activity is detected, Windows Defender will notify you.
Application Registration - Unlike the Auto Start agent, this monitors programs and files that run after startup.
Windows Add-ons - Monitors software utilities downloaded for Windows Vista. Examples include multimedia programs and web browsers.
When Windows Defender detects a change, administrative privileges are typically required before the action can be allowed. An example of this would be when the homepage of Internet Explorer changes.
All but two of the real-time protection agents listed above have been removed from Windows 7. These two options are: Downloaded files and attachments. and Programs that run on my computer, which equate to Internet Explorer Downloads, and Application Execution in Windows Vista.
Interestingly, the description for the Downloaded files and attachments agent in Windows 7 indicates that the protection is not limited to Internet Explorer (i.e., it is available for all installed web browsers).
Windows Defender in Windows Vista provides the Software Explorer, which allows one to view detailed information about software that runs when Windows Vista starts (Startup Programs), programs or processes that are already running (Currently Running Programs), programs or processes connected to the Internet (Network Connected Programs), and programs that perform communication services for Windows and programs (Winsock Service Providers).
Unfortunately, the Software Explorer has also been removed from Windows 7. Some users unsatisfied with Microsoft’s decision recommend using Autoruns and/or Process Explorer.
Microsoft Security Essentials, the anti-malware successor to Windows Defender, does not include most of the real-time protection agents listed above. Software Explorer is also absent.
In Windows 8, Microsoft Security Essentials is branded as Windows Defender, though it is now even more asinine.
I will compare the Start menu in Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Windows Vista allows you to use the new-style Start menu (similar to the one introduced in Windows XP) or the classic Start menu available in previous versions of Windows.
The changes to the new Windows Vista Start menu are:
- Unlike the Start menu introduced in Windows XP, the All Programs list no longer displays a cascading flyout menu; programs are instead shown in a vertical scrollbox.
- Icons are removed from the second pane, presumably for a cleaner look.
- The most important change is the Start Search box in the Start menu, which utilizes the powerful Instant Search technology in Windows Vista.
While using the new-style Start menu, one can dynamically pin their default web browser and e-mail application, which was also possible in Windows XP.
One can turn this behavior off to preserve room for other pinned items.
Windows Vista unfortunately does not have an option to display the Recorded TV, Downloads, or Videos folders on the new Start menu, though there are workarounds for the latter two items.
Pinned items have bold text which serves as a nice visual identifier, helping one differentiate between pinned applications and recently opened programs.
In Windows 7, one can no longer dynamically pin their default web browser or email applications.
The classic Start menu was also removed from Windows 7.
A popular misconception is that Windows 7 introduced searching the Control Panel from the Start Menu.
However, Windows 7 does allow one to use keywords to search for Control Panel items.
For example, searching for create brings up items such as Create a restore point. Admittedly, the search results seem to be filled with redundant entries.
Classic Start menu in Windows 7
The Start menu versus the Start screen in Windows 8
In Windows 7, you are limited to the Category viewing mode and two webby icon styles, which are reminiscent of Tiles view and Small Icons view respectively, but cannot be customized. To put this into perspective, it means that even the Control Panel in Windows 98 offers more options for icon customization.
In Windows Vista, one can choose between the Category viewing mode or the Classic one, the latter of which includes the following icon viewing modes: Extra Large icons, Large icons, Medium icons, Small icons, List, Details, and Tiles view.
Icons in the Classic Control Panel are scalable in size up to 256 × 256 pixels, which is useful if one has a vision impairment or if using a large display monitor.
Since Windows 7 has multi-touch capabilities, one wonders why this is no longer the case in that operating system. Scalable icons in Windows Vista seem to be more suitable for tablets or touchscreens than the Control Panel restrictions set in Windows 7.
While using the Classic Control Panel, Windows Vista allows you to group icons by name or content if desired. Icons can also be arranged freely in all but two viewing modes, Tiles view and Details view.
One can even make the Windows Vista Control Panel similar to the one in Windows 7.
Windows 8 unfortunately doesn’t go beyond the customization options in Windows 7.