Taskbar (7) Guide for Users of JAWS

This is a guide to the taskbar on Windows 7 written by David Bailes.

The taskbar is a thin bar that normally runs across the bottom of the screen, and contains:

  • The Start button, which opens the Start menu. From this menu you can open programs, Control Panel items, common locations, and files, and you can also shut down the computer, log off, etc.
  • A group of taskbar buttons, which can be used for opening programs, and switching between open windows.
  • The Notification area, which contains a clock and a number of icons which represent background programs or services.
  • Show Desktop button. The large area of the screen which isn't taken up with the taskbar is known as the desktop, and normally contains a few shortcuts. Program windows are displayed in this area, and so either partially or completely hide the desktop. If you press this button (Windows Key + D), then all open windows are minimized, and the desktop becomes the focus.

The new features in the Windows 7 taskbar include:

  • Jump Lists. For many programs, Windows 7 provides a Jump List, which contains recent or frequently opened items, and which allows you to quickly open one of these items.
  • There are some new convenient keystrokes for using the taskbar buttons to open programs and switch between open windows.
  • You can now maximize a window by simply pressing Windows Key + Up Arrow. When a program window opens, then by default it only takes up part of the desktop area. However some windows are read better by Jaws if they take up the whole desktop, which is known as being maximized. For a particular Start menu item or Taskbar button for a program, once the window has been maximized, then Windows normally remembers this, and you don't have to do it again.

You can learn more about the Taskbar by clicking this link to read the Windows 7 Taskbar Guide for people who use JAWS.

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