Re: Questions and suggestions
I don't know what you know and, as I said, I don't want to assume. I have written this somewhat long message in case you don't know some of what I'm discussing. Others can provide discussions of good instructional material, if you wish. If you already know what I've explained here, then this message won't tell you anything new but I'd rather discuss these matters than not so you and others following the thread will have the information if interested..
I don't know how much you know about efficient navigation in Windows structures. You don't have to go through item after item. There's first letter navigation. And if you have six items on the desktop that begin with the letter n, you can type more of the name of the item. For example, typing nv will take you to the NVDA icon. You don't just have to type the first letter. In the all programs list, you can use first letter navigation but you can't type more than one letter as I recall. My recollection is that what I'm calling the all programs list is technically a menu. The desktop is a list.
In menus, only the designated letter will move you to the item. In a list, typing the first letter or more will either move you to it or will move you to items that begin with the letter or letters. Often, in menus, it's the first letter but this can't be assumed. I believe that in the all programs menu, it's always the first letter of the item.
When using the start menu search field, you can often just type one word to get to something if you do a bit of experimentation to figure out what that is. I can get immediately to Windows Live Mail by just typing the word mail. The other words, typing either Windows or the word live brings up too many results to be efficient.
Do you know how to create shortcuts and to use shortcuts, already existing or created by you, to assign short cut commands to? I have assigned the command control alt m to open Mozilla Firefox. I can use that command almost anywhere to open it. I can use the command control alt w to open Windows Live Mail. And I have lots more. Some people like short cuts more than others but if you don't know about them and try them, you are overlooking one of the fastest and most convenient ways to open items in Windows.
And short cut commands can be used to open more than programs. They can be used to open drives or you can open a folder or a file you use constantly or a great deal just by issuing one command.
Not everything I've said may apply in Windows 10, I don't know. I don't use Windows 10. But most of it will, or will with slight modifications. And that is true of Windows 8 as well.
I'm not trying to be didactic or dictatorial but I hope that if you don't know the things I've been discussing, that you get some good instructional material. Windows is very convenient and efficient when used as designed. It isn't when used as though it were something else, like DOS.
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To be honest, I’ve never liked the start menu, or the desktop. If you have tons and tons of things installed you often find they can be far too cluttered. I would rather type a filename, and possibly a path if the appropriate environment variables haven’t been set, than go through 350 shortcuts to find what I’m looking for.
Even back in the XP days when there was no menu search facility, I preferred the Run method, though sometimes if I knew exactly what I was looking for and I was sure I could get to it quickly (such as start, s, enter for Skype), I would use the start menu. But ever since the start menu changed in Vista, I never touched it again. Far, far too cluttered, and in my experience, the search feature was completely useless, hence the reason I’ve removed it from the Windows Features. It’s completely gone downhill.
Again though. Each to their own. I can certainly understand the appeal if you know there are only a select few programs you use on a regular basis and you do a shortcut cleanup, but I run what I need, when I need, and can’t say for certain that I use anything more than the other.
Especially now I’m starting on mainstream software development toolkits I’m becoming more and more familiar with the command line every day, so the run dialog seems trivial now, in comparison. I also find that the path environment variable and symbolic links are also rather helpful. They take a bit of grasping and setting up, but I so love Win+R, docs, enter to get to the My Documents folder!