Tech Tip: Customize your interface environment

Windows Server 2003 includes interface changes similar to those that were first introduced in Windows XP, such as a new Start menu and the removal of certain icons from the desktop to reduce clutter. Whether you like the new interface, there are things that you can do to make it more intuitive and easier to work with.

If you don't like the new Start menu, you can easily bring back the Windows 2000 "classic" version. Simply right-click the task bar, choose Properties, select the Start Menu tab, select the Classic Start menu option, and click OK.

However, the new Start menu in WS2K3 is much more flexible and provides greater capability than those in older versions of Windows. Frequently used programs appear in the left-hand column of the menu, and you can manually add programs for quick access. To add a program to the Start menu, right-click its icon, and select Pin To Start Menu. Alternatively, you can drag the icon on top of the Start button.

Another useful feature of the new Start menu is the ability to have more options that expand when you hover over them with the mouse. For example, when you choose Start | Control Panel, WS2K3 shows the contents of Control Panel as a menu pane, and any suboptions will appear on additional submenus.

To enable or disable this behavior for Control Panel—or other system tools—right-click the Start button, and choose Properties. Click the Customize button to go through the various possible menu modifications.

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