Click on Control Panel, then on Folder Options, and you’re going to find some nifty new features in Windows 2000.

Of course, Windows 2000 firmly integrates the Active Desktop into the operating system. It also offers the flexibility to tailor the interface to meet most users’ needs. You’ll want to check out the new folder options in Windows 2000 now—before you deploy the new OS within your organization.

The General tab offers options pertaining to Active Desktop, folder viewing and browsing, and mouse behavior.

On the General tab, you’ll find four behavior customizations. The Active Desktop section allows you to select either the Web or classic Windows 9x-style desktop. The next section, Web View, toggles content in folders. The Browse Folders section allows you to determine whether a folder opens in a new window or in the current window. And the Click Items As Follows section customizes mouse click behavior. In this section, the Single-Click To Open An Item (Point To Select) option creates a Web-like environment, and the associated underlining options ensure that users enjoy a consistent Web-like desktop experience. However, Double-Click To Open An Item is more familiar, and it will be the preference for most of the users on your network.

Advanced file and folder settings can be set from the View tab.

The View tab offers a number of customizations. Many users will find themselves here early in their Windows 2000 experience, because by default, many files and file extensions are hidden. These and other behaviors can be changed, based on the preferences entered here. Reset All Folders is a handy feature that sets the current customizations across the entire system.

You can create new file associations using the File Types tab.

The File Types tab is the interface used to associate file extensions with application types. The text box at the top lists the extensions with the currently associated applications. You’ll find buttons available for creating new associations and for deleting existing ones.

Because the most common action is opening a file, the Change button customizes that action. Finally, the Advanced button reveals other action associations, along with the browse and confirmation settings for files with a particular extension.

Offline Files settings can be used to empower mobile workers.

The Offline Files tab performs the tasks of an industrial-strength briefcase application. By enabling offline files and updating them before logging off the network, the user can access those files without being connected to the network.

The Advanced button customizes the computer behavior when going offline. It is also possible to view or delete the offline files if necessary. With the Offline Files feature, users now have more options for file and folder access when they’re not connected to the network.

Ron Kauffman is a network engineer, IT consultant, and trainer with more than a decade of hardcore IT experience. He’s earned MCP+I, MCSE, MCT, and a host of other industry designations.

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