Windows 7 / Getting Started

Search in Windows Vista

Search was significantly improved in Windows Vista to make it more powerful and easier to use. The following new features and enhancements in search and indexing functionality were added in Windows Vista:

  • Windows Vista introduced a completely new search engine architecture called the Windows Search service, which was based on the earlier Windows Desktop Search (WDS) add-on for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The Windows Search service supersedes the earlier Indexing Service and provides better performance and improved query capabilities. For information about this new search engine architecture and how it works, see the section titled "How Windows Search Works" later in this tutorial. For information concerning the different versions of Windows Search, see the section titled "Understanding the Windows Search Versions" later in this tutorial.
  • In Windows XP, indexing of content had to be enabled before it could be used. Beginning with Windows Vista, indexing of content is enabled by default and supports querying both the metadata (properties) of any file type and the full text of many common document formats. The extensibility of Windows Search also allows Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to provide plug-ins that allows users to search third-party document formats, such as Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Beginning with Windows Vista, users can also search for e-mail messages in Office Outlook 2007 and for content stored in Microsoft Office OneNote 2007 notebooks. Users can also use Advanced Query Syntax (AQS) to create complex queries that return highly focused results and then save these queries for future use.
  • In Windows XP, the Indexing service did not try to avoid indexing content when the system was under heavy use. Beginning with Windows Vista, however, the Windows Search service includes algorithms that prevent the indexing of content when the system is too busy. This improvement makes Windows Search less intrusive than the previous Indexing service. A new feature of Windows Search is word-wheeled search (or search-as-you-type) functionality, whereby users can watch the results of their queries narrow as they type the characters of the file name or word they are looking for. This makes the search experience for the user much more responsive than in earlier platforms, where users had to type their entire search string and click Search each time they wanted to run a query.
  • Beginning with Windows Vista, search capability is integrated into the shell in more places, making searching easy to perform because of the ubiquitous presence of the Search box within the Start menu, Control Panel, any Windows Explorer window, and other Windows Vista experiences. In addition, each instance of the Search box is tuned to provide results appropriate for the types of queries that users might perform from within that instance.
  • Windows Vista introduced new searching and organizing capabilities that make it much easier for users to find files on their computers without having to spend a lot of time organizing them into hierarchical sets of folders. These capabilities include enhanced column headers; the ability to sort, group, and stack files and folders; and the ability to tag files and folders with descriptive keywords.
  • Beginning with Windows Vista, client-side caching (CSC) is enabled by default so that redirected folders are accessible to users when their computers are not connected to the network. These redirected folders are indexed locally so that users can search their contents even when their computers are not on the network or when the server to which their user profile folders have been redirected is down. The cached versions of offline folders are also indexed locally so that network shares marked offline can even be searched when the user's computer is not connected to the network.
  • Beginning with Windows Vista, users can search for information stored in shared folders on other computers running Windows Vista and later versions. The results of such searches are security trimmed so that search results display only those files and documents that the user has permission to access.
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In this tutorial:

  1. Managing Search
  2. Search and Indexing Enhancements
  3. Search in Windows XP
  4. Search in Windows Vista
  5. Search in Windows 7
  6. Understanding the Windows Search Versions
  7. Search Versions Included in Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  8. Search Versions Included in Windows Server 2008
  9. Search Versions Available for Earlier Versions of Windows
  10. How Windows Search Works
  11. Understanding Search Engine Terminology
  12. Windows Search Engine Processes
  13. Enabling the Indexing Service
  14. Windows Search Engine Architecture
  15. Understanding the Catalog
  16. Default System Exclusion Rules
  17. Understanding the FANCI Attribute
  18. Default Indexing Scopes
  19. Initial Configuration
  20. Understanding the Indexing Process
  21. Modifying IFilter Behavior
  22. How Indexing Works
  23. Rebuilding the index
  24. Viewing Indexing Progress
  25. Understanding Remote Search
  26. Managing Indexin
  27. Configuring the Index
  28. Configuring the Index Location Using Group Policy
  29. Configuring Indexing Scopes and Exclusions Using Group Policy
  30. Configuring Offline Files Indexing
  31. Configuring Indexing of Encrypted Files
  32. Configuring Indexing of Encrypted Files Using Control Panel
  33. Configuring Indexing of Similar Words
  34. Configuring Indexing of Text in TIFF Image Documents
  35. Other Index Policy Settings
  36. Using Search
  37. Configuring Search Using Folder Options
  38. Configuring What to Search
  39. Configuring How To Search
  40. Using Start Menu Search
  41. Searching Libraries
  42. Advanced Query Syntax
  43. Using Federated Search
  44. Deploying Search Connectors
  45. Troubleshooting Search and Indexing Using the Built-in Troubleshooter