Did you know this?


Windows 10 has some interesting things going on. I’ve been telling people about the File Explorer ribbon for awhile now, but the update to the Photos app was news to me.

Do you use the ribbon in File Explorer?

Remember when Microsoft released Office 2007? People complained bitterly about the ribbon across the top of Word and Excel. Microsoft told us to get used to it, because that’s the way everything was headed.

They were right. In Windows 10 that ribbon is present in File Explorer. (File Explorer is what opens when you click on that folder icon.) In fact, it’s been there since Windows 8. I like it.

The ribbon makes it easy to find things you always had to hunt for.

Instead of right-clicking on a file and then clicking Copy, moving to the destination, right-clicking and clicking Paste, simply select a file, click Copy to, and click on your chosen destination. Moving files works the same way.

It’s easy to find the big red X for Delete. It’s easy to find Rename and to create a new folder right from the Home tab. On the View tab, you’ll see options to change the way things look in File Explorer.

Do you prefer lists of items, or icons? Do you like super big icons or very small icons? The choice is yours.

There are more tabs there. Look at what you can control.

If you don’t see the ribbon when you open File Explorer, you’ve got it minimized. To show it, click on the down arrow in the top left corner of the File Explorer window, just left of the name of the folder you’re viewing, then remove the check mark from Minimize the ribbon.

The ribbon will remain visible unless you check that box again.

Visibility is a matter of preference. I keep the ribbon visible all the time on my main computer, which has a large monitor. I hide by default on my laptop, where screen real estate is at a premium.

Clicking on the down arrow allows me to bring up the ribbon when I need it. Even with the ribbon hidden, I can click on a tab and show it temporarily.

I encourage you to experiment with that ribbon to find the settings you like.

Finally! A replacement for Movie Maker!

Not a week goes by without a question from readers or customers about a decent, free video editor. Movie Maker, which was part of Windows Live Essentials, hasn’t been supported since 2012 and hasn’t been available since January of this year.

I recommend Bolide Slideshow Creator (Free, here) for people who want to create a slideshow from photos and who may or may not wish to put it to music. It’s a great little program that’s easy to use. I wrote about it way back in 2015.

For those who need to edit videos into movies, I’ve been recommending Slideshow’s sister product, Bolide Movie Maker. It’s not free, but it’s worth the price. Like Slideshow Creator, it’s easy to use and it works great. It’s available here.

But now you can get your hands on a free slideshow/video app In the Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 (rolling out now). The Photos app has been improved!

When you open Photos, you’ll see a Create button at the top of the app. Clicking on that presents you with more choices about what to create or edit.

I managed to pull together a slideshow from photos of an excursion to Fintry Provincial Park. The app does most of the work, giving you a choice of theme and even some music. You can keep on hitting Remix until you’re satisfied with the outcome, or you can edit things yourself.

It took me a little less than an hour to create a short video and upload it to YouTube: https://youtu.be/MfVQP4XsiPg.

I hope you’ll look at that and say, “Wow! I could do much better than that!” and have a go at this yourself.

This is absolutely for amateurs. If you want something better, you should look at Bolide Movie Creator.

How do you put together your slide shows and videos? Share with me: [email protected] and I’ll share with everyone.


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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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