By default the Windows 7 taskbar combines all open applications within its taskbar icon, like this:
The only way to tell whether an application is open or not is to notice that its icon is subtly highlighted.
Icons and titles
A few weeks ago, however, I stumbled upon a setting in Windows 7’s Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog that did this to my taskbar:
The open applications have now expanded and include something of its title. And I have to say that I rather like it. In my opinion it combines the best of both the Windows XP taskbar and Windows 7 taskbar.
What to do…
- Right-click the Start orb.
- Click on Properties.
- A dialog window will appear. Click on the Taskbar tab.
- The “Taskbar buttons” drop-down has three options. The default is the first one, choose the second or third depending on whether you ever want just the icons.
- Always combine, hide labels.
- Combine when taskbar is full.
- Never combine.
- Click OK.
And that’s it.