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Windows Vista: Using breadcrumb navigation instead of Up button

It’s no wonder that there are a lot of tools out there designed to add an Up button to Vista’s Explorer — we’ve all come to rely on it as a navigation tool in the Windows operating system and now it’s gone. Ever since Windows 95 made its debut, the Up button has been near the top of the Explorer interface, as illustrated in right side pic, and we’ve all just gotten very used to using the Up button as an easy way to move up the folder tree structure one folder at a time.

As such, when Windows Vista appeared on the scene with its new GUI features, the missing Up button, as shown in rightside pic, caused a bit of anxiety when we accessed Windows Explorer or Computer. So it’s just natural that we’d want to replace it the first chance we got.

Of course, when something that is so heavily relied on goes missing, someone is going to come up with a way to replace it. However, even though the absence of an Up button may seem to be a chink in the Vista operating system, it’s really not. In fact, once you get used to it, you’ll discover that the breadcrumb navigation system offers the same capability as the Up button and much more. As soon as you do, you’ll quickly forget about the Up button.

The breadcrumb navigation system: While you may not realize it, you are already quite familiar with the breadcrumb navigation system. Chances are good that many of the Web sites that you visit on a regular basis incorporate a breadcrumb navigation system.

In most cases, breadcrumbs appear across the top of a page and provide you with links back to each previous page through which you navigated to get to page that you are currently viewing. Breadcrumbs essentially provide you with a trail that you can follow to get back to each page that you’ve visited since entering the Web site.

For example, a typical breadcrumb navigation system on a Web site may look something like this:

Home PageCategory PageSubcategory Page → Article Page

In this case, you’ve click through several pages to get to the Article page. At any time, you can move to any of the other pages in the breadcrumb navigation system simply by clicking its name.

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