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Polish for Windows Spotlight and tabs for Notepad in latest Insiders build

You will soon know more about what your PC lockscreen is showing you

Microsoft is working on new looks for the Windows Spotlight feature and redesigns for the graphics settings page as part of its latest Windows 11 Preview build.

At the same time, the company is introducing tabs in the Windows Notepad tool to developers in its Windows Insider Dev Channel group.

Microsoft uses the Windows Insider program to get feedback from developers and license holders who get pre-release builds of the operating systems to test.

The latest Windows 11 Preview Build, 25281, puts a focus on the Spotlight function – the rotating photos that are downloaded from Bing and displayed when the screen is locked on the system – with the goal of delivering more information on what is in the picture.

The different options will continue to include such features as the ability for the user to hover over the icon on the desktop as well as right-clicking and double-clicking on it to get information about what they're seeing.

"The treatments for Spotlight will include richer UI around displaying the title and description and learning more information about the image displayed on your desktop via Spotlight," Amanda Langowski, principal product manager for the Windows Insider Program, and Brandon LeBlanc, senior program manager at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post this month.

"We're also trying out different ways of switching to different pictures with previews, a full-screen experience, and a minimized experience."

They noted that Insider members in the Dev Channel will see different treatment options on their PC screens from others and all will be shown only in English.

For developers and testers who want to try this out, they can right click on the desktop, choose "Personalize", and then choose the new Spotlight theme. They also can go to Settings > Personalization > Background and choose the option under the "Personalize your background" dropdown.

Also with Build 25281, Microsoft is redesigning the graphics setting page to better align with the new design principles in Windows 11, Langowski and LeBlanc wrote. The goal is to help users more easily reach graphic configurations such as "GPU preference" and "Auto HDR."

"The functionality of these settings remains unchanged from prior versions of Windows, but we now have a more streamlined visual appearance," they wrote.

Those in the Dev Channel will be able to play around with tabs in the Notepad tool. The support for multiple tabs was among the most requested features from developers, according to Dave Grochocki, principal product manager lead for Microsoft.

The developers "will be able to create, manage, and organize multiple files in a single Notepad window," Grochocki wrote in a blog post. "You can also continue to work with files across multiple windows by dragging a tab out into its own window, and a new app setting lets you customize whether files open in new tabs or a new window by default."

In addition, Microsoft is introducing new keyboard shortcut keys for managing the tabs and enhanced ways for managing unsaved files. Those include automatically generating file names and tabs based on the content and a new indicator for unsaved changes.

Grochocki also wrote that developers also could run into some snags that Microsoft already knows about, including issues with certain keyboard shortcuts.

The Preview Build 25281 also comes with a dozen fixes in Windows 11, including resolving issues where the wireless network SSID wasn't in the properties page in Wi-Fi Network and Internet Settings, some app uninstalls in the last few builds were getting stuck and failing, and explorer.exe could crash when closing File Explorer. ®

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