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Archive for the ‘Desktop Enhancement’ Category



Change the Start

Friday, May 19th, 2006

Change the Start

We use the Windows Start menu quite often, don’t we? It has a critical affect on our daily computing activities. In fact, it would be basically impossible to operate our computer without the Start menu. Without it, it would much more difficult to access our favorite programs that we have installed on our computers. It would even be harder to run the essential Windows applications.

Imagine your… Continue reading

Screen Saver Password

Friday, April 28th, 2006

Screen Saver Password

Have you ever wanted to add a password to your screen saver, but weren’t sure how to do it? Well, you’re in luck today. The process is simple and in minutes, you will have a password protected screen saver.

Go to Start, Control Panel and find the Display icon. Windows XP users need to make sure they are in the classic view of the Control… Continue reading

Run the Shortcut

Friday, April 14th, 2006

Do you use the Run command quite often to help you find different programs quickly? For example, you may use it to find your computer’s calculator or maybe the on screen keyboard. (Those are just a couple examples of what you can use the Run command for).

So, how do you usually get to the Run box? Do you go to Start>Run and then type in your… Continue reading

Quick Launch

Friday, April 7th, 2006

We have done a longer, more advanced tip on Quick Launch before, but I’ve been getting some e-mails from people asking just how to get icons down in their bottom toolbar, so I thought I would cover that again real quick.

The space where the icons sit in the bottom left side of your desktop (right next to the Start button) is called the Quick Launch Toolbar. You… Continue reading

The Calculator

Friday, April 7th, 2006

A lot of times I find myself looking for my calculator and forgetting that there’s a perfectly good one right on my PC already!

It’s practically impossible to lose this one!. Just go to Start, All Programs, Accessories and choose Calculator, or just type in “calc” into your search bar in Windows Vista and choose it above. A little calc will pop up and you just use… Continue reading

Stop the Saver

Friday, March 31st, 2006

Q:
I’m tired of my screen saver. How do I turn it off?

A:

So, you have a really cool screen saver picked out and you really love it, but maybe you only love it for a little while. Or, maybe you just really love your wallpaper even more. So, what should you do to solve this little dilemma? Do you have to leave your screen… Continue reading

Move That Window

Friday, March 24th, 2006

Move That Window

Picture this: you’re sitting at your computer and you have a browser window open while you search the Web and you also have some sort of a document laid out on your screen. I’m guessing that you probably have them both open to their full size, don’t you? It’s just too annoying to not have it that way, right?

Well, what if you wanted to move that… Continue reading

Welcome Screen

Friday, March 24th, 2006

Welcome Screen

If you have Windows XP, you have two choices of how your computer logs you in each time you boot up your computer. You can either use the traditional method of using a username and password or you can use what is called the Welcome Screen to log on.

If you want to change the way your computer logs you in each time, you can either disable or… Continue reading

Performance Options

Friday, March 17th, 2006

Did you know that you can customize your settings, so your computer will run and look just the way you want it to? Well, you can and here’s how.

Click on Start>Control Panel and get to the Performance area. XP users need to click on Performance and Maintenance to get to this section. You’ll find this as it’s shown

Brightness and Contrast Control

Friday, March 3rd, 2006

Brightness and Contrast Controls

Have you ever wondered what those little buttons on the front of your monitor are for? You may have played around with them and found that they are mainly used for the brightness and contrast controls for your computer screen. Adjusting these controls allows you to make your screen look the way you want it to look, whether that be with a darker or a lighter… Continue reading

Volume Control

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Ever lost your volume icon? You go to change your volume by using the little icon that sits in the bottom right hand corner of your desktop (right next to your clock) and the icon was somehow missing? What are you supposed to do now?

If you’re using Windows Vista, then right-click on a blank area of your task bar and select “Properties“. Under system icons, make… Continue reading

Desktop Lock

Friday, February 17th, 2006

Q:
What’s an easy way to lock my desktop?

A:
If you want to lock your desktop (that is, take it back to its original start up mode, where you must enter your password or click to enter), there’s an easy way to create an icon just for that.

Do the following to avoid using any other key combinations in the future:

Begin by right-clicking an empty… Continue reading

Create New Themes or Modify Existing Themes

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

Redecorating with Personalized Style

In a previous tip, we talked about how to choose your desktop theme from those available on your system. Those are pretty basic. You can also modify them or create your own!

Note: These directions are for XP users. Other versions of Windows will look slightly different and have the settings in slightly different places. Look in the Control Panel as a starting point.… Continue reading

Change Windows Themes or Views

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

Redecorating Windows

Themes are complete redecoration packages for your desktop. A typical theme will contain a coordinating screen saver, icons, fonts, colors, window borders, cursors, and sometimes even sounds. XP offers the Windows Classic and Windows XP themes automatically. You can find others online or install them from CDs.

Right-click your desktop and choose Properties.

The Display Properties window will appear. Click the Themes tab and choose one from… Continue reading

Delete Screensavers (or uninstall them)

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Q:
My screen saver collection is taking up too much space in my computer. How can I delete them?

A:
They do accumulate, don’t they? There are two separate methods to removing screen savers, depending on how they’re stored in your system.

If you have installed screen saver collections from a disk or the web, you’ll recover more space if you uninstall the screen saver programs rather than… Continue reading

Viewing the Windows and Office Clipboards

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Viewing the Windows and Office Clipboards

Last week we talked about the Windows clipboard and how to prevent information on it from being stolen. The Windows clipboard and the MS Office programs clipboards differ in a few important ways. The Windows Clipboard holds the most recent thing you’ve Copied or Cut. The Office Clipboard holds up to 24 items.

To view what’s on your Windows clipboard, you can… Continue reading

New Program Shortcuts

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Q:
I’m installing a program, but it didn’t put a shortcut on my desktop. Where did the program go?

A:
Most programs’ default location is in a folder in the Program Files. Shortcuts don’t change the real location of a file or program. They only make it easier to access the file or program from the desktop.

To find your newly-installed program, go to the Start menu and… Continue reading

Change icon and text size

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Q:
All of my desktop icons are way too big. Can I shrink them somehow?

A:
Yes. You can change the size of the icons and the size of the text beneath them, and not just by choosing Large Icon or Small Icon. Just right-click the desktop, click Properties, and go to the Appearance tab. Click Effects.

The Advanced Appearance window will open. Scroll down to “icon”… Continue reading

Schedule Maintenance Tasks (ex. Disk Cleanup)

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

I was amazed at how much space I freed up using Disk Cleanup! I’m terrible at remembering to do this sort of thing. Is there a way to make this happen automatically?

A:
You can schedule maintenance tasks like Disk Cleanup. First, see our tip for settings on Disk Cleanup that will avoid “throwing out” stuff you might need. Go to the Start Menu, All Programs, Accessories

Wallpaper That Won’t Go Away

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Q:
No matter how I try to change my wallpaper it just stays the same. What can I do?

A:
Normally, if you pick a different wallpaper the old one will go away…
http://www.worldstart.com/tips/tips.php/722

But… I get email all the time from folks who can’t get the wallpaper to change. Why does this happen?

It’s an… Continue reading

Download: Logon Loader

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

I like bringing you programs that can spruce up your Windows XP, making it more personal. One area that could really use some shaping up is that boring Blue logon screen. I couldn’t just leave this out.

Let’s’ put it this way: if you have incorporated all the Windows alterations that I have showcased in the past couple of weeks, trying to totally change every aspect of your Windows environment… Continue reading

Vanishing Taskbar Buttons

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

Q:
I keep several windows open at the same time and a little button appears for each one in my taskbar. Why do some disappear as I add more?

A:
They didn’t really go anywhere. When the task bar fills up it scrolls up to make room for more buttons.

You’ll notice that arrows will appear next to the open window area of the taskbar. Click up and… Continue reading

ScreenSwift 5.0

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

What ScreenSwift does is allow you to create flash desktop wallpapers that actually behave just exactly like a flash file. This isn’t some stagnant image. You can either store the entire flash movie as a wallpaper and when you want to see the movie action select the “Play” button and get some popcorn.

There is nothing to the set up. All you need are some .swf files—which… Continue reading

Make Your Own Wallpaper

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

Would you like to have one of your pictures as a desktop background? It’s easier than you think!

1. Figure out your screen resolution. Before you begin, you’ll need to figure out what size the final image needs to be. Fortunately, this is really easy. Just right-click a blank area on your desktop and select Properties from the resulting menu. Then, click the Settings tab on the resulting… Continue reading

Recover a Lost Window

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

I’m sure this has happened to you: a window strays outside of the visible desktop area and you can’t seem to grab it with your pointer.

All is not lost.

Click the button for it down in the toolbar to bring it into focus. Hit Alt+Spacebar and it will bring up a System menu (Restore, Move, Size, etc.) Usually this shows up in the upper left hand corner… Continue reading

Change Icons for a File Type

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

Are you tired of the icon associated with your Word docs? Maybe you want all JPEGs to have a unique icon. Well, it can be done. Yes, you can give custom icons to all files of a certain type.

First, if you don’t have any custom icons yet, check out Leo’s IconArchive for over 10,000 free ones to choose from…
http://www.iconarchive.com/

Save them to a folder, maybe… Continue reading

Missing Show Desktop Icon in Windows XP

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

Q:
In Windows XP, my “Show Desktop” icon down in the taskbar disappeared. How do I get it back?

A:
I get questions on this all the time. it even happened to someone here at WorldStart HQ. “Show Desktop” is not a normal program and you can’t just make a shortcut or reactivate it in a normal way.

What you’ll need to do is… Continue reading

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