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Archive for the ‘Desktop Enhancement’ Category



Add Items to the Start Menu

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

Q:
How do I add items to my Start Menu?

A:
As you know, the Start Menu is the control center of your PC accessed by clicking the “Start” button down in the lower left-hand corner or by typing the Window key. Adding items to it isn’t that difficult.

Since there are two sides to the Start Menu, let’s start with the left…

If the item you want… Continue reading

Matching Processes to Programs

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

When you do Ctrl+Alt+Delete in Windows XP you should get the Windows Task Manager. There you’ll see a list of running applications (programs). There is also a tab for “Processes” with a bunch of cryptic names like “SynTPEnh.exe” and such.

That said, let me tell you about a neat little trick to find out what processes match up with running applications…

Hit Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up Task Manager. Choose an… Continue reading

Turn Auto Desktop Cleanup Off

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

Q:
OK, call me crazy, but I like my messy desktop. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t seem to understand this and every now and then makes me run the Desktop Cleanup on my Windows XP machine. Sure, I click the little “X” on the reminder balloon to make it go away, but nooooooo—within seconds it’s back. No amount of screaming seems to help, so I’m forced to go though their stupid

Bit Quallity Problems

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

Q:
For some reason my desktop looks like it’s in safe mode or something. How do I fix it?

A:
Sounds like a bit quality issue. You might notice after you’ve been in Safe Mode or played a game on your PC that the desktop looks strange–the icons are bigger, the colors are off, etc.

If you have an icon for your… Continue reading

Personalized Windows Color Scheme

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Personalized Windows Color Scheme

Windows 9.x (XP instructions are below)

Windows has a look and feel that’s all its own thanks to the default color scheme’s use of gray. But if gray isn’t your color, don’t stick with it. Change your color scheme to something that fits your personality.

To customize your display scheme, follow these directions:

1. Single-click the Start button, mouse-over Settings… Continue reading

Desktop Toolbars

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Have you ever had several windows open and needed to get to a shortcut on the desktop? I know I have. You have to minimize all three windows just to start the other program. But there is an easy way to fix this problem. Create a toolbar with your shortcuts in it!

Here’s how. First, right click on the windows toolbar on the bottom of your screen… Continue reading

Show Desktop

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
How can I quickly get back to my desktop if I have lots of open windows?

A:
The best way is to hit the “Show Desktop” icon on your toolbar. One click and all your open windows will be minimized to your toolbar.

Now, one more little trick. If you want to get all the Windows back to their original size (restored) just click that “Show… Continue reading

Screen Saver Savvy

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Screen Saver Savvy

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to get your screen saver to run on *your* command and not after a certain amount of time has elapsed? Well, you guessed it, there is. You simply place a shortcut on your desktop for the screen saver(s) of your choice.

Now, before we start plopping little screen saver shortcuts all over your desktop… Continue reading

Hide Mouse Pointer When Typing

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Does your mouse pointer get in the way while you’re typing? Wish there was a way to just make it go away, then pop back up after the deluge of keystrokes subsides? Well, I have just the solution, my friends!

For Windows XP:

Click Start>Settings>Control Panel and then double click Mouse.

In the Mouse Properties window, click on the Pointer Options

Classic View for XP

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
I just installed Windows XP, but I really don’t like the new look. Is there a way to make XP look like my earlier versions of Windows or am I stuck?

A:
Actually, you can switch it to the “classic” look with just a few strokes of your mouse.

Right-click a blank area on the desktop and select Properties from the resulting menu. Hit the Appearance tab… Continue reading

Must… Have… Control!

Friday, November 19th, 2004

(Picture note: I keep my taskbar at the top of my screen, so that’s why the screen shots look like they are coming from the wrong direction.)

Do you use your control panel in Windows XP a lot? Are you the kind of person who is constantly “adjusting” things? Well, if you are, then you and I have a lot in common. Here’s a tip that will save us… Continue reading

Must… Have… Even More… Control!

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Must… Have… Even More… Control!

Well, wow! Thanks to all of the faithful readers who wrote in with their favorite way to access their Control Panel.

(While my screen shots are taken from Windows XP, I’ve tried this on Windows 98 and it works the same way!)

1. This first idea involves creating another taskbar in which the Control Panel can live its happy life… Continue reading

Spunkier Menus

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Spunkier Menus

Are your menus a bit sluggish? Well, you’ll be happy to learn that you can speed up their display speed. This trick is most noticeable for sub menus (like on your Programs menu). I didn’t think I’d be that impressed with it when I first tried it, but these faster menus are better! It makes your computer seem a bit faster and more responsive.

Anyhow, in order… Continue reading

Change your desktop

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Q:
Help! I’ve been staring at the same boring Windows XP desktop image for months. How can I change it?

A:
It’s really not that hard at all…

The fastest and easiest way I’ve found is to right-click on your desktop and select Properties . From the resulting window, choose the Display tab.

Scroll through the list of images… Continue reading

The “New” New

Friday, November 19th, 2004

You know how when you right-click inside a folder or on your Desktop , you get a menu with an item labeled ” New “? If you highlight it, you’ll get a sub menu that lets you create all kinds of new documents.

Well, it seems that every piece of software you install wants to stick an item on that

Change your Pointer

Friday, November 19th, 2004


Q:
In Windows XP I’ve seen pointers that turn into cute little dinosaurs, musical instruments- all sorts of things. How do you do that?

A:
It’s really not hard at all. Plus it’s a fun way to make waiting for things to load more bearable.

In Win XP, you’ll first go to the Start menu, then the Control Panel … Continue reading

Yee-haw! Lasso Like a Computer Cowboy

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Yee-haw! Lasso Like a Computer Cowboy

Have you ever noticed that you can make little “boxes” on your desktop by holding down your left mouse button and dragging diagonally? Although it can be an entertaining distraction when you’re on a boring phone call, it actually has a purpose.

Here I am, lassoing icons:

You can use the technique on your desktop to make multiple selections by “lassoing” icons. Hit… Continue reading

My, What a Big Mouse You Have!

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Do you find the standard Windows mouse cursor is a bit too small? If so, you may want to select a larger cursor scheme from your Mouse Properties. Here’s how:

Hold the Windows key and press the R key (Win+R). This will bring up the Run line. In Run, type main.cpl

This will bring up Mouse Properties in XP, Vista… Continue reading

Make Your Own Toolbar

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Make Your Own Toolbar

Wouldn’t it be nice to make your own toolbar to use just like the start menu? It’s really easy to do, and can be quite useful. For this tip I will show you how to make a new start menu with only the folders and shortcuts you want. This can also be used to make a menu of commonly used documents or any other… Continue reading

It appears as if my taskbar has disappeared!

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Q:
Help! It seems as if my taskbar has disappeared, Start button and all. How can I get it back?

A:
Well, I bet that you accidentally shrunk it. See, if you hover your mouse over the top edge of your taskbar, the cursor becomes a double-sided arrow which allows you to adjust the height of the taskbar. The cursor looks like this:

So if you’ve inadvertently… Continue reading

Set Computer’s Clock

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Q:
How do I set my computer’s clock?

A:
To set the time, just double-click the clock in your system tray (your system tray is located on your taskbar, opposite your Start button). A “clock screen” will be displayed.

You’ll see a box under an analog-looking clock where you can click on the hour, minute

Many of Worldstart’s tips will refer to the Windows Desktop at one point or another. If you don’t know what it is, that’s okay, because we’re here to help!

So here we go!

The Desktop, basically, is where all your icons live (stuff like the Recycle Bin sit on the Desktop).

It’s the “background” area you see when your computer first… Continue reading

Move Your Taskbar

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
I’ve seen people with their taskbar on the side or at the top. How did they do that?

A:
To move your taskbar:
Grab a blank area with your mouse (left click & hold) and drag it to whatever location (top, bottom, or sides) you want. Note that you need to grab the taskbar in the area where your open program buttons sit… Continue reading

Arranging Desktop Icons

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Do you have icons scattered all over your desktop and want them lined up? Or maybe you have them lined up in neat little rows, but would prefer them grouped in different areas of your desktop. We will try to satisfy both with today’s tip!

To organize scattered icons in Windows XP: Right-click the Desktop and select “Arrange Icons”. You’ll be presented with a sub-menu that’s chock full of icon… Continue reading

Hide Your Taskbar

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
Is there a way to hide my taskbar?

A:
Right-click any blank area on your taskbar (your taskbar is what your Start button sits on) and select “Properties” from the menu that pops up. Select “Autohide” or “Auto-hide taskbar” from the resulting screen.

Now, your taskbar will disappear when you move your mouse away from… Continue reading

Icon Hide & Seek

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Do you have awesome wallpaper that’s obscured by all those nasty little icons cluttering your desktop ? Well, here’s how to make them all disappear, at least temporarily…

Win XP Instructions:

A pretty easy process here.

Just right-click your Desktop , Arrange Icons By , then click the ” Show Desktop Icons ” item.

Why the PhD’s at Microsoft decided it was a good idea to stick the “Show… Continue reading

Which Icon belongs to Which Program?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

I always have too many programs open at the same time and I can’t remember which icon belongs to which program on my toolbar. Is there an easy way to tell which button is which?

By hovering over an item, a balloon should come up telling you what the program is.

One easy

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