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Archive for the ‘Desktop Enhancement’ Category



Pull the Arrows Out of Your Shortcuts

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Pull the Arrows Out of Your Shortcuts

Many of you keep asking me how to remove those little arrows you see on your desktop shortcuts. They sure can take away from the visual aesthetics of the icons.

OK, there are actually two easy ways to get rid of the little arrows that attach themselves to shortcuts. The easiest of the two is to select a size of 30 for your… Continue reading

Adding Shortcuts to the Taskbar

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Adding Shortcuts to the Taskbar

I know, this is kind of a basic tip for you long time Windows users, but we’ve been getting a lot of questions on this lately. So, if you want to add icons to your taskbar – or make the ones you already have on it bigger, read on!

OK, first we’ll talk about getting the icons there in the first place. By… Continue reading

Change Your Search Companion

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Change Your Search Companion

If you search for a file in XP you’ll notice the little dog at the bottom. Rover is there to help you sniff out files you need. Well, what if you don’t want him sniffing around? Maybe you’re a cat person. Did you know you can change the Search Companion? Here’s how…

Go to Start/Search and click “Change Preferences”. If you don’t want any character, choose… Continue reading

Program Skins

Monday, November 15th, 2004

I hear about programs having “skins”-what does that mean?

Before all of our animal loving readers start typing angry email to us, animals are not harmed in the making of “skins” for programs (although you can get animal patterned ones). These “skins” are graphic files used to change the appearance of the user interface to a program. They

Window States

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Window States

Ever have a program that always starts in a “normal” state but you really want it maximized?

Well, here’s a little trick to help you do just that (and more) with a quick little bit of shortcut editing. Note: although this seems to work on most programs, sometimes you’ll run across a program that just won’t cooperate.

1. First, right-click the shortcut to the program and select Properties… Continue reading

“My Computer” Toolbar

Friday, November 12th, 2004

“My Computer” Toolbar

Here’s a little trick you can do with the “My Computer” desktop icon to make a very cool “My Computer” toolbar.

To create this toolbar, left click and drag your “My Computer” icon to either side of your desktop then release your left mouse button. If you were close enough to the screen edge, you’ll get a “My Computer” toolbar.

I’ve found it helps if you… Continue reading

Colorful Title Bars

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Would you like to make your window title bars (the area on a window that has the min, max, & close buttons on it) different colors? Try this:

1. Right-click your desktop and select Properties (In Vista it’s called “Personalize”)

2. Your display settings should pop up. Select the Appearance tab (Windows Color and Appearance in Vista).

3. Hit the “Advanced”

Alphabetize Programs under the Start Menu

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Q:
I wish there was a way to alphabetize all the programs under Start/Programs?

A:
Well, save your wishes for something good, because you can! Here’s how:

1. Click the Start button, Programs. Highlight any program group (i.e. menu item) that’s listed there.

2. Now, just right-click and select ” Sort by name ” from the resulting menu.

That’s it. Remember that you can still drag… Continue reading

Customize the XP Start Menu

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

You know about the Start button, right? It sits down in the lower left-hand corner of the toolbar waiting to be clicked whereupon it shall reveal its wealth of information. But what if you click it and you don’t like the way it looks?

Well, you can get some relief, and have fun, with the Start Menu properties. Just right-click Start and choose Properties.… Continue reading

Classic Control Panel in XP

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

By default, the control panel is in Category View, so when you open it, you see 10 categories (Appearance, sound, etc.) to choose from.

That can make it hard to find what you want. If you notice on the right side there is a link marked Switch to Classic View.

Click there and you will be… Continue reading

Screen Resolution and Older Games

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Q:
I was trying to play an old game on Windows XP, but it won’t work. I hear sound, but the screen is blank. Why can’t I see the graphics?

A:
I ran into this the other day with an old program that my kids love. It turns out that we had to change the screen resolution to 256 colors.

What you could do is look for the… Continue reading

Program Arrangements

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Q:
I would like to rearrange the order of my programs under the Start menu in Windows XP. How can do this?

A:
I get email all the time from readers who want to change the order of the programs in their Programs menu (Start button, Programs). You’ll be glad to know it’s easy as drag and drop!

Here’s how:… Continue reading

Start Menu Folders

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Start Menu Folders

Here’s another tip for those of you with cluttered Start menus.Why not place additional folders in your Start Menu?

You could make categories for your programs with these folders so you don’t have to do so much hunting around. For instance, you could have a category for office-type apps, one for games, and one for internet. The possibilities are endless.

Now, before we get too far

HELP!

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Did you know that just about every program out there has a help file? Did you also know that the ones that don’t usually have online support or message boards for users? Continue reading

Folder Toolbar

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

I found this one by accident. I was dragging a folder to the Recycle Bin but instead I dropped it at the top of the screen. Surprise! A toolbar appeared at the top displaying the contents of the folder. Pretty cool.

I noticed that not all the files were listed, then I saw a double arrow on the right side and clicked it… Continue reading

Password Protect Folders in XP

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Do you share a computer with other users and want some extra security on your folders? There are two ways to password protect a folder built into Windows XP (for other Windows flavors, there are some freeware/shareware programs out there). If you’d like to password protect a flash drive, please read this tip.

If you have a log in

Make folders more interesting with pictures

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Make folders more interesting with pictures

Guess what Windows XP users? You can make folders easier to find and more attractive by putting pictures on them.

In order for this to work, you must have “thumbnail view” selected for the folder that it is in (thus it won’t work on the desktop).

Just right click the folder you want to customize and choose “Properties”.

On the “Customize” tab, go down… Continue reading

Delete Wallpaper

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

I don’t see a way to delete wallpaper. Can I do it, or am I stuck with all of these pictures I’ll never use?

If you notice, when you go to Display Properties/Desktop in XP, or Personalize in Vista or Windows 7, you won’t find a delete button to prune the long list of wallpaper, but that doesn’t mean

Just Shut Down, Will ya??

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Have you ever found yourself wishing that Windows wouldn’t ask you if you really want to shut down after you’ve gone to all the trouble of hitting the Start button, then Shut Down? Sure, if you’re a wild mouse clicker, maybe that extra little confirmation occasionally saves the day, but what if you just want a quick way to turn the thing off?

Well, as luck would have it, I… Continue reading

Add to your “Send To” menu

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Q:
Is there a way to send a file to a place that isn’t listed on my “Send To” menu?

A:
If you want to add a place or eliminate an item on the “Send to” menu that you don’t use it isn’t that hard to do:

1. Right-click your Start Button, Explore.

2. Head to the Windows\Send to\ folder (it’s probably just above the… Continue reading

Adjusting screen resolution

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Q:
Why do I have to scroll from left to right on many of the web sites I visit? Even with my browser maximized on my 17″ monitor, I’m still scrolling! Any Ideas?

A:
This could be the result of a couple problems. The most likely problem is that your screen resolution is set too low. It’s probably at 800×600 and most sites are designed with… Continue reading

Change folder & shortcut icons

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Q:
I downloaded a bunch of icons, but how do I change them for folders or shortcuts on my desktop?

A:
There’s not a whole lot to it.

Just Right Click the folder or shortcut you want to change and choose Properties.

Now choose the Customize tab for a folder and select the Change Icon button.

For a shortcut click the Shortcuts tab then select the Change

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