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Archive for the ‘File & Disk Management’ Category

Program List

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

In Windows XP, when I go to my programs it takes up my whole screen. Is there a way to make them into a list or something?

This has always been a pretty annoying feature in XP, but I discovered a remedy.

Right-click the Start Button and choose Properties.

Easy Sub-folders

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

Want an easy way to create subfolders?

When you are in a folder hold down the Alt key and type F, W, F (in XP) or F,N, F (in 98/ME) and a new folder appears.

Want more than one? Just keep the Alt key down and type F, W, F (or F,N,F) over and over again until all your new folders are created.

You can then go back and name… Continue reading

Saving to a New Folder

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005

Have you ever gone to save a file in a program like MS Word and wanted it in a different folder than the ones you have? The good news is that most programs allow you to create a folder when you save.

Next to the window where you select the folder you want to save in, find the icon that looks like a folder with a star… Continue reading

Compress Folders with Windows ME

Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

I know there’s a few of you out there with Win ME. In most cases the Win 98 tips work for you, but ME was also a testing ground for new features like System Restore and folder compression that became part of XP.

Although it is not installed by default, ME has built in folder compression so you don’t need WinZip or Stuffit to archive/zip or unzip folders.… Continue reading

Wild Cards

Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

When doing a search you can use an asterisk (*) in place of letters or numbers. This is called a “wild card” and it really comes in handy.

Let’s say you’re looking for a file that starts with “ran” but aren’t sure what the rest of the name is. Just type in…


All files of any type that begin with “ran” will be found such as “randy.doc” or “rand-mcnally.exe”.… Continue reading

Folder Button

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

When you open a folder you’ll see the buttons in the toolbar at the top: Back, Forward, Up, Search, Folders, etc.

We’ve talked about “Back” and “Up” before and “Search” needs no explanation, but what about “Folders”?

Give it a click and find out. You’ll see that it brings all your folders, drives, etc. just like Windows Explorer. This makes for easy folder navigation.

Want to change back?… Continue reading

Add Items to Start Menu

Monday, January 10th, 2005

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 tapping 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 to add is a shortcut… Continue reading

Tell CDs What to Do

Saturday, January 8th, 2005

Windows XP gives you even more control over CD autoruns. You can actually specify what happens when different kinds of CDs are put into your drive.

For instance, what if you want music CDs to always open in Windows Media Player? Or your picture CDs to open in Photoshop? Well, today I’m going to show you how to do this and more.

Head over to your CD drive (you may… Continue reading

Stop CD Autorun

Saturday, January 8th, 2005

I don’t want my CDs to autorun when I put them in. Is there a way to permanently stop this feature?

By default when you put a CD in your drive it will automatically start up (in most cases). But what if you don’t want this to happen? With Windows 98/ME it’s easy.

Right click “My Computer” and select “Properties”. Next you’ll choose the “Device Manager”… Continue reading

Files & Settings Transfer Wizard

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful Files & Settings Transfer Wizard. This XP feature makes it easier for you to get files off your old computer onto your new one.

You can move personal display properties, folder and taskbar options, and Internet browser and e-mail settings from your old computer and place them on the new one.

The wizard will also move specific files or entire… Continue reading

Files & Settings Transfer Wizard

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful Files & Settings Transfer Wizard. This XP feature makes it easier for you to get files off your old computer onto your new one. You can move personal display properties, folder and taskbar options, and Internet browser and e-mail settings from your old computer and place them on the new one. The wizard will also move specific files or entire… Continue reading

More Detail Columns

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

We’ve talked before about adding info to properties in documents and media files. In case you missed it, head over to the tip on our web site… Want Detailed File Info? Put it in the Properties

Well, did you know that in Windows, you make any of this info available as columns in Detail view? No? Then check this one

Copy the Path

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Q: Is there a faster way to open a file path? For example, can I copy and paste the line below somewhere and have the folder just open up?

c:\my documents\my folder\2001

I notice that many of your tips will tell us to navigate to a folder on our computer and it seems like it would be easier if we could just copy & paste the path somewhere.


Full Path

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Have you ever gotten a little lost while using My Computer? Before you get buried in another deep directory, tell Windows to show the full path in the title bar. I know, it doesn’t sound all that profound, but it really comes in helpful. Here’s how:

Open My Computer (or any folder) and click the Tools menu, Folder options .

Save to Floppy to Save Hard Drive Space?

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

I’m running out of hard drive space, should I save some of my files to floppy disks then take them off the computer?

That’s probably a really bad idea.

OK, before you send me a nasty e-mail, let me explain. I get five or six e-mails a week from people trying to save hard drive space by keeping his/her stuff on a floppy disk (then deleting… Continue reading

Big Mistakes

Friday, November 19th, 2004

I was working on a document the other day and made a big mistake. I messed up the entire document and it took forever to get it back to the way it was. Is there a better way?

Yes. First, if you make a mistake, hit Ctrl+Z . In most programs, that will undo whatever it

Floppy Copy

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Floppy Copy

Floppy drives are slowly becoming extinct, so this tip is for us sentimental types who still love our floppies…

Ever need to copy the contents from one floppy disk to another? It’s easy! Here’s how:

1. Put the disk you would like to copy into your floppy drive (usually your “A:” Drive.)
2. Double-click the MyComputer Icon on your desktop.
3. Right click your A: Drive… Continue reading

Drag & Drop Opens

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Drag & Drop Opens

Here’s a quick little one for ya.

Did you know that most programs allow you to open files by dragging & dropping them into their window? Well, they do. Really.

For example, let’s say you have a picture file sitting on your desktop and your imaging software is already running. Just drag & drop the file into the program and it… Continue reading

Quicker File Access

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

When most of us go to open a file, we click the File menu, Open (OK, some of us use the little toolbar button), then we scroll along hunting for the file so we can double-click it.

Well, if you have a ton of documents in a folder, this can get time consuming. If you know the exact name of the file, you can simply type it in the little… Continue reading

Control Your Folders (and more)

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Control Your Folders (and more)

Do you ever find yourself scrolling through a huge folder ? Well, if you need to get to the beginning or the end quickly, just press Ctrl+Home . If you want to get to the end, click Ctrl+End .

Hey, that’s not all!

This little trick works on more than just folders. If you use the Home key in a word… Continue reading

Purge Your Clipboard of Large Files

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Purge Your Clipboard of Large Files

When you use the “copy” or “cut” command, it copies information to your Windows clipboard . That information is kept in your RAM memory until it’s replaced by something else.

Unfortunately, if you’re copying large items, this can adversely affect your computer’s performance. How? Well, that large file, picture, object, or whatever it was that you copied is floating around… Continue reading

Rename Several Files at Once

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Rename Several Files at Once

Have you ever been working on a project with information on several files? Maybe it was an annual report with files from different departments. Or perhaps you unloaded the pictures from your camera and would like to find the ones of your grandchildren easier. This tip works with every type of file and will help you give them all the same name. I’m sure you… Continue reading

Hidden Temporary Files

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

For some reason when I went to open some of my documents, some of them came up with this little ~$ sign before the name of the document omitting the first one or two letters of the document. What does this mean?

That is a hidden temporary file that is created when you have a document open. It’s where all the… Continue reading

Use Internet Explorer To Open Files

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Use Internet Explorer To Open Files

If you’re like me, you always have a web browser open. Well, if that browser is Internet Explorer, you could be doing more with it than just surfing the web!

Internet Explorer can also open all sorts of files. Just drag and drop a file into your Internet Explorer window and watch it open. I use this all… Continue reading

Back It Up!

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Back It Up!

As most of you know, I recommend backing up your computer on a regular basis. Since I’m always harping about it, I thought it might be a good idea to actually explain how to do this!

First, what exactly does it mean to “backup” your files?

To backup simply means to

File Name Characters to Avoid

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Ever try to save a file only to be told that the file name is “invalid” due to a character issue? It’s not you, nor a jab at your personality, I promise!

So, to avoid future problems, I give you a list of characters to avoid:

* Asterisk

< >[ ] Brackets

= Equal sign

+ Plus sign

” Quotes

\ / Slashes

, . : ; Comma, Period… Continue reading

Clean Your Desk(top)

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Clean Your Desk(top)

Have too many icons on your desktop? You probably only have a few that you really use on a regular basis, so why not keep the other ones handy, but hidden?

Well, it can be done by putting a little folder on your desktop and dragging any infrequently used shortcut icons to it. Here’s how:

1. Right-click the desktop and select, New, Folder .… Continue reading

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