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Ten Windows Vista Tips

Friday, April 13th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized

Here are some helpful Windows Vista tricks to try out.

1.) To quickly change the size of the desktop icons, select one and hold down the Ctrl key and scroll with your mouse wheel. You can do the same in other windows, in order to increase the font size too.

2.) Sharing a folder with other people in your network is even easier with Vista. Open any Windows Explorer window (say My Documents, for example) and highlight it. From the command bar, select Share. Then use the down arrow to select all the users in your list or you can type the name of the person in the network you want to share with and click Add. After that, you can select the permission level you want to grant to that person. Vista can also auto-generate an e-mail that will allow the recipient quick access to the shared document.

3.) The Vista magnifier is a very handy tool if you have trouble seeing what’s on your computer screen or if your eyes get strained from reading text. To access it, simply press Win + U (Win is the button with the flag on it). From there, select Start Magnifier.

4.) Microsoft releases a lot of operating system upgrades and at times, one can lose track of what updates have been installed on their PC. With Vista though, this job is a cakewalk. Go to Start, Control Panel, move to Windows Upgrade and in the left side bar, click View upgrade history.

5.) The Briefcase feature that has been a common fixture in previous Microsoft operating systems is a useful way to sync PCs. This is especially true for the ones that are not on the same network. This useful feature appears again in Vista.

Go to the folder where you want to create a new Briefcase and right click. Select New, Briefcase. Give the Briefcase a name so it’s easier to locate. Now, simply drag or copy any files that you want to sync into the Briefcase. Once you have selected all the files, right click the Briefcase and select Send To. Choose the removable media you want to copy it to.

Next, simply insert the media on which you copied the files into a second PC, open the Briefcase and make any changes you want to the files. Then save the changes. Once you’re back on the first PC, reinsert the media, right click the Briefcase and select Update All.

If you are using the Briefcase feature over a network, simply move the Briefcase to the second PC and once you or the other user has made changes to the files, right click the Briefcase and select Update All.

6.) If you, for some reason, don’t like the sound of audio notifications in Vista, you can replace them with visual ones. Simply switch on the visual notifications for sounds and then choose the visual warning that you want.

Go to Start, type “Ease” in the Search box and hit Enter to open the Ease of Access Center (or press the Win key). Select “Use text or visual alternatives for sounds.” Place a checkmark on “Turn on visual notifications for sounds (Sound Sentry).” Then under “Choose visual warning,” select the option you would like to use and click Save. Now, no more will you hear the repetitive Windows sounds. You have to love it!

7.) If you can’t or don’t like pressing combination keys (like Ctrl + Alt + Del, for instance), you can set up your keyboard so you can press the keys one at a time. Again, go to Start, type “Ease” and hit Enter to open Ease of Access Center. Select the option that says “Make the keyboard easier to use.” Under “Make it easier to type,” place a checkmark next to “Turn on Sticky Keys” and then hit Save.

8.) One of the coolest things that ever happened to mankind was speech recognition for computers. Speech recognition allows you to control your computer by voice. By using it, you can do virtually all the tasks you can do with a mouse and a keyboard. For example, starting programs, opening menus, dictating text into documents, e-mails, etc. To activate the speech recognition feature, click Start, type “Windows Speech” in the Search box and hit Enter to open the Windows Speech Recognition window. Select Start Speech Recognition and follow the simple tutorial to set up your microphone and the actual speech recognition. Once you’re done, remember to set the speech recognition to start each time you log on to your computer.

9.) If you are a busy bee and have multiple documents open in applications (like, say five Word documents that you are simultaneously working on), you can switch between each document by pressing the Ctrl + F6 key combination.

10.) So, one of your close friends has moved away and you can’t seem to keep track of their time difference. No problem! You can simply add an additional clock in Windows Vista. To do so, click the clock, go to Date and Time Settings and click the Additional Clocks tab. You can add two additional clocks to the tray and select the time zones for both.

I am sure all you Vista users will find these tips useful and the ones who haven’t upgraded yet can at least get an idea of the new features available with the new operating system. Go give these a spin!

~Yogesh Bakshi

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