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Three Quick Vista Tips

Thursday, November 8th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized

Three Quick Vista Tips

Quick Tip #1: Make Text Easier to Read

There’s a strong correlation between high display resolutions and eye strain. All that small text can give anyone a headache. The solution is not to reduce your screen resolution, but rather to increase the text size intelligently. In Vista, go to Start, Control Panel and type “adjust font size” in the search box in the top right corner, which will take you directly to the link for the DPI Scaling utility shown below. The preset value of 120 DPI is too big for my taste, so I clicked the Custom DPI button and used the slider control to bump the size up to a more restrained 110 DPI. Feel free to experiment with what works best for you!

Quick Tip #2: Master the Quick Launch Bar

The Quick Launch bar has been around forever, but it’s a little more useful in Windows Vista. For starters, it’s much easier to add programs to the Quick Launch bar, thanks to the new Add to Quick Launch shortcut menu. First things first though. Make sure the Quick Launch bar isn’t hidden. If you can’t see it, right click on any empty space on your taskbar and then choose Toolbars, Quick Launch.

Don’t feel like aiming at those tiny icons with the mouse pointer? Then use the shortcut keys instead! Each of the first 10 shortcuts on the Quick Launch bar have their own custom keyboard shortcut. Press the Windows key on your keyboard plus the number 1 (Win + 1) to launch or switch to the first item on the Quick Launch bar. Press Win + 2 for the second and so on. For shortcut number 10, use Win + 0.

Quick Tip #3: Create a Log On Message

Windows Vista supports a local security policy that includes many options for securing your computer. One of the security options included allows you to create a message text that will appear when users attempt to log on to your computer. Your message text may say something like, “The local policy of this computer logs all unsuccessful log on attempts.” Of course, there is no guarantee that once an attacker sees this message, they are going to turn and walk away, however, each security precaution you take helps in the end.

If you want to create a message text, here is what you have to do:

1.) Click Start, All Programs, Administrative Tools and then Local Security Policy.

2.) Expand Local Policies and then select Security options.

3.) In the Details pane, double click on “Interactive log on: Message text for users attempting to log on.”

4.) Type in the message you want to appear.

5.) Click OK.

There you go. I hope these have been helpful for you!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami

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