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Thursday, June 21, 2007

PC - TIPS & TRICKS

Free your Desktop

The standard Windows desktop is usually covered with links to programs or drives. It looks messy and is an annoyance when you have a nice wallpaper, the view of which is blocked by an army of colorful icons.
Also, whenever you want to access commonly used programs you have to dig through all open windows or close them with [Win] + [D] to advance to the links sitting at your desktop.


There are many tools that allow you do store these icons elsewhere and still maintain quick access to all of your programs without having to close windows or hiding a beautiful wallpaper behind desktop icons. Today I will show you how you can do it without an extra tool.

Free your Windows XP Desktop with an additional Windows taskbar.

Right-click on a free space on your Windows taskbar.
Deactivate the option "fix taskbar" in the context menu.
Then again click on a free space on the taskbar.
Choose the option "toolbar".
A window will pop up. Activate the option "Desktop".
You will now find the entry "Desktop" in your taskbar along with some of the links.

You can move the entry to the far right, so that the links are hidden.
When you click on the little arrow right of it a menu will pop up containing all links on your desktop.
To hide the icons on your desktop right-click on a free space on your desktop.
Choose "Arrange Icons By" from the menu.
From the new menu uncheck the option "Show Desktop Icons".
Reboot and enjoy!

Now all you have to do is open the "Desktop" toolbar in your taskbar to quickly access your favorite programs. No more closing windows or rearranging icons. You can easily sort them alphabetically (by name) and everything will be in order. How do you like your new, clean desktop?

Backup MS Office Files

Microsoft Office comes with a spell checking feature. Often this spell checker objects words simply because it doesn't know them, even though they are spelled correctly. And sometimes mistakes are being auto corrected that you don't want corrected and that are not mistakes in the first place.

For these cases Word is capable of learning. You can manually add words to the AutoCorrect lists that shall not be corrected. Depending on how much you work with Word this can become quite a time killing task. You will want to make sure you don't lose your work in a case of reinstalling your system. Or you might find it necessary to copy the AutoCorrect files to Word on another computer.

To backup these lists you need to know what type of file you are looking for. AutoCorrect files have a .acl file extension. Simply search your Windows for these files and the search will likely come up with several files in various locations. You can also backup the dictionary, should you have added new words to it. Dictionaries come with the file extension .dic and are normally found under C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof. Do you know how to add and use different dictionaries with Microsoft Word? Would a "how to" on this subject be an interesting article to read for you?
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Emergency Shutdown

Hopefully this is a rare case, but one of these days you may have to shutdown your computer as fast as possible for whatever reason.
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Did you know that Windows has an emergency shutdown procedure? Rather than to hold down the Power button for several seconds (cold start) or simply pull the power plug to turn off your computer, you should use this emergency feature whenever you are in a really, really big hurry.

Before I tell you how it works I have to issue a word of warning. The emergency shutdown is for emergency shutdowns only! This is because Windows will not wait for each and every service or program to terminate. Windows will simply shut down as fast as possible, meaning you might lose unsaved data or even damage data for example in server databases.

However, the emergency shutdown is definitely safer than pulling the plug or making a cold start because the operating system and the hardware, such as the hard drive, will be shut down properly.

So finally, this is how it works on Windows XP:

click Ctrl + Alt + Del
the usual shutdown window will come up
hold the Ctrl key and choose shutdown
wait for Windows to shut down

Lock up your computer

Use Windows key plus L to temporarily lock your computer when stepping away from it - Use your Windows password to unlock.","Use Windows key plus L to temporarily lock your computer when stepping away from it - Use your Windows password to unlock.

Make a window larger

Hold CTRL and turn the wheel on the mouse. An open window in Explorer or other programs will increase or decrease in size. Even when the program does not have a zoom feature.","Hold CTRL and turn the wheel on the mouse. An open window in Explorer or other programs will increase or decrease in size. Even when the program does not have a zoom feature.

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