Here are some interesting Operating system and softwares tips and tricks 4u.JUST CLICK ON THE PICTURE IN THE BLOG FOR ENALARGED VIEW.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Set up the start menu in such a way that you have everything at hand (Tips for WINDOWS WINDOWS XP,VISTA,7)

The shareware tool Start Menu 7 offers a good alternative to the standard start menu; this can be downloaded from

                  According to the developers, Start Menu 7 runs on both XP and Vista in addition to Windows 7 as its name suggests. For installation, double-click on the downloaded file in Windows Explorer and follow the instructions given by the setup wizard. You have to have a user account with administrator rights during the process as the setup routine involves accessing important system files. Once the installation is complete start the Program using the command ‘Start I All programs I Start Menu 7 Start Menu 7’.
                Now, when you click on ‘Start’ you will not see the usual start menu provided by Windows, but instead, a
menu that has an extensive collection of links: It has a different visual effect and enables direct access to all the programs and files on your system in an alphabetically sorted sub-menu format, for instance ‘Programs’, ‘My Documents’ or ‘Computer’. In addition to this, the various entries use additional sorting and display tools. Thus, for instance ‘Program’ offers the structure known as ‘All programs’ as seen in the usual Windows Start menu and on the other hand, the ‘Program’ links can be found under headings such as ‘Quick start’ and ‘Autorun’. You can add your own menus and commands using the option ‘Add entries to the menu’.
              Click on ‘Options’ and ‘Configuration’ so as to complete the experience as per your own taste. Use the option ‘System integration’ and remove the tick in front of ‘Start the Start Menu 7 with Windows’ if you do not wish to activate the tool automatically at every system start. You can add more power management buttons in Start Menu 7 using the option ‘Buttons’; this is done to turn off the computer, to restart it, or to enable the use of power management commands in a time-controlled fashion. For this, click on the corresponding button in the Start menu, select the desired function in a menu, for instance ‘Turn off the computer’, and define the period for action in a simple and an intuitive dialog. Finally, click the ‘Start’ button to save the settings.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bring the Recycle Bin icon to the taskbar and keep it visible there(Windows 7)

              The Recycle Bin is mostly hidden somewhere on the Desktop and is thus only rarely used. Pinning it to the taskbar makes it directly accessible always. However, Windows refuses this.
              The simple pinning of the recycle bin on the taskbar has many practical uses. It can be reached through the Explorer jump list, but that takes just as long as opening it from the desktop. To use the Recycle Bin as a real life waste bin in which you can drag and drop objects with the mouse, it should be available directly, for example, in the taskbar.
               Since Windows does not directly support the pinning, you have to create a new link for it which you can then pin. For this, right click on the empty space on the desktop and select ‘New | Shortcut’. Enter ‘%systemroot%\explorer. exe shell:RecycleBinFolder’ as the target and click on ‘Next’. Change the name and confirm the dialogue with ‘Finish’. Now you can even replace the standard icon given by the Explorer. For this, click with the right mouse button on this shortcut and select ‘Properties’. In the register ‘Shortcut’ click on ‘Change icon’. The program ‘explorer.exe’ already contains some icons, from which you can sensibly select the waste basket and confirm with ‘OK’. However, you can also use an icon from another source, like for example the file ‘shell32.dll’. In the following dialogue, click on ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’. Finally, the finished shortcut can be attached to the taskbar by dragging and dropping it and pinning it there on the taskbar itself.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Control address bar access in Firefox with the old shortcut [F6](Firefox)

               So far, you could jump directly to the entry in the address bar by pressing the [F6] key. However, from version 4 onwards, pressing F6 takes you to the current active tab.
               With [F6], the focus always shifts to the topmost element in the window. As it is the tab bar, the active tab is selected. However, pressing [Tab] once again is enough to set the cursor in the address bar. In the newer versions of Firefox pressing F6 will focus on the active tab instead of the address bar. You can change this by deactivating the “Tabs on top” option. For this, right click in a free area in the tab bar and deactivate the “Tabs on top” option. After this address bar will become the top most element followed by the tab bar. So when you press F6 you will be taken to top most element that is the address bar. Another easier option to reach the address bar directly is using the key combination [Ctrl] + [L
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Ignore the auto complete suggestions for the current date(Word XP, 2003)

By Thursday, March 08, 2012 , No comments
            The moment you write the current year, Word will give you the date. You can ignore this suggestion altogether.
            Open the menu command “Tools | AutoCorrect Options” to change this mode. Open the tab “Auto Text” in the next dialog and disable the option “Show AutoComplete Suggestions”. Confirm using “OK”. In any case, 2003 onwards Word has done away with the AutoText option for Suggestions of AutoComplete.

Use word processing for publishing content in blogs(Word 2007, 2010)

               You write new articles for a blog now and then. For this, most of the times you first type in the article in Microsoft word and then step by step copy it on to the form given on the relevant website.
               The standard Word supports direct publishing of an article onto a blog. For this, you will first need to set up the necessary access data and then begin writing a new blog article using the suitable template of your choice. For this, you just need to have a blog set up. You can do this via services such as Wordpress, Blogger, etc..
                Now, go to Word and follow the path “File | New”. Select the option “Blog Post” from the available templates and then right-click on “Create”. A new window will open, wherein you will get a dialog for registration. Here, click on “Register now”. In the next step, select the name of the blog service you signed up for, for example, “WordPress” in the combination field and click on “Next”.
               You will now be provided with a link in the next dialog. Edit the entry for “Blog Post URL” in such a way that it will be displayed as your own blog. Just make sure that the suffix “xmlrpc. php” remains unchanged, otherwise the registration would fail. You will also need to add the login data in the “User name” and “Password” fields. Next, activate the option to “Save password” and confirm this step by clocking on “OK”.
                In case an error message pops up check the spellings in the access data as well as the exact form of the URL. In addition to this, the access over the API must also be stated in the blog. Now, you can simply write and save the blog article in the same way as you would save a Word document. You can directly publish the article on to the blog by clicking the “Publish” button available in the “Blog Post” tab. You can even manage the blogs over “Manage Accounts” tab when you want to manage more blogs. You can even edit the already published articles comfortably over the “Open existing” option.
Note: It may so happen that Word cannot be accessed at all times when there are changes at the server end at the blog providers or updates in Word. At the moment there isn’t any general solution found for this problem. In such a case you can switch to a special blog editor like say Windows Live Writer.

Delete appointments prior to a specific date in one go(Outlook 2010)

             You want to remove all the appointments prior to a specific date from your personal “Calendar” in order to make some space in the Outlook PST database (Personal store).
              All the appointments that are set prior to a specific date can be deleted quickly and when displayed in a tabular format. It displays only the appointments and does not give out the days, weeks and months individually. For this you first need to activate the calendar by clicking on the “Calendar” tab from the Navigation field. Then go to the “View” tab, click on the “Change view” button and select the entry “List” in the following menu.
               Now the next step is to sort the displayed appointments in accordance with the beginning or end period. Check whether Outlook has correctly sorted the appointments in a descending chronological order and if necessary click one more time on the column heading till it is arranged in a correct order. Now, look out for the first entry of the date in the list where you would want to delete the appointments prior to this date and mark it. Then keeping the “Shift” button pressed mark the last entry. All the appointments in between the first and the last selected entries will be automatically selected when the shift button is kept pressed during the selection.
             Now, delete these appointments by pressing the [Delete] button. With this, Outlook automatically moves the deleted appointments to the folder “Deleted Items”. You can still restore the deleted appointments if this folder is not emptied.

Underline text passages in Word in a different color(Word XP, 2003, 2010)

By Thursday, March 08, 2012 , , No comments
              If you want to underline text in Word, the text editing uses the same color for it as the text. But you want to underline the text in a different color.
              Select the text passages to be underlined and open the menu command “Format | Font” and then select the desired format in the “Underline” combination field. With “Only words”, you can determine that Word only underlines the words from the selection without spaces. All other types, underline the entire selection including the spaces. In that, you can select from various underlining types. As soon as you make a selection different from “(none)”, Word activates the “Color” combination box to the right. Select the color that Word is supposed to use for underlining. Confirm your selection with “OK”. However, the changed formatting only applies to the currently selected text passage. If you subsequently underline other text passages with [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[U] or with the button in the toolbar, the text editing again uses the color of the text.

Highlight the active cell in Microsoft Excel(Excel XP, 2003, 2007, 2010)

              It is often difficult in large tables to find the active selected cell. You want to configure Excel in a way that this cell always and automatically stands out from the rest of the sheet.
              When working on large tables, it becomes difficult to find the active cell. To solve this problem you can download a free add-in named RowLiner, which can be downloaded from Double click on the file to install it. Once installed, it can be accessed form the “Add-ins” tab from the menu bar. Once activated, it will highlight your active cell. To change its settings, click “RowLiner” in the “Add-ins” tab and select the “RowLiner Setup”. Here you have different options for rows and columns, as to where these are shown and how they should appear. To the right, you can control the structure of the active cell. Then confirm the configuration with “OK”. However, the “Undo” function is not available in active RowLiner. In case of extensive entries, you should deactivate RowLiner temporarily. For that, click “RowLiner” in the “Add-Ins” tab and deactivate the “Draw Lines” option.

Export contacts / data easily and quickly(Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010)

              You want to export your contacts from Outlook to Excel or to another program for editing.
              Outlook allows you to export your data that includes contacts, data, calendar etc. For this, click on “File” command and then select the “Import and Export”. In the “Import and Export” wizard you will find the “Export in file” option. Select that and click on “Next”. Now select the data format, e.g. “Microsoft Excel 97-2003” or “Commaseparated values (Windows)”. After clicking “Next”, select the Outlook folder to be exported, e.g. “Contacts” and again click “Next”. Now determine the target file. Then start the action by clicking “Next” and “Finish”. Your data will be successfully exported.

Look for certain elements specifically in large documents(Word 2003, 2007, 2010)

              Every now and then, you look for the next table or the next footnote in larger files. For that, you either have to go through the trouble of advanced search for formatting or special formatting.
              Word has a highly efficient special search option that is hardly known to many people. The icon for which is very inconspicuous and is placed right below the scrollbar, in the form of a circle icon with two double arrows above and below it.
              First click the circle icon and select what you are looking for in the dialog that pops up. From here you can quickly access the “Go to” and “Search”, options. While with the help of the other icons, you can specifically search for graphics, tables, fields, footnotes or endnotes. Furthermore, you can search for editing or comments in the text, and browse through the contents section by section or page by page.
              After selecting the mode, you can now search forward or backward for the next suitable element in the document using the respective double arrow icons. The navigation also functions with the keyboard with the [Ctrl] key pressed using the scroll keys. This type of browsing between sections, pages, graphics or other elements allows for a very efficient navigation, especially when working on larger documents.

Convert titles from the internal format to MP3(iTunes)

               You have purchased various songs in the iTunes store. As these are coded in Apple’s M4A or M4P format, the titles can normally be played only in iTunes or with an iPod.
               It’s possible to convert audio files in MP3 format directly from iTunes. For this, you only have to adjust the import settings. Open “Edit | Preferences” command and then select “General” category. Here, click the “Import settings” button. Now in the “Import using” combination field, change the setting to “MP3 encoder”. Confirm both open dialogs with “OK”. Open the media library or any playlist and select the desired title with the [Ctrl] key pressed. Then right click on it and select the context command “Create MP3 version”. For all newer files, this option should work, as Apple is doing away with the old and much criticized DRM protection of its files since some time. If some of the files cannot be converted, it probably concerns older DRM-protected M4P files. Collect these problematic cases in a separate playlist. Then right click to the left of this list and select the context command “Burn playlist on medium”. In the next dialog, make further settings for burning. As the format, select either “Audio CD” or “MP3 CD”.
                For the conversion process, you will however have to use the expensive disk. Or you can use softwares like NoteBurner or Virtual CD, to burn a virtual CD without a medium. After the procedure, you will either have an audio CD, a medium with MP3s or the images developed from virtual burning. Insert the disks or mount the images to copy down the music again, or to rip it.

Visualize cell values with conditional formatting(Excel 2007, 2010)

              When making reports in Excel, you may wish to highlight certain cell values by using visual aids in the worksheet.
              Select the cells whose values you want to support visually and click “Conditional Formatting” in the “Home” tab. Here, you can select from several predefined formats. These include ‘Highlight Cell Rules’, ‘Top/Bottom Rules’, ‘Data Bars’, ‘Color Scales’ and ‘Icon Sets’. Under ‘Highlight Cell Rules’, you have the option to highlight data that is greater, lesser, equal to, or between the specified values. Apart from this, you can also highlight according to text, date and duplicate values. The ‘Top/Bottom Rules’ allow you to highlight the top ten, bottom ten, above average, bottom average and even top/bottom ten based on percentage.
               For representing the data in a more appealing way, you can even make use of the ‘Data Bars’, Color Scales’ and the ‘Icon Sets’. With the help of the ‘Data Bars’ you can make use of colored data bar within the cell. Here the length of the data bar corresponds with the cell value. So higher the value, longer will be the bar. You can also make use of the ‘Color Scales’ that displays two or three color gradients in the range of the cells, where the shade represents the value. Alternatively you can make use of the various icons from the ‘Icon Sets’ to represent cell data visually.

Switch off fraud protection (Phishing filter) in browser(Firefox)

              You want to speed up Firefox. For this, you can switch off the automatic fraud protection of the browser.
              In order to gain more efficiency from the browser, you can close the phishing protection of Firefox. Because if you have a complete security suite like Norton or Kaspersky installed in your system, than that is already protecting you against phishing. So having Firefox’s phishing filter activated will not be of mush consequence. For turning off the phishing filter of Firefox, go to “Tools | Options”. Here click on the security option and here deactivate the options “Block reported attack sites” as well as “Block reported web forgeries”.

Move the folder of your profile to another location(Thunderbird)

                You want to move the profile folder of Thunderbird hidden on your system drive to another hard disk so that you can conveniently include it in backup.
                You cannot directly move the available profile. Instead you will have to create a new profile, which then accesses the restored folder. For this, if Thunderbird is open then close it first. Then search the relevant profile folder in Windows Explorer. For this, type “%appdata%” in the address bar and press the enter key. Then navigate your way to the subfolder “Thunderbird\ Profiles\”. The subfolder with a cryptic name is the searched profile folder. Copy it with all the subfolders to a new location. Important: Do not overwrite the available folder even during a data restoration instead create a new profile with a new folder. Type the command “thunderbird.exe -ProfileManager” in the address bar of the explorer and press enter for creating a new profile. Now click “Create profile”. In the dialog following it, enter a name for your new profile and click "Select folder". Now navigate to your desired folder, select it and then click “Complete”. Select the newly created profile in the profile manager and activate the option “Don’t ask at startup”. Finally click “Start Thunderbird”.

Display DLL files with separate icon(Windows XP, Vista, 7)

               As a standard, all DLLs are given a single icon by the system. You would rather like to use a unique icon contained within each DLL file for display in the Explorer.
              With a small change in the registry, you can change the appearance of the standard icons. In order to change the DLL icons, type ‘regedit’ in the search field of the start menu or in the ‘Run’ dialogue and if necessary confirm the query of the user accounts manager with ‘Yes’ or ‘Continue’. Then, navigate to the key ‘HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\dllfile\defaulticon’. On the right, the character string ‘Standard’ is defined which symbol is used by the Windows system for display. For editing this, double click on this entry. Change ‘Value’ to ‘%1’ and confirm with ‘OK’. Through this parameter, the particular file will itself be referred to for the icon. Then, close the registry and open Windows Explorer.
               In the future, you will immediately recognize in the Explorer if a certain DLL contains any icons at all. All other DLL files will only get an standard empty icon.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Accentuate active folder in Explorer/Registry structure(Windows Vista, 7)

              For better orientation in the Explorer or in the registry keys, you would like the currently open elements to appear differently since there is hardly any difference in the icons in the standard setting.
              In the system, there is no direct setting for the used folder. But since Windows differentiates between the states, different icons can at least be assigned for this through the registry.
              Type ‘regedit’ in the search field of the Start menu and press enter. Confirm the query of the user accounts manager with ‘Yes’ or ‘Continue’. Then, navigate to the key ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer’.
              There, search for the sub-key ‘Shell Icons’ or create the same with the command ‘Edit | New | Key’. Now, open this and in there add the value ‘4’ with the command ‘Edit | New | Character string’. That is the internal key for the system icon of an open folder. Double click on this new entry for editing.
               As ‘Value’, you can assign any icon you wish. For example, use ‘shell32.dll,-46’ here. This entry points to a folder symbol within the library with an additional green arrow. You can add an even more conspicuous symbol like ‘shell32.dll,-290’ or any other. But remember to always put a minus sign in front of the index number of the symbol. For searching for an appropriate symbol, you can use a tool like IconsExtract. Confirm the entry with ‘OK’ and close the registry. When you start Windows Explorer or the Registry editor the next time, the change will become effective.

Keep jump lists at all times in spite of the active clean up tool(Windows 7)

              In Windows 7, you lose some of the jump lists in the taskbar from time to time. But you would like to work with them always and are therefore searching for the cause as well as solution of the problem.
              The reason behind the deleted jump lists are tools like CCleaner. However, you can change the settings so that the jump lists of Windows 7 are not removed. For this, start CCleaner and select the category ‘Cleaner’ on the left. In the section ‘Windows’, search for ‘Windows Explorer’. Deactivate the option ‘Taskbar Jump Lists’ under this.

Sort last used documents chronologically(Windows Vista, 7)

              In the Start menu, the entry ‘Recent items’ makes quick access to recently used documents and files easy. However, Windows does not sort the entries in chronological order.
              The sequence of the icons shown in the Start menu cannot be changed. However, a small detour through the Windows Explorer can help you in your search for particular files, for example, in order of last modified. For this, right click on ‘Start | Last used’ and select the context command ‘Open’. The folder ‘Recent’ appears in Windows Explorer and there you can see last used files and folders like normal links. ‘Recent’ is the memory location for the menu ‘Last used’.
               Click on ‘Change view’ and select ‘Details’. Then, click on ‘Date modified’ in the sub-menu in order to sort the entries chronologically according to when they were last changed. After this, you will find the last edited Excel tables or the last written Word file higher in the list.
               By the way: You can determine the number of files shown in the Start menu in the registry with the DWORD value ‘MaxRecentDocs’ in the key ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ExplorerAeroSnap’.

Apply paths and file names in the command line(Windows XP, Vista, 7)

               While navigating in the command line, you have to work your way along the paths or manually enter the complete target path. You would like to simplify this difficult and error-prone work.
               The correct way of applying path and file names in the command line depends on the respective Windows version and other parameters. In Vista and Windows 7, it is recommended, for example, to first navigate in Windows Explorer and then open the command line in the correct folder with the command ‘Open command prompt here’.
                For flexible application of paths and file names for use in the command line, it is already possible in XP to drag and drop the elements from the Windows Explorer to the command line. While Vista does not allow it, this method is again available in Windows7, provided that the command line has not been started with administrator rights. Thus, for example, you can type ‘Type’ and then drag a file from Explorer. Its name will be added correctly and if needed with the quotation marks so that the command can be completed. In Vista, the only way is the more difficult method of copying and pasting. For this, in the Windows Explorer click on the concerned element while keeping the [Shift] key pressed and select ‘Copy as path’. Now, change to the command line and similarly click there with the right mouse button in the window. The context command ‘Add’ will now apply the data.

Add elastic shadows for the taskbar(Windows 7)

              While windows in the Aero theme are provided with surrounding shadows, this is missing for the taskbar as a standard. You would like to add this design element. The small free tool ‘Taskbar Shadow’ adds this design element. You can download it for free under
               After unpacking the ZIP archive, start ‘Shadow.exe’. With right click on the displayed shadow you can control the darkness of the shadow with the command ‘Opacity’ and confirm with ‘OK’. The command ‘Exit’ or a double click on the shadows ends the small game. If you want the shadows to be visible always without having to do it every time, you can place a link for it in the autorun folder.

Now use mouse gestures in Windows Explorer(Windows Vista, 7)

                You love the useful mouse gestures in your Web browser and now you want them for working in Windows Explorer also. You would like to know if that can be done.
                Operating Windows Explorer can be improved with mouse gestures. For this, you will need, for example, the free tool Gest ( For installation, start ‘Gest.exe’. After a short while, the tool will be available in the notification area. After the automatic program start, confirm the question with ‘Yes’. You will then go to the configuration dialogue. Even if no changes are required, take some time to get to know the predefined gestures in the secton ‘Gestures’ for controlling by mouse movements. The alphabets stand for the sequence of the movements, whereby ‘L’ is for left, ‘R’ for right and ‘U’ for up and ‘D’ for down. The ‘O’ means a circle. However, you should avoid this, since a circular mouse movement is mostly interpreted as a result of individual movements. All the entries can be changed. Several possible gestures for the same action are separated by commas. Besides ‘New Window’, click on ‘Select folder’ and decide in which folder the Explorer windows thus started will be opened, if the standard view of the Libraries is not wanted. Besides special folders like ‘My Computer’ or ‘Control Panel’, you can also define another folder through ‘Other Folder’. Finally, apply the changes with ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’. You can again open the configuration dialogue if needed with the key combination [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[F2] or with the mouse gesture ‘DUD’, i.e. a movement ‘down-up-down’. For running a mouse gesture, keep the right mouse button pressed and execute the desired movement. A blue mouse trace illustrates the sequence. In addition, the ‘Gesture
Box’ in the upper left corner shows the recognized movements. In case the result has not yet been defined as a
gesture, you can do it in the dialogue box presented. Besides, mouse gestures also function in windows similar to Explorer, including the Control Panel.

See icons in DLL files and extract them(Windows XP, Vista, 7)

                While searching for other program and desktop icons, you should comb through the available DLL files in the system. However, the icons in them cannot be copied easily.
                There are innumerable DLL files in the Windows system folders which contain diverse icons in addition to procedures as libraries that are already used by the system. In order to use such icons yourself, you either have to extract them from the DLL file and save as a separate ICO files, or at least know the serial number of the icon within the library. Both these tasks are easily and quickly done with the help of the NirSoft tool IconsExtract ( After a short installation or unpacking from the ZIP archive, you can start the tool immediately.
                 The dialogue box ‘Search For Icons’ will appear automatically at the start. Activate the option ‘Scan icons in files’ and enter the complete path to the appropriate file containing the icons under it. Basically, you can also search through folders with subfolders or drives for this. However, it is not recommended for ‘C:’, as this can take a long time. With ‘More Options’ the selection can be limited to certain characteristics. With a click on ‘Search For Icons’, the main window shows all the matches found. They are the assigned the file name of the origin and the index numbers within this file in brackets. You will need this value, for example, to refer in the registry to a certain icon from a file. The index number cannot be determined in other dialogues by counting. All icons can also be exported individually to ICO files. For this, mark one or more, if necessary with the pressed [Ctrl] key. Then open the command ‘File | Save Selected Icons’, change the target folder and the process by clicking on ‘Save Icons’. All icons will then be in individual files which still contain the original file names and the index numbers.

Call up user account control dialogs without interrupting Windows(Windows Vista, 7)

                When the user account control dialog pops up, the screen automatically darkens and Windows deactivates the currently running process. You would like to turn off this irritating behavior.
                In order to change the system behaviour when the user account control is called up, an entry in the registry is necessary. For this, open the registration editor with the key combination [Win]+[R], followed by the command ‘regedit’ in the dialogue ‘Run’. Then, navigate to the key ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system’. Now, in the right side of the window, open the entry ‘PromptOnSecureDesktop’ for editing.
               Set the value from ‘1’ to ‘0’ and confirm this with ‘OK’. The change is effective immediately without having to restart the system. You can try it out by starting the Registry editor again because the user accounts manager kicks in every time with this. To activate the standard settings again later, just change the value from ‘0’ to ‘1’.

Center the icons of running applications in the task bar(Windows Vista, 7)

               Windows places the icons of started applications in the task bar just to the right of the ‘Start’ button. You would like to place the shortcuts in the middle for quicker access.
               Windows cannot really display the icons of applications in the center of the taskbar. However, if you tweak it a little bit, you will get what you want through another way. You will need a new folder which you can place anywhere on your hard drive using Windows Explorer. For this, click with the right mouse button in any empty space on the right side of your screen and select ‘New | Folder’. Overwrite the name suggested by Windows with a suitable name like ‘Task bar icons’. In this folder, save links to all the programs which you want to access through the taskbar in the future. Then, click with the right mouse button on a free space on the taskbar and deactivate the option ‘Lock taskbar’ if necessary. After this, again open the context menu of the task bar. However, this time select the menu command ‘Toolbars | New toolbar’, new toolbar with the links you had saved in the folder earlier. Take the mouse pointer to the left edge of the toolbar. As soon as it changes shape, press the mouse button and keep it pressed. Drag the toolbar toward the left until it shows the icons in the center. Release the left mouse button.
                If you find the title and the description in the new toolbar to be irritating, you can remove it by clicking on empty space in the toolbar and in the context menu remove the ticks before the options ‘Show title’ and ‘Show text’. Finally, activate the option ‘Lock taskbar’ that you had deactivated earlier by ticking the corresponding entry in the context menu. The icons centered in this manner work like regular links. If you click with the right mouse button in Windows 7, you will see just the normal context menu and not a jump list.

Underline key combinations and shortcuts for direct access(Windows Vista, 7)

                While operating menus throughout Windows, you are used to seeing the respective shortcut letters that are characterized by underlines, which help you learn how to quickly use keyboard shortcuts.
                Since Vista, the underlining of shortcut keys in menus for better readability is turned off as a standard setting. This practical and unobtrusive help function can be quickly activated again in the ‘Ease of Access Center’.
                For this, click in the Control Panel on ‘Ease of Access’ and then on ‘Ease of Access Center’. There, follow the link ‘Make the keyboard easier to use’. Activate the option ‘Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys’. Confirm the dialogue with ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’ one after the other (or ‘Save’ in Vista). The change is active without a restart. However, these underline hints are not present everywhere; they are mainly there in the classic menus and, for example, not in the Windows Explorer toolbar.

Access file properties without context menu(Windows XP, Vista, 7)

              In order to see the properties of a folder or a file, you have to first rightclick with the mouse on the symbol and open the context command ‘Properties’. You want to see the information in a quicker way.
              How to get the information you want faster: Select the entry or the icon of the desired file or folder. Then, press the key combination [Alt]+[Enter]. Thereafter, Windows opens the dialogue ‘Properties’, without you having to go through the context menu of the file. If you prefer to work with the mouse, you can still avoid using the context menu by keeping the [Alt] key pressed while you double click on the icon of a file or folder.

Hide user names while logging in to Windows(Windows 7)

               Windows shows all the user accounts on the welcome screen and in this way gives away the names of the users even to unknown and curious third parties. You want to prevent that from happening.
               In order to prevent unauthorized persons from having to guess just your password, click on ‘Start’ and type ‘regedit’ under ‘Programs’. Windows shows the results of the search directly in the Start menu. Double click under ‘Programs’ on ‘regedit.exe’ to start the registration editor. If you are working under an account without the administrator rights, you will have to first get them. For this, click with the right mouse button on ‘regedit.exe’ and in the context menu select ‘Run as administrator’.
               Navigate in the tree structure on the left side of the application to the key ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System’. Now, on the right side, you will find the value ‘dontdisplaylastusername’ among others. Open this with a double click for editing and in the following dialogue box set its ‘Value’ to ‘1’. Confirm this entry with ‘OK’.
               From now on, you will have to enter the name for the user account in addition to the password on the welcome screen. In this way, you make it harder for unauthorized users to start your system since they would need to know or guess the name of the user account also besides the password.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Upgrade individual menus with important functions(Chrome)

              You hopelessly look for certain functions in the minimalistic menu of Chrome. You want easier access to some things and setup your own menu.
              Google itself offers the Chrome Toolbox that allows you to easily configure browser functions used most frequently. It can be downloaded and installed from ''.
              Once installed, you can access the Toolbox via an icon in the menu bar. Using Toolbox, you can save form data, mute tabs, open last closed tabs, etc. There is also a key combination for every command. However, you will have to personally adjust the menu selection with the “Options” command. The settings required for that are given in the “Shortcuts & Menu” tab. Here you can find Chrome’s keyboard shortcuts and add them to the quick access drop down menu of the Toolbox. You can also define keyboard shortcuts for Boss Key, Quick Launch, Fill Form and Mute all Tabs. You can activate other useful options like moving icon bars for photos and videos from the “General Tab”. With the “Compare shortcuts with other browsers” option, you can use the extensive lists to directly compare and study the key combinations of the viewed browsers.

View hidden files in FTP client(FileZilla)

            An FTP client normally hides files whose names begin with a dot. You want to still access such files.
            If you use FileZilla as FTP client, open the “Server | Force showing hidden files” command. Confirm with “OK”. Some servers do not accept this option and show an incorrect file list or no file list at all. In such a case, deactivate the option.

Define and execute surveys(Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010)

             You want to ask friends about a topic via email and want to specify “Yes”, “No” or “May be” as optional answers.
             You can gather votes easily with the help of the vote buttons. Draft a new message and select the recipients. In the menu bar, click on “Options” tab and check “Use voting buttons” in “Voting and Tracking” options. Select one from the three default options like “Approve/ Reject”, “Yes/No” or “Yes/No/Maybe”. You can even custom-define responses by giving the options separated by semicolon one after the other. Formulate the suitable question in the email text and send the message to the desired recipients. The recipients will be notified of the voting option at the top of the message. They can click on “Vote” to reply. They can reply immediately using the set replies or change it and send it by clicking on “Ok”.
              The sender can view the results of the answers in a summary and need not read or edit each reply individually. Instead, the sender can open his original email in the “Sent items” folder and click on “Tracking”. He will be able to see an overview of the results, followed by a list of the individual replies. However, this method of voting functions only internally via various Outlook versions, but not with other mail programs like Thunderbird.

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