Tips and Tricks
for using Windows
Install Go Back Before
You Do Anything Else
of Dec 2009, Symantec has obsoleted GoBack & replaced it
with Norton Ghost. The principle still holds- MAKE A BACKUP
BEFORE DOING ANY MAINTENANCE. Actually you should do a backup
here to see notes about installing in XP
are many ways to make Windows easier to use.
Learn to customize Windows to suit your
Learn to use the various shortcuts to operations
using the keyboard and mouse.
Learn to use the Windows Explorer program and in particular learn how
files are named and used
Learn to use the
various programs that come with all Windows installations. Look in the
Start, Programs, Accessories list for installed programs. For example
Click Here to check out the Character
map. Other useful programs include the Clipboard Viewer, Calculator
and Imaging. Me has a new program called Windows Movie Maker. I haven't
had time to play with it yet, but the tour that starts when you activate
the program looks very useful.
there are many utility programs included
in Windows that can make your computer work better.
every computer user should do some maintenance and keep the computer
cleaned up regularly.
additional tips for getting more fun and productivity out of your computer
involve learning to use the Internet effectively.
On the Internet, you can obtain updates
to your software and hardware.
You can download additional programs and
You can use your
computer as an entertainment center. If you have music CD's and you
have speakers attached to the computer, you can play the CD's in the
computer. Just put a music CD in the CD player and wait. The music will
Windows can be
used for entertainment in other ways as well. Although a screen saver
serves no practical purpose today because monitor screens do not burn
the image onto the phosphorous, the screen saver function can provide
entertainment in numerous ways. The basic Windows program includes Desktop
themes and selecting various themes can be entertaining. There are additional
themes available in the Plus program and more can be downloaded
from the Internet.
If you have Desktop
Themes installed, the Icon is in the Control Panel. Try activating it
and browse the various themes to find one you like. My favorite has
always been Dangerous Creatures. This theme first showed up in the Plus
pack for Windows 95. Here is the wallpaper in that theme:
do not prefer the screen saver used for this theme, but many people
like it. One thing you can do is create your own theme by mixing
items from each theme. When you are in the theme window, notice
that there is a Save As button. You can select items from different
themes, then save it with a new name and then return to it anytime
you prefer. As an example, I like a large mouse pointer. When I
choose a theme, I use the Mouse dialog box in Control Panel to change
the mouse pointer to a large pointer. Then go to the themes dialog
box and perform a Save As to save the current settings as my name.
In the Customizing page, I describe
how to change the mouse pointers. I also don't like the color scheme
in this theme, so I just use the wallpaper.
use for the wallpaper and screensaver functions is to display your favorite
pictures In order to do this, you must understand some basic functions
Wallpapers must be in the .bmp format and located in the Windows folder
to be displayed as wallpaper. To convert a picture from an existing
format into a .bmp format, you need a graphics program like Paint Shop
Pro. The Paint program supplied with earlier versions of Windows would
only work on .bmp, not any other format. Later versions of Windows modified
the Paint program to handle .jpg and .gif formats. To determine if your
version of paint supports formats other than .bmp, open the Paint program
in Start-Programs-Accessories. Then click File, Save As. In the Save
As dialog box, Drop the Save As Type list and see if you have multiple
file types listed. It looks like this:
you have the old Paint that only lists .bmp, then you need to download
Paint Shop Pro from the Internet.
Another way to get nice wallpaper is to find a nice picture on the Internet,
right click on the picture and save it as wallpaper. See the Internet
page for complete instructions.
displaying your own pictures as screensavers is not so simple, since
these are dynamic motions, not static pictures. You will find your installed
screensavers in the Windows\system folder with a file extension of .scr.
You can see what screensavers are installed by using Start, Find, Files
and Folders and typing in *.scr and Find. BTW, Windows ME has changed
the Find command to Search. Also an easy shortcut to the find command
is to use the Windows key + F. For a list of Window key commands, see
the Shortcuts page.
way to use the screensaver function to display pictures is to use a
graphics program that turns your photos into a slide show. You can download
these programs on the Internet. Some of
my old favorites are now gone or are now shareware. You can try one
here that has a 7
day trial & is $20. But XP has such a good one built in, there is
not much need anymore for outside software.
Copy and Paste
you know all the ins and outs of this most important skill? Click
here to check your knowledge.