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Windows 7

Every month, we'll add a new tip to help
you make your way around the Windows OS - from XP to Windows 7!

Auto-lock Your Computer When You Step Away & Other Keyboard Shortcuts

posted Apr 4, 2012, 1:22 PM by td.comm camias   [ updated Apr 4, 2012, 1:24 PM ]

Press the Windows key ....


.... plus one of the letters/other keys below to perform the following tasks:

Weird and wonderful keyboard shortcuts (Some for older Windows, some Windows 7 only)

posted Dec 13, 2011, 9:39 AM by   [ updated Dec 13, 2011, 12:06 PM ]

It's tiresome and potentially dangerous always to use the mouse. Here are a few keyboard shortcuts.

Everyone should know the really basic shortcuts: 
Select, then Copy with: Ctrl+C - Sends a copy to a holding area called the clipboard so that you can Paste what you have copied somewhere else.
Select, then Cut with: Ctrl+X - Works like copy, except deletes the selection from the original location/
Paste a cut or copied item with: Ctrl+V
Undo an action: Ctrl+Z
Redo what you just undid: Ctrl+Y
Select All: Ctrl+A
Print: Ctrl+P

Now for the weird and wonderful items (For Windows 7):
  • Show the Task Manager quickly: If an application gets "stuck" - refuses to respond or gets caught in a time-consuming wait, you can shit it down from the Task manager. Yes, you can hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete and pick from a menu. But if you press Ctrl-Shift-Esc, it comes up immediately.
  • Create a New folder: Yes, when you are browsing your disks with Windows Explorer, you can right-click, then choose New, and then choose Folder. Or, much more efficiently: hit Ctrl-Shift-N (N for New makes this one easy to remember).

The Windows key

The Windows key (the one between the Ctrl and Alt keys marked with the Windows logo and sometimes also marked start) is fun to use, with its many hidden shortcuts. Here are a few:
For all recent Windows versions:
Open Windows Explorer: Probably said this before, but it bears repeating: Hold down the Windows key and tap E,
Check your  computer's configuration: When faced with installing an application that specifies "minimum hardware requirements" how do you check how much memory your computer has installed, what the processor and processor speed is? Yes, you can Right-click the Computer icon and choose Properties. Or, faster, use this key-combination: Hold down the Windows key and press Pause (near the top right of the keyboard, by Printscreen and Scroll Lock).
Control displays when you are connected to a projector (Win 7 only): Winkey + P brings up a window that allows you to choose what to display - 
Windows key plus P display: choose display when connected to a projector

Duplicate means display on both your screen and the projector.

Show the extensions on your files

posted Dec 12, 2011, 3:11 PM by

You think you've made a PDF or saved a Word document as a Rich Text (.rtf) file - but you're not sure, because your computer doesn't show you file extensions. 
Extensions are (usually) three letters that come after the name of a document or other file. In Windows (the Mac does the job in another way) the extension tells you what kind of file it is - and what program will open the file.
 Program     Extension 
Adobe Acrobat  .pdf
Word 97-2000  .doc
 Word 2007/2010  .docx
 Rich Text (universal word-processor format)  .rtf

You can think of many others: .ppt for older versions of PowerPoint, .pptx for newer, for example.

Make your copy of Windows display this important information by doing the following:
Organize menu showing Folder and search options choice
1: In any Windows Explorer display of files or folders (or just click Computer), click the Organize button.

2: Then click the Folder and search options choice.

3: Click the View tab.and UNcheck the box beside Hide extensions for known file types
View tab showing uncheck Hide extensions entry

Use Checkboxes to select files (Windows 7 only)

posted Dec 12, 2011, 2:39 PM by

When you are browsing your computer you can select folders/files for moving or copying using Click - Shift-click to select a contiguous group of files and Cntrl-click to select individual folders/files.
But if you can't remember this or just want to try another way, enable checkboxes for selecting. It's actually pretty neat!
Folder and search options choice
1: In any Windows Explorer file or file listing, click the Organize tab.
2: Click Folder and search options

View tab showing the use checkboxes... option

3: Then click the View tab.
4:Scroll down and click the checkbox beside Use check boxes to select items.

Using check boxes to select folders and files
    Now, when you want to select a bunch of folders and/or files, you can use checkboxes - that appear as you move your mouse down the file listing. 
6: Click to select and folder or file (click it again to remove the selection).
7: Once you have made your selection, you can Delete, move or copy everything that you have selected.

Changing drive letters (XP and Win 7)

posted Sep 28, 2011, 2:01 PM by

Sometimes you insert a flash drive and the system assigns a drive letter that conflicts with one of your network shared drives. Here's how to change the letter.

Windows XP AND Windows 7:

Right-Click My Computer
Select Manage
Select Disk Management

In XP:
In the lower right panel, right-click the flash drive
In Win 7:
In the main window, right-click the disk

Changing the drive letter

Select Change Drive Letter and Path (Paths in Win 7)

In XP:
Click the Edit button
Enter in the letter you want to use

In Win 7: 
Click the pulldown beside Assign the following drive letter
Choosing a new drive letter in Windows 7
Choose the letter you want.
Click OK until you back out.

Use enhanced taskbar icon functions (Windows 7)

posted Sep 1, 2011, 10:35 AM by td.comm camias   [ updated Sep 1, 2011, 10:41 AM ]

When you open a program (say, Word), and work on one or more documents, you'll see a highlighted icon for that program on the taskbar (the strip at the bottom of the screen). In Windows 7 we've already seen that you can right-click the icon to get a popup list of recently edited documents. But there's more....
Just hover your cursor over the icon to see thumbnails of all the open documents in that program. Click a thumbnail to go back to editing that document. Or click the top-right X on the thumbnail to close that document (you'll be prompted to save it if you haven't already):

Actions possible with a taskbar icon

Get rid of desktop clutter (Windows 7 only)

posted Sep 1, 2011, 9:57 AM by td.comm camias   [ updated Sep 1, 2011, 10:21 AM ]

You're working on an Excel spreadsheet and want to concentrate. But you've got email, a browser, a calculator and a Word document up at the same time. You don't want to close all those apps, but you do want to minimize the extra windows to the taskbar to get rid of distractions. In Windows 7 you finally don't have to minimize them individually.

With Windows 7's "shake" feature you can minimize every window except the one in which you're currently working -- in a single step. Click and hold the title bar of the window you want to keep on the desktop; while still holding the title bar, shake it quickly back and forth until all of the other windows minimize to the taskbar. Then let go. To make them return, shake the title bar again.

Or press the Windows key and the Home key at the same time to accomplish the same thing.

Taskbar series: See recently opened documents and sites (Windows 7 only)

posted Aug 17, 2011, 3:11 PM by td.comm camias   [ updated Aug 17, 2011, 4:23 PM ]

Windows has been able to display program icons on its taskbar at the bottom of the screen for a long time. In Windows 7, however, you get a few extra functions: Here's one:
Right-click a taskbar icon. A list of recently-worked-on files pops up. It's called the jump list. You can select a file from this list and quickly start editing.
Pop-up list of recent documents caused by right-clicking a word taskbar icon

Configure the number of documents you want to pop up:

Right-click the start button
start button
From the pop-up menu, click Properties.

Choose the Start Menu tab
right-click menu from start button

Click Customize and set the number of files you want to see in your Jump List.

set number of files in your jump list
Click OK.

Windows 7: Get back to your Desktop

posted Aug 17, 2011, 1:37 PM by td.comm camias

You have Word, Firefox, Email and Powerpoint open. Now you want to click an item on your desktop.
In Windows 7 you don't have to close all your pages - you can click the little bar at the very bottom right of your screen - at the end of the taskbar.

Show desktop bar

Clicking this (tiny!) area will:
  • Minimize all open windows to the taskbar
  • Show your complete desktop with all icons available to you.
To get back to any programs that you had open, just click its icon on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.

Use the Windows key!

posted Jul 6, 2011, 10:43 AM by td.comm camias   [ updated Jul 6, 2011, 11:03 AM ]

Windows key
The Windows key (which can be labeled Start) is on either side of the spacebar between the Ctrl and Alt keys.
Use it in combination with other keys (hold down the Windows key and tap the other key)  to perform a number of tasks. Here's a brief list:
  • Windows Key + Tab: Cycle through the buttons in the Task Bar, except in Windows 7, where it pulls up a fancy "3D" cycling display of active programs.
  • Windows Key + D: Minimize or restore all windows
  • Windows Key + E: Launch Windows Explorer - so you can quickly navigate to a folder
  • Windows Key + F: Launch Search for Files
  • Windows Key + Ctrl + F: Launch Search for Computers on a network
  • Windows Key + F1: Launch the Help and Support Center (Windows help)
  • Windows Key + R: Launch the Run dialog box (good for activating telnet or system configuration resources)
  • Windows Key + Pause/Break: Launch System Properties dialog box (Technical info about your computer - including your windows activation code)
  • Windows Key + M: Minimizes all open windows.
  • Windows Key + Shift + M: Undo minimize all windows
  • Windows Key + L: Locks the workstation (brings up the login dialog - useful if you have to leave your station for a while, especially on a shared computer - if you want to lock others out)
  • Windows Key + U: Launch the Utility Manager (allows setting accessibility options)

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