PDQ Library:  Windows Tips

CTRL+ indicates holding down the Ctrl key while hitting another key.
Start the Windows Start Key.

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

START+x means hold the Windows START key down while pressing the second key.
  • Show Desktop {toggle} Start+D
  • Minimize all Windows Start+M
  • Run File Explorer Start+E
  • Find a File   Start+F
  • Run a Program Start+R
  • System Information Start+PAUSE
  • Display Settings   Start+U
  • Toggle Desktop & Windows Start+D
  • Switch between running applications ALT+TAB keys
  • CTRL+[mouse wheel] changes text size up/down on most browsers

Create your own keyboard shortcut

It's easy to set your own keyboard shortcuts to start applications quickly without having to search for icons on your desktop or the START menu.

  1. Right-click on the shortcut and select Properties.
  2. In the "Shortcut Key" box, type a key.
  3. Now when you type CTRL+ALT+[key] you will activate that shortcut.

Quick View of your Desktop

As listed in the keyboard shortcuts above, to see the desktop view without exiting all your programs and windows, just press the Windows key + D. Repeat to toggle them back into view.

Mouse method: Right click on the taskbar (bottom icons if visible) and select "Show the Desktop" from the pop-up menu. To restore your windows, right click and select "Show Open Windows".

Create Your Own Toolbar

In Windows, you can run many applications at the same time and simply switch between them - no need to exit one to run another. New users put all their program icons on the desktop. You can also use the START Menu (Windows icon at bottom left) to find programs. A third options is to create a custom Toolbar to the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen that contains shortcuts to your favorite programs.

  1. Right click on an empty space in your Taskbar and select Toolbars from the popup menu, then New Toolbar.
  2. In the selection box, type the text below and replace LOGINNAME with your real Windows login name (or click on My Computer and navigate to its location):
  3. As soon as you select the location, Desktop >> appears in your Taskbar. To display and select from a list of Desktop applications, just click on the two chevrons to the right of Desktop.
  4. You may need to use "All Users" or "Administrator" for LOGINNAME depending on how you logged in to create the Desktop:
    C:\Users\All Users\Desktop

Exploring using detailed display

Click the Windows key and select Settings, then Folder Options. In the file manager (Exploring), you can select "Details" from the view menu to display file size, date created, file type, etc. To display files ordered by date, click on the date heading; click again for reverse date order; click on the name heading to order by file name. To quickly change a column width, point your mouse to any column heading border until the pointer turns into a cross. Double click on the heading divider to reset the width to the widest entry.

Style Your Folders

In Windows 7 "Windows Explorer", right click a folder and select Properties. Select the Customize tab. The first item allows you to select the type of files in the folder. Each type will display different information for each file in the folder. You will probably want to "apply the template to subfolders". Click OK to change the format.

In the Windows XP file manager "Exploring", select the View menu, then Folder options, then the View tab, then Like current Folder. Next time you run this program all folders will look like the current folder.

Changing Screen Resolution in Windows 95/98

Older Windows computers were set for a 640 x 480 display screen in 256 colour mode. Most people never bothered to change to a higher resolution and missed out on all the thousands of colours as well as some really beautiful Web sites.

Most Internet sites are optimized for an 800 x 600 display in either Hi Color or True Color. If you own a computer running Windows 95 with a 14 inch monitor, your display should be set to at least 65,000 colours and as high as your display will support. The resolution and speed you select will depends on the capabilities of the graphics board (check your computer manual).

If you have Windows 95/98 it is easy to change to these resolutions. [If you have Windows 3, you should locate the instructions for salvaging your Windows Setup if it doesn't work! You will need to reset the display settings by running the Windows SETUP program from a DOS command prompt.]

  1. Go to your START button, choose SETTINGS, choose CONTROL PANEL, then choose DISPLAY to bring up the Display Panel (or point your mouse to your desktop, click the right mouse button and choose PROPERTIES).
  2. Choose the SETTINGS tab. Now look at your settings. If the color palette setting is set to 256 colours and the desktop is set to 640 x 480 you are not getting the most out of your display with a Web browser.
  3. Choose the color palette setting and choose either Hi Color (all systems) or True Colour (Pentium 133+).
  4. Now go to the Desktop Area setting, and slide it over to 800 x 600 with your mouse. It is recommended that you do not try a higher desktop resolution than this until you have read your monitor manual to see what maximum resolution it supports.
  5. Choose a font size that you feel comfortable with (those with poor eyesight may wish to try out a larger font size).
  6. Now click the OK button. You must re-boot your system before these changes will take effect.
  7. When your desktop appears again, it will be in a higher resolution with more colours. You may wish to try both Hi Color and True Color to see which looks better (True Color may be slower).

Computer News from FreshContent.net

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