Archive for the ‘Clubhouse Posts (Computers, Software, and Internet)’ Category

Continuing my series of Windows 7 Tips & Tricks, here are the final seven tips shared with us by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Partner Program. Did you know you can have a slide show as your desktop background? What about the new Calculator? You can even literally shake your windows to make others get out of the way. Neat!

  • Tip 1: Change the Scenery.
  • Tip 2: Crunch The Numbers.
  • Tip 3: Smart Printing.
  • Tip 4: Shake It Up.
  • Tip 5: Clean Your Desktop! And Order It Too.
  • Tip 6: Right-Click Mania.
  • Tip 7: Unveil Your Hidden Drives.

Change the Scenery

Windows 7 allows you to personalize your desktop background to suit your many moods with a new shuffle feature for your desktop. You can program your desktop background to shuffle through your favorite images and get a change of scenery as often as you like. To enable the shuffle feature, right-click on your Desktop and select “Personalize,” then “Desktop Background.” Choose the folder where your favorite images or photos are stored and select as many as you like. Make sure you check the “Shuffle” box, and choose how often you’d like your images to shuffle. It’s a simple way to keep your desktop looking fresh and fun.


Crunch the Numbers

The new Windows 7 calculator is a number cruncher’s dream. New functionality allows the user to not only calculate in the Standard and Scientific modes, but also in Programmer and Statistics modes. And that’s not all! Ever need conversion formulas for temperature, weight, area, or time? Finding the unit conversion option makes it a snap and takes all the work out of the user’s hands. There are even templates for gas mileage, lease estimations, and mortgage estimations.


Smart Printing

Windows 7 allows for several default printers in several locations. Your computer will choose the correct printer for where you are. No need to reset your default or remember what the printer name is; Windows 7 will figure out whether you’re at home or at work with Location Aware Printing.

Shake It Up

Remember the Etch-a-Sketch where you would shake it to make things disappear? Windows 7 uses the same shake concept to help you manage your windows. Windows 7 Aero®Shake allows you to clear the inactive windows from your desktop by “shaking” over the window you’re working. Hover your mouse over the title bar of your active window, left-click and shake from side to side, and all your inactive windows will disappear. To bring them back, repeat the procedure and shake everything back into view.

Clean Your Desktop! And Order It, Too!

You’ve always been able to auto-arrange your desktop icons by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing “Sort By.” Now Windows 7 makes it even easier. To auto-arrange the desktop icons according to your default settings, simply press and hold F5. Order is instantly accomplished.

Right-Click Mania

In Windows 7, right-clicking may just be your secret friend. There are many ways the right-click can simplify your computing experience. Here are just a few:

  1. Right-click any empty spot in your desktop, and you have the control to change the screen resolution.
  2. Right-click any of the icons in the Taskbar to “Unpin this program from the Taskbar.”
  3. Last but not least, right-click the Taskbar Explorer icon to access your most frequently used folders.


Unveil Your Hidden Drives

Want to see the drives that aren’t currently in use when you open My Computer? To display empty drives, click Computer → Alt to see the toolbar → Tools → Folder Options → View (tab) → Uncheck “Hide empty drives in the Computer folder.” And they magically appear!


Continuing my series of Windows 7 Tips & Tricks, here are seven more shared with us by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Partner Program. Did you know you can now pin folders? Have you heard about Bitlocker disk protection and how it applies to Windows 7? How about the Windows Troubleshooting Platform? Lots of stuff to learn…

  • Tip 1: Put a “Pin Up” of the Folders You Use Most.
  • Tip 2: Double-Up Your Windows.
  • Tip 3: Clear, Crisp Display—It’s In Your Control.
  • Tip 4: Order and Reason for Your Taskbar.
  • Tip 5: Taskbar Traversing.
  • Tip 6: BitLocker To Go Protection.
  • Tip 7: Your Own Personal Help Desk: Windows Troubleshooting Platform.

Put a Pin Up of the Folders You Use Most

Windows® 7 allows you to “pin up” the folders you use most on your taskbar. Simply hold your mouse over the favorite folder, right click, and drag it onto the taskbar. Windows 7 automatically pins itself to the Explorer Jump List. To open the folder, right click on the Explorer icon and select the folder you want.


Double-Up Your Windows

When working within an application, sometimes you just want more of a good thing. To open another window of the same application (assuming the app can run more than one instance), simply hold Shift and click the taskbar icon. You can also middle-click your third mouse button for the same result.

Clear, Crisp Display – It’s In Your Control

Windows 7 makes it easy for you to adjust your display settings, making text and images easier to view in all the various locations where you work on your computer. Your laptop display may look fine at work but a little dark at home. Adjust the text and image settings easily with two snappy applets: ClearType Text Tuning and Display Color Calibration. Run cttune.exe and dccw.exe, or look them up in the Control Panel. (click the screen shots for a larger view)


Order and Reason for Your Taskbar

You can decide the order that your icons show up in your taskbar by simply dragging them to the order you desire. And for the first five icons, you can launch them with a simple keystroke: Any of the first five icons can be opened by pressing image+1, image +2, etc.

Taskbar Traversing

While we’re on the subject of taskbar shortcuts, use image+T to shift your attention to the taskbar. Your machine will make its active screen your taskbar menu, and you can use the arrow keys to select the application you’re interested in. Just hit Enter to launch it. Naturally, to exit this trick, press Esc.

BitLocker To Go Protection

BitLocker® has become a saving grace when it comes to increased laptop security. Windows 7 has taken security even farther with its BitLocker To GoTM feature, which allows you to encrypt removable USB devices and external disks. To enable BitLocker or BitLocker To Go, right click the drive in Windows Explorer and select “Turn on BitLocker…” This can also be managed centrally via Group Policy, so IT administrators can require the USB drive be encrypted before files can be written to it.


Your Own Personal Help Desk: Windows Troubleshooting Platform

We’ve all experienced minor issues like Windows Aero not displaying or sound controls not functioning. Don’t get stuck in the mud just because your computer seems to be. Windows 7 can save you from having to bite the bullet and call the help desk for every problem that comes up, thanks to the new Windows Troubleshooting Platform. It’s easily accessed by typing “fix” or “Troubleshoot” (without the quotes) in the Start Menu. A list of Windows Troubleshooting Packs allows you to choose from what might be giving you trouble, and the troubleshooter will faithfully attempt to clear up the problem.


Below are a ton of Windows 7 Tips & Tricks shared with us by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Partner Program. Did you know Windows 7 has built-in screen recording? How about control-clicking the taskbar to switch between windows? Read on and learn how you can get even more from Windows 7!

I received three of these great documents, so this is part 1 of a three part series.

  • Tip 1: Shuffling Through Program Windows.
  • Tip 2: Managing Your Windows.
  • Tip 3: Project Your Display With Ease.
  • Tip 4: Multi-Monitor Window Management.
  • Tip 5: Aero Peek Your Desktop.
  • Tip 6: Live Clutter-Free.
  • Tip 7: Help the Help Desk Help You.

Shuffling Through Program Windows

If you’re running a number of files from the same program, such as multiple documents in Microsoft Word, Windows 7 allows you to switch through these windows with ease. Simply press down on the Ctrl key while clicking the icon from the taskbar. Each click will change the window to the next in the sequence, in the order that you opened them.

Managing Your Windows

Windows 7 simplifies document and program management by allowing you to “dock” a window or manipulate its size with one mouse maneuver or a simple keystroke. To dock your window on one half of the screen, drag it to the left or right and it will change its size to fit that half of the screen. To manipulate the vertical size of a window, drag the window to the top to maximize it, or double-click the window’s top or bottom border to maximize it vertically while keeping the same width.

You can also perform all of these functions with keystrokes: image+Left Arrow and image+Right Arrow dock to half the screen image+Up Arrow and image+Down Arrow maximize and minimize image+Shift+Up Arrow and image+Shift+Down Arrow maximize and restore vertical size.

Project Your Display With Ease

Plugging in a projector and projecting your display is a snap with the Windows 7 driver display utility, displayswitch.exe. Simply hit image+P to display the following easy-to-navigate pop-up window:


By hitting your arrow keys (or image+P) you can switch through multiple display settings, such as “clone”, “extend” or “external only.”

Multi-Monitor Window Management

Windows 7 makes using multiple monitors as convenient as it should be. When you’re working in multi-monitors, use the keyboard shortcuts image+Shift+Left Arrow and image+Shift+Right Arrow to toggle between monitors. The new window will keep its relative position to the top-left origin of the original.

Aero Peek Your Desktop

A lesser-known versatile tool introduced with Windows 7 is the Windows® Aero® feature, “Aero Peek”. Just click the rectangle in the lower right hand corner of the task bar for quick access to your desktop. The keyboard shortcut image+Space performs the same function.


Live Clutter-Free

We live with enough clutter in our lives. Windows 7 gets rid of all the superfluous windows behind your active window. Just hit image+Home to minimize all inactive windows. To restore the windows when you’d like them, just press image+Home again.

Help the Help Desk Help You

Solving problems unique to a machine can be an arduous task for both the end-user and the help desk. That’s why Windows 7 introduces the Problem Steps Recorder, a screen-capture tool that allows the end-user to record the problems they’re having step-by-step. It’s as simple as hitting “record” then adding in comments as needed. A HTML-based file is converted to a .ZIP folder, which is easily passed on to the help desk. The program is accessible from the Control Panel under “Record steps to reproduce a problem” or run psr.exe from Explorer.