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Tip: Associate files

Create association between programs and documents. As long as Windows can recognise what document requires what application running, you can click on the file and the application will auto-launch. Typically, then that application will be launched when you double-click it. If there is no application icon for the document, then a dialog box will appear requesting the application to be launched. At this point, specify the application to be launched. Do not forget to check the Always use this program to open this type of file.

Tip: Open with

There may be times when you would prefer to open a document with a different program, simply because it is faster. To by pass the normal association, you need to use the Open with option in the context menu. This appears only when the [Shift] key is pressed while right clicking the icon. Do not forget to first select the item and then right-click with [Shift] depressed, else the Open with menu item will not appear.

Tip: It's Explorer all the way

If you upgrade to Window 95 from Window 3.x, you will be one of the many users who miss the split file manager Window. By default, Explorer, which replaced File Manager is not the program that runs when you double-click on a folder. To get Explorer to start each time you select a folder Options. Here select the file Type tab. In the list of Registered file types, highlight folder and then click the Edit……button. You will now be able to define whether folders should open or Explorer will be launched, by selecting Explorer in Actions: and clicking on Set Default.

Tip: Get active

Surfing the Internet can get you hooked on navigating with a single click. If you'd like to use this method even while browsing Windows, then use Internet Explorer 4.4. With this browser is the option to execute actions with a single click.

Tip: More info about My Computer

To find out about the devices that are loaded on your computer and to either modify or change the device settings, right click the My computer icon and select properties. This will not only display the different system settings, but will also allow one to add in or upgrade new devices.

Tip: Not used to the mouse? Use large buttons

For those not yet used to the mouse or those having difficulty in positioning the mouse pointer correctly over small icons, Windows has help. Under Display settings one can use 'large' settings to have large fonts displayed on the screen. Changing the display settings,

One can also have large icons displayed. Remember to have the Accessibility Options, under Start>Control Panel installed when installing Windows. It also offers options for the handicapped.

Tip: DOS window

Need to see the rest of the desktop when in DOS? Then, work in DOS window. If by default, the display keeps going into a full-screen DOS mode, switch to a window by pressing [Alt]+[Enter]. It is possible to define the size of the font used if it is too small for you to read.

Tip: New toolbar on the desktop

Another goodie that comes with IE 4.0 is the capability to create new toolbars on the desktop. Simply drag a folder containing the applications you would like to have on the toolbar to any side, and a new toolbar is created.

Tip: Quick launch from the taskbar

To run applications right from the toolbar, right-click on an empty spot, and confirm that the Quick Launch option under the Toolbars is checked.

Tip: Getting Explorer to start from the same place

If you are never sure which directory Explorer will start from and would like it to always start in the DOS sub-directory, then create a shortcut and define on the command line the start directory options using the/e switch.

Tip: It's all on StartUp

From time to time, it is a good idea to clear the startup folder as you will find that there are many programs that load during startup that eventually start slowing down your system. There are three startup places to check-the startup folder, the load= line in SYSTEM.INI in the Window Registry. The last one needs a little care to modify. The first can be found through Start>Settings>Taskbar>Advanced. The second is in the first portion of the file SYSTEM.INI file, with different programs separated by a space.

Tip: Change your StartUp to suit your needs

Taking the previous tip a step further, you can also prune the rest of the start menu by deleting what appears on the menu list. This does not remove the program, but only removes the icon that appears on the menu bar. And new menu items can also be added to the directory tree in the same fashion as one would add folders.

Tip: Find more icons

Tried of the boring icons that are displayed each time you go to Change Icons? Next time select the Browse option and load the MORICS.DLL file, which will be in the windows sub-directory. This will give several other options. Or else select some of the other .EXE files, some of them may have extra icons that you can use. Don't forget that as soon as the file disappears, so does you icon.

Tip: Where's the Desktop

If for some reason you are working in DOS and need to get to the Desktop, then look for a sub-directory that is named Desktop under Windows. Every other folder and file that is on the desktop will be listed here. Placing or removing anything from this directory makes the change automatically to the desktop. This will even work across the network. So to place something on someone else's Desktop, locate their Windows directory.

Tip: Clear out the junk. Get rid of the tmp files

Temporary files created by a number of applications, including Windows. Not all applications are well mannered enough to remove all these unwanted files. Though in most cases they do add the .tmp extension. Hence, a periodic search and delete for .tmp files will find extra hard disk space.

Tip: Defrag on time

To improve your computer's speed, it is a good idea to regularly defragment your hard disks. As more applications get loaded, or more files are worked on, data will slowly get scatted all over the hard disk. Running Defrag will get all the file components together once more.

Tip: Scandisk automatically

Modify the MSDOS.SYS file in root directory of the start up drive if you would like to get rid of the pause, before Scandisk starts after Windows was not shutdown correctly. To do this open the file in any ASCII text editor and add the line Autoscan=2under the [option]section.

Tip: Speed up disk access

To improve disk access, you need to allow Windows read in more than it should be at a time. Under system Properties, (right-click My computers> Properties) select the performance tab and define the Typical Role of your computer to be a Network server. To do this, click the File system button and the Hard Disk settings.

  • If you thought that Windows 95 is secure because it asks for a password, think again. You can get past the startup password by pressing [Esc]or clicking cancel
  • To ensure that Windows remembers you and your settings, set a password and under User Profiles, select Users can customise their preferences.
  • Prevent people from peeking into your system by disabling file/folder sharing. Do this by right-clicking on the item and the Sharing.
  • Change the way the screen looks, right-click on the desktop and select properties to change the screen appearance.
Tip: Prevent users from stopping Startup

To stop anyone from using the function keys to interrupt the startup routine, add a line to the Options section in MSDOS.SYS, which is found in the root directory. BootKeys=0_ will prevent any interruption using the [F5] or [F8] keys.

Tip: Define polices

While it is possible to have different users share a machine and have different screen settings, there is really no foolproof way in stopping users from fooling around inside the system. But the risk factor can be reduced slightly by running a program called POLEDIT, which is located in the\ADMIN\APPTOLLS\POLEDIT directory on the Installation CD. The polices defined can also include which programs can and cannot be used by different individuals and what permissions apply to each user.

Tip: Clearing the clutter

Put too many icons your Desktop and soon you will see that you cannot find anything quickly. A simple way to get around this is to create a few folders under which you can group similar applications or files that you need to run. This may make access a little difficult, but then if done well, your file will never be more than a mouse-click away. You can place all documents under Documents, spreadsheets etc. depending upon what you need the folders could also be Current, To Do and Done.

Tip: More Boot tips

Need more time before you receive the Starting Windows 95…message? You can, here are a few changes that you can make to the MSDOS.SYS file, under Options

BootDelay=n, where n defines the number of seconds Windows will pause for keyboard input.

BootMenu=1 will always display the menu without the user pressing the [F8] key.

BoootMenuDefault=n is the menu item number that will automatically be chosen if no selection is made.

BootMenuDelay=n defines the number of seconds before BootMenuDefault automatically becomes the chosen option to boot with. By default, this value is set to 30 seconds. If you'd prefer to always start up in DOS, and then move to Windows, you could use the following without any of the preceding options.

BootGUI=0, this will disable the graphical user interface (GLI) which can always be started up by the keying in WIN at the DOS prompt. It is also safe to turn the system 'off' directly from the DOS prompt.

Tip: Get more space

In case your are tight on space, besides deleting the .tmp files, you can also locate all the .MID, .AVI, .WAV, .BMP and other sound and picture files. You will find this typically take up a lot of space and really have a very little role. There will be also a number of screensavers and other Windows bits and pieces that get loaded in the Windows sub-directory and these can definitely be removed. You will suddenly find lots of free megabytes on your hard disk.

Tip: Want a pretty background?

You can have that lovely picture you found and place it as wallpaper, so that if it is smaller than your screen? To stretch it, you will need to the paint application. Stretch the picture by the same percentage in both directions. To do this, look under Image>Stretch>Skew. And to save you the trouble of placing this as the wallpaper, check the File menu, you'll see the option Set as wallpaper.


Tip: Restart, don't reboot

If you just want to restart Windows 95 rather than reboot the entire system, then keep the [Shift] key pressed while selecting Restart the computer and click OK in the Shut Down Windows dialog box. This will only reload the operating system rather than run a complete system check.

Tip: Run faster. You'll remember longer.

The command line box Run, has a long term memory. And the command that is entered in the box is remembered and it will be faster to open the list and select the command.

Tip: Copy to A:

Need to see the contents of the A: drive? Or copy something to the drive quickly?

Drop a shortcut on the floppy disk drive on your desktop. This will be accessible at all times. And double-clicking it will automatically display the contents. You could do this also for the CD-ROM drive.

Tip: Lost your keys?

Confused between special keys and you cannot remember whether a file is copied or moved then remember a couple of rules. Without pressing any keys, a file is usually copied between different drives and moved if the source and the destination is the same. But to be doubly sure, you can use COntorl to COpy files around and [Shift] to [Shift] (or move) files from one destination to the other, irrespective of the source and destination drives.


Tip: Wait for the yellow balloon

If the trimmed names on the Taskbar get you mad, relax. You do not have to maximise the application to see what the file is. Just wait for a couple of seconds and balloon help will pop up to let you know what the application is and what document is currently opened in it.


Tip: GIF-Painted

With office loaded, you will have also loaded a number of graphic file filters that can be used by Paint, even though they do not show in the file list. Try it. You will find that you can load .GIF, .TIF, .JPG and other file formats. Which means you can use any of these pictures as wallpaper too if you open them in Paint. Unfortunately however, you cannot save files in these formats.

Tip: Change those names

If you do not have the latest version of IE 4.0, there will be a number of folders on your desktop that you cannot change. Of course, making changes to the Registry is dangerous and you will need a backup handy. To change the icon for the Recycle Bin, search for Recycle or locate HKEY_CLASES_ROOT|CLSID|{645FF040-5081-101B9F08-00AA002F954E}. Under DefaultIcon, define the path to the file containing the icon, followed by value. For example, C:\WINDOWS\SHELL.DLL,3 would select an icon from the file SHELL.DLL,3 is the fourth icon in the file. If there is only a single icon, use0. To change the name, change the value for default in the right pane.

Tip: Get your menu faster

Microsoft not only takes time to get their products out on the market, but also takes time to serve a menu. To speed up the process, you can shorten the delay by modifying the registry. Locate the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\control panel\Dsktop and add a new string value called Menu Show Delay, if it is not already there. The value entered here defines the speed at which the menus open in milliseconds. The default value is 400.

Tip: Don't want tips? Here a Tip

Tired of reading silly tips everyday and each time you turn on Windows? You have not one, but two options before you. One, to turn it 'off' by unchecking the box on the Welcome to Windows95 startup box. The other option is better, and you could share this with friends. This requires a little messing around with the Windows Registry. Here's how you do it: typically the tips will be found under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/CurrentVersion/Windows/Explorer/tips. When you locate this, you will find the right pane containing a list of top tips defined by numerical values. You have a maximum of 53 tips that can be displayed, so change the values form time to time. If you do not find the tips as stated, use Find to locate them in the Registry.


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