Feb 1996 WinTips

Win95 Tips of the Month

Use Long Filenames in DOS

Launching Win95 programs or folders with long filenames from the MS-DOS Command Prompt doesn't seem to work. The trick is to enclose the file or folder name in quotation marks. For example, to open a folder called My Favorite Folder from the Command Prompt, type Start "My Favorite Folder" and press the Enter key.

A Refreshing Change

Win95 doesn't refresh your view of files and folders as often as you might like. Here's how to make Win95 refresh constantly (make sure you back up your system before editing the Registry). Launch the Registry Editor by selecting Start/Run, typing REGEDIT in the Run dialog and pressing Enter. Click on the plus sign next to HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE, then on the plus sign next to System, and then on CurrentControlSet. Select Control, then Update. In the right pane, right-click on UpdateMode and select Modify. Select the 01 reading and change it to 00. Click on OK, exit the Registry Editor and restart.

Quick Close

If you give the ol' three-finger salute (Ctrl+Alt+Del), Win95 shows you the Close Program dialog, which gives you the option to close running applications--one at a time. A secret program (a holdover from Windows 3.x) called the Task Manager shows you all your running applications and lets you close any number of them--or even all of them--at once. To launch the Task Manager, bring up the Run dialog (Start/Run), type TASKMAN in the Open box and press Enter. To select a bunch of running applications to close, press and hold the Ctrl key, go to the Task dialog and click on each of the programs you'd like to close, and select End Task from the Windows menu.

Double-Click Your Docs Away

Here's how to blast the contents of the Documents cascading menu on your Start menu (for those of you who know how to make batch files). Create a batch file that deletes all files in the C: \WINDOWS\RECENT folder. Now make a shortcut on the desktop to the batch file (make sure you tell the shortcut to close on exit). Double-clicking on the shortcut will now clear your Documents menu.

Make Better Short Files

Windows 95 automatically shortens long filenames by using the first six letters of the long filename, ignoring the spaces and periods, and adding a tilde (~) and the number 1 (subsequent short names with the same characters get the number 2 and so on). You can tell Win95 to truncate long filenames using the first eight letters by making a change in the Registry. Launch the Registry Editor (see A Refreshing Change) and drill down by clicking on the plus signs by HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, System, CurrentControlSet and Control. Click on FileSystem. Right-click on the white part of the right pane and select New/Binary Value. Type NameNumericTail and press Enter. Double-click on NameNumericTail and enter 0 as the value. Click on the OK button and restart Windows.

Stop Zooming!

Win95 windows "zoom" open and closed. You can speed things up by turning off this feature. Launch the Registry Editor and drill down into HKEY_CURRENT_USER, Control Panel, Desktop and WindowMetrics. Right-click on the white space in the right pane and select New/String Value. Type MinAnimate as the new value and press Enter. Now double-click on the new MinAnimate and add 0 as the value. Click on OK and restart your computer. Whenever you want to restore window zooming, replace the 0 value with the number 1.

Find the Secret Win95 Tips File

In your WINDOWS folder, you'll find a text file called TIPS.TXT that's full of tips written by the Microsoft Windows 95 development team.

Got a hot tip? Send it to melgan@cmp.com or Mike Elgan, Windows Magazine, One Jericho Plaza, Jericho, NY 11753.