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6/96 WinTips

Win95 Tips of the Month

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Down and Dirty DOS

Put Your Prompt On the Desktop

Right-click on the Start button and select Open. Double-click on the Programs item, then the Startup item. Right-click anywhere in the window, select New/Shortcut, then click on the Browse button. The next step is to navigate to the WINDOWS directory and double-click on the file DOSPRMT. Place the Command Line window wherever you want it on the Desktop. The next time you start Windows, that window will open in the same location.

Fast Folders!

If you want those folders to fly open at breakneck speed, simply type the word START in the MS-DOS Prompt, follow it with the folder's name and hit the Enter key. (Note that this works only if the folder is in the current path.) Windows will find the folder and open it on the Desktop.

Fast Documents, Too!

You can also use the START command to launch documents with their associated applications. Simply type START at the MS-DOS Prompt, followed by the name of the document you want to open.

Check Out Your Hardware

Right-click on your My Computer icon and select Properties. This tabbed dialog box is your hardware's Rosetta stone. By exploring the various tabs and items, you can get the scoop on all the devices installed on your system, plus memory and port settings.

Find Out 'What's This?'

Whenever you have a dialog box open, right-click on items in the dialog to get the items' label. By clicking on the "What's This?" item that pops up, you get a more detailed explanation of the item.

Maximize And Restore

Double-click on the title bar of any app, document or folder window to toggle between maximized and restored states.

Make a Quick Exit

Right-click on the taskbar buttons of minimized applications and select Close from the menu to quickly exit them.

Icon Type Too Big or Tiny?

Wish you could make your icons just right? Right-click on the desktop and choose Properties, then the Appearance tab, then the Item menu. Scroll down and select Icon from the list, and then choose the font and size you wish from the pick lists.

Backup Ready, Backup Set ...

When you run the Win95 Backup applet, it will create a Full System Backup file called BACKUP.SET for you and will gently suggest you use it. Take this advice: If you back up using BACKUP.SET, you'll be saving not only the files on your system, but also the associations, hidden system settings and other Registry arcana that might not otherwise get backed up. This means you could restore your system from the BACKUP.SET tapes, and get it back exactly to where it was the moment you backed it up.

More Tips!

You can never be too rich, too thin or know too many Win95 tips. For a seemingly unlimited supply of the best tips, visit the WinMag Win95 Home Page ( Here you'll find all the tips ever printed in WINDOWS Magazine, a brand new Win95 tip of the day, plus mountains of Win95 breaking news, free software, great how-to information and much, much more!

Fast Dial-Up Networking

Place your Dial-Up Networking Folder and its contents on the Start menu as a cascading menu by adding a folder with this name: Dial Up Net.{992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD010CCC48}

[Note: This tip appeared in the April issue, but contained an error.]

Down and Dirty DOS

DOS applications and games can be extremely finicky about system configuration and which drivers are loaded. Win95 handles this by enabling you to give each DOS program a custom setup. Create a shortcut for your program, right-click on the shortcut and bring up Properties. Click on the Program tab, then the Advanced button. Click on MS-DOS Mode, then the "Specify a new MS-DOS configuration" radio button. Now type in whatever AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS commands your DOS program needs. Note that you can launch batch files from the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

Visit the Win95 Tip of the Day Web site at Got a hot tip? Send it to or Mike Elgan, WINDOWS Magazine, One Jericho Plaza, Jericho, NY 11753.
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