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11/96 WinTips

Win95 Tips of the Month

Add 'Edit' to HTML files

If you edit HTML files regularly, you can add an Edit function to the context menu of Web documents. Selecting that Edit option will launch your favorite HTML authoring tool and load the file you want to edit. To set it up, go to Windows Explorer. Select Options from the View menu and click on the File Types tab. Select Internet Document from the list, then click on the Edit button. Click on the New button, type Edit in the Action box, click on the Browse button and select your favorite HTML authoring tool. Click on OK, then on OK again, then on OK one more time.

Faster Backup

Win95 shipped with a backup utility that wasn't quite ready for prime time. Fortunately, Microsoft now offers a free update that fixes several known bugs in the original utility. It's faster, too. Download it from the WinMag Free Win95 Software page at

Faster Mail

And likewise with the Exchange client. Microsoft fixed bugs, improved speed and added an Internet mail service. You can get it, too, at the Free Win95 Software page.

Faster Web Shortcuts

The current versions of both Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer create shortcuts on your Desktop to the current page when you right-click on the page and select Internet Shortcut.

Farhang Payvar via the Internet

Program Group Therapy

When you install Win95 over Windows 3.x, a utility called GRPCONV.EXE (located in your WINDOWS folder) converts all your Program Manager program groups into cascading menus on your Start menu. You can use this utility to restore the default configuration of cascading menus by launching Start/Run, then typing GRPCONV /S and clicking on OK. You can also manually convert Win 3.x program groups by typing GRPCONV /M, picking the program group files and clicking on Open.

Give Your Hands a Hand

When you type URLs in Navigator or Internet Explorer, just start with www. and your browser will automatically fill in the http:// part.

Pushpa Ananth via the Internet

Put Your .PST On a Diet

The Exchange client that comes with Win95 has a bug that causes the .PST file, which holds all your Exchange folders and messages, to become bloated beyond belief. (Note that this doesn't happen if you've set up Exchange to wipe out all messages in your Deleted Items folder when you log out.) Fortunately, Microsoft built in a crash diet. Just select Services from the Tools menu, click on Personal Folders, then on Properties and then on Compact Now.

Browsing via Keystrokes

Most people mouse their way through the Web, but keyboard surfing is faster. In Navigator 3.0 or Internet Explorer 3.0, the Tab key takes you from link to link (even within image maps); pressing Enter is like clicking on the link. Ctrl+D puts the current page in Bookmarks or Favorites.

Tell Your Apps Where to Go

Here's how to tell any application where to look for documents and where to save them by default: Find the shortcut to the app on your Desktop or Start menu (for the Start menu shortcuts, right-click on the Start button and select open, then drill your way to the shortcut). Right-click on the shortcut and select Properties. Click on the Shortcut tab. Now type the path to the folder of your choice in the Start In box.

Browser as a Shell?

No doubt you've heard about the next version of Microsoft Internet Explorer and how it's fully integrated into the Windows shell (if you haven't read all about it, you can do so at If you just can't wait to surf your Desktop with a browser, just type a local path into the Address box of the current version of Internet Explorer (version 3.0). Your files and folders will pop up in the browser as if it were Windows Explorer. Note that you can add folders on your Desktop and the LAN to your Favorites folder, create shortcuts and even add local folders to your Links toolbar.

Got a hot tip? Send it to or Mike Elgan, WINDOWS Magazine, One Jericho Plaza, Jericho, NY 11753.

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