[ Go to 2,001 Tips Table of Contents ]|
Pack Your Briefcase Quickly!
Choose the files or folders you want to put in your Briefcase, right-click on one of them and select Send To/Briefcase.
Running with the Pack
If you haven't done so already, download the Win95 Service Pack (http://www.winmag.com/win95/software.htm). Posted in late February, the Service Pack contains bug fixes, new device drivers and other goodies that bring your copy of Win95 fully up to date. And it's free.
Find Your Way Back
From the View menu of any open folder, select Toolbar to bring up the folder toolbar. The button on the left is the Up One Level button. Click on the button repeatedly to move toward the root.
Change Your Name
Press F2 to change the name of a selected file or folder.
You can double-click on the mini icon in the upper-left corner of an application to make a quick exit.
CoolSwitching is Cool
Press Alt+Tab to bring up the CoolSwitch box. By holding down the Alt key and repeatedly pressing the Tab key, you can move through your running applications. When you let go, the currently selected item will come to the foreground.
Find Your Path, Grasshopper
To see the path of a folder or file, right-click on it and select Properties. Hold your mouse pointer over whatever is shown in the Location field. A tool tip will pop up with the DOS path.
Fast Screen Savers
To launch your favorite screen saver without navigating dialog boxes, drag and drop your screen saver files from the Windows/System folder (they're the ones with the SCR extensions) using your right mouse button and make shortcuts for them on the desktop. In the future, whenever you want to launch your favorite screen saver, all you have to do is double-click on its file on your desktop.
Make a Quick Escape
By pressing the Esc key, you can quickly close any open dialog box.
Make Good Time
Double-click on the time in the Taskbar tray to bring up the Data/Time Properties dialog. From there you can change your system's time and date settings.
Customize Startup Screens
LOGO.SYS is the "wait" screen you see when you boot Win95, LOGOW.SYS is the "wait" screen you see after you shut down Win95, and LOGOS.SYS is the "It's now safe to turn off your computer" screen. Although they have a SYS extension, these files are standard bitmaps you can modify with the Paint applet for custom start-up and shutdown screens.
You can select files or folders "surgically" by pressing and holding the Ctrl key as you click. You'll select the files or folders you click on without selecting those between. Click on a file or folder once and it's selected. Click on it again and it's de-selected.
By pressing and holding the Shift key while you click on two files or folders, you select the files or folders plus all those between the two.
Cycle Through Apps
Press Alt+Esc to move from one open application or folder to the next.
Use Your Keyboard as a Mouse
Win95 comes with a few options designed to make it more accessible to handicapped users. One option, MouseKeys, lets you use your numeric keypad to move your mouse pointer. This is useful if you have a notebook on which you don't want to install a mouse, or if you're recovering from a repetitive stress injury caused by the use of your mouse. Double-click on Control Panel's Accessibility Options icon, click on the Mouse tab and check the Use MouseKeys box.
Watch Your Download
If you're using Win95-compliant communications software, double-click on the modem icon in your Taskbar's "Tray" (the indented area where the time is displayed) while you're online. This will show you your total connect time and file download status.
Dialog Box Navigation
Move from one item to the next in a dialog box by pressing the Tab key.
Dialog Box Navigation, Part II
In dialog boxes with multiple tabs, move from one tab to the next by pressing Crtl+Tab.
Dialog Box Navigation, Part III
Select the highlighted item by pressing the Spacebar.
Make Icons from Bitmaps
If you have Microsoft Plus, you can create an icon from any bitmap image. Open Control Panel and double-click on Display. Select the Plus Tab, then select the icon you want to change. Press Change Icon, then press Browse. Find a bitmap, click on Open, and then on OK for both dialog boxes.
Share Folders Secretly
You can share folders on a network without making them visible to others by adding a dollar sign ($) to the end of the folder name. Just tell those you'd like to share them with the names of the folders, and they can type them in.
I Need My Space
To find out how much hard disk space you have, double-click on the My Computer icon, right-click on the C: drive icon and select Properties. This dialog will show you how much available storage you have.
Close All Apps Fast
Here's a quick trick to close all your running programs: Select Shutdown from the Start menu and pick the "Close all programs and log on as a different user?" option. Then log back on as the same user.
Take Charge of Your Battery
On your portable Win95 PC, hold the mouse pointer over the battery (or, if it's plugged in, the plug) icon in your Taskbar. It'll tell you how much of a charge is left in your battery.
Find Out What's What
If you hold the mouse pointer over minimized folders or Win95 applications on your task bar, a ToolTip will pop up and give you the folder or application, along with document names.
Right-click on the CD-ROM icon in My Computer and select Eject from the context menu to eject the CD in the drive (or, if the drive is open the eject menu item will close it).
What Was the Question?
Some Win95 dialog boxes have a question mark button next to the close button in the upper right-hand corner. Click on it and your mouse pointer gains a question mark. Click on anything in the dialog box, and a description and explanation of the item pops up.
Double-click Your Docs Away
Here's how to blast the contents of the Documents cascading menu from your Start menu (for those of you who know how to create batch files). Create a batch file that deletes all files in the C:/WINDOWS/RECENT folder. Now create a shortcut on the desktop to the batch file (make sure you tell the shortcut to close on exit). Double-clicking on the shortcut in the future will clear your Documents menu.
Return to the Desktop
Here's a tip for those of you who prefer the keyboard. Sometimes you'd like to select items on the desktop, but the desktop isn't the currently selected "folder." With your desktop visible, Press Ctrl+Esc to bring up the Start menu, hit Esc, then Shift+Tab. Now your arrow keys will let you navigate items on the desktop.
Top to Bottom Folder Tip
If you've got a folder window open and want to get to the bottom of it, don't use the scroll bar. Just press Ctrl+End. And of course, if you're at the bottom or somewhere in the middle of a folder window and want to return to the top, press Ctrl+Home.
We sometimes hear complaints from longtime Windows 3.1x users about Explorer's inability to open multiple windows. Solve the problem by opening two instances of Explorer.
Choose How They Run
If you want applications to run minimized, maximized or in a normal window, create a shortcut for the app, right-click on the shortcut icon, select Properties from the context menu, click on the Shortcut tab and make your selection in the Run item.
Clear Start Menu Clutter
Empty the contents of the Documents item on your Start menu by selecting Start/Settings/Taskbar and clicking on the Start Menu Programs tab. Under Documents menu, click on the Clear button.
Fun with Run
You can drag documents and folders into the Run dialog. Windows will type the path for you. You can then modify and launch with your changes.
Fun with Run, Part II
Sometimes it's hard to tell what a document's DOS file extension is (Win95 does a good job hiding that information from you). An easy way to find out is to drag the file to the Run command dialog as described above. The entire path-including the file extension-will be revealed.
Fun with Run, Part III
The four most recently launched Run commands are still available by clicking on the down arrow in the Run dialog or by using the down-arrow key.
Fun with Run, Part IV
You can type the UNC path to a folder on the server (if you're on a network, of course) into the Run command line.
Do the Right Thing
Admit it. In your haste and excitement, you didn't make a startup disk when you installed Win95. Don't worry. You can still redeem yourself. Open the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel item and click on the Startup Disk tab. Then just put a diskette in your diskette drive and click on the Create Disk button.
DriveSpace Isn't Just for Hard Drives
Use DriveSpace for diskettes. Just remember if you need to format them in the future, you must do so from the DriveSpace utility.
Whither ProgMan, FileMan?
Program Manager and File Manager are part of Win95, and they work in Win95 exactly as they did in the previous versions of Windows. Both sport unique advantages. For example, File Manager is much faster than Explorer. If you miss Program Manager and File Manager, you can find PROGMAN.EXE and WINFILE.EXE in the WINDOWS folder and create shortcuts to them on your desktop.
Free Phone Tips
Microsoft offers free tips and information by phone: 800-936-4200.
Find the Secret Win95 Tips File
In your WINDOWS folder, you'll find a text file called TIPS.TXT
full of tips and tricks written by the Microsoft's Windows 95