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2,001 Tips
Windows 3.x

Old Reliable

If you're still holding out on Windows 95, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 is the next best thing. You don't have to be part of a workgroup to take advantage of its improved fast disk subsystem, File Manager, Schedule+, and other bells and whistles. And WFWG is still the best-behaved network client. What's more, its built-in peer-to-peer networking capability may be all you need for small-office file and printer sharing.

Resize on the Double

Double-click on any open window's title bar to maximize that window. Do it again to restore the window to its previous size.

Standard Is Speedier

Your system may run faster in standard mode because the memory requirements are lower than they are in 386 Enhanced mode. If you don't need DOS apps, or if you use only one nongraphical DOS app at a time, switch to Standard mode. To launch Windows in Standard mode, type win /s at the DOS prompt. Enhanced mode, used in 32-bit computers for DOS multitasking, gives DOS apps access to emulated expanded memory and enables you to run more programs simultaneously. To launch Windows in Enhanced mode, type win/3 at the DOS prompt.

What a Drag

To move a window around on your desktop, place the mouse pointer on its title bar, hold down the primary mouse button and drag the window to a new location.

Go for a Drive

Click on a File Manager drive icon, and the current active window shows the contents of the selected drive. Double-click and a new window opens. Select Window/Tile (either vertically or horizontally) to display both windows. This is a real time-saver when you need to transfer or copy files between drives or directories.

Skip Through ProgMan

Skip from one program group to another in Program Manager by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the Tab key. If you pass the group you want, hold down the Shift key as well to retrace your steps. If the group you selected is minimized, press the Enter key to open it.

Lasting Associations

Use File Manager's File/Associate to specify which file extensions belong with which apps. Enter a three-letter extension, then choose a program from the list or click on the Browse button to select an appropriate application. If you associate the extension XYZ with NOTEPAD.EXE, for instance, any time you double-click on a file with that extension, Notepad will launch and open the file.

Drop-Off Service

To open a document, drag its icon from File Manager and drop it on a minimized application icon, or drop it off in an open application window.

Print Speed

To print documents quickly, first double-click on Control Panel's Printers icon, and make sure Use Print Manager is checked. Switch to Program Manager and hold down the Shift key while double-clicking on the Print Manager icon to run it minimized. Drag the document's icon from File Manager and drop it on the Print Manager icon.

Reel in Wayward Windows

If an application window wanders outside the edge of the visible desktop, here's how to bring it back. Minimize any open windows, and either double-click on the open desktop or press Ctrl+Esc to open the Task List dialog box. Click on the Cascade or Tile button and the window will snap back into full view.

Applet Picking

Select an applet in an open group window by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the Tab key until the window is highlighted. Type the first letter of the applet name to highlight its icon title. If more than one applet name begins with the same letter, keep typing until the title you want is highlighted. Then press Enter to open the applet. Do the same in File Manager to highlight a directory or file.

Consult a Doctor

If you're plagued by General Protection Faults, try placing the DRWATSON.EXE utility in your StartUp group. The utility writes a DRWATSON.LOG file of important information whenever there's a GPF incident, and this may help you or tech support troubleshoot the problem. Because the log can grow over time, as new information is appended, it's okay if you delete it periodically. If the Doctor doesn't find an existing DRWATSON.LOG file, it will create a new one.

Applets Hopping

You can toggle up, down or sideways to an adjacent icon when an applet's icon title is highlighted by pressing the appropriate arrow key. If there's no adjacent icon, the key has no effect.

Group Therapy

If your Main, Accessories or Games group windows are messed up, select File/Run in Program Manager and type SETUP /P in the command line. The undocumented /P switch tells Setup to restore these groups to their original configuration, but it doesn't restore other groups, nor does it recover non-default icons in these three groups.

Abort Launch

To stop programs in your StartUp group from launching, hold down the Shift key after you type WIN at the DOS prompt. If you press the key before you type WIN, Windows will ignore it and launch the programs anyway.

Take It All In

Change File Manager's font type and point size to view as many files and file details as possible. Select Options/Font, then choose the font and point size you want. To get the most information on the screen without the aid of a magnifying glass, try a typeface called Small Fonts at a point size of 7. Follow these same steps to choose a larger point size or more readable type font if legibility is your primary concern.

Limited Launch

If you just want to bypass certain items in your StartUp group, open the StartUp group window and drag the appropriate icons into another window. To put them back in service, just drag the icons back into the StartUp group.

Feed Windows A Two-Course Launch

To bypass the StartUp group another way, make two copies of PROGMAN.INI and create two simple batch files to manage them. First, copy PROGMAN.INI to PROGMAN.BAK in case you make a mistake that prevents you from loading. Copy PROGMAN.INI again and call it PROGMAN.W. Delete the line that includes STARTUP.GRP under [Groups] in PROGMAN.INI. It'll look something like this: Group7=D:\WINDOWS\STARTUP.GRP. Save the resulting file as PROGMAN.O. Create two batch files in your WINDOWS directory using a word processor that can create a text-only file. WINO.BAT should look like this: COPY PROGMAN.O PROGMAN.INI WIN REM IF YOU ADDED A NEW PROGRAM GROUP, RE-EDIT FILES. Your WINW.BAT file looks the same, but copies the PROGMAN.W file over PROGMAN.INI. From now on, when you start up, type WINW if you want your StartUp group programs to launch and type WINO if you don't. If you add a new Program Manager group, re-edit the PROGMAN.W file and PROGMAN.O to include the new group (as the Rem phrase above indicates).

Track Down Your Modem

Can Windows see your modem? Terminal applet can tell you. Its icon is usually in the Accessories group, but you can also find it by selecting File/Run from Program Manager and typing TERMINAL. Virtually any Hayes-compatible modem should respond with an OK or a 0 (zero) when you type AT. If you don't get a response, your modem settings are probably to blame. Use Terminal to determine whether your modem is on COM1 or COM2 (go to Settings/Communications), then reset your communications program and try again.

Exit Gracefully

Don't touch that power switch until you close all open applications and then Windows itself. Windows may need to write some data to your hard disk as it exits, and if you turn the power off too soon, you may lose some of that data.

Keep It Tidy

To clear up clutter in File Manager, call up file details only as you need them. Select View/Name, and File Manager will display only filenames. To see a selected file's details and edit its attributes, press Alt+Enter and its Properties dialog box will pop up.

Start Smart

You can make Windows automatically open certain applications and files, open and run applications minimized, and make Program Manager active after start-up. To open an application automatically on start-up, drag and drop its icon into your StartUp group. To open and run an application minimized at start-up, click on the application's icon in the StartUp group. Select File/Properties from the main menu, check Run Minimized and click on OK. To open a specific file during start-up, drag the filename from File Manager and drop it onto the StartUp group window. Make Program Manager the active window after start-up by checking the Run Minimized box in the Program Item Properties of every program in your StartUp group.

Directories at Your Fingertips

Save time by keeping frequently used File Manager directories available but minimized. Resize the secondary window that actually contains the directory so there's room along the bottom. Double-click on the drive that contains the directory you frequently access. A second child window that displays the same directory opens over the first window. Point at the directory you want and click on the minimize button in the upper right corner of the child window. Do this for all the directories you regularly use.

Auto Opens

To open an application automatically on start-up, drag and drop its icon into your StartUp group.

Activate Program

Make Program Manager the active window after start-up by checking the Run Minimized box in the Program Item Properties of every program in your StartUp group.

As the File Opens

To open a specific file during start-up, drag the filename from File Manager and drop it onto the StartUp group window.

Get a No-Logo Start

To bypass the logo, start Windows with the command line: win :

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