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2,001 Tips
Windows 3.x

When You're Ready to Convert

To convert documents of all types to PostScript format, select the PostScript printer driver from Control Panel, and set the printer connection to FILE: . Then, from within an application, print a file to the PostScript printer and enter the name of the PostScript output file.

No Confirmation Necessary

To turn off File Manager's confirmation messages for operations such as File Delete and Directory Delete, choose Options/Confirmation and clear the desired check boxes.

Customize Your Logo

To change the logo, create an RLE file (using a graphics utility package). Make sure you set your VGA screen resolution at no more than 640x480 and your colors at 16 or fewer. The file should be no more than 64KB. Name the file something like MYLOGO.RLE, and type the following in your system subdirectory: copy win.cnf/B+vgalogo.lgo/B+mylogo.rle/B win.com. If you use CGA or EGA, limit the RLE file to the appropriate resolution and replace the vgalogo above with cgalogo or egalogo.

Stunted Growth

In order to limit the size of your temporary swap file, add a line such as MinUserÐDiskSpace=4096 to the [386Enh] section of the SYSTEM.INI file. Although this doesn't actually set the size of the swap file, this additional line limits the file's growth so that at least 4MB of disk space remains available for use by your applications.


Change the icon label fonts in Program Manager by editing the [Desktop] section of WIN.INI. Edit or add lines with the name of the desired font and its size. For instance, if you want to use 10-point Century Schoolbook, edit the [Desktop] section with these lines: IconTitleFaceName=Century Schoolbook IconTitleSize=10

What's in a Name?

Rename a Program Manager group by first minimizing the group and clicking once on the minimized icon. Then, select File/Properties, enter the new name in both the description and the Group File fields, and click on OK.

Personalize ProgMan

Change Program Manager's window title by adding a Program Manager icon to your StartUp group. Windows won't start up a second copy of Program Manager, but will use the title you specify in File/Properties for the icon.

Kill the Messenger

Normally, Windows will warn you on startup if it can't connect to the network you've set up. To disable this warning, add the following line to the [Windows] section of WIN.INI: NetWarn=0

Hot, Hot, Hot

To assign a hotkey to Program Manager itself, just add it to your StartUp group (it won't start a second copy), and assign it a hotkey.

Why Wait?

You can save Program Manager settings without exiting Windows by pressing Alt+Shift+F4 any time you're in Program Manager or holding down the Shift key while you double-click on Program Manager's close box.

Stressful Typing

If you use a lot of accented characters, select Control Panel/English (International) keyboard. This makes a key such as the quote key into a "dead" key, so pressing "~" followed by n would generate the - character. To get the original meaning of a dead key, press that key and follow it with a space.

Sizable Help

To change the default size of the WinHelp window, edit the following line in the [Windows Help] section of WIN.INI: M_WindowPosition=[0,0,640,480,0]

This Is a Recording

To record more than 60 seconds of sound, follow this procedure: Record 60 seconds (Recorder will stop). Immediately record again for 60 seconds. Repeat as many times as necessary.

Convert Keyword Colors

You can change the keyword colors in your Windows Help files by adding some lines to the [Windows Help] section of WIN.INI. The colors are in RGB format. The following lines will set the jump color to dark blue and the pop-up color to dark magenta: JumpColor=0 0 128 PopupColor=128 0 128 IFJumpColor=0 0 192 IFPopupColor=192 0 192. The IF colors are for interfile jumps or popups.

More Port Support

If you have more than four comm ports on your system, you can edit SYSTEM.INI to allow support for all your comm ports. In the [386Enh] section, find the setting that reads MaxCOMPort=4 and change the 4 to the number of comm ports you have.

Ditch Old Drivers

To remove printer drivers you're no longer using, choose Control Panel/Printers, select the printers you don't use and choose Remove. Do the same thing in Control Panel/Drivers. This just deletes the references to the files. To delete the actual files, you'll have to find out their filenames and delete them from File Manager or from the DOS command.

Fast Getaways

You probably don't change your layout every day, so don't use the Save Settings option when you exit. When you do want to record a new layout, hold down the Shift key and select Exit Windows from Program Manager/File. This forces a rewrite of your group layout without the need to exit Windows.

Always "ProgMan"

You can CoolSwitch (press Alt+Tab to switch to a running application) to Program Manager while recording a macro so that it doesn't record the keystrokes; instead, it records "open ProgMan." This way, you can guarantee that ProgMan will come up during macro playback, no matter what applications are running.


If one of your program groups disappears, you can reinstall it. With all your other program groups minimized, select New from the File menu in Program Manager. Make sure the program group radio button is selected in the New Program Object dialog box. Click on OK. Type the name of the new program group in the Description box of the Program Group Properties dialog box. Anything you type here will appear under the icon. Click on OK and the new program group will appear.

A Font Farewell

If you're still hurting for disk space, get rid of fonts you don't use. Select Control Panel/Fonts and select the names of the fonts you want to toss out. Make sure the "Delete font file from disk" option is checked, choose Remove and answer Yes when prompted.

Hard Drive Fitness Program

Here are five tips for keeping your hard drive trim. Practice them often:

  1. Delete any files that remain in the TEMP directory.
  2. Delete any files that start with the characters ~WOA. These are application swap files. Normally, Windows deletes these when you exit the apps, but if Windows terminates unexpectedly, or crashes, these files may remain.
  3. Likewise, delete any files that start with ~GRB. Windows creates these to save screen information before you switch out of a DOS app.
  4. Delete backup files you no longer need, especially if your applications generate these files for you automatically.
  5. Delete files you no longer use, such as accessories, help files, games and wallpaper files.

Minimize for Maximum Results

To change or adjust a program group (for example, Main) in Program Manager, the group must be minimized, then its icon selected in Program Manager. For instance, to delete an entire program group, minimize the group, then choose Delete from the File menu. If the group is not minimized, Program Manager assumes that you want to delete only the selected item in the group.

Pick a Printer

If you want to make a printer the default, it isn't enough to select the desired printer in the Control Panel Printer configuration and choose OK. You must also double-click on the desired driver, and then press Alt+D to make it the default driver.

Button Makeover

You can display only the buttons you want, in the order you want, by customizing File Manager's toolbar. Select Options/Customize Toolbar and add or remove whichever buttons you like. Move the Customize Toolbar dialog box so you can see File Manager's toolbar. When you add or remove a button you'll see the immediate effect. To relocate buttons on the toolbar, highlight a button in the window and use the two Move keys to move them around.

Foreign Characters

There are two ways to access foreign or accented characters. The first is to use the Character Map utility. Or use your word processor's equivalent: Insert/Symbol in Word, or Font/WP Characters in WordPerfect to insert the appropriate characters into your text.

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