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When What's New Is Old

Some applications add themselves to the Context menu's cascading New menu that appears when you right-click on the Desktop or within a folder. You may find that even after you've deleted a particular application, it stays on the New menu. If you want to remove it, launch My Computer, select Options from the View menu and click on the File Types tab. Find the offending application on the list, select it and click on the Remove button. Click on Yes when it asks for confirmation.

Stuff Your Start Menu

When you "add a folder" to your Start menu by dragging and dropping it onto the Start button, you're really just adding a shortcut to the folder. It's usually better to put the actual folder there instead of a shortcut. The Start menu is just a special folder in the Windows folder called, unsurprisingly, "Start Menu." If you put folders that contain your documents into this folder, you gain three advantages. First, what you see on the Start menu is always correct; delete a folder, for example, and it disappears from the Start menu as well, while a shortcut would remain. Second, actual folders appear on the Start menu as cascading menu items, whereas shortcuts to folders just open the folder on your Desktop when selected. And finally, the Start menu is always available, even if your Desktop is packed with clutter.

Win Tunnel

Tunneling enables remote users to use the Internet as a secure "virtual private network." This feature has been available in NT for a while, and now Microsoft has a version for Windows 95. Download Microsoft's point-to-point tunneling protocol utility at the WINDOWS Magazine site: http://www.winmag.com/win95/software.htm.

Explorer Function Key: F4

If you're a killer keyboard commando-we're guessing that you are-you should know the three function keys that let you rip through Windows Explorer. The first (you'll find two others in the next two tips) is F4. This function key opens the Address drop-down menu and highlights it so you can quickly use your arrow keys to navigate local or network drives, plus My Computer and Desktop folders.

Explorer Function Key: F5

When you're in Explorer (either dual- or single-pane view), press the F5 key to refresh the contents.

Explorer Function Key: F6

The F6 function key lets you quickly toggle between Explorer's left and right pane and the Address box.

Know Your File Types

Power users, it's time to get really familiar with your File Types dialog. This is where you can turbocharge Windows and customize the way it works for you. Launch My Computer, select Options from the View menu and click on the File Types tab. Scroll down the list of file types, highlight a file that you use a lot (an HTM file, text file or e-mail file, for example) and click on the Edit button. In the dialog box that comes up, you can change the icon for that file type, add extensions of the same file type, put items on the Context menu, enable QuickView and much more.

Windows Magazine, October 1997, page 92.

[ Go to October 1997 Table of Contents ]