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Some handy Windows tips

Well, as this site would otherwise be a bit of a let-down, here are a few really fantastic Windows tips. I’ve included some already in my "eAnswers" articles, but here are a few extra to use!

To get to the Windows Registry simply go to Start > Run… and type regedit. In Vista, you will need to run cmd first as you need admin privileges!

To get rid of awkward start-up programs you can either uninstall them via Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs, or you can type msconfig into Start > Run…, head to the Startup tabs and simply uncheck those you want to get rid of.

To create a self-extracting zip you can either pay for Winzip, or you can go to Start > Run… and type IEXPRESS.EXE. A wizard will come up and allow you to neatly package files into that.

Several Windows button shortcuts can be really handy and save a lot of time. For instance, Winkey + D minimizes all windows to show the desktop, while Winkey + Shift + M maximizes them back up again. Winkey + E will bring up My Computer and Winkey + R will set off the Run… dialogue. You can even lock your keyboard with Winkey + L.

Want to write Macros in Word/Excel? Maybe you can’t find a button and want to program it in VBA. Simply press Alt + F11 to open up the VBA editor. Once you’ve written your code, right-click the task bar and select Tile Horizontally. You can then select the first line of code, and press F8 to move through each line of code and watch as the process unfolds (and identify bugs!). Once you’re done, head to Tools > Macro > Macros… and assign it a button shortcut (if you’re using Office 2007, you can go further and even create your own custom ribbons). Or, if you call it Sub Auto_Open() it’ll open when your document/spreadsheet starts!

To reveal Administrative Tools right-click All programs and select Properties. Click on the Advanced tab and you’ll see a myriad of hidden options from displaying the control panel as a menu/folder to displaying Administrative Tools. If you scroll down the box you’ll find that Administrative Tools is right down the bottom. Click the radio button next to Display on the All Programs Menu. Within this you’ll find Computer Management, which is ridiculously useful as it contains inbuilt tools for device management, hard disk partitioning/formatting/backup and even allow you to schedule various administrative tasks which would be unavailable otherwise!

That’s your lot today, but I’ll be adding some more in future!