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  PC-Net's PC News - February, 1999
 
Don Watkins

Tips You Need: Windows 98 and Internet Explorer

By Don Watkins

 
 
 

 

Let me start with a disclaimer. I liked personal computers from the start because of the personal part. After working with mainframe systems--where there was only one way to do things--I found that PCs were much more flexible. Personal computers allow people to set up computers, within limits, to match a way of working that makes sense to them. While you can look at the term "personal" many different ways, it's the relative flexibility of PCs that appeals to me.

So when I talk about what works for me, don't assume it will work for you. I encourage you to try those tips that appeal to you, but if they don't match the way you work, then discard them. We all have a different approach on how we use computers. PCs give us the flexibility to accommodate those different approaches.

With that out of the way, here are the tips and tricks that help me most.

Windows 98
1. Defragment your drives with a check in the box for "Rearrange program files so my programs start faster." Your applications will start faster using this option. Access this feature in the Windows 98 Defrag program by clicking the settings button and selecting that option.

2. Use the Alt-Tab key combination to switch between open applications/windows.

3. Don't keep too many applications open at once. Open only what you need, as open applications consume resources.

4. To open a file with an association different from the application you want to open it with, select the file with a single left-click, then hold the shift key and right-click the file. Select the "Open with" option and you can select the application you need.

5. To use long file names in an MS-DOS box or an old Windows program, simply put quotation marks around the long file name. For example: cd "program files."

6. To copy a file from one folder to another, (for example, you want to keep a copy of a specific file in an archive folder), hold down the Ctrl key while you drag and drop the file to the new location.

7. To delete a file rather than send it to the Recycle Bin, hold down the shift key when you delete it.

8. If you get hung up and Ctrl-Alt-Delete does not respond, press Ctrl-Esc. This may bring up the start menu where you can shut down/restart the system.

9. Turn off delete confirmation for files moved to the recycle bin by right clicking the recycle bin/properties and unchecking the "display delete confirmation" box.

10. Keep your start menu trim. Each time you install a new application, it will likely create its own subfolder even though each group will contain only one or two necessary icons. It is very useful to keep only a few active groups, and move new icons into one of these. Window 98 lets you delete items from the start menu by right-clicking on them and selecting delete. If you turn off "delete confirmation prompting of the recycle bin," you can delete items more easily as the start menu stays open after each delete.

For instance, you might arrange start menu folders as follows:

Applications - Word Processing, spreadsheet, database
Communications - Internet programs and utilities
Games - Entertainment programs
Graphics and Sound - Multimedia files/programs
Main and Accessories - Windows applications and similar programs
CD-ROM - CD-ROM-related software.
System Tools - Windows tools and third-party utilities (Norton, and so on)

Of course, these are only suggestions. Remember, it's a personal computer. Set it up the way that makes sense to you.

Internet Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts
11. Rather than use the mouse, you can use keystrokes. It takes a while to learn them all, but once learned, the productivity improvement you get from not having to jump back and forth from the mouse to the keyboard can be significant.

Alt+D Jumps to the Address Bar.
Alt+Left Arrow Back.
Alt+Right Arrow Forward.
Backspace Back, or up one level when using folders.
Ctrl+D Add the current page to your favorites.
Ctrl+F Brings up the "Find on this page" dialogue box.
Ctrl+N Open a new window.
Ctrl+O Bring up the "Open" dialogue box.
Ctrl+P Bring up the "Print" dialogue box.
Ctrl+R Refreshes current page.
Ctrl+S Save the current page.
Ctrl+Shift+Tab Move backwards among frames.
Ctrl+Tab Move forwards among frames.
F4 Displays the Address Bar history.
F5 Refreshes current page.
F6 Jumps to the Address Bar.
F11 Toggles Full Screen mode.
Page Down Scrolls down, one page at a time.
Page Up Scrolls up, one page at a time.
Space Scrolls down, one page at a time (I especially like this one)

12. Find more keyboard shortcuts for Internet Explorer by going to the Help menu, choosing Contents and Index, and then looking in the Accessibility section.

These are just a start. There are thousands of other tips and tricks for Windows and other applications, but I find these have ended up saving me time and effort.

 

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