Sep 282013

When we work with our clients we frequently see them backspacing over individual letters or characters one at a time to erase a word, phrase, or url in the browser address bar.  Stop doing that!

When text is selected (indicated by the blue highlight) just start typing what you want in its place or hit the backspace or delete key to delete it altogether.  There is just no need to backspace over each individual character.

Yes, it works like that on your iPhone and iPad as well.

select text then backspace or delete

Bonus Tip: Double-click to select a word, triple-click to select a paragraph, and CTRL+A selects a document.

 Posted by at 10:14 am
Apr 232013
go back to viewing folders alphabetically

Figure A

Windows 7 tips

View Folders alphabetically

If your My Documents or other folders are showing the most recently used folders first, and you want to go back to showing the folders alphabetically, just drop down the “Arrange by” arrow and select “Clear Changes”. (Figure A)


Making use of MRU (most recently used) file lists (awesome shortcut)

Pinning your most frequently used applications to the taskbar is helpful (1-click launch), but you can cut to the chase to access recently used files or folders by utilizing the jump lists in Windows 7.  These are the MRU file lists (jump lists) that you see when you right-click an application icon on your taskbar. (Figure B)  Slide your cursor up to the document or folder and left-click to launch the application and file at the same time.

If you want an item to always be available on your jump list, just move your cursor up to the item and a push-pin icon appears with the words “Pin to this list.”  (Figure C) Move your cursor over and click the push-pin icon and that item will always appear when you view the jump list.

You can pin a file or folder to your jump list for easy availability

You can clear an individual item from a list by right-clicking on the item and selecting “Remove from this list.”  Clearing an entire MRU list isn’t for the casual user, but you can clear all your MRU lists by following the procedure on this website.

 Posted by at 6:19 pm
Feb 032009

Update 7/16/2012:  Microsoft has extended support of Windows XP to 2014, which means patches to the operating system will be available for another couple of years.

Of course many businesses have long since migrated to Windows 7, which is a mature, stable, Operating System.

The latest word we have from our vendors is that Microsoft is extending the availability of XP until June of 2010.

Vista seems to have received a lot of bad press and the market pressure on Microsoft to continue to make XP available must have been significant.  For those that don’t run vertical market apps that might still be a bit wobbly on Vista, we think Vista is an excellent choice.  There is widespread support for it nowadays and device drivers are no longer the issue they once were. 


Jun 252008

Beginning with Vista, Microsoft started including a screen capture program which is nice.  I used to have to download an external program, which wasn’t that big a deal, it’s just nice that they included one for you. (Okay, so I’m easily pleased.)  You may not need it all that often, but it’s there when you do.  It’s called the Snipping Tool and the icon is under Programs->Accessories.Snipping Tool  Once you have captured an image you can even use a highlighter or pen tool to mark it up.

There is one small caveat about this program which I learned the hard way.  I was optimizing my desktop and went in to remove all the laptop components in Vista.  It wasn’t until a month or so later that I wanted to use the Snipping Tool and couldn’t find it anywhere.  It took some serious Google time to figure out where it went and how it had disappeared.  Why Microsoft put it in the Laptop tools is a mystery to me.  Go figure.

Jun 232008

Favorite LinksStarting with Windows Vista and continuing through today, Microsoft started allowing you to add a folder to your Favorite Links – such a time-saving feature.  I just love it.  When you have Windows Explorer open, just drag a folder or file to your Favorite Links section.  My Favorite Links section looks like this:

I’ve removed some standard items (Music) and added some of my own (Tools and _Websites).  If you work out of one or two folders regularly, it’s a huge time saver.

Jun 172008

The cut off date is June 30, 2008.  According to the Wall Street Journal online:

Just to be clear: Businesses that are already using XP won’t be forced to upgrade to Vista. And a Microsoft spokeswoman tells us that businesses that already use XP will be able to buy additional copies for the foreseeable future. Some authorized dealers will also be selling XP for businesses until the end of 2008. Nonetheless, the cut off is definitely intended to start pushing businesses to Vista.

Frankly, I really like Vista, but some of our clients run vertical market applications that have only been capable of running on Vista for a few months.  Since their businesses depend on these applications, reason enough to keep them on XP for the time being.

I’ll be blogging about some of my favorite Vista features in upcoming entries.

May 212008

I really like the Internet Explorer feature that allows you to add an additional home page.  This is great for the times when you want to temporarily bookmark a site.  No sense in adding it to your permanent list of bookmarks since you won’t need it in a few days or a couple of weeks.

To use this feature, just navigate to the page you want to temporarily add and click the “Home” drop down arrow.  Select “Add or Change Home Page . . .” and click the radio button “Add this webpage to your home page tabs”.  When you are finished with the page, just click the “Home” drop down arrow and go down to the “Remove” option to make your selection.

This capability was originally added to Internet Explorer version 7, and continues through today.

Apr 232008

People who have automatic Windows updates turned on for their computers will start receiving the Vista Service Pack 1 update today (providing you have Vista, of course). 

Out among the announcements was this little gem: “Even after today’s announcement, however, some Vista users may not see SP1 for weeks or even months because their PCs are using defective device drivers that Microsoft says may cause problems during an upgrade. It is blocking systems with those drivers from obtaining SP1 until the drivers themselves have been updated.”

No matter.  That’s one of the big reasons we don’t turn on automatic updates on our clients’ (or our) computers.  It’s usually wise to wait awhile after the release of a Service Pack for others to find the bugs and give Microsoft time to fix them before deployment.