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Windows 7 Tips and Tricks

Windows 7 Desktop Magic

desktop extremeIf your new to Windows 7 you may have missed some of the tips and tricks that could make your Windows experience even greater.

Just read on, to see how to make Windows 7 work for you.

If you already have a copy of Windows 7 you will have noticed that it does a lot to make window movement and resizing easier.

For example, you can “dock” a window to the left or right half of your computers screen by simply dragging it to the edge - you can drag the window to the top of the screen to maximize it - you can double-click the window bottom border to maximize it vertically with the same horizontal width.

Windows Keyboard KeyWhat you might not know is that all these actions are also available as keyboard shortcuts:

WinKey + Left Arrow and WinKey+Right Arrow for docking to left or right of monitor.

WinKey + Up Arrow and WinKey + Down Arrow for maximizing and restoring.

WinKey + Shift t + Up Arrow and WinKey + Shift+Down Arrow to maximize and restore the vertical size.

The side-by-side docking feature is particularly useful on widescreen monitors, which are now very popular purchases.

Moving the Taskbar Vertically

Verticle TaskbarAlmost every display sold these days is widescreen, whether you’re buying a notebook computer or a monitor for a desktop PC. While it might be great for watching DVD's, when you’re trying to get work done it can sometimes feel like you’re a little squeezed for vertical space.

To get more vertical usage try docking the taskbar to the left hand side of the screen. It takes a bit of getting used to but for widescreen displays it works well.

The Windows 7 taskbar feels almost as if it was designed with vertical mode as the default as the icons work well on the side of the screen and the keyboard shortcuts mentioned previously automatically switch from left/right arrows to up/down arrows, and so on. The net effect is that you wind up with a much better proportioned working space on a widescreen set up.

You might like to try this side menu, especially if you've got a laptop with a 1024 x 600 display. You’ll immediately appreciate the extra space for browsing the Internet.

To achieve this vertical display just unlock your taskbar by right clicking it and removing the tick against Lock the Taskbar. Now just drag the taskbar to the left side of the screen, release it and the put the tick back in Lock the Taskbar to secure it.

Get More Themed Wallpapers

If you’ve tried to change your desktop wallpaper, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a set of wallpapers there that match the local area you selected when you installed Windows. If you picked UK settings, you will see a set of background themes called United Kingdom, showing wonderful views of major attractions. In fact, there are several sets of themed wallpapers based on the language chosen when Windows 7 goes through its final set-up routines, but the others are in a hidden directory. To try these out simply browse to C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT and you’ll see a series of pictures under the Wallpaper directory for each country. Just double-click on the theme file in the Theme directory to display a rotation through all the pictures for that country. Double clicking will add the countries themed settings to your themes library and will activate it.To swap to another theme right click your desktop and choose Personalize.

Windows Themes In addition to the country specific wallpapers you can also right click your desktop, choose Personalize and click the link - Get more themes online. Here you will find tons of different themes to use.

Easily burn an ISO image to a blank disc

burn disc image You can right-click on any .ISO image and you’ll see a helpful little applet pop up that will enable you to burn the ISO image to a blank DVD or CD disc.

If you check “Verify disc after burning”, this applet will verify the ISO image burned correctly. However, choosing to verify a disc you burned will require additional time, so if you’re in a hurry you will probably want to make sure this option is not ticked.

Troubleshoot problems

If your Windows 7 computer starts behaving strangely click Control Panel and under the System and Security heading click Find and fix problems to access all the new troubleshooting packs. These are simple wizards that will resolve common problems, check your settings, clean up your system, check for performance problems and a whole lot more.

System Repair Disc

There are always those times when you’re in a really bad spot and you cannot get you PC to boot up properly. What you really want at this stage is something you can quickly use to get at a command prompt so you can properly troubleshoot the problem. Thankfully, Windows 7 now includes the ability to create a system repair disc, which is essentially a bootable version of a CD that just includes the command prompt and a suite of system tools. Just type “system repair disc” in the Start Menu search box, and you’ll be led to the Create a System Repair Disc utility.

Problem Steps Recorder

As the local PC expert you're probably very used to friends and family asking for help with their computer problems, yet they usually have no idea how to clearly describe what's going on. The new solution in Windows 7 is the Problem Steps Recorder.

Problem Steps Recorder

When any application starts misbehaving under Windows 7 then all your family or friends, need do is to click the Start Button and type PSR into the search programs and files box then press Enter. When the App pops up click Start Record. If they then work through whatever they were doing when the problem first appeared the Problem Steps Recorder will record every click and key press, take screen grabs and package everything up into a single zipped file when they're finished, ready for passing to you or even emailing to you. This little program is quick, easy and effective and will save you hours of troubleshooting time.

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