If your Recycle
Bin prompts you with the Are You Sure? message
whenever you put something in it -- even after you've
unchecked the "Display delete confirmation
dialog box" option in its Properties
screen -- here's a fix: Place a shortcut to the
Recycle Bin in your C:\WINDOWS\SENDTO folder.
To send something to the Recycle Bin without receiving
the warning, just right-click on the file or folder
and choose Send To/Recycle Bin.
Route To Documents
Add a folder to
the Start menu that holds all the documents you use
frequently. Right-click on the Start button and
choose Open. Then right-click on the folder
background, choose New/Folder and give the new
folder a name, like Hot Docs. For permanent
documents in other folders, drag and drop shortcuts
into the new folder. Or just copy or create new
documents right in the Hot Docs folder. Either way,
all you'll have to do is click on Start and open the
Hot Docs folder to access your most important files.
Shortcuts for ToggleKeys
In our last tip,
we showed you how to turn on ToggleKeys, so that
you'll hear a tone whenever you press the Caps Lock or
Num Lock key: Open the Control Panel,
double-click Accessibility Options and, on the Keyboard
tab, select Use ToggleKeys.
Want to be able to turn ToggleKeys on and off from
your keyboard? After following the steps above, click
the Settings button next to the Use
ToggleKeys setting. Select Use Shortcut and
click OK twice. The next time you want to silence
ToggleKeys -- for example, if the person working next
to you needs a little peace and quiet -- hold down the
Num Lock key for five seconds. You'll
hear a tone to indicate ToggleKeys has been turned
off. To turn this feature back on, hold down Num
Lock for five seconds, then click OK to
close the ToggleKeys dialog box.
Sound When Caps Lock/Num Lock Are Pressed
Do you want your
Caps Lock and Num Lock keys to play a sound when you
press them, so you don't suddenly find yourself typING
IN ALL CAPS or typing numbers instead of paging up and
down? Then call upon ToggleKeys.
Open the Control Panel and double-click Accessibility
Options. On the Keyboard tab, select Use
ToggleKeys, then click OK. From now on, pressing
Caps Lock or Num Lock (or Scroll Lock) plays one of
two sounds (depending on whether you're turning the
button on or off).
(Note: If you don't see Accessibility
Options in your Control Panel, you need to
install it using your Windows 98 installation disk.
Inside the Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove
Programs. Click the Windows Setup tab and,
under Components, select Accessibility.
Click the Details button, select Accessibility
Tools, click OK twice, and so on.)
In our next tip, we'll tell you about a keyboard
shortcut for turning ToggleKeys on and off.
SCSI Devices Without Restarting
such as scanners and tape backup devices often require
you to reboot your system before using them. But
sometimes you can force Win9x to recognize such
devices right after you plug them in. Right-click on My
Computer and choose Properties. Click on
the Device Manager tab, make sure the Computer
entry is highlighted and click on the Refresh
button. The device should appear under its appropriate
heading in Device Manager.
Helps With Data Backups
Reader J. Emler
"I don't think Windows Briefcase gets the
attention it deserves, so I would like to share my use
for it. I have a CD rewriter that I use to back up
data files. I use Briefcase to make sure the files are
kept up to date.
"Every directory that I want to back up to CD has
a duplicate copy in a briefcase on a rewriteable CD
(that I leave in the drive). I have shortcuts to each
briefcase in a desktop folder. At the end of the day,
I open the folder and double-click each shortcut. The
corresponding briefcase opens up and tells me if it
needs updating. Very handy! I never have to worry
about whether or not I remembered to back up a data
Known Keyboard Command #2
To restore the
default column widths in the Details view of any
folder window and many program or applet windows,
press Ctrl and the plus sign (+) key on the numeric
Known Keyboard Command #1
To expand all
the subfolders of a selected drive in Windows
Explorer, press the asterisk (*) key on the numeric
keypad (this could take a while if the directory has
lots of folders in it). But watch out-there's no easy
way to collapse them again.
Do you find that
no matter where you place your Taskbar (on any side of
the screen), it's in the way? If desktop real estate
is at a premium, keep this bar out of sight entirely
until you need it.
Select Start, Settings, Taskbar & Start Menu.
Right-click a blank area of the Taskbar and select Properties.
On the Taskbar Options tab, select Auto-hide,
then click OK. Click anywhere on your desktop and
watch as the Taskbar shrinks from view. If and when
you need the Taskbar, hold your mouse pointer over the
side of the screen where it's hiding (you'll be able
to see its edge), and the Taskbar rises to the
In a previous
tip, we mentioned that you can press Alt-Tab to
switch among open applications. Here's a quick review:
Press and hold down the Alt key as you
continually press Tab (or Shift-Tab, to
move in reverse) to rotate through all open windows
(represented by icons in a gray box). When the window
you want appears highlighted, release the Alt key.
If you find yourself frequently switching back and
forth between two windows in any given work session,
there's a shortcut you should know about: The last
window you switched to using the Alt-Tab method
is always the one that appears first in that gray box.
Point being? All you have to do is press Alt-Tab
once to switch to the other window. Press Alt-Tab
to switch back again, and so on. You don't even need
to look at the screen!
When you view a
folder's contents in an Explorer window, do you want
to be sure that you're seeing EVERYTHING inside? Open
any Explorer window, select View, Folder Options
and click the View tab. Under Advanced
Settings, select Show All Files (under
Hidden Files), if it isn't already selected, then
click OK. The next time you open any folder window,
Windows will reveal all.
(Note: Typically, "hidden" files are
so important that the developers opted to keep them
out of reach. In other words, don't mess with a hidden
file unless you really know what you're doing.)
Remembers File Selection
If you're in the
middle of selecting a number of files (for example,
holding down Ctrl as you click each file) and
someone interrupts you, don't fret that you'll have to
start the file selection process over again. As long
as you don't click inside that window (the one where
you were making the selection), Windows 98 will
remember the selection for you.
Just do what you have to do, and when you're ready to
get back to work, restore or switch back to the
"selection" window. Hold your mouse pointer
over any of the previously selected items, and the
entire selection reappears like magic.
(Note: This tip works only if you have your
desktop set to act like the Web -- in other words, you
can select a file by holding your mouse pointer over
Search Of A Help Topic
Can't seem to
find the Windows Help topic you need in the Index?
Maybe you and Microsoft just aren't on the same
wavelength in terms of how the topic should be listed.
Try searching by keyword instead.
Inside Windows Help (select Start, Help), click
the Search tab and type a keyword, such
as 'modem'. Click List Topics, and Windows will
display all topics that include that word (not just in
their index listings, but in the topics themselves).
Still can't find the answer you're looking for?
Chances are it isn't in Windows Help.
navigating your way through Windows Help and come
across a fairly long topic, chances are you'll want to
expand that window to a full-screen view. Then, you
can view as much of that topic as possible at once and
avoid all that unnecessary scrolling.
But wait. Want a
true full-screen view of that topic? Before maximizing
the Help window, click the Hide button (in the
upper-left corner). The entire left pane, including
the Contents, Index, and Search tabs,
disappears. Maximize that window now, and Help extends
from one edge of the screen to the other.
Two tips ago, we
pointed out that each button in the Windows 98
Calculator applet (Standard or Scientific view) has a
keyboard equivalent. To view this equivalent,
right-click any button and click the What's This
button. What we forgot to mention is that you can
print a list of all Calculator keyboard equivalents to
use as a reference (at least until you commit them all
Open Calculator and select Help, Help Topics.
On the Contents tab, select Tips And Tricks,
then select Use Keyboard Equivalents Of Calculator
buttons. Inside the Calculator Help window, select
Options, Print, and with Print The
Current Page selected, click OK. Adjust
your printer options, if necessary, click OK one more
time, and there's your list.
(And just by the way, you can use this command -- Options,
Print to print any Windows 98 Help topic.)
Memories . . .
Just complete a
calculation (in the Windows 98 Calculator), the result
of which you'd like to insert into another? Don't
waste time writing it down. Store it in memory, so you
can insert it into the next equation at the click of a
With the number you'd like to store in memory
displayed in Calculator, click the MS button. (An M
appears in the gray box above all the 'M' buttons.)
Now go ahead with the other calculation, and when you
need to insert the stored number, press the MR button.
(Tips-in-a-tip: To clear the number in memory, press
the MC button. Or, press MS to overwrite the number in
memory with the currently displayed number. To add the
currently displayed number to the one in memory, press
the M+ button, then press MR to display the result.)
School Math Refresher
In our last tip,
we showed you how to transform a seemingly simple
calculator into a scientific tool: Select Start,
Accessories, Calculator; then select View,
Scientific. Not sure what each of these new
buttons does? All you have to do is ask. Right-click
any button and click What's This to display a
description of that button.
(Tip-in-a-tip: Did you know you can navigate the
Calculator without any help from the mouse? Right-click
any button, select What's This, and below its
description, you'll see a keyboard equivalent.)
When you need to
do some fancy calculations, do you write off the
Windows 98 Calculator in favor of a more advanced
method (like that old pocket model in your desk
drawer)? Actually, Calculator packs a lot more punch
than you'd think.
-- select Start, Programs, Accessories, Calculator --
and select View, Scientific.
Classic, Or In Between?
In our last tip, we showed
you an easy way to switch between single- and
double-click icons: Open an Explorer window; select View,
Folder Options; and select Web style
(for single-click icons) or Classic style. We
also pointed out that there are other settings that go
along with the Web style or Classic style desktop. For
example, choosing Web style places an underline under
each icon title. If you want to combine settings from
both of these desktop styles, select the third option
under Windows Desktop Update, Custom, Based
On The Settings You Choose; then click the
You'll now see the Custom Settings dialog box,
where you can pick and choose your settings. For
example, if you've selected the Web style desktop, but
don't want all your icon titles underlined, select Underline
Titles Only When I Point At Them. Select any other
settings, as desired, click OK, then click Close.
Or Double Click?
Do you prefer to activate
your icons with a single-click, like a Web page link,
or with a double-click, as you've always done?
Regardless of your preference, Windows 98 makes it
easy to switch back and forth.
Open any Explorer window (single- or double-paned),
select View, Folder Options and take a
look at the options under Windows Desktop Update.
Select Web Style if you prefer the single-click
approach. Or, to stick with the classic double-click,
choose Classic Style. Click OK, and Windows
applies your choice immediately.
There are other settings that go along with the Web
style or Classic style desktop. For example, choosing
Web style places an underline under each icon title.
In our next tip, we'll show you how to combine
settings from both of these desktop styles....
This is an oldie but goodie.
Control Panel is a frequently used folder in Windows,
but Microsoft hasn't made it as easy to access as it
should have (well, they do in Windows 2000). But in
about 30 seconds, you can make Control Panel cascade
from your Start menu simply and easily. That means
you'll be able to open Add/Remove Programs, for
example, without having to open or later close the
Control Panel folder. And with this tip, even if
programs add Control Panel applets, they'll show up
automatically in the cascading menu. Or another way to
say that is that it updates dynamically.
This is also very easy to set
up. Leave this tip on the screen to save time.
Highlight the whole line
below (but not the trailing blank space) and then
press Ctrl+C to copy it.
Right-click the Start
button and choose Open.
Right-click anywhere on the
background area in the START MENU folder and choose
New/Folder. Highlight the New Folder label, and
press Ctrl+V to paste the long name you copied.
Press Enter. Open the Start
menu to see the new cascading Control Panel. Another
great way to access frequently used Control Panels
is to just make shortcuts of individual applets on
Start, your Desktop or wherever you need them.
An interesting side note:
Windows 95 users can copy and paste the special
Control Panel filename from the TIPS.TXT file found in
their WINDOWS folders. Microsoft removed this tip from
the Windows 98 TIPS.TXT file for unknown reasons. I've
never, ever heard of this one causing a problem. It
works on Win95, Win98 and SE, NT4 and Win2000.
the Start Menu
June 1, 2000
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.