Windows 7 Tips (part 1 of 2)

With Windows 7 out for a couple of years, here is tyhe first batch of small but useful tips and applications (some of these also work with prior Windows versions):

To print a file without opening the program associated with it, right click on the file and select Print.

To run an application in elevated [administrator level] mode from the Start menu, right click on the program and select from the menu Run as administrator. For those within Windows Explorer or the taskbar programs, hold the Ctrl-Shift keys while clicking on the program. There are a few applications which need the elevation but don’t ask you for it when executing until it’s too late.

You can create libraries for various common files that you use. For example, if you are an engineer, you may want to create a library for your Autocad files. By doing so, They can be indexed separately. Even better, on a multiple Windows 7 network, others can access the files and index them as well for searches (if you choose to do so). When you delete the actual library (not the folder which contains the library), the files in that library stay. In reality, a library contains a link to the folder(s) in that library. Older programs may not be able to use libraries. To create a library, open Windows Explorer, right click on Libraries in the left column, choose New then Library, and give it a name. To add a folder, right click on the new library, choose properties, choose Include a folder and then find the folder.

You can create shortcuts to folders that you use quite often called Favorites. Unlike libraries, these can be indexed but only if part of a greater library. Unlike libraries, you may want to use favorites as a faster way to get to a folder. So instead of “drilling down” to c:\users\bob\my documents\autocad\2011\new york city\1275 broadway\revision\second revision, you can create a favorite that points to second revision. From Windows Explorer, click on second revision (if you call the favorite that) and you are there. To add a folder, open the folder in Windows Explorer and then right click on Favorites in the left column and select Add current location to Favorites.

Sometimes you need to jump to the command prompt in a folder (maybe faster to rename a bunch of files or extract the contents). To do so, hold down the Shift key and right click on the folder. In the menu choose Open command window here. Note that there are ways to permanently add it to the menu without using the Shift key and even an elevated command prompt.

Windows 7 has its own backup application. True, a backup program has also been available in previous editions. But there have been some enhancements. Note that the backups from older version won’t open with the version in Windows 7. That’s why I sometime do discourage using it (as you don’t know how the next version of Windows will handle these backups) but at least it’s free, cheap and does a decent job.


About ebraiter
computer guy

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