Five great Windows tips

By | April 17, 2011
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1. Add “Move to” and “Copy to” to Windows Vista’s right-click menu (Windows Vista and Windows 7)

Those of you who have installed Windows Vista have probably noticed that the right-click menu is quite different than it was in previous versions of Windows. One of the features we like the most, the “Move to” and “Copy to” menu items don’t appear by default in Windows Vista or Windows 7′s right-click menu. Why not? We don’t know, ask Uncle Microsoft.

If you’ve ever wanted to move a file from, let’s say, Drive C to a folder on a flash drive, you could open up two Windows Explorer windows and drag and drop the file, but this is a lot of unnecessary rigmarole. Wouldn’t it just have been easier for the Windows Vista brain trust to have put “Copy to” “Move to” selections on the right-click menu? Indeed. But, they didn’t.

All of you who read this newsletter have learned that easier is often better. So you will love this trick. Right click on this link, choose “Save” or “Save target as” and save it to your desktop. Unzip the file to a folder and right-click on one of the two files inside the zip and choose “Merge”. You’ll get a warning that you’re about to enter information into the registry. You can either trust us and allow the registry info to be entered and then you’ll have “Move to” or “Copy to” items on your right-click menu depending on which file you chose. After you’re done with the first file, do the same with the second file. After you’ve finished you’ll have “Copy to” and “Move to” displayed on your right-click menu whenever you right-click on a file. It makes it easy to move files from one location or another. You can copy or move multiple files by holding down the CTRL key while you select each file you want to move, when all files you want to move or copy to another location are highlighted, right-click one of the selected files and choose “Copy to” or “Move to” from the right-click menu.

2. Text trick (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 – Microsoft Word)

Save a word, a paragraph, or a letter with this trick. The shortcut for selecting all the text and graphics in a Windows document is Ctrl+A. But you already knew that, didn’t you? You can be more selective in Microsoft Word.

Tap your F8 key the first time to turn on this feature, then move your cursor right or left to select a single character. Now, press F8 a second time to select the entire word. Three taps on F8 selects the sentence. Four F8 taps knock out the paragraph. If you want the whole document, hit F8 five times.

Reverse the process by keeping the Shift key depressed while tapping F8. When you’re done selecting text, just press the ESC key to turn this feature off.

3. Add stuff to the “Send To” menu (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7)

Have you ever noticed when you right-click certain files, the pop-up menu has an item that says “Send To”? Have you ever wondered how you can add things to the “Send To” menu? You can add as many as you want! Just follow these steps to add items the “Send To” menu:

* Start by finding a program you’d like to place inside the Send To menu.
* Right-click on the chosen item and select Send To > Desktop (create shortcut).
* Go to your desktop and right-click the shortcut you just created and select Send To > Shortcut to Send To.
* You just placed the shortcut inside the Send To menu without having to manually cut and paste it inside the Windows’ ” Send To folder”.
* Right-click anything and select Send To again. You should now see the program listed in the menu.

Please remember! You must create a shortcut to the item you wish to include inside the Send To menu. This means you can’t place the actual program inside the menu.

4. Easily find your Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 registration keys (and more)

ProduKey will find those Windows registration keys (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7) as well as product keys for Microsoft Office programs and others. Once you’ve found all those registration keys, you can save them in a text file, print them out, save the text file to a USB flash drive or other external media for safe keeping.

“ProduKey is a small utility that displays the ProductID and the CD-Key of Microsoft Office (Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office 2007), Windows (Including Windows 7 and Windows Vista), Exchange Server, and SQL Server installed on your computer. You can view this information for your current running operating system, or for another operating system/computer – by using command-line options. This utility can be useful if you lost the product key of your Windows/Office, and you want to reinstall it on your computer.”

If you’re tired of hunting around for registration keys when you have to reinstall Windows or Office or other applications, download ProduKey, seek out those hidden keys and store them all in one neat text file. If you lose things often, create several text files. You’re bound to stumble on one of them the next time you need them. Get more information and/or download ProduKey here.

5. What to do when Windows update won’t work (Windows XP, Windows Vista)

If you’ve tried to use Windows Update but are constantly frustrated because it does not work for you, or it stops working while it is scanning your computer here’s something you can try:

Open Internet Explorer and clear out your cache
(Internet Explorer 7 “Tools” -> “Internet Options” -> press “Delete Files” and “Clear History” buttons)
(Internet Explorer 8 and 9 – “Tools” –> “Internet Options” -> press “Delete”. When the delete dialog appears, make sure that “Temporary Internet Files” “Cookies” and “History” are checked.)
Exit Internet Explorer

Open the file C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts with Notepad.

(To open Notepad in XP press the Windows Key + R and type in NOTEPAD, in Vista or Windows 7 type Notepad in the start menu search.

Add the following line at the end of the file:

IMPORTANT – Make sure there’s a tab in between the IP address and the URL or else it won’t work.

Save the file and right-click it. Now choose “Properties” and put a checkmark next to “Read only”. This will prevent spyware/adware/Trojans etc. from changing it. If you ever need to change it manually again, simply right-click on the file and uncheck “Read only” and make your changes. Don’t forget to recheck “Read only” when you’re done.

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