PC Tips And Tricks
By Judith A Rogow
Nov 1, 2003 - 1:51:00 PM

Photo by Richard Hormaza

LOS ANGELES—Comdex is very much up in the air at this point, which means my plans for an article on that subject are kaput, leaving me an author in search of a subject.


So . . . what about a few tips and hints to make life on a PC a tad easier? (Apologies for those of you with a Kaypro, Altair, Imsai, Commodore or Mac: I don't do those anymore.)


First, have you made errors that pop up every time you use the auto-complete? Clearing it out is simple; clicking “Tools”, “Internet Options”, “Content”, “Auto Complete”, and then “Clear Forms” will set everything back to blank, so you can start all over again (spelling your name properly this time).


Want to highlight an entire document? Hit “control and “5.” This is handy when you need to change a font or type size, or to do a copy and paste.


If you click on "control” and “F" at the same time, you'll get a little "find and replace" window. Then type whatever word you're looking for in the box and it will search whatever page you're on for that word. You can use the replace” tab to change words or to zap the >s that collect on forwarded emails. Just leave the replace with line blank, and all the >s will disappear.


Special characters are created by holding down the alt key while pressing number combinations on the numeric keyboard. For example, holding down Alt and pressing "0162" (without the quotes) will yield the cents symbol.

With your number lock on, hold down the alt key and type the following numbers on the numeric keyboard for these symbols:


248 = (degree symbol)
246 = (division symbol)
247 = (wavy line)
155 = (cent sign)
0161 = (Inverted exclamation)
0162 = (Cent sign)
0163 = Pound sterling)
0164 = (General currency sign)
0165 = (Yen sign)
0166 = (Broken vertical bar)
0167 = Section sign)
0168 = (Umlaut)

0169 = (Copyright)
0171 = (Left angle quote)
0172 = (Not sign)
0173 = ­(Soft hyphen)
0174 = (Registered trademark)
0175 = (Macron accent)
0176 = (Degree sign)
0177= (Plus or minus)
0178 = (Superscript two)
0179= (Superscript three)
0180 = (Acute accent)

0181 = (Micro sign)
0182 = (Paragraph sign)
0183 = (Middle dot)
0185 = (Superscript one)
0187 = (Right angle quote)
0188 = (Fraction one-fourth)
0189 = (Fraction one-half)

Your keyboard undoubtedly has a key with the Windows symbol (Looks like a flag with fringe). Use the Windows Logo key (I'll call it 'W') plus another key to obtain the results below. (For instance, holding down W and M will minimize all open windows)


W. Opens the Start menu
W+A Opens Accessibility Options (if installed)
W+C Opens the Control Panel
W+E Opens Windows Explorer
W+F Finds a file or folder


W+P Opens the Print Manager
W+CtrlF Finds a computer on a network
W+I Opens the mouse properties
W+K Opens the keyboard properties
W+L Logs on and off Windows
W+M Minimizes all windows
W+ShiftM Undoes the minimize all


W+R Displays the Run dialog box
W+S Enables or disables the Caps Lock key
W+V Views the clipboard
W+F1 Displays Windows help
W+Break Displays the system properties
W+Tab Activates open programs in order

If you need to find a file fast, open Explorer and click on a folder to highlight it. Then, press the Windows Logo key together with F3 (denoted as "W+F3"). Type in a search string. For example, if you type the character string "Nov 2003 - Tips" the specified drive or folder would be searched for that file. When found, the file would be displayed and can be double clicked to open it.

Use W+Pause to reveal the System Properties window. From there you can click the various tabs to see what you have. You'll find data there that shows who the computer is registered to, how much memory is installed (if you have less than 128 MB RAM get more), the processor type, and the version of Windows you've got installed. Other tabs let you manage hardware devices, check your system's performance, and more. Take a look sometime, you may be surprised.

W+D equals "take me to your desktop."

W+E opens Windows Explorer quicker than clicking, as long as your desktop is the focus of activity. You manage your files and folders with Explorer. Remember, we're talking about Windows Explorer not Internet Explorer, which is your web browser.

Finally, there's no need to type in long URLs in the address bar of Explorer. Simply enter the name and hit Control and Enter to have the rest filled in (as an example; typing in "Canyonnewspaper" and hitting Control and enter brings up our URL



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