Windows Tutorials

8:41:00 PM |

These Windows tutorials cover some of the most common and the most obscure Windows questions I’ve been asked. I hope you find them helpful, and if you have specific questions on how to do something in Windows, contact me, and I’ll add it to this page.

Turn on the Windows XP Quick Launch Toolbar
  1. Right click on the Start button. A menu will pop up.
  2. Left click on Properties.
  3. Click on the Taskbar tab.
  4. Put a check in the box next to Show Quick Launch and click OK. You'll now see a small toolbar now next to the start button that has the Show Desktop icon, Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer on it.
    I started with this Windows tutorial because the quick launch toolbar is very useful. You can customize it by adding program icons to it. Here's what my quick launch toolbar looks like; I have all the programs I use the most on it:
Windows Quick Launch

Place a Picture of any Windows Dialog Box into a Word Processing Program
  1. Open the Windows dialog box you want to paste. Make sure it is the active window and that the edges are not off the screen.
  2. Hold down the Alt key and press the Print Screen key on your keyboard. This will paste a picture of the window onto the Windows clipboard.
  3. Open your word processing program. Put your cursor where you want the picture to go.
  4. Press the Shift + Insert keys together to paste the picture onto the page.
Note: If you are going to paste multiple pictures into a single Microsoft Word document, I would recommend that you do this instead:
  1. Copy the pictures to the clipboard as directed above, but then paste the pictures into the Windows Paint program first (using the same method in Step 4).
  2. Save the picture as a jpeg file (*.jpg) in your My Pictures folder. Call it pic1.jpg if you want.
  3. Open Word. Go to Insert | Picture | From File to place the pictures in Word.
Reason? Word does not handle the Shift Insert method very well, and I have corrupted large documents by inserting multiple pictures with the Shift Insert method. 

Turn off Sticky Keys
Did you know that after hitting the shift key 5 times in a row, you'll get a pop up asking you whether you want to enable a feature called "Sticky Keys"?
If you click OK, Sticky Keys will be enabled and from that point on, you'll just get sounds whenever you press the CTRL or ALT key. Annoying.
To turn Sticky Keys off permanently, do this:
  1. Press the Shift key 5 times in a row.
  2. Click the Settings button.
  3. On the Keyboard tab, click the first Settings button.
  4. Uncheck all the checkboxes, and click Ok. Sticky Keys will be turned off now.
Sticky Keys

How to Cut and Paste "Clean" Text from One File to Another in Windows
This Windows Tutorial is one of my most popular.
Say you want to copy some text from a webpage into a Word document. You probably already know that you can copy and paste the text using the generic steps below:
  1. Highlight the text you want to cut and paste with your mouse, and then press Control + C on your keyboard.
  2. To paste the text, put your cursor in the receiving document, and press Control + V to paste it.
Simple, right? Except that when you copy from a webpage or from another Word document, all the formatting comes with it, and messes up the formatting of the document you're working in. Annoying.
You could paste it into a new page and manually remove all the formatting, but here's an easier way:
  1. Highlight the text you want to cut and paste with your mouse, and then press Control + C on your keyboard.
  2. Open Word, and click on the Edit menu.
  3. Click on Paste Special
  4. From the Paste Special dialog box, choose Unformatted Text and click Ok. Voila, nice clean text!
Restore the "Show Desktop Icon" to Quick Launch Menu on the Windows Taskbar
Show Desktop Icon
See the circled icon in the picture above? That's the Show Desktop icon.
If the Show Desktop icon has been accidentally deleted from the the Windows Taskbar, the procedure below will recreate the file.
  1. From the Windows desktop, right click and choose New | Text Document. This will create a new Notepad file on your desktop called newtextdocument.txt.
  2. Open this new Notepad file.
  3. Copy and paste the bolded text below into the document.


  4. Click File, Save As, and save the new file with the file name
    Show Desktop.scf
    (If you followed this Windows tutorial correctly, the file icon picture should change to show the Desktop icon like the one in the picture above.)
Now you can drag and drop the icon onto the Quick Launch bar or where ever you want the shortcut to appear.
NOTE: In Windows 7, the Show Desktop icon is at the right end of the toolbar, after the time tray.

Here's a quick Windows tutorial that will make computing so much easier:
Create a Desktop Shortcut From the All Programs Menu
Let's say you want to create a shortcut to the Spider Solitaire game on your Windows Desktop. Here's how you would do this:
  1. Click on the Start button, and go to All Programs
  2. Point to the Games folder and then to the Spider Solitaire game.
  3. Right click on Spider Solitaire and then left click on Send to..
  4. Click on Desktop (create shortcut).
  5. Done!
Easy, huh? You can follow these steps for any program listed in All Programs.

Here's a helpful Windows Tutorial if you accidentally deleted a shortcut:
Recreate a Deleted Shortcut
Let's say you accidentally deleted the shortcut for Spider Solitaire from the All Programs menu. Here's how you get it back:
  1. Right Click on the Windows Desktop.
  2. On the menu that appears, choose New, then Shortcut.
  3. A Create Shortcut dialog box appears.
  4. In the shortcut path field, type the path that you see in the picture below:
    Shortcut Dialog box
  5. then click Next.
  6. Type Spider Solitaire as the name of the shortcut, then click Finish.
  7. You should now have a Spider Solitaire shortcut on your Desktop.
Most of the non-Internet games for Windows are in that Windows System32 folder, so you can use the same steps above add the name of the game that was deleted.
Here are the game names for convenience:
  • Hearts: mshearts.exe
  • Spider Solitaire: spider.exe
  • Solitaire: sol.exe
  • MineSweeper: winmine.exe
  • Freecell: freecell.exe
Pinball has it's own folder: Look under C: drive, Program Files, Windows NT, Pinball, Pinball.exe
Alternatively, you can remove and re-add them as components of Windows. Go to:
  1. Control Panel | Add or Remove Programs
  2. Add/Remove Windows Components
  3. Accessories and Utilities
  4. Details button
  5. Games
Uncheck the games you are missing from your Games menu, and OK your way out. Then go back in and check off the same games, and OK your way out. That should put them back in your menu. 

Computer Tutorials for Outlook 2003

Create a Signature file
  1. Open Outlook 2003.
  2. Go to Tools, Options.
  3. Click on the Mail Format tab.
  4. At the bottom, select the email account for which you want to make the signature.
  5. Click the Signatures.. button.
  6. Click the New button
  7. Enter a name for your signature
  8. Choose Start with a Blank Signature file and press Next
  9. Type in what you want your signature to say. You can change the font or paragraph settings using the buttons provided.
  10. Click Finish.
Set a Reminder to Reply to a Message
  1. Open your Outlook Inbox.
  2. Right click on the message for which you want to set the reminder.
  3. Click on Follow Up, and then click Add Reminder.
  4. In the Due By list, click the date when you want to complete the reply.
  5. In the second list, click a time.
  6. In the Flag color list, click the flag color you want, and then click OK.
Automatically add Holidays to your Outlook 2003 Calendar
  1. Open your Outlook Calendar.
  2. Click on the Tools menu.
  3. Click Options, then under Calendar, click the Calendar Options button.
  4. Click the Add Holidays button.
  5. Choose the appropriate country and click OK.
Keep Track of Emails From VIPs
This computer tutorial will help you track email from your clients.
  1. From your Inbox, scroll down the list of folders on the left and find an entry called Search Folders.
  2. Right click on Search Folders and choose New Search Folder.
  3. From the dialog box that appears, Under Mail from People and Lists, choose Mail From and To Specific People.
  4. Click on the Choose.. button (bottom of window) and click on the name of the person whose email you want to track. Click Ok.
  5. It will now show that Name in the field.
  6. Click OK. The new Search Folder will appear. (This may take a minute or so if there are many emails to and from this person.)

Computer Tutorials for Excel 2003

Adjust the Row Height for Multiple Rows at Once
  1. While you hold down the Control key, use your mouse to select the rows that you want to adjust by clicking on the row number. All the rows you want to change should all be selected and "gray" in color when you are done.
  2. Let go of the Control key.
  3. Click on the Format menu, point to Row, and then click Height.
  4. Set the height to around 6 for a narrow row; 12 would be a larger (taller) row height.
Select a Contiguous Range of Excel Cells without Scrolling
You have a huge Excel spreadsheet and you need to select 50 columns of data 300 rows long so you can set the cell format on them at once. Here’s an easy way to select them all without scrolling.
  1. Open an Excel spreadsheet
  2. Click in the first cell of the range you want to pick, say A1
  3. Now on your keyboard, press Control + G to bring up the Go to window.
  4. Type in BC300 in the Reference field
  5. Hold down your Shift key and press OK on the Go to box.
More computer tutorials below...

Computer Tutorials for Word 2003

How to Change the Default File Location for Word
  1. Open Word
  2. Go to the Tools menu
  3. Click on Options
  4. Click on File Locations tab
  5. Under File Types, click on Documents to highlight it.
  6. Click the Modify button
  7. Navigate to the location where you want Word to look for documents.
  8. Click Ok.
Automatic Zooming
If you like to zoom in on your Word documents, you probably hate the pull-down zoom control on the toolbar as much as I do. I can never find it when I need it. Here’s an easy way to zoom in and out if you have a mouse with a wheel:
Hold down the Ctrl key as you turn the mouse wheel. Scroll up to zoom in, scroll down to zoom out. Cool, huh? With each click of the wheel, the zoom factor is changed by 10%.

Computer Tutorials for Internet Explorer

Clean up Temporary Internet Files Automatically
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on Tools | Internet Options.. (If you have IE7, the Tools menu has been moved to a Tools button on the right hand side of the IE window.)
  3. On the Internet Options dialog box, click on the Advanced tab.
  4. Scroll down the list to the Security section.
  5. Put a check in the box next to where it says "Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed."
  6. Click Ok.

Get Better Search Results in Google
Here are a few simple tricks to use when searching the Internet for information using various search engines. Let’s use as our example search engine.
When you search for something on Google, your results might not be what you expected, with some of the pages more and some less relevant to the original search inquiry.
For example, you may end up with results from various newspaper articles that merely mention the search term you used, without being related in topic to the search inquiry.
  • A good technique to minimize those unrelated results is to place:intitle: or allintitle: before your search terms.
    This will insure that your search terms are in the page title of each page found, increasing the chances that the page will be on topic. (Note that there should be no space between the colon and your search term.)
  • A similar effect can be accomplished with the options inurl: andallinurl: but here Google will restrict the results to show only those where the web address (URLs) contain the word or phrase for which you searched.
  • If you are searching for a definition of a term, Google offers help here too. You can type define: followed by the word or words you want defined (again no spaces between the colon and the word to be defined). Note that if you enter more words after "define:" Google will see those words as a phrase.
  • When you have a URL of a website that interests you (e.g. you can find all the websites that link to that site, all the websites related to that site and check what info Google has on that particular site. Use link: followed by the URL of your choice (e.g. when you want to find all websites that link to that site.
  • The prefixes related: and info: are used in the same way.
  • Suppose you want to search only a certain website, not the whole Internet. You can use site: followed by the URL of the website you wish to search. But note that the search term here comes BEFORE the site:URL combination. (i.e, download linux
  • The only time the quotation marks are used in searching is when you are searching for a phrase which is not combined with any of the above mentioned prefixes.
    For example, "searching the internet" with quotation marks will search for the exact phrase and "searching the internet". If you write the same phrase without the quotation marks, Google will return results where the words "searching", "the" and "internet" appear, but not strictly in that order.
    Logically by using quotation marks when searching you will get fewer results but more relevant ones.
These tricks should help you use the Internet more efficiently during your searches for information and should improve the quality and relevance of your search results.

Powerpoint Shortcuts

Start a presentation from the first slideF5
Start the next animation or advance to the next slideEnter or Spacebar
Go back to the previous slideBackspace
End a slide showEsc or - (hyphen)
Jump to the first (or last) slideHome (or End)
Jump to a particular slideType the slide number and press Enter
Go to a black (or white) screen or resume the slide show from a black (or white) screenB (or W)