I got the tips to begin these pages over a period of months, I personally got some benefit out of this and I hope you will also.
NO-NAME ICONS--PART 1 OF 3
Wish you could create an icon with no name? An icon has to have SOMETHING for a name, but if you use a nonprinting character, the name won't appear on-screen.
Select the icon that you want to appear nameless and press F2 for Rename. With Num Lock turned on (on your keyboard), hold down Alt as you type a nonprinting character, such as 0160. Press Enter to make the new "name" stick, and there you have it: the icon and nothing but the icon! (Of course, when the icon is selected, you'll see a small area highlighted where you typed the nonprinting character.)
In our next tip, we'll show you how to find other nonprinting characters.
NO-NAME ICONS--PART 2 OF 3
In our last tip, we showed you how to create seemingly nameless icons: Select the icon, press F2 for Rename, make sure Num Lock is selected on your keyboard, hold down Alt as you type a nonprinting character (such as 0160), and press Enter. The question is, how do you know which characters are nonprinting? Check the Character Map.
First, confirm the font used for your icon titles. Right-mouse click a blank area of the desktop, select Properties, and click the Appearance tab. Under Item, select Icon, and you'll see your icon font listed under Font. Click OK to close the Display Properties dialog box.
Now open the Character Map by selecting Start, Programs, Accessories, Character Map. (If you don't see this item under Accessories, you'll need to install it. Open the Control Panel, select Add/Remove Programs, click the Windows Setup tab, double-click Accessories, select the box next to Character Map, click OK twice, then insert your installation disk when it asks.)
Inside the Character Map, select your icon font under Font and look for blank spaces in the rows of characters. For most fonts, you'll see two blanks: one in the top left corner and one four boxes down from that. Select each blank space separately, then look to the lower right corner of the Character Map window for the keystroke that represents that character. (You'll discover that the keystrokes for these two most common nonprinting characters are Spacebar and Alt-0160, respectively. We could have just told you that, but then you wouldn't have the necessary background for our next tip.)
In our next tip, we'll show you what to do if you want more than two no-name icons on your desktop.
1. Name each icon with various combinations of nonprinting characters--for example, two (or more) Alt-0160 characters in a row.
2. Choose an icon font that has loads of nonprinting characters. Inside
the Character Map, scroll through the Fonts until you find one with lots
of blank spaces (most likely, an oddball font from a graphics-intensive
application, such as Bazooka or Jester). Take note of the keystrokes of
these nonprinting characters, then go back to the Appearance tab of the
Display Properties dialog box and set your icon font accordingly. Now just
use any or all of the nonprinting characters to name your icons.
START MENU CLEANUP
Want to clean some unwanted items out of your Start menu without opening lots of windows (right-mouse clicking Start, selecting Open, and so on)? The Taskbar Properties dialog box has a Remove button just for this purpose.
Right-mouse click on a blank area of the Taskbar and select Properties to open the Taskbar Properties dialog box. Select the Start Menu Programs tab. Under Customize Start Menu, click the Remove button and navigate your way to the Start menu item you want to remove. With the unwanted item selected, click the Remove button, and the item is history. Repeat these steps to remove all unwanted items, click Close, and click OK.
(Note: IE 4 users: You can right-mouse click a Start menu item [right
on the actual menu] and select Delete.)
WALLPAPER YOUR DESKTOP
Reader S. Hane asks: "How do I get my wallpaper to start tiled instead of centered?"
All the settings for desktop wallpaper are located on the Background tab of the Display Properties dialog box. To get there, right-mouse click the desktop and select Properties. (Alternatively, open the Control Panel and double-click Display.) In the Wallpaper box, next to Display, click the Tile radio button. (IE 4 users: Under Display, click the drop-down arrow and select Center.) Make sure that the wallpaper you want to use is selected and click OK. From now on, that wallpaper will cover your desktop.
DIAL 'P' FOR PROPERTIES
A reader, A., asks: "When you open an MS-DOS Prompt window, how do you get to Properties without using the mouse?"
An MS-DOS Prompt window doesn't offer a row of menu commands. However, you can access Properties through a menu that appears when you select the icon in the upper-left corner of the window. Press Alt-Spacebar to display this menu; then type P for Properties.
THE WINDOWS 95 SWAP MEET
Want to move Windows 95 to a new hard disk (to make it the boot drive), keeping your current system configuration and data files intact? It can be done, but we should warn you--it isn't the most straightforward operation.
We can't possibly reproduce the entire procedure here (it would span about a month of tips!), but we can point you in the right direction. You'll find complete instructions in Microsoft's Knowledge Base, at
Be sure to follow the steps EXACTLY, heeding all of Microsoft's warnings.
TOSS IT IN THE FOLDER COMPACTOR
A reader, P. O'Connor offers this tip:
"I use Windows Messaging, and my C:\Windows\Mailbox.pst folder recently grew to 33MB. After much fishing, I discovered an option for compacting this folder, accessible through the Control Panel."
Open the Control Panel and double-click the Mail and Fax item. On the
Services tab, select Personal Folders and click the Properties button.
Click Compact Now and get back some of that wasted disk space!
WHICH WINDOWS IS WHICH? PART 1 OF 2
Want to know which version of Windows 95 you have on your system? Right-mouse click My Computer and select Properties. On the General tab, you'll see the version listed under System. Version 4.00.950 is the original version of Windows 95. This same version number followed by the letter "A" indicates that the original version of Windows 95 was installed and then updated with Service Pack 1 or OEM Service Release 1. The letter "B" after the version number indicates Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2.
WHICH WINDOWS IS WHICH? PART 2 OF 2
In our last tip, we showed you how to determine the version of Windows 95 you have on your system: Right-mouse click My Computer, select Properties, and on the General tab, you'll see the version listed under System. (In case you missed that tip, an "A" in the version number indicates that the original version of Windows 95 was installed and then updated with Service Pack 1 or OEM Service Release 1; a "B" indicates Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2.)
While we're on the subject, a reader, F. Foresman asks: "Is there a way to acquire from a Windows 95 installation CD the specific version number of Windows 95? I want to verify which CD goes with which computer."
To determine which version is on an installation CD, pop the CD into your CD-ROM drive, and in the blue Windows 95 CD-ROM window that appears, click Browse This CD. (If your CD-ROM drive doesn't offer AutoPlay capability, double-click your CD-ROM drive icon inside a My Computer or Explorer window and click Browse This CD.) Right-mouse click Setup.exe, select Properties, and in the resulting dialog box, select the Version tab. There you'll find the "File version." (You can also select "Product version" under "Other version information.") Version 4.00.950 indicates the original, or retail, version of Windows 95.
In a previous tip, we explained how to remove items from the Start menu's Documents list manually: With hidden files displayed, navigate your way to C:\Windows\Recent and delete any of the items inside. An anonymous reader points out that these instructions apply only to systems on which user profiles are not enabled. If user profiles ARE enabled, then the location of the Recent folder is C:\Windows\Profiles\[username]\Recent. (Note: IE 4.0 users, you can remove an item from the Documents list by right-clicking it [on the actual Start menu list] and selecting Delete.)
Later this month, we'll run a five-part series on disabling and removing user profiles from your system. Stay tuned.
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