Tips for Windows 95 from Tipworld
I got the tips to begin these pages over a period of a couple of months, I personally got some benefit out of this and I hope you will also.
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Windows 95 comes with a whole slew of ready-made wallpapers from which to choose. But is there one you would like, if only it were a different color? Using Paint, you can recolor any wallpaper.
Choose Start|Programs|Accessories|Paint, select Open under the File menu, and navigate your way to the C:\Windows folder. Select the wallpaper you'd like to recolor (an easy one is Rivets.BMP), then save it under a different name (you don't want to mess up the original).
Ready to start painting? First you need to be able to see what you're doing, so select Zoom under the View menu, and select Large Size. From there, pick a tool, pick a color, and start coloring. (The easiest tools to use are the pencil, for individual dots, or the paint can, for larger areas.) Sure, it's tedious, but if it's your favorite wallpaper, it's worth it!
When you're finished coloring, be sure to select Save under the File menu. From now on, you'll be able to select it by name in the Display Properties dialog box.
(Note: Some wallpapers have very few colors in their palette, meaning you don't have many options for recoloring. In our next tip, we'll show you how to expand that palette.)
TAKE THAT PALETTE OVER THE RAINBOW
In our last tip, we showed you how to recolor the wallpaper bitmaps that come with Windows 95: Open the file in Paint, save it under a new name, and start recoloring. You'll notice, however, that when you open some of the wallpaper bitmaps, a very limited color palette appears. If you want more color options, save the file as a 256-Color Bitmap.
In Paint, open a bitmap with a limited palette, such as Bubbles.BMP. Choose Save As under the File menu, select 256-Color Bitmap in the Save as type drop-down list, give the file a new name, and click Save. Now select Save As under the File menu one more time, and click Save. (Don't ask us why--you need to do this to get the colors to show up in the palette.) You'll now have a much larger palette from which to choose. Hapy recoloring!
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WINDOW
If you want an application to start upon launching Windows 95, then you just add its
shortcut to the StartUp menu. Simple enough. So what happens if you're really picky and
want the application to start, but shrink to the Taskbar the minute it opens? No problem.
Just tell Windows 95 to start the program minimized. Assuming you already have a shortcut
in the StartUp folder, all you need to do is change its Properties. Right-mouse click the
shortcut, choose Properties, and click the Shortcut tab. On the Run line, click the
drop-down arrow to display your three possible options--Normal window, Minimized, or
Maximized. Select Minimized, click OK, and from now on, that application will shrink out
of site when it opens at start up.
YOU CAN QUOTE THAT
In a past tip, we told you that if a command you type at the DOS prompt includes a
filename with a space in it, DOS simply won't recognize the file. The solution? Place the
path of the file in quotes. Well, did you know the same thing applies to the Run command
line? It may seem like part of
the I-recognize-and-understand-every-aspect-of-long-filenames Windows 95, but it isn't. Here, too, you'll need to use quotes around a command line that includes a filename with spaces in it.
WHEN HISTORY REPEATS
In past tips, we've shown you how to add Control Panel, Dial-Up Networking (DUN), and Printers folders to your Start menu (see the end of this tip for a quick review). If you use Internet Explorer, try adding an Internet History folder to your Start menu. Selecting an item inside the folder launches Internet Explorer and takes you directly to that site. (Note: You'll probably want to empty your History folder on a regular basis, to keep this list under control.)
To create an Internet History folder, create a new folder in your Start menu named exactly (and we mean exactly--your best bet is to copy and paste it from this tip):
In case you didn't see the previous tips, here are the names of other folders you can create:
Are you hooked up to a network printer? You can check out how many jobs are ahead of yours right from your desktop. Just look inside the printer queue.Click Start|Settings|Printers and double-click the icon that represents your network printer. The resulting dialog box shows a list of all the print jobs that still need to make their way through the printer. If you see lots of jobs pending, you may just want to wait a little while before making that long trek down the hall.
SEE WHAT'S FREE
If you want to see how much space is left on your hard drive, there are a few places
you can look. One, you can open a My Computer window and select your hard drive icon. The
status bar will display its Free Space and Capacity.Two, you can open an Explorer window
and select any item on your hard drive. Again, the status bar displays your Disk free
space. (To display the status bar in either window, select Status Bar under the View
menu.) If you relate better to graphics, however, you'll love this third option --a pie
graph that displays free vs. used space. To display this graph, in a My Computer or
Explorer window, right-mouse click your hard drive icon and select Properties.
NEW LOOKS FOR ICONS
You can change the font and size of your desktop and window icons. These settings are
part of your Windows 95 current appearance scheme and are accessible through the Display
Properties dialog box.Right-mouse click the desktop, select Properties, and click the
Appearance tab. In the drop-down list next to Item, select Icon. Now make all the changes
you want to their appearance. To the right of the Item box, the Size option changes the
actual icon size. Below the Item list, you'll find options for changing the font of the
icon names, as well as its size. Play around with different options, clicking Apply after
each to see if you like what you see. When you're done, click OK.
GETCHER FREE PLUS! TAB HERE!
If you have Microsoft Plus!, you have a page of Display Properties options that non-users don't. This tab, called Plus!, includes options for using larger icons, showing window contents while dragging, and smoothing the edges of screen fonts, among other things. Even if you don't have Plus!, you can get your hands on these goodies.Microsoft is giving them away for free. Point your web browser at the above URL and download w95gray.EXE. You may think you're only getting the font smoothing feature, but the rest of the Plus! tab comes with it!
Upon installing Windows 95, you're given the opportunity to create a Startup Disk--a boot disk that, should you have trouble starting Windows 95, gets you to MS-DOS, where you can check key files and run utilities in an attempt to figure out what's up. If you're impatient like the rest of us, you probably opted not to make the disk at the moment and figured you'd get to it later. Well, later is here (you never know when something's going to go wrong), so let's make that disk.
Open the Control Panel and double-click Add/Remove Programs. Select the Startup Disk tab and click the Create Disk button. When prompted to do so, insert a blank formatted disk into your floppy drive, then wait as Windows 95 copies all the necessary information to the disk. Better safe than sorry, you know.
FAKE THE AUTOPLAY
Do you have a CD-ROM drive without AutoPlay capability? (Meaning, when you pop an audio
CD into the drive, it doesn't play automatically.) You can't add this feature, but you can
get one step closer to it. Whereas you normally have to open the CD Player and press Play,
you can set the CD Player to automatically play your audio CD when you open this
program.Open Explorer and navigate your way to the shortcut you use to start the CD
Player. Right-mouse click it and select Properties. Place your cursor at the end of the
text on the Target line, type a space, and then type: "/PLAY" (without the
quotes). Click OK. To test out your handiwork, insert an audio CD, start the CD Player
using the shortcut whose target line you just changed, and listen up!
CHECK YOUR RESOURCES
If you're itching to get into the meat and potatoes of Windows 95--we're talking the nerdiest of nerdy stuff, mostly for administrators--then you need the Windows 95 Resource Kit. If you have the Windows 95 installation CD, you already have this technical resource. If not, you can download the Resource Kit from Microsoft's Web site, or purchase it in your local bookstore.Pop the installation CD into your CD-ROM drive and navigate your way to D:\ADMIN\RESKIT\HELPFILE. To view the Help files right off the CD, double-click WIN95RK.HLP. To access the Resource Kit from your hard drive, copy the WIN95RK.HLP and WIN95RK.CNT files to your C:\WINDOWS\HELP folder, then create a shortcut to WIN95RK.HLP. Either way, the Resource Kit's contents appear in a Help Topics window, complete with Contents, Index and Find tabs. (If you don't have the Windows 95 installation CD, you can download the Complete Windows 95 Resource Kit Help File from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/software/reskit.htm.
Or you can purchase the Resource Kit in stores or by calling (800) MS-PRESS.)
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