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Tips & Tricks

Here are some ideas that can improve
your daily productivity...

ARTICLE: Top 7 Windows Search Tricks

With terabytes of space within easy reach these days, one tends to become a hoarder — accumulating lots of files, slowly getting a little complacent in organizing file and folders; and failing to get rid of unneeded files.

What this means is that more often than not, one will have a hard time finding the file when it’s needed the most. You can make use of some of the tips to keep your files and folders organized, or perhaps you can get really good at doing a Windows search. If you opt for the latter, here are some Windows search tips and trick that you should know about.

- Use boolean operators to fine-tune your Windows search
- Use Wildcards
- Search by file kind
- Use quotes for exact matches
- Use the size operator to impose a condition on file size
- Launch files using search
- Search by file properties

Click here to read the full article.


ARTICLE: Microsoft: Changing Passwords Isn't Worth the Effort

Nobody will argue that "123456" is a good choice for a password. But is forcing the user to change it worth the effort?

If you use a common word or phrase to password-protect a sensitive account, hackers can break in using a dictionary attack that simply tries thousands of common passwords. Hacking skills aren't even required if your password is one of the ten most common; any Joe can crack that account in a few minutes. We advise everyone to use strong passwords.


ARTICLE: 10 Tips That Make Windows 7 Simpler

Windows 7 features loads of improvements to streamline workflow and avert many of the headaches found in Windows Vista. But you can make Windows 7 even easier to use by taking advantage of a few enhancements you might not have heard about. We've already shown you 21 Ways to Customize Windows 7 to your personal taste, now we present ten tips that can save time, make navigating your system easier, and give you quick access to commonly used programs and actions. Read more...


Windows 7 Tips :

Create Keyboard Shortcuts for Programs
You can create keyboard shortcuts for any program in Windows 7. Right-click the program icon and select Properties. Select the Shortcut tab, click in Shortcut key, to set the keyboard shortcut for that program.

Rearrange System Tray Icons ...
You can rearrange icons on the taskbar as you wish and start new (or switch to running) instances of the first ten taskbar programs using Win+1, Win+2, and so on. The cool thing is you can also rearrange system tray icons. Reorder them on the tray or move them outside or back in the tray. Take control of what you want to always keep an eye on, and from which apps you’ll require notifications.

Access Jump Lists with the Left Mouse Button...
Jump Lists usually show up when you right-click on a taskbar icon. However, they can also be accessed by holding the left mouse button and dragging upwards. If you’re using a laptop touchpad or a touch screen, this is convenient because you do not have to click any button to access a context menu.


Some Handy Keyboard Shortcuts:

Mouse-free Browsing
... You don't need a mouse to surf the Web—many functions can be performed just with the keyboard. Hitting F11 will shift the browser into full-screen mode (and back again). Ctrl+E will move the text-entry cursor to the LiveSearch box. Hit Ctrl+D to instantly add the current site to your Favorites, and Alt+D to move you automatically to the location bar.

Windows Key+E
... This shortcut allows you to open Windows Explorer with one quick keystroke.

Windows Key+M ... This shortcut allows you to minimize all of your open windows, leaving just the desktop left exposed. To restore the windows, hit Windows key+Shift+M. Another quick way to do this is Windows key+D, which shows your desktop; to restore, just repeat the same keystroke.

Alt+Tab ... This allows you to easily scroll through all the windows you have open. If you're working in Word and referring to something in Explorer, for example, you can toggle back and forth between the two programs. You can also use this to switch between windows in the same program, making multitasking a breeze. Very similar is Windows key+Tab: In XP, it lets you scroll the items on the taskbar, and in Vista, it starts Flip 3D for a fun graphical spin on the same idea.

Shift+Delete ... If you want to delete a file—and you don't want to deal with it later in the Recycle Bin—this is the way to go. Just be absolutely sure that this is a file you won't want back!

Hold Shift While Inserting a CD ... Have you ever wanted to insert a CD and not use it right away? This shortcut allows you to bypass Autorun when inserting a CD so you can control exactly when you will use a CD you've inserted.

Ctrl+Drag ... There are many ways to copy a file, but this just might be the easiest. All you have to do is click on the file, hold, and drag it into its desired location. This works the same as another handy shortcut, Ctrl+C.

Windows Key+U+U ... Quickly shut down Windows by hitting the Windows key (don't hold it down), hitting U to reach the shutdown menu, and then hitting U again to shut down.

Windows Key+Pause ... Need a quick way to get to the Systems Properties menu without too much thought? Just press these two keys and you'll be brought right to it.


Place Your Favorite Commands on the Quick Access Toolbar.
There's a fast way to put the commands and buttons you use most often within easy reach — put them on the Quick Access Toolbar. This row of buttons above the Ribbon, part of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface, already contains several buttons by default, but you can add new commands. Watch the demo to see how to do all this and more.


Customize Your Calendar.

You already know that you can keep on top of your busy schedule by using the Calendar in Microsoft Office Outlook. But did you know that the views in your calendar are fully customizable? For example, you can view your days and weeks in increments of 5 minutes, 60 minutes, and a variety of periods in between. You can adjust the view of your calendar according to your work week and work day; for instance, you can display Sunday through Thursday and show a normal day as being 11 in the morning to 7 in the evening if you like. Use different color schemes, and show more or less detail in your calendar. Watch the demo to see how to do all this and more.


Electronic Business Cards.
Traditional paper business cards are a time-honored and effective way to get business and contact information out to current and prospective clients. But these days, a lot of business is done in e-mail. So how do you make sure that people know how to reach you? Try an Electronic Business Card (or EBC), part of the Contacts feature in Microsoft Office Outlook. An EBC is simple to create and you can easily give it professional polish or personal style by adding your company logo or a picture of yourself. And when you use an EBC as part of your e-mail signature, customers and friends will see it in a format that looks good and is easy for them to save. Watch the demo to see how easy it is to create, customize, and share an Electronic Business Card.


Forward Multiple Emails At Once.
When you have a collection of e-mail messages that you want to forward, you don't have to forward each one individually. You can attach multiple messages as attachments to a single message. It's a fast way to send someone a set of messages. Watch this!


Create an Email Template.
If you find yourself re-creating a similar report or newsletter for e-mail time after time, an Outlook 2007 e-mail template can save you lots of steps. This demo guides you through creating your own template specific to your needs. Once you save your new template, you can load it whenever you need it and add or change information. The demo also shows you how to find ready-to-use templates on Microsoft Office Online. Watch the demo and start saving time. Here's how to do it.


3 Ways to Share Your Outlook Calendar.
Sharing calendars can make it easier to collaborate with people both inside and outside your company. This demo shows you three ways that Outlook 2007 offers for sharing your calendar. If your company uses Microsoft Exchange Server, you can share your calendar within the organization by using that feature. You can also send a snapshot of your calendar in e-mail to people outside your company. And you can publish your calendar on the Microsoft Office Online Web site and restrict how much detail is shown and who can access it. Watch the demo to learn about a new way to collaborate. Watch this to see how.

... make sure you check back often for more ideas!



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