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More Windows 98 Tips and Tricks

Q: How do I speed up my programs in Windows 98?

A: The improved Disk Defragmenter in Windows 98 gathers the program files that you use most office and moves them to faster parts of the hard disk. To run Disk Defragmenter:

  1. From the Start menu, point to Programs, Accessories, and System Tools, and click Disk Defragmenter.
  2. Click Settings, and make sure that the option to Rearrange program files so my programs start faster is selected and click OK.
  3. Click OK to start the process.

You can schedule Disk Defragmenter as part of your regularly scheduled tasks in Windows Maintenance Wizard.

Get rid of the Office Shortcut Bar and use new Windows 98 Quick Launch.

If you are using Microsoft Office 97 with Windows 98, the new Windows 98 Quick Launch bar operates as a more versatile and convenient Office Shortcut Bar. It’s located just to the right of the Start button on the taskbar. You can place buttons on it in any order you want and put it anywhere you want on your desktop. To move your current shortcuts from the Office Shortcut Bar to the Quick Launch bar:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Shortcut Bar.
  3. Click and drag any shortcuts you want to the taskbar.
  4. Right-click a blank area on the Office Shortcut Bar and click Exit. When prompted if you want the bar to run when you restart Windows, click No.
Get express e-mail from your Windows 98 desktop with e-mail shortcuts.

If you frequently send electronic mail to the same person, you can create a shortcut on the desktop that will instantly open a preaddressed message in your e-mail client (for example, Microsoft Outlook Express). To create an e-mail shortcut:

  1. Right-click a blank area on the desktop.
  2. Point to New and click Shortcut.
  3. Type mailto: and insert the e-mail address after the colon, leaving no space.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Select a name for the shortcut and click Finish.
Add shortcuts to your SendTo folder for quick e-mail attachments.

Once you’ve completed the above tip and added e-mail shortcuts to your desktop, copy them into your Windows SendTo folder. If you’re using Outlook, this allows you to attach a file to an e-mail message and send it simply by right-clicking the item to attach, pointing to Send To, and choosing the shortcut from the pop-up menu. To copy the icon to the SendTo folder:

  1. Right-click the new shortcut and click Copy.
  2. Open Windows Explorer.
  3. Go to C:\Windows\SendTo.
  4. From the File menu, click Paste.
Use some cool, free tools from the Windows 98 Resource Kit Sampler.

The Windows 98 CD comes with some free tools and utilities in a sampler called the Resource Kit. These allow you to do such things as compare files and folders, check and delete obsolete shortcuts, read text and hypertext markup language (HTML) code in the Text File Viewer, and more. These tools don’t load automatically when you do a standard installation, but they’re easy to install:

  1. Insert your Windows 98 CD into your CD-ROM drive.
  2. Click Browse This CD.
  3. From the Tools\Reskit directory, run Setup.exe.

Once installed, you can access these tools from the Start menu. Click Programs, point to Windows 98 Resource Kit, and click Tools Management Console.

Discover the difference between folder contents with WinDiff.

The Resource Kit contains a utility called WinDiff that allows you to quickly compare the contents of two folders. After you’ve installed the Resource Kit (see the above tip), to use WinDiff:

  1. From the Start menu, point to Programs and Windows 98 Resource Kit, and click Tools Management Console.
  2. Go to the \Tools A to Z\U to Z directory and double-click WinDiff.
  3. From the File menu, click Compare Directories and type the path of the folders you want to compare.
  4. Click OK and WinDiff will give you a line-by-line list of the differences between the contents of the folders.
Speed-read text and HTML files with Text File Viewer.

Another tool in the Resource Kit is a utility called Text File Viewer that opens a special two-pane Explorer window to quickly show you the contents of any file with a .txt or .htm extension. This can be useful, for example, if you need to read several Readme.txt files for programs you’re installing, or if you create and edit Web pages frequently. You double-click the file in the left pane, and the contents will be displayed in text format on the right. For HTML files, the Text File Viewer displays the original source code, rather than how the page appears in a Web browser. After you’ve installed the Resource Kit (see above tip), to use the Text File Viewer:

  1. From the Start menu, point to Programs and Windows 98 Resource Kit, and click Tools Management Console.
  2. Go to the \Tools A to Z\S to T directory and double-click Text File Viewer.
  3. From the File menu, click Compare Directories and type the path of the folders for which you want a comparison
Q: How do I get rid of shortcuts that don’t point to anything anymore?

A: Drag and drop desktop, taskbar, and folder shortcuts to Recycle Bin and dump ‘em. For Start menu shortcuts, use the new Taskbar & Start Menu command under Settings on the Start menu. For hidden shortcuts that remain after you’ve uninstalled programs, use the Checklinks tool from the Resource Kit Sampler that finds and eliminates dead links and shortcuts (see above tip for installing the Resource Kit Sampler).

Q: How do I turn on file extensions?

A: By default, Windows 98 hides file extension for all known file types, which is fine if you’re in Details view. But you may want to see extensions in other views—and some e-mail programs may even have difficulty recognizing attachments without them. To turn on extensions:

  1. Open My Computer.
  2. From the View menu, click Folder Options.
  3. Click the View tab.
  4. Clear the Hide file extensions for known file types option.

NOTE: You can set or remove this option for individual folders by opening the folder, and following steps 2-4 above.

Q: How do I show hidden program or system files?

A: Showing hidden files comes in handy, for example, when you’ve tried to delete everything from a floppy disk and Properties still indicates 100K in files. In any folder window (including My Computer), to show all files:

  1. From the View menu, click Folder Options.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. Check Show all files.

WARNING: Don’t be tempted to delete system files that Windows needs—when in doubt, leave it!

Browse everywhere from any Explorer window.

You’ve probably heard a bunch about true Internet and desktop integration in Windows 98. Here’s some of the proof. You can switch back and forth between Web pages, files and folders on your computer, network drives, and pages on a corporate intranet—all from the same browser or window. Toolbar buttons change to match content you’re viewing, and you can use the Forward and Back buttons to flow freely between locations. For example, type a folder location in the Address bar of your browser or, vice versa, type a Web site address in your Address bar in My Computer.

Q: Is there a keyboard shortcut to add a Web page to my Favorites?

A: Yes. Press CTRL+D and your wish is a Windows command. Later, you can go back and simply click and drag the Favorite to the exact folder and location where you want it to appear in your list.

Q: Can I use a satellite dish with WebTV and WaveTop?

A: Not yet. The use of a satellite dish service with WebTV for Windows requires a different decoder software which will be available in a later release. In the meantime, you can use either rabbit ears or cable, as long as you get good TV reception through them.

Q: Are there any additional costs or costs for services associated with WebTV on Windows 98?

A: To use WebTV for Windows, you need a TV Tuner card installed in your PC—this is an additional cost. There are no additional costs to watch TV and Interactive TV on your PC or to download the data for the basic service of the Program Guide. There are also no additional osts to use the WaveTop service, once you have a TV Tuner Card installed in the PC.

Q: Can I ‘clean’ install Windows 98 on a newly-formatted hard disk, without reinstalling Windows 95 first?

A: Yes. If you are an experienced user—and are willing to reinstall all your applications— you can save disk space, reduce device configuration issues, and get even more speed from Windows 98 by performing a ‘clean install’. You can use the Windows 98 Upgrade CD, even if you’re installing it onto a blank formatted hard disk with the minimum MS-DOS files required to boot to a C: prompt. Once you’ve inserted the Windows 98 CD and begun the install, you will be prompted to insert the Windows 95 CD or floppy disk for compliance checking, to prove you’re upgrading.

NOTE: Don’t forget you must first backup all your data onto high-capacity storage (such as Zip disks) and have all the original software to reinstall your applications.

Give your clicking finger a rest, using single-click desktop icons.

In Windows 98, you can change your desktop to operate in single-click mode, which allows you to open applications, windows, and folders the same way you do in your Web browser. To change from double-click mode to single-click mode:

  1. Double-click (for the last time!) My Computer .
  2. On the View menu, click Folder Options.
  3. Click the General tab and click Custom, based on settings you choose.
  4. Click Settings and click Single-click to open an item.
Surf your computer the same way you surf the Web.

In Windows 98, click My Computer to open a window in a default setup called Web View. You "surf" the contents of My Computer similar to surfing in a Web browser. Along the left side, a panel displays useful information specific to the item you click. For example, if you point to a disk drive, the panel displays drive size and free space. If you point to a folder, the panel displays a folder description. If you point to a file, the panel displays document details and a thumbnail image of the file.

Get instantaneous desktop access.

The Quick Launch toolbar on the Windows 98 taskbar contains a new Desktop button. With a single click of the Desktop button, all open windows are instantly minimized. Click again to restore all open windows, or click a single icon on the taskbar to open only that application or window.

Make a Web page (or a single graphic on a Web page) your desktop wallpaper.

You can use any hypertext markup language (HTML) document, or Web page, as your desktop wallpaper. To make a Web page your wallpaper:

  1. Right-click the desktop and click Properties.
  2. Click the Background tab.
  3. Click Browse, and locate and click the Web page you want.
  4. Click Apply.

Bonus Tip: You also can right-click any graphic on a Web page, and click Set As Wallpaper.

Clean off your desk—remove all desktop icons from your desktop.

The Windows 98 Active Desktop allows you to view Web sites, updated subscription channels, pictures (including animated pictures), and more. If you want to see all this content without desktop icons getting in the way:

  1. Right-click anywhere on the Active Desktop.
  2. Highlight Active Desktop and click Customize my desktop.
  3. Click the Effects tab.
  4. Check Hide icons when the desktop is viewed as a Web page.

Don't worry-you still have access to your desktop icons. In Windows 98, you can add them to your taskbar:

  1. Right-click a blank area on the taskbar.
  2. Highlight Toolbars and click Desktop. The Desktop toolbar will appear on the taskbar.
Undo file operations.

Have you ever accidentally deleted, renamed, moved, or copied a file you didn't intend to? Windows 98 has added an Undo command-that works like the Undo command in Microsoft Office 97 applications-to every user interface window. Click Undo on the toolbar (if you are viewing a window in Web View), or click Undo on the Edit menu.

Q: I can't find my desktop themes. Where are they?

A: To customize the personality of your desktop with special icons, wallpaper, screen savers, and sounds all organized around a common theme (for example, Underwater):

  1. Click Start, highlight Settings, and click Control Panel.
  2. Click Desktop Themes.
  3. Select a theme from the Theme drop-down list.
  4. Click Apply and click OK.

NOTE: If you don't see the Desktop Themes icon in Control Panel, you will need to install it. Click Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.

Add your most frequently used programs to the taskbar.

You can create custom toolbar buttons on the new Windows 98 taskbar simply by dragging a program file, folder, or Web site window onto the taskbar. Windows 98 will automatically create a toolbar button for that application, folder, or Web site.

Search the Web directly from your Windows 98 taskbar.

To search the Web from your taskbar, first open the Address toolbar:

  1. Right-click a blank area on the taskbar.
  2. Highlight Toolbars and click Address. The Address toolbar will appear on the taskbar.

To search the Web, begin typing a Web address in the text box, and AutoComplete will suggest URLs based on sites you've visited. Or type Go, Find, or ? followed by a word or a phrase.

Create your own toolbar on the taskbar.

You can turn any folder into a toolbar, complete with single-click icons accessible from the taskbar. To create your own toolbar:

  1. Right-click any empty space on the taskbar.
  2. Highlight Toolbars, and click New Toolbar.
  3. Click the folder you want to become a toolbar, and click OK.

After you've created your toolbar, you can click and drag it to any location on your desktop-for example, you can anchor it at the top-, right-, or left-hand side of the screen.

Q: My taskbar is too cluttered with both the Desktop and Address toolbars turned on. Any solutions?

A: You can take any toolbar on your taskbar and turn it into a floating toolbar on your desktop. Simply click a blank area of the toolbar you want to move, and drag it onto a convenient area of your desktop. Windows 98 will create a floating toolbar.

Play Help hide-and-seek.

The Help system in Windows 98 has a new look. Click Start and click Help. When you click the Contents tab, you will see Back and Forward buttons similar to a Web browsing menu. There are also Hide and Show buttons: If you want to maximize the windows as you view Help information, click Hide to hide the Contents and Index pane. Click Show to view Contents and Index again.

Simply drag and drop to reorganize your Start menu.

In Windows 98, it is much easier to move programs, shortcuts, and Favorites around. Simply click Start and then highlight Programs, Favorites, or Documents. Click and drag the item you want to move to its new location. You can even move items up from submenu locations to higher levels for faster access

Discover new hard-disk space with Disk Cleanup.

Temporary files, Internet file caches, empty folders, and defunct shortcuts can quickly add up to a large amount of hard-disk space that's useless and wasted. But it can be scary to start deleting files willy-nilly. So, Windows 98 has made it easy for you. The Disk Cleanup system tool will help you locate and delete all unnecessary files. To use the Disk Cleanup tool, click Start, highlight Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, and click Disk Cleanup.

NOTE: You can use Maintenance Wizard to schedule this function to happen automatically on a regular schedule when you are not using your computer.

Discover how tracking down system problems can be "Elementary, my dear Watson!"

Dr. Watson is a system tool that will give you a comprehensive picture of your software environment so that, when a problem occurs, you can use this information in conjunction with Technical Support to identify the source of the error. To generate a system snapshot with Dr. Watson:

  1. Click Start, highlight Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, and click System Information.
  2. Click Tools and click Dr. Watson.
  3. Type a brief description of the steps you took that produced the error.
  4. From the File menu, click Save As, type a name for the error log, and click Save.
Q: What's new on the Start menu?

A: There are several new items on the Start menu, for example:

  • Favorites—Open your favorite Web sites from the Start menu.
  • Settings—Two new commands were added to Settings: Folder Options and Active Desktop. The Folder Options dialog box allows you to change settings such as double-clicking. Active Desktop allows you to customize your desktop or turn it on or off.
  • Find—There are two new commands on the Find menu: People and On The Internet. People will access several of the most popular online directory services and address books to locate contact information. Use On The Internet to activate a Web search.
Q: How do I use the new People command on the Find menu to locate a high-school buddy?

A: To find people on the Internet:

  1. Click Start, highlight Find, and click People.
  2. In the Look in list, select the directory service that you want to use to find someone.
  3. Type as much information as you know about the person you are looking for, and click Find Now.

NOTE: Click Web Site to go to a specific directory service's Web site for more details.

Q: How do I find out what's new in Windows 98?

A: To see what's new in Windows 98, view a demonstration called Discover Windows 98. To open Discover Windows 98:

  1. Insert your Windows 98 CD in the CD-ROM drive.
  2. Click Start, highlight Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, and click Welcome to Windows.
  3. Click What's New.
Q: How do I clear the contents of my Documents menu in Windows 98?

A: To clear the contents of your Documents menu:

  1. Click Start, highlight Settings, and click Taskbar & Start Menu.
  2. Click the Start Menu Programs tab.
  3. In Documents, click Clear.

Bonus Tip: To open the Taskbar Properties dialog box, right-click a blank area on the taskbar and click Properties.

Q: It looks like some icons are missing from my Programs menu under the Start menu, what happened?

A: Don't worry, it's all there. A submenu that used to appear in several panels in Windows 95, becomes a single, scrolling panel in Windows 98. Simply click on the up or down arrows at the top and bottom of the panel to scroll through the rest of your icons.

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Copyrightę 1998 of The Code Name: Windows 98 Team