by Mike Shinn
Remote Engineer
mshinn@ciosolutions.com

For those of you who read my last article reviewing Windows 7 on why you should consider the switch to Windows 7, I’m still convinced that 7 will stick where Vista had failed.

That said, below are some new features and tips that you can use to get the most out of your Windows 7 experience.

Shake it! Too many windows up at once and need to focus? No problem. Grab the window that you want to focus on and shake it – the others will all fall to the bottom of the screen. Windows-M still works as well to minimize all at once if you need it. Aero must be turned on for the feature to be available.

Dock your window! Press Windows-Left or Windows-Right to dock your open window to the side. To maximize the window, press Windows-Up. Press Windows-Down to minimize.

Connect to a Video Projector! Need to give a presentation? Fumbling for the correct function button combinations can be tough, especially in a room with the lights already turned off. Press Windows-P to see your projector display options.

Mobility Center! Need to turn off sound, check your battery, move the screen to a projector or add a monitor view? Maybe check your wifi connectivity? All of these little utilities are available by pressing Windows-X

Powerful Wordpad! Wordpad is back with a lot of new options. Still no spell-check, but you do get options for margins, zoom, page layout and zoom that were not in previous versions. Plus, all of the speed of the old wordpad.

Run as Admin! If you’re running in a standard user mode but need to run or install an application as an administrator, Ctrl-Shift-Doubleclick on the icon to do so.

Burn CDs and DVDs! No additional software needed. The limited CD version of this was available on XP but Microsoft has now added the ability to burn DVDs the same way – no need to go buy additional expensive DVD burning software that will clutter up your system.

Black Box Recorder! Have you ever wondered why there isn’t a black box on your PC? Now you can have one. If you have a recurring problem and can’t figure out why, go to Start – Run (or Windows-R) and put in PSR.exe. Just record the problem that occurs and stop your recording. The data logs generated will help a technical administrator fix your problems.

Command Prompt Anywhere! This has always been on my list of desired features. You’re a dozen levels deep into windows explorer and need to now run an application from command prompt. That’s a lot of extra typing. Now just rightclick on the folder and Open Command Prompt Here.

I hope that these tips help you to enjoy Windows 7 and lead you to a better and more productive day.