A few tips in using Windows 95

Free Display Features of Plus!

        You can download from Microsoft a free Font Smoother, which comes with the Plus pack for Windows 95. However not only can it do font smoothing, but it can stretch wallpaper to fill in the full screen when centered, and the other options that are included in Display Properties, Plus!, from the Plus pack. It's well worth the download.

Quick Restart:

        When you want to restart 95 you can do a quick restart. After you choose Start, Shutdown, Restart the computer, before pressing Yes, hold the shift key down while pressing Yes. This will allow 95 to exit and restart without the need to go through the autoexec.bat and config.sys files.

Text Files:

        If you have lots of text files but they do not have a text extension, such as in read.me, readme.1st or HTML files you can view them as text. You can open them easily with Notepad. For example HTML files double clicked will likely open in your browser; the readme.1st files will say it doesn't know what to open them with. However you want to view these with your text viewer. Here is how you can set up 95 to handle this task. Go to Start, Run, and type in:


        This contains the links that are in the menu choice of sendto. Now choose File, New, Shortcut. Type in the command:


        Click on Next and change the name of the link from notepad.exe to Notepad or Display Text or whatever you like. Then choose Finish when done.

        Now whenever you want to view a file as text you right click the file. Choose "Send To" and choose Notepad, and Notepad will open the file. It's that simple and easy.

        This will now allow you to use the "Send To" option so you can have Notepad open a file, instead of double clicking and letting 95 open with the associated program.

Organizing your program listings in Windows 95:

        In 95 when you install a program, it's normally stored under a program group from the root of Programs. For example a game called Fun Kids would get listed under Fun Kids or whatever you call it. The setup program asks where you want to place the icons in your listing of Programs. However when the program asks for the group name, you can nest the groups. If you have a group called Games, you can install your games, such as Fun Kids, in a neat sub group. Tell the install program to install the icons to, for example:

Games\Fun Kids

        You can also manage your existing groups, by right clicking the Start button and choosing Open, then double clicking on Programs. Now you can create new categories (folders) with File, New, Folder. Then you can drag and drop your existing groups to neatly organize your program listings.

Open a file with another program:

        If there is a file you want to open with another program, you can. Click the file so it turns blue. While holding the shift key down right click the file and choose Open With... . Make sure the box that says "Always use this program to open this type of file" is NOT checked unless you want to change your association of that file type to another program. If you want to change file association you can use this too, but check that box. Then choose a program from the list, that you want to open that file with, and choose OK.

Get to the desktop easily:

        If you have multiple windows open and you want to go to the desktop to access some icon, but you don't want to hit minimize on each window, there is a faster option. Right click on a blank area of the Taskbar and choose "Minimize All Windows". Then you can do what you want on the desktop. When you want to get your windows back, again right click on a blank area of the Taskbar and this time choose "Undo Minimize All".

Windows Explorer Crashed:

        If you are running a program, and it caused an error in Explorer, and Explorer must be shut down, sometimes Explorer will not automatically reload. If this happens, go to the desktop and press Ctrl-Esc. You will see a window called Tasks appear. Press File, then Run Application. Type in explorer as the name of the file to run and then choose OK. This will bring back up the Taskbar with the Start button. If you had programs running in the taskbar as an icon near the clock, their icons will not be visible, but they are running.

Print Screen:

To capture the contents of a window, click on it so it's active and then press ALT+PRINT SCREEN.

To capture the contents of the screen, press PRINT SCREEN.

Now go to Paint or any other image program and paste the image to print it out. Paint is found in Start/Programs/Accessories/Paint.

Mouse difficulties and keyboard shortcut tips:

You can adjust the speed of the mouse, pointer size, double click speed and other properties of the mouse by going to Start/Settings/Control Panel/Mouse. The pointer size is found in Pointers, then Scheme. Buttons adjusts the double click speed, Motion adjuts the mouse speed.

If you still have problems double clicking, try single clicking and then Enter. Click on the icon or object so that it's blue. Then pressing Enter selects it.

If you want to highlight text, but the screen scrolls too fast use the keyboard. Go to the begining of the area you want to highlight. Then hold the Shift key down and use the arrow keys and/or Page Up/Down keys to select the text.

If you have problems accessing the programs in the Program listing, use the keyboard. The Windows 95 logo on your keyboard opens the Start menu. Ctrl-Esc on standard keyboards accesses the Start Menu. The arrow keys will select the menus, and Enter chooses the option. Esc cancels the menu you are at. To jump to a program listing, press the first letter of the program to jump to it in the listing. In this case the arrow keys will select items, but in some menus you need to use the Tab key to select an item.

Also as with most menus, pressing the letter on the keyboard that is the underlined letter of the item choice chooses that item. For example if you do Ctrl-Esc, you can turn your system off quickly by choosing U, for Shut Down. Pressing the letter of the underlined option selects it. The first item selected is Shut down the Computer. You'll also see there is a little black outline around Yes. This means if you press Enter you can select that, it's the default. You can press No by pressing N since the N in No is underlined. Y applies the same for Yes. This tip about the highlighted option as default and pressing the underlined letter applies to most all window menus. Like to access the file menu you can do Alt-F. Menus need to use the Alt key, since it needs to know you are accessing a menu and not typing the letter F. Then you can find even more shortcuts like on the file menu it will say Save, Ctrl-S. Pressing Ctrl-S will do a save on the file you are working on. These are just a few of the keyboard shortcuts in 95.

When filling out forms on the internet. Pressing Tab goes to the next item on the form, and Shift Tab goes back one item.

To select many items in a listing files or most any kind of selection, you can hold the Ctrl key for each item to select multiple items. If the items are in a row, click the first item, then hold the Shift key and select the last item. Now they're all highlighted.

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