By kannan on Aug 10, 2006
I know there are tonnes of articles out there on the web where several tips and tricks on different windows flavors are provided.
I am listing out a few of the tricks/shortcuts that I use more commonly and some that I found out by myself by playing with the keyboards and registry. I mostly work on Win2K and WinXP and hence the tricks below are applicable to NT based systems unless otherwise specified.
1. Autotab feature
Most of the new windows oses(WinXP, Windows Vista..) have the autotabbing feature on the command prompt window. Some people may not know that these are available on Win2K and WinNT also. It's just that they are disabled by default and here is how you enable it.
Look for the entry HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\Microsoft\\Command Processor
Modify the value of key "Completion Char" to 9
Restart command prompt and the autotab key is there for you.
2. Launching programs on startup
One common way that users follow is adding the program name in the Programs\\Startup menu.
There are situations where you wouldn't want your program to appear on the startup menu but still be launched on startup. Here is what you do then:
Look for the entry
Add key-value pairs for each program that you want to launch on startup.
For e.g. notepad "c:\\winnt\\system32\\notepad.exe"
The keyname could be anything of your choice. The value is an absolute path to the application's location.
3. How to bypass windows login screen on startup
Look for the entry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\Winlogon
Now add (if they don't exist already) the below keys into this entry.
AutoAdminLogon 1 (i.e. Set its value to “1”)
4. Bginfo for keeping system uptodate
A nice tool from sysinternals.com. This is a tool which when installed, attaches itself as a wallpaper to the desktop. The tool displays relevant information about your computer (like hostname, ipaddress, memory size ...). It updates the computer information everytime you boot the system and is always uptodate.
This is for systems with windows key which is found in all the keyboards in the present days.
Assuming I represent windows key as "#" just for simplicity, here are the applications I launch easily with the windows key + a character key combination (i.e. both pressed together).
# and e -> opens windows explorer
# and f -> opens search for files and folders window
# and r -> opens run command box
# and u -> opens utility manager
# and d -> minimizes all visible windows on the screen
6. Stopping CDs from Auto Running
Most of the CDs (like video, movies, audio ...) startup automatically as soon as the CD is inserted into the drive on NT based systems. There are times where I do find this irritating. I know I am really picky sometimes.
To prevent this, do this
press and hold on shift key when the CD is inserted and until it stops spinning. This will prevent the autorunning of CD.
7. Increasing/Decreasing font size on browsers (IE, Mozilla FireFox, ...)
The general way is to use the View->Text Size menu option in either of IE/Mozilla to increase or decrease the text size of the currently viewed page.
Easier way (that I use all the time) is hold down ctrl key + scroll mouse wheel upwards or downwards for decreasing/increasing font size respectively.
8. Move window to fullscreen mode
This may not be applicable to all windows applications. For commonly used applications that provide fullscreen feature in their menus, there is another easiery way of entering into full screen mode
ctrl + double click on the title bar
or just press F11 key
That's it for all I could remember at this point. Will keep updating it as and when I remember any more tricks that I normally use.