Cheap Tricks For Your Computer

Cheap Trick of the Week: October 18, 1999

No-scroll Programs Menu

This trick is for Windows 98 users who would like to pick up one useful feature from Windows 95: In that older operating system when you had too many programs to fit in one column on the Start/Programs menu, a second column with the additional items appeared beside it. In Win98, however, you have to scroll from the bottom of the column to see more items. But you can make your Windows 98 Programs menu work like Windows 95's by adding a line to your Registry. (Editing the Registry can be a bit tricky and risky — for full instructions on safe Registry hacking, see Click on the Start button and on Run. Type regedit and click on OK to bring up the Registry Editor. In the Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Advanced. Right-click on Advanced and select New and String Value. Name the new string that appears in the right pane StartMenuScrollPrograms without spaces and with capitals as shown. Then right-click on the icon beside the name you just created and select Modify. An Edit String dialogue box appears. In the Data field, enter the word false and click on OK. Close the Registry. You may or may not have to reboot the computer first, but you'll see that your Programs menu will now continue across the screen in as many columns as it requires — no more scrolling.  

Cheap Trick of the Week: October 04, 1999

A choice of openings

In Windows 95 and 98, when you right-click on a file name or icon, a context menu pops up to give you several choices, including opening the file. If the file type is already registered, clicking on Open will open the file with a previously specified program. For instance, a file with the .TXT extension might be opened by Notepad. But what if you'd rather open it with a better word processor? Wouldn't you like to have a choice? As Captain Picard would say, make it so. Open Windows Explorer and under the Edit menu, click on Options or Folder Options. In the box that appears, click on the File Types tab. Scroll down the list of file types to find Text Document, click on it and then on the Edit button. In the Edit File Types box that appears, click on New. Now the New Action dialogue box is awaiting your instructions. In its Action space, enter the command you want to add to the context menu — such as Open with Word. In the space for Application, enter the path to the program you want to use to open text files. You can employ the Browse button to find the exact location, if you like. For Word, the path might be C:\Programs Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Winword.exe although it may differ on your computer. Click on OK and close up all open boxes. Now whenever you right-click on a .TXT file, you'll get an option to "Open with Word". This is only one example. You can experiment with opening a variety of files with various applications. In some cases, you may have to add a space and "%1" (including quotation marks) to the application path in the New Action dialogue box. If you're adventurous, you can go further where no one has gone before and add other commands to context menus, like View or Edit, and designate applications to perform those functions.

Want more of these neat cheap tricks? Yes! Then click on one of the links listed below and look
for the "Cheap Tricks" image. Click it and you'll get to a link which teaches additional tricks.
There's also a cheap little book available which contains hundreds of them so that you can get your
computer to work just as you want it to!

 Go to: Ursula's Outstanding Links Page or go to: BOB, Webmasters' Resources Help Site