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  1. #1
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    TOP STORY

    Quick cures for the worst Windows 7 annoyances


    By Scott Dunn

    In its seemingly never-ending quest for a better Windows, Microsoft simply can't resist tinkering with — and sometimes completely removing — features that many of us loved.

    If you find yourself tripping over new Windows 7 features or missing favorite old ones, I've got some tips that will come to your rescue.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/02/18/02 (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.


    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-20 at 15:03.

  2. #2
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    Been meaning to share this for a while. I have, for a number of years used the free Jet Toolbar as a taskbar launcher. I have set up Groups similar to Libraries under Jet Toolbar tabs (replacing the default ones offered by the program), such as Academy for all knowledge-based apps, Comms, Internet , Security, Office, Photo, Utils etc. Clicking on a tab reveals appropriate program shortcuts.

    Jet tool bar can be set to auto-hide so it sits neatly as a simple line just next to the taskbar. It can actually be set to any side of the screen and will pop up when hovered.

    I think this is a great little app which makes all my programs available with two clicks. It ought to be a part of Windows in my opinion.

    You can get it at

    http://www.jetaudio.com/download/jettoolbar.html

    -e

  3. #3
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    Don't give up on Windows 7 Aero Snap if you have two monitors. Use WinKey and the left or right arrow key. I have two monitors and this key combination works like this:

    Each window is divided into three "zones", left, middle and right. Using WinKey and say the right arrow key, the selected window will move to the right through each of these zones in turn. So, repeated pressing of the right arrow while WinKey is held down will move a window that starts on the right hand monitor to the right side of that monitor, then to the left of the left monitor, then to the centre of the left monitor and so on. Once one window is in place, you can then move another in the same way.

  4. #4
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    My vote goes to the Wiondows 7 Task Bar, I have never used the Quick Launch toolbar because it is too crude for me with all the icons lumped together. I have always used this technique, change the folders to your choice:

    Create a folder called Pictures. In that create a folder called Editing Programs. In the first folder, place shortcuts to all the stuff relating to your pictures. In the sub folder, place shortcuts to the editing programs that you use.

    On the Task Bar, right click, Toolbars, New toolbar and navigate to the the new folder. Now, unlock the Task Bar and squeeze the folder width down as tight as it will go. Choose to Show Text and Show Title. Re lock the Task Bar. What you get is the name of the folder, Pictures, and a double arrow symbol. Click that and a list of the folders contents opens for you to select the item you want. You will also see that the subfolder is listed, Editing Programs, with a fly out arrow so you can get in there too.

  5. #5
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    Great post johnsmithbisley - I was just checking to see if someone corrected Scott Dunn's incorrect statement that aerosnap couldn't be used on two monitors - we had also already figured out the Windows Key + right or left arrow keyboard shortcut to use snap with two monitors. Glad to see you posted that.

    Also, you can use WinKey + up and WinKey + down arrow to maximize or minimize

  6. #6
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    I want to share my 2 biggest missing beefs: Alt+Tab and WSH Sendkeys.

    Alt_Tab: I'm a keyboard shortcut-aholic, even since before my mouse hand got tingly. I frequently work in 2 apps at once [doesn't everybody?] and Alt+Tab is (was) a super quick way to flip over to another app without changing my hand positions on the keys. All other apps leave their Alt+Tab icons alone but Windows Explorer. When I navigate to My Music, fire up some tunes to listen to while I work, Alt+Tab back to my work and continue, then all of a sudden I need to copy something from a file in the filesystem, I hit Alt+Tab, stop, think, "I want Explorer, where's the Explorer icon?". There's a musical note there, then "Lo! that's right! That was the last thing I did. Who cares what I did, I only want a shortcut to where I'm going!". Suggestion: Leave it as a folder looking icon so I can whip over to the file system without thinking about it.

    Sendkeys: I'm a developer and see modifications to an OS to restrict as Obstructionism or a bandaid rather than a true fix. This was recently cemented in my brain when Wyse, a thin client h/w vendor, claimed on their site that their thin clients and their OSes are purposefully slow [paraphrasing liberty taken] because that's the way it should be. Ha! busted. Windows Scripting Host Sendkeys was a fantastic tool to automate repetitive tasks (the whole reason computers were invented). Anyway, I can hear the infrastructure and security justifiers now, "Sendkeys was a tool used by hackers to take over computers and wreck all our work". It's as if if we shut off our computers then infrastructure and security folks would be happy.

    WinKey: Great tip, thanks, I will definitely use this from now on!

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Another program to consider is Stardock's ObjectDock available in both free and Plus versions at http://www.stardock.com/products/objectdock/

    I am using the Plus version on 64 bit Win 7 and the next version, coming soon, is supposed to finally allow hiding the Task Bar as offered for non-64 bit OSs.

    I am just a user, not affiliated with Stardock. Eric

  8. #8
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    Jon hit the nail on the head for the use of the Windows Shortcuts for use with moving windows quickly and easily to one of three zones.

    An app to help make use of the Windows 7 Taskbar more efficiently is 7stacks, from Alastria software - see http://www.alastria.com/index.php?p=software-7s

    Basically, it allows for the creation of 'stacks' similar to those seen in other OSs *cough cough* that, once set up, give you far mos real estate than just what can fit on the single Taskbar horizontally. This might be a viable solution for those wanting a better looking way to manage pinned items on their taskbar / wanting a 'menu' of sorts rising up off the taskbar.

    Also, for repetitive tasks, I highly recommend the free app ZenKEY - see http://www.camiweb.com/zenkey/ - it is nearly flawless in terms of the capabilities, and I have used it to automate repetitive tasks hundreds of times....

    Finally, let me plug a beautiful multiple monitor taskbar solution called Display Fusion - see http://www.binaryfortress.com/displayfusion/ - it works well with W7, and is a lot cheaper than the newly updated UltraMon, and the free version supports a lot of the main features that make it so necessary....

  9. #9
    New Lounger JackSprat's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    One thing that really annoys me is when grabbling the title bar of a window to reposition it, if often makes the window full screen size. This is new with Win7, and I absolutely hate it - it is a total waste of time, as I have to resize the window back to its original size again. All I want to do is MOVE the window, not FULL SCREEN resize it.

    Is there as way to turn off or disable this 'feature'?

    Paul

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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Leduc View Post
    One thing that really annoys me is when grabbling the title bar of a window to reposition it, if often makes the window full screen size. This is new with Win7, and I absolutely hate it - it is a total waste of time, as I have to resize the window back to its original size again. All I want to do is MOVE the window, not FULL SCREEN resize it.

    Is there as way to turn off or disable this 'feature'?

    Paul
    Hi Paul, and welcome to the Lounge! Welcome to all first time posters!

    Yes Paul, you can disable the 'feature' which is called Aero Snap (and Aero Shake is tied in with it also). In the Start menu search box type mouse, and then click Change How your Mouse Works. Near the bottom of the window that comes up, select Prevent Windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen. This disables Snap and Shake as well as the keyboard shortcuts that perform the same functions. You can always reverse this if you change your mind in the future.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

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  12. #11
    New Lounger JackSprat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Shepard View Post
    Hi Paul, and welcome to the Lounge! Welcome to all first time posters!

    Yes Paul, you can disable the 'feature' which is called Aero Snap (and Aero Shake is tied in with it also). In the Start menu search box type mouse, and then click Change How your Mouse Works. Near the bottom of the window that comes up, select Prevent Windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen. This disables Snap and Shake as well as the keyboard shortcuts that perform the same functions. You can always reverse this if you change your mind in the future.
    Thanks for the welcome, and MANY thanks for the Aero Shake disable tip!!!!

    Paul

  13. #12
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    Circle Dock is highly recommended. Hotkey pops it up directly under your cursor. One click to run the program; the dock disappears. Nice UI. Check out the video first. Then read about it here: http://circledock.wikidot.com/

    AL
    [no connection to this program other than admiration.]

  14. #13
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    The one thing that annoys me most is Windows 7 doesn't show the 'comments' in the network display in windows explorer. When I browse our domain, in windows xp I was able to see all the 'comments' as applied in Active Directory to the computer. This usually holds the name of the person who uses that computer. Often I will have the name of a computer that I need to go and do something to but in Windows 7 I have no idea where that might be. If I browse in windows 7 I can't find out anything that's useful - location column just shows my domain name, ip address is blank except for my pc, category is 'computer'.... nothing that helps my work.

    It would be great if anyone knew how to get the 'comments' column back into the network display so I can see who uses the computer and go to the right desk. As a work around at the moment I connect to an xp machine or server 2003 machine and browse from there.

    Regards,
    Bryce Stenberg.

  15. #14
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    In Windows XP you could actually drag the 'Quick Launch Bar' from the Taskbar onto the desktop and display it as a 'Quick Launch Window'. Any ideas how to do this in Windows 7?

    Carl J...

  16. #15
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    I thought there was a quick cure to the Vista backup but I was trying Win 7 backup and I can't see how one specifies a folder within an external drive. You can specify a drive but no subfolder on that drive. Is this the way it is supposed to work. Just when you think there could be an improvement, you find a shortcoming. But Win 7 is better than vista. Tom tom@tomtexas.com

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