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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    Three free Microsoft apps you'll want to use


    Best Utilities

    Three free Microsoft apps you'll want to use


    By Doug Spindler

    Microsoft offers many free utilities for better personal computing. There are three small apps that you should keep in your Windows toolkit.

    I hope you find these programs as useful as I do.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/best-utilities/three-free-microsoft-apps-youll-want-to-use/ (opens in a new window/tab).

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

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Tracey Capen For This Useful Post:

    toktok (2016-10-20)

  3. #2
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    1) ZoomIt - WOW! Looks great! Where has this been all my life? But ...
    ZoomIt now lives in a sub-directory in my Documents folder. I don't like to clutter that folder and would like to move the ZoomIt folder to another, more appropriate folder like Program Files. Can I just move it or should I download it again? Will I have to start it again via File Explorer after restarting my Windows 10 machine or will it still need only Ctl+1? (I did not set the "Run when Windows starts" check box but intend to do so after I resolve the questions I've posed here.)

    2) Snipping Tool - Great app that I've been using for some time. Glad to see that one can now print directly from ST instead of having to paste into some other app and then printing (as with an earlier ST release).

    3) Steps Recorder - Looks interesting and probably very useful ... if I can remember that I've got it.

  4. #3
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    psr

    Thanks!
    Problem Steps Recorder:
    If I type "Problem Steps Recorder" in the Search box as indicated, I don't get anything.
    But when I type "PSR" I get the psr.exe file to run.
    (Running Windows 7 Home Premium SP1).
    Last edited by toktok; 2016-10-20 at 21:19.

  5. #4
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toktok
    If I type "Problem Steps Recorder" in the Search box as indicated, I don't get anything.
    You can just type steps then press Enter (or snip for the Snipping Tool).

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2016-10-21 at 01:05.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    You can just type steps then press Enter (or snip for the Snipping Tool).

    Hope this helps...
    Thanks. Perhaps you can. I cannot. Only PSR works. Perhaps because I've a non-English version of Windows.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toktok
    Thanks. Perhaps you can. I cannot. Only PSR works. Perhaps because I've a non-English version of Windows.
    I'll have to remember that.

  8. #7
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    OK, nobody answered my questions about ZoomIt so I will:

    "Can I just move it or should I download it again?" I Cut and Pasted in File Explorer from Documents to Program Files; no problem except that I had to exit ZoomIt before Win10 would allow me to move it. And when it did allow the move, I was prompted to OK it (as an Administrator - one click - no sweat).

    "Will I have to start it again via File Explorer after restarting my Windows 10 machine or will it still need only Ctl+1?" ZoomIt had to be restarted. Added it to StartUp programs and clicked the "Run when Windows starts" check box for good measure. Didn't restart Win10 again to test it though; don't have time for that right now.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverKing
    OK, nobody answered my questions about ZoomIt so I will:

    "Can I just move it or should I download it again?" I Cut and Pasted in File Explorer from Documents to Program Files; no problem except that I had to exit ZoomIt before Win10 would allow me to move it. And when it did allow the move, I was prompted to OK it (as an Administrator - one click - no sweat).

    "Will I have to start it again via File Explorer after restarting my Windows 10 machine or will it still need only Ctl+1?" ZoomIt had to be restarted. Added it to StartUp programs and clicked the "Run when Windows starts" check box for good measure. Didn't restart Win10 again to test it though; don't have time for that right now.
    I'm no longer a subscriber to the newsletter so I have no idea what was written. It wasn't until your second post that you mentioned you were using Windows 10.

    ZoomIt is a portable utility, i.e. doesn't need to be installed, from what used to be SysInternals (before it was bought out by Microsoft). The download site shows the latest version of ZoomIt as v4.5 dated 3 years ago, i.e. well before the release of Windows 10.

    AFAIK the 'zooming' functionality of ZoomIt was baked into Windows as far back as Windows 7 (using CTRL+mouse scroll wheel). I use this functionality most days in both Windows 7 and Windows 10 so I know it works well.

    Perhaps this is the reason why nobody answered, i.e. because nobody on the forum uses ZoomIt with Windows 10 when there is a built-in alternative to downloading it?

    If ZoomIt is running then, yes, you will need to close it in order to move the executable to another location (which, yes, you may need to 'OK' the move as Administrator).

    Hope this helps...

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Rick Corbett For This Useful Post:

    RiverKing (2016-10-28)

  11. #9
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    Rick

    I've been a Windows user since the first release and somehow the "baked in" zooming escaped my notice. I tried it while reading your post and see it works a tad differently than ZoomIt. The Ctrl+MouseWheel zooming only works on the window in which the cursor is located (or the desktop -- without zooming the background -- if that's where the mouse is) while ZoomIt zooms the entire desktop and everything on it. I'm not sure which I prefer; maybe it depends on the reason for zooming.

    Another difference is the robust suite of options that come with ZoomIt. That said, I've only scanned their descriptions and haven't played with them at all. Are there similar options with Ctrl+MouseWheel scrolling? Some look like I might find use for them; I don't see me using others. Again, I think it depends on who's doing the zooming and why.

    The biggest problem I see (for myself) is remembering that these tools are available. On the other hand, as I get older and my eyes seem to tire much more easily, I might be very glad to have these tools available.

    Thanks for the information.

  12. #10
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    If ZoomIt magnifies the entire desktop, then that starts to overlap the functionality of the Magnifier. Magnifier has been part of the Accessibility tools just about forever. However the issue I've always had with Magnifier is that the magnification window itself blocks part of the desktop.

    However the function of ZoomIt sounds even more like the "pinch or expand to zoom" function found on smartphones. That seems like a good idea to me: Often you don't need to zoom everything all the time. The navigation cues are often enough to get to an information source, but then you need to read something that does need magnification.

    Understand that I'm coming at this as someone who does not have particular seeing issues, so I don't typically use the Accessibility tools.

  13. #11
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    I like the snipping tool so much I remove my third party screen capture utility.
    As for zoomit, no thanks. Microsoft's Magnifier easily works a treat with everything I throw at it. (Windows 10 Pro)
    I have both of these pinned to my task bar as I use them so often.

  14. #12
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    Checking out Magnifier (didn't know I had it). I feel like I'm riding an untrained mustang without a bridle. I can see some advantages to it though. Maybe I'll tame it.

  15. #13
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverKing
    Checking out Magnifier (didn't know I had it). I feel like I'm riding an untrained mustang without a bridle. I can see some advantages to it though. Maybe I'll tame it.
    If you have a mouse with a middle scroll wheel then try this: with Magnifier not running, hold down a CTRL key (either, it doesn't matter) then use the mouse's scroll wheel to scroll up and down. If yours works to zoom as mine does then you may find you don't need to run Magnifier at all.

    Hope this helps...

  16. #14
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    One problem with the Ctrl-Mouse Wheel method crops up with IE (I'm still holding out on Edge until it allows Norton to add the Password Vault). The problem is that using the Ctrl-Mouse Wheel changes the Zoom setting in IE and IE remembers it across sessions until you reset it. Other apps apparently don't see the Ctrl-Mouse Wheel and re-entering them doesn't repeat the Zoom setting.

  17. #15
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverKing
    One problem with the Ctrl-Mouse Wheel method crops up with IE (I'm still holding out on Edge until it allows Norton to add the Password Vault). The problem is that using the Ctrl-Mouse Wheel changes the Zoom setting in IE and IE remembers it across sessions until you reset it. Other apps apparently don't see the Ctrl-Mouse Wheel and re-entering them doesn't repeat the Zoom setting.
    My apologies... I haven't used IE for many years so wasn't aware. As for 'other apps', I'm afraid many software developers ignore Microsoft's suggested input 'hooks' so don't understand the CTRL+mouse wheel combo. (Hmm... standards! They're just not always standard. )

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