Business Automation and Software Blog

Seven Windows 7 Goodies You May Not Know You Have

Posted by Nicole Sherman on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 @ 02:23 PM

windows-7-tips-and-tricksThere are a few neat features in Windows 7 that it seems like many people haven’t noticed. I know, seldom do we read thru business software manuals or take time to explore every single menu item in a new OS.  This unfortunately can allow us to miss out on things that are great while dealing with what we hate about the changes from our old version of Windows.  I put together a list of items so you can explore the good I have found also.

    1. Text Search for Programs– You no longer have to click Programs, search for your menu item folder and then the icon to run the program you want. Simply click the windows button, click on the Search Programs and Files box and start typing in part of the program name you want to run. When I want to run Adobe Acrobat Reader, I type in Acrobat.  Then it pops Adobe Acrobat Reader up at the top of the list on my start bar.  This feature also works with documents and files.
        2. The Windows Calculator– Yes we know about it, but unless we needed to do basic math we ignored it. The great news is they enhanced the Windows 7 built-in calculator. It hadn’t really changed much till now. It has some extra tricks, which you'll find under the View menu. It maintains a history of your previous calculations as long as the calculator is open. It can do many new unit conversions (temperature, weight, area, and eight others), interesting date calculations, and even has worksheets to calculate a mortgage payment or a car's fuel mileage.
            3. Problem Steps Recorder- When you need PC help, it's much better to let them see for themselves what's happening on your system. Sometimes remote access isn't an option. Getting a way to relay what is happening is invaluable when asking anyone for assistance. The Problem Steps Recorder is the next best thing.  Search for and run "PSR" from the Start menu in the Search Programs and Files box. Click Start Record, and the utility will record your activities through a series of screen shots, automatically including captions that show exactly where you clicked. You can also use the Add Comment button to highlight specific areas of the screen and insert custom annotations. When you stop recording, everything will be stitched together and saved as a Web browser-compatible MHTML file. It will be compressed and ready for e-mailing to whomever you need to get assistance from. Just check the recording to confirm it did record what you expected, as some programs and sites block this tool for security reasons.
                4. The Snipping Tool– we all have a moment where we wish we could print out or save what we see on our screen. We could always use the printscreen button and then paste it into something and edit out the parts we don’t want. This is cumbersome and time consuming.  There also have been apps made that we can buy and download to do this. However we do not have to do this anymore in Windows 7. If you click in the windows button, click on the Search Programs and Files box and start typing in Snipping. Then you will get the Snipping Tool which will allow you to select part of or the entire screen.
                    5. Reliability Monitor- When your system's acting flaky and you're trying to figure out what's going on, the Reliability Monitor can help. Search for "reliability" from the Start menu in the Search Programs and Files box. Run the item called View reliability history. There you'll get a graph of your system's "stability index" over a period of days and weeks (rated on a scale of 1 to 10). It also displays which programs, Windows components, or miscellaneous items crashed on a given day. Hopefully this will help you identify problem items.
                        6. Pin Folders to the Taskbar- You already probably know that you can right click your favorite programs and pin them to the Windows 7 Taskbar for easy access. If not – try it, you’ll like it. Although there's option for folders, there’s another way to keep them easily available on the Taskbar. Right-click any folder, drag it to an empty space on the Taskbar (or to the Windows Explorer button), and let go when "Pin to Windows Explorer" appears. Now anytime you right click the Windows button, your folders will be accessible via the Jump List.
                            7. Hotkey your Window between Monitors– There is an easy and mouse-free way to move windows around a display and even between multiple monitors. Press the Windows key + the left or right arrow key. Then the active window will move from its original position and anchor itself to the edge of the screen in the direction of the arrow, and it will do so across every monitor you have. Likewise, when you press Windows + SHIFT + left or right arrow, the active window will jump over to the same position on the adjacent monitor. If you only have two monitors, it doesn't matter which arrow key you use.

                              We hope these tips and tricks help you navigate your way thru the new Windows 7 operating system. We are constantly trying to master new business software solutions so we can pass on what we’ve learned to you – our clients. If you have any business software consulting or business software support needs, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

                              Topics: Windows tips and tricks, business management software