This article contains a dozen of the most-asked questions of the past month, a couple of really good (free) utilities, and several useful Internet resources.
What is the Windows Key?

The Windows Key is usually located on either side of the spacebar and is imprinted with a tiny window icon similar to the icon on the Start button. Pressing the Windows Key by itself opens the Start Menu. While this is normally opened with a mouse click, it is nice to know in case the mouse is not working.
The Windows Key can be used with other keys to accomplish a variety of tasks:
Key Combination Action
• Windows Key Start Menu
• Windows Key + F1 Windows Help
• Windows Key + Tab Cycle through TaskBar buttons
• Windows Key + E Open Windows Explorer
• Windows Key + F Find Files
• Ctrl + Windows Key + F Find other computers on Network
• Windows Key + D Minimize or restore all windows
• Shift + Windows Key + M Undo “minimize all windows”

How do I change the speaker volume or how do I get the volume control icon on the TaskBar?

In Windows XP, click on Start, select Control Panel, click on the “Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices” icon and check the box, “Place Volume Icon in TaskBar”. Click OK to close.
In Windows 98, in Control Panel, click on the “Multimedia” icon. Check box, “Place Volume Control on the TaskBar”, click on Apply and then on OK.

What version of Windows am I running?

Right click on My Computer, select Properties, click on the General tab, System to see version and number. This can also be accessed via Control Panel, System and the General tab.

How do I set my computer clock?

Those using Windows XP can set up their computer to automatically set the computer clock to the correct time. Double-click on the clock (lower right-hand corner), click on the “Internet Time” tab, and check the box titled “Automatically Synchronize With An Internet Time Server”. When the computer is connected to the Internet, it will check and adjust the time as necessary.
In Windows 98, you are restricted to manual time setting. Again, right-click on the clock display, select “Adjust Time/Date” and you can then enter a new time and/or date. There are several good third-party utilities for automatically setting computers via the Internet. A good freeware utility is SP TimeSync, which had a multilingual interface and allows you to synchronize the computer clock with any Internet time server. For more information and to download, go to

How do I use business symbols (trademark, copyright) in Microsoft Word?

There are two ways to insert copyright and trademark symbols in text of a Word document. The first uses AutoCorrect by typing ( c ) for the copyright symbol, ( r ) for the registered trademark symbol, and ( tm ) for the trademark symbol. AutoCorrect must be enabled for this to work – from the menu bar, select Tools, AutoCorrect, and place a check in “Replace text as you type”. The second method is to use keyboard shortcuts. Use Alt + Control + C for the copyright symbol, Alt + Control + R for the registered trademark symbol, and Alt + Control + T for the trademark symbol.

I’m having trouble viewing the screen. Can I make the items bigger?

You can increase the size of icons and text via the screen properties. Right-click on a blank portion of the Desktop and select Properties. Click on “Effects” and check the box marked, “Large Icons”. To enlarge the text, again select Properties and click on the “Appearance” tab. In the field marked “Scheme”, click on the down arrow to see all the selections. Near the bottom are two marked “Windows Large” and “Windows Extra Large”.
Another solution would be to use the Windows Magnifier, which is a display utility to make the screen more readable for the visually impaired. Open the Start menu, click on Programs, then Accessories. Choose Accessibility, then Magnifier. You will be presented with a list of options, such as the degree of magnification and color choices.

I don’t have Microsoft Word (or Excel or PowerPoint) – is there a way to view and print these files?

Check out the Microsoft Download Center at In the menu on the left side of the screen, select “Office and Home Applications”. There are many files available for download, among them are service packs, security upgrades, drivers, and the viewers for Microsoft Office files.
To view and print Excel 97/2000 files, go to: downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4eb83149-91da-4110-8595-4a960d3e1c7c&displaylang=en.
To view and print Word 97/2000 files, go to: downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9bbb9e60-e4f3-436d-a5a7-da0e5431e5c1&displaylang=en.
To view and print PowerPoint presentations, go to:

How do I set my printer to “draft” quality to save on ink?

Go to Control Panel, Printers (or select Printers from the Start Menu, Settings). Select the printer to change, go to Printer, Properties, select the Setup tab and check the selection “Draft”. Don’t forget to click on “Apply” and then “OK” to save the change.
This can also be changed within an application from the menu bar. Select File, Print, then Properties. Under the Setup tab, click on “Draft”, then on “Apply”, and finally “OK”.
At the same time, if you don’t want to use color ink for everyday printing, select the “Advanced” tab. Click on “Print in Grayscale”. If you want to adjust for the lowest amount of ink, slide the button all the way to the left under “Ink Volume” to the lowest setting. Finally, click on “Apply” and then “OK” to save the settings.

I didn’t get a Windows manual with my computer.

While Windows does not come with a user manual, there is an excellent help system built in, complete with manual, guided tours and tips. The Help feature also gives you access to the Troubleshooting Wizards (here’s hoping you never need them).
While I would have liked a hardcopy manual, the online version is great for fast searches. To access the Windows Help system, use the Windows Key (see #1, above) plus F1. It can also be accessed from the Start button and select Help.

How do I send a picture in my email?

Once in “Create Mail”, using “Insert” allows you to position pictures using a variety of formatting options. To begin, click the position in the message where the picture should appear. Select “Insert” from the menu, click on “Picture”, and then use “Browse” to find the picture file. Use “Layout” and “Spacing” options as needed.
If the “Picture” command is greyed out (meaning it is unavailable) from the menu, make sure that HTML formatting is turned on. To do this, select “Format” from the “Create Mail” menu and click on “Rich Text (HTML)” to select.
If your recipients can’t view the pictures, on the “Tools” menu, click “Options” and select the “Send” tab. Click “HTML Settings” and make sure “Send pictures with messages” is selected. Then try resending the email.
By the way, if you want to use a background picture in a message, from the “Format” menu, select “Background”, then “Picture”. Again, use the “Browse” button to select the picture for use.

How do I save an email?

Once you have selected an email to save, from the menu bar click on “File”, “Save As”. You can then choose the location to save the file, the name for it, and the format to save it in. Depending on the email, your options will be in the native email format (*.eml), as a text file (*.txt) or as an HTML file (*.htm).

How do I save pictures from the Internet?

Right-click on the picture and select “Save As”. You can then choose the location and a name for the file. Optionally, if you want to use the picture as your Windows wallpaper, right-click and select “Set as Background”.

Great Freebie: Burn4Free

If you are like me and want a fast, easy to use, no nonsense program for burning CD’s, download a copy of Burn4Free. Did I mention it is also FREE! The URL is: The site includes a tutorial, FAQ and links to other useful sites. There are four methods to use for burning a CD with Burn4Free. They are: drag files to the Burn4Free main window, use the embedded file explorer, use the “fly” windows (my favorite, see below), or right-click from Explorer or Desktop to burn files directly to CD. The “fly” window is a mini, transparent window. You drag files/folders to this window, where a count of files/folders, file size, audio duration (if applicable) is displayed. When ready to burn, simply click on the “x” in the upper right corner. I have been using this little program for a long time and love it.

Great Resource for Windows Users: MalekTips

For a truly useful collection of tips, go to, a website created in 1998 by Andrew Malek, “offering free computer help, hints, and tips to the Internet populace”.
Topics include Windows (95, 98, 2000, XP), Internet Explorer 4.0 through 6.x, Word 97, 2000, XP, DOS (General and versions specific to Windows), Software (Access, Filemaker Pro, Media Player, WinZip), HTML (General, Fonts, Tables). Check out the Basics (Digital Cameras, General Tips, Internet, Email). There is also a forum and a newsletter available.
Another Great Resource: Webopedia
Go to for the website billed as “The only online dictionary and search engine you need for computer and Internet technology”. This site is fascinating. You can search by keyword or category. In addition, there is a “Term of the Day” and a list of the top fifteen terms. There is also a “Quick Reference” area with information on everything from BIOS beep codes to file size conversions to TCP Ports. The “Did You Know” section covers everything from ‘Birth of the Internet’ to ‘What’s Inside a Hard Drive’.

Need a Calendar, Sign, Card or Picture? Try

PrintFree was created so that visitors to be able to “print free” common useful items they would normally have to pay for. At you will find a site full of useful items you can print for only the cost of paper and ink. There are 2004 calendars with color pictures in six themes. There are customizable calendars, office forms, lined and graph paper, schedules and flyers.
Need a card? No problem – there is a wide variety of cards in quarter fold, half fold, etc. designed to fit a standard sized envelope.
PrintFree also has a number of printing tips with pictures for getting the best result.