Why is there a shield on my Shutdown button?

Once in a while an automatic update runs in the background on your computer imageand it now needs a shutdown or restart to complete the installation. Windows provides this little warning on the Shut down button in the Start menu.

You can get a bit more information on this when you move the pointer to the button.

image

This is not an alarm, but do heed the advice and shut down or restart the computer when you take a break. Pat yourself on the back for having set up your machine to perform updates automatically.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

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Can I re-import photos when the computer says no new photos were found?

On occasion you will get a dialog that says “0 new photos and videos were found” when you try to import pictures from your camera.Import-01 This happens if you already have imported those photos, even though you might have deleted or moved the pictures on the computer.

Can you re-import the photos? You can, provided that you did not erase them on the camera. We are assuming here that you have set up your computer to use Windows Live Gallery to import photos from your camera. Just click the Next button (see illustration). In the next window you will see the photos on your camera arranged by date. It will say “0 items selected in 0 groups”. Note that the check box in front of the groups is not checked.

Import-02Import-03

Click on the group check box that you wish to import again. There is also a “Select all” option. Make sure you have selected just the ones you wish to import once more. Click Import and the process starts.

Import-04While the photos are being imported you will see the progress in a dialog like the one shown here. Note the check box with the legend “Erase after importing”. This means “erase from the camera after the photos have been imported to the computer”. I always leave that unchecked, which is also the default. This way the photos stay on the camera.

So what happens if you already have the photos on your computer? A new set will be imported, if the file name already exists, the import process will add a number in parenthesis at the end of the file name for the new file. You will wind up with duplicated photos. No harm will be done to photos that are already on your computer. Of course you can delete the duplicates.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

How do I move a sub-folder up a level?

Sometimes you need to re-organize your picture folders and may wish to move a sub-folder up so it is on par with other folders. Here is an illustration:

image

On the left the folder “Bob” is inside folder “Ann”. You can tell by the little arrowhead. In fact, until you expand (click on) folder Ann you cannot see folder Bob in the navigation pane.

To move it so it is on par with – at the same level as – folder Ann, proceed as follows: Drag the folder to the name of the folder where you want it. In this illustration we want folder Bob to be inside My Pictures. So it is dragged to the My Pictures folder name. Notice the little note (screen tip) that says “Move to My Pictures”. When it says the correct folder name, drop it (let go the mouse button). You have moved the folder.

You can use this procedure to move any folder to be inside any other folder, even inside sub-folders.

Sometimes the procedure will not succeed, such as when a folder is open in an application. Just close the application and try again.

You can reorganize your folders in the navigation pane of Windows Live Photo Gallery or in the navigation pane of Windows Explorer. (Do not have both open at the same time, see warning above.)

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

 

Can I pin my Hotmail Inbox to the Taskbar?

For users of Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9 it is easy to pin a Hotmail icon to the taskbar or to create a link on the desktop. This makes access to online mail just a click or two away.

imageUsing Internet Explorer 9 sign in to your Hotmail account. Move the pointer to the small icon in front of the web address in the address field. Note the little message balloon that says: “Drag to taskbar to pin site”.

As you drag the –image now larger – icon across an empty space on your desktop the message now says: “Create link in Desktop”. You can do that by just dropping the icon on an empty spot. This gives you a desktop shortcut.

If you continue the drag to the taskbar, the message now says image“Pin to Taskbar”. Just drop it on the taskbar.

The desktop shortcut when double-clicked starts your browser and takes you right to your Windows Live home page (if you selected “Keep me signed in” when last you signed in to your account).

When the icon on the taskbar is imageclicked it also takes you to your Windows Live home page. Right-click the taskbar icon and the jump list shows the options Home, Inbox, Calendar, Contacts, Send email. This makes getting to those services really easy.

There is another little feature that you might find useful. When you launch your browser from the taskbar or the desktop link, a small icon is placed in front of the Internet Explorer 9 “back” button and the little “home” icon on the right is removed.image

The message balloon for that link also shows you the keyboard shortcut method for getting to your home page, Alt+Home. So, wherever to roam to on the Internet, you can get right back to your Windows Live home page.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

 

Can I put a shortcut to SkyDrive on my Windows 7 desktop?

You certainly can, however, you need to use Internet Explorer 9. Sign in to your Windows Live account. Click “SkyDrive” on the menu bar to display your SkyDrive contents page.

If your browser is maximized, click “Restore down” and resize the window so you can see some blank area of your desktop.

In the browser address field note the small SkyDrive logo in front of the address. Move your pointer to that symbol. The message balloon will say “Drag to taskbar to pin site”. Drag the little logo to a blank area of your desktop. The SkyDrive logo will be bigger and the imagemessage balloon will say “Create a link in desktop”. imageJust let go the mouse button to drop the link. You will now have a desktop shortcut to your SkyDrive.

If you opted to “Keep me signed in” the last time you signed in to Windows Live, this shortcut will launch your browser and take you right to your SkyDrive page. Just double-click the icon.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

 

How do I pin SkyDrive to the taskbar in Windows 7?

The Windows Live SkyDrive is easier to use than ever. Here is how to pin a SkyDrive shortcut to your taskbar in Windows 7.

Note: You can do this only when using Internet Explorer 9.

Sign in to your Windows Live account, on the menu line click SkyDrive. imageWhen your SkyDrive page is displayed note the browser address field. It will show a little SkyDrive logo ahead of the address as shown in the illustration here.

When you hover the pointer over that logo the little message flag says: “Drag to taskbar to pin site”.image

Do just that.

The SkyDrive logo will then appear on your taskbar. Whenever you want to open SkyDrive just click on the logo.

If you have elected to “Keep me signed in” the last time you signed in to Windows Live, Internet Explorer will launch and go right to your SkyDrive when the taskbar logo is clicked.

That’s all it takes.image

But wait! There is more: That link on the taskbar can do more than just take you to your SkyDrive files. Right-click on the icon and you can select to go directly to see just your documents or just your albums. The same way as if you had clicked Documents or Photos on the drop-down menu from SkyDrive on your Windows Live home page.

You can even start a new Web Apps document, but, alas, it will be in the SkyDrive root, not inside any document folder.

Want to go to your Windows Live home page? Click on the taskbar SkyDrive icon. When your files page is displayed, click on image“Windows Live” in the upper left – that takes you right to your home page.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

 

Can the defaults for WordPad be changed?

In Windows 7 the default word processing program is WordPad-05WordPad which offers basic features including font and paragraph controls. The default settings are fixed and not easily changed by the average user. This article shows a work-around for “pre-setting”  font and paragraph properties to more desirable settings.

The approach creates a desktop shortcut for WordPad that opens a “template” document, thus loading the desired settings. The template is set to read-only so is is not accidentally over-written when the document is saved.

Prepare a WordPad “template” file

  • WordPad-01Open WordPad in the normal manner.
  • Set the desired features such as font, font size, paragraph spacing, tab positions, without typing any text.
  • Save the document to your normal document folder using a name such as “WordPad-template”.
  • Open Windows Explorer and locate the “My Documents” folder (or the folder you are using for documents).
  • Locate the file and right-click on it. Click Properties (at the bottom of the menu).
  • In the properties dialog click Read-only so the box is checked.
  • Click OK.
  • Click in the address bar of Windows Explorer. The folder location will be shown and selected.
  • Click Ctrl+C to copy the folder address for use later.

Now your template file is ready.

Create a shortcut that loads the template

The next step is to create a shortcut on the desktop that starts WordPad and loads the template file. 

  • Click Start, type “wordpad”. WordPad will be listed at the top of the start menu and beWordPad-04 already selected. Right-click on that program listing for WordPad. 
  • Move the pointer down to Send to then to the right and click on  Desktop (create shortcut).
  • Right-click the newly created shortcut icon and click on Properties (at the bottom of the menu). The WordPad Properties dialog opens with the Shortcut tab selected.
  • Find the Target: text box. Click anywhere in the box and press the End key to get to the end of the text that is already in the box.
  • Press the spacebar to enter a space then type in the full name of your template file. You can see that illustrated here. I have enclosed my template file name in quotes, this is only necessary if the file name contains spaces, but it does not hurt.
  • Locate the Start in: text box. Click in the box then press Ctrl+V to paste the saved address of your documents folder.
  • Click OK.

Using WordPad with your defaults

WordPad-02Your shortcut is now ready to use. Every time you double-click this shortcut WordPad opens and loads the template file. Your presets will be applied to any text you enter. You can still use all the controls.

When you click the Save icon or select Save or Save as the “Save as” dialog will open and you can enter the name of your document. WordPad-03Even if you try to overwrite the template file Windows will not let you do so. You will see a warning like this:

So you can safely and effectively use this approach to preset WordPad to the font and other properties that you prefer.

Happy writing!

 

 

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

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