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volume 8 number 9 september 2003 TipSheet

Welcome to the September issue of MicroMetric's TipSheet.

This monthly newsletter is targeted at addressing the needs of our customers.

This month we'll continue a series of tips on Windows XP.


Windows XP can index your files when your computer is idle, enabling the search process to work more quickly and flexibly. In addition to the text in files, the index also includes file properties, which means that you can search for things like author names or titles. If you don't use the search feature very often, you might want to turn the Indexing Service off, because the indexed files take up space on your hard drive. But the more you depend on the search feature, the better off you'll be with the Indexing Service active.

To check the current settings in Windows XP, choose Start | Search, and then select Change preferences from the choices on the left. Look for the option With Indexing Service, which means the feature is currently off, or Without Indexing Service, which means the feature is currently on. (We realize it sounds backwards.) To change the current setting, choose the option and click on Yes.

You can access this dialog in Windows 2000 by Start | Search | Files/Folders | Search Options | Indexing Service.


You can find things a lot faster if you're not overwhelmed by too many icons. So take the time to do some housecleaning. In particular, delete the icons you don't need. While it's common to clean up and arrange your desktop, many people never think to organize and remove unnecessary icons from their Start menus.

Take all the read-me files, for instance. Open your Start menu, go to All Programs, and look in the AOL Instant Messenger folder. Do you really need a shortcut to the license agreement? If not, right-click on it and select Delete. You can do the same with all the folders and files you don't need to access through this menu.

While you're at it, you might want to rearrange the items on the Start menu: You can drag and drop icons and folders to where you want them and even move them into submenus. Or you can right-click on a menu and select Sort by Name to alphabetize its contents. Windows XP lets you pin icons to the first level of the Start menu (located in the top-left portion), either by right-clicking or simply by dragging them there.


Having too many icons on the desktop is not only distracting but also can take a toll on system performance. The Desktop Cleanup wizard is a convenient feature that moves unused icons to a folder so that you don't have to do it manually.

By default, the system prompts you to run the Desktop Cleanup wizard every 60 days. If you can't wait, just right-click on the desktop and choose Properties. Under the Desktop tab is a Customize Desktop button.

Tip 489   STICKY KEYS Category:   WINDOWSXP

The Windows StickyKeys feature lets you type Shift, Ctrl, Alt, and Windows keys as individual keystrokes. You can, for example, press Ctrl and then another key consecutively, rather than having to hold the Ctrl key down while typing the other key.

To make this feature available, go to the Control Panel and choose Accessibility Options, then the Keyboard tab, and add a check to the Use StickyKeys check box. You'll also want to explore the available settings. In particular, note that by default, the feature turns off if you press two keys at once. You may want to check the Use Shortcut option, which lets you turn the feature back on by pressing Shift five times.

Copyright 2003, MicroMetric, Inc., All Rights Reserved. Permission to copy in total, with this statement and copyright, is hereby granted.

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