|Internet Explorer (IE)|
|WEB PAGE PRINTING HANGUP|
|LOOKING FOR A LONG HISTORY?
5.xAUTOCONNECT GONE CRAZY--PART 1 OF 2 Here's a troubling question from TipWorld reader Mitchell Banks: "I don't know how this got started, but every time I open a folder, control panel, or anything else on my computer, the dial-up connection box pops up and starts dialing. What gives?" Try this: Open Internet Explorer 5. Choose Tools, Internet Options. Select the Connections tab. Select "Never dial a connection". If that doesn't work, try repairing IE. We'll tell you how tomorrow, so stay tuned. AUTOCONNECT GONE CRAZY--PART 2 OF 2 TipWorld reader Mitchell Banks wrote in to let us know that his computer keeps trying to connect to the Net every time he opens a folder on his PC. How frustrating. Our first shot at his problem was as follows: Open Internet Explorer 5. Choose Tools, Internet Options. Select the Connections tab. Select "Never dial a connection". Click the OK button to save changes. Guess what? It didn't work. Here's our second opinion. Try repairing IE 5. Choose Start, Settings, Control Panel. Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon. Choose Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 (note that your program name may differ slightly from ours). Click the Add/Remove button. Select Repair Internet Explorer, then click OK. You'll see a confirmation dialog box; click Yes. IE will attempt to repair itself, reinstalling corrupted or missing files. Neat, huh? CACHE TIP An anonymous TipWorld reader writes in with this cache question: "I am a heavy user of Internet Explorer 5 and am not sure which of the following options to choose. "First select Tools, Internet Options, and then click the General tab. Click the Settings button, and you'll see the following under 'Check for newer versions of stored pages': * Every visit to the page * Every time you start Internet Explorer * Automatically * Never "What should I choose?" Good question. It really depends on your browsing habits. IE5 stores versions of previously browsed pages on your hard drive for speedy retrieval. If you demand freshness above all else (and your connection is speedy), select "Every visit to the page". If each time you start IE5, you want the browser to check for newer versions of the pages you've previously visited, select "Every time you start Internet Explorer". Choose Automatically if you want to let IE5 determine whether a newer page exists. Choose Never if you don't want IE5 to check--this will offer speed benefits, but may show you older versions of pages. FASTER ADDRESSING You probably know that if you enter a Web address in the Address bar, Internet Explorer 5 adds the appropriate prefix and suffix for you. In other words, type yahoo and IE 5 adds the prefix http://www, then cycles through domain suffixes (such as .com, .edu, and .org) until it finds a match. Here's a quicker way to fill out addresses, courtesy of helpful TipWorld reader Gene Tilelli: "Instead of typing all that stuff like http:// and www, I've found that all I really have to do is type the middle of the URL and press Ctrl-Enter. For instance, if I want to go to Yahoo, all I have to type in the address window is: yahoo Then I press Ctrl-Enter. It works perfectly." Indeed it does, Gene. Got a good tip? Send it to email@example.com. FASTER SEARCHING When you want to search for a Web site in Internet Explorer 5, instead of jumping to your favorite engine, click Ctrl-E. The Search pane opens. Choose your category, enter the word you're looking for, and click the Search button. FASTER SURFING Today, in a very special episode of TipWorld, we bring you more quick keyboard tricks. Here's a twofer from TipWorld reader Clairetta Anderson: "Tired of clicking on the Back button to go to your previous page? Just use your Backspace key. When filling out forms, save clicks by using your Tab key to go from name to address to zip code--you get the idea." Yes, we do. Nice work, Clairetta. DUMP THE CACHE Here's a great trick from TipWorld subscriber Ronald Gordon, a handy guy to have around if you need to save space: "This tip will help people like myself who use an old computer with a very small hard drive. Mine is a 486 DX2 with a 575MB hard drive. "To remove your cache files from Internet Explorer 5, select Tools, Internet Options. Then click the Delete Files button. (IE 4 users should click View, Internet Options.) This does not remove all your cache files; a series of folders contain downloaded files hidden in the Temporary Internet Files folder. These may hold many megabytes of files and don't get deleted when you clean your IE 5 cache files. "To clean up these files, try this: Open Windows Explorer. Then navigate to the Temporary Internet Files folder, probably in the folder C:\Windows\Temporary Internet Files (C is the drive where you should have IE 5 installed). "Open the Temporary Internet Files folder and look for folders within it that have odd names like 9jkLv13og or D2337xxm. Select and open the first folder. Press Ctrl-A or click and drag to select all the files. "Deselect any file named desktop.ini, as this is a system file, and delete the rest (Shift-Delete to bypass the waste basket.) Press the Delete key on your keyboard. Repeat this procedure for each folder." Thanks, Ronald! FULL SCREEN TIP Here at TipWorld, we get a lot of questions about running Internet Explorer 5 in full-screen mode. Here's a tip from reader Anne Nolen: "You can use F11 as a toggle to go back and forth between full and normal page views." Indeed you can. Thanks, Anne. HISTORY LESSON Want to see a list of your recently opened files? Just open the History bar in Internet Explorer 5. Press Ctrl-H and your History list opens in a pane on the left. To change the sorting order (for instance, By Most Visited or By Order Visited Today), click the View menu in the History bar and make a selection. Press Ctrl-H again to close the History bar when you're finished. MODEM NOISE Here's another TipWorld request--a letter from a reader named Jerry who wants a little silence: "I remember reading somewhere that you can eliminate or reduce the modem dialing noise. Could you print the procedure again?" Easy enough: Select Start, Settings, Control Panel, and double-click the Modems icon. The Modem Properties dialog box opens. Select your modem from the list (if more than one appears), then click the Properties button. A new dialog box appears. You should see a little slider under Speaker Volume. Move the slider to Off, or all the way to the left. Click the OK button, then click the Close button to finish the procedure. In some cases you may want to hear your modem, especially when you can't get a Internet connection and want to check for a dial tone. Make sure to turn the slider back to the right to hear your modem when you're troubleshooting. MORE CACHE TIPS Yesterday we talked about setting options for IE 5's cache, which stores versions of previously browsed pages on your hard drive for speedy retrieval. To change your cache settings, select Tools, Internet Options, and then click the General tab. Click the Settings button and make a selection under "Check for newer versions of stored pages". If you always want to make sure you're seeing the most recent pages, you can override these settings. Just click the Refresh button or press F5. ORGANIZE FAVORITES Need to organize your Favorites? Don't select a menu. Just press Ctrl-B to open the Organize Favorites dialog box. From there, you can create a new folder, rename a Favorite, move Favorites into new folders, or delete Favorites. QUICK EXIT Keeping multiple windows open in Internet Explorer 5 lets you access pages simultaneously, making the browsing experience faster and more productive. To load a new page, choose Ctrl-L, or press Ctrl-N to open a new window. However, you may quickly find that your screen gets too cluttered. Close an active window by pressing Ctrl-W. RECONNECT IE 5 TO HTML FILES Occasionally you may install a program that associates itself with your HTML files. It might be an HTML editor or a browser add-on. If you find yourself in this situation, try this simple fix: Press the Shift key and right-click an HTML file (any one on your computer will do). From the pop-up menu that appears, choose Open With. The Open With dialog box appears. From the list, select iexplore. Select "Always use this program to open this type of file". Click the OK button to finish. SEARCH A-GO-GO Here's a great searching tip from TipWorld subscriber Lisa J. Rosenberg: "Internet Explorer 5 allows you to search all the search engines at the same time. Right-click the Search icon in the toolbar, then click the Customize button. Select "Use the Search Assistant for Smart Searching." Select all the search engines you want to use and click the OK button. "Next time you do a search and the default search engine doesn't give you what you're looking for, simply click Next in the Search toolbar, and you'll see the results from another search engine. Keep clicking Next to see the results from all your chosen search engines." Thanks again, Lisa! SPEED UP BROWSING It's an oldie but a goody. When your connection slows to a crawl, or when you're viewing a chronically slow site, try reducing the data you're downloading. Here's how to turn off pictures and sounds. Click Tools, Internet Options, Advanced. Scroll down to Multimedia. Then deselect the following: Play Animations Play Sounds Show Pictures That should do the trick. TWO STEPS BACK Here's a great Internet Explorer 5 browsing tip for those who want to save a little time when they jump to previously visited sites--it comes from a forward-thinking reader named Richard: "It's been mentioned before that you can go back to a previously visited Web page by pressing the Backspace key. Did you know that you can also go forward to a page you've just visited by pressing Shift-Backspace?" Thanks, Richard! DELETE HISTORY We often receive mail from folks who can't delete their history list in the usual way (select Tools, Internet Options, click Clear History, then click OK twice). If your history is sticky, open Windows Explorer and browse to Windows\History on the hard drive where you installed Internet Explorer 5. Select all files (choose Ctrl-A) and press the Delete key. That ought to do it. FASTER 128-BIT ENCRYPTION Last month we talked about 128-bit encryption and where to find it. Some secure services, such as online banking, may require you to use a browser with 128-bit encryption to view your account information. Or an online broker may require 128-bit encryption to make stock trades. Here's a quick way to find Internet Explorer 5 with encryption. Click Help, About Internet Explorer, then click the Update Information link in the About Internet Explorer dialog box. This takes you to Microsoft site, where you can download the update for your browser. Save the file to your hard drive. Once it downloads, double-click it and follow the directions to install it. FAVORITE TIP TipWorld reader Connie Day never met a Favorites tip she didn't like. Here's her suggestion for a little bookmark spring cleaning (hmmm...maybe we should have waited until March to run this tip). "To move a frequently used favorite to the top of the Favorites list (so you can reach it more easily), click the Favorites menu in the main toolbar, then select Organize Favorites. When the window opens up, select the Favorite you want, and holding down the mouse button, move the Favorite up to where you want it." Good one, Connie. Of course, you can also click the Favorites menu, then select the Favorite you want and simply move it up the list to where you like it best. When you click and move the Favorite, a line appears to show where it will appear on the menu. It's just that simple. FULL SCREEN Here's a full-screen request from TipWorld subscriber Herb Salls: "Could you PLEASE put something out on TipWorld about getting Internet Explorer 5 to open up full-size rather than in a sized window? I have searched high and low--in newsgroups, Web sites, knowledge bases, you name it. There must be some way to change the default opening size." Sorry, Herb. The best we can do is recommend a shortcut. Press the F11 key to toggle between full screen and normal mode. If we come across a way to launch in full-screen mode (or if, ahem, some handy reader will send a suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org), we'll let you know. Until then, hang in there. PRIVACY MINDED Last month we wrote a tip about clearing the History to protect your browsing habits from prying eyes. Privacy-savvy TipWorld reader Joe Schmitz has another suggestion: "Don't forget to tell readers that anyone can see the current session's History by clicking the down arrow between the Back and Forward buttons. This doesn't clear until you exit the program." Thanks, Joe! And remember, click Ctrl-H to view History. To clear your History, choose Tools, Internet Options, click the General tab, and click Clear History. Then click the OK button. SEE IE 5 RUN Quick-thinking TipWorld reader Donald K. Hufschmid writes in with this Internet Explorer 5 shortcut for opening Web pages: "Click the Start button and then choose Run. Type in the Web address you want to open, then click the OK button (or press the Enter key). This will start up IE and open that Web site." Right you are, Donald. Nice work. BAD ASSOCIATION Reader Jeff Rigney tells us of his file association woes: "I have lost previews of graphics files while browsing in My Computer. I installed Corel Print House Magic, then I uninstalled it. Can you help?" First select View, As Web Page. Now you can preview files before opening them in My Computer or Windows Explorer by pointing the mouse at the file but not clicking it--in other words, hovering. Another trick: Here's how to make sure you can always view image files in Internet Explorer 5 rather than in a slow-loading graphics program. First find an image file (such as a GIF or JPEG file) on your hard drive. Then, in Windows Explorer, press the Shift key while right-clicking the image file. Choose Open With from the pop-up menu that appears. Select Iexplore in the list of programs that displays in the Open With dialog box. Check "Always use this program to open this type of file". Use this tip to change the association on just about any type of file. HOLD OFF ON THAT DOWNLOAD Over the last two months, we've received quite a few reader complaints about Internet Explorer versions 5.01 and 5.5 (beta). IE 5.0 is still your best bet for stable browsing. Unless you must, do not download the latest updates--hold off until the final versions arrive. We'll give you the nod once we have the next stable version in hand. ADDRESS BAR SPEED TIP With your cursor in the Address bar, you can jump from point to point in the address by Ctrl-clicking the left arrow (to go back) and the right arrow (to jump forward). For instance, if your Address bar displays http://www.tipworld.com, clicking Ctrl-right arrow takes you to the point after the last slash (/). If you click again, you land after each dot (.). AOL POWER TipWorld reader Melanie writes in with an AOL-related Internet Explorer 5 question: "When I launch my IE 5, I notice that AOL is powering it. Why?" Since AOL uses IE as its default browser, the AOL icon appears in the top right of the browser window. In the stand-alone version of IE5, a spinning globe usually displays instead. When the icon spins, data is downloading to your browser. You can remove the icon with a Registry hack--however, we don't really recommend it. We've run the tip for removing the icon before, but editing the Registry can lead to bad mojo on your system. Unless you're a pro, grin and bear it. POP QUIZ Tipworld reader Joan More gives us a bookmark quiz: "Internet Explorer 5 must store the URLs in my Favorites list somewhere, but I can't find the file. What I want to do is somehow copy the URLs I use at work to my machine at home." Here you go, Joan: From IE 5, choose File, Import And Export. The Import/Export wizard appears. Click the Next button. The Import/Export Selection screen opens. Select Export Favorites from the list of options. Click Next. The Export Favorites Source Folder page appears. Select the topmost Favorites folder (if it's not already selected). Click Next. In the following screen, choose the Export To A File Or Address option. Then enter a path and file name in the corresponding text box. For instance, we chose: C:\windows\desktop\bookmark.htm Click Next, and in the following screen click Finish. The Favorites file appears on your system (in this example, on the desktop). Now copy that file to a floppy disk, or attach it to a message and e-mail it to yourself. Use the Import/Export wizard on your office machine to import the file, and your bookmarks will follow you to work--just like the obedient puppies they are. SELECT ADDRESS BAR Here's a speedy tip for your Monday viewing pleasure. Quickly select everything in the Address bar by pressing Alt-D or F6. Now you can change an existing address or type in a new one. TAB YOUR WAY AROUND The Tab key is your friend. Keyboard shortcuts are almost always faster than using a mouse. To jump through the links on a Web page, the Address bar, or the items on the Links bar, click Tab. Go too far? To jump backward, click Shift-Tab.
|ADD SITE TO LINKS TOOLBAR|
|CAN'T FIND CONTACT|
|DOWN IN FRONT|
|FAST AND SECURE|
|FASTER FAVORITE BROWSING|
|GET INTERNET EXPLORER 5 BACK|
|HIDING LINKS--PART 1 OF 2|
|HIDING LINKS--PART 2 OF 2|
|INTERNET EXPLORER 5 CORRECTIONS--FASTER ADDRESSING|
|KEEP FAVORITES AT THE TOP|
|MAKE INTERNET EXPLORER 5 THE DEFAULT|
|MAXIMIZE INTERNET EXPLORER 5 AT LAUNCH|
|MISSING STATUS BAR|
|MORE ON PRIVACY|
|OPEN INTERNET EXPLORER 5 IN FULL-SCREEN MODE|
|THE SEARCH OPTIONS STINK|
|RUN A SEARCH|
|VIEW YOUR SITES|
|ADDRESS BAR ADVICE|
|CLEAR AUTOCOMPLETE ENTRY|
|CREATE SHORTCUT TO DESKTOP|
|DELETE TEMPORARY INTERNET FILES|
|FLUSH AUTOCOMPLETE LIST|
|HIT THE ROAD|
|MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A FAVORITE|
|REDRAWING A BLANK|
|RENAME FAVORITE LINKS|
|SET SHORTCUT KEY|
|UPDATE AOL INTERNET EXPLORER 5|
|REFORMATTING THE HARD DRIVE--FOR EXTREMISTS ONLY|
|UNDERLINES BE GONE|
|COPY FROM INTERNET EXPLORER 5, SANS WEB LINKS|
|HOME PAGE SHORTCUT|
|BROWSE TWICE AS FAST|
|CONNECT BY YOURSELF|
|PUT A FAVORITE UP FAST|
|REMOVE IE 5.5|
|REMOVE RADIO LIST|
|REPAIR IE 5|
|UNINSTALL IE 5.01|
RESIZE YOUR CACHE
SORT BY NAME
GOT A TIP, LEAVE A TIP
AND NOW, THE REST OF THE STORY (ANIMATED LOGOS)
HIDE THE TEXT Want extra room for browsing? To see more of your favorite Web pages and less of the Internet Explorer 5 toolbar, hide the text labels for the buttons on the Standard Buttons toolbar. Right-click the menu bar. Select View, Toolbars, Customize. Under Text Options, select No Text Labels.
PRINT ONE FRAME When you view a frames page, oftentimes you may want to print the info in a single, selected frame (especially when you want to skip ads or other extraneous information). To do so, click Ctrl-P to open the Print dialog box. Select Only The Selected Frame if it's not already selected. Then click the OK button. Simple enough for you?
SAME OLD STORY Every month we get two requests: how to change the Favorites list so that it sorts alphabetically, and how to clear entries from the AutoComplete list that appears when you fill out a form on a Web page. These problems are so prevalent that I'll address them here, albeit in a new format. A DUCK walks into a bar. DUCK: Bartender, how can I sort Favorites Alphabetically? BARTENDER: Single-click the Favorites button on the menu bar. This is not to be confused with the Favorites button--which has an icon--on the Standard buttons toolbar. They're different. DUCK: Then what? BARTENDER: When the menu appears showing your favorites, right-click the menu. Choose Sort By Name. DUCK: Swell. How do I clear entries from the AutoComplete list that appears when I fill out forms on a Web page? BARTENDER: Just use the cursor keys to select the entry you no longer want, then click the Delete key. DUCK: (Nodding in agreement) Quack. FADE TO BLACK.
THE PERSONAL TOUCH Do you feel that Internet Explorer 5 isn't quite--well, personal enough? The interface is a bit cold and steely, no? You can shake things up with IE Personalizer 2.0. This utility enables you to edit the title menu to whatever you want, change the toolbar background to the wallpaper of your choice, or even add your own logo. It even slices and dices (well, not really). All this for the very fair price of zero dollars--it's freeware. You'll find Personalizer at the following address: http://www.pcworld.com/fileworld/file_description/0,1458,6630,00.html Thanks to friendly and customization-savyy TipWorld reader Jarrett Jones for the tip.
CAN'T REMOVE MSIE5
ADD AN EDITOR Yesterday we mentioned that you can edit pages you view online--just click the Edit button on the Standard Buttons toolbar. You can change the default editor if you like, and save yourself an extraneous click. Choose Tools, Internet Options. Click the Programs tab to bring it forward. Under HTML Editor, click the downward-pointing arrow and choose from the programs in the pop-up list. Click the OK button to save your changes.
ADD COMMUNICATOR AS YOUR EDITOR This week we've been using the Edit button to open pages you are viewing for editing. Just click the Edit button on the Standard Buttons toolbar. You can even select the editor of your choice. Click Tools, Internet Options. Click the Programs tab. From the HTML Editor pop-up list, make your selection (for instance, Windows Notepad). Click OK. But what if your editor doesn't appear? This tip shows you how to add an editor. In this example, we'll use Netscape's Composer. To do so, we'll need to edit the Registry. Keep in mind that editing the Registry can cause all kinds of bad craziness on your PC. If you don't know what you're doing, it's best to avoid this tip altogether. OK, daredevils, make sure to first back up your system.dat and user.dat files in your Windows folder, preferably to a floppy (second choice would be another folder) on your hard drive. Also, if you don't know how to create new keys in the Registry, don't try now, because it's beyond the scope of a daily tip. It's just not worth the potential hassles. Onward... Launch the Registry Editor by selecting Start, Run. Then type regedit in the Run dialog box that appears. Navigate to the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.htm\OpenWithList\Netscape Navigator\shell\edit\command. The Default value should display the following data value: C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\Program\Netscape.exe -edit %1. If it's not there you'll need to add it. Then quit the Registry Editor, restart your computer, and launch Internet Explorer 5. The choice should now appear in the HTML Editor pop-up list.
EDIT WITH NOTEPAD If you run your own Web site, you may occasionally want to edit a page directly from Internet Explorer 5. This means you can open any document you want, then check out and edit (aka borrow) somebody else's source code. Or you can quickly open your own pages, then edit and save them. Just click the Edit button on the Standard Buttons toolbar in IE5. Click the downward-pointing arrow and you can choose between FrontPage Express and Windows Notepad (helpful if you like editing your own HTML tags). Of course, you shouldn't use copyrighted code. But there's nothing stopping you from learning from the techniques the pros use.
CREATE FAVORITES ICON In several tips we've mentioned how Internet Explorer 5 can display custom icons in the Favorites list. This feature allows sites to use their logo or other graphics, which display when you click the Favorites button on the menu bar. If you run your own site, you can easily create one of these icons. Check out this tutorial at the Microsoft Developer's Network: http://www.pcworld.com/r/tw/1%2C2061%2Ctw-ie51123%2C00.html
REMOVE FAVORITES ICON Sometimes when you add a site to your Favorites list, you may notice that the site displays its own icon. For instance, if you click Ctrl-D while viewing the following site, its logo will appear in Favorites: http://www.altavista.com To get rid of this icon or any others, you need to clear the cache. Click Tools, Internet Options. Select the General tab. Click the Delete Files button. Click the OK button to finish up.
BROWSE LOCAL FILES You probably know that Internet Explorer 5 lets you browse the files on your computer just as you browse the Web. Here are a few shortcuts for quickly accessing files. Just type the following in your Address bar: C:\ where C is the drive whose contents you want to view. The rest of the shortcuts are pretty obvious: My Computer Desktop My Documents If you use AutoComplete for Web addresses, you likely won't need to type the entire name. Just type the first few letters and the rest of the name appears. Click the Enter button to select the correct entry. Use the cursor keys to move up and down the list. Next time, we'll tell you how to turn on the AutoComplete feature.
BROWSE LOCAL FILES Last time we mentioned how easy it is to browse local files and folders through Internet Explorer 5. For instance, you can access the My Documents folder by typing My Documents in the IE 5 Address bar. Of course, if you use AutoComplete for Web addresses, you'll only need to type the first few letters to make your directories appear. To turn on AutoComplete, select Tools, Internet Options, and click the Advanced tab. Select Use Inline AutoComplete For Web Addresses and Use Inline AutoComplete For Windows Explorer. Click OK to save your changes.
DISCONNECT WHEN IDLE Yesterday we responded to a reader message about enabling Auto-Disconnect (Internet Explorer will prompt you to close your connection when you close the browser). Today, we look at disconnecting automatically if you aren't using your browser for a specified amount of time. Choose Tools, Internet Options. Now click the Connections tab to bring it forward. Click the Settings button to open the Settings dialog box. Click the Advanced button. The Advanced Dial-Up dialog box opens. Select "Disconnect if idle for X minutes" (where X is the number of minutes you enter). If you like, you can also enable Auto-Disconnect as described in the first paragraph. Select the "Disconnect when connection may no longer be needed" option. Click OK three times to close all open dialog boxes.
JUMP TO FULL SCREEN Want to move quickly from your regular viewing mode to full-screen mode? Keeping your browser open at full screen is especially handy when you're making presentations. And you can get there quickly: Just press F11 to toggle from one mode to another. Simple enough for you?
OPEN, LOAD, AND NEW Trying to get around the Web a little faster? Here are a few shortcuts you can use daily. Press Ctrl-O or Ctrl-L to enter the page you want to visit. Press Ctrl-N to open a brand-new window. You can use a new window to browse two or more sites simultaneously.
RECONNECT AUTO-DISCONNECT Friendly TipWorld subscriber Scott Tyler asks this puzzling Auto-Disconnect question: "How do you use Auto-Disconnect if you have turned it off previously and asked not to be asked again?" Easy enough, Scott. Just choose Tools, Internet Options. Now click the Connections tab to bring it forward. Click the Settings button to open the Settings dialog box. Click the Advanced button. The Advanced Dial-Up dialog box opens. Select "Disconnect when connection may no longer be needed." Click OK three times to close all open dialog boxes.
BUILDING A BETTER BETA It's not exactly filled with new features, but an updated version of Internet Explorer 5 is now available. You can get it at the following address: http://www.pcworld.com/r/pcw/1%2C2061%2Cpcw-ie5-16%2C00.html This version's claim to fame is a new print feature that allows you to preview pages before sealing the deal. If you're not an early adopter, hold off on this release and wait until a more fully baked one arrives. We'll give you the word when it does. In fact, we don't recommend upgrading to version 5.01 after seeing many complaints from users experiencing a range of problems. As always, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR We asked for your favorite tips, and you sent them--in droves. We received about 130 letters from readers in just a few days. This month, we'll run some of the best tips we found in the TipWorld in-box. Here's a good one from savvy tipster Timothy Couch: "Need to send a quick e-mail message? Go to Start, Run. Type mailto: and press the Enter key. "This brings up an e-mail message box so you can address your letter and send it off without having to load Outlook Express. The following will also work: mailto:email@example.com mailto:John Q Public "Note: In order for the second one to work. John Q Public must be in your Address Book." Nice work, Tim--keep 'em coming.
CLEAR HISTORY Sometimes you may want to clear the History list in Internet Explorer 5 to keep your browsing from prying eyes. Click Tools, Internet Options. The Internet Options dialog box opens. Under the History section, click Clear History, then choose OK when the confirmation box appears. Pow! Your History list magically disappears.
DELETE FAVORITES After a while, your Favorites menu in Internet Explorer 5 probably starts getting a little cluttered. Send those old bookmarks packing and start the New Year with a fresh, more organized look. Select Favorites from the menu bar. When your Favorites menu appears, right-click the Favorite you want to delete. Select Delete from the menu that appears.
DELETE TEMPORARY INTERNET FILES If you need to reclaim valuable disk space, try deleting the temporary Internet files that Internet Explorer 5 stores on your system. Click Tools, Internet Options. Click the Delete Files button, then click OK when the confirmation dialog box appears. Keep in mind that deleting these files reduces the speed enhancement you get from IE 5's internal cache. This tradeoff makes sense when disk space is more valuable to you than browsing speed.
F IS FOR FAVORITE Thank goodness for keyboard shortcuts. They make life interesting and save time, too. Here's a personal favorite of ours for opening Favorites in Internet Explorer 5. Select Alt-A to open the Favorites menu. Then press the first letter of the Favorite you want to select. If that key names only one Favorite, the site opens right away. If you have more than one Favorite starting with a certain letter, keep pressing the letter key until you reach the one you want.
HISTORY HASSLES Yesterday we told you how to clear your History list in order to protect your privacy (and save disk space) in Internet Explorer 5. Click Tools, Internet Options. The Internet Options dialog box opens. Click the Clear History button and choose OK when the confirmation box appears. You can also tell IE 5 how long to make pages available in your history--this also helps manage disk space. From the Internet Options dialog box, enter a number in the box marked "Days to keep pages in history". Click OK twice to save your settings. Now you should be all set without any History hassles.
MAKE A PAGE AVAILABLE OFFLINE Hitting the road? Internet Explorer 5 offers a couple of cool features for browsing offline. To make the page you're viewing available for reading offline, try these quick steps. First add the page to your Favorites: Select Favorites, Add To Favorites. Select the Make Available Offline box, then click the OK button. Before you take off for your trip, connect to the Internet as you normally do. Then select Tools, Synchronize. You should get the latest version of your page downloaded to your system. Cool, huh? To view the page later, choose File, Work Offline. Then click the Favorites menu and choose your page from the list that appears.
NAVIGATION SHORTCUTS To browse like a pro in Internet Explorer 5, leave your mouse where it is and try a few keyboard shortcuts. You can jump quickly around a Web page by selecting Tab to move from link to link down the page. To select a link, just click Enter and the page opens.
RENAME FAVORITES Some Favorites in Internet Explorer 5 can have unwieldy names that may not accurately describe the page. You don't have to stick with the original name. To change a Favorites title, select Favorites from the menu bar. When your Favorites menu appears, right-click the Favorite you want to rename. Select Rename from the menu. Type a new name in the text box and click OK.
RESORT HISTORY Say you can't remember the URL of a page you opened recently in Internet Explorer 5, but you need to retrieve it. No sweat. Click the History button on the Standard Buttons toolbar. When the History bar opens down the left side of your browser, choose the site you want from the list, and it opens. To sort your History list differently, select View from the History pane, then select one of the following options: By Date, By Site, By Most Visited, or By Order Visited Today.
SKIP THE CACHE Sometimes when you view a page you've seen before, you get an older version of it. What's up? Internet Explorer 5 stores some pages on your system for faster viewing later. To make sure you always see the latest version of a page, you can tell IE5 to load a fresh version every time--although in doing so you trade off a bit of speed. Select Tools, Internet Options, and click the Settings button. Under the section marked "Check for newer versions of stored pages", select "Every visit to the page". Click the OK button twice to finish up.
SETTING THE SOUND SYSTEM VOLUME Here is a tip from subscriber Armand C.: "I find that I often need to change the sound system volume as I navigate through the Internet. Some sites have very loud audio, and others are not loud enough. The way I have my system set up, it is inconvenient to reach the speaker volume control, so I have been double-clicking the Speaker icon in the taskbar to set the volume. I just now discovered that you don't have to open the Volume Control dialog box to set the volume--all you have to do is click the Speaker icon once to open the master volume control. Using this method, it is very easy to change the volume as you surf the Internet." Thanks for the tip, Armand.
SORTING QUICK LAUNCH ITEMS Several readers have suggested placing numbers before items in the Quick Launch folder as a means of sorting the items. You can certainly do this if you wish. Here's another way to get the same results that may tickle your fancy: Sort Quick Launch entries by using the mouse to drag them where you want. For example, if you would prefer to have Outlook Express as your first icon, just grab it with the mouse and drag it to the first position in the Quick Launch bar.USE ANY IMAGE FOR WALLPAPER If you installed the Active Desktop that comes with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4, you can use almost any picture file (BMP, JPG, GIF) as wallpaper. If you'd like to try this, right-click the desktop and then choose Active Desktop. Choose View As Web Page. Now right-click again and this time choose Properties. When the Display Properties dialog box opens, click the Background tab and then click Browse. Now locate and select the picture you'd like to use as wallpaper. That image file will become the wallpaper for your Web View mode. Note that without Active Desktop, you can use only BMP files as wallpaper. ICON CHANGE IT As we've mentioned in the past, you can add whatever you want to the Links folder. All you have to do is choose Favorites, Organize Favorites and then drag whatever you want into the Links folder. You can add a Web page by choosing Favorites, Add to Favorites. Next, click Create in and select the Links folder. Click OK to close the dialog box and save your addition. Now that you know how to add links to Links, let's look at how to change a new link's icon. Right-click the link you want to change and choose Properties. When the Link Properties dialog box opens, click the Internet Shortcut dialog box. Now click Change Icon and then click Browse to search for a new icon. When you locate an icon, select it and click OK. Back in the Properties dialog box, click OK to close the box and save your change. Alternatively, if you know where the icon is located, you can type in its path and name. Click OK to save the change and close the dialog box. The new icon will not appear until you close Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 and then run it again. A DAY ON THE LINKS Is your Favorites folder getting really full? As you add files and subfolders to Favorites, it becomes unwieldy. Why not add more favorites to the Links folder? Here's how. Choose Favorites, Organize Favorites. Now double-click the Links folder to open it. Right-click in the folder and choose New, Folder. Name the new folder More Favorites. At this point you're ready to add some links to the new folder. Just to get started, drag a few URLs into the new More Favorites folder and then click Close. Now when you click the More Favorites folder in Links, Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 opens a drop-down menu from which you can select an address. DON'T LOSE THOSE ADDRESSES Based on recent e-mail, there seems to be a bit of confusion about how to back up the Address Book. Let's put an end to the confusion. To locate the Address Book file (its location is dependent on where you put it), click the desktop and then press F3 to open Find. Now search Drive C: and its subfolders for *.wab. Copy the file to a floppy in Drive A. You have just backed up your Address Book. The default location for the file is C:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book. ERROR, ERROR, ERROR A number of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 users have reported an error when opening Microsoft.com. Here's the error: Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a0009' Subscript out of range: '[number: 0]' /default.asp, line 819 Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a0009' Subscript out of range: '[number: 0]' /default.asp, line 819 We don't know why the error appears, nor do we know of a cure. Like some others, we have found that clearing the cache seems to help. Choose View, Internet Options. When the Options dialog box opens, click the General tab. Click Delete Files and then click OK. Now shut down Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 and restart the computer. Run Microsoft Internet Explorer again. Don't have too much confidence in this cure--we don't. If you have a real cure you'd like to pass along to others, let us know. A LONG HISTORY If you depend heavily on your History files, you may want to save them for a longer period of time than the default of 20 days. You can save History files for up to 999 days (as long as your disk space holds out). Choose View, Internet Options and click the General tab. Double-click in the spin box labeled Number of Days to Keep Pages in History and then type in the new number. Click Apply and then click OK to close the dialog box and record your change. TIRED OF ENTERING THE PASSWORD? A number of subscribers have reported that they have to enter their password every time they log onto the Internet. In most cases, these users report that they were able to sign on without entering the password, but something bad happened. The most likely cause of this problem is a corrupted PWL file. To correct the problem, first click the desktop and press F3 to open Find. Search Drive C: (if that's your Windows drive) and all its sub folders for *.pwl. When you locate the file, right-click the file name and rename it to Whatever.old (that is, whatever its name is plus any extension other than PWL). Restart the computer now. On startup, Windows will prompt for a password, as will Microsoft Internet Explorer 4. Enter the password and be sure to select Save Password. Click Connect. This process will create a new PWL file, which should continue working. Note that any passwords that were stored in the original PWL file will need to be re-entered. SEE WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE In Outlook Express News, you get t o choose what messages you want to see. If you'd like to see only messages that you haven't read, choose View, Current View, Unread Messages. If you'd like to see all the newly downloaded messages plus the ones stored on your computer, choose View, Current View, All Messages. Notice your choices under View, Current View also include Downloaded Messages, Filtered Messages, and Replies to my posts. ANIMATE YOUR DESKTOP If you're using the Active Desktop, you can spruce up your desktop with some animated GIF files. Right-click the desktop and choose Active Desktop, Customize my Desktop. When the Display Properties dialog box opens, click the Web tab (if necessary). Click New. This will open a dialog box asking if you want to download some files. Click No. When the New Active Desktop Item dialog box opens, click Browse and locate the file you want to place on the desktop and double-click it. Back at the New Active Desktop Item dialog box, click OK. This will take you back to the Display Properties dialog box. Click OK to record your selection and close the dialog box. At this point, the animated GIF (or whatever you chose) will appear on your desktop. You can place the picture wherever you want. Just move the mouse pointer over the picture to display its window. When the window appears, use the mouse to grab the title bar and drag the picture to a new location. Note that this tip works only when Active Desktop is in effect. If you didn't load Active Desktop, this procedure won't work. NIX THE ANIMATION If you followed the procedure in the last tip and placed some animation on your desktop, you may want to know how to get rid of it. There are several ways to do this. If you move the mouse pointer over the picture, its window will open. You'll notice a close box (X) in the upper right corner of the window. Click the close box and the picture will disappear. You can also right-click the desktop and choose Active Desktop, Customize my Desktop. When the dialog box opens, locate your picture in the list and deselect it. If you'd like to get rid of it permanently, select the picture in the list and click Delete. You'll get a warning dialog box. Click Yes. Now you can click OK to close the dialog box. ACTIVATING THE ACTIVE DESKTOP As you most likely know, Microsoft didn't develop the Active Desktop just so we could put animated pictures on the screen. The real reason for its existence is so you can put things like weather reports, stock reports, and other utilities on your desktop. To see what's available, run Microsoft Internet Explorer and navigate to http://www.microsoft.com/ie/ie40/gallery/?/ie/ie40/gallery/gal_main.htm You can also get there from the Active Desktop. Remember how we browsed for files to place on the Active Desktop? Right-click the desktop and choose Active Desktop, Customize my Desktop. When the Display Properties dialog box opens, make sure you're in the Web page. If you're not, click the Web tab. Click New now, and when the New Active Desktop Item dialog box opens, click Yes to open Microsoft Internet Explorer and navigate to the Active Desktop Web page. Select one of the Active Desktop items and install it. If you decide you don't like it, you can always turn it off. All you have to do is move the mouse pointer over the item. When the window appears, click the close box (the small X in the upper right corner of the window). ANOTHER QUICK KEY You know you can press the Backspace key to go back a page in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4. Subscriber V.B. points out that you can go forward a page by pressing Shift-Backspace. In almost all Windows applications, pressing Shift reverses the navigation. For example, if you use the Tab key to jump from field to field, you can move backward, retracing your steps, by holding down the Shift key while you press Tab. You can also move forward in IE 4 by pressing Alt-right arrow key. To navigate forward with even greater precision, click the arrow to the right of the Forward button, which will open a drop-down list of choices. CHEAP ARTWORK We've been talking about adding artwork to your desktop. So where do you go to get some artwork? Well, there are a number of sites that offer shareware art, and some sites even offer free art, but some of the best we've seen isn't free. However, it is inexpensive. Take a look at ArtToday, at http://www.arttoday.com for some excellent art and fonts. You can use whatever you want for $17.95 per year. Check it out--this is really good stuff. QUICK ADDITIONS TO QUICK LAUNCH One of the more useful features of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 is that it adds icons representing Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Show Desktop, and View Channels to the taskbar. Subscriber K.C. reports that, if you like, you can add other program icons to the Quick Launch area of the taskbar. You can also delete some of the existing ones. Open Windows Explorer and go to Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch. In the Windows Explorer right pane, you'll see the current Quick Launch items. Now you can use the mouse to drag another program's icon into the folder. For example, Windows Explorer would make a nice addition to Quick Launch. Go to \Windows and locate Explorer.exe. You can hold down the Ctrl key while you drag the Explorer icon to the Quick Launch folder. The icon will appear in Quick Launch immediately; you don't need to restart. WHO WAS IN THAT? Are you a movie fan? If so, there's a lot of information available on the Net. If you need to find out who played whom in what 1949 movie, try The Internet Movie Database, at http://us.imdb.com/search.html You can find almost anything here. Wonder who played the aunts in Arsenic and Old Lace, or what year was it made? All you have to do is enter the title in Title Search and you'll find that Josephine Hull and Jean Adair played the aunts. The film was released in 1944. By the way, it's listed as one of the top 250 films of all time, as voted by the Web page users. You can also search for the names of cast and crew members to bring up their celluloid histories. Searching for Meg Ryan, for example, reveals that she is in four movies scheduled for release in 1998. Searching for Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr together produces the information that they both appeared in An Affair to Remember, Dream Wife, The Grass is Greener, and Kiss Them for Me. Have fun, make bets, locate old movies. They sell movies here, too, so if you find one that you've been looking for, here's your chance to buy it. DON'T LOSE THOSE ADDRESSES Based on recent e-mail, there seems to be a bit of confusion about how to backup the Address Book. Let's put an end to the confusion. To locate the Address Book file (its location is dependent on where you put it) click the desktop and then press F3 to open Find. Now search Drive C: and its subfolders for *.wab. Copy the file to a floppy in Drive A:. You have just backed up your Address Book. The default location for the file is \Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book. Anyone using Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 will see the background picture upon opening the floppy disk. If the disk is opened by someone not using Microsoft Internet Explorer 4, the files will appear on the disk, but the picture can't be displayed. In short, the disk's window will look good to those who can display it and normal for those who can't. FOR FANCIER FLOPPIES If you'd like to dress up your floppy disk appearance as viewed on a computer running Microsoft Internet Explorer 4, open the Floppy and right-click its window. Choose Customize this Folder. When the dialog box opens, click Choose a background picture and click Next. Now select a picture and click Next. Now click Finish and the new picture will appear as background to your floppy disk's window. When you select a picture, you need to either select one that you know is loaded on all computers (one of the standard BMP files in \Windows) or you must copy the file to the floppy. If you elect to copy a file to the disk, you'll want to select a relatively small picture to prevent using up too much disk space. IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME If you're just now getting interested in building your own Web site, take a look at the Microsoft Site Builder Network Gallery, at http://www.microsoft.com/gallery/default.asp where you'll find information how to build a thoroughly modern page. You'll also find sounds, styles, images, and fonts. With FrontPage Express and the information on this page, you can build a very attractive and functional Web page. THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT Want to know what's going on in Antarctica? How about Europe, Asia, or South America? No problem. All you have to do is navigate to the CIA's World Factbook. You'll find it at http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/nsolo/wfb-all.htm Whew, that's quite an address. If you like this page, bookmark it before you have to enter that address again. Also, we can't help but wonder if the nsolo part of the address stands for Napoleon Solo, the Man from U.N.C.L.E. By the way, there's a lot more information on Antarctica than you might think. The population is over 4000 in summer and over 1000 in winter. The land is 98 percent ice, 2 percent bare rock. The temperature reaches almost freezing at the warmest part of the continent in the warmest period of summer. There is no report of any economic activity. Sounds like a good place to open a coffee bar. Common acronyms and symbols :-/ Scowling :-O Surprise >:( Angry :'-( Crying :-p Sticking out the tongue Be careful with these--people take them very seriously. DOWNLOADING INTERNET EXPLORER 4.0 If you're thinking of installing Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, here's something to consider. When you download IE 4, you'll be given a choice: You can install from the site or you can download the files to install at a later time. Although it might be faster to just go with the install, it's better to download the files first, then install. This way, if you have problems, you'll have the files on your disk for later use. Be aware that installing IE 4 will overwrite your copy of IE 3. SAVING PICTURES If you periodically like to save a picture that you find on the Internet, you right-click the picture and then choose Save Picture As. This opens the Save As dialog box. You need to add a name and select a location for the picture. Very often, you can determine what type of graphics file to save it as. To see what's offered, click the arrow at the right side of the Save As Type list box. In many cases, you'll see that you can save the picture as a GIF file or a BMP file. Which should you choose? It depends on what you want to do with the picture. If the picture is animated, you have to save it as a GIF file. Otherwise, you'll lose the animation. On the other hand, if you want to use the picture as wallpaper, you should save it as a BMP file. Note: We're not suggesting that you grab copyrighted pictures from the Internet and then use them in your own pages. If you copy a picture and decide you'd like to use it, you need to first find out who it belongs to and what restrictions might be placed on its use. BUT I LIKE THE ADDRESS BOX In the last tip, we showed you how to eliminate the Microsoft Internet Explorer Toolbar to maximize your Web page window. If you don't want to give up the Address Box, you can still get by with a fairly minimal window. Choose View, Toolbar to toggle it back on. Now move the mouse over the bottom edge of the toolbar until the pointer turns into a double-arrow icon (pointing up and down). Press the mouse button and hold it down while you drag toward the top of the screen. At some point, the Links will disappear. If you continue dragging, the Address Box will disappear, too. Continue dragging until Microsoft Internet Explorer won't let you drag any further. At this point, you'll see that the Address Box, the Links, and all the Toolbar icons appear in the same bar. Look for the edge of the Address Box and use the mouse to drag it (horizontally) to the size you want. With a bit of work, you can probably reach an acceptable compromise among the space used by the Address Box, the Links, and the toolbar icons. A SAVING FOLDER When you want to save a Web page, you can choose File, Save As File and give the file a name. (Note that the file won't contain any images or graphic files that appear on the page.) What if you'd like to save a page after you've already disconnected? You can locate the page in your History folder. To do this, run Windows Explorer and locate your History Folder (it's probably in \Windows). Open the History folder and locate the Web page you'd like to copy. This may require a bit of intuition, since the names can look a bit weird. Once you've located the file, double-click its icon to open it using Microsoft Internet Explorer. Now you can choose File, Save as File and save it just as if you were online. (Alternately, you may be prompted with a download window that asks if you want to open the file or save it to disk. If this happens, choose Save it to Disk and click OK.) Once again, the file will not contain the graphics. TO SLASH OR NOT TO SLASH When you type an address into the Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 Address box, you may find that some addresses won't work with a slash at the end. For example, you might find that http://www.nada.com/nada/ will fail to work, but http://www.nada.com/nada works fine. In most cases, Microsoft Internet Explorer doesn't need that final slash anyway. So you're probably better off simply entering the address without the slash in the first place. SEE WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE In Microsoft News, you get to choose which messages you want to see. If you'd like to see only messages that you haven't read, choose View, Unread Messages Only. If you'd like to see all the newly downloaded messages plus the ones stored on your computer, choose View, All Messages. You can also decide whether to view message text in a preview pane, or in a separate window. Choose View, Preview Pane and then select either Split Vertically or Split Horizontally. If you decide to split your panes vertically, the preview will appear on the right side of the News window. If you choose to split them horizontally, the preview will be at the bottom of the window. ANOTHER QUICK KEY Several subscribers have pointed out that you can go forward one page in Internet Explorer 3 by pressing Shift-Backspace. You can also go forward by pressing Alt-right arrow key. Pressing the Shift key generally reverses a navigation key in standard Windows programs. For example, if you habitually use the Tab key to move forward in a document, pressing Shift-Tab will move you backward in the same document. Don't forget that you can also go to a specific URL you've already typed in the Address Box by clicking the arrow to the right of the Address Box and choosing a site from the drop-down list. OFFLINE NAVIGATION You can use your History folder for some offline navigation. After a session with Microsoft Internet Explorer, disconnect and then choose View, Options. Click the View History button. You can choose a site from the folder contents, and Explorer will navigate to that page. If Internet Explorer needs information that isn't available, it won't be able to find it unless you connect. There are a variety of possible messages that you might get when this happens. They are all fairly straightforward, though, and amount to asking whether you want to connect or not. EVERYBODY TALKS ABOUT THE WEATHER Weather is a big topic. Some people just want answers to simple queries, such as what the weather will be like in their town tomorrow morning, while others hunger for in-depth details about climate, tornadoes, hurricanes, snow, and dozens of other weather-related subjects. To get off to a good start, try the NOAA regional weather centers. Go to www.yahoo.com/Government/U_S__Government/Executive_Branch/Departments _and_Agencies/Department_of_Commerce/National_Oceanic_and_ Atmospheric_Administration/National_Weather_Service/Regional_Centers and select the office nearest you. Let's suppose that you want to determine the normal high temperature for Boston. Just go to the Boston site and then select Annual Climate Data for Boston. You'll find that the normal high temperature for March is 45.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The record high was 81 degrees in 1989, and the record low was 6 degrees in 1984. We also checked Louisville, Kentucky, where the normal March high is 56.3 (the range is 50 at the beginning of the month to 62 at the end of the month). And, you'll find that Miami has a normal jealousy-inducing March high of 79.1 degrees. The regional offices also provide up-to-date local weather and forecasts. You'll find another treasure trove of interesting weather information at http://www.weather.com This is the Weather Channel site, where they provide weather and climate information along with the daily forecasts. GETTING THE BIG PICTURE If you like to use the Toolbar and the Address Box and the Links and the Status Bar, you're taking up quite a bit of Microsoft Internet Explorer window space that's not available for Web page viewing. But if you've been using IE for a while now, you may prefer to see more of the Web pages and less of the Toolbar. To see how you like the maximized window, choose View, Toolbar. Since this command (View, Toolbar) is a toggle, choosing it turns it off. The next time you choose View, Toolbar, the toolbar reappears. Although the remaining menu takes up a minimal amount of window space, all the commands you need are still available to you. To go back to the previous page, you can press Alt-left arrow (or Backspace). To go forward, press Alt-right arrow (or Shift-Backspace). To read your e-mail, choose Go, Read Mail. It's all there except the Address Box and the Links. HOW DID THEY DO THAT? Are you thinking of designing your own Web page? One way to learn how well pages are designed is to take a look at the source code. Navigate to a page you find particularly attractive and then choose View, Source. This opens the page in HTML format in a NotePad window. You can print the page if you want to use it as a reference. Just choose File, Print. You can also save the page by choosing File, Save As File. Find a location for the file when the Save As dialog box opens, give it a name and then click Save. Whatever you do, never take pages from others and use them as your own. We're just suggesting that this is a good way to learn how touse HTML when designing your own pages. SENDING E-MAIL TO MULTIPLE RECIPIENTS If you'd like to send e-mail to multiple recipients and don't want any of them to know who else is getting the message, try this: Send the message to yourself and then use BCC for all the recipients. This will get the mail to everyone, but nobody will be able to see who else was on the list. MY COMPUTER IN THE TASKBAR To put My Computer into the taskbar, right-click the taskbar and choose Toolbars, New Toolbar. When the New Toolbar dialog box opens, click My Computer to select it and then click OK. When the new toolbar appears, the My Computer contents will take up most of the space on the taskbar. Just right-click the new toolbar where there are no buttons and deselect Show Text. Now the new bar will have the title My Computer, and all the icons will appear without titles. If you'd like to get rid of the words "My Computer" as well, right-click the toolbar again and this time deselect Show Title. SPRING CLEANING Would you like to do a cleanup on one of your well-used disk drives? If so, check out Disk CleanUp at http://www.execpc.com/~sbd/ Disk CleanUp will do a thorough job of getting rid of those remnants that get left on the hard disk when you delete a file. As you probably know, when you delete a file in Windows (or MS-DOS) the contents of the file remain intact until they get written over. All that happens during a file deletion is that the FAT no longer points to the deleted file. This means that someone with the proper tools can read the file. Running Disk CleanUp will delete the information in those file remnants. Disk CleanUp runs in either Windows 95 or Windows NT. The program, by Gregory Braun (Software by Design), is free for your use. While you're visiting the Software by Design site, take a look at some of the other offerings. You'll find an interesting collection of utilities. SPEAKING INTERNET How good is your Internet vocabulary? No matter how good it is, there's always new stuff popping up. Do you know what a broken pipe is? How about MIP Mapping? Check out Netlingo at http://www.netlingo.com You'll find it all there. You can look up a word or you can browse the whole dictionary. SLICE AND DICE E-MAIL When you compose a message in Internet Mail and News, you'll find that the usual Windows shortcut keys apply. Ctrl-X will cut selected text, Ctrl-C will copy it, and Ctrl-V will paste it. Ctrl-Z will undo the last operation. You can also copy text from a document other than an Internet Mail and News message and paste it into a message. Conversely, you can select and copy text from an e-mail or News message and paste it into another Windows document. FISHWRAP EXPRESS In the last tip, we discussed how to save e-mail when using Internet Mail and News. This time, let's look at News in more detail. Last month, we said that you can save News messages by simply choosing File, Save Message. You can also save a News message by choosing File, Save As. When the Save Message As dialog box opens, click the arrow at the right of the Save as Type list box. You'll see that you have two choices: You can save the file as a News (*.nws) message or as a Mail (*ewl) message. Saving the News message as a text file is not an option. Take your pick and then name the file, choose the folder, and click Save. LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND Microsoft Internet Mail and News offers you several ways to save an e-mail message that you've received: You can save it as mail or as a text file. To save a message, select File, Save As. When the Save Message As dialog box opens, click the arrow at the right side of the Save As Type list box. You can choose Text (*.txt) if you want to read the file with a text editor such as NotePad, or Mail (*eml) to read the saved message using Internet Mail. After you make a choice, name the file (if necessary), choose a folder, and click Save. KEEPING YOUR WALLPAPER When you decide to use some Web graphics as wallpaper, you right-click the picture and choose Set as Wallpaper. What happens if you choose another picture later? You lose the first one because each time you make the selection, the wallpaper file is named Internet Explorer Wallpaper.bmp. If you want to keep your current selection, right-click the desktop and choose Properties. When the dialog box opens, click the Background tab. You'll see the current selection under Wallpaper. Click Browse, and when the Browsing for Wallpaper dialog box opens, locate Internet Explorer Wallpaper.bmp. Click the name once. Wait a few seconds and then click the name again. Now change the name to something else--whatever you want that describes the picture. Don't forget to add .BMP to the end of the new name. Press Enter and then click Cancel. When you get back to the Properties dialog box, click Cancel again. Right-click the desktop again, choose Properties, and click the Background tab. Your new name will appear in the Wallpaper list box. SEND ME NO FLOWERS Want to send some flowers for no particular reason? Just to say Hello, how's it going? Go to http://www.virtualflorist.com and send some virtual flowers to that special someone. They're a lot cheaper than roses. The recipient gets an e-mail message that includes the pickup address. All the recipient has to do is click the address to go see the flowers and the message that you so thoughtfully composed. HOW FAR IS IT? Want to know how far it is to Miami? Or perhaps how far from Boston to Los Angeles? Go to How far is it? At http://www.indo.com/distance/ This is one of the most detailed travel information systems on the Internet. You can locate some very small communities. For example, you can find that it's 696 miles from Goshen, Connecticut, to Goshen, Kentucky. The distance is reported as the straight-line distance (as the crow files). But, if you want more detailed travel information, click Driving Directions. SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND Want to find something on a Web page? Let's say you're looking at a long document, and what you really want from it is information about the Virgin Islands. You can choose Edit, Find to open the Find dialog box. Type in the search word or words and click Find Next. You can open the Find dialog box quickly if you press Ctrl-F (just like in Word for Windows). GET DOWN WITH YOUR ADDRESS BAR Subscriber A. J. points out that you can put an Address Bar into the taskbar. All you have to do is right-click the taskbar and choose Toolbars, Address. You can use the mouse to resize the Address Bar however you want. You can also get rid of the title to save taskbar space. Just right-click the toolbar (in an empty spot) and deselect Show Title. MAKING A START PAGE In a recent tip, we pointed out that you can make any page your start page; all you have to do is navigate to the page and choose View, Internet Options. Click the General tab and then click Use Current. Now click OK to save whatever changes you made and close the dialog box. I. R. points out that there's an easier way. If you look closely at the Address Bar, you'll see a little E icon next to the address of the site you are currently viewing. Click the icon and drag it to the Home icon on the toolbar. A dialog box will appear, asking if you want to make this page your start page. Click Yes, and you now have a new start page. DOCKING MY COMPUTER We recently ran a tip describing how to turn My Computer into a separate toolbar--provided you're running Active Desktop. All you have to do is drag the My Computer icon to the far left, right, or top of the Windows 95 window. When you release the mouse button, My Computer will turn into a toolbar and dock itself at the edge of the screen. A number of people have reported that this won't work on their systems. The only reason we can find for this tip to fail is if the Active Desktop isn't loaded. Right-click the desktop and look at the menu. If there is no Active Desktop command, then Active Desktop isn't loaded. Run the Internet 4.0 installation program and install Active Desktop. A few people have reported that the tip fails to work even though they are using Active Desktop. We can't see a reason for this. If anyone has an answer for these readers, please let us know. MORE POWER TO INTERNET EXPLORER 4 How would you like to be able to zoom in on a Web page picture to get a better look? Perhaps you'd like to highlight some text on a Web page. Or how about a Quick Search option using the search engine of your choice? You can get all these features and more if you download and install IE 4 PowerToys. You'll find it at http://www.microsoft.com/ie/ie40/powertoys/ This is one of those "use at your own risk" offerings from Microsoft. It looks good, though, and so far, we haven't seen any added problems from using PowerToys (the standard problems remain, but there are no new ones). To use PowerToys, download the file and then double-click its icon to install it. You'll notice that Quick Search gets added to the Links. To highlight text, select the text, right-click it, and choose Highlight from the menu. To zoom in on a picture, right-click it and then choose Zoom In from the menu. To put it back to normal, right-click the picture again and choose Zoom Out. And for that Quick Search, click the Quick Search link on the toolbar and see which shortcut is assigned to your favorite engine. Say you want to search using WebCrawler--the shortcut is wc. Go to your Address Bar and type wc followed by the text for which you want to search. Press Enter to start the search. WHERE'S MY WALLPAPER? We ran a tip in January suggesting that some people might want to deal with a completely clean desktop. To do this, right-click a blank spot on the taskbar. Choose Toolbars, Desktop. Now the complete contents of your desktop will appear in the taskbar. The next step is to hide the current desktop. To do this, open the My Computer window and choose View, Folder Options. Click the View tab and select the checkbox labeled Hide Icons When Desktop is Viewed as Web Page. Click Apply and OK. Next, close the My Computer window. The desktop will now be completely bare. When you need to open a folder, look in the taskbar. The taskbar has left and right arrows that you can use to scroll through the Desktop contents. M.J. and several other subscribers say that they like this tip but they lose their wallpaper when they choose to view as a Web page. Then, if they change back, the icons reappear. Here's what happens. When you open a window and choose View, Folder Options and select Web Style, the wallpaper changes to the Active Desktop default. But you can get your old wallpaper back. Just right-click the desktop and choose Properties. When the Properties dialog box opens, click the Background tab. Locate your original wallpaper file and select it. Click OK to record your change and close the dialog box. Now you'll have the Web-style desktop with your old wallpaper. TO SLASH OR NOT TO SLASH When you type an address into the Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 Address box, you may find that some addresses won't work with a slash at the end of the address. For example, you might find that http://www.tipworld.com/samples/ will fail to work, but http://www.tipworld.com/samples works fine. In most cases, Microsoft Internet Explorer doesn't need that final slash anyway. So you're probably better off just to enter the address without the slash in the first place. ON THE QUICK You can make your own Quick Links assignments very easily. Navigate to a site that you'd like to use as a Quick Link. Choose View, Options and click the Navigation tab. Click the arrow at the right side of the Page list box to expand the list. There are five Quick Links. Click the one that you'd like to change and then click Use Current. Modify the name and then click OK to save your change and close the Options dialog box. If you decide later that you'd like to have the original Quick Link back, just choose View, Options and click Navigation. Select the link again and then click Use Default. Now click OK to close the dialog box and record your change. EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS Unless your hard disk is so large that conserving space means absolutely nothing to you, you may be interested in taking steps to keep those mail files from growing uncontrollably. To save space, while in your Internet Mail window periodically choose File, Folder, Compact, All Folders. A way to save even more disk space is to get rid of deleted files as soon as possible. You can click the Deleted Items folder and delete the files that you're sure you won't need again. If you're careful about how you delete files, you can even tell Mail to do the job for you. Simply choose Mail, Options and then click the Read tab. Select the check box labeled Empty messages from the Deleted Items folder on exit. Click OK to record your change and close the dialog box. ORGANIZE WITH KEYSTROKES In Microsoft Internet Explorer 3, you can organize the contents of your Favorites folder. All you have to do is choose Favorites, Organize Favorites. This will open the Favorites folder, and you can move, delete, or copy files. If you'd like a quick way to get to the Favorites folder, just press Ctrl-B. SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND Want to find something on a Web page? Let's say you're looking at a long document, and what you really want from it is information about the Virgin Islands. You can choose Edit, Find to open the Find dialog box. Type in the search word or words and click Find Next. You can open the Find dialog box quickly by simply pressing Ctrl-F (just like in Word for Windows). SPEAKING INTERNET Do you know what a broken pipe is? How about MIP Mapping? No matter how good your Internet vocabulary, there's always new stuff popping up. You'll find it all at Netlingo: http://www.netlingo.com You can look up a word or browse the whole dictionary. KEEP IT SIMPLE We've run this tip before, but a number of subscribers have recently asked about getting rid of the background pattern in the Microsoft Internet Explorer toolbar. Choose View, Options and click the General tab. Now deselect the check box labeled Background Bitmap. Click OK to record your change and dismiss the dialog box. No more background bitmap. PROTECTING YOUR PROPERTIES We've mentioned in the past that you can set up your Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 parameters by right-clicking the desktop icon and then choosing Properties from the menu. Subscriber K.H. points out that if you happen to be a clean desktop advocate but don't have the Microsoft Internet Explorer icon on your desktop, you can use Control Panel to set those parameters without running the browser. Click Start and choose Settings, Control Panel. When Control Panel opens, double-click the Internet icon. You can make all your changes and then click OK when finished. The changes will take effect the next time you run Microsoft Internet Explorer. PRETTY AS A PICTURE As you know, you can open pictures stored on your hard drive using Microsoft Internet Explorer 3. This works for any picture file with the extension GIF or JPG. To open a picture in Microsoft Internet Explorer, choose File, Open. When the dialog box appears, click Browse. This will launch the standard Open dialog box. In this dialog box, click the arrow at the right side of the Files of Type list box and select All Files. Now locate and select the file you want to view and click Open. Next, click OK to view the selected file. Note that you have no control over picture size in the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser. The browser will only display the file in its actual size--you can't zoom in or out. MY FAVORITE SITES S.P. asks if you can add the Favorites folder to your Start menu even though you don't run Active Desktop. Here's an easy way to this. Open Windows Explorer and locate \Windows\Favorites. Grab the Favorites folder with the mouse and drag it to the Start button. When you're over the Start button, release the mouse button. This will put the Favorites folder into the Start menu. VOICES FROM THE PAST Would you like to hear Franklin Roosevelt's declaration of war speech of December 8, 1941? Perhaps you'd care to listen to clips from Richard Nixon's Checkers speech. If you navigate to http://www.webcorp.com/sounds/index.htm you'll find them, along with speeches by Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Clinton, Dwight Eisenhower, Leon Trotsky, John Kennedy, Malcolm X, and many others. CORRECTION We recently ran a tip describing how to change the desktop view of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Unfortunately, we accidentally described the steps for cleaning up the view in Internet Explorer 3 rather than 4. To change the view in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4, choose View, Internet Options and click the Advanced tab. Now you can select or deselect the options you want to use. KEEPING UP WITH MICROSOFT If you want to know what's happening with Microsoft products--all of 'em--you can set up a new newsgroup to help you. Open Outlook Express and choose News. Now choose Tools, Accounts and click Add. Select News, and the wizard will open. Fill in the blanks in the wizard and keep clicking Next until you get to the page that requests an Internet News Server Name. Type in msnews.microsoft.com and click Next. Now give your new account a name. Something like Microsoft News should do. Click Next. Here's where it gets personal again: You have to tell the wizard how you want to connect. We can't tell you what to put here other than that you should use whatever method you're using now. Click Next again and click Finish, or, if you chose Connect Using My Phone Line, in which case you will most likely want to select the radio button labeled Use an existing dial-up connection. After you make a selection, click Next and then you get to the final page, click Finish. When you go online, you'll be asked if you want to download a list of available groups. Do it. Now you can select a group and click Go To to read the contents of the group. If you want to subscribe to a group, double-click it. Click the Newsgroups button on the toolbar to return to the list of Microsoft groups. A QUICK ROUTE TO QUICK LAUNCH In a recent tip, we suggested that you add icons to the Quick Launch menu by dragging them there using Windows Explorer. M.F. points out that there's an even easier and quicker way to accomplish this. All you have to do is drag an icon directly to the Quick Launch area in the toolbar. You can also delete icons from the Quick Launch menu in the toolbar. All you have to do is right-click the one you want to delete, then choose Delete from the menu. COVERING YOUR TRACKS P.B. reminds us that someone can see where you've been on the Net simply by typing WWW into the Address Bar of the Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer). You can change this by getting rid of all your History and cache files when you finish an Internet session. To do so, choose View, Internet Options and click the General tab. Now click Clear History and then, under Temporary Internet files, click Delete Files. HOW PRIVATE IS YOUR MAIL? If you think your e-mail correspondence is private, guess again. There are currently no laws to prevent a company from reading the messages that appear on its computers. Although most companies don't make a practice of reading e-mail, they can do it if they wish. Also, just because you delete a message doesn't mean the message is gone from the server. And here's something else: Many servers do a backup across the Internet on a daily basis--which means that your mail potentially appears on backup tapes all over the world. CONSPIRACY Interested in the conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination? If so, there's a Web site devoted to the subject at http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/home.htm You can read about all the latest theories and even add your own comments. There's also a newsgroup that you might like to investigate: alt.assassination.jfk DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR ADDRESS BOOK IS? Subscriber V.L. asks if there's a way to change the location of the Address Book. Yes, there is. However, the only method we know of requires that you edit the Registry. Remember that you can do serious damage to your system if you inadvertently make an error when changing the Registry. It's a good idea to make backup copies of your System.dat and User.dat files before you start messing with the Registry. If you're ready to begin, click Start, Run and type regedit then click OK or press Enter. When RegEdit opens, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WAB\Wab File Name. In the right pane you'll see the current selection. This is where Microsoft Internet Explorer expects to find the Address Book. To change the folder, double-click the file name icon in the RegEdit right pane. When the dialog box opens, enter the new folder. It's best to retain the file's name--just change the folder. Close RegEdit (Choose Registry, Exit). Restart the computer to enable the change. Note: Your Address Book must be in the new location. If no Address Book is there, Mail will create a new empty book. DO IT LATER When you sit down to look through a newsgroup, you might want to download the headers first and disconnect while you examine them to see what you want to read. While offline, open News and choose Offline, Mark Newsgroups. When the Mark Newsgroups dialog box opens, select Selected Newsgroups and then click the little plus sign (+) at the left of your Newsgroup list to expand it. Select the newsgroup you're interested in and then select Download Headers Only. While connected, click Download Now to download the headers. You can disconnect now (if your system doesn't automatically disconnect after downloading the headers). Next, look through the headers to decide what you want to read. When you find an interesting message, select it and choose Offline, Mark Message for Download. If you'd prefer to read an entire thread, select the first message in the thread and then choose Offline, Mark Thread for Download. Now you can connect again to download the messages you've selected. MAKING HEADLINES How would you like to put a friend's name into a current news story? Something along the lines of someone's latest lover, or an offer to star in an upcoming movie? You can do this and more at April Fools.com. Go to http://aprilfools.infospace.com/home.htm and have a bit of fun to celebrate spring. A SAVING GRACE If you want to save an Outlook Express message that you've just composed, choose File, Save. The message will be saved in your Draft folder. Some users report that Save isn't in the File menu. This is a problem that Microsoft is aware of, and the only thing to do right now if File, Save is unavailable is to choose File, Save As, then pick a name and folder in which to save the file. Note: We run Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 in Windows 95 SR2 and have not experienced the problem. GETTING DOWN TO THE ROOT OF THINGS If you're working in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 and want to get to your hard disk's root folder, all you have to do is type a backslash \ into the Address Bar and press Enter. To get back to your Web page, click the Back arrow. DIRECT LINKS In the past, we've discussed how to modify or delete items from the Links bar by choosing Favorites, Organize Favorites and then opening the Links folder. There's an even easier way to edit the Links, though: Just right-click any Links bar item to open a menu that will allow you to modify or delete the link. To delete, just choose Delete from the menu. To modify the link, choose Properties. When the dialog box opens, you can change the name or the URL itself, if necessary. When you finish, click OK to close the dialog box and save your changes. Note: If you right-click a link and choose Edit, Internet Explorer opens the target page in the default editor. REARRANGING THE FURNITURE G.S. asks if you can change the location of the Active Desktop's Channel Bar. To relocate the Channel Bar, move the mouse over the bar until the title bar appears at the top. When it appears, grab it with the mouse and drag the Channel Bar to a new location. Once you've dropped the Channel Bar into a new spot, it will stay put until you move it somewhere else. DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE From our e-mail, we gather that many of you are under the impression that you can't use the Active Desktop without having single-click icons. This isn't the case. If you'd like to have the features of the Active Desktop, but would prefer to double-click your desktop icons, open any folder and choose View, Folder Options. When the Folder Options dialog box opens, click the General tab. Now select the Custom, Based on Settings You Choose radio button. Next, click Settings. Under Active Desktop, select Enable All Web-Related Content on My Desktop. Move to Click Items as Follows and select Double-Click to Open an Item (Single-Click to Select). Click OK to close the dialog box and save your changes. Now your desktop will handle all the Web-related stuff you can throw at it, but you'll need to double-click an icon to open a file or folder. LOST PASSWORD Several readers report losing their Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.02 password. Even after reinstalling Internet Explorer, the lost password is still in effect. Although we've covered this topic before, let's do it again for those who missed it the first time around. Because dealing with the password requires digging into the Registry, we have to issue the usual warning--be careful, because if you mess up the Registry, you'll have a serious problem. With that in mind, let's go. Click Start and choose Run. Type regedit and press Enter. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies \Rating. In the right pane you'll see Key and a string of hex numbers. Click Key to select it and then press Del. Click Yes when the Confirm dialog box appears. Now choose Registry, Exit to close RegEdit. Note: If you don't find Ratings where we describe it, run RegEdit and choose Edit, Find. Type in Ratings and click Find Next. This will locate the folder for you. The remainder of the procedure is the same. SEARCHING YOUR WAY G.L. wants to know if there's a way to change the default search engine in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3. There is, but it requires that you edit the Registry. And, before you proceed, you need to be aware that your Quick Search function probably will no longer work. If you decide to go ahead, be very careful when making changes to the Registry. Click Start, Run, type in regedit and press Enter. When RegEdit opens, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main. If you look in the right pane, you'll see the current default search address. Double-click the entry's icon and then type the new address in the dialog box. Be sure to type the complete address, http://www.mynewsearch.com and click OK. Now you'll need to restart Windows 95 for the change to take effect. To restart more quickly, choose Start, Shut Down. Then select Restart and hold down the Shift key while you click OK. This will restart Windows 95 without going through the whole boot process. As we mentioned before, you may lose the ability to perform a Quick Search. That is, typing ? search words into the Address Bar may no longer work. THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING DATA When you fill out a form on the Web, you can lose the data if you click Back. Let's say you've just completed 38 of the 40 questions on a form. Now, for whatever reason, you click the Back button to take a look at what was on the previous page. Then you go back to your form, only to discover that all your data is gone. There's nothing unusual about this scenario: Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 keeps the data only if the page is cached to disk and the data hasn't changed. This is not a bug; it's the default operation of IE. A FRESH START If you use the Microsoft Start page (http://home.microsoft.com) you may want to take a short time to customize it. You can click one of the little green happy (or indifferent?) faces to make a change. The first time you click a green button, you'll be transported to a customization area, where you'll specify items to include in your Start page. Subsequent changes can be performed directly on the Start page. For example, if you'd like the MS Investor Ticker to appear at the top of the page, click the little face beside Business and then click the down arrow next to "move" to expand the list. Select To Top of Page. The page will automatically refresh, and your stock ticker will be right up at the top. The same procedure works with any of the little green buttons. READ 'EM ANYTIME L.R. wants to know if there's a way to view those files in the Temp folder. She says that when she attempts to open one of the files, the Explorer opens and starts dialing her ISP. Here's a way to view those files without dialing your ISP. Right-click the Internet Explorer icon on your desktop and choose Properties. When the Properties dialog box opens, click the Advanced tab. Click Settings now, and then under Check for Newer Versions of Stored Pages, select Never and click OK. When you're finished looking at your old files, right-click the Explorer icon again and reset your choice to its original selection. IS IT NAMELESS OR NOT? Regarding the idea of naming a desktop icon using nondisplaying characters (delete the name and use the Alt key to enter a nondisplaying ASCII code from the Number pad) to render the title invisible, D.W. and C.W. correctly observe that using the Active Desktop may thwart your intentions. If you're using Active Desktop and have selected single-click, the name will be underlined. If you use a nondisplaying character, the underlining will remain. So, even though you don't have a name, you still have an underlined space. ROOM WITH A VIEW If you'd like to increase the amount of space available to the viewing window, you can use the mouse to drag the Links toolbar up into the Address toolbar. As several subscribers have pointed out, you can get to the links very quickly if you double-click the 3D edge that separates the Address toolbar from the Links toolbar. This will display all the links and obscure the Address Bar. To get back to your original view, double-click the edge again. If you want to make your change more or less permanent, use the mouse to drag the edge to a new location. It will remain there until you change it again. DO IT ALL WITH QUICK LAUNCH In a recent tip, we mentioned that you can add items to Quick Launch by simply dragging shortcuts to the Quick Launch portion of the taskbar. J.L.K. points out some additional features that you may want to use. Just as you can drag shortcuts to Quick Launch on the taskbar, you can also remove them from Quick Launch by dragging them away from the taskbar. To delete a Quick Launch item, just drag its icon from Quick Launch to the Recycle Bin. To move a shortcut to the desktop, grab it with the mouse and drag to the desktop. The only thing you can't do directly from the Quick Launch bar is rename a shortcut. To do this, you'll still have to navigate to \Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch. SEARCHING FOR A SEARCHER If you'd like to switch the default Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 search engine, open IE 4, connect to your ISP, and click Search. When the search pane opens, click Choose a Search Engine. Now you can select a search engine from the list in the right pane of the browser. Note: We tried unsuccessfully to choose an unlisted engine. Try User Specified and type in an address. No matter what we typed in, IE rejected it. Hope you have better luck. TAKING IT WITH YOU Several subscribers have asked about moving Outlook Express Mail files to another computer. One way to do this is to simply save the messages you want to transfer. Double-click the message and then choose File, Save As. Choose the folder in which you want to save the file, give it a name, and click Save. If you wish, you can save the files to a floppy disk and then read them (and respond to them) on any computer that uses Outlook Express. DON'T SETTLE FOR DROPOUTS There you are, all connected, and you decide to go get a cup of coffee. When you get back, you're no longer connected. Perhaps this doesn't pose much of a problem when the Net isn't very busy, but at those busy times, you may spend some time dialing before you get reconnected. If these disconnects are getting on your nerves, try Stay Connected! With Stay Connected! active, your ISP will be automatically redialed. You'll find Stay Connected! at http://www.pcworld.com/news/daily/data/0298/980227102230.html Stay Connected! is shareware, and the registration fee is $19.95. I WANT TO SEE THAT Some people are having difficulty reading their Mail attachments. Usually, the cause of such problems is not having a program that can display the attached file. Let's say you get a picture attachment with a .TIF extension, and you ask Microsoft Internet Explorer to open the file. Then all you get is the Open With dialog box. The problem is that you have no program installed to display TIF files. The only way around this is to obtain a program that will read TIF files. Let's consider the other side of this scenario. You're about to send some pictures of your kids to Uncle Clyde out in Arizona. The pictures are in JPG format. Will Uncle Clyde be able to see the pictures? Maybe not. The best approach may be for you to convert the pictures to BMP format, since all Windows 95 installations include Paint to read BMP files. In general, you should be very careful about the attachments you send. If you don't know for certain that the recipients can read the file, take another approach. For example, if you work in Microsoft Word, rather than send the file in Word format (which the recipient may or may not be able to read), save the file as RTF before you send it. Most word processors will read RTF files. Save those picture files as BMP to make sure that recipients can read them. HISTORY ALWAYS REPEATS ITSELF T.R. wants to know why you can't use the History file once you've closed Microsoft Internet Explorer and then opened it again. The problem here is that many relatively new Web surfers believe that when the Back arrow is grayed out, the History folder has been exhausted. This is far from the case--all those files are still there in the History folder. To navigate to any file in the History folder, choose Go, Open History Folder. When the folder opens, you can double-click any site to navigate there. Note that the folder will remain open until you close it. So, after you close Microsoft Internet Explorer, you may find the History folder still open. All you have to do is click the Close button (the small X at the upper-right corner of the window). WWW AND FTP, TOO You don't necessarily need special software to work with FTP sites. If you type an FTP address into the Microsoft Internet Explorer Address Bar, the browser will take you there. Of course, you can also click the URL for an FTP site to navigate to the site. Although some sites require passwords and log-in procedures, you can access and use many FTP sites with only your IE 3 browser. BUT WHAT'S THE ADDRESS? When you look in the Favorites folder, you see the names that you've assigned to the target URLs--you don't see the actual URLs. What if you want to see the actual addresses? Choose Favorites, Organize Favorites. When the window opens, locate the address you're interested in and right-click it. Choose Properties, and when the dialog box opens click the Internet Shortcut tab. In the Target URL text box you'll see the actual site address. OUT DAMNED TOOLBAR! M.C. points out that you can very easily enjoy full-screen browsing if you hide the Internet Explorer toolbar. To do this, click the Fullscreen button. Next, right-click the toolbar and choose Auto Hide. Now the toolbar will disappear. All you have to do to get it back is move the mouse to the top of the screen. ROAD SAFETY If you're on the road a lot, here's a tip that might save you some time. Imagine this: You're at a vendor and you desperately need to send some e-mail. The problem is, you can't remember the address. You can call the office and ask someone to turn on your computer and locate the address. Or you could keep all your addresses in a simple text file that you can read on any computer. An easy way to create a text file of addresses is to open the Address Book and choose File, Export, Address Book. When the dialog box opens, select Text File (Comma Separated Values). Click Export and then name the file (something like address.txt will do). Make the name the long version with the full path, for example: c:\data\address.txt. Click Next and select the fields you want to export. After you make all your selections, click Finish. Close the Address Book Export Tool dialog box and then close the original Address dialog box. This will provide you with not only a readable text file, but also a file that many other mail programs can import. HIGH PRIORITY You can set the priority of your Microsoft Internet Mail messages. Let's say you want to send a high-priority message--one that you need a response to ASAP. Click New Message and enter the address, topic, and message. Now click the postage stamp icon at the right side of the window and choose High Priority. Go ahead and send the message now. Assuming the recipient has an e-mail program that recognizes priorities, there will be a "high-priority" indicator attached to the message. The recipient will see that you consider the message high priority and will hopefully respond quickly. Note that setting the priority doesn't mean that your ISP will handle the message in any different way. And note, too, that not all e-mail programs will convey the priority information. HIGH PRIORITY You can set the priority of your Microsoft Internet Mail messages. Let's say you want to send a high-priority message--one that you need a response to ASAP. Click New Message and enter the address, topic, and message. Now click the postage stamp icon at the right side of the window and choose High Priority. Go ahead and send the message now. Assuming the recipient has an e-mail program that recognizes priorities, there will be a "high-priority" indicator attached to the message. The recipient will see that you consider the message high priority and will hopefully respond quickly. Note that setting the priority doesn't mean that your ISP will handle the message in any different way. And note, too, that not all e-mail programs will convey the priority information. WHERE HAVE ALL MY SETTINGS GONE? If you're about to install Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 and have been using Microsoft Mail and News, you may like to know ahead of time that you'll lose your settings in the upgrade. What happens is that IE 4 installs Microsoft Outlook Express as the default mail and news handler. You will lose such settings as Preview Pane, Toolbar selections, etc. The reason for the loss is that many operations in Outlook Express are different from those in Microsoft Mail and News. However, it isn't a big problem to modify the default settings in Outlook Express to match those of your Mail and News setup. READ THEM ALL A number of subscribers have asked about reading newsgroups without subscribing. If you're using Outlook Express, it's no problem to read any newsgroup, whether you subscribe or not. Run Outlook Express and choose Go, News. If you are not subscribed to any newsgroups, you'll get a dialog box asking if you want to view the available groups. Click Yes. (If you are subscribed to newsgroups, you can reach this dialog box via Tools, Newsgroups.) Now type in a topic name, or portion of a topic name, that you'd like to read. For example, if you type in Internet You'll get a list of groups from which to choose. To read the messages in one of the groups, click the group to select it and click Go To. To subscribe to a group, double-click it; and then to read it, click Go To. A REASON TO UPGRADE? Several readers have complained that the Paste option is unavailable when they try to paste a file into the Favorites folder. Although you can't paste files into the History, Subscriptions, Tasks, or Downloaded Program Files folders, you should be able to Paste into Favorites. This is a bug in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4. When you upgrade to Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01, the problem will go away. MICROSOFT OUTLOOK If you have a copy of Outlook (it comes with Microsoft Office 97, Professional Version), you can use it for mail in place of Microsoft Internet Mail. If Outlook is installed on your system, you'll see it as a Programs option in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Choose View, Options and click the Programs tab. Click the down arrow at the right of the Mail drop-down list box to expand the list. If Outlook is installed, one of the selections will be Microsoft Outlook. If you don't see Outlook in the list, you'll need to install it. Put the Microsoft Office disc into the CD-ROM drive and click Start, Settings, Control Panel. Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon and then select your Microsoft Office installation. Click Add/Remove and follow through, making sure you select Outlook as the file to be added. This is a worthwhile step to take because you can also use Outlook as a calendar and appointment tracker. MICROSOFT OUTLOOK If you have a copy of Outlook (it comes with Microsoft Office 97, Professional Version), you can use it for mail in place of Microsoft Internet Mail. If Outlook is installed on your system, you'll see it as a Programs option in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Choose View, Options and click the Programs tab. Click the down arrow at the right of the Mail drop-down list box to expand the list. If Outlook is installed, one of the selections will be Microsoft Outlook. If you don't see Outlook in the list, you'll need to install it. Put the Microsoft Office disc into the CD-ROM drive and click Start, Settings, Control Panel. Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon and then select your Microsoft Office installation. Click Add/Remove and follow through, making sure you select Outlook as the file to be added. This is a worthwhile step to take because you can also use Outlook as a calendar and appointment tracker. HOME AT LAST In the past we've mentioned several organizations that provide free home pages. Fortune City.com (The City that Never Sleeps) offers 10MB of free space for your home page. This one is worth checking out--10MB is a bunch of space! Go to http://www.fortunecity.com to see what you think of its offer. This site allows only personal pages--no commercial ones. You are also limited to nonoffensive material. Your site will be closed down if you don't abide by the rules, so read the rules carefully before you sign up. MAIL AND PICTURES TOO In the last tip, we mentioned some of the advantages of using Outlook for mail. Another advantage is that you can send specially formatted text and pictures in Outlook. Since Outlook uses Microsoft Word as its editor, you can include almost anything you can in Word--clip art, pictures, colored text, text boxes--you name it. Outlook ships with Microsoft Office 97. BE KIND TO YOUR TEXT-BASED FRIENDS If you're starting to design your own Web page, here's something to keep in mind when you add pictures to your pages. Anytime you add pictures to a Web page, you need to remember that some people won't see them. There are still people using browsers that don't handle graphics. There is also a good possibility that some people will kill the graphics to get the page loaded more quickly. In any case, you need to make sure that your page isn't dependent upon the pictures to get your idea across. One way to do this is to make sure that there's always some alternative text for any picture on your page. For example, if we include the tag IMG SRC="MyPicture.gif" ALT="This is a picture of me." to a page, the picture "MyPicture.gif" will appear on the page for those who can see the picture. If the picture doesn't appear, then users will see the words "This is a picture of me" instead. REAL MUSIC There are many sources of sounds on the Internet. There are recordings of speeches, excerpts from movies, TV, and radio, and there are many music files. A number of these files are in the RealPlayer format, and you can play them online. But you need RealPlayer to play the sounds. Look for RealPlayer at http://www.microsoft.com/ie/ie40/download/rtw/x86/en/download/addon95.htm ZAP OLD NEWS MESSAGES Several readers have noted that their collection of news messages seems to grow regularly. All those old messages from a variety of groups stick around long after their usefulness becomes doubtful. Is there a way to clean all this up? Here's a rather drastic way, drastic because it will delete all the information. Run Windows Explorer and go to \Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express\News\News\. There you'll find a bunch of files with the .nch extension. If you delete all of them, all messages from all groups will disappear. Note: This does not delete your subscription information. If you can't find the *.nch files in the folder we described, run Windows Explorer and choose Tools, Find, Files or Folders. Search the entire disk for *.nch. This will locate the folder on your computer. YOU SEND ME R.H. says that when she saves new mail to the Draft folder, she can't then send that mail later. The problem here is that you can't just select a message in the Draft folder and then click a Send button somewhere. What you need to do is go to the Draft folder and double-click the message you want to send. This opens the standard message window, which does have a Send button. Just click Send and your message will go to the Outbox, and from there it will get sent the next time you click Send and Receive. IS THERE AN UPGRADE? Because Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 is a relatively new product, upgrades appear at a rather quick pace. The best way to find out if you need an upgrade on any of the Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 components is to go to http://www.microsoft.com/ie/ie40/download/rtw/x86/en/download/addon95.htm and let Microsoft examine your installation. Any component that needs an upgrade will be tagged, and you can download and install it at your leisure. MY OWN WALLPAPER In a recent tip, we suggested that you use animated GIFs on your Active Desktop. B.D. took an inventive approach to adding custom animated wallpaper: He put six pictures of his family into an animated GIF and placed it on his desktop. If you're interested in doing something similar, you'll need software to animate your pictures. We've used GIF Animator Lite, a freeware version of the full-featured GIF Animator, at http://www.pcworld.com/software_lib/data/articles/graphics/5104.html and GIF Movie Gear, at http://www.pcworld.com/software_lib/data/articles/graphics/5102.html You can try GIF Movie Gear for 30 days, after which you'll need to register if you wish to keep working with it. The registration fee is $30. DEVELOPING A PAGE If you're interested in developing Web pages, here's a program that you may want to examine. It's called Apollo, and you can find it at http://www.pcworld.com/software_lib/data/articles/internet/3680.html Apollo includes some prewritten HTML code that you can incorporate into your own pages. The program offers the advantage of being able to load more than one page at a time. This is a great help for people who need to design multiple-page sites. You can use Apollo for 30 days, after which you need to register for $14. BACKGROUND MAKEOVER We've discussed how to turn off the background bitmap in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3, but have you ever considered using a different bitmap? A. J. has and would like to know how to add a new bitmap to the background. This trick requires you to edit the Registry, so as usual, be careful. First, run Internet Explorer and choose View, Options. When the dialog box opens, click the General tab and then deselect the Background bitmap check box. Click OK and then close Internet Explorer. Now click Start, then select Run and, in the Run dialog box, type regedit and click OK. When RegEdit opens, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar. Click the Toolbar folder and then look in RegEdit's right pane for a string value named BackBitmap. Double-click its icon and type in the name and path of your new bitmap. For example, you might type c:\windows\clouds.bmp Now click OK and close RegEdit (choose Registry, Exit). Open Internet Explorer and choose View, Options. Click the General tab and select the Background bitmap check box. Your new bitmap selection will now appear in the background. HTML CONTROL IS COOL If you don't have HTML Layout Control installed, you probably don't know what you're missing. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/ie/download/?/ie/download/layout.htm The download begins as soon as you open the page. You'll need about 10 to 15 minutes for the download to complete. Once HTML Layout Control is installed, visit some of the cool sites suggested by Microsoft. The control lets you view and create cutting-edge interactive content. CAN I PASTE IN A PICTURE? C.L. asks if you can paste a picture into a Microsoft Mail message. Unfortunately, no. If you attempt to paste a picture into a message, it will appear as an attachment. This is true even if you set your messages to HTML. To set the default to HTML, choose Mail, Options and click the Send tab. Now select the HTML radio button under Mail Sending Format. Click OK after you make your selection. STAY CONNECTED Here's a cool and easy to use way to prevent your Internet Service Provider from disconnecting you before you're ready. It's called Absolutely On-Line, and you'll find it at http://www.pcworld.com/software_lib/data/articles/internet/4896.html Absolutely On-Line will dial your ISP, keep the time synchronized, and disconnect only when you tell it to do so. It's shareware, and you can register it for $15. Check this one out--it has an easy-to-use interface and works quite well with most ISPs. ANIMATIONS FOR YOUR WEB PAGE In the last tip, we mentioned that you can use GIF animation software to create animated GIFs for your Active Desktop. If you're working on your own Web page, you might also want to try Windows JanTool, a freeware tool you can use to create cool animated banners. You can download it from http://www.pcworld.com/software_lib/data/articles/graphics/5103.html KEEP TRACK OF YOUR ADDRESS BOOK Subscriber V.L. asks if there's a way to change the location of the Address Book. Yes, there is. However, the only method we know about requires that you edit the Registry. Remember that you can do serious damage to your system if you inadvertently make an error while changing the Registry. It's a good idea to make copies of your system.dat and user.dat files before you start messing around with the Registry. When you're ready to begin, click Start, Run and type regedit then click OK or press Enter. When RegEdit opens, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WAB\Wab File Name. In the right pane, you'll see the current selection. This is where Microsoft Internet Explorer expects to find the Address Book. To change the folder, double-click the file name icon in the RegEdit right pane. When the dialog box opens, enter the name of the new folder. It's best to retain the original file name--just change the folder. Close RegEdit (Choose Registry, Exit) and restart the computer to enable the change. Note: Your Address Book must be in the new location. If no Address Book is there, Mail will create a new empty book. A FONT FAREWELL If you don't use the Font button in the Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 toolbar very often, why not save some toolbar space by getting rid of it? Choose View, Internet Options and click the Advanced tab. Scroll down to Toolbar and deselect the Show Font Button check box. Click OK, and the next time you run IE 4, the Font button will not be a part of the toolbar. You can still modify the font even when the button is gone. All you have to do is choose View, Fonts and make your selection. NEWS YOU CAN USE Several subscribers have told us that they continue to use Microsoft News because they are under the impression that Outlook Express won't handle news. This isn't true--if you installed Outlook Express, you can use it to read news as well as mail. To set up news, click Go, News. Outlook Express will open a wizard to help you get set up. Enter all the info into the wizard. When you reach the wizard's last page, you'll be asked for a friendly name for your mail. You can name it anything you like. Mail is a good initial choice. We can't give you any more specific instructions because each setup is dependent on the information required by your ISP. I FORGOT THE PASSWORD Several readers are having a problem: They forgot the password for the Ratings and can no longer access a huge number of Web sites. It does no good to reinstall Microsoft Internet Explorer 3, because the password in still in effect--it's in a hidden file in the \Windows\System folder. To resolve the problem, run Windows Explorer and make sure it's set to display hidden files. To do this, choose View, Options. Under the View tab, select Show All Files and click OK. Now go to \Windows\System and look for a file named Ratings.pol. Rename this file to "Ratings.old" and run IE 3. The old ratings password is no more. Now you can set a new password--just don't forget it this time! DELETE THEM ALL A number of readers (L.R., D.T., A.E., and others) would like to know if there's an easy way to get rid of the addresses in the Address Bar without clearing History, or anything especially drastic. Unfortunately, the only other way to do this is to edit the Registry, and that's a rather drastic action to take on a regular basis. We're going to show you a REG file that should do the job. However, heed this warning: You should first make copies of your system files. Run Windows Explorer and locate \Windows. Now locate user.dat and copy it to some folder other than \Windows. Locate system.dat and copy it to the same folder you used for the copy of user.dat. Here's the REG file. Type this into NotePad exactly as shown here. You might find it more convenient to just copy the following and paste it into a NotePad document: REGEDIT4 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs] "url1"="" "url2"="" "url3"="" "url4"="" "url5"="" "url6"="" "url7"="" "url8"="" "url9"="" "url10"="" "url11"="" "url12"="" "url13"="" "url14"="" "url15"="" "url16"="" "url17"="" "url18"="" "url19"="" "url20"="" "url21"="" "url22"="" "url23"="" "url24"="" "url25"="" Now choose File, Save As and name the file "Addr.reg." Save it in a convenient folder. Make sure Internet Explorer is not running and double-click the Addr.reg icon to run the file. When you run Addr.reg, it will remove up to 25 current addresses from the Registry. Note that we cannot offer any guarantee that this file will do what you expect, nor can we promise that your Registry files will not be damaged. This is why we suggest making backups of the Registry files. In other words, use Addr.reg at your own risk! OH, AND BY THE WAY If you get a disc in the mail for MSN, version 2.5, you should know before you begin the installation that it will also install Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01. Also, MSN 2.5 will not run in Windows NT 4.0. You'll probably find that more and more software comes with IE 4. This includes software from ISPs as well as direct from Microsoft. SAVE IT FOR LATER A.V. points out that there's an easy way to save mail for later. Let's say you're composing a new message and need to leave the computer for a while. Just click the Close box (the 'X' in the window's upper-right corner). Internet Mail will ask if you want to save the message. Click Yes, and Mail will save your message in the Inbox. When you come back to finish it, all you have to do is double-click the message's icon in the Inbox to open it. A NEW ADDRESS BOOK We recently published a tip on how to change the location of your Address Book file. R.K. wants to know if there's a way to change the name of the default Address Book. He wants to use an Address Book from a notebook computer and would like to make it the default Address Book. There is a way to change the name of the default Address Book but, like the Address Book location change, you need to use RegEdit. If you really need to change the Outlook Express default, be careful and click Start, Run, then type regedit and press Enter. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WAB\WAB4\Wab File Name. In RegEdit's right pane, double-click the default icon and enter the new name. Make sure you get the name and path correct and click OK. The name should look something like: C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book\MyNew.wab Close RegEdit (choose Registry, Exit). Restart the computer, and your new Address Book will take effect. ADDING THE CORRECT URL As P.M. points out, you need to be careful when you use the right-mouse button to add to your Favorites folder. If you should click over a graphic, you'll end up adding the URL for the graphic rather than the page itself. Just make sure you click in a blank spot before you use the right-mouse button to add a bookmark to your Favorites. A NEW ADDRESS BOOK We recently published a tip on how to change the location of your Address Book file. R.K. wants to know if there's a way to change the name of the default Address Book. He wants to use an Address Book from a notebook computer and would like to make it the default Address Book. There is a way to change the name of the default Address Book but, like the Address Book location change, you need to use RegEdit. If you really need to change the Outlook Express default, be careful and click Start, Run, then type regedit and press Enter. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WAB\WAB4\Wab File Name. In RegEdit's right pane, double-click the default icon and enter the new name. Make sure you get the name and path correct and click OK. The name should look something like: C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book\MyNew.wab Close RegEdit (choose Registry, Exit). Restart the computer, and your new Address Book will take effect. KEEP 'EM OUT OF SIGHT This is an Active Desktop tip. C.E. reminds us that you can take advantage of the Quick Launch toolbar to easily hide all your desktop icons in the taskbar. Here's how. Run Windows Explorer and locate \Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch. Now, still in Windows Explorer, open your Desktop folder. Press Ctrl-A to select all the desktop items. Next, use the right-mouse button to drag the selected files to \Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch. When you release the mouse button, you'll get a pop-up menu. >From this menu, select Create Shortcut(s) Here. Now all your desktop objects should appear on the taskbar. (Note: If you don't see the desktop items on the taskbar, make sure you've got the Quick Launch toolbar activated: right-click in a blank area of the taskbar and, under Toolbars, select Quick Launch.) Now, back in Windows Explorer, choose View, Folder Options and click the View tab. Select the check box labeled Hide Icons When Desktop Viewed as Web Page (it's under Visual Settings). Click OK. Now your desktop objects will be in the taskbar, and the desktop will be blank. The only thing showing on the desktop should be your wallpaper. SOUNDS GOOD M.C. wants to remind everyone that looking for a way to set sounds in Outlook Express is a waste of time--you have to set the sounds in Windows 95. If you want a sound to notify you when you have mail in your Inbox, click Start, Settings and then select Control Panel. When Control Panel opens, double-click the Sounds icon to open the Sounds dialog box. Under Events, locate New Mail Notification and select it. Click Browse and select a sound file from your collection. Click OK to get back to the Sounds dialog box. To test your new sound, click the Play button to the right of the sound name. If you don't like your first choice, you can click Browse again to choose a new sound. Once you're happy with your selection, click OK to close the Sounds dialog box and record your change. GETTING INFO W.M. wants to know if we can tell him what settings he must enter to connect to his ISP. He had to reinstall Windows 95 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3, and now he can no longer connect to the Internet. We'd like to help, but only your ISP can tell you what settings to use. If you find yourself in this predicament, call your ISP and get them to walk you through the setup. To avoid the situation altogether, open My Computer and double-click Dial-Up Networking. Right-click your ISP connection and choose Properties. When the dialog box opens, click the Server Types tab. Next, click TCP/IP Settings. Copy down all the settings, and when you're finished, click OK, then click OK again to close the dialog box. Store the information in a safe and memorable place, and you'll have it in the event of an emergency. While you're at it, don't forget to record your user name, password, and the phone numbers for your ISP (the dial-up access number as well as the number for customer service). IN LIVING COLOR P.G. is having a problem viewing JPG files in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3. He says the files look fine in Netscape but not in IE 3. He also says that his system runs 800 by 600 at 256 colors. We have no idea why Netscape would display these pictures better than IE 3, but to get really good pictures in IE 3, you need to run at least 64K colors. If you're having a similar problem, right-click the desktop and choose Properties. When the dialog box opens, click the Settings tab. Look under Color Palette. Try to change it to a higher value--the higher the better as far as color pictures go. Your computer may run a bit slower at the higher color value, but if you want to get a good look at those colorful pictures, you may be willing to make the trade-off. CUSTOM LINK NAMES When you copy a link from a Web page to your desktop (use the mouse to drag a link from the Web page to the desktop), you don't have to live with the default name. You can rename the link just as you would any other file or shortcut icon. Click the name once, wait a few seconds, then click the name again. This opens the name field for editing. Now you can type in the new name. When you're finished, press Enter. ATTACH IT T.W. has noticed that if you use Internet Mail to open an e-mail message that's coded in HTML, all you see is the HTML code. That's because Internet Mail doesn't support HTML. However, you can still send an HTML-encoded document to someone; just send it as an attachment. Ask those who send you e-mail to do the same and you'll be able to save the attached HTML files to disk and view them using your browser. Here's how to send an HTML file as an attachment. After you write your new message, choose Insert, File Attachment and select the file you want to send. Sorry, but that's the only way to do it in Internet Mail. DETACHING ATTACHMENTS S.S. would like to know if there's a way to save Microsoft Outlook Express messages without saving attachments. When you open a message and choose File, Save As, you can click the arrow to the right of the Save As Type list box to expand the list. If you select Mail (*.eml), the message will be saved in Outlook Express format, and any attachments will be saved along with the message. If you select Text Files (*.txt), the message will be save in text format without the attachment. Note: If you like, you can save the attachment separately by choosing File, Save Attachments. WHAT BLANK PAGES? W.T. sometimes gets blank pages when printing messages from Internet Mail. As long as this doesn't happen consistently, it's probably normal. Some people add carriage returns (that is, press Enter) to the end of a message. If the additional carriage returns start a new page, a blank page will print. You can't tell it will happen when you view the message because the carriage returns don't show up. PUT IT THERE This tip describes an Active Desktop feature. When you're browsing the Web with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4, you may run across a picture that you'd like to have. Of course, you can right-click the picture and choose Save Picture As. But if you're using the Active Desktop, you can simply drag a picture to the desktop. When you drag a picture to the Active Desktop, the system will open a dialog box that asks, "Do you want to add a desktop item to your active desktop?" Click Yes to add the item to your desktop. Next, you'll get a dialog box asking if you want to subscribe to the page represented by the picture. If you want the picture, you'll have to take the subscription along with it. Note that this trick doesn't work with hyperlinked images (those you can click on to get somewhere else). If you attempt to drag a linked picture, you'll only end up with a shortcut to the link. But you can grab all the unlinked pictures you like. "DING" WHEN IT STARTS AND "BANG" WHEN IT STOPS Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 adds two entries to the Sounds panel in Control Panel. You can tell the system what sound to use when Internet Explorer 4 begins navigating to a new site, as well as another sound to indicate when it gets to the new site. Click Start and choose Settings, Control Panel. When Control Panel opens, double-click the Sounds icon. Look through the Events list for Start Navigation. Select it and then click Browse. Locate and select a suitable sound. Now look through the Events list for Complete Navigation. Click Browse and assign another sound. When you're finished with your selections, click OK. LAN SAFETY When you access the Internet from a computer that's attached to a network, you need to turn off file- and printer-sharing while you surf the Internet. The problem is that when you're connected to the Internet while on an active network, you're making the entire network available to the ISP. Although the chances that someone will access your network are small, there is still a chance. The best approach is to turn off the sharing before you log on to the Internet. Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 will prompt you to turn off sharing unless you've already told it to stop issuing the warning. PRINT WHAT YOU WANT Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 offers several new print options. Let's say you're visiting a site with multiple frames and you'd like to print the whole thing just as it appears on the screen. Choose File, Print, and when the Print dialog box opens, look at the bottom portion. There you'll see an area labeled Print Frames. In the Print Frames area, you can select exactly what you want to print. If you select As Laid Out On Screen, your printout will look just like the Web page you're printing. If you select Only the Selected Frame, that's all you'll get printed--just the frame that's currently selected. If you select All Frames Individually, you'll get a printed page for each frame displayed at the Web site. After you make your selection, click OK to continue with the printing operation. THE WHOLE ENCHILADA Along with the new printing options we discussed in the previous tip, Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 also lets you choose whether to print those Web page backgrounds. Choose View, Internet Options and click the Advanced tab. Scroll down the list of options and locate Printing. There you'll see a check box labeled Print Background Colors and Images. If you want to print the backgrounds, select the check box. If you don't want to print the backgrounds, deselect the check box. When you're finished, click OK. OUT OF SPACE? We recently heard from a Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 user who was having problems with disk space. IE 4 wasn't the cause of the entire problem, but it was making enough difference to be worth changing. To check your disk usage, choose View, Internet Options and click the General tab. Click Settings and see how much disk space is allotted to temporary files--in this case, we found that she had set hers to 20 percent. This is much too high, so we set it back to 1 percent. If you find you need to make a change in your allotted disk space, slide the pointer to the percentage you think you need. The more space, the more temporary files get saved. If you don't need a lot of temporary files, move the pointer all the way to the left. When finished, click OK, and then back in Internet Options, click OK again. VIEW IT YOUR WAY In Microsoft Internet Mail, you can choose whether to use a preview pane or not. To make the choice, choose View, Preview Pane and select from None, Split Vertically, or Split Horizontally. If you elect to use the preview pane, you can also decide whether you want to view the header information in the preview pane (From, To, Subject). Choose View, Preview Pane and select Header Information. When Header Information is checked, selecting it turns off the feature. When it's not checked, selecting it turns it on. TARGET PRACTICE There are two types of pictures on Web pages: there are pictures that are just pictures, and there are pictures that are also links. You can copy either kind to your hard disk. All you need to do is right-click the picture and choose Save Picture As. When the picture is only a picture, the available commands are Save Picture As, Set as Wallpaper, Copy, and Properties. But when the picture is also a link, the other commands on the menu are enabled. Also, when the picture is a link, the mouse pointer changes into a hand when you move it over the picture. If there's no link involved, the mouse pointer remains unchanged. DRAG AND DROP In the last tip, we discussed pictures--both with and without attached URLs. This time, let's look at what happens when you use drag and drop to copy a picture to your desktop. If you use the mouse to drag an ordinary link to your desktop, IE 3 (with help from Windows 95) creates a shortcut on your desktop. You can click the shortcut to navigate to the link. However, when you drop a linked picture on your desktop, you get just the picture--no shortcut to the link. The easiest way to get a link associated with a picture onto your desktop is to right-click the picture and choose Copy Shortcut. Now move to the desktop and right-click in a blank spot. Choose Paste Shortcut to place the link on your desktop. SINGLE FILE A number of readers have asked if there's a way to separate all their incoming e-mail tips into a folder for each topic using Outlook Express. You can do this with the Inbox Assistant. Run Outlook Express (you don't need to be connected) and choose File, Folder, New Folder. When the dialog box opens, choose where you want your new folder to appear. If you intend to save more than one or two sets of tips, it might be more convenient to first create a folder called Tips under Outlook Express. To do this, click the Outlook Express folder to select it. Now click in the text entry box and type in "Tips" to create your new folder. Click OK to save your change and to close the dialog box. After you create the Tips folder, choose File, Folder, New Folder again. This time, select the Tips folder, click in the text entry box and type "Internet Explorer 4" Click OK to save your new folder and close the dialog box. Now let's look at how to get the Internet Explorer 4 tips to go into the new folder. Choose Tools, Inbox Assistant. When the Inbox Assistant dialog box opens, click Add. This opens the Properties dialog box. Click in the Subject text entry box and type "Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 Tip of the Day" as shown here, quotation marks and all. Now select the Move To check box and then click Folder. Choose your new Internet Explorer 4 folder and click OK. When you get back to the Properties dialog box, click OK. Finally, you'll get back to the Inbox Assistant dialog box. ClickOK again to save your new entry and close the dialog box. Repeat the procedure for each set of tips that you want to redirect to a folder. SEND IT ALONG When you want to forward an e-mail message to someone else, you can click Forward Message and then select a recipient. Alternatively, you can forward the message as an attachment. Select the message and choose Compose, Forward as Attachment. This retains the message's original format and attaches it to a new message. OLD IS GOOD, TOO When you're surfing the Web in search of software to do a specific job, don't feel as if you must confine yourself solely to software written for Windows 95. If you come across a program that you'd like to use, give it a try, even if it's a few years old and was written for Windows 3.x. Quite a bit of the older software will run well under Windows 95. In fact, you probably have some commercial software in your collection that was written for Windows 3.x. Some of the software written shortly after Windows 95 was introduced was written for Windows 3.x and checked for operation in Windows 95. If you look closely, you may see that the box is labeled Windows 95-compatible. As long as it does what you need it to do and doesn't crash Windows 95, go ahead and use it.
PICKING UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF Several readers have asked why Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 automatically opens and dials the ISP as soon as the computer starts. The only reason we can see for this is that IE 4 will start where it left off when the computer was shut down. Suppose you're at your favorite Web site when you decide to shut down. You choose Start, Shut Down, select Shut Down, and click OK. The next time you turn on the computer, IE 4 opens, dials the ISP, and navigates to the page you were viewing when you shut down. It's assuming you got disconnected by mistake. This won't happen if you close IE 4 before you shut down.
MONOGRAM IT S.G. asks if there's a way to put your own name or company name into the Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 title bar. Indeed there is, but you'll have to dig into the Registry, and you know that you need to be very careful when modifying the Registry. Make sure IE 4 is not running and click Start, Run. Type in regedit and press Enter (or click OK if the mouse is handy). When RegEdit opens, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main. Right-click in a blank area of RegEdit's right pane and choose New, String Value. Name the new string Window Title exactly as shown here and press Enter. Now double-click the new string's icon and, when the dialog box opens, type in your new title as you want it to appear in the title bar. Click OK to save your change. Close RegEdit (choose Registry, Exit) and run IE 4. Your new title should appear in the title bar.
PERSONALIZE OUTLOOK EXPRESS, TOO In the last tip, we showed you how to put a custom title into Microsoft Internet Explorer 4's title bar. You may want to do the same with Outlook Express. Once again, be careful when using RegEdit. Click Start, Run, type in regedit and press Enter. In RegEdit, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express. In RegEdit's right pane, right-click the mouse and choose New, String Value. Name the new string WindowTitle exactly as shown and press Enter. Note that, though the string value for the Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 title has a space between Window and Title, there is no such space in the Outlook Express string. Now double-click the new string's icon and type in your new title. Click OK when finished and then close RegEdit (choose Registry, Exit). The next time you run Outlook Express, your new title will appear in the title bar.
ROOM WITH A VIEW C.N. asks if there's a way to reduce the size of the Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 toolbar to leave more room for Web page content. We've most likely covered this before, but here goes. You can completely eliminate the toolbar if you like. Choose View, Toolbar. Toolbar is a toggle command, and when the toolbar is in view, the Toolbar command has a check mark beside it. Choosing the command removes the check mark, and the toolbar. If you want even more space, choose View, Status Bar. This is also a toggle, and selecting it turns it off. This leaves you with only the menu bar and maximizes the Web page space. To turn the toolbar and status bar back on, just reselect the options as described. If you don't want to completely remove the toolbar, move the mouse over the bottom edge of the toolbar. When the cursor turns into a vertical double arrow, drag upward. If you drag the toolbar up as far as it will go, you'll have a single-line toolbar with all the components crammed into the small space.
CUSTOMIZING THE TOOLBAR In the last tip, we discussed how to eliminate the Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 toolbar. This time, let's look at how to manage the objects on the toolbar. Choose View, Options and click the General tab. Now you can decide what you want on your toolbar. You can choose to have Standard buttons, an Address Bar, Links, Text Labels, and a Background Bitmap. All you have to do is select (or deselect) the components you want and click OK. Even if you go with the absolute minimum, all the features (except for the Address Bar) will still be available from the menu. This is worth experimenting with. For example, are you sure you know what happens if you deselect Standard Buttons? Check out each option until you find the one you like best. Remember, you can always change it back to the way it was when you started.
PASTING PICTURES T.H. wants to know if there's a way to paste pictures into Internet Mail. The answer is no, not in the way you want to paste pictures. Internet Mail doesn't support graphics. If you copy a picture and then go to Internet Mail and right-click in the message, you'll find that the Paste command is available. However, when you choose Paste, the picture will be added to the message as an attachment. There's no way to paste a picture directly into a message using Internet Mail.
USING THE SPELLING CHECKER We've received mail from numerous readers who say that spell-checking doesn't work in Internet Mail, and they would like to know how to activate it. Unfortunately, you must have the Microsoft Office suite installed to spell-check your messages, because Internet Mail uses the Microsoft Office spelling checker.