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It never fails: Just as we’ve almost finished highlighting several files while holding down the Control key, our finger slips, instantly deselecting every single file. We thought there had to be a better way, and it turns out there is. Open My Computer and select Folder and Search Options from the Organize pull-down menu. Under the View tab, put a check mark next to “Use check boxes to select items.” Now you can select multiple files by clicking on their check boxes.
In XP, we got accustomed to seeing File, Edit, View, Tools, and Help in the menu bar, but in Vista, Microsoft redesigned folders and windows so they resemble IE7’s less than intuitive interface. One way to bring the menu bar back is to click Organize, highlight Layout, and select Menu Bar, which makes the change permanent. For a temporary solution, press the Alt key, which can bring up menus for windows that don’t normally have them.
|Access everything quicker with Enso.|
Think of Enso (free beta, www.humanized.com) as the ultimate hotkey, because that’s essentially what it is. You unlock the magic behind Enso by holding the Caps Lock key (or designate a different key) and typing commands, which range from looking up highlighted words or phrases on Wikipedia to translating text. Load maps into emails, control your media player, check your Gmail, and much more without ever having to open the Start menu.
In the pre-Vista days, copying a file or folder path to the clipboard meant you had to right-click, select Properties, highlight the path, right-click again, and select Copy. That’s more steps than are in a Broadway musical! To perform the same action in Vista, hold the Shift key when right-clicking and select Copy as Path.
There was a time when hard-drive space was considered a hot commodity, but with 500GB and even 1TB drives now the norm, we find ourselves becoming digital pack rats. This also means we’ve developed a dependency on the Search function, but instead of repeating searches for the same sets of files, save the results to a virtual folder instead. After Windows finds the files you’re looking for, click Save Search. Windows will even keep track of any changes to the search results, so you’ll never receive outdated information.