In versions of Windows after XP, there have been some changes made to Explorer which are quite different from the behavior in XP. One of them is full row selection in Details view. The other change is that items in the right pane are spaded wider apart vertically from one another than there were in Windows XP. Let us see how to revert both changes if you need them to.
In an earlier article, we saw that Windows Alt+Tab has bugs that make it not suitable for reliable switching. It also has issues like the icon and the text of the app not being placed next to each other to instantly identify the app. The thumbnail of the app is often smaller and isn't enough to identify exactly which window you are switching to, especially if there are multiple windows of the same app open. A free, third party Alt+Tab replacement, VistaSwitcher solves all these problems.
Windows Explorer is a very powerful file manager but it still lacks some important tools. In Windows 8, the Ribbon has added some of these essential commands to Explorer which were missing but the Ribbon takes a lot of space and does not let you add your own custom commands in Explorer. An extremely useful toolbar for Windows Explorer called StExBar provides killer features that should have been included in Windows.
Windows supports viewing commonly used picture and video formats as thumbnails in Explorer folders. But for less common formats, it does not generate thumbnails. Also, in modern versions of Windows, the programming interface for generating thumbnails has changed compared to older versions such as Windows XP, so the old shell extensions to show thumbnails no longer work. Let's look at some modern ones that do work and generate thumbnails for all possible formats you might need.
Windows 8 introduced a lock screen, separate from the logon screen and Windows 8.1 further improved it by adding a slideshow feature to the Lockscreen. If you are running Windows 7 however, you can still get a similar experience by downloading a simple app.
People who frequently send and share electronic files with others praise the day the Portable Document Format was invented. Thanks to this compact, universal format, many important documents such as legal contracts, annual company budget projections and academic essays are delivered in their proper formatting to any computing device and operating system.
The benefits of PDF are obvious. However, there are some disadvantages to using this format. Sometimes it is necessary to edit PDF files. For example, create new tabs in the budget projection spreadsheet, add new articles in the contract, correct some glaring error or outdated info in a PDF presentation, etc. PDF itself doesn’t make this possible.
There are tools, such as Able2Extract PDF Converter, that translate PDFs into editable formats and enable document modification. PDF converters can be lightweight, featuring only one conversion option, or powerful and comprehensive, like the tool we’ll take a look at today.
Windows isn't very smart when it comes to handling various media file formats. It has an extensible property system for viewing their properties and embedded metadata but it leaves end users high and dry by shipping with support for very few media formats and their properties. A third party free app called MediaTab solves this problem for good by exposing all possible details about media files in their Properties.
In previous Windows versions (Windows 7, Windows XP etc), when new OS updates were available, Windows used to show a special icon in system tray notifying you of them. It was a very useful way to instantly know about new updates. You could click on the icon and open the Windows Update Control Panel item to see which updates were available and install them. With Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Microsoft has removed the tray icon. Notices about updates being available are shown on the logon screen, which appears only for a few seconds if your account has no password protection, e.g. in case when you are automatically logging in to Windows. Fortunately, it is possible to get those notifications back in the system tray.
Much to the disappointment of many Windows casual gamers, Windows 8 entirely removed all classic games from the OS and expected everyone to migrate to the Store versions. The Store versions lack many features and customizations of the classic Windows versions but are still playable, especially with the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 which will show these on the Taskbar so they are not full screen. Here are 40 free games in the Windows Store, some of them classics.
Do you know that you can minimize desktop apps in Windows to the notification area (system tray) since Windows 95? Even if the feature isn't exposed in the Windows user interface, it's been possible and there have been dozens of tools written to minimize programs to the notification area. One of the best ones is TrayIt! Let's see what makes TrayIt! so cool.