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Chapter 5.  Windows Explorer Annoyances

Chapter 5.  Windows Explorer Annoyances

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SEARCHANIMATIONSBEGONE

TheAnnoyance:

IhatedClippyandyoushowedmehowtodumpit.[See"Give

ClippyHisWalkingPapers(Really)"inChapter4.]Howabout

eliminatingtheirritatinganimationinXP'sSearchfeature?



TheFix:

Animationbegone!InWindowsExplorer,pressF3andyou'll

takeyourlastlookatthedumbanimation.ClicktheChange

PreferenceslinkatthebottomoftheSearchpane,click

"Withoutananimatedscreencharacter,"andsayadiostothe

creature.



Tip:Here'sanoddtime-saver:ifyoupressF3fromthe

Windowsdesktop,youjumprightintotheSearchpane's"All

filesandfolders"search.Why?AskBill.



ASHORTCUTTOMORERECENTDOCUMENTS

TheAnnoyance:

TheStartmenu'sMyRecentDocumentsisahandywayto

quicklyretrievefilesI'vebeenworkingon.Butthelistislimited

to15documents.



TheFix:

Withaquickfix,youcanhaveaccesstoaheckofalotmoreof

yourrecentlyusedfiles.Thetrickistoplaceashortcuttothe

secretfolderthattracksrecentlyopenedfilesonthedesktop.

NavigatetotheMyRecentDocumentsfolder(itslocationvaries

dependingonyourversionandsetupofWindows;it'softenat

C:\DocumentsandSettings\username\MyRecentDocumentsin

XPand2000andatC:\Windows\Recentor

C:\Windows\Profiles\username\Recentin98andMe).Onceyou

findit,right-clickanddragittothedesktop,releasethebutton,

andselect"CreateShortcutsHere"fromthemenutocreatea

shortcut.Double-clickthisfolderandyougetamondolistof

recentlyopeneddocumentsgoingbackmonths.Justdoubleclickthedesiredfiletoopenit.

Likeanyfolder,youcancustomizeittoyourheart'scontent.I

deleteddeadlinksandfilesthatI'mnotlikelytoaccessagain.

Youcanalsosortonnameordatebyclickingtherespective

headers.



ICONBEAUTIFICATION

Areyoutiredofstaringatthesameoldbland,lifelessWindowsfoldericons?

GivethemsomesizzlewithChangeIcon,acoollittlefreebiethat'llletyoudo

justthat.Thecolorfuliconsmakeitmucheasiertofindthefoldersbytopic.For

instance,IchangedmyBookChaptersfoldericontoasetofkeys,andmy

Photosfoldernowlookslikeacamera-handyforspottingfolderswhenyou're

rummagingthroughafoldertreelist.Grabacopyat

http://www.oreilly.com/pcannoyances.



QUICKACCESSTOMYCOMPUTER

TheAnnoyance:

EverytimeIloadWindowsExplorer,ittakesmetoMy

Documents.Callmeadinosaur,butIlikeditbetterwhen

WindowsExploreropenedMyComputerinstead.



TheFix:

IfyouwanttoopenWindowsExplorerwithMyComputer

selectedandthefolderspanedisplayedontheleftside,andif

youhaveaWindowskeyboard(thatis,akeyboardwiththe

Windowslogokey),simplypressWinKey-E.



ONEFOLDER,MANYPLACES

TheAnnoyance:

Isthereaquickerwaytoaccessafolder?Ortoautomatically

openaspecificfolderinWindowsExplorer?



TheFix:

Youbet.Thepossibilities:

IfyouwanttoopenafolderanyfolderfromtheStartmenu,

simplydragthefolder'siconfromWindowsExplorertothe

Startbutton.Withoutreleasingthemousebutton,waituntil

themenupopsup,anddragtothedesiredlocationonthe

menu.Aheavyblackbarindicateswherethelinkwillend

upwhenyoureleasethemousebutton.Youcandragthe

folderfromjustaboutanyplaceyoucanviewit,suchasa

WindowsExplorerwindow,theWindowsExplorerAddress

bar(dragthefoldericon),anOpenorSavedialogbox,and

soon.

IfyouwanttoopenafolderinExplorerbyclickingabutton

ontheQuickLaunchtoolbar,dragthefoldertotheQuick

Launchtoolbar.

Ifyouwanttoopenafolderfromadesktopshortcut,rightclickthefolder,anddragittothedesktop,dropit,and

choose"CreateShortcutsHere."



Warning:Ifyouleft-dragthefolderasyoudoforcreatingStart

menuandQuickLaunchshortcuts,Windowsmovesthefolder

anditscontentstothedesktopinsteadofcreatingashortcut.



WHENONEEXPLORERSHORTCUTISNOT

ENOUGH

TheAnnoyance:

Iworkwiththesamesixfolders,andwhatIreallywantisa

waytochoosewhichfoldertoopenbeforelaunchingWindows

Explorer.



SaveNotepadFilesWithoutthe.txtExtension

Notepadinsistsonsavingfileswitha.txtextension.Thisismightyirritatingif

youuseNotepadforcreatingtheoccasionalHTMLfile.

Thesolutionisarealno-braineronceyouknowthesecret.Whenyousavethe

file,justputquotesaroundthefilenameinthe"Saveas"field,suchas

"duh.html".



TheFix:

That'ssuchahandy(andobvious)feature,nowonderMicrosoft

didn'tincludeit!Untiltheydo,you'llneedtocreateashortcut

foreachfolderyouwantWindowsExplorertoopen.

FirstcreateashortcutontheStartmenu,QuickLaunchtoolbar,

ordesktopofthedesiredfolder.Right-clickthefoldershortcut

andchooseProperties.OntheShortcuttab,editthecontentsof

theTargetfieldbyinsertingexplorer/e,(includingthe

comma)beforethefoldername(seeFigure5-1).The/eswitch

forcesWindowsExplorertoopenin"explore"viewinsteadof

"open"view.(YouwanttheFolderstreepanetoappear.)

Forexample,youmightendupwithaTargetlinethatlooks

somethinglike:

explorer/e,"C:\DocumentsandSettings\Steve\My

Documents\Birding"



Youcanreplacethepathbetweenthequoteswithanyfolder



location,asin:

explorer/e,"C:\incoming\downloads"



IfyouwantWindowsExplorertopointtoaspecificfilewhenit

opens,allyoudoisadd/select,(don'tforgetthecomma)after

the/e,followedbythepathandfilename,likethis:

explorer/e,/select,"C:\incoming\downloads\

annoyance.jpg"



Figure5-1.Youcancreateashortcutthatopensa

specificfolderinWindowsExplorer.Havemore

thanonefavoritefolder?Createanothershortcut.



DISCONNECTYOURSAVEDWEBPAGES

TheAnnoyance:

WhenyousaveawebpageinInternetExplorer,itsavesthe

page'stextandHTMLcodeinasinglefileandstuffssupporting

files,suchasgraphics,inafolder.Forexample,ifyousavea

pagenamedRoni'sJournal,youalsogetasubfoldernamed

Roni'sJournal_files.Here'swhatbugsme:ifImoveordelete

thesupportingfiles'folder,WindowsExploreralsomovesor

deletesthemainHTMLfileandviceversa.TheHTMLfileand

thefilesfolderseemtobeinextricablyconnected.



TheFix:

KeepingtheHTMLfilewithitssupportingfilesisagoodthing.

Butyoucantreatthemseparately.InWindowsExplorer,choose

Tools FolderOptions.ClicktheViewtab,scrolldowninthe

AdvancedSettingslisttothe"ManagingpairsofWebpagesand

folders"section,andcheck"Showbothpartsandmanagethem

individually."Toreturntothedefaultbehavior,select"Showand

managethepairasasinglefile."

Bytheway,youcanavoidthismessysolutionaltogether.In

InternetExplorer,chooseSaveAsandinthe"Saveastype"

menu,select"WebArchive,singlefile(*.mht)."Doingsosaves

everythingtext,graphics,thewholeshebanginasinglefile.This

way,thepage'scomponentscan'tgetseparated.Select"Web

Page,HTMLonly(*.htm,*.html)"ifyoudon'tneedallthe

graphics,animation,andothersupportingfiles.



USINGTHE"READ-ONLY"CHECKBOXFORFOLDERS

Right-clickafolder,selectProperties,andyougetawealthofinformationhow

manyfilesthefoldercontains,howmuchdiskspacetheyoccupy,andsoon.In

theAttributessectionofthatdialogbox,youmightalsonoticea"Read-only"

checkbox.Youthink,"Hurrah!Icanfinallymakeafolderread-onlyandkeep

peoplefrommuckingwithmyfiles!"

Butyoucanclickthatcheckboxuntilyou'reblueintheface,andeverytimeyou

returntothePropertiesdialog,itwillbegrayedout(oronsomesystems,

green),indicatingan"indeterminatecondition."What'sgoingon?Inconsistent

interfacedesignandsloppyanalysis,that'swhat.

Wheneveryouopenafolder'sPropertiesdialogbox,Windowsalwayswaffleson

theattributesbecauseitdoesn'tchecktheread-onlystatusofeveryfileinthe

folder.Butnomatterbottomline,youcan'tsetafolderasread-only.Whenyou

checkthat"Read-only"box,you'resettingallthefilesinthefolderasread-only,

butnotthefolder.Thisisstillahandyfeature,butMicrosoftcouldhavegivenus

clearercuesaboutwhat'sgoingon.Note:checkingthe"Read-only"boxonly

makesthecurrentfilesinthefolderread-only;filesthatyousubsequentlyadd

tothefolderwon'tbeaffected.



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Chapter 5.  Windows Explorer Annoyances

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