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Faster Browsing Tips

IF WE say that it was mainly because of the Windows operating system that a Computer could become a personal computer it would not be an exaggeration. The revolution is still on. Windows is far beyond what a common man presently knows and uses.

Internet surfing

For searching something, search engines are being used. However, if you know a Windows trick, then searching for information on the Net may become easy, all you need to do is simply locate the address bar in Internet Explorer and write in the phrase that you want to search on the Internet. Here it is important to remember the Internet Explorer (IE) recognizes a phrase and not a single word. If it's a single word, then Internet, Explorer assumes it as a domain name and attempts to create a URL in its place. However key in a few words and IE will run your phrase through a search engine on Microsoft's Web site.

If you want to search for a single word then you should put a question mark at the beginning of the line to tell IE that this is a search keyword. The same thing applies to the Netscape Communicator also and searching the Web is as easy using the Netscape as it is with IE.

Transferring files

Another common use for which the computers are being used is for transferring the files over the Internet. Normally FTP client is being used for transferring files, which is a common application among the Internet users. However, very few persons realize the power of Windows.

You do not need a separate FTP client for transferring the files. The basic Windows constituent IE already has a feature of FTP. Thus if you type an FTP address in the address box of any Explorer view, whether on the Internet or while browsing your own hard disk, you can go to the site and be able to use the window as an FTP client.

Create link in MS Word

Windows users sometimes complain of working on too many applications for a single work, for example, work related to the Web. However, this is probably due to the ignorance of the persons as all major applications have features that arc quite universal in nature. Take for example, MS Word. Most of us know about MS Word as the most wonderful word processor. However, quite a few of us know that it is a good tool for Web based applications also. The Web-based functions of the MS Word are worth trying as it gives you endless features. One such feature is the option of creating a link to a Web page in a Word document.

Thus if you are creating a MS Word document, you can create a link to a Web page or other HTML document rather than just including the address in text. The procedure for this is simple first copy the address (URL) to which you want to link, then select the word, phrase or sentence in your document that you want to create as the link. Now on the Insert menu in Word, click hyperlink and then in link to file or URL, paste the address by pressing Ctrl + V. This will create a link to a Web page in the Word document.

However you can use your computer for purposes other than the Internet also and make better use of it. Normally we all crave for faster performance. In a Majority of the cases you do not require a replacement or up gradation as you can enhance the performance of your existing computer running Windows.

Manage hard disk

The first thing in this regard is better management of the hard disk; it has been discussed many a times in the article on tips and tricks that you can manage your hard disk better by defragging it regularly. However, there are some more steps, which should be performed before you defrag your hard disk in order to optimize the performance of your hard disk.

These steps are:

  • Delete the IE temporary files and history regularly before defragging your hard disk.

  • It is also important to delete all TMP and BAK files present in the hard disk as these files are not generally required and unnecessarily consume the hard disk.

  • Normally you will find *.TMP files in the TEMP directory or WINDOWSTEMP directories. Thus you must locate these directories and delete the aforesaid files.

  • As a next step defrag your hard disk without the swap-file. The instructions for this can be found at defragmenting the swap file. It is a standard feature of Windows 98 as per which it has a built-in utility called Disk cleanup.

You can run it from either Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Cleanup or directly run CLEANMGR.EXE. This is also an important feature of the Windows that takes care of all deleted files and other junk files as this feature deletes them as a part of disk cleaning exercise.

Use Address bar

Windows makes your work so easy that it can actually take the unnecessary load off you. For example, if you are a Windows 98 user, then you can use browser for purposes other than browsing the Net.

Did you know that you could use the address bar to run programs on your computer?

This is very much possible as all you need to do is just type the program name, including its path its location, you may type c:msofficewinwordwinword.exe. This will open MS Word depending upon its location.

Send Web page via e-mail

For sending a Web page, while viewing the page, click the File menu, and then click on Send sub menu, then click either Page by e-mail to send a copy of the page or Link by e-mail to send a short-cut to it. This way you can simply send a Web page by e-mail. This is also a great option of keeping a site in your record, as it will also facilitate in viewing it offline. Similarly, it is also easy to send a video clip or an audio clip, which you may find on the Internet.

Thus to send a video or audio clip simply right-click the icon or link for the item you want to send, and then click Save Target As. Specify the location, where you want to save the file. Now open your e-mail client and click Insert file or attach file as the case may be. You can also add your message in the message window if you wish to send a message to the recipient of the mail.

#PageBreak# Enjoy the power of World Wide Web in lesser time with these tips.

Do you feel anxious whether your important mails have reached their destination?

Use the feature which is available on most e-mail clients and requests the recipient to confirm that he has received the message by a return e-mail. It is called Read Receipt in Outlook Express.

To do this while composing a mail in Outlook Express, click on Tools > Request Read Receipt in your message window. If you desire, you can have all your outgoing messages sent with the Read Receipt notification. For this, go to Tools > Options, click on the Receipts tab and tick 'Request a read receipt for all sent messages'. Remember, the read receipt confirmation is dependent on the e-mail client the recipient is using and also whether he wants to send the confirmation.

Adding signatures to your e-mail

If you send a lot of mail each day, then a repetitive task like signing your name at the end of each mail can be quite tedious. It's easier to create a signature and attach it automatically to every mail that's sent.

To do this in Outlook Express, go to Tools > Options > Signatures. Then go to New and add the contents of the signature in the Edit Text field. Also select the option of sending the signature automatically with all outgoing messages. In case you don't want to send this with replies or forwards, enable the option, 'Don't add signatures to Replies and Forward'. For creative signatures, use the option to append a file that contains the signature you have created. If you happen to have multiple e-mail accounts, select the account with which you want to send the signature. To do this, go to Tools > Options > Signatures and click on the Advanced button near the Edit Signature tab. A new box will appear saying 'Advanced Signature Settings' where you can select the account with which the signature should be automatically added.

Auto-respond facility

Won't be checking mail for some time? Activate a feature called 'vacation reply' (if you are using a Web-based service). Most e-mail services such as Indiatimes provide this feature which can be activated through the options menu. You can type a short message which will be sent to all who e-mail you while you are away.

In Outlook Express, you can do this from Tools > Message Rules > Mail and clicking on the New Rule option. Select the 'For all Messages' options from the condition for your rule field and in the Action select Reply with a message. You will have to select a message that you have already created and saved.

Keep a copy of the message

If you are on a trip and want to access your e-mail from another machine, keep a copy of your messages on the server of your e-mail service provider. Go to Tools > Accounts and select the account (if you have multiple accounts), then go to Properties > Advanced. Check 'Leave a copy on server'. This has one more advantage: if you've formatted your machine without taking a backup of your mail, you can retrieve the mail as a stored copy.

Disable MSN Messenger from auto-starting

Whenever one opens Outlook Express or Microsoft Outlook XP, MSN Messenger loads automatically. To disable it, go to Tools > Options in Outlook Express and uncheck 'Automatically log on to MSN Messenger Service'. Then go to View > Layout and uncheck the option of Contacts. In Microsoft Outlook XP, go to Tools > Options > Other and uncheck 'Enable MSN Messenger'. The over-eager Messenger won't be so eager now!

Optimizing your Inbox

A three-step process to ensure that your Inbox never looks cluttered.

Organizing: Outlook Express allows you to create folders within which mail can be organized. To create a new folder in Outlook Express, go to File > Folder > New. This will display the directory tree of your Inbox. Just select the location (say Inbox) where you want to create a folder and enter the Folder Name. Or, you could use the shortcut [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [E] and enter the Folder Name. You can also drag and drop folders to change their location. Folders can be quite useful, especially if you have multiple accounts configured on the same identity or to sort out e-mail messages on the basis of sender, subject, etc.

Filtering: Message Rules can automatically sort your mail into the appropriate folder as soon as it is downloaded. Specify the folders where you want the messages to be downloaded based on names in the from address, names in the to address, certain words in the Subject line or in the message body.

Go to Message > Create Rule from Message. Create a rule selecting the appropriate options offered, and the next time you download your mail, it will be sorted according to the rules created.

You can also sort your existing messages based on the message rules created. In Outlook Express, go to Tools > Message Rules and click on Mail. You will get a list of the message rules you have created. Click on 'Apply now...' select the rules to apply, and click on Apply to filter your existing folder.

Grouping: Outlook Express allows you to group e-mail messages on the basis of the conversation carried. To enable this, go to View > Current View and click 'Group Messages by Conversation' (In Outlook, this option is available from View > Current View > Conversation Topic).

With this feature, all e-mail messages are sorted on the basis of the subject line and the messages that are a reply to that particular subject are grouped together. A '+' sign next to a message indicates responses based on that subject.

Download Mail to your PC

If you use a Web-based e-mail service, download a copy of your mail directly to your browser. This is much quicker than using the bandwidth-hungry Web interface and also allows you to access your mail without having to be connected to the Internet. To do this first add a new account by going to Tools > Accounts > Add and select the Mail option. You will be prompted for personal details and account information.

Select the POP3 server option in the screen that asks you for your e-mail server information and enter the appropriate POP3 server address for incoming mail.

Browsing offline

Quite often you may want to refer to a page that you have visited at some point in time. While finding the link in your browser's History is not too difficult, you can view the site without actually logging on to the Internet by going to File > Work Offline. Then just click on a link in your History folder to view the complete page from your hard disk.

Split files

Splitting files can increase download speeds tremendously. Usually, splitting the file in three or five segments is sufficient. However, if you are downloading a particularly large file which is available from several servers, you could get better speeds by increasing the number of segments being downloaded simultaneously. The number of segments that you want the file in can be set in the option box that pops up when a download begins. Just set the option for the number of segments that you want the file to be split into.

About The Author

Pawan Bangar
Technical Director
Birbals,India

www.ebirbals.com

www.seobirbals.com

pawan@ebirbals.com

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