Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to switch your Windows 7 display to a projector?

How to switch your Windows 7 display to a projector?

On numerous occasions, I've watched presenters struggle to get their laptops to display with a projector after attaching the cables. Windows 7 makes it easy. Here's how:

1. After attaching the video-out (VGA) port of your laptop to the projector's cable, press the Windows Logo key + P.
2. You'll see a pop-up box with four choices. The first is Computer Only, which is not what you want. You also probably don't want to Extend the Desktop. That leaves two choices. You can select to Duplicate the laptop display to the projector, so that you see the same screen on both (my preference) or you can select Projector Only, so that your desktop is displayed only on the projector screen.

This solution is quick, easy and elegant - far better than having to search for the correct key combination (which varied depending on the hardware) with XP and Vista.

What service pack is installed?

There are several ways to determine what service packs have been applied:

1. Click Start | Run. In the Run box, type winver and press Enter. This will display the About Windows screen that shows the version of Windows you're running. At the end of the second line, you should see the service pack number.

1. Click Start | Run. In the Run box, type MSINFO32. You'll see the System Properties dialog box and on the General tab, it shows your OS, edition, version and service pack number.

1. Click Start | Control Panel. Click the System applet. This displays the same System Properties dialog box.

1. Right-click My Computer. Click Properties. This also displays the System Properties dialog box.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

How to change the default wallpaper folder in XP?

By default, Windows XP looks in C:\Windows for the wallpaper images that it uses to populate the list of available backgrounds in the Display Properties | Desktop dialog box. Wouldn't it be handier if you could have it look in a different folder, such as your My Pictures folder where you probably save your favorite images? Well, you can - with a simple registry edit.

1. Open the registry editor
2. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion
3. In the right details pane, double click the value WallPaperDir (if it doesn't exist, create a new string value and give it that name)
4. In the Value data field of the Edit String dialog box, type or paste the path to the My Pictures folder (or whatever folder you want Windows to look in for wallpapers). For example: c: \ Documents and Settings \ *your user name* \ My Documents \ My Pictures
5.Close the registry editor

You should not have to reboot to apply the change; you can now open the Display Properties | Desktop dialog box and you'll see the images from your chosen folder in the list.

How to change border thickness in Windows 7?

The thick borders on windows look great with Aero transparency, but if you prefer thinner borders, you can configure them to look the way you want. Or you can make them even thicker.

1. Right click an empty area on the desktop and select Personalize.
2. Click Window Color at the bottom.
3. Click the Advanced appearance settings... link
4. In the Advanced Appearance dialog box, in the drop-down box under "Item:" select Border Padding.
5. In the "Size" field, change the default (4) to a lower number to reduce the size of the borders or a large number to increase it.
6. Click OK.