Archive of ‘Basic’ category

New Windows 10 Features You May Have Missed

Did you recently upgrade to Windows 10?  

Upgrading to yet another version of Windows can be tedious and understandably it gets old having to readjust to new graphic interfaces every couple of years!   Fortunately, this new operating system is proving to be a vast improvement from Windows 8, and some would even say its becoming their top choice over the beloved Windows 7 Professional!

Here’s some of the new features you may have missed:

The Task View button.

Use the Task View button on the taskbar to see and switch between open apps.  You can still use Alt-Tab on your keyboard, but this little shortcut comes in handy if you are stuck to your mouse movements.

Hooray for Snap Assist.

Windows 10 Snap Assist Gif by Tech2.

Use Snap Assist to display a 50/50 split screen view of two apps. Drag the title bar (the bar at the top of the window) to the right or left until it snaps into place. You can snap up to four apps by dragging their title bars into the corners of your screen. Task view displays a thumbnail—reduced image of a graphic—of each open window.

Pin Apps to the Start Menu…like the Recycle Bin!

In the latest versions of Windows, the recycle bin hasn’t been very easy to access.  Oddly enough, pinning the Recycle Bin to the taskbar was a bit complicated.  Finally in Windows 10, the option is now available with a simple right-click. Open up an Explorer window and, under Favorites, click Desktop. Right-click the icon that says Recycle Bin and you now have the option to Pin to Start.  This will place the Recycle Bin in the Start Menu. You can also put it on the taskbar if you drag from the Start Menu!  You can’t drag the Recycle Bin shortcut directly from the desktop to the Taskbar, but at least its a step in the right direction.

Grab Images with the Snipping Tool.

Technically not new but you may have missed it in Windows 7.  Go to your search bar and type Snipping Tool.  Select New and select any area on your desktop or  application you would like to capture.  

With Cortana Personalizations, Your OS Can Say Your Name.

Cortana was the digital voice for Windows Mobile devices and now has graduated to Windows 10.  To personalize your settings,  type Cortana Settings in the search bar.  Cortana & Search Settings will open up and from here you have a wide variety of personalizations.

Use a pin instead of a password.

Open the Start Menu and access the Settings section. In the left side menu of the Accounts window, choose Sign-in options. Now, if you’ll look in right pane you’ll see a section called PIN.

Advanced Command Prompt.

With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft was very excited to announce that Ctrl-V would work inside the command prompt. . Right-click on the title bar of a command prompt window, select Properties, and click the Experimental tab and there are several other new features you can enable.  You can wrap text to the edge of the window, as well as adjust the width to whatever size you want.


Take some time and get familiar with these features and it will greatly improve your functionality and productivity either at home or at work.  Are you looking to upgrade your home or business to Windows 10?  Contact my friends at Magic City Systems today and they will help make the transition go smoothly and effortlessly.

Switch to the New Gmail Look

Google announced an upgrade to its current Gmail interface.  Users may preview the new interface by selecting “Switch to the new look” from their Gmail homepage.  The design is a stripped down version of Gmail, as Google is famous for their simple GUIs. The new design doesn’t offer any new features, just a new layout.



New Customizations

You can customize how the email fits to your screen.  Choose cozy, comfortable or compact options.

New Themes

The new Gmail look also comes with new themes. You can access the new color options by clicking on the Gears icon, then Themes.

Chat Window

You can now modify the size of your chat window.

Better Search

The search box has been enhanced to include more filters.  You can now search throughout your email and conversations with more granular options.

Revert Back

If you aren’t ready to use the new look, you can revert back to your old Gmail look temporarily.  Click on the Gears icon, then choose Revert to old look temporarily.  Eventually, Gmail will make the switch for you.

Internet and Email Safety

image With the use of computers and the internet comes certain threats. If you are going to be active on the internet or in email or even if you will be only somewhat active when accessing email and the internet you should take steps to protect yourself. Two of the biggest threats right now are Virus’s and Identity/Account Theft. Below are a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself.


Exposed – Purpose of a Recycle Bin

image Recycle Bin = Trash can

Let’s say you have a banana peel and you take your banana peel and walk it over to your garbage can and drop it in. In 15 days are you going to walk back over to the garbage can and pick up your banana peel? I’m guessing the answer is NO. Okay, so I’m truly HOPING the answer is no, because that would be really disturbing. Many, many, many, computer users do those same steps with their recycle bin. Granted not with banana peels but you get the point.


Computer Basics – Office 2007 Quick Access Toolbar

Microsoft Office 2007 products have a new feature called a Quick Access Toolbar. It is located at the top, left, corner of each program, whether it be Excel or Word.  When they created 2007, they moved a lot of things around making it interesting for the users to find the functions they used on a regular basis.  The Quick Access Toolbar gives you a shortcut at finding some of the options you had before.  It automatically comes with the save, redo and undo functions, but you can customize it to add other functions you use a lot.  I personally use the Print option the most and now with the new layout of Office 2007 it would be a lot easier if I had it on my Quick Access Toolbar.


Setting up your Signature for Emails:


Need help setting up your signature for your emails? If you send a lot of emails, this simple step can save a lot of typing.

In Outlook Express, click Tools and then Options. In this window you will want to select the Signatures Tab. Click the New Button on the right hand side. And then in the lower section under Edit Signature you can free type your signature anyway you would like it to appear. Once you have finished typing the text, click apply. At the top of the window check the option to include the signature on all outgoing messages and click OK.


Mail Merge in Word 2007

Word 2007 Mail Merge

Let’s say you have a mailing to do that consists of 100 envelopes. Do you really want to manually address each envelope? I know I wouldn’t. Word has a feature called Mail Merge to help with these types of things.

In order to use the Mail Merge function you need to create a “data” file. Keeping with the example of addressing 100 envelopes, you would create an Excel spreadsheet and in the spreadsheet you would enter in the data you want to appear on the envelopes. First name, Last name, address, city, state, zip code, etc…