Useful tips for Windows XP

It may be old but Windows XP isn’t dead yet. Windows 7 is creeping up on it but Windows XP is still the world’s most widely used PC operating system. If, like many people, you are still running Windows XP, it isn’t too late to learn how to make better use of it. Here are some easy-to-understand articles that will improve your computing skills:

Microsoft Word tips for the non-expert user

Microsoft Word is on hundreds of millions of computers all over the world. Word documents are in use everywhere. Although Word is heavily used by businesses and professional producers of documents, many average PC users also employ Word on a more casual basis. Word is a powerful program with many features but these average PC users rarely need more than a few percent of what’s available. In fact, Word can be pretty puzzling for a typical occasional user.

I am not a professional user of Word but I have been using it ever since Word 95 and have collected some tips and tricks that I think will help those who are not Word experts.The web has numerous sites with Word tips but these are typically aimed at business and heavy users of Word. An average home PC user might find it heavy going to wade through their extensive list of tips and suggestions to find the few that apply to a more casual user.

In order to provide easy access to some basic tips that will help everybody, I have started a website called Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks where I am placing what I think are the best tips and tricks for a an average, non-expert user. So far the following pages are available:

If you are a Microsoft Word user give the site a try and learn how to better use the program. Keep an eye out for more pages to come. Got a favorite Word tip of your own? Let us know about it.

Tweaking Windows 7

If you like to do a lot of configuring of your PC settings, there are various free tweaking tools available. In the case of Windows 7, there are a lot of these utilities. In fact, there are too many to evaluate. I prefer to do my own tweaking but if you like this sort of application, Into Windows has just listed 55 different ones.

Package of very useful computer utilities

Periodically, I mention little free programs that help with some aspect of administering, configuring, or using a PC. Two prime sources of nice utility programs are Sysinternals from Mark Russinovich and NirSoft from Nir Sofer. Both authors have generously worked over the years to provide dozens of useful applications, all free. Both have packaged their collections into suites. Nir Sofer has also created a way to package both his and Russinovich’s utilities together. Sofer calls it NirLauncher and it can be downloaded with all the NirSoft applications here. Then after downloading Sysinternals, you can use Sofer’s very easy way to integrate the two suites of utilities.

The utilities are for Windows XP, Vista, and 7 and for both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. They do not require installation and can be run from an external flash drive. The total size is about 45 MB with roughly 200 or so applications. Average home users may find the collection a bit overwhelming but more advanced PC users will find a bonanza of useful programs.

All-purpose Windows tweaking software X-Setup

Way back in the days of Windows 95, I used to like an all-purpose tweaking tool called X-Setup. It was free and it allowed for numerous adjustments to the configuration of Windows. It gradually became too complicated for average PC users and it also went commercial. I stopped using or recommending it and lost track of it. Now I see that the vendor is closing shop and the last version of the program is being offered with a free registration key. I haven’t tried the program for years but some comments at Gizmo’s Freeware may interest those who are curious about it.