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Windows Vista hints and tips 12

Tips index

Modify the Power button's function

Vista power buttonHow do you switch off your computer? Do you click Start and then click the Power button? This doesn't actually switch off the power and it simply puts the computer into Sleep mode. It's still switched on, but all operations are suspended and it is in a very low power consumption state. It can be useful to put the computer to sleep rather than switching it off, especially if you are not using it for a short time, such as during your lunch break. For longer periods of time, such as overnight and especially when you go on holiday, you should really switch off the power completely.

Sleep mode still consumes power and it's therefore not very environmentally friendly. If you want to go green and cut the power completely you have two options. Instead of clicking the Power button on the Start menu, click the arrow to the right to display a menu of actions. Choose Shut Down to close Windows and switch off the power.

The other method is to modify the function of the Power button on the Start menu.

Click Start, Control Panel and switch to Classic View. Double click Power Options and you'll see three power plans listed. Click the Change plan settings link below the one that's selected and then click Change advanced power settings. In the next dialog, click the plus symbol next to Power buttons and lid to expand it and then expand Start menu power button. Click the setting and you'll see a menu with Sleep, Hibernate and Shut Down. Choose Shut Down and then click OK to close the dialog. Now when you click the power button the computer will turn off the power instead of going to sleep.

Resize the icons

The Windows user interface in Vista is radically different to XP and it is not simply a new colour scheme. Everything has been supersized! Take the desktop icons for instance, they are huge. When you have half a dozen on the desktop, the desktop is filled! Perhaps the programmers at Microsoft have super high resolution screens and they appear normal to them, but to everyone else, they are far too big. Fortunately, you can shrink them down to the size you are used to with XP. Right click an empty part of the desktop and select View, Classic Icons. now that's much better.

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