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Windows Vista hints and tips

Tips index

Get online help

Help menuWhen you need help with Windows you can always click Start, Help and Support. You can then either browse around until you find what you want or you can search for a particular subject.

The program can search the help information stored on the hard disk drive or it can search online - Microsoft keeps a large database of help, problems and solutions, and tips on the web.

So where is your program searching? Online? Offline?

You can choose where Help and Support looks for answers and in the bottom right corner of the window is an Online Help link. Click it and a menu is displayed with Get online Help, Get Offline help and Settings. If it is set to Get offline help and the search didn't turn up anything useful, select Get online help and try the search again.

Select the Settings option and you can then tick a box that tells Help and Support to always include online results for your searches. It's the best option


Make Help more readable

Not everyone has perfect eyesight and with today's high resolution screens and small laptops, it can sometimes be difficult reading the text on the screen. Fortunately, it is possible to adjust the size of the text in Help and Support (access it on the Start menu).

Open Help and Support and then click the Options button in the top right corner. Select Text size and then choose one of the five settings. They range from Smallest to Largest. The best option is... whatever suites you best!


Press F1 for help

The F1 key is a universal help key. It works with Windows and it works with many applications. For example, when there is nothing on the screen, press F1 and Windows Help and Support is displayed.

If you are using Internet Explorer you'll see a page explaining Internet Explorer. If you are using Word, then you'll get Word or Office help. So whatever you are doing, if you need help, first try pressing the F1 key.

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