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Windows 7 hints and tips

Use Sticky Notes

In Windows Vista if you go to Start, All Programs, Accessories you will see Windows Sidebar. If you run it (it might already be running), it adds a panel at the right hand side of the screen where you can place useful mini applications called gadgets. One of the bundled gadgets is Notes. It enables you to paste those sticky yellow notes on the Windows desktop and write notes, reminders, things to do and lists.

Windows 7 still has gadgets, but it doesn't have the Windows Sidebar and it doesn't have a Notes gadget. Instead, you have Sticky Notes, which is almost identical, but it is found in among the Accessories on the Start menu. You can place Sticky Notes on the desktop anywhere you like and they aren't restricted to a small vertical strip at the right hand side of the screen as with Vista's Sidebare. This is much better.

You can write on the notes and drag them to any position on the screen. There's a plus icon in the top left corner of each note and this is used to create a new note. The cross icon in the top right corner is used to delete a note.

Windows 7 Sticky NotesThe only obvious option is the ability to choose one of six colours. Right click a note and you'll see them in the menu that is displayed. Are there no more options? Actually, there are, but they aren't obvious because you have to use the keyboard.

Click and drag over some text and press Ctrl+C to copy it or Ctrl+X to cut it. Position the text cursor elsewere and press Ctrl+V to paste the text. Select some text and press Ctrl+B to make it bold, Ctrl+I to make it italic, Ctrl+U for underline, Ctrl+T for strikethrough, and Ctrl+Shift+L for a bulleted list. Press it again for a numbered list. Press Ctrl+Shift+> to increase the text size and Ctrl+Shift+< to decrease the text size. Press Ctrl+A to select all the text on a note.

sticky Notes are great, but there is one major drawback. You can't select the font and the one that is used by default is poor. Windows 7 is only a beta, so this situation could well change and the font might be selectable when the os ships.

For now, here is a workaround: Copy a word of text in the font you want from elsewhere, such as WordPad, and paste it into a note. The font is pasted too and when you carry on typing it will be in the selected font.

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