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Windows 7 tips and tweaks

Access the speaker properties

At the right hand side of the taskbar in all versions of Windows is the speaker icon and it has different functions and features in each version. In Windows 7 it has some interesting new features that aren't in older versions and it is useful to get to know them because they provide quick and easy access to common controls that you'll frequently need. For example, when the mouse hovers over the speaker icon, the volume is displayed as a percentage in a pop-up tip box.

left click the speaker icon and there are three controls. There is a large slider that can be used for adjusting the volume. Below the volume slider is a speaker icon and you can click this to enable or disable the audio. It saves having to drag the slider down to zero or back up again. Above the volume slider is another icon and clicking this displays the Speaker Properties dialog.

The General tab enables you to access the speaker properties, which isn't actually that much use unless you want to re-install the driver, but the Levels tab is very useful. It's like a mixing desk and you can adjust the speaker, microphone, line in, CD audio, video, aux and other inputs and outputs. Drag the sliders to adjust the levels and click the speaker icons next to each of them to turn them on or off.

Speaker properties diaalog

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