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10 quick tips for Windows 7

1. Change the wallpaper

Right click an empty part of the desktop and select Personalize from the menu. Click Desktop Background and at the bottom of the window choose how frequently you want to change the wallpaper. Tick Shuffle to mix them up. Now the desktop wallpaper will automatically change according to the schedule.

2. Trim the window borders

Do the borders of windows seem too thick? Right click the desktop and select Personalize, Window Colour. Click Advanced appearance settings if necessary (it depends on the theme). Select Border Padding in the Item list and reduce the border width to 0. You now get more space for the window contents.

3. Shrink the title bar

Shrinking the title bar and buttons leaves more space for the window contents. Right click the desktop and select Personalize, Window Colour. Select Active Title Bar in the Item list and set the font size to 8.

4. Search for it

Find tools and hidden features by clicking Start and entering a word or phrase. Enter "customise" for example, and you'll see lots of useful tools.

5. Who needs Run?

In Windows XP we had to click Start and then select Run to enter a command. In Windows 7 though, just click Start and type the command yo want to run.

6. Change the Shut Down button

You can easily change the function of the Shut Down button on the Start menu if it is inconvenient. Right click the Start button and choose Properties from the little pop-up menu. Then select the action for the power button in the drop-down list.

7. Keyboard shortcuts

See the icons in the taskbar? Hold down the Windows key and press 1 to run the first program in the taskbar, Windows+2 for the second, Windows+3 for the third and so on.

8. Add gadgets

The Windows Sidebar has gone and now you just right click the desktop to add gadgets. Choose Gadgets from the menu and then drag gadgets from the gallery window and drop them anywhere on the desktop.

9. Recover overwritten files

It is easy to overwrite a file with a new version of a document or image when you actually means to use Save As and save it as a new file. If you have accidentally overwritten a file, right click it in an Explorer window and select Restore Previous Versions. Click one of the previous versions of the file and then Copy to copy it to another folder, Open to open it, or Restore to replace the current version of the file. This won't always work, and it depends on several factors, but it's worth trying.

10. Record step-by-step guides

Click Start, type psr and press Enter. This is Problem Steps Recorder and it's basically a screen recorder. Click Start Record and anything you do on the screen is recorded like a video. Perform some action and then click Stop Record. The step-by-step guide is saved as a zip file so you can email it or give it to someone. They just unzip the file and double click the contents to view it. That's clever.

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