Windows 95 Tips.txt File Contents

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This article contains a copy of the information in the Tips.txt file included with Windows 95. Setup copies this file to the Windows folder.


          Microsoft Windows 95 README for Tips and Tricks
                               August 1995

                (c) Copyright Microsoft Corporation, 1995

This document provides complementary or late-breaking information to
supplement the Microsoft Windows 95 documentation.

How to Use This Document

To view Tips.txt on screen in Notepad, maximize the Notepad window.

To print Tips.txt, open it in Notepad or another word processor,
and then use the Print command on the File menu.

MS-DOS Command Prompt
Cut, Copy, Paste, Drag and Drop
File Operations
Folders and Windows Explorer
Hardware Profiles
Keyboard Shortcuts
Mobile Computing
Multimedia and Sound
Run Dialog Box
Start Menu
System Tools
Window Management
Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks

Note: You can find other tips besides those in this readme in the Help
      Contents, under "Tips and Tricks."

MS-DOS Command Prompt

[Visual Display of Directory from Command Prompt]
If you are at a command prompt and want a visual display of a
directory (folder), type "start .", or "start .." and an open folder
of that directory appears on the desktop.

[Drag and Drop Filenames to Command Prompt]
You can drag file and folder icons from the desktop or a folder to an
MS-DOS command prompt. The filename is then in the keyboard buffer
of the running MS-DOS-based application.

[Copy/Paste Information From/To Command Prompt]
Activate the toolbar in the MS-DOS-based program window to gain point-
and-click access to copy, cut, and paste operations from a Windows-
based program to an MS-DOS-based program. For example, copy a folder
output on the screen, and then paste it into mail.

[Starting Windows-Based Programs from a Command Prompt]
You can start Windows-based programs from a command prompt by typing
the name of the program you want to run, and then specifying any
parameters as needed. For example, to start Notepad, type "notepad" at
the command prompt, and then press Enter. You can also start Windows-
based programs in batch files.

You can also use the Start command to start a program or open a

For example: C:>start Docname.ext).

If you set the properties for an MS-DOS prompt the wrong way, and you
can't open an MS-DOS window, go into the PIF directory and edit
Command.pif, or find and edit the properties there.

If you want to use DOSKEY in an MS-DOS window without loading it in
Autoexec.bat or creating a startup batch script, you can go to the
Program properties and enter doskey as the startup batch file. If you
decide later that you want to have a real startup batch file, simply
move DOSKEY into this batch file.

[Directory Shortcuts]
Related directories have the following shortcuts:
. = current directory
.. = parent directory
... = parent directory once removed directory (new in Windows 95)
.... = parent directory twice removed (new in Windows 95)
For example, if you are in the C:\Windows\System\Viewers directory,
and you enter cd... at the command prompt, the directory changes to

[Command Line Parameters]
Add a "?" to the command line of MS-DOS programs, and you will be
prompted to add parameters when you start the program. This is
especially useful with MS-DOS program shortcuts.

[Easy Disk Copy From the Desktop]
Create a shortcut on the desktop with diskcopy a: a: at the command
prompt to copy a disk (substitute b: to use b: drive).

Cut, Copy, Paste, Drag and Drop

[Drag and Drop]
To move an object, use the left mouse button to drag the object from
one folder to another on the same drive. Use Shift+Left-drag to force
a move.

To copy an object, use the left mouse button to drag the object from
one folder to another on a different drive. Use CTRL+Left+drag to
force a copy.

To create a shortcut to an executable, use the left mouse button to
drag an executable file to a new folder.

Use the right mouse button to drag an object from one folder to
another, and then select 'Create Shortcut(s) Here' to create a
shortcut to that object. The icon annotations indicate what
will happen: a plus sign for copy, an arrow for a shortcut, and no
symbol for a move. Press ESC while you are dragging the object to
cancel the action.

To create document shortcuts: Right drag a selection from an OLE
document (for example, Word 95) onto the Desktop or folder, and then
select "Create Document Shortcut Here." This document shortcut will
open the original document at the place in the document that the
shortcut originated.

To create document scraps: Use the left mouse button to drag a
selection from an OLE document (for example, Word 95) onto the desktop
or folder to create a scrap (a scrap is an OLE object that contains
the selection). Drop the scrap onto another document or back onto the
original document to insert or render it (whichever is most

[Right Drag and Drop]
Right drag and drop works like left drag and drop except that a menu
is displayed when you drop the object. The menu for folders displays
these commands: Move Here, Copy Here, Create Shortcut(s) Here. The
menu for OLE objects includes:  Create Scrap Here, Move Scrap Here,
Create Document Shortcut Here).

[Drag to the Taskbar]
You can drag objects from one open document to another open document
(one covering the other) by dragging the object to the target's
taskbar, waiting until the target window is displayed, and then
dragging the object onto the target window.

File Operations

[Creating a New File]
Create a new file by using the right mouse button to click the desktop
or folder, point to New, and then click the type of file you want to
create from the list.

[Create a New Folder While Saving a File]
When using the Save As command to save a file, you can also create a
new folder in which to store the file. Use the right mouse button to
clickthe dialog box list, point to New, and then click Folder. Double-
click the new folder to open it, and then continue the save process.

[Deleting Files Without Moving them to Recycle Bin]
Select the file or files to be deleted. Use the right mouse button to
clickthe selection, and then hold down the Shift key and click Delete
(or hold down the Shift key when pressing the Delete key if using the

[Copying and Moving Files]
Use the right mouse button to click the files you want to copy or
move, and then click Copy or Cut. Open the destination location, and
then click the right mouse button and select Paste.

Folders and Windows Explorer

[Selecting Multiple Files]
Selecting multiple files in large icon view works differently from
list view. To extend a selection, click the first icon, and then hold
down the Shift key while you click the last icon to be selected. To
change an icon from selected to unselected, hold down the CTRL key
while you select the icon.

[Keyboard Shortcuts]
* Press Win+E to start Windows Explorer by pointing to 'My Computer'
 (on Microsoft Natural Keyboard).
* Press Backspace to display the parent folder.
* To select all files is a folder, press CTRL+A.
* Press F5 to update the contents list.

[Special Folders]
You can put the contents of Control Panel or other special folders on
your Start menu (or in any folder). Create a folder by clicking New on
the File menu, and then clicking Folder. Then, paste in the
appropriate name  as shown below:

For                Use This Name
Control Panel      Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}
Dial Up Network   Dial Up Net.{992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD010CCC48}
Printers           Printers.{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}

[Windows Explorer Switches]
Windows Explorer switches are useful in creating rooted folders:

     Explorer [/e][,/root,<object>][[,/select],<sub object>]

   Use Explorer view (scope and results pane view). The default is
   Open view (results in pane view only).

   Specify the object in the "normal" name space that is
   used as the root (top level) of this Explorer/Folder (i.e., local
   path or UNC name). The default is the Desktop).
   The parent folder opens and the specified object is selected.
   <sub object>   Specify the folder unless /select is used. The
   default is the root.

Examples:Explorer /e, /root, \\Reports

         opens an Explorer window at \\Reports.

         Explorer /select, C:\Windows\Calc.exe

         opens a folder at C:\Windows (or activates one that is
         currently open) and selects Calc.exe.


         opens a folder to the Archive folder above. This is a good
         way to create a dedicated, remote, documents archive
         folder. A link to this folder (\\Source\Internal\Design\ 
         Users\David\Archive) can then be placed in the SendTo folder
         for quick routing of documents.

Hardware Profiles

Hardware Profiles are used to set up multiple hardware configurations.
This is especially useful for laptops that have docking stations or
workstations with removable storage media.

The following example demonstrates how to set up hardware profiles for
a laptop with a docking station that has this configuration:

Configuration      Docked         Undocked
Display driver        S3                  VGA
Network             w/Microsoft Network None
RNA                 no RNA              with RNA

[Open Systems Properties:]
1. Use the right mouse button to click the My Computer icon.
2. Click Properties, and then click the Hardware Profiles tab.
3. Verify that two hardware profile options labeled Docked and
   Undocked exist. If these options are not available, highlight
   Original Configuration, and then click Rename. Type DOCKED and then
   click OK. Highlight the word DOCKED and then click Copy. In the
   Copy Profile Dialog Box type UNDOCKED.

[To Set Up the Video Driver for Docked and Undocked Configurations]
First, verify that VGA is installed. If it is not installed, double-
click the Display icon in Control Panel. Click the Settings tab, and
then click Change Display Type. In the Adapter Type area, click
Change, and then  install the VGA driver.
1. In Control Panel, double-click the System icon, and then click the
   Device Manager tab.
2. Double-click Display Adapter, and then double-click VGA.
3. In the Device Usage area, make sure Undocked is checked and Docked
   is unchecked. Click OK.
4. In the Device Manager tab, double-click Display Adapter, and then
   double-click the S3 adapter.
5. In the Device Usage area, make sure the Docked option is checked
   and the Undocked option is unchecked.
6. Click OK to exit Device Manager.

[To Set Up for No Network in an Undocked State]
1. In Control Panel, double-click the System icon, and then click the
   Device Manager tab.
2. Double-click Network Adapter, and then double-click the network
3. In the Device Usage area of the General tab, remove the check mark
   from the Undocked option. Click OK, and then return to Device

[To set up for no RNA while docked]
1. Repeat Step 1.
2. Double-click the Dial-up Networking adapter. Remove the check mark
   for the Docked option.

Keyboard Shortcut Keys

[Hot and Other Keys]
*General folder / Windows Explorer shortcuts for a selected object:

Keys                  Action
F2                  Rename
F3                  Find
CTRL+X, C, or V     Cut, Copy, or Paste
SHIFT+DELETE        Delete immediately without putting the file
                    in Recycle Bin
ALT+ENTER           Properties
ALT+double-click    Properties
CTRL+right-click    Put alternative verbs on the context menu
                    (Open With)
SHIFT+double-click   Explore the object if it has an Explore

CTRL+drag a file
to a folder         Copy a file

file to the desktop
or a folder         Create a shortcut

SHIFT+F10             Open taskbar properties

[General control over folders/Windows Explorer]

F4 (Explorer)        Displays the combo box
F5                  Refresh
F6                  Switches between panes in Windows Explorer
Explorer)             Goto
CTRL+Z              Undo
CTRL+A              Select all
BACKSPACE           Goes to the parent folder
SHIFT+<close>       Closes this folder and all its parent folders

[In Windows Explorer]
Num*                  Expands everything under selection
Num-                Expands selection
Num+ or Right arrow Collapses selection
Right arrow         Expands current selection if it's collapsed;
                    otherwise goes to the first child.
Left arrow          Collapses current selection if it's expanded;
                    otherwise goes to the parent

[In Properties]
CTRL+SHIFT+TAB      Switches between Properties tabs

[In Open/Save Common Dialog Boxes]
F4                  Drop down the location list
F5                  Refresh the view
Backspace           Go to parent folder if focus is on view window

[General Keyboard-Only Commands]
F1                  Help
F10                 Goes to menu mode
SHIFT+F10           Context menu for selected item
CTRL+ESC            Brings up Start menu
CTRL+ESC, ESC       Focus on the Start button
SHIFT+F10           Context menu
ALT+TAB             Switch to the running program
SHIFT while
inserting CD        Bypasses auto-run
Alt+M when focus
is on taskbar       Minimizes all windows

[Accessibility Shortcuts]
Tap SHIFT 5 times   Toggles StickyKeys on/off
Hold down Right
SHIFT for 8 seconds Toggles FilterKeys on/off
Hold down NumLock
for 5 seconds       Toggles ToggleKeys on/off

+NumLock            Toggles MouseKeys on/off
+PrintScreen        Toggles HighContrast on/off

[MS Natural Keyboard]
Win+R               Run dialog
Win+M               Minimize All
Shift-Win+M         Undo Minimize All
Win+F1              Windows Help
Win+E               Explorer
Win+F               Find Files or Folders
CTRL+Win+F          Find Computer
Win+Tab             Cycle through taskbar buttons
Win+Break           PSS Hotkey... (System properties)

Mobile Computing

[Automatic Synchronizing of Files on Laptop]
If you have files that you want to keep synchronized between your
portable, your office desktop, and your home computer, you should
create Briefcases on both your desktop computers, and then keep the
files on your portable. Drag the documents from your portable to the
Briefcase on each desktop computer. Then, each time you connect your
portable to a docking station, the Briefcase on the desktop computer
synchronizes the files.

[Creating a Second Undocked Configuration]
To create a second, undocked configuration for your portable (for
example, one configuration has a printer and the other does not),
follow these steps:

1. Make sure your computer is in the configuration you want, and then
   use the right mouse button to click the My Computer icon.
2. Click Properties, and then click the Configuration tab.
3. Select the undocked configuration, and then choose Copy.
4. Select the new configuration and give it a unique name.
5. Go to Device Manager and click Refresh. This will re-enumerate all
   the hardware devices on your system and build the new

[Viewing Remaining Battery Life of Laptop]
For computers with APM functionality, click the Battery icon on the
taskbar to view a detailed battery meter.

Multimedia and Sound

To remove Auto Run when an audio CD is inserted, hold down the Shift
key when you insert the CD-ROM, or make the following changes:

1. Open a folder (for example, My Computer).
2. On the View menu, click Options, and then click File Types.
3. Click AudioCD, and then click Edit.
4. In the Action list, click Play.
5. Click Set Default to turn off Auto Run.

Note: If the Play command is bold, the CD will play when it is
inserted, if Play is not bold, it will not.

[Opening the Media Player From an AVI]
When an AVI file is playing, you can open Media Player by double-
clicking the title bar of the AVI. Double-click the Media Player title
bar to exit.

[Master Volume Icon]
You can put a master volume control on the taskbar by following these

1. In Control Panel, double-click the Multimedia icon.
2. Click the Audio tab, and then click Show Volume Control on the
3. Click the volume (speaker) icon on the taskbar to open the master
   volume control. Double-click the volume (speaker) icon to open
   Volume Control.

[Cache Size for CD-ROMs]
You can set the cache size for CD-ROMs via the System icon in Control

1. Double click the System icon in Control Panel, and then click the
   Performance tab.
2. Click File System to view the CD-ROM optimization control.

[Assigning Sounds to Events]
To assign sounds to events, double-click the Sounds icon in Control


Instead of connecting a drive letter to a network share, put shortcuts
to those shares on your desktop or Start menu (for example, add a
shortcut to \\documents\user\dave instead of redirecting this share to
drive Z). This way, network shares are only connected when needed.

If you work in a group, you may want to keep a folder on a public
server for shortcuts to useful network locations. Interested
individuals can keep a shortcut to this folder on their desktop for
quick access.

[Searching for a File on a Remote Server]
1. Click the Start button, point to Find, and then click Files or
2. Enter the file name in the Named box.
3. Enter the path in the Look In box, and then press Enter.

[Easy Access to Network Information]
Add shortcuts to network locations in Network Neighborhood. They'll
stay there when you're logged off the network and will cascade to
Dial-Up Networking features as long as they are installed.

[Easy Connection to a Network Server/Share]
Click the Start button, click Run, and then enter the UNC path. For
example, entering \\server will open a window showing shared resources
for the computer named server. Entering \\server\share\direct opens
the folder named direct on the \\server\share share point.

[Easy Access to Network Properties]
Use the right mouse button to click Network Neighborhood to view
network properties.

Run Dialog Box

[Via the Keyboard]
Press CTRL+ESC+R to open the Run dialog box.
On a Microsoft Natural Keyboard, press Win+R to open the Run dialog

[Opening a Folder Anywhere From the Run Dialog Box]
To open a folder, enter its local path or UNC path. For example,
entering C:\Windows\System will open the System folder.
Entering \\server\share\direct will open a folder pointing to the
direct folder on the \\server\share share point.

[Running a Program]
You can run a program from within any folder by opening that folder
and then clicking Run from the Start Menu.

Start menu

[Keyboard Shortcuts]
Press CTRL+ESC to display the Start menu.
On a Microsoft Natural Keyboard, press a Win key to display the Start

[Adding items to the Start Menu]
Drag an object (a folder, shortcut, program, or document) onto the
Start menu to add it to the top of the Start menu. If the object is a
folder, the folder contents is displayed when you point to that menu

[Modifying Start Menu Items]
Use the right mouse button to click the Start menu, and then select
Open or Explore to view and modify its contents.

[Quick Access to Start Menu Items]
You can quickly open programs at the top of the Start menu by
numbering the icons (rename them with a number before the name). Then,
press CTRL+ESC followed by the number to start those programs.

[Emptying the Documents menu]
1. Click the Start menu, point to Settings, and then click Taskbar.
2. Click the Start Menu Programs tab, and then click Clear.


[Taskbar Background]
To open the taskbar's context menu when the taskbar is full, move the
mouse pointer to the edge of the taskbar, and then use the right mouse
button to click the taskbar. You can also do this to drag the taskbar.

[Hiding the Taskbar]
1. Use the right mouse button to click the Start button, and then
   click Properties.
2. Click the Taskbar Options tab, and then click Auto Hide.
   When the mouse moves near the taskbar area, the taskbar appears.

[Moving the Taskbar]
You can drag the taskbar to any side of the desktop area.

[Languages and Keyboard Layouts]
To change keyboard layouts while you work, make these changes:
1. In Control Panel, double click the Keyboard icon.
2. Click the Language tab, and then add another language as needed.
3. Make sure the Enable Indicator on Taskbar is checked.
   When you complete this setup, a Language layout icon appears on the
   taskbar. You can click the icon to select another language.

System Tools
[System Monitor]
Monitors system resources, threads, processor usage, etc.

You can use DriveSpace to compress hard and floppy disks, which
creates more free space on the disks. You can also use DriveSpace to
configure disk drives that you have already compressed using
DoubleSpace or DriveSpace.

You can use Backup to back up or restore files to tape, floppy,
network shares, etc.

[Disk Defragmenter]
Use to speed up your hard disk by defragmenting the files on your hard

You can see who is currently using resources on your computer by using
NetWatcher. You can also add shared folders and disconnect people from
your computer or from specific files.

You can use ScanDisk to check your hard drives for both logical and
physical errors. ScanDisk will detect any errors, and then repair
damaged areas.

Window Management
[Switching Between a Window and a Full MS-DOS Screen]
Press ALT+Enter.

[Closing Consecutive Windows]
If you are using multiple window browse, and you want to close all
open windows, hold down the Shift key, and then click the close (X)
button in the upper right corner of the title bar.

[Cascading, Tiling, and Minimizing All]
Use the right mouse button to click the taskbar, and then click an

Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks

[Configuration Summary]
To print a copy of your system configuration summary, double-click the
Systems icon in Control Panel, and then click the Device Manager tab.
Click Computer, and then click Print.

[Quick View]
If Quick View is installed, and if Quick View supports a particular
file format, you can quickly view the contents of that file by using
the right mouse button to click it, and then select Quick View.

You can also create a link to Notepad.exe in your SendTo folder. Then,
use the right mouse button to click the file you want to view. Click
Sent To, and then click Notepad.

[Disk Tools]
Use the right mouse button to click a drive in My Computer, and then
click Properties. Click the Tools tab to use ScanDisk, Backup, and

[Converting Windows 3.1 Program Groups]
You can convert Windows 3.1 program groups in two ways:
1. Double-click a .grp file to automatically convert it to a Windows
   95 folder.
2. Run the GRPCONV command with the /m parameter to display a dialog
   box in which you can select groups to convert.

[Open With]
To open an associated file with a different program, hold down Shift,
and then use the right mouse button to click the file. Click Open With
on the menu to open the file with a different program.

In Windows 95, hotkeys assigned to shortcuts in the Start Menu or
its subfolders can be used to start programs any time.

[Screen Resolution]
To quickly change screen resolution for different applications, use
the right mouse button to click the desktop, and then click the
Settings tab. In the Desktop Area, move the slider bar to the desired

[Context Help]
On the upper right side of each dialog box is a question mark button
(?). Click it and then click a control or item in the dialog box. A
short description of the item appears.

[Find Tool]
To find a file, mail message, computer, or file on The Microsoft
Network, use the Find command on the Start menu. In addition, you can
save a search in the Find dialog box by clicking Save Search on the
File menu.

[Bitmap Viewer]
MS Paint can serve as a bitmap viewer. Drag a bitmap icon onto an MS
Paint window to view it.

[File Names and Extensions]
The following are valid filenames for Windows 95 applications:
     12345678.ABC (MS-DOS name)
     12345678.ABCDEF (no limit on extensions)
     123456789012345678901234567890123456789.ABC (long filename)
     1234567890123456789012345678901234567890.ABCDEF (long filename
     and long extension)

This is a valid filename (long names with spaces that mean something).
To see the MS-DOS name associated with a long filename, use the right
mouse button to click the file, and then click Properties.

[Developer's Trick]
If you need to restart the taskbar (for example, when you've changed a
registry entry that you want to use), you can use CTRL+ALT+DEL to
remove Windows Explorer. When the Shutdown dialog box appears, click
No. At the next prompt, click End Task. The taskbar is removed, and
then restarts.

[Making an Emergency Startup Disk]
To create a complete emergency startup disk, double-click the
Add/Remove Programs icon in Control Panel, and then click the Startup
Disk tab.

[Undoing a File Move or File Rename]
If you forget where you just moved a file, or if you accidentally
rename a file, click Undo from the Edit menu (or press ALT+Backspace).

[Display Properties]
Use the right mouse button to click the desktop, and then click
Properties to change the desktop background, screen saver, appearance,
or video settings. To change your primary display font, change the
icon font on the Appearance tab.

[Tips for Using the Taskbar Clock]
Hold the mouse pointer over taskbar clock to see the date.

Double click the taskbar clock to set the system time, date, and time

To remove the clock from the taskbar:
1. Use the right mouse button to click the taskbar, and then click
2. Click the Taskbar Options tab, and uncheck Show Clock (or press C).

[Easy Access to Computer Properties]
To view your computer (system) properties, use the right mouse button
to click My Computer and then click Properties. If you have a
Microsoft Natural Keyboard, press Win+Break.

To view Network properties, use the right mouse
button to click Network Neighborhood, and then click Properties.

[Using the Cursor Keys Instead of a Mouse]
You can move the cursor without using the mouse by turning on
MouseKeys. Double-click the Accessibility Options icon in Control
Panel, click themouse tab, and then click Use MouseKeys.

[Easy Way to Access Control Panel]
1. Use the right mouse button to click the Start menu, and then click
2. Make a new directory in  the Start Menu folder named Control Panels
  (or whatever you want).
3. Open the original Control Panels folder, select all the icons, and
   then use the right mouse button to drag them into your new folder.
   This creates shortcuts to all the Control Panel icons.
4. Close everything, and then click the Start menu. When you point to
   your new folder, you should see all the Control Panel icons.

[Sending Objects by Using Send To]
You can drag any shortcut to the SendTo folder. This shortcut could be
to a printer, fax, network drive, or Windows application. To find the
SendTo folder, click the Start button, and then click Run. Type Sendto
in the Run dialog box. Use the right mouse button to drag the item's
icon into the Send To window. The shortcut will appear on the Send To
menu. Use the right mouse button to click a document or folder icon,
select Send To, and then select a destination item.


Article ID: 135893 - Last Review: November 15, 2006 - Revision: 1.2
  • Microsoft Windows 95
kbenable kbenablemove kbenablesight KB135893
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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