Start Your Screensaver with a Mouse-Click
+ Spell-Checking in Outlook Express
Personal computers always come with a screensaver, which displays itself after a certain period
of mouse or keyboard inactivity. However, you don't have to settle for the self-promoting Windows
Logo screensaver — you can find several others by right-clicking your Desktop, and choosing
Here you can also change the number of minutes of inactivity required to launch the screensaver. You can also look under Theme and choose from some matching background and screensaver combinations for your Desktop.
The original purpose of a screensaver was to "save a screen" from having text or picture images "burned into it" when something remained static on the monitor for an extended period of time. Although modern screens are said not to have this shortcoming, screensavers continue to be popular probably because many users enjoy seeing their clever animations.
Starting Your Screensaver Instantly
Ann Marie Lorenzini called to ask if there is any way to make a screensaver start instantly with her mouse. Yes, I replied, go to Start>Search>All Files & Folders and type .SCR into the All or Part of File Name box. I also said to click on More Advanced Options and be sure that Search System Folders and Search Subfolders are checked. Finally, I said to click on Search.
SCR is the extension appended to all screensaver file names, and the above steps will display a list of all those on your computer. Double-click them to see what each screensaver looks like in action.
After deciding on one you prefer, right-click its name and choose Send To>Desktop (Create Shortcut). An icon will appear on your Desktop which, when double-clicked, will initiate the screensaver instantly. If you'd like to be able to do this with a single mouse-click, drag the icon into the Quick Launch area of your Taskbar. The original icon will remain on your Desktop and will create a single-click copy on your Taskbar.
If you don't see a Quick Launch area on your Taskbar (identified by a right-pointing chevron: ») right-click the Taskbar and choose Toolbars>Quick Launch to create one. You can also drag icons of other frequently-used programs into this area.
Some of us prefer no screensaver and just have the monitor go blank after the inactive time period. Choose None under Screensaver and then choose a background (a.k.a. wallpaper) under Desktop. To have a plain background, choose a color under Desktop>Color.
Spell-Checking in Outlook Express & Windows Live Mail
On another matter, Paul Gerard called to say the Outlook Express that came with his new computer has no spell-checker. Well, Outlook Express has never had a spell-checker of its own — it has always used the one that comes with MSWord. However, Windows Live Mail — Microsoft's new replacement for Outlook Express — does come complete with all of MSWord's spell-checking options.
Although intended for inclusion with Vista, WinXP users can download and use Live Mail from
www.microsoft.com. It is similar to Outlook Express, but has several advanced features, which I'll review in future columns.
Email & Phone Information on Don Can Be Found Here