Don Edrington's  PC Chat   nct-3.gif
Computer Tutor Don appears twice weekly in San Diego's North County Times & in Riverside County's The Californian.

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May 5, 2002 Handy "Zoom" View Trick - A Number of Uses for the Ctrl Key
May 7, 2002 Viruses - Real & Phony + Accessibility Options for the Physically Challenged + Inserting & Other Symbols
May 12, 2002 More RAM Can Help "Illegal Operation" Problems + WinME vs WinXP + Using Notepad & "Yellow Stickies"
May 14, 2002 Moving Address Books, Equipment Failure Questions, Creating a Startup Disk
May 19, 2002 More on Viruses & Virus Hoaxes - Managing Your Startup List - Squeezing More onto a 3.5" Disk
May 21, 2002 "Automatic AOL" Problems + Copying AOL Address Book + Handy "JotSmart" Program
May 26, 2002 Using AOL's Personal Filing Cabinet + Folders in Outlook Express & Windows Explorer
May 28, 2002 Murphy's Law (3 Laptops Break Down in 3 Days) + Firewall Information
May 28
Murphy's Law (3 Laptops Break Down in 3 Days) + Firewall Information
   Would you believe that I recently had three laptop computers break down in as many days? Over the past few months I've been switching from using desktop PCs to using two laptops, and finally got all my important data onto them.
   I've come to prefer notebooks because the newer ones have very nearly the same power and versatility of their desktop equivalents, plus the advantage of being portable. I took them as carry-ons on my recent trip to New York and enjoyed being able to use them while in the air. Beyond this, they serve as backups to each other, meaning that if one goes down I can still use the other while the broken one is being fixed.

Good Idea in Theory
   Imagine my surprise when one stopped working (because the AC port and battery charger failed) and the following day the other one's Ethernet card failed, meaning I couldn't access my ISP's cable network and much of my recent email. So I took the first one in for warranty service and was given a loaner to use while it was in the shop. Guess what - the loaner's keyboard began malfunctioning the second day I had it.
   Okay, to make a long, agonizing story short, I had all but my most recent data backed up on CDs, and frantically began to resurrect my now cobweb-covered desktop PC. The moral of this story is: continue to backup all your important data on a regular basis. With read/writable CD drives as reasonably priced as they've become, and as cheap as the blank CDs are, there's no excuse for not making regular backups.

Data Lost Only Temporarily
   As for my "lost" email on the laptop that's in for repair, I'll have it back in 6-8 weeks, since the hard drive was in no way damaged.

   Fred Bloss wrote asking me to comment on a recent letter to the NCTimes editor saying that all computer users need a "firewall" to protect against the potential theft of valuable personal information. Yes, a firewall is definitely needed by computer users who connect to the Internet via a cable modem or DSL. Cable connections, by their very nature, are hooked up in such a way as to allow virtually unlimited access from one computer to another, meaning anyone who can connect to your cable system could, conceivably, access your computer and everything on your hard drive. Those who get online via a standard telephone dial-up connection don't have this particular vulnerability.

Firewall = Virus Protection?
   Does having a firewall protect against viruses? No. Viruses usually arrive via email attachments, meaning we should all use an antivirus program. Furthermore, we need to keep our antivirus software constantly updated, since the virus-writers are always working on new infections to get past existing defenses. It's a never-ending game of leapfrog. This is why your protection software doesn't always spot every virus, and why you should never accept an email with an attachment you weren't expecting - especially when the attachment claims to be an "antivirus tool."
   Aside from this, Norton/Symantec offers free online virus checking, and a link to this site can be found at the bottom of my home page at
   Getting back to firewalls, they, too, have their limitations. For instance, they can be set to ask "yes/no" each time there's an attempt to access your computer. Obviously, saying "yes" at the wrong time could let a hacker in. Normally, however, once you've told the firewall which sites are allowed to access your computer, and which your computer are allowed to access, individual yes/no decisions are required less often.
   Where does one get a firewall? Well, they're for sale everywhere, with Norton/Symantec probably being the best-known supplier. However, I'm very satisfied with ZoneAlarm ( which offers a free firewall to individual home users.

Firewall Built Into Windows XP
   WindowsXP comes with an available built-in firewall, which can be activated by going to "Network Connections" and clicking the cable connection you want to protect. Under Network Tasks, go to Change Settings, Advanced, Internet Connection Firewall, and choose the system best for you. I should mention, however, that I've heard that this feature of WinXP is not all that great and that ZoneAlarm's free firewall is much more reliable.

May 26
Using AOL's Personal Filing Cabinet + Folders in Outlook Express & Windows Explorer
   AOL user Mike Breit wrote to say he always clicks "Save to Filing Cabinet" after receiving one of these newsletters, but that he then can't find the Filing Cabinet. Well, in earlier versions of AOL this folder was easy to find since it was represented by a "file cabinet" icon on the toolbar. In versions 6.0 and 7.0, however, one has to click on Mail, More, Filing Cabinet to find the "Incoming/Saved Mail" and "Sent Mail" folders.
   This is also where you can also make your own special folders by clicking "Create Folder." Then, when new mail is opened and "Save to Filing Cabinet" is clicked, all folder names will be displayed.
   To organize your mail even further, you can create folders inside of folders, any of which can be opened or closed with a mouse double-click. If you want your mail to be automatically saved to the "default" Incoming and Sent folders, go to Settings, Preferences, Filing Cabinet and mark your choices.
   CompuServe 6.0 and 7.0 users will find these choices by clicking on Mail, Filing Cabinet. CS users of earlier versions need to press Ctrl+F to reach their Filing Cabinet. In 6.0 and 7.0 Ctrl+F initiates the Find command, as it does in most Windows applications.
   Outlook Express users can create special folders by right-clicking any existing one and choosing "New Folder." Incoming mail can then be dragged and dropped into any folder - or a letter can be right-clicked, whereupon "Move to Folder" and "Copy to Folder" choices can be found.

Managing Folders in Windows Explorer
   Speaking of folders, all Windows users should have a basic understanding of how their hard disks are organized. If you think of your "C" drive as a huge "filing cabinet" you can visualize its contents as being divided up into folders which hold our files, and which can hold additional folders as well.
   Get into Windows Explorer by right-clicking Start and choosing Explore. A double-paned window will be displayed showing a list of "yellow folders" in the left pane. Double-clicking any of these folders will display a listing of its contents in the right pane. Any folders that appear in the right pane can then be double-clicked to display their contents.
   Back in the left pane you'll notice that some folders have a "plus sign" (+) in front of them. This symbol says that its folder contains one or more additional folders. A single-click on any plus sign will change it to a minus sign and tell its folder to list all its folders below it, some of which may have plus signs of their own. A single click on any minus sign (-) will reverse the process.

Make Your Own Folders
   Creating a special folder of your own can be done by right-clicking anywhere on your Desktop and choosing "New Folder." A yellow icon will appear with a label below it, into which you can type a name for the folder. The next time you get into Windows Explorer you'll find this folder listed alphabetically under "Desktop" in the left pane.
   One thing that tends to be a little confusing about Windows, though, is that the "Desktop" is actually a folder, and that it can be found listed under C:\Windows\Desktop. However, since it's the folder that's displayed first when we turn on our computers, it's always listed separately at the top of the left Explorer pane. (Windows XP can be even more confusing, since multiple Desktops can be located in different places.)
   To create a new folder inside an existing one, double-click into it and go to File, New, Folder. Give it a name and it, too, will be listed in Windows Explorer as described above. Any files you create can then be sent to any folder by going File, Save As, and choosing it from the dropdown Explorer box at the top of your active window.
   Beyond this, any file (or any folder) can be moved into any folder by dragging and dropping it while in Windows Explorer. Exceptions to this rule, generally speaking, are "system" files and folders, which are meant to remain where Windows put them.

May 21
"Automatic AOL" Problems + Copying AOL Address Book + Handy "JotSmart" Program
   Regarding a recent column in which I said AOL offers no easy way to copy one's Address Book, Shelley Marler wrote to say she'd found a way to copy its actual email addresses. Start a new, blank email by clicking Write, and then click Address Book. Click on a name and then click on Send To. The name will appear in the Send To box. Repeat this with each name in the Address Book. Each email address will be added to the list, with all separated by commas.
   Once all the addresses are in the Send To box, right-click inside of it and choose Select All. Do another right-click and choose Copy. At this point all the email addresses will have been copied to the Windows clipboard, whereupon they can be pasted into any text-editing document by doing Ctrl+V. Admittedly, this procedure does not include the names and other data which often accompany an email address. They still need to be copied and pasted one at a time.
   Keep in mind, as well; although email sent between AOL members does not require "" to be part of the address (screen name) other services will require it. Also, AOL allows screen names with blank spaces. These spaces need to be removed before any other email service will recognize the address. As an example, "my pal" is a perfectly valid screen name (email address) for messages sent between AOL users, but it must be changed to "" to be recognized elsewhere.
   All the above also applies to CompuServe screen names, whose syntax rules are compatible and interchangeable with those of AOL.

Keeping AOL from Self-Starting when Not Wanted
   Regarding a recent complaint that AOL launches itself when it's not wanted, a couple of users wrote to suggest typing in keyword "Automatic AOL" and UNdoing the "automatic start" options that can be found there.

"JotSmart" - a Very Useful "Note-Jotting" Program
   Adrian Alting-Mees wrote to describe a program he created called JotSmart. The program is similar to "Yellow Stickey Notes" (a free utility available at but is many, many times more versatile. In addition to letting you type notes into a "pad" it allows you to capture text and graphics that may have arrived in an email or found on a Web page. I find the program to be extraordinarily helpful in creating "screen shots" for a book I'm working on.
   A "screen shot" is a "captured" image of something seen on your screen. If, for instance, an error message pops up on my screen and I want to take a "snapshot" of it for future reference, I press my PrntScrn key. This is the same idea as doing "Select All" and "Copy" of everything on my screen. When I launch PaintBrush (by going to Start, Run and typing in PBRUSH) I can then do Ctrl+V to Paste the image into the graphic-editing program.
   Finally, I use the Selection Tool to draw a box around the error message and do Ctrl+C to copy the image, which I can then paste back into PaintBrush or into a word-processing document with Ctrl+V. Well, JotSmart makes this process much easier. A click on the JotSmart icon places an adjustable rectangle on top of whatever is showing on your screen. This box is similar to those used in scanner programs to outline just the material you actually want to scan.
   Click the "Save" icon and everything inside the box can be captured and converted to a JPG image, which can then be pasted into an email or just about anywhere. Additionally, you can type in text, draw with a pencil tool and highlight items with a marker, causing JotSmart to serve as a mini-image-editor. There are numerous other features; but you can try them for yourself, using a free 45-day evaluation period. The program can be downloaded from

Managing Startup Programs for Win95 Users
   In regard to using Start, Run, MSCONFIG, to find the list of programs which start up when your computer is turned on, Windows 95 users don't have MSCONFIG. They need to get into Windows Explorer and use the following path to find this list: Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. There you can delete any shortcut to whose program you do not need running in the background.

May 19
More on Viruses & Virus Hoaxes
   It seems that every other email I receive lately has a virus attached or is a virus hoax. The former arrives with a subject line like "Let's be friends" or "WinXP Patch" or even "Tool to fix W32.Klez," which is the actual virus attached to the letter. Your best defense is to simply delete any email that bears an attachment, unless it's one you're expecting. Should you, however, unknowingly delete a legitimately sent email and attachment, they can always be resent.
   As for the HOAX, the advice to delete "jdbgmgr.exe" appears to have convinced lots of folks to do just that, even though the file is a standard "Java debugger" from Microsoft. Many are now writing to ask how the file can be restored.
   One way is to reinstall Internet Explorer, which is freely available from Another is to download the actual file from Microsoft at
   For reliable information about anything regarding viruses, go to, where Symantec/Norton also offers a free online virus-checking and repair service.
   For more information on Virus Hoaxes and all kinds of "Urban Myths" go to
   Gloria Jean wrote say AOL has a way of launching itself at unexpected times and asked how this can be stopped. The fix is to get AOL out of the System Tray, which is the area next to the Taskbar Clock. Most PCs nowadays have all kinds of programs scheduled to start up and run in the background whenever the computer is booted.

Managing Your Startup List
   The theory is that having these programs already running will allow them to be activated more quickly when needed. The fact is that many of these programs need not be running, and doing so simply consumes system resources and can slow down your consumer's overall performance. These programs can be found listed by going to Start, Run and typing in MSCONFIG. Click OK and choose the Startup tab.
   Here you'll find a list of checked "shortcuts" which tell these programs to start running at boot-up. Unchecking a file's box does not delete the program, it merely keeps it from starting before it's needed. One program many of us do want running at startup is our virus-checker. Some folks like having their "Maintenance Scheduler" set to do Scandisk and Defrag at regular intervals. I, personally, like having my "Yellow Sticky" icon displayed in the System Tray because I use it so often.
   But applications like your ISP or any of the "media player" programs (such as RealPlayer and Quicktime) have no reason to be running until they are actually needed. If, however, you uncheck a program's box which you later decide you want running at startup, it can always be rechecked.

Squeezing More onto a 3.5" Disk
   In this age of recordable CD systems, the 3.5" floppy disk is being used less and less. If, however, you do want to save a file to the small disk, and find that it's too large to fit, a free program called Splitter can be downloaded from This handy utility will divide a file into sections which are small enough to fit on two or more floppies.
   But this is not the only means of getting a large file onto a small disk. WinZip is designed to compress files so they will take up less space on a disk, as well as travel phone lines faster when attached to an email. Space here doesn't permit giving a full-length tutorial on using the program (which does come with its own built-in tutorial) but if you right-click a file and choose "Add to Zip" you'll be guided into "zipping" (compressing) and "unzipping" (decompressing) it. Choosing "Zip & email" will compress the file and attach it to a letter you've composed.
   If you don't have WinZip, a free "evaluation copy" can be downloaded from WindowsXP comes with its own built-in "zip" program, which can be learned about by going to Help.
   If the large file you'd like to squeeze onto a small disk happens to be a word-processing file, you have a couple of options. You can simply copy and paste individual sections of the document onto as many disks are needed. If the document consists of "plain text" the file can be made much smaller by going to File, Save As and choosing Plain Text in the Files of Type box.

May 14
Those Amazing Cell Phones
   Cell phones are truly amazing things. When I arrived in Staten Island recently, my laptop PC was still displaying California time; but my cell phone had updated itself to New York time. Also, while riding a Staten Island train, I received a call from a San Diego reader who asked if there was an easy way to move his CompuServe Address Book to a new ISP.
   I had to tell him, sadly, neither CompuServe, nor its parent company AOL, provides any way to transfer an Address Book other than by copying and pasting it one address at a time.

Importing & Exporting Address Books
   Outlook Express, on the other hand, lets you go to File, Export, Address Book, where choosing "Text File, CSV (Comma Separated Values)" is usually the easiest way to copy and paste the data into another Address Book.
   Conversely, you can go to File, Import, Address Book to bring one in from certain other e-mail programs.
   A Netscape Address Book, can be exported by going to Communicator, Address Book, File, Export and saving it as a CSV or TXT text file. Netscape's File, Import, Address Book will also work with certain other e-mail programs.
   Kathy Hodges wrote to ask how to display her Contact List (a.k.a. Address Book) in Outlook Express. This is done by going to View, Layout, and checking the Contacts box.

Equipment Failure Questions
  A question I’m frequently asked is why someone’s printer has suddenly stopped working. There are obviously many possibilities here, including the cable between the printer and PC not being secured properly at one or both ends. If your equipment allows the use of a USB cable, this choice will always be easier to work with than the older, more awkward LPT1 cables and connectors.
   However, the solution that seems to work in many cases is simply reinstalling the printer’s drivers. This can be done by inserting the CD that came with the printer and following the installation prompts. If the CD can’t be found, the drivers can be freely download from the printer manufacturer's Web site.
   Sometimes the problem is having had drivers for multiple printers installed, and the one listed as “default” not being the one you want to use. After going to File, Print, a list of printers can be found by clicking the down arrow next to Printer Name. If any of the names showing are for printers on longer in service, go to Start, Settings, Printers and delete their icons.
   When an internal device stops working, such as a CD drive, it can often be fixed by simply deleting its icon from Device Manager and rebooting the computer. Win98/ME/XP and later will normally find the device during the reboot and restore its settings. A shortcut for getting there is to tap your Pause/Break key while holding down your Windows key. Finally, go to Hardware, Device Manager.

Using a Startup Disk
   I’m also asked periodically why a computer refuses to boot up properly. Without being there to see what’s happening, the best short-range solution is to use the 3.5” “boot disk” which was, hopefully, created when Windows was originally installed. The disk won’t fix the problem, but it will get your computer to boot up so it can, hopefully, be checked out.
   If you don’t have a boot disk, insert a blank 3.5” into your A drive. Win98 and WinME users will then go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. Choose the Startup Disk tab and click Create Disk.
   WinXP users should go to Start, My Computers. Click the A drive icon and choose Format, Create an MS-DOS Startup Disk.

Using Macros
   There are other questions which just can’t be easily answered in a single newspaper column or even in an e-mail reply. For instance, I’m asked periodically about creating and using Macros in MSWord and/or Excel. Well, a Macro is a “recording” of a number of specific keystrokes which are used to accomplish a particular task. If the task is one that’s frequently repeated, having a Macro “recording” of its steps will make it faster and easier to do in the future. All I can offer here is that you go to Help, Macros in Word or Excel and read their instructions.

May 12
More RAM Can Help Fix "Illegal Operation" Problems
   Rarely do I go a week without being asked why a computer locks up, along with its monitor displaying: "This program has performed an illegal operation, etc."
   The most common reason for this is that more programs are running than the computer's RAM (random access memory) can handle. This condition usually forces the user into rebooting, which often solves the problem by closing all programs and clearing memory.
   A more permanent solution is to add more RAM. Most new programs require 128-256 MBs of RAM to run efficiently, while many older computers are still limping along on 32 or 64 MBs. Although RAM chips can be bought directly from manufacturers such as, the average home user is generally better off to have a local computer store do the job.
   If you still continue to get the "blue screen of death" it may be time for a new computer, or a repair job on the old one, which might cost nearly as much as a new machine.

WindowsME vs WindowsXP
   I've also been asked about the pros and cons of upgrading to WindowsME or WindowsXP. Well, it's worth noting that ME hadn't been out all that long before XP was introduced. I have both, and find that XP is much more stable. The main downside of WinXP is that some older peripherals (scanners, etc.) are not recognized by XP and that their drivers need to be updated. If, for instance, you have an HP scanner that won't run under WinXP, log onto and click on DRIVERS. Choose your scanner's model number and you'll be prompted on how to download and install the needed driver.
   Having said that, I must acknowledge that Visioneer never did make a new driver available for my older scanner; so I went out and bought a new Epson for about $75, which is easier to use than the old Visioneer (which cost about $300 new). In any case, I'm still able to use the Visioneer with one of my older computers.

Using Notepad
   A program that all Windows users have, but which many are unaware of, is Notepad. It's a "plain text" word processor, which can be activated by going to Start, Run and typing NOTEPAD. It only allows you to use one style of plain black text, with no formatting allowed other than paragraph breaks and tabs. When a Notepad file is saved (by doing File, Save As, and giving it a name) it will have a .TXT extension. You've very likely received "help" files for various programs with names like README.TXT.
   So what use could the average home PC user find for Notepad? Well, if you've ever highlighted the entire contents of an email and then pasted it into your favorite word processor, you've discovered that all the email's special "table" formatting of the "headers" get pasted in, as well. However, if you were to paste everything into a Notepad file, all the "table" settings will be converted to "plain text" thus making subsequent editing easier to do.

Make It Easy with "Yellow Stickies"
   Having explained this, however, I've found a much easier way to do it. A Free Yellow Stickies program can be downloaded from my Home Page. A new, blank "sticky" can be launched with the click of an icon, which can be used to convert pasted-in HTML email to plain text. A new, blank sticky is small, but expands to accept whatever amount of text you put in it.
   The sticky can be saved by right-clicking the bar at its top and choosing Save As. The saved file will then be converted into a Notepad file, but the yellow sticky will remain on your Desktop for further use. It can be deleted at any time by clicking the X in its upper right corner. In other words, the stickey acts as a quickie way of creating a Notepad file. Furthermore, if you forget to name and save a sticky, it will still be on your Desktop the next time you reboot.
   I use stickies constantly to type all kinds of memos, and wonder how I ever got along without them. Space here won't let me list all the really useful things that can be done with the little rascals, but it's very rewarding to experiment and find out for yourself.

May 7
Viruses - Real & Phony + Accessibility Options for the Physically Challenged + Inserting & Other Symbols
   I've sure been getting hit with a lot of virus stuff lately, particularly by email that arrives with attachments ending in .ZIP. Some of the email is totally blank, while others contain messages like "I want you to enjoy this new web site." If you receive anything with a .ZIP attachment, delete it immediately; unless, of course, it's something you asked for and are expecting.
   The other thing I've been getting is email from well-intentioned friends passing along a message that says to delete a file called JDBGMGR.EXE because it's a virus. This is a hoax! The file is part of your Windows operating system and should NOT be deleted.
   The bottom line regarding virus threats is: install an antivirus program and keep it updated, and do NOT download any attachment you're not expecting. For a free online virus check from Norton/Symantec you can go to and click the link at the bottom of the page.
   When I recently asked if anyone had a good way to cancel printing on an HP printer I'd didn't expect to be buried in an avalanche of email. Harry Stultz wrote to say his DeskJet 930C has a Cancel button on it; however, everyone else said to simply remove the paper in the feed tray.
   Linda Breitman wrote to offer a helpful trick I'd never heard of. Your mouse can be programmed to automatically jump to the "default" button of any multi-button dialog box that opens. Go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, Mouse, Mouse Properties, Pointer Options and check the "Snap To" box. WinXP users go to Start, Control Panel, Mouse, Mouse Properties, Motion, and check the "Smart Move" box.
   The "default" button, by the way, is always the one with a darker outline, and can also be activated by simply pressing Enter. As for your cursor "snapping to" the button, it can still be moved to any other button.
   Speaking of little-known tricks, here are some others: if you find yourself typing a line of text in all capital letters because you unknowingly pressed your CAPS LOCK key, you can program this key to have a noticeable click when pressed, thus warning you it's been activated. Go to Control Panel, Accessibility Options and check off "Toggle Keys."
   Here you can also check off "Sticky Keys." This means that keystroke combinations which normally need to be held down all at once (such as CTRL-ALT-DEL) can be pressed one at a time to accomplish the same result. Why would anyone need this? Well, my assistant Mary Hanson has a disability that allows her to type with only one hand. Get the picture?
   In this same Accessibility Options area, "Filter Keys" can be checked to help eliminate the accidental repetitions of any key. Visually-impaired users can go to Display and check "High Contrast" to make their screens easier to read. Several other choices are available here to make things easier for folks with various disabilities. Check them out.
   Steve Guffanti wrote to say he's writing a book with MSWord, and asked how to add the TM (trade mark) symbol to a name that appears many times. Well, in Word TM can be created by typing (TM). All that needs to be done to add it to each occurrence of the name is to go to Edit, Replace and type the name into the Find box. Then, in the Replace With box, type the name followed by (TM) and click Replace All.
   Also in Word, typing (R) will create this: ® while typing (C) will generate this: ©. Typing :) will produce this:J.
   To see what other handy keyboard shortcuts are available go to Tools, AutoCorrect.

May 5
Handy "Zoom" View Trick - A Number of Uses for the Ctrl Key
   Steven Barisof wrote to let me know about a handy trick available in MSWord. If your mouse has a "scroll wheel" between its two buttons, you can change your screen "Zoom" view by rolling the wheel while holding down your CTRL key. The view will change in 10% increments, and this is a marvelously handy way to adjust your document's legibility as you work. Steven pointed out that this trick also work's in Word's Print Preview mode.
   This got me to wondering about other word processors, and I discovered that the trick also works with recent versions of WordPerfect and MSWorks. However, in the latter program the trick doesn't work in the Print Preview mode.
   But guess what - the trick also works with Internet Explorer - however when viewing a web page only the text size will change, leaving graphics unaltered. Nonetheless, both graphics and text will change in the above-mentioned word processors.
   Users of PaintShopPro can likewise move the mouse wheel to change the Zoom size of any graphic; and holding down the CTRL key is not necessary.
   It's also helpful to know that in PSP and the word processing applications, the Zoom view affects only the screen appearance of your document, while a print-out will still be in whatever font sizes you've chosen. However, changing the text size views, using Internet Explorer, will be reflected in the actual print-out of the Web page.

More Uses for Your CTRL Key
   Speaking of your Ctrl key, it has dozens of other handy uses. If you hold it down while dragging a word or phrase from one location to another in a word processing document, the text will be "copied" rather than "moved," thus leaving the original text in place.
   If you need to select multiple files in a folder, Ctrl will let you click and choose the ones you want for a group Delete, Copy, or whatever. Ctrl also lets you choose multiple rows or columns in programs like Excel.
   However, the most common use for the Ctrl key is to hold it down while pressing other keys, in order to accomplish a task normally done with one's mouse. Probably the most used keyboard shortcuts are Ctrl+X for Cut, Ctrl+C for Copy and Ctrl+V for Paste. Others combine Ctrl with S for Save, P for Print, F for Find, and A for Select All.
   With selected text, Ctrl+B will make it Bold, while Ctrl+I will Italicize it and Ctrl+U will cause it to be Underlined. With selected paragraphs Ctrl+E will Center them, Ctrl+L or R will Left align and Right align them. Ctrl+J will cause the selected text to be fully Justified.
   Ctrl+W is the same as File, Close in many programs, while Ctrl+G or H will initiate a Find and Replace dialog box. Most of these keyboard shortcuts also work on Macs by substituting the "Apple" key for Ctrl.
   Other popular keyboard shortcuts that work on most computers are F1 to bring up Help options and F7 to activate a Spell-Checker. Shift+F7 brings up the Thesaurus in most Microsoft programs. Also in most MS applications, Ctrl+Y reverses the action of Ctrl+Z, which means Redoing the last Undo.
   Holding down the Windows key while clicking E will bring up Windows Explorer, which is an area of Windows that all users should become familiar with. A shortcut for getting into System Tools is to hold down the Windows key while pressing the Pause-Break key. Alt+F4 can be used to Exit any program.

For a handy, downloadable & printable chart of these Keyboard Shortcuts, click here.

Problem Key
   One key that I, personally, think should be eliminated altogether is the Insert key. Although it can be programmed to perform the same action as Ctrl+V (Paste) in some programs, it usually ends up being more of a nuisance than a help.
   If, for instance, you've ever found that while doing some word processing you try to edit something in the middle of a sentence, only to find each keystroke "eating" the character to the right of your cursor, this means you've unknowingly pressed the Insert key. Press it again to get out of this bit of text editing quicksand.

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