Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Learn How To Get More Out Of Your Browser*

I am doing a big on-site job today, and so I must re-post a prior article. This article describes how to get more out of Internet Explorer with the use of bookmarks (“Favorites” ) and tabs. Though Internet Explorer 7 debuted some time ago, the basic lessons are the same for the current version, IE 8; and the principles apply to other Web browsers, such as Firefox, as well.

Once again, I am reminded that the simple things often make the best topics. I showed my screen to a client during a support session, and they asked me “how do you do that?”ie icon

I didn’t know what they meant, and was startled to learn that what they wanted to know was – how did I have Internet Explorer “pre-set” to several of my mailboxes, and Google’s search page? To be more specific — they didn’t know about tabbed browsing, and weren’t real sure what Favorites were either.

Tip of the day: Stop repeating yourself, get the hang of IE 7’s features. Relatively new to IE (but not to Firefox, Opera, Netscape, and others) is a feature called “tabbed browsing” which allows you to open multiple websites within a single window, and quickly switch back-and-forth between them. In this screenshot you can see how my IE usually appears.

ie-tabs.jpg

As you can see, I typically have five “tabs” open: my Google home page, an online dictionary, Tech–for Everyone, Hotmail (now “Windows Live Hotmail”), and my ISP’s home page. When I shut down at night, I click IE’s red “X” — the big red one in the upper-right corner –and am presented with the window (You may see “You are about to close multiple tabs. Do you..?” Click on the “Show Options” link.) shown below.

opentabs.jpg

and I select (check) “Open these tabs the next time I use Internet Explorer”. This option allows me to skip having to open five tabs and navigating to each of my regular websites each morning.

To open a new tab, and this works in every browser I’m familiar with, press Ctrl+T. Depending on your Settings selection (under “Tabs” in Internet Options) this new tab will open to your current Home Page, or to a “blank page”, as shown below.

blankie.jpg

Now I can type “http://www.mychoiceofsite.com” (no quotes) into the browser bar, and there I am. Or I can click on the gold star for my list of Favorites, and launch (open) a site from there.

“Favorites” is Microsoft’s word for “bookmarks”, and in the world of PC’s the two words are interchangeable. If I stumble across a particularly interesting and/or useful Website that I know I will be returning to frequently, I can “bookmark it” by clicking on the green + on-top-of-the-gold-star icon and select “Add to Favorites” (or hit Ctrl+D). My mailboxes, my favorite tech websites, Google, and an online dictionary are in my Favorites list, so I can launch (open) them with a click — which saves on my typing.

To close a tab, simply click on its “x”; which is not red but grey. The tab must be “active” (selected) to be closed.

tabs.jpg

Now set your Tabs options to keep all your browsing in one instance of IE (instead of opening another IE, a new tab will open). In the upper right corner, click on the “Tools” menu and select “Internet Options”. Look down to the Tabs area and click on the Settings button.

tabs2.jpg

Now select the radio buttons to change “in a new window” to “in a new tab”, as shown below.

tabs3.jpg

Related articles:
Restore Missing Favorites In IE*

Internet Explorer Runtime Error!!*

Quick Tip: Turn on ClearType in Internet Explorer

Can’t Download? Reset IE

How To Clear Your Cache

View Multiple Mail Identities in One Browser

Extracting text from Web pages*

Precautions for your Internet privacy*

Quick Tip: Customize new tabs behavior

IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*

Internet/E-mail Troubleshooting – JavaScript

What is a “homepage”?

How to use tabs in IE 7

Saving webpages as files

Today’s free download: (You knew this was coming … right?) An application that has gained quite a name for itself is the “alternative” browser called Firefox. If you haven’t tried this powerful, free program, nor learned about its nifty “Add ons”, I suggest you give it a test drive now. Click here to download Firefox and then click the Tools menu and then Add ons. I suggest you start with NoScript and AdBlock Plus, and then explore the vast assortment.

*Orig post: 2/4/2010

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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April 29, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, IE 7, ie 8, Internet, Microsoft, PC, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Get More Out Of Your Browser – Learn How To Use Tabs And Favorites

I am doing a big on-site job today, and so I must re-post a prior article. This article describes how to get more out of IE 7 with the use of bookmarks (“Favorites” ) and tabs. Though Internet Explorer 7 debuted some time ago, the basic lessons are the same for the current version, IE 8; and the principles apply to other Web browsers, such as Firefox, as well.ie icon

Once again, I am reminded that the simple things often make the best topics. I showed my screen to a client during a support session, and they asked me “how do you do that?”

I didn’t know what they meant, and was startled to learn that what they wanted to know was how did I have Internet Explorer “pre-set” to several of my mailboxes, and Google’s search page. To be more specific — they didn’t know about tabbed browsing, and weren’t real sure what Favorites were either.

Tip of the day: Stop repeating yourself, get the hang of IE 7’s features. New to IE (but not to Firefox, Opera, Netscape, and others) is a feature called “tabbed browsing” which allows you to open multiple websites within a single window, and quickly switch back-and-forth between them. In this screenshot you can see how my IE usually appears.

ie-tabs.jpg

As you can see, I typically have five “tabs” open: my Google home page, an online dictionary, Tech–for Everyone, Hotmail (now “Windows Live Hotmail”), and my ISP’s home page. When I shut down at night, I click IE’s red “X” — the big red one in the upper-right corner –and am presented with the window (You may see “You are about to close multiple tabs. Do you..?” Click on the “Show Options” link.) shown below.

opentabs.jpg

and I select (check) “Open these tabs the next time I use Internet Explorer”. This option allows me to skip having to open five tabs and navigating to each of my regular websites each morning.

To open a new tab, and this works in every browser I’m familiar with, press Ctrl+T. Depending on your Settings selection (under “Tabs” in Internet Options) this new tab will open to your current Home Page, or to a “blank page”, as shown below.

blankie.jpg

Now I can type “http://www.mychoiceofsite.com” (no quotes) into the browser bar, and there I am. Or I can click on the gold star for my list of Favorites, and launch (open) a site from there.

“Favorites” is Microsoft’s word for “bookmarks”, and in the world of PC’s the two words are interchangeable. If I stumble across a particularly interesting and/or useful Website that I know I will be returning to frequently, I can “bookmark it” by clicking on the green + on-top-of-the-gold-star icon and select “Add to Favorites” (or hit Ctrl+D). My mailboxes, my favorite tech websites, Google, and an online dictionary are in my Favorites list, so I can launch (open) them with a click — which saves on my typing.

To close a tab, simply click on its “x”; which is not red but grey. The tab must be “active” (selected) to be closed.

tabs.jpg

Now set your Tabs options to keep all your browsing in one instance of IE (instead of opening another IE, a new tab will open). In the upper right corner, click on the “Tools” menu and select “Internet Options”. Look down to the Tabs area and click on the Settings button.

tabs2.jpg

Now select the radio buttons to change “in a new window” to “in a new tab”, as shown below.

tabs3.jpg

Related articles:

Restore Missing Favorites In IE*

Internet Explorer Runtime Error!!*

Quick Tip: Turn on ClearType in Internet Explorer

Can’t Download? Reset IE

How To Clear Your Cache

View Multiple Mail Identities in One Browser

Extracting text from Web pages*

Precautions for your Internet privacy*

Quick Tip: Customize new tabs behavior

IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*

Internet/E-mail Troubleshooting – JavaScript

What is a “homepage”?

How to use tabs in IE 7

Saving webpages as files

Today’s free download: (You knew this was coming … right?) An application that has gained quite a name for itself is the “alternative” browser called Firefox. If you haven’t tried this powerful, free program, nor learned about its nifty “Add ons”, I suggest you give it a test drive now. Click here to download Firefox and then click the Tools menu and then Add ons. I suggest you start with NoScript and AdBlock Plus, and then explore the vast assortment.

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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February 4, 2010 Posted by | browsers, computers, how to, IE 7, ie 8, Internet, performance, tech, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How To Copy Your Bookmarks

Internet “bookmarks” (called “Favorites” in Internet Explorer) make it easy for you to return to a particular Web page. And if you’re like me, you have collected a few, and maybe even come to rely on them. It is much, much easier to pick a name from a list than it is to remember and type in a Website’s address!

Loyal readers of this site know that I am a huge fan of making backups of your digital stuff. Making a copy before you need it, and keeping it off to the side, makes bouncing back from “glitches” so much easier. And it prevents the anguish and frustration of “data loss”. Backups are “good” and you want them.

Tip of the day: Today’s tip is a quick and simple action that “exports” a copy of your Internet “Favorites” (aka “bookmarks”) from Internet Explorer. You can then “import” the copy (copy back) at a later date, or transfer them into IE on a different machine. In short, it makes a copy of your list, and saves it as a file.

1) Internet Explorer calls Website bookmarks “Favorites” and you access your list by clicking the gold star icon (upper left), and you add websites to your list by clicking on the icon right next to it — the gold star overlaid with the green + sign.
That is also the icon that manages your Favorites, so click that.

Imp_Exp

2) click on “Import and Export”.

3) Now a “wizard” will open and tell us how helpful it can be to us. Click “Next” to get to the actually helpful page.

ExportWizard

4) Click on “Export Favorites”, and then click “Next” all the way through the wizard. Now you will have a file called “bookmark.htm” in your Documents folder — that is your backup copy.
[note: you can “browse” to a different Save location if you prefer.]

That’s it. You’re done. Now you can repeat this process but choose “Import” to copy it back into IE if you ever need to.. or transfer it to another machine’s Internet Explorer.

For more of my Internet Explorer tips, see Quick Tips for Internet Explorer.

Today’s free link: Firefox users interested in this type of ability will be interested to know that the process is almost identical to the steps above.. or they may be interested in a more comprehensive tool, The easy way to backup your Firefox profiles…

Today’s free download(s):
Today’s first free download is for Mozilla users and is contained in the link directly above.
For a truly comprehensive backup tool, see Backup, Backup, Backup With Free DriveImage XML

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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August 29, 2009 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, how to, Internet | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

How To Make A Copy Of Your Favorites List

Loyal readers of this site know that I am a huge fan of making backups of your digital stuff. Making a copy before you need it, and keeping it off to the side, makes bouncing back from “glitches” so much easier. And it prevents the anguish and frustration of “data loss”.
Backups are “good” and you want them.

Tip of the day: Today’s tip is a quick and simple action that “exports” a copy of your Internet “Favorites” (aka “bookmarks”) from Internet Explorer. You can then “import” the copy (copy back) at a later date, or transfer them into IE on a different machine.

1) Internet Explorer calls Website bookmarks “Favorites” and you access your list by clicking the gold star icon (upper left), and you add websites to your list by clicking on the icon right next to it — the gold star overlaid with the green + sign.
That is also the icon that manages your Favorites, so click that.

Imp_Exp

2) click on “Import and Export”.

3) Now a “wizard” will open and tell us how helpful it can be to us. Click “Next” to get to the actually helpful page.

ExportWizard

4) Click on “Export Favorites”, and then click “Next” all the way through the wizard. Now you will have a file called “bookmark.htm” in your Documents folder — that is your backup copy.
[note: you can “browse” to a different Save location if you prefer.]

That’s it. You’re done. Now you can repeat this process but choose “Import” to copy it back into IE if you ever need to.. or transfer it to another machine’s Internet Explorer.

For more of my Internet Explorer tips, see Quick Tips for Internet Explorer.

Today’s free link: Firefox users interested in this type of ability will be interested to know that the process is almost identical to the steps above.. or they may be interested in a more comprehensive tool, The easy way to backup your Firefox profiles…

Today’s free download(s):
Today’s first free download is for Mozilla users and is contained in the link directly above.
For a truly comprehensive backup tool, see Backup, Backup, Backup With Free DriveImage XML

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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June 30, 2009 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, how to, IE 7, Internet, PC, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Restore Bookmarks in Firefox– quick tip

Earlier this week I posted a “quick tip” on restoring your Internet Explorer “Favorites” (everybody else calls them ‘bookmarks’), and quite naturally and predictably I received a question asking how do you do that in Firefox — the world’s most popular “alternative” Web browser.
So, here goes.

Like IE, Firefox’s Bookmarks are a list of URL’s saved into a file (localstore.rdf) that can be “imported”, “exported” to other browsers, or Saved as a comma-separated-values file (.csv) or HTML file. This file can become corrupted, or deleted, and your Bookmarks will no longer appear. To restore your “favorite” websites to your Bookmarks..

Method 1: (Firefox 2)
1) Close any instances of Firefox (hereafter referred to as “FF”) you have open/running and then launch FF in Safe Mode by clicking Start> Mozilla Firefox> Mozilla Firefox (Safe Mode).

2) In the dialogue box, select (check) “Reset Toolbars and Controls.
2
and click the “Make Changes and Restart” button.

3) Close FF and then start it (aka “launch”/”open”) again in normal mode.

That’s it. You’re done. You should now see your bookmarks.
If you don’t…

Method 2: (Firefox 2) FF automatically generates a backup copy of your localstore.rdf, and you can “import” this copy into your Bookmarks.
1) press Ctrl+Shft+B (or select “Organize Bookmarks” under the Bookmarks menu).

2) In the new window, select File> Import, and then “From File”.

3) In the Open file search window, you need to “drill down” to
C:\Documents and Settings\user*\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles…where you’ll see a ‘dot default’ folder.
3

4) Open that folder, and then open the “Bookmark Backups” folder. Select the most recent one, and click the “Open” button.

Firefox 3: the new version of FF is “Firefox 3”, and it makes restoring the backup easier.
1) press Ctrl+Shft+B (or select “Organize Bookmarks” under the Bookmarks menu), and click the “Import and Backup” button.
4

2) Select “Restore” and choose the top date and hit “Enter”, and then “OK”.

Today’s free link: Today I’m putting it out to you, Dear Reader. I have provided over 300 links to free tools and great websites (so far) and I’m wondering.. is there a favorite of yours, and you haven’t seen it posted here yet?
Let me know– in a Comment — an item you think should appear here.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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July 12, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, Firefox, how to, missing files, PC, software, tech, troubleshooting | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

IE’s Favorites are missing– quick tip

Bookmarks (called “Favorites” in Internet Explorer) make returning to our favorite Websites an easy task, and I — for one — rely on mine. The other day I got a call from someone whose Favorites had disappeared. Quite naturally, I think, they wanted to get them back, and came to me for aid.

An important thing to understand is that Favorites and Bookmarks are shortcuts.. just like the icons on your Desktop are shortcuts to programs (.exe’s) located in your c:\Program Files folder.
Your Favorites are simply a list of shortcuts to URL’s, and when you click on the gold star Favorites icon, this list is displayed. You can “export” this list to other browsers, a comma-separated-values (.csv) file, or a HTML file.. And you can add and delete items from this list as your heart desires.

Tip of the day IE is a integral component to Windows, and Windows stores your custom configurations in your User Account– your Desktop icons, Theme, Settings, etc.. Windows allows for multiple users, and each person who uses the machine should have their own user account– it also has some built-in accounts, like Administrator, and Guest.

If your Favorites is empty, and not displaying any shortcuts, the first thing you should check is that you’re logged into your User Account. Click the Start button, and then choose “Log off” (or “Switch User”, depending) and verify that you are indeed logged into your user profile (and not Guest or Admin..).

If this is not the issue, navigate to the folder that contains the shortcuts list– this is called “Favorites”, and it’s located in your User folder. In XP, your User folder is in the Documents and Setting folder, so your path is c:\Documents and Settings\User*.
In Vista, it’s c:\Users\user.
Fav's

Open the Favorites folder and see if your bookmarks are there. If they’re not, well, something’s happened to them somehow, and this might be a cause for concern (has a hacker been playing on your machine?) or it might not.
To restore the shortcuts, you can “import” a .csv, or .html ‘export’ you made earlier (hint, hint).. or copy the contents from a backup copy of your Favorites folder (which, because you follow my advice, you have on CD/DVD and another drive).

Or, you have never exported and haven’t backed up your files and folders.. (ahem), well, here is where you can try System Restore to revert your computer to an earlier date. System Restore does not restore deleted files, but it does store User Account information, and so you may have luck this way.
My article on using System Restore is here.

Today’s free link: PowerISO is a powerful CD/DVD image file processing tool, which allows you to open, extract, create, edit, burn, compress, encrypt, split and convert ISO files, and mount these files with internal virtual drive. It can process almost all CD-ROM image files including ISO and BIN.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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July 8, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, IE 7, missing files, PC, software, System Restore, tech, troubleshooting, Windows | , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

User State Migration the Vista way

For those of you who have ever used a User State Migration Tool, or Easy Files and Settings Transfer tool, to migrate your data from an old computer to your new computer — or purchased a special program, or cable — you know that getting your new machine exactly as you had your old machine required some time and effort.

The other day, the proud owner of a new laptop wanted me to replicate his XP set up onto the new Vista machine, and the usual method has been to to use one of the techniques mentioned in the paragraph above. But I didn’t. I used an adjunct to Window’s built-in Easy Files and Settings Transfer tool, which will be today’s free link.
I downloaded this program to both his XP machine and the new Vista machine. Then I connected his XP machine via wireless. Surprise! The XP machine was instantly seen and recognized.

Then I launched the Windows Easy Transfer Companion on the Vista PC and followed the wizard. The two machines established a “transfer” connection and the XP machine transferred its installed programs, and all the files, and all of the owners tweaks and settings (like bookmarks, and custom toolbars). All I did was watch.
This was, by far, the fastest and easiest user state migration I’ve ever experienced, and truly was painless. This is bad for a PC Tech’s bottom line, but great for Vista owners.

Today’s free link: When you buy a new PC, you will almost certainly want to transfer all kinds of things from the machine you’ve been using to the new one. Microsoft has “a companion” for the Easy Files and Settings Transfer tool called the Windows Easy Transfer Companion. It is actually a ‘stand-alone’. This tool not only transfers your documents and personalized Settings tweaks, but the programs you have installed. This is a huge time saver.
I did my transfer over the local network, but you can use the other methods of data storage to make the transfer as well– including USB thumb drives. [Note: while Microsoft still considers this program to be in beta, I have experienced absolutely no hiccups or difficulties at all.]

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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June 6, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, file system, hardware, how to, PC, software, tech, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments