Tech – for Everyone

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

Quick Tip: Customize new tabs behavior

One of the nice things about ‘modern’ web browsers is they let you open multiple sites in a single window through the use of “tabbed browsing”. This allows you to quickly flip back and forth between relevant sites.. while keeping an eye on your webmail Inboxes. No more minimizing/maximizing from your Taskbar.

One of the not so nice things about tabbed browsing is that when you hit Ctrl+T and open a new tab, it doesn’t go straight to where you want to go.. but opens to MSN (or some other pre-defined site) or more likely it says…
Yes. I know. I’m the one that hit Ctrl+T.
This may be tolerable.. and even informational, the first few times you ever use “tabbed browsing”.. but I do not particularly enjoy being told that I have just done something that I did on purpose (“You’ve typed some words”).
“You’ve opened a new tab” has got to go. Fortunately, this “Welcome to Tabbed Browsing” page has my very favorite-est computing checkbox on it (down towards the bottom), the “Don’t show this again” option. I love seeing this option. Place a check in the box, and the next time you open a new tab you will get…
Which is not only less insulting to my intelligence, but it loads faster. I like faster.

In Internet Explorer 7, there is a new tab behavior that just makes no sense to me, and I believe it is the default behavior (which makes even less sense)– that is, when you open a new tab, it doesn’t open next to your current Webpage.. but launches a whole ‘nother instance of IE.. and you’re back to Taskbar minimizing/maximizing again. This “option” shouldn’t even exist.. much less be the default: it is called the “Open in new window” setting. Let’s turn this off and force IE to keep all our work in one place– the current window.
From the “Tools” (a gray gear icon) menu in the upper-rt. corner, select Internet Options.
In the “Tabs” heading, click the “Settings” button to open up our tab behavior options.

You want to change the radio buttons in two places: the middle option, “When a pop-up is encountered” and “Open links from other programs” should be set to “new tab“. Click “OK”.
That’s it, you’re done. Now your browser will behave (more) the way you want it to.

* If your new tab opens to MSN (or some other pre-defined page [called a “homepage”]) and you don’t want to be exposed to the potentially dangerous Flash advertisements and/or it takes to long to load, or whatever reason, you can uncheck the box next to “Open home page for new tabs instead of a blank page”. Now Ctrl+T will always open to a quick blank tab. (When you do want to see MSN/homepage, click the house icon on your menu bar.)

* * Another alternative is to change the browser’s “home page” to a Website of your choosing — your ‘personalized’ page your ISP gave you, maybe. My Quick Tip article on how to do that is here. Note: if you do this, and want new tabs to open to your page, place a check in the box (option) mentioned in the paragraph above.

[Note: while these screenshots, and specific menu choices, are IE, the procedure applies to pretty much all web browsers. “Internet Options” may be named simply “Options”, or “Preferences”.]

Today’s free link: Some people need lists in order to function efficiently and actually get things done (I have found that if I ignore my lists, I can get a lot less accomplished). Todoist is an online list service that is clean and efficient and yet supports a large variety of complex services (nested lists, calendaring, e-mail integration, etc.) and integrations.

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

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April 17, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, IE 7, PC, tech, tweaks, Windows | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is a “homepage”?

How do I make Google my homepage? That’s a question that’s come my way quite a bit recently, and in the spirit of “it’s the simple things which make the best articles”, today I am going to tell you how to set your browser so that it opens to your favorite website.. or webmail Inbox.

Tip of the day: Set your browser to your favorite website.
When you first open your web browser (or, sometimes, when you open a new tab in your browser) it will go to a predefined website. This “default” website may be the Big Fix, or Sign up for AOL; or more probably, the MSN portal. Whatever the site, your browser was set to behave that way at the manufacturer’s, or the retailer’s. Sometimes installing a program can change this page, too (if you don’t pay careful attention to the little checkboxes during setup). But this choice of page is not set in stone, and you can change it to whatever page you like, whenever you like.

This default opens-to page is your browser’s “Homepage”, and changing it is simple to do: basically all you’re going to do is erase what is there, and type in your URL (web address).
In IE: Open your Internet Options by clicking on “Tools” and selecting “Internet Options”.

In the screenshot above, I have just set my default open-to “homepage” to Google. All I have to do now is click on the “OK” button. You can, of course, choose any website you like.. I just used Google as an example.
[Note: this is a complete URL. I did not just type in “Google”, or “Google dot com”. You must include the “http://”.]

In Firefox: You will essentially do the same thing, except in Firefox they call your options “Options”. Click on “Tools” and select “Options”.

And again, you will delete the current URL and replace it with your choice.. again I will Google as my example.
*Bonus tip: if you are tired of being asked whether you want to “Make Firefox your default browser”, uncheck the checkbox “Always check to see if Firefox is the default browser on startup”.

For those of you paying close attention, you will have noticed the “/ig” at the end of the URL. That is the address of “my” Google– my personalized Google page. You may have a personalized MSN or Yahoo or AOL (etc.) page yourself, which typically looks like “”. If that is where you’d like your browser to start, you can manually type it into your Options, or navigate there and click in your address bar’s window. Copy the address by hitting Ctrl+C, and then Paste (Ctrl+V) in your Homepage Options.

Now, whenever you launch your browser, or click on the house icon, you will go straight to your favorite website.
*** If you are using a different browser than those mentioned here, fear not: the methodology is the same.

Today’s free link: [for Macs] Need a fun time-waster for your Mac? I have been playing with a true arcade classic, Asteroids, and I regret to say it is (almost) as addictive now as it was lo those many years ago. From site: “Asteroids is a free version of the classic arcade game for Mac. There are few fancy features or special effects, but each level gets more difficult. Definitely good for 30 minutes of endless fun.”

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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February 25, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, IE 7, PC, tech | , , , | Leave a comment