Question:  Is there a way to start a program from the keyboard?

Answer: You can create a shortcut key. Right click on the icon you use to start the program or, in Windows 98 and later go to the menu item and right click. Left click on properties and then left click in the shortcut key box. Now, hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys and tap either a letter or number key (only use numbers above the letter keys, not on the number pad on the right). The key combination will be shown in the box. Now if you hold down Ctrl-Alt and tap the key the program will start.

Question: What is meant by the term system tray?

Answer: The system tray is the area on the taskbar on the right side next to the clock. This is called the system tray since any programs which start when Windows starts have icons in the system tray so you know they are running. You will see icons for things like your antivirus program, the task scheduler, etc.

Question: How do I change the default font in Word?

Answer: Go to the Format menu, click on Style then click on Modify. Next, click on Add to template (if you don't do this, your changes won't be saved), then click on Format, the Font. Now select the font you want the default to be the OK out to the last box, then click Apply. Your default font is now changes. The accepted font for business is usually Arial 12 point.  It is a clean easy to read and copy font.

Question: How do I find out what keyboard shortcuts are available for the programs I use?

Answer: First of all you can check my discussion about keyboard shortcuts. You can also look at the menus for the shortcut keys which are listed on the items you use most. For example, Ctrl-C is copy. You will find this on the Edit menu when you look at copy it gives the shortcut combination on the right side.

Question: How can I return to the last edit location in a saved Word document?

Answer: In all the Office applications, if you open a document and hold the Shift key and tap the F5 key it will go to the last point you edited in the document when it was saved the last time.

Question: Do I need a special program to transfer files to my web space?

Answer: It is best to use an FTP (file transfer protocol) program but in a pinch you can also use Internet Explorer. To go to a secure site such as your space at your ISP account you can type in the Address line ftp://{your login name}:{your password}@{your ISP}.{extension} For instance Keep in mind, even though this works, it is not secure and your username and password are entered as plain text in the address bar. Once you have the window open you can copy and paste files back and forth and also by dragging using IE and Windows Explorer. Anonymous FTP sites are also a snap if you know the address.

Question: Is it safe to give out credit card information on the Internet?

Answer: Some people are paranoid about this subject. Secure sites are as safe as it gets. There is no such thing as totally safe. Most people don't realize it is several times safer to give out credit card information on a secure Internet site than it is to give it out on the telephone. You can get some really good prices at some of the online stores and it's a shame not to take advantage of the prices because people are worried their info isn't secure, when it is.

Question: How do I uninstall a program?

Answer: The correct way is to go to the Start button, click on Settings, then Control Panel. Now, double click on the Add/Remove Programs icon. Find the program in the list and click the Add/Remove button and follow the directions. You always want to use this method because Windows will attempt to remove all the files and registry entries associated with the program. If you can't find the program in the list, try looking for an uninstall program in the software's program group. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, when you see the program in the list, you can either highlight it, then click on Uninstall at the top, or you can just right click on the program, then left click on uninstall.

Question: How do I add or remove Windows components?

Answer: Go to the Start button, click on Settings, then Control Panel. Now, double click on the Add/Remove Programs icon. Click on the Windows Setup tab. Click on items you want to add and uncheck items you want to remove.

Question: Why does my computer run Scandisk when it starts up (Windows version prior to XP)?

Answer: This is usually caused by one of two things. If you don't shut down your computer properly, Scandisk will automatically run to correct any errors caused from the improper shutdown. The second reason may be that your hard drive is sick. If Scandisk runs often, you should run Scandisk and make sure it is checked to automatically fix errors and also to do a thorough scan. A thorough scan will also check the surface of the disks for bad areas so it takes a while to run. After doing this if you are still having problems with Scandisk running, make sure you keep you data backed up on a very regular basis because your hard drive is probably ready to die. This is the time to call a consultant to check it out.

Question: What is Safe Mode?

Answer: Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode for starting Windows up without loading most of the drivers like display, sound, etc. It is used in case a driver is corrupt or misbehaving and you need to be able to start Windows to delete or disable the driver so it is possible to start the computer normally again. You can get into Safe Mode in Windows 95 when you start the computer and as soon as it says Starting Windows 95 you press the F5 key or press the F8 key (F8 brings up a menu where you can select Safe Mode). In Windows 98 or later, tap the F8 Ctrl key about every 1/2 second just when the BIOS finishes loading ( the screen messages after the beep). This can be a little tricky since if you tap the key too fast of too many times when the computer is reading the BIOS it will indicate a stuck key. If you miss the timing, try it again. It can be frustrating, even for me.

Please Note: All information provided in The Help Desk web site is in easy to understand terms, in my opinion only, and may not necessarily be the only accepted answers or advice.  I will not be responsible for any problems caused from anyone making any configuration or hardware changes to their computer system resulting from information obtained from this web site.  Please contact me prior to using any content from this web site.