Thursday, January 13, 2005

Internet-Computer Tips 1-10 (Beginners)

These are the back issues of the e-newsletter "Internet Tips" beginners level from 2004. Starting with the next issue, all e-newsletters will be posted here instead of emailed. *These tips have been compiled through a variety of sources, including Stef Morrill from South Central Library System, and Tom Mighell from, among others.

Beginner's Tip 1: Your mouse and you
Did you know that if your mouse has two buttons, you can right-click to see more options? When you position your mouse over a link or icon and right-click, there may be a list of shortcuts that appear. You can select commands off of this list rather than finding the command on the main toolbar or menus. For example, in MS Word, using the right-click will often take you to shortcuts for cutting, pasting, copying, and several other commands that are available through toolbars and menus. Not only does using the right-click command list save you time, it also may make it easier to select items without losing your place in the document because your eyes don't need to follow the mouse up to the menu or toolbars. Try it out!

Beginner's Tip 2: Printing Selected Text
Looking at a long web page and want to print out a small portion? Highlight the selected text you want to print and go to File-Print and choose "selection" to print only the highlighted text. You can also right-click and select "print" to get to the print menu. One other way to print the selected text if these other methods fail, would be right-click and choose "copy" (or go to Edit-Copy) and paste the selected text into another format, such as a Word document.

You find this great web page, but when you print it, the text on the right-hand side is cutting off. What can you do? A couple of things to try:
1. Select the text you want to print, and then choose to print the"Selection" after you choose "Print" from the "File" menu.
2. From the "File" menu, choose "Page Setup". Decrease your margins, choose "OK", and try printing it again.

Beginner's Tip: Clicking To Select Words & Lines
This is one of those little things I always forget about, but love once I remember it. It doesn't work in every program, but it works in most Windows applications. You all know one way to select a word or line: put your cursor at one end of what you want to select and then drag over the rest of the word or line. But did you know that there is a quicker way?
*Double-click, and the word will be selected. *Click three times, and the line will be selected.

Ever needed a word definition, right away? Using Google, in the search box, type "define:your_word_here", and you will be a list of online dictionary sources that define your word, along with brief definitions and links to the full dictionary records.

Beginner's Tip: The Desktop Icon
You can minimize all windows at once by holding down the Windows Key and hitting M. If you forget that, on your taskbar, usually right by your "Start" button, is an icon that looks like a little blotter with pencil and paper on it. If you click this button once, it will minimize all windows and bring up the desktop.

Beginner's Tip: Search Shortcuts
Use this page to enter in information using a specific search box, such as area codes, gas prices, or weather.

Did you know that you don't have to open "My Computer" or Windows Explorer to browse folders and files on your computer? If you have Internet Explorer open, just type "c:" (or a different drive letter, without the quotes) in the address bar, and...voila! You'll see all the folders on your hard drive!

Let's say you're using Windows Explorer or "My Computer" to look at folders on your hard drive. You realize that the files or folders don't seem to be arranged in any order you can figure can you get them to be in order by name?Here's how: From the "View" menu, choose "Arrange Icons", and then choose "By Name". (You can also arrange by date, by size, or by type (which will put all the Word documents together, for example).

Google does use the * as a wildcard, but not the way we usually think of using an *. You can't use an * to substitute for a single letter in a word (gr*y for "gray" or "grey") or to get multiple endings ("search*"). But you can use it to wildcard entire words. For example,"john * kennedy"
will get you "John F. Kennedy" and "John Fitzgerald Kennedy".