How Do I?

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This week I will try to answer some of the questions I am most often asked by my clients. Every so often it’s good to get back to basics. I hope you will find something helpful here.

How do I delete/move/copy more than one file at a time?
You can, you know. You don’t have to move them or delete them one by one!

If you want to delete or move or copy or more than one file, and they are all listed together:
1.Click on the file at the top of the list
2.Press and hold the Shift key, and click on the file at the bottom of the list
3.You should see the whole list between and including the files you clicked on highlighted
4.Under File and Folder Tasks on the left side of your window, click on “Delete the selected items,” Move the selected items,” or “Copy the selected items” and follow the prompts.

If the files are not listed together, the process is almost the same. The only difference is that instead of Shift+Click at the top and bottom of the list, hold down the Ctrl key and click on each file you want to act on.

How do I show that “File and Folder Tasks” thing? I don’t have that!
This is only available in Windows XP.

1.Click on Start Control Panel Appearance and Themes
2.Click on Folder Options
3.On the General tab, select “Show common tasks in folders”
4.Click “OK”

You’ll find other useful tasks are now displayed, depending on what folder you are exploring. “Make a new folder” is often useful. And if you go to “My Pictures” you will find “View as a slideshow” and “Print pictures” as choices.

How do I clean up my Favorites or Bookmarks? I must have hundreds of dead ones!

There are lots of ways, but here is a free, easy-to-use program that will find duplicates and dead links in Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and several other browsers. You can choose to delete the links or not. The program is called AM-Deadlink, and is available here: http://aignes.com/products.htm

How can I clean up the tangle of wires behind my computer/on the floor/under my desk?

I can tell you right now it’s going to be tedious, but it’s going to be worth it in the end. I use coloured Avery dots and a Dymo label gun. (You can always use blank Avery address labels and a Sharpie!) I also use Velcro cable ties to dress the cables once I’ve found and labelled everything within an inch of its life.

What you need to do is trace out every wire and cable that connects your computer to anything, label whatever is at the end of it, and label the PC where it plugs in. Put, for instance, a red dot on your printer, and another on the end of the cable that plugs into your PC. You can put a red dot next to or above that port on your PC. You can put a label next to that port that says “Printer” for even more clarity next time, when you’re in a hurry. Label every cable and connector: your modem, monitor, webcam, etc. When you’ve done all that, use some of the Velcro cable ties to tidy up. Velcro is better than the standard plastic because you can easily undo it, add or remove a cable, and bundle everything up again.

If you have surge protectors with six outlets and you can only use two or three because the huge transformers take up more than one, I have a solution. We’ve tried it out here, and with some of our clients. We plug a short (12”) 3-prong extension cord into each outlet, and plug the transformers or whatever into the other end of each cord. That creates just enough room to use all the outlets. Now I bet we’ll have enough power strips left over for the tree lights at Christmas!

Now if I could just find a decent four-port USB hub that didn’t fall on the floor every time I plugged more than one cable into it, I’d be really happy. I’m thinking about a Velcro solution for that.

How do I keep the dog from barking at the meter reader?
You tell me!

Do you have a tip or trick that makes your computing life easier? Would you like to share it? Please email me and I’ll include the best ones in future columns. Thank you for taking the time to read this column, and thank you to everyone who emails with comments.

More Getting Along With Your Computer articles

About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

Computer Care Kelowna

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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