This week we conclude our roundup of Connected reader’s ten most frequently requested solutions fixes and tips, which have appeared in past editions of Boot Camp and Faqs! Facts! Fax!



We get a lot of requests for this one. The symptom is Windows or Office applications taking progressively longer to close. Nine times out of ten it’s caused by Outlook in Office 97 creating an automatic Journal entry, and this happens if Outlook isn’t running. The solution is to Open Outlook and select Options on the Tools menu, then click on the Journal tab. Deselect all of the check boxes under the 'Also record files from' list and click OK.



This is a very useful utility that allows you to make a ‘screen grab’ of whatever appears on your monitor display. Pressing the Print Screen button on the keyboard takes a snapshot the desktop, which is copied to the Clipboard as a bitmap image file. The image can be viewed in Paint (Start > Programs > Accessories). The Clipboard is available to most Windows applications. The image can be pasted into a document or graphics program using the Paste command on the Edit menu, or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + V. Pressing Alt + Print Screen captures only the active window.



Word 97 and Word 2000 has over 200 useful keyboard shortcut commands, however you will have a hard time finding a master list in Help or any of the user manuals. You can easily create your own, which you can print out and keep for reference. In Word go to the Tools menu then Macro and Macros. Now look for the 'Macros In' drop-down menu and select Word Commands. In the Macro Name window click to highlight ListCommands select Run and choose ‘Current Menu and Keyboard Settings’. Select OK and a new document opens with a table showing all of the available commands and shortcuts. Use Save As to give the document a name and print it out.



Running out of room on the hard disc is much less of a problem these days now that most new PCs are fitted with multi gigabyte drives but a lot of users, especially those with older machines and smaller drives, face a continual space problem, when trying to install large software applications. The only long-term solution is to upgrade to a larger hard disc drive – it’s not difficult, or expensive (see Boot Camps 87 & 88 August 26th/September 2nd) -- but for a quick fix on most systems it’s possible to reclaim several tens of megabytes by deleting files that you no longer need or use. Start by removing redundant programs or applications listed in the Add/Remove Programs utility in Control Panel, or use the program’s own Uninstaller. Windows housekeeping programs like CleanSweep, Uninstaller or WinDelete are a good investment and will always backup or compress deleted files for a set period, in case of problems.

You can safely remove some types of files with Windows Explorer. Old ‘.zip’ files for programs or software downloaded from the Internet can go, and temporary and backup files (with the extension .bak or .tmp) are also safe to remove though avoid emptying the Recycle Bin for a day or two, just in case. If you upgraded from Windows 95 to 98, and have no wish to revert to the old operating system you can safely delete the previous version of Windows and reclaim between 60 and 80 megabytes of space. The option can be found on Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disc Cleanup. Select drive C and the Disc Cleanup tab. Highlight the item ‘Delete Windows 98 Uninstall Information’ and click OK, you can also use this utility to clear temporary Internet Files and Temporary files.  



The password features in Windows can be defeated by most ten-year olds so if your PC is going to be used by others, and you want to keep your files or documents private you have two options. You can hide them away in innocuously named folders deep inside other applications, or better still, encrypt them. This turns the data into gobbledegook that can only be unscrambled when you enter your PIN code or password. You’ll find a good selection of such programs on shareware sites such as and

Another concern for many users is the way Windows meticulously logs all of your Internet activities. Tweak UI, the essential Windows customising utility has a feature called Paranoia, which will automatically clear most of your PCs Internet and document ‘history’ files every time the PC is switched on. Tweak UI is included on many PC magazine cover mounted CD-ROMs, it can be downloaded from the Microsoft web site. It’salso  on the Windows 98 CD-ROM (version 1 only) in Tools > Reskit > PowerToys. In all cases take time to peruse the Readme file for installation instructions.

Lastly there’s Cookies, small (mostly harmless) data files stored on you PC, generated by many Internet web sites. They can be safely deleted from within Internet Explorer by clicking on Internet Options on the Tools menu, select the General Tab and then select the Settings button under Temporary Internet Files.  


Next week – zipping for beginners  




A Windows utility where you can temporarily copy chunks of text, data, graphics or pictures. Once on the clipboard the item can be pasted into another part of the document, or transferred to any other Windows application with a copy and paste facility.


A process that renders files unreadable by any conventional means without the correct decryption software and a unique 'key' code, which is needed to unlock the data.


A simple and ideally memorable sequence of two or three key-strokes, used to invoke a frequently used action or activity within a program or application



If you haven’t yet got around to thanking everyone for their Christmas cards and presents, because you’ve lost their address or phone number, then there’s no longer any excuse. Both the Royal Mail and British Telecom now have powerful search facilities on the Internet. The Royal Mail web site ( lets you find an address using just the postcode, or you can look up the postcode, from the house number a street name. It’s free but you can only use it 50 times in a 24-hour period. BT’s on-line Directory Enquiries ( is also free and it allows you to look up personal or business phone numbers, searching by name and area

Search PCTopTips 



Boot Camp Index















Top Tips Index

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Internet & Email

Microsoft Word

Folders & Files

Desktop Mouse & Keyboard

Crash Bang Wallop!

Privacy & Security

Imaging Scanning & Printing

Power, Safety & Comfort

Tools & Utilities

Sound Advice

Display & screen

Fun & Games

Windows 95/98/SE/ME






 Copyright 2006-2009 PCTOPTIPS UK.

All information on this web site is provided as-is without warranty of any kind. Neither PCTOPTIPS nor its employees nor contributors are responsible for any loss, injury, or damage, direct or consequential, resulting from your choosing to use any of the information contained herein.