The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 067 26/01/08


Wandering Windows

When accessing the Internet the window is larger than the monitor screen so that I lose sight of the far right.  This happened recently although I don't know what caused it or how to correct it.  It is very irritating having to guess where the scroll and ‘X’ off function controls are with the mouse.  Can you advise?

Bryan Swanson, by email


A. This happens every so often, usually for no apparent reason but there is an easy way to take back control of wayward windows and dialogue boxes when the borders or title bar stray off the screen. All you have to do is press Alt + Spacebar + M and you can now move the window or box using the four cursor arrow keys. Pressing Alt + Spacebar + S lets you change the size, also using the cursor keys.


After you have resized the window or box and have it where you want it close it, use the Close command on the drop-down menu that appears when you click on the icon in the top left hand corner of a title bar. The next time it opens it should remember the previous setting.



Printing Directory Listings

When I am creating backup copies of documents, audio files and photos on CD or DVD I would find it useful to be able to print off a list of the files on the disk to put in the box. I have tried to print off a copy of the Windows Explorer Details View but without success. Can it be done and if so, how?

John D Smith, by email


A. There’s no easy way to do it in Windows, at least not without a lot of faffing around with screenshots or batch files. Instead try an excellent little free utility called RJH Extensions (http://tinyurl.com/22otrh), which works on all versions of Windows, up to and including XP. Once installed simply right click into an open folder in Windows Explorer and select Print Directory List. RJH Extensions also adds several other useful items to the right-click menu, including options to Shred, Duplicate and Encrypt files.



Mystery Keys

I have unsuccessfully examined many books and Help files trying to find precisely what the Scroll Lock key does. A while ago I just couldn't obtain the 'automatic' scrolling that starts when you are selecting text (upwards) in a document. The problem was eventually resolved by System Restore. I wonder whether the Scroll-Lock key was somehow involved?

Robert Woodward, by email


A. Unlikely, Scroll Lock is a throwback to the olden days of the DOS operating system and all it does nowadays is turn the Scroll Lock light on and off...


There’s more about the other obsolete and obscure keys on a Windows keyboard on the PCTopTIps website: http://tinyurl.com/3xm2kk. You’ll also find details of how to enable a hidden scroll feature in Word that can be useful if you don’t have a scroll mouse, are using a laptop touch pad, or you want to turn your PC screen into an autocue (http://tinyurl.com/2g6bn9).



Stereo in Mono…

I listen to classical music, and I am thinking about treating myself to an MP3 player. However, I am deaf in one ear, and would need to listen with only one earphone, in mono. I believe that the Sony model I am interested in uses Windows Media Player 11 to convert CDs to MP3 files. Would it be possible for me to copy some of my stereo CDs to Sony player via WMP, turning them into mono recordings in the process? Or is there some other solution for us ‘monauralists’?

John Hudson, by email


A. There doesn’t seem to be a way to rip CDs in mono in Windows Media Player but it’s easy enough to re-encode an MP3 audio file using an audio editing program called Audacity (http://tinyurl.com/2m8jcr). All you have to do is open the file in Audacity, go to Edit > Preferences, select the Audio I/O tab and under Recording Channels, select ‘(1) Mono’. Now go to Export as MP3 on the File menu, give it a name and the track will be resaved in mono.



Windows Visibility

I bought a new Windows XP computer and use MS Office Suite. The text in menus and is very, very small and barely readable. Is there any way of increasing the size?

Clive Ashby


A. Yes, and there are a couple of things you can try. If you are only having trouble with the text in menus and dialogue boxes open Display Properties (right click an empty area of the desktop and select Properties). Select the Appearance tab, click the Advanced button and click on the text element you want to change (Menu, Message Text, Window Text etc) and alter the font size to suit. Otherwise you can impose a global change on all program menus and display elements in Display Properties, by selecting the Settings tab. Click the Advanced button, then select the General tab and on the DPI Setting drop-down menu, select Large Size (120DPI), or experiment with the Custom settings. Restart the PC for the changes to take effect.






© R. Maybury 2008 1911



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