Windows 7 – things you don’t know

I’ve been playing with Windows 7 for a little while now and I am impressed it lokks like Microsoft have got it right.  I’m a power user and if it works for me I can say it is going to work for Mr Average Joe.  I’d thought I draw up a number of special features that I have found in my travels around Windows 7.


Problem Steps Recorder

You can use Problem Steps Recorder to automatically capture the steps you take on a computer, including a text description of where you clicked and a picture of the screen during each click (called a screen shot). Once you capture these steps, you can save them to a file that can be used by a support professional or someone else helping you with a computer problem.

To start type PSR in the Start menu search box

More details from Tech Republic

Problem Steps Recorder with Jeremy Chapman


ISO Burner

You now have the ability directly from within Windows 7 to burn ISO images directly to CD or DVD, if you’d like to know how to do it check out Burn ISO Images Natively in Windows 7 Burn ISO Images Natively in Windows 7

Switch to a projector

Windows 7 now provides a standard way to switch your display from one monitor to another, or a projector – just press Win+P or run DisplaySwitch.exe and choose your preferred display. 

Calibrating your screen

I’ve done this before using Windows Media Centre, nand now you can calibrate your screen by running Display Colour Calibration Wizard, Click Start, type DCCW and press Enter to give it a try.



If you’ve not already tried this Right-Click has come it to it’s own with so many features available, and making it so much faster to perform your day to day actions


Custom power switch

By default, Windows 7 displays a plain text ‘Shut down’ button on the Start menu, but it only takes a moment to change this action to something else. If you reboot your PC a few times every day then that might make more sense as a default action: right-click the Start orb, select Properties and set the ‘Power boot action’ to ‘Restart’ to make it happen.


Give the menu bar a shake

If you shake the menu bar all the other windows minimize, how cool is that?

If you have multiple windows open on your desktop and things are getting too cluttered, it used to be a time-consuming process to close them all down. In Windows 7 you can use the Aero Shake feature to minimise everything in seconds, using a cool mouse gesture. Grab the title bar of the window you wish to keep open and give it a shake, and rejoice in a clear desktop area.


Use Sticky Notes

The Sticky Notes app is both simpler and more useful in Windows 7. Launch StikyNot.exe and you can type notes at the keyboard; right-click a note to change its colour; click the + sign on the note title bar to add another note; and click a note and press Alt + 4 to close the note windows.


RSS-powered Windows 7 desktop slideshowsRSS-powered Windows 7 desktop slideshows

Now have the power to change your desktop via RSS feeds, click here to see how to do it


Keyboard shortcuts

Windows 7 supports several useful new keyboard shortcuts.


Display/ hide the Explorer preview pane

Windows Logo+G

Display gadgets in front of other windows

Windows Logo++ (plus key)

Zoom in, where appropriate

Windows Logo+- (minus key)

Zoom out, where appropriate

Windows Logo+Up 

Maximise the current window

Windows Logo+Down

Minimise the current window

Windows Logo+Left

Snap to the left hand side of the screen

Windows Logo+Right

Snap to the right hand side of the screen

Windows Logo+Home

Minimise/ restore everything except the current window


Multi-threaded Robocopies

An excellent command-line robocopy tool with new switches introduced with Windows 7. Check out, /MT, can improve speed by carrying out multi-threaded copies with the number of threads you specify. Enter robocopy /? at a command line for the full details.