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Improving text quality on your screen

The technology known as ClearType font on Windows systems makes text on displays easier to read. It is enabled by default on Windows 7 but to get the full benefit of ClearType you need a high-quality, flat-panel monitor, such as LCD or plasma.

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Always open All Control Panel Items when opening Control Panel

The default behaviour of the Control Panel view is to load the view selected in your last Control Panel session. If you need to change this default behaviour and force Control Panel to display all items upon loading then you can either tweak the registry or use Group Policy to set a default view irrespective of your last session modifications.

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Hidden secrets the average user doesn’t know about Windows 7

There are a variety of tips and system tweaks that can be applied to Windows 7 to offer better convenience and other useful features for the user. Tweaks range from easier access to files, the ability to incorporate an Internet search from the start menu and other option-settings for a quicker user-session.

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Replacing the Shutdown power button in Windows 7

If you lock your computer several times a day and find it awkward to go to the Start menu, hover over the tiny arrow symbol and click the Lock button, or find it irritating when hitting the Shutdown button by accident, then you can prevent this by replacing the big Shutdown power button with one that you use on regular basis.

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How to replace the Logon UI Background in Windows 7

Windows 7, unlike older versions of Windows include a registry entry which allows users to replace the logon user interface default background image. In previous versions users had to hack files in order to achieve the same results. When Windows 7 starts, it checks whether the logon UI (User Interface) background option is enabled in the registry and loads the default image as the background picture of the CTRL+ALT+DEL logon screen. To replace the logon UI background image follow the steps below:

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Disallow Automated Customizations in Windows 7

If you share your computer with other users and find other users’ customizations annoying then, Windows 7 allows you to block such functionality. By default, Windows 7 tracks users’ activities and tries to facilitate life by customizing the system according to the user activity such as, personalized menus, frequent programs list in the Start menu and others. One of the most annoying customizations which can happen when users share the same computer, is when users drag the taskbar to another side of the screen with the taskbar option Auto-hide enabled. Subsequent users may not be aware of such functionality and may not be able to find the taskbar at the side or top of the screen!

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How to Disable Aero Snap Feature

Windows Aero in Windows 7 has brought several UI changes, cool visual effects and features but some of which may be annoying or useless. For instance, the Aero Snap may create undesirable effects when used in multi-monitor setups. The Aero Snap feature gives you the ability to click and drag a window to the right or left side of the desktop and causes the window to fill the respective half of the screen and many other quick movements but to read more about the Snap features go here. On the other hand, to disable the Snap feature, follow these steps:

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Changing the default Windows Shell in Windows 7

The default Windows shell in Windows 7 is the Windows Explorer, however you can replace it with other shells such as, the command prompt, Windows PowerShell or custom built shells. This may become handy when computers are running specific tasks and you want to restrict their usage or free up resources taken by the default shell. However, remember that if for example you set the command prompt as the default shell, users can still load the default shell and other hidden applications.

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Disabling the unknown File Extensions Prompt

In Windows when you try to open a file with an unknown extension (which Windows does not recognise), a prompt is displayed asking you if you want to use the web to search for the appropriate program that can open the file. As many users including myself, rarely use this web service and opt to select a program from the system, it is more appropriate to eliminate unnecessary steps like a never-used prompt. To remove the prompt you need to add a registry value called InternetOpenWith.

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Taskbar Labels

By default, Windows 7 gives you those little icons in the taskbar that represent open programs and windows, unlike previous versions where open applications are represented with labels. If you prefer the good old labels then you can return to the classic taskbar by following these simpe steps:

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