Resize and Tweak Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnails

The folks at TheWindowsClub have made a habit of releasing awesome tiny free utilities. In the past, we reviewed several TWC utilities including SMART, GodMode Creator, FixWin and Windows Access Panel. The latest TWC offering is the Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer.

Windows-7-Taskbar-Thumbnail-Customizer

Windows-7-Taskbar-Thumbnail-Large Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer allows you to modify various aspects of Windows 7 Taskbar thumbnails such as maximum and minimum thumbnail size, spacing between thumbnails, margin size and thumbnail delay. Just select the desired values for various properties and click on apply. Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer will automatically restart explorer.exe so that all the changes are visible immediately.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Like all TWC utilities, the Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer is extremely easy to use and idiot proof. In case you go wrong, you can restore the default settings with the click of a button. The app itself is just 100 KB in size and does not require installation. Try it, if you are not satisfied with the default taskbar thumbnail settings.

Techie Buzz Verdict: 3/5 (Good)

[ Download Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer]

Zip Up Files to Hide Your Secrets [How to]

zip-icon Zip files are a great way to pack up a collection of files to send them to other people, usually in an email. At least three or four times a year, I run into someone who doesn’t know how to zip up a collection of files in Windows. I ran into three people in the last two weeks at work.

Years ago, you had to have a third party tool such as WinZip to create and open zip files. In 2001, Windows XP was released with built-in zip capabilities. Microsoft decided to call these compressed folders.

Not only is it easy to use the built in zip features in Windows, it’s also possible to password protect zip files so that others can’t open the files inside them. However, even though a zip file is password protected, you can still see a list of files inside it. I have always hated that, but I found a way around it.

Here is how to hide all of your top secret files in a zip file (or compressed folder).

First, let’s create two zip folders. You’ll see why we need two of them shortly.

To create a zip folder, right click into any folder or in an empty place on your desktop, and choose NewCompressed Folder.

image

Let’s choose Stuffand Top Secretas the names of the new zip files.

Now we can add some top secret files to our Stufffolder. I’m going to add a JPG picture to it here. I’ll open up Stuff.zipby double clicking it, then drag the JPG file into it.

add-files-to-zip

Now let’s add the Stuffzip file to the Top Secretzip file.

add-zip-to-zip

Now we need to add a password to the Top Secretcompressed folder.

menu-add-a-password

You’ll have to type your password in twice to confirm it.

enter-password-twice

That’s it. The next time anyone opens that zip folder, all they’ll be able to see is a file named Stuff.zip. If they try to open it or extract it, they’ll have to know the password you’ve set.

trying-to-open-protected-file

As you can see, all of the files inside the Stuff.zip are hidden. That’s why we needed two zip files.

As a final cleanup step, you can delete the older copies of Stuffand the JPG. These are safely and securely inside the Top Secretzip folder now.

delete-older-copies

These techniques will work in all versions of Windows released after XP, as well as XP itself.

Here are some other ways to use zip files:

1. Compress and Zip Files Online Without Any Software
2. How to Fix Default Zip File Behavior
3. Open Zip Files Online
4. Repair Corrupted Zip Files
5. Unzip or Extract Files Online

Here are some other ways to hide files:

1. Lock And Hide Files & Folders
2. Windows Scripts: Show/Hide Hidden Files and Folders In Windows
3. Password Protect and Hide Personal Folders
4. Hide Drives From My Computer

If you have your own special way to hide secret data, let us know in the comments below.

How to Create Your Own Site Searches in Internet Explorer

internet-explorer-iconDo you have favorite websites that you need to search? You might already know that you can search specific websites by using the pull down menu on the built-in search box in Internet Explorer. You can see a list of sites, such as Bing, Google or Yahoo; these are called Search Providers.

what-are-search-providers

You can add Search Providers in Internet Explorer very easily, but what if the site you want isn’t included in Microsoft’s list of providers? Here are a few of the providers listed by Microsoft:

Bing SearchNew York Times Instant SearchWikipedia Visual SearchAmazon Search SuggestionseBay.com Visual SearchGoogle Search SuggestionsYahoo! Search SuggestionsESPN SearchRealtime Web Search (by OneRiot)Sports Buzz from Buzztap

Creating your own Search Providers is an easy trick to learn. It might save you several minutes every day if you have to perform lots of web searches. I’m only going to show instructions for Internet Explorer 7 and 8. If you have Internet Explorer 6, you should upgrade to a newer version. IE6 is getting too old, slow and insecure (like me). Unlike me, however, IE6 is not getting any wiser.

Let’s start with a good example. let’s say that you are in love with the Techie Buzz site and you need to search it every day. Follow the steps below to add your own “Techie Buzz Search” to Internet Explorer.

1. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to Techie-Buzz.

Move Out-of-Focus Windows in Windows 7

If you use a multi-monitor setup, there are chances that you might forget to move the applications windows back to main monitor before disconnecting it. In such cases, when you try to access the window you might now be able to do it as it may still assume that it is on the secondary monitor.

Windows 7 Default Taskbar Right Click

does not have a direct option to move the window back to the main monitor using the taskbar. When you right-click on the taskbar icon you will only see the jumplist and not the regular options.

Windows 7 Taskbar Move Menu

However, if you want to see the other options like Move, Maximize and Minimize, just hold the Shift button while you right click, this will in turn show you the other regular right click options. Once you do that you can easily move the window from the non-existent secondary monitor back to the main monitor using either the arrow keys or your mouse.

Change Dual Monitor Position in Windows 7

I prefer to use a dual-monitor setup wherever possible. However, the alignment of the monitor is pretty important as I have to use the mouse on both the monitors, and having it in the wrong position is definitely a pain.

dual_monitor_setup

users had an option to change the alignment of the screen, from right to left or left to right in the Windows mobility center. However, does not have the same option. Quite curiously, I asked the question on , as not much info was available for it online, and thankfully @edbott replied to me with the answer.

So if anyone else is facing a problem with changing the dual monitor position on Windows 7, here is a solution for it. Please make sure that your external display is already connected and functional.

Step 1: Search for display and click on the “Connect to an external display” option in the results. Alternatively, you can also open Control Panel -> Display and click on the Adjust Resolution link in the left hand menu.

change_monitor_position_windows7

Step 2: To adjust the orientations of your monitor, just drag and drop the appropriate monitor and place it wherever you want. You could move it to the right, left, top or bottom position.

Step 3: Once you have placed the monitor in the position you want, click on the Apply button to apply the changes. It you are satisfied with the setup, click on the Ok button.

Few Notes:

  • If you place the primary monitor at the bottom, you will get a bottom to top orientation.
  • If you place the primary monitor on top, you will get a top to bottom orientation.
  • Left will give you a left to right, and right will give you the right to left orientation.

If you find this tip helpful, you can purchase Ed Bott’s book Windows 7 Inside Out, which sells for $31.49 on Amazon.