Windows 7

Hints and Tips

Windows 7 is one of the most popular operating systems in use today and is considered by some to be the best Windows operating system to date.  I’m going to share with you some of the useful features and settings I use to make my life a little easier.

Click on each heading below to find out more about that Excel function.

When you connect two or more screens through using Windows 7, you may find that they are displayed the wrong way round.  The following instructions will help you fix this issue: 

  1. Right-click anywhere on a blank space on your desktop
  2. Select  screen resolution from the menu that comes up
  3. Select identify to identify which screen is number 1 and which is number 2
  4. Click and drag the screen pictures so that screen one and two mirrors you desk setup
  5. Choose which screen you want as your main screen and click “make this my main display.”
  6. Select OK

When you use Windows 7, you may find that when trying to access Excel files, a pop-up screen appears telling you that the file is in use.  This issue is caused because the details pane is activated in Windows Explorer and therefore Excel believes that you already have a version of the file open.

This error will then cause issues when you try and save the file. It won’t let you save the document without changing its name first.

(The details pane is the bar at the bottom of the screen which gives you details about the file or folder you have clicked on.)

  1. Go to windows explorer

  2. Click on “Organise”

  3. Go down to layout

  4. Untick “Details Pane” from the options

Gone are the days where you needed to click the minimise button for each window you had open.  Windows 7 makes it easy to minimise and maximise windows at the click of a button. 

  1. Move your mouse to the bottom right-hand side of your screen (next to the clock) where you will find the “Show Desktop” button

  2. Click this button to show your desktop and again to make your windows return​

Windows 7 allows users to pin programs to the taskbar making it quicker to access the applications you use on a regular basis.  

  1. Launch the program

  2. Right click on the icon in the taskbar

  3. Click “pin” to taskbar

  4. To move icons around click and drag them to the required position

This feature new feature of Windows 7 is something I use all the time and love it.  I now don’t have to go searching for a file I’ve recently used or use regularly which saves me time and helps me get on with doing my work even quicker. 

  1. Right-click on the programme icon on the taskbar

  2. A window will open showing the most recent documents opened

  3. To pin the file so that it’s always accessible by right clicking on the correct application, move mouse over the file you want to pin and click on the pin symbol on the right-hand side

As a Virtual Assistant I work with clients all around the world and Windows 7 now allows me to have up to 3 clocks available with the click of a button. When I collaborate with a customer in another country, I set up a clock for that country and that way I can quickly see whether or not they will be up and working.  

Having a calendar pop up at the click of a button is also very handy especially when you on the phone! Here’s how to do this.

  1. Left click on the time and a pop-up window will load showing the user the time and a calendar

  2. To add up to two additional clocks click on “Change date and time settings.”

  3. Next, click the “additional clocks” tab at the top of the window

  4. Set-up the clocks as required

  5. Click ok

Start menu search is a way to search quickly for virtually anything on your laptop including programs. 

  1. Click on the start menu or press the start menu keyboard button

  2. Start typing what you searching for

  3. Press enter or click on the program/file once it’s been found to launch

Sticky notes are a great little feature which the user can use to type quick notes reducing the risk of loosing the bits of paper otherwise used.  It also serves as a handy reminder tool as the notes load on your desktop when you start your computer.

  1. Click on the start menu or press the start menu keyboard button 

  2. Search for sticky notes and click on it

  3. Start typing your note.  Notes will be automatically saved and shown on your desktop. 

  4. To delete a note press the “X” on right hand side of the note

  5. To add a new note press the “+” on the left hand side of an existing note or from the start menu

You can set up shortcuts on the taskbar eliminating the need to click through folder structures to access files:

  1. Right click on the taskbar

  2. Move pointer up to toolbars

  3. Select “New toolbar…”

  4. A new Windows Explorer window will open. Use this window to select which folder you want a shortcut for


View two programs side by side is made simple in Windows 7 

  1. Open both applications or files

  2. Click on the title bar (on the top of the programme) and drag the first window to either left or right-hand side of the screen and then release the mouse button

  3. Then repeat with the second window, dragging it to opposite side of the screen and release mouse button

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article and have learnt something new about Windows 7 and the features is offers.  If there is anything you would like to know how to do, then please leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you with an answer.

Also, don’t forget that we offer a range of Services from Office Administration through to Process Improvement and offer all new clients a free 2-hour trial.  Head to our main site for more information.

Thank you for reading!

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