To use Quick Tabs, click the button ? the one with four boxes on it ? just to the right of Add to Favorites. (Next to that is a Tab List button that will show all your open tabs in list form.) Clicking any thumbnail in Quick Tabs view will call up the tab for that particular page.
» Your Start Menu on Steroids
For example, you could create an alias so that when you type
y Dog Food in the Start Search field, your Web browser launches the Yahoo! search engine with search results displayed for the keyphrase 'dog food.' In the same way, Start++ makes it easy to launch programs, run scripts with parameters, etc.
» Quckly Snip a Screen Shot
Taking a screen shot in XP is an inexact science (PrintScreen, anyone?) unless you use a third-party utility, but the Snipping Tool built in to Vista (all versions except Home Basic) makes it a snip ? er, snap. You can use the tool to capture your entire desktop, a single window, or anything in between, and it's easy to see the part you want to capture because the tool dims any areas you haven't selected with the mouse.
The only trick to using the tool is first finding it, since it's not exactly front and center in Vista. To access the Snipping Tool, click the Windows icon (the orb), then type "snip," and select the 'Snipping Tool' that appears. You can then run the program and/or add a shortcut to the tool in the quick launch bar for quick access in the future. We'd like the tool more if there was a one-click button to send the captures to a graphics tool like Photoshop, but overall, the Snipping Tool is a welcome addition in Vista.
» Get More Process Information from Task Manager
It's not uncommon to use the Windows Task Manager to identify or end an errant application, but the Process tab in XP's Task Manager only displays cryptic filenames for running programs, which often means a trip to Google to figure out what program a file is associated with. Vista's Task Manager is much better, because its Process tab automatically displays a plain-English description for almost every entry, making it much easier to see what's what.
Vista's Task Manager will also let you right-click an entry and jump directly to the file's location on your hard drive, and if you want even more data on your programs, you can click View|Select Columns and choose from more than two dozen to add to the displayed information.
» Pump Up (or Down) the Volume
Just right-click the speaker icon in the system tray, and select Open Volume Mixer, and you'll see a independent volume control for each sound-enabled application you have running. When you open additional applications, they'll be added to the controls as well.
This article was first published on WinPlanet.com.