For most of us, the daily computer routine begins and ends with a logo of a squiggly window on a sky-blue background. Our tool of choice may be a word processor, a spreadsheet, or an image editor, but we all share Windows. And though we may consider ourselves well acquainted with the operating system after all these years, a world of functionality lies buried beneath Windows' layers of cascading menus and tabbed dialogue boxes. That's the hidden Windows these tips will reveal - the one that allows you to cut and paste faster, change your icons, create custom menus (or customise existing ones), and eliminate repetitive dialogue boxes.
Though Windows has hundreds (if not thousands) of features, it lacks many important ones. These are holes that third-party utilities step in to fill. You'll find profiles of several of these tools in our "Essential Additions".
Most of the following tips work for Windows 95, 98, and Millennium Edition, and many also work in Windows NT and 2000. For additional Windows Me tips, see "Windows Me Start-up Kit".
When you're finished fine-tuning your operating system, the time you spend with Windows will be more personal, more productive - but most of all, it will be Windows your way.