Windows sized to order

Q. Most of my Windows 95 applications "remember" the size and position they last occupied on my desktop. Other applications, however, such as Calculator and Cardfile (which I kept when I upgraded from Win 3.1), return to their default position when launched. Is there a way to get those programs to remember, or to change their default size and position?

A. Many older apps do not store their window size and position, and fewer still let you customise these attributes. Windows 9x provides partial control in this department. Right-click an application Shortcut and choose Properties. Click the Shortcut tab and select Normal window, Minimized, or Maximized. Unfortunately, the Normal window option provides no control over window size and position, and the Maximized option does not apply to small-window applets like Calculator and Cardfile. Your best bet is to find an application that gives you the control you want. You could use a utility that stores the size and location of each window when it closes, but it would have to run all the time and would invariably hog system resources.

A better solution is to use a tiny application like RunProg, an old Windows 3.x utility that lets you specify the desired coordinates and dimensions of any window in a Shortcut command line. As soon as it launches and positions your application, RunProg exits, freeing resources. RunProg can also open a file of your choice or set a program's default start-up directory (the directory you see when you first choose File-Open).

Here's how the routine works. Say your system uses a screen resolution of 800 x 600. You want Cardfile to open your recipe cards with the window about the size of one card but tall enough to see the titles of several cards. After adding RunProg to the folder of your choice, open Cardfile's Shortcut Properties sheet, click the Shortcut tab, and enter something like runprog.exe [225 025 350 550] cardfile.exe c:\doc\recipes.crd in the Target box. Add complete paths for the .exe files if needed.

The first two numbers in brackets are the horizontal and vertical pixel coordinates of Cardfile's upper left corner. The second two numbers define the width and height of the Cardfile window in pixels. Experiment with these numbers until you get the size and window position you want. RunProg comes with complete instructions in a text file. Although RunProg is no longer supported and is difficult to find (we tracked it down at ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/windows/util/rp105.zip), it's a great little time-saver.

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Scott Dunn

PC World
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