Windows 9x - Still tweaking after all these years

First, make sure you have the most recent version of Tweak UI, which will guarantee the most features. Windows 95 users can stick with version 1.1, but Windows 98 users will benefit from the latest version, which was 1.33 as we went to press. A "Tweak UI 2000" beta is available, and the final version may be released by the time you read this. Microsoft has posted only version 1.33 at its Web site (www.microsoft.com/NTWorkstation/downloads/PowerToys/Networking/NTTweakUI.asp).

If you're not sure which version you have, locate tweakui.cpl in the Windows\System folder. Right-click the file and choose Properties. Click the Version tab to see the version number displayed near the top. Here are just a couple of the useful things you can do with this marvellous software:

RELOCATE SYSTEM FOLDERS

Tweak UI makes it easy to move the StartUp folder up the Explorer hierarchy, or to move the My Documents folder to another drive. The first step is to create the folder that you want to act as a system folder in Explorer. Next, start Tweak UI, click the General tab, and choose the folder that you want to change from the Folder drop-down list. Click Change Location, select the folder you created, and click OK twice. If you work on a multiple-boot system and want all your versions of Windows to use the same Favourites (or other) folder, you won't be forced to make changes to each of the systems you boot to.

HELP WITH HELP

You can click the question mark that appears on the Tweak UI title bar and select an item on which to get information, but often the resulting pop-up help says only, "No Help topic is associated with this item." If you get that message, try right-clicking the item and choosing What's This? Chances are, you'll see pop-up help where you thought none existed.

QUICKER FIXES FOR YOUR RIGHT-CLICK NEW MENU In the July 2000 issue, I told you probably everything you wanted to know (and maybe more) about adding file types to and removing them from the New menu you see when you right-click an empty part of the desktop or folder window. However, as many of you pointed out via e-mail, it's much easier to add items to this menu and remove them from it using Tweak UI.

Just click the New tab. To add a file type to the right-click New menu, create a template file for it and drag the template file to the list on Tweak UI's New tab. (You can then delete the template file if you want; Tweak UI stores a copy in the Windows\ShellNew folder.) To temporarily remove an item from the menu, uncheck the box next to it in the Tweak UI list. To remove an item permanently, select it and click Remove. Then click OK. This is a lot easier and safer than editing the Registry. The tip in the July issue is still useful if you want to remove all occurrences of a particular file type from your system.

SECOND CHANCE FOR LOST UNINSTALL OPTIONS Although its developers probably didn't intend this use, Tweak UI can help solve a special problem. Let's say you go to the Add/Remove Programs applet to uninstall an application, only to discover that the application is no longer listed. This can occur if you restore the Windows Registry from a backup that predates the installation of your software. You could reinstall the application in the same folder and then turn around and uninstall it again, but a better approach may be this simple technique submitted by Don Ferron: double-click the Tweak UI icon in Control Panel and click the Add/Remove tab to bring it to the front. Select the application you want to uninstall from the list and click the Edit button. Then drag over the text in the Command box (or press -C) to select it, right-click the highlighted text, and choose Copy. Click Cancel, choose Start-Run, and press -V to paste the command line over the existing text. Click OK, and the uninstall routine for that application will proceed as if you had launched it from the Add/Remove Control Panel. This solution works only if you install Tweak UI while the original uninstall list in Control Panel is intact.

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