2018 Donald R. Snow - Last updated 2018-09-13

Don's Freeware Corner notes are printed in the UTAH VALLEY TECHNOLOGY AND GENEALOGY GROUP (UVTAGG) Newsletter TAGGology each month and are posted on his Class Notes Page at  where there may be corrections, updates, and additions.


Windows 10 is the current version of the Windows Operating System from Microsoft and this is the third Freeware Corner article about Tips and Tricks to help with it. The other two articles are  Part 2 - June 2017  and Part 1 - Dec 2016 .   If you are using Windows 10, it is updated automatically when they send out updates. There is a way to turn off these automatic updates, but it is usually better to keep your program updated, since they fix so many problems so the "bad guys" can't get into your system. I've mentioned before how to find tutorials and other Windows 10 "Getting Started" information and you would probably find it helpful to go through some of those.


The taskbar is the bar across the bottom of your computer desktop screen. You see it there regardless of the programs or browsers you have running. There will be an icon on the taskbar for each program that is running and others that you have "pinned" there, but that aren't running at the time.  The icons for programs that are running will have lines under them to show that they are running. When you close the program the icon on the taskbar disappears, unless you "pin" it there. Pinning a program to the taskbar means putting its icon there so you can click on it easily to run it, since you always see the taskbar at the bottom of your screen.  To pin an icon to the taskbar, when the program is running, right click ithe icon and click "pin".  If you want to have an icon to go directly to a webpage, open that webpage in your browser and drag the small icon that is in front of the address in your browser's address box down to the taskbar, or onto your desktop, if you want an icon on your desktop. Clicking this icon will now open the browser and take you directly to that Pinned icons on the taskbar make it easy to run programs or utilities that you use regularly since the taskbar is visible regardless of what programs you have running. When a program is running, or a folder is open, right-clicking its taskbar icon usually minimizes it, but keeps it running. When a program is minimized, you don't see it on your desktop, but it is still running in the background. In a previous Freeware Corner article I wrote about how to move or hide the taskbar itself and you can have it at the bottom, top, left, or right side of your screen.


Icons for folders can be pinned to the taskbar the same way you did programs, i.e., while you see the name of the folder highlighted in FILE EXPLORER (the file manager program in WINDOWS 10), right-click its icon on the taskbar and pin it there. Now clicking on this icon will take you directly to that folder in FILE EXPLORER. Folder icons on your taskbar help you get to items you use regularly. You can put file or folder icons on the taskbar or desktop by right clicking the file or folder name in FILE EXPLORER, and dragging to the location you want the icon, and clicking Create Shortcut Here.


Near the top of your browser, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, or Edge, there is a bar called the bookmarks bar. It contains your bookmarks which are shortcuts to webpages you want to get to quickly. Clicking on one opens that webpage in a tab in your browser. To add a bookmark for any webpage just go to that webpage and in front of the address box in your browser will be an icon. Click on that icon and drag it to your bookmarks bar. This also works to put an icon on your desktop. For your browser, anytime it is running, you will see that bookmark in the bookmarks bar and clicking on it will open that webpage in a new tab on the browser. You can move these bookmarks around to organize them the way you want by left-clicking and dragging to another location on the bar. When there are more bookmarks than can be shown on the bar, there will be a small double-chevron mark at the right end of the bookmarks bar that will open a menu with the rest of your bookmarks. Bookmarks can be organized into folders, alphabetized, etc.. Another Freeware Corner article some other time will discuss more about working with browser bookmarks.


If you are on a website or program that has a scroll bar at the right side to scroll up and down to see the rest of the window, there is a way to have the scrolling take place quickly without clicking in the scroll bar. To do this place the mouse cursor anywhere on the page and press down the mouse wheel itself. That will place a round symbol on the webpage where the cursor was. Now, by moving the mouse cursor above or below that symbol, the window will scroll up or down by itself. The further your mouse cursor is above or below the level of the symbol, the faster the scrolling will be. This makes it handy to move up and down quickly in a scrolled screen. To remove the symbol when you are done scrolling, just click the mouse anywhere on the screen.


You can save a copy of most webpages by right-clicking on a blank part of the page and selecting Save. This opens a window where you can navigate to the folder where you want to save the page and it already has the name of the file in the name box. You can edit the name before you save it, if desired. The two formats to save a page this way are html only or complete page. The complete page includes all the pictures and other files referenced on the page. The html-only format, just saves the text portion of the page. If the webpage only has text, then the html-only option saves it all anyway. If you save the complete webpage, it forms a folder which includes the pictures and other items referenced on the page. "html" stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the code that webpages are written in so browsers know how to display it with the text, text size, spacing, fonts, pictures, etc. Once you have either format saved, clicking on the file opens your browser and shows the webpage just as though you were online. This is sometimes helpful to save a file with all its colors and spacing, etc., so you can see it or show it without being connected to the Internet.


While running one or more programs, pressing the WINDOWS key and D at the same time, toggles your desktop on and off. The WINDOWS key is the one with the Microsoft flag emblem near the lower left corner of your keyboard. This helps if you need to get to your desktop while running other programs.


After you download files from the Internet, they are sometimes hard to find on your computer. One place where you can find them easily is to download them to your desktop. You can move them later when you know where you want to put them. Another place is to set up a folder and use the browser settings to have it always download files into that folder, but set it to ask you first. I have a folder on my C drive called DOWNLOADS ON C and my browsers are set to save downloads into that folder, but to always ask me first.  Then, if I want to save it elsewhere, I can.   I also have a folder where I have my screenshot program set to save all screenshots.  On my desktop I have icons to get to each of those folders directly.


There is a free program called PRINT FRIENDLY AND PDF available from  that sometimes helps in reading and downloading webpages. It is also a browser extension so when installed, you see an icon with a small printer on the bar at the top of your browser. When you are on a webpage that you want to save, or just want to read, but it has lots of extraneous stuff around it, click on the PRINT FRIENDLY AND PDF icon and it strips off much of the garbage and you only see the text and pictures. You can scroll through it and read it or use the icons at the top to Print, Save as PDF, or Email it to yourself or anyone else. There are also options to increase or decrease the size of the text and pictures. As you scroll down through it, you can even delete parts you don't want to save. It makes the text easier to read since it shortens long lines and makes them word-wrap. Clicking on the X at the upper right corner takes you back to the original webpage.


These are a few more tips and tricks for Windows 10 and many of these work in Windows 7 and earlier versions, as well. Later Freeware Corner articles will discuss additional features.