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Ease of Access

How to use Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and other products in a manner that is easy to use for everyone, no matter how knowledgeable you are. How to do stuff as quickly as possible.

The Complete Guide to Pinning Everything to the Windows 8 Start Screen

The Complete Guide to Pinning Everything to the Windows 8 Start Screen

The new Start screen is by far the most controversial feature in Windows 8. Personally, I view it as a glorified full-screen app launcher, which makes it easy to start any app you want. But, until you see things my way, you will need to learn how it works, experiment and work with it for a while. To help you become productive, I would like
The Windows 8 Customization Guide for the Traditional PC User

The Windows 8 Customization Guide for the Traditional PC User

Even though Windows 8 is hybrid in nature, it doesn't mean you cannot use iton traditional desktops and laptops. It works just fine and, most times, faster than Windows 7. But Windows 8 does things quite differently from what you may have been used to in previous versions of Windows. You will need to experiment, and you will probably want to do more customization than
The Desktop Tile Missing from the Start Screen? How to Add it Back

The Desktop Tile Missing from the Start Screen? How to Add it Back

It can happen that your Desktop tile is gone missing from the Start screen. Accidents happen and you will want to have it back. Fortunately, Windows 8 makes it easy to add its tile back to the Start screen. Here's how: How to Add the Desktop Tile to the Windows 8 Start Screen The Desktop tile shows your current wallpaper and, by default is
Download the Windows 8 Logo & Other Windows 8 Icons

Download the Windows 8 Logo & Other Windows 8 Icons

Do you want to use the Windows 8 logo as an icon on your computer? Are you interested in using other icons found in the final version of Windows 8? We extracted, converted and packaged together some of the Windows 8 specific icons, in a way that works on all versions of Windows and other non-Microsoft operating systems. Check them out! Here is how
How to Use the Narrator from the Ease of Access Center in Windows 7

How to Use the Narrator from the Ease of Access Center in Windows 7

The Narrator program, one of several Ease of Access tools, can be used to read aloud text that appears on your screen. This can be useful for people who have vision or language issues and prefer to hear rather than to read. In this article we will go over how to access Narrator, what options it has available, and some basic shortcuts that will make
Experimenting With Natural Language Search In Windows 7 Searches

Experimenting With Natural Language Search In Windows 7 Searches

In my previous two articles, I talked about using Windows Search to find what you want. Some of the terminology I talked about in those articles can look more like Martian than your own normal way of speaking (undoubtedly because programmers who normally use that kind of language created the system). Why isn't there a way to tell Windows what you want to find by
How to Use Search in Windows 7 and Customize the Search Index

How to Use Search in Windows 7 and Customize the Search Index

Once upon a time there was a program called Lotus Magellan that made indexing and searching a hard drive astonishingly easy. You did have to tell it to build an index, but once you did that, all you had to do was type in your search term, and Magellan would go through the index, find all the files containing your search term, and display them
Download the Desktop Shortcut to the Windows 8 Start Screen

Download the Desktop Shortcut to the Windows 8 Start Screen

I've noticed a growing complaint with Windows 8: the fact that, on the Desktop there is no visible shortcut to take you to the Start screen. Something like "Show Start", just like we had Show Desktop in Windows XP. For a novice user, there is no clue shown on how to get back to the Start screen. That's why I decided to investigate and found
How to Delete Troublesome & Invalid Shortcuts from the Games Panel

How to Delete Troublesome & Invalid Shortcuts from the Games Panel

The Games panel in Windows 7 is pretty awesome but it does have one issue: after you install and uninstall a few games, you can end-up having leftover shortcuts that are no longer valid and cannot be removed with ease. If you encounter this problem, this guide shows a few ways to remove these invalid shortcuts. The Problem - Invalid Shortcuts in the Games
What is the Games Folder & How to Use It?

What is the Games Folder & How to Use It?

The Games folder is a Windows 7 feature that few people are aware of, let alone understand its complete functionality. This article will try to demystify it and explain in detail what it is, how it works and how it can be customized. What is the Games Folder/Panel? Games is a special type of folder that has its own custom view in Windows. When
Dual-Monitor Annoyance: Mouse Pointer Drifting to The Other Screen

Dual-Monitor Annoyance: Mouse Pointer Drifting to The Other Screen

Having a dual-monitor configuration gives you a pretty good productivity improvement but introduces a few annoyances you don't have when working on a single monitor. For example, it is more likely for your mouse cursor to slip to the second screen when all you want to do is close the active application window or press the Show Desktop button on the taskbar. How do you
Speech Recognition: Afterthoughts on Its Strengths and Weaknesses

Speech Recognition: Afterthoughts on Its Strengths and Weaknesses

I have to admit that I hadn't used any kind of speech recognition in a long time when I was asked to do the tutorials. The last time I had tried speech recognition, it was with Dragon Dictate, which was new when Windows 98 was also new. A very long time ago in computer years! I was happy to tackle this subject because I was
Troubleshooting Common Speech Recognition Problems

Troubleshooting Common Speech Recognition Problems

In the previous tutorials about Speech Recognition you learned how to set up this application and the basics of using it. Speech Recognition does work surprisingly well "right out of the box," and it's quite sophisticated for a built-in application. However, this is not to say that it is foolproof. Let's take a look at some of the common problems in Speech Recognition, and how
Working with Speech Recognition: Commands, Dictating Text & Browsing the Web

Working with Speech Recognition: Commands, Dictating Text & Browsing the Web

The speech recognition software in Windows 7 is surprisingly sophisticated. Microsoft built into it a lot of features that, at one time, were only available in expensive third-party speech recognition software. Speech Recognition is easy to use, but as with all sophisticated software, you'll need to learn a few basics before you can talk with your computer as fluently as you talk with your friends.
Working with Speech Recognition: Setup and Configuration

Working with Speech Recognition: Setup and Configuration

Computer speech recognition has been around for a long time, and many people have heard of programs like Dragon Naturally Speaking. What many people may not know is that Windows 7 includes its own, very capable, speech recognition program. We plan to cover it in detail in a couple of articles. But first, let's see how to set it up, in order for it to
The Complete Guide to the Windows 7 Start Menu

The Complete Guide to the Windows 7 Start Menu

The Start Menu is one of the elements which remained unchanged for many versions of Windows. Windows Vista was the first to introduce some major redesign choices, some more inspired than others. Windows 7 marks another evolution but, this time, changes are more subtle. There are a small number of new features and many fixes for the less inspired changes introduced by Windows Vista. In