Incredible XP Tips you wish you knew before you read this, Part II
In Part I, I wrote about using [tag]short cut[/tag] keys while using [tag]XP[/tag]. In this edition, I am going to be focusing on the “run line“. This is sometimes referred to as the “start run line“.
There are many “built-in” [tag]commands[/tag] that may be run “out-of-the-box”. When these [tag]tips[/tag] and [tag]tricks[/tag] are employed, you will find yourself able to move through XP much faster and efficiently.
In order to find the “run line” (RL), you will need to click on the [tag]Windows Start Button[/tag].
From there, you will notice the “Run…” command a few lines up from the start button. Click it.
When you click the “Run…” line, a new dialog box will appear. This is the box where you will be typing in these [tag]shortcuts[/tag].
Useful RL commands for the novice and end-user:
(These commands are every-day, useful commands that everyone can use)
RED: Will only work if additional software has been installed
- iexplore Opens Internet Explorer
- firefox Opens Firefox
- calc Opens the Window’s Calculator
- excel Opens Microsoft Excel
- frontpg Opens Microsoft Frontpage
- msimn Opens Outlook Express
- nero Opens Nero
- notepad Opens Microsoft Notepad
- outlook Opens up Microsoft Outlook
- pbrush Opens Microsoft Paint
- powerpnt Opens Microsoft Power Point
- tourstart Opens the Microsoft Tour
- winword Opens Microsoft Word
- wordpad Opens Microsoft Wordpad
- quictimeplayer Opens Quicktime’s Player
- moviemk Opens Window’s Movie Maker
- realplay Opens Real Audio’s Player
- wmplayer Opens Microsoft Media Player
- freecell Opens Freecell
- pinball Opens Pinball
- spider Opens Spider Solataire
- winmine Opens Minesweeper
- clipbrd Opens the contents of the clipboard
- control Opens the control panel
- eventvwr Opens the event viewer (advanced users)
- explore Opens Windows explorer
- logoff Logoff the current user
- magnify Opens the magnify utility
- osk Opens the on-screen keyboard
- msinfo32 Provides the systems information diaglog box
- printers Opens the printers panel
- shutdown Shutdown the computer
- taskmgr Opens the task manager bar (advanced users)
Exploring the computer:
You may also enter simple “paths” into the RL. For example:
- C: Will open the contents of your hard drive
- A: Will open the contents of your floppy drive
- D: Will open the contents of your CD/DVD drive (usually)
- ?: Insert a letter for “?”, this will open the contents of that
In addition, you may enter a full file path like C:windows. This will open the windows directory. Also, if you are currently in an explorer window like this (note the address bar),
…you may enter an internet address and your default web-browser will open, and… vice-versa; You may also enter a local address, such as C:windows , within your web-browser, and it will open the local path as well.
Opening Web Pages:
By typing in a web-address using the RL, the default browser will automatically open. There is no need to start the web-browser first. Example:
Advanced RL commands:
(These are commands that open up specific control panels)
- access.cpl Accessibility options
- appwiz.cpl Add or remove programs
- desk.cpl Display properties
- hdwwiz.cpl Add hardware wizard
- inetcpl.cpl Internet Explorer properties
- intl.cpl Regional and language options
- joy.cpl Game controllers
- main.cpl Mouse properties
- mmsys.cpl Sounds and audio device properties
- ncpa.cpl Network connections
- nusrmgr.cpl User accounts
- odbccp32.cpl ODBC data source administrator
- powercfg.cpl Power options properties
- sysdm.cpl System properties
- telephon.cpl Phone and modem options
- timedate.cpl Date and time properties
.MSC RL commands:
(These are commands that open up Microsoft Management Console
Snap-ins. Some of these only work with XP Professional)
- certmgr.msc certificates
- ciadv.msc Indexing service
- compmgmt.msc Computer management
- devmgmt.msc Device manager
- dfrg.msc Defragmenter
- diskmgmt.msc Disk management
- eventvwr.msc Event viewer
- fsmgmt.msc Shared folders
- lusrmgr.msc Local users and groups
- ntmsmgr.msc Removable storage
- ntmsoprq.msc Removable storage operator requests
- perfmon.msc Performance monitor
- services.msc Services
- wmimgmt.msc Windows management infrastructure
There are others as well…
Creating your own RL shortcuts:
There are many ways to make RL shortcuts to applications. Some involve changing the registry and some involve other complexities. The following are the two easiest methods:
Method 1 (easiest, little risk):
1. Create a windows shortcut of the application you would like to
open by using the RL.
2. Save it to the “Windows” sub-directory. This is usually the file path:
3. Now you should be able to open the application using the RL.
Using the method works 99.9% of the time.
Method 2 (a little harder, but still easy in comparison to others,
1. Open the [tag]control panel[/tag] and choose Systems Properties.
2. Choose the Advanced tab and click Environment Variables.
3. From the “Systems variables” section, highlight “Path” and click edit.
4. Go to the end of the entry name “Variable value:” and insert
REMEMBER, YOU ARE ADDING THIS TO THE EXISTING LINE, NOT DELETING WHAT IS ALREADY THERE!
5. In the dialog boxes, click ok, then ok, then ok.
6. Create a directory (folder) called “shortcuts” in your “C: “,
root directory. The address line should read, C:shortcuts when
you open it.
7. Create a windows shortcut of the application you would like to
open by using the RL.
8. Save it to the “shortcut” sub-directory you just made in the previous
9. Now you should be able to open the application using the RL.
Obviously, when you understand the above process, you may label and locate the directory anywhere you wish. By using the 2nd method you will be able to organize your shortcuts in a much cleaner fashion.
Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is the creator of many education websites, a lecturer, clinician, trumpeter, and conductor. He is currently the Associate Chair of Music and Director of Bands in the Calderwood School of Arts at Grove City College in PA. He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award and the PA Citation of Excellence. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators and the current Vice-President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He also writes for DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and is the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. Find out more at his website jpisano.com.