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how to do technology in ten moves. (or less.) A Loose Wire production

How to Add Comments to Files (Win XP)

This may seem a tad nerdy, but it’s always struck me as dumb that you can tag websites, photos and all that stuff but you can’t tag files on your computer. So here’s a way to add notes to a file.

If you don’t want to download anything:

Open Windows Explorer/My Computer

Right click on the file you want to annotate, and select Properties:

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Select the second tab, called Summary, and add text to the Comments field:

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Hit OK. (There’s an easier way to do this, but it involves downloading stuff. See below)

To view your comment in Windows Explorer/My Computer

Right click on the column bar at the top of the window and select Comments:

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Your comment should now be visible in an extra column:

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To save this layout of columns so that your comments are always visible, select Folder Options from the Tools menu:

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and select Apply to all Folders from the View tab:

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If you don’t mind downloading software, there’s an easier way to add comments. Well, two.

First off, you can download something called HobComment, which makes it possible to add comments by right clicking a file. An extra command appears on the pop up menu which removes a couple of steps:

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This is simple enough, and works within Windows Explorer. Another option is to replace Windows Explorer with something called xplorer² lite (the free version of the software) which allows you to add comments from within the program via a simple keystroke:

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Both of these tools work fine.

An important thing to note with these comments are, that they stick to the file itself, so if you move the file to another computer, the comments come along. That’s not true with several other tools that add comments to files, such as (the largely defunct) ExplorerPlus‘ Notes feature, and another file annotating tool called AnnotSX, where comments are stored separately can’t be seen without the program installed.

The other thing to note is that this comments feature is useful, but it’s not that useful. I find it helpful to differentiate files (‘Threat to sue bank’) or adding comments to photo or sound files with boring names like DSS0812901.dss (‘Steve Jobs interview’).

But I’ve not found a way to find files using the comments field; maybe a reader has. And I’m not sure how this works, or doesn’t work, under Vista. Once again, any insight welcome.

Filed under: medium

How to Set Your HP Printer to Default Economical Mode

For any of you owning one of the new range of HP DeskJet printers, like the D4260, and frustrated that it keeps printing out in Normal ink-guzzling mode, however many times you change it in the print dialog box to a more economical setting here’s how to set it so it ALWAYS prints out in more economical mode.

Find your printer in the Printer section of the Control Panel. (In Vista and Seven just type Printers in the Start Menu and select Devices and Printers. Right click and select Properties:

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In the Advanced tab, select Printing Defaults..:

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Select Fast/Economical Printing and switch Pages per sheet: to 2 pages per sheet (if you want):

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Click OK and then, in the Properties window, OK again.

Now your printer settings should be permanent. (Nothing with HP is ever permanent so you may find these settings overwritten at some point.)

Filed under: easy, , , , , ,

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