XP On Screen Keyboard?

Do you want to use an on screen keyboard?

Honestly, I don’t know why I would use it but, Microsoft includes a utility in XP, that displays a virtual keyboard on the computer screen as an accessibility tool.

To turn on the On-Screen Keyboard click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, Accessibility, On-Screen Keyboard. Or even easier, click on Start, select Run, type osk and click on OK

For more detailed information on this and other XP accessibility options see Windows
XP Accessibility Tutorials.

Some of these accessibility options, might be useful, for those who can not see or hear well and those who have trouble using a keyboard or a mouse; give them a try before looking for expensive ways to do the same type of thing.

XP Renaming a Series of Files

I recently downloaded pictures taken with my digital camera and as usual they had names which made no sense to me like imag0051.jpg, imag0050.jpg, etc.

In the past I would rename each one according to the event and date taken. This task was very tedious, as I would have to go into thumbnail view and determine what the name was going to be each time, not very efficient.

I decided to do a Google search with the phrase “rename a series of files”. The first page of 10 entries, out of about 5,840,000 entries, all referred to a built in XP function to accomplish just what I was looking for. My original thought was that I would have to use some type of freeware or shareware to do what I wanted but, as I am using XP, this suits my purposes.

To use this function in XP:

  • Locate the series of files to be renamed.
  • Select the files to be renamed. (Any type of file, not limited to images, but they must be all the same extension.)
  • On the File menu, click Rename. (You can also right click the first selected file and then click Rename.)
  • Type the new name, with appropriate extension, and press Enter.

The selected files will now be sequentially named, that is newname.ext, newname1.ext,newname2.ext, etc.

If you want to specify the start of the numbering sequence, so that all files are numbered, just type the starting number in parenthesis after the new file name and before the extension. e.g. newname(01).ext

Now, by using the tactic described above, I have much more descriptive files with names like July05_HiltonHead_Vacation(10).jpg, Katlynn_Birthday_05(12).jpg, bpcablog(12).txt, etc. I think these are much easier to find and categorize. Try it for yourself, it should be easier to keep track of your files this way.

Display Properties Shortcut

Those who regularly attend the BPCA SIG and General meeting, know that I am always changing something in the display properties to get the monitor and projector playing nicely with each other.

I have finally gotten smart and made a shortcut directly to the Display Properties of my various Windows based computers, instead of continually navigating from Start to Contol Panel, etc.

I created the shortcut by following these steps:

  • Left click the Start Button
  • Left click Control Panel
  • Right click Display
  • Select Create Shortcut
  • Click on Yes, when a dialog box comes up asking if you want the shortcut to be placed on the desktop

For even easier access, move the shortcut to the Quick Launch toolbar, if you are using that.

Now I have easy access to my display settings.