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Incredible Windows XP tips you wish you knew before you read this

Posted on Wednesday, September 27 2006 @ 23:55:10 CEST by

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” commands that may be run “out-of-the-box”. When these tips and tricks 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 Windows Start Button. From there, you will notice the “Run…” command a few lines up from the start button. Click it. You may also use the following key combination: WINDOWS KEY + r

When you click the “Run…” line, a new dialog box will appear. This is the box where you will be typing in these shortcuts.

Useful RL commands for the novice and end-user: (These commands are every-day, useful commands that everyone can use)

  • iexplore Opens Internet Explorer
  • firefox Opens Firefox
  • Applications:
  • 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
  • Audio/Video:
  • quictimeplayer Opens Quicktime’s Player
  • moviemk Opens Window’s Movie Maker
  • realplay Opens Real Audio’s Player
  • wmplayer Opens Microsoft Media Player
  • Games:
  • freecell Opens Freecell
  • pinball Opens Pinball
  • spider Opens Spider Solataire
  • Utilities:
  • clipbrd Opens the contents of the clipboard
  • control Opens the control panel
  • explore Opens Windows explorer
  • logoff Logoff the current user
  • magnify Opens the magnify utility
  • osk Opens the on-screen keyboard
  • printers Opens the printers panel
  • shutdown Shutdown the computer
  • 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 drive

    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, 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.

    Advanced RL commands:

    .CPL 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: “C:Windows”.
    • 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, some risk):
    • 1. Open the control panel 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 this: ;c:shortcuts
      ***Do not change anything else, or you may cause severe problems with other applications and their function!
    • 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 steps.
    • 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.

    Submitted by Prof. Joseph M. Pisano. He's the Assistant Chairman of Music and Fine Arts & Director of Music and Fine Arts Technology at Grove City College, Grove City, PA. He is an active musician, adjudicator, clinician and technology expert.


    Use Disqus to post new comments, the old comments are listed below.

    Re: Incredible Windows XP tips you wish you knew before you read this
    by Anonymous on Saturday, September 30 2006 @ 00:48:58 CEST
    pinball = pinball

    • Reply by Anonymous on Saturday, September 30 2006 @ 01:08:13 CEST

      fixed :)

    Re: Incredible Windows XP tips you wish you knew before you read this
    by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 01 2006 @ 16:05:53 CET
    Great page!! I knew some of these, but I was looking for all of them. This is a great resource!

    coould u please tell me shortcut to bring up the RL Box...
    by Anonymous on Friday, April 27 2007 @ 08:48:46 CEST
    coould u please tell me shortcut to bring up the RL Box...

    • Reply by Anonymous on Friday, February 29 2008 @ 00:36:03 CET

      Start Menu:Run

    • Reply by Anonymous on Saturday, May 24 2008 @ 08:28:28 CEST

      windows key+r

    Re: Incredible Windows XP tips you wish you knew before you read this
    by Anonymous on Wednesday, April 30 2008 @ 09:13:12 CEST
    very nice you information..


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