Beginner Builder series 75% done! will probably never be finished. :(

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tweak UI: Microsoft made something......good???

Wait, let me get this straight, MICROSOFT actually made this?

Usually, if I hear that Microsoft released a program, I turn off my internet and hide down in a cellar with all my computers for a few days, just to be safe. But then I stumbled across TweakUI. Mind you, when I installed it, I didn't know Microsoft was the one who made it, but I was impressed.

TweakUI essentially provides an easy interface for you to make tweaks to your system, so you can get it how you like it. I'm fairly sure that you can do everything inside of TweakUI elsewhere on the computer, but it makes it a heck of alot easier. Basically, it has alot of "tweaks" that are small edits to Windows. Also, it's really nice because TweakUI does tweaks that paid programs do, except for free. I used X-Setup Pro, which is shareware (which isn't bad since really, you only have to tweak once), and I found that TweakUI does all that I want.

If you want a detailed explanation of every tweak, TweakUI provides a brief description that usually suffices. Also, this is kind of a tool that you need to know what you want when you start it. There's no dire consequences if you click something and then change your mind, but it helps alot if you know what is what.

To be honest, it's very hard to describe this program, because it has so much. Other than listing every single tweak, there's no real easy way to do it. So here's a few of the tweaks that I love:

Remove prefix "Shortcut to" - I never really liked this, so I love that you can make it automatically remove "Shortcut to" to new shortcuts.

Start Menu frequent programs - The start menu picks programs that you've used recently, but some that it choose, you may not want, so you can go through and uncheck programs that you never want to show up there.

Taskbar grouping - If you don't use a program like Taskbar Shuffle, then you can make it where Windows will never collapse programs in the taskbar to one button.

First Icon on desktop - You can choose what you want to show up first, "My Documents" or "My Computer." I don't use desktop icons on this computer, but if I did, I would make sure to pick my preference.

Drive Letter Location - You can make the drive letter come before, after, different between network drives and local drives, or none at all.

Templates - One of my favorites, when you right click in a folder and go to "New," there's a list of file types. I never liked those file types. Who does "New > Audio file"? It lets you delete, create, and edit these entries.

Rebuild Icons - If your icon seems to be messed up, such as Explorer using the wrong icon for something, then use this.

That's just a few of the things. There are alot more, and if you want to see them, again, download the program. It really is handy, even if you install it, tweak, and uninstall. There is ONE downside that I've found so far....and it is Microsoft-related.

-Installs to system32: Of course, Microsoft can never just make a program that does not intertwine itself with the system. TweakUI -and all XP Powertoys, I believe- install to system folders. You can still uninstall it, but I just never like putting more stuff in system folders than I need to.

However, according to Portable Freeware, TweakUI is indeed portable. Unfortunately enough, though, Universal extractor does not work, so you have to install, copy, then uninstall. Or, you can download it right here. I'll try to keep it up as long as I can, but if a ton of people download it, I'll have to take it down...I'm just using a free service.

Visit TweakUI site (Microsoft XP Powertoys) website for download

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