Friday, November 03, 2006

Speeding up Windows
The search tool in Windows XP is a great way to look for a file when you forgot where you put it, or what you called it. To make those searches move at the fastest pace possible, Windows XP defaults the "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching" option on the General tab of the Disk Properties dialog box.

My hard disk seemed to always run and run, even when I was not actively doing anything. I would check the Task Manager and find the CPU usage at 100% and then just wait or restart the system. I opened the Disk Properties dialog box (Start > My Computer, right-click Drive C:, and then choose Properties). On the General tab, I unchecked the Allow Indexing… option, and clicked OK. The process took a few minutes to complete—it had to update all files on the drive.

What a difference this little change made. No more was the CPU usage at 100%. The search stills works great, even though it might be a little slower.
Smaller Word Files
Ever wonder why Word files are so large? And why they grow at an unusual rate as you make changes to the document? It has to do with the Fast Save feature--on by default.

In Word, choose Tools > Options > Save and uncheck Allow fast saves.

You probably will not notice the difference in time it takes to save the document, and the size of the document will be smaller. Fast save stores information about the last fifteen modifications you have made to the document resulting in larger file sizes. Turn it off and this old information is not recorded.