More Notes on Notepad (and other Windows hints)

By Lee, KN4GC

Some Tricks and Tips

Creating a Time-Log File with Notepad

By typing a simple entry (.LOG) on the first line of a Notepad document, Notepad will automatically enter the current time and date at the end of a document each time you open the file. This feature might be convenient if you keep an event log. Note that you must enter the text .LOG on the first line of the document, and it must be uppercase. You can also choose Edit-->Time/Date or press F5 to insert the current time and date at the location of the insertion point.

Adding Notepad (or any other program) to the Start Menu

You can add Notepad to your Start menu so that you don't have to minimize other programs to access Notepad. Just click on the Start menu on the taskbar and chose Notepad. It opens right over other programs.

To put Notepad into your start menu, follow these steps:

First, the long method:

Create a shortcut to it on your desktop.

  1. To simplify things, close or minimize all other programs so that you are dealing with a clear desktop. Right click on Taskbar and choose Minimize from the pop-up menu.
  2. Open My Computer from your desktop.
  3. Open the C drive.
  4. Scroll down and find the Windows folder an open it.
  5. Scroll until you find Notepad. The programs in Windows are alphabetically listed after the directories.
  6. When you find Notepad - the icon is a little Notepad - right click on it and chose "create shortcut". It will create a shortcut, adding it to the end of the programs in the Windows directory.
  7. Drag the shortcut to your desktop. If you can't see your desktop, click the middle button in the top right hand corner of the window...next to the x. This will make the window smaller.
  8. When you can see your desktop, scroll to the end of the windows file and find the shortcut you just made, press the left mouse button and hold it down as you drag the shortcut to your desktop. Then release the mouse button. The shortcut will be added to the desktop. Close the windows folder window.
  9. To add this Notepad shortcut to your Start menu, drag the shortcut icon to the Start button on the task bar and release it. This adds it to your Start menu, so you can access your Notepad without having to access your desktop.

A much shorter method

In Windows, there is always more than one way to do something. Some methods are faster than others, but may require you to have more experience. For instance, if you are more adept at using your mouse, you can find the Notepad in the Programs --> Accessories menu as you normally would. Click and hold the Left mouse button while you drag the Notepad icon over the Start button. When you release the mouse button, a Notepad icon will have been inserted into the Start menu.

Removing the shortcut from the Start menu

If you later decide you don't like the shortcut on the Start menu (see the next item if you need a reason), just click Start, then right click on the menu item, and select Delete from the drop down menu.

Add Notepad to the WinPack menu

Reading the WinPack manual, which is downloadable as a PDF file from http://www.gb7fcr.plus.com/WinpUser6_80_PDF.zip, you find around a dozen references to using Notepad. On Page 100 you discover that it is possible to add links to external programs to the Files menu of WinPack. Here's how to add Notepad:

  1. Open a new file in Notepad
  2. Enter the following text
  3. Windows Notepad
  4. Save the file as NOTEPAD.XTR in the WinPack directory.
  5. If WinPack is currently open, close it.
  6. Open WinPack. Click on the File menu. An entry for Windows Notepad should be there. When you click on it, an instance of Notepad should start.

Even cooler, you can add a button for Notepad on the WinPack Button bar by adding the following line to the NOTEPAD.XTR file:


You will have to find an appropriate icon. I found some good free icons at GoldenWeb.it - Icons - Textfile 2 and downloaded 62.ico. If you do that, save the icon file to your WinPack\ICONS directory. Then change the line in the NOTEPAD.XTR file to read:


and save the file. The next time you open WinPack, you will find a button to the right of the regular buttons. Click it and Notepad will open. Magic!

You can find lots of other cool things for Winpack at http://www.winpack.org.uk/ besides the manual. For example, there's a collection of almost 200 add-ins for the program.

A useful program

Notepad is useful for collecting and keeping all sorts of information. For example, whenever you find useful information on an Internet site, simple copy it and paste it into a Notepad file. [You can also do this with messages received or procedures you are performing in WinPack.]

Some Keyboard Shortcuts for Notepad

Effect Keyboard Shortcuts
Move cursor to the beginning of the line currently on. Home
Move cursor to the end of the line currently on. End
Cursor up one line. Up
Cursor down one line. Down
Scroll up one screen. PageUp
Scroll down one screen. PageDown
Scroll left one screen. Ctrl + PageUp
Scroll right one screen. Ctrl + PageDown
Scroll to the top of the document. Ctrl + Home
Scroll to the bottom of the document. Ctrl + End
Move left one word. Ctrl + Left
Move right one word. Ctrl + Right
Starts a new line or moves text after cursor down. Enter
Deletes one character that cursor is on or currently selected text. Delete (Del)
Deletes one character before the cursor. Backspace
Pastes contents currently on clipboard. Ctrl + V
Using shift in combination with any of the above scrolling or moving commands will select/highlight text, such as Ctrl + Shift + Right. Shift
Copies currently selected text into Clipboard. Ctrl + C
Cuts the currently selected text into Clipboard. Ctrl + X
Find text. Ctrl + Q + F
Repeat last search. F3
Displays help. F1

Some Other useful Keyboard Shortcuts - applicable to all versions of Windows since Windows 95

Effect Keyboard Shortcuts
Switch between running applications: Press Tab repeatedly while holding Alt.
Open the Start Menu: Press Ctrl - ESC.
Tab (move from one control to another) in reverse: Hold Shift while pressing Tab.
Switch among running programs: Press Alt - TAB
Send the active window to the back: Press Alt - ESC.
Capture the current window to the Clipboard as a graphic image: Press Alt - PrntScrn
Capture the entire screen to the Clipboard as a graphic image: Press CTRL - PrntScrn
Move to the next tab in a tabbed dialog box: Hold Ctrl while pressing Tab.
Send the focus to the menu: Press Alt by itself. Then use the cursor keys to navigate.
Expand all the directories in a branch in Explorer: Select the desired branch in Explorer, and press * (the asterisk key). If Desktop is selected, all directories in all drives will be expanded.
Right-click (display an object's context menu): Make sure the desired object has the focus, and press Shift-F10.