Chapter 6. The Freebie Software

Even after a fresh installation of Windows XP, a glance at your StartAll Programs menu reveals a rich array of preinstalled Windows XP applications—as an infomercial might put it, they’re your free bonus gift. This chapter offers a crash course in these programs, a few of which could probably merit Missing Manuals of their own.

The Windows XP Accessories

Microsoft calls many of these built-in programs accessories. They have two things in common. First, they’re all smallish, single-purpose programs that you’ll probably use only occasionally. Second, you get to them from the StartAll ProgramsAccessories menu.

Accessibility Features

If you have trouble using your keyboard or making out small text on the screen, the programs in the StartAll ProgramsAccessoriesAccessibility menu may be just what you need.

Accessibility Wizard

Windows XP is one of the most disability-friendly operating systems on earth. It includes a long list of features that enables the PC to magnify, speak, or otherwise boost the elements of the screen.

The Accessibility Wizard offers these features to you, one feature at a time. Its screens invite you to enlarge all kinds of things: the type in dialog boxes and menus, scroll bars and window borders, desktop icons, the arrow cursor itself, and so on.


Not all of these features are useful only to the disabled. If you have a flat-panel screen, for example, you may have noticed that everything on the screen is smaller than it might be on ...

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