From The Tips Box: Windows Explorer Gestures, Mobile Start Pages

Readers offer their best tips for using mouse gestures in Windows and customising your mobile start screen.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons—maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in—the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Gest Brings Opera-Like Mouse Gestures to Windows Explorer

AutoHotkey coder extraordinaire JBambrick shares another one of his creations:

I have created a new program in order to allow mouse gestures in Windows Explorer similar to those seen in modern browsers. You hold down the right mouse button and draw lines which are interpreted by the program. These perform certain, simple functions such as moving forwards and backwards or opening new windows (in certain, pre-specified destinations). Mouse gestures improve productivity and are easy to use.

‘Gest’ is a small, portable and free program which runs from the system tray. To help you, there is an optional mouse trail, which adds a blue line to show the path of your cursor when the right mouse button is held, and there is an optional, small, customisable box (the ‘Gesture Box’) which appears in the corner of you screen to tell you what gestures ‘Gest’ has detected. ‘Gest’ is easy to set up and control. When you first run it, you will see the settings window for your initial set up. After this, the program will start up silently and not bother you with the window, unless you call it with a simple keyboard shortcut. ‘Gest’ is also easy to set to run on startup so you won’t have to run it every time you log on.

‘Gest’ supports Windows 7 but it may also support older versions of Windows – there is no risk in trying.

I am very open to any suggestions / thoughts you might have.

‘Gest’ can be downloaded for free from my website in the ‘Programs’ section, or alternatively, you can download it directly from this Dropbox page.

Also, on an unrelated note, there have been a number of major updates to my other program ‘MediaKeys’ recently. Have a look at the changelog for more details.

Use a Custom Windows Phone 7-Style Start Page on Your Mobile Phone

Mrjeremiahross shares his custom start page for mobile phones:

I needed a new startpage for my mobile that was quick and painless; so I copied the metro style and did the following

1) Created 4 sections

2) Each section has a different set of coloured tiles

3) Each tile is a thumb friendly size

4) I left enough space to the right to scroll up and down with ease

Now, I have all of my resources at hand. If you place in on the Amazon S3 bucket, then you have the advantage of not transferring data as the S3 service will tell the browser that there are no changes (unless you don’t keep cookies/caching).

Took a few revisions to make the sizing consistent. You can download it at my DeviantArt page.

There are some instructions in the readme file for customising the links and such—should be pretty easy to set up your own from this template.

Launch the Command Prompt Quickly with a Keyboard Shortcut

P.Observer and Java-Princess let us know a good use for Windows’ custom keyboard shortcuts:

I noticed that Windows was sadly lacking in a hotkey to open the Command Prompt…until now.

1. Make a shortcut that leads to cmd.exe

2. Right click and go to properties > shortcut

3. Change the shortcut key to whatever you want. I went with “C”

If you don’t want the shortcut stuck on your desktop go Start/Right Click All Programs to open the start menu folder and create the shortcut there.

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