Several solutions available to maximize Web page size

October 16, 2005|By JAMES COATES

Q. I know you are a busy person, but I was wondering if you can tell me how to set up Windows so that when I open a Web page, it is displayed in a full window instead of at a smaller size.

I have to click the maximize icon every time.

- Bob Brown,

A. My dear old father, who really was a busy person unlike his son with the cushy computer columnist job, liked to remind his children that "there are many ways to skin a cat." The same goes for opening, sizing and shutting each screen displayed in Windows.

Let's begin with a down-and-dirty fix to quickly maximize a display without using the mouse.

Whenever a program opens in a smallish window, hold down the Alt key and Space bar at the same time and then tap the "x" key, as in maXimize. This will fill the screen with whatever window is active. Hold down Alt and Space and then tap "n" for miNimize and the display will be minimized into an icon in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Hold down Alt and Space and tap "r" as in Restore to return the display to the original smallish window.


These keyboard shortcuts act so fast that almost all of the bother of having to expand the window is bypassed.

A second way to remove the fur from the feline uses Windows shortcuts instead of opening programs from their proper icons. Find a program such as Internet Explorer, which by default is kept on the Windows desktop. Put the cursor arrow over the Explorer icon, give it a right-click and then select Make Shortcut from the menu that pops up.

This creates a copy of the icon right next to the real thing. Now, give the shortcut a right-click and pick Properties from the pop-up menu. You will find an item in the display this creates called Run alongside a list box that can be set for maximize, minimize and normal. Pick your poison and that's how the program will open in the future when it's activated by the shortcut.

This works best if one uses the Quick Launch feature, which displays shortcuts for icons of frequently used programs to the right of the Start button. Right-click on the taskbar to the right of Start, select Toolbars and then Quick Launch. Now, when you drag a shortcut onto that part of the taskbar, a tiny icon will appear there. Give that icon a right-click and then use Properties and Run to make it open in a maximized window.

This is particularly handy if one uses the Launch tray to hold icons for frequently used software.

Contact Jim Coates via e-mail at or at the Chicago Tribune, Room 400, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60611.

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