There’s something about Windows
If you read my blog regulary, or will be reading it regulary I think that you have enough tech-knowledge now to learn about something more advanced.
When you start working more often with your computer and start experimenting with new software or perhaps virus/spyware removal tools you’ll be confronted with the Windows register sooner or later.
So, it is time that you know what it actually is (sounds like I’m trying to explain to you where babies really come from).
Consider the register of a windows operating system as a database, a hierachical database to be exact. In this database all settings and options about all sorts of things are stored. Detail about software that has been installed, about the operating system itself (like for example which programs need to start at startup) and to on and so forth.
The registry contains 2 basic elements. Keys and values. Consider keys as a sort of a folder, a folder can have a subfolder and this subfolder can have a subfolder of its own. The same goes for the registry key. A key can have a child key and this child key can also havea child key. It is a simple as that.
Still with me? Good…
For the values, there are name/data pairs and are stored within… ofcourse keys. For the record all values with in a key are uniquely identified. A name can only be used once.
These values will, in the end, determine the options and the settings for a particular key. For example, if you are familiar with the office suite, there are some registry keys available for all office applications.
I’ll give you one practical example. If you save, from word, a document to a RTF (rich text format) file which contains a background build from a JPG file of about 300kb. The resulting file will be about 150 mb. What you say? Indeed! Let’s not go into detail but the bottom line is that word stores the document in a specific way so it becomes rather large.
You can set an option so word doesn’t use this specific option anymore and you’ll end up with a RTF of about 1.3 mb.. Better, right?
This change needs to be done in the windows registry. You need to locate the key of office, well word to be exact and change or create the correct value.
In this case you need to locate key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\Options and you need to add a value ExportPictureWithMetafile with value 0.
About the values… There are 7 default values. Root values to be exact, the top level values, which are following:
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE or HKLM
- HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG or HKCC
- HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT or HKCR
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER or HKCU
- HKEY_USERS or HKU
Some are dependent on the windows version so don’t be alarmed if you don’t find them all.
You have guessed by now that you can manually edit or create registry values or keys. Only thing I need to do now is tell you how to get to the registry editor.
The easiest way is to click start.. hit run and enter REGEDIT. If you now hit enter again the register editor will open.
The very basics on the windows registry. Hope it helped!