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Windows 7 - How to Use Sticky Notes

If you regularly used the "Notes" gadget for the Sidebar in Windows Vista, then you're probably wondering where it went in Windows 7. In fact, the Sidebar has gone from Windows 7 entirely having been replaced by Desktop Gadgets. For the most part, the Desktop Gadgets in Windows 7 do much the same thing as the Sidebar from Windows Vista. In spite of this, you'll notice that there's no "Notes" gadget available.

When building Windows 7, Microsoft recognised the popularity of this feature and took it to the next step. Windows 7 introduces a tiny program called "Sticky Notes" which sits on your desktop and allows you to write small notes as well as copy and paste formatted data (along with font settings).

You'll find Sticky Notes in the "Accessories" folder of the Start Menu. When you start it up, a small post-it note application will appear on your desktop. This will return when you restart your computer, along with any text you have entered until you close the note by clicking on the cross in the top-right corner. By clicking the plus sign opposite, you can create another note. Note are always saved automatically.

You can copy and paste any text, including web links, into any note. Links and text formatting including font, size and colour will be retained. To open a link in Sticky Notes, press "CTRL" on your keyboard and left-click on the link.

While you cannot actually change the font in Sticky Notes itself, you can change the various other formatting options such as the text size. This is done using keyboard shortcuts – the same ones which you can use in any word processor. These are as follows:

CTRL + SHIFT + > Increase text size
CTRL + SHIFT + < Decrease text size
CTRL + B Bold
CTRL + I Italics
CTRL + U Underline
CTRL + T Strikethrough
CTRL + SHIFT + L Bullet points.

Pressing this combination twice changes the bullet points into numbers and continuing to do so cycles through the various other options.

You can also customize Sticky Notes by changing the background colour. To do this, simply right-click on the note and select from the list of colours which appear. Conveniently, you can do this for each note that you have open. Each one may have its own colour. Another customization which you can make is resizing any note by placing your mouse pointer at the edge of it and dragging it outwards.

If you use Sticky Notes regularly, you may find it more convenient to pin it to the taskbar. This will give you convenient access to Sticky Notes even when you have no notes open. To pin it to the taskbar, ensure that you have a note open, right-click on the icon in the taskbar and select "Pin this program to taskbar." In future, all you need to do is click on this button to open a new note if none is present.


Microsoft Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Speed improvements vary based on your system configuration. ErrorTeck is not endorsed or affiliated with either Microsoft or the third party applications it supports.