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TECH Q AND A: Reordering photos a snap in Windows XP.

Question: I'm having a problem viewing a slide show of my digital photos on my Windows XP computer. I put vacation pictures in "My Pictures" folder and selected "slide show" to view them. But the pictures appear to be shown in random order. Is th...

Question: I'm having a problem viewing a slide show of my digital photos on my Windows XP computer. I put vacation pictures in "My Pictures" folder and selected "slide show" to view them. But the pictures appear to be shown in random order. Is there any way to get the pictures to appear in the order they were taken?

Answer: To get the slide show sequence you want, you can reorder the photos inside the PC folder where they're stored. To make this easier, select "thumbnail" from the "view" menu at the top of Windows Explorer so you can see the actual pictures.

You'll see the photos are listed in order of their file names. These file names may be the ones the camera automatically assigned -- typically numbers -- or alphabetical names you've given the photos by using the "rename" function (say, to give a photo a person's name.) The PC displays the photos in the file in this order: numbered photos first, in numerical order, followed by named files, in alphabetical order. Windows slide show displays the photos in the order they appear in the folder.

There are three reasons the photos may not be in the order you took them. If you renamed a photo, you gave it a different place in the order. If you've changed cameras, your newer photos may be automatically assigned file names with a different sequence of numbers -- potentially putting them ahead of older photos in your folder. In addition, some cameras require resetting the correct date after changing batteries; if you don't, photos can have the wrong date.

Windows XP will let you automatically reorder the photos by date taken by going to the "view" menu and choosing "arrange icons by" and then "picture taken on." If that doesn't work, you can manually change the photo order by dragging pictures around the folder; moving a photo to the top left will make it the first picture in the slide show, and so on.

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Q: Everything on the Internet seems miniaturized on my screen, as you can see from the image I sent. The small print doesn't fill up the screen. How can I fix this?

A: The image you sent shows that you've got a widescreen monitor, which isn't compatible with the shape of a website designed for older, narrower monitors.

You can make a Web site fit your wider screen by "zooming in" until it fills the screen. But the type and photos will become huge.

To zoom in with the Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers, click the "Ctrl" key and the "+" key at the same time. To zoom out, use the "Ctrl" and "-" keys.

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