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3 handy, built-in Windows tools

Buried in Windows 7 are three useful tools to help you work faster, and get a little more out of your system's built-in features.

Microsoft hasn't released any substantial updates since Windows 7 in 2009, but its operating system is never short on built-in unadvertised features. While we patiently wait for Windows 8 to debut, here are three very useful tools you might have missed.

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1. Windows Mobility Center
Press the Windows-X to call up a dashboard that gives you quick access to settings like volume, Wi-Fi, power management, and more. Click the icons for advanced options. There's also "presentation mode," which disables all Windows notifications while you give a presentation (i.e. PowerPoint).

2. Magnifying glass
Press Windows-+ to call up the magnifying glass, which lets you zoom in on any part of the screen.

3. Snipping tool
Forget the old school way of taking screenshots--hitting print screen and pasting into Paint--Windows now has a handy "snipping tool". Find it by searching for it in the Start menu, then use one of the snipping options: rectangle, free-form, or full-screen.