Windows

Off hours: Put your name in the Windows XP notification area


During those times when the urgent need for high powered technical intelligence wanes a bit-- especially on a slow Friday afternoon -- try this fun trick and amaze your colleagues. Here's how to make your "own" time by putting your name in the notification area next to the time.

  1. Access the Control Panel from the Start menu.
  2. Double click Regional and Language Options.
  3. Click the Customize button in the Standards And Formats panel of the Regional Options tab.
  4. When the Customize Regional Options dialog box appears, select the Time tab.
  5. In the AM Symbol and PM Symbol boxes, you can replace that text with your name or whatever word you want, as long as it is no longer than 12 characters.
  6. To complete the operation, click OK twice -- once to close the Customize Regional Options dialog box and once to close the Regional And Language Options dialog box.

You'll instantly see your name appear in the notification area right next to the time.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

118 comments
ssavvy
ssavvy

REALLY BAD IDEA!!AFFECTS ACCESS TABLES AND CAN SCREW UP SOFTWARE. I just got over a two month support call - my vendor locks in time settings - no entries were transferring to another program because of it, even after I changed it back. Really bad idea. This can affect more programs than you know.

toats2006
toats2006

cool!!!!! can i do this in my vista also???

sultanbosch
sultanbosch

I like it this has something new to do. Tbank you very much.

Nstig8r
Nstig8r

AWESOME! Just the personal touch I needed on this cold piece of 'home'. Thanks!!

elongp
elongp

This hosed my ability to close Work Orders in Magic, our Help Desk system. One of my friends says that is caused huge problems on her work computer. I guess that's the last tip that I'll immediately do on my work computer and then pass on to friends! Hopefully when I reverse it, it will resolve the problems in Magic. I didn't even think of this when they stopped closing. Sheesh!

cholan41
cholan41

It is already discussed in Orkut for Xp tips& tricks Area any way if u changed this it will effect in XL whn u typed Am /Pm XL work sheet it will not show the time but it wht the word u typed

ben.rattigan
ben.rattigan

I would seriously advise you ignore this Windows tip. It drops whatever text you put in there into email clients, database fields and so on.

davidmathiraj
davidmathiraj

Good ! Funny !! Very Good !!! Could be of more useful to include work-station names, when we work with different work-stations to identify them.

magician_pe
magician_pe

Maybe I have a better way to put your name or any text in your task bar: Right Click the task bar and choose the sub menu "tool bars" and then "New Tool Bar". Search for any directory (maybe a temp or a profile directory) and then click on "Create new folder" button, rename the new folder to the desired name or text, then choose that folder and click "ok" button. Now you have the text on your task bar. Miguel A. Risco http://mrisco.accesus.com

alle2003
alle2003

Fun but maybe not so practical. Also changed my AM/PM in Netscape mail messages as well.

mehfuz1
mehfuz1

meh, you send this tip on email!

RenquinSr
RenquinSr

Fun!! It takes you to a file you would never open and you can experiment. Nothing says you can't go back to the OLD WAY.

RenquinSr
RenquinSr

Fun!! Time to look into a file you would never open and experiment. Nothing says you can't go back to the OLD Way.

kjl
kjl

A colossal waste of time!!

mikewbc
mikewbc

Unless you want your "Text" to be included in all forward or replied e-mail as part of the time stamp, I wouldn't use this!

richard7
richard7

I did this and now, when the time is posted in a particular program I use (ACT), it comes up as 11:30 Richard instead of 11:30 AM, for example. I had to switch it back.

gdimagery
gdimagery

You might investigate a freeware package called TCLOCKEX. It lets you put a name and other information with the clock and doesn't affect other programs

jdc100
jdc100

This works on Vista as well jdc100@sbcglobal.net

bop
bop

Well Greg. it seems you hav e been dealing out a very dangerous drug. The scary side effect is that you don't know when and where the "fun" will kick in as bad trip in the high profile presentation the CEO has based on data from the server that prepeared on your PC. Highly toxic stuff - eeh.

whiplashm1
whiplashm1

Remedy incident tracking software timestamps tickets from this field... Imagine my embarrassment when I had to ask my manager to change that field (it's closed to non-Remedy-administrators)in a ticket because it said "Take a break at 7:45am". I'm just glad I didn't put some of the other ideas I had in there... I have to think if a system like Remedy pulls data from that field, there's gotta be a ton of other applications that do as well.

ckasper
ckasper

Really cool trick. Then I checked my e-mail. Whoa! All my date and time stamps reflected these settings.

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

I don't have that icon in my control panel window ( Windows XP SP2 on work computer ), is there a command I can type in to bring the appropriate applet up?

techrepublic
techrepublic

Anywhere your computer uses this specific time format will be affected by your change. Make sure you don't end up sending out embarrassing emails...

Jersey Bill
Jersey Bill

It also shows up in the "Date Modified" column in Windows Explore (and probably affects the format of other time data as well).

wsmith
wsmith

Nice trick... AM= Waking Up PM= Winding Down Worked like a charm

ddc3ms
ddc3ms

I am using this trick to change the AM/PM to the Time Zome (EST). As a traveling consultant this come in handy as quick remind of what time zome the computer is in. Also Great for remote access when computers are in different time zones

reggy
reggy

The text you've put in place of the AM/PM notification now is also send along with your outgoing e-mail. Unless that's is what you want, you might want to undo this feature...

mikeholli
mikeholli

[quote]alongp said: This hosed my ability to close Work Orders in Magic[end-quote] Now I want you to read the first part of this thread. NOTICE it says OFF HOURS???? That means DO NOT ATTEMPT ANYTHING YOU READ IN ANY BLOG ON A WORK COMPUTER!!!!! Secondly what gave you the right to try anything on a computer you don't OWN? How would you like it if your system admin went into you home and decided to put MS DOS 6.1 on your computer? Sheesh!!!

mrniqster
mrniqster

I can't believe I read all 90 posts about this !!! I need a life.

southoceandrive
southoceandrive

"A colossal waste of time!" is writing "A colossal waste of time!" twice

alle2003
alle2003

TClockEx is a nice little program that enhances the clock that is built into the Windows 95,98,NT taskbar. But does it work with Win XP?

bpenrod
bpenrod

9:52 AM - Just say No!

HIGBEEST
HIGBEEST

I put a -LASTNAME- next to the AM and PM so it shows the time correctly along with my last name. I was surprised to request driving directions and see each step list the estimated time on each line with my -LASTNAME-. It is on each file I download or move!

rpost
rpost

On the surface, this looked like a fun and harmless thing to do . . . but virtually everything that has a time stamp could be affected. This includes Windows Explorer and Outlook as well as other time oriented applications (i.e. Remedy, payroll time entry).

richard.n.carpenter
richard.n.carpenter

Just too funny to see your outlook meeting notices fly off your desk with a 12 character witicizm!

bpenrod
bpenrod

I put about 4 spaces in the AM box and then typed :( I'm not a morning person. [:

RFink
RFink

Change your time zone to ET. EST is in effect for 18 weeks a year. The other 34 it's EDT.

john.campbell
john.campbell

I changed mine to "GET TO WORK!", which promptly appeared in all my Outlook timestamps as well

hcetrepus
hcetrepus

I cant get this to show up in any of the email programs I use at work. Perhaps it is just Outlook.

shemcphe
shemcphe

OMG! 90 pages already! People luv to customize don't they? I do

bop
bop

but I also have the age and experience to, easily, know when to say no. But look at the excitment in this thread - it sounds like a bounch of youngsters, just been served a new designer drug - and not a single word or hint of hisitation. If the author had researched the feature, and showed how to limit the effect to the notification area in the Lo-R corner, I would have accepted the excitment.

ccolantonio
ccolantonio

But..as mentioned in previous post, it's just a display, so when you change it back in control panel, outlook time stamps are ok.