Archive | September, 2015

Tame your computer – rapid closure

29 Sep

If a program on your computer stops responding, Windows will try to find the problem and fix it automatically. If you don’t have any unsaved work it’s sometimes faster to force the program to stop, using the Task Manager. I assume most of you use CTRL + ALT + DEL to access it? Or perhaps you right-click the taskbar and start it from the drop-down list?

Well, until recently I didn’t know that there is a direct way to launch the Task Manager.

Here’s how:

  • Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC.

Simply select the program that isn’t responding and click End Task.

Thanks for the tip, Dominic.  I’ve added it to the shortcut archive (available by clicking on the orange Shortcut of the week link on our home page) so the bragging rights will last a lifetime!

Tame your computer – quick formatting fix

15 Sep

I don’t think I ever wrote a tip about how to add spacing between lines or paragraphs of text in Excel, but ALT + ENTER has definitely been a shortcut of the week on my home page and can be found in the shortcut archive. (Simply double-click where you want to insert the line break and press ALT + ENTER.)

But what if you inherit or import a file with lots of line breaks and you want to find and remove them?

Here’s how:

  1. Press CTRL+H to open the Find and Replace dialog box. (Or press CTRL+F if you just want to find the line breaks.)
  2. In the Find what box, press CTRL+J. (The box will look empty, but if you are very observant you will see a tiny flashing dot.)
  3. Press the TAB key on your keyboard, to move to the Replace with box. (Or use your mouse if you must 😉
  4. Press the SPACEBAR. (This will help separate all words; if necessary you can afterwards replace two spaces by one space. If you really just want to delete the line breaks, leave the Replace with box empty.)
  5. Click Replace All.

Please note CTRL+J seems to stick in the Find and Replace dialog box, i.e. you will see the tiny dot unless you closed down Excel in the meantime. To get rid of it, press the Delete key. (Backspace doesn’t work.)

Tame your computer – manage your messages

8 Sep

Outlook provides various ways for moving email messages from one folder to another; most probably you use drag and drop. But if you regularly move email messages to the same folder, you can quickly move (or copy) email messages into one of your ten most recently used folders.

Here’s how:

  1. In Outlook, select the message(s) you want to move.
  2. Click on the Move button on the Home tab.
  3. Select the relevant folder. If the folder isn’t listed as yet – or not anymore, click on Other Folder at the bottom of the list, type the first letter of the folder in which the messages(s) is/are to be stored; keep pressing the first letter until the relevant folder is selected. (Even your folders stored on the OpenText Content Server – if you use that – will be listed.)
  4. Press ENTER.

For right-clickers among you…steps 2 and 3 can also be done by right-clicking the message(s) you want to move.

By the way, if your list of ten folders regularly changes you might prefer to set up Quick Steps; see tip 346 here.

Finally, check out these two keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Move Items: CTRL + SHIFT + V
  2. Copy Items: CTRL + SHIFT + Y

Tame your computer – the only way is up!

1 Sep

Since Windows Vista the Up button is no longer there. Instead, you can use the breadcrumb trail (from the story of Hansel and Gretel – or “Hans and Grietje” for our Dutch speakers) at the top of every folder to go up one level in your directory. The trail shows you exactly where you are and allows you to go directly to the location you click on. Alternatively, you can use the Back and Forward buttons to navigate through locations you’ve recently visited, like you would using an internet browser.

But what if you were a great fan of the Up button to view the folder one level up? Well, simply use a keyboard shortcut.

Here’s how:

  • Hold down the ALT key (next to your spacebar) and press the UP ARROW. (On a standard keyboard the arrow keys are located between the bit where you type and the numeric pad.)

By the way, I just want to sound a note of caution as Microsoft Windows 10 is being offered to Windows users free of charge. Over the years I have run a lot of Microsoft Windows training sessions and recently quite a few people have asked me whether or not to upgrade to Windows 10. As you may be aware, Windows 10 was launched on 29 July 2015 and is offered as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. Apparently more than 75 million PCs were upgraded to Windows 10 in the first month alone!  But if you upgrade immediately you are a guinea pig, so perhaps you might want to wait some time for any teething problems to be sorted out. You have a full year to decide whether or not to upgrade for free.  I’m investigating whether or not it is worth upgrading to Windows 10. I’ll report back when I’ve looked into the changes and know more.