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Tame your computer – Happy N(ew) Year

5 Jan

Hello and welcome to the first tip of 2021. Happy new year!

Speaking of new … do you use the File tab when you want to create a new document in Office? (That’s four clicks – not that I’m counting.) Or perhaps you click on the New button on the Quick Access Toolbar? (That is, if you stuck it on there.) Or perhaps you love keyboard shortcuts and use CTRL + N?

But did you know you can use this intuitive keyboard shortcut (the letter N for new) for so much more?

Here are some suggestions:

Word, Excel and PowerPoint : open a new document
Outlook : create a new email message or a meeting, contact or task – depending on what part of Outlook you’re in
Teams: start a new chat
Chrome and Edge : open a new browser window with cursor in address bar
Internet Explorer : open a copy of your current web page in a new window
Windows: open a copy of your current folder in a new window

By the way, on 1 January 2001 I turned my idea into reality and started my own business. So … happy 20th birthday to us. I would like to thank my clients for the opportunity to work on some amazing projects. And to my all-important course participants for choosing me to help tackle their time-consuming and frustrating day-to-day tasks. I wouldn’t be having a birthday if it wasn’t for you!

Related tips
Schedule your e-mail message to be sent at your preferred date and time (Microsoft Outlook)
Find the best time to schedule a meeting (Microsoft Outlook)
Open several workbooks with a single click (Microsoft Excel)

Tame your computer – make a quick exit

25 Aug

If, like me, you prefer to use your keyboard rather than your mouse you might know – or want to know – that Microsoft introduced “KeyTips” in Office 2007, offering a quick way to select commands using your keyboard. One of the favourite KeyTips of my dear friend Danijela is ALT, F, X which will select the Exit command from the File tab.

Here’s how:

  1. Press ALTFX. (Or Press ALT + F4.)
  2. When prompted, type the underlined letter s (Save) or n (Don’t Save) or press the ESC key to cancel the operation.

This will close down the whole application, not just the active document, as described in tip 272.

I’ll update the shortcut archive but in the meantime a big thank you to Dani for this week’s tip inspiration!


Related tips:
Selecting commands without using your mouse
Close a window without clicking in the upper-right corner 

Tame your computer – open another window

29 Jun

Would it be helpful to be able to move one of your browser tabs to a new window so that you can display it next to another window? In Internet Explorer you can press CTRL + N to open your current tab in a new window, but that will leave the original tab open as well. So why not move it to a new window and display it next to any other window?

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the tab and drag it downwards.
  2. Press WIN + right arrow or WIN + left arrow to “snap” the window to the right or left.
  3. Click in any other window of any of your open applications and press WIN + right arrow or WIN + left to display the windows side by side.

By the way, if you keep pressing the same keyboard combination, your window will go round in circles.  I cannot test this out as I don’t have two monitors, but apparently it even cycles through both monitors.


Tame your computer – jump to it

21 Mar

Back in 2009 I wrote a tip on how to close a window without clicking in the upper-right corner … simply press CTRL + W.

Ever since then,  it’s been one of my favourite shortcuts, but I’ve noticed I’m sometimes a bit trigger-happy and end up closing browser tabs I didn’t mean to close.

So today’s tip is another great shortcut to reopen the last closed tab – and jump to it.

Here’s how:

1.       Press CTRL + SHIFT + T

If you don’t like keyboard shortcuts or prefer to use your mouse, simply right-click one of the remaining tabs and select Reopen closed tab (Chrome) or Reopen closed window (Internet Explorer) or Undo Close Tab (Firefox).

Related tips:

Tip # 264: Find websites you visited in the past

Tip # 265: Switching between multiple browser tabs

Tip # 272: Close a window without clicking in the upper-right corner

Tip # 339: Different ways to close your browser tabs

Tame your computer – menu manipulation

25 Mar

Since 1995 Microsoft has developed 11 versions of Internet Explorer. Back in October 2006 they released version 7 and decided to hide the classic menu bar, normally located at the top of the window. They did this to increase the page viewing space. Great, but there might be times you want to use the File, Edit, View, Favorites, Tools or Help menus, if only to find out what version you are using. (Select About Internet Explorer from the Help menu.)

Here’s how:

  1. Launch Internet Explorer, as normal
  2. Press the ALT key (next to your spacebar)

When you press ALT, the menu bar will be displayed temporarily. If you prefer to have the Menu bar displayed by default you can do the following:

  1. Launch Internet Explorer, as normal
  2. Press ALT
  3. Press V (for View)
  4. Press T (for Toolbars)
  5. Press M (for Menu)

Oh, and as the title of the tip implies … this works for Firefox too. Google Chrome, however, has no menu bar; actions such as Edit and Help can be found when you click on the button in the upper-right corner of the screen. The button looks like a wrench or three horizontal lines, depending on what version of Chrome you use (which you can find out when you click on the button).

To find out how to quickly hide toolbars to increase page viewing space see Tip 173.

Tame your computer – get back!

18 Oct

All web browsers keep a record of every page you visit and there are various ways to access it. You no doubt know you can use the browser’s Back button to return to the last page you visited. Or perhaps you hold down the SHIFT key and roll the wheel down, as described in tip 136?

Maybe you right-click the Back button or press CTRL + H? Well, during a training session earlier this week one of my course participants told me a method I was unaware of.

Here’s how:

1.       Click and pull down the Back button.

I cannot remember who it was who shared this tip, but I’m very grateful. Thanks!