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Tame your computer – whizzy word search

9 Feb

Do you struggle to find the files you’re looking for? Perhaps you know that you can simply press the WIN key (next to your Alt key) and start typing, which will find any file or folder (or program and settings such as Print Screen) that contain the text that you typed.

But what if you cannot remember what you or your colleagues named the file, but you do know some of the names or text inside the file?

Here’s how:

  1. Press WIN + E.
  2. Press CTRL + E.
  3. Type one or more words or a phrase.

The search begins automatically, which is ideal for those of us who are touch-typists and look at our monitor. So if you are a “hunt-and-peck” typist get in the habit of keeping an eye on what pops up on the screen. Simply double-click the file to open it or right-click and select Open file location if you want to go to the folder where it’s stored. 

If you get way too many results, you can use double quotation marks (” “) in the same way you might do when you search the web or in Outlook.

Oh, and the search is not cAse sENsiTIve so it doesn’t matter whether you type, say, “finding a needle in a haystack”, “Finding A Needle In A Haystack” or “FINDING A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK”.

Related tips

I meticulously test every tip I write to make sure it is correct, easy to understand and time-saving. Let me know if something isn’t clear or doesn’t work.

Missed an issue? To view all tips created so far – including corrections, where necessary – go to

Unless stated otherwise, the steps are written about Microsoft 365 using Windows 10. If you need help with this feature in previous versions, give me a shout.

Automatically start an application, such as Outlook (Windows 10)

26 Jan

Wouldn’t it be great to have certain programs, such as Outlook, start automatically when you turn on your PC? It worked swimmingly for many years when I was still using Windows 7, but the steps to set it up in Windows 10 are slightly different.

Here’s how:

  1. Press the WIN key (or click the Start button) and type the name of the program you want to automatically launch. For example, Outlook.
  2. Right-click the App and select Open file location.
  3. Press WIN + R and type shell:startup
  4. Right-click and drag the program from the first window into the Startup folder and select Copy here (or use your favourite way to copy and paste the shortcut to the Startup folder).

Next time you turn on your PC your favourite program(s) will have launched by the time you get back with your first cuppa! And if you combine it with tip 600 it will even have opened your calendar.

Related tips
Open your Calendar by default
Automatically start an application such as Outlook or – my favourite! – Sticky Notes – Windows 7

Follow #TipTimeCleverClogs on LinkedIn for more shortcuts, hints and tips.

Tame your computer – make some noise

14 Jul

CleverclogsTipTime2Have you ever hit the Caps Lock button on your keyboard without realising? If so, and you are a “hunt-and-peck” typist and look at your screen rather than your keyboard when you type, you must have torn your hair out.

OK, you can use the Change Case button in Word, Outlook and PowerPoint (or press SHIFT + F3 to toggle between UPPER CASE, lower case and Sentence Case) but why not set an “alarm” to notify you when you – accidentally – hit Caps Lock?

Here’s how:

  1. Press the WIN key (the one with the Windows logo) and type caps. (You may have to look under Settings.)
  2. Make sure Play a sound when pressing Caps Lock, Num Lock or Scroll Lock is selected and press ENTER.
  3. Click on the button under Use Toggle Keys.

In future, whenever you press Caps Lock, Num Lock or Scroll Lock, a sound will be played.

Related tips
Set the Print Screen key to open screen snipping
Shortcut key to quickly vary the case of text

Upcoming courses
Our current course schedule can be found online. Virtual training sessions are also still available on request.

Tame your computer – smile, wink and choose an emoji

30 Jun

CleverclogsTipTime2Love them or loathe them, but smileys or winking faces can help clarify the tone of the written conversation, preventing the recipient of your message from negatively interpreting it. You obviously need to think twice whether you want to use an emoji in business emails, especially if you don’t know the person very well, but if you do want to use them did you know Windows 10 has a great shortcut to open the emoji panel?

Here’s how:

  1. Open your application as normal, such as MS Word or Outlook.
  2. Press WIN + full stop (.)
  3. Use the Search button or click through the various categories next to the magnifying glass to find an appropriate emoji and click to insert it.

By the way, WIN + semicolon ( ;) also opens the emoji panel, which might be more intuitive if you are used to using the semicolon to type a winking face.

Related tips
Set the Print Screen key to open screen snipping
Set the name of the person who created a file to be displayed in all folders

Upcoming courses
Last week we opened our doors. We’re taking a cautious approach and started with one-to-ones only, so we can learn as we go and remain a safe place. I cannot wait to see you all again, but if you prefer, virtual training is still available.

Our current course schedule can be found online.

Tame your computer – it’s a snip!

7 May

CleverclogsTipTime2Do any of you use the Print Screen key to capture your full screen on the clipboard – or have you fallen in love with the Snipping Tool?

Well, did you know that you can opt to have your PrtScn key open the new Snip & Sketch app of Windows 10?

Here’s how:

  1. Press the WIN key (the one with the Windows logo) and type Prt.
  2. Make sure Use the Print Screen key to launch screen snipping is selected and press ENTER.
  3. Click on the button under Print Screen shortcut.

(For those of you who prefer to click – I don’t – open Settings, click on Ease of Access and click on Keyboard.)

Next time you press the PrtScn button you can immediately drag the cursor around the area you want to capture. As the snip is automatically copied to the Clipboard you can paste it in any of your favourite programs without first having to copy it. Alternatively, you can edit, save or share it in the Snip & Sketch app.

Related tips

Tame your computer – the name game

29 Apr

CleverclogsTipTime2I’ve always felt it was weird that Microsoft only provides details about an item’s Name, Date Modified, Type and Size.   But if you share files with your colleagues, it might be helpful to see the name of the person who created the item. I noticed that they didn’t change that in Windows 10, so for those of you who would like to change the default settings, I’ve updated and combined a few old tips.

Here’s how:

  1. Open File Explorer. (WIN+E, anyone?)
  2. Open your folder or navigate to a shared drive, as normal.
  3. Right-click one of the column headings, such as Date modified.
  4. Select Authors from the drop-down list.
  5. If you want, repeat the process and unselect any of the less helpful columns, such as Size.
  6. Select the File tab and click on Change folder and search options.
  7. Click on the View tab.
  8. Click on the Apply to Folders button.
  9. When prompted click Yes, followed by OK.

The files are sorted in alphabetical order by name. To sort and group by Author, simply click on the Authors column heading. Click it again and you can flick between sorting in ascending and descending order. To only display files created by a particular person, click on the drop-down arrow next to Authors and tick the relevant check box.

Related tips

Tame your computer – double vision

16 May

CleverclogsTipTime2As a training consultant I end up working in lots of different offices, with lots of different set-ups. At one of my clients’ offices I was recently moved to a desk with two computer monitors. So there I was, finally able to move windows from one screen to the other. But as my favourite keyboard shortcuts to arrange windows side-by-side suddenly didn’t make sense anymore, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I would have expected … pressing the Windows key and the left or right arrows only nudged the active window to the edge of the monitor and I had to press the keyboard combination again to move it to the other.

So I was pretty chuffed when I found out there is a keyboard shortcut that moves a window from one monitor to another.

Here’s how:

  1.  WIN + SHIFT + left arrow
  2.  WIN + SHIFT + right arrow

Happiness is.

Related tips:
Top ten Microsoft Windows shortcuts
Preview and flip through your open windows – part II 
Preview and flip through your open windows
Arrange windows side-by-side

Tame your computer – top 10 Windows shortcuts

16 Feb

CleverclogsTipTime2What I often read in the numerous feedback forms is that you find the keyboard shortcuts especially helpful as it will save you lots of time. Also, many people develop Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) in their mouse hand, so learning some simple keyboard shortcuts could help manage the pain.

Last year I posted your top ten Excel, Word and Outlook shortcuts, but the other day I realised that I never put a list of your favourite Windows shortcuts together. So here you go … Enjoy!

1 ALT + TAB Switch between open windows/applications
2 ALT + up arrow Up one level
3 WIN Open Start Menu
4 WIN + D Minimize all open windows and display the desktop
Maximize all minimized windows (it’s a toggle)
5 WIN + E Open Windows Explorer
6 WIN + F Find a file or folder
7 WIN + number Open application on the taskbar
8 WIN + right arrow
WIN + left arrow
Snap the window to the right side of the screen
Snap the window to the left side of the screen
9 WIN + TAB Cycle forward one window
10 WIN + up arrow Maximize the window

And remember, I drip feed a new shortcut on our home page, so why not come back every week to learn a new one?!

Relevant tips:
Top ten Excel shortcuts
Top ten Word shortcuts
Top ten Outlook shortcuts

Tame your computer – shrewd shortcut

2 Jan

CleverclogsTipTime2Happy new year to you and happy birthday to us! As we come of age today, we’d like to thank our clients for the opportunity to work on some amazing projects, our associates for bringing their talent to our business and our all-important course participants who selected us to help make the most of their software packages. We wouldn’t be having our 18th birthday if it wasn’t for you.

But back to work …

If, like me, you prefer to use your keyboard rather than your mouse, you know that you can use shortcuts and KeyTips to quickly execute commands. “Right-mouse clickers” might like the keyboard shortcut that opens the right-click drop-down menu.

Here’s how:

  1. Position the mouse pointer in the location you want to display a drop-down menu for.
  2. Press SHIFT + F10.
  3. Use the down arrow key or type the underscored letter to select the menu option.
  4. If the option has a submenu you can use your right arrow key to select it.

If you prefer, you can use the special (Context) key on your keyboard, between the right ALT and right CTRL keys. Or simply stick to right-clicking!

Related tips
Display the right-click drop-down menu using a key on your keyboard
Select commands without using your mouse

That’s it for this week. Best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2019!

Tame your computer – flipping tabs!

21 Oct

Anyone who ever attended one of my courses or is an astute reader of my tips knows I absolutely love keyboard shortcuts. Last week I realised that – although I’ve discussed the power of CTRL + TAB to move between browser tabs, windows and workbooks – I’ve never written a tip about its use to flip through the tabs of a dialogue box.

Here’s how:

  1. Press CTRL + TAB to move to the next open tab.
  2. Press SHIFT + CTRL + TAB to cycle the other way.

That said, if you keep pressing CTRL + TAB it keeps going. No need for the “monkey grip” to cycle backward.

Related tips:
Switching between multiple browser tabs 
Preview and flip through your open windows 
Use a keyboard shortcut to switch between open workbooks