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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 – 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 

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 – pick out your pointer

5 Mar

If you want to add some text in, say, a Word document or an Outlook email message, you must move the insertion point to the location where the change is to be made. The pointer usually appears as a vertical bar, but what if you struggle to spot it? If so, you’re not alone… Many users don’t like the standard mouse pointer. So why not change it?

Here’s how:

  1. Press the Windows (WIN) key and type pointer. (No need to first click in the Search box; your cursor is already there – even though you might not spot it.)
  2. Click on Change how the mouse pointer looks.
  3. Use your down and up arrows to flick through the various schemes and select the one of your choice. (Mine is Windows Black (extra large).)
  4. Press ENTER.

Your cursor will now be easier to find when “at rest”. You can also change how the mouse pointer looks when it’s moving, but let’s leave that for another tip.

Related tips:
Tip # 287: Hide the arrow pointer during a slide show

Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.

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 – 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.

Tame your computer – In a hurry? Take a shortcut!

16 May

You’re not still moving the mouse pointer all the way to the bottom right-hand corner of your screen to have a look at your desktop, do you? Perhaps you know that WIN + D can be used as a toggle to minimize and maximize all windows? But what if you just want to have a quick peek at something on your desktop? Check out the preview shortcut!

Here’s how:

  1. Press and hold down the WIN key (the one next to your spacebar) and press the spacebar.
  2. Release the WIN key to return to your last used window.

Interested in other shortcuts involving the spacebar? How about pressing the spacebar to scroll down or SHIFT + spacebar to scroll up? You can use this in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome – and even in a PDF file. Or why not press CTRL + spacebar to remove character formatting in MS Word? Remember, in an effort to help you work faster (and healthier) we launched a ‘shortcut of the week’ feature on our website back in March 2013. Those that I’ve published can be found in my shortcut archive (see shortcut_archive.pdf). OK, keyboard shortcuts can sometimes be unintuitive or hard to remember, but I will drip feed a new shortcut weekly, to help you to boost productivity without reaching for your mouse. In a hurry? Take a shortcut!