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Tame your computer – what day is it?

30 Mar

During the pandemic it’s sometimes been difficult to know what day it is…

Would you like to see the day of the week along with the date in the bottom right of your screen? If so, you can simply point to the edge of the taskbar and drag it up, but I personally don’t like to have such a “deep” taskbar. What I’m after is something that was really easy to change in Windows 7 using Change the date, time, or number format.

In Windows 10 getting to that setting is a bit more hidden. There are various ways to find it, so I’ve counted the number of steps and believe that this is the quickest method. (Not that I’m obsessed ;))

Here’s how:

  1. Press the WIN key (or click the Start button), type control panel and press ENTER.
  2. Under Clock and Region click on Change date, time or number formats.
  3. At the bottom of the dialog box, click on the Additional settings button.
  4. Click on the Date tab.
  5. Under Date formats in the Short date box type ddd in front of dd/MM/yyyy (so that it reads ddd dd/MM/yyyy).
  6. Click OK twice.

Related tips
Format dates to include the day of the week (Microsoft Excel)  

Courses and webinars

I have reopened classroom training for up to two people per session. And remember, we never cancel classes due to insufficient enrolments, so if you’re lucky you might have a one-to-one session. I will also continue to deliver the ever-growing list of 60-minute webinars, inspired by your real-life questions, addressing day-to-day tasks and frustrations.

Tame your computer – flipping files

9 Mar

Windows 10 has a wealth of nifty new features which means you might not be using your PC to its full potential. Although you probably know there must be easier ways, you simply don’t have the time or energy to sift through and find the hints and tips yourself. So here’s another one I would like to share with you … flip through open applications or remind yourself what file you were working on a couple of days ago.

Here’s how:

  1. Press WIN + TAB. (There’s also a Task View button on the taskbar, next to the search box.)
  2. Use your arrow keys on your keyboard to flip through your running applications or recently opened files.
  3. Press ENTER to activate the window or open the document.

You will see up to 30 days in your timeline, making it easier to pick up where you left off. You can also use the scrollbar rather than your keyboard arrows to go through your history.

By the way, I’ve developed a new 60-minute webinar helping you to discover hidden features to improve your efficiency and increase productivity using Windows 10. The first one was run for the Cambridge Science Park last week and as one of the delegates wrote afterwards: “Thank you so much for the workshop, your tips are always helpful. You can legitimately say that my mind was blown.” The next one will be held on Friday 26 March.  If you would like me to run this webinar for your team … I give group discounts. Just give me a shout.

Related tips
Search for a document containing certain words or phrases
Automatically start an application, such as Outlook
View and paste your copied items from one place
Set the Print Screen key to open screen snipping

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 – 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 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