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Archive for the ‘Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks’ Category

Sure it’s easy to access the Control Panel from the Start menu, but what if you spend a lot of time in “My Computer”? Wouldn’t it make life easier to have access to it there as well?

Earlier versions of windows had the Control panel there, but XP doesn’t, so if you have XP and want it there then keep reading.

Double left-click “My Computer” to open.

Go to Tools/Folder

Signatures for every occasion

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

I have information that I need to include in letters I send out for work—my name, address, etc. Is there a way to make this info come up all the time?

These are called “signatures”. In Outlook Express you can set up signatures that you access with a few mouse clicks—see our website for details…

But what about other programs? Well, here’s… Continue reading

Start/Run Fun

Saturday, March 19th, 2005

In Windows XP, go to Start/Run and you’ll see a box. It’s an often overlooked place that can save you a lot of time. If a program is in the Window’s folder or System32, you can launch it by typing in the name.

Want a quick way to Notepad? Type in “notepad”. How about Explorer? That’s right, you type in “explorer”. How about Paint? That’s a little trickier: type in… Continue reading


Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005

Holding down Shift+F10 does the same thing as a right mouse click. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the item you want to try it on… Continue reading

Web page Shortcut Keys

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005

Web Page Shortcut Keys

Wouldn’t it be cool to have hot-keys for your favorite web pages on your desktop? For instance, if you type Ctrl+Shift+G it would bring up Google while Ctrl+Shift+W would bring up Worldstart. Well, by combining a few simple techniques in Windows XP you can.

First, go to the web page that you want a shortcut for and put it on your desktop by right-clicking a blank… Continue reading

Wild Cards

Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

When doing a search you can use an asterisk (*) in place of letters or numbers. This is called a “wild card” and it really comes in handy.

Let’s say you’re looking for a file that starts with “ran” but aren’t sure what the rest of the name is. Just type in…


All files of any type that begin with “ran” will be found such as “randy.doc” or “rand-mcnally.exe”.… Continue reading

End Task

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

What can I do if my computer hangs up?

So, your computer hangs up and doesn’t seem to respond. Before getting all frustrated and hitting the on/off switch, try this.

Press Ctrl, Alt, Delete all at the same time. Wait for a window to pop up saying “Close Program” with a list of all programs that are presently running. Look for one or more that say… Continue reading

Desktop Toolbars

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Have you ever had several windows open and needed to get to a shortcut on the desktop? I know I have. You have to minimize all three windows just to start the other program. But there is an easy way to fix this problem. Create a toolbar with your shortcuts in it!

Here’s how. First, right click on the windows toolbar on the bottom of your screen… Continue reading

Show Desktop

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

How can I quickly get back to my desktop if I have lots of open windows?

The best way is to hit the “Show Desktop” icon on your toolbar. One click and all your open windows will be minimized to your toolbar.

Now, one more little trick. If you want to get all the Windows back to their original size (restored) just click that “Show… Continue reading

Shortcut for typing web addresses

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

I’m constantly on the Internet and get tired of typing in the full website addresses. Is there a shortcut?

It can get pretty tedious typing in h-t-t-p-colon-backslash-backslash-w-w-w-dot-whatever-dot-c-o-m. So next time you’re in a hurry and don’t want to bother with all of that, try this…

Type the name of the site in the address bar and press Ctrl while you hit Enter . The “www” and… Continue reading

Screen Saver Savvy

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Screen Saver Savvy

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to get your screen saver to run on *your* command and not after a certain amount of time has elapsed? Well, you guessed it, there is. You simply place a shortcut on your desktop for the screen saver(s) of your choice.

Now, before we start plopping little screen saver shortcuts all over your desktop… Continue reading

Take a Shorter Shortcut!

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Did you know that you can assign a shortcut key to your shortcuts ? Well, you can!

First, why would you want to? Well, if you usually work with your programs maximized (i.e. you can’t see the desktop), it’s easier to press a shortcut key combination than to minimize the current application and click a desktop shortcut.

For example, I have shortcuts on my desktop to several of… Continue reading

Multiple Open Icon for Windows XP

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

It gets pretty annoying when you have to open several different documents or applications one at a time when you’re working on a large project. For each program or document, you have to wade through all of your folders to find it and double-click it. Well, guess what! You can create ONE icon that will do all of the opening you need!

First, right-click on an empty… Continue reading

Hide Mouse Pointer When Typing

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Does your mouse pointer get in the way while you’re typing? Wish there was a way to just make it go away, then pop back up after the deluge of keystrokes subsides? Well, I have just the solution, my friends!

For Windows XP:

Click Start>Settings>Control Panel and then double click Mouse.

In the Mouse Properties window, click on the Pointer Options

Similar Fonts

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

I can’t seem to find this one font. Is there an easier way to search for it without sampling every font I have?

Yes! H ere’s how to look for fonts that are similar to the one that’s *almost* right.

1. Click the Start button, Settings, Control Panel . Open the Fonts folder. Win ME users may need to click the “View all control panel… Continue reading

Don’t Touch That Mouse

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Can I right-click without my mouse?

If you are a good typist, you probably find it annoying to hop constantly between the keyboard and your mouse. I find it irritating and I’m not even that great of a typist! So, here are a couple of ways to help keep your fingers safely at the keyboard.

Here’s a trick for generating a “right-click” from your keyboard. Make… Continue reading

Lots of Favorites

Friday, November 19th, 2004

I have lots of stuff in my Favorites menu. It seems like I have to do a lot of scrolling just to find what I’m looking for. Do you of a quicker way?

I have WAY too many favorites too, so I know where you’re coming from. You click your Favorites folder and hundreds of web sites drop down. Well, here’s… Continue reading

Shut down programs quickly

Friday, November 19th, 2004

How can I shut down two or three open programs quickly, but leave the rest running?

The fastest way to close multiple programs is to hold down the Ctrl key as you click their buttons on the taskbar. Then, right-click (still holding down the Ctrl key) one of those depressed buttons and select Close from the resulting menu. (screen shot compressed so it fits into the… Continue reading

Must… Have… Control!

Friday, November 19th, 2004

(Picture note: I keep my taskbar at the top of my screen, so that’s why the screen shots look like they are coming from the wrong direction.)

Do you use your control panel in Windows XP a lot? Are you the kind of person who is constantly “adjusting” things? Well, if you are, then you and I have a lot in common. Here’s a tip that will save us… Continue reading

Must… Have… Even More… Control!

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Must… Have… Even More… Control!

Well, wow! Thanks to all of the faithful readers who wrote in with their favorite way to access their Control Panel.

(While my screen shots are taken from Windows XP, I’ve tried this on Windows 98 and it works the same way!)

1. This first idea involves creating another taskbar in which the Control Panel can live its happy life… Continue reading

Outlook Deletes

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Outlook Deletes

Do you use Outlook or Outlook Express? If so, here’s a cool delete trick.

Next time you go to delete an item, hold down the Shift key. You can use either the keyboard combination of Shift + Delete or, for even more excitement, hold down Shift while you click the Delete button on the toolbar.

Either way, Outlook / Outlook Express will bypass your Deleted Items folder and… Continue reading

Easy Scrolling

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Here’s a quick little trick for Internet Explorer’s scroll bar.

Most of us usually use our mouse scroll wheel or grab the scroll bar when we go to scroll down the length of a web page, right?

Another way is to right-click the scrollbar. A little menu will pop up that’s chock-full of scrolling options!

Give it… Continue reading

Drag & Drop Opens

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Drag & Drop Opens

Here’s a quick little one for ya.

Did you know that most programs allow you to open files by dragging & dropping them into their window? Well, they do. Really.

For example, let’s say you have a picture file sitting on your desktop and your imaging software is already running. Just drag & drop the file into the program and it… Continue reading

Yee-haw! Lasso Like a Computer Cowboy

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Yee-haw! Lasso Like a Computer Cowboy

Have you ever noticed that you can make little “boxes” on your desktop by holding down your left mouse button and dragging diagonally? Although it can be an entertaining distraction when you’re on a boring phone call, it actually has a purpose.

Here I am, lassoing icons:

You can use the technique on your desktop to make multiple selections by “lassoing” icons. Hit… Continue reading

Windows Key

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

I just noticed a key on my keyboard that I’ve never really used before because I have no idea what it’s for. It’s in between the left Ctrl and Alt and has a “flying window” on it. Can you help?

Ahh, the Windows key. I remember the first time I noticed her… She sat lifeless until someone explained to me the power she possessed. And… Continue reading

Save pictures from web pages

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Carlos from Columbus asks:

How do I save pictures from a web page?

To save a picture from a web page to your computer, just right-click the image and select “Save Image As…” from the little menu that pops

Arrow Keys and Word Processing Programs

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Here’s a cool little arrow trick to try with word processing programs. Next time you’re using your arrow keys to go from one area of a sentence to another (left and right arrows), hold down your CTRL key.

Instead of moving one space at a time, you’ll go one word at a time.

If you’re using the up… Continue reading

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