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Archive for the ‘Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks’ Category



Don’t Touch That Mouse

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Q:
Can I right-click without my mouse?

A:
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

Q:
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?

A:
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

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

A:
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

Q:
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?

A:
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

Skip The Recycle Bin

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Every now and then you need to really delete a file. Right now.

Well, most people delete the thing, then go to the recycle bin and remove it from there. It works, but there’s a better way.

Next time you’re 100% sure, without a doubt, for certain, that you want to delete a file, hold your Shift key down while you delete. The file will be deleted—skipping the Recycle Bin… Continue reading

Peek-A-Boo Windows

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Ever have a window that has wandered partially off-screen? Not a big problem, unless you can’t get to the title bar to move it. For example, what do you do if you have a window that gets its title bar hidden above the TOP of the screen? (It happens, sometimes due to a system error, sometimes due a change in screen resolution.) The problem is

Mouseless

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

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 sure your

Quicker File Access

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

When most of us go to open a file, we click the File menu, Open (OK, some of us use the little toolbar button), then we scroll along hunting for the file so we can double-click it.

Well, if you have a ton of documents in a folder, this can get time consuming. If you know the exact name of the file, you can simply type it in the little… Continue reading

XP and Vista Clock Trick

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

If you are running Windows XP or Vista, you’ll never have to worry about manually setting your computer’s clock again! Of course, you have to be online for this little trick to work, so keep that in mind.

For Windows XP: Just double-click the little clock in the System Tray and it will bring up the Time and Date Properties screen. Click the Internet Time tab and you’ll see a… Continue reading

A Quick Way to the C:

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

OK, I know there are several ways to view the contents of your hard drive (normally drive C), but here’s another one that I thought was kinda cool.

First, hit your Windows Key and the letter R (Win+R). (The Windows key is located between the Alt & Ctrl keys).

You should now have the Run dialog box sitting

XP Disaster Recovery

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

XP Disaster Recovery

Microsoft says “XP” stands for eXPerience. I recently discovered it stands for eXPlode.

Here’s what happened: I installed some new software on my XP machine. It told me to re-boot the computer, so, like I good little geek I yelled “Affirmative!” and promptly re-booted.

At which point, XP would try to boot, get to some kind of blue screen chock full of error messages, and re-boot again… Continue reading

Insert Key

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
The other day, I was typing and went back and change a thing or two. I needed to put a space between a couple words and instead of moving the text to the right to accommodate the space, the text was overwritten! It did this no matter what letter I typed. I ended up having to re-type an entire paragraph because of it. After I rebooted, the problem

Text Highlighting Tips

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

I’m having a hard time with my word processor. When I go to highlight a large section of text with my mouse (more than what’s currently shown on the screen), I zip right past the point where I want to stop. So, I keep my mouse button down and go back up – only to zip by my stopping point again. This can go

Dealing with Drop Down Menus

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Don’t you get tired of scrolling through long drop down box lists? I know that I do. I’m gonna show you an easy way to get through them today. I’ll illustrate how to do it with an example.

Let’s say you’re filling out an online registration form that asks for your country. If you live in Australia, you’re all set since your country is towards the top… Continue reading

Instant Properties

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004


Here’s a quickie way to view the properties of a file or program.

If you need to get the properties for something (like an icon, for instance), just hold down your ALT key and double-click it .

Instant properties!

Try it with “My Computer” or one of your regular desktop icons.

And… Continue reading

Which Icon belongs to Which Program?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

I always have too many programs open at the same time and I can’t remember which icon belongs to which program on my toolbar. Is there an easy way to tell which button is which?

By hovering over an item, a balloon should come up telling you what the program is.

One easy

Frozen Computer Options

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Sometimes Windows will get itself all tied into a bunch and there is no choice but to cut the power to your computer and restart. Well, maybe not. Here are some other things to try… Continue reading

Mistakes Are A Drag!

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Have you ever made a mistake while filling out a form on a web page or in a software program? If you’re like me, you occasionally find that you’ve put information in the wrong box.

Most people would just sigh, delete out the error, then re-type it in the appropriate box.

And we wonder why carpal tunnel syndrome cases are on the rise.… Continue reading

Get Sticky

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

I love using keyboard shortcuts. They’re quick and make me look like I’m a pro… or something. However, I realize that many of you like to keep one hand on the mouse, so those three key combos are out. How about a way to type one key at a time rather than all at once?

This feature is called “Sticky Keys” and gives you a delay between key strokes when… Continue reading

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