Welcome to the first in our Tips and Tricks series of blogs. In this series, we will be highlighting useful things to know about every day computer and electronic use. Some of this information may seem obvious to some readers and completely new for others. It is our hope that these blogs can be used as an online resource for basic computer knowledge and skills. So, without further ado, our first topic: Windows 10
Windows 10 has been around for a while now, but it has plenty of little tricks that can be used to maximize ease of use and productivity. This ranges from the relatively simple, like snapping window sizes, to something a little more complex, like customizing your start menu and taskbars. In this post, we’ll go down a short list of some of the most useful tricks for windows 10 and even some from previous versions of windows that still work.
Snapping Window Sizes
Let’s start with something easy. As mentioned above, you can snap windows to pre-determined sizes with a gesture of the mouse. This is very useful for productivity when you need to look at multiple windows at once. This is done by clicking and dragging the window to either the left or right side of the screen until the mouse cursor is pressed against the side of the screen. Once there, you’ll see a little outline show you where the resized window will be placed, then when you release the mouse button it will snap to that size. If you have any other windows open, they will be quickly sorted into a new layout, as shown here. Simply click the second window you want to look at, and it will snap to the other half of the screen automatically.
Easy keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts are nothing new, but there are a number of shortcuts that can speed up some typical operations, like deleting a file or creating a shortcut. I’ll list a few of the most useful here, and leave a link with a list of all shortcuts here.
– Holding the Shift key while dragging a folder to the recycle bin will delete it instantly
– Hold Alt before clicking on a file or folder to immediately open the properties window.
– Hold cntrl+shift and right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen to quickly get a list of options, including a shortcut to the desktop, a shortcut to the windows settings menu, and a shortcut to the task manager.
– If a program is being abnormally slow or unresponsive, you can use the trusty old cntrl+alt+delete shortcut to open the task manager and check for problems or force-close the offending program.
Automatic calendar sync
If you use either google calendar or Microsoft Outlook’s calendar and reminder system, Windows 10 will add your events and notifications to your desktop calendar automatically. You can access this calendar at any time by clicking on the clock on the bottom-right of your screen. Windows will also automatically set up alerts to notify you when one of these reminders comes up.
Magnifier and Ease of Access Settings
For users with difficulty seeing small text or simply wishing for an easier way to see some of the smaller elements on their computer, windows xp introduced Ease of Access settings. These settings can change the size of the system’s font, allowing for easier reading, as well as adjust colors for colorblind users. In addition to this, there is a magnifier program that will act as a virtual magnifying glass. To access these settings, type “control panel” into the start menu search bar, and navigate to the ease of access center under control panel > ease of access > ease of access center.
Similar to keyboard shortcuts, there are a number of tricks you can use with your mouse cursor to may highlighting and selecting items easier. My personal favorites are cntrl+clicking a link to open a webpage in a new tab, or holding control while using the mouse-wheel to zoom in and out.
You can find a more complete list of mouse tricks here.
I hope you have found this list helpful. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below so that we can continue to improve this blog and bring you the best information possible. Next week, we will discuss tips and tricks for Smartphones, and some useful ways they can interact with your home or work PC.