Computer hacks that are actually tips and tricks

hacking.jpg“Hacking” is arguably the most exaggerated piece of computer jargon ever. There are thousands of bloggers out there that are posting ways to “hack” your life. Hack your grandma’s homemade veal chop, hack your bathroom renovation, twenty ways to hack your relationship. Let’s set the record straight; a quick search on Google will return two definitions of “hacking” for you. Here are our results:

  • 1. Cut with rough or heavy blows.
  • 2. Use of a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system.

When was the last time you used a computer to gain unauthorized access to grandma’s recipe book? Though it may be true that you helped her cut veal with rough or heavy blows; probably never. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s see some interesting facts and tips that will make your office life a little easier or more informed:

1. Save time with folder shortcuts

How often do you use the F9 key on your keyboard? Possibly not at all. And how many times a day do you have to double-click through 15 folders just to find the sub-folder of the sub-folder where you save all of your documents at work? Why waste your precious F9, and arguably your precious time, when you could hotkey the items you use most? By hot-keying an item, you make it instantly accessible through a simple press of a button. Here’s how to do it (on a windows computer)

  • Create a shortcut to the application or folder by right clicking the item, and choosing “Create Shortcut.” This will create a shortcut to the item, most likely in the same location (or sometimes it will create it on your desktop).
  • Right click your new shortcut and choose “properties”
  • In the window that appears, you will see a field that states “Shortcut key: None” click inside this field
  • Choose the key you would like to press when you want to make this item launch instantly
  • Click “Apply” and close the window. Now start saving time with your new hotkey.

 Be warned: Don’t hotkey anything to a key you use normally or you’ll be launching your work folder every time you hit the spacebar.

Some great things to hotkey

  • Your work folders
  • The calculator application
  • Your email folder
  • Your internet browser
  • Microsoft word
2. Dual monitors

Most computers, including laptops, will support external monitors; usually up to two. Setting up two monitors for the same screen is often as simple as plugging both of them into the inputs on your computer following the path of “Control Panel > Display > Screen Resolution”, and orienting the monitors to the correct position. Your computer will recognize where the screens are, and stretch your display over both of them, effectively doubling your digital workspace.

3. Send larger files in compressed folders.

If you have a file that you know is too large to send to someone, you can get around the size by compressing it into a zipped folder. Right click the file, select “Send to” and click “Compressed (zipped) folder. This will compress the file into a format that allows it to be easily transported. Once your recipient receives the file, they can extract it by right clicking the zipped folder and selecting “Extract All”.

4. Snipping

Do you ever wish you could just take a picture of exactly what’s on your screen? Well you can; very easily. Microsoft computers come with a tool called the “Snipping tool” which is used to take snapshots of your computer screen. Simply open the start menu, search for “snipping tool” and click it. It will give your screen a white-ish hue. From this point, click and drag across the area you’d like to grab a screenshot of, and the tool will take the picture and give you the option to save it.

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