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Bite-Sized Windows Tricks To Boost your Productivity

When it comes to working with a computer, there's always more than one way to get things done. With Windows computers in particular, there are some tips that will allow you to get things done much faster once you get in the habit of using them. Take advantage of the following productivity tips, and you'll breeze through your work and get more spare time to relax.

File Management made faster

Selecting multiple files or folders at once: This couldn't be simpler. When you want to select multiple files or folders from Windows Explorer, you just need to hold down the CTRL key while clicking the icons you need. You can also try holding the Shift key to select a range of files.

Use file compression wisely: If you haven't already, you should learn to compress your files and folders, for ease of storage and handling. For example, if you try to copy a folder with thousands of files to a thumb drive, it can take several minutes. But if you right-click on it and select the "compress" option, it will be stored as a smaller single file that can be copied anywhere in seconds.

Quick send files to thumb drive: When you need to quickly send files or folders to a thumb drive, you can just select the files you want to transfer, right-click and choose "Send to > Thumb Drive". It's quicker and more convenient that using multiple explorer windows!

Quick file print: Similarly, you can print any document from your Desktop or file explorer, without having to open the word processor. Just right-click the document, choose "Print" and you'll get a print-out in no time.

Keyboard shortcuts you should learn today

We have full guides on this site about keyword shortcuts. However, we wanted to take a minute to reiterate the usefulness of a few really helpful shortcuts.

Copy-Paste: You have already learned to use the Copy-Paste function, right? When you need to copy files somewhere or even a bunch of text, it's the way to get it done. But did you know there's a handy keyboard shortcut? CTRL + C will copy whatever is selected, while CTRL + V will paste it to the application you're running at the time.

Print Screen: When you need to grab a screenshot, you can rely on the PrtScr key to capture the image and then paste (CTRL+V) to an image editing program. But if you're using Vista or Windows 7, you should be using the handy "snipping tool" which allows quickly selecting an area of the screen an exporting to an image file directly. You can find this tool in the start menu, just type its name and it will show up.

Alt+tab: If you're an adept of multi-tasking and you often use multiple applications at once, you should get in the habit of using the Alt+Tab keys to cycle through them easily. Just keep the ALT pressed down while you tap the Tab (that's the key immediately above the CAPS Lock), and you'll get an overview of the running applications. Release both keys and the program you had just selected will come forth.

Alt+F4: This is the "Quit/Close" keyboard shortcut. You can use it to close the currently opened window or application. If you keep pressing it until there are no open windows left, it will prompt your computer to shut down.

CTRL+Alt+Del: When your computer seems to have crashed or stopped responding, you can use this keyboard shortcut to try and close the application that may be causing the problem. Press all three keys at once and select "Task Manager" from the menu that shows up; locate the "Applications" tab and select the troublesome application, then click "End Task". Usually this will force the program causing the instability to shut down, which will often make the operating system behave normally again.

Convenient ways to get things done

Pinning icons: With Windows 7, you get to pin down icons to your taskbar or Start menu. This will make those icons stay in place even after you've close the respective application, which is useful to keep at hand the programs you use most often. To do so, just right-click any icon on the Start menu or the icon of an open application and select "Pin Down".

Using speech recognition: Vista already came with a speech recognition function, but with Windows 7 this function is actually usable. To activate it, open the start menu and type "Windows Speech Recognition"; click on this icon and it will initiate the speech recognition tutorial. Follow the instructions and in a short while you'll be able to dictate to your computer, and even use voice commands as a substitute to your mouse.

Quickly locate files and programs: You can easily look for any files of folder in your computer from the Start Menu. Just click the Windows orb to open it and type whatever you want to find. In a matter of seconds, you will get a list of relevant search results.

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TAGS: Windows 7 Tips Windows Vista Tips

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