Category Archives: Windows

View Two Windows At Once Using Smart Window

Do you ever find yourself working in two windows at once, constantly toggling between them, wishing you had two screens to work with?  It’s a small inconvenience that can be bypassed easily with Smart Window.  Smart Window, also called Snap, allows you to view two windows right next to each other in Windows 7, without having to re-size either window, as seen in the image below.

These simple steps will allow you to utilize this feature:

  • Click and Drag on the top title bar of the first window so your mouse pointer hits either the left or right side of your screen. Let go of the window when you see the outline of the window re-size to ½ of the screen.
  • Choose the other window you wish to view on the side of the first window. Click and Drag the 2nd window to the opposite side of the screen until the mouse pointer hits the side of the screen and resizes to the other ½ of the screen.

You can also access this feature by using the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Push Windows key + right arrow key to resize the current window to take up the right half of the screen.
  • Push Windows key + left arrow key to resize the  current window to take up the left half of the screen.

You can exit this view by following any one of the below steps:

  • Click and drag the window so the mouse pointer hits the top of the screen and let go.  This will put the window back to regular size.
  • If you just want to view one of the minimized windows that was in side by side view, click and, while holding the mouse button down, shake the window you wish to view. It will minimize all other widows to the Taskbar.  To reopen windows that were minimized by this step, click and shake the window you are using again, and they will re-appear.
  • Press Windows key + up arrow key or Windows key + down arrow key.   The up arrow will maximize the screen; the down arrow will put the screen to minimize.

This is an excellent feature to make your Windows workspace more accessible and user-friendly.  Having your workspace open and ready can save you a lot of time, and often confusion.  Enjoy the new view!

Six Quick Tips for Windows 7

Hopefully you love your Windows 7 Operating System already.  It’s user-friendly and easy to navigate.  However, there are several hidden tips and tricks that can make your experience of Windows 7 out of this world.  Here are six things you can implement right now to make Windows 7 work even better for you.

1.  Know Your Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Win+Left Arrow and Win+Right Arrow dock the window to the left and right side of the screen
  • Win+Up Arrow and Win+Down Arrow maximize and restore/minimize
  • Win+M minimizes everything
  • Alt+UpAlt+Left ArrowAlt+Right Arrow navigate to parent folder, or browse Back and Forward through folders in Explorer
  • Win+Home minimizes/restores all open windows except the active window
  • Alt+Win+# accesses the Jump List of program number ‘#’ on the taskbar
  • Alt+P activates an additional file preview pane

2. Create Favorite Lists for Folders

You can add any library or folder to the Favorites section in Windows Explorer. To add a folder, navigate to it in Explorer, right-click Favorites in the left navigation pane, and select Add current location to Favorites. Now you get quick access to your favorite folders in all File->Save As dialogs, instead of having to navigate to the folder over and over again.  You can also drap and drop your favorite folders to the taskbar for easy access.

3.   Create Your Own Shortcuts For Your Favorite Programs

By right-clicking the program icon and selecting Properties, then the Shortcut tab, and clicking in Shortcut key, you can set the keyboard shortcut for any program.  You can customize your own shortcut for any program in Windows 7.

4. Customize the Power Button

If you restart your computer more often than you shut it down, change the default Shutdown power button to Restart. Right-click on Start, select Properties, and choose the Power button action that you use the most.

5.  Automatically Switch Your Default Printer

Windows 7’s location-aware printing allows the operating system to automatically switch your default printer as you move from one network to another.  To set this up, first click Start, type Devices, and click the Devices and Printers link.  Select a printer and click Manage Default Printers (this is only visible on a mobile device, like a laptop – you won’t see it on a PC).  Choose the “Change my default printer when I change networks” option, select a network, the default printer you’d like to use, and click Add.  Windows 7 will check this list and set the default printer to the one that you’ve defined.

6. Auto Arrange Your Desktop

If your Windows 7 desktop has icons scattered everywhere then you could right-click it and select View > Auto Arrange, just as in Vista. But a simpler solution is just to press and hold down F5, and Windows will automatically arrange its icons for you.  It’s a quick way to keep your desktop neat!

Good luck using these tips, there are plenty more to make your Windows experience as optimal as possible!

The Wonderful World of Windows 8

The newest version of Windows is now available to the public as a free download, bringing many changes to the Windows world.  The newest version can be installed directly from the website, which can be accessed by clicking here.  Complete with a new design called Metro, Windows is revamping its OS to become friendly with not only laptops and PCs, but hand-held devices such as smart phones and tablets.  Microsoft is working hard to prove that you can have one single operating system on every machine you own, from your smart phone to your PC.

The new design for Windows 8 is sleek, intelligent, and easy to use.  It is quite different from Windows 7, but once it is learned, it is very user-friendly.  It represents the future of Windows on hand-held electronics, and allows for the same device-synching opportunities of Mac and Android.  The user interface is extremely well-thought out, and fun to use.  It comes equipped with a Start screen as opposed to the traditional Start menu common to previous versions of Windows.  It is customizable, efficient, and well-integrated.

Aside from the design itself, there aren’t a ton of new features to Windows 8.  One of the highlights is Windows To Go, which allows you to carry Windows 8, along with your programs and files, on a flash drive or external hard-drive.  It’s is a much more secure and cheaper arrangement for businesses especially, as it bypasses issues of file misappropriation and eliminates the need to buy employees personal laptops.

Windows 8 is mobile and touch-friendly, and represents a level of future integration that could take cloud computing to a whole new level.  It is incredibly responsive and fast, and as more Microsoft products become available it may represent a shift in favored operating systems.  Data from address books, photos, calendars, music—even user preferences—are synched to the cloud and accessible via your Microsoft Live account, which means it can be accessed by any Widows 8-powered device, potentially even your Xbox 360 (pending dashboard upgrades).  It also allows for synching settings from one PC to another, which could make PC purchases much less painless in the future.

Windows 8 is a very promising start to Microsoft’s future in the touch-device world.  It offers other benefits as well, for people longing to integrating their hand-held devices with their PCs and laptops using one operating system.  On top of that, it has the added bonus of letting you transfer your personal settings, such as apps and screen layout, between devices, giving you stewardship of your own interface wherever you go.  It is a completely new and very exciting way for you to interact with technology.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Unveiled

Windows 8 is unlike any previous desktop versions of Microsoft Windows. In an attempt to streamline the Windows product line between desktops, entertainment servers, mobile devices and of course, the Windows phone, Microsoft has embraced a new platform model. “Windows 8 reimagines Windows, from the chipset to the experience,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows division.




It’s clear people are excited to see the changes – the consumer preview site checked in with over a million downloads within hours of the release.

The biggest question that remains is whether Microsoft will give Apple a run for their money.


Migrate to Windows 7 at Your Own Pace

You don’t have to jump into Microsoft’s new OS right away; here’s how to make the switch gradually.

Rick Broida, PC World October, 2009

Although I’ve been playing with Windows 7 for a couple months now, I’m not quite ready to dive in. I want to make gradual move, keeping my Vista-based PC up and running while I transition to the new OS. Why? I have my reasons. For one thing, I don’t want any driver- or software-related surprises–or worse. Early upgraders are already reporting issues; read “Windows 7 Upgrade Woes Mount: Endless Reboots and Product Key Problems” for a look at what’s been going on.

What’s more, I don’t have a full afternoon to devote to the tedious process of offloading my data, installing Windows 7, reinstalling all my apps, restoring the data, and so on and so on.

So I’ve come up with a plan. Instead of wiping my system for a fresh install or doing an in-place upgrade from Vista to 7, I’m getting the best of both worlds. First, I partitioned my hard drive–which, thankfully, has more than enough room to accommodate both Vista and Windows 7. Then I loaded Windows 7 onto the new partition, which gave me a fresh install (always the best approach, in my humble opinion).

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