Internet Explorer: Hide Your Toolbars
The World Wide Web is supposed to be a visual experience. It's a crime to sacrifice so much space to all those toolbars in Internet Explorer--you know, the address bar, favorites bar, sushi bar. . . .
But not if you press the F11 key. On a Macintosh, press Command-B, as in "bars."
The bars all disappear, filling your browser with unsullied Web goodness.
To bring the bars back, press the same keystroke again.
Microsoft Word: Save and Close Everything at Once
If you use Microsoft Word, here's a great time-saving tip. When you're done for the day, don't bother closing and saving all your files individually--that's for sissies. Instead, just press the Shift key as you open the File menu. You've just changed the Save command to say Save All, and the Close command to say Close All.
By the way, you won't find this secret in the manual--because Word doesn't come with one.
Hide All Windows with One Stroke
Let's say you're working away, your screen filled with windows. But now you need to duck back to the desktop, maybe to throw away a file or something. Wouldn't you love a single keystroke that would zip you back to the desktop and hide all your program windows?
It's easy: Just press Windows key-D, as in "desktop." (That's the Windows-logo key on most PC keyboards.)
In Mac OS X, hold down the Command and Option keys--while you click the first Dock icon.
Try it--you'll thank me in the morning.
Put a Dent in Your Dish of Daily Spam
Listen to the radio clip.
Had enough of spam? You can fight back. See, junk emailers use software robots to search the Web for email addresses. If they've already got your address, you may have to sacrifice it.
From now on use it, the one they've already got, whenever you fill out forms online. Use a clean, new address exclusively for person to person email. Never reply to spam either. You'll be flagged as a sucker who actually reads the stuff, and you'll get even more. You can buy anti-spam software, but these free tips can make a huge dent in your dish of daily spam.
When your presentation is interrupted by discussion, helpless laughter, or fisticuffs, press the letter B key (or the period key) to put up a blank black slide. Or press W (or the comma key) for a blank white slide. Either way, your audience can now focus on you, or each other, instead of being distracted by your slide.
Junk Senders in Outlook XP Mail
Spam happens. But once a piece of junk email lands in your email box, you shouldn't tolerate any more from that sender. Right-click the message's name and, from the shortcut menu, choose Junk E-Mail. From the submenu, choose Add to Junk Senders list.
What happens to additional messages from that address is up to you. From the Tools menu, choose Organize. Click Junk E-Mail. Use the pop-up menus to direct spam messages into, for example, a Junk E-Mail folder or the Deleted folder.
Outlook XP Calendar Secret Views
Outlook's calendar toolbar buttons let you view one day, one week, the work week, or a full month at a time. Few realize, however, that you can press Alt-3 to view only the next three days, Alt-5 to see only the next five days, and so on.
You can even view non-consecutive days--the next five Mondays, for example. To do so, open the first day in Day view. Then, while pressing Ctrl, click the next day you'd like to view simultaneously (on the tiny preview calendar at the upper-right of the screen), even if it's months away. Keep Ctrl-clicking until all the days you want to see side-by-side are on the screen.
Dummy Text in Microsoft Word
Next time you need some dummy text--to test a font or a layout, for example--you'll love this baby. Type "=rand(8,10)" into your document (without the quotes). Word instantly fills the screen with "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," over and over again. The first number specifies the number of paragraphs, and the second tells Word how many sentences to put in each paragraph. (Can you say, "The Shining"?)
Microsoft Word: Whole-Sentence Highlighting
Just as you can save time by double-clicking to select a word, you can select a whole sentence just by double-clicking anywhere inside it while pressing the Ctrl key (Windows) or Command key (Mac).
Microsoft Word: Whole-Paragraph Highlighting
To the left of each paragraph is a skinny, invisible selection-strip area; you'll know when your cursor is there when it becomes an arrow pointing to the right. Once it's there, a double-click neatly selects the entire paragraph to its right. (Three clicks there selects the whole document.)
Microsoft Word: Going back
No matter where you are in a document, the fantastically useful Go Back command scrolls directly back to the last place you clicked--which usually means the last place you edited--even if it was in another open document. In fact, each time you use the Go Back command, your insertion point jumps among four places: the last three edit spots and your current position. The Go Back keystroke in Windows is Ctrl+Alt+Z; on the Mac, it's Command-Option-Z. (You may as well use the Customize command to change these keystrokes to something more convenient, though. I've remapped that keystroke to Ctrl-G on the PC and Command-G on the Mac.)
Microsoft Word: Delete the Last Word
Let's face it: As you're typing along, rushing to get your precious thoughts down before they evaporate, you'll make the occasional typo. When time is of the essence, it's far faster to slap the "delete the last word I typed" keystroke (Ctrl+Backspace on Windows, Command-Delete on Mac) than to backspace exactly the right number of times. You'll find this trick useful when trying to find just the right word, too: "He looked disdainfully" . . . no, wait, "disinterestedly" . . . no, make that "sadly at the empty sundae dish."
Of course, you could fill a book with tips like this, and plenty of people have, but for anyone who eats, breathes, and wears Microsoft Word, these are a few biggies. Feel free to email them to your favorite editor.
Internet Explorer: Change Your Home Page
I sure hope your browser doesn't still open up each day to the junky-looking, cluttered Microsoft MSN home page, or your PC maker's page, as it did the day you got your computer. Change the default startup page to something that's actually useful, such as Google.com (the world's best search page).
- Mac: From the Edit menu, choose Preferences; click Browser Display.
- Windows: From the Tools menu, choose Internet Options; visit the General tab.
Either way, now enter your preferred startup address in the Address box.
Internet Explorer: Open Links in New Windows
Often, it's helpful to open a link in a new, second browser window. Imagine, for example, that you're moving down the list of search results on Google or Yahoo. Each time you check out a link, a new window opens to give you a glance; if it doesn't contain the info you were looking for, a quick Command-W (Mac) or Alt+F4 (Windows) closes it and takes you back to your search-results window. The trick to opening a second browser window in this way is to press Command (Mac) or Ctrl+Shift (Windows) as you click any link.
Internet Explorer: Scroll Without the Mouse
If a whole Web page doesn't fit in a single window, life's too short to use the scroll bar. Even the mouse's wheel, if it has one, requires some time-consuming precision. Instead, press the Space bar to see the next screenful (when your insertion-point cursor isn't in a text box, of course). Press the Option key with the Space bar to scroll up again. (The Page Up and Page Down keys work, too, but the Space bar is a bigger target.)