Computer Tips and Tricks


  1. Keyboard shortcuts in Windows
    1. Alt-Tab – switch between running programs (hold down the ALT key and then press the TAB key to view the task-switching window)
    2. Ctrl-c – copy
    3. Ctrl-v – paste
    4. Ctrl-x – cut
    5. Ctrl-z - undo
    6. To create a shortcut: Press and hold down CTRL+SHIFT while you drag a file to the desktop or a folder.
    7. Windows Logo+R: Run dialog box
    8. Windows Logo+M: Minimize all
    9. SHIFT+Windows Logo+M: Undo minimize all
    10. Windows Logo+F1: Help
    11. Windows Logo+E: Windows Explorer
    12. Windows Logo+F: Find files or folders
    13. Windows Logo+D: Minimizes all open windows and displays the desktop
    14. Windows Logo+Break: System Properties dialog box
  2. Windows Explorer - setting folder and file options
    1. Tools Folder Options View
      1. Change Advanced settings to show hidden files, display file extensions, etc.
      2. Can apply the settings of the current directory (thumbnail or detailed view for example) to all folder in this menu as well.
  3. Task manager & processes
    1. Ctrl-Alt-Del or right click in task bar and choose "Task Manager"
    2. Can end unresponsive programs
    3. Can see computer CPU usage and memory usage
  4. Remote desktop
    1. Enable remote desktop access on the computer you want to access
      1. Control Panel System Remote tab. Select "Allow user to connect remotely to this computer". Take note of the full computer name. Also, write down the IP address if you have it.
      2. Set a password for the current user if there is not one.
    2. On the other computer you want to use to access the first one, go to Start All Programs Accessories Communications Remote Desktop Connection and type in the computer name or IP address to log in
  5. Renaming multiple files at once
    1. Select multiple files by holding down the control key.
    2. Right click and choose "Rename"
    3. Enter the new name
    4. Files will be renamed with a "(1)", "(2)", etc on the end.
  6. Sharing folders between computers on your home network
    1. On the computer with the folder you want to share, right click on the folder name and choose "Properties".
    2. Click on the "Sharing" tab.
    3. Choose "Share this folder" and remember the "Share name".
    4. Take note of the computer name by going to Control Panel System Computer Name tab and click on "Change". The computer name is shown in the "Computer name:" box. Take note of this name.
    5. On the computer you want to access the remote folder from, open Windows Explorer.
    6. Choose Tools Map Network Drive
    7. Choose a drive letter that is not being used (by default an unused one is chosen for you and you can leave it as it is)
    8. Type in \\[Computer Name]\[folder name]
    9. The folder you shared will now be mapped to a drive letter on your remote computer and you can copy/paste to/from it.
  7. How to edit the registry with regedit
    1. Type "regedit" in the run menu and navigate to the registry entry you want to edit.
  8. Screen captures
    1. To copy a window, make sure the window is selected and press Alt-PrintScreen
    2. To copy the entire desktop, just press PrintScreen
    3. Then past the screen shot into Word or another document with the Cntrl-V or right-click paste option.
    4. SnagIt freeware tool that lets you select portions of the screen.

Internet Explorer

  1. Internet Explorer Options
    1. Tools Internet Options
      1. Set home page
      2. Delete cookies and temporary internet files
      3. Clear history
    2. Cookies – what are they? "Holds information on the times and dates you have visited web sites. Other information can also be saved to your hard disk in these text files, including information about online purchases, validation information about you for members-only web sites, and more."
  2. Links shortcut buttons
    1. Unlock the toolbar by unselecting the View ToolbarsàLock the Toolbar option.
    2. Grab the "Links" toolbar and move it under the "Address" toolbar.
    3. Add websites to your Favorites by choosing Favorites Add to favorites and highlight the "Links" folder. Give the link a short name and click OK.


  1. Word templates on Office online
    2. Open up Word and click File New
    3. Choose the "Templates on Office Online" from the menu bar on the right.
    4. Find the template you want on the website and download it.
      1. Calendars, labels, planners
      2. Website design templates
      3. Payroll templates
      4. Cover letter templates
      5. Resume templates
      6. Business Plan templates
      7. To do lists
      8. Marketing plans
      9. Presentations
      10. Invitations, cards, etc.
  2. Create a watermark
    1. Go to the Format menu
    2. Select Background
    3. Click Printed Watermark
    4. From here you can either select a graphic or text watermark.

  1. Line break within a cell
    1. Press Alt-Enter when typing info into a cell
  2. Using formulas
    1. Type "=" and the formula
  3. Creating drop down lists with cell value validation
    1. In an empty sheet, create your list of items in a column of cells
    2. Highlight the cells with the values you want to use in your dropdown and give the group a name in the name box in upper left box just above the "A" column
    3. Go to the cell in the sheet you want to give a drop down list to.
    4. Choose DataàValidation from the menu
    5. For Validation criteria, choose Allow: List
    6. For Source: enter "=" and then the name of the list you created in the other sheet in step b.
    7. Click "OK" and test you your new drop down.
  4. Setting a password on a file
    1. Choose ToolsàOptionsàSecurity tab and enter a password in the "Password to open:" field.
  5. Conditional formatting of cells
    1. You can format a cell based on the value entered into the cell. You can choose up to 3 different values to format on. For example, if the cell contains a value that is less than 0, turn the font color red. If the value is greater than 0, turn the font color green.
    2. Choose FormatàConditional Formatting and enter in the conditions. You can have a total of 3 conditions.
  6. Linking the value of cells
    1. Type and "=" and then go click on the cell whose value you want to link to and then press enter.
  7. Auto-filter
    1. To turn on filters to the column headings in a table, click on the row or cell with the column heading.
    2. Choose DataàFilteràAuto Filter


  1. Outlook – tasks
    1. GoàTasks
    2. Create new tasks for yourself and set reminders
    3. Create a task request for others
  2. Reminders
    1. Create appointments, tasks or meetings with reminders
  3. Rules
    1. Automatically move certain messages to certain folders (or delete them)
    2. Automatically forward messages with certain information
  4. Signature
    1. ToolsàOptionsàMail Format tab. Edit the Signatures information at the bottom.
  5. Sticky notes: While in Outlook, you can create sticky notes that look like post-it notes. These stay on your desktop and can help server as reminders for things you need to do. To Create a Note In Outlook:
    1. Go to File / New / Note
    2. Or press Ctrl+Shift+N
    3. From here you can enter any text you like
    4. You can change the color of the note by clicking on the icon in the upper left hand corner and selecting Color
    5. When created this way, the notes are only available when Outlook is still running
    To Create a Note Anytime
    1. Create a shortcut on the desktop
    2. "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\OUTLOOK.EXE" /c ipm.stickynote
    3. Give it a name that makes sense for you
    4. Now you can create a note without Outlook running
  6. Schedule E-mail Responses in Your Outlook Calendar
    If you receive an e-mail message in Outlook and you don't have time to respond to it immediately, you can easily add it to your calendar and schedule a block of time when you will be able to reply.

    To turn an e-mail message into an item on your calendar:

    1. Drag the message from your Inbox onto the Calendar icon on the Outlook Bar or onto your Calendar folder. This will create a new appointment item.
    2. Enter the date and time you want to reply and specify any additional options you want. (The body of the e-mail message is automatically added to the appointment.)
    3. Click Save and Close to add the appointment to your calendar.
    Outlook will automatically notify you when it is time to respond to that e-mail.

    Editor's Note: You can drag items between all Outlook folders: Inbox, Tasks, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, and so on. For more options, right-click before you drag.

  7. Sent an Embarrassing E-mail? Retrieve It
    Have you ever accidentally sent an e-mail you wish you could "unsend"? Well, maybe you can. If you use Microsoft Exchange Server as your e-mail server, and the recipient uses Outlook, you can recall the message before the person has a chance to read it.

    To recall a message after you've sent it:

    1. Open your Sent Items folder.
    2. Double-click the message you want recalled.
    3. On the Actions menu, click Recall This Message.
    4. To recall the message, click Delete unread copies of this message. To replace the message with another one, click Delete unread copies and replace with a new message, click OK, and then type a new message.
    5. To be notified about the success of the recall or replacement for each recipient, select the Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient check box.
    6. Click OK.
  8. Did You Get the E-Mail Message I Sent? I Can Find Out
    With the Read Receipt feature in Outlook, you can track if and when someone has read an e-mail message you've sent. So, instead of wondering, "Has he read my e-mail yet?", you can know for sure. Here's how:

    1. Before you send your message, on the View menu, click Options.
    2. Select the Request a read receipt for this message check box and click Close.
    To automatically track all e-mail that you send:

    1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
    2. On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options, and then click Tracking Options.
    3. Select the Request a read receipt for all messages I send check box and click OK.
    Now as soon as the recipient opens an e-mail message you've sent, Outlook automatically sends a message back notifying you that it's been read. Or if the recipient deleted the message without reading it, you'll know that too.

    Editor's Note: If your recipient's e-mail server does not support this feature, you will not be able to track if the message was read. Microsoft Exchange Server is one server that does provide full message tracking capabilities.

  9. Are You Spying on Me?
    I like to know if people have requested read receipts on e-mail messages they've sent me. Here's how you can customize your Outlook Inbox so you can see at a glance which messages have read receipts attached:

    1. Open your Outlook Inbox, and on the View menu, point to Toolbars and click Advanced to show the Advanced toolbar.
    2. On the Advanced toolbar, click Field Chooser.
    3. In the Field Chooser drop-down box, select All Mail Fields.
    4. Scroll down until you see Receipt Requested.
    5. Click Receipt Requested and drag it onto the column heading in your Inbox. The double red arrows indicate where the column will be placed when you release the mouse.
    6. Close the Field Chooser box.
    Now you'll see a new column in your Inbox with the label Receipt Requested that will have a Yes in it when the message has a read receipt request attached or a No if it does not.

11. Delay Delivery of an Outlook Message

If you are responsible for sending out information on a regular schedule, here is a way to do that even if you have to be out of the office.
To delay delivery of a message:
  1. In Outlook, create a new message.
  2. On the File menu, click Properties.
  3. On the General tab, click Send Options.
  4. Click the Microsoft Exchange Server tab.
  5. Under Send This Item, select In, type a number, and select a time interval from the drop-down menu. For example, if you want the message sent in two days, type 2 and select days from the list.
  6. Click OK twice.
  7. Click Send to place the message in your Outbox for processing.
Editor's Note: This procedure only applies if you've installed Outlook with the Corporate Workgroup/Other option. To determine your installation type, on the Help menu, click About Microsoft Outlook. You will see "Corporate" in the About Microsoft Outlook dialog box if you have the Corporate Workgroup installation.