Although Windows 8 Release Preview is out, there may still be users who may be happy to upgrade to Windows 7. If you prefer to enjoy the awesome features that Windows 7 has to offer, you may as well take advantage of these simple Windows 7 tips and tricks to get the best experience from the operating system. For users already familiar with Windows 7, check out if there is a tip or trick you are not familiar with!
Windows 7 Tips and Tricks You Gotta Know
Switch Between Open Windows of a Program
The brilliant thing about Windows 7 is that you can open umpteen number of windows of a program and multi task effortlessly. If you have 5 open Excel sheets on your desktop, finding a particular sheet can be a little annoying. You can use the thumbnail preview to find the sheet you want, but did you know that you can hold down the CTRL key and click on the Excel icon in the taskbar to switch between open windows of a program? Try this the next time you are working on multiple open windows of a program.
Dock Open Windows to the Left of Right of the Screen
One of the cool features of Windows is some of the Aero effects that you can use to shake up the open windows on your desktop. My favorite feature is the ability to view 2 open windows by docking them to the left or right of the screen. You can use the mouse to drag them this way or that but a simple keyboard trick will be to use the Windows Logo key with the Arrow buttons. Here are the shortcuts.
- Windows Logo Key + Left Arrow - Docks the open window to the left of the screen
- Windows Logo Key + Right Arrow - Docks the open window to the right of the screen
- Windows Logo Key + Up Arrow – Maximizes the open window
- Windows Logo Key + Down Arrow – Minimizes the open window
- Windows Logo Key + Shift+ Up Arrow – Maximizes the open window vertically
- Windows Logo Key + Shift+ Down Arrow – Restores the open window vertically
Toggle Between Multiple Monitors
If you work with multiple monitors toggling between them is as easy as hitting the Windows Logo Key + Shift+ Left Arrow and Windows Logo Key + Shift+ Right Arrow.
Minimize All Inactive Windows
If you’ve got multiple open windows and have a hard time finding the one you need to do your current job, just minimize all inactive windows with this simple shortcut. Windows Logo Key +Home. Click this button again to restore them again.
Do Smart Calculations
The much improved Windows 7 calculator can now be used to do more just just basic math. Make sure you do your scientific and statistical calculations, and unit conversion related to the temperature, weight, area, and much more with this multi-computing tool.
Pin Your Favorite Folders
You probably pin your favorite programs to the taskbar, but what about folders? It doesn’t make much sense if you have to navigate the long way to find folders you frequently work with. Simply right-click a folder and drag it to Windows Explorer to pin it. The next time you want to access that folder, just right-click Explorer and select the folder.
Open a New Instance of a Program
A quick way t open another instance of a program is to hold Shift and click the icon on the taskbar.
Reorder Taskbar Items
If you are more comfortable accessing items from the taskbar, you can rearrange the order in which they appear. Just drag and move the icon to the desired position.
Navigate the Taskbar with Your Keyboard
One way to navigate to items in the taskbar is to press the Windows Logo Key+T. This will activate the first program icon on the taskbar. Then use the left and right arrows to navigate the taskbar. Once you find the program you want to open press Enter.
Get Help from the Help Desk
Most issues related to your Windows OS are easily resolved. But if you got one that stubbornly refuses to go away, the Problem Steps Recorder will help you screenshot your issue and get it to Help Desk for a quicker resolution.
View Additional Options in the Send To Menu
In Windows 7, the Send to command is limited to just a few menu options. If you want to view more options, hold Shift and right-click the file and you will be able to view more options.
Change the Size of Text on your Windows 7 Screen
If you want to make it easier to read what's on your Windows 7 screen, right-click the desktop and choose Screen resolution. In the Screen resolution window, click the Make text and other items larger or smaller link, select an option and click Apply. You must then log off to view the applied changes immediately. One downside to this method is that it changes the size without adjusting the screen resolution, so some text or items may not fit the screen.
Get the Best Text Display on Your Monitor
Can't get the text to display clearly and smoothly on screen? Navigate to Control PanelAppearance and PersonalizationDisplay section and select Adjust ClearType text on the left pane. In the ClearType Text Tuner wizard, verify that Turn on ClearType is checked and then run through the steps in the wizard.Your monitor will provide the best text display.
Add Additional Time Zones to the Windows 7 Taskbar
If you are one of those people who works with clients from around the world, having clocks displaying different time zones will be ideal. The Windows 7 Clock gadget is perfect for this, but if you’re not keen on filling your desktop with clocks, here's an alternative.
1. Click the time zone in the Notification area on the taskbar.
2. In the pop-up window, click Change date and time settings.
3. In the Date and Time dialog box, click the Additional Clocks tab and check the Show this clock check boxes to display one or two additional clocks.
4. From the Select time zone spin box, select the required time zone.
5. In the Enter display name text box, give the time zone a name and click OK.
Now when you click the time in the Notification area on the taskbar, you should be able to see the main clock along with the additional clocks.
How to Disable Windows Snap
Windows 7 introduced some amazing new shortcuts to make it easier to manage multiple open windows. One such feature is Windows Snap. Windows Snap allows you to maximize, minimize, and stack windows side-by-side by dragging a window and dropping it to the left or right of the screen.
The window will immediately snap to that position. Windows Snap also allows you to drag the title bar of a minimized window to the top of the screen to maximize it. Similarly, if you drag the title bar downwards, the window will be minimized. While all theses little tricks are cool, there may be times when you find it annoying. In such instances you can disable Windows Snap by following this simple procedure.
1. Click Start and in the Search box type Snap.
2. In the Start menu in the Control Panel section, click Turn Off Automatic Window Arrangement.
3. The Make the mouse easier to use page is displayed. In the Make it easier to manage windows section, check the Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen check box and click OK.
Find Hidden Files and Folders in Windows
There are certain files and folders that are hidden by default in Windows Explorer. That’s because such files and folders are used by Windows and don’t require to be tampered with, unless absolutely necessary. Placing certain files in a Hide state also ensures that they are not accidentally deleted or edited.
However, in the course of our work, we may sometimes find ourselves in a position where we need to check certain files or retrieve certain data; for whatever reason, you need to make these hidden files accessible. Here's how to find hidden files and folders in Windows 7.
1. Open Windows Explorer.
2. From the Organize drop-down list, click Folder and search options.
3. The Folder Options dialog box is displayed. Select the View tab.
4. Below the Hidden files and folders option, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives. If required, (but not advised) you can uncheck the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) option.
5. Click Apply and you’re done.
You can now find that file or folder that you were looking for.