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Introducing: Your Computer (Part 3)

Useful Tips That Might Just Blow Your Mind

4/19/2024 | Bits & Bytes

This month, we wrap up our series “Introducing: Your Computer” with a few more useful tricks that many people likely don’t know about.



Have you ever tried copying text from a website into an email and found that it copied all of the text formatting too? The font size is too big, the font itself doesn’t match the rest of your email, maybe even the text color is different. As annoying as that can be, there’s an easy way around it. Instead of using the standard keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V to paste, use the modified Ctrl+Shift+V instead. This will paste only the plaintext portion of what was copied without any formatting or images. And though I haven’t tested it myself, I hear this works on Mac computers as well with Cmd+Shift+V.


A neat feature that gets overlooked a lot is the ability to set custom shortcuts for programs on your desktop or in your taskbar. Right-click the program icon and select “Properties”, and then select the “Shortcut” tab where you’ll see an option for “Shortcut key”. In this field, press any key to use that as the shortcut for this program via Ctrl+Alt+[your key]. This is great if you have a program that you’re constantly referring to but don’t want to keep it open all the time, like a calculator or notepad. I personally use Ctrl+Alt+N for my notepad, and it really comes in handy.



Another hidden gem in Windows is the Steps Recorder program; just search for “steps recorder” and you’ll find it. This amazing program can record your mouse clicks and take screenshots of your actions, compiling them into a concise, easy-to-follow document so that anyone reading it can duplicate your same steps. While its intended use is for tech support so the person helping you can more easily assist you, it can also be used to create tutorials for your users so they can follow along with your actions.



One final bonus secret! If you have a large Word document (.docx file) with lots of images and you want an easy way to extract them all without having to save each image individually, just rename the file extension from .docx to .zip. Note that if you don’t see file extensions in Windows Explorer, you can enable them under the View menu. When you open it as a zip file, all of the images will be contained in a subfolder for you automatically. Amazing!


What about you? Got any neat or interesting tricks or secrets you’d like to share? You can comment below – I’d love to hear them!

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