October 09, 2012

While you and your co-workers may know all the tips and tricks to maximize productivity on your computer, your best buddy may have no clue that Ctrl+V is how you quickly paste something. Let’s face it, as IT professionals, you can take a lot of these skills for granted. So we decided to compile a list of 5 handy tricks that every computer user can (and should) learn.

Shortcuts 

Looking around for a certain word can be a pain, especially on long webpages or large reports. Instead of wasting time eyeing the screen, just press Ctrl+F and type the word you’re looking for. But it’s not just F that’s a handy shortcut key. Here are 5 of the most useful shortcuts to remember:

Ctrl+F- Find

Ctrl+S- Save

Ctrl+C- Copy

Ctrl+V- Paste

Ctrl+P- Print

It may take a couple tries to get used to the shortcut but you’ll save loads of time going through a word doc or webpage.

Using Print Screen 

Have you ever had to show someone what your whole computer screen looks like but didn’t know how? Easy! Just press the PRINT SCREEN button on your computer’s keyboard. This will take a full view screenshot of whatever is active and open on the screen. If you just want to show what’s on your active window , you can press the ALT + PRINT SCREEN buttons.

Free Anti-Virus Programs

If you don’t have any anti-virus programs, there’s a good chance you will (or already!) have a virus on your computer. Yes, even you Mac users! So what can you do to prevent them without shelling out money for Norton or Symantec products? Good news: you’ve got a lot of options. There are over a dozen programs you can install that will help keep viruses away from your computer. Some of the best ones are AVGAvast!Avira. Just click on the links and download and install the program!

Backup Your Files

Yes, a great anti-virus program can help, but things will happen, so you need to be prepared. The easiest option is to buy an External Hard Drive and store all of your files on it. It is suggested you get one that holds at least 250 GB especially if you hold music and videos on your computer. Luckily, memory is cheap andgetting cheaper, so if you can, go out and get the biggest hard drive available. CNet has done extensive reviews on the best external hard drives and you can see the cream of the crop here

Customizing startup programs

If starting up your computer feels like it’s taking forever, you can get rid of some starting programs that you never use. For example, if Skype pops up when you’re starting your computer and you don’t like to use it that often, you can remove it from the startup routine so it will only start when you want it to.

If you’re on Windows XP, click on start, then click on run and type in msconfig. Select msconfig from the search results to launch System Configuration. On the first tab, General, select the Selective startup option. Next, click the Startup tab, where you can toggle on or off startup programs.

Windows 7 users can click here to find out how to do this.

The next time your significant other calls you in the middle of work asking how to do something on the computer, you can email them a link to this post. After all, the more they learn the less they’ll be calling you for help!

Are there any tricks on here that even you didn’t know about? What other easy tips do you teach your friends and family?

Posted By: James Sweeney

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