Move those windows!

Most of the SCLS-supported PCs are now running Windows 7. Here's an easy way to make 2 windows sit side-by-side and split your screen real estate in Windows 7:

1st window
Dock the window to the left using Windows Key + Left Arrow
Docked left

2nd window
Dock the window to the right using  Windows Key + Right Arrow
Docked side-by-side

Have 2 monitors? Try these handy keyboard commands in Windows 7!

  • Move window to the left monitor = Windows Key + Shift + Left Arrow 
  • Move window to the right monitor = Windows Key + Shift + Right Arrow

Update: Tsk, tsk. I wrote this post from home, testing on my home PC. Apparently there is a Windows setting that must be enabled for this feature (called "Snap" by Microsoft) to work on SCLS-supported PCs. See this Microsoft page for instructions on how to make the change:  Many thanks to those folks who let me know it didn't work by default!

A Couple Windows Tips

One way to open a command prompt is to Click Start > Click Run... > Type cmd > Hit Enter.  Then you might want to change the directory using the cd command. Capture

If you already have the folder or directory open, a quicker way to accomplish this is to hold the Shift key
then right-click inside the folder and select Open command window here...

A command prompt will open and the current directory will be the same as the path to the folder you have open.  This works in Windows Vista and newer.

Another trick for Windows Vista and greater is the Copy as path function.  This is useful when you need to upload an email attachment or file to a cloud service.  It also works great when you want to send the path to a shared file to another user.

To use the Copy as path function, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the file in the folder system
  2. Hold down shift Key
  3. Right-click the file
  4. Select Copy as path
  5. You can now paste that path where needed

How to Check Your Version of Windows

Windows-logoHere are three easy ways to check what version of Windows is installed on your PC.

1 Shortcut Keys method: hold the Windows key down on the left-hand side of the spacebar and strike the Pause key on the upper right hand side of the keyboard.

2 Click the Start button, click Control Panel, click System.

3 Click the Start button. Type System in the search box and click system under Control Panel.

All three of these methods will bring you to your System window.  Near the top of the window you will see what version of Microsoft Windows is installed on your PC.

Windows 8 resources

Windows8tutorialI bet you've had questions from patrons visiting your library about how to do things in Windows 8. (How flattering that they think we might know!) Have you had the answers? Do you know where to steer them?

Here are a few resources for learning about Windows 8: has some Windows 8 tutorials. These tutorials are broken out into multiple lessons that include both text, screenshots, and short videos.

Microsoft has put together the downloadable "Windows 8 End User Training Brochure", a 36-page PDF introduction to Windows 8's interface and operation. The title might not sound that friendly, but it's filled with colorful screenshots and how-tos (short PCWorld review of the manual is here)

Like videos? The Windows 8 & Windows RT tutorial has tons of them, and it looks like most are under a minute long!, There are 8 sections covering everything from learning to get around using a touch screen or mouse, to installing apps and shutting down . 

What resources would you recommend?

Installing Chrome?

Chrome-logo-large_270x216There were two emails that went out to Link-Announce this year right after a Firefox upgrade.  They talked about different options for printing Koha reports and Chrome was suggested as one alternative.  In the past, when staff PCs had Windows XP on them, for some reason staff were able to install Chrome without any help from the Help Desk.  Now I've discovered, that with Windows 7 that ability is gone.  I've gotten calls from numerous libraries saying that they couldn't install Chrome without Administrator rights.  I don't know what changed in Windows 7 to prevent staff from installing it themselves, but I would be glad to install it for you if you need it.  Just call the Help Desk!

Problem Steps Recorder

Windows 7 has a nice feature called the Problem Steps Recorder.  It can help you demonstrate a problem you are experiencing with a computer.  When you are done, you will have a nice document that lists all the steps you took and corresponding screen captures.  It's pretty easy to use.

  1. Click Start button MP900439352
  2. Click Run
  3. Enter psr
  4. Click OK
  5. Click Start Record
  6. Do whatever it is you want to record
  7. Click Stop Record when you're done
  8. Click Save

The folks at Microsoft were nice enough to make a screencast about this tool.

Enable Quick Launch Bar in Windows 7

MH900389452By default, the Quick Launch toolbar is not enabled in Windows 7.  If this is something you miss from Windows XP, you can enable Quick Launch by following the instructions in Microsoft Article 975784.

Show the desktop

If you're like me you open a lot of windows throughout the day.  Then when you want to get back to the desktop you have to minimize a lot of windows.  There is an easier and quicker way to get back to the desktop. 

In Windows XP there is a Show Desktop button in the Quick Launch toolbar just to the right of the Start button.


In Windows 7 the Show Desktop button is now on the opposite side of the tool bar from the Start button.


The Windows 7 Show Desktop button also has a neat feature that is called Aero Peek.  What this does is if you hover your mouse over the Show Desktop button it instantly minimizes all of your open windows.  Then when you move the mouse away all of your windows return.  If instead of hovering over it you click on it all open windows instantly minimize.

In both Windows 7 and Windows XP there are two other ways to get back to your desktop:

  1. Right-click on the taskbar and there is a menu option to Show Desktop.
  2. Hold down the Windows button and hit d.


Windows 7 tip: Move an offscreen window

Yesterday a Microsoft Word window got caught at the top of my monitor. The top edge of the window went offscreen, and I couldn't move it back because I couldn't get to the title bar at the top of the window to drag it back into position. If you experience this problem too (or lose a whole window after detaching a laptop from a projector), here's how to get your window back without having to completely close the program:

  1. Hold down the Shift key and right click on the program icon in your task bar.
  2. Click Move.
  3. Move your mouse around the screen. You should see a cursor with four direction arrows on it.
  4. Use the arrow keys to bring the window back into position.

Use Shift + right-click, pick Move, then arrow keys

See this tip and more in 7 Windows Frustrations You Can Quickly Fix.

Windows 7 tip: Snipping Tool for screen shots

Do you take a lot of screen shots? (Or maybe you would if you knew how?) Screen shot of the Snipping ToolIf so, the Snipping Tool that comes with Windows 7 might be just what you need. When you see something on screen that you want to take a snapshot of, try these steps:

  1. Click the Windows 7 Start button.
  2. In the Search box type "snip" (or spell out "Snipping Tool" if you're not in a hurry). You may also find it under All Programs > Accessories.
  3. Click the arrow next to the New button, select Free-form Snip, Rectangular Snip, Window Snip, or Full-screen Snip from the list, and then select the area of your screen that you want to capture.
  4. Use the pen and/or highlighter tool to draw on the captured image.
  5. Save the image when you are done.

This tip comes from Adam Brisk's presentation "Graphics, Flyers and Design for the Library-Minded," sponsored by Nicolet Federated Library System.