Technology News, Tips and Tricks

10 Nerd-Approved Computer Tricks You Need to Know

Life hacks offer a tremendous way to reduce time on a project without cutting corners to do so. 

Now that you live in the modern-day, those life hacks also come in the form of helpful computer tricks that can help you in any situation.

Maybe you’re at work and looking for a way to prevent wasting time on trying to recover a lost tab.

Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of finding a way to screen print only the portion of the screen you want to send. Whatever the case may be, here are several clever tricks that can be a huge help to your daily life.


1. Converting XML to PDF

You may have come across some files in the past that are flooded with coding jargon you were completely unfamiliar with.

To the untrained eye, this may look as if some error led to this happening with your computer. It may surprise you to find out there’s a strategy behind it. It’s how all programs find their format.

However, you may have the need to convert XML to PDF in order to get that document to a readable version that you were envisioning.

Luckily, there is available software (such as the one in the embedded link above) that can help you do just that.

2. Retrieving Lost Tabs

How many times have you lost or accidentally deleted a tab you were using while trying to close another?

Not to worry, there’s a simple computer trick to retrieve it and get right back to where you were at.

Simply hold down on the Control key, Shift key, and “T” key and the tab you once lost will become found again. You’ll be back on track within seconds.

3. Give Your Computer a Regimen

Possibly the only time you realize your laptop needs a system update is right when you need to use it for the next 2-3 hours.

By the time you’re done with your project, you completely forget about the system update you were planning to do once you got finished.

There are useful features on both Windows (Task Scheduler) and on Macs (Tasks Till Dawn) that allow you to schedule times for system updates, app maintenance, etc.

4. Screenshot Specific Portions of Your Screen

For as long as you’ve been screenprinting, you’ve probably thought to yourself “there’s got to be a way of screenshotting only the portion I want to.”

You’re absolutely right and know you finally have that option available to you.

If you have a Windows computer you just need to go to the Start icon and select the “snipping tool” option. For Mac users, hold down the Command key, Shift key, and “4” key in unison.

5. Know the Secrets

Your computer is much better at keeping secret features from you than you might believe it to be. Secrets that can help you cut time on your daily life.

Both Windows computers and Mac computers have secret features that not many users are aware of. 

For example, there’s a feature that can hide your current tab with the click of a button. This is perfect for those times you’re at the office watching March Madness and see your boss walking up to your desk!

6. Repeat Your Hard Work in Excel 

Anyone that uses Excel spreadsheets frequently knows how much of a tedious beast that it can be.

It takes a person of sincere patience to carefully measure everything out and make it look presentable. However, there’s a button that can repeat your last command and save you significant time.

Simply press “F4” while you’re in Excel, and it will perform the last thing that you did once again. 

7.  Unzoom Your Web Browser

Tired of dealing with your web browser being so zoomed in that you can’t read past the first 10 words in a sentence? 

Seems like the browser has a mind of its own—as if it just wakes up one day and decides it’s going to mess with you.

To zoom out hold down on the Control key and “-” key in unison. To zoom in hold down on the Control key and “+” key. To reset it to the default focus, just hold the Control key and “0” key.

8. Rotate Your Screen

While this one may not be helpful to life-hacking, it can be a great way to pull a prank on someone at work.

On a Windows computer, if you hold down the Control key, Alt key, and an arrow key, then that computer’s screen will rotate in that direction.

This is a perfect, simple-solution prank that you can do to a coworker while they’re taking a bathroom break.

9. Quickly Lock Your Computer

Have an emergency and need to lock your computer screen rather quickly? Seconds are precious in these types of situations. If so, all it takes is a few quick button combinations to do so.

Mac users, hold down on the Command key, Option key, and Power key to lock the screen quickly.

Windows computer users, press down on the Windows key and “L” key simultaneously to lock it down fast.

10. Copy a File Quickly

Did you know that copying a file on a Mac computer is as simple as dragging it to another portion of your screen?

If there’s a file on your computer you’re hoping to create a copy of, just hold down on the Alt key and then drag the file you wish to copy.

It will drag a copy of that file over to your desired location.

Use These Savvy Computer Tricks in Your Day to Day

Now that you’ve seen this list of clever computer tricks, be sure to store them away for future use.

Just shaving a few seconds here and there can amount to hours saved on wasted time each week.

Be sure to read our other articles that cover a number of topics such as this one.

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