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Queen's University

Winter 2011 Newsletter

Time Saving Tips and Tricks

In the ITServices Fall 2010 Newsletter, readers were presented with several Time Saving Tips and Tricks. We've pulled together a few more that we hope you will find useful. If you have a great time saving tip, send it to us at and we'll publish it in a future issue. All of the short cut tips below work as stated for XP, Vista and Windows7 unless otherwise stated.



Image of character considering possible passwords and finalizing choice of 10 characters, upper & lower case, alpha-numeric and with special characters I Finally Thought About It!

I've got a secret! I'm not going to tell you what it is, but I will tell how I did it so you can follow my example. I can never remember my password. I waste so much time trying to remember a new password, only to forget it again and call for help.

How I did it: After reading the Approaches to Creating Strong Passwords, I thought about it. I created an 8 word pass phrase - from something one of my children frequently says. I used the first letter of each word for my password and inserted a number and a special character. That's my new 10-item strong password. Instead of having to remember 10 nonsense items, I only have to remember 3 things: the phrase, which I will never forget, and where I inserted a number and special character.  Try it and save some time.




Image of the ctrl keyboard key on a computer Short Cuts - the Ctrl Key
Depending upon what you are doing, Ctrl key short cuts can save you time. They can also save some finger strain if you are using your mouse a lot. To use a Ctrl key short cut, you press down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and while holding it down, you press a letter to perform the short cut, such as "Ctrl + p" to print. A list of other short cuts are below.

  • Ctrl + C : Will copy an item/phrase that you have highlighted or selected.
  • Ctrl + V : Will paste the copied item.
  • Ctrl + X : Will cut/remove an item/phrase that you have highlighted or selected.
  • Ctrl + Z : Will undo the previous action.
  • Ctrl + A : Will select/highlight everything. Very useful for selecting everything on a page to copy.

Speed up Your Menu Display Image of a computer keyboard key that spells the word Fast?

By default on XP, menus fade into view and this means that menus can take a little longer to appear. On a slow running computer, it can be quite noticeable. To speed up menu displays, you can change the fade option to display menus instantly by following these steps:

  1. Click Start. Right-click on My Computer, and then click on Properties.
  2. Click the Advanced tab to launch System Properties.
  3. Under Performance, click on the Settings box.
  4. On the Visual Effects tab, clear the "Fade or slide menus into view" check box.
  5. Click OK and then, click OK on the System Properties window box.
  6. [Photo credit: Flashubi]

Image of Start button and All Programs button on an XP computer screen Finding Programs Quickly

If you have had your computer for a while, chances are fairly high that when you click on Start, followed by All Programs, you are presented with columns and columns of program names. Just try finding an application you haven't used in a while! By default, on XP, when you install a new program, it is added to the end of the All Programs menu window. One way to quickly find your programs is to sort them alphabetically by name. To sort your program names, perform the following three steps:

  1. Click on Start and then click on All Programs.
  2. Right-Click on any folder name.
  3. On the short-cut menu that pops up, click on Sort by Name.

All of your programs will be instantly sorted alphabetically. Keep in mind that as you add new programs to your computer, they will be listed at the end of the All Programs menu window. After adding new programs, you will want to sort them by name again.

Note: Vista and Windows7 sort All Programs alphabetically by default.









Do You Have a Tip or Trick to Share?

If you have a tip or trick that you would like to share with readers, please submit it to the newsletter editor at:

Thank you to those who submitted tips and tricks for this issue of the ITServices Newsletter.


























































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