Thursday, February 04, 2010

General Tips & Tricks

I was in a meeting yesterday and one of my co-workers had an issue, while remoted into his desktop, with a window popping up on his secondary monitor. Luckily, I’ve used 2 – 4 monitors a long time and I’ve run into that same issue before. The solution?

1. Press Alt+Space
2. Press M
3. Push and hold the relevant arrow key until you see the window you want

So…after telling him how to solve that issue, I thought I’d post some other tips/tricks that I use quite a bit. Here’s another one:

Ever copy over your clipboard in Visual Studio and think, “Dang! Now I have to go copy that again”…or worse you cut it…then you get to Ctrl Z and then re-copy…HUGE pain. Well luckily for us, Visual Studio remembers your clipboard and you can take advantage of it by using Ctrl+Shift+V to cycle through your previous copies. This has saved me MANY times. NOT that you should copy and paste a general rule...this is not a good thing :)

Ever have to minimize all your open windows to get to your desktop? My solution to this problem was to create a group of toolbars to categorize my apps. I leave the toolbar locked, never hidden, and always on top. When I first started using this method back in 2002, my boss at a startup called Icabob (now closed), hated it because I had the auto-hide enabled so everytime he’d try to go to the file menu, my toolbar would open. I was used to it so I didn’t have the same problem :)

Another nice thing about this is that I typically have all the same software installed on all my different machines, so I can copy and paste my root “toolbars” folder on all the machines and the shortcuts still work. Keep in mind, you only would add apps that you use quite a bit. So I don’t put my entire “All Programs” section in the toolbar. Anyhow, here’s my current toolbar setup, which is docked on the top of my screen:


Yes that is a GroupWise icon you see up there…so all you Outlook 2010 people (my pic is already on this page) complaining should remember there are worse things. However, we are going through an Exchange migration right now, so I’ll be joining in on the complaints soon enough I’m sure :)

Here are a couple shortcuts that I don’t see used often, but are handy:

Ctrl + Shift + Esc – Opens Task Manager

Win + Pause Break – Opens Computer Properties

Here’s a couple shortcuts specifically for VS IDE that I use a lot:

Ctrl + K + C – Comment Selected Code

Ctrl + K + U – Uncomment Selected Code

For more VS tips, check out Sara Ford’s book Visual Studio Tips 251 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

Anyhow, I thought I’d share some of the things I use daily that I’ve never seen used. I also want to post my favorite jQuery plugins, favorite Firefox add-ons, and VS plugins. I’m not sure if anyone is interested or not, but if you are, let me know!

Thanks for reading!

kick it on

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