Hello folks! How have you been? I hope in a good shape. It’s been a long time since we met, right? More than year I guess since I written the last post (excluding the guest posts that I am merely copy-pasting here!) Well, I know it’s a shame on my part and I should be writing more often. So, here I am today again to bring you some of coolest shortcuts in Windows that you never know are present (well, some of you might actually know, if you are a geek like me 🙂 ) So, without further ado, here they are!
Just Call me “Temp”
Windows has certain folders which gets special treatment. These are the folders which basically sits inside the Windows or Winnt folder on your installation drive, depending on whether it’s client or server Windows OS respectively. So special are these folders (and so frequently needed by application and developers alike) that Windows team doesn’t want you to waste time typing complete path to get to the folder. You can just type the folder name in the Run dialog and Windows will automatically take you to the correct folder. For example, if you wanted to navigate to the C:\\Windows\\Logs folder, you can just type “Logs” (without quotes) in the Run dialog box and C:\\Windows\\Logs folder will be correctly displayed to you. Same is true for any folder inside C:\\Windows folder. In case the folder name contains spaces, just enclose the entire folder name in double quotes and you are good. For example, to open Offline Web Pages folder, just type “Offline Web Pages” (including quotes) in the Run window. Isn’t that fun?
Share On Fire
Let’s assume you are working on the network share drive which has ridiculously long and weird path. Now, your boss comes to you and asks you the network share path as he wants to connect to the share too. How in the world are you going to get the network path from that drive? By hovering over the drive and typing path in notepad? or furiously going through the 19th century documentation to get the path? Relax. There is a simpler way. Just type in the below command in the command window and press enter:
C:|> net share and you will be presented with the output something like this:
Since my computer is not on network, it just shows default shares whereas in case of network PC, you will see list of each share name along with fully qualified network path. Easy like a breeze, isn’t it?
Copy That Dialog
You are using some third-party application which does some pretty fancy financial calculations but instead of giving the output as a text file or some sort of disk storage, some nerd who developed it thought it is cool to just show a message box. Now you are stuck with a message box and you want to save those fancy numbers in excel so that you can do your own mumbo-jumbo on them. But you can’t, can you? Yes, of course you can!
While you are on message box, press the good old Ctrl+C to copy the message box text and paste it wherever you want using Ctrl+P. Tada! and you thought Copy-Paste was just for lazies?
Intelligent Command Window
If you are from era of DOS/Unix like me where commands were the dinosaurs that ruled the brainy IT world, you wouldn’t complain much about cryptic commands, terse switches and almost non-existent documentation of how that command works. But for the rest, it’s complicated! Whether long path names are supported? do they need to be enclosed in quotation marks? How to copy path to command window? Does command window supports drag-n-drop??
Don’t fret! Microsoft hasn’t got the reputation for user-friendliness just like that. We have a solution and that is, bit of intellisense.
How does it work? Simple. You don’t have to type the whole folder name, just enter a few characters and press TAB key and whoops! The characters will automatically expand to the first matching folder name. If there are multiple folders matching the characters and you are not on your desired folder yet, just keep pressing TAB until you hit the desired folder. Secondly, if the folder name contains spaces, the folder name will automatically be enclosed in quotation marks. So you don’t have to worry about it. This not only works for folder but sub-folders as well, so you can get the complete working path typed in within seconds. Nice, isn’t it? and by the way, you can drag-n-drop file/folder to command window to copy its path to the command prompt 🙂
Edit-Friendly Command Window
How many times you typed in long commands in command window which you copied from some freaky ugly looking DOS website and wished you could just copy and paste it in the command window? Well, as a matter of fact, you can!
How? Very simple. When you open a command window, click on the left-hand windows menu and select Edit option and click on Paste. That’s it! Other way round is possible too. From the same menu, you can use Mark option to select the text from command window and then press Enter key to copy it.
If you are frequent user of this like me, you can change the command window defaults so that you don’t have to do it every time. From the top-left windows menu, click on Defaults. In the Defaults dialog box, tick the Quick Edit Mode from Edit options on the Options tab.
Now whenever you open the command window, you can start with copy and paste right away! Windows is fun, isn’t it?
These are some of the tricks I learned over a period of time with experience. What are your hacks to work swiftly in Windows? Post them in the comments below and if you liked this article, please spread word about it by sharing. Keep geeking!