Force Your PC’s Screen Into Standby Mode With A Hotkey Using BlackTop

In third world countries where power resources are already quite scarce, it doesn't hurt to save some energy wherever possible. This may include turning off any extra lights, appliances and even your monitor when you’re not around your computer. It’s true that with the advancement in technology, manufacturers have now created computer displays that don’t put a major dent in your monthly electricity bill, but it’s still advisable to keep the screen off when you’re not using your PC, not only to save energy costs but also for its longevity. Though most people simply find it quite tedious to constantly reach the on/off button on the display itself. If you don't want to turn off your screen using the physical button and are looking for an alternative method, Windows application BlackTop offers a solution. This tiny app allows you to switch off your computer’s display using nothing but a simple hotkey combination. Read More

Quickly Enable ‘Always On Top’ Behaviour For Any App Or Window

Although some Windows apps have the built-in option to enable ‘always on top’ behavior, you can’t get this option for every window unless it’s designed that way. As soon as you click away to the desktop or another window, the current one loses focus and moves to the background. Window On Top is a minuscule Windows application that lets users set any window to stay on top of others at all times. The application doesn’t have a GUI and quietly resides on the system tray without intervening with your workflow. It can prove to be useful if you want to keep a certain folder or application - such as a media player, document editor, photo viewer, etc. - constantly in view as you complete other tasks throughout the OS. Read on for further details. Read More

HotKeyMan: Create Global Hotkeys For Frequently Used Actions

One of the quickest ways to perform different computer tasks is Hotkeys usage. Hotkeys provide users with an easy way to perform routine mouse-intensive tasks such as creating a new folder, moving and copying files and folders, launching and quitting running applications etc. Whether you're editing a document, rendering animation in Blender or listening to music on a media player, you will always find the presence of hotkeys in almost every application. If you love using a keyboard instead of a mouse, and looking for a way to intuitively perform various computer tasks and actions, we recommend giving HotKeyMan a shot. It's a small application for Windows that lets you create custom global keyboard shortcuts for frequently performed actions and tasks. Using this application, you can easily create shortcut keys to maximize and minimize the active window, quit/close active application window, capture the entire screen, capture active window, open selected file or application, visit specified websites, shutdown and log off Windows, and send keystrokes to the active application. Furthermore, it shows the currently active hotkey combinations over the system notification area to help you remember them. Details to follow after the break. Read More

Quickly Switch Primary Display With A Hotkey For Games Without Dual-Monitor Support [Tip]

Since I have a dual monitor setup (one 4:3 monitor set as primary and a 16:9 one as secondary), I was, until recently, running into the problem that whenever I had to play a full screen game that supports wide screen mode, I had to switch the primary monitor, and then switch it back when I quit the game. Some modern games allow you to switch the primary display from their settings, but not all games allow you to do that (in my case, Dota 2). The default method for switching the primary monitor in Windows 7 is a bit tedious, as one requires to open the Personalization dialog box, select Display, choose Adjust Resolution, and then select the Primary Display. Today, I discovered a miniscule tool called Make Primary Monitor that allows you change any of your secondary display monitors to primary by launching the application from the secondary display. Read More

How To Switch To A New Desktop Background Using A Hotkey In Windows 7 & 8 [Tip]

The themes in Windows 7 and Windows 8 usually contains a number of images in each theme. Other elements remain the same, but the image changes to a new one after a specified amount of time. This time interval can be changed by opening Personalization settings and selecting the Desktop Background option. The time interval can be set from 10 seconds to one day depending on the user’s preference. If you are fond of using a large collection of wallpapers, you can set a lower time interval. However, having a large collection means that sometimes, an image may appear on your background that might not be according to your mood at the time and you might want to change it. By default, the desktop context menu of Windows 7 and Windows 8 contains an option called Switch To next Desktop Background, which - as the name suggests - allows you to switch to the next desktop background available in the image list. In this post, we will show you how to switch to the next desktop background using a keyboard shortcut rather than accessing the right click context menu of Windows desktop. Read More

Enable Keyboard Shortcuts & Create Custom Hotkeys In Gmail [Tip]

Gmail is becoming an increasingly popular email service. When Google launched it back in 2004, no body knew it would receive such mainstream acceptance.  Right now, it is the 2nd largest email service around and time is not far for it, to claim the 1st spot. Albeit Gmail provide a lucid user experience, various tweaks and tips make it more robust. Keyboard shortcut support is a rather unknown feature of Gmail. If you love using keyboard shortcuts, you must know how convenient it is to use hotkeys to perform mouse-intensive tasks. If you're an avid Gmail user who spends the better half of the day managing emails, then you might want to use hotkeys to quickly navigate between mailboxes (Inbox, Sent Mail, Drafts etc.), and other Gmail sections including Contacts and Tasks. Gmail natively supports quite a few hotkeys used to jump between different Gmail pages & sections, and even allows users to create custom shortcuts for performing routine tasks. In what follows, we will let you know how you can enable keyboard shortcuts in Gmail and create custom hotkeys to quickly perform your routine tasks without loosing focus on your everyday computer work. Read More

Instantly Auto-Adjust The Width Of ‘Details View’ Columns In Windows Explorer [Tip]

The Windows 7 & 8 Explorer provides users with a lot of viewing options including Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, List, Details, Tiles and Content. While most users do not usually change the default view mode, other view modes, like Extra Large Icons, Details view mode, also come in handy in different situations. For instance, I keep Medium Icons as a default viewing mode for most  of my content, but prefer Details view mode to view the audio files in my music collection folder. In the Details view, files are displayed much like they are in the List view, but with additional information. Though, you might have noticed that sometimes, when you open a folder and switch to Details view, the columns are not appropriately sized according to the field content. You can drag each column to the required size or double-click the right edge of a header, but doing so in every folder is a tedious task. Join us after the break for a extremely simple way to instantly adjust the width of all columns in a folder that has the Details view. Read More

Use Hotkeys For Playback Control Of Multiple Media Players With MPH

There are numerous applications available out there that let you assign custom global keyboard shortcuts to a specific media player, so that you can easily play or pause a media file, control volume, etc., even if your media player is not active, but what if you want to assign hotkeys to not just one, but a number of different media players that you use? Meet MPH (Media Player Hotkeys) – an application that is designed to configure a single set of hotkey combinations for multiple media players including VLC, Windows Media Player, KM Player, Winamp, Media Player Classic and so on. Apart from using hotkeys, you can use mouse buttons and scroll wheel to perform different tasks as well. Read More

Quick Paste: Use Custom Hotkeys To Enter Pre-defined Text Or Run Programs/Commands

Sometimes, even the smallest of tools can prove to be extremely handy. This statement holds true for Quick Paste, a portable application that can save you a lot of time in email, report, draft or essay writing, if you repeatedly find the need to enter a certain block of text. The program lets you add multiple text inputs and assign keyboard shortcuts to each, so you can quickly and easily paste the text in your document, much unlike traditional clipboard managers. The utility is highly useful for people who need to continuously copy and paste multiple lines of text. Additionally, it allows you to run your frequently used commands and programs via custom hotkeys. Being a portable app, it means you can use it on the go, such as in your office, during vacations, road trips etc. It runs in the background and won’t even make you feel if its there. More to follow after the jump. Read More

WinPlusX: Get Windows 8 Win+X Menu In Windows 7 & Vista

Since the release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, there has been a lot of talk about its different features. Some of them are unique, new and have mostly gained positive reviews, while other changes have received some negative remarks from the users. One of the biggest and most visible change is obviously its Metro UI, which is a juxtaposition of Desktop and Tablets OS. Apart from the major UI related changes, Windows 8 comes with a lot of quick access shortcuts as well that were not included in previous versions of Windows, even in Windows 7. In this article, however, we are concerned with only one particular menu of Windows 8, the Win + X menu. It is a System Utility Settings menu that can be accessed from the bottom-left corner of the screen. It allows you to instantly view and access different system utilities, such as Programs and Features, Network Connections, Device Manager, Event Viewer, Disk Management, Command Prompt etc. If you have already played with Windows 8 Consumer Preview and found the Win + X menu of great use, then you can also bring it to your preceding Windows version by using WinPlusX. It is a free portable application that brings the System Utility Settings menu of Windows 8 to Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Read on to find out more about WinPlusX. Read More

How To Show Hidden Files & Folders With A Hotkey In Windows 7 & 8

Operating systems are designed to keep various system and other critical files hidden from the user. This helps to keep those files safe from unintentional deletion, thus preventing any system failure or data corruption. Almost every major mobile and desktop platform uses this feature. But this doesn't mean that you cannot access those files and folders. For instance in Android, various third party tools allow access to hidden files. Similarly, Linux-based OS such as Ubuntu, Fedora etc, allow you to toggle viewing of hidden folders on and off through a simple shortcut key – Ctrl+H. However, to perform the same function in Windows, i.e., show or hide hidden files, one has to open Folder Options and navigate to View tab to hide/unhide files and folders. Wouldn’t it be better, if you could hide and unhide files and folders via a hotkey combination akin to Ubuntu? This can save a great deal of time. Moreover, if you frequently find the need to toggle the hide/unhide option, simply pressing Hotkey is ten fold better than hopping onto Folder Options every time. One third-party tool that provides this facility is ToggleHiddenFolders. It is a miniscule, AutoHotkey-based application designed specifically for Windows that silently runs in the background and allows you to hide/show hidden files and folders using Win + H shortcut key. Keeping reading to find out more about ToggleHiddenFolders. Read More

iTunes Hotkeys: Global Shortcuts For Play/Pause, Next & Previous Track

iTunes is, hands down, one of the most popular media players around. Its elegant and intuitive interface, and iOS integration has lead it to be used by millions of people. Even though, the application is awesome in every way, it still lacks on of the most important feature - support for global hotkeys. One has to use third-party apps to implement hotkey support for volume adjust, playback, playlist navigation and use other supported features. A couple of days ago, we covered iTunesInfo, an iTunes controller that allows you to configure global hotkeys to perform different actions, such as Play, Pause, Stop, Adjust Volume, Shuffle Playlist etc. It is no doubt, quite a big program with lots of options to adjust hotkeys and view song information in notification window. However, if you are looking for a simple software that enables you to change the track and play/pause music without confusing you with a lot of options, and is also very light weight, then try iTunes Hotkeys. This open source application for Windows interacts with iTunes and allows you to set custom hotkeys to switch to the next or previous song in the playlist and play/pause the currently playing track. More on iTunes Hotkeys after the break. Read More

iTunesInfo: Create Global Hotkeys For Various iTunes Actions

If you’re one of those audiophiles, who use iTunes as a primary media player for managing their music library, then you must have noticed that it doesn't support global hotkeys to adjust volume and navigate between items in playlist. For this reason, one has to bring up iTunes window to change the track, shuffle playlist, adjust volume etc. We have covered a few applications in the past to solve this problem, such as iHK or iTuneskeys. Today, we stumbled across another powerful iTunes controller called iTunes Info. It is a standalone, portable utility that lets you configure global hotkeys to perform different iTunes actions like Play, Pause, Stop, adjust volume, shuffle playlist, toggle mute, rate & navigate between tracks and more. Moreover, it sends desktop notification, which shows specified meta tag information of the current song. Details to follow after the jump. Read More

Close All: Shut Down All Running Windows Applications With A Hotkey

When using the computer for a long time, it is quite common to have a lot of windows open at the same time on your desktop. In case you want to shutdown your PC, closing each window down one by one is not time efficient, and if you are in a hurry, you may want to close down everything as soon as possible. Windows allows you to quickly close down a particular type of window by holding down shifting and clicking the close button. For instance, if you want to close multiple Windows Explorer windows, instead of clicking the close button one by one, you can just hold down Shift key and click close to instantly close down all the Windows Explorer windows. However, you cannot close down different types of open windows using the default available options. Wouldn't it have been nicer to have a quick way to close all the windows within a single click? It looks like our wish is granted with Close All. It is a portable application for Windows that allows you to close all running programs with just a single click. More on Close All after the jump. Read More

ArsClip Lets You Save Permanent Clipboard Entries & Edit Them

Windows clipboard can hold only one copied item, whether a text snippet or an actual file. Whether it would be further enhanced in future Windows iterations or not, letting you add multiple items to clipboard, various third-party applications are already available that fill up this void. We have always emphasized on how clipboard managers can help you in various scenarios, especially when you're writing something and continues find the urge to copy paste items here and there, between documents. Previously, we have covered a lot of clipboard managers, including Clipboard Text Recorder with record ability, ClipX a similar tool and a highly minimalistic Free Clipboard Manager, that have their distinct functionalities, like managing clipboard through hotkeys and saving screenshots in clipboard. Another clipboard manager that caught our attention is ArsClip, a portable clipboard application for Windows that monitors the clipboard entries and records multiple entries. Pasting is done using a pop window accessible through a hotkey, or by holding down your right-mouse button. This small utility allows you to keep permanent entries in clipboard and edit each entry currently stored in the clipboard. More details on usage and screenshots of ArsClip after the break. Read More

30 New Hotkeys For Windows 8

Hotkeys allow you to save time by quickly accessing menus and performing different tasks, which may take more time when done with mouse. Windows 8 Consumer Preview was launched some days ago, and along with the new user interface, also came new hotkeys to access the new menus included in Windows 8. We thought it would be nice to compile a list of shortcuts that you will find very useful while using Windows 8. Some of the shortcuts are same as Windows 7, but a lot have changed, too. Keep reading to find out some easy access hotkeys for Windows 8. Read More

KeyboardExt: Quickly Locate & Launch Applications Using Hotkeys

Both shortcut management and hot key applications are created in order to make using Windows easier and quicker for the users. Keyboard hotkeys allow you to perform the required task in a lot less clicks and key presses than normally required, and a shortcut manager lets you have a lot of program, file and folder shortcuts on your screen without cluttering the desktop. KeybardExt is an versatile application for Windows that allows you to completely manage keyboard shortcuts, launch applications, send keystrokes to applications and extends Windows Explorer keyboard shortcuts. It has built-in capability to handle and manage screenshots and can also be used as a quick way to search for items in your Start menu. The tool allows you to quickly locate and launch applications, open documents, play MP3 files and access other files from system folders. Users are allowed to choose the applications to run from locations, such as Start Menu, Quick Launch, or other user defined locations. The application provides you with a replacement for Start/Run dialog box, lets you create hot keys to be used with specific applications or globally and much more Read on to find out more about KeyboardExt. Read More

Retain Clipboard Items After System Reboot Using ClipboardZanager

The Windows Clipboard is one of the most used features of Windows. Everyone uses it on daily basis, multiple times a day. The Ctrl + C/ Ctrl + V commands are very useful for quickly copying and pasting text, URLs etc from the source location to the destination. However, the biggest limitation of the default Windows Clipboard is that it can only hold one entry at a time. It means that whenever you copy a piece of text, the old one automatically gets deleted from the memory of Windows. Previously, we have covered a lot of useful clipboard managers, including ClipX, a clipboard manager that allows you to copy a large number of text and image entries and Free Clipboard Manager, which lets you take & save screenshots and text in clipboard item library. However, almost all of them have one common issue; the clipboard memory is wiped as soon as you turn off the computer. Today, we have a clipboard manager named, ClipboardZanager that lets you easily manage Windows Clipboard and save multiple items in its memory at a time, including text snippets and images. What makes it different from other clipboard tools is that it has the ability to retain clippings even after you reboot the system, allowing you to easily recover and use the clipboard data. Read past the break for more. Read More

HotKey Resolution Changer: Change Monitor Resolution Using Hot Keys

Just as monitors are designed in various sizes, their display resolution also varies from size to size. Larger displays usually sport higher the resolution and vice versa. Although, LCDs are designed to work best at their native resolutions, sometime we do find the need to change resolution (especially if you still own old CRTs). Thankfully, Windows allows you to change the resolution of your screen from its display properties, but you have to open display settings and change resolution manually, and then save the changes to completely apply it. Some people can find it to be somewhat a tedious task. Previously, we reviewed an application called Display Changer that allowed you to change to the resolution of your own choice, rather than the ones pre-included in Windows, by specifying the desired parameters including width, height, depth, refresh rate, fixed output, rotate and positions including left, right, top and bottom. Today, we have another app at your disposal called HotKey Resolution Changer. It is a portable application for Windows that lets you change the resolution of your monitor through hotkeys. Keep reading to find out more about the application. Read More

Stealth Player: A Hotkey Controlled Music Player Without An Interface

Listening to music while working on the computer is pretty common among regular PC users, but with all the flashy interfaces that come with the latest audio players, getting distracted from your work is a major issue. Other than the interface, some audio players, such as the native Windows Media Player, hog too much memory, and might interfere with ongoing work. Stealth Player is an open source audio player that takes care of all these problems by providing users with ‘nothing’! That’s right, the music player doesn’t host an interface; instead, it just has a system tray icon, with playback being controlled through hot keys. More on Stealth Player after the jump. Read More