Blog this: Windows tricks and a bonus tip for longifying URLs
Posted by joeabbott on September 1, 2013
This one is for folks like me who like to keep their hands on the keyboard, not the mouse. The mouse is a fine tool and super good at navigating and selecting, but moving my hand from the keyboard to the mouse and back again just slows me down sometimes. So, for those “power users” who are akin to me and looking for some new tips and tricks, here’s a quick post that covers 11 tips:
And, for those not inclined to look without knowing a bit more about what’s out there, here’s a quick summary:
- Use <windows key>-T to navigate pinned items in the Task Bar
- Copy (<ctrl>-c), Paste (<ctrl>-v), and Undo (<ctrl>-z) work on files, too
- Easily tile your window layout
- Open applications easily when pinned to Task Bar
- More tricks for pinned apps
- Pin files and folders to the Task Bar
- Open a command window anywhere (works for the desktop, too!)
- Access secret “Send To” options
- Modify the “Send To” options
- Open files and web pages easily
- Create a zip folder
I use the command window a lot and the keyboard even more, but some of the above are a bit obtuse. I’ve taken the liberty of bolding the ones that I use most often but I learned a bunch from that quick post so I thought I’d share.
Bonus Tip – longifying URLs
There are a number of resources out there for shortening URLs: services like bit.ly that will take a long URL … like:
And shorten it to something a person might even remember … or at least have a lot less to write down. Here’s the shortened form of the above from http://bit.ly:
Both the long and short URL go to the same place, but with the shortened version, you can’t really tell with confidence where it’s sending you; looking at the long URL, you can “read it” a bit and figure a few things out. So there’s the problem: shortened URLs greatly improve the usability of the URL address, but at the expense of allowing someone to send you to a link you never intended to go: like this one (you’ll have to trust me that it’s safe) … http://bit.ly/r8BnTz
So, how do you go about solving the problem of “where does this short URL go without actually going there”? Easy: use http://longurl.org/.
This is a service that loads fast, has simple content on it, doesn’t try to sell you anything, but allows you to copy/paste or type in a shortened URL and see where it’ll bring you. Here’s what it shows when I typed on the http://on.mash.to/18w0VcD URL:
This is a great service and one I quickly added to my Favorites as soon as I found it.
Thanks for dropping in and I hope you found something you liked.