Re­veal Win­dows 10’s hid­den gems

Windows Help & Advice - - EXPLORE -

1 Show the Desk­top

This very handy but­ton no longer dis­plays by de­fault in the lat­est ver­sion of Win­dows. To re­ac­ti­vate, click on the small bar at the very bot­tom-right of the screen and choose ‘Show desk­top’ to min­imise all win­dows as you used to do. As the name sug­gests, the Peek at desk­top op­tion en­ables you to quickly glance at the desk­top with­out min­imis­ing any win­dows.

2 En­able ‘God Mode’

Win­dows con­tains a spe­cial Con­trol Panel ap­plet that gives you near om­nipo­tent con­trol of your sys­tem. To get started right click any­where on the desk­top, choose ‘New folder and en­ter the name: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} Press [Re­turn]. The folder icon will now change. Click this to ac­cess a huge range of con­fig­urable sys­tem set­tings.

3 Snap your win­dows

Snap As­sist en­ables you to ‘snap’ a win­dow to the edge of the screen with­out hav­ing to man­u­ally re­size it. Just click the ti­tle bar of a win­dow and drag it to the edge of the screen. Win­dows 10 will dis­play an out­line of where the win­dow will be lo­cated. Re­lease the mouse but­ton to snap it into place. You can also press [Win] + any ar­row key on an ac­tive win­dow to snap it into place.

4 Use mul­ti­ple desk­tops

You can di­vide your ap­pli­ca­tions across sev­eral desk­tops. Click the small square but­ton to the right of the Start menu and choose New Desk­top. From there you can move open win­dows to the new desk­top us­ing drag and drop. Right-click a par­tic­u­lar desk­top to show run­ning win­dows. Click the ‘X’ to close a desk­top, this will move win­dows to the next re­main­ing desk­top.

5 Launch web­sites from the Taskbar

You can sim­plify the process of ac­cess­ing web­sites or files by right-click­ing the Taskbar. Choose Tool­bar > Ad­dress and a web ad­dress bar will ap­pear in the Taskbar. En­ter the URL of a favourite web­site and press [Re­turn] to launch your de­fault web browser and go to the site. Right-click the Taskbar and choose New Tool­bar to au­to­mat­i­cally open a spe­cific folder, such as Pic­tures.

6 Per­son­alise your Desk­top

While many users are happy with the de­fault look and feel of Win­dows, if you have ac­ti­vated Win­dows 10 you can change it. Go to Start > Set­tings > Per­son­al­i­sa­tion. From here you can choose a new desk­top back­ground. Al­ter­na­tively, click Colours to change the win­dow colours. You can choose be­low to have th­ese colours af­fect the Start, Taskbar and Ac­tion Cen­tre.

7 Print to PDF

Win­dows 10 fi­nally en­ables you to print files to PDF for­mat. Sim­ply open the doc­u­ment in ques­tion and choose [Ctrl] + [P] to open the print di­a­log. Un­der Printer choose ‘Microsoft Print to PDF’. You can then choose the op­tions in the usual way, such as ori­en­ta­tion, and click Print. A new win­dow will open ask­ing you to spec­ify a name and file out­put lo­ca­tion for your PDF.

8 Dis­play hid­den items and file ex­ten­sions

It can some­times be tricky to know what a file is with­out be­ing able to see its file ex­ten­sion (.pdf, for ex­am­ple). Change this by open­ing File Ex­plorer and tick­ing the box marked ‘File name ex­ten­sions’. If you need to ma­nip­u­late hid­den files you can also choose to select ‘Hid­den items’ here, although you should only do this if you’ve specif­i­cally been asked to do so by Microsoft.

9 Change pro­grams used to open files

Most files can be opened by more than one kind of pro­gram. If you have a pre­ferred app, right-click on a file and choose Prop­er­ties. In the new win­dow that opens click Change. Win­dows will ask how you want to open this file type. Choose your favourite pro­gram then click OK. Click ‘Ap­ply’ in the Prop­er­ties win­dow then close it. Your de­fault app is now set.

10 Add tiles to the Start menu

Love it or hate it you can now drag Quick Launch items from your menu into the tiles in your Start menu. While this is triv­ial, did you know you can also right-click a tile to re­size it or re­move it al­to­gether? If, for in­stance, you don’t think you’ll have any use for Groove Mu­sic right-click and choose ‘Un­pin from Start’. You can right-click a tile to tog­gle the glitzy ‘live’ mode too.

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