From the Kenosha News on 11-19-06

Try these powerful computer tricks

Below are some computer tricks that solve common problems.

Shift-click and Ctrl-click – Problem: You want to copy, move, or delete multiple items. Solution: To highlight multiple, individual icons, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and then click each one. Release the Ctrl key, click on any of the highlighted items, and drag to the location that you want. (Mac users can do this using the Cmd – that curly thing – in place of the Ctrl key.) If you have a contiguous list of items, click the top item, then hold down the Shift key and click the bottom item. This will highlight the whole range.

Paste unformatted – Problem: You copy something from a document or web site and paste it in to another document, but the formatting of the newly pasted text is “odd” and doesn’t match the new document. Solution: Highlight the text you want to copy and click Edit -> Copy as usual. Then place your cursor where you want to paste. Click the Edit menu, and select Paste Special. From the list of options, select Unformatted Text in MS Word. In Excel, choose the Text option. Click OK.

Shift-down arrow to highlight – Problem: You’re trying to highlight text you want to modify, but as you drag through it, the screen keeps scrolling up or down too fast and too far. Solution: Click to place your cursor at the top of what you want to highlight. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and use the down arrow to advance through the text. It will highlight as you go.

Re-sizing columns – Problem: In Excel or in a file listing, the data is too wide to be completely displayed. In Excel, the characters ##### will be displayed. In a window showing a list of files, it will display as much data as fits, followed by …. Solution: To the right of each column heading (e.g. A or B in Excel, “Name” or “Date Modified” in a file listing), there is a vertical line that separates that heading area from the one next to it. Float your mouse pointer over that line until it becomes a double-ended arrow. Click and drag the separator to the right to widen the column. If you double-click on the vertical separator, the column will become as wide as the widest item.

Using TaskManager – Problem: Your computer slows to a crawl and you suspect something is using all your resources. Solution: In Windows XP, press the Ctrl-Alt-Delete keys. This will bring up a screen with several options, including Shutdown, Change Password, and Task Manager. Click the Task Manager button. Wait. Click the Processes tab. Scroll down through the list, looking for an item that has a large number in the CPU column. Generally, numbers should be less than 20 with most being 0 except for the System Idle process, which should be about 95. If you see a process with a large number, click on it, and click the End Process button. This should make your computer respond much more quickly. If this process comes back multiple times, make a note of its name and try to uninstall it via add/remove programs or run anti-spyware software.

By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 11-19-06