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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Having Fun With Windows

OK..I'm not talking about the OS. I mean the windows you're displaying on your desktop. In Windows 8.1 (I believe also in Win 7, Win 8),  there are some neat ways to position multiple windows.

For example, let's open a browser window. If this is 'maximized', it will fill your entire desktop. You can immediately tell by looking at the top-right of the window and you'll see the maximize icon (the one in the middle) shows 2-stacked documents.

 You can 'restore' it to it's partial size by clicking on the middle icon, and it will change to a single window icon, and the window should shrink.

If the window is not the size you want, just click on one of the four corners when the icon changes to a diagonal 2-headed icon, and drag for the desired size.

This is all basic Windows, and has existed for many versions. But here's the new part.
  • Make sure the browser window is selected.
  • Hold the key and press the Up arrow. If the window was not maximized, it will change to full screen. (If it was already maximized, nothing should happen)
  • Now, hold the key and press the Right arrow.  The window will move to the right and resize to one-half of the screen. 
  • + Left arrow, and the window goes to reduced size
  • + Left arrrow, again and the window moves to the left and resizes to one-half the screen.
  • Now, try +Right arrow, and the window goes first to reduced size and then, on the next press, back to half-screen right.
  • +Up arrow goes to full - maximized screen.
  • +Down arrow... to reduced size, and pressing again, to Minimized size in the taskbar. This is the same as clicking the 1st of the 3 icons shown above.
  • You must click on the icon in the taskbar to restore the window size.
Another way to perform the same functions using just the mouse is to click and hold in the Title Bar of the window (the very top of the window where the name of the program or page is displayed), AND:
  • Drag up to the top of the screen and release to Maximize
  • Drag down to position the reduced window where you want it
  • Drag all the way to the right and release to fill the right half of the screen
  • Drag all the way to the left and release to fill the left half of the screen
Let's suppose you want to view two windows at the same time, perhaps for comparison.
  • Select the browser window and + Right arrow
  • Hold Ctrl + N  (or File:New Window) to create an additional browser window
  • Select this new window, and + Left arrow
  • You should now have two windows, equal size, side by side.  You can then load the second window with any bookmark.  Or this could be a word processing window and a spreadsheet window, or any other type windows you want.
  • You may rearrange the windows to opposite sides by click dragging on the Title bar, as explained above, from left side to right side.
If you have more than 2 windows open that you want to be able to easily see for comparison, you may right click on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, and select  Show windows side by side.

Hope you find these features as useful as I do.

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