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Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Tech smarts: Windows and Mac tricks you’ll use all the time

July 20, 2023 – There are some tech tricks that you only know if someone clues you in. 

Take the humble USB cord. If you’re constantly plugging in the wrong way, here’s the secret: The symbol on one isn’t just branding or decoration. That symbol will point up if you’re plugging in horizontally. If you plug a cable vertically, the USB symbol will face you.

I could go on. Get more tips like that here, and sign up to join over 400,000 folks who get my free email for daily tech smarts.

I love passing along clever tech tricks you’ll use time and time again. Here are a few goodies!

Pro-tip: Learning a new shortcut takes some time. Yes, there were times before you used Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste all the time and you had to make it a habit. Pick one (or more) of the tricks below and try it out. Use it a few times, and it’ll become second nature in no time.

  • Windows + Shift + S brings up the screenshot tool. Drag the box that pops up and, voila, a screenshot of whatever you want. It’s so much easier to send a screenshot (and even mark it up to show your recipient something) than trying to explain in words.
  • Looking for a file? Hit the Windows key and start typing the name. That’s it. So simple and it saves so much time.
  • Pressing the Windows key and “.” (period key) together opens the emoji picker. You can easily insert emojis into your documents, messages or any other text field. The emoji picker also includes symbols and special characters.

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person typing on laptop keyboard

LockBit, a type of ransomware, is one of the first known instances of this malware targeting Mac computers. (CyberGuy.com)

For you Mac folks


Now, onto some great keyboard shortcuts for you, too.

  • Control + Command + spacebar: This shortcut opens the Character Viewer, which lets you browse and insert special characters, symbols and emojis into your documents, emails, texts or anything else. It works in most programs and is a lot easier than opening a website to copy emojis.
  • Option + Command + V: When you copy text or files, they’re usually pasted in the original format. Using this shortcut, you can paste the copied content without formatting. This is one you’ll use day after day.

Keep going! Over at my site, I have a list of more awesome keyboard shortcuts to quickly lock your device, zoom in and create a snazzy virtual desktop.

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Microsoft Computer (Fox News)

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    Side view woman’s using laptop computer at home office with cropped shot. Blank screen laptop for product display. (iStock)

  • Keep your tech-know going 

    My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

    PODCAST PICK: $30K Uber horror, life-threatening Facebook hack & robocall revenge

    Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”


    Sound like a tech pro, even if you’re not! Award-winning popular host Kim Komando is your secret weapon. Listen on 425+ radio stations or get the podcast. And join over 400,000 people who get her free 5-minute daily email newsletter.

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