Lastly (finally), we have Textexpander. This program helps you make custom shortcuts for text. So, if you regularly type chunks of text then you can automate these processes. You simply start typing the text you want to enter and Textexpander will give you the option to fill in the rest. This is really useful if you want to make a series of saved email templates or if you’re writing code where you have to reemploy certain structures. It’s just a handy productivity tool which you might like.
I know I’ve already moaned about 4 times so far about Microsoft Edge, but maybe some of you use it? I dare say, some of you may even like it or prefer it over Chrome. So, this one’s for you! If you want more space on your screen to view web pages, and you don’t need your taskbar or your tabs, what you’re looking for is fullscreen mode. As a former Chromebook user, I’m a big fan of fullscreen mode and feel it provides a much better browsing experience. If you want to go fullscreen in Edge, hit the Windows key + Shift + Enter. Boom. You’re fullscreen. Isn’t it glorious?
“When do we want it?” Now. This isn’t an issue for everyone. But it might be an issue for you. If you don’t have Office then Microsoft will pester you until you do. It plays the same trick when it tries to force you into using Edge as your browser. No, Microsoft. I don’t care that you think it’s faster. I’m stuck in my ways and I’m happy. If you want to avoid having your own computer advertise Office to you every other day, go into your start menu and look for a red icon which says Get Office next to it. Now right-click and you should see the option to uninstall. Bye bye, Adverts. Adverts, bye bye.
A personal pet peeve of Windows is the incessant notifications. I just want to get on with my work. I don’t need to know about every single thing which is happening in the background. Much of which does not feel important nor relevant to me. You can turn these notifications off by going to Settings > System > Notifications & actions. From there you can tell your laptop to calm down and keep its personal life to itself.
It feels like over time we’ve all accepted the fact the Google Maps are the default maps which we use. Microsoft, though, isn’t lying down and letting that happen without providing some useful map-based features of their own. With the new maps on Windows 10, you can not only enjoy browsing maps – what else do you do on a Saturday night? – but download these maps to your computer to make them accessible in times where you might be lacking internet. This could be an unnecessary feature, or it could be a very useful addition. It depends on you. My guess would be that as we see the rise of touchscreen laptop-cum-tablets, we’ll be seeing a greater number of people needing offline access to certain things. I don’t know. That’s probably not it. It’s a nice feature though.
In a further step toward cloud dominance, Windows 10 has brought in the ability to sync with its cloud storage platform OneDrive. You can choose to sync everything to OneDrive, if you wish. This gives you a full backup of all your files and means you can access them from wherever you wish – on a different computer or on a mobile device. If you don’t want to sync everything with the cloud, then you don’t have to. You can choose to sync only certain folders – keeping other materials private on your machine.
Simple addition, and not one which will change your world. Nevertheless, it can be useful. Normally, in Windows, if you hover over an open window you’re unable to interact with it – you have to click to activate the window before you can use it. With the added virtual desktop features, you’re more likely to find yourself hovering over windows which you’ve not activated, as a result Windows has decided to allow you to interact with these screens while hovering. Go to Settings > Devices > Mouse & Touchpad, and you’ll find the option to toggle this ability on and off.
One of the problems with a lot of laptops in comparison with their Mac or Chromebook equivalents is battery life. Thankfully, Windows has recognized this and brought in their battery saver feature. This allows you to decide at what percentage of battery life your computer will put itself into Battery Saver mode. You can tweak how Battery saver mode works, and decide to what extent you wish to lower performance while in this setting. This is a generally useful addition. If your battery is like mine and likes to accelerate down to 0 as quickly as possible once it passes 20%, then you’ll probably appreciate this feature.
This one’s not for everyone. I’ll admit, I don’t really use my command prompt that much. But if you do, then Windows 10 gives you greater flexibility to customize and manipulate it. You can go into Properties and fiddle with how it looks or works. You can make it transparent or enable word wrap or a range of other things you might find handy.
The new Windows Explorer helps you locate your files much more easily than before. The way it does this is through its Quick Access setting which preferences the things you’ve recently viewed or tend to view more often. It uses this predictive approach to improve your workflow. If you’re not a fan of this Quick Access, you can change it by going to View > Options > Open File Explorer > This PC. Which will simply return it to the way Windows has always been. Your choice. I like Quick Access.