From The Tips Box: Quick Copy/Paste, Tarnished Silver

Readers offer their best tips for quicker copying and pasting using your mouse and AutoHotkey, toggling displays with a hotkey in Windows 7, removing tarnish from silver, and keeping your laptop cool.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons—maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in—the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or email it to tips at

Use Bottle Caps to Keep Your Laptop Cool

Bambang tips us off to a free and easy way to increase air circulation with laptops:

Got this inspiration because I feel the temperature under my laptop is quite hot. Since the original laptop stands are low, the air circulation is not good for heat release. And I got this idea after seeing bunch of plastics waste in my house. Well, why not use the bottle caps for laptop stands? I also use them on top of a broken file binder that I use to prop up the laptop when I use it in my bedroom.

Mouse-Based Copy/Paste Shortcuts with AutoHotKey

Ruwan shows us a quick mouse-based copy/paste shortcut he made with AHK:

Here's a little script I created to make the Windows Copy/Paste tasks much easier. It uses AutoHotkey to work and given below are the instructions on how to use it.

Copy something to the Clipboard

LEFT click and drag to mark the selection (be it some text in the browser, files & folders in explorer, a section of a picture in MS Paint, etc) and without letting go of the LEFT Click, press the RIGHT mouse button.

Paste whatever is in the Clipboard

Click and hold the RIGHT mouse button where the clipboard content needs to be pasted, and without letting go of it, LEFT Click to paste the content of the clipboard.

Now here's the script:

#IfWinNotActive ahk_class ConsoleWindowClass bAllowOverride := False

~LButton:: GetKeyState, keystate, RButton If (keystate = "D") { SendInput {RButton Up} SendInput {Escape} SendInput ^v bAllowOverride := True } Return

RButton:: GetKeyState, keystate, LButton If (keystate = "D") { SendInput {LButton Up} SendInput ^c bAllowOverride := True Return } SendInput {RButton Down} Return

RButton Up:: GetKeyState, keystate, LButton If (keystate = "D") { Return }

If (bAllowOverride) { bAllowOverride := False Return } SendInput {RButton Up} Return

Toggle Displays in Windows 7 with a Hotkey

Garrett shares a tip for switching displays with a hotkey in Windows 7:

Win + P in Windows 7 is great for technophobes, but with use of a command line and switches to set up hotkeys, I've just saved myself the $US40 I would have spend on UltraMon to do the same thing. I just set hotkeys in the IntelliType software for my Microsoft Keyboard using the following command:


With the parameters

/internal /clone /extend /external

Clean Tarnished Silver with Aluminium Foil and Baking Soda

Dunvi gives us an easy way to remove tarnish from silver with the power of science:

The way jewellery shops and normal people remove tarnish (Ag2S) from silver is by taking silver polish (an abrasive) and pretty much scraping it off. Alternatively, they may use a solution of HCl to do something, which involves removing the layer of tarnish. Unfortunately, this means that you're removing material, and for thin or very precious objects (such as earrings, lockets, etc.) they'll flat out refuse to help you... or possibly try and end up just destroying it (I know this how?).

Well, my chem teacher had a different suggestion. She said to take a sheet of aluminium foil, spread a baking soda solution on top, and then place the tarnished surface on top, and voila!

The way this works is, aluminium is above silver in the activity series. The baking soda solution creates an electrically neutral environment (I think this is what she said about the baking soda, anyway) for the ions to move in, which allows the silver and the aluminium to do that fancy electron swap thing you might remember as oil rig from chem 101. Anyway, the result is that the sulfide ditches that silly silver (presumably to go and hang out with the obviously much cooler aluminium instead) and leaves you with nice silver fancy things - with all the silver still there!

I haven't actually tested this myself yet, (since while I do have tarnished silver, I don't have aluminium foil or baking soda), but a really, really fast Google search suggests I'm not pulling this out of nowhere.


    Who doesn't have aluminium foil???

    Used the Al Foil and soda trick before, works like a charm. You can also do it in a tray in a hot water and soda solution. Place the foil in the bottom of the tray, add the silver and soda and fill with hot water until it covers the silver completely. Repeat for really heavy tarnish.

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