From The Tips Box: External Drives, Userscript Organisation

From The Tips Box: External Drives, Userscript Organisation

Readers offer their best tips for saving desk space with external drives, keeping your browser from overflowing with userscripts, and adding separators to the Windows 7 taskbar.

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? Email it to tips at

Velcro External Drives to Laptop to Save Space

eodelf shows us how he saves desk and lap space when on the road:

I’m an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (Bomb Squad) in the Air Force currently deployed to Northern Iraq. When I’m not deployed, I travel quite a bit and I tend to not have a ton of desk space (or lap space) when I travel. I’m sure many of you have experienced this when flying. To help keep my external drives close by and accessible when I need them, I decided to velcro them to the back of my laptop screen. It keeps me from having to balence them on the little bit of space that I have. Also I added a Belkin 4 port USB hub. (The hub will power only 1 external usb hard drive and 3 self powered devices.) You can never have too many USB ports!!

Consolidate Userscripts for a More Organised Extensions Page

MPS helps us neat freaks keep our browser’s extension page nice and clean:

Google Chrome supports user scripts, we all know that, but when I saw that I’ve installed about 2 dozen scripts and cluttering my extensions page, I thought if there was a better way to condense them.

This took much trial and error, but I created a single file and called it “Userscripts.user.js”. At the top, I added:

// ==UserScript==

// @name Userscripts

// @description

// ==/UserScript==

Then I copied/pasted each userscript, making sure to add the “//”+the name of the script before it. In the description, I added the name of each script in the file, and voila, all the scripts still work, there’s been no hiccups or anything like that, and it’s just one file.

Whenever I just want to add something new, I make sure it works first, add it into this file, and update it in Chrome.

I like this because it just cleans up Chrome, but believe me, it’s much easier to just install each script separately. This is just for the neat freaks out there, like me, and the masochistic.

Create Fake Applications to Act as Taskbar Separators

Sean likes to keep his taskbar organised with his own custom tweaked separators:

I just thought I would share a little tweak I did today. I wanted a way to space out my icons in the taskbar launcher so I could group certain programs together, so I just made some dummy .exe (text files with .txt changed to .exe) files and then created shortcuts to them (so I could use custom icons). I then pinned the shortcuts to the taskbar…which are seen in the attached picture as grey cogwheels. The folder open is the one with the dummy .exe files.

Print to Edge with a Simple Setting Change

Holly McAbee Fieger lets us know how to print to edge, even if your printer doesn’t want to:

I use an inexpensive printer that does not print to the edge of the paper. One document that I print daily, I need to print very near to the bottom edge. In an effort to find a way to successfully do this, I came across a “trick” that is simple, but seems to work. I set my paper size to 8.5×14, but only use an 8.5×11 sheet. It works like a charm, and prints the entire document as needed!

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