From The Tips Box: Multi-Monitor Laptops, Document Templates

Readers offer their best tips for plugging laptops into external monitors, unscrewing tiny screws, and quickly opening different document templates.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

Fix Mis-Sized Windows when Connecting and Disconnecting from External Monitors

Photo by Mark Ordonez.

x3geek solves an annoyance with using different sized monitors:

Disconnecting/connecting laptop with external monitor leaves maximized windows resized (although the icon on top right still says maximized). A wuick tip to fix all of them is hit Win+D twice. It puts windows to their previous dimensions on the current screen properly.

Remove Small Screws with an Extra Flathead Screwdriver

Photo by Dave McLear.

Undecim shares a tip for those small screws that never want to come out:

If you removing small screws out of e.g. a laptop using a precision screwdriver set, and are having trouble getting them out of the hole they sit in after you unscrew them, take a flat-head driver from the set and press it against the threads of the screw and keep unscrewing. The flat-head gives the threads something to grip so that they are slowly lifted out as you unscrew them.

You could of course do this with anything that has a flat edge: a knife, a piece of paper, whatever. Just give the threads something to grip.

Add Document Templates to Your App Launcher

PrairieMoon shows us another offbeat use for app launchers:

I’ve had this idea going for years. No sexy geek tip here, just time saving, in my case at least. In Word, I created a document called 2bprinted.doc. Nothing in it, is permanent, except my preferred margins and a preferred default font face, size and weight. I use this .doc (template) for anything that I just want to print out and read. No other default stylings are needed.

To make it as hop-to-it as possible, I gave this document a “magic word” in SlickRun, called 2b. Type “2b”, press enter, and up comes that blank document, ready for whatever I paste into it, usually something from online.

There are other ways to do this (I am guessing), such as a template based on, but I never had a need to explore in that direction.

If you’re not using SlickRun, you can use your own favourite app launcher to make the template open up just as fast.

You could, also make a batch file called 2b.bat and fire that up from the Run dialog, or from the Address toolbar on the Taskbar. The insides would look something like this

@echo off

start c:\docs\2bprinted.doc


… and the batch file would be in a place like C:\Windows, one of those default locations where Windows goes looking when you give it a command.

The sky’s the limit, just about. You could put a shortcut to 2bprinted.doc on the Start menu or the Desktop. You could have it as part of a jumplist, though I haven’t tried that one yet—still feeling my way around in Win7. Whatever’s the fastest for you.

I don’t even think you need Word or anything Word-like, but Word is where I set all this up and it hasn’t failed me yet. Hope you like.

You can also just create a document template in Word, but not all word processors support that. Almost all (that I can think of) support changing the default template, but this is really useful if you have more than one document template that you use on a regular basis.

Search Google with a Keyboard Shortcut in Chrome

While the Ctrl+L shortcut will let you perform most Google searches in Chrome, Schitso shares a tip for search terms that Chrome doesn’t necessarily recognise in its address bar:

In Chrome, Ctrl+K puts you in the address bar with a question mark, which explicitly tells Chrome that you want to search.

E.g., “?” will take you to a search results page for “”

It’s perfect if you’re searching for something with a “.com” in the search terms, where Chrome wouldn’t necessarily realise it was a search term. This only seems to work in Windows; Cmd+K in OS X does nothing.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

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