Readers offer their best tips for texting faster, digging up unexpected hard drive hogs, and bringing up a quick scratchpad with a universal keyboard shortcut.
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 lifehacker.com.au.
Use the Windows 7 Taskbar to Prioritise Your Tasks
Reader Joshua Lambrose writes:
I'm a Graphic Designer/Developer so I have a LOT of stuff to do with a lot of windows. A trick I like to use is to wipe my entire task bar of pinned apps, (I know that back pedals on one of Windows 7's features) so I only have my opened applications on the taskbar. The application furthest to the right is of course the most newly opened, so I use the taskbar itself as a priority setter for my applications. I can have Dreamweaver open to do some website maintenance, so if I need to do that first I move the icon to the right and close it when I'm done (or when I know I won't need it again). Then I move on to the task that is now the furthest to the right. Obviously this won't work with tasks within a browser as the browser takes up one taskbar icon, but you can use the tabs within the browser to replicate the same technique!
Go Straight to Your Text Editor with Windows+N
Readers PrairieMoon and Platypus Man discuss a shortcut they both use to open a text editor for quick-access note taking. PrairieMoon:
This is a tiplet for people having trouble with typing in the message box. I mean that time lag between key presses. I keep a copy of my favourite Notepad replacement open. Metapad. Anyway it can be whatever text editor you're into. Just keep it open, because it's bound to be more responsive than a gawker box. Once you're done typing your comment opus, select it all, and paste it in to the box. Lots of geeks know this, do this. But some don't. And some just forget, and then they suffer for it. :)
Yeah, I do this whenever the lag becomes too much to tolerate. The way I do it is that I just open Notepad via an AHK shortcut (Win+N), type, and then close when I'm done. Same basic idea.
Good key combo! I use Win-N as well. But now my laziness and impatience demons are taking more control of me. More and more, they are clammering for a single key. How long before even that isn't enough for them?? If I weren't using capslock as a second enter key, I'd give it to notepad.
To accomplish this with AutoHotkey, take a look at our previous guide to turning any action into a keyboard shortcut. If you create a desktop shortcut to your notepad of choice, you can also use Windows' built-in shortcut option in the shortcut's Properties dialog (illustrated in the screenshot above).
Use Chrome to Phone for Quicker Texting on Android
Reader jesseg writes:
Here's a tip in case you have to type a lot of text on your Android phone (if you're sending a text, for example), but you don't feel like using your phone's keyboard. In Chrome on your computer, open any webpage that has a text-entry form and type whatever you want into the form. Highlight the text, right-click it, then click "Chrome to Phone." You'll then get the text copied to your phone's clipboard, where you can simply paste it wherever you want. Of course, you need to have Chrome to Phone installed on your phone and the extension installed in Chrome, but you'd be crazy not to have them installed anyway.
To which reader Platypus Man added:
And just like anything with the Chrome to Phone app/extension, you can do the same exact thing in Firefox with the FoxToPhone extension.
Free Up Hard Drive Space by Cleaning Out Chrome's Previous-Version Graveyard
Reader Cheddar-Bob writes:
Recently I put in a 64gb SSD into my mac mini and since then, I have been on the watch to free up space as much as possible. Using GrandPerspective (Mac - see WinDirStat if you're on Windows), I found that Google Chrome was somewheres around 2 GB! I knew that shouldn't be, so i explored the package contents a bit to find that it keeps every old version it downloads automatically. Obviously you probably only need if few of those if any. Not being sure if I could safely delete those or not, so I just threw Chrome away and redownlooded it. The size of Chrome is probably dependent on how long you have used it for, so YMMV. The nice thing is, that your preferences are all intact even if you redownload it!