From The Tips Box: Shaky Cameras, Chrome Bookmarks

Readers offer their best tips for taking steady pictures on your smartphone's camera, quickly accessing Chrome Bookmarks from the Omnibar, and calling invisible users on Skype.

Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.

Take Steadier Shots on Touch Screen Cameras

Andrew Bement shares a simple tip for avoiding shaky, blurry shots on your smartphone:

When I want to take a clear photo with my iPhone camera, I typically find tapping the button makes things less stable. To alleviate this problem I simply press and hold the software button to take a photo, and slide it off the screen (onto the black, non-touch receptive border of the phone), which then takes the picture. Much smoother.

Photo by David Sim.

Give Your Chrome Bookmarks a Keyword for Easy Omnibar Access

v5point0 finds a workaround to get Firefox's keyword shortcuts in Google Chrome:

I notice, if you save your bookmarks with a "[keyword]" typing the saved keyword in Omnibox to bring up the bookmark — i.e., if I were to bookmark Google Plus with the title "Google+ [g]", then typing "g" in the Omnibox brings it up as one of the top results if not the top result. Though this isn't as direct or as perfect as a dedicated keyword search such as the one in Firefox, it is something.

I had even setup my Chrome Search Engines as bookmarks now - removing the %s in the them and just inputting the search queries when I call them up as bookmarks utilising the method described. The reason I do this is so they are accessible over Android - because I doubt Search Engine Sync will be made available for mobile at least not anytime soon.

Note that you could also use the Quickmarks extension for more accurate/direct bookmark launch, but why install another extension if you don't have to?

Call Skype Users Even When They're Invisible

Bendik shares a tip that could either be very useful or tick off a lot of your friends:

When somebody is in Invisible mode on Skype, they appear offline and you can't call them by double clicking their name. But you can call them by right-clicking their name in the contact list and clicking on "Call".

That was just a little useful tip I use very often.

Control Your Computer's Volume with a Mouse Wheel Shortcut

Bokscutter shares a simple AutoHotkey script to control the volume with your mouse:

Right-click and scroll the mousewheel to control the volume. Just paste this into an AutoHotkey script:

$RButton:: Send {RButton} Return

RButton & WheelUp::Send {Volume_Up} RButton & WheelDown::Send {Volume_Down}

Photo by Rodrigo Senna.


    The mouse wheel thing might be useful, but it looks as though it would apply everywhere, even where you want to use your scroll wheel. Nirsoft has a little freeware application that lets you do many interesting things with the scroll wheel.

    Would the fact that Skype users have made themselves invisible not signify that they do not welcome a call at that time? Why override this & just intrude upon them?

    As of a recent iOS update (5.1 i think) you can press the volume up button to take photos.

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