From The Tips Box: Chrome Tabs, USB Headphones, Getting Locked Out

Lifehacker readers offer their best tips for managing lots of tabs in Chrome, switching between speakers and USB sound devices, and getting locked out of your house.

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.

Enable Chrome's New "Tab Stacking" Feature

Creative Ninja discovers a hidden feature in Chrome for managing lots of tabs:

Chrome has got a new way to manage tabs when you've too many of them. Just head to about:flags and enable "Stacked Tab Windows". After a reboot, it will stack tabs on top of each other instead of shrinking them down.

I have also enabled a few more flags which made the UI better, the only one I noticed till now is a small change in the way bookmarks appear while hovering over them. Another change is in the panels for "Chat for Google" extension and I am loving the change.

Switch Between Sound Outputs with a Keyboard Shortcut

Tradsud shares a handy AutoHotkey script for those of you using USB headphones or DAC devices:

Just discovered a short autohotkey script to switch playback devices on Win 7. So I can switch from headphones to externals with a single button press. Just paste this into your AutoHotkey script:

Run, mmsys.cpl
ControlSend,SysListView321,{Down 2}
ControlClick,&Set Default

Obviously, you can change the keyboard shortcut to whatever you want; this one is Ctrl+Alt+S. This activates the second device in the Sound window's list; in the above case, the speakers. Just change the number in {Down 2} to match the one you want to enable. You can then create two shortcuts, one for your speakers and one for your USB headphones or DAC.

Avoid Getting Locked Out by Locking Your Door As You Leave

Adam tells us how he stopped the cycle of getting locked out:

I used to constantly leave my keys inside or in the car and lock myself out of my house.

By putting the key in the keyhole and using it as a handle for the door, it never happened again. I never let myself close the door with my hand. Broke one habit with another.

I did something similar. Instead of using the automatic lock function on my door (the little button you press that locks your door when you close it), I just started locking my deadbolt manually every time. I quickly worked locking the door into my muscle memory, and if I ever leave my keys inside, I can always go back and get them.

Of course, if you're in a bind, you can always learn how to pick locks too. Just use your powers for good, not for evil. Photo by Alan Cleaver.

Use Your Tablet Screen for Easy Tracing

Walter finds a clever use for his iPad:

I recently crafted an invitation to an event for my daughter and needed to be able to trace some type onto card-stock paper. I found that by setting my tablet's browser to about:blank (creating a pure white screen) I was able to tape down the items and see the underlying materials much more clearly.

I thought this was a great use for someone with a rare need for a small/simple light table. There are probably 'flashlight' apps that turn your screen a solid colour, but I found about:blank in a brower worked just as well.

Photo by Yusuke Kawasaki.


    Avoid getting locked out of your house by not locking your back doors. Anecdotal evidence from a bunch of cop friends tells me that if some punk wants to steal your stuff, a locked door is no deterrent.
    Locking your front door may hinder crime of opportunity, but if someone's determined enough to walk around to the back of your house, they're coming in. Whether it's through an unlocked door or a smashed window. At least in the case of the unlocked door, you have the added benefit of not having to get your window fixed as well as replacing your telly.

      Also, the added benefit of not having your insurance pay out for your stolen items as you were dumb enough to leave a door unlocked.

      Smashing a window or door makes noise and bring unwanted attention to them.

      With an unlocked door, no noise. Your cop mates are drop kicks.

      You Sir... are an idiot. If I wasn't sitting here... [--redacted--] ....ahead of your inevitable lying false claim that drives up the cost of MY insurance.

    Wanted to try “Stacked Tab Windows”, but couldn't find it in the list. Anyone else able to try this and let me know where I might be going wrong??

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