Mac only: Free utility Shades adds finer screen brightness controls to your Mac than the defaults. Once you install the Shades Preference pane and turn it on, you can brighten or darken your screen across a much wider range than the Mac's built-in controls, and make your laptop in bed much more bearable to your sleepy significant other or the guy on the red-eye flight in the next seat. Shades doesn't affect OS X's default controls and colour profiles. If you get carried away by the range Shades provides and dim your screen too dark, Alt+Esc will set it back to the default brightness. Thanks eyeRmonkey! Shades
Tagged With screen
Dennis O'Reilly digs into the full-screen mode in Microsoft Office apps and shows how you can still keep your most-used options and tools close at hand, despite the lack of menus and toolbars. The two basic suggestions are to learn the Alt+letter shortcuts to your oft-used functions, or use Office's custom toolbar creator to compile your must-haves into one side-mounted toolbar. O'Reilly's a bit stuck on Office 2007, however, which doesn't offer the same menu access from its full-screen mode—but maybe some of our uber-productive users have their own methods for getting the most from full screen. If so, share your tips in the comments, or head to the Workers' Edge link for more tips on navigating and working inside full-screen mode. Broaden your view in Word, Excel, other Office apps
Mac OS X Leopard only: You already know that Cmd+Shift+4 will take a screenshot on your Mac, but a few more key combos give Leopard users more features. While you hold down Cmd+Shift+4, you can also hit the:
Spacebar to drag the selected capture region around the screen.
Shift key to vertically or horizontally lock the capture region.
Option key to expand or reduce the size of the region proportionately. To see the new keys in action, hit up the QuickTime video over at Macworld that demonstrates. Use new screen region capture options in 10.5
Sizing up a new monitor or television these days involves balancing way more than just inch counts—there are widescreen models, display ratios, and other factors that make simple size comparisons difficult. Enter Display Wars, a free web utility that lets you compare display sizes for televisions, monitors, and projection units in simple coloured rectangles and mathematical comparisons. You'll have to know a little bit about the units you're comparing, most importantly the aspect ratio, and it won't tell you much about resolutions and densities, but it's a good way point on the path to a better view.
If you're using a Linux-powered laptop with limited battery life, or you just want to darken your laptop screen for whatever reason, Tombuntu has a tip for you. To turn the monitor off and have it wake up at the touch of a mouse or key, create a shortcut using this command, or type it into a terminal:sleep 1 && xset dpms force off(Note: The "sleep 1 && " portion is only necessary for terminal commands). Any laptop can be set to darken its monitor after a certain amount of time, but even the quickest setting—15 minutes on mine—uses precious battery life if you need to look away. Adding this shortcut to a panel button or menu could come in handy.
Create a Virtual Monitor Power Button