Thursday, February 2, 2012

Windows 7: Split the Screen Shortcuts, aka Throwing your Windows

When Windows 7 first came out, Microsoft had commercials giving tips about new features.  Why don’t they do that all the time?  My favorite commercial tip was “throwing” the windows so that they fit half the vertical screen.

Click and drag the upper portion of any window toward the top left of your monitor screen.  When it hits  a certain sweet spot, it will suddenly fill exactly one half of the screen on the left.  Take a second window and throw it to the right (by clicking and dragging the upper portion of that window towards the top right of your monitor screen).  You should now have a perfectly split screen with the two windows you are working on.

This is great when you are creating a PowerPoint from a Word document or adding some figures from Excel into a report in Word.

My son showed me an even better shortcut for the same result.  If you want to move the active window to the right, hold down the Window key (button left of the keyboard between “Ctrl” and “Alt”) and press the right cursor.  The window immediately goes to the right.  This acts as a toggle; if you continue to press the right cursor and the window switches from the right side to the left, and then it will return to its original position.  Pressing the left cursor while holding down the Window key produces a similar result.

I’m glad the shortcut is so easy, otherwise I would be angry that the windows don’t remember their position when I click the minimize/maximize button.  I’ll write more on that another day.