Do you know how power users get to be power users? They take the time to learn.
These days it’s not enough to be comfortable with your devices; you need to know how they work too.
Today our focus is helping you grow from a casual PC user to a power user. If you’re wondering who or what is a power user? Well, a PC power user is a computer connoisseur that can accomplish ten times more than the average user.
These are the people you’d go to when you’re stuck installing software or changing a certain computer setting at work. There are tons of reasons why you’d want to be a tech pro. Maybe you want to be more productive with your computer, or you want to show off your tech skills to your friends.
Whatever your reason is, we’re here to bring out the tech pro in you. Today, we’ll be highlighting a few tech tips and tricks to help you become a power user.
1. Know Keyboard Shortcuts By Heart
First things first, you want to make sure you have the fundamentals down pat. Keyboard shortcuts are a must-know for any serious computer user. The problem is, with so many keyboard shortcuts; where do you even begin?
Well, for starters, you can learn keyboard shortcuts of the app you use most. If it’s Word, learn how to save, print, copy, and paste with your keyboard. This will form the groundwork for learning more PC shortcuts.
Once you have the Word shortcuts on lock, you can move to general PC shortcuts. To help you out, here is the ultimate list of Windows 10 shortcuts. Make a point of learning at least three every day and revisiting whatever you’ve learned at the end of the week.
2. Create Your Own Shortcuts
Once you have all the keyboard shortcuts at your fingertips, it’s time to up the ante. You should now try creating your own keyboard shortcuts to various apps.
To do so, find the app you want to assign a shortcut to and right-click it. On the drop-down list, select Properties, then switch to the shortcut tab. On the Shortcut Key box, enter any key combination you want, like Ctrl+Alt+Insert.
Remember to create an app shortcut that’s easy to remember. There’s no point creating a shortcut that you’ll forget after 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can write down all the app shortcuts on a piece of paper that you stick on your desk until you reach the point where the paper becomes useless.
3. Make the Most of Your PC Screen
Most PC users use the tiling window manager, which works just fine. However, this means you’re not getting the most off of your PC screen or any external monitor. To make full use of your screen, start by hiding the dock, so apps take up the entire screen.
To hide the dock, all you have to do is:
- Right-click an empty area of the taskbar at the bottom of your screen
- On the drop-down menu, click on taskbar Settings
- Active the Automatically Hide the Taskbar option by clicking on the slider
This will make the taskbar disappear unless you move your mouse pointer to the bottom of the screen. Now you can experience all your apps on full screen.
Another thing you can do to maximize your screen is to use screen halves. This is especially useful if you’re juggling between two apps.
The easiest way to do so is by dragging the app window to the extreme right. This will “snap” that window to the right side, with the left side having your current window. Go ahead and try it with the browser window right now.
You can adjust how much space each app window takes by moving the dividing line between the two windows. If you want to take it up a notch, you can divide the screen into four windows. All you have to do is drag the app’s windows to your screen’s corners.
However, splitting your screen into four is highly impractical unless you have a large screen with a high resolution. For now, spitting your screen into two will suffice.
4. Use Macros for Frequently Typed Text
Do you type a single piece of text every single day? If you do, you don’t have to go through all the trouble. You can use macros to enter entire sentences with a single keystroke.
For instance, a piece of text like “please refer to the HR department for payroll queries,” you can just press Ctrl+P, and voila! The whole thing appears. The same works for long paragraphs and entire pages.
The best way to use macros is by downloading an app that allows you to assign text to hotkeys. You can give Quick Paste a try, but there are tons of other options to choose from. Make your work a lot easier by using macros for the text you frequently type.
5. Use a Password Manager for Your Passwords
Most of us have been in this situation where you have dozens of passwords but can’t remember all of them. You can always use the same password throughout, but when one person gets the one password, they get the keys to the entire kingdom.
If you’re having problems keeping up with a password, consider using a password manager. Password managers allow you to keep all your passwords in a single encrypted file. That way, you can gain access to all your passwords at your convenience.
However, you should never forget your password manager password. That’s akin to losing the key to your entire kingdom.
6. Hide Desktop Icons
If you share your PC and don’t want other people to find the apps and files on your desktop, you can simply hide them. Hiding desktop icons is relatively straightforward; all you have to do is:
- Right-click anywhere on your desktop
- Move your mouse pointer to View on the drop-down menu
- On the View drop-down menu, uncheck show desktop icons
Doing so is a great way to hide private files from other PC users. Once they’re done with your PC, you can unhide them again.
7. Use an Orthodox File Manager
An Orthodox File Manager(OFM) or “commanders” is a step away from tilting file managers but achieves the same purpose. OFMs are a type of file manager that uses text and a two-panel paradigm directory. One is for the source and destination of files, while the other is a command line.
Stepping away from tilting file manager to OFM is making a bold power user statement. However, learning how to use an OFM isn’t a cakewalk, but you’ll eventually get the hang of it.
8. Add an Address Bar on Your Taskbar
Adding an address bar on your taskbar will save you the trouble of having to type the URL of websites you frequently visit. When you do so, you can access the said URLs by just clicking the address bar on the taskbar.
To add an address bar on the taskbar, follow the following steps:
- Right-click your taskbar and on the drop-down list, move your mouse pointer to “toolbars.”
- Next, click address on the drop-down list and click to enable
- The address bar will now appear on your taskbar
You can paste the URL of the site you want to visit and click enter to jump to the site. Alternatively, you can type a search query and get the results in an instant. Your default browser will open up with the search engine results.
9. Switch to Dark Mode
If you really want to show off your tech-savviness, use your computer in dark mode. Not many people know this, but Windows 10 allows users to switch to dark mode. If you want to do so, follow the steps below:
- Click the Start button and select “settings”
- Go to personalization and then colors
- Under “choose your default mode,” click on dark mode
Doing so will switch your PC to dark mode. Dark mode is especially useful for people with eye problems. If the light from your PC hurts your eyes, switch to dark mode.
10. Stay Up-to-Date With the Latest Tech News
To be a real tech enthusiast, you have to stay up-to-date on all the latest tech news. That way, you can make useful contributions to tech discussions and cement your place as a PC power user.
You can start by learning about the new Intel Evo processor by Lenovo, which is all the rage. This can be a stepping stone for learning volumes about PCs and information technology. Learn a new thing every day, and you’ll be a tech pro in no time.
Become a Power User Today
Using a computer should be a breeze with the above power user tips. Don’t be selfish; share the above tips with your friends so you can all be pros. Also, consider buying a new PC if you have an old and outdated model, so you can extend your tech learning capabilities.
For more informative content, check out the other posts on the site.