Must-know computer tricks

September 12th, 2016
Computer Tricks: Save time with shortcuts and loopholes

Do you use shortcuts to speed up your work? Great. Here’s a list of awesome computer hacks that speed you up even more. Have the task manager pop up using a short cut, quickly clear your browser cache, and a oneliner to enable the context menu on websites where it’s disabled. Quickly clearing the browser […]

This article was posted by Independent Software, a website and database application development company based in Maputo, Mozambique. Our website offers regular write-ups on technical and design issues, ranging from details at code level to 3D Studio Max rendering. Read more about Independent Software's philosophy, or get in touch with Independent Software.

Do you use shortcuts to speed up your work? Great. Here’s a list of awesome computer hacks that speed you up even more. Have the task manager pop up using a short cut, quickly clear your browser cache, and a oneliner to enable the context menu on websites where it’s disabled.

Quickly clearing the browser cache

Is your browser slowing down? Is your browser not showing the latest updates to the site you’re building? Time to clear your cache. You can either click through a bunch of browser menus, or you can just hit CTRL+SHIFT+R .

Unclose a browser tab

Closed a browser tab that you didn’t want to close? Don’t remember how you got that interesting search result? All is not lost. Press CTRL+SHIFT+T  and the tab opens again.

Click here for a sweet Firefox cheat sheet

Open a link in a new browser tab with one click

I love this one. To open a a link in a new browser tab, I used to right-click the link, and click “Open in new tab”. But no longer! Put your mouse over the link and click the middle mouse button. The link will open in a new tab automatically.

Enabling the right-click context menu

Some websites use JavaScript to lock you out of the right-click context menu, so that it’s difficult to save images from the website. You can fix that by turning off all JavaScript, but there’s a more elegant solution. Put the following code in a bookmark and stick it in your browser bar. When you click it, the context menu becomes available again:

javascript:void(document.oncontextmenu=null)

Popup the Task Manager using CTRL+SHIFT+ESC

You’d use CTRL+ALT+DEL  to get to the Window Task manager, but you can be even faster. Hit CTRL+SHIFT+ESC  and it pops up right away. One second saved.

Stop GIF animation

Is there an irritating GIF image on the page your browsing that keeps distracting you? Put your mouse cursor over it and hit ESC  and the animation will stop.

Accessing Paywall sites

Some websites only allow you to view a couple of posts before they lock you out and tell you you need to pay to view more. But there’s a trick! Simply clearing the cookies from your browser resets the count of viewed articles to zero, and you’re good to go again. Either that, or use Firefox’s incognito mode to view articles. In incognito mode, the website can’t save cookies. Of course, some websites are now beginning to store your IP instead, but then you can still view the site through a proxy.

Getting content from sites that don’t exist anymore

Sometimes you’ll need content from a dead site; maybe you’re developing a new version and it would be great if you got base content to start with. If the site doesn’t exist anymore, it’s likely that you can still find it in the web archive. There are over 5 billion websites in the web archive. The archive does not usually save images, but the website text can be recovered.

Disable video autoplay on Facebook

Videos on Facebook that start playing right away and won’t stop until they’re done playing make you grumble? Here’s what to do: got to facebook.com/settings. On the left side you’ll see ‘video’ – click on it and you’ll be presented with an option to turn off auto-play.

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