Tech Tip – Optimize Working Space With Snap Assist

If you are using Windows 10 and you want to multi-task and make the most of your single screen Snap Assist enables you to split your screen between two open windows.  Here’s how:

– Hold down the Windows key on the keyboard and use the < or > arrows.

– Snap Assist will then move the active window to either the left or right side of the screen. The other side of the screen will show your other open windows.

– Click on the window that you would like on the other half of your screen to load it there.

Tech Tip – Sync Sticky Notes Across Devices

If you are using Windows 10 and need some simple, handy reminders about work, appointments, calls and more, synced across all your devices and other apps, Microsoft’s Sticky Notes app can help. Here’s how it works:

– Open the Sticky Notes app (type Sticky Notes in the Start menu).

– When you first launch Sticky Notes sign-in to your Windows Account (as invited by the on-screen message). This will enable the syncing of your Sticky Notes between other devices on the account.

– Click on the + link to type a note which is then automatically stored in the Sticky Notes History.  Your notes can then be clicked on to re-open, edit, formatted and more.

– Notes can also be synchronised to the Cloud by going to the History window, clicking on the Settings icon and signing in with your Microsoft account.

– If you move to another device with recent Windows updates (from 10 October 2018) installed you should be able to see your stored, synched Sticky Notes.

Tech Tip – One-Click Fix For Accessibility

If you are using Word (or any Office app) in Windows 10, there is a one-click way to make sure that your messages and documents can be read by people of all abilities.  Here’s how:

– With your chosen document open click on ‘Review’ (top menu).

– Click on ‘Check Accessibility’ (top left).

– Follow any correction instructions in the right-hand panel.

Tech Tip – Use The Timeline

If you are using Windows 10 and you need to quickly find a document that you have worked on in the past, using the Timeline can help you to find it and start working where you left off.

To find files using the timeline:

– Either select Task View +? on the taskbar or press Windows logo key +? + Tab.

– Scroll down to find the file you want to return to.

– Select the item to jump back in and carry on working.

Tech Tip – Translate Text On The Fly

If you are using Word in Windows 10 and you would like a really fast and easy way to translate text into another language and include it in your document, here’s how:

– Highlight the text in your Word document that you would like to translate.

– Right-mouse click and select ‘Translate’.

– Select the language to translate the text into from the right-hand panel.

– Click ‘Insert’ and this will place the translated text into your document.

Tech Tip – Dictation

If you’d like to give your hands a rest, if you need to quickly capture notes, or even if you’d like to take an easy written record of the information given in a phone call, try using the dictation feature in Windows 10.  Here’s how to use it:

Firstly, you’ll need a microphone and a reliable internet connection. Then …

– With your application open (e.g. Word), hold down the Windows + H keys.

– Follow the link to the ‘Speech’ section and turn the speech recognition toggle to ‘on’.

– You can now speak, and your words will be typed for you.

Tech Tip – Getting Organised Using Microsoft Edge

If you are using Microsoft Edge in Windows 10, here’s a way that you can organise multiple browser tabs that you need to have open for a job or project into a ‘Collection’ that you can easily access later.

To make a ‘Collection’ of relevant web pages that you have open in multiple browser tabs:

– Click on the ‘+’ (Collections) symbol top right and choose to add the tab you are on to an existing Collection or create a new Collection.

– To create a new Collection, click on the Collections symbol, click on ‘Start New Collection’ and give it a name.

– To save the web page in the browser tab that you are on to that new Collection, click on the ‘Add Current Page’ link (right-hand side).  You will see the page appear in the Collection.

– Do the same for the other Edge tabs that you have open until you have saved all relevant pages to your project in your named Collection.

– When you next open Edge and click on the Collections link (top right), your collection of web pages for your named project will be there.

Tech Tip – Lock Your Work Device

If you’re using Windows 10 and you’d like to prevent others from seeing what you’re working on if you need to walk away from your device, here’s how to quickly and easily lock your screen:

– Press the Windows logo key + L.

– Or, if you’re using a Mac, press Control + Command + Q.

– This will lock your screen.

– Sign-in again when you return to carry on where you left off.

Tech Tip – Slide To Shutdown

If you’d like to create a fast, easy, and decorative way to shut down your Windows 10 PC, creating a ‘slide to shutdown’ shortcut allows you to simply pull down an on-screen picture blind to turn off your PC.  Here’s how to set it up:

– Desktop, right-click, select shortcut.

– In the Type the location of the item box copy and paste:

%windir%\System32\SlideToShutDown.exe

– Click the Next button and name your shortcut.

– Click the Finish button to complete the process.

– Double-click your new shortcut to show the pull-down blind that you can use to shut down your PC.

New Edge Browser To All Windows 10 Users

The new, improved version of Microsoft’s Edge browser has been launched in an update to all Windows 10 users in a move that will give Google’s Chrome some competition.

Available To Millions of Users

In being made available via an update to Windows 10 versions 1803, 1809,1903 and 1909, the new version of Edge (Edge replaced Explorer), is now accessible to many millions of users.  This wide availability, coupled with the improved features that the updated Chromium-based browser has may mean that it narrows the gap further from its second-place market position towards Google’s Chrome in the first place.

Improvements

Microsoft says that Edge now offers “best in class compatibility with extensions and websites” and “provides great support for the latest rendering capabilities, modern web applications, and powerful developer tools across all supported OS platforms.”

In addition to having a new, swish green and blue wave-style logo (which stands out more on the screen), information to note about the new version of Edge includes:

  • Start menu pins, tiles, and shortcuts from the current version of Microsoft Edge migrate to the new Microsoft Edge, as do taskbar pins and shortcuts.
  • The new Microsoft Edge is pinned to the taskbar and replaces the current version of Edge if it is already pinned, and the new Edge adds a shortcut to the desktop and replaces any existing shortcut.
  • By default, most protocols that Microsoft Edge handles will have been migrated to the new Microsoft Edge.
  • The current version of Microsoft Edge will be hidden from UX surfaces in the OS. This includes settings, applications, and any file or protocol support dialog boxes.
  • Attempts to start the current version of Microsoft Edge redirect to the new Microsoft Edge.
  • The First Run Experience (FRE) auto-launches the first time that a device restarts after the new Microsoft Edge has been installed.
  • Data from earlier versions of Microsoft Edge (such as passwords, favourites, open tabs) are available in the new Microsoft Edge.
  • This new Microsoft Edge does not support uninstalling of the update.

New Features

Google’s Chrome has faced some criticism over security so Edge’s new security features may be one area where it can claw back some ground in competition and appeal to users who have been working from home during the pandemic and need to ensure that they can protect business data.  Some of the new security features include:

– The ‘Profiles’ feature helps users separate work and personal browsing using something called “Automatic Profile Switching”.  Edge allows users to set up different profiles and the switching feature deals with the challenge of getting links to open in the right profile and making sure that users don’t mistakenly open work content in their personal profile.  It does this by using a prompt to users to switch to their work profile to access a site without having to authenticate to it

– For Windows 10 and 8.1, Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is a feature in the new Edge to help users to identify reported phishing and malware websites and make informed decisions about downloads. SmartScreen analyses pages and determines if they might be suspicious, checks the sites that a user visits against a dynamic list of reported phishing sites and malicious software sites, and checks files that users download against a list of reported malicious software sites.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Google’s Chrome is still far ahead in terms of user numbers, but this new version of Edge shows some promise in terms of security features and the fact that it has been instantly distributed to millions of users via a Windows update. The security features, if users are aware of them, may be particularly valued by those working from home and needing a secure browser, but also wanting to be able to easily separate their personal and work profiles.  The new Edge browser also has quick and easy links to Microsoft apps (from the app Launcher – top left) which users may also find useful in their day-to-day work. Some commentators have suggested that this Chromium-based browser looks as though it could be a worthy alternative to the mighty Google Chrome.