Microsoft Windows

8 Microsoft Visual Studio Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know Today

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Here are eight of my favorite keyboard shortcuts in Visual Studio. There’s a good chance at least one of them will be new to you.

1. Move Code Alt+Up/Down

This keyboard shortcut is new in Visual Studio 2013. If you put the cursor on a line of code and use the Alt+Up Arrow keys, the line of code you’ve selected moves up. If you use the Alt+Down Arrow keys, the line of code selected moves down.

2. Create Collapsible Region Ctrl+M+H/Ctrl+M+U

Chances are you’ve noticed the “+” and “-” symbols in the margins that let you collapse and expand your classes and functions. Did you know you can create your own collapsible regions? If you select a section of code and then use the key sequence Ctrl+M+H, you turn that region into a collapsible/expandable region. The key sequence Ctrl+M+U will remove the collapsible region. It doesn’t delete the code, it just removes the icon that lets you expand and collapse.

3. Comment Code Block Ctrl+K+C/Ctrl+K+U

Whether it’s because you’re trying to track down a “but,” or experimenting with code change, from time to time you’ll want to comment and uncomment blocks of code. If you select a block of code and use the key sequence Ctrl+K+C, you’ll comment out the section of code. Ctrl+K+U will uncomment the code.

4. Peek Definition Alt+F12

When you’re going through your code and you want to examine the code in the method you’re calling, many programmers will use the F12 key or the pop-up menu option Go To Definition. Go To Definition will navigate to the called method; however, many times you don’t need to navigate to the code. Sometimes, you just want a quick look at the method. If you’ve installed Visual Studio 2013, there’s a new keyboard shortcut — Alt+F12 — that will give you a preview of the method being called inline. You can use the Esc key to close the preview.

5. Navigate Forward/Backward Ctrl+–/Ctrl+Shift+–

When you have multiple files open at the same time, you might want a way to quickly move back and forth between two or three different locations in your code. If you’ve moved from one location to another you can use the keyboard sequence <Ctrl>+– to move to the previous location and then you can return using Ctrl+Shift+–.

6. Ctrl-Shift-S

Saves all documents and projects. Very useful when you have many items open and are too lazy to go to the top left “File->Save All.”

7. F7

Switches from the design view to the code view in the editor.

8. Shift-F7

Switches from the code view to the design view in the editor.


Space Pinball on Windows 7, 8, 10, and beyond

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Yup, it’s real. One of my favourite games of Windows XP can be had on Windows Vista, 7, 8 and higher.

Here’s the download link I used: Techspot

Worst-case, here’s a more direct download link: 3d_pinball_for_windows_space_cadet


Apparently there’s a way to install it on Macs.

Microsoft Outlook IMAP Desktop Alerts Popup – How to Create Rule

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I’ve recently been recommending to my clients to switch to IMAP-based email from POP. The technology is newer, everything occurs real-time, and it’s just a better service. However, there are some things that take getting used to, such as purging emails from Outlook and the apparent lack of desktop notification alerts. This post, taken from Microsoft’s site, will address how to allow desktop alerts in Outlook a la POP email setup. -Rafi


A Desktop Alert is a notification that appears on your desktop when you receive a new e-mail message, meeting request, or task request. Desktop Alerts are turned on by default. This article explains how you can customize the appearance of Desktop Alerts as well as turn them off.

Information that Desktop Alerts display

The information displayed in a Desktop Alert varies depending on the item that you receive in your Inbox.

  • E-mail message    The alert displays the name of the sender, the subject, and the first two lines of the message. A Desktop Alert does not display the contents of an encrypted or digitally signed message. To view the message, you must open it.
  • Meeting request    The alert displays the sender, subject, date, time, and location of the meeting.
  • Task request    The alert displays the sender, subject, and start date of the assigned task.

If several items arrive in your Inbox at the same time, you won’t necessarily receive a Desktop Alert for each item. If you receive a large number of items within a particular period of time, Microsoft Outlook displays a single Desktop Alert to indicate that you received several new items. This prevents your desktop from being crowded with alerts that could potentially interfere with your work and temporarily obscure a portion of your desktop.

You can use Desktop Alerts to process your incoming items without opening your Inbox. When a Desktop Alert appears, you can perform several actions that normally require you to open the item. For example, you can set a flag on a message, delete a message, or mark it as read — all without opening your Inbox.

If you are using a Microsoft Exchange account or a POP3 e-mail account, a Desktop Alert is displayed only when a new item arrives in your default Inbox. If you want to display a Desktop Alert when an item arrives in any other folder, or when you receive items that meet specific conditions, you must create a rule. You must also create a rule if you want to be notified when you receive a new item in an IMAP e-mail account.

TIP:   If you want to keep a Desktop Alert visible so that you can take more time to read it, place your pointer on the alert before it fades from view.

Turn Desktop Alerts on or off

Desktop Alerts are turned on by default. There might be times when you want to turn Desktop Alerts off and then on again. For example, if you are making a presentation to a public audience, you might not want Desktop Alerts to appear on your screen, revealing information that you prefer to keep private. Although Microsoft Outlook will not display Desktop Alerts when you are running a Microsoft Office PowerPoint presentation, the display of alerts will resume if you switch to another program or a Web site during your presentation.

Turn off alerts

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options, and then click Advanced E-mail Options.
  3. Under When new items arrive in my Inbox, clear the Display a New Mail Desktop Alert (default Inbox only) check box.

NOTE   To suppress other notifications such as playing sounds, changing the mouse pointer, or displaying an envelope icon in the notification area, clear the Play a sound, Briefly change the mouse cursor, or Show an envelope icon in the notification area check box, respectively.

Turn off alerts from a Desktop Alert

  1. When a Desktop Alert appears, click the down arrow on the alert.
  2. On the Desktop Alert menu, click Disable New Mail Desktop Alert


1. Click to open the Desktop Alert menu.
2. Click to turn off Desktop Alerts.

Notice also that you can do other things from the Desktop Alerts menu, such as open, flag, or delete the new message, mark the message as read, or open the Desktop Alert Settings dialog box, where you can specify how long the Desktop Alert should remain visible on the screen and how transparent it should be. See the next section for details.

Turn on alerts

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options, and then click Advanced E-mail Options.
  3. Under When new items arrive in my Inbox, select the Display a New Mail Desktop Alert (default Inbox only) check box.

Change the appearance of Desktop Alerts

You can customize the appearance of your Desktop Alerts. You can have them remain visible as briefly as 3 seconds or as long as 30 seconds. You can also adjust their transparency to make them more noticeable or to keep them from blocking your view of documents and other items on your desktop. Finally, you can change where your Desktop Alerts appear by dragging one of them to a more preferable location on your desktop.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options, and then click Advanced E-mail Options.
  3. Click Desktop Alert Settings.
  4. Under Duration, drag the slider bar to the number of seconds for which you want new Desktop Alerts to remain visible on your desktop.

NOTE    Although Desktop Alerts eventually fade, the new e-mail notification icon remains in the Outlook status bar until you open the new item or items in your default Inbox.

  1. Under Transparency, drag the slider bar to the transparency value that you want.
  2. To check your settings, click Preview.

NOTE   These settings also apply to the Desktop Alert that can be specified as a rule action.

Move the Desktop Alert to a different location on your screen

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options, and then click Advanced E-mail Options.
  3. Click Desktop Alert Settings.
  4. In the Desktop Alert Settings dialog box, click Preview.

A sample Desktop Alert is displayed on your desktop.

  1. Drag the Desktop Alert to the location that you want.

TIP   You can move the Desktop Alert to a different monitor if your desktop spans more than one monitor.


Note: this doc is optimal for Word 2007.

Original Source:

Microsoft Word 2007 – Insert or delete a comment

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You can insert a comment inside balloons that appear in the document margins. You can also hide comments from view.

If you don’t want comments to appear in your document during a review, you must clear your document of comments by deleting them. To find out whether comments remain in your document, click Show Markup on the Review tab in the Tracking group.

What do you want to do?

Insert a comment

You can type a comment. On a Tablet PC, you can insert a voice comment or a handwritten comment.

Type a comment

  1. Select the text or item that you want to comment on, or click at the end of the text.
  2. On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click New Comment.

Word Ribbon Image

  1. Type the comment text in the comment balloon or in the Reviewing Pane.

NOTE   To respond to a comment, click its balloon, and then click New Comment in the Comments group. Type your response in the new comment balloon.

Insert a voice comment

If your computer is a Tablet PC, you can record voice comments. Voice comments are added as sound objects inside comment balloons.

Before you can add a voice comment for the first time, you need to add the Insert Voice command to the Quick Access Toolbar.

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, and then click Word Options.
  1. Click Customize.
  2. In the list under Choose commands from, select All Commands.
  3. In the list of commands, click Insert Voice, and then click Add.

To add a voice comment to your document, do the following:

  1. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Insert Voice Button image.
  2. In the dialog box that opens, click the start button and record the voice comment.
  3. When you finish recording the comment, press the stop button and close the dialog box.
  4. If Microsoft Office Word displays a message asking whether you want to update the sound object, click Yes.

To hear the recorded comment, right-click the comment balloon, point to Sound Recorder Document Object, and then click Play.

NOTE   For additional information about recording and editing a sound object, see the documentation for your sound card and microphone.

Insert a handwritten comment

If your computer is a Tablet PC, you can make handwritten comments in your document. The ink is added and displayed inside comment balloons.

  1. On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click New Comment.

Word Ribbon Image

  1. Write the comment in the comment bubble.

Top of Page TOP OF PAGE

Delete a comment

  • To quickly delete a single comment, right-click the comment, and then click Delete Comment.
  • To quickly delete all comments in a document, click a comment in the document. On the Review tab, in theComments group, click the arrow below Delete, and then click Delete All Comments in Document.

Delete comments from a specific reviewer

  1. On the Review tab, in the Tracking group, click the arrow next to Show Markup.

Word Ribbon Image

  1. To clear the check boxes for all reviewers, point to Reviewers, and then click All Reviewers.
  2. Click the arrow next to Show Markup again, point to Reviewers, and then click the name of the reviewer whose comments you want to delete.
  3. In the Comments group, click the arrow below DeleteButton image, and then click Delete All Comments Shown.

NOTE   This procedure deletes all comments from the reviewer that you selected, including comments throughout the document.

TIP   You can also review and delete comments by using the Reviewing Pane. To show or hide the Reviewing Pane, click Reviewing Pane in the Tracking group. To move the Reviewing Pane to the bottom of your screen, click the arrow next to Reviewing Pane, and then click Reviewing Pane Horizontal.

Top of Page TOP OF PAGE

Change a comment

If comments aren’t visible on the screen, click Show Markup in the Tracking group on the Review tab.

Word Ribbon Image

  1. Click inside the balloon for the comment that you want to edit.
  2. Make the changes that you want.


  • If the balloons are hidden or if only part of the comment is displayed, you can change the comment in the Reviewing Pane. To show the Reviewing Pane, in the Tracking group, click Reviewing Pane. To make the reviewing pane run across the bottom of your screen rather than down the side of your screen, click the arrow next to Reviewing Pane, and then click Reviewing Pane Horizontal.
  • To respond to a comment, click its balloon, and then click New Comment in the Comments group. Type your response in the new comment balloon.

Add or change the name used in comments

  1. On the Review tab, in the Tracking group, click the arrow next to Track Changes, and then click Change User Name.

Change User Name

  1. Click Personalize.
  2. Under Personalize your copy of Office, change the name or initials that you want to use in your own comments.


  • The name and initials that you type are used by all Microsoft Office programs. Any changes that you make to these settings affect other Office programs.
  • When you make a change to the name or initials that you want to use for your own comments, only comments that you make after the change are affected. Comments that are already in the document before you change the name or initials are not updated.
  • Source:

NASA Switches International Space Station’s Computer System to Linux, Also Funds 3D Pizza Printer

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nasa-logoNASA has had quite some movement in the tekkie world over the last couple of months.

NASA Switches International Space Station’s Computer System to Linux

As of March, NASA began to prepare their international space station with a migration to Linux from their Windows XP. As of earlier this May this seemed to take root, as numerous blogs have written about his transition. Some computers will be running on Debian 6, some on Red Hat and some on Scientific Linux. This shouldn’t be a surprise as the scientific world has long taken a shining to Linux systems. Case in point: CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is controlled by Linux. NASA and SpaceX ground stations use Linux. DNA-sequencing lab technicians use Linux. Evidently, there’s an impression of increased stability when using Linux over Windows.

Personally, while I largely agree how powerful Linux is, I’m not one to ditch Windows just yet. As a geek that owns and operates computer systems running Windows XP, Windows 7, Ubuntu and MAC OSX, I find that Windows has made some significant strides with their Windows 7 release (Windows 8 I feel is a disaster, sort of a new Windows Vista – experiment early, roll out early, fix the mistakes in the next model). Also, more programs run on Windows than any other operating system, including MAC OSX. As much as we all love to hate Microsoft, their desktop and network infrastructure is among the best out there fore serious businesses.

Being that the people at NASA are far from stupid, I suggest that there are some other possible underlying reasons that we’re not being told. Here are my thoughts:

1. By Increased Security, perhaps NASA  wants their people to write programs that cannot run for other Government-run systems, thereby keeping their information safer and more secure from other Government sectors seeking to shut down NASA due to the fact that the research organization costs the United States billions of dollars yearly without contributing anything financially worthy. Landing on Mars won’t pay the bills, and this is an increased threat when the global economy is in such bad shape when the national debt is in the trillions of dollars, not billions.

2. By Increased Security, perhaps NASA wants their people to write programs only for niche Linux systems that a regular Windows hacker cannot use to download and uncover classified information. Who knows? Perhaps Iran wants to land people on the moon themselves, and who better to copy than NASA?

2. By Increased Stability, perhaps NASA has gotten fed up with blue screens of death, unexpected shutdowns, and other lovely unexpected errors. Also, periodic disk defragmenting is a royal pain.

NASA Funds 3D Pizza Printer

This is interesting. With food being a prized commodity in areas of space where food is rationed in tubes, NASA utilized 3D Printer technology to come up with a 3D food printer. The printer will be utilizing edible powder to make items that look like food and can actually be eaten and have a shelf life of 30 years. Being that it all tastes the same (it must), I imagine it’s nothing more than a glorified way to make cereal. Think of Fruit Loops or Fruity Pebbles. Each loop or pebble looks different thanks to food colouring, but they all taste the same sugary way in the end.

Looks like fun!

The Evolution of the Modern Computer

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The evolution of the modern computer is a fascinating tale, and one that spans several centuries. The term computer used to refer to a person who worked out calculations or computations. This term was coined in 1613 and did not change its meaning from “guy who knows math really well” to “that mechanical marvel that carries out computations” until the middle of the 20th century.

History of the Computer

The computer started out as an automated machine that calculated figures and, though it is difficult to find a specific date as to the first time the human mind didn’t have to struggle through complicated figures all on its own, there are quite a few machines that are worthy of honorable mention, such as the Sumerian abacus and the Antikythera mechanism which was used to compute astronomical positions.

In 1642, smack dab in the middle of the Renaissance, the first mechanical calculator, which could perform all four basic mathematical functions without the help of human intelligence, this was the seed from which computers sprouted.

In their infancy, around 1800, computers performed simple tasks, like keeping track of employees’ workday. And in 1837, Charles Babbage designed the first fully programmable computer, however it was his son Henry Babbage that completed and built the first actual computer, this happened in 1888.

In the mid to late 1880’s Herman Hollerith ran with this idea and built the first machine-readable medium for recorded data.

Computers in the 1900’s

Jumping forward a few hundred years, to the first half of the 20th Century, many scientific computing needs were met by increasingly sophisticated versions of the analog computer. And in 1936 Alan Turing provided the blueprint for the modern computer with his Turing machine, which made use of an algorithm to compute more complicated data.

During the 1950’s computers used vacuum tubes as their electronic elements, but these were quickly replaced by semiconductor transistor-based machines, which were cheaper to produce, smaller, which made it easier to create the personal computer, required less power, and were much more reliable. In 1953 the first transistorized computer was demonstrated at the University of Manchester.

In the 1970’s the integrated circuit was invented which paved the way for the microprocessor. This further decreased the cost, size, and malfunctions with computers.

Today’s computers

In the 1980’s computers entered the home and it the personal computer was born. Later, with the invention of the Internet, computers became a form of communication with the outside world, growing to replace and rival the telephone and the television.

The defining characteristic of the modern computer is its programmability. This sets it apart from other household appliances and increases it functionality in the home and workplace as a tool or as a vehicle for your entertainment. There are many great companies out there to get a good computer for your family, look at for great deals.

Command Prompt – Windows Batch Script for Moving Files From One Drive to Another

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rem #first establish drive maps
net use x: pc1sharenamefolder1
net use y: pc2sharenamefolder2

# Use only if you want to clear the destination folder first!
#rem #now you delete the contents
#delete *.* /y

rem #now you copy the contents of folder1 to folder2 [/s is for subfolders if they exist]
xcopy x:*.* /s


How to Use Aero Flip 3D and Alt-Tab in Windows 7

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Aero Flip 3D was first introduced in Vista. With Aero Flip 3D, you can quickly preview all of your open windows (for example, open files, folders, documents and programs) without accessing the taskbar. It displays your open windows in a visually pleasing stack.

To use Flip 3D, click and hold the Windows button together with the tab key. As you hold the windows button press the tab key to rotate the stack. This will move the windows in a queue so you can see all of your windows in sequence. Once you see the window that you want to view, release the windows button. The window when you release the windows button will be the active window.
Alt-Tab on the other hand will show the opened windows too, but in a different visual presentation. Instead of a 3D stack, it displays the each of the windows’ thumbnails. On Windows XP, Alt-Tab displays the icons of the programs instead of thumbnails. You can switch between windows by continually pressing Tab while holding Alt.

You can also move around by using the arrow keys instead of the Tab key.
Note: Flip 3D is part of the Aero experience. If your computer does not support Aero, or if you are using a theme other than a Windows 7 Aero theme, you can view the open programs and windows on your computer by pressing Alt+Tab.
If you find the traditional Alt-Tab method to be boring, the Flip 3D method is a good alternative. The only downside is that you need to have a hardware that supports Aero.

Post courtesy of:

Remove All Hyperlinks in Microsoft Word or Excel

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1. CTRL+A and then CTRL+SHIFT+F9

2. Credit to

Go to “Insert” > “Module” and in the pop-up window copy:

Sub RemoveHyperlinks()
Dim oField As Field
For Each oField In ActiveDocument.Fields
If oField.Type = wdFieldHyperlink Then
End If
Set oField = Nothing
End Sub

Then click “File” > Close and return to Microsoft Word

You can now run the Macro in Word by going to:

Tools > Macro > Macro and then Run “RemoveAllHyperlinks”


You can do the same in an Excel Document:

Hit [ALT]+[F11] to open the Visual Basic Editor

Go to “Insert” > “Module” and in the pop-up window copy:

Sub RemoveHyperlinks()
'Remove all hyperlinks from the active sheet
End Sub

Then click “File” > Close and return to Microsoft Excel

You can now run the Macro in Excel by going to:

Tools > Macro > Macro and then Run “RemoveAllHyperlinks”, this will delete all URLS on the selected worksheet.

Excel: My Spreadsheet Has a Font?

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By default, Microsoft Office Excel 2007 uses the Body Font font in font size 11 (which is displayed as the Calibri font in font size 11 when you type data in a worksheet, header or footer, or text box) but you can change the default font and font size for all new workbooks that you create.

  • Click the Microsoft Office Button , and then click Excel Options.
  • In the Popular category, under When creating new workbooks, do the following:
  • In the Use this font box, click the font that you want to use.
  • In the Font Size box, enter the font size that you want to use.

NOTE: To begin using the new default font and font size, you must restart Excel. The new default font and font size are used only in new workbooks that you create after you restart Excel; existing workbooks are not affected. To use the new default font, you can move worksheets from an existing workbook to a new workbook. For more information, see Move or copy a worksheet.

Courtesy of: Microsoft Office Knowledge Base

For Word 2003 and Earlier:

Open the “Options” dialog box. Click on “Tools” on the tool bar and select “Options.” This opens the Options dialog box in which you can change the default attributes of your workbook.

Step 2
Change the default font. Click the “General” tab and then click the arrow in the “Standard font” field. Select a new font from the list.

Step 3
Change the font size. Click the “Size” box and select a new font size.

Step 4
Click “OK” when you have finished making your changes.

You will have to restart Excel in order for the changes to take effect.

This post was inspired by the Nick Burns video with Jackie Chan on “My Spreadsheet has a font?”