Everyone loves a cool trick. No matter how well we know an application or program, there is almost always a shortcut that we never learned.
The same goes for hardware: we can use gadgets every day without knowing its useful quirks.
A great example is Zoom, which millions of Americans have recently discovered for the first time.
Tap or click here to get 11 of the best Zoom hacks you wish you had known before.
In quarantine, you can spend a lot of time with the technology you already own, especially if you work from a home office.
Little do you know, you can be doing things “the hard way”, when you could be cutting corners for free.
Speaking for free, touch or click here for 15 technology updates that you can get for free, including free programs that work like Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office.
These are some of my favorite tips, tricks, and shortcuts for popular technology, for a variety of popular programs and tools.
1. Put your USB drive in the right way the first time
Connecting a USB cable the right way feels like a no-brainer. So why do we go wrong on the first try so often?
Here’s the secret: Grab any USB cable found in your home. See that symbol on one side? It is not just brand or decoration.
That symbol will point up if you are connecting horizontally and if you are connecting a cable vertically, the USB symbol will face you. Now you know.
As you streamline your tech life, tap or click here for seven steps to lower your Internet bill.
2. Reopen a closed browser tab
Happens all the time. You have a dozen tabs open in your browser and you accidentally close the wrong one.
You can open your browser history and reopen the tab from there, or you can do it with a couple of keys.
Press Ctrl + Shift + T on your PC or Command + Shift + T on your Mac to automatically reopen the tab you just closed.
3. Share a YouTube video at a precise point
If you see something on a YouTube video that you want to share at a particular point, you can get a link that takes people directly to that moment.
Click the Share button below the video. Look for a check box below the link. It will automatically show the time you currently have the video stopped.
You can either stay with this time or choose a different time. Copy the link and share it on your favorite social networks or email it to a friend. When someone sees the link, the YouTube video will automatically jump to the point they choose.
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4. Search using “Site:” to find content like a ninja
A Google search can return millions of results. Reduce that significantly by searching for just one site with the Google site: feature.
Open Google in your browser and type “site:” and then the website you want to search for. This way: “site: komando.com” but omit the quotes.
Tip: You can enter “site: komando.com search term” in the address bar of your browser and it is not necessary to go to Google. Again, no quotes are needed.
5. Report junk texts and stick it to scammers
Junk texts are downright annoying. You can block them, but it also feels good to take action.
Report texts to the GSMA Reporting Service with just a few clicks. Forward the message to 7726 (guess what that means?) Or just hit “Report Junk” in your messaging app.
6. Use your voice in Google Docs
I bet you already use your phone’s voice to text to dictate text messages or even emails, but did you know you can do the same in Google Docs? It is free and works surprisingly well.
Open a new document in Google Docs, then enable Speech typing from the Tools menu. Then he begins to dictate. Voice typing recognizes commands like “comma”, “period” and “new paragraph” as well.
7. Download movies at Disney Plus
Each streaming service has a different policy for downloading video content and viewing offline.
Netflix was a huge reservation until 2016, but Disney Plus allowed this option right away. The download icon is at the bottom of the menu. With the Disney Plus app, you can also download as many titles as your hard drive can contain.
8. Crop a screenshot
Screenshots are common practice, but often capture more than you need.
Revealing too much of your screen in a single image can threaten your security. Instead, you can take a screenshot with precise cropping, so include only what you want.
On a Mac, press Command + Shift + 5 and a rectangle will appear, which you can manipulate as much as you want.
In Windows 10, go to Start, go to the search bar and type Snipping Tool.
This will give you a similar box that you can drag to any shape on your screen.
9. Search WhatsApp chats
Messages accumulate over time, regardless of the platform you use. We want to find that hilarious quote or a vital street address, but it gets lost in a disjointed sea.
WhatsApp may be the most downloaded application of the decade, but many users are unaware that it can search for their messages, just like Google.
For iOS versions, there is a search bar; For Android, there is a search icon. Either way, find words unique to a specific conversation to limit the exact message you’re looking for.
10. Send an email
Did you just send an email to all of a person’s recipients?
Well, Gmail has the ability to send an email by adjusting a setting before writing your email.
Touch or click here to see the exact steps.
This retrieval of a message will also allow you to modify misspellings, incorrect recipients, subject lines, and even add forgotten attachments.
Be sure to adjust the setting to a number greater than the default setting of five seconds. Let’s be honest; Five seconds is not enough to realize you made a mistake, let alone hit the submit button. Fortunately, the Gmail setup offers the option to pause an email delivery of up to 30 seconds.
Additional tip: how to electronically sign a PDF
PDF files are already beginning to replace paper documents in many offices across the country. They are more flexible, portable and easy to use, but not everyone knows that you can sign a PDF document as if it were a physical one.
Almost all PDF reading applications have some way to electronically sign documents and forms.
Touch or click here for steps on how to do it.
What questions about the digital lifestyle do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or tap or click here to watch Kim’s free podcasts.