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Get Organized!

DR. FRANK BUCK: 3 great hidden features in Windows 10 -- Part 1 (column)

This week's content reminds me of "The Wizard of Oz." 

Dorothy expends a tremendous amount of time and endures hardships in her efforts to get back to Kansas. In the end, the Wizard shows her how the ruby slippers provide a quicker way to get there.

Technology is a great deal like Dorothy's experience. We go to a great deal of effort only to find an easier way was right at our fingertips all along. Like Dorothy, doing it the hard way helps us appreciate a quicker, more efficient and much easier way.

By this time, if you are a Windows user, your computer probably runs Windows 10. You have quite a few new Windows 10 features, and if you're like most people, you may not be aware they are there. Today, we examine two of my favorites. Next week, we continue with the third.

Snip & Sketch

In the physical world, saving something like a picture from a magazine meant taking a pair of scissors and snipping the image. We could snip out a neat rectangular shape or let our scissors cut along the edges of the image. At that point, we could write something on the snip or highlight words within it. Finally, we could paste the snip into a notebook.

"Snip & Sketch" is the digital parallel. On your Windows computer, hold down the Shift key and the Windows key. Now hit the letter "S."

Your screen darkens and a box appears with four choices: 1) Rectangular snip; 2) Free-form snip; 3) Snip an entire window; 4) Snip the entire screen. The rectangular snip is highlighted, and that's the one I use most. Click and drag to highlight an area of the screen. Let off the mouse button, and your snip is copied to the clipboard. You can now paste that image in a document.

But you can do more. In the lower-right corner of the screen, a box appears. Click it, and look at how Windows will allow annotation. When finished, paste the annotated image. Or, click the floppy-disk icon in the upper-right to save the image.

Once you master Snip & Sketch (Shift + Windows + S), you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

Hide Desktop Icons

Is your computer desktop covered in icons? It's embarrassing when visitors see your screen. Now that we are doing so much with videoconferencing, the problem is worse. 

How do you feel when you're on a Zoom call with 10 other people and you need to share your screen? The whole group sees your cluttered desktop. I just hope one of the icons isn't named, "Boss is a jerk." 

I composed an article to help you achieve a clean computer desktop.You can access it

In the meantime, if you want a quick fix, it's only a couple of mouse clicks away.

Right-click anywhere on the desktop. Mouse over "View." On the submenu that opens, remove the checkmark beside "Show desktop icons." That's it! You have a clean desktop.

To bring them back, reverse the process. Right-click on the desktop. Mouse over "View," and replace the checkmark beside "Show desktop icons."

If you’ve ever tried to diagnose a tech problem over the phone, you’ll love next week’s column. Check back then as we discuss “Quick Assist.”

Frank Buck is the author of “Get Organized!: Time Management for School Leaders.” "Global Gurus Top 30" named him #1 in the Time Management category for 2019 and 2020. Dr. Buck speaks throughout the United States and internationally about organization and time management. You can reach him through his website: Follow him on Twitter @DrFrankBuck.