Desktop apps

Scroll like you mean it in Windows

One of the most annoying aspects of Windows after using Linux on the desktop for 10+ years was how the mouse wheel scrolled windows.

On Linux desktops I could hover over a window and scroll it without focusing. It was really useful when I had a browser window with instructions behind a terminal or just comparing the contents of two windows. The same happened when scrolling panes in file managers. I could scroll directories when hovered over that side of the window and files when over on the other..

So, imagine my frustration when I realised I had to click the side of the Explorer window I wanted to scroll in Windows? It was doubly annoying if I had selected files as I’d have to click an empty area or CTRL click an already selected file to select that side of the window.

Well, there’s a simple solution. Alex Leonard found and blogged about Wizmouse. It simply does what I expect, it scrolls the window under my pointer, whether it’s focused or not.


Desktop apps

Virtual Desktops for Windows

One of my favourite things about the Linux desktop is that virtual desktops are a standard feature of just about every window manager. Mac OS X has Spaces and I have a vague memory of using some sort of virtual desktop in Windows years ago.

It isn’t a standard feature of the Windows experience but there are apps you can download to do that job. Desktops v1.02 is one that I tried, but there’s also VirtuaWin. Desktops is basic but works fine in Windows 7!

Have you tried any other ones?

Desktop apps

How to edit a cell in Excel or Openoffice

This was one of those things that bugged me for ages but because I wasn’t sure of the terminology I could never find an answer for it. How do I edit a cell in Openoffice without doing either of the following?

  1. Double clicking on the cell.
  2. Clicking on the cell, then clicking on the edit bar at the top of the window.

The answer is quite simple, and it’s probably in some FAQ somewhere but each time I had a want to find it, I would have been up to my eyeballs in receipts working on my VAT return. Luckily, Lifehacker linked to this Excel keystrokes post which has a couple of magic key combos but look in the comments for the real meat.

How do I edit a cell in my spreadsheet? Hit F2.

F2 F2 F2 F2

Hit the F2 key to edit a cell. When I first discovered this keystroke, it was like the clouds parted and the light of God beamed down on my keyboard. Give it a shot right now if you haven’t used the F2 key before. (Hint: it will allow you to edit the data in the selected cell)

Desktop apps

Excel password remover

If, as sometimes happens, you’re working at something and are called away from your desk, it’s nice to know you can lock Excel and stop others fiddling with it. Unfortunately it’s also possible that you might forget your password. *ahem*
If so, go download the Free Excel password remover and watch it work wonders and crack that password and get you back into work mode faster than you can read a long winded run-on sentence that’s meandering nowhere, fast.