Now that monitors are relatively cheap, having more than one display on a PC – and the productivity benefits that can bring – should be a normal situation for everything other than using a laptop on the hoof. Improve your windowing arrangements without anarchy, configuring your displays by right-clicking on your desktop and selecting Display settings.
This will let you move your monitors around to mirror your physical environment, so you can move a mouse or window easily from one screen to the other, and the desktop will span the monitors appropriately.
If you have a big monitor in front of you, and your laptop to the side, you’ll probably want to select the monitor in the Display Settings dialog and select to “Make this my main display”, which is where the Start menu will appear, along with other system related things like the place where the UI for ALT+TAB or WindowsKey+TAB shows.
You can move windows around by dragging them, or learn to use the shortcut keys SHIFT+WindowsKey+left or right arrow which cycles windows between your monitors (and using the WindowsKey and the arrow keys without SHIFT, will snap the active window to the sides, or to max/minimize the window on whatever screen it’s on).
If you ever share a monitor between several machines, XBOXes etc, you might get to a point where you want to stop Windows displaying stuff on a screen that it still sees as connected, even if that monitor is displaying a different source. You could use WindowsKey+P to cycle through the Projection options, of PC only, Duplicate, Extend or Second Screen. If you knew you were on Extend but your primary screen was now showing something else, you could press Wnd+P twice to switch through the options to be back at PC-Only so you can use the machine as normal, and move any windows that were on the 2nd display back to the laptop screen.
If you like a more definite way, you can use WindowsKey+R then enter displayswitch with /internal (for PC only), /clone, /extend or /external for the other options.
Right-click your desktop to go New > Shortcut, and you can add a shortcut, to which you can also assign a shortcut keystroke if you like – then a single keypress sequence will jump to a specific monitor configuration.
As a parting shot, should you want to change which screen is the primary one – rather than forcing a particular display scheme – then you can do that with an open source tool called nircmd, that lets you fire a command (like nircmd setprimarydisplay 2) to switch the primary display to that numbered screen.
Tip o’ the Week 395 – Resizing pictures in Windows 10
As smartphone cameras get better, it’s very common to have snaps with dimensions of 4,000 x 3,000 pixels, sized in multi-megabytes – great for capturing a bit more detail, but potentially tricky when handling the photos given the file size as well as their width & height.
This is especially the case if you’re sharing pictures with others – though it does rather depend on how. Email programs usually have ways to reduce the size of images, varying in method but increasingly very integrated to the sending process, and often with little real control of what’s going on. Outlook, for example, lets you drag images around by resizing handles, or if you right-click on an inserted image, choose Size and Position then look on the Size tab, you can alter the scale of an image for display purposes.
This doesn’t make the image smaller in the number of bytes it takes up, however – so you might think you’ve made your massive picture a nice thumbnail, only to find it’s still actually 7MB in size. In order to make the image data size get smaller in Outlook, select it by left-clicking, then from the Picture Tools | Format menu, you’ll find a Compress Pictures com mand that lets you make this image (or every other one in the mail), smaller.
If you look on the File menu before doing so, you’ll see the size of the email before, and presuming you’ve hit “Save” after the compression, you can compare the size afterwards too.
The same thing happens in PowerPoints as well – tiny little watermarks on the background of a presentation making the file too big to ever email to anyone. A similar process can radically reduce the size of your presentations by compressing the size of images before saving.
If you have pictures in the file system, there used to be a variety of ways for Windows to offer resize capabilities – one of which was to install the now-defunct Windows Live Photo Gallery, which had a nice wizard to resize images to standard sizes. Now, in Windows 10, there’s no easy, out-of-the-box way of doing it, as the Photos app doesn’t offer resizing and nothing shows up in the desktop / file system mode.
If you have a habit of uploading photos you’ve taken to online forums and the like, some of them will deal with resizing for you (as does Facebook, Yammer etc too), but if they don’t, you may find you’ll need to radically reduce the dimensions of your pic before you can share it.
One of the joys of writing Tip o’ the Week is that readers often send their tips just after the mail has gone out – welcome but not always practical to share on, as the same topic might not return for a while. In this example, there will no doubt be a plethora of fave image resizing methods, but a simple one for mortals with less time on their hands is to just go to @Brice Lambson’s site on http://www.bricelam.net/ImageResizer/ and install the quick & simple resizer tool.
Afterwards, right-click within Windows Explorer on your chosen image – or select several and do the same – and resize the image(s) to a given set of dimensions in a trice. Then you’re ready to upload the resulting new pics to your online forum of choice.
Remember another handy tip (as covered in ToW #373 and others) is the Copy as path command – hold SHIFT as you right-click on any file and you’ll see it appear in the drop down list. What this does is copy the exact file and pathname to the thing you’ve just right-clicked on (remember, kids, it works with any file, so uploading docs to a SharePoint is just as relevant) into the clipboard, so you can instantly point the File -> Open dialog on your other app or browser straight to the thing you want.