The Internet Connection

hen your computer screen freezes and the cursor will not move, hold down the CTRL, ALT, and DELETE keys down together to call up Window’s Task Manager.   Then use the arrow keys to move up and down the list to find the program that “is not responding”.   Click on that task to end it and reboot (PC users). For MAC users, press the Command (Apple) Option and Escape keys simultaneously. If these options fail, shut down the computer and restart. Then run repair software like ScanDisk or Disk First Aide for MAC PCs.

If you need to make sub or superscript text (think exponents for superscript), press Ctrl + = for subscript and Ctrl + Shift + = for superscript.


Most people know you can hit the space bar to pause a YouTube video, but sometimes this causes it to scroll down the page if you haven't already clicked on the video. If you press "K," this will play (or pause) the video every time. Hitting the "J" key will cause you to go backward 10 seconds, while hitting the "L" key will make you go forward 10 seconds. 


If you select a cell in your spreadsheet and highlight it yellow, you can then highlight any other selected cell(s) yellow by pressing F4. 


Did you know you can undo almost any action? Ctrl + Z is the ultimate hot key, and for sure you knew about it already, however note that undo doesn't just apply to typing. If you accidentally delete or move a file, you can hit Ctrl + Z to bring it right back to where it was (Ctrl + Y will redo whatever you undid).

Is your computer safe? Most all of today’s computers have security programs to protect against viruses and spyware (software that some websites place on your computer when you visit their site. This will allow that site to monitor your activity).   To easily check if your software is working, simply visit the website, and enter your email address. This site will attempt to create a harmless text file on your computer and then report back the outcome. If successful, then your security software is not protecting you. Steps to make your computer safe are included in the file. 

If you are plagued by a minor problem or certain functions are not working properly, restart your computer. This can work for specific software such as word processing and spreadsheet programs, Internet browsers, and even the operating system. Before calling for help, turn off your computer and wait 10-15 seconds. Then restart and check if the problem persists.


For Windows XP users, click on Start when connected to the Internet and then select Control Panel. Double click on System and select Automated Updates.

Two choices give you different degrees of control. And a third option makes updating automatic. To update Windows 98, 2000, and Millennium Editions, connect to the Internet and click on Start, then Settings (on most systems) and select Automatic Update. For MAC users, go to and click on downloads. 

Some website search engines work better if you use Boolean Logic. It uses pluses and minus or the words AND, OR, and NOT to connect or disconnect terms. The example, search of automobiles AND sales entered will retrieve only pages with both words. Automobiles NOT vans will show pages mentioning automobiles but not those that also mention vans. Use parentheses to show groupings such as (automobiles OR car AND sales). This will display all pages that have the word sales plus include those pages that have automobile or car. Use quotation marks when searching for an exact phrase such as “American journalism”. This retrieves pages with exact phrase but not the ones with only ‘American’ and ‘journalism’. 

Use Desktop DNA Migrator to save time setting up your new PC. This program transfers address book data (names, contact information, etc.), calendars, Internet settings, templates, document files, user personal settings, and just about everything else from your old PC to the new one. It also includes feature settings for hundreds of popular programs and can save you many hours of time on the phone with individual program Help Desks. 

Register your own web site domain name and create a personal web page. The key benefit is you will have a permanent email that will remain the same even if you change your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Locate companies that sell domain names are listed at

Look up definitions and synonyms easily with CleverKeys, a free software program for Lexico Publishing. They also host www.,, and www. Download and install the software then when you need a definition or a synonym, simply highlight the word and press   CTRL and the letter L (for PC users) or hold down CTRL and click on the word if you are on a MAC.   For more information, go to

When you copy text from any source, programs will usually include any formatting that comes with it. To paste this as plain text, press Ctrl + Shift + V instead of the standard Ctrl + V, and the system will paste unformatted text. This also works on Mac: Cmd + Shift + V.

Even surge protectors can be overwhelmed during electrical storms, and we've seen the results first-hand—fried motherboards, processors, hard drives and power supplies. If you're experiencing a heavy-duty electrical storm, unplug your computer from the wall socket—just in case. And buy a laptop to use until the crisis passes.


There are a number of ways to jump right to the address bar from anywhere in browser. Pressing Ctrl + L, F6, or Alt + D all accomplish this goal.

You can shave off a couple of seconds typing in a URL by simply click Ctrl + Enter after you type the name of the site. Need .net instead of .com? Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter instead.

Tapping the space bar on a website will scroll down in full page chunks and hitting shift + space will take you back up. 

Delete the names of your bookmarks leaving only the icon so they take up less space on the toolbar. In Chrome: right click the bookmark > edit > delete the name and save.

To copy links quicker, right click the link like usual but tap E on your keyboard to copy the link.

Use the browser magnifier to adjust a website for more comfortable reading. Ctrl/Cmd + (plus/minus sign) does the trick. To reset to the default zoom level use Ctrl + 0.


To rename a file quickly, right-clicking and selecting rename is not very efficient. Instead, press F2 while a file is selected to change its name. To alter the name of another file, type Tab without deselecting the current file. On Macs, hitting Enter will rename (which may sound counter-intuitive to Windows users) while Cmd + O is used to open.


 Lock your computer easily and keep prying eyes off your computer when you step away.  Windows + L will lock your system right away, requiring a password (when you've set one) to log in again.

On macOS, use Cmd + Option + Power to log off. On the latest revision of macOS (High Sierra) a quicker option to simply lock the screen was added which works using the shortcut Cmd + Ctrl + Q.

 Scan suspicious files with VirusTotal.  If you're worried about a file being infected, you can go to,  upload it to have it checked by a few dozen antivirus engines from the cloud. Often times, someone has already uploaded the same file, sparing you the wait.

Virus makers love peer-to-peer file-sharing services. They then name their virus "Angelina Jolie Wallpapers" or something similar and upload it. Then millions of people download it, launch it, and wonder why their computers are infected with viruses. Download with caution, and always use antivirus software.    


Rename a file quickly Right-clicking and selecting rename is not very efficient. Instead press F2 while a file is selected to change its name.

To alter the name of another file, type Tab without deselecting the current file. On Macs, hitting Enter will rename (which may sound counter-intuitive to Windows users) while Cmd + O is used to open.