Windows From The Keyboard Tips, How to Use the Recycle Bin, April 1, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows File Explorer – How to Use the Recycle Bin

Have you ever accidentally deleted a file and wanted to get it back? In File Explorer a deleted file is not actually removed from your computer. Rather, the file is moved to the Recycle Bin, so it is possible to restore the file. To restore a deleted file, follow this procedure.

  • Press Windows key + M to go to the desktop.
  • Press R multiple times until you reach the Recycle Bin icon and then press Enter to open the Recycle Bin.
  • You will be placed in a list of deleted files. Likely, your deleted file is in this list unless it was deleted a very long time ago. Also, when you deleted the file, if you pressed Shift+Delete to bypass the Recycle Bin, then the file will have been removed from your computer.
  • You can arrow up and down the list of files to find the file you have deleted. If you know the file name, you may press its first letter multiple times until you reach the desired file. Note that beside each file are details such as the name of the original folder that contained the file and its deletion date. You can read these values with a screen reader by using the right arrow or reading the entire line.
  • When you find the file, press the Applications key.
  • From the resulting context menu, select the Restore item and press Enter. The file will be restored to its original folder on your computer.
  • Press Alt+F4 to close the Recycle Bin.

Sorting the Recycle Bin:

If you have many files in the Recycle Bin, or you cannot remember the name of the file you deleted, it may help to sort the file list as follows.

  • If the current file you are focused on is selected, then unselect it by pressing Control+Spacebar .
  • Press the Applications key.
  • Arrow through the resulting context menu and select the Sort By submenu and press Enter to open it.
  • Arrow through the submenu and choose the sort option you want. For example, you can sort the list of files alphabetically by name, by their original location, by the deletion date, or by the date the file was last modified. You can also choose ascending or descending order.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, File Explorer – Delete File Confirmation, March 25, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows File Explorer – Delete File Confirmation

When you press Delete to delete a file Windows may or may not ask you to confirm. You can ensure there is a confirmation prompt by doing this:

  • Press Windows key + M to focus on the desktop.
  • Press R multiple times until you are focused on the Recycle Bin icon.
  • Press Alt+Enter to open the Properties of the Recycle Bin.
  • TAB to the check box to Display a Delete confirmation prompt and press the spacebar to activate it.
  • TAB to the OK button and press spacebar to activate it and return to your desktop. You will now be prompted to confirm each time you delete a file. The files you delete will be moved to the recycle bin so you can recover them if you need to. You can selectively bypass moving the deleted file to the recycle bin if you press Shift+Delete when deleting a file.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, File Explorer Useful Shortcut Keys, March 18, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows File Explorer – Useful Shortcut Keys

While browsing folders in Windows file Explorer, these shortcut keys are helpful.

  • F2 will allow you to rename a file. Press F2 while focused on the filename. An edit box opens with the current filename highlighted. Only the filename is highlighted not the filetype. Since Windows replaces highlighted text with typed text, all you need to do is type the new filename and press Enter. The filetype will remain as it was. For example, if you have a file named, John.txt, and you want to rename it to Jane.txt just arrow down to the John.txt in your list of files, Press F2, type, “Jane”, without the quotes, and press Enter.
  • Press Alt+Up Arrow to return to the parent of the folder you are currently in.
  • Press Backspace to return to the previous folder.
  • Press Control+Home to move to the top of the folder.
  • Press Control+End to move to the end of the folder.
  • Press Alt+Enter to open the properties of the file or folder you are focused on.
  • Press Delete to delete the file or folder you are focused on. Depending on the properties of your Recycle Bin, you may or may not be asked to confirm the file deletion.
  • Press Control+C to copy the file or folder to the Windows clipboard. You may then move to another folder and press Control+V to paste a copy of the file or folder into the new folder. Note: A quick way to make a copy of a file is to press Control+C on the desired file and then immediately press Control+V to paste it back. Windows will make a copy of your file in the same folder with “copy” appended to the filename.
  • Press Control+X to cut the file or folder to the Windows clipboard. You may then move to another folder and press Control+V to move the file or folder into the new folder thus deleting it from its original location.
  • Press the Applications key (usually just to the left of the right Control key) to open a context menu for the file or folder you are focused on. Arrow up and down the menu to find other actions you may wish to perform on the file or folder such as printing a file or extracting files from a ZIP folder. If you do not have an Applications key, then Shift+F10 is another way to open the applications context menu.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, File Explorer – Searching for Files, March 11, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows File Explorer – Searching for Documents

Have you ever lost a file? You may remember downloading the file or saving it from an email attachment, but you can’t remember which folder it was saved in. Likely, it is in your Documents folder or one of its subfolders. To search your Documents folder and all its subfolders, open your Documents folder and then press Control+E to open the search edit box. Type one or more words that you believe are in the filename and then press TAB several times to reach the list of files that were found to have your search text in their filename. Arrow down the list to find your file. To  abandon the search and return to your Documents folder from the search results, press the Backspace key. To open the file’s location (folder), press the Applications key to open a context menu. Arrow down the menu and press Enter on the “Open file Location” item. The folder containing your file will be opened.

 

To search your entire computer’s hard drive press Windows key +R to open the run dialogue. Type C:\ to open the root of your hard drive. Then press Control+E to type your search. This will search all the folders in your hard drive. Again, TAB several times to reach the list of search results.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, File Explorer – Folder Options, March 4, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows File Explorer – Folder Options

The following are suggested settings for the folder options of your computer’s file system. I believe setting these folder options will make browsing files on your computer safer and easier especially if you do not use a mouse.

  • Begin by opening the Documents folder.
  • Press Control+Spacebar to ensure no files are selected in the Documents folder.
  • Press the Applications key which is beside the right control key on most keyboards. Shift+F10 can also be used if you don’t have an Applications key. Pressing Applications key will open a context menu for the folder.
  • The first item on the menu should be View submenu. Press Right Arrow to open the View submenu and arrow down to the Details item and press Enter if Details is not checked. The details view mode ensures your files are listed in a vertical list with details such as date modified and file size displayed beside each file. The icon view modes are more difficult to use because they are shown in a grid meaning you must arrow in all four directions to browse the files in a folder. For keyboard users, it’s easier to display the files in the vertical details list so you only need to browse in an up/down direction.
  • After you have pressed Enter to check the Details view mode you will be returned to your Documents folder. Press the Applications key to again open the folder context menu.
  • Press Enter to check the Name choice. This causes the files to be listed alphabetically by name.
  • Now press the Windows logo key to open the Windows Start Menu search box and type “folder options” without the quotes in the search box. “File Explorer Folder Options Control Panel” should appear in the search results. Press Enter to open it.
  • TAB through the general and View tabs setting the items of interest. In the General Tab be sure to choose “This PC” as the default place for File Explorer to open. Also, in the Advanced Settings tree view of the View tab be sure the item to “hide known file extensions” is off. You press spacebar to toggle the on/off status. This ensures filetypes such as txt, DOCX, MP3 etc. will appear in your list of files.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Windows Version -How to Find It, February 26, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows 10 Version – How to Find it

For support issues or just curiosity, you may want to know your exact Windows 10 version and build numbers. To quickly find these values hold down the Windows logo key and press R . This opens the Windows run dialogue with focus in an edit box. Type “Winver” without the quotes and press Enter. Another dialogue opens with the Windows 10 version and build numbers. Press space bar on the OK button to close the dialogue.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, External Devices – How to Safely Remove, February 19, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows External Media – How to Safely Remove from the Computer

When you are using external media such as a USB drive or SD memory card, there is a recommended method to safely remove it to prevent corruption of the files on the media.

  • First, use Alt+F4 to close all File Explorer or other apps (e.g. Word, Excel, Notepad etc.) that are using the external media.
  • Then you can log off or shut down your computer after which it is safe to remove the media.
  • If you prefer to remove the media without shutting down your computer, then press Windows key + E to open File Explorer.
  • Arrow down to the drive that contains your external media (E:, F:, G: etc.).
  • Press the Applications key to bring up a context menu for that drive.
  • Arrow down the menu to the Eject item and press Enter to eject the drive. It will not actually pop out of your computer unless it’s a CD/DVD drive, but its file system will be released by Windows.
  • Now it is safe to physically remove the media.
    Note that depending how your computer is set up or how you were using the drive will influence whether the Windows Eject function is required but it’s always safest to shut down or use Eject to prevent any corruption of the media’s file system.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, External Devices and Autoplay Settings, February 12, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows External Devices and Auto Play Settings

Have you ever inserted a USB flash drive or SD card into your computer and then had some difficulty opening the media? Windows has a feature called Auto Play that determines how external media is handled when it is inserted into the computer. The simplest method I have found is to set Auto Play to just automatically open the media in File Explorer. TO achieve this:

  • Press the Windows logo key to open the Start menu search.
  • Type “Auto Play” without the quotes. Windows search results should bring up the Auto Play Settings choice within System Settings.
  • Press Enter to open the Auto Play Settings window.
  • Make sure “Use Auto Play” is set to, ON.
  • Press TAB to reach the Removable Drive item and press Down Arrow to select the option to “Open Folder to View Files”, and press Enter to select it.
  • Similarly, Press Tab to reach the Memory Card and Down Arrow to select the same option to “Open Folder to View Files”. Now whenever you insert a USB drive or memory card it will be automatically opened for you to view its files.
    • Press Alt+F4 to exit the Auto Play Settings window.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Windows Disk Clean Up, February 5, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows Disk Clean Up

Windows in its normal operation creates many temporary files to do its work. If your computer disk is more than 70% full, or your computer seems to be running slowly, you should consider freeing up space by removing temporary system files or your own files. Follow these steps:

  • Press the Windows logo key to open the Start menu. You will be placed in the search edit box.
  • Type “Disk space” without the quotes. The Windows Storage Settings desktop app should appear in the search results and you should hear it announced with your screen reader.
  • Press Enter to launch the Storage Settings app. The system will display the size of your main disk (C:) and tell you how much space is used and free on the drive. If the dis drive has less than 30% free space this author suggests that you should remove some temporary files. To avoid deleting any files ,you can just press Alt+F4 to close the cleanup app.
  • Otherwise; TAB to the link labelled, Free Up Space Now, and press Enter. A new Window opens where you can TAB to a list of the types of files that may be deleted. If you can’t find the list when you press TAB, wait a moment because Windows must scan your disk drive before it can display the list of file types. The list also shows how much space is occupied by each type of file.
  • Arrow up and down the list and press spacebar to check or uncheck the types of files you wish deleted. At the top of the list ,you will find the total space to be freed up for the file types you select. Unless the files you select take up gigabytes (GB) of space, it won’t help to delete them. If they take only megabytes (MB) or kilobytes (KB) of space, this is insignificant, and you can just press Alt+F4 to exit the app. In that case, you may need to delete your own files to try and free up 30% of disk space. If you still can’t free up 30%, then consider purchasing an external USB drive and move infrequently used files (e.g. photos, audio books, music files) from your main drive to the external drive. Document files don’t occupy much space but photos, audio books, video files, and music files take considerable space.
  • If you do decide to remove temporary system files, then after you have checked all the file types you wish deleted, TAB to the Remove Files button and press spacebar to delete the files.

Press Alt+F4 to exit the Storage Settings app.

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Alt+S Keyboard Shortcut, January 29, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows Alt+S Shortcut Key

This shortcut key works in the Windows Save As dialogue as well as Office apps. In the Windows Save As dialogue, there are many controls so you must TAB many times to reach the Save button. However, the Save button is also activated by the Alt+S shortcut key, which you can press from any field within the Save As dialogue.

 

The keystroke is also useful for Office apps. For example, after you finish typing an Outlook email, you may press Alt+S to send it to the outbox. When you finish filling in or editing an Outlook appointment, just press ALT+S to save it. When you finish creating or changing an Outlook Contact, press Alt+S to save it.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.