Tuesday, June 9, 2020

TSQL Tuesday #127 – Non SQL Tips and tricks

In case you haven't seen T-SQL Tuesday, this is a blog party created by Adam Machanic (b @AdamMachanic) and now maintained by Steve Jones (b @way0utwest). Each month someone hosts the party and comes up with a subject for all of us to blog about. Then anyone who is interested gets to blog on this same subject. The host also puts all the post for the month in a recap post.

This month our host is Kenneth Fisqher (the q is silent) (b @sqlstudent144) and he’d like us to talk about non SQL tips and tricks.


Task View

I love using Task View, mostly during presentations, but also sometimes during my work when I'm developing.

You can start using Task View by clicking the button somewhere near the Start button. Depending on your settings, the search bar could also be there, or Task View might not be visible at all.

In the latter case, right-click anywhere on the task bar (not on an application) and check Show Task View button.

When you then press the button on the task bar (or WIN + TAB) the Task View opens, where you can add new or delete current Desktops. You can also drag applications from their current Desktop to another one.

As I mentioned I always use this when I'm presenting. I have my regular stuff from work still open in Destkop 1, everything I need for my demo's in Desktop 2 and my presentation in Desktop 3.

This way I can easily switch from my presentation (in presentation mode) to my demo's in Desktop 2 and back to my current slide in the presentation. All without the need to escape out of the presentation (or ALT+TAB and search for the right window) and without the need to start the presentation again after my demo. It's all just waiting there in presentation mode for me to come back! :-) 

If you are also into shortcuts, here are a few, of which the 3rd (switch the desktop) is the most important in my presentations:
  • Task view: WIN + TAB – New Task view opens up and stays open.
  • Create new virtual desktop: WIN + CTRL + D
  • Switch virtual desktop: WIN + CTRL + LEFT or RIGHT
  • Close current virtual desktop: WIN + CTRL + F4

ALT+TAB variant

Ok, I'll be honest, I use ALT+TAB very often. But it turns out there's also an alternative (and more) to that.

  • WIN + [1-9]
  • WIN + SHIFT + [1-9]

WIN + [1-9] switches between applications on the taskbar.

That can mean 2, or actually 3 things:

  • if one or more instances of the application are already open, it will immediately switch to that (first instance of the) app
    • if multiple instance are open, by holding WIN and pressing [1-9] again, it will cycle through the open instances (as long as you hold WIN). On release of WIN it will switch to that (then active) instance. Pressing SHIFT + [1-9] cycles through the open instances in reverse order.
  • if no instance is open yet, it will open an instance of that app
  • if that app is the current active instance, it will be minimized (unless it's a multi-instance app, then it will do nothing :-))
WIN + SHIFT + [1-9] opens a new instance, regardless of now many instances are already open.


In the current times I'm am using Teams more and more, so I thought I'd also add a few of my favorite shortcuts here:

  • CTRL + Period (.): Bring up all the keyboard shortcuts
  • CTRL + Equals sign (=): Zoom in (for example in a meeting where content is shared)
  • CTRL + Minus sign (-): Zoom out
  • CTRL + [1-6]: Open up the corresponding tab on the left side
  • CTRL + SHIFT + M: Toggle mute in a meeting
  • CTRL + SHIFT + O : Toggle video in a meeting
  • Up arrow: not a shortcut per se, but very handy: if you just typed a message in a chat and press the up arrow afterwards you immediately go to edit mode of that message.
Have a look at all the keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams here, for example also when you're in the Web app instead of the Desktop app.

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