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Productivity Tips

This document features various shortcuts and suggestions for streamlining your work using the technology already at your fingertips.

General Windows Tips

Easy search In Windows 7 or 10: Click the Start button. A search window appears just above. You can type anything in this field and it'll return every place that string appears on your computer (document name, part of a file, program name, etc.)
Windows search.jpg

You can also run programs from this search bar. For example, type Paint, Firefox, or Word directly into the field and press enter to open it.

ALT+TAB cycles through all the programs you have open. While holding ALT, press TAB until you land on the program you want to use, then release both keys.

Double-click an application’s title to quickly maximize it. The title bar is a larger target than the Windows maximize button, so it might keep you from accidentally clicking the “X” button next to it.
double click title bar.png

When using Windows Explorer you can type the first letter of a file or folder and Explorer will jump to the first file or folder starting with that letter. Single left-click on any folder or file, then type a letter to jump ahead to it. This also works for pull-down menus on a webpage, for example, choosing your state from a list when filling out a form.

Select blocks of consecutive files or scattered files using (CTRL+left click for scattered) or (SHIFT+left click for consecutive blocks). CTRL+A selects all files within a folder.

Let’s say you want to copy 20 of 23 files from one folder to another. Instead of selecting the 20 files individually, use CTRL+A to select all 23, then use CTRL+left click on the three you don't want, one at a time. Now you can act on the 20 files that remain selected.

To “grab” several adjacent files at once using only your mouse, position your cursor just outside the files you want to encapsulate, then drag the mouse around the set of files you want to copy so they are shaded. Release the click and you’ll see the files have been selected and you can act on them all at once (move, copy, cut, delete, etc.).
grab files.png

Right-click program buttons in Taskbar to close programs rather than maximizing and then closing. Choose Close.

Pin frequently used programs to the Start Menu. In Windows 7, click Start > All Programs. Locate a favorite program, right-click on the program’s icon and select Pin to Start Menu on the shortcut menu. Now that program will always appear at the top of the Start Menu. You can also drag shortcuts to programs from the Desktop to the Taskbar (just right of the Start button) so you can launch them without having to minimize active windows to get to the Desktop. By default, the Quick Launch bar is not available in Windows 7. Follow these steps to enable the Quick Launch bar. In Windows 10, the Start Menu renders as Tiles (not a vertical list of applications by name). When you pin in Windows 10, look for the app among the tiles on the Desktop.

To calculate how much space is used by files/folders, select all the files and folders (shift click to block, or CTRL click to select one or more non-consecutive files/folders). Right click on the highlighted area and left click Properties. Total size will appear in the next window.

flying windows.pngEver wonder what this "flying windows" key is for on your keyboard? It serves several different functions, depending on what key you use with it.

The key by itself flying windows.png displays the Start menu

flying windows.png+M minimizes all open programs at once or flying windows.png+D to display the Desktop (same result)

flying windows.png+E opens Windows Explorer

flying windows.png+L locks your Windows computer

If you need to print a document, let’s say from Microsoft Word, there’s no need to launch Word first. Browse to the file that you want to print, right-click its icon, and then click Print. This will automatically send the document to your default printer without launching MS-Word.

Need to send someone a screen snapshot? Simple! Press the Prnt Scrn on the keyboard (usually near the F keys or above the number pad). This will write the screen contents to memory. Then paste the image (CTRL+V) into an email, a Word document (or Microsoft Paint, where you can crop easily). To copy only the active window, press ALT+Prnt Scrn.

Windows Calculator is for more than simple math. It can also calculate gas mileage, mortgage payments or switch to a scientific, statistics or programmer calculator (click View to select other options).

If you use Gmail and have two monitors, it's helpful to park your Gmail browser window on your second monitor. Even better if you use Chrome for just Gmail, then use Firefox for web browsing. This way, you won't risk closing your Gmail tab within a browser as you're surfing. If you manage more than one Lehigh email account, you can toggle between them in the same browser window (using Chrome). Here's how:

Gmail/Email Tips

If you have a long URL that you want to put in an email message, you can name the link something shorter and still maintain the integrity of the URL Select and copy the URL, then position the cursor in the body of the message where you want a shorter link to show. In Thunderbird: On the Toolbar, click Insert > Link. Enter text to display for the link. Then paste your URL into the "Link Location" field and click OK. In Gmail, click the link icon. Enter Text to Display, then paste your URL into the Web Address field.

Ever compose a long email with a lot of links and wonder how it might look to the recipient? Save it to the Drafts folder before sending. You can go look at it there and see the way it will look after being sent. This gives you an opportunity to check that the links work, lines wrap properly and so forth, while you still have the composition window open. To save a message to Drafts while composing in Thunderbird, click File > Save as > Draft. In Gmail, drafts are saved automatically and often. Select the message in your Drafts folder to test your link(s).

Do people sometimes misunderstand your email address because your User ID has numbers in it? For example, people may mistake a zero for the letter "O" or the number one for letter "L". You can create an email alias that eliminates confusing characters and is more easily understood (for example, Go to the Account Maintenance page, click Manage Your E-mail Account, then click Email Alias.

Create folders to organize your email in Thunderbird. Right click “”, left click New Folder and name it. Move messages into the folder by (left-click) dragging and dropping, or use the File button. In Gmail, you can either label your messages or move them to their label (folders). To expand the label column (left panel), install the Chrome extension Gmail label column resizer.

Find messages faster: In Thunderbird: Click the headings of your folder contents to sort messages by Subject, Sender, Date, etc. To find messages across all folders (by Sender, body text, etc), use the Search Bar at the top of your mail window. To search only one specific folder, click it, then enter your search criteria. In Gmail, use the search bar at the top of your message view to search across all folders/labels. To search just one folder, click the folder first, then search.

You can insert a link to a web page in an email just by copying the URL from the location bar in your browser and pasting into the composition window. It’ll look like plain text to you, but it’ll be a hyperlink for the recipient. Same for email addresses!

Need to send a file that's too big for email? Try the Lehigh FileSender: Must login to drop off files for non-Lehigh users. Video demo.

Sending photos that are too big for your email recipient? Make them smaller before sending (works best in Thunderbird or other email program; does not work in Gmail). First, locate the picture you want to email. Right-click the file, then click Send to > Mail recipient. You'll see a choice to make pictures smaller. Click OK. Your default email program should open, showing the smaller picture attached. Address and send!

Want programs on your computer to recognize Lehigh Gmail as your default email program? Google discontinued a free tool called Gmail Notifier that used to, among other things, open your web-based Gmail interface when a program on your PC called for the default mail program. LTS has found that an inexpensive product called Affixa does the same thing quite well. So instead of having to first save a document from a program and attach it to an email, you can use the program's Send Mail feature to automatically call for Gmail to open into a composition window with the attachment ready to go.

Browser Tips

In previous versions of Firefox the Menu Bar was displayed by default. In the latest versions it's disabled. To re-enable it permanently, right click the area next to an open tab, then click Menu Bar. To enable it only when you want it, press the Alt key.

The first web page that launches when you open a web browser can be any web page of your choosing. In Firefox, click Tools > Options > General. type a valid URL in the Home Page box. In Chrome, click the hamburger icon hamburger.png(upper right corner of window), then Settings. Under Appearance, click Show Home button, then click Change to set your home page.

When entering URLs, you almost never need the prefix http://www. Simply enter the domain without it, such as and press Enter.

Click CTRL + L to quickly get to the Location (Address) Bar.

Quickly move between open tabs by pressing CTRL + TAB.

You can usually do Google searches right from the Location Bar (where you type URLs). So instead of going to, then entering your search terms, you can enter the terms directly into the Location Bar and press Enter for results. This works if you've enabled Google as your default search engine. In Firefox, click Tools > Options > Search, and choose Google as your default. In Chrome, click the hamburger iconhamburger.png, then Settings, then under Search choose Google.

Firefox has a helpful Find feature. Instead of pressing CTRL+F for search, as you must do in Internet Explorer and Chrome, you can just start typing and Firefox will jumps straight to that location on the web page and highlights the search string. To enable this feature, click Tools > Options > Advanced. On the General tab, check the box Search for text when I start typing.

To scroll down a webpage a page at a time, press the spacebar. Shift+spacebar scrolls back up.

CTRL + Scroll enlarges text on a webpage. You can also use CTRL and +(max) or - (min). To return to the original font size, press CTRL + 0.

To replace a URL in the Location Bar, left click once in the current URL to select the whole site. When all of it is selected (highlighted in blue), begin typing the new URL. No need to backspace to the beginning.

Don’t get lost in a “Back Button” frenzy! Right click the Back button or Forward button to see a list of recently accessed web pages for faster access. Or, right-click either for a history of sites visited during the current session.

Add a button for frequently accessed web pages to the Toolbar. Simply left-click and drag the web page's icon to your toolbar and release. (Make sure that your Bookmarks Toolbar is enabled. Click View > Toolbars > Bookmarks Toolbar).

Google Chrome automatically syncs your bookmarks, history, passwords, and other settings securely to your Google Account (when logged in) and allows you to access them from Chrome on any computer or mobile device. Firefox has the same capability, called Firefox Sync, which also requires the creation of an account. How to configure: Yet another option is the extension Xmarks, which synchronizes all your Bookmarks among all the computers where you install it. Get the extension here: (Works on Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE).

To run your browser at full screen, press F11. Press it again to return to normal view.

If copying a URL from one location to your browser web address field, Firefox and Chrome offer a Paste & Go option or Paste & Search (saving you from having to press Enter to go to the site).

Lehigh directory lookups: You can find a Lehigh person’s email address or name easily by using This is helpful if you are looking for a new student or faculty/staff person who may not be in the Campus Phone Directory, or if you have the person’s email address but not his or her name. The “Find a Person” link appears on the main Lehigh web page in the left margin. Or, install the LDAP lookup plug-in for either Firefox or Chrome:

Irritated by in-page advertisements? You can block them in Firefox by installing the AdBlock Plus extension: AdBlock Plus is pre-installed on university PCs. Note: If you come across something that isn't loading on a web page that you want to load, click the Block tab above the missing content and add it as an exception. Or, click Tools > AdBlock Plus > Disable on this page only, then click the Refresh button. News sites sometimes won't play videos when AdBlock is enabled.

Closed a browser tab accidentally? Right-click any remaining tab and click Undo Close Tab (Firefox) or Reopen closed tab. (Chrome)

LAN Basics

Use your H: drive! Everyone has 5 gigabyte of storage space. Files are backed up nightly, scanned for viruses and can be recovered easily if you delete accidentally. Save often!!!

Lost a file on your H: or I: drive? Get it back!

Need to install a LAN printer? Use this tool that does it all for you! (Requires use of Internet Explorer).

If you login to your Windows PC and suddenly don't have either or both your H: and I: drives, click the Windows Start button, then All Programs, then Run Login Script. This will often refresh the automatic drive mapping process and get you your drives back.

Data Storage Options

There are more options for data storage at Lehigh than ever before. This is a brief review of the different options. Be sure to follow the university's best practices for data security before choosing where to store Lehigh data. Pay particular attention to the section titled "Sensitive Data at Lehigh."

storage locations_0.png

1 - Well-suited to collaborative work.
* Refer to the LU Services Guide for Data Storage, Processing, and Transmission

FAQs for each location:

H: Drive:
I: Drive: [coming soon!]
R: Drive (for faculty only)
Dropbox for Business:
Google Drive:

When selecting a data storage method, consider continuity of important data during staffing transitions, such as terminations, retirements, promotions, or transfers. Files that are important to the department should be stored on departmental accounts or on drives that are backed up and that can be maintained as individuals leave the university or leave positions in your department. When an individual leaves Lehigh, his/her computing account and the G Suite account is locked and deleted, including files stored on Google Drive, Sites, Calendar information, etc. Plan for transferring ownership of files in the event that a staff member leaves. For the record, it's far easier to transfer ownership of files in Dropbox for Business than it is in G Suite, which can be tedious and time-consuming for the employee who is leaving.

Virus, Malware and Security Tips

Do not assume that an email is OK if it’s from someone you know. Many virus authors exploit this and write virus scripts to copy email addresses from your address book so they look like they are legitimate when they are passed to other people.

Virus hoaxes are almost as prevalent as viruses themselves. If you receive an email warning you of a virus outbreak, either check with your computing consultant or search to see if it's legitimate. Do not forward virus hoaxes. It needlessly worries others and wastes time.

Lehigh does not send out email from Lehigh Administration Group, Lehigh Support Team,,, etc. These are not valid and often have attachments that contain viruses, so don't open them! We also never ask you to click on links within emails. If you have any question about whether something is legitimate, LTS urges you to contact your computing consultant or to email We are happy to help you discern whether a message is spam, phishing or virus-related. Better safe than sorry!

Install an antivirus program on your home PC. LTS recommends the free Microsoft Security Essentials, available for download here If you have Windows 8 or Windows 10, anti-virus software is already included with the operating system.

If you want added protection from online threats on a home computer, install Malwarebytes. You can try their free 14-day trial, but consider their reasonably-priced full version that doesn't expire.

For comprehensive help and information on securing Lehigh resources, visit the LTS Security webpage. Here, you can find links to security software downloads, examples of recent phishing attempts at Lehigh and how to properly wipe a hard drive clean so that your data isn't exposed after you dispose of it.

To minimize security vulnerabilities, always allow Windows Updates to be applied. LTS pushes Windows patches and other software updates to you on a regular basis. If you see the Windows Update icon in the lower right corner of your screen, click it to install updates. At the very least, reboot your PC once a week to get the updates if you don't get them manually.


Google Calendar Guide:

Did you know you can subscribe to LU public calendars such as LTS System Upgrades, Lehigh Holidays and Lehigh Sports? Review available calendars here: Click the Google Calendar button for each calendar you want to add. Those

You can synchronize data from your Google calendar account to almost any smartphone. Instructions for mobile devices:
Android: (includes both email and calendar configuration)

Contact your computing consultant if you need assistance.

Use Google Calendar reminders to keep you on track. When creating an entry, click Add Reminder and set to either pop-up or send you an email at some increment of time before the event.

Mobile computing

Install the LehighU Live app for your Apple or Android smartphone. Use it to look up people, places, shuttle bus schedules with real-time tracking, get emergency info, sport scores and much more.

Configure your smartphone for Lehigh email and Google Calendar/Contacts:

iOS (Gmail):

Android (Gmail):

Did you know you can install Office 365 on up to five computers and five mobile devices? See (requires the creation of an Office 365 account).

Home and off-campus computer use

Some Microsoft software, such as MS-Office, is licensed for home use by Lehigh employees. Get Office 365 here (requires login and the creation of an Office 365 account):

Access your H: and I: drives from off-campus. Instructions here:
H: Drive (Windows):
H: Drive (Mac):
I: Drive (Windows):
I: Drive (Mac):

Note: In order to use network drives from off-campus, you must use VPN. To configure:
VPN (Windows):
VPN (Mac):

You can also use Remote Desktop, which allows you to remotely use your office computer as if you were sitting in front of it. Instructions are available here (Windows): You can also remote between Mac and Windows (or your mobile device). Contact Kathy Frederick for instructions (

Before disposing of old home computers, wipe hard drives clean of data! You can get a copy of a program that will do this for you, called Kill Disk:

MS-Office Tips

Customize the Quick Access Toolbar with icons you use the most (Print, Email, New, Open, etc). Click the arrow to show or hide icons.

MS-Word Tips:

To turn off bullets or automatic numbering, press the backspace key.

Instant thesaurus: Select a word in the document and press Shift+F7, or right-click and choose Synonyms

Use the F4 key to paste the last thing you typed or the last command you initiated.

To copy formatting from one part of a document to another, use the Format Painter icon in the toolbar. Select text that uses the formatting you want to copy, click the Format Painter icon, then drag your cursor over the text you want to adopt that formatting and release. Double-click the icon to apply formatting in more than one place. Click the icon once more, or press Esc, to release the command from memory.

Right click anywhere in a document for a quick menu of functions related to the feature you are using. For example, in a table, right click to change text direction or get table properties.

Not a fan of Times New Roman? Change your default font! Click the diagonal arrow next to Font in the toolbar.

Click the Font tab and choose the font you want to serve as the default. Click the Default button, choose option to apply to all documents, then click OK.

Double-click on a word to select it for copying; CTRL+click selects a sentence; triple-click to selects a paragraph.

Click and drag in the margin to select multiple lines of text or double click in the margin to select a paragraph

To select multiple items in your document that are not next to each other: select the first item, hold down the CTRL key, then select additional items. You can only select multiple items of the same type, such as two or more text selections or two or more graphics selections.

To select a vertical block of text (except within a table) press the ALT key and then click and drag

CTRL + A, or triple click in a margin selects all the text in the entire document.

CTRL + C copies the selected text.

CTRL + V pastes the copied text.

CTRL + P launches the print command.

Shift + F5 returns you to the location of your last edit.

CTRL + HOME and CTRL + END takes you to the start or end of documents.

Shift + F3 change case of selected text

F12 invokes “Save as” dialog box

To display text vertically in a text box or table, choose Text Direction from the Format menu

Library and Search Tips

Course related library guides – provide a quick way to locate information; use the hot links to more resources

Books, databases, electronic links to journals, and factual websites that have been evaluated by librarians are available to assist you in doing research. Here are some good starting points:

Research and Finding Guides & Tools:

Use ASA to locate books, journals, e-journals, databases, A-V materials, software, web sites and CD-ROMs. This resource lists all the items in Lehigh Library system and their location.

Order books and articles via Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery Request. URL for this service is

Use PALCI and LVAIC college for inter-library loan. For information contact the Fairchild-Martindale Library Access Services Offices. The phone number is 610-758-3028. The URL for the PALCI information is You will need your LIN to search PALCI.

For LVAIC, simply go to the circulation desk of the college library with your Lehigh ID. There, you will answer a few questions and then you will be able borrow books from that library. Members of LVAIC are Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Moravian College and Muhlenberg College.

Library resource class presentations – contact your subject librarian to schedule a class.

Did you know that faculty, staff, and students can search the full text of The Morning Call from 1984 to the present? Start at the Library Database finder:, then click "M" to find Morning Call, or enter "Morning Call" in the Search for Databases field.

Curious how a website looked a decade ago? Step inside the Wayback Machine The goal of the non-profit project is to archive the entire Internet. So far, 452 billion webpages have been archived.

Google Tips

By default, Google searches for documents with ALL of the keywords you type in (Boolean AND); the more words you type, the more narrow your search. To look for documents containing ANY of the words you type (Boolean OR), insert an uppercase OR between the words. The minus sign will exclude a word from the retrieval (Boolean NOT). Google process OR statements first.


chocolate OR carob

chocolate -carob

To search exact phrases, enter your search term surrounded by quotes:

"pennsylvania department of transportation"

Limit by domain (country of origin, type of organization)

To find IBM's British web site, type: IBM site:uk

To find results about admissions at Lehigh, type: admissions

To find non-profit organizations dealing with student privacy rights, type: Student privacy site:org

To find information on malware found only on academic websites, type malware site:edu

Locate images, news items or search online groups, using the links below the search field (includes shopping, videos, books and flights)

To find local business in a specific neighborhood, type the business and city or zip code:

florists 18015

Have a phone number, but don't know who it belongs to? Type in a 10-digit phone number and if the listing is publicly available, Google returns its associated name and address and a map to the location. NOTE: If you don't want your phone number available, you may have to do some legwork to get removed from the directories where you find it. Click About, Contact Us and/or FAQs to see how you can request removal.

Use Google as a calculator/converter. Enter the calculation you'd like done, for example:

ounces in a gallon
50 dollars in euros
100 miles in kilometers

What time is it?

time paris

How's the weather?

weather paris

Google is a dictionary. Type define, followed by the word or phrases you want defined:

define alabaster (results in a dictionary entry as the first result, often with a pronunciation button you can click to play)

define fountain of youth (searching phrases with the define operator often results in a Wikipedia entry)

Limit results to certain file types. To find only PDF files related to IRS Form 1040, type:

form 1040 filetype:PDF

Did you know you can search Google with images? Open, then click the Images link in the upper right corner. Drag and drop images from your computer and Google will find similar pictures around the web.

You can also perform reverse image searches. Again, you use a picture as your search term to find related images around the web (either similar images, or sites that include exactly that image).

Telephone/Voice Mail Tips

Press 3 while listening to a message to skip forward 10 seconds.

Press 5 while listening to a message to hear date, time and phone number of caller.

Press 1 while listening to rewind 10 seconds

Press 2 to pause message

Press 33 while listening to a message to skip to the end

Press the # key to skip a message in your mailbox and go to the next one

Press the # # while listening to messages to go directly to saved messages

You can dial 86666 and dial a person’s number to leave message directly on their voice mail

Forward messages to others by pressing 6 during or after message review and record a message to attach to it

You can change your preferences to “rapid prompt” for faster menus. (Press 4-2-3-3 from within voice mail system main menu)

You can change your voice mail greeting every day or for an extended period. (Press 4-3-1 for greeting, 4-3-2 for extended absence greeting from within voice mail system main menu)

You can set up voice mail distribution lists to send messages to a group of people (Press 4-2-2-1 and follow prompts)
Missed a call and they didn't leave a message? Press *69 to see the number and get a prompt to call it back if you want.

Where else can I find tips and info?

Visit the LTS website to browse all help documents by category. You'll also find news, alerts and our Help Desk, Libraries and Digital Media Studio hours:

Send questions, comments or tip suggestions to Kathy Frederick,

Last updated: June 9, 2016

For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or