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Topic: «Train Yourself To Manage Multiple Open Windows Effectively , Anticipate Actions & Consequences To Get The Most from ATB/AWM » on forum: Window Rules, or Tips and Tricks   Views: 8221
 
Steve Hobberstad
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Posts: 4
Joined: 27.09.2005
Posted: 07.02.2006 02:39:52
 
 
I'll keep this brief since it's basically common sense and most of it has probably already occurred to anyone savvy enough to be reading technical forums...

Actual Tools applications are great and wonderful time savers, but even so the effective use and management of multiple open windows--especially as many as twelve to fifteen at a time--can be challenging nonetheless. Like a juggler attempting to juggle an increasing number of balls, the more windows you've got open (and where, and in what condition) the more you've got to have your wits about you in order to make the best use of your Actual Tools in managing them. Toward this end I have found anticipation (gleaned from experience with the tools) to be my greatest ally.

With the files and folders in an Explorer window sorted by Name and Type (so that folders appear at the top/front of the open Explorer window) have you ever tried to drag a file from another window onto that one...only to have Windows attempt to drop it into a subfolder or WinZip file of the one you're trying to drop it on? This happens because Windows allocates an entire column-width to the name of the folder or file even if the name of any particular folder/file is very short. Consequently, if you've got several columns of subfolders and/or WinZip files (or other archives) preceding the place where mere files begin it can be "challenging" to drop a dragged file anywhere near them without the file being swallowed up by the wrong destination. An easy solution I've discovered is to simply press the [End] key in the destination folder/window so that you're past any folders Windows might try to improperly deposit your source file into while dragging. Understanding this idiosyncrasy of Windows, anticipating that it will happen, and having learned how to fix the problem I have trained myself to instinctively avoid it--and it has allowed me to become far more productive in my use of the OS and applications on my system.

I have learned similar tricks in using Actual Title Buttons and Actual Window Manager which can make the overuse of Roll up Window and Stay on Top less frustrating. For example, the small desktop "footprint" of a rolled up window suggests that you always use Stay on Top in conjunction with it in order to have it NOT be covered up by virtually any other larger window on the desktop. (I have suggested an option to automatically apply Stay on Top to any rolled up window for AWM 4.0, for this very reason.)

Despite the obvious advantages of the property, because Stay on Top windows are so prone to dominating the desktop I have created a host of default Resize Window dimensions in a wide variety of aspect ratios to cover every occasion and requirement. Just prior to applying the Stay on Top property to any given window I resize it to the optimum minimum size so that I can move any Stay on Top windows around the desktop like puzzle pieces without having them interfere with one another--or at least with minimal interference.

These Resize Window defaults (with a screen resolution of 1280x1024) range in size from 1260x120 (very wide by very short) for editing a single, long line of ASCII text in a text editor (e.g., URLs, long pathnames, long Run and Command Prompt scripts, etc.) to 320x900 (very narrow by very tall) to 850x620 (about half my desktop, in about the same aspect ratio). Being able to instantly recognize the optimum, minimum size for a particular window from the right-click Resize Window list of a half-dozen window dimensions allows me to make the window as small as practicable just before applying the Stay on Top property--simultaneously minimizing the frustration sometimes attendant with overuse of the Stay on Top function.

I've found--fixing these features and functions in my own mind, and anticipating the way in which they will behave--that I'm able to use the tools with maximum productivity and minimum frustration.

Did I say I was gonna keep this brief? :D
 
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