23 votes

Name a cool, mostly unknown feature of your OS of choice

Please

72 comments

  1. [4]
    itsthejoker
    Link
    The Windows Step Recorder is an amazing little program that automatically records everything you do while reproducing a problem, then bundles it all up with screenshots and everything. It's...

    The Windows Step Recorder is an amazing little program that automatically records everything you do while reproducing a problem, then bundles it all up with screenshots and everything. It's fantastic and I wish more people knew about it.

    15 votes
    1. b55t
      Link Parent
      Windows user for 20 years. I did not know this lol (I guess it didn't come around until recently?)

      Windows user for 20 years. I did not know this lol (I guess it didn't come around until recently?)

    2. Silbern
      Link Parent
      Holy shit. That's a golden suggestion right there.

      Holy shit. That's a golden suggestion right there.

    3. Neverland
      Link Parent
      Wow, thanks. That is super cool. If you are looking for just video screencap, Win - G keyboard shortcut will open that up, as part of the Xbox app Win 10 has built-in. It can record the microphone...

      Wow, thanks. That is super cool. If you are looking for just video screencap, Win - G keyboard shortcut will open that up, as part of the Xbox app Win 10 has built-in. It can record the microphone as well for voice overs.

  2. [7]
    Luca
    Link
    On MacOS: Cmd+Shift+4 lets you screenshot a region and saves it to a file, Cmd+Shift+Ctrl+4 saves it to the clipboard

    On MacOS:

    Cmd+Shift+4 lets you screenshot a region and saves it to a file, Cmd+Shift+Ctrl+4 saves it to the clipboard

    13 votes
    1. Durinthal
      Link Parent
      And pressing space after entering that mode lets you select an open application to capture rather than having to drag a rectangle around it.

      And pressing space after entering that mode lets you select an open application to capture rather than having to drag a rectangle around it.

      6 votes
    2. Orange
      Link Parent
      For windows it's Winkey+Shift+S to capture a screenshot of a region and then save it to clipboard. Writing it here for any windows users that pass by, it really is a handy tool.

      For windows it's Winkey+Shift+S to capture a screenshot of a region and then save it to clipboard. Writing it here for any windows users that pass by, it really is a handy tool.

      3 votes
    3. [2]
      Kraetos
      Link Parent
      Hey, are you Luca from AppleNova?

      Hey, are you Luca from AppleNova?

      1 vote
      1. Luca
        Link Parent
        Nope, different Luca

        Nope, different Luca

        1 vote
    4. redikulous
      Link Parent
      Have you tried Lightshot https://app.prntscr.com/en/index.html IMO it's the best MacOS/Windows screenshot application I've ever used.

      Have you tried Lightshot https://app.prntscr.com/en/index.html

      IMO it's the best MacOS/Windows screenshot application I've ever used.

  3. SleepyGary
    (edited )
    Link
    In Compiz (default window manager for Ubuntu), there is a nifty feature that I like to use called "below" in the window rules which is essentially the opposite of "Always on top". Essentially no...

    In Compiz (default window manager for Ubuntu), there is a nifty feature that I like to use called "below" in the window rules which is essentially the opposite of "Always on top". Essentially no window can get behind it. I use to have a full screen terminal on one monitor. Sometimes I bring another arbitrary window over top of the terminal and I don't want it to get lost behind it when I focus on the terminal.

    12 votes
  4. [5]
    acr
    Link
    grep - https://www.gnu.org/software/grep/manual/grep.html
    10 votes
    1. [2]
      Luca
      Link Parent
      Seriously though, an amazing tool.

      unknown

      Seriously though, an amazing tool.

      20 votes
      1. acr
        Link Parent
        A lot of Mac owners couldn't tell you what it is.

        A lot of Mac owners couldn't tell you what it is.

        2 votes
  5. Emerald_Knight
    Link
    Linux (Ubuntu, anyway, I'm not sure about others): Ctrl + Alt + (num pad) You see those digits from 1-9 on the number pad? Your window will be positioned based on the position of that key. Meaning...

    Linux (Ubuntu, anyway, I'm not sure about others):

    Ctrl + Alt + (num pad)

    You see those digits from 1-9 on the number pad? Your window will be positioned based on the position of that key. Meaning e.g. the bottom-left of those 9 keys will position your window in the bottom-left quadrant of the screen, and the left-most will position it on the left half.

    It's super handy. Combined with workspaces, I'll often alternate Ctrl + Alt + T with each corner to have terminal windows snapped into each corner of one workspace.

    Also: Ctrl + Alt + (arrow key) to switch between workspaces, and Ctrl + Alt + Shift + (arrow key) to move the currently active window to the workspace with you.

    I love these shortcuts. Super useful as a programmer :)

    10 votes
  6. [9]
    b55t
    (edited )
    Link
    Windows 10: ctrl+shift+escape opens the task manager directly. EDIT: But it does not take control away from a crashed application, like ctrl+alt+del would, so it's more useful for everyday...

    Windows 10:

    ctrl+shift+escape opens the task manager directly. EDIT: But it does not take control away from a crashed application, like ctrl+alt+del would, so it's more useful for everyday managing of processes or resource monitoring.

    opening start and simply typing something usually gets you where you need to be much more quickly than hunting for it in some menu (especially control panel items)

    ctrl+shift+n in explorer makes a new folder

    typing cmd or powershell in the address bar of explorer opens cmd or powershell in that directory you are in

    an admin powershell is available by right clicking start

    holding shift and right clicking in an explorer window also lets you open cmd or powershell from right there

    right-click-holding a file or directory and dragging this into an open e-mail in Outlook will open a menu allowing you, among other things, to make a hyperlink to that file or directory

    9 votes
    1. [2]
      Shiga
      Link Parent
      Ah, super useful. Thanks!

      typing cmd or powershell in the address bar of explorer opens cmd or powershell in that directory you are in

      Ah, super useful. Thanks!

      2 votes
    2. [4]
      tomf
      Link Parent
      WIN+PAUSE brings up the system information, which has quick links to Device Manager and some other goodies.

      WIN+PAUSE brings up the system information, which has quick links to Device Manager and some other goodies.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        acwell
        Link Parent
        On Win10 you can just right-click the start menu to get to Device Manager and a bunch of other handy shortcuts.

        On Win10 you can just right-click the start menu to get to Device Manager and a bunch of other handy shortcuts.

        1 vote
        1. tomf
          Link Parent
          oh nice, that's handy. I use classic shell and don't have this. I love threads like this.

          oh nice, that's handy. I use classic shell and don't have this.

          I love threads like this.

      2. b55t
        Link Parent
        Cool, did not know that. Amazing how one can keep learning this stuff forever basically.

        Cool, did not know that. Amazing how one can keep learning this stuff forever basically.

        1 vote
    3. [2]
      pun-master-general
      Link Parent
      IIRC, it does open the task manager directly, but it doesn't take control away from whatever is currently happening on the computer the way that ctrl+alt+delete does. So, if you find yourself...

      ctrl+shift+escape opens the task manager directly.

      IIRC, it does open the task manager directly, but it doesn't take control away from whatever is currently happening on the computer the way that ctrl+alt+delete does. So, if you find yourself stuck in a crashing program, it might not help as much as going through ctrl+alt+delete to get to the task manager does.

      1. b55t
        Link Parent
        That's absolutely true. I'll edit that in :)

        That's absolutely true. I'll edit that in :)

  7. [6]
    Gatonegro
    Link
    I'm just beginning to realize how unknown this Windows 10 (Creators Update and later) feature actually is, but you can use Win + Shift + S to capture an area of your screen. Good ol' Print Screen...

    I'm just beginning to realize how unknown this Windows 10 (Creators Update and later) feature actually is, but you can use Win + Shift + S to capture an area of your screen. Good ol' Print Screen works as it always has, and Alt+Print Screen will capture only your active window. And you can just Ctrl+V the screenshot directly into any number of places where inserting/attaching images is supported, like Discord, WhatsApp Web, Gmail, etc.

    7 votes
    1. [5]
      trazac
      Link Parent
      I'm never going to remember those hotkeys. Snipping Tool does all this with a GUI that I can use to add comments or draw on.

      I'm never going to remember those hotkeys. Snipping Tool does all this with a GUI that I can use to add comments or draw on.

      1 vote
      1. Gatonegro
        Link Parent
        Incidentally, Snipping Tool seems to be another rather unknown feature. I do use it when I need to highlight something specific, but the hotkeys are great for a quick screenshot. I've been using...

        Incidentally, Snipping Tool seems to be another rather unknown feature. I do use it when I need to highlight something specific, but the hotkeys are great for a quick screenshot. I've been using hotkeys for everything since I started using computers, so adding a couple more to my mental list doesn't bother me at all ;)

        1 vote
      2. [3]
        dude2k5
        Link Parent
        greenshot is an awesome screenshot program if you haven't tried it, windows snipping is alright, but greenshot is like steroids

        greenshot is an awesome screenshot program if you haven't tried it, windows snipping is alright, but greenshot is like steroids

        1 vote
        1. redikulous
          Link Parent
          I used to use greenshot but I've recently switched to Lightshot - https://app.prntscr.com/en/index.html So lightweight (hence the name) and simple to use.

          I used to use greenshot but I've recently switched to Lightshot - https://app.prntscr.com/en/index.html

          So lightweight (hence the name) and simple to use.

          2 votes
        2. toly
          Link Parent
          Tried to find a replacement for Skitch after Evernote shut it down. Tried Greenshot but it wasn't as visually pleasing, finally settled on ShareX. It's not as pretty as Skitch was but more feature...

          Tried to find a replacement for Skitch after Evernote shut it down. Tried Greenshot but it wasn't as visually pleasing, finally settled on ShareX. It's not as pretty as Skitch was but more feature rich and polished than Greenshot.

  8. [3]
    7220LaramieWyoming
    Link
    Its a single user public domain operating system that was written by a Prophet in the 2000s. He has now gone onto Portland to preach to the masses and the os itself is maintained by a dedicated...

    Its a single user public domain operating system that was written by a Prophet in the 2000s. He has now gone onto Portland to preach to the masses and the os itself is maintained by a dedicated group of individuals.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      Silbern
      Link Parent
      Ah yes, the lovely Temple OS. Although the premise sounds very weird, the dude's actually put some really neat features that no other OS has. I feel sorry for the conditions he's lived his life...

      Ah yes, the lovely Temple OS. Although the premise sounds very weird, the dude's actually put some really neat features that no other OS has. I feel sorry for the conditions he's lived his life in, in another universe he could be an exceptionally well recognized programmer.

      5 votes
  9. [5]
    guy
    Link
    As a linux user who uses a chromebook daily while on the go, I use the hell out of the Termux android app. It gives you a full linux terminal and access to my favorite linux terminal apps. WHen I...

    As a linux user who uses a chromebook daily while on the go, I use the hell out of the Termux android app. It gives you a full linux terminal and access to my favorite linux terminal apps. WHen I bought the chromebook I planned to wipe chrome os and install ubuntu, but I haven't needed to thus far, in part due to termux.

    2 votes
    1. [4]
      Pilgrim
      Link Parent
      Oh they finally added the play store to Chromebooks? Very cool.

      Oh they finally added the play store to Chromebooks? Very cool.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        guy
        Link Parent
        Yes. And I've been pleasantly surprised that the user experience is great for the majority of the android apps. Additionally, Google is rolling out full-blown linux support via Crostini. It will...

        Yes. And I've been pleasantly surprised that the user experience is great for the majority of the android apps.

        Additionally, Google is rolling out full-blown linux support via Crostini. It will allow you to seamlessly run linux apps in containers. It's already in the dev channel for pixelbooks and development is moving forward on bringing it to earlier kernels. Will make Chromebooks a compelling platform I think.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Pilgrim
          Link Parent
          That's so awesome. I moved from a Chromebook running Crouton to a Dell running Ubuntu because of the stability issues I had with Crouton. I might have to give Chromebooks another look.

          That's so awesome. I moved from a Chromebook running Crouton to a Dell running Ubuntu because of the stability issues I had with Crouton. I might have to give Chromebooks another look.

          1 vote
          1. tomf
            Link Parent
            A number of Chromebooks can also run proper linux. GalliumOS is a tweaked version of Xubuntu, and runs like a dream on my Toshiba Chromebook 2 (i3-gaps-next w/ xfce, etc etc). Its really amazing...

            A number of Chromebooks can also run proper linux. GalliumOS is a tweaked version of Xubuntu, and runs like a dream on my Toshiba Chromebook 2 (i3-gaps-next w/ xfce, etc etc).

            Its really amazing how much you can do with these cheap-o laptops.

            1 vote
  10. [5]
    starchturrets
    Link
    iOS autofill automatically generates and suggests a new password when creating an account in Safari. Really handy.

    iOS autofill automatically generates and suggests a new password when creating an account in Safari. Really handy.

    1 vote
    1. [4]
      Luca
      Link Parent
      Not only that, in iOS 12, autofill will recognize verification codes sent via SMS and pop them up above the keyboard

      Not only that, in iOS 12, autofill will recognize verification codes sent via SMS and pop them up above the keyboard

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        starchturrets
        Link Parent
        Although, SMS 2FA authentication is less secure than TOTP that Authy/Google Authenticator uses, so that might not have been the best idea.

        Although, SMS 2FA authentication is less secure than TOTP that Authy/Google Authenticator uses, so that might not have been the best idea.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          Luca
          Link Parent
          It's not just for 2FA - it feels like 50% of website/app registrations today require you to verify your phone number

          It's not just for 2FA - it feels like 50% of website/app registrations today require you to verify your phone number

          2 votes
          1. starchturrets
            Link Parent
            Oh, that makes sense now. Also, since we’re talking iOS 12, third party password managers will now be able to use autofill.

            Oh, that makes sense now. Also, since we’re talking iOS 12, third party password managers will now be able to use autofill.

            1 vote
  11. [7]
    PostPostModernism
    Link
    I know this blew my mind, maybe it's more commonly known but whatever. Windows has a built in screenshot tool called "Snipping Tool". I keep it pinned to my task bar. When you click on it it let's...

    I know this blew my mind, maybe it's more commonly known but whatever. Windows has a built in screenshot tool called "Snipping Tool". I keep it pinned to my task bar. When you click on it it let's you drag a window over whatever to create a screen grab which you can save as a jpg or attach directly to an email. It's way better than doing a printscreen and loading it into an image software.

    1 vote
    1. [5]
      trazac
      Link Parent
      Snipping Tool has been around since Vista and it's fairly well known. It is the best way to take a screenshot of the desktop in Windows.

      Snipping Tool has been around since Vista and it's fairly well known. It is the best way to take a screenshot of the desktop in Windows.

      3 votes
      1. PostPostModernism
        Link Parent
        "Well known" is pretty subjective. I just learned of it a year or two ago through a coworker. But like I said, I may just have missed the memo on it. Either way, it's super helpful!

        "Well known" is pretty subjective. I just learned of it a year or two ago through a coworker. But like I said, I may just have missed the memo on it. Either way, it's super helpful!

        2 votes
      2. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        In my experience, many people had no idea it existed and relied on software like SnagIt. I know someone who still has no idea Windows has had native CD burning.

        In my experience, many people had no idea it existed and relied on software like SnagIt. I know someone who still has no idea Windows has had native CD burning.

      3. redikulous
        Link Parent
        Try Lightshot - https://app.prntscr.com/en/index.html At this point I've mentioned it 3 times in this thread so it probably looks like I'm advertising it, which I most definitely am!

        Try Lightshot - https://app.prntscr.com/en/index.html

        At this point I've mentioned it 3 times in this thread so it probably looks like I'm advertising it, which I most definitely am!

      4. Archimedes
        Link Parent
        I've tried these tools but always revert to PrntScn and crop in Paint. Not sure why, but it seems like less trouble.

        I've tried these tools but always revert to PrntScn and crop in Paint. Not sure why, but it seems like less trouble.

    2. Archimedes
      Link Parent
      JPG? I prefer PNG for almost all screenshots.

      JPG? I prefer PNG for almost all screenshots.

      1 vote
  12. TonyTorrance
    Link
    iOS shake to undo. Had no idea it existed - now I use it all the time.

    iOS shake to undo. Had no idea it existed - now I use it all the time.

    1 vote
  13. [2]
    mocahante
    Link
    GNU Units is an awesome hidden gem

    GNU Units is an awesome hidden gem

    1 vote
    1. duckoverflow
      Link Parent
      I wish it was a bit more lenient on unit syntax though. I've tried using it, but it's often quicker to load up a browser and enter the conversion in my search engine than finding the right man...

      I wish it was a bit more lenient on unit syntax though. I've tried using it, but it's often quicker to load up a browser and enter the conversion in my search engine than finding the right man page for temperature conversions. I just want to type "85f to c" and get an answer.

  14. [3]
    Ganymede
    Link
    In macOS, if you click and hold on the maximize bubble it'll let you side-by-side two applications in a fullscreen manner.

    In macOS, if you click and hold on the maximize bubble it'll let you side-by-side two applications in a fullscreen manner.

    1 vote
    1. redikulous
      Link Parent
      That's awesome! Never used this in macOS. I've used the same feature on Windows many times before but never knew the same thing existed for Macs.

      That's awesome! Never used this in macOS. I've used the same feature on Windows many times before but never knew the same thing existed for Macs.

    2. thykka
      Link Parent
      I once made the mistake of using i3wm as my primary linux WM for a while.. Now, with macOS, I can't live without Moom. Like, who has the time to be moving and resizing windows by dragging with a...

      I once made the mistake of using i3wm as my primary linux WM for a while.. Now, with macOS, I can't live without Moom.

      Like, who has the time to be moving and resizing windows by dragging with a mouse??

  15. PetitPrince
    Link
    Windows: ctrl-shift-v usually let you paste without formatting.

    Windows: ctrl-shift-v usually let you paste without formatting.

    1 vote
  16. [2]
    moredhel
    Link
    In almost all text areas (Linux/Windows) if you make a mistake you can normally Ctrl-Z and undo it.

    In almost all text areas (Linux/Windows) if you make a mistake you can normally Ctrl-Z and undo it.

    1. ourari
      Link Parent
      And CTRL+SHIFT+Z to redo it. Works in Ubuntu as well.

      And CTRL+SHIFT+Z to redo it. Works in Ubuntu as well.

      1 vote
  17. [4]
    Icecapman10
    Link
    Android has floppy drive support. It's super useless, but it's fun to mess around with.

    Android has floppy drive support. It's super useless, but it's fun to mess around with.

    1. [3]
      Isaac
      Link Parent
      I don't know why, but I love the sound of this. Do you connect a physical floppy drive via OTG, or emulate one?

      I don't know why, but I love the sound of this. Do you connect a physical floppy drive via OTG, or emulate one?

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Icecapman10
        Link Parent
        Connect a physical floppy drive via OTG. It's so dumb, but I love it. You can even write data to the disk.

        Connect a physical floppy drive via OTG. It's so dumb, but I love it. You can even write data to the disk.

        1 vote
        1. Isaac
          Link Parent
          That's actually pretty cool. I can imagine writing little programs in Python and saving the code to disk. Hand-writing the labels. "Here, let me just load my household budget app ...", pull out a...

          That's actually pretty cool. I can imagine writing little programs in Python and saving the code to disk. Hand-writing the labels.

          "Here, let me just load my household budget app ...", pull out a case and start rifling through.

          2 votes
  18. thewrightmatt
    Link
    In Windows 10 (maybe other versions as well) CTRL + Shift + Enter will run an application as an admin from the Start menu (cmd and powershell are the most commonly used for me) or from run.

    In Windows 10 (maybe other versions as well) CTRL + Shift + Enter will run an application as an admin from the Start menu (cmd and powershell are the most commonly used for me) or from run.

  19. onyxleopard
    Link
    On macOS you can modify the text input system by adding entries to ~/Library/KeyBindings/DefaultKeyBinding.dict. See this writeup for reference.

    On macOS you can modify the text input system by adding entries to ~/Library/KeyBindings/DefaultKeyBinding.dict. See this writeup for reference.

  20. Manticore
    Link
    Taking Window Screenshots in Linux Without Gnome By default, using alt+prnt screen will take a window screenshot. With Gnome Desktop Environment You can use Gnome's built-in CLI for screenshots to...

    Taking Window Screenshots in Linux

    Without Gnome

    By default, using alt+prnt screen will take a window screenshot.

    With Gnome Desktop Environment

    You can use Gnome's built-in CLI for screenshots to screenshot an active window via gnome-screenshot -w in the bash terminal.

  21. spilk
    Link
    I use the control, shift, backspace, delete, and arrow keys a lot when I am typing. Not sure if this is specific to Windows, though I am pretty sure this works the same in Ubuntu. control arrow...

    I use the control, shift, backspace, delete, and arrow keys a lot when I am typing. Not sure if this is specific to Windows, though I am pretty sure this works the same in Ubuntu.

    control arrow left, moves cursor to the beginning of the previous word
    shift arrow left, highlights the character to the left of the cursor
    ctrl+shift left, highlights previous word
    ctrl+backspace, deletes previous word

    a combo of these is really helpful when I botch a specific word previously in my sentence without having to go back and use my mouse to modify it

  22. Heichou
    Link
    On Windows 10: Middle click a link. It opens in a new tab. Now middle click that tab. It closes it! Windows Key+Tab opens up an interface that allows you to see all of your open processes on your...

    On Windows 10:
    Middle click a link. It opens in a new tab. Now middle click that tab. It closes it!

    Windows Key+Tab opens up an interface that allows you to see all of your open processes on your desktop, and also gives you the ability to create a new virtual desktop. The only utility I've found for this is when a game I'm playing hard crashes and task manager won't pop up in front of the window. I just close task manager, open a new desktop, and open it there.

  23. asterisk
    (edited )
    Link
    Windows: you can put a link of image in a field of ”Choose file” dialog box, and it will upload on sile as local image file (which is true, as I know, this image will be as caсhe or sorta this).

    Windows: you can put a link of image in a field of ”Choose file” dialog box, and it will upload on sile as local image file (which is true, as I know, this image will be as caсhe or sorta this).