[techtalk] Tech-Talk: WINDOWS 10 - Using Multiple Desktops

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Tue Feb 13 12:53:15 PST 2018


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 This Week's Tech-Talk: WINDOWS 10

1. VIDEO ... Using Multiple Desktops
2. ARTICLE ... Using Multiple Desktops
3. COMMUNICATING ... Writing for readability ease

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Tech-Talk: WINDOWS 10 - Using Multiple Desktops

How many windows do you have open on your desktop now? Is it a lot?

I confess, at the moment, I have 18 open on the Internet; 9 in Word; 2 each in Excel and PowerPoint! Whew! I go from one tab to another, juggling the many different projects I have going on.

Is there a better way?

[Photo by Farzad Nazifi on Unsplash]

Some folks have two monitors so they can segment their work ... with different projects on each. That helps!

But if you don't have multiple screens, and you do have Windows 10, you can create virtual desktops to get a similar effect.

Microsoft recognized the need to organize the resources we have open at any one time on our computers. They created the virtual desktop concept for Windows 10.

That means you can organize your work on as many different "desktops" as you would like. (Most people use two or three, but you can have as many as you want.)

You can segment your work into mini desktops so that you can focus on just those things you want to see.


For example on Desktop 1, you can have your email and calendar open so that they are readily accessible.

On Desktop 2, you could be working on a flyer for an event -- with several different applications open: a Word document, image files, a website page, etc.

Maybe you're editing a video on Desktop 3 ... so you have multiple programs open for that project: a sound file, media software, images and so on.

Each Desktop organizes all of the programs, websites and applications together for easy access. You can jump back and forth from one Desktop to the other quickly.

Don't Have Windows 10? Here's a Tip!

If you have an earlier version of Windows, there are ways of switching back and forth quickly between documents and programs. You don't have to move your cursor around from place to place.

Instead, you essentially use the keyboard to go back and forth. See the Tech-Talk database, search for switching. You'll find several choices including "Alt + Tab" and "Windows + Tab". (Yes, these keyboard shortcuts work in Windows 10 too.)

Set Up a Virtual Desktop


This Task View icon (looks like "ears" are poking out on either side) is your multiple desktop control. Clicking on it shows you which desktops are open so that you can move to another if you wish ... and whatever items you have open in that space.

There are two ways to create new virtual desktops: 1) Having your documents and applications open before you start a new desktop, or 2) Create a desktop first, then add docs.
1.   If you have everything open already, you create a new Desktop and then just drag and drop the docs / programs you want into it.
2.   If you set up a New Desktop first, and you are in that space, new docs / programs that you open will appear in that new Desktop.

It's easy to move things from one Desktop to another, just drag and drop.

TIP: Anytime you want to work with any of the Virtual Desktops, click on the Task View button to see (or move to) your other Desktops.

[snap assist]

To create a new virtual desktop:

·     Click the Task View icon button in the tray (or press the Windows+Tab keys simultaneously).

·     Click the New Desktop button that will appear in the lower right of your screen. It looks like a + sign.

·     Open the apps (programs, websites, etc.) that you want in the new desktop if they are not already open, and everything you have will be moved to this new individual workspace.

·     To move open apps that are in Desktop 1 to your new Desktop 2, when you click on the Task View icon in the task bar, drag and drop open programs to one of the Desktops that you have open.

·     Click Task View again to switch between desktops.

·     To close the new Desktop, click the Task View icon and click the X in the upper right corner of one of the virtual desktops. This will close out the desktop, but leave your apps open. They will default to the normal "#1" desktop view.

·     You can still use Alt+Tab to jump to an open application, but it will only toggle through one open Virtual Desktop at a time.

Creating these mini-desktops can help you zero in on the programs you need at the moment, while still having many more open and accessible on your computer.

NOTE: The use for this added feature in Windows 10 depends on your work style of course. Some people may find this highly useful, others may not.


Do You Have Windows 10 or Office 2016?

We need two minutes of your time if you have either Windows 10 or Office 2016.

In our recent Tech-Talk survey, respondents indicated that 50% of our readers use Windows 10 ... and 40 % work with Office 2016.

We want to write more about these two versions and we need to be smart about which topics to choose. If you could tell us one idea for either of these, it would be helpful.

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Communications: Writing
Check the readability level

How difficult is it for others to read what you write?
And, actually, how would you know?

The fact is, the easier your writing is to read, the more likely your message will be understood and supported. So what is the optimal grade level and how can you measure it?

You can get a reading-ease gauge by using the Readability Statistics in Word. This number (Flesch-Kincaid Grade) is displayed in the summary that you see after you've run a complete spell check.

TIP: If Readability Statistics doesn't show, you may not have this feature turned on. (See this Tech-Talk.com article<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=0015yc9ZbZuEBVxHunXGmrJQeulR9w6YMBisHUTFuMbzCEIvA_OEpIzbTHde5AMIEq2Z901Sq7I625ESom_mI6SHu3BzcusaJqa6c_li58-mD3_qXaK3NriEQVnkfD8n65J42AKCv6yMESSCY82TBulWBy9f7DRxXG9erk4bnnFeKuBX6rgOBG5QxpTXmQycbCryYcMpPVVfK8=&c=zFR6_dPwafr1766aM3cAibcZ5DOd7d9naxCljqZTCN9wrKoSxCFo8Q==&ch=KQjTvijVBUkUUcmK8WcVuP1InmVvkrj0rs4jFjlHRZD2I91YERjkfA==> on this.)

The question then becomes, what level is best? While it will vary with the topic, audience and type of document, most business communications do well between a 4.0 to 7.0.

By the way, the score for the text in this tip is 6.1 (6th grade).

Another good technique is to mix up the grade levels. Have a bit of 3rd grade such as the opening of the tech article above.

In today's fast-paced world, simple language is appreciated.


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Darci Hanning, MLIS
Technology Development Consultant
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