Keyboard shortcut

Magnet for Mac Is the Window Management Tool I’ve Desperately Needed

We’ve seen a few different tools for Windows-esque window management on Mac over the years, but none of those ever fit well with my workflow. Magnet is an app that’s been around for a while, but a few recent updates have finally made it the app I need.

At a glance, Magnet ($4.99, but it’s on sale right now for 99¢) is like any window snapping tool. You can organize windows neatly side-by-side, in fullscreen, quarters, thirds, or any combination of those you want. You can manage windows by dragging them, setting up keyboard shortcuts, or by using the menu bar. This alone is helpful for someone like me, who typically has dozens of windows open of varying sizes all stacked in a disorganized way that makes me spend more time in the app switcher than I’d like. If I do ever bother to manually resize a window, it’s usually just to make it large enough to peak out from another stack of apps.

What sets Magnet apart from other options is the sheer amount of polish. It doesn’t get confused by multiple displays (and in fact supports up to six external displays) and you can customize the keyboard shortcuts to suit your needs. It also supports any combination of window areas. For example, you can cram one window in the top right, another in the bottom right, then expand one window to take up the other half of the screen. Magnet also just added options for left/center/right thirds, which turns out to be the feature I was truly waiting for.

What’s especially nice about Magnet is that it doesn’t force any specific move set on you. Whether you’re a keyboard shortcut type of person, a menu person, or a mouse person, you can make user of Magnet. Let’s take a look at how all of these different options look in action.

Organize Windows…

How to Add a Drop-Down Calendar to the macOS Menu Bar Clock

Windows users can click the clock on the taskbar to see a calendar, which is perfect if you need to know what day of the week June 17th is. Macs don’t offer this feature, at least not out-of-the-box. But there are programs that can add one.

Our favorite free option is a program called Itsycal. It’s lightweight, shows your Calendar appointments, and even supports keyboard shortcuts for quick browsing. Here’s how to set it up, and even customize it to replace the clock on your menu bar.

Getting Started With Itsycal

Head to the itsycal homepage and download the application. It comes in a ZIP file which you can unarchive by clicking. Drag the application to your Applications folder.

Launch the application and you’ll see a calendar icon in your menu bar. Click this to bring up a tiny calendar popup.

Appointments are shown below the calendar, and you can click any day to see its appointments. Don’t like using the mouse? You can browse using the keyboard: “J” and “K” browse up and down, while “H” and “L” browse left and right. You can also use the arrow keys: Left and Right jump forward a month, while Up and Down jump between years.

At the bottom of the pop-up window is an icon that looks like a gear. Click to to access the preferences.

From here you can decide…

The Best Keyboard Shortcuts for Bash (aka the Linux and macOS Terminal)

Bash is the default command-line shell on most Linux distributions, from Ubuntu and Debian to Red Hat and Fedora. Bash is also the default shell included with macOS, and you can install a Linux-based bash environment on Windows 10.

The bash shell features a wide variety of keyboard shortcuts you can use. These will work in bash on any operating system. Some of them may not work if you’re accessing bash remotely through an SSH or telnet session, depending on how you have your keys mapped.

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Working With Processes

Use the following shortcuts to manage running processes.

  • Ctrl+C: Interrupt (kill) the current foreground process running in in the terminal. This sends the SIGINT signal to the process, which is technically just a request—most processes will honor it, but some may ignore it.
  • Ctrl+Z: Suspend the current foreground process running in bash. This sends the SIGTSTP signal to the process. To return the process to the foreground later, use the fg process_name command.
  • Ctrl+D: Close the bash shell. This sends an EOF (End-of-file) marker to bash, and bash exits when it receives this marker. This is similar to running the exit command.

Controlling the Screen

The following shortcuts allow you to control what appears on the screen.

  • Ctrl+L: Clear the screen. This is similar to running the “clear” command.
  • Ctrl+S: Stop all output to the screen. This is particularly useful when running commands with a lot of long, verbose output, but you don’t want to stop the command itself with Ctrl+C.
  • Ctrl+Q: Resume output to the screen after stopping it with Ctrl+S.

Moving the Cursor

Use the following shortcuts to quickly move the cursor around the current line while typing a command.

  • Ctrl+A or Home: Go to the beginning of the line.
  • Ctrl+E or End: Go to the end of the line.
  • Alt+B: Go left (back) one word.
  • Ctrl+B: Go left (back) one character.
  • Alt+F: Go right (forward) one word.
  • Ctrl+F: Go right (forward) one character.
  • Ctrl+XX: Move between the beginning of the line and the current…

How to Use Your Command History in the Windows Command Prompt

The Windows Command Prompt has a built-in history feature, allowing you to quickly view commands you’ve run in the current session. Even better, the Command Prompt offers quite a few keyboard shortcuts and other tricks for working with your command history.

How to View Your Command History

To scroll through your command history, you can use these keyboard shortcuts:

  • Up Arrow: Recall the previous command you typed. Press the key repeatedly to walk through your command history.
  • Down Arrow: Recall the next command you typed. Press the key repeatedly to walk through your command history.
  • Page Up: Recall the first command you ran in the current Command Prompt session.
  • Page Down: Recall the most recent command you ran in the current Command Prompt session.
  • Esc: Clear the command line.

Use these F keys to interact with your command history:

  • F7: View your command history as an overlay. Use the up and down arrow keys to select a command and run it. Press Esc to close the overlay without running a command.
  • F8: Search your command history for a command matching the text on the current command line. So, if you wanted to search for a command that began with “p”, you’d type “p” on the command line and then repeatedly tap F8 to cycle through commands in your history that begin with “p”.
  • F9: Recall a command from your command history by specifying its number in the history buffer. These numbers are display in the F7 overlay window, and begin at 0. So, if you wanted to quickly re-run the first command you ran in the current session, you’d press “F9”, type “0”, and press “Enter”. The command would appear filled in at the prompt and you could press “Enter” once again to run it.

To print a list of your command history in the terminal, run the following command:

doskey /history

You’ll see the commands you’ve typed in your current session. This is the same list…

How to Maximize Your Linux Laptop’s Battery Life

Laptop manufacturers spend a lot of time tuning their device drivers for Windows battery life. Linux usually doesn’t get the same attention. Linux may perform just as well as Windows on the same hardware, but it won’t necessarily have as much battery life.

Linux’s battery usage has improved dramatically over the years. The Linux kernel has gotten better, and Linux distributions automatically adjust many settings when you’re using a laptop. But you can still do some things to improve your battery life.

Basic Battery-Saving Tips

Before you do anything too complex, adjust the same settings you would on a Windows laptop or MacBook to maximize battery life.

For example, tell your Linux laptop to suspend—this is what Linux calls sleep mode—more quickly when you’re not using it. You’ll find this option in your Linux desktop’s settings. For example, head to System Settings > Power on an Ubuntu desktop.

Screen brightness can affect battery life dramatically. The brighter your display backlight, the worse your battery life will be. If your laptop has hotkeys to change screen brightness, try them—they’ll hopefully work on Linux, too. If not, you’ll find this option somewhere in your Linux desktop’s settings. It’s available at System Settings > Brightness & Lock on Ubuntu.

You can also tell your Linux desktop to turn off the screen more quickly when it’s inactive. The laptop will use less power when its screen is off. Don’t use a screensaver, as those just waste power by making your computer do more work and leaving the display on.

You can also disable hardware radios you don’t use. For example, if you don’t use Bluetooth, you can disable it to gain some more battery life. Head to System Settings > Bluetooth to disable Bluetooth on an Ubuntu desktop.

If you’re not using Wi-Fi, you can save a bit of power by disabling that, too. On Ubuntu, head to System Settings > Network and enable “Airplane Mode” to disable Wi-Fi and other wireless radios.

Remember that what you do with the laptop is also important. Running heavier software and using more CPU resources will cause your laptop to use more battery power. For this reason, you may want to look at a more lightweight desktop environment, such as the Lxde-based Lubuntu instead of the Unity-based main Ubuntu desktop.

Install Proprietary Graphics Drivers (If You Need Them)

If your laptop has integrated Intel graphics, congratulations. You shouldn’t need to worry about power management issues with your graphics drivers. Intel graphics aren’t the fastest, but they have excellent open-source driver support and “just work” out of the box.

If your laptop has NVIDIA or AMD graphics, however, you may need to do some work to decrease power consumption.

The worst case scenario is a laptop with NVIDIA Optimus or AMD’s switchable graphics. Such laptops have two different GPUs. For example, an NVIDIA Optimus laptop will have both a more powerful, battery-draining NVIDIA GPU and a less powerful, battery-friendly Intel GPU. On…

How to Record Your Desktop and Create a Screencast on Windows

recording-video-camera

Screencasting can seem a bit daunting at first, but there are a few good free ways to do it.

The Game DVR feature in Windows 10 can create a video of your desktop. Technically it was just designed for capturing gameplay, and other software does a much better job—but it’ll work in a pinch if you need it. If you want something more powerful, Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a good free program that will do everything you need, but you’ll need a few minutes to learn its interface.

Record Your PC or Mac’s Screen the Easy Way with Camtasia

If you want to create a screen recording with the most powerful, full-featured solution on the market, you’re looking for Camtasia. It’s a complete solution that lets you create amazing screencasts with effects and high-quality editing.

Whether you are trying to make lessons, tutorials, or demos, Camtasia is the best solution on the market. You can record your webcam simultaneously to explain what the viewer is looking at, or you can add any video separately and edit inline.

Quick and Easy: Windows 10’s Game DVR

We recommend skipping Game DVR and going straight to the OBS section below. But, if you want quickly record any application’s window without any third-party software, you can do it on Windows 10. This relies on the Game DVR feature, which is designed for capturing PC gameplay—but which can capture any application’s window.

To do this, just press Windows+G in any application on Windows 10. The Game Bar will appear. Select “Yes, this is a game” even if the application isn’t a game.

If the Game Bar doesn’t appear when you press this key combination, you might have disabled it in the past. Head to the Xbox app on your system and ensure the “Game DVR” feature is enabled.

Click the red “Start Recording” button to start recording that application window.

An overlay will appear at the top right corner of the window while you’re recording. You can toggle your microphone on or off by clicking the microphone icon. Windows will also record the sound playing on your PC and include it with the the saved clip.

Click the square-shaped “Stop” button when you’re done.

Windows will save your clip to C:\Users\NAME\Videos\Captures in MP4 format. There you go.

More Powerful and Customizable: Open Broadcaster Software

We recommend using Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) for screencasts. It’s completely free and open-source and allows you to both stream live and record a screencast to a video file. It works with Windows 7, 8, and 10.

You’ll just see a black screen in the preview pane the first time you fire up OBS. That’s because you haven’t added a source. OBS uses “scenes” and “sources” to assemble your video. The scene is the final video or stream—what your viewers see. The sources are what comprise that video.

You can stick with the single scene OBS provides, but you’ll need to add one or more sources to it.

How to Record Your Entire Display

To record your entire display—that is, everything that appears on your screen—right-click inside the Sources box at the bottom of the window and select Add > Display Capture.

Name the source whatever you like and click “OK”.

You’ll see a preview of your display. If you have multiple displays connected to your PC, you can choose…