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- This Week's Free Computer Tip -

183 - How to Re-Size Windows Which Open Too Large for the Screen

Here's the problem -
This only happens occasionally, making it even harder to remember how to fix it. However, it does happen and it can be very frustrating when it does. I see it most often when I'm filling out an online form for a survey or when subscribing to some web site that wants my life story to register for their service.

Visualize such a form for a moment. It's multi-pages in length. You start filling in the boxes at the top, working your way down until the page is completed. Then, you click on a button (marked "continue", or "next", or "submit" or "exit") to go on with the process. The problem is, these windows sometimes open too tall to fit on your screen. The buttons you need to click on are somewhere off the bottom of the screen, below where you can see them. You try to drag the window up high enough to see the bottom of it, but you still can't see it. Now what? This bulletin will tell you how to get to everything you need.

Solution #1 - Re-size the window
Let's first test to see if this solution will even work. Place your cursor on any of the corners of the current window and see if it turns into a diagonal double-headed arrow. If it does, this solution should be the easiest. If not, skip to solution #2. The trick to remember here is that a window can be re-sized from any of it's corners. We usually think of resizing a window by dragging the lower right corner up and to the left. However, there is no rule that makes us start from the lower right! Since the top part of the window is showing, we will start from the top left or top right, whichever is easiest.

Pick your corner. With the diagonal double-headed arrow showing, click and hold the mouse button and drag the corner towards the center of the window. This will resize the window, shrinking both the height and width at the same time. Reposition the window to be sure you can now see the full height of the window. If not, repeat the process until the full height of the window can be seen on the screen. (You reposition a window by clicking anywhere on the title bar (the solid colored bar at the top of the window), holding the click and dragging the window to where you want it. Release the click and you're done.)

Solution #2 - Move the window until you can see the control buttons you need.
This is the real tip for this bulletin. Even if it appears that you cannot drag the window far enough to expose the required buttons, you will be able to get to any part of the window by using this method. To enable the move command, press the Alt key once, then hit the Space Bar once, then the letter "M". Your cursor will disappear and a 4-headed arrow will appear somewhere on the window. Pressing any of the 4 arrow keys will now move the window in that direction. When you get it where you want it, just hit Enter to stop the move. That's it. Pretty easy.

Just one note to avoid confusion -
If you go to try out these techniques, and nothing happens, you are probably trying to make changes to a "Maximized" window. You can't resize or move a "Maximized" window. Windows open in either "Normal" or "Maximized" mode. Since a Maximized window has already been sized to fit perfectly on your screen, Windows knows that there is no need to re-size it and has disabled the options to do that.

How can you tell? First, if the window is smaller than the full screen, it's in Normal mode. Only if the open window fills the screen will you want to look at the 3 buttons in the upper right corner of the window to verify the mode. The far right button is the large red "X", used to close the window. The left button is the minus sign, used to minimize the window. It's the middle button you need to check. Its icon will have either one or two "pages" showing. If it's one page, it's in Normal mode. If two pages are showing, the window is Maximized. Click on that icon and you toggle between Normal and Maximized.

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