April 2014 Tech Tips – Quick Screenshots

Here is your quick Tech Tip for the month of April to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Need to Take a Quick Screenshot?

*In Windows, PrintScreen key copies the whole screen image, as a graphic, onto your invisible Clipboard, so you can paste into an e-mail message or any other program. If you add the Alt key, you copy only the front window.

*On a Mac, press Command-Shift-3. (Command is the key with the propeller on it, next to the Space bar.) You hear a snapshot sound, and you get a graphics file on your desktop—a picture of the entire screen image.

*If you press Command-Shift-4 instead, you get a crosshair cursor; you can draw across just one portion of the screen. Or, if you now tap the Space bar, you turn the cursor into a little camera icon. You can now click on just one window or toolbar that you want to copy.

*In both cases, you can hold down the Control key to copy the image to the Clipboard instead of leaving a file on the hard drive.


March 2014 Tech Tips – Google as a Calculator and Windows Keyboard Shortcuts for Hidden Symbols

Here are your quick Tech Tips for the month of March to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Can’t find your calculator? Use Google!

You can use Google to do math for you. Type the equation into the search bar, like 23*7+15/3=, and hit Enter OR you can just type “calculator” into the search bar and it will pull one up for you.

*Oh, yeah: on the keyboard, * means “times” and / means “divided by.”

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts for Hidden Symbols:

Alt + 0153: ™ (trademark symbol)
Alt + 0169: © (copyright symbol)
Alt + 0174.: ® (registered trademark symbol)
Alt + 24: ↑ (up arrow)
Alt + 25: ↓ (down arrow)
Alt + 26:. → (right arrow)
Alt + 27: ← (left arrow)
Alt + 18: ↕ (up/down arrow)
Alt + 29: ↔ (left right arrow)


IT Direct Ranks 331 out of 501 in the MSPmentor 501 2014 Edition!


We are proud to announce our spot in the MSPmentor 501 ranking for 2014. IT Direct ranked 331 out of 501 companies worldwide!

A renowned list and report, the MSPmentor 501 recognizes the world’s top 501 managed service providers based on data from MSPmentor’s global online survey, conducted October–December 2013. This list is an annual ranking of the top 501 managed services providers from across the globe. The results are based on annual managed services revenue growth, revenue per employee, managed services offered, and customer devices managed. MSPs on this year’s global 501 list raised their combined annual recurring revenues $2.60 billion, continuing seven straight years of solid growth. Together, those MSPs now manage over 700,000 servers, according to Jessica Davis, managing editor, MSPmentor.

MSPmentor, produced by Nine Lives Media, is the ultimate guide to managed services and we are incredibly honored to receive such a prestigious award. A huge “thank you” to all of our employees and clients, because without you this wouldn’t be possible!



IT Direct Hires an Assistant Help Desk Manager

Scott McCue has joined our organization as the Assistant Help Desk Manager. Mr. McCue brings an extensive list of technical skills to the organization and will be responsible for overseeing the company’s help desk operations. With a strong background in customer service we feel we have a perfect match for the position and that our clients are in good hands. Not only does Mr. McCue help manage the help desk, he is also on the phone with the rest of his team serving our clients.

Mr. McCue joins us from his most recent position as the Branch Technology Specialist for a company in East Hartford where he worked for almost eleven years. In Mr. McCue’s spare time you can find him teaching instructional classes on computing for local libraries. We are very happy to have him as part of our growing team!

Scott McCue

February 2014 Tech Tips – Keyboard Shortcuts for Outlook


Here are your quick Tech Tips for the month of February to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Outlook:

  • Ctrl-M – New email message
  • Alt-S – Send a message
  • Ctrl-Q – Mark as message as read      (if you don’t have it set to automatically mark read in the preview      window)
  • Ctrl-U – Mark message as unread
  • Auto-Spell Check – Great feature      to turn on in Outlook to avoid embarrassing mistakes; if you want to skip      spell check once it starts just hit Esc on the keyboard.

While reading a message:

  • Alt-R – Reply to a message      (Ctrl-R does the same thing)
  • Alt-L – Reply to ALL in a message
  • Alt-W – Forward an email

Hit Escape key to close an email message and leave it in the same folder it was in.



January 2014 Tech Tips – Locking Your PC and Resizing Desktop Icons


Here are your quick Tech Tips for the month of January to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Lock Your PC Quickly

Sick of your “friends” going onto your computer at work or home and posting things on your Facebook/Twitter page on your behalf? It’s certainly an annoyance, but an easy one to prevent. Windows + L will lock your system right away, requiring a password (if you’ve set one) to log in again.

Easily Resize Desktop Icons

You can use the scroll wheel on your mouse to resize desktop icons. On the desktop, press and hold CTRL while you scroll the wheel to make icons larger or smaller.



December’s Tech Tips – Cycling Through Open Tabs and Windows Search


Here are your quick Tech Tips for the month of December to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Cycle Through Open Tabs

Pressing CTRL + TAB while in a browser will flip between each tab you have open. This can be much faster than moving the mouse and clicking on a tab. CTRL + NUM (1, 2, 3, 4, n..) will also take you to certain tab in that numeric order.

Windows Search

One surefire way to save time using Windows is to stop wading through it. Instead, use search as often as you can. Windows search used to be a mess. Now, however, nine times out of ten, you’ll find a file or program quicker by hitting the search shortcut (Windows-F, or just the Windows key in Windows, then typing in what you’re looking for.



November’s Tech Tips – Removing Word Formatting and Optimizing PDFs


Here are your quick Tech Tips for the month of November to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Remove Word Formatting

Microsoft Word is great for writing and formatting text, but sometimes you want to copy that text into another program (an email, your website) without including the formatting (i.e. font size, color, margins). The easiest way to do this is to open up Notepad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac) and paste your text in a new document. Next, copy your text from the new document and when you paste it again the formatting will be removed.

Optimizing PDFs

If you need to share a PDF online (via email or on a website) that doesn’t need to be printed, make sure to optimize it to be the smallest file size possible. No one likes downloading 25mb PDFs!

Here are two great tools for PDF optimization:


October’s Tech Tips – Using Secure Passwords and a Few Keyboard Shortcuts


Quick Tech Tips for the month of October to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Use Secure Passwords

Even if you think you have a secure password, you might be wrong. Yesterday’s clever tricks aren’t protecting you from today’s hackers, and you need to be extra vigilant in this age of constant security breaches.


  • Try RoboForm – It remembers passwords so you don’t have to.
  • Don’t use the same password for each site/application.
  • AVOID formulas like these –

– Using a name, place, or common word as the seed, e.g., “fido”
– Capitalizing the first letter: “Fido”
– Adding a number, most likely 1 or 2, at the end: “Fido1”
– Adding one of the most common symbols (~, !, @, #, $, %, &, ?) at the end: “Fido1!”
– Using passwords like qwerty, 12345, or password


A Few Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Undo, CTRL+Z – Accidentally paste the wrong thing in the wrong place? Didn’t      mean to paste that file there? Undo it, quickly!
  • Skip the bin, SHIFT+DEL – Bypass the recycle bin entirely, delete it right away!
  • Select All, CTRL+A – Probably one of the more commonly known commands, but if you don’t know it, you can easily select everything with this command.



IT Direct Adds Two New System Engineers

IT Direct is growing and we are happy to announce the addition of two new team members, Jeff Beebe and Michael Delaney!

Though they’ve been with us for a few months now, we want to acknowledge them and share a little bit about them with all of you.



Jeff Beebe                       Michael Delaney


Click here to check out the write-up from the Hartford Business Journal!