How to mute/unmute system volume with a keyboard shortcut on Windows 10

Keyboards, whether they’re internal or external, both come with an entire set of media keys. The media keys generally allow you to change the volume of your system, mute/unmute it, manage the brightness of your display, toggle the WiFi, and play/pause anything that’s playing. These keys work reliably so long as you’re working with an internal keyboard but if you’re using an external keyboard, these keys often do not work leaving you without an easy way to mute/unmute system volume with the keyboard.

If your keyboard’s mute/unmute key isn’t working, you have two options; configure a different keyboard shortcut to do the trick with an AutoHotKey script, or use a touch pad gesture.

AutoHotKey Script

Make sure you have AutoHotKey installed. Open a new Notepad file and paste the following in it;

CapsLock::Send {Volume_Mute}

Give it a name that tells you what the script is for e.g. Toggle Mute, and save it with the AHK file extension.

Run the script and when you tap the Caps key on your keyboard, it will mute/unmute your system volume. The Caps key will act as a toggle so you will only have to use one key. You can of course use any other shortcut in the AutoHotKey script. Here’s a quick look at how to change it.

Touchpad Gesture

This option requires that you have a precision touchpad. Most users who opt to use external point and click devices don’t normally use touchpads with Windows laptops or PCs but if you have one, or you’d simply like to use your touchpad to mute/unmute system volume, the option is there.

Open the Settings app on Windows 10. Go to the Devices group of settings and select the Touchpad tab. You can configure three and four finger taps and swipes. The one and two finger gestures are locked down for the most part.

Look for and click on the ‘Advanced gesture configuration’ option. Scroll down to either the three or four finger gestures. Open the dropdown under the gesture that you want to use to mute/unmute system volume and select the ‘Mute’ option. That’s all you have to do. Give it a practice run to see if it feels natural.

The dedicated media keys on keyboards are useful if they work, if you can get used to them, and if you do not need to use the function keys. If they don’t work, or you need to use the Function keys on a daily basis, these are two alternative solutions to quickly muting system volume.

Read How to mute/unmute system volume with a keyboard shortcut on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to mirror/flip photos on Windows 10

Most photos today are taken on our phones and not on dedicated cameras and our phones are exceptionally smart. When you take a photo, you know that any text on it, or say a complex pattern on someone’s T-Shirt, will show up as it is. It won’t be ‘reversed’. This phenomena of reversed items simply doesn’t exist if you use your phone to take photos. That said, there may still be exceptions and if you have a photo with the text or other items showing up backwards, you can flip photos to fix it.

Flipping a photo is a fairly basic edit that most image viewers and practically all image editors have.

Flip photos

The stock Photos app on Windows 10 has basic image editing features and you can use it to flip photos pretty easily.

Open the photo that you want to flip in the Photos app. Click the Edit & Create button at the top. From the menu that opens, select Edit.

When the photo opens for editing, you will see a panel on the right with various controls for editing the image. One of these controls is a button called Flip. Click it, and the image will be flipped/mirrored. You can then save it over the original, or as a copy.

The Photos app only flips in one direction which is horizontal. If you need to flip an image on its vertical axis, you need to use a free app called IrfanView. Most Windows users have heard of this app as it’s a popular image viewer and editor that has been around for quite a few years.

Open the image that you want to mirror/flip in IrfanView. Go to the Image menu item and in the menu that opens you will find both Horizontal and Vertical flip controls. Use them to flip the image however you want, and then save it over the original, or as a copy.

Flipping photos normally doesn’t have an impact on their quality however make sure that when you save the flipped image, either over the original or as a copy, that you do not have any compression presets already enabled. IrfanView does allow you to compress images so be careful that you don’t accidentally use one of its compression features for a photo you want to preserve the quality of.

Photos doesn’t offer image compression nor does it allow users to convert photos from one format to the other so it’s a safer option.

Read How to mirror/flip photos on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to set the primary display on macOS

You can connect additional, external displays with an iMac or a Macbook. The only thing you need is the right adapter, depending on whether you have a USB C or Thunderbolt port, and an external monitor. macOS has reasonably good multi-monitor support though you still cannot get the Dock to appear on all your displays and stretching wallpapers across monitors is a bit tricky. What you can do is select a primary display on macOS.

Primary display on macOS

The first thing you have to do is connect your second monitor to your Mac. Once it’s connected, your desktop should automatically be extended. The second display will show you a somewhat faded out menu bar to indicate that it is not the active display at the moment meaning your cursor is on the other display.

Open the System Preferences and go to Displays.

With a second display connected, you will see a tab called Arrangement. This is where you can change the order of the displays i.e. which display appears on the right, and which appears on the left. You should set it up so that it matches the physical layout of the displays.

You will notice that one of the displays has a white bar at the top. This white bar indicates which display is the primary display on macOS.

To change the primary display, click and drag this white bar and drop it on to the display that you want to set as the primary display. Once you release the white bar, the primary display will be reset to the one you selected.

The process is deceptively simple; you’d never guess that the white bar is an interactive control but once you do, it’s easy to change the primary display. The Dock will jump to the display that you’ve just set as the primary display and if you have different apps/windows open on different displays, they too will jump to their ‘assigned’ displays. It may be a bit confusing when you first make the change so make use of the ‘Gather Windows’ button, to sort everything out.

When you select a display in the Arrangement tab, a red border appears around the screen of the one you’ve selected. This is how you identify which display is which. Use this information to not just arrangement the displays but also to set your primary display.

macOS will remember which display you set as your primary display. If you disconnect your external display, and then connect it again later, macOS will automatically set the primary display to the one you set manually.

Read How to set the primary display on macOS by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Flip a Picture Horizontally in PowerPoint

powerpoint logo

Adding images and SmartArt to compliment the content of your presentation is one of the key factors in making it successful. PowerPoint, with its large inventory of image-manipulating features, allows you to flip and rotate images, ensuring your PowerPoint is set up exactly as you’ve intended.

Flipping an Image in PowerPoint

Go ahead an open your PowerPoint presentation and head to the slide that contains the image to be flipped. Once there, select the image.

The Geek

Once selected, a new “Format” tab will appear. Select that tab and then click the “Rotate” button.

rotate in format tab

A dropdown menu with a few options will appear. Here, select “Flip Horizontal.”

flip horizontally

You’ll now notice your image has, as expected, flipped horizontally.

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