Gotta love a tiny time save. What tiny time saves do you use?

Gotta love a tiny time save. They all add up!

What tiny time saves do you use to support your testing efforts?


It’s not strictly for testing, but, if I’m very busy I’ll use Pomodoro sessions - 20 minutes of work and 10 minutes of relaxing.


Text entry:

  • Pressing down CTRL, then A C V V, A C V V, etc allows you to exponentially fill a field with text until it can’t take it any more

  • Character map allows you to quickly copy unusual characters for pasting

  • Perlclip allows you to copy to the clipboard a string that includes all character codes from 1 to 255

  • Perlclip also has something called counterstring which is a string containing numbers of the position in the string, so 35710* means that the last asterisk is position 10. Useful to find the practical length of fixed-length strings, or the length of string which triggers a failure.

Windows shortcuts:

  • WIN + arrow key will maximise, minimise and move the active window
  • Printscrn will take a full screenshot. ALT-Printscrn takes a screenshot of the active window
  • WIN + D takes you straight to desktop, and back again afterwards
  • WIN + R to run programs
  • WIN + L to lock your screen
  • WIN + E opens file explorer. Also I for settings, V for clipboard history
  • Everyone knows Ctrl+Z to undo, but not everyone knows Ctrl+Y is redo
  • Alt-F4 closes the active window or asks for a shutdown
  • Win-. opens the emoji panel :sunglasses:
  • Ctrl-Shift-Esc opens the task manager
  • You can run stuff on the taskbar as admin with Ctrl+Shift+click

Some years ago I learned a new (German) keyboard layout, Neo-Layout.
Not really the rearranged letters, I’m still using its qwertz variante, but having the special characters, numbers and navigation keys below the letters, on their own levels.

Its now easier and faster for me to type them - no keyboard-overarching 3-4 key combinations to make a single symbol.
Like for capital letters, just the level mod key + key.

I was getting used to it fast as I just had to learn things in addition instead of changing (un- and learning again) some.

Level 3:
Level 4 (you can even ‘freeze’ that so you can type without holding a mod key) :

In addition I could drop finally the numpad for ergonomic reasons. Having my mouse less far right.
I’m using a MS Sclupt.


Whilst we’re on the subject of German (and apologies to German-speaking readers who probably dismissed this as old hat years ago), but I learned the ASCII extended character set shortcuts for the common German characters that UK kit doesn’t offer - ä, ö, ü, ß and their associated capital forms. Using ALT+[character code] (on the numerical keypad) I now find to be as quick as touch-typing on the main keyboard and enables me to effortlessly insert German place names in particular into my writing (which I do surprisingly often).

I forgot one thing, linking your phone with the PC can be a time saver, especially for those of us using multi-factor authentification on a lot of sites. I can just copy/paste the SMS or auth codes I get on the phone right on my PC. I’m using Windows Phone Link for Android, but I’m sure there are similar apps for Mac and iOS.


I have another shortcut for that: having a authenticator program on my computer.

I have no company phone and do not want to use my own.

Sure, its weakening the basic idea of multi-factor.

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Over the years I’ve created a collection of command line scripts (in Python) for various things. Rather than having to open a website or program, I can type in a command with some parameters, and result(s) are shown.

Note that I have Windows Terminal loading on system start up


On Windows I use a personal tool bar to have shortcuts to different folders.

This toolbar directs to one directory were I have short cuts to other folder or scripts.
The first directory is where I download all the test clients (each around 500MB) of our product from your Jenkins (by a self-written software).

Also I have linked some scripts I use frequently.
(Be aware of the difference between a short cut and junction / soft link)


As we have a complex product (server and rich client), with different branches, different project stages and complex CI/Jenkins structure I have developed my own tool to download and organize the rich clients we have.
It grabs and structures all available branches from our Jenkins. Per branch I either pick the latest or a specific number, download, start and delete it.

No more lengthy clicking on links to reach my target.


I tend to create lots of command line aliases. Stuff that I either use alot or forget.

E.g. gl cds me into gitlab directory. Or sz to source my .zshrc