Friday, April 3, 2009

Lost your dialog box off screen?

Ever tried to open a program or dialog box to discover that somewhere it has opened, but is off the edge of your monitor and you can't grab it and bring it back? I'm not sure exactly how this happens half the time, but most commonly I've seen this happen when you have two monitors and then one of them is taken away, or your screen resolution changes enough that the program opens off screen.

No worries. There is a simple trick to getting it back, and it works with any program under windows (as far as I'm aware of).

Lets say your working in 3ds max and you've opened the render dialog box. You know its opened, but its off screen. Here is what to do....

1. Click the render dialog button again. You want to make sure that the dialog IS for sure open and is the currently active window.
2. Don't touch your mouse...Press Alt+Spacebar.
3. At this point you may see a drop down window open up....If not its still open, its just off screen too. I've seen this happen both ways.
4. If you can see the drop down use your keyboard arrow keys and highlight "move" and press enter. If you can't see the drop down...Hit the down arrow once. "Move" is usually the second item from the top of the list.
5. Now you need to lock the window to your mouse. You can do this by hitting the "left" arrow key on your keyboard (at this point you still have not touched your mouse again).
6. Now you should be able to move your mouse and the window will be locked to it. So you can move the window back on screen.

A friend and co-worker of mine back at Blur showed me this trick years ago. Thanks Dave!

56 comments:

Bruce said...

You are my hero for this.

A said...

A little more reliable method that I use is; instead of guessing at how many times to push the arrow key down to get to "Move" you can hit "Alt + Space" followed by "m". Hitting "m" will start the Move process.

Anonymous said...

awesome hint, thanks

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!

Is what it is, what it is what it is said...

This had been stumping me for at least two weeks ... huge thank you ... funny to see that little bastard window floating around after locking the mouse on it lol ... thought you could get away, did you?!? Well you were right until today...

Lyndsey Moxie said...

This is awesome. It works, but my window is invisible... Yeah. When I do what you have in the directions, it works, but no window appears. When I minimize the window it shows. But when I maximizes it again, poof gone. But it does move to where I want it to. Any ideas would be awesome.

Anonymous said...

Huge! thanks alot

Anonymous said...

..what Bruce said!

Jonas Ussing said...

It's 2.50 am, and you just saved my life with this. Thanks. :)

Nick said...

Let me know in which direction I should bow to you. Thanks.

Loris said...

Thanks so much
Really helped me
Totally forgot about the alt+space function
%)

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Amazing.
But why do we have to resort to tricks like this? Poor design in Windows!

Anonymous said...

A lifesaver! Thanks for posting this!

Anonymous said...

The little of time it too you to write about how to fix this issue has saved my day and my sanity. Thank you sir.

Miguel said...

Thxs for the help, but I'm using a program, that doest recognize the command "alt+spacebar", is there any workaround to get the same menu using a diff key combination ??? thxs

jeff said...

this helped me in a time of desperate need, thanks so much! there is a command on a mac called gather windows which is super helpful for switching to dual screen and single screen a lot.

renee said...

you are a life saver!!

fr33style said...

man, you saved my life :)

thank you very much

Anonymous said...

For months i was lost. Thank you zillions .. you my hero man

Anonymous said...

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I was using Windows-RightArrow to find lost windows (in Win7) but that didn't work for my non-resizable dialog whose title bar was above the clouds... Your tip worked like a charm.

Anonymous said...

Oh thank God (I mean, Google)... I've been stuck trying to get at an offscreen dialog for the past hour and it was killing me! Your ALT+Space to bring up the window menu just saved me from so much grief! Thanks!

Keely said...

You've saved me with this! Despite reinstalling, InDesign was always a nightmare when on laptop instead of extended display... thanks so much!

Philo Balini said...

Genius

Anonymous said...

Saved me too, and here I thought I knew alot about computers.
Thanks for taking the time to post.

Anonymous said...

And here I thought I knew computers.
Thanks so much for posting.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

great tip, but didn't help with with my notepad2 find dialog box, which I had to fix by deleting registry keys related to the application.

regards,
tim

Anonymous said...

Awesome except I need to UNlock the mouse from the window so that I can click the "apply" button. Using alt+spacebar to then allow the moving of the window is rendered useless when touching my mouse puts it back where it started. Ugh! And thanks. ;-)

JubJub Forder said...

Thank you soo much for this trick, will save me hrs.

Anonymous said...

Lifesaver!! THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Rendered my expensive paperweight usable again!! Thanks

Zachary Cupp said...

OMG YOU ARE MY HERO TOO! I will pass this on to any of my coworkers that have always had this problem. I'm using 20-20 Design and it occasionally does this. I never had a problem until recently when I flipped one of my screens sideways. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Thank you ! :D

Anonymous said...

thank you !!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Life Saver!!

amidas said...

One question though.
What should I do if I use remote session? Unfortunately, Alt+Space is applicable for remote session window and does not work for any windows inside.
Thanks!

amidas said...

One question though.
What should I do if I use remote session? Unfortunately, Alt+Space is applicable for remote session window only and does not work for any windows inside. I use standard Windows Remote Desktop connection.
Thanks!

Kaleena Burgess said...

Letting you know this little blog is STILL helping people! I just found this, and sure enough! IT WORKED! I had lost the popup variable selection windows of SPSS my statistics software. Now I have to get back to work! >.<

Thank you for posting this! It worked wonderfully.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't seem to work for every application. I am using Photoshop Elements with 2 monitors. When I do Image Resize Canvas-size, I get a partially offscreen dialog box which does not respond to alt-spacebar m. The only solution for me is to turn off desktop extension for one of the monitors.

Anonymous said...

AWESOME! 4 years on and it's still helping ppl. Thnx!

Tai Kedz said...

Fan-freakin-tastic. I was about to go spare.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! Works like a charm.

Aziz Namazov said...

You saved me! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for this helpful post!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANKS!

paul liloia said...

thank you! I couldn't remember how to do this. You are my hero. Everyone was trying to get me to uninstall or do something crazy!
key point is it happens alot when using dual screens.... thank you again

paul liloia said...

where is your cape? you are my hero! everyone wanted me to uninstall, do a system restore or something else crazy. i knew this was the problem and just couldn't remember how to do it!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this and keeping it around so long.

Robyn said...

Saved. I could not get to the dialogue box tabs for my add-ons.It was floating off the top of the screen. Now I can make changes. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I just used this in Photo Elements. Had the problem for over a year of using dual extended screens. Thanks for keeping the post up.

Anonymous said...

what clever you are ?
Thank you.