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!