It’s time to dig into the tips box and share this week’s reader tips. Today we’re looking at the iPad as a digital picture frame, recycling media spindles as cable caddies, and CTRL+Click to open links in MS applications.

Turn Your iPad into a Picture Frame in One Click

How-To Geek reader Mark shares a tip on making your iPad useful while it’s sitting around charging:

I’ve had an iPad for a few months now and every day when I’d plug it in to charge and sync I’d just leave it propped up on its little stand, lock screen staring at me. One day I noticed (why I had never noticed this before I have no idea!) a little flower icon right next to the unlock band on the bottom of the screen. I tapped it to see what would happen and suddenly the iPad was a digital picture frame, displaying all the photos in the media folder. I feel like a total idiot for both not knowing the iPad had this feature and for not even noticing the little flower icon before now. When I plug my iPad in to charge now, I can see slideshows of my favorite photos instead of a static lock screen wallpaper!

It is a nice touch, we agree. Don’t feel too terrible about not noticing it right away, we’ll admit to having been so caught up in all the other neat stuff the iPad did that it was a few weeks before we were like “Oh hey, what’s this little flower icon about?”. It sounds like Mark only has pictures on his iPad that he’d like to see in his slideshow, if you commonly save screenshots, take pictures in games and apps, and other things that clutter up your media folder with photos that aren’t really slide show material, make sure to hop over to Settings –> Picture Frame and then specify which albums you want to appear in the slideshow.

If the iPad stand in the above photo caught your eye, you can grab one for yourself here.

CD Spindles as Cable Caddies

Reader Kristina writes in with a simple but effective cable wrangling solution:

I work in a small IT department and we’re up to our necks in cables of all sorts. We’ve tried various solutions over the years but all of them have been lacking: wrapping cables like Indiana Jones was fun and geeky but a bit of a time waster, putting them in plastic bags was tedious and wasteful, and using wire tires was just a pain in the ass. Somebody in our group had the idea to start recycling the piles of CD spindles we were tossing out every month as cable caddies. They’re perfect for the job. You just open the case, coil the cable inside, and close it. They’re clear, they’re sturdy and stack well, and they contain the cables without wrapping them too tight and stressing the connections and wires.

The sturdiness and visibility sold us, now we just have to figure out where we’re going to get our hands on lots of spindles.

CTRL+Click to Open Links in MS Applications

Reader Margaret writes in with a classic tip:

I have just discovered that to open a link in a Word document I can hold down CTRL and click the link. Is this something new in Windows 7 or am I just behind the eight ball?

It’s not new to Windows 7 but it is one of those little tips that you can use a computer for a long while without stumbling across; it’s worth reprinting here just for the sake of the people who haven’t heard of it. The CTRL+Click URL trick works across just about every Microsoft application—not just those in the Office suite.

Have a great tip to share? Shoot us an email at and we’ll do our best to get it on the front page.

Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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