April 21st, 2009

Hidden Windows Frustrating Your Library Experience?

The librarians often get calls about course readings that never open and RefWorks exports that never work. Sometimes this is due to a real technical problem, but very often they are due to a very simple issue:

Hidden pop-up windows

Course readings open in a new window, which usually pops up right in front of the window showing your Courseroom. That makes reading the first article very convenient. But the second you switch to something else on your computer, that pop-up window gets buried. And when you open the next reading, it may not pop up in front. Instead it opens in that hidden window.

RefWorks can result in similar hidden windows. If you are going back and forth between a database search and a RefWorks export, you may find that the RefWorks window doesn’t show up the second time you try to export. Also, if you are exporting from different databases, you could end up with several different RefWorks windows. This won’t hurt your RefWorks data, but it does mean you’ll have to search for the one that just got your export information.

So, how do you deal with hidden pop-up windows? Here are three easy options:

  • Always close the pop up when you’re done with it. That forces a new pop-up window next time, which should appear on top of everything else.
  • Minimize your windows until you find the window you need.
  • Look for your pop-up window listed in your computer’s taskbar. It may have a confusing title.


– Erin

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