Huge Tips for Small Laptop Screens

  by Dustin Main6 Comments

Articles on this site contain affiliate links, meaning we may be compensated if you purchase a product or service after clicking them. Read our full disclosure policy here.

You want to travel light with your laptop, but it’s hard to be as productive on that 13” screen than the 24” screen at home or the office.  How do you make the most out of that small screen real estate?

Here are some quick tips for maximizing your limited screen space.

Maximize Your Browser With Full Screen Mode

When you’re viewing the web on a small laptop screen, every bit of space counts.  From how much you need to scroll, to just being able to view an entire photo on one page.  While browsers have come a long way toward clearing the toolbar sandwich that plagued most peoples’ experience a few years back, we can still squeeze some extra space out.

Using any of the major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer), just hit the F11 key on your keyboard.  This will make your browser fill the entire screen, covering your taskbar at the bottom of the screen and hiding the address bar in your browser.  Bam, 20% (or more) viewing area, just like that.

Pop back out to regular mode by tapping F11 again. If you’re on a Mac, try Command+Shift+F.



Tip for power users: Switch tabs by pressing CTRL-TAB or CTRL-SHIFT-TAB

Handy for: Eliminating distractions for long articles / photo stories.

Always on Top Maker

If you’re a multitasking machine, you may get a kick out of Always On Top Maker.  As described in the name, it takes a window, and makes it stay on top (in the foreground).

Grab the tiny download here, and install.  To use it, just click on the window you would like to stay in the foreground, and press CTRL-ALT-T.  That’s it, your window will now stay on top of all others.

To remove the ‘”always on top” setting on the window, just select it and press CRTL-ALT-T again, and it becomes a regular window.


Handy for: Watching a video while working (I won’t tell your boss)

Tip for power users: Set one of your extra mouse buttons for CTRL-ALT-T to be able to switch it on and off in a flash.

Always On Top Maker is donationware, and for Windows only.

Get Us in Your Inbox

Get our regular email updates with the latest travel tech news, tips, and articles. We'll also send over a free 5000-word guide to get you started!

No spam ever, and you can leave any time. Our privacy policy explains how we handle your personal information.

Snap Your Windows with Aero Snap

Arranging windows can be a pain, but thankfully in Windows 7, Microsoft introduced Aero Snap.  To use it, simply drag a window to the left or right edge of the screen.  You’ll see an animation taking up the side of the screen, and when you do, release the window.  It will snap into place.

Now drag another window to the opposite side of the screen, and you’ll have two windows taking up half of the screen each.


Handy for: Creating documents while viewing another.

Tip for power users: Press Winkey+arrow button to snap your windows without the mouse.

Aero Snap is built into Windows 7

Do you have any tips on maximizing use of your laptop screen to share (Windows or Mac)?  We’d love to hear them in the comments!

About the Author

Dustin Main

Twitter Google+

Dustin just can't get enough travel or technology, but when he's not directly feeding one of those insatiable habits, you can probably find him at some far away ice cream shop taking pictures of empty cups. That, or on top of a mountain somewhere shooting photos and finding adventures to share on his website "A Skinny Escape".


  1. Even while at home, my primary computer is a netbook. These are some handy tips – I’ve already made use of the window snapping feature. Thanks.

  2. Correction: For the Mac, it’s Command Shift F to go to full screen.

  3. One software that I love is DisplayFusion. There is a free version for home users. It allows snapping windows to the edge of the screen. Really handy when you need to move windows around.

  4. Mac tip: Switching between browser tabs is Shift Command [ and ]

    Nice Drunk History screen shot 🙂

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.