DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

October 10, 2017

Chrome Extensions, Part 6

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , — Ron @ 4:39 am

This week we will continue examining Chrome Extensions.  They will all be related to one item…Google.  Since I have gotten emails thanking me for this series of articles I have bad news for those who liked it, we only have one more to go after this one.  For those of you that were bored that could be good news.

Google Docs, Google Keep, Google Sheets and Google Slides are the group of extensions we will look at first.  Here I must be honest – they are not that helpful to me.  Basically, they allow you to add a desktop icon to your desktop or menu item and when clicked they will open up the particular app.  I have found the same thing can work by creating a shortcut in your browser for any of them that do the same thing.  So I cannot whole heartedly recommend them.

Google Docs Offline is a good workable extension.  It will allow you to open, edit, review and save Google files while you are not online; hence the name.  If you create or edit a document while offline the next time you get back online, they will sync up and your new/edited files will be put on Google Drive in the cloud.  Using this extension, you will always have the latest copy while online or off.  This is a neat feature and one that I do recommend.

Next is Google Voice which in my opinion is one of the best applications supplied by Google second only to Google Search itself.  I use this extension often.  It does take a bit of setup so I suggest you go here, support.google.com/voice, and get instructions.

Google Voice Sample

There are many features of Google Voice (GV for short).  First it gives you a free phone number for GV use.  You match it to your phone and the fun begins.  One great feature is that it allows you to read any voicemails you receive on GV.   Yes, Google translates it, almost immediately, into an email and sends it to your Gmail account.  The translation is not always perfect but it is usually very close.

Voice & Email Spam Stopping Power

List of recent calls which can be blockedIt will also allow you to text from your computer and/or mobile phone.  Another neat trick is that you can personalize your voicemail greetings.  You may have separate ones for individuals or groups in your Google Contacts as well as a different one for strangers.

It offers good protection from spam calls which I mentioned several weeks ago.  Another of my favorites is that you can use several phones for the account.  This means that you could take the original call on your cell, go into your home and continue the call on your landline, or office phone, or spouses phone and on-and-on.

One last feature about the app before I finally get to the extension.  It will let you to listen to people leaving you a voice message.  You can listen without them hearing you and decide if you would like to interrupt and speak with them or let them go straight through to voice mail.

The extension allows you to see a list of calls received, text other phones, go to your inbox for GV or change options.  I use my GV number for all incoming calls.  In my greeting I tell everyone that if you do not leave a message I will block your number and no longer receive calls from them.  That way if I get a hang up or a message that I am under investigation by the IRS (which is happening way to often now that people are scamming phone numbers) I block and delete the offending number with GV.  It is a bit of a cumbersome process which I hope Google simplifies soon but it works great.

October 3, 2017

Chrome Extensions, Part 5

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , — Ron @ 5:23 am

Thanks to the emails I have received I will continue this week with many of the Google Chrome browser extensions that I like and/or find useful.

First this week is the "Email this page (by Google)" extension.  If you use Gmail, which you are since you are using Chrome or you would not be reading this, this extension could be beneficial for you.  Have you been online before surfing the web and see a neat site you want to send to someone?  I have many times, sometimes wanting to send it to myself for later use.  I always had to copy the link, open Gmail, paste it in the email, type in the email address to send it to and then hit Send. 

To use, "Email this page" click the extension while you are on the page you want to send.  Gmail will open with the title of the site in the Subject line and the link in the email both automatically.  All you need to do it enter who it is going to and hit Send.  Many steps shorter and much quicker. 

Image of a new email from Email this Page-by Google

I am going to step away from the extensions for a paragraph or so for something related to the above.  If you are a Gmail user as I am, this is a neat trick.  While in Chrome and on your Gmail account, click the menu button, (three dots on the upper right corner) then "More tools" and finally "Add to desktop."  A box will pop up asking you to rename it (if you wish) and a checkbox to "Open as window."  Check the box, or leave it checked if already done and click "Add."  You will now find an icon on your desktop and when opened Gmail will open in its own window, not in your browser. 

Larger View

All emails will be viewed in that window but all links you click in those emails will open in Chrome. You can minimize it and leave it open on your computer while you continue using Chrome.    

image

I take it a step further and right click the newly created desktop icon and choose either or both "Pin to Start" and/or "Pin to taskbar."  Then you can delete the desktop icon if you would like to free up some room on your desktop.  You now have an interesting new way to use Gmail.  This will work with any webpage you view on Chrome.  So, if you like to regularly visit the DNR or the Double Click site, create icons for them too!

The last extension today is "Feedly checker."  I wrote about Feedly two months ago so check that article if you need a refresher.  I get many news and tech stories from Feedly.  With this extension, the small Feedly icon on the extension bar will show how many unread articles you have in your account.  You can right click it after you install it and set the button to either; dropdown and show you the latest posted article or go to the Feedly site and you can view them all.  I use the second.  That way I do not have to check the site for news if I need some and nothing has been added to the feeds.  Great time saver and convenient too.

Feedly checker icon on my Chrome browser

September 26, 2017

Chrome Extensions, Part 4

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , — Ron @ 4:55 am

As I start off this week many of you have written me asking about other extensions.  A friend who reads the articles, knowing how I use my computer, suggested I put in more extensions than I had originally planned.  So, today I will continue by showing you the Chrome Browser Extensions I intended to.  However, I will add some more that I had not initially planned.   This also means that although I started listing them in alphabetical order that is no longer the case.  Enjoy!

First today is “Annotary” which allows you to click the icon and save the page to read later online at Annotary.com.  There is also much more.  You can use an electronic highlighter which comes built in to highlight anything on the page.  You can add a note regarding your thoughts on the article.   I really appreciate and enjoy using this note taking feature.  When I am reviewing articles for items to write about I use it to add my thoughts about the things I read and want to share with you. There is more so check it out.

Next, “Boomerang for Gmail” has several interesting features.  The main is that once you give it permission to access your Gmail account it will let you send the email at a later time.  You can choose a time limit, i.e. hours, minutes or a future date/time to send an email.   Programs like Outlook and Thunderbird already have this built in; however, Gmail does not.  This is a free add in but there is a limit of 10 messages per month.  If you have more than that you can choose to pay a monthly fee.

Boomerang for Gmail

This one is for very specific users, the ones who use KeePass as their password keeper called, “CKP – KeePass integration for Chrome.”  This basically allows users of KeePass to add the password capability into Chrome for quicker access.  That way you do not have to open the stand-alone program to get to your site passwords but only use the link for CKP.  I have written about KeePass several times over the years so check for it on DoubleClicks.info.

This next one may be very useful for some yet useless to others.  Pretend you have a webpage you are reading with several valuable (to you) links on the page.  You would like to keep a list of the links only.  You do not need the graphics, write up or ads that are also on the page.  Enter, “Copy Links” which does just what it says.   After you install the extension, go to a page you want the links from, click the “Copy Links” icon. It gives you several choices of what to copy, you click and nothing happens.  At least nothing that you can see.  But if you use the paste controls on your computer it will paste all the links that were on the page.  No additional text just the plain “http” address without graphics, etcetera.

Keep those emails coming and I will see you for the next few weeks with some more Google Chrome Extensions.

March 28, 2017

Schemes, Part 1

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:27 am

There are a lot of cyber-schemes going around today.  And yes, they have been going around for years.  However, it seems to me that they have become more abundant over the last several months.

You know the emails with strange attachments, the links from companies asking you to log in and check your account.  Then the deposed politicians in foreign countries who need your help getting money, etcetera.

Scheming Computer 

I am getting multiple emails a week…sometimes daily which is a bit disturbing.  It really bothers me in that I pretty much feel confident that I avoid most of them but some of you may not.  I will never say that I will avoid them all because sooner or later I may mess up.

So first, perform the standards of keeping your operating system, antivirus, and anti-malware software up-to-date.  That is a significant help to you.

I took a class on security recently and thought I should share a few tips with you.  Some you may not have ever considered.  

One is, what should be done if you find a thumb drive laying on the ground somewhere?  DO NOT put it in your computer to see if there is any secret "stuff" on it.  Yes, it may have financial data, account numbers, legal documents, pictures or who knows what on it.  However, it is possible that it could have a virus on it.  You put it in your system and, "boom," you could have a very big problem with your computer.  You should give it to someone in "charge" at the location.  If it is in the middle of nowhere, toss it in the trash. 

How about your passwords?  Yes, I know that everyone has a different password for every single site they visit…not.  But you probably have multiple passwords you use from time-to-time.  How ever you deal with passwords they should be secure.  A secure password has at least eight characters and includes a minimum of one upper case letter, one lower case, a number and a symbol.   "12345678" is not a good password, but "Row3Urbt!" is.  So how do you remember it if it is that difficult?  Take a look at that one, how about, "Row, row, row, your boat?"  Make up those that are easy for you to remember, like the first letter of each word of your favorite song, followed by the year you graduated with an exclamation point-at the beginning.  Play with it and if you can do 12 characters it is much better.

Click the graphic below and use the password checker below
to find out how secure your passwords are. 

(Do not enter you actual PW but something close.)

Check the security of your password here.

Next, what about your computer when you leave the house?  Make sure of several things.  First, do not leave it unlocked.  On your windows PC press the Windows key and the "L" keys at the same time and it is locked/secured.  Make sure that you have not left a piece of paper lying around or under your keyboard with your password(s) on it.  Do not leave your thumb drive lying there as they are easy to walk off with.  Take your cell phone with you.  And this is old school but do not leave your tax returns lying on the desk before you leave for a movie.

More next week.

May 3, 2016

Windows 10 Tips, Part 5

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:49 am

Two last Windows 10 tips today. 

When you upgrade your operating system (OS) it has a setting to roll back to your previous version of Windows.  So if you did not like W10 you can roll back to your former Windows 7 or 8 operating system.  I personally have only known a couple of people to do this and it was successful; however, I do not recommend it.

Once you have advanced to W10 and have the ability to roll it back to the previous version you will have a lot of hard drive space taken up by the old OS.  If you have decided you like W10 you can delete that data from your system.  It is about 20 GB of space used up for nothing if you do not intend to move back to the old world.

Start/Disk CleanupTo get that space back start by clicking the start button and type, "Disk Cleanup", click it and choose your C drive.  A window will start saying that it is calculating how much space you will save after it finishes.  This may take several minutes depending on the size of your hard drive and the number of applications on your computer.  Be patient.

Disk Cleanup

The next window has a list of items it can clean and will tell you the total savings you will get after it runs.  I advise you to check them all to get maximum effect.  Now click the button on the lower left labeled "Clean up system files" which is where the restore data you want to remove is located.  The "Disk Cleanup" window will return and it will run through the original process again; however, it may not take as long to complete.

Clean up system files

After it has ended make sure all of the check boxes are checked again.  Then notice you now have one that says, "Previous Windows installation(s)" which is larger than the others.  That is unless you have a full Recycle Bin.  On my computer it was about 17 GB but yours could be larger or smaller. 

Click OK and let it go.  Once done you will have a fairly good chunk of your hard drive space back.  Be sure that you do not intend to roll back to your previous version of Windows before you click OK.  Once you do so the old version is gone.  

And now for the absolutely best feature in Windows 10. (Well, OK in my opinion.)  In previous versions of windows when you have multiple windows opened at the same time you could only scroll the active window.  You know if you were browsing a recipe online in your browser and typing it into a text document.  Then if you wanted to scroll down the page in your browser while you were typing you had to click the browser window to make it active in order to do so.  No longer.

All you do now is hover your mouse over the window and scroll.  Wherever the mouse is becomes the active window without clicking.  If your cursor was in your text document, you may even continue typing while scrolling in another application.  That is very useful to me.

Settings for this are available going to Start and typing, “Mouse and touchpad settings” and shown below.  This is only if you are interested in looking or need to change the settings.

Hover Scroll

March 3, 2015

Google Tricks, Part 3

Google Logo

For the last couple of weeks I have told you about some interesting Google tricks you can do, some helpful, others fun.  Your interest in emails has shown me that you would like a couple more of their tricks, so here we go.  Remember always start on the main Google.com page for these to work.  Most will anyway but they will definitely work from the main page.

Pretend that you are researching some item on Google, say bananas.  You search using Google.com as usual with, "banana farms" and find many links with information.  Many of the sites reference, "Chiquita" but you do not want any more information on that company.  To weed out that company type, "banana farms -Chiquita".  The results will have removed, "Chiquita" from most all of the searches.  The use of a minus sign filters your searches by removing the following word.

You may want to get information is a particular format, say a Microsoft PowerPoint slide show which contains the phrase you are looking for.  Search Google this way.  Type, " ‘space the final frontier’ filetype:ppt" in the search box.  Two things to remember.  First thing is that you need to put regular quotes around the phrase you are searching and no space between the colon and the file type after it.  You could also search for graphics using, "jpg" extension; however, it is better to use the Google image search for that.  Other extensions you may search for are Word files (doc and docx), Excel (xls and xlsx), Portable Document Format (pdf), PowerPoint as stated previously (ppt), Text (txt), Open Document Format (odf) and many more from various programs.  

What can you do if you remember reading an article on a site in the past and need to "refind" that article?  Google allows you to search a site for keywords.  For instance you remember an app I wrote about called "Ninite" and want to find it.  You could go directly to my site and search for it or you could go to Google.  In Google type, "ninite site: www.doubleclicks.info" search and you will find several times I have mentioned it online.  Capitalization does not matter; however, spacing is very important.  You must have a space between the term you are searching for and after the colon or you search may fail. 

Two last items are more of a set up and not a trick.  First, if you like the "I’m Feeling Lucky" link in Google and now it is gone most likely you have somehow turned on "Instant predictions."  To go back to the "old" way go to Google.com page, look in the lower right corner and click, "Settings," "Search settings." Finally under "Google Instant predictions" click the "Never show instant results" button.  While there you can also try, "Advanced search."

Try searching with your voice if you have not before.  From Google.com click the gray microphone to the right of the search box.  You will see when it is ready, then just talk away.  This will only work if you have a mic on your computer and it is on/working.

February 17, 2015

Google Tricks, Part 1

Looking over my articles, I realized I’ve never written about a few fun — but widely unnecessary — tricks available through Google.

Keep in mind, to use each of these tricks, you must start with a fresh Google.com page, not one from a previous search. You can also use the, “I’m Feeling Lucky” search button, if available; however, it does not usually show once you start typing.

Also, leave out the quotation marks when following the directions for searches below, or they will not work properly.

First, a few silly tricks: Try typing either “tilt” or “askew” and search, watching your Google window carefully. To undo it, type “untilt” and hit enter.

For a real trip, type “do a barrel roll” and press enter.

Do a Barrel Roll now!

Make a bet with a friend and type “flip a coin” in the search bar to see what you get.

Are you one of the many, “Six Degrees of Separation” players out there? If you’ve not heard of it before, people name a celebrity and if their opponent is wise enough, they can come up with no more than six other people to connect that celebrity with Kevin Bacon. Type, “Frank Sinatra bacon number” and see that how Frank and Kevin are related. Yes, in less than six steps: Frank Sinatra and John Lithgow appeared with Johnny Carson; then, John Lithgow and Kevin Bacon appeared in Footloose.

Sinatra's Bacon #

In the mood for a game? Try typing, “Google Pacman,” search and then click the graphic with, “Click to play” in yellow.

For all of you Doctor Who fans out there type, “Google Who” search and click the “Doctor Who 50th Anniversary — Google Doodles” link to play.

Both of these should pop up first in the search results.

Maybe you are dieting and wish to compare foods? Try typing, “banana vs green beans” in to Google (or any other two foods). Omit the period after “vs,” or it will not work.  You will see a graphic of the two foods with some dietary information for each. Directly below that small area, you will see a down arrow which will provide more information for each food when clicked.

If you need to know the weather for most anywhere in the world, try, “forecast Castelsardo” or use a zip code, if you know it.

Try, “sunrise” or “sunset” for any location in the world. Zip codes will work for this, too. If you found this information useful or interesting, let me know via email and I will share a few more for next time. 

Sunrise or Sunset anywhere

September 4, 2012

Windows 7 Tips, Part 2

Last week we took a look at using the control key plus the arrow keys to move your Windows around the screen.  Today we check out a few more Windows 7 tricks.  Remember as you read that ‘W +’ means to hold down the Windows key (the one with the logo to the left of the space key) and the key to the right of the ‘+’.  Just like using the Shift key to capitalize a letter.

I had several emails suggesting other shortcuts with the Windows key and the following which took care of one of my complaints.  I wrote that you could use, ‘W + M.’ This minimizes all opened windows to the taskbar.  My complaint was there is no way to restore them and I was correct.  However, Bobby wrote in saying that if you use the ‘W + D’ keys you can minimize all open windows.  When you try it again they all restore.  Thanks Bobby, now I can die happy.

If you run gadgets on your desktop try the, ‘W + G’ keys.  This will bring your desktop gadgets to the top of all other windows.  They will go away when you click on the window under them.  I find this convenient to check the weather and time, since I use those two gadgets. 

Windows Mobility CenterTry, ‘W + X’ which opens the "Windows Mobility Center."  While there you can adjust several different settings on your computer.  You can play with your monitor’s "Display Brightness." You can also cut your wireless network on and off.

Are you at a location away from home with your notebook and need to walk away for a few seconds?  Use ‘W + L’ to immediately lock your computer.  It protects you since it makes you use your password to get back to your work (if you have previously set one up for your account).

ExplorerOpen your Computer in Explorer and get to your drives, Favorites, Networks and Libraries by using ‘W + E’.  Try it.  You will like it if you usually get there using other more time consuming routes.

This shortcut is one I use often.  Take a look at your Taskbar.  It contains icons which open programs when you click them with your mouse.  You probably have one for "Windows Explorer", "Internet Explorer", and "Media Player."  For the sake of argument, let us say you only have those three and they are in that order.  Number the icons in your head, 1 to 3.  To open "Media Player" (which is number 3 in this example) press, ‘W + 3.’  For "Windows Explorer" use, ‘W + 1’, etc.  This will only work for the first nine icons on the taskbar.

Another Taskbar shortcut combo is, ‘W + T’.  This shortcut will highlight the first icon on the Taskbar whether it is an opened program or not.  Press Enter to activate that program.  Use the right or left arrow keys (by themselves) in order to move between icons.

Since I do a lot of talks, training and presentations with my computer one of my favorites is, ‘W + P’.  This shortcut opens the screen selection control.  From here you can choose to use your computer’s monitor, a connected projector or both.  Choose from "Disconnect Projector", "Duplicate" "Extend" or "Projector Only." This is much easier than in the olden days. Windows key + p

February 22, 2011

January 4, 2011

Excel Tricks, Comments

Comment marker, the small red triangle in the cornerI know you have seen them in Excel workbooks before and wanted to add our own.  You know what I am talking about, those little red triangles in the upper right corner of a cell.

Hover over a cell with a Comment Additionally, when you hover your mouse over that cell a yellow box pops up with a red arrow pointing to the cell.  Oh yeah, that box has text in it concerning that cell.

The little triangle indicates that there is a "Comment" for the reader in the cell.  You already know how to read the comments but how to add, edit, remove and print them may not be in your skill set…yet.  Cell comments are useful for explaining information in a cell, explaining a formula you have in a cell, or just merely making a general comment about a cell for someone else to read.  One comment may only be added to each individual cell. Consider the recipients of the spreadsheet …too many red triangles will make the data confusing.

imageTo create a comment, right click on the cell in which you wish to leave a comment and choose Insert Comment (you may also use the quick keys, SHIFT + F2).  The yellow box opens up with the licensed owner of Office pre-entered which may be deleted.  Type whatever you wish in the comment: any characters, numbers, letters, spaces, symbols, etc.  To close the comment box, click anywhere outside the comment box.

Position your mouse pointer over this cell and the comment pops up.

To edit a cell comment, right click on the cell that contains the comment you want to edit.  Choose Edit Comment from the menu that pops up and edit all you wish.  You may also change the size and location of the box.  Play with the edges of the box and experiment.

Now to delete a comment, once again right click on the Cell that has the "offending" comment.  Choose Delete Comment from the menu that pops up.

If you want to see the comments automatically while the sheet is opened, right click the commented cell once more and choose, "Show/Hide Comment".  It acts like an on/off switch so to hide it again repeat the previous step choosing "Hide."  Any "shown" comment will show up if you print the sheet, so make sure it isn’t hiding any data on the spreadsheet before printing.

You most likely realize that comments (unless revealed using above steps) do not print in a worksheet so you will have to change the print settings.  To make them print using version 2007 + go to Page Layout tab, Page Setup group, lower right corner arrow.  For pre-2007 versions click File, Page Setup and continue, click the Sheet tab and under Comments select whether you want them to print "as displayed on sheet" or "at end of sheet".

Go ahead, make some comments in your next worksheet.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress

%d bloggers like this: