Author Archives: Lance Whitney
You likely depend on your Microsoft account so you want to make sure it’s safe and secure. You probably use your Microsoft Account for a variety of tasks. You may use it to sign into your Windows 10 PCs and other devices. You might use it to access Microsoft Office, Skype, and other Microsoft products and subscriptions. You can use it to sign into various Microsoft services such as Xbox Live. And you may use it to establish your payment options with Microsoft. For all those reasons and more, you want to make sure your Microsoft Account credentials don’t fall into the wrong hands. How can you secure and protect your account? We will walk you through these security fundamentals: First, you need to ensure that you’re using a strong and complex password. (Make sure it’s not one of these.) Then you can secure your account and verify your identity by using backup email addresses or a phone number and a code sent via text message. You can set up two-factor authentication to further protect your account. And you can verify your identity on your mobile phone via the Microsoft Authenticator app. I’ll assume you already have a Microsoft Account to … Read More
Here’s how to take advantage of the best and brightest features in Firefox. Though Firefox may have lost ground against rival web browsers, it remains an effective web browser, especially with the release of Firefox Quantum in November, which boosted speed and performance. Firefox is my favorite browser and the one I use as my default. I like the Firefox interface for its simplicity and power. And I find it easy to customize. To squeeze the most out of Firefox, you’ll want to tweak its different features and options. You can modify the toolbars, select your search engines, and tighten your privacy and security. You can sync your bookmarks, passwords, and history list across different devices. And you can enhance Firefox by installing any of thousands of different add-ons. Let’s see how you can best use and tweak Firefox. First, make sure you’ve updated Firefox to the latest version to grab the performance boost from Quantum. To do this, open Firefox, click on the Help menu. (Don’t see the menu bar at the top of the browser? Right-click on any empty area at the top and then select the option for Menu bar.) From the Help menu, select About Firefox. … Read More
Columns can be challenging, but you can master them with the right techniques. You’re creating a Microsoft Word document that you think may work better if formatted into columns. Fine, but columns can be tricky. You have to decide how many columns to use and how and where to apply them. And columns can often run amuck by breaking at the wrong places, not continuing correctly to the next page, or not stopping where you want them to stop. You often have to play around with the columns to coax them to come out right. Believe it or not. columns can be easier. If you know how to create and customize your columns, you should be able to get them to work and look the way you want. Why even fuss with columns? You may be creating a newsletter or brochure in Word and need to format your document in columns for printing. You may be writing a report that has to adhere to a column format. But even a regular document formatted in columns can be more inviting and easier to read than one in which the text stretches across the entire width of the page. The steps I … Read More
These tips and tricks can help you more easily handle a huuuuuge spreadsheet. You’ve created an Excel spreadsheet that stretches beyond what you can see on the screen, maybe one that encompasses hundreds of rows or columns. And now working with and navigating that spreadsheet has become slow and clumsy. Do you need to pare down your spreadsheet? Nope, don’t change it. Instead, you can tap into various tools and features in Excel to use and move around your big spreadsheet. Here’s what you can do: Certain keyboard shortcuts can hop around your spreadsheet in the blink of an eye. You can also name cells or ranges of cells to move to them by name. You can filter the data in a row to see only certain content. You can freeze specific rows and columns, such as header rows, so they’re always visible. And you can split your spreadsheet to see more than one area. Let’s check out the different ways to work with large Excel spreadsheets. I’m using Excel 2016 for the examples here, but you should be able to apply the same tricks in the past couple of versions of the program. To start, load Excel and create … Read More
With the right tools, you don’t need to open a file or its application to view it. You may work with a lot of different files in Windows — Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, OneNote notebooks, PDF files, graphic files, video files, audio files, and more. Sometimes you need to check out one file after another. That can be time-consuming since it means you need to launch each file’s native application to view it. Well, not necessarily. There are ways you can view a file without having to launch its application. Here are the five options we’ll be looking at: Windows itself offers a preview pane in File Explorer through which you can view a variety of file types. A free program called File Viewer Lite can display more than 150 different file types. If you need even more options and don’t mind spending some money, File Viewer Plus can display more than 300 different file types at a cost of $39.95. Free File Viewer is a simple and free program that can display more than 200 file types. Quick View Plus is a robust file viewer, one that can display more than 300 file types. The only downside … Read More
You can beef up Outlook with the right programs. You may rely on Microsoft Outlook for your email, calendar, and contacts. And Outlook certainly offers a lot of features and flexibility. But you want more. Maybe you want a better way to search for emails and other information. Perhaps you’d like an easier method for accessing and modifying key Outlook settings. Maybe you need a good tool to find lost or unreadable emails. Perhaps you want to sync your Outlook calendar with your Google calendar. Never fear. Some top tools are here. We’re going to review: Email Insights, which tries to find more relevant emails based on your search parameters. OutlookTools, which provides a single place where you can view and change key settings and folder options in Outlook. Stellar PST Viewer, which can scan a corrupted PST file and help you access emails you may have thought lost. And Sync2, which syncs your Outlook calendar events with those in Google Calendar so you can easily view and update either calendar. I ran each of the tools in Outlook 2016 via my Office 365 subscription. But they should work as well in the past couple of versions of Outlook. Now, … Read More
Kicking off your mail merge in Outlook offers some advantages. You may have run mail merges directly in Microsoft Word. But did you know you can also start them from Microsoft Outlook? Sure. Microsoft Word still runs the actual mail merge, but you can trigger the mail merge in Outlook, then go to to Word to complete it. Okay, so why start a mail merge in Outlook instead of Word? In Outlook, you can directly view and access your contact list. And if you need to send a form email, Outlook can handle that task. Maybe you have a form email that you want to send to friends and family. Perhaps you need to distribute a certain email to a larger number of colleagues. Or possibly you’ve created a promotional email that you want to send to potential customers or clients. Whatever the reason, Outlook can help. I’m using Outlook 2016 and Word 2016 as usual. But you should be able to replicate the process in the prior version or two of both programs. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
You can edit PDF files without having to shell out big bucks for the full Adobe Acrobat program. Someone has sent you a PDF file for your review or responses. Now you need to fill out text fields, add a signature, or insert comments to the file. Perhaps you’ve discovered a typo or other error that needs to be corrected or changed on your end. Or maybe you need to delete or rearrange pages in the file. Yes, you can edit the file with the full version of Adobe Acrobat. But that’s an expensive program, especially if you don’t need it on an ongoing basis. Instead, you can turn to some free tools to edit the file. The free Adobe Acrobat Reader is designed mainly for displaying PDF files, but you can perform basic maneuvers, such as adding text, highlighting specific areas, and inserting your signature. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Here are several maneuvers that can help you juggle a lengthy Word document. Your latest Microsoft Word document has ballooned to dozens or perhaps hundreds of pages. And working with such a lengthy document can be slow and awkward. Thankfully, Word offers several options and features that can ease the pain of navigating, organizing, and viewing a long document: You can add page numbers to keep track of the pages. You can set up a Table of Contents to display different sections. You can zoom out to view multiple concurrent pages and turn on Split View to view different parts of the document at the same time. You can enable the Navigation Pane to more easily see and jump to a specific page. As usual, I’m using Word 2016 via my Office 365 subscription. But all or most of the features I cover here should work the same in the past couple of versions of Word. Open Word. Ideally, you’ll want to have a long document in front of you as I go through the different options. If not, just follow along. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
You can format your documents in one shot using the right theme. Do you often struggle to format your Word documents with the right look and layout? Rather than trying to build your document piece by piece and paragraph by paragraph, you can instead format it in one fell swoop by tapping into a theme. A theme arranges text and other elements with a certain font, color, and other attributes. Themes can spruce up your documents by automatically applying a particular look and layout to your titles, subtitles, body text and more. You can use a theme on a plain document with no special formatting. But to get the full benefit of themes, you’ll first want to touch up the key elements of your document with styles. From there, you can choose a specific theme to enhance your entire document. Word comes with several built-in themes, and you can create and save your own themes. Let’s check out how to use themes in Word. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.