These utilities will beef up Windows so you can work more smoothly and effectively. Windows comes packed with a host of features and programs that try to ease your life in front of the computer. But even after all these years and all these versions, Windows still lacks some key features that would make your work go even easier. That’s where third-party utilities come into play. Many such utilities compensate for the weaknesses or limitations in Windows. One such utility is ClipX, which can store multiple items at a time via the Windows clipboard. Another utility is EditPad Lite, which is more robust and flexible than Notepad or WordPad. And a third is VirtuaWin, which lets you create and bounce among multiple virtual desktops. Let’s look at some of my favorite utilities and see how they can help you. ClipX The Windows clipboard, which stores items you’ve cut or copied so you can then paste them, has been around since the beginning. But even after all these years, the clipboard is limited. The major limitation is that you can only copy or cut and paste one item at a time. Add another item to the clipboard, and the previous item … Read More
You can check out Office for free to help you decide if you want to buy it. Interested in using Microsoft Office — either the one-time purchase Office 2016 or the subscription-based Office 365, but not yet sure you want to shell out the money? Well, don’t open your wallet just yet. There are ways you can check out Microsoft Office for free to see if you like it before you spend your hard-earned cash. Here’s how to get started: try out the free Office Online version, which offers Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more. Though this version lacks the set of features of the desktop edition, it will at least give you a taste of the full suite. You can check out a free 30-day trial of Office 365 to see what you think of it. Alternately, At Microsoft’s TechNet Evaluation Center, you can access and use an eval version of Office 365 for up to 30 days. And if you’re a student or teacher at a qualifying school, you may be able to snag Office 365 for free. Let’s look at the different ways you can take Office for a free spin. A Look at the free Office Online … Read More
The latest financial reports showcase that Redmond’s bet on the cloud is paying off. But there’s one place that I think Microsoft could do better: Selling subscriptions to small businesses. I’ve personally found that buying various different cloud subscriptions can be confusing and in some cases, if you buy a cloud service from one vendor it may impact what you can buy from another vendor. Recently I wanted to buy a single copy of Windows 10 Enterprise including the Advanced Threat Protection service. But before I get into the particulars of my story, let’s step back a bit and explain what these new additional services do and why I wanted to purchase them. Microsoft has added to Office 365 and to Windows 10 desktops services that allows a savvy end user or a small business to have some interesting forensic tools at their disposal in the form of advanced threat protection service. When it’s added to Office 365, it allows the Outlook user to have additional protections from malware, ransomware and other targeted attacks. It filters urls in messages and filters email attachments. As noted in the literature, it can be added to the following products: Exchange Online Plan 1 Exchange … Read More
Want to get more out of Microsoft OneDrive or just customize some of its settings? Here’s how. You may already be running Microsoft OneDrive and hopefully find it an effective way to back up and synchronize your documents and other files. But what if you want to make changes to your OneDrive configuration? Maybe you want to add or remove folders to sync via OneDrive. Perhaps you want to change the location of the local folders that you sync with OneDrive. Or maybe you’ve accidentally deleted a folder or file in OneDrive and need to recover it. (Hint: OneDrive offers a Recycle Bin through which you can often recover deleted files). Yep, you can do all this by tapping into OneDrive’s settings on your PC and your online storage space. Let’s look at how to customize and manage your OneDrive configuration. We’ll be using the regular desktop version of OneDrive to start. The software is already baked into Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. Windows 7 users running OneDrive should already have downloaded the OneDrive application from the home page of the OneDrive website and used it to set up the service. Okay, let’s say you’ve been using OneDrive and now … Read More
Many of us use some form of cloud storage these days and if you are in the Microsoft ecosystem that means you are more than likely to be using OneDrive for that option. OneDrive is a sync-based cloud service: That means if you change, delete, or move a file on one device where you access those files then that action will be duplicated across all of your OneDrive access points. It does not make for a very good backup option compared to more traditional backups. However, there is a feature available that provides a short-term option to recover previous versions of your files, if you need to return to older editions to check revisions you made or reverse them. As of right now, OneDrive only supports Office documents for this Version History feature. however, this week Microsoft announced a change that will roll out to consumers by the end of summer: Instead of being able to retrieve only older Office documents, you’ll be able to recover previous versions of any file type you can store on OneDrive — so long as those previous file version are less than 30 days old. With all that said, let’s walk through how the version-history feature works in OneDrive. … Read More
You can beef up Microsoft Word with the right add-ins. Microsoft Word packs a lot of features and functionality into one single application. But there’s always room for more. Perhaps you wish Word included a built-in dictation feature that converted your speech into text. Or maybe you’d like a Word feature that reads your documents aloud to you. Or perhaps you’d like a built-in translator that can translate your text from one language to another. Well, Word may not include these items, but you can tap into them by installing an add-in. Add-ins provide greater functionality and flexibility to an Office application so you can do so much more with the program. You’ll find an array of Word add-ins through Microsoft’s online Office Store, but I’m going to highlight what I think are some of the top and most interesting add-ins to give you a head start. We’ll look at Dictate, an add-in that lets you dictate your documents directly into Word; TextAloud, an add-in that reads your text aloud to you; Read My Document; another add-in that reads your text to you; Translator, an add-in that can translate text in your document between different languages; Collins Dictionary; an add-in … Read More
So you want to get rid of all those browser cookies that track your every move online and result in annoying, targeted Web ads. So you open up your browser settings and delete all or some of the cookies that have accumulated. But the targeted ads keep coming. So what’s up? What’s up is a little Flash quirk that allows sites to store bits of code called “super cookies,” “persistent cookies,” or “zombie cookies.” No matter how you refer to them, their source is Adobe Flash which saves its version of cookies independent of any web browser functions. The possibly insidious nature of Flash cookies containing personal information and then directly or indirectly sharing it with abandon became quite the brouhaha in 2009 and 2010. Because Adobe Flash, too often needed for playing videos and audio, also became a favorite carrier of malware, Adobe was compelled to repeatedly patch and update to ward off real and potential security threats. So although the current versions have mostly cleaned up the malware intruders, Flash still permits sites to add tracking and other miscellaneous cookies. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown in how it works, using common sites as real-life examples. Let’s say Yahoo sells an ad to DoubleClick. This means when you … Read More
Is that file you permanently deleted gone for good? Not if you have the right software to bring it back to life. You’ve deleted a document or other file in Windows — only to realize you need that file. What can you do to get it back? Naturally, the first place to look is the Windows Recycle Bin. To check for the file, double-click on the Recycle Bin icon, which should be nestled on your desktop. You’ll see all the deleted files in the Recycle Bin folder. If you spot the file you want to recover, great. Just right-click on it and click Restore from the popup menu. The file is restored to its original location. The same holds true for a folder. Right-click it and click Restore, and the folder is returned to its original locale. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Included in the July 2017 cumulative update are several fixes precipitated by last month’s June updates. The 1703 release of KB4025342 includes the following fixes: It addresses an issue introduced by KB4022716 where Internet Explorer 11 may close unexpectedly when you visit some websites – this issue introduced by June’s security updates. It addresses an issue to improve MediaCreationTool.exe support for Setup Tourniquet scenarios. It addresses an issue with CoreMessaging.dll that may cause 32-bit apps to crash on the 64-bit version of the Windows OS. It addresses an an issue where Visual Studio or a WPF application may terminate unexpectedly (stops responding, followed by a crash) when running on a pen and/or touch enabled machine with Windows 10 Creators Update. It addresses an issue that causes the system to crash when certain USB devices are unplugged while the system is asleep. It addresses an issues with screen orientation that stops working after lid close and lid open transitions. It addresses an issue that causes .jpx and .jbig2 images to stop rendering in PDF files. It addresses an issue where users could not elevate to Administrator through the User Account Control (UAC) dialog when using a smart card. It addresses an issue where input using … Read More
Windows 10 works on desktops, laptops, tablets, and laptops that can turn into tablets (sometimes called convertibles or laplets). But its touchscreen interface is far from perfect, especially when you compare it to Android or iOS. There are good reasons to use a Windows 10 laplet instead of a dedicated tablet with an Apple or Google operating system: You have access to more powerful applications, you have a real, user-controllable file system, and most Windows 10 tablets can turn into full-fledged laptops. But when you remove your keyboard and mouse, and depend entirely on touch, Windows 10 turns clumsy. I’ll describe some of Windows 10’s worst touch UI problems, and hope that someone at Microsoft reads this article. I’ll also provide the few fixes and workarounds I could find. The Big Tiny Problem Consider selecting a folder from a dropdown menu in File Explorer. It’s easy with a mouse. But when the only pointer available is your finger, you have a good chance of selecting the wrong folder. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.