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All posts tagged Tip Of The Day

 

That Word Document You Made …

“… I love all the image samples in it and I want to turn them into a gallery. Any ideas how to save them all in one go?”

This question came up recently regarding a large Word document with a substantial number of images in.

Word allows you to select and save individual images to a variety of formats from the right-click menu:

Word document - save an image

However, this feature does not work for multiple selected images, so what do you do?

It’s An Easier Hack Than You Thought.

After considering several options, testing and rejecting them I realized that the answer was hidden in the FILE tab in the menu bar of Word.

Simply go to the File menu > Save As > select from the File Type: Web Page (*.htm, *.html) and where-ever you save this a subdirectory will be created containing all the images saved as *.png files.

Word document - Save as web page

The Warptest POV

This is a nice, easy solution that requires no scripting, complex manipulations or indepth technical knowledge and grants you free access to use all the images embedded in your Word document as you see fit.

This might just be my favorite Word hack right now. What’s yours?

 

Daylight Saving Time

Love it or hate it here in Israel we just changed our clocks and our computers seem to have handled it okay, so do our Smartphones.

After twiddling with our analog clocks and watches those are fine too.

The recurring problem here that most people forget about is how Daylight Saving Time can do unfortunate things to our web calendars.

Daylight Saving Time - Calendar

Panic In The Streets

Whether it’s CalDAV or ActiveSync doesn’t seem to matter, every year at some point in the days after the change to Daylight Saving Time we notice that the appointments are scheduled wrong and for those of us with good memory we laugh it off and change it to the right time. Most of us have a real Khaaaaan moment and hunt for the original email about the appointment.

Seamlessly made with Picotale in Microsoft So.cl
It gets better:

  • If an appointment is sent between platforms e.g. I invite someone using GCal from my Outlook.com Calendar then the actual appointment time maybe an hour off.
  • If I sync appointments between my phone and my web calendar then this Daylight Saving Time bug can occur too.

Basically for several weeks there is a level of uncertainty whether we can trust the time our appointments are set at.

The beauty of calendar appointments is they are easy to make and easy to approve so what do we do to sort this out?

This is where common sense comes in to the picture…

The Warptest POV

I’m blessed with being married to a smart, sensible and beautiful wife. She came up with a great way to make sure you aren’t late for that important meeting or interview:

When you add an appointment to your web calendar write the time in the description as part of the text. Don’t just rely on the time field which is where the problem can lie.

The basic test is send a dummy appointment to a friend and ask them to check after they approve it whether the times match.

Keep an eye on your calendar and if after a few days you see the problem isn’t occurring then you are probably safe but double-check after your phone and web calendar sync.

Good luck and have a great weekend.

 

 

How can eSATA Help You?

Suddenly you are looking at your laptop and recalling the time you wouldn’t run out of USB ports. Most laptops today have two, if you are lucky three USB ports and between wireless mouse dongles and external hard drives suddenly you can find yourself wanting to sync / charge your Smartphone but having to safely remove a device first.

What Do You Do? What Do You Do, Hotshot?

I was putting my laptop away and resigning myself to buying a USB Hub when I noticed something called an eSATA port. At first I didn’t pay attention to the USB symbol adjacent to the port.

The hard drive in your computer is likely connected via SATA. eSATA is the external version.

eSATA laptop port

I decided to see if I could find an eSATA adaptor for my external Hard Drive. My local computer store confirmed that eSATA will take a USB plug and should work in most cases but an adaptor doesn’t exist.

To date my external Hard Drive worked, my Disk on Key did not (Windows informed me that the file system was not recognized but that I could format it) and my Windows Phone both charged and sync’d seamlessly. The thing to keep in mind is to be careful when plugging and unplugging the USB devices, it’s a snug fit.

The Warptest POV

Using eSATA as an additional USB port is a really useful hack and this is something 99% of people may not know. Props to Computer Online of Country Center, Modiin, Israel for confirming this.

Hopefully this may help some of you.

Smoking Hot Wordpress Tip

Tip of the Day is Back on Warptest…

Today I have a meaningful tip for your WordPress blog.

We all love Jetpack right? Of course we do. Jetpack is your one stop shop for managing your blog dashboard and it only gets better with each release.

Jetpack for WordPress

Jetpack has a whole slew of features to make your WordPress life easier but I’m going to focus on Stats for today.

Jetpack Stats

One of the really nice things about Jetpack is it gives you statistics that give you a nice outline of what’s working to draw traffic to your blog.

Jetpack Stats

You get a nice bar chart and basic metrics which for those intimidated by Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools are a good starting point until you can learn either or both of those and how to turn the extensive information there into actionable intelligence.

Sometimes it’s also about feeling good…

Seeing which posts on a given day are getting how many views, web sources and links clicked is great and when a post has that halo effect and the numbers really start climbing you feel validated in terms of your writing and technical knowhow.

The point isn’t simply an Ego Boost though, it’s about learning what works and what doesn’t and applying those lessons onwards to bring your message to the people.

Cadbury Boost Bar

With thanks to Cadbury’s Chocolate …

http://www.cadbury.co.uk/products/Boost-2393?p=2393

What’s missing?

The one statistic that I couldn’t easily find or produce without some scripted / automated intervention was total number of views per post.

I didn’t want to have to jump through hoops or hear the Mission Impossible theme every time I wanted to track this metric but it wasn’t there at the click of a mouse.

Courtesy of the Amazing Lindsey Stirling and The Piano Guys via YouTube.com

Warptest POV

(Here is a tip within a tip:) 99% of the time if you see a problem then someone else is also feeling your pain. Sometimes this means the solution is already out there waiting to be discovered, at best you have someone to collaborate with on solving the problem.

In this case, most WordPress problems have solutions waiting to be found by searching through Plugins; I found my solution in the Jetpack Post Statistics Link which according to the Developer has one limitation “…only if the post appears in the top 10 posts for the day.”

Let’s face it though, your best work should be your most recent, certainly in terms of lessons learned (about content writing, SEO etc.)

In a nutshell, this plugin delivers nicely. Well played HomeDev.

So WordPressers, I hope this helps you out and if there is anything you would like to see in another Tip of the Day then drop me line either in the post Comments or you can get me on Twitter as @jonathanross

The New Windows UI

The Windows 8 revolution has begun …

I don’t believe that it’s empty hyperbole to describe the launch of Windows 8 as a revolution. This is the Operating System as it should be.

Windows has evolved and as a result the most important preparation you can make before upgrading to Windows 8 is to prepare yourself.

It doesn’t really matter what OS you have used until now …

Whether it was Windows XP, Vista or 7, a flavor of Linux or Apple’s Mac OS X, the UI / UX for Windows 8 is something different; as is the seamless integration of Microsoft’s Cloud Services.

Your Windows Login can be set (opt-in) to use your Microsoft Account (formerly your Live ID) as your login and this brings with it a holistic sync of these services with the relevant apps:

You will find your Hotmail / Outlook.com, Contacts, Calendar and Skydrive all sync’d and accessible and if like me you are a Windows Phone user then the experience is even sweeter. You don’t have to have a Microsoft Account to use Windows 8 but the truth is, that is the way to maximize your investment in the OS.

Windows 8 is a cloud integrated OS at its very core and with this you are called on to embrace Apps versus Desktop Apps and perhaps more controversially the disappearance of the Start Menu.

Apps versus Desktop Apps …

Apps are Metro UI in design and the desktop for these utilizes Live Tile technology. We got our first taste of this in Windows Phone to a degree; Live Tiles are large, boldly designed icons that may display dynamic information regarding App related content e.g. Mail’s Live Tile may display the number of new / unread emails waiting for you, People’s Live Tile shows you the latest messages from your Contacts in the different connected Social Networks:

The New Windows 8 UI Desktop

This means that your Desktop is now a source of as much Real Time information as you see fit.

Desktop Apps are the classical Windows styled programs that will display in the Desktop. In some cases the

TIP: Your best friend in a non-touch enabled device is the Windows Key:

Used by itself it will toggle between Metro Desktop and Classical Windows Desktop.

Used in conjunction with the X key on your keyboard you get the Main Menu.

Windows 8 Desktop

Alternatively for the early adopter types, the power move is to use the Charms Menu. Swipe down from the top right with the mouse (if touch enabled with your finger)

The Windows 8 Charms Menu

The Warptest Perspective …

  • Prepare yourself: expect some degree of ramp up time in getting used to Windows 8. Revolutionary can be a bit hard to cope with if your mouse hand keeps straying towards the missing Start Menu.
  • I will deep dive the Charms Menu in a later post. This is a power feature that deserves more detail; Search alone is multifaceted, killer app.
  • The Metro UI Desktop: be aware that you can easily remove Live Tiles (right click the Tile you don’t need and a menu will open at the bottom of the screen)
  • Live Tiles and Cognitive Dissonance. Too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing. So if you find it distracting or confusing to have too many Live Tiles dynamically refreshing information then thin the herd.
  • I’ll say it one more time. Windows 8 is revolutionary and adjusting your mindset about how you are used to doing things will make for a stress free transition.

One thing is certain, the revolution is waiting for you too. Are you going to join?

How to prepare for WIndows 8

There are a couple of things you should know …

  1. The Windows 8 Pro disk is not just an Upgrade but apparently will install on an empty, suitably formatted partition of your Hard Disk.
  2. The Upgrade will offer to keep your data (files, movies, documents, photos, music etc.) and does so.
    1. However, I am a believer in being prepared so I backed up all this to my External Hard Drive the night before.
  3. NB run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant to check PC Hardware, Driver, Device and Software compatibility: –

  1. You are going to have to reinstall your software if there aren’t Windows 8 Apps in the Store better suited to your needs (I’ll deep dive this subject in another post but the choice of Apps in the Store is impressive for a new OS).
  2. Ensure that you have license keys for any purchased software.
    1. If you use a tool like Magic JellyBean Keyfinder then store the information either on your External Hard Drive or in the Cloud.
  3. Read the report produced by the Upgrade Assistant carefully.
  4. If like with me the Upgrade Assistant produces an unspecified error and not the report then:
    1. Save the installer > Turn off your Firewall > Run it as Administrator > Once you have the report Save it > Then Turn On your Firewall again.
  1. The install is fast and requires less intervention than any other Windows setup ever. I ran the DVD on an external USB DVD drive and the speed impressed me.
  2. I bought my Upgrade disk here in Israel so the install was completely in Hebrew. Once complete I had to download the English Language Pack and set this to change the OS to English.

Windows has traditionally allowed the user during install to check and set locale and language from UI to keyboard defaults.

Even now at boot and during Windows Update the system messages remain in Hebrew and yes I consider this a bug.

My request from Microsoft Support to their Twitter account @MicrosoftHelps got them pointing me in the right direction to an article on “Changing the Keyboard Layout”. Once you get the hang of how to find things in Windows 8 you are golden.

Which led me to the familiar Region and Language Settings.

In an nutshell: Search > Language > Settings > Region > Copy Settings > Enable checkboxes


[Footnote: this post was written from my newly upgraded laptop in Windows 8 Pro with Office 2013 Word]

More to follow on Windows 8…. Next: “The most important thing to do before upgrading to Windows 8”