Windows 8.1-What’s new?

Give me back my Desktop and Start Button! 

Yes, we all complained, and millions of voices could not be silenced. Newer wasn’t necessarily better, so Windows 8.1 has returned some old features and improved some others. The desktop is now much easier to access (yay!), but the Return of the Start button, misses the mark. START is back, but only as a means to access the much maligned START screen (boo!).

Return of the DESKTOP

The only thing on my Windows 8 Start screen I ever used was the Desktop tile. So going from boot-up to START screen, and then clicking on Desktop was an extra and unappreciated step. Now, with 8.1, you can re-enable booting up with Desktop.

Windows81a

Additionally, you can

  • Share the Desktop background with the Start screen,
  • Control the Corner Navigation ‘aka: hotspopts’

To access, RIGHT + CLICK  on the Taskbar , and select PropertiesNavigation.

Better SEARCH

With Windows 8.1 your Search includes not only your local drive and apps, but also your SkyDrive and web results. And speaking about SkyDrive, there is better integration and support for SkyDrive users.

Better CONTROL PANEL

The Windows 8 PC Settings was an abbreviated version of the familiar control panel. With limited settings available, To make a setting change one either had to search for it, or access the legacy windows Control Panel. Windows 8.1 has made more control panel applets accessible under Settings (although I still find it easier to use the search  option to locate the setting I am tweaking).

Easier TILING (aka ‘SNAP’)

The Windows 8 SNAP feature was (sorry) annoying, mostly in that you could not control the size of the windows you were tiling. Windows 8.1 improves this feature by allowing you to control the size of the tiled (oops, I mean SNAPPED) windows.

Additional articles to peruse:

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

Comments and questions are always welcome!

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Google Chrome Easter Eggs

Who doesn’t love Easter Eggs! 

No, not the Springtime ovo-cuniculus  variety (although they are good too). I am talking about those purposeless treats that programmers embed into applications, hoping that someone will come across it.

This is done less and less nowadays (probably because software firms assessed  how much time was being billed as ‘work time’ for a pointless feature. I still remember back in the when you could run a virtual Flight simulator from your desk by pressing a series of keys (google “Excel 97 Flight Simulator” for more on that).

Here are some ‘secret’ tricks for you Google Chrome users

In Chrome, enter any of the below into the search bar:

  • Type ‘do a barrel roll‘ then press Enter
  • Type ‘askew‘ (or Type ‘tilt‘ in the search bar and then press Enter)
  • Type ‘google in 1998‘ and press Enter (if you’re feeling nostalgic)
  • Type ‘google sphere‘ in the search bar and then CLICK  ‘ I’m Feeling Lucky ‘  (trippy!)
    GoogleSphere

And finally (although this is not really an Easter egg, but):

  • Hover your mouse over the ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button’ 

FeelingLucky_cropped

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

Comments and questions are always welcome!

Affordable Bluetooth ‘Tile’ finds your stuff

I like this! It combines consumerism with investing (and, might help me find my misplaced keys).

Tile(TM) is a Bluetooth tracking device that enables you to track your lost items. What’s more, you can share the tracking data across multiple Bluetooth devices so you and your significant others can form a ‘search party.’ PLUS you can leverage the network of Tile users and devices to create a swarm of search agents (sounds cool and freaky, huh?)

You can pre-order on the vendor’s website. Units are expected to ship in Winter 2013.

For a more clinical description follow this link to Ziff Davis article,

Or watch the vendor plea / pitch, below.

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

Comments and questions are always welcome!

Using Wildcards with Word Find and Replace features

A colleague  presented me with interesting challenge: An attorney she was working with entered comments into a document as parenthetical phrases. That is to say, the comments were entered ‘inline’, within parentheses and not by using Word’s INSERT COMMENT feature. Having already actioned the comments, she was looking for a simple method to find and remove all the parenthetical text.

Is it possible to search for and delete an unknown string of text, given the first and last characters ?

Yes!

Advanced Find and Wildcards to the rescue.

So our goal: find an open and close parentheses, including all that stuff in the middle, and replace it with nothing (essentially, deleting it).

Using Advanced Find and wildcards to delete text.

  1. Press CTRL + F to display the Navigation Pane.
  2. Click the drop-down to the right of the search icon and select Advanced Find. The Find and Replace dialog appears.
  3. If necessary, click the More button to display additional options.
  4. Check the Use Wildcards check-box.
  5. In the Find What area enter \(*\) 
    Note:  Usually, when conducting a wildcard search, the parenthesis is used to denote an expression. The backslash “\” is  used to indicate when a search device (in this case, the parenthesis) is to be taken literally.
  6. Click Find Next, then click Replace to delete selectively or Replace All to do so en masse.

Note when using wildcards the Find What text is case sensitive.

Additional Wildcards:

To find Type Example
Any character ? s?t finds sat and set
Any string of characters *  s*d finds sad and started
The beginning of a word  <  <(inter) finds interesting and intercept, but not splintered
The end of a word > (in)> finds in and within, but not interesting
One of the specified characters  [ ]  w[io]n finds win and won
Any single character in this range  [-] [r-u]ight finds right, sight and tight
One or more occurrences of the previous character or expression @ lo@t finds lot and loot

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

Comments and questions are always welcome!

PowerPoint 2013 Presenter View

Presenter View, a noble concept that never really caught on, is much improved in PowerPoint 2013.

Presenter View makes it easy for you to view your presentation and speaker notes on one one computer, while the audience views your presentation (notes free) on a different monitor or projection screen. Now, Presenter View is not only easier to use, it also offers some additional enhancements.  The improved Presenter view includes a show taskbar option, next slide preview, slide thumbnails, and  zoom!

To enable Presenter view

  • On the Slide Show tab of the Ribbon, in the Monitors group, check the Presenter View checkbox.

Here’s the hit list of what’s new:

Better dual monitor support and display

PowerPoint now ‘intelligently’ selects which monitor is your presenter monitor and which one is viewed by your audience.

Press ALT + F5 to simulate dual monitor display on one monitor

When practicing your presentation you no longer need two displays. Just press ALT + F5 to prepare a ‘dry-run’ of your presentation using just one monitor.

Presenter View
(click to zoom)

Presenter View Features

  • Timer:  Rehearse your timings using pause and reset options .
  • Notes: View your speaker notes (your audience doesn’t see this material).
  • Next Slide: See the next slide before your audience does.
  • Presenter Controls:

Presenter View_controls

    • Pen and Laser Pointers: Annotate your presentation with Pen, Highlighter and Arrow pointers
    • Show all Slides: View thumbnails of your presentation slides.
    • Black Screen: Blackout the audience’s view of your presentation.
    • More: Includes View Last Slide, End Presenter View, and End Show.

hɔuᴉnb

Comments and questions are always welcome!

Excel 2013 new feature: Timeline Slicer

What’s New in Excel 2013?  Timeline Slicers !

Timeline Slicers are a feature new to Excel 2013.
If your PivotTable contains dates, a Timeline Slicer affords you and your reviewers an easy method to filter and scale of the dates displayed..

(For detailed instructions on creating PivotTables review the 5 minute video tutorial  PivotTables and Slicers )

Inserting the Timeline Slicer

  1. Click here to open the file PivotTable Advanced Functions.xls file.
  2. Review the Sales sheet. This is the source of our PivotTable data.
  3. Click the Summary Sheet. A PivotTable has already been inserted, with the dates of Weekly Sales displayed in Rows, and a Slicer for the Category field applied.
  4. Select one of the cells containing data (e.g. A4).
  5. On the Ribbon, on the PIVOTTABLE TOOLS: ANALYZE tab, in the Filters group, click Insert Timeline. The Insert Timelines dialog appears.
  6. Check Weekly Sales and click OK. The Weekly Sales Timeline Slicer appears.
askq_timeslicers2
Weekly Sales Timeline Slicer

Working with Timeline Slicers

  • CLICK or CLICK+ DRAG on the timescale to filter timeline.
  • To change the scale, click the Level drop-down, at right, and select Years, Quarters, Months, or Days.
  • To quickly format, select a style from  the Timeline Styles on the TIMELINE TOOLS: OPTIONS  tab of the Ribbon.

Cheers!
hɔuᴉnb

Comments and questions are always welcome!

SlickLogin Aims To Kill The Password By Singing A Silent Song To Your Smartphone