Posts Tagged ‘tech tip’


Tech Tip 6/16/11 – Customizing your Ribbon

Written by Mike. Posted in Daily Tips

One of the cool things about Microsoft products is that each new version seems to give users more control over their user environment; for example, starting in Excel 2007 and now expanded in 2010, is the ability to customize the quick access toolbar (QAT).

For those that don’t know what the quick access toolbar is, it’s the little submenu that sits atop your ribbon:

Initial bar

The reason a lot of people don’t really notice it’s existence is because initially, the QAT doesn’t have much on it, just the Save and Undo features; but notice the little down arrow on the right end:

Down arrow

Clicking on it brings up this dropdown:


Anything you click on the dropdown will be added to the QAT, making it faster, quicker and easier to run those commands:

new command added

Here we’ve added the New command.

But, it wouldn’t be cool if that was all you could do, note at the bottom of the dropdown, the option that says More Commands. Clicking on it brings up this pane:


Anything on the left side can be put on the right, making commands that you use frequently, always just a click away. To add them either double click on the one’s you’re after, or highlight them and then click the Add button:

added commands

Note also that you can move the commands around so that they will appear in a different order on your QAT by using the Up and Down arrows:

Up and Down Arrows

Once you’ve added the commands you want and have them in the order you like, click the OK button to accept your changes, note how the commands you added are now shown on your QAT.

modified QAT

Another way to add commands to your QAT is to right-click commands on your ribbon menu. You can add a picture to a chart, for example, by clicking the Insert tab on your main ribbon, then right-clicking on Picture, to get this drop-down:

Add to QAT

Choosing Add to Quick Access Toolbar, will do just that:

Picture command added

And finally, you can move your QAT by clicking on the down arrow at the end of your QAT and then choosing Show below the Ribbon. This puts the QAT below the ribbon, like this:

Move QAT

Customizing your QAT is one way of making your life easier in Excel where it’s not always easy to remember where the commands you want to use are located, or to speed up the use of those you use more often than others.


Tech Tip 4/15/2011 – Importing Internet Data to Excel

Written by Mike. Posted in Computers, Daily Tips

Oftentimes, users of Excel find they’d like to be able to import data from an external source such as a web page, this is particularly true of web sites that list stock information. What many people don’t know is that Excel does have a facility for doing just this.

To see how it works, open Excel to a new blank document, then click somewhere in your sheet to make it your current document, then click on the Data tab on the main ribbon

From Web Icon


Tech Tip 3/22/2011 – Speed up your PC Day 9

Written by Mike. Posted in Computers, Daily Tips

9.) Remove unnecessary programs in Windows

Speeding up your PC – Geeks.comIf you buy a computer from an OEM such as Dell or HP, it’s most-likely filled with “bloatware”, the programs that are usually trial but are installed with the OEM’s copy of Windows. While these programs are harmless, they get annoying because they slow your computer down considerably. You can either manually uninstall each program from CONTROL PANEL – ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS, or you can download and install PC Decrapifier. This program searches your computer, targets the programs that are considered bloatware such as “Auto Backup – Free Trial!”, “McAfee 90-day Trial”, and “eMusic” and un-installs them to not only free up hard drive space, but also increase performance.


Tech Tip 3/19/2011 – Speed up your PC Day 6

Written by Mike. Posted in Computers, Daily Tips

6.) Update Drivers

This obviously sounds like a chore but keep in mind that with the super fast pace of technology, having the most up-to-date software is important for a computer’s stability, compatibility and performance. For example, if you play PC games or do heavy graphics editing, your gaming/editing performance might suffer if you’re using outdated drivers from the video card manufacturer. (Or OEM PC maker)


Tech Tip 3/16/2011 – Speed up your PC Day 3

Written by Mike. Posted in Computers, Daily Tips

3.) Upgrade your computers hard drive to a new/bigger/faster one!

Speeding up your PC – Geeks.comHard drives are getting faster, cheaper and bigger so pick up a new one! Whether your current one is old, sputtering on its last spindle rotation, or almost at full capacity, you can purchase a 500GB, 750GB or 1 Terabyte drive that has much more buffer cache, faster spindle speeds and can even consume less power! (eco-green models) Even if your current drive is working fine, a second hard drive is handy as a large dumping ground for files or can serve as a place to store back-up images of your current hard drive. If you don’t feel like cracking open your case, you can opt for an external hard drive and dump your archive files there to free up space. The reason is because as a hard drive gets full, its performance decreases because it has to work harder to access files.


Tech Tip 3/13/11 – Solve your own errors

Written by Mike. Posted in Computers, Daily Tips

This primarily applies to problems you might have with your computer at home but it can happen anywhere.  While working on your computer did you ever get an alert message and you had no idea what it meant?  You know, something that looks like this:

I can’t tell you what an error messages like this means but I can tell you how to find out:

  1. When an alert box pops up with an error message in it take note of what it says.  If it doesn’t make sense to you write down exactly what it says (or highlight the text and copy it if you can)
  2. Open up the internet and go to a search engine (google, yahoo, ask).   Type (or paste) the error message into the search engine and click “search”
  3. Look at the responses carefully.  Chances are you are not the first person who has ever seen this message before.  Some of the people who have seen that error before have actually made entire web pages up about their experience.  Some of these websites might tell you how to fix the problem.  In many cases the company that created the software will create a website that offers free downloads that you can use to repair the error.  Check out these sites for a solution to your problem.

Tech Tip 3/4/11 – Making Website Text Larger

Written by Mike. Posted in Computers, Daily Tips

Here is a tip that I showed my wife last night:

Say you are on a computer and always have to squint to see the words or have to sit closer to the monitor. There is an easy way to make the text much larger. Open up your browser and hit:    Ctrl and +


To decrease the size, hit Ctrl and -

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