Category Archives: Computer Tips

Stuff that is good to know

Add a check box in a document

The easiest way to add a check box to a document in Word, is to go to Insert, Symbol, and then More Symbols.  Find the square box shaped symbol, click on it, and click Insert.  (Close the Symbols window now.) To change the size of the box, select (highlight) it, then return to the Home tab, and increase the font size until the box is the size you want.

Print a list of all the files in a folder

To print a list of all the files in a folder,  hold down the SHIFT key and Right Click on the folder.  Select Open Command Window here.  When the window opens, type dir > printit.txt, then press Enter.  There will be a new file, printit.txt, in the folder.  You can Right Click on this to print it, or double click on it to open in Notepad.

Windows 8.1 Autozoom and Trackpad settings

Sometimes the Trackpad or Clickpad on your lap top is too sensitive – you do so much as breathe on it and the screen changes…  You can change some of the settings which might help.

Go to Control Panel, and search for Mouse.  (A quick way to get to the Control Panel from the Desktop is to Right Click on the Start Screen symbol at the bottom left corner of the screen, then choose Control Panel.)

From here, it depends on your laptop – you need to look for something like Change Mouse Settings, or Clickpad Settings or Trackpad Settings.  Once you have the Trackpad Settings window, you can disable any features which drive you mad (like Pinch Zoom).

You can also change the sensitivity of the Trackpad: if you click on the arrow to the left of Pointing, you can then choose Sensitivity.  See also my earlier post Change the Sensitivity of the trackpad on your laptop.


Windows 8 – Create a short cut on the desktop

In Windows 8, you can find programs or apps like Word by going to the Start screen, using the Down Arrow, and then browsing your list of Apps.  When you find the app you want, you can right click on it and choose to Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar.

If you would like an icon on your desktop, then right click on the app, and choose Open file location.  This opens an explorer window on the desktop. Now right click on your chosen app and choose Send to then choose Desktop (create shortcut).  You wlill now have an icon on your desktop for your chosen app.

Venn diagrams in Word

To add a Venn diagram to a Word document:

Click on the Insert tab on the top ribbon, then click on SmartArt.  In the window that opens, choose Relationship, and then from the pictures available, choose the sort of Venn diagram you want, and click OK.

The dialogue box that opens allows you to type in text for each of the main circle shapes:

Venn diagram

It doesn’t let you add text to the overlap though.  If you want to add text to the overlap areas, go back to the Insert tab, and choose Shapes.  Choose a shape that resembles the overlapping portion  (probably an oval), and draw it and rotate it so that it sits on top of the overlap.  Then right click on the oval, click Edit Text, and type the text you want.
Then right click the oval and click Format Shape; on the Fill tab click No Fill; on the Line Colour tab click No Line and then click Close.

Collapsing or Expanding the top ribbon in Word

If you are editing a Word document, and you would like the top ribbon to take up less space on your screen, you can collapse it.  Either type CTRL and F1 , or click on the tiny arrow at the top right of the screen next to the question mark.  Do the same again to expand the ribbon back up.

CTRL and F1 will toggle between the two states.

gmail – How to move emails to a folder

If you use gmail, you can save messages in folders.  The folders you have are shown down the left hand side of the page; you will have at least: Inbox, Sent Mail, Spam.

When you are reading an email, you see the icons across the top of the page, like this:

google folder


If you click on the 5th icon from the right, which looks like a folder, a window opens with a list of available folders that you can move the email into.   Google, rather confusingly, refers to them as “labels”.  Click on the folder you want, and the emails will be filed there.

If you want to create a new folder, at the bottom of the window it says Create New.  Click on that, give the folder a name, in the box under where it ways Please Enter a New Label Name, and then click Create.  The new folder will be created, and your email moved into it.

If you are looking at your inbox, and you can see several emails that could be saved into a folder, click into the box to the left of each email you want to move (the box will get a tick in it).  You can then move them to a folder all at the same time, by clicking on the folder icon as above.


Change your Google Chrome spelling dictionary to UK English

It drives me crazy that Google Chrome keeps trying to correct my spelling to American.  Here’s what to do if it annoys you too!

Click on the 3 bars at the top right of the browser window, and then choose Settings, then at the bottom click on Show Advanced Settings.  Under Languages choose Languages and spell checker settings.  Now, English will probably be on the list already, but ignore this, and click the Add button, and then select English (UK) from the drop down menu and click OK,  You then go back to the previous window, where you must click on Display Google Chrome in this Language, and Use this Language for spell checking.  Finally, click Done (or OK) then close and re-start Chrome.  Hopefully from now on, your emails will be checked for English UK spelling, not American!

In Word, set default style to 2003

If you open a document in Word 2010 that was previously opened in Word 2003, you might find that it looks different – which can be annoying!  Some of the default options (line spacing and so on) were changed between Word 2003 and Word 2010.  If you want your documents all to look like they did in Word 2003, then:

On the Home tab, choose Change Styles then Style Set, then Word 2003.  If you want this to be the default from now on, choose Change Styles then Set as Default.

If you have Office 365, you will find that Word no longer has the Change Styles option, or a style that calls itself 2003 – instead you can use the Word 2003 Look template.