Change the sensitivity of the trackpad on your laptop

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I have a HP laptop running Windows 8, and this worked for me.  Your laptop may vary slightly, but the steps should be similar.

Open the Control Panel.  (Using the screen charms, choose Settings, then Control Panel).

Choose Hardware and Sound.

Your touchpad should be listed, click on Settings.

A new window opens, click on the arrow left of Pointing.

Click on Sensitivity.  On mine, I then get a “cog wheel” next to Sensitivity; I click on that, and I get a slider to adjust the sensitivity from Light Touch to Heavy Touch.  Move the slider, click Close, then OK, then close the Control Panel.

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Find and change hidden files and folders

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On Windows 8:
type Folder search and options into start page, then click on Change search options for files and folders

On Windows 7:
Go to Start, then Control Panel, then Appearance and Personalization, then click Folder Options

Windows 8 and 7:
Choose View, then Advanced settings, and choose Show hidden files, folders or drives.

Click Apply, then OK.

Press win(windows logo key)+r, and type %userprofile% and press enter.

A window with your userprofile opens.  To check the properties of the Temp folder, navigate Appdata/Local then right click on Temp and choose Properties. Choose the Securities tab, then choose Advanced.  Edit the permissions if you need to do so.


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Synchronizing across devices

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I have a Blackberry Q5 smartphone (running OS10), an ipad, a PC running Windows 7 and a lap top running Windows 8.  I was synchronizing my phone with Outlook on my PC to sync calendar and contacts, and then syncing my ipad with Outlook by connecting to itunes on the PC.

I created a new email address <<myname>>, and set that up on all my devices, set to synchronize contacts and calendar, and now everything is in sync, all the time!  Lovely!


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In Excel, subtract or add time values

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If you want to add or subtract times, as in hours and minutes, in Excel, you do it in exactly the same way as you manipulate other numbers, but you must tell Excel you are working in hours and minutes by formatting the cells as hh:mm (or one of the other time formats).

To do this, select the cells you are going to use, right click, format, and choose hh:mm (or one of the other time formats).

Then, subtracting 9:02 from 16:30 will give you 7:28.


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Format Painter in Excel

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I can never remember how to use the Format Painter in Excel.

Select the shape, text, or cell that has the format which you want to copy.

(Excel may then show the Format Painter symbol – a paint brush, but if it doesn’t then…)

On the Home tab, click on Format Painter (double click if you want to copy to multiple locations)

Select the shape, text, or cell that needs to be formatted – you can drag the pointer across a range of cells if you want to.

To stop formatting, press ESC.

To copy a column width, select the heading of the first column, click Format Painter, then click on the heading of the column you want to apply the width to.

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To find which programs run at Startup

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To find out which programs run when you start up your PC:

Click on Start, and type msconfig into the search box.  Then click on msconfig.exe.

The window which opens lists all the programs which run at start up; you can choose to disable individual programs, which may make startup quicker.

On Windows 8, open the Task Manager by holding down the Ctrl key, and the Alt key, and press the delete key.  Choose Task Manager. Choose the Start-up tab.

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Do a Virus scan

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This is a link to a page by Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert, which gives a list of free programmes which will scan your computer for viruses.  The programmes are from safe sources, and are free to download and run.  I tried the microsoft one, and it found no errors on my PC.
If you have anti-virus software on your PC which is up to date, you should be fine.

You may need to know what version of Windows you have on your PC in order to download the right version of the virus scan program.  To find out what version of windows you have, click on Start,  then right click on Computer, and click on Properties.

(For Windows 8, on the Start screen type “windows version” then choose “See if you have a 32-bit or 64-bit version of windows”

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Windows 8 – Log in without a password

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I find it really annoying to have to type in my password every time I use my Windows 8 lap top!

Here’s how to disable that:

Open the Run window  (press the Windows key + R), and type in “netplwiz” this will open the User Accounts dialog box. Uncheck the box near the top that says “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.” Click OK, and enter the username and password one last time to confirm your choice, and then logging in is a thing of the past!

You may also want to change the settings so that you don’t have to type a password very time you wake the lap top from sleep – those times when you shut the lid, but don’t shut down the lap top, and then wake it up by opening the lid again.  To do this, go to the Start screen and type “Sign”, then choose Sign-in Options, then at the bottom where it says Password Policy, if it says Password required when waking this PC from sleep, click on Change, and then Change again, and you will no longer need to enter your password.

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Useful tip for comparing items on different web sites

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When you are using a search engine like Google, to search for an item – say, brown leather gloves – you type “brown leather gloves” into the search box, and then you get a whole list of possibilities.  A useful tip for comparing the different results is to open them each in new tabs (or pages) in the browser, then you can move from one to the next and back again by clicking on the tabs at the top of the page.

To do this, when you click on a link, instead of using the left button of the mouse, click with the centre wheel – this will open the link in a new tab (or page).  Click on several links – as many as you like – then left click as usual on the tabs at the top of the page.

If you aren’t using a mouse, or the centre wheel click doesn’t work, you can right click and choose “Open link in new tab” .

If you are using a touch screen device, press and hold the link, and then choose “open in new tab”


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