Adobe PDF documents have security settings which can, among other things, prevent anyone from modifying the document. This is helpful, for example, when sending electronic copies of contracts for review. But it can also be a pain when the document needs to be changed but the password has been forgotten or the person who knows the password is no longer working for the company. The linked article has a solution that works in Windows systems: print the PDF to an XPS file (the XPS “printer” is automatically supplied by Microsoft), then open the XPS file and print it to a PDF file. This will give you an identical copy of the original document, but without any security restrictions.
Archive for the 'Tips' Category
If you’ve ever tried to change an icon under Windows (for a folder or shortcut, for example), the icon selection dialog defaults to the shell32.dll file. Admittedly, shell32.dll contains a lot of good icons, but sometimes you just need a better selection. Here’s a list of 17 Windows 7 files that contain an additional 1200+ icons (note: I imagine many of these are valid for other versions of Windows):
The linked article explains how to erase personal data from a computer while still keeping the Windows operating system intact. This is useful, for example, when you’re giving an older computer to a friend or family member.
I guess we’ve reached the twilight of the paper resume, seeing that so many are now submitted electronically. Which brings up the question of which format to use: MS Word or PDF. The linked article addresses the pros and cons of each and says the answer is neither. Instead, the author recommends using Rich Text Format (RTF). Note that all versions of MS Word have the ability to read and write RTF files.
Some time ago, I had a computer program that would occasionally glitch and set its location to be somewhere off the screen. The program would run fine and would show up on the taskbar, but I couldn’t access it with my mouse because it was outside the visible area of the Windows desktop. Eventually I discovered the technique described in the linked article. This is a command that’s been around for a long time but isn’t obvious to the casual user, especially the part about using the arrow keys to perform the movement.
Here’s a list of tech gadgets that you probably should NOT purchase during the Christmas season, many of them because smartphones and tablets already have the gadget’s functionality. The linked article does allow for exceptions, but generally recommends against purchasing these types of items:
- Feature Phones (non-smartphones)
- Standalone GPS Units
- Pocket Camcorders
- Portable Gaming Consoles
- Portable Media Players (think iPod)
- Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Thin nautical rope can be a nice replacement for the shoelaces on your sneakers. I got a pair of work boots a few months ago, and the laces are already starting to fray (update: one of the laces broke, just hours after I wrote this post). Nautical rope is more rugged and should last longer. Of course, this isn’t something you can pick up at any department store—you’ll probably need to go to a marine store.
Did your metal screw strip out the wooden hole? There are many ways to fix it, but a quick and easy method is to line the hole with toothpicks. Depending on the size of the hole, a golf tee may also do the job.
It’s been my experience that most lists of Word tips aren’t all that useful. The linked article, however, is an exception. It explains, for example, how to perform a vertical text selection, undo automatic changes, and move table text up or down.
The mineral zinc, which can be purchased inexpensively in pill form, is very effective at treating the common cold. Take it as soon as symptoms start to appear. This will reduce both the length of the cold and the severity of the symptoms.
For Windows Vista and 7 users, you may be running your SATA hard drives at sub-optimal performance. For compatibility reasons, the default settings on your computer may cause the drives to be accessed in an outdated (and slower) method. The linked article explains how to enable AHCI in Windows with a registry change, and you may also need to enable it in your BIOS setup.
Here at the Chad’s News network command center, Firefox is still the browser of choice. Google Chrome, however, is still improving and trying to become a contender for that top spot. There is the useful Chrome Toolbox extension, which adds functionality and configuration options that have been needed for a long time. Also, Chrome now has a built-in PDF viewer, which appears to be in the latest release version. Lifehacker has a tip on how to refresh the thumbnails shown for your “most visited” sites on the new tab page. Another tip from Lifehacker explains how to configure Chrome such that embedded Flash content is played on demand (versus the default auto play). This change has not yet made it to the release version. And finally, the linked article discusses Google’s decision to drop direct browser support for the popular H.264 video codec. This only affects HTML5 videos—Flash content will still play with no problem.