Monday, May 19, 2014

Using Macros – Making Life Easier

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The big question is what are macros?
Well macros are set of repetitive instruction that help you do the job faster.
Well so without further ado lets begin

So in order to explain how Macros work I am gonna teach you how to make a macro that could do multiple kind of formatting option in one go
i.e. from 'I love this blog' à 'I LOVE THIS BLOG ' (Yeah all this with one single command)

In Word 2010 Go to View and click on Record Macros (I am guessing its same for Word 2007 but if its not then please figure it out) 

Name macro anything just don’t give spaces in between it should be one word only. Basically keep it simple and don’t try to add special character etc as you might get an error.
Type a description if you want. 

Now click on keyboard and assign a shortcut key. I am going to assign it Alt+M. To assign shortcut key , press required key/key combination in box and click on assign.

Now when you press close you will see the mouse pointer attached to a macro symbol.

Now comes the real job. So suppose you want to change text to small caps. Now lets set rules first say you want this text to be bold, underlined, and small caps. Lets do that. Go to your font panel and click on bold, then click on underlined optioned. Now select the desired font and size.  Then click on font ribbon. And select the ‘small caps’ option. 

Should look like this.

Now go to Macro and select Stop Macro.

That’s all. Now you are done just select any text and press Alt+M or the shortcut key you had typed assigned to the Macro.

Think up of some innovative uses of Macros and let us know about them here.

Also in case you want to script macros grab a free sample chapter of Macro Cookbook click here.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Speed Up My PC

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I am agnostic. The only time I pray is before starting my computer!
Well, not sure if God exists or not but your computer can be made faster for sure! So keep your god troubles aside, read on! And no need to jump out of the window till the time your windows starts up. It’s a small step, but a giant leap for the speed of your computer

Clean Up that Junk – Delete all the junk from your PC. Remove any unwanted software and delete media files which you do not need.  Use Revo Uninstaller if any program is giving you trouble during its uninstallation. Use Duplicate Cleaner  to automatically delete duplicate of video, music and other files.

Remove Startup Processes – Press Windows Key + R and you will get the run dialog. Type 'msconfig' (without quotes) in it and press enter. Alternatively, you could type msconfig in Start menu’s search box. Then Click on Startup tab.  Untick all the software you don’t want at the startup. Some Popular choices you might want to remove are Microsoft Office, Adobe Products, Google Update, etc. Press Apply, then Ok and then restart the PC. After restart. Go to C:\Windows\Prefetch and delete all files. Press continue if Windows stop you from accessing the folder.

mscongif dialog utitlity

Extensive Cleanup – Use CCleaner and run the Cleaner and Registry Tool.

Use Alternatives – Use Foxit Reader instead of Adobe Reader, VLC instead of other heavy media players, Open or Libre Office instead of MS Office.  

Disable the Aesthetics – Go to My Computer à Properties à Advanced System Settings (In Windows 7, last option on panel on left)  à Performance Settings à Select Adjust for Best Performance à Apply à Ok.

Turn Unwanted Windows Features à In Windows 7’s Start Menu type ‘Turn Windows Feature On or Off’ (without quotes) and open it. Remove unwanted services such as ‘Indexing’ if you don’t use search option much (Disabling indexing doesn’t disable search but merely slows it down, if your PC is running slow it’s not worth keeping it ticked until and unless you make at least 5-10 searches every day.), ‘Tablet PC Components’ if you don’t use one,  ‘XPS Services’ and ‘XPS Viewer’ which you neither use and nor will in the future. Depending upon your usage you could also disable ‘Windows Gadgets’ and ‘Internet Explorer’.

Terminate Unwanted Processes (Only for Advanced Users) à Use Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and terminate all unwanted processes running in background. Another useful utility which could be used instead of Task Manager is Process ExplorerThe Golden rule here is to not end any process which has its user as ‘SYSTEM’.

Malware – Even after doing all the above if the problem still persist either you are using a PC older than your age or there might be a malware. Use Malwarebytes and see if this is the issue.

Antivirus – Use some lightweight antivirus. Personally I am using Avira Free and have found it to be par if not better to other free or paid alternatives. Remember whatever Antivirus you use it’s useless if you don’t update it regularly.  (Read our series on how to get the best security suite for free here.)

Format – Nothing works? This is always an option. Format the drive and do a clean install of the Windows.  Though likelihood of you needing to resort to format is quite low if you have followed the above steps.

I am sure if you followed all the steps mentioned above then you will observe a significant change in its performance. If not either you are doing something wrong or you are lying. Yes if this doesn’t help nothing can.

If this honestly doesn’t help maybe it’s time you start saving for an upgrade or a new PC altogether. Best Wishes!