#201 PC Survival Guide – Part 1

I’ve been asked, several times now, if I could provide a collection of all the tips I’ve done. If you’re one of those people, I haven’t been ignoring you. Just trying to figure out the best way to do it. Over the next few weeks I’m going to create a few compilations of related tips starting with a few handy utilities I think everyone should know about. Next week we’ll move on to Microsoft Office and then wrap up with some web and other miscellaneous stuff at the end.

Take a look and let me know what you think of this idea?

Searching Finding

Google Advanced Search: Probably the first place many of us start when we need something is Google. If you’re not familiar with this advanced search option, stop what you’re doing and go there now. You’ll be glad you did. With greater control over search options you’ll get much better search results. | http://www.google.com/advanced_search

If you’d like a good overview of how Google searches work and the operators you can use, check out this “How to be a better Googl-er” presentation.

Everything Search Sometimes it’s harder to find the stuff you already have on your own PC. This handy search tool searches file names crazy-fast, as you type. You’ll usually find your file with a few keystrokes. If you’ve ever gone for a cup of coffee while waiting on the built-in Windows search you’ll love this. | http://bit.ly/aVXPac

Screenshots:

Sometimes you just need to capture what you see on your screen. Whether it’s sending an error message to the help desk or something for a training document., being able to take a good screenshot will probably help us all at some point.

For super quick and dirty captures these Print Screen tricks are probably good enough. If you do a lot of screenshots you’ll probably want a better option. If you find yourself taking a lot of screenshot you’ll definitely want something better than that. SnagIt is about as good as it gets but costs about $50. Their are about a zillion free ones that are also good. I like FastStone Capture. Cropper is another good free one.

Office Compatibility Pack

Beginning with Office 2007, Microsoft changed the file formats for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. If you haven’t encountered one of these new document types yet you probably will soon. This add-in allows older versions of Office to access the new formats. Note that you won’t have access to any of the new features and your documents may look slightly different than the original. Grab yours here.

That’s just a start — what are your ‘must have’ items? I’d love to hear what things you couldn’t do without.

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