5 Time-Saving Taskbar Tricks You Should Know

You probably don’t give much, if any, thought the taskbar at the bottom of your screen. But did you know it can do some pretty cool stuff? Here are some handy tricks you can do with your taskbar.

Keep programs on the taskbar

Want your favorite apps always to be a single click away? Next time you open it, right-click it in the taskbar and select Pin this program to taskbar . Now it will always be there for you, ready for action any time you want it.


Launch apps with the keyboard

Once you’ve pinned apps you can open them with a keyboard shortcut. For example,  Press Winkey + 1, and the first program on the taskbar will open. If it’s already open, it will jump you there.


Open recent files

Right-click a taskbar icon and there’s a good chance you’ll find a jump list of files you’ve recently opened with that particular program. Select one to open it again.


Pin a file permanently to a program

The files on a program’s jump list will disappear over time…unless you pin them there. If the file is already on the application’s jump list, hover the mouse pointer over the filename, then click the pushpin icon that will appear on the left.


If the file you want to pin isn’t already on the jump list, open the folder containing that file, then drag it to the appropriate taskbar icon. When a “Pin to…” message pops up, let go.



Quick access folders and files

Right-click a blank spot on the taskbar and select Tools > New toolbar. This brings up File Explorer, where you can navigate to any folder or drive—I recommend Libraries.


After selecting the folder you want, you’ll have an on-demand  menu of folders and files always available from the taskbar.



AutoSum Multiple Excel Ranges in a Single Bound

This super slick tip comes from *THE* Excel guru himself – Chandoo.



If you need to total a number of different ranges in your spreadsheet, you can do them all at once with this ALT key trick.

How It Works:

  1. Use CTRL+Click  to select all the cells where you want an AUTOSUM formula.
  2. Press ALT=
  3. What? You want more? Too bad..that’s all there is to it. Now go have a cup of coffee or something to enjoy all the time you just saved yourself! 😎

While you’re enjoying your time-savings you might want to check out these other awesome CTRL+Click tricks from Chandoo.

If you use Excel much at all you should also subscribe to his newsletter so you’re plugged into his awesomeness directly!

Converting Your Bullet Points to Graphics in the Blink of an Eye

You’ve probably heard that bullet points are bad. (If you don’t believe me, here’s some scientific proof.) But most people are not graphic designers and many get stuck when it comes to thinking of better alternatives to the standard lists of text. Plus, who has time to do all that extra work right?! Wrong!

Converting your existing PowerPoint lists into attractive visuals  less than 3 seconds and makes your slides look WAY better. Here’s how it works.

Convert slide text to a SmartArt graphic

  1. Select the text placedholder on the slide that you want to convert.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click Convert to SmartArt Graphic
  3. In the gallery, click the layout for the SmartArt graphic that you want. Hovering over them gives you a real-time preview.

The gallery contains layouts for SmartArt graphics that work best with bulleted lists. To view the entire set of layouts, click More SmartArt Graphics.

Also, be sure to experiment with the colors and styles available from the Smart Art gallery to get an even better looking design.

So go and upgrade those boring text lists to nice looking professional visuals. When it’s this quick and easy there’s no excuse for not having great looking slides.

Managing Passwords in Chrome

If you use Google Chrome as your web browser (and you should) you probably know that it can save your usernames and passwords for sites that you visit. But did you also know that Chrome can sync these passwords across all your devices?

Imagine you’ve created an account on your computer at work but want to sign-in from home or even from your smartphone while you’re out and about. This is definitely easiest if you’re using the Chrome browser and signing in with your Google account on all your devices.  Fortunately, you can access all your information from any browser simply by visiting passwords.google.com



Just sign-in with your Google account, to access a list of all the accounts and passwords you’ve used in Chrome.

You can display the passwords by clicking the eye icon or remove any of the entries aren’t able to change your existing passwords. (You’ll have to visit the associate website to do that.)

If you don’t want your passwords stored in the Google Passwords site, you have two options. Don’t save your passwords in Chrome at all or make them unavailable from the Google website.

  1. Open Chrome and go to Settings – Advanced Sync Settings.
    ( Or enter chrome://settings/syncSetup in the address bar )
  2. Under the Encryption Options, choose “Encrypt all synced data with your own sync passphrase”, enter a passphrase and save the settings.

Disable Google Passwords

Shortly afterwards your passwords will not be accessible via the Google Passwords site. You can always change your mind revert back to the default settings..

Intergrating Microsoft Office with Google Chrome

If your preferred web browser is Google Chrome, you probably already know that it integrates pretty seamlessly with other Google tools like Google Docs. But what if you are more of a Microsoft Office user than Google Docs?

Here is a Chrome extension from Microsoft that brings some nice integration with your Office documents.

As you can see, you’ll get one-click access to your Office files, whether they’re on your hard drive or in the cloud.

You can be up and running in now time. Here’s how:

  1.  Grab the Office Online extension from the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Next type chrome://extensions into the address bar and scroll down until you see the listing for Office Online.
    NOTE: You can tie this to your Office 365 account, or if you don’t already have a Office Online/OneDrive account you can create one for free.
  3. If you want to upload documents to OneDrive from your hard drive using drag-and-drop, click the box that says “Allow access to file URLs.”


With this set up, dragging & dropping files into your Chrome browser will automatically upload them to Office Online for easy sharing & collaboration.

Also, when you run across Office document formats on a web page, such as Word documents or Powerpoint presentations, they will automatically open in Office Online instead of requiring you to download them, open the right Office app and then viewing them. PDF files will continue to open in Chrome’s native viewer.

15 Minute On-Demand Office Webinars

These days nobody has much time to sit around and wait. When we need something, we usually need it now. That’s why this series of short recorded webinars might be just what you’re looking for.



They’re a great example of short, focused sessions on a single topic. 15 minutes is long enough to cover the topic well and short enough to fit into a busy schedule. Plus they’re very well done with a nice collection of experts…so jump over and give them a look. You’ll be glad you did.

Here’s an example:

Here are a few of my favorites:

Your best bet? Plug the RSS feed into your favorite feed reader and you’ll never miss one! If you don’t have a feed reader try Feedly or Flipboard.

Happy New Year!!!


Default Email Links to Your Web-based Email

By default, most computers will open an email application like Outlook when you click an email link. But a lot of us, even organizations, are using web-based email like Gmail, Outlook.com and others.

If you’re one of those folks here is how you can bypass your old email app and make those email links work for you, where you need them – in your browser.

Each browser is a little different so here’s the info you need:


  1. Go to the site you use for mail (Gmail.com, Outlook.com, or so on).
  2. Click the double-diamond icon found at the far right side of the address bar.
  3. Choose Allow and click Done.



  1. Click the menu icon near the upper-right corner.
  2. Click the  Options icon.

  3. Click the Applications tab on the left pane.
  4. Type mail in the Search field.
  5. Select mailto.
  6. Pull down the Action menu and make your selection.