Search This Blog- Enter the tip # or a keyword(s)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

1873. Convert PDF into an editable document.

I receive read-only PDF file for work, and sometimes I need to be able to edit the contents of the file. Because the file is a PDF, of course, I can't. Is there something I can do to extract the text and work with it, so I can make changes to the content?

This is a really interesting question. I was aware of several paid applications that allow you to do this but I really want to find one that was free to answer this question and I did come across a really simple useful way to convert from read only P.D.F. to a read write format and the answer is to use Google Docs.

Google Docs is free if you have a gmail account you can just log into your account go to Google Drive. There upload the P.D.F. file and then open it in Google Docs and Google does the job of converting it from just a picture of text into real editable text so if you don't remember how to do this from listening on the radio/

One easy way to do this is search for convert P.D.F. to text Google Docs and you'll find an answer how to do this online for free. Once you've made the edits you need to make in Google Docs is just a word processor on line.

You can then save it again as a P.D.F. file and send it on its way. I'm very excited about this free technique using tools that I already use.

1874. Create bootable MAC OS

I have multiple Macs, and need to upgrade each of them to Mac OS High Sierra. I really don't want to download the installation files, which are quite large, onto each computer. I did upgrade one, and wasn't able to find the upgrade or installation files once I was done to copy them to a different computer. Is there some way to reuse the installation files I download to upgrade all of the computers?

When you upgrade a mac you download the installation files from the App Store.

Once you perform the installation your MAC, deletes those installation files and they're gone so there's not much you can do in this case. On the other hand if you just download the upgrade installation files but don't run the installation then you have an option to create a bootable U.S.B. drive from which you can upgrade all of your Macs.

This is a simple process just takes a few minutes. You need a U.S.B. drive that's at least eight gigabytes in size and those are really cheap now. What you need to do is search online for create a bootable U.S.B. installation media for MAC O.S. X and you'll find several solutions you can do it manually.

There are tools that help you do it where you can get a professional to help, but in any case it's really simple and once you have that you can install the latest version of the operating system from that U.S.B. drive. That'll save you having to download the installation files on each computer.

1872. iOS battery drain.

Since I have updated to iOS 11, I’ve found that the battery on my iPhone 6 drains much quicker than it used to. I didn’t change any settings other than installing the new operating system, yet, I can’t get through a day without needing to recharge my phone. This is unacceptable! What can I do to fix the problem?

Apple works to ensure that each update to iOS sucks down the juice no faster than previous versions, but sometimes (as in this case), the company fails. It’s clear that iOS 11 eats more power than iOS 10, given the same device, but at least the answer is simple!

In iOS, applications have the option to receive background updates, even while you’re not using the application or the phone/tablet. For example, an email application can receive email while you’re not using the phone, so when you look at it next, you’ll see the most current email. The same feature is useful for a weather or news application. Using background updates, you don’t have to wait for data refresh when you look at the phone—the data has already been refreshed and it’s ready for you.

The problem is that that these background updates consume battery power. Prior to iOS 11, this feature wasn’t enabled for all apps. Starting with iOS 11, however, Apple decided that you should have background updates enabled for all apps by default, whether or not they’re necessary. It’s up to you to turn off the updates for apps that really don’t require them. From our perspective, only email, news, and weather apps really need background updates—for anything else, you can manually update the content when you need it.

To fix the problem, open the Settings app. Select General, and then Background App Refresh. This page displays a list of all your installed apps. For all but the mail, news, and weather apps, turn off background refresh. That’s it!
It may take a few days before you notice a difference in battery usage, but not refreshing data in all your apps should make a difference in the battery life of your device.

1871. Kill the new iPad keyboard.

In a previous tech tip, you indicated that you kind of liked the new iOS 11 iPad keyboard. Well, you’re wrong: It’s terrible! I end up typing the wrong thing all the time. Is there some way to turn this new “improved” keyboard off before I throw the iPad out the window?

We were slightly surprised at the vehemence of this (and other) comments and questions about the new iPad keyboard, added in iOS 11. This new keyboard supposedly makes it easier to enter both letters and numbers, and other symbols. Rather than having to switch to a separate keyboard layout to type numbers and symbols, you can press and then swipe down (a gesture Apple calls a “flick”). Once you get used to it, these flicks make it easy to enter numbers in the middle of a sentence, for example, without having to switch to the secondary keyboard layout.

But not all improvements work for everyone, we understand! Perhaps, rather than tossing the iPad into the trash, you might consider simply disabling the “flicks” feature, and returning to the classic, normal keyboard. It’s easy to do!

In the Settings app, select General, then Keyboard. Find the Enable Key Flicks option, and toggle it off. That’s it! Now your iPad will return to working the way it used to, and you can refrain from tossing out your perfectly good tablet!

1870. How Much Free Hard Drive Space?

My computer has been running really, really slowly. Could this be related to the fact that I have a ton of videos, music, and photo files, and my hard drive is nearly full? I wonder if I removed some of those files, the computer would run better?

Most of the time, when people ask if their computer is running slow because they have too much stuff on their hard drive, we tend to chuckle. We do that, as you might guess, because we’re somewhat condescendingly thinking that the questioner has confused too little RAM (Random Access Memory), which could, and often does, cause computers to run slowly, with a lack of space in permanent storage (the hard drive), which generally doesn’t cause the computer to slow down. Definitely add more memory to your computer if you can, and if you have less than 8GB.

On the other hand, having a lot of stuff on your hard drive isn’t generally a cause for alarm. We say “generally,” because there comes a point at which an overloaded hard drive can cause trouble. Your computer needs free hard drive space for swapping things in and out of memory, for general house-keeping, and for the constant maintenance that the operating system performs.

In general, the rule of thumb is that you should have at least 15% of your hard drive space empty. In general terms, then, for a 500GB hard drive, you would want around 75GB to be free space, and use up to 425GB. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it can’t hurt. If you fill your hard drive so that very little space is free, the computer won’t be harmed, but you may find that performance suffers.

Clear off some of the excess stuff (you don’t need it!) to ensure that your computer runs as well as possible.

1878. Dictate in Outlook

When working on my iPhone I can use Siri to help me dictate a message. Is ther something similar when using Outlook on my computer?

Yes there is. Of course you need a computer that has a microphone. But all you need to do is search for Dictate in Outlook.

You will fine a place to download an Outlook add-in called Dictate.

After you install the add-in, when you are creating the message you will see a new icon in the Message menu called Dictate and a picture of a microphone. Simply click and start talking. It is very accurate and I use it often because I am such a terrible typist.

It has all of the standard command like new line, paragraph, and allows automatic as well as manual punctuation commands. It is very accurate. Enjoy!!

1880. Deleted clients.

I accidentally deleted some clients in my email. How can I get them back?

With most email providers and in most of your email viewer applications you have a DELETED folder. I always thought this was only for actual emails I received.

Then one day I noticed that my DELETED folder in Outlook was getting very large so I went in to delete old emails. While looking through them I saw not only Contacts, I also saw appointments, and tasks that I deleted.

So depending on the email provider as well as the email application you use you may not have deleted that old friend. Look up the help section of your application to see if it places all types of items in the deleted folder.

If you only use a browser to access email, check the deleted folder to see if other items are also placed there.

Testing now is always a good idea instead of waiting for when it is necessary to know. Check with yours.

1879. Project your Windows computer on yyour TV?

I know with my Mac I can use Apple TV to display my screen on my TV. But I also use Windows at home and want to do the same thing. Is there some way to project from my Windows computer to my TV?

Yes there is. When I bought my new Surface Windows computer at the store there was a device for $40 that you could attach to most newer TV's that would allow any Bluetooth computer to wirelessly show the computer screen on your TV.

It uses a technique called Miracast. So for very little cost you can give presentations or simply project your computer on many TV Do a search for Miracast Computer TV presentation and you will find many options.

1878. Text hard to read?

When watching Netflix on my computer, I can't read the sub-titles. Yes I use subtitles because I can't understand the dialog either, but that is a different story. Is there something I can do to make those subtitles more readable so I can understand what they are saying?

Contrast and fonts in Windows and for some reason Chrome has to be set individually. In Windows in the Ease of Access section, you can change many options including Font size and Contrast settings. Chrome has a section in the menu to also set contrast.

Also Netflix allows you to do similar caption adjustments both in TV's as well as programs that access Netflix. Do a search for watching Netflix font and contrast.

On most newer TV's as well as your TV providers like Dish, DirecTV, and Comcast they have sections that you can turn on subtitles and changes the font size Look up your network and computer applications for how to do this with your device.

1876. ZOOM in Outlook

None of us are as young as we once were. And sometimes I have trouble reading text. I know I can make my screen have larger text, but is there some way to ZOOM when reading my email?

Well if you use Outlook there is a quick and easy way to make the email you are reading much larger.

Outlook 2013 and 2016 has in the Message menu section. Look to the far right and you will see a tab called ZOOM, with a magnifying glass icon.

Click the icon and up will pop a dialog that you can specify the amount of zoom with options up to 200%. You can also specify a specific percentage by scrollling. Then click OK and the current email will now display in the size you requested. It is quick and easy.

1875. Don't let strangers connect!!!

I know we have done this tip before, but I hear it just happened to your sister. When you get a pop-up on your computer and you are to call support to help to get it fixed. Nothing good can happen from this.

How many times do we need to tell you. Don't give them any CC, Bank, phone number to call. Don't call them. And whatever you Do, DO NOT allow them to connect, NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!

If they connect. They can download everything. This often happens visiting even benign web sites. The site has been hacked and when you visit it, up pops this message.

Actually at this point you likely don't have a virus, just the text message from the hacked site. I WILL REPEAT. DO NOT CALL THEM. Simply restart your computer. Then do a full scan using the anti-virus software you have. If you don't have antivirus software at least go to and download their free software and run a scan.

If you let them access your computer get help from a known technical support company. The bad people probably have installed a key capture program and will spy on you. If they got your CC or bank information contact your bank, CC company and we suggest doing a credit stop.