7 Microsoft Excel Tricks You Need to Know

Here we have a beautiful infographic that contains 7 Extremely useful Excel Tricks that will help you in getting most out of the software.

Microsoft Excel is one hell of Software when it comes to number crunching. It has been around for almost 30 years and It has shown no sign of slowing down even after release of several Free alternatives. Excel is a huge application, people use it for many degrees of work, starting from a simple Monthly Budget to calculation budgets of millions of dollars. Excel seems simple at first and seems just like a table making software to many, but after people learn some Microsoft Excel Tricks with Charts, Pivot Tables and Complex Functions Microsoft Excel turns into a full featured, Number Processing Powerhouse. When you are into using excel you can either use  silly ways to perform tasks, do calculations automatically, format each and every cell individually and other stuff or you can just use some excel tricks to make all these things automated. It will not just reduce the workload but also you will ultimately save time and increase the precision of your excel Worksheet.

Here I have a beautiful infographic that contains 7 Extremely useful Excel Tricks that will help you in getting most out of the software.

Via MicrosoftTraining

7 Essential Microsoft Excel Tricks Everyone Should Know

7 essential Excel tricks every office worker needs to know

How to Get Features of Windows 10 on Windows 7/8

we have come up with a list of handy software (most of which are free) from them you can enjoy the features of Windows 10 today, so let’s begin.

Microsoft has released Windows 10 on 29th of July. With Windows 10 Microsoft is again focusing back on its desktop users, the missed Start Menu is back (with some cosmetic changes ) and finally users are going to get virtual desktops just the love they were getting on many Linux Distributions. If you are not so eager for upgrading Windows 10 and still like new features in it, we have come up with a list of handy software (most of which are free) from them you can enjoy the features of Windows 10 today, so let’s begin.

Getting Modern for Desktops

Windows 10 is going to get the ability to run Modern Apps on the desktop in Windowed mode so that you can run these with standard Windows Software, it may be very useful for any power-user who don’t want to see their screen estate area go waste. You can get this feature on your Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 machine using a software Multimix. It will do the same job, it costs almost $5 but you can try it free for 30 Days.Getting Windows 10 Features on Windows 8 and Windows 7

SNAPPING WINDOWS SMARTLY

Windows 10 helps users in snapping their Windows on their desktops, such as after you have snapped one window on side of your desktop it will automatically show you the thumbnails of other windows on the other side to snap on, well aquaSnapp is not so good in doing that but it will definitely help you snapping your windows on your desktop.

Download  aquaSanp

GETTING THE START MENU BACK

startmenu

Basically Start Menu is just a application launcher
and Microsoft is hated for removing the start menu from Windows 8. After the return of start button in Windows 8.1, the start menu is getting back in Windows 10 – users still have the ability to use the start screen instead. Our-Choice for the start menu is Start Menu Reviver, it is a free utility and it gives a modern feel too. Although Start8 and Classic Shell are also very good options to choose from.

Download Start Menu Reviver

INCREASING THE PRODUCTIVITY WITH VIRTUAL DESKTOPS

If you are just like us and you always have a dozen of windows open in your desktop, having a single monitor is a real bummer, still keeping virtual desktops helps us organizing windows in a better way. The technical Preview of Windows 10 includes a Virtual desktop system. If you want to use Virtual Desktops you can use the free Dexpot software, it works in a little different way but for us it is even better than Windows 10’s native one.

Getting Windows 10 Features on Windows 8 and Windows 7

Download Dexpot

GETTING HELP FROM A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

If you like the siri feature in the iPhone, there is good news for you – Microsoft is going to include its own Virtual assistant named Microsoft Cortana in Windows 10. But you can use the Google Now right now! All you need is a compatible web browser. Open Google search engine and then just click on the Microphone button to start your voice search.

NOTE FOR INTERESTED USERS: Using your Microphone you can also dictate your PC to perform tasks. To do that head to Control Panel>Ease of access>Speech Recognition

MOUNTING VHD FILES

Windows 8 came out with ability of mounting ISO file out of the box, and that was really useful. We expect that Windows 8 will have the ability of Mounting Virtual Hard Disk files also. These files have a .VHD on the end of file name, you can use VHDattach utility to Mount VHD files on the go.

Download vhdattach

If you know any other apps don’t forget to mention them in your comments.

BEST FREE SOFTWARE THAT EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE

Here is the list of best free software. All software we have listed here are free and they are powerful too. Let’s jump to our list by categories.

Who says all good things cost a price. Here is the list of free apps we think the best. All software we have listed here are free but  Make no mistake – they are powerful too. Let’s jump to our list by categories.

OFFICE SUITE

We have many options when it comes to office suites, well Microsoft office is the standard and if you can afford -the best. Among the free options we think LibreOffice is the best, it has all necessary features and it is fully compatible with Microsoft Office documents. OpenOffice is also very good productivity suit. For web-browser based apps GoogleDocs is a good one.

Download:LibreOffice

MEDIA PLAYER and MEDIA MANAGER

While most of the folks go with VLC Media Player (and actually it is a good media player), we think that the KM Player is best media playing software. KMPlayer plays most media formats and it has good skinning support. Also it does not have stupid 200% volume bar (sorry VLC but I hate that) It has good subtitle support and slick UI.

If you are thinking of choosing a Media Center Software download Kodi (formally XBMC) it can play almost all media formats and it has a good 10 Foot UI.

To organize your media files MediaMonkey free is a really good software. It can tag media files and auto organize them.

Download: KMPlayer  |  Kodi  |  MediaMonkey

ANTIVIRUS and ANTIMALWARE

Thanks to Trojan horses and stupid shortcut and autorun viruses -Now everyone knows that antivirus is really important. But some people still don’t know that many good free antivirus are available on the internet. Our pick for antivirus is Avast Free Antivirus. It is fast and avast can protect you from most of the Viruses. For a second opinion one can use MalwareBytes Antimalware – avast for real time scan and Malwarebytes for on-demand scan.

Download: Avast  |  MalwareBytes 

SYSTEM MAINTAINCE and CLEANUP

To keep your PC fast and running happily we need some cleaning apps. CCleaner is both free and excellent. It offers junk cleanup, registry cleanup. Heck! You can even use it to disable auto-start apps.

BEST FREE SOFTWARE ccleaner

 

Download : CCleaner

WEB BROWSER

In one word CHROME. The world’s most popular web browser and the fastest too. Chrome offers wide range of extensions and themes to choose from – it is quick snappy and compatible with most of websites and web-apps. If you are an Open Source fan then you can go for Mozilla FireFox or Chromium – the open source version of chrome.

Download : Chrome  |  FireFox  |  Chromium

IMAGE EDITOR

We know that for image manipulation and editing Adobe Photoshop is the “Industry Standard”. Still if you want a powerful, feature rich and free image editing software you can use GIMP. It has support for layers and you can extend the functionalities by using plugins, GIMP is available for Linux also.

Download : GIMP

IMAGE VIEWER

For a normal user we would recommend Google Picasa – the editing options are very straight forward and the Picasa image Viewer is one of the most beautiful viewer we found till date.

For a PowerUser we would recommend using IRFANVIEW. It is free, Feature, Packed and it will keep any PowerUser happy.

Download : Picasa  |  IRFAN VIEW

FILE COMPRESSION

We have already discussed many ways to compress data and save disk space. Data compression helps us sending data via E-mail or web. Zip and rar are the most used formats for archives. 7zip is an excellent app with support to almost all compression formats. On the other hands the compression ratio of 7z files is the best.

Download : 7Zip

DOWNLODERS

Downloading stuff form internet can be made really quick if you use good internet Downloading Software. Internet download manager is quite famous and I have personally seen some people trying to download Pirated copy of this app. To download stuff form internet faster, we think Free Download Manger is the best (may be better than the Paid Ones) for downloading. When it comes to downloading your perfectly legal torrents µtorrent is excellent. That is small on size and lite on resources.

best free software

Download : Free Download Manager  |  uTorrent

DESKTOP CUSTOMIZATION

To make your desktop fancy and more productive Rainmeter is the best. It offers highly customizable skins to make your desktop look cool, here is a snapshot of my own desktop.

BEST FREE SOFTWARE
Rainmeter gives information at a glance and web is filled with really good rainmeter themes.

 

Rainmeter gives information at a glance and web is filled with really good rainmeter themes.

Download : Rainmeter

Liked our list? What to suggest us any app to add to this list – drop us your comments below.

 

How to Keep Your PC Maintained!

instead of shouting that your PC is slow you can follow some steps that we have come up with that will help cure your PCs performance problems.

Every PC user loves his PC – That’s for sure. But just like any other machine they need some maintenance. After a fresh windows installation the computer works fast and is responsive – That’s your happy time – but it is a very bad habit of Windows that after time it will generate many junk files and you will start to see the Loading screens more than usual. So instead of shouting that your PC is slow you can follow some steps that we have come up with that will help cure your PCs performance problems.

There are some steps you can do to speed up your PC –

Defrag your PCs mechanical hard disk drive –

As you should know mechanical hard drives are the slowest components of  a computer. Fragmentation makes this problem even worse. It will force your Hard Drive to do some extra work. That’s not just the HDDs that can get fragmented but also your USB Flash drives may also get defragmented. Well windows includes a disk Defragmentation utility that runs automatically on a schedule but you can also run at any time.

Steps to defrag a hard disk:

  • Open disk defragmenter in windows 7 or disk optimization in windows 8

 

The following window will appear.

pc maintanance

Select the disk you want to Defrag( you can choose more than one disk at once)

Click Defrag.

Run an antivirus scan

  • if you have an antivirus installed on your PC it is consistently running and scanning your PC for virus and malware. But it is a good practice to run an antivirus scan once in some days . if your PC is not connected to computer permanently then you should keep your antivirus updated by some other means.

Clean junk files from your PC

Windows loves Junk and cache files. After some months system folders are filled with useless files. You should clean them up regularly. There are two ways of doing that one is by using a utility and other is doing it manually. We would recommend you a PC cleaning application C Cleaner . It is free, easy to use and fast. C cleaner searches your Computer for junk files and simply gives you the option to delete them.

pc maintanance

 Clean your windows registry

Windows registry can be cleaned by many software ccleaner does that also.

Remove unnecessary startup applications

These are the application who start automatically when your PC boots. They can increase PCs boot up time. You can either delay them or stop them from launching at boot. To delay the loading of these apps you can use a software named “Startup Delayer “. But sometimes it is handy to prevent them from starting at boot. C cleaner includes a start up manager but if you don’t want to use that you can use built in features of windows here is how

  • On Windows 7 and older operating system-
  • Press Windows + R
  • Type msconfig.exe in dialogue box and hit enter.

pc maintanance

You will see the System configuration window click on the start up tab and from there you can disable any start up entry.

pc maintanance

Warning: Only disable software who you are familiar with, stopping a windows component from  automatic launch may cause problems.

Image Credit: Intel Free Press on Flickr

Power User Tips: Opening Recently Accessed Files from Taskbar

If all your time is spent finding any file you frequently open, there are some options to make access to them quicker. Such as you can pin the individual file or folder to taskbar and Start Screen. But if you want to automate this process and you need a quick access to your recently accessed files you are on the right place. Think of adding your Recent Files added to your taskbar. It saves a lot of time and you don’t have to pin any file at any place. Let’s get started.

GETTING THE JOB DONE

Right click on any empty place on your taskbar from the menu point to toolbars and click on New toolbar.

Power User Tips : Opening  Recently Accessed Files from Taskbar

 

In the new Dialog box type the following text:

Power User Tips : Opening  Recently Accessed Files from Taskbar

Windows installation drive \Users\ USER NAME \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent

Don’t forget to replace Windows installation Drive with your Drive ( C: in most cases) and USER NAME with your Username.

 

Hit Select Folder Button and the Recent Items will be added as a toolbar , next time you can access the files just by clicking the arrow Next to Recent.

 

AUTOHOTKEY FOR BEGINNERS

AuoHotKey is a free open source application and it is really powerful, using this tool you can even remap keys on your Joystick.

A power user is always in search for shortest way to perform task. If you are using BTW as a short form for By the Way in your Chats you know what we mean. There are some ways to perform large and complex things in a computer just via shortcut (a hotkey, get it?). AutoHotKey is one of our favorite and most powerful.

 

Why AutoHotKey?

It is a free open source application and it is really powerful, using this tool you can even remap keys on your Joystick. You can define shortcuts for many tasks and launch many operations and processes just by keystroke. A practical example? When I was writing this article, I knew i will have to type AutoHotKey several times so I set “ahk” to expand to AutoHotKey – that was the simplest one. I have remapped my Capes Lock key to send an Alt+Tab so that I can cycle through running programs easily. AutoHotKey may seem a little bit difficult to understand at first but is really useful.

Getting the Basics

Autohotkey is used to make scripts (don’t worry! they are much easier then programming). The extension of a script is .ahk (example:  hotkeyscript.ahk) an AutoHotKey script can be made by using pretty much any text editor. After you have done scripting you can save the script in an .ahk extension and then simply double click on the script to run it. You can see the icon of AutoHotKey in your notification tray. From there you can Pause, Edit and Stop the script. Now that you have got the basics, let’s begin.

STARTING UP

First point your Web-Browser to here to download AutoHotKey.

Next you have to install it. After the installation is done you are good to go.

Creating a AutoHotKey Script

To create a script in any folder, right click on empty space and then point to New > AutoHotKey Script

AUTOHOTKEY FOR BEGINNERS

 

Now give your new script a cool name and then don’t’ open it – that is useless, the script is currently empty.

Now right click the empty script, it will be opened in notepad and you will see something like this.

 

As you can see there is nothing useful here, so let’s begin.

AUTOHOTKEY FOR BEGINNERSThe Rules of AutoHotKey Scripts

  • Every sentence starting with ; is a comment.
  • # is used to denote the WIN key on your keyboard.
  • ^ means CTRL button
  • ! means ALT button
  • + means shift button.

All the work in AutoHotKey script is done in two parts. First is the part before the  :: which defines when and after the :: defines what to do

An example:

AutoHotKey

 

#C means WIN+C and the latter means to send ALT+F4 (of course to close the active window)

There are a lot more things which we will face when they come.


 

Task 1: Making a Shortcut to Open a Website

To create a shortcut to open a website in your default web browser you have to type something like this:

KEYBOARD SHORTCUT :: run WEBSITE URL

As an example if you want to open THEBIGCOMPUTING.COM using combination WIN+T you will have to enter the following text.

#t::run http://www.thebigcomputing.com

Now save the script using CTRL+S and Double click on the saved file, you will see the AutoHotKey icon in notification area too. Now whenever you will press WIN+T you will reach here, you are free to change the shortcut and the destination site.

FOR REAL BEGINNERS: #n denotes WIN+N if you want to use WIN+CTRL+N then you will have to enter #^t (got it?)


TASK 2: Creating Shortcuts to Type Large Text

You can easily expand your text using abbreviations – Believe us that is easier even then task one.

The syntax should be like this:

:: SHORTFORM :: TEXT TO REPLACE

That’s it! Example? Take a look-

::btw::by the way

::skt::Saurabh Tripathi

::tbcmail::[email protected]

REMEMBER: you can always add as many as definitions in one script.

 

Those were just the basics of AutoHotKey, we will explain even more advanced, useful and complex AutoHotKey stuff in our upcoming articles. To stay tuned and get notification do sign up for newsletter on the sidebar. Got any queries or suggestions? Please drop your comment.


Original Image Credits: remko van dokkum

TAKE OWNERSHIP OF ANY FILE OR FOLDER ON YOUR COMPUTER

many times we have to delete alter or replace default system files and Windows gives us a access denied dialog box.In this article we will discuss an easy way to get ownership of these files.

Doing some tweaking, hacking or modifying system files many times we have to delete alter or replace default system files. For some cases the ever suspecting Windows gives us a lovely access denied dialog box.In this article we will discuss an easy way to get rid of these stupid dialog box(s)

ADDING “TAKE OWNERSHIP” OPTION ON THE CONTRAXT MENU

For anyone this is the best option, sure you will may have to get your hands dirty. After the job is done you can take ownership of any system file with just a click.

To do that you have to paste the following text in your notepad window:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\takeownership]

@=”Take ownership”

“HasLUAShield”=””

“NoWorkingDirectory”=””

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\takeownership\command]

@=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F”

“IsolatedCommand”=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F”

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\takeownership]

@=”Take ownership”

“HasLUAShield”=””

“NoWorkingDirectory”=””

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\takeownership\command]

@=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F”

“IsolatedCommand”=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F”

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\dllfile\shell\takeownership]

@=”Take ownership”

“HasLUAShield”=””

“NoWorkingDirectory”=””

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\dllfile\shell\takeownership\command]

@=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F”

“IsolatedCommand”=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F”

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\takeownership]

@=”Take ownership”

“HasLUAShield”=””

“NoWorkingDirectory”=””

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\takeownership\command]

@=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” /r /d y && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F /t”

“IsolatedCommand”=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” /r /d y && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F /t”

After you have pasted the text, just save the file giving it whatever the name you want – be sure to save it in .reg format.

Text to paste on Notepad Window

For Newbies: to do that on the save dialog box change save us type from .txt to all files. After you have done that add .reg in the end of your file name.

Take-Ownerhip

Removing Take Ownership Option from menu

If you want to remove the option form your right click menu paste the following code into a new NotePad window:


 

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\takeownership]

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\takeownership]

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\dllfile\shell\takeownership]

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\takeownership]


 

And then do the same that we did to add the option, that means save it in a .reg format and then double click on the file, when asked click on Yes to remove Take Ownership from the menu.

Remove take ownership Option
Do you know any other easier method for this task, if yes do drop us a comment and as always don’t forget to subscribe to our feeds.

Learn How to Hack Windows Experience Index

In the Windows Experience index the base score is based on the lowest score of any component.

Starting from Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced a kind of bench-marking system in its Operating System. In Windows Vista and 7 users can rate their PC using the Windows Experience Index. The Highest possible score in Windows Vista is 5 while Windows 7 machines can go up to 7.9 in the experience index.

In the Windows Experience index the base score is based on the lowest score of any component. Such as in the test PC it was 4.4 based because of the Graphics subscore.

However it is not so tough to manipulate these numbers and change these scores according to your will. You can change these just to fool anyone.

GETTING STARTED

To make things simplified we would recommend you to run Windows Experience Index first (If you have not done so) if you have done that you can skip this section.

To do those open Control panels go to System and security and then click on Check the Windows Experience Index

After that click on Rate This computer

Note that your Computer may take several minutes in rating the system

You will see a screen similar to this.

hack windows experience index

MESSING UP WITH SCORES

To manipulate these scores head to Windows installation drive (C: in our case). Then go to

Windows > Performance > WinSAT > DataStore

You will able to see several indexing files there.

You will need to open the file ending with “Formal.Assessment (Initial).WinSAT”

Open the file in notepad. You will see the following window:

hack windows experience index

In the notepad window you don’t need to do too down to hunt anything, simply change the values according to your will in the upper area. The values are written between tags. Such as

<MemoryScore>5.9</MemoryScore>

Change the values between tags and save the files. Next time you will open the Windows< Experience Index the values will be changed.

hack windows experience index

OFF THE ROAD TIP: For more fun we suggest everyone to keep their Scores realistic ( Not 7.9 Exactly )

To revert the changes you can re-run the assessment.

Get Windows 10 like Task Manager for Windows 7

Windows 7 is a really good OS. Released in 2009 it is now out of mainstream support, still it is most used operating system on the internet. The successor (Windows 8) was released in 2012, it introduced a new task manager, that offered better control over running apps and better visual representation of performance data. Task manager on Windows 7 is old and looks exactly like Windows XP’s task manager. Folks at DBC Studios have made a small Tool that looks and feels exactly like task Manager included in Windows 8 and it works pretty well on Windows 7. The program is called DBC Task Manager, you can download it from following Here.

The program is small in size and looks exactly like Task manger in windows 8 and 10, Here are some screenshots of DBC Task Manager:

DBC Task manager - Graph view

DBC Task manager - Graph view

History of Windows In One Infographic

No doubt you use PC or a Mac, you know about Windows very well. The platform has grown from messy Windows 1.0 in 1985 to a sleek, cool and fast platform in 2015 with Windows 10.

Over the years of History of Windows, Microsoft has made many changes in the design concepts, UI and UX.

Not all releases were successful, however Microsoft has managed to stay on the top of OS market share war. With Windows 7 being the most used OS in the world and WIndows 8/8.1 being there as the second most used OS, Microsoft dominates the OS market by having 95% Share.

Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows History. There will be no Windows 11, the reason being said that Microsoft will now add features regularly using Windows update. Instead of upgrading OS every few years, users will have the latest features only by enabling Windows Update.

The Following infographic carries some important information about the history of Windows
history of windows
via Microsoft Training