Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How to print labels using Microsoft Word 2003

Many computer users need to print labels, both for home and business use.  If you have a printer that you can print to from your computer, you can use Microsoft Word 2003 to print labels.

Before printing, make sure the labels that you have are compatible with your printer; otherwise, the label might not be aligned correctly, or it might smear or jam.  Most labels specify on their packaging what types of printers they are designed for, and you may be able to find a list of what types of labels are not meant for certain printers on the manufacturer's website.  Running labels made for an inkjet printer through a laser printer, for example, can cause all sorts of problems to the printer.

To print a label in Word 2003, click on Letters and Mailings under the Tools menu, and in the submenu that appears, select Envelopes and Labels.  Click on the Labels tab, and in the empty text box type the information you want to appear on your label.  By highlighting the text, right-clicking on it, and choosing Font, you can adjust the text's font, size, and style.

In the lower right corner of the Envelopes and Labels window is a box marked Label, with a picture of a label.  Click on the picture to bring up the Label Options windows, where you can tell Word what kind of labels you have.  Select the type of label and the product number, and check the specifications to make sure you have the right one.

If you can't find your labels on the list, you can input the specifications for the labels manually by clicking on the New Label button.  Using the guide at the top of the screen, enter the label's dimensions and choose the page size.  Give the label a name and click OK to save it.  (You may want to print a test label first to make sure the dimensions are right.)

If you only want to print one label and not a full page of the same labels, click the button next to "Single label" below the text box.  As long as you are using a sheet with more than one label per page, you will be able to select which label you want to print, by choosing the row and/or column information.

Once you've got your label information entered and you're ready to print, put the sheet of labels in the printer, in the correct direction and orientation.  Some printers require paper to be fed face-up, while others need it to be face-down.  If you are not sure which way your printer prints, print a test page (using plain paper) to find out.

When the labels are in the paper tray and everything is set, the last thing to do is hit Print in the Envelopes and Labels window.  You won't be given the option to choose a printer, so make sure your default printer is the one you want to use.

If the label didn't print right, go back into the Envelopes and Labels window and make sure you had all of the information entered correctly.  If the labels jammed, they may not be compatible with your printer, and you may need to try a different kind of label.  For some printers, you will also need to make sure the printer is set for label paper in the tray that you are using; it may alter the print settings to optimize printing on labels.

(Originally published on Helium.com, May 2010)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

How to add a web page shortcut to an iPad's home screen

Bookmarks in your web browser are a good way to "save" web pages so you can go back to them again easily next time.  However, for web pages that you visit often, you might prefer to put the bookmark directly on your iPad's home screen.  By doing it that way, you can just tap the icon to open the web page, rather than having to open the browser first, then go to your bookmarks and find the one you want.

To add a shortcut to a web page to your iPad's home screen:

- Open Safari
- Navigate to the web page you want to create a shortcut for
- Tap the rectangle with the arrow coming out of it at the top of the screen
- Tap Add to Home Screen
- Change the name of the shortcut if you wish
- Tap Add

These steps were written for an iPad with iOS version 5.1.1.  The steps may vary for other versions.

Friday, December 18, 2015

How to optimize the hard drive for a Sharp MX series copier

Like computers, copiers and printers have internal hard drives to store data.  Over time, these hard drives get cluttered and need to be cleaned up to perform at optimum levels.  On a Sharp copier, you can defragment the hard drive by using the "optimization" feature.

Follow the steps below to optimize the hard drive for a Sharp MX series copier.  You won't lose any stored data when you optimize the hard drive, but any current or pending jobs will be deleted.

- Press the System Settings button.  (If admin controls are enabled, you may need an administrative password to get into the system settings.)
- Tap Device Control.
- Tap Other Settings.
- Scroll down and tap Execute next to "Optimization of a Hard Disk."
- Tap Yes.

The process will typically take just a couple of minutes, but may take longer if the hard drive is extremely fragmented.  Upon completion, the copier will automatically reboot.

The steps above were written specifically for the MX-M283N / MX-M363N / MX-M453N / MX-M503N family.  The wording will be similar, if not identical, for other copiers in the MX series.  Some MX copiers won't have the Other Settings menu, for example; the hard drive optimization option will be directly under the Device Control menu.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Android app review: Simple Notepad

Unlike BlackBerry devices, Android phones don't typically come pre-installed with a notepad app.  If you need a notepad app, whether for business or personal use, there are several free apps you can download from the Google Play store.  One of the better free notepad apps is Simple Notepad.

Simple Notepad comes with a lot of useful features.  You can create folders, so that your notes can be organized into separate groups.  The folders feature can be turned on or off, so that if you only use one folder, the folder structure won't get in your way.  You can also use Simple Notepad to make checklists, and Simple Notepad notes can be sent to other people or shared through social networks.  You can even set reminders for specific events or tasks, and Simple Notepad is able to be password protected to prevent anyone else from reading your notes or checklists.

You can create notes with titles displayed in different colors, to highlight important notes or to organize your notes into colors based on their content.  The app even includes its own search feature, to help you find specific notes quickly.  You can search note titles as well as their content.

Simple Notepad is very easy to use, and it comes with a user-friendly menu system.  You can make the app as simple or complex as you want.  If you only need a plain, no-frills notepad app for your phone or tablet, Simple Notepad can be that app; all of the additional features and functions can be ignored, and they won't get in your way as you create and edit notes.  You can even change how the app's home screen appears to make it more convenient for you so you don't have to switch to a certain screen every time you open the app.

One nice feature that Simple Notepad has is the ability to sort notes.  You can choose the criteria used to sort notes (by title, by color, or by date created) and you can enable auto sort so that new notes are automatically sorted by the same criteria.

You can back up your notes from Simple Notepad into a text file, and while it works well, it's not seamless.  When you restore any notes back into Simple Notepad, the notes lose all formatting (though the content will be there).

Simple Notepad was developed by Mightyfrog and it can be downloaded directly from the Google Play store.  It has an average user rating of 4.5 out of 5, and it's compatible with Android version 2.2 or newer.  The current version of the app, version 1.7.3b, only takes up 568 KB of space (plus additional space for your notes and checklists).  For users worried about privacy, the only permission this app requires is the ability to edit or delete the contents of your phone's USB or SD storage.

(Originally published on Helium.com, January 2013 -- updated October 2015)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How to email documents from Google Drive

Google Drive is a great tool that allows you to store and work with documents and other files online.  You can easily share documents with other people by email, or even print them by email using software like Ricoh's HotSpot Printing or Pharos' Mobile Printing.  The steps below will walk you through how to email a document from your Google Drive account.

First, log in to your Google Drive account if you haven't already done so.  On the login page, enter your username/email address and password, then click the blue Sign in button.

Once you've successfully logged in, open the document you wish to email.  It should open in Google Docs but if it only opens a preview of that document instead, click Open at the top of the screen.

In Docs, select File.  On the menu that appears, select Email as attachment and enter the email address you want to send the file to.  Then click the blue Send button.

Note that certain mobile printing apps require you to register or confirm an account before printing.  For these types of programs, they often email you instructions after you've sent the file to print, but with Google Drive, emails are sent with a generic reply-to address so the response email won't make it back to you.  In these cases, you'll need to register your email address prior to emailing the document that you want to print.  Some programs will hold your document and allow you to register after sending it, then print it once you've registered your email address.  See that program's documentation for more details.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

What is the MS-DOS Attrib command and what does it do?

Attrib is a DOS command that is used to change the attributes of a file or group of files.  There are four basic attributes that you can modify with Attrib: read-only (R), system (S), hidden (H), and archive (A).  Files either have each of these attributes or they don't, and you can turn the attributes on or off.

The read-only attribute means a file can not be modified (by most applications).  If you try to edit a read-only file from the command prompt, a message will be displayed stating that the file can not be modified.  If you try to edit the same file in Windows, you can make changes to it, but you won't be able to save the file.

Files with the system attribute are system files that should generally be left alone.  If you try to change the other attributes of a system file from the command line, you'll see the "Not resetting system file" message.  In order to change a system file's other attributes, you'd have to remove the system attribute, change what you wanted to change, and then put the system attribute back.

Files that are hidden can not be viewed by the dir command or seen in Windows Explorer (unless you have Windows set to show hidden files).  Hiding a file can be helpful for privacy reasons, as well as to reduce apparent clutter.

The archive attribute is used for backup purposes.  If a file has been changed since the last time it was backed up, it will generally have the archive attribute turned on.

To use Attrib, you must be at the command line.  In Windows XP, type "cmd" in the Run bar, and in Windows Vista or 7, type it in the Search bar.  (Then hit <ENTER>.)  Attrib can be used several different ways.

Typing "attrib" by itself will display the files in the current directory along with their attributes.  Each attribute will be represented by its first letter -- R, S, H, or A.  If the letter is there, that file has that specific attribute turned on.  If the letter is not there, that attribute is turned off.

To enable an attribute for one file, use the plus sign (+) and the attribute's letter.  For example, to make the file "data.txt" hidden, you would type "attrib data.txt +h".  You could also type "attrib +h data.txt" -- the filename can go before or after the attribute.  To remove the H attribute, you would type "attrib data.txt -h".

If you wanted to make every file in the current directory read-only, you could do it by typing "attrib +r" without specifying a filename.  Any file that's not marked as a system file would become read-only.  If a file was already read-only, typing that command wouldn't change it at all.  To remove the read-only attribute from those same files, you would type "attrib -r".

If you want to change the attributes of a file that uses spaces in its name, such as "johns data file.txt", you would need to put the filename in quotes; typing

attrib johns data file.txt +r

would result in an error message.  You would need to type it as:

attrib "johns data file.txt" +r

You can alter attributes for a file anywhere on the computer, not just in the current directory, but in order to do so you would need to include the path as well as the filename (ie. "attrib c:\windows\temp\backup.dat +h").

Windows gives you some control over attributes as well, though not as much as you have from the command prompt.  If you right click on a file in Windows and select Properties, you can turn on or off two of the file's attributes -- read-only and hidden.  Changing either of these attributes in Windows will also affect the file's status at the command prompt.

(Originally published on Helium.com, May 2010)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

How to find the IP address for a Lenovo IdeaTab A10-70 tablet

To see the IP address for a Lenovo IdeaTab A10-70 (A7600-F) tablet connected to a Wi-Fi network:

- Tap Settings on the home screen.  (If you don't see it, drag down the notification bar at the top of the screen and select Settings there.)
- Tap WLAN.
- Select the current network.  (It will probably be the first one, and it will say "Connected" underneath it.)

In the box that appears, the IP address will be displayed as either IPv4 Address or IPv6 Address, depending on which protocol your network is using.

Alternatively, you can view the IP address using this method:

- Tap Settings.
- Tap About tablet (at the bottom of the menu).
- Tap Status.

Friday, November 27, 2015

How to find the MAC address for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 tablet

To see the Wi-Fi MAC address for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4:

- On the home screen, select Settings
- Select General
- Select About tablet

The Wi-Fi MAC address will be displayed.

Monday, November 23, 2015

How to find the Bluetooth address for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 tablet

If you need to find your Samsung Galaxy Tab 4's Bluetooth address, follow these steps:

- Tap Settings on your Home screen
- Tap General
- Tap About tablet
- Tap Status

The Bluetooth address will be displayed on this page.  Note that if Bluetooth is currently disabled, the Bluetooth address may not show up.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How to add a library in Windows 7

Libraries in Windows are a handy way to organize files and folders.  Windows comes with some default libraries already set up, but you can add to those libraries, or even create new ones.  This post describes how to add a new library in Windows 7.


To add an existing folder as a new library:
- Navigate to the folder you want to add (through Windows Explorer, the Computer link on the Start menu, the desktop, or another method)
- Right click on the folder
- Hover the pointer over "Include in library"
- Select "Create new library"

To create a new folder as a new library:
- On the Start menu, click Computer
- Scroll up on the left side of the window and select Libraries
- At the top of the window, select "New library"
- Enter a name for your new libary and press <ENTER>

To add a folder to your new library, double click on your library and click on the "Include a folder" button.  Navigate to the folder you want to add and click "Include folder."

Friday, November 13, 2015

How to find the MAC address for a Motorola Droid Maxx smart phone

To see the MAC address (sometimes called hardware address or Ethernet address) for a Motorola Droid Maxx smart phone:

-Tap the Settings icon on the home screen, or tap the Apps icon (circle surrounding six small squares) and then select Settings.

- Scroll down to the bottom of the list of settings and tap About phone.

- Tap Status.

The MAC address will be listed toward the bottom, labeled "Wi-Fi MAC address."  You can see the MAC address even when the phone is disconnected from a wireless network, or when Wi-Fi is disabled.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

How to find the Bluetooth address for a Motorola Droid Maxx smart phone

To find the Bluetooth address for a Motorola Droid Maxx smart phone:

-Tap the Settings icon on the home screen, or tap the Apps icon (circle surrounding six small squares) and then select Settings.

- Scroll down to the bottom of the list of settings and tap About phone.

- Tap Status.

The phone's Bluetooth address will be displayed near the bottom, under "Bluetooth address." Note that if Bluetooth is disabled, the Bluetooth address will be unavailable.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How to find the MAC address for a Lenovo IdeaTab A10-70 tablet

To see the MAC address for a Lenovo IdeaTab A10-70 tablet:

- Tap Settings
- At the bottom of the settings list, tap About tablet
- Tap Status

The MAC address will be displayed, labeled WLAN MAC address.

Friday, October 30, 2015

How to find the Bluetooth address of an iPad Mini

To see the Bluetooth address for an iPad Mini or iPad Mini 2:

- Tap the Settings icon on the home screen
- Tap General in the left pane
- Tap About in the right pane

You'll see the iPad Mini's Bluetooth address displayed toward the bottom of the list, under "Bluetooth."  The Bluetooth address will be displayed even when Bluetooth is disconnected or disabled.

Monday, October 26, 2015

How to enable the LPR command in Windows 7

The LPR command can be a useful feature when troubleshooting printing problems.  If you're not sure if a specific issue is originating from the printer itself or from the print driver, sending an LPR print job can help to narrow down the source of the problem.

Sending an LPR print job is very easy from the Windows command prompt.  However, on some systems, the LPR feature may not be enabled.  If you try to use LPR and you get a message stating that it's an invalid command, you may need to enable LPR on your computer.  These instructions show you how to enable LPR on a Windows 7 computer.

- Open the Control Panel.  You can either click on it from the Start menu, or type "control" in the Search bar and click on it when it comes up.

- Select Programs and Features.

- Select Turn Windows features on or off (on the left side of the window).

- Click the "+" next to Print and Document Services.

- Select LPR Port Monitor.

- Select OK.

It may take a few minutes for Windows to enable the feature, but once it's completed you should be able to use the LPR command.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

How to force close apps on an iPhone

As you use your iPhone, various apps and programs are opened.  When you open an app and then hit the Home button to exit out of it, that app typically remains open.  While that usually doesn't cause a problem, with enough open apps your phone could start to slow down a bit.

Closing open apps on an iPhone is easy to do.  There's no red circle like on a Mac, and no X in the corner like on a Windows computer, but it's still a simple task to close apps that are running on an iPhone.

To close apps that are open, tap the Home button twice.  All of the open apps will be shown in a cascading line of tiles.  Swipe to either side to scroll through the list of open apps, and when you come to an app that you want to close, simply tap that app and, without releasing your finger, drag it up to the top of the screen.  It will be removed from the list of running apps (but won't be deleted from your phone).  Once you have closed all of the apps that you wanted to close, tap the Home button to return to the home screen, or tap one of the open apps to bring it to the front.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

How to create a shared folder in Windows 7

In Windows, you can share folders to make them accessible to other users who don't have physical access to your computer.  Folders can be shared across the network, which is also useful for sending documents or images from a scanner directly to your computer.  Many scanners support SMB scanning (also called scan to folder) which generally requires the destination folder to be shared.

To create a shared folder, you first need to create the folder.  (If you've already created the folder, skip this step and navigate to that folder instead).  Click on the Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen to bring up the Start menu, then select Computer.  From here, select the C: drive.  Right click in the white space of the C: drive and hover over New.  A submenu will appear; select Folder.  Type in a name for the folder, then press the <ENTER> key.

Now that you have your folder, you can share it.  Right click on the folder and select Properties.  Select the Sharing tab.  Under where it says "Not Shared," click Share.

A list of users or groups will be displayed.  Select the ones that you wish to share your folder with.  If you don't see the user or users you're looking for, click on the drop-down arrow and select them.  Or, to share the folder with everyone, click the drop-down arrow and select Everyone.  Then click on Add.

By default, anyone you add will not have the ability to change or edit files in this folder.  You can give them that permission by clicking on "Read" and selecting "Read/Write" instead.  For setting up scan to folder, you will need to give either a specific user (that you will use as the authenticating user) or everyone the ability to write to that folder.

Once you have all the users you want added and they have the permissions that you want to assign them, click Share at the bottom of the window.  Windows will begin the process of sharing the folder, which may take a little while.  When it has completed, click Done.

Friday, October 16, 2015

How to enable Facebook notifications from a friend if you are not currently receiving them

If you are missing notifications from someone that you are friends with (or following) on Facebook, below are the steps to enable notifications from a specific person.

- In your web browser, log into your Facebook account.
- Either go to your friend's page directly, or search for it in the search bar at the top of the page and then click on their name in the results.
- If you see a button under the person's profile picture on the right that says Follow, click on it.  It will change to Following.
- Above the Follow/Following button, hover over the Friends button.
- If there is no check mark next to Get Notifications, select it now to enable notifications.

Monday, October 12, 2015

How to cancel a print job to an HP LaserJet 9050 from the printer's web page

Occasionally print jobs get stuck or become corrupted, and you need to cancel them.  You can do this from the printer itself, by pressing the Stop button, but you can also do it remotely from your computer (as long as the printer is connected to the network).

On a Windows PC, you can often cancel a print job by going into the printer's queue, choosing the job and canceling it.  But sometimes this method won't work.  For example, if someone else sent the job, you may not be allowed to cancel it.  Or if you don't have rights to manage the printer, you may be prevented from canceling the job.  In either case, you can still cancel the print job through the printer's embedded web server (EWS).

To get to the EWS, you will need the printer's IP address and a web browser.  (If you don't know the printer's IP address, you can find it by printing out a configuration page -- instructions can be read here.)  Open the web browser, type in the printer's IP address and hit <ENTER>.

The printer's web page or web server should load, with the HP logo and information about the printer, including it's current status.  Once this page loads, look in the middle of the page.  If you see a red circle and the words "Cancel Current Job," click on the red circle and you will be able to stop the print job.

More than likely, you won't see that red circle.  It will need to be enabled.  Follow the steps below to enable the cancel print job option.

- Click Log In in the upper right corner of the page.  (If Log In is not there, skip this step and the next step.)

- Enter the administrator user name and password for the printer.

- Select the Settings tab.

- Select Security on the left side bar.

- Under Set Options, click the box next to Cancel Job.

- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Apply.

- Select the Information tab.

- Click on the red circle next to Cancel Current Job.

- Confirm your choice, if prompted.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

How to stop Microsoft Word from printing an extra page with your document

If an extra page prints out with your document when you print from Microsoft Word, the fix is very easy.  This page is called the document properties page, and it includes information such as the file name, any keywords, the total number of words, and much more.  It is a simple process to stop the document properties page from being printed.

To disable the document properties page in Word 2010:

- Open Word 2010
- Click on File in the upper left corner
- Select Options on the file menu
- Select Display in the left pane of the Word Options window
- Under the Printing options heading, click the box next to "Print document properties" to remove the check mark from it
- Click OK at the bottom of the window

These steps will also work for Word 2016.  For older versions of Word, you can see how to disable the document properties page in this Microsoft support article.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How to close open apps on an iPad Mini

Too many open apps can slow down your iPad Mini.  Closing an app that is running in the background is easy to do on an iPad Mini, but if you're used to an Android device, the process is different.  This guide will show you how to close apps that may be running in the background on an iPad Mini.

On your iPad Mini, tap the Home button twice.  All of your currently-open apps will be displayed on the screen, in a horizontal list.  You can scroll through the list to see which apps are currently running.

To close an app, tap it and without letting go, drag it up to the top of the screen.  The app will disappear from the list of open programs.  You can close multiple apps this way if you want.

Once you are finished, tap the Home button to return to the home screen, or tap one of the open apps to bring that app to the forefront.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

How to find the Bluetooth address for a Lenovo IdeaTab A10-70 tablet

To see the Bluetooth address for a Lenovo IdeaTab A10-70 tablet:

- Tap Settings from the home screen
- At the bottom of the settings list, tap About tablet
- Tap Status

The tablet's Bluetooth address will be displayed, but only if Bluetooth is currently enabled.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Chrome no longer supports NPAPI plugins

It's been over a month now, but some users may not yet be aware -- or are suddenly finding out -- that Chrome has dropped support for NPAPI plugins.  Two big plugins no longer supported are Java and Silverlight.  If you visit web sites that rely on either one of those, you'll likely be looking for a new web browser.

If you use Outlook Web App, you may have already noticed that the Attach button no longer works.  This feature utilized the Silverlight plugin, so it's out the window in Chrome.  You can either load OWA in another web browser, or you can use the light version of OWA (check the box when you log in) as a workaround -- the light version will allow you to attach files without requiring Silverlight.

More information can be found on this Google help page.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How to find the IP address of a Motorola Droid Razr Maxx smart phone

Gone are the days when phones were only used to make calls.  Smart phones are more akin to computers than they are to simple phones, and they use many of the same protocols.  If your smart phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network, it will be using an IP address, just like a computer does.

There are a few different ways you can find the IP address for a Motorola Droid Razr Maxx.  Below are the two easiest methods.

Method #1:

- Press the Menu button (the button with three lines on it).
- Select System settings.
- Select About phone.
- Select Status.

Method #2:

- Press the Menu button (the button with three lines on it).
- Select System settings.
- Select Wi-Fi.
- Press the Menu button.
-  Select Advanced.

If the phone is not currently connected to a Wi-Fi network, the IP address shown will be the IP address that the phone had when it was last connected.

(Originally published on Helium.com, April 2013; modified and updated September 2015)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

How to find the MAC address of an iPad Mini

To see the MAC address (also called hardware address or physical address) for an iPad Mini or iPad Mini 2:

- Tap the Settings icon on the home screen
- Tap General in the left pane
- Tap About in the right pane

You'll see the iPad Mini's MAC address displayed toward the bottom of the list, under "Wi-Fi Address."  The MAC address will be displayed even if the Wi-Fi connection is disabled.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to find the Bluetooth address for a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet

To see your Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet's Bluetooth address, follow the steps below.  Note that Bluetooth must currently be enabled; otherwise, you will see "Unavailable" where the Bluetooth address would be displayed.

- Tap the Settings icon on the home screen.  (If you don't see the Settings icon, tap the Apps icon in the upper right corner -- the icon with the 4x4 small squares -- then select Settings from the list of apps.)

- Scroll down to About device and select it.

- Select Status.

Under "Bluetooth address," your tablet's Bluetooth address will be displayed on the screen.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Basic HTML for blogs and email

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the code used to create much of the content found on the Internet.  It can be a difficult and confusing language to master, but picking up the basics doesn't take much time.  By learning just a few simple HTML commands, you can add some snap, zing, or pizzaz to your blog, email message, or other online content.

Most free blogs as well as many email providers will allow the use of basic HTML commands.  You may not be able to embed video streams or create complex tables inside your email message or blog post, but there are some neat things that you can do.  This article will discuss simple HTML commands that are both easy to learn and easy to use.

- Text styles and fonts

Plain-text emails tend to be bland -- all the text looks exactly the same.  With a little well-placed HTML you can spruce up your emails and make them more attention-grabbing.

To alter the text style, there are simple commands for bold, italic, and underline.  The commands for all three are similar.  You use one command (called a tag) to turn on the style you want (bold, italic, or underline) and another command to turn the style back off, after the word or phrase you want to alter.  For example, to make the word "fruit" appear bold in this sentence:

This is a fruit stand!

You would type the sentence like this:

This is a <b>fruit</b> stand!

The <b> tag turns on the bold style, and the </b> tag turns it back off.  For underlining, the two commands would be <u> and </u>, and for italics -- you guessed it -- it would be <i> and </i>.

With HTML you can also change fonts and colors.  These commands may or may not be available in your email or blog editor, but here they are anyway.

To change a font, you would use <font face="fontname"> to turn the change on (where fontname is the name of a font, such as Arial or Times or Verdana -- all in lowercase) and </font> to turn it off.  Be wary of using weird or uncommon fonts; if the recipient or reader does not have that font installed on their computer, the text will probably not appear the way you want it to.

To change the font size, use the same tag but with a different attribute: <font size=x>.  "x" would be the number you want to make the text, ranging from 1 to 7.  The same tag as mentioned above -- </font> -- turns off the change in size.

To change the color of text, the command would be <font color="red">.  HTML recognizes and uses most common colors, but to increase the range of color you can use a six-digit hexadecimal code instead, which would look like this: <font color=AB1943C>.  Each digit changes the hue just a bit, ranging all the way from white to black.  There are several websites online where you can look up a color chart to find exactly the color you want.  Again, </font> turns the change back off.

- Links

Links are an essential part of many blogs, and they can be handy to include in email messages as well.  To insert a link, the command is:

<a href="address">text</a>

"Address" would be the web address or URL of the link you want to use (including the "http://") and for "text" (no quotes) you would type the text that would represent the link -- the word or phrase readers would click on to access the link.  For example, clicking on Yahoo! takes you to Yahoo!'s main page.

Using these basic commands, you can make your blog posts and emails better looking, more user-friendly, and more powerful.  Many blog sites and email providers will display a list of the HTML commands you can use in their editor, but if you don't see one, try the commands you want to use and see which ones work.

(Originally published on Helium.com, January 2010)

Friday, September 11, 2015

How to disable MMS auto-fetching on a Samsung Intensity cell phone

With the recent Android Stagefright vulnerability issues, many cell phone users have been disabling the auto-retrieve or auto-fetching feature of their phones.  This feature allows for the automatic downloading of pictures or videos sent via MMS (multimedia messaging service) so that you don't have to manually download that content.

If you want to disable MMS auto-fetching on a Samsung Intensity cell phone (even though it doesn't run the Android operating system and thus isn't susceptible to the Stagefright vulnerability) you can do so easily:

-Press the left option button (to the upper left of the keypad) to bring up the Messaging menu.
- Press the left option button again to bring up the Messaging Settings menu.
- Press 7 for Multimedia Auto Receive.
- Go down to select Off.
- Press the OK button (in the center of the directional pad).

Thursday, September 10, 2015

How to find the MAC address of a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet

To view the MAC address for a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (GT-N8013) tablet, or other similar Samsung tablets:

- Tap the Settings icon (the gear icon) on your home screen.  If you don't see the Settings icon, tap the Apps icon in the upper right corner -- the icon with the 4x4 small squares -- then select Settings from the apps list.

- Scroll down to About device and select it.

- Tap Status.

The MAC address will be displayed on the screen, labeled as "Wi-Fi MAC address."

How to find the IP address for a Motorola Droid

When your Droid is connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can quickly find its IP address by following the steps below.  (These steps were written for a Droid running Android OS 2.2.3, so a Droid with a different version of the Android OS, some of the wording or the location of some settings may vary slightly.)

- Tap the Settings icon on the home screen.  (If your home screen doesn't have the Settings icon, touch the Droid's Menu button, then select Settings.)
- Select Wireless & networks.
- Select Wi-Fi Settings.
- Select the network you are connected to.  (It will be the first one on the list of networks, and it will say "Connected" beneath the network name.)  The IP address will be displayed in a pop-up window.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

How to cancel a print job or copy job on a Sharp MX-M550N / MX-M620N / MX-M700N multifunction printer

Sometimes when you are copying or printing, you may need to cancel the current job, or a pending job.  For print jobs, you can often cancel them from your computer (depending on whether or not the job has already been sent to the printer) but for copy jobs you typically have to cancel them directly from the device itself.  Below are instructions for canceling a copy or print job from a Sharp MX-M550N, MX-M620N, or MX-M700N multifunction copier.

- Press the Job Status button
- Select the job you wish to cancel
- Select Stop/Delete on the touch screen
- Select Yes to confirm your choice

Sunday, September 6, 2015

How to find the IP address for a Motorola Droid Maxx smart phone

On a Motorola Droid Maxx smart phone, you can quickly and easily discover your IP address when you are connected to a Wi-Fi network.  To see your phone's IP address, follow the two simple steps below.

1. Pull down the status bar at the top of the screen by touching anywhere on the status bar (the bar that shows the Wi-Fi signal indicator, battery level, and time) and dragging downward.

2. Tap the Wi-Fi icon (where it says "Connected to")

A box will appear with details about the current network configuration.  At the bottom of the list of details will be your Droid Maxx's IP address.  You can also find the phone's IP address by going through the Settings menu, but this method is quicker.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

How to find the IP address of an iPad Mini

To see the IP address of an iPad Mini that's connected to a Wi-Fi network:

- From the Home screen, tap the Settings icon
- On the left side of the Settings screen, select Wi-Fi
- On the right side of the screen, tap the network you're connected to (it will have a check mark next to it)

The IP address will be displayed, along with other network information.

Friday, September 4, 2015

How to disable MMS auto-fetching on a Motorola Droid

With the recent Stagefright vulnerability scare, many smart phone users are heeding the advice of experts and disabling the auto-fetching feature of their text messaging apps.  If you have a Motorola Droid, below are instructions for how to disable the MMS auto-fetching on the Droid.

- Tap the Messaging icon on your Droid's home screen.  (If you don't see the Messaging app, tap the Apps icon at the bottom of the screen -- a group of 4x4 small squares -- and select Messaging from the list of apps.)

- Scroll down until you see Auto-retrieve, and tap it to uncheck it.  (If it's already unchecked, then auto-fetching has already been turned off.)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

How to find the IP address of an iPhone

When your iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can discover its IP address easily by following the steps below.  (These steps may vary slightly depending on your phone or iOS version.)

- From your Home screen, tap the Settings icon
- Select Wi-Fi on the settings list
- Select the network you're currently connected to

Your iPhone's IP address will be shown.  If you're not currently connected to a network, your phone won't have an IP address to display.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

How to disable Bluetooth on an iPad Mini 2

When you get a new iPad Mini 2, the Bluetooth feature may be enabled by default.  If you want to turn Bluetooth off, follow these steps:

- From the Home screen, tap the Settings icon
- Select Bluetooth on the left side of the screen
- The slider bar will be in the "On" position (slid to the right) -- to disable Bluetooth, tap the slider bar so it goes "Off" (to the left)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

How to use the snipping tool in Windows 7

Windows 7 comes with a neat little feature called the snipping tool.  This application works in much the same way as the Print Screen function; it captures what's on the screen when you use it.  However, the snipping tool offers much more flexibility than Print Screen.

To open the snipping tool, click on the Start button and type "snip" in the Search bar.  "Snipping Tool" will be displayed in the results; if it's the highlighted result, either click on it or press <ENTER>.  If there are more than one result, click on Snipping Tool.

The snipping tool window will open.  If you've never used it before, New will probably be selected.  (If it's not, select it now.)  Using the mouse, click on a corner of the area you want to snip, and drag the mouse to the opposite corner, so that the whole area you want to capture is selected.  You can capture a large or small portion of the screen, but it must be rectangle-shaped.  (If the window that you want to snip from is not currently open, open it now and then flip back to the snipping tool and choose New.)

Once you've selected an area, that area will be copied into the snipping tool window.  From here, you can mark the image, highlight it, and otherwise play around with it.  The default tool to use is a blue pen, but you can change the color or thickness of the pen by clicking on the down arrow next to the pen icon located with the other icons at the top of the window.

This row of icons contains the common tools you can use with your snipped image.  Choosing New will allow you to grab a new image, discarding the current one if you haven't already saved it.  The disk icon lets you save your image, in PNG, GIF, JPEG, or HTML format.  The next icon -- two identical sheets of paper -- is the Copy icon, which will let you copy your image to import it in Paint, Word, or just about any other program.  The envelope is the Send Snip icon, which you can use to email your snip through Outlook.  The pen icon was mentioned in the previous paragraph, and next to that one is the highlighter icon, which you can use to highlight any part of your image (or the whole thing) in yellow.  The last icon is the eraser, which will erase any modifications you've made, but won't erase the image itself.

To customize the snipping tool program, click on the Tools menu and select Options.  (If the menu bar does not appear by default, press the <ALT> key to make it appear.)  From this screen, you can change the default ink color, as well as other preferences.

(Originally published on Helium.com, December 2012)

Monday, August 31, 2015

How to stop Google from tracking your search history

Whether you know it or not, Google may be tracking your search history.  If you are logged into your Google account and are using Google as your search engine, there's a good chance Google is keeping a log of every search you make.

Luckily, it's easy to disable this web search logging.  To start, go to http://history.google.com.  (You may be prompted to log in, even if you've already done so.)

The Web & App Activity page will load.  If under the "Get More out of Google" heading you see a link labeled "Get started," then Google is not currently set to save your search history.  However, you can follow the steps below if you like just to verify that the search logging is disabled.

Click on the menu icon in the upper left corner (the three horizontal lines).  On the menu that appears, click on Activity Controls at the bottom.

If search logging is enabled, you will see this on your screen:


Click on the blue slider bar.  A confirmation window will pop up asking if you're sure you want Google to stop tracking your searches.  Select Pause.  The slider bar will turn gray, and you'll see this displayed:


Now you've stopped Google from keeping track of your search history.  However, any previous searches that were tracked are still saved.  To delete the stored search history, go back to http://history.google.com.  (You may be asked to log in again.)

Any searches that have been stored will be displayed on this page.  Check the box to the left of any items you wish to erase, and then click Delete at the top of the screen.  When the confirmation window loads, click Delete again.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

How to cancel a print job on a Ricoh printer

On most Ricoh printers, if you need to cancel a print job you can do it directly from the device.  On Ricoh multifunction printers with a touch screen, press the Printer button and then either select Job Reset on the screen or press the red Stop button.  You'll be asked to confirm your choice, and decide whether you want to cancel the current job or all pending jobs.

On Ricoh printers without a touch screen, you can probably cancel a print job by pressing the Job Reset or Cancel button.  If the printer has a display screen, you may be asked to confirm your choice.

For printers that are connected to a network, you can also cancel print jobs from your computer.  Open a web browser and navigate to the printer's IP address.  (If you don't know the printer's IP address, you can find it by printing out a configuration page.)  When the Ricoh web server page loads, click on the Login button in the upper right corner.  Enter the copier's user name and password, then click Login or press <ENTER>.

Hover over Device Management on the left side of the screen, then select Reset Printer Job.  Select either Reset Current Job or Reset All Jobs, then confirm your choice.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to clear your Adobe Flash Player history on a Chromebook

Adobe's Flash Player keeps a list of sites that you've visited that use Flash.  You can delete this list very easily if you want to.  On a Windows computer, you would delete it through the Control Panel; on a Chromebook, you do it through the Settings.

- Click on the status bar in the lower right corner of the screen (where the time, battery strength, and network signal are displayed).
- Click on Settings.
- Type "flash" into the search bar.
- Click on the "Content settings" button.
- Click on the "Manage exceptions..." button.
- Click on the "Adobe Flash Player storage settings..." link.
- The Website Storage Settings Panel will load in Chrome; click on the "Delete all sites" button.
- Click on the "Confirm" button and the list of websites will be erased.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How to remotely restart a TP-Link TL-PS110U Print Server

If you are having printing issues but there's no error message or indication of what's wrong at the printer itself, the print job may not be making it to the printer.  You may need to restart the print spooler service, or restart your print server if you use one.  This article will show you how to remotely restart a TP-Link TL-PS110U print server.

The TL-PS110U has a web interface that you can use to remotely manage the print server.  To access the web interface, open a web browser, type in your print server's IP address, and press <ENTER>.  If you haven't changed it from the default, the IP address will be 192.168.0.10.  (If you don't know the print server's IP address and you are on a Windows Vista or newer computer, you can use the network map to find the IP address.)

The TP-Link web setup page will load.  From here you can view and change all sorts of settings for your print server.  To reboot the server, click on the Restart button at the top of the page.

A message will appear asking if you're sure you want to restart.  (Note that any current or pending print jobs will be canceled.)  Click OK.

The print server will reboot, and a message stating that will be displayed.  Once the print server has finished shutting down and restarting, the web interface will reload.

Monday, August 24, 2015

How to find the IP address for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 tablet

To view your IP address from your Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 tablet when you're connected to a Wi-Fi network:

- From the Home screen, tap Settings.  (If you don't see the Settings icon, tap the app list icon in the lower right corner, with the small 4x4 squares, and then select Settings.)
- If it's not already selected, tap Connections at the top of the screen.
- If it's not already selected, tap Wi-Fi in the left pane.
- Tap the network you are currently connected to (the first one on the list on the right side; it should say "Connected" underneath the network name).

A box will pop up showing a list of details about the network connection, and at the bottom of the list will be the device's IP address.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

What to do when the Attach button in Outlook Web App doesn't work in Chrome

If you are using Outlook Web App for your email through Chrome and the Attach button does not work when you are composing an email, there is an easy fix for this problem (though it's only a short-term fix).

The reason the Attach button won't work is because the Microsoft Silverlight plugin is either not installed or has been disabled.  Chrome will soon be discontinuing the use of Silverlight and other NPAPI plugins, but in the meantime you can enable Silverlight and make use of OWA's attach function.

If you need to download Silverlight, you can download it from Microsoft here.  Once you have it installed, this article shows you how to enable Silverlight in Chrome.

As a workaround, if you can't install Silverlight for some reason (or don't want to) when you log into Outlook Web App, select the "Use the light version of Outlook Web App" option (below where you specify if you are using a public or private computer).  When you run the light version of OWA, attachments are loaded differently, and you can add an attachment to your email without Silverlight.

UPDATE: Here is a simple JavaScript workaround to bring the attachment functionality back to OWA in Chrome, without having to use the light version:

http://tech-in-check.blogspot.com/2016/01/how-to-solve-chrome-not-allowing-you-to.html

Friday, August 21, 2015

How to share a printer in Windows 7

With more and more devices being networked, sharing printers has become less common.  However, it is still a practice that is used in some environments.  If you need to share a printer from your Windows 7 computer, this guide will show you exactly how to do that.

Click on the Start button (Windows orb) in the lower left corner of the screen (or press the Windows key on your keyboard).  When the Start menu appears, select Devices and Printers.  Right click on the printer you wish to share.  From the context menu, select Printer Properties.  Select the Sharing tab.

Click the box next to "Share this printer" to place a check mark there.  A default share name will be displayed for your printer, which may be the same as the printer's local name.  You can change this name if you want, or leave it how it is.  If you need to add a 32-bit driver or 64-bit driver (if you are sharing the printer with operating systems that may not use the current driver you have installed) you can do so by clicking the Additional Drivers... button and following the instructions to browse for the other print driver version(s).

Once you have the settings how you want them, click OK at the bottom of the window to close the window and apply the share settings.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to ping from a Chromebook

Many people think of a Chromebook as a glorified web browser and not much else.  While it's true that the web browser is a large part of what a Chromebook does, there is still other functionality that can be taken advantage of on a Chrome OS computer.

You can ping from a Chromebook very similarly to how you would ping from a Windows, Mac, or Linux machine.  To bring up the terminal interface, press CTRL + ALT + T.  A "crosh" (Chrome OS developer shell) tab will open up.  This tab includes the command line interface that you can use to ping.

The basic syntax for the ping command is:
ping <IP address | domain name | hostname>
Using ping this way will start a continuous ping process that you can stop by pressing CTRL + C.  To specify the number of ping attempts, use this format:
ping -c <# attempts> <IP address | domain name | hostname>
For more switches you can use with ping, type help at the command line and press ENTER.  To exit the terminal interface and close the tab, type exit and press ENTER.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to print the event log from an HP LaserJet 4345 mfp

On an HP LaserJet 4345 mfp, the configuration page shows you the last three events, with very limited information.  By printing out the event log, you can get a longer list of recent events, with more detailed descriptions of each event.

To print the event log from an HP LaserJet 4345 mfp:

- Press the Menu button
- Scroll down to Diagnostics and select it
- Select Print Event Log

Monday, August 17, 2015

How to find the IP address for your Chromebook

For users who are to new to Chromebooks and the Chrome OS, finding your IP address when you need it can be a little tricky, but it's not hard to do.   When you are connected to a network, follow these steps to view your Chromebooks' IP address:

- Click on the status bar in the lower right corner (the area with the time, sound icon, battery icon, and wireless connectivity icon).
- You will see "Connected to" followed by the network you're on; click on that line.
- A list of available Wi-Fi networks will be shown, with the current connected network at the top, in bold.  Click on the network you are connected to.
- In the network connection window, click on the Network tab.

Your Chromebook's IP address, along with the subnet mask and gateway, will be displayed.  Note that if you are on a private network (such as a home or business network) this IP address is not the same as an Internet-facing IP address or public IP address.

Friday, August 14, 2015

How to restart the print spooler in Windows 7

In Windows, the print spooler is the service that loads print jobs to be sent to the printer.  Sometimes this service can freeze or hang up, causing jobs to not get printed.  When this happens, you can often restart the print spooler to correct the issue.  This guide will show you how to restart the print spooler on a Windows 7 PC.

Click on the Windows button on the left side of the task bar (where the Start button used to be in Windows XP).  Type "services.msc" into the Search bar on the Start menu, then press <ENTER>.  The Services window will open shortly.

Scroll down the list of services until you get to Print Spooler.  To the left of the list of services you will see "Restart the service" with "Restart" displayed in blue; click on this text.  A status bar will appear showing the progress of the service, and once it completes, the print spooler will have been restarted.

If you don't see "Restart the service" when you click on Print Spooler, then your account does not have administrator rights.  You won't be able to restart the print spooler manually, but you can reboot the computer, which will restart the print spooler (and the other services).