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Powerful Chrome Apps

Chrome Apps

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Earlier in the week, we discussed browsers that

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support plug-ins and the reasons why you might want to use one instead of a traditional web browser. If you didn’t read that article, you might want to before continuing.

Of the browsers available that support plug-ins, one of our favorites is Google Chrome. Aside from being Google junkies, we love the Chrome browser because it has a lot of useful features, such as syncing across multiple devices such as your desktop and your Android phone.

But, one of the things we love most about the Chrome browser is how useful it becomes once it’s customized with a few useful plug-ins, or Apps (as Google calls them).

With thousands of free and pay-for Apps available in the Chrome Webstore, there is something available for everyone, whether you’re looking to be more productive at work, or whether you just want to play.

However, a seemingly endless possibility of choices can often lead to confusion. So, we thought we’d share some of our favorite Apps, and how we use them. There’s probably something useful on our list that’s just perfect for you or your office.

Google Chrome to Phone Extension

Back before the Chrome browser had cross-platform sync capabilities, it used to be a pain in the butt to send a web address from your computer to your phone. That’s where Chrome to Phone came in. This handy App lets you quickly send a webpage URL to your phone, so that you can access the site on another device.

While the Chrome browser can now do this inherently, with the Chrome Sync feature, using Chrome to Phone can still be faster because it requires a few less clicks.

Goo.gl URL Shortener

With social media and other similar sites, you are often limited by the number of characters you can use in a status update. Why use up that allotment with a long URL? Instead, this app will let you shorten URL’s so they don’t take up a lot of space, letting you use your character count for actual words.

Freshstart Cross Browser Session Manager

This handy App has many useful features. It will allow you to save any open tabs, so that you can come back to them later. It has crash capabilities, automatically saving your open tabs whenever a crash occurs. However, its biggest claim to fame is that it allows easy browser management where there are multiple users and/or multiple profiles on the same browser.

SendTab

Have you ever been looking at something online, and wanted to send it to someone else, or to your other computer, but didn’t want to go through the hassle of emailing the URL? Then try SendTab. This handy app allows you to send an instance of what you are looking at to anyone who is listed in your network. To use this function, all users must have the app installed, the “network” must be setup on SendTab’s site, and they must be registered on the “network” as a user. Once setup, all users appear on the list, so all it takes to send a URL is a quick click.

Do you have a favorite Chrome app? Leave us a comment and tell us about it.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help you find better apps for your browser. Email:julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

Using the Selection Pane to Arrange Layers in Microsoft Word 2010 or Higher

As a word processing program, Microsoft Word can do many things. However, one of the things it hasn’t managed to do so well over the years is images.

Sure, you can add images to Word documents, adjust them, move them around, bring elements backward or forward, and even combine images, but traditionally the process has always been a little clunky.

Have you ever tried to select one shape, only to discover you actually selected the one you didn’t want? Have you ever wished that you could just “turn off” an image temporarily, so you could work with what’s behind it?

Now you can do all of this and more – if you have Word 2010 or higher.

Microsoft got wise to the frustration of Word users, and included a new feature in Word to help fix these problems and limitations. This feature is known as the Selection Pane, and while it’s one of Word’s most useful tools, it is also one of its best kept secrets.

Accessing the Selection Pane

To access the Selection Pane, you need to have a shape or image on your document already. Please note that this feature works best when you have several images on your document.

You can add images easily by going to Insert at the top of the Ribbon, and then selecting Pictures, Outlines, or Shapes.

For the purpose of following along, open a new word document, and insert several shapes, say a circle, square, and triangle, and make them each a different color. You should now have something that looks similar to the image below.

Shapes in Word 2013

Shapes in Word 2013

Once you have at least one image on the screen, you will be able to turn on the Selection Pane. To do this, click on any of the images on your document. A new tab should appear at the top of your Ribbon, called Format. Click on the Format Tab, and then click on Selection Pane.

Accessing the Selection Pane from the Ribbon in Word 2013

Accessing the Selection Pane from the Ribbon in Word 2013

 

The Selection Pane will open on the right side of the screen. From here you can drag and drop your images to re-arrange them, or turn various layers off so that you can adjust the layers underneath. You can even opt to show all images or hide all images, depending on what you are trying to accomplish during the editing of your document.

Selection Pane in Word 2013

And that’s all there is to it. Once you learn how to use the Selection Pane, you will find that it goes a long way to alleviating the frustrations of editing image layers within Word.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help you get the most out of your software. Email:julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

Year-End Wrap Up: Outlook, Windows 7 and 8, Word, and Other Microsoft Related Posts

Year End Round Up - Microsoft ArticlesIt’s almost the end of the year, so we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on some of the articles we’ve posted throughout the year about Microsoft products. Whether it involves Outlook, Windows 7 or 8, Word, Excel, One Note, or other Microsoft related products, we’ve probably written an article about it, packed full of tips, tricks, or other helpful information.

If you missed these posts throughout the year, now is a great time to catch up, and possibly learn something new, and maybe even carry those new skills into the New Year.

Windows Related Posts

4 Windows 7 Problems Solving Tips and Tricks

If you are having a problem with your computer, Windows 7 has many built into tools to help troubleshoot the issue. This article explores those tools, helping you understand not only what diagnostic to run, but also why you should run it.

Bitlocker Drive Encryption: What it is, Where to get it, and Why you need it

Bitlocker is a valuable built in encryption software available in newer versions of Windows (Vista and above), and available on Server 2008 and above. Read this article to learn more about how and why this built in software protects your data from offline hackers.

Pinning Items: A Way to Find Items Faster in Windows7

This article is full of tips and tricks about pinning items in Windows7, so that you can access your most frequently used items faster.

Which Version of Windows 7 Should You Choose: Part I

If you’ve decided to upgrade to Windows 7, but you don’t understand the options, then check out this article, which explores the differences between the versions.

Which Version of Windows 7 Should You Choose: Part II

The second half of the article exploring Windows 7 version options. If you’ve read part one, part II finalizes the discussion, so check it out.

Windows7 Calculator: More than Meets the Eye

Who knew the Windows7 calculator was so robust? This article explores the many features of the new calculator.

Windows 7 Shortcuts

This article contains lots of great shortcuts to help you use Windows7 better.

A Sneak Peak at Windows 8

Looking to discover how Windows 8 is different from previous versions? Then check this article out.

Exploring Windows 8: The Differences Between the Standard, Pro, and RT Versions

Want to understand the difference between the Windows 8 versions before you buy? Then read this article, and save yourself from getting a version that isn’t compatible with your needs.

Microsoft Office Related Articles

Reasons to Upgrade to Office 2010

Are you still using an older version of Microsoft Office? If you’re considering upgrading, check out this list of reasons why you should. There are many great tips packed into this article.

Excel Articles

10 Excel Shortcuts Meant to Save You Time

If you spend a lot of time in Excel, you should read this article chocked full of tips and tricks to help make you a better Excel user.

Using PivotTables in Excel

PivotTables are an easy but powerful way to arrange, organize, and display your data. Read this article to learn about PivotTables and how to set them up.

OneNote Articles

Microsoft OneNote: Powerful Note Taking Software

If you have been looking for a solution that allows you to keep your notes in one place, across multiple platforms (desktop, laptop, mobile device), consider using Microsoft One Note. This article explores why this is a MUST USE piece of software in the Microsoft Office suite.

Outlook Articles

How to Recall a Message in Microsoft Outlook 2010

Oops, did you accidentally send something you didn’t mean to send? Now you can recall the message, if you’re using Outlook 2010 or newer.

Outlook Productivity Tips: AutoArchive

Use Outlook’ AutoArchive features to keep large mailboxes running smoothly and efficiently. Read this article to learn how to update your settings and activate this feature.

Outlook Productivity Tip: Changing How Long it Takes to Mark Emails as Read

Tired of clicking on an email in Outlook, and then waiting a while for it to be marked as read? There’s an easy way to change the time it takes for Outlook to mark the item as read. Read this article to find out how.

Outlook Productivity Tip: How to Create Search Folders

Quickly locate commonly searched for items in Outlook by setting up search folders. Read this article to find out how to setup and use this feature.

Outlook Productivity Tips: How to Save Emails Quickly

Don’t waste time saving emails the hard way. Instead, read this article and learn to quickly save emails with ease, saving you loads of time in the long run.

Outlook Productivity Tips: Quick Access Tool Bar

Learn about the Quick Access tool bar in Outlook, and how it can help you make the most out of  your email software.

Outlook Productivity Tips: Quick Steps

Quickly accomplish multiple step tasks, like organizing emails into specific folders, with Quick Steps. This article explores what they are, and how to quickly and easily set them up.

Word Articles

Formatting Word Documents with Tab Stops

Each time you hit tab in a Word document, you could be messing up your formatting. This article explores how to use tab stops to properly format a document without having to space items manually (which can skew the spacing).

Microsoft Word: Other Document Formatting Tips

Need help adjusting the space between the lines of text in your Word document? Want to discover where that extra return is coming from? Read this article to discover ways to fix hidden formatting issues in your Word documents.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help you use your software more efficiently. Email:julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.