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Computers and Stuff.


Sam Houliston.



Report scams to the ACCC via www.scamwatch.gov.au or by calling 1300 795 995.




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Click on any of the features above for further details.





Adding Columns to a Word document.

Adding lines between columns in Word.

Chrome Shortcuts.

How to access Safe Mode in Windows 10

Using "Find and Replace" in Word.

What is an MKV file?

Windows 7’s day is nearly done.



Chrome Shortcuts.


If you’re a Google Chrome user, and a lot of people are, there are a lot of short-cuts you can use to make your search of the internet a lot easier and a bit quicker. (A lot of these shortcuts will also work in Firefox and Internet Explorer.)


This not a complete list of all the keyboard shortcuts available in Google Chrome it is just a list of the more generally useful ones and is only those which can be used by Windows users. If you want to check them all out, including those for Apple people, click HERE.



Working with Tabs and Windows.


Whether you need to quickly jump between tabs in the current window or re-open a tab you accidentally closed, these shortcuts help you efficiently manage tabs and windows in Chrome.



Open a new tab


Open a new window


Close the current tab


Close the current window


Re-open previously closed tabs in the order they were closed in, up until Chrome first initialized


Jump to the next open tab in the current window


Jump to the previous open tab in the current window


Jump to a specific tab in the current window (9 is always the last tab, no matter how many tabs you have open)

Alt+Left/Right Arrow:

Open the previous/next page in the current tab’s browsing history (Back/Forward buttons)



Google Chrome Features.


Everything here helps you access Chrome features without having to click around in the settings menu. You can open the Bookmarks bar, browser history, Task Manager or Developer Tools with these keyboard shortcuts.


Alt+F or ALT+E:

Open the Chrome menu


Open the History page in a new tab


Open the Downloads page in a new tab


Show/hide the Bookmarks bar


Open the Bookmarks Manager in a new tab


Open the Chrome Task Manager



Browsing Webpages.


Need to turn on full-screen mode, increase/decrease the size of everything on the page, or save all tabs as bookmarks? These shortcuts are a sure-fire way to save you heaps of time.



Reload (refresh) the current page


Stop the page from loading


Save the current page to your computer


Print the current page

Ctrl+Plus/Minus [+/-]

Zoom in/out on the current page

Ctrl+0 [zero]

Return the current webpage to the default size


Save the current page as a bookmark


Open the Find bar to search in the current page




Whoever said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

has obviously never had to reboot a computer.




Windows 7’s day is nearly done.


Windows 7 users – you should upgrade to Windows 10 now (See HOW). On the 14th January, 2020, windows will stop supporting that version of its operating system. After that you could be vulnerable to a cyber attack and you could find that your other software, that currently works under Win 7, might not work in the future as developers stop writing Win 7 into their updates.  


Businesses which have a lot of money and for some reason want to stay with Win 7, can buy an “Extended Security” but it won’t be cheap mainly as Microsoft wants you off 7 ASAP. Mr and Mrs average at home can’t, Microsoft won’t sell you the extended updates so you’re better off getting out.


Windows 7 has been with us now for 10 years, it was released on the 22nd October 2009 – but now it’s time to say good-bye.




What is an MKV file?


A file with the .MKV file extension is a Matroska Video file. It's a video container much like MOV and AVI, but also supports an unlimited number of audio, picture and subtitle tracks (like SRT or USF).


This format is often seen as the carrier for high-definition online video because it supports descriptions, ratings, cover art, and even chapter points which is why MKV was chosen as the default video container format for the popular DivX Plus software.



How to Play MKV Files


Opening MKV files might sound like an easy task, just double-click it, like any other video file, but if you have a collection of 10 MKV videos you got from 10 different places, you'll likely find that at least a few of those won't play correctly. This problem arises because the correct codecs for that particular type of video must already be present on your computer before it will play.


Your best bet for playing most MKV files is to use VLC. If you're on Windows, some other MKV players include MPV, MPC-HC, KMPlayer, DivX Player, MKV File Player or The Core Media Player. Some of those applications will open an MKV file on macOS too, as can Elmedia Player. Though not free, Roxio software can be used to play MKV files on macOS as well.



Decoder Filters


The Matroska.org website presents a list of decoder filters that must be installed for certain MKV files to play on your computer, you can get them HERE, just scroll down to the Additional playback Information section. For example, if the video is compressed with DivX Video, you must install either the DivX codec or FFDshow.



How to Convert an MKV File


If you find your computer or some video players won’t play certain MKV files, your only remedy could be to convert the file to a different format. You could download the decoder file to your computer but you can’t do that on video players, so you’ve got to use a converter. You can download a free video file converter from HERE.


Freemake Video Converter is a good one.


Another program that we use is Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate. You can get it from HERE. It’s not free but it doesn’t cost a lot either and if you muck around with videos a lot it’s definitely worth it. As well as being able to convert a huge number of formats, it will download videos for you (if you can watch it on your screen Wondershare will probably be able to download it). It will also compress videos and can burn videos onto DVD – though the use of DVDs is diminishing day by day. You can try it for free.



The MKV Format and Its Codecs


Because the MKV file format is just a general container format, it can hold several different tracks that each use different compression formats. Accordingly, it's not so easy to depend on a single MKV player that can open every MKV file you have. Certain decoders are necessary for certain encoding schemes.


The Matroska project is supported by a non-profit organization and is a fork of the Multimedia Container Format. It was first announced to the public at the end of 2002 and is a completely royalty-free open standard that's free for both private and commercial use.




Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone but refused to keep one in his study.

He feared it would distract him from his work.




How to access Safe Mode in Windows 10


Safe Mode loads with a minimum set of drivers, software and service. Usually, when Windows doesn’t start normally, Safe Mode starts with no problem. It’s useful for you to troubleshoot a problem but for some reason it seems Microsoft has removed the old F8 switch from Windows 10 which you could use to enter Safe Mode – but of course there are ways..


In Windows 10, if you want to start Safe Mode with the F8 key, you have to set it up, here’s how:


The F8 boot menu feature is disabled on Windows 10 by default but the good news is you can get it to work again with the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) Edit command. BCD Edit is a tool written to control how the operating system is started. You can use it to enable F8 boot menu easily. Just follow these steps:



1    Open the Command Prompt as an Administrator (See HERE).



2    Copy this  bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy  and paste it in the Command Prompt. Then press the Enter key, it will load and you will get  “The operation completed successfully.”



3    Reboot your PC. Before the Windows logo appears, press F8 to access the Boot Options menu (see below). Then select Safe Mode.



You can get F8 to work again only when you’re able to access Windows. If you can’t start Windows normally, you need to use other effective way.




Enter Safe Mode when you can’t boot normally.


1.    Ensure your PC is off.


2.    Press the power button to turn on your PC, then hold the power button down until the PC shuts down automatically (about 5 seconds) . Repeat this more than 2 times until you see the Preparing Automatic Repair window (see at right), then wait for Windows to diagnose your PC.

3.    Click Advanced options, then the system will bring up the Windows RE (Recovery environment.) screen.

4.    On the Windows RE screen, click Troubleshoot.


5.    On the Troubleshoot screen, click Advanced options.


6.    Click Startup Settings to continue.

7.    Click Restart. The computer restarts and another screen opens showing a list of different startup options.


8.    On your keyboard, press the 4 number key to enter Safe Mode without network. If you need to do some online research after boot into the safe mode, press the 5 number key to enter Safe Mode with network access.



Enter Safe Mode from Normal Mode


If you’ve started Windows normally, you can boot into the safe mode using the System Configuration tool which allows you to configure how your PC starts, the boot procedure, the startup items, etc.


Follow the instructions below to open the System Configuration tool:


1.    On your keyboard, press the Win+R (Windows logo key and R key) at the same time to open the Run box.


2.    Type msconfig and click OK. The System Configurations will open.



3.    When the System Configuration opens, click the Boot tab. Under Boot options, check Safe boot then click OK.


4.    When you’re prompted to restart your computer to apply these changes, click Restart then you will boot into the Safe Mode.




IMPORTANT:   When you want to start Windows 10 again in Normal Mode, you have to reverse the process, that is, make sure the Safe boot tag is unchecked.



Start Safe Mode from the login screen


If you can boot to the login screen, you can enter Safe Mode from there.


1.    On your keyboard, hold down the Shift key then at the bottom left, click the power button and select Restart. Windows will bring up the Windows RE (Recovery environment) screen.


2.   On the Windows RE screen, click Troubleshoot then follow the instructions above.




Chuck Norris can delete the Recycling Bin.




Adding Columns to a Word Document.


Sometimes the information you include in your document is best displayed in columns. Not only can columns help improve readability, but some types of documents, like lists of names, newspaper articles, newsletters, and flyers are often written in column format. Word also allows you to adjust your columns by adding column breaks and it’s easy. The following applies to Word 2016 but will also refer to earlier versions of Word.


Here’s how!



1.    Select and highlight the text you want to format into columns

2.    Click the LAYOUT tab at the top of the page, then select the COLUMNS icon, a drop down menu will appear, select the number of columns you want to create. Your list will then format into columns.


3.    The drop down menu above only allows you to format into 3 columns, if you want to add more, just click MORE COLUMNS at the bottom of the drop down menu, another menu appears.


4.    Click the NUMBER OF COLUMNS box to select the number of columns you require.


5.    The Left and Right presets are used to format a 2 column setup. If you select Left your left column will be the smaller in width of the two, when you select Right the right column will be the smaller.


When you select a number of columns, Windows will automatically shuffle your data so the columns are equal in size, but sometimes you might want to have more items in one or more columns than in another. You can try and cut the items you don’t want from column 1 and paste them in another column but Windows will just put them back – there is a way of doing it and it’s easy too.


1.    First sort the data into columns, then click your mouse at the end of the item you wish to be the last in column 1. Hold down the CTRL and SHIFT keys and press ENTER. Irrespective of how many columns you have set up, Windows will reassemble everything into two columns with column 1 holding just the data you wanted and everything else in column 2.


2.    If you want to move some of that data in the new column 2 to column 3, just position your mouse on the last item you want in column 2 and press CTRL – SHIFT – ENTER again. If you want more columns, just repeat the process.




Vertical Lines between Columns.



Word allows you to add columns to your page layout but what if you wanted to add vertical lines between each column, how can you do this?  Luckily Word make it easy.


Here’s how!


1.    Using the MORE COLUMNS command, (as above) set up the number of columns you require then click the LINE BETWEEN tag (arrowed). 




Q:  How many prolog programmers does it take to change a light bulb?

A:  Yes.




Using “Find and Replace” in Microsoft Word.


You’ve probably used Find and Replace in Microsoft Word to look for misspelled words and other mistakes and replace them with their corrected versions, but there’s more to Find and Replace than just replacing text. You can enable certain options, such as matching the case and looking for whole words. You can find and replace special characters, such as paragraph marks, dashes, and page breaks. You can replace special formatting, including fonts and paragraphs. And you can combine many of these options in one single search.


To start, launch Word and open or create a long document with multiple paragraphs and pages of text. Ideally, the document should contain graphics and special formatting. If you’ve misspelled a certain recurring word throughout your document, the quickest way to fix that is through Find and Replace.


Click anywhere in the document and then hold down the CTRL key and press the A key, that will highlight the whole document. If you don’t want to make changes to the whole document, just manually highlight the section in which you wish to make changes instead of using CTRL A. Now hold down the CTRL key and press the H key, that opens the window at right.


Type the word you want to replace in the “Find what” field and the replacement word in the “Replace with” field. Click on the REPLACE ALL button to replace all the instances. Word then tells you how many replacements were made.


Maybe you don’t want to replace all instances of a word but only uppercase or lowercase versions. For example, you want to replace all uppercase instances of a proper name such as “Mark” with “Marcus” but not lowercase instances of the word “mark.” In the Find and Replace window, type “Mark” in the “Find what” field and “Marcus” in the “Replace with” field. Click on the More button in the window and then click on the checkmark for Match Case. Click on Replace All.


You can combine multiple options, such as matching case and finding whole words only. As an example, if your document contains the name, Lance, but it is mistakenly spelled in lowercase as lance and your document also contains the word “freelance.” You only want to replace the lowercase instance of the name, but not any instance of the word freelance. In the “Find what” field, type lance, in the “Replace with” field, type Lance. Then select the checkmarks for “Match case” and “Find whole words only.” Click Replace All. Find and Replace finds only instances of the name in lowercase as a whole word and replaces each one with the same word in uppercase but leaves the word freelance alone.


Find and Replace can also take on special characters.


In the Find and Replace window, click on the Special button to see the range of characters you can include. Let’s say you have a document with double paragraph returns between each paragraph and you want to change those to single paragraph returns. First, click on the Show/Hide icon on the Home Ribbon to see all the instances of paragraph marks. Click in the “Find what” field in the Find and Replace window. Click on the Special button and select Paragraph Mark. Word inserts a ^p string in the field. Repeat the step so the string contains two paragraph marks -- ^p^p. Click in the “Replace with” field and insert a single paragraph mark.


Click on Replace All to replace each instance.


You can perform other helpful Find and Replace actions with special characters. Maybe you’ve sprinkled your document with lots of dashes, probably typing a single dash mark. Now you want to convert those narrow dashes into either En dashes (–) or Em dashes (—). No problem. In the “Find what” field, type a regular dash. Click in the “Replace width” field and click on the Special button. Select either an En dash or an Em dash. Run Find and Replace to replace all the narrow dashes.


When you search for a narrow dash, Word will find all such dashes including those between two words, such as “off-base” or “fine-tune,” but you don’t want to replace those dashes with En or Em dashes. To prevent that from happening, add spaces by pressing the spacebar at the beginning and end of the character in both the “Find what” and the “Replace with” fields.


Find and Replace also comes in handy for replacing formatting. Maybe you have different fonts scattered throughout your document and want to replace them with other fonts. In the Find and Replace window, make sure the cursor is in the “Find what” field. Click on the Format button and then select Font. In the Find Font window, select the font you wish to find. You can also specify a font style and size or leave those fields blank to find all instances of the font. Click OK. Click on the “Replace with” field and repeat those steps to select the replacement font. Click on Replace All.


Next, you can replace specific paragraph formatting. Let’s say certain paragraphs in your document are single spaced and you want to increase the line spacing. In the Find and Replace window, click on the No Formatting button in the “Find what” field to wipe out the formatting for the last Find and Replace. Click on the Format button and select Paragraph. In the Find paragraph window, click on the Line Spacing field and set the spacing to Single. Repeat those steps in the “Replace with” field but set the spacing to 1.5. Click on Replace All.


Finally, you can combine different options in a single Find and Replace. Perhaps you’ve peppered your document with graphics, all left aligned, and now you want to move them all to the centre. In the Find and Replace window, remember to remove the existing formatting set in the “Find what” and “Replace with” fields. For the “Find what” field, click on the Special button and select Graphic. In the “Replace with” field, click on Format and select Frame. In the Replace Frame window, select the text wrapping you want and then set the horizonal position to Centre. Click OK. Click on Replace All. All the graphics in your document take on the new location.






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