Computer Tutor for Sept. 21, 2018
Microsoft has announced that its "Disk Cleanup" utility will soon be terminated in Windows 10. This useful feature has been included in every version of Windows since Win98.
Here's how it works:
Go to "Computer" (or "My Computer") and right-click on your "C Drive." Then select “Properties” and click on “Disk Cleanup.” You will be presented with a list of outdated, unneeded items that are doing nothing more than using up space on your computer.
Disk Cleanup has always been the one-stop tool for freeing up space on a user's computer. In the early days of PC, with relatively small hard drives, it was an indispensable tool.
I recently mentioned that my PC's wireless WiFi suddenly stopped working. Just before it died, ironically, my partner Mary Hanson had read a tech article saying that Microsoft has been disabling WiFi (via the internet) on many Win10 computers -- as they prepare "to alter them in some mysterious way."
Just before it died, ironically, my partner Mary Hanson had read a tech article saying that Microsoft has been disabling WiFi (via the internet) on many Win10 computers -- as they prepare "to alter them in some mysterious way."
Well, historically, the most obvious fix for WiFi issues was to connect your PC to an "Ethernet cable" that would connect to your internet router. However, our Lenovo laptop has no such Ethernet port, since its automatic WiFi system was supposed to have made the need for internet cable connections unnecessary.
I was about to contact Microsoft directly, but Mary (after doing some diligent online researching) discovered a work-around.
We bought an "Edimax USB-WiFi adapter" from Amazon for $25 and inserted into a USB port on the Lenovo.
If you would like the somewhat complex details of how Mary solved the problem, she can be reached at MaryJHanson@gmail.com or at 949-891-1731.
I recently mentioned a reader's saying that Google Drive's Free Storage Service does NOT support password-protected documents. She suggested that Google doesn't allow anything that might keep them from snooping into our files.
After reading the above, Lee Kleinmaier wrote, "I have some PDF's stored in my Google Drive that ARE password protected. My accountant sends them to me every year and I keep them stored in Google Drive."
Similar to Lee's actions, I store copies of all my important stuff in Google Drive, except for sensitive Social Security and Credit Card information. Comments from other online storage users are always welcome.
Another reader wrote that he has trouble reading the small print on some websites and asked if there is an easy way to enlarge it.
Well, if you have a mouse with a Center Wheel, rolling the wheel forward while holding down CTRL will enlarge whatever is on your screen. And things will get smaller if you roll the wheel toward you while depressing CTRL.
Beyond the mouse solution, Microsoft programs (such as Word) have an adjustable tab in the lower-right of their active windows which can be moved to make everything larger or smaller. Older versions of MS programs have an adjustable ZOOM display on their toolbars.
Google Chrome and Drive users will see three stacked dots in their screen's upper-right corner. After being clicked, the dots will display a variety of screen sizing options. The Win10 Edge browser has three horizontally lined dots which offer similar sizing choices.
Computer Tutor for Sept. 14, 2018
Bob Crowell asked if there is an inexpensive way to convert a PDF (Portable Document File) to a Microsoft Word (.docx) document.
Well, all of my Word to PDF conversions are done with Google Drive/Docs (freely available to all Gmail users).
However, converting a PDF to Word is not so easy, unless the PDF is a relatively simple page with NO multiple columns and NO bullets.
Otherwise you need Adobe Acrobat, which costs about $500. But Adobe will let you try Acrobat for free if you go to this website:
Thus, if you only need to convert a single PDF to a Word file, you can do it for FREE.
If you want to try converting a PDF to a Word document (for free) with Google Docs do this: Open Google Drive/Docs
Then click on New>File Upload and navigate to your PDF's location (likely inside a folder or on your Desktop).
Double-click the PDF's name to display it, followed by clicking on:
Open With>Google Docs.
Finally, click on
File>Download As>Microsoft Word File.
Your PDF will have been converted to a Word (.docx) file, which can then be edited like any other Word document.
Converting a Word document to a PDF can be accomplished with the above instructions when you switch "PDF" to "Word" and vice versa.
Kathryn Ericsson needs a computer whose Function Keys (F1, F2, etc.) will work with a single stroke, rather than needing to be combined with a second (or a third) key in order to perform a function.
It does appear nowadays that most PC manufacturers' Function Keys are being changed to require multiple key-pressing.
In the early days of computers, I remember using my F7 key frequently to spell-check words and phrases. Now most programs (such as Word and Google Docs) automatically check your spelling as you type, making the F7 key redundant.
Automatic spell-checkers also invite you to add words (such as people's names) to their lists, in case they're not already there.
Regarding the F-Key changes on a particular manufacturer's latest model, I suggest contacting them and asking specific questions.
I love my Lenovo laptop, but I do find its array of F-keys to be bewildering. However, as long as I can do a SCREEN PRINT or a DELETE with a single keystroke, I'm a happy typist.
By the way, if you would prefer to have Word's Automatic Spell-checking turned OFF, click on Tools, Options, Spelling & Grammar and make your choices.
(These options appear differently in different versions of Word, but they are not hard to find.)
As I mentioned, I love my Windows 10 Lenovo, but something weird just happened: its wireless WiFi suddenly stopped working. After spending over two hours trying to fix the problem, I finally gave up and switched to an old Windows XP, whose WiFi works flawlessly.
About then, my resourceful partner (Mary J. Hanson) found an article saying that Microsoft has been disabling WiFi on many Win10 computers as they prepare to alter them in some mysterious way.
Thus, all Win10 WiFi users need to be aware if this.
Barbara Sharou wrote that Google Drive's storage service does NOT support password protected documents, such as her personal Medical Records. So she switched her sensitive documents to DropBox, where password protection IS allowed.
Barbara suggests that Google doesn't allow passwords that might keep them from snooping into her files. She may be right. However, I like G-Docs, which is free, while DropBox is not. (I store no personal files online.)
Contact Don at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (949) 891-1731