How To: 6 Easy Steps To Convert Word Document to PDF

How do I convert the MS Word word document into PDF format?  That is the question before me.  I been doing a lot of reading on my Dell monitor for a long time and I just wanted to relax and read a PDF. So here is what I did.

  1. I went to Zoho.Com.
  2. Logged in with my GMail account.  (Well, you can also register with Zoho for a free account and use all its services).
  3. Under the drop down list of Productivity Applications, selected Writer.

    ZOHO Work, save and share online

  4. From the File menu, chose Import option. Picked up the document from my desktop.  Zoho Writer imported the document.
  5. Then again under File, I chose Export and from the sub menu selected PDF.
  6. Downloaded the PDF document.

The default Foxit Reader loaded the document for me and it was ready for me to read.  Well there were a few issues with some spacing in couple of places.  But that’s OK.  It did not hamper my work.  The bonus is you can also work online and save your documents online.  Zoho at this point of time is offering unlimited space but it seems it might limit it to 1GB when it gets out of it’s current beta avatar.

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Paste Email Plus, a Mozilla Firefox Add-on Helps Reduce Repeated Stress Injury (RSI)

Paste Email Plus is a Mozilla Firefox add-on and that is one more reason why I like Firefox browser.  You can customize Firefox to your heart’s content. You think of a feature that you are missing in this browser and go and dig in to the add-ons or  extensions or plug-ins and I am sure you will be find one that meets your need.

Let me tell you about Paste Email Plus now.  Paste Email Plus is another beautiful add-on for Firefox, that would help you browse the net with fewer keystrokes and reduce the chances of potential RSI (RSI btw means Repeated Stress Injury).  Chuck Baker, the guy who created this wonderful add-on calls it the Paste Email Plus.

Paste Email Plus

Paste Email Plus store email address,passwords, & any other text to type frequently

Let me tell you where you can use Paste Email Plus and how it would help you reduce those mundane, boring, repetitive tasks of filling in all those forms.

Come to think of it, this cute little add-on can be used anywhere, when you have a lots of copying and pasting to do. Let me give you a few examples.

A typical example is a sign-up form, without which you cannot log into a site. Generally there are a few fields like user name, email id, password. More often than not some of them ask you to enter data at least twice, either your user name or your email id. You are supposed to fill them in. Imagine if someone is visiting on an average five sites a day she has to enter at least all those details 5 times.

For an individual who has more than two accounts, it would be entering the user name twice and then again the password twice. Let us presume that the user name is eight letters – abcdefgh and the password / or as some sites call it the pass phrase is again 9 characters – for e.g.: 123456789 and let us further presume that both these are made up of alphanumeric characters. The user name in this case is a1b2c3d4 and password is e5f6g7h8i, let us calculate the number of key strokes that are involved. That would be eight characters for the user name. If you use the tab button to jump the cursor into the next field that is the password that is one more stroke there. Else you would click the mouse to move the cursor into the password field and leave it there to use the key board to input the 9 characters.

Keystrokes to enter into the user name       =    8
Keystroke to hit the tab                                       =    1

Keystrokes to enter the password                  =   9

Keystroke to highlight or hit the enter key =   1

Total number of Keystrokes                              = 18

When you are using the Paste Email Plus add on, you can accomplish all these in 8 strokes.  Here is the break up:

Paste Email Plus Context Menu helps you copy & paste from a text file

Move to the Login text field   = 1
Right click for Context menu = 1
Select email Paste                       = 1
Tab or Mouse cursor = 1
Password Field                            = 1
Hit enter or Tab to Enter = 1
and hit                                             = 1
Total number of keystrokes  = 7

So how many keystrokes are you saving? Thanks to Paste Email Plus 11 key strokes in all, without taking into count all those innumerable times when you begin at the beginning when you input one wrong character and system asks you to repeat the whole process right from the first character.

No worries about the safety either – because with Paste Email Plus you can encrypt the password when you first key in your user name and the password.  I am yet to try this though.

So there it is folks! Paste Email Plus, one of those cute and nifty add-ons that makes your surfing on the net much easier and smoother. There is one more nifty feature with Paste Email Plus.  You can save all your data in a text file on a local drive on your machine and the best part is you can

Go and try Paste Email Plus. You can read more about it from Chuck himself and download it here.  Chuck is the same guy who gave us the add on FEBE that helps us save our Firefox profile.

You can download your Mozilla Firefox here and look get more add-ons here.

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How to: Customize your signature in GMail

Yes.  You can now customize your signature in GMail.  This is a feature that I had been waiting for GMail to introduce.  There were times when I wanted to introduce my services with a few links to content to my clients on Elance, Guru and oDesk, the freelance sites where I am active. One of those Firefox addons that I used was Wisestamp.  The problem with it was if people were accessing mails through their Outlook, Evolution or Mozilla’s Thunderbird or other mail clients they were unable to read my custom signatures.  Wisestamp displays my latest posts when I added my RSS feed to it.

Tip: How to customize your GMail Signature

Customize your GMail signature

You can customize your GMail signatures now.

Click on the image to view large

All you have to do is log into your GMail account (Created an account here if you do not have one) and login.  Click on settings tab that you find on your right top hand side.  There under the general tab, scroll down and you will find the Signature box. Now you will see a rich text editor.  Enter the text like your name, a designation with other contact details.  You can format the text, add links and insert images to add more value to your signatures.

Images You cannot add images from your desktop.  However you can add images from the web.  In case you want to add a logo or a specific picture, I suggest that you upload to your Picasa or Flickr account.  Add tags to the image.  Copy the link to the image and add it in the Web Address URL box that pops up when you click on the insert image icon.  If the image is small and the URL you entered is correct, it shows up almost immediately.  Save your settings.  Now click on the compose mail link and in your mail composing box, you should be able to see your signature in all its glory.  To edit it, you need to go to settings and tweak it.

In case you already have multiple custom addresses, you can create a unique signature for each address.

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How to: Share a Document Online – Tip 1

As a freelance content provider it is but natural that I deal with documents of all sorts.  I open new ones. I save them and share them.  Sharing most of the time involves mailing them across to others or uploading them to an online document management service and share a link or email as an attachment.

During one of those events, I sent across a word file that I created in Word 2010 (beta).  This document has an extension docx.  In the past I did have problems opening documents because of compatibility issues between different versions.  Word 97 loses its format when you try to open it Word 95.  Similarly you will find that a document that you created in OpenOffice looks different in certain respects, when you open it in MS Office word.

During those times there were occasions when I used Abiword or some such RTF tool.  While I was giving OpenOffice’s Writer a spin, I also downloaded a version of the MSOffice Word viewer.   All of them came with their own constraints.

Later I started using the online versions.  I used to upload my documents to Google Docs, or Zoho or to my account on Skydrive MS Office.  I upload my document and then share the documents.  Most of the time I used to send the link across and all the recipient has to do is click on the link and read it.

But in this particular instance I refer to, though I uploaded the document to one of my online document management accounts, I mailed her a copy.  I just wanted to see if she was able to open the document and read it.  She could not open it.  So I opened the Save As dialog box in my Word 2010 Beta and saved it as ‘Word 97 – 2003 document’.  I sent it across.  She could open it.  She said she would read it and get back to me with her review.*

So that is one more way to share your word document.  If you are using a Word 2010 Beta and if you are not sure about the version of the MS Office Word or any other word application the other person is using,  it is best to open a  ‘SaveAs’ dialog box and save it as ‘Word 97 -2000 document’.And then mail it across.

Click to enlarge

Please feel free to tell me how you share you documents.  Thank you.

*In this instance I still am waiting for her review.

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Hyperwords Helps You Interact With Your Words

This is about another addon that is of immense help to those that work with words.  I came across this addon a few years ago.  But somehow during the ensuring browser crashes and OS hopping and upgrades and updates I missed it.  Today I found it again and to my surprise I learned, Hyperwords has a version even for Chrome.  Once you install it and restart your Firefox / Chrome you are all ready and set to go.

Hyperwords Promotional Logo

Hyperwords - an extension for Firefox and Chrome browser

When you are on the net, select any text that you need to learn more about.  You will notice a small icon next to the text.  Hover your cursor on the Hyperword icon and you are shown a few options.  Choose the one that suits you and you are done.  You can do a whole lot of things with Hyperwords addon and the text on the web.  You can translate, email, share, find meanings and synonyms.  It interacts with Facebook and Twitter too.

Click here to learn more on their own demo page.

To see Hyperwords in action on YouTube, click here. It is much more detailed and elaborate.

No wonder there were one million, eleven thousand, four hundred and twenty one downloads when I checked the last time.  🙂

Give it a shot.  I am sure you would love it.

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How To: Customize Your Google Home page

I remember using it with Live Search.  Then Bing happened last year.  And this morning I noticed Google do it.  To emulate is to flatter.  So does Google now.  Google has begun to roll out it’s home page customization and is likely to roll across the world in the next few weeks.

Open your Google Home page and you would notice at the lower left corner the option, ‘Change background image‘.  Click on it and you are taken to the next screen, with options: ‘From my computer, My Picasa Web photos, Public gallery and Editor’s Picks’.  Choose any one of them and your ‘Google Home Page Customize’ is complete.  You would be privy to your own ‘Customized Google Home Page’.

"Google home page"

Google Home page customize options

Click on the image to magnify.

You already have your background pictures, frames and what not. Do you really need it?  I mean do you really need to ‘Customize Google Home Page’? At the end of the day what matters is, does Google deliver what you search for?  Not all that eye candy.  What do you think?  Does customizing your Google home page help? How?

You love Bing because it offers you better pictures?  Does it matter?  How do those pictures help you, on the homepage?

* By the way, this Google Home Page Customization works only on Google.com not on any other country domain, like for example Google.us or Google.uk or Google.ru  🙁

Care to share your thoughts!   Leave a comment, now.

Don’t worry I will not spam you. I promise.  Neither will I share your email id with anyone else.

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Does GMail’s ‘Forgotten Attachment Detector’ Read Your Mail?

Does GMail find attached files and read them?

Were you ever prompted by GMail to check if you have attached your files after hitting the ‘send’ button?  I had that experience many times.  That was then, a few years ago.  GMail then had a ‘Forgotten Attachment Detector’ by a Jonathan K, tucked in, under the experimental features ‘labs’.  One had to enable it.  You do not see that feature under ‘labs’ anymore.

Now, in your GMail, when you compose a mail and hit the send button, it asks you, “‘did you mean to attach files?  You wrote ‘see attached’ in your message, but there are no files attached.  Send anyway?'” , a gentle reminder. I found out something else.  This doesn’t work out all the time.

It is not that GMail reminds everyone that mention a ‘file’ or ‘attachment’ in their message.  GMail responds to only to that phrase ‘see attached‘ or ‘find attached‘ and warns you if you have not, by then,  attached any files.

Even the reminder that it throws up replicates it in the prompt.  Check screen shots I took with those two different phrases.

1 – with see attached 

See attached file reminder forgotten attachment detector

and

2 – with Find attached

GMail Forgotten Attachment Reminder

So just make sure that you use those words and I am sure that GMail would definitely remind you about those so called forgotten files.  🙂

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Browsing Tips: Start Google’s Chrome Browser Always in Incognito Mode

There are times when you are on the move and you want to work on the Internet from a public computer, without leaving any traces.  Reach the shortcut to the Google Chrome browser.

  • Right click on it.
  • Select properties.
  • Once in the properties tab, look for target box.
  • You will the find the short cut path leading to Chrome. exe
  • Leave a space after the “Chrome.exe” and enter a hyphen /dash.
  • Type “incognito” without the quote marks next to the hyphen.  (Make sure that there is just one  single space between the “.exe” and the hyphen () Do not include the ” ” (quote marks).
  • Click OK.
  • Now double click on the Chrome short cut.  It opens in the incognito mode.

Chrome Incognito mode edit

Click on the image for a larger view.

Luca Grementieri, of Javafactory came out with an extension for Chrome.  Once you install the extension Incognito Switcher, a single click on the extension icon opens your Chrome browser into a new ‘incognito’ window.  You can try that too.

Good luck with your private browsing.  Be good, don’t be naughty.  🙂

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Windows 7 Tips: How To Add More Shortcuts To Send To Menu

I picked up this Windows 7 tip, somewhere on the net.

Select a folder or a file, right click and the Send to menu displays more options, than the Windows 7 default.  Look at the picture here.  It is quite useful to me.  I can configure my Send To menu with my personal preferences.

Configure your Send To Options

Learn how to add more options to your Send To menu, from the Geek here.

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How to Shrink Those Firexfox Browser Tabs

Kyosuke Takayama says that he would prefer his Faviconize the way it is and he doesn’t “..intend to add a feature. “stay simple, stay small” in his own words.  Though it is a nifty extension, the last time I checked, it had a download count of 871,611.  Shows it’s popularity.

For someone who has a very small screen acreage, be on her Net-book or laptop or likes to have many browser tabs open, ‘faviconize’ is a wonderful Firefox extension.  It shrinks the ‘tab’ width and makes more screen room.

See the image here:  Look at the space those tabs occupy.

Normal view of Firefox tabs before Faviconize

After installing the “Faviconize” extension, look at the additional space made. (Click on the images for more detail)

Thinner Tabs - after installing faviconize

“Faviconize” shrinks the tab to the size of a favicon the website uses. Kyosuke, thoughtfully added a few options too.  Once installed, under Tools>Extensions> navigate to Faviconize and click on the options.  One of the option is you can set a ‘default’ to a particular site to always open in the ‘faviconized’ size.  The other option is, you set a key board short cut of your choice.

Yes, of course I am using it.

You can add “Faviconze” here.

Download the latest Firefox here.

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