Mouse/Keyboard issue

After you upgrade to Windows 10, in this case on a laptop, the touchpad and keyboard do not work properly, or at all.  The keyboard letters and numbers do not match what you see on the screen.  Additionally, the mouse seems to work, then does not.  You click on an icon to open and the response is as if you right clicked the icon as the menu appears.  If you disconnect one, either mouse or keyboard, either will work.  Plug back in the mouse or keyboard and they malfunction again.  This is primarily due to Windows 10 version 1903 that may be outpacing your hardware.

To solve this you need to access the manufacturer’s website to update the chipset and bios.  Go the website, click on Support and then click on Software and Downloads.  Then enter the model number and serial number if you have it.  Look for the Chipset and Bios updates. You should then download and run. 

Before doing any updates, make sure your programs are closed.

Reboot the system and the matter should be resolved.

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Outlook Calendar

If you have ever had to reinstall Outlook you may know about the “little things” that are missing when you reopen the program.  One of them is the calendar. 

In Outlook you have a monthly calendar on the right side of the main screen.  Bold dates indicate appointments for that day and there is a listing of the day’s events.  The problem is that feature is missing.  It is missing because Outlook will install a new default profile.  The solution is to click on the Calendar link at the bottom of the page and change the default calendar to your current one.  Restart Outlook and your calendar should appear correct.

File Date Corrector

When you reset a computer, transfer data from one system to another or change attributes of files, the date modified changes to the date when the reset, transfer or attributes were changed.  It loses the “creation date.”  That can cause problems if you are used to looking at files by date created to work on or review the latest letter or data.  Without the date created information you will need to open each document until you find the latest iteration.  That can be a painful process.

There is an inexpensive program called “File Date Corrector” that can re-impose the created date to most files.  It costs, as of this writing, $22 US.  You can download the software and test it first to see if your file type can be corrected.

Once complete, you will then open the folders where the data is stored and add the Date Created column to show when the file was first created.  To add that column you will need to right click on the bar across the top of the window where you see the other column headings, (date modified, file name, etc), and check the option for Date Created.  The column will now appear and show the dates when the files were created.  Click the column title to sort as desired.

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Hidden Text in Excel, (365 or 2016)

When you open an excel worksheet you can only see the text when a cell is highlighted.  Otherwise, is remains hidden.  How can we set up excel to show the text within every cell ??

The issue is with Microsoft when they installed several different versions of fonts installed/used by Apple.  The solution is to highlight the entire sheet, (click the box in the upper left hand corner just above line 1 and to the left of column A), and change the font to Times New Roman, for example.

Your text should now appear.

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Thunderbird Address Book

Thunderbird provides a great alternative e-mail program.  Like Outlook, it installs on your computer and retrieves your messages right to the computer.  There are many reasons to use Thunderbird.  Not only as an e-mail program, you can use it to download and archive e-mail from other web based services, such as AOL, or others. 

If your computer fails or if you have moved on to a newer computer system you will want to export and then import your addresses from Thunderbird.  If you can still access your old system, open Thunderbird and go to the Address Book. Click Tools and then Export.  Pick a location, such as an external device, (usb…), to export the addresses to.  Then take the device to the new system and repeat the process, only select Import.

If you do not have access to the old system, but can access the hard drive, you will need to go to the folder containing the addresses.  Copy the files, (abook.mab and history.mab), and then paste to the new system in the same location.

The data is located in C:|Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\Profile name.  Typically the profile name are numbers and letters followed by .default.

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Chrome: saved passwords and bookmarks

While most backup programs are setup to save profile data, (documents, pictures, desktop, etc), there is vital data that should be included, but may not be part of the profile.  If you are like many of us, we save our passwords on the computer for easier access to frequently visited sites.  This is the same for bookmarks.  

Users should make sure they are saving this data on their backup programs by adding the file to the backup.  Chrome keeps the profile data on your hard drive in a folder titled “profile x.”  You can find it by opening Chrome and typing in the address bar chrome://version.  Look for the line Executable Path where your user name is listed. 

For example:  C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 2.  This is the path to add to your backup profile.  Profile 2, in this case, is the specific folder where all the data is held. 

If you want to import, or restore, saved passwords you need to make sure it is enabled within chrome.  To do this, open chrome and type in the address bar chrome://flags.  Search for password import.  You will see a button to the left that is titled Default.  Click the drop down arrow and select Enable.  Then click Relaunch at the bottom and the feature will be activated.  Now click on the three dots in the upper right, click settings and then look for passwords near the top.  There are three dots to the right of the title Saved Passwords.  Click to Import.  Navigate to the folder mentioned above and look for the Login Data file.  If that step fails, copy the file to the same location on your new computer and re-open chrome.

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Scan to E-mail issue (HP)

When you try to scan a doc or image and send via e-mail you get an error message that there is a “server connection error.  There was a problem connecting to the server.  Press Retry or Ok to exit.”  The error is resolved by resetting the web services function of the printer/scanner/copier.

On an HP unit look for the “HP ePrint” icon on the screen.  Press it and select to Turn On or Enable.  You will then be directed to enter your email address.  A code will be sent to your email address that will have to be entered on the subsequent screen.  After you have entered the data, you will be able to scan to email successfully.

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Windows 10 Personalized (Ver 1809)

The default settings in Windows 10 can be altered to reflect your own tastes.  For example, the mode for the windows is either light or dark.  The default is light, however, dark mode may be better for your eyesight, especially at night, (ironically).  Another option are the colors of the title bars, windows borders, start, the taskbar and action center.

To test which color is best for you, place your mouse in an open area of the desktop and right click.  Select Personalize and then Colors, (scroll down for that…).  You can make your choices by clicking on a color first, then checking an item.  For example, click the dark blue square and then check the box, or boxes, for it to take effect.

The option to for light and dark mode cannot be altered other than white or black.  Dark mode has more of a contrast between letters and background so it may be easier on the eyes.

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Making labels, (using Office version 2010 or later)

If you have a list of names and addresses compiled in Excel and wish to make labels the process can be confusing and frustrating. There are several steps that need to be taken to print your labels correctly.
First is to prepare your Excel data sheet for exporting to Word so you can print labels. Add a new row at the top of the list, (#1), by highlighting the existing first row and then clicking to Insert a new row. This results in a blank row 1. Title each column using the data in each column. For example, Name, Address, City, State and Zip. (Make sure the Zip column is formatted for zip codes or the zero will not appear). Next, save the excel sheet by naming it and saving in a place that is easy to access, such as the Desktop.
Open Word. Click on the Mailing(s) tab. Click Start Mail Merge, then click Labels. Here is where you select the label you will be using, (Avery 7160, for example). Click OK and then select, still under Start Mail Merge, Select Recipients and then Use Existing List. Find and open your list just saved to the desktop. After clicking OK, you will see the labels populate with text like “Next Record.” Now we need to insert the addresses.
Still under the Mailings tab, select Address Book. Here you will see an example of what the label will look like. If that is OK, click the button at the bottom right, Match Fields. This will show you where the data will be placed on the label. Make any changes necessary. Then click OK. Now, click Update Labels. This is a very important step often missed!! Now you will see your labels with the added text “Address Book.” Finally, click on the button in the menu to Finish and Merge, then Edit Individual Documents and the OK.
Now you are ready to print your labels! If you need to make any changes to the labels, such as delete or edit an address, you can do so right on the label sheet created in Word.
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Click and drag on the new MacBook

After purchasing a new MacBook you realize how difficult it is to click and drag any item on the desktop, within folders and to an external device or e-mail.  The problem is with the default setting that comes with the new computers.

To change the setting, and return the click and drag feature as it was, go into Preferences.  Click on Trackpad and uncheck “Force Click and haptic feedback.”  Exit Preferences and try again.

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