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Windows 11 Centered Taskbar in Windows 10 without third party tools

14 août 2021 à 20:54

Windows 11’s most noticeable change is the front and center “in-your-face” taskbar (or dock). If this is the number one thing, you are looking forward to trying. You don’t have to wait for Windows 11. You can do that right on with Windows 10 without any third-party tools to have a centred taskbar.

Here is how:

First, right-click Taskbar > Taskbar Settings

Make sure the taskbar is unlocked, set location to the bottom and always hide the label.

Next, right-click Taskbar again > Toolbars > Tun on Links

Drag Links from right past the icons all the way to the left

Right-click the Links section and find “Show Text” and “Show title” turn both off. Now you can freely drag and position the icons to the center of your screen. Once you are happy, you can lock it down.

The catch here is you will notice the start menu is always on the left. This is the only difference in user experience between this tweak and Windows 11’s out-of-the-box new UX. If this is something you want, give it a try, and show off some unique Windows settings to your friend or colleagues.

The post Windows 11 Centered Taskbar in Windows 10 without third party tools appeared first on Next of Windows.

Adobe Trick: How To Redact PDF Document without Pro License

12 août 2021 à 02:29
Par : Kent Chen

We have Adobe Acrobat Standard software for our basic PDF editing tasks. It works great. But occasionally, we need to redact documents for other parties and only the Pro version has the feature built-in.

But Adobe Acrobat Pro isn’t cheap. It’s quite expensive actually. Since we don’t do redaction often, it really doesn’t justify the cost.

So, what I ended up doing is to come up with a workaround that is simple enough for people to redact the document without compromising the result.

First off, draw a rectangle box over the content you want to redact. Make sure to set the properties of the box with black-filled color and mark it as default.

Repeat the same step until you are done with all the redactions to the document.

Then, to finalize the redactions you just did, you will need to flatten all the black-filled boxes into the document so no covered content can be reviewed by anyone else.

To do so, Print the document to Adobe PDF printer. But before you hit the Print button, click the Advanced button and check the option Print as Image. And then click OK and Print.

And that’s it. Note that, since we reprinted the file in image format, the size of the file will be bigger than the original. You may also OCR the document and/or save a reduced version if needed.

The post Adobe Trick: How To Redact PDF Document without Pro License appeared first on Next of Windows.

Must-Do When Setting Up a new Ryzen CPU build

29 juillet 2021 à 09:24

The consumer custom builds markets, especially with new gaming builds; more and more systems are opt-in with an AMD Ryzen based desktop. Little you might not know while it’s best to download and keep your manufacturer’s motherboard’s driver and utilities updated. There is one driver you should get from the AMD website itself that’s the chipset driver.

One of the biggest benefits of installing an AMD chipset driver is it adds a new power plan to your Windows 10 – AMD Ryzen Balanced.

Do not get fooled by the name; you’d think, why would you want a balanced power plan when you can select the High-performance power plan that Microsoft offers in every Windows 10. The fact is AMD’s Ryzen Balanced power plan offers better performance than the built-in Windows 10 high-performance mode.

The type of performance comes in both the power consumption as well as peak outputs. With the AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan, when your PC is idle, it will turn off more cores and keep the cores that are on at a higher clock speed. At the same time, Microsoft’s Balance mode would keep all the cores on but lower each core’s clock speed. The result is both lower power consumption and higher performance when it needs to crank up the power. AMD Ryzen’s Balanced power plan has a faster reaction time when it needs to change the clock speed than the default plan, according to AMD’s source.

If you have an AMD Ryzen CPU, be sure to grab yourself the latest chipset driver from AMD’s website here.

The post Must-Do When Setting Up a new Ryzen CPU build appeared first on Next of Windows.

Tips on Renaming Multiple Files on Windows

28 juillet 2021 à 03:14
Par : Kent Chen

When it comes to renaming a large chunk of files, here are a few tips that would make you like a Pro.

The magic of the Tab key

When you have a large number of files to rename, instead of doing this:

  1. Highlight the first file, and hit F2;
  2. Type in the new filename hit Enter;
  3. Move onto the next one and repeat steps 1 and 2.

Give it a try this:

  1. Highlight the first one, and hit F2;
  2. Type in the new filename, and instead of hit Enter, press TAB, which quickly moves onto the next file and have F2 already pressed for you so you can be ready to start typing right away.
  3. Keep typing and hitting the Tab key to fly through the rest of the files.

Isn’t it much faster and efficient?

Even better, hit Shift+Tab to jump back so you can go through the list in reverse order too.

To rename files to the similar name

If you need to rename a bunch of files to have the same basename with a number in sequence, i.e. file1, file2, …etc., try this:

First, highlight all the files you want to rename, and hit F2.

Type in the basename you want to use, and hit Enter. Hooray.

I can imagine that it could be extremely useful when renaming a season of a TV show.

To add a prefix

How about I want to rename a bunch of files in the same folder by slightly appending a file extension or inserting a letter or two in the middle of the file?

Now it’s where the built-in command REN shines.

To append a file extension, like from whatever to TXT,

ren *.* *.txt

To append a letter or two at the end of the filename but before the file extension,

ren *.txt ?????????????????????hello.*

To make things easier, you can navigate to the folder that has the files you want to rename, and type the following command in the address bar, and press Enter.

cmd /c "ren *.* *.PDF"

The command might change to fit your needs but you get the idea.


But if you are really serious about the file renaming business, PowerRename from PowerToys is the one tool you will need.

The post Tips on Renaming Multiple Files on Windows appeared first on Next of Windows.

Office 365 Mail Tip: How To Quickly Empty Any Folder in Outlook

27 juillet 2021 à 02:32
Par : Kent Chen

One of the users’ mailboxes got out of space the other day. After doing a bit of digging, here is what I found.

And that’s right. One of the tasks with too many attachments kept failing to sync back to the server and it quickly ate all the space left under his account.

If you have used Outlook before, you know how painful it is to clean up 49GB of data out of any folder. And here is a quick tip for those who just want a quick way to clean up space so they can be back to work right away.

Unfortunately, Outlook is not up for the task. We will be using Outlook web instead.

Log into Outlook online, click the Gear icon and choose View all Outlook settings.

In the General, tab, click the Storage tab. You will see the list of folders on the right that have the most data in there. Click the Empty button next to the folder you want to clean up and pick the option of All, 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months or older.

One-click. That’s all they need and Outlook online will take care of the rest.

The post Office 365 Mail Tip: How To Quickly Empty Any Folder in Outlook appeared first on Next of Windows.

A Quick Task Manager Trick You May Not Know About

26 juillet 2021 à 09:09
Par : Kent Chen

I’ve been using Task Manager since almost the day I started using Windows. I’ve used it to troubleshoot countless computer problems and kill so many processes along the way. But I wish I could know this trick a long time ago.

You can freeze the Task Manager values by holding down the Ctrl key.

And thanks to Reddit for teaching me a useful trick I should have known years ago. I bet you will too.

Now, to catch the process that uses the most CPU power, I can switch over to the Details tab in Task Manager, hold down the Ctrl key, and click the CPU tab. No more jump up and down, easy to catch the bad guy and kill right there.

With the value being paused, it’s also easy to take a screenshot of the values for troubleshooting purposes.

Note that you can also use the F5 to refresh the values too. Yes, the Task Manager does refresh itself to get the almost real-time value but pressing the F5 key would refresh the values right away without waiting for the next cycle.

What’s even better, pressing and holding down the F5 key will keep refreshing the Task Manager until you are done.

The post A Quick Task Manager Trick You May Not Know About appeared first on Next of Windows.

Dealing with Outlook Stuck at Processing Screen

15 juin 2021 à 02:05
Par : Kent Chen

All of a sudden, Outlook refuses to open with a splash window that is stuck at Processing…

Here are 3 things you can do about it.

Open it in Safe mode

Opening it in Safe mode disables all the add-ins, including the ones that potentially slow down your Outlook, or worse get conflicted with the program. A good way to determine if the problem is caused by one of the add-ins.

Press Win+R to bring up the Run dialog box, and type the following command.

outlook /safe

Outlook opens up with a Choose Profile dialog box, accept the default and click OK.

If it starts ok, it’s time to track down which add-ins that caused the problem.

Re-create the Outlook Profile

Sometimes, it could just be that the Outlook profile got corrupted and needs to be rebuilt.

Open Control Panel, search Mail, and click the Mail applet to reconfigure your Outlook profile.

Click Show Profiles, and remove existing profiles there and add a new one instead.

Most of the times, re-creating a new Outlook profile works like a charm. The downside is that if you are using cache mode, getting your mailbox synced up could take some time.

The /resetnavpane option

Not sure if it’s new, but you now can run this option with your Outlook to reset the navigation pane, the very left pane (or bottom pane) in your Outlook that switches between Mail, Calendar, and Tasks.

outlook /resetnavpane

Quite shockingly, this is the option I used to address this Outlook stuck in the processing stage the other day on one of my work computers.

The post Dealing with Outlook Stuck at Processing Screen appeared first on Next of Windows.

Quick Fix: Caps lock key not turning caps off

29 mai 2021 à 01:28

A regular PC keyboard generally has 3 key locks. They are Caps Lock, Scroll Lock and Num Lock. While more and more keyboard layouts and PC manufacture have started dropping Scroll Lock for some years now, if you don’t have a number pad section, then you also don’t have a Num Lock. This leaves the only lock that’s consistent in almost all keyboards – the Caps Lock.

If for some reason, you press the Caps Lock and the light doesn’t turn off, this might be why. Check if pressing the SHIFT key would turn off the CAPS lock. If that does the trick, then the reason is your Windows setting had the CAPS lock only turned off by pressing a SHIFT key selected. You can fix this by going to Settings > Language > Keyboard.

Under the Keyboard setting, find the Input language hotkeys at the prompt under the “Advanced Key Settings” make sure to turn off Caps Lock is selected with Press the CAPS LOCK key instead of Press the SHIFT key.

Rest assured your CAPS-lock key isn’t stuck, and you can troubleshoot to see if this is a keyboard’s mechanic problem or a software issue.

If your CAPS-lock still not working as you were expecting, try disconnect and plug-in or if you have an option, swap out the keyboard this way. You can find out quickly if this is a software limitation or physical keyboard issue.

The post Quick Fix: Caps lock key not turning caps off appeared first on Next of Windows.

What To Do When The File is Too Large To Be Transcribed?

31 mai 2021 à 08:12
Par : Kent Chen

Microsoft’s Word Online has a pretty cool feature that automatically transcribes an audio file for you if you are an Office 365 subscriber. But what to do when you have an audio file that is bigger than 200MB, because that’s when you see the message like this?

The first thing to try is to convert to another audio format that is smaller but still maintains the same sound quality. VLC Media Play is the one that you can use to fulfill the task.

If that’s still not good enough, the next thing to try is to split the audio file. There might be one word or two being cut off at the split point at the end but it should do the trick.

Now there are a couple of ways of splitting an audio file. We can use an audio tool such as WavePad by NCH Software. It’s a powerful audio edit tool that has an audio split feature built right in. If you bought the software, you can use the automated split features like split automatic or split to equal parts. If you are just using its free edition, split at cursor can also do the job.

You can also make your own audio splitter, if you like, using PowerShell. PowerTip has a script already ready for you. It’s a function that you can call with parameters to specify the original audio file and the size of each smaller file. It works like a charm.

The post What To Do When The File is Too Large To Be Transcribed? appeared first on Next of Windows.

How To Set Up to Use Keybaord Short to Open Calculator

30 mai 2021 à 22:19
Par : Kent Chen

Believe it or not, the Calculator app on Windows is pretty popular, useful, and powerful. People are freaked out if they don’t see it on their computer after upgrading their Windows, though it can be fairly easily downloaded from the Store app.

It can also be very easily opened up if you have a keyboard that has a media key designated to open it. But what if I am using a generic keyboard that doesn’t have any media key assigned?

Here are two ways of doing it.

Using the Taskbar

Let’s pin the Calculator app to the taskbar first. And then drag and move it all the way to the very left, like below.

In case you forgot, the first 10 pinned icons on the taskbar are automatically assigned a quick keyboard shortcut, such as Win+1 to open the first one, Win+2 to open the second, so on so forth.

So, moving the calculator app right up to the very left means the keyboard shortcut Win + 1 is now assigned specifically to it.

Now, if you ever need to open it, simply press win + 1, and then enjoy.

Using AutoHotkey

I am becoming a fan of AutoHotkey lately. It’s such a powerful scripting tool that can automate a lot of repetitive work. And it can also be very useful for simple tasks like assigning a keyboard shortcut to certain apps.

Add a single link like below to a file and save it as .ahk file.

 ^+c::run calc.exe

Launch it and you get yourself a shortcut key combination Ctrl + Shift + C to automatically open the calculator app.

Or use

^!c:: run calc.exe

to assign Ctrl + Alt + C instead.

Or any combinations you may like.

What about other apps?

Well, the ways shown above are not limited only to the powerful calculator, but almost all apps you may wish to open frequently.

The post How To Set Up to Use Keybaord Short to Open Calculator appeared first on Next of Windows.

Fix Unable to Run Yarn in Windows Terminal – PowerShell

30 mai 2021 à 18:08

If you run into an error with your brand new machine when trying to run any custom scripts like npm, yarn or any node modules you might run into an error similar to below.

yarn : File C:\Program Files\nodejs\yarn.ps1 cannot be loaded because running scripts is disabled on this system. For more information, see about_Execution_Policies at 

At line:1 char:1 + yarn + ~~~~ + CategoryInfo : SecurityError: (:) [], PSSecurityException + FullyQualifiedErrorId : UnauthorizedAccess

To fix it, open PowerShell as administrator, again make sure to run this in PowerShell, not with the regular command prompt (cmd). Copy and paste the code below and run it.

Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

This will grant you the necessary permission to run any executable scripts in your PC’s terminal. You only have to do this once and any future yarn or npm commands will run successfully.

Hope this helps with your quick tip on solve why yarn or npm not running on your PC. The same will be true for Ruby’s bundler to manage gems, or Python’s pip package manager.

The post Fix Unable to Run Yarn in Windows Terminal – PowerShell appeared first on Next of Windows.

How To Print Large Images or PDF Files Across Multiple Pages

22 mai 2021 à 09:22
Par : Kent Chen

The new Microsoft Edge has an awesome feature that takes a screenshot of the entire webpage. Now if you want to preserve a copy of it, instead of trying to print it because it won’t work, you can simply press Ctrl + Shift + S, and click Full Page. Easy and simple.

But here is the problem. Since most of the web pages are super, super long, how can we print them off properly after taking screenshots of them? If you don’t want them to be printed on a single page with everything so tiny to read, you will need to find a way to properly print it across multiple pages.

Shockingly, if you saved the screenshot as an image file, the easiest way is to use Paint, the built-in graphic editor that’s been with Windows for ages.

Right-click the image file, go to Open with and choose Paint.

Then click File > Print > Page setup

In the Scaling section, adjust the Fit to numbers to something like 1 by 2 or 1 by 3 until you see the printed are filling up in the Preview section, like below:

Click OK to save the setting and go-ahead to proceed to print the entire page.

The post How To Print Large Images or PDF Files Across Multiple Pages appeared first on Next of Windows.

Friday Fun Trick: Turning Text into Morse Code, Vice Versa, in PowerShell

30 avril 2021 à 21:30
Par : Kent Chen

Called dots and dashes, Morse Code is one of the oldest methods used to transmit text characters in standardized sequences of two different signal durations. Here, we are going to use one of the free web APIs out there to turn any text you input into Morse Code or vice versa, all in PowerShell.

$Text = Read-Host 'Text to Morse'
# URL-encode text
Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Web
$encoded = [System.Web.HttpUtility]::UrlEncode($Text)
# compose web service URL
$Url = '' + $encoded
# call web service
(Invoke-RestMethod -UseBasicParsing -Uri $url).contents.translated

To convert a series of Morse Code back to plain English version, simply replace the API to Morse2English.

$Text = Read-Host 'Morse to Text'
# URL-encode text
Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Web
$encoded = [System.Web.HttpUtility]::UrlEncode($Text)
# compose web service URL
$Url = '' + $encoded
# call web service
(Invoke-RestMethod -UseBasicParsing -Uri $url).contents.translated

Note that the free web API limits to only 5 request calls per hour so use it wisely.

Thanks to PowerTips for this awesome trick. If you want to create the real beeps based on the Morse Code, check it out.

The post Friday Fun Trick: Turning Text into Morse Code, Vice Versa, in PowerShell appeared first on Next of Windows.