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Gotchas tips tricks


I put together this big post about all the miscellaneous gotcha’s, tips and tricks that both novice and experienced computer users can learn from.

Passwords & Security

Passwords can contain spaces

You can use spaces and other characters to make a stronger password, especially if you use a pass phrase.

Use a password manager

Use a password manager to sync passwords between your computer and your phone.

KeePass password manager
KeePass password manager

An example setup is to use something like KeePass, save your database on Dropbox and access your database from your phone with something like Keepass2Android.

This way you can still use strong passwords on your phone that that you can simply copy and paste with ease.

You can copy and paste passwords

You may have gotten a complex password like s{76sFNKu)tv-rAY*6F_ and felt discouraged at the thought of typing that in every time. I’ve found that many people are not aware that you can copy and paste your password into where you need to use it, and save that password for future use, never to have to type it again.

Enable two factor authentication

You should enable two factor authentication whenever possible for the increased security it offers. Why not take advantage of bank-level security with all the other services you use?

Some websites that have two factor authentication include Dropbox, Github, Gmail, Steam, Facebook, Twitter and many more.

Photos & Images

White text with black border/stroke can be placed on any image

You can place white text with a black border on any image, and it would be easy to read.

White-text-black-border
White text on a black border works on any image

Less is more when it comes to design

Even if you’re not a professional graphic designer, there are some key things you can remember when you are designing something, whether it’s a simple card or a PowerPoint presentation: Less is more when it comes to design.

Make use of plenty of white space, stick to one or two fonts, and keep things succinct by sticking with main elements like a heading, paragraphs, a list and your photos.

Save as PNG over JPG

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JPEG artefacts are bad okay

When saving an image, try to save as PNG over JPG, as the latter is more prone to compression artifacts.

For photos it is generally okay to use the JPG format.

Resize images for web

When you copy images from your digital camera or phone, it will usually be in very large dimensions that is generally too big for the web.

You can save space and time uploading your photos by first resizing it before uploading it to web, and still preserve its quality.

See my post about image resizing solutions.

Tech Support & Troubleshooting

Resolve general tech support issues

Send ‘not computer people’ to this Tech Support Cheat Sheet.

Remote Support

Get a quick video screencast of the problem your friends or family is having on their computer by using ShowMeWhatsWrong.com.

If you want something more extensive that includes remote desktop control, then you can use TeamViewer.

TeamViewer is also available as an Android app

Browsers & The Internet

Chrome Custom Search Shortcuts

You can make your own custom search shortcuts in Chrome to search specific websites straight from the address bar.

Manage search engines in Chrome
Manage search engines in Chrome

Some examples of the keywords that I have set up:

  • wiki to search Wikipedia
  • gis to search Google Images
  • yt to search YouTube
  • whois to do a lookup on who.is

Keyboard Shortcuts

Browser keyboard shortcuts

Learn these keyboard shortcuts to navigate faster and more efficiently

Gmail keyboard shortcuts

Useful Gmail keyboard shortcuts

Excel keyboard shortcuts

Useful Excel keyboard shortcuts

Windows

Activate God Mode in Windows

Windows has a hidden “GodMode” feature that lets users access all of the operating system’s control panels from within a single folder.

To enter “GodMode,” one need only create a new folder and then rename the folder to the following:

GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

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