Invert Colors In A PDF File For Better Night-Time Reading

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PDF is a file format that was designed with one purpose; to ensure a document never lost its formatting when it was read on a different system than the one it originated from and when it was printed. Editing a PDF is almost impossible unless you have the Adobe Acrobat DC, or some such similar app. Most of us have the free Adobe Reader which is very basic in what it lets you do to a PDF file and editing text is definitely not in the feature list. The reader is still equipped with enough features to make for a decent PDF reader so if you're ever reading at night, or you received a document with a color scheme that makes text hard to read, you can change how the text appears from Adobe Reader's preferences. Here's how. Read More

Turn Off Audio Alerts For A Group Conversation In Skype

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Skype is by far one of the most popular apps used for remote meetings, interviews, and talking to family that lives far far away. Although Skype has mobile apps for both the Android and iOS platform, it's not used the same way as apps like Viber, Whatsapp, and Facebook Messenger are used. Skype users use it more from their desktops and far less on their mobile phones. Skype not only lets you have one-on-one conversations but also lets you create groups so you can have virtual meetings. That said, if you find you're part of a Skype group conversation that isn't relevant for you, but leaving isn't an option, you can try muting it so that the constant new message alerts don't bother you. Here's how. Read More

How To Charge Your Phone In Sleep Mode With The Laptop Lid Closed

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A power outlet is a precious thing and when there aren't enough in a room to meet your needs, you have to pick your favorite (possibly the most productive) device and give it a lifeline. Even when power outlets are available in abundance, we tend to charge our phones by connecting them to our computers. This allows us to work with charging cables that are absurdly short in length, and to keep our phones on the same desk we're working on. The phone charges while you work but if you were to close the lid and let your computer enter Sleep mode, your phone would cease to charge. Here's how you can continue charging your phone even with the laptop lid closed and your system in Sleep mode. This works in Windows 7 and above. Read More

Extract A Video Frame In PNG Format Using FFmpeg In Windows

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FFmpeg is a very popular tool for recording and streaming media content. It's not one of those basic apps that just about anyone can use and it's definitely more popular among Linux users but it can, and does run well on Windows. FFmpeg is pretty powerful once you get to using it. It is essentially a command line tool and that's possibly why more people don't use it. If you're just starting out with FFmpeg and want to do something basic like extract a frame from a video here's how to do it. Read More

Delay System Sleep & Prevent Display Standby In Windows

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In Windows, you can easily configure when your system should go into sleep or hibernate mode, and how long it should wait before turning your display off. You can configure different power plans for battery and power mode allowing the display and the system to sleep sooner when it's running on battery. Apart from the power options, there isn't an easy way to configure different profiles for when the system and display should hibernate or rather, when they shouldn't do so. Sleep, lock, hibernate are all useful if you're using your system at work but when you're at home, you don't need the system to do all that. Coffee_FF is a free Windows app that, among other things, lets you delay when your system enters sleep and prevents the display from sleeping. It comes in both a portable and install versions. Read More

Control Your Mouse Cursor By Moving Your Head In Windows

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Technology has come a long way as evidenced by our smartphones that are more powerful today than supercomputers were two decades ago. The true test of technological enhancement however comes from how much it can improve lives and where technology really shines in that regard is in helping people with disabilities live normal lives. Animouse is a free and open source Windows app that falls in the category of helpful technology. It lets you control your mouse cursor, complete with  left and right-click actions by simply moving your face. The app works on Windows 7 and above and requires you have a webcam attached to your PC. Read More

How To Change The Background Color In Windows Photo Viewer

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Browsers, whether they're meant for the web, files, or images predominantly have a white background. Web browsers generally lack a setting to change the background color but third party image viewers and file browsers will either go with a dark color or give you an option to change it. The Windows Photo Viewer however doesn't have any such option. If you want to give it a darker background color and /or change it freely, you need to make a small change in the Windows registry. Here's how. Read More

How To Share A USB Printer Over Your Network In Windows 10

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Windows 10 has made both big and small changes to how things are done in the OS. Many features continue to work much the same way they did in older versions of Windows but almost as many things have changed. If you previously used a USB printer, sharing it with everyone over your network was pretty easy. All you had to do was go to the Share tab in the printer's properties and share it with everyone. The share tab is gone in Windows 10 and how you share a USB printer in Windows 10 has changed. Here's how to find the share option for sharing a USB printer over your network in Windows 10. Read More

What Is The Difference Between An HDD And An SSD?

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If you're looking to build a PC, or perhaps ready to upgrade your laptop to a newer, faster, more powerful model, you will likely have to familiarize yourself with the major components that collectively contribute to its power. The components depend on your needs which may involve games, running heavy software, or watching movies and looking at cat pictures. If you were to start looking at pats of laptop models now, you will come across something somewhat new; SSD drives. For years now, laptops and desktop PCs have used HDD i.e. Hard Disk Drives but the changing market now has models that come with an SSD i.e. a Solid State Drive. If you're wondering what the difference between the two is, this post breaks it down for you. Read More

Enable Compression Tool In VLC Player To Fix Movies With Loud Action And Quiet Dialogue Sounds

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Interstellar is an excellent movie that I got to see in a theater with surround sound. I'd recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat even though I still have my doubts about what Matthew Mcconaughey was saying at times and I'm partially deaf from the loud sound track. This is, unfortunately, a thing with some movies. Literally every sound from a car stopping suddenly to the phone ringing, is super loud but when the actors talk, it sounds as though the movie were filmed in a library during working hours. It's annoying and most people who watch movies on their computers will resort to increasing and decreasing the volume to spare their ears. If you use VLC player though, it has a compression tool that you can enable and it will fix the problem altogether. Here's how it works. Read More

How To Edit System Environment Variables For A User In Windows 10

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Windows 10 comes with a new Settings app and it's kind of confusing for anyone switching to Windows 10 from Windows 7. Perhaps even Windows 8 users will struggle with it because Windows has always had the control panel. The control panel was one place where you could manage your computer's settings but with the Settings app, there are now two places where you can do that. What makes it more difficult to adjust to is the fact that some things can only be changed from the Control Panel but have to be accessed from the Settings app. If you're looking for a way to edit environment variables for a particular user, you might feel a little lost trying to find the setting. Here's a brief look at how you can set edit environment variables in Windows 10. Read More

How To Set A Custom Date Format In Windows

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There are two widely used date formats in the world; one that puts the day first, followed by the month, and then the year. The second puts the month first, followed by the day, and then the year. These formats are a regional thing so when you install Windows, it automatically sets the date format to the popular/default one for your region. If, for any reason you feel the default date format, whether it's the long date or the short one, should be different you can easily change it. Here's how you can change the default date format in Windows and set a custom one. Read More

Use The Mono Audio Channel For Better Sound When Using One Earbud

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Music helps us concentrate on work but with you can't always have your earbuds in when you're working. It annoys anyone who needs to talk to you. Simply getting your attention while you work and listen to music turns into a chore for people and it impedes work. The safe way to go about it is to perhaps only listen to music through on earbud. Listening to music with just one earbud doesn't make for a great experience but it doesn't have to be that way. Simply switch to the Mono audio channel and you will have an infinitely better listening experience through just one earbud. Here's how to switch to the Mono channel on iOS, Android, and Windows. Read More

Enable An On-Screen Grid To Arrange Windows More Easily

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Aero Snap is a very popular Windows feature that lets users easily arrange their windows on the screen. With Windows 8, the feature was improved on so that you could snap three windows the full vertical length of your screen. WindowGrid is a free Windows app that takes snapping windows to a whole new level. It adds a grid to your screen when you're rearranging a window and lets you snap the window into any arrangement with the aid of the grid. The grid is customizable so that you can use it effectively on both a small and large screen. Read More

How To Set WiFi Connection Order In Windows 10

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Most offices have more than one WiFi connection available. Multiple connections serve either as a backup in case one of them fails, or they are meant to distribute the load from many users across multiple connections. That said, Windows 10 doesn't consider which of the available WiFi connections has stronger range before connecting to one. Instead, it gives priority to connections based on which one was added first, and which one was added later. That is the default behavior and it can be problematic especially if you often have to manually change which WiFi connection your computer is connected. Here's how you can change the priority of a WiFi connection in Windows 10. Read More

Create A VLC Shortcut That Plays All Audio Files In A Selected Folder

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VLC player is incredibly popular. So popular that I don't really need to give it much of an introduction. A lot of people substitute their default media players with VLC players and it's equally popular on both Windows and OS X. What makes VLC so great is how powerful it is and how you can always find a plug-in to use with it that will make it better. That said, if you're a Windows user who hasn't set VLC player as the default media player but would like to use it to play all media files in a particular folder there isn't a simple way to do it through the UI. Here's a little tweak you apply to a VLC player desktop shortcut that will allow have it play all media files in a pre-selected folder. Read More

Allow Other Users To Run Certain Programs With Admin Rights

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A few days ago we showed you how to run the task manager as an administrator or a different user. The process  required that you would need the admin password to do so. In an almost polar opposite scenario, we're looking at what you should do if you want to give users the ability to run certain programs with Admin rights, but without giving them the administrator password. The simplest way comes in the form of a little utility called RunAsTool. It's free and you can use it to grant other users permission to run programs with elevated persmission. Here's how it works. Read More

You Need To Stop KB 3035583 From Installing Again

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Starting June 2015, Microsoft aggressively began to push Windows 10 to its existing users. The push came in the form of an app called Get Windows 10. It installed with an update and appeared in the system try. It could check your system (hardware and apps) for compatibility with Windows 10 and allowed you to reserve a copy of the new operating system. The update did something else though; it also downloaded files to install Windows 10, regardless if you reserved a copy for it or not. Users suddenly found their main Windows drive short on 6GB with nothing to account for the used space. It turned out to be KB 3035583 and one other update that were responsible for the used space; it was downloading Windows files to a folder called $WINDOWS.~BT. To recover lost space, the folder had to be deleted and the updates responsible for the files had to be hidden so that they didn't install again. Unfortunately, the update is back and very likely to install itself again unless you hide it. Here's how to hide the update and why it's back. Read More

Park Images In A Temporary Holder To Copy Them Easily [Windows]

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Copying files is something we do regularly and it's incredibly easy. You can use keyboard shortcuts to select files, or you can use the mouse to select and drag & drop them to a new destination. That said copying files while incredibly easy can become tedious if  the files you want to copy to a single location all reside in different folders. For images, it's all the more annoying because they will have generic system generated names instead of user specified ones. You will have to spend more time identifying the correct image before you can copy them. ImgPark is a free Windows utility that provides you a virtual holder for images that you copy to your clipboard. Once you've copied them all, you can paste them to a single folder with just a few clicks. The utility works with JPG and Bitmap images. For some reason, PNG files are not supported. Read More

How To Run Windows Task Manager As The Admin Or Any Another User

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It isn't uncommon for computers, particularly those managed in an office network to be managed by a user with admin privileges while the other users log in as normal users with some limitations imposed. Some users themselves prefer to keep their routine account separate from the admin account so that they have something to fall back on in case something goes wrong with the first one. One of the many things you can do from an admin account, or if you have admin rights on a system is quit troublesome processes which refuse to quit from an account with low-level privileges via the Task Manager. If you've ever needed to run Task Manager as an admin user on your current account, here's a simple way of doing just that. Read More