Category Archives: Tricks

Digital Letter

There are those times in life when you need to send someone a handwritten letter. This is a close substitute.

You can use PowerPoint to make this.

1. Download a paper background or texture.

You can use something from this link: 200-high-quality-free-paper-textures-to-grab

2. Download a handwritten font and install it. (Drag and drop the downloaded file into the Fonts folder in your Control Panel) 

You can choose a font from this page: 50-free-handwritten-fonts-for-web-designers-and-logo-artists

3. Open Powerpoint and insert the paper texture as a picture.

4. Insert a text box and select your handwritten font.

5. Type your message.

6. You can add other elements from the following links:
Peachie’s Collection of Cute Stuff

Digital Scrapbooking Embellishments

You can also add autoshapes, photos, and other details such as word art or seasonal elements.

7. After completing your design, press CTRL+A to select all the elements, right-click and select Save As Picture.

8. Save your image and send it to your friend by email or print it out and give it to them.

Try making one for your grandma… she will love it! 🙂


Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Tricks


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How to Download a Page from Google Books?

How to Download a Page from Google Books?

I will tell you upfront that you’ll need the Google Chrome browser to use this method.

1. Open the Google book in your Google Chrome browser and go to the page you wish to download.

2. Right-click on the page and select Inspect Element

3. Under Inspect Element, go to Resources and select Images.

4. Browse all the images and find the image of the page you wish to download. Sometimes it will be available in more than one size. In such cases, select the image with the best size.

5. Double-click the image name to open the image in a new tab. Right-click the image and select Save Image As.

6. Save the file to your local machine and enjoy!

Enjoy! 🙂


Posted by on July 29, 2011 in Tricks


MS-Word Building Blocks

My job involves using 30 different types of tables repeatedly across a document. I usually have a source document from which I copy each table template and paste it into the document I’m working on. Recently, I was trying to find a better way to do this. I thought I should record a macro for each table and save it as a button. However, Word 2007 allows for very little customization of the ribbon (without some complicated VB scripting etc.) and that’s when I stumbled upon Building Blocks.

If you have objects (tables, drawings, paragraphs, pictures) that you need to repeatedly paste into a document, you can also use the following method. I have demonstrated with a table as an example:

1. Open a new word document.

2. Copy and paste the template table for ST1 into the new document.

3. Select the entire table (or object).


4. Press ALT+F3

5. A box named “Create New Building Block” will open up. Select the options shown in the image below and click Ok.


Note: You can also add the table to any other category which you think might be easier for you to access.

6. Repeat the steps for all the tables or objects you use frequently.

7. To insert the table or object, go to Insert -> Table -> Quick Tables and select on the table you want to insert.

8. Voila! 🙂

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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in Tools, Tricks


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Macro to Highlight Track Changes in Word

Note: This macro highlights only the insertions in your track changes. It does not highlight the deletions.

Often, we need to highlight the changes in our document after making the corrections suggested by a reviewer. I came across this interesting macro that made my job easy.

To change the highlight color, find the word WdYellow in the code above and change it to WdTurquoise, WdBrightGreen or other highlight color names.

Macro Courtesy:


Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Tools, Tricks


PowerPoint Animations with Wingdings

I once had a situation where I had to create an interesting PowerPoint presentation but I had no access to interesting graphics or visuals. I was not allowed to take images off the web or use stock photography due to some constraints at my work place. So I invented this fun method to make cute little animations by using Webdings and Wingdings fonts.

Follow these steps to make your own animations:

1. Go to “Start” menu and click “Run”

2. Type “Charmap”

3. From the “Font” list, select “Webdings” or “Wingdings 1, 2, 3”

4. Select a character that you want to animate, from the table of characters and copy it to the clip board by clicking “Copy”. You can also press CTRL+C.

5. Open MS- PowerPoint

6. Right- click on a blank slide and paste the font. You can also press CTRL+V. If the font changes to an arbit square or a martian hieroglyphic, select it and apply the correct font from the PowerPoint font list.

7. Select the character and enlarge the font size to “72” or more. Now the character will be clearly visible as an image.

8. Change the color of the font, if required.

9. Select other characters and repeat the same procedure.

10. Right-click each of the characters and select “Save as Picture”. (This can be a little tricky if you do not select the character properly. Don’t select the font but the whole character.)

11. Type a name and save the characters as image files.

12. In the “Insert” menu, select “Insert Picture” and insert the saved images.

13. Animate each image by using “Custom Animation”

14. Play your slideshow to check the animation.

15. Rejoice!

You can find a simple PPT animation I created by using this method, in the following link:

Download from Google Docs (otherwise you cannot see the animation). This download is not required to understand the method.

Feel free to post questions/doubts in the Comments section.

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Posted by on April 13, 2010 in Tricks


Firefox 3 Rocks

Its official. Firefox 3 rocks. Gina Trapani’s blog is one of my personal favourites on the web. I am a regular visitor and subscribe to the blog on my Google Reader too. She has a nice post up about the recently released Firefox 3 and some of its quirks. Nice, nice browser, better than Firefox 2 in its memory usage. Tasty extensions as usual. Rock on!

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Posted by on June 25, 2008 in Gadgets, Generic, Tricks


Web 2.0 on the Desktop

Ever wished you could do away with folder structures on your desktop/laptop computer? The visual idea we have about files and folders as objects and collectors has become so innate to file organizers that it gets irritating some times to find files. With the proliferation of high bandwidth and the huge increase in the data being collected and stored by people, the mp3 revolution, the p2p revolution, etc., finding data and organizing data has become a bane on the desktop. None of the three primary operating systems offer a convenient way to automatically and intelligently sort the data in downloaded files into categories, which explain what the files consist of and what they do.At least I have this problem of downloaded files not getting noticed after I download them. I download papers, articles, files, programs on to my desktop and at times, they clutter the desktop, but when I am done organizing them (into folders) I find it difficult to find the files I need. With file names such as “do2376.pdf” “math_izz_ipr_pdf.pdf” and “web45ghu.exe”, most downloaded files and programs have neither an unambiguous name nor an indicative meta data which shows what the file/setup program contains.

  • A useful and underused technique in Windows could have been implemented into the tooltip system. The tooltip is a very common meta data organizer which lets us know what we are doing in Excel sheets, tells us the names of commands or what they do, and so on. Unfortunately, although people use tool tips well otherwise, it is not popular with the masses who create content which can be downloaded or programs.
  • The linux desktop offers a great alternative to the folder maze. Enter Leaftag. This is a nifty little set of utilities which can tag folders and files and make the information inside the folder make sense. What is especially interesting is that on linux systems with Leaftag there will still be files as usual, but they could be tagged in case you want to remember something about them.
  • Delicious‘ system of social bookmarking is a great way to organize information on the web specific to a user’s browsing activities. It is interesting what a combination of RSS and Delicious bookmarks can do. Why is it not possible to do the same within the framework of a desktop?
  • There is a software for Windows too, as shown in this lifehacker post:

In order to encourage you to tag new files as they’re created, tag2find can also monitor your new files and prompt you for tags. tag2find then provides a couple of ways to search through your tags, both of which seem to provide snappy results. Add to that automated tagging by filetypes, tag clouds, and Windows Media Player integration, and tag2find is a surprisingly powerful tool.

I await more proliferation of the ideas of Web 2.0 to the desktop. But this is second in line after my favorite wishful hack idea: instant-on computers. (And no, I don’t mean boot times of under 15 seconds as you get in SSD powered computers.)


Posted by on February 16, 2008 in Gadgets, Tricks, Utilities