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Excel 2007/2010: Creating Charts [How To]

Posted by Thomas On January - 20 - 2012

One of the improvements in Excel 2007 is the rebuilt Chart Tool.  “It used to be so easy” to create charts in Excel, just highlight an area of cells and click Create Chart, and voilá. Well it still is – it only looks a bit different.  In this mini-tutorial I’m using an example from work, tho the names, and numbers have been altered.

The Mission

At work we have tightened security on mobile Exchange Synchronization. A security policy has been set which requires that we ask each of the 2.500 users to read the new guidelines. Failure to accept the new policy guidelines will result in the user loosing access to the server. To be able to monitor the progress of this work (making sure we know that every user has read and accepted) I was asked to create a chart to graphically display the weekly progress,  number of emails sent, number of accepts etc.  The challenge is that we only record names, and dates for each occurrence (notice sent, reply received, account open or closed).

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Word: Use Building Blocks

Posted by Thomas On January - 5 - 2012

Never heard of Building Blocks? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In Fact I just recently learned about it myself. Building Blocks first appeared in Word 2007 and has been a well hidden gem ever since.

What are Building Blocks ?

Building Blocks are re-usable document elements  that you normally would have to copy from another document or re-create on a regular basis and put it in a drag-and-drop library. It can be used to save design elements like logos, headers, signatures, text you type often etc. etc.

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In my last article (An Explanation of the Pros and Cons of Using RAID on Your Computer), we discussed the problem of heat build-up during the very hot Auckland summer months and how a RAID 5 configuration with 4 disks can sustain the failure of a single disk. RAID protections provide one part of what should be an overall strategy to protect your data and your computer from heat.

In this piece we divert a bit from our standard hardware/software fare and look at the computing environment as a whole. We will postulate that a tidy workspace is, in fact, a happy workspace and suggest a few tricks to make your work-space more productive and more comfortable.

The three biggest factors driving the design of my workspace are heat, noise and clutter. If I can minimise these three and maximize my computing power and productivity (all within family budget constraints, of course), I will have archived the objective.

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A recent question from a reader, inspired me to write this article on how to set up and switch between several email accounts in Outlook 2010. The How To article showing you how to set up an account has already been written and I will not repeat that part but rather link to it later on.

Setting up a second (third, fourth … ) account in Outlook.

Adding several accounts to your Outlook 2010 is a simple task. Using them and switching between them is also very easy. What you DO need to decide before adding several accounts is, which will function as your main account, and should the accounts use the same PST-file (the database storing your emails) or should you use separate PST-files ?

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The purpose of this post is to confirm the confidence I have in RAID technology as expressed in the earlier post “RAID“. It is occasioned by my recent plans to write a very different piece.

Background: the Warning Signs

Summers can get pretty hot here in Auckland. The average temperature for this time of year is 24 degrees Celsius (that’s 75 degrees Fahrenheit to North Americans) with 99% humidity so it’s no simple matter to keep a computer cool.

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Guidelines for Dealing With Computer Uninstall Errors

Posted by Guest Post On March - 17 - 2011

In this guest post, James Ricketts discusses how deal with computer uninstall errors. Find out more about James at the end of this post.

Uninstalling applications is never as seamless a process as installing them. Although Windows PCs come with a built-in utility, the Add or Remove Programs utility, that allows users to easily uninstall various applications and software, it usually fails to do the required job when you need to uninstall certain applications, such as McAfee Antivirus suite or DirectX.

Incomplete uninstallation may cause errors and complications on the system. Leftover processes of a previously installed program may interfere with other running processes and cause application errors, as well as performance related issues, such as frequent software crashes and system slow downs. This is why it is absolutely essential that when you remove a program you ensure that all its associated processes, files, and registry entries are also permanently deleted.

With the help of two examples, McAfee antivirus suite and DirectX we discuss how to uninstall programs that may not get completely removed using the Add or Remove Programs utility.

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