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Hidden iPad Keys

Do you know about the hidden characters in the iPad keyboard?

Tap and hold an iPad key to reveal any alternate characters. Then slide your finger up to the “hidden” character you want to place into your text and let go.

  • Each of the vowels is hiding a variety of its accented variations.
  • The dollar sign is hiding symbols of other currencies
  • The zero key is hiding a symbol for degrees (temperature)
  • The dash key is hiding longer dashes and a bullet
  • The comma is hiding an apostrophe (there is an apostrophe on the symbols keyboard but accessing it from the “ABC” keyboard is much faster)
  • The “.com” key is hiding “.edu,” “.org,” etc.

Take a minute to find these and other hidden characters on your iPad. Yes, they are on your iPhone too!

Printing from Excel

If you use Microsoft Excel to create spreadsheets for business, golf/tennis/bridge schedules, budgets, etc., you can control exactly what area of the spreadsheet you print:

  1. Select (highlight) the specific section you wish to print. Leave it selected.
  2. Choose the Print command (File > Print).
  3. When the print dialogue opens, locate the “Page Range” (PC) or “Print What” (Mac) section.
  4. Click “Selection.”

Even before you click Print, you will see that the Print Preview area confirms your specific selection.

Nice going!

And yes, if you are wondering, this works the same way in Microsoft Word.

Checking Spell-Checking

<Cartoon by renowned cartoonist Randy Glasbergen: “It’s my resume. The spell-checker accidentally changed Midstate Junior College to Harvard.”>

This week’s IT Mail is a reminder to take time to review your messages before you send, share, print, or display them.

“Auto-fill” and “auto-correct” think they know what you wish to say. “Spell-check” suggests what you might want to say. Left unattended, these features can drastically alter the meaning of your message.

Be sure you are sending what you intend to be saying!

Smartphone Voicemail

When was the last time you listened to your cell phone’s out-going voice mail message (the greeting your callers hear before they leave you a message)?

If it’s been a while, you might wish to update it. Times have changed.

Here are a few suggestions:

Make it Personal
Callers would probably prefer to hear your voice rather than a canned “generic” voice.

Make it Short
We all know what to do after the beep; no need to explain it.

Make it Easy
There is no need to ask your callers to leave a number or the time that they called. Most cell phones record this information automatically.

Make it Friendly
Think about the recordings you hear when you call your friends. Yours should be more like the ones you like and less like the ones you don’t.


Password Help!

Rarely does a day go by that I don’t hear how frustrating it can be to keep track of passwords. Is there any perfect system?

Probably not. But I can suggest an easy system that might work for you.

First, create passwords that all have the same word in them:

  • Netflix: baseball
  • SunTrust: baseball123
  • Amazon: Baseball123*
  • Facebook: ilovebaseball

Each password will have to satisfy the requirements of the particular site (number of characters, capital letters, numbers, symbols, etc. — and thus some passwords can be the same for more than one company), but all you have to remember is your one word.

Then, when you write down your passwords, you need only write the name of the company and the “encrypted” password, using the first letter of your word to represent the whole word. You know what your word is but others will not.

Your “cheat sheet” might look like this:

  • Netflix: b
  • SunTrust: b123
  • Amazon: B123*
  • Facebook: iloveb

The word should not be something easy to guess like your name, spouse’s name, your pet’s name, or your street name. If necessary, write down that “b = baseball,” but store that information separately.

Once you have your system, consider storing your encrypted passwords in your computer or on your smartphone, rather than on a piece of paper. If the document is in your computer, name the file something more deceptive than “passwords.” If you store your passwords in your phone, you will have them if you need to access an account when you are not home. Even though the passwords are encrypted, you should still lock your phone.

One further refinement: If you store your passwords in your smartphone or your computer, consider storing them in your address book (contacts) list, rather than as a text document. Under “S,” you might have a listing for SunTrust Bank which contains phone numbers and email addresses. In the “note” section, you can enter your encrypted password for that account. This system would make signing on to a specific account easier than hunting through a list of all of your passwords.

Just some suggestions to be sure that the person your passwords are keeping out isn’t you!

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