How To Filter Emails/Create Message Rules in Windows Live Mail 2011

I have been using Windows Live Mail as my primary email client for quite sometime now and have configured it to download emails from several accounts. Though I have found Windows Live Mail to be a really good email client, I have several problems with it, including WLM freezing my system and with high CPU and RAM usage.

Windows Live Mail

However, after cleaning up my emails I found it to be working without issues. Now came the second problem of filtering messages so that I can sort them out in separate folders. Easy right? Well not that easy, or at-least Microsoft decided to put the option in the wrong place.

After searching for over an hour I was about to give up when I came across an option to do it. I believe many of you might be facing the same issue, so I decided to write up a quick tutorial on how to filter incoming  emails by creating message rules in Windows Live Mail 2011.

The below rules apply to Windows Live Mail 2011, so you might want to upgrade your installation first.

Windows Live Mail Message Rules

Step 1: Open Windows Live Mail and click on the Folders tab.

Step 2: Click on the "Message Rules" option available at the end of the ribbon.

Step 3: Click on the "New" button and follow the instructions to create your incoming email message rule.

That’s it, your incoming messages will now be filtered and stored in the appropriate directory,  deleted, forwarded or perform any other action based on what rules you have created.

Easily Cut Out Pictures Using PaintdotNet

One of our readers posed a question to me yesterday and I thought that I would share the answer with all of you. The reader had been scanning scrapbook pages and wanted to know how they could separate the scanned pages into individual pictures. There are hundreds of ways to do this, however, I would like to show you how I would accomplish something like it. Plus, I have a free program suggestion, which makes this tutorial that much better!

The first thing we need to do is download a free program called Paint.Net. This is a pretty nifty program. Here is a little blurb from their website to give you a little background on the program.

It started development as an undergraduate college senior design  project  mentored by Microsoft, and is currently being maintained by some of the alumni that originally worked on it. Originally intended as a free replacement for the  Microsoft Paint  software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple image and photo editor tool.

Once you have the program downloaded and installed on your computer, open up an image. In this tutorial, I am going to copy a piece of a picture and paste it into a new picture. Let’s say, for example, I want to cut my picture out below and make a thumbnail of my head.

Image In Paint.Net

If you look on the left side of the screen, there is a floating toolbar. Here, you will find lots of really cool tools you can use to edit your picture. Let’s find the “rectangle select” tool. You can see it highlighted in the image below.

Rectangle Select

Click the “rectangle Select” tool. Click and drag over the area of the picture that you would like to cut out. In the image below, you can see where I highlighted the area around my face.

Selected Area

In this tutorial, I don’t want to crop this picture because that would affect the original image, which I want to keep as-is. What I want to do is create a new image from the selected area above. To do this, I need to copy the selected area. Click the edit menu, as pictured below, and select copy from the menu.

Select Copy

Now, here is the really cool part. Let’s click the “New”  button in the upper left corner of the screen. Paint.Net actually recognizes the size of the image that you copied onto the clipboard. Notice in the picture below, there is a dialog box that pops up with image size already filled in.

New

Once you click OK, there will be a blank picture perfectly sized for the image that is on the clipboard. Now, all you have to do is go to edit and click paste, as pictured below.

Paste

There you have it! The selected area from the original picture is now a separate picture. I will point out that if you look in the top right corner of the screen, there are thumbnail images that show you all the images you have open. See the image below for an example.

Thumbnails

Paint.Net is one of the easiest image editors I have ever used. I hope to do more tutorials soon. It has a lot of the functionality of Photoshop, but it also is intuitive for people used to using Microsoft products. Since it’s free, you can’t beat the price.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions. It’s always nice to hear from our readers. Please take a moment to share us with your friends as well.

Create Organization Charts Easily in Word 2010

Have you ever tried to come up with one of those cool organizational charts only to discover that it can be a real pain to do? All of the rectangles and lines going in every direction can get a little frustrating. A lot of people use a program like Visio to get this done. Visio is nice, but it can be a little complicated to use. Never fear, this tutorial will show you an easy way to create organizational charts in Word.

First things first; let’s open up Word 2010. Doing an organizational chart in Word requires a new feature called “SmartArt”. This is a great new feature in the Office 2010 family. To insert “SmartArt” into the Word document, click the “Insert” tab, and then click “SmartArt”. See the picture below for an example.

Smart Art

Once you click on “SmartArt”, you will see several options. In the picture below, you can see that there are several categories of “Smart Art”. The one that we will be using in this tutorial is filed under “Hierarchy”. We are going to use the one labeled “Picture Organization Chart”. I really like this chart because it not only lets you show the hierarchy, but it also let’s you add a person’s picture beside their name.

Picture Organization Chart

Once you have selected the picture organization chart, click OK. You will now see the screen pictured below.

Org Chart Options

Notice that you get several options when you insert the chart. At the top of the screen there is a “SmartArt Tools” tab with many options on the toolbar below. In the body of the document, you will see a small chart ready for you to fill in. To the left of the chart, you will see a window where you can type the text you want in each block of the chart. You will notice, above, that I typed my name in the first block. You can continue typing and the font will get smaller to fit in the block. There is also a small picture icon located to the left of the name block. If you click the icon, a dialog box will appear where you can insert the person’s picture in the block. See the example below to see how this looks.

Picture Added

You have a lot of options for changing the appearance of the organizational chart. If you want to add additional subordinates under a person, right-click their name on the chart, then find the “add shape” option from the menu that pops up, and finally, click where you want the new block to go. In this case, since we want a subordinate, we would choose “Add Shape Below”. See the picture below for an example.

Adding Shapes

By default, this chart was blue, however, there are many choices so you are not stuck with that color. If you look at the toolbar at the top of the page, you will see that you can change the layouts and the colors. Pictured below, you will see an example of some of the color changes you can make to your chart. Notice that as you mouse over the different options, the chart changes to show you how it will look with that change applied. There are more advanced options on the toolbar as well. For instance, you can change the shape of the blocks if you like. It’s all available on the “SmartArt Tools” bar.

Recolor the Chart

I hope you find this tutorial helpful. Now you know an easy way to create a beautiful organizational chart, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it. Using Word’s “SmartArt” feature, you’ll look like a pro around the office!

If you find this tutorial helpful, please recommend us to a friend. As always, we love to get feedback from you.

Using Tab Stops In Word

Today, I would like to share a really cool trick that you can use in Word. A lot of people are familiar with using the buttons that position paragraphs to the center or to the right. It isn’t rocket science. You click in the paragraph you want to center, then click the center button (or CTRL + E if you like keyboard shortcuts), and there you have it. The real trick comes when you would like some of your text left aligned on one side of the page, but then you want other text right aligned on the other side of the page. Here is a perfect example. Let’s say Mona has a flower shop, and she would like to make a brochure that shows her goods on the left side of the page, but she would like the prices to be on the right side of the page. Not only that, but she would also like the decimal points to line up nice and neat. Let me show you a little-used feature that can help her accomplish this task.

The first thing that we need to do is to make sure that the rulers are visible in the Word document. In Word 2010, click the “View” tab, and then select the  checkbox  that says “Ruler”. See the picture below to see it highlighted.

Ruler

You should now see the rulers on the top and left sides of the page. Hit the “Tab” key on your keyboard. Notice where the cursor lines up in relation to the top ruler. By default, it should normally line up in half inch increments. This is called a tab stop. However, you can affect the behavior of the tab stop and that is exactly what we’re going to do to get Mona’s flower shop brochure all fixed up.

If you look to the far left side of the screen, just above the left side ruler, you will see the button pictured below. This is the tab stop button.

Tab Stop Button

By default, it will have an “L” shape. This denotes a “Left” aligned tab stop. If you click this button you will notice that there are several tab stops from which to choose. Clicking the button doesn’t insert a tab stop, but, rather, sets it to the type of stop which you want to add when you’re ready to add the stop. To add a tab stop, choose the type that you want, then click with your mouse on the ruler at the top of the screen, and your new stop will be added. Let’s say, for example, that you choose a left aligned tab stop. If you click on the 1 inch mark on the top ruler, a little “L” symbol will be added to the ruler. Now, you have changed all the rules for the “Tab” key on your keyboard. Now, when you hit “Tab”, instead of the half inch increment, it will jump to the new stop you inserted. Also, any text that you type at that stop will be left aligned. If you hit “Tab” again, it will revert back to its default stops unless you add another tab stop to the ruler.

If you click on the tab stop button a couple of times, you should get a backwards “L” shape which denotes a right aligned tab. Once you have the right tab stop, click the 5 inch mark on the top ruler to add your stop. See the picture below for an example.

Right Tab Stop

Now that you have added this tab stop to the ruler, when you hit the “Tab” key that cursor will move to the 5 inch mark. Also, when you type, the text will be right aligned. Look at the example below.

Right Aligned

Here, you will notice a couple things. Notice that the item names in the left column are left aligned, but the prices in the right column are right aligned. I’ve added a black line to add emphasis to how the numbers line up under the right tab stop. Another really nice thing about this setup is that the decimals all line up neatly. You may ask, “Why didn’t you just type the item and then hit the right align button on the toolbar and type the price?” Well, if you hit the buttons on the toolbar the entire paragraph aligns right, not the particular piece you are typing. Tab stops allow you to align a portion of the paragraph a certain way. You may also want to know how to get rid of a tab stop. All you have to do is click the tab stop on the ruler and drag it off. This will make it go away.

I hope you find this tip useful. It is one of those seldom used, but very handy, little tricks that Word has included. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to respond. I appreciate hearing back from our readers.

How to Install Windows 8 On VirtualBox

So you want to try Windows 8, but you’re afraid that it might mess up your PC? Then worry not, because  the free VirtualBox software from Oracle will allow you to easily install Windows 8 virtually without affecting your PC.

Before starting, I recommend that you read this blog post first. It includes some important information regarding the installation of Windows 8 on a virtual machine.

For this tutorial, you will be needing VirtualBox which can be downloaded from here and Windows 8 ISO which can be downloaded from Windows Dev Center.

Before we begin, make sure that virtualization is enabled in your BIOS. Once that is done, we can proceed to the first step.

First, install and run VirtualBox. Click New for creating a new Virtual Machine. Click Next in the Virtual Machine wizard

vb1

Now type a name for your Virtual Machine under Name. As we are going to Install Windows 8, I’ve named mine Windows 8. Now select Microsoft Windows for Operating System and Windows 7 as Version. If you are installing Windows 8 64-bit, select Windows 7 64-bit as Version.

vb1

The next step is to choose the system resources of your Virtual Machine. For RAM, choose little bit less than half of your RAM.

vb3

 

For Hard disk, a 20GB dynamically allocated  VirtualBox Disk Image  would suffix.(If you want to use the same disk image with a virtualization software other than VirtualBox later, select VHD as the type of file for the virtual disk in virtual disk Creation wizard.)vb6

After you’ve created the virtual disk, click create to setup the virtual machine.

Now its time to tweak your virtual machine for optimum performance. In the VirtualBox manager, right click on the virtual machine that you just created and select Settings and make the following changes.

Select System from the left column. Now check Enable IO APIC.

Select the Processor   tab and check Enable PAE/NX.

Finally in the Acceleration tab, check Enable VT-x/AMD-V   and Enable Nested Paging.

Now start your virtual machine by right clicking and selecting start. As you are running it for the first time, a first time wizard will be shown. Click Next.

In the next step, you can select the Installation Media. Select the ISO file of Windows 8 that you had downloaded earlier. Click Next. Now your virtual machine will boot with the ISO file as the installation media and once the necessary files are loaded, you will see the below screen. Click Next.

vb10

After you accept the EULA, select the partition to install Windows 8 (The 20GB partition that we created earlier) and click Next.

vb8

Now click Install and the installation will begin.

vb9

Once it finishes, create a user account and configure the network, Windows Update settings etc.   Windows will take a few minutes to apply the configuration and that’s it!

vb10

You now have Windows 8 installed on VirtualBox.

Use Microsoft Office Picture Manager for Quick Photo Edits

There are a lot of great photo editors on the market. Some are very robust and expensive, while others are free. To be honest, there are about as many photo editors out there as there are camera models. Today I would like to tell you about one that is probably sitting right under your nose and you’ve never used it. It is called “Microsoft Office Picture Manager” and it comes bundled with Microsoft Office.

I would like to show you an example of the photo editing power of Picture Manager. Let’s begin by opening a picture on our computer. Below you will see a lighthouse picture I took in Portland, Maine.

Lighthouse

Let’s say, for example, that I wanted to turn this photo black and white. This is very simple to do using Picture Manager. First, let’s open the picture in Picture Manager. Below, you will see where I right clicked the photo, then chose the “Open With” option, and then clicked “Microsoft Office Picture Manager”.

Open With Menu

Now we’ll need to click the button at the top of the window that says “Edit Pictures…” See the picture below to see what the button looks like.

Edit Button

Now, you will get a toolbar on the right side of the screen. You will notice a very large “Auto Correct” button. If you have a photo that may be a little too dark and grainy, sometimes clicking this button will help correct common color and lighting errors. In the picture below, you will notice an area highlighted under the heading “Edit using these tools”. Here are some commonly used photo editing tools. The one I would like to deal with in this tutorial is under the heading “Color”.

Toolbar Options

When you click the heading that says “Color”, you will get the menu options pictured below.

Color Menu

Using this menu, you can do some really cool things to your photo. You can also royally screw up the color balance so make sure you keep the “Undo” button handy. You will notice that there are three sliders that will allow you to use your mouse to click and drag to change the value in each box. Remember the goal of this particular tutorial is to make this photo black and white. To accomplish this we’ll need to desaturate the photo. Saturation basically is a term for how much color is in the photo. If we drag the “Saturation” slider all the way to the left, we are essentially saying we want to take all of the color out of the photo.  Now, our picture is black and white.  See the picture below.

Lighthouse Black and White

There are many other useful tools in Microsoft Office Picture Manager. You can easily fix red eye, flip and rotate pictures, and more. It may not be the most robust tool out there, but for the novice user, it is easy to use. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions.

Getting Started with GeekTool [Mac How-To]

A few days ago, I pointed out that GeekTool, one of the most powerful customization tools available for the Mac, is now available in the Mac App Store. I promised in that article that I would do a short write up on how to use GeekTool. I know that it can be a daunting task for those who are new to the application. That’s why I have decided to show you how to set up a simple geeklet.

The geeklet, which is what you get when you place a GeekTool script on your desktop, that I am going to show you is a simple clock. It will display the time in 12 or 24 hour format based on your clock settings. It is essentially a desktop clock that shows a mirror of what is on your internal clock. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Download and install GeekTool.
    geektool-mas.png
    That’s an easy one. You can grab it from the Mac App Store.
  2. Open GeekTool and select Shell.
    geektool-window.pngYou will see 3 different options when you open GeekTool. Click and drag ‘Shell’ to the desktop, and a new window will open.
  3. Type ”  date ‘+%I:%M:%S %p’ ” into the Command box.
    command-geektool.jpg
    So this window can be a little daunting. There are a ton of options that you don’t need to touch. For this step, simply copy and paste that code string into the Command Box.
  4. Set the Refresh rate to 1 second.
    refresh-geektool.jpgIf you want this clock to actually work correctly, then you need to set it’s refresh to 1 second. That option is right under the command.
  5. Optional: Change the Font Color and Size.
    font-geektool.jpgThis last step is optional, but it can make a world of difference. Towards the bottom of the Properties windows, you will see a bar that says ‘Click here to set font & color.’ Click that to do what it says.

If you did everything correctly, you will now have a working GeekTool clock on your desktop. You can move it around you desktop to wherever it works best for you. Mine is in a speech bubble in my Doctor Who comic desktop. I’ve seen them carefully placed behind image geeklets, as backgrounds and even made gigantic. The only limit is your creativity.

If you want to find more unique geeklets, I recommend you check out Mac OS X Tips. They have a great database of cool and unique uses for GeekTool. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a note in the comments below.

Get Quick Answers Using Excel’s Status Bar

There is hardly any debate to the fact that Excel is an extremely powerful tool. It can do complex formulas and calculations at mind-numbing speed. All this being said, however, in all the years I have worked in IT, I have observed that most people use it for a basic set of functions. I believe that Microsoft recognized this as well. They made it very easy for us to get answers to our common questions. The problem is, they put this tool in an uncommonly used place. Today, I would like to introduce you to Excel’s “Status Bar” and to show you how it can make your life a little easier.

What is a status bar you ask? Well, it is way down at the bottom of the screen. You know, the place that no one hardly ever looks. In the picture below, you can see Excel’s main window with the status bar highlighted.

Main Window

Several things happen in the status bar that often go unnoticed. For instance, when you hit the “Caps Lock” key on your keyboard, an indicator shows up in the status bar. It is also home to some pretty helpful tools that can help you get quick answers from your spreadsheet.

Let’s begin by selecting a column of numbers like the ones pictured below. One of the most common tasks in a spreadsheet is to sum up a column of numbers. Notice that Excel makes this very easy. Below, you will see what the status bar shows when you have a column of numbers highlighted. By default, Excel shows you the average, sum, and count of the selected numbers.

Status Bar

If you right-click the status bar, you will get a context menu which will allow you to customize which fields you need displayed.  In the picture below, you can see the different options that you have. Notice the red circled area. Here, you can add other popular functions to the status bar.

Customize

Let’s add minimum and maximum to the status bar and see what we get. If you highlight your data as pictured below, you now will notice that the status bar gives some additional information. Highlighted below, you can see the “Min” and “Max” functions. Sometimes it is nice just to be able to glean out what the smallest and largest numbers in a spreadsheet are. The status bar makes this very simple to find.

Min Max

I hope this tutorial helps to simplify some of the common tasks you perform in Excel. Of course, if you enjoy typing “=Sum(H1:K8)” every time you want to get a Sum in a column, then this tip probably isn’t for you. ;)

Let me know what you think about this tip. I love questions and comments.

Set-Up a File Server as a Drive in OS X Finder [How-To]

The other day, a colleague here at Techie Buzz asked for my recommendations on programs to blog using a Mac.  I told him about my favorites, and tried to provide a good reason why. Then, another contributor asked if there was a way to integrate the FTP system into the file system, like you can do in Windows  and Linux.

At first, I was dumbfounded. I had never thought of that as an option on OS X. However, it turns out that you can do it, and its possibly the most seamless way to use FTP on a Mac. The only caveat I see to this is that you can’t use it to upload files via FTP. For that, I highly recommend Cyberduck, which is now my personal choice for FTP.  Let’s take a look at how you set it up.

1. Open a Finder window. You can do that by clicking the ‘Finder’ icon on your dock, or by using the keyboard shortcut Command-Space and typing ‘Finder.’

2. Click the ‘Go’ menu, and then click connect to server. This will open a dialog box like this one, where you can choose to add a new server to the list. You can also use the keyboard shortcut of Command-K to access this window.

3. Fill in your server’s details.  Be sure to use complete addresses. For example, if it is an FTP server, use the whole address like ‘ftp://files.server.com’. If you have a username or password set up, you will be asked to provide those credentials.

Those are all the step you need to take. If you entered everything correctly, you should see a new drive in your finder side bar under ‘Shared.’ That’s the file server you just connected. It will work like any other file server connection, and its housed in your Finder window.

If you have any trouble getting this tip to work, or if you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments section below. We love hearing from you.

How To Delete Phonebook Contacts From Facebook

recently came under a lot of fire for storing contacts and phone numbers from your phone contacts directly on their servers. This feature was part of the mobile sync they have in their apps. This feature formerly known as Phonebook has been available for a long time, however some recent Facebook mass updates caused it to come to the fore.

Facebook has said that the Phone Numbers "Published" to Everyone is Fake, however, they still have the data they have synched from the phone with them.

If you are not comfortable having your business or personal contacts phone numbers, emails and other information stored on Facebook, here is how you can delete them.

Step 1: Head over to Facebook.com on a desktop PC and log in. Once you have done that, click on the "Account" menu in the right hand side corner and then click on the "Edit Friends" link.

Step 2: On the Edit Friends page, click on the "Contacts" option in the left hand side sidebar of the page.

Delete Facebook Phonebook Contacts

Step 3: If you have used Facebook on your mobile device, you will see a list of all the contacts here. To delete these contacts from Facebook, click on the link that says "this page" or visit this link directly (requires login).

Remove Imported Phone Contacts from Facebook

Step 4: On the next page, Facebook will give you the usual yada yada about why you should not delete your Facebook contacts and how it will help you. If you are very sure about deleting the message you should just ignore it and click on the "Remove" button.

You will have to also stop syncing your phone contacts with Facebook. We will show you how to do it for and in future posts.