Tag Archives: Microsoft

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.

Samsung Finally Gets in Bed with Microsoft; Signs Patent Deal

Microsoft, which is on track to make billions from patent licensing deals with Android device manufacturers, signed its biggest patent deal with Samsung today.

According to the terms of the cross-licensing deal, Microsoft will get royalty revenue for every Android smartphone or tablet that Samsung sells. Considering that Samsung is the largest Android device manufacturer, this will mean some serious cash for Microsoft.

Microsoft’s General Counsel stated:

“Together with the license agreement signed last year with HTC, today’s agreement with Samsung means that the top two Android handset manufacturers in the United States have now acquired licenses to Microsoft’s patent portfolio. These two companies together accounted for more than half of all Android phones sold in the U.S. over the past year. That leaves Motorola Mobility, with which Microsoft is currently in litigation, as the only major Android smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. without a license.”

The exact licensing fee hasn’t been revealed, but it should be around $10.

The way things are going, it seems very likely that Microsoft will continue to make much more money off Android than it will by selling Windows Phone 7 licenses. It now has deals with Samsung, HTC, Acer, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, ViewSonic and some more.

With the cross-licensing deal, Samsung may also get access to some patents which it can use to defend itself against Apple’s lawsuits.

This leads us to wonder if Google’s Motorola acquisition was worth anything at all. Almost all of its device partners have already signed deals with Microsoft.

Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” Update Rolling Out Now

Microsoft has finally started rolling out its much-anticipated WP7.5 Mango update, for the first generation WP7 based phones.

WP

Majority of the WP7 (98%) will be getting the update in the next 4 weeks. Owners of HTC Surround, LG Quantum and Samsung Focus v1.3 will get the update within a month. However, owners of HD7S will need to wait a bit more since the WP7.5 Mango update for their handset is still under scheduling, while the update for the Focus (v1.4) is under testing.

Sadly, there is no confirmation whether the Dell Venue Pro will get the update or not. Microsoft also does not mention anything about the European version of the Focus, the Omnia 7.  Right now, the Mango update for the handset is still under planning. WP7 owners can check out the global Mango roll-out schedule from here.

The Wp7.5 Mango update brings many new and much-needed features to the Windows Phone Platform including Multi-tasking, front-facing camera support, Xbox Live Integration, better Social networking integration, Music search and much more. Overall, the Mango update brings more than 500 new features to existing WP7 handsets!

Once the Mango update hits a user’s phone, they need to connect their handset to a PC and fire up Zune Software for PC app, and head to the Update Central section to update the phone. Mac owners need to use Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac for the same purpose.

ZTE Announces First Windows Phone Device: ZTE Tania

When Windows Phone 7 was first launched, it was backed by four of the largest smartphone manufacturers – HTC, Samsung, LG and Dell. Since the initial launches, the excitement seemed to have died out, with very few new launches. However, when Microsoft announced the new version of Windows Phone – Mango, a lot of new devices were announced.

Many new Windows Phone 7.5 devices have already been unveiled by most major manufacturers. Today, one more joined the fray — ZTE.

ZTE initially started out as a maker of cheap Android devices, but has been launching quite a few impressive devices in the last year.

ZTE Tania – Specifications

Its first Windows Phone 7.5 device will be called the ZTE Tania. It will likely be marketed as an inexpensive Windows Phone 7.5 smartphone. It comes with a 1.GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB internal storage. It will also sport a 4.3 inch WVGA display, which is the new normal.

Other specifications include a 5 MP camera with LED flash, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS etc.

Here are some images of the ZTE Tania, courtesy XDA.cn & Pocketnow:

ZTE Tania

New Windows 8 Pre-Boot Troubleshooting Options

Windows 8 is an ambitious attempt by Microsoft to prepare Windows for the post-PC’ era. As we have discussed in our earlier coverage, Windows 8 abandons several Windows conventions in a bid to reimagine itself. One such casualty is the Safe Mode.

The Windows Safe Mode is designed to help you troubleshoot Windows, in case your system becomes unbootable due to incorrect drivers, corrupt system files, or buggy/malicious applications. Ever since its inception, the Safe Mode could be accessed by pressing F8 during Windows boot. However, in Windows 8, this is what pressing F8 will bring up.

Windows-8-Pre-Boot-Menu

In Windows 8, the troubleshooting screen has also been given the Metro treatment. Although Safe Mode doesn’t find a spot under the ‘Troubleshoot’ options, there are a couple of new options that users will find handy.

Windows-8-Troubleshoot

Reset Your PC: Selecting this option is akin to doing a factory reset. All your system settings, personalization settings, applications, and files will be removed.

Windows-8-Troubleshoot-Reset

Refresh your PC: This will keep your files and personalization settings intact, but remove any application that wasn’t installed through the Windows Store, and reset system settings.

Windows-8-Troubleshoot-Reset

Other options available through the new Metro troubleshooting interface include System Restore, System Image Recovery, Command Prompt, and Automatic Repair.

Windows-8-Troubleshoot-Advanced

Even though the Safe Mode is nowhere to be found in the new troubleshooting interface, it’s still included in Windows. To trigger it you simply have to press Shit+F8. Here’s the Windows 8 Advanced Boot options screen.

Windows-8-Troubleshoot-Safe-Mode

Mango Update Coming to Every Windows Phone 7 Device Next Week

Though I like Android a lot, there is one thing about it which I absolutely hate — the frequency of official OS updates. While the situation has improved considerably in the past couple of months, initially, almost every Android phone except the latest flagships used to run on an older version of Android, with no update in sight.

The fact that manufacturers and carriers used to screw up and complicate the update process by releasing their own customized versions of Android didn’t help much.

That’s why, when Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7, one of the things that attracted me to the platform was that every phone would run the same software with no modifications. This would ensure that each phone would get an update and that it would get it much faster than Android phones.

When it announced the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update, Microsoft said that it will be available for every Windows Phone 7 device. Today, they have confirmed their commitment to that statement.

At the Windows Phone blog, they announced that every WP7 device will be getting the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update in the next week or two. Just make sure you update your version of Zune for Windows or Windows Phone 7 connector for Mac, you’ll need it soon.

Samsung to Open Source Bada

Samsung, one of the largest Android device manufacturers, launched its own smartphone platform – Bada – in 2009. It was a huge hit in Korea, with the Samsung Wave selling millions of units there. However, it was completely overshadowed by the success of the Samsung Galaxy S, its flagship Android device.

Samsung has launched a few more Bada devices since then, and they have all seen moderate success. However, Samsung’s Android devices have been hogging all the limelight. It is now the top Android smartphone manufacturer and with good reason. Its last two major releases – the Galaxy S and Galaxy S 2 – have been the best Android phones of their times.

When Samsung launched Bada, many analysts questioned its move of launching yet another operating system when there were so many already. However, when Google acquired Motorola, it became clear that Samsung was right in hedging its bets on the Android platform with investments in other platforms like Bada and Windows Phone 7.

According to a report by the WSJ, Samsung plans to open source the Bada OS, and make it available to everyone. Android started the “open” trend, and even Nokia open sourced Symbian last year.

Samsung hopes that open sourcing Bada will help turn its fortunes and make it a popular alternative to Android and Windows Phone 7, but that strategy didn’t help Nokia much. Bada still doesn’t have as much developer support as Android, iOS or even Windows Phone 7. I doubt this move will have much of an impact on the prospects of Bada.

HTML5.com Now Redirects To Microsoft’s IE Website and Not Apple’s

Back in January 2011, I had reported that the HTML5.com was being redirected to Apple’s website by a fanboy. However, it looks like whoever was behind the site has had a change in mind or has started to believe more in Microsoft.

html5

The domain HTML5.com which earlier redirected to apple.com/html5 is now redirecting to Microsoft’s Beauty of the Web website which was launched during the launch of Internet Explorer 9.

Our tipster Phil said that the domain is now owned by Microsoft, however, I could not confirm this through the WhoIS record because the domain is behind is protected by a proxy.

However, whoever made the change definitely had a huge flip of mind from Apple to Microsoft. So is Microsoft going to gain more Apple users after introducing ? What do you think?

Thanks Phil

Microsoft to Charge 30% to Developers on Windows 8 Metro App Store

When Apple unveiled the iPhone App Store back in 2008, it was widely appreciated as an easy way for developers to get their applications to the user without having to worry about the payment backend or distribution system. Though there had been application stores before, the App Store was the first one which spawned some instant “App Store Millionaire” success stories, which attracted even more developers.

Apple charges a 30% cut of all sales proceeds on the App Store. At first, the number may seem a bit high, but when you consider the costs of setting up an efficient distribution and payments platform, as well as the reach provided by the App Store, it has turned out to be very lucrative for developers. Apple doesn’t see the App Store as a profit engine, and just makes enough to keep the engines well lubricated.

Most application stores after the App Store, like the Android Market and the Windows Marketplace have adopted the same pricing structure. Even the new Mac App Store did the same. However, Google tried to attract more developers by charging just 5% on the Chrome Web Store, which doesn’t seem to be working out that well.

Windows 8 Metro App Store

When Microsoft unveiled the developer preview of Windows 8 last week, we were wondering if Microsoft might also charge a lower percentage of sales to attract some developers to the Metro App Store and get some initial momentum. Apparently, it will be adopting the same 70-30 structure as all other major app stores. Apple Insider reveals that Microsoft plans to take a 30% cut for Metro style apps on the Metro App Store.

With the reach of Windows, and this being the first official App Store for it, we expect that developers will be flocking to the platform to develop Metro apps. After the iOS App Store, this will probably be the next best destination for developers wanting to become App Store millionaires.

Google Buys More Patents from IBM

We recently reported that Google acquired more than 1000 patents from IBM in July. Ever since Google and its partners have been hounded by heavyweights like Apple, Microsoft and Oracle, it has been trying to bulk up its patent portfolio for self-defense. It recently acquired Motorola for $12.5 billion, primarily for its massive patent portfolio. But apparently, that hasn’t been enough.

Android

Today, according to a report by SEO by the Sea, Google bought 1023 patents from IBM, in addition to its earlier purchase. Records from the USPTO indicate that the date of the acquisition was August 17, 2011.

Google recently transferred some patents to HTC, which will help it in its lawsuit against Apple. It is now taking on a more proactive role in defending its partners, which are being wooed by Microsoft to adopt its Windows Phone 7 platform.

This recent purchase includes patents related to Java, wireless patents and web and search related patents. On the surface, it looks like it could help Google against all three – Apple, Microsoft and Oracle.

IBM has traditionally possessed one of the greatest patent portfolios, while Google hardly had any, compared to Microsoft or Apple. In the last couple of months, Google has considerably added to its portfolio and now has a portfolio comparable to Microsoft.

You can check out more details about those patents here: Google and IBM do it again: Google Acquires over 1,000 Patents from IBM in August