Microsoft releases new updates to Windows 10 every second Tuesday of each month. In this article, we will list down all the updates released in 2017. All the links are offline installer links to the updates. Enjoy the latest updates in this post:
This category will provide you with all the tips and trick, softwares and utilities that Microsoft releases from time to time. We also cover direct download links to the popular software like Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows etc.
Microsoft Excel is the best spreadsheet program available now. I am used to using the sort function for columns. This helps me sort any type of data according to my will.
Last time, I was working with Technize.net backlink profile and wanted to sort the data by multiple columns. If you are using Excel 2013, it is very easy to sort by a single column.
Just select the column by clicking on the letter (A, B, C, D etc.)
- And click on ‘Sort & Filter’ menu under Home ribbon
Select an appropriate sorting option (sorting from highest to lowest or lowest to highest etc.)
It will give you a warning whether you want to expand your selection or only sort the single column. In most cases, we will need to expand our selection.
Sort by multiple columns of data in Excel
If you want to sort by multiple columns of data in Excel, you can follow the steps below:
In my example, I will sort my data first by PR of the main site and then mozTrust of the site.
- Make sure you do not have any column selected in the spreadsheet
- Press the Sort & Filter button in the Home ribbon tab and select ‘Custom sort’.
- This should automatically select the spreadsheet data and will give you a sort window.
First you will need to give the primary column by which you want to sort
- After adding the primary column, press the ‘Add level’ button which should add another row for selecting secondary sorting column.
You can add as many levels as you like. Excel will sort according to each level one by one such that the previous sorting is not disturbed.
Microsoft Office is the most popular productivity suite with almost no competitor. The latest version of Microsoft Office 2013 or Office 365 is a sleek combination of different apps including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote etc.
In this article, we will discuss about each Office app and their corresponding alternatives. Let’s start with the complete Office suite.
Microsoft Office Suite alternatives
I have tried many alternatives but am still very much comfortable with Microsoft Office 2013. A combination of alternatives may work together to fill the feature gap of the complete suite. Some alternatives are given below:
LibreOffice is a free office suite which can open documents made in Microsoft Office apps. It is available for all Operating Systems. It is also available in a large number of languages so you can customize the language of the suite. LibreOffice is open-source, free to download, use and distribute.
Apache OpenOffice is one of the very popular alternatives to Microsoft Office suite. It is used by Linux and the open-source community as the default Office suite. It comes with the same alternatives to Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc. but with different names.
Kingsoft Office Suite is a very small and slim alternative to Microsoft Office. The total size of installation is less than 50 MB. Since it is very light weight, you do not have to compromise on your system performance while using Kingsoft Office. Microsoft Office is known to be a memory hog and takes a lot of computing resources while running. Kingsoft Office is available for Windows, Android and Linux.
SoftMaker Office is my favorite suite which I use regularly as an alternative to Microsoft Office. While it does not fully replace Microsoft Office, but it can serve the purpose by providing simple and effective tools. SoftMaker Office is available for Windows, Windows Phone, Android and Linux.
Windows Event Viewer is a tool that stores a log of applications and system messages. This log contains errors, warnings and the system messages that can help you reach the root cause of any unpredictable behavior of your system.
Working with Event Viewer
You can launch event viewer from the Desktop by pressing the “Win +X + V‘ in Windows 8. There are three panes in Event Viewer: Console tree, Event Viewer and Actions pane.
Console tree displays the types of logs that you can view. You may understand ‘Console Tree’ as a ‘Log Explorer’.
The middle pane is the Event Viewer which gives an overview of logs. It is the same pane in which you will find detailed log information, errors and warnings. Actions pane allow you to play with the way you view information and some other important tasks, which we will cover soon.
- Go to View -> Customize.
- Customize View Dialog box appears with every option mentioned next to a check box. You can check amongst the list to select the options which should be displayed.
Sorting Event Logs
Sorting is a useful technique which displays data in a more readable form. We can apply sorting to event logs on the basis of level, source, task id,category, time and date. If you want to track a particular event, sort the event log w.r.t event id. To apply sorting:
- Select any event log.
- Go to View -> Sort by -> Level.
However there’s one limitation that it arranges the log according to the specific category but displays the complete list. If you want to see few records of your interest, you may have to create a custom view.
Creating custom views
Now lets talk about creating the custom views in the Windows Event Viewer. You can create and save multiple custom views to monitor different logs. Creating custom views with Windows Event Viewer is a simple procedure.
- Go to Action Pane –> Create Custom View
- You can now specify the multiple filtering criteria to track any event
- You can select only one event log or multiple event logs and the event sources from the drop down list
- You can also specify any particular event id and the users who can view the filtered result
Press Ok –> Give a name and save the view
You may notice your newly created view in the console tree
Custom views can be saved, imported and exported easily using the options in the Action Pane. You may also change the criterion to display a log.
- Select the required custom view
- In the Action Pane –> Filter current custom view
- It will open the custom view settings which can be changed
Attaching a task to an event
‘Task Scheduler’ is a tool that enables you to create scheduled and unscheduled tasks that could perform a specific action at a particular time or as a response to any event.
You may also create a basic task directly from the Event Viewer. Let’s say, you want to run a particular application whenever you log in.
- Select the event
- In the Action pane –> Select ‘Attach task to this event’
- It will open create a basic task wizard
- Give a proper name and description to the task
- The event details are already filled by default
- Now select an action you want to perform when the event takes place. You can start any program, send an email or display a message
- Finish step will display the task details. You can go back if anything goes wrong, else click finish
Event Viewer can be a great tool for troubleshooting apps and Operating System crashes. You only need to use it correctly. Hopefully this tutorial will help you make better use of Windows Event Viewer.
Microsoft Update Catalog provides downloads of Microsoft updates, drivers, hotfixes etc. which can be distributed and installed over corporate network. If you want to download updates of your Microsoft software for offline usage, Microsoft Update Catalog can be useful for you.
Go to Microsoft Update Catalog for searching for your required updates. The site will only open properly in Internet Explorer. If you try to open it in another browser, you will get the following error:
Searching for updates on Microsoft Update Catalog is a tough ask. If you search for a particular file using some keywords, you will not be able to get to the correct download easily. It will be better if you search for the exact file name.
Microsoft Update Catalog page contains an FAQ link which answers most of the queries. Although if you are running a corporate network, you should be better off with WSUS server which downloads most of the updates for offline network installation, there are some situations where downloading updates and fixes from Microsoft Update catalog will be beneficial. According to the FAQ:
- Many updates are already available to you using the synchronizing capability in WSUS, SCE, and SCCM. Security updates, critical updates, service packs, update rollups, definition updates, and critical drivers can be configured to synchronize with your server automatically. You can still import these updates into your application by using Microsoft Update Catalog; however, depending on how you configure WSUS, SCE, and SCCM, you may not need to import the updates.
- Some updates require users to accept Microsoft Software License Terms or perform other update-specific installation steps. These updates can be imported, but you will be warned while importing them that they may require additional administrative support. For example, because updates require additional user interaction, the user can cancel the installation; the updates cannot be installed automatically at a scheduled time.
- Some updates are not compatible with the version of WSUS you are running. Additionally, some updates may not have the needed applicability information (in other words, the logic that determines whether an update should be installed). These types of updates cannot be imported.
Microsoft Update Catalog can be useful only for corporate networks where network administrators have to download and manually install updates on certain systems like highly secured servers etc. For home users, it is still recommended that they use automatic Windows updates.
I wonder why Windows Update product team blog has not been updated for more than a year.
Microsoft brings in the concept of a redesigned user interface with the launch of Windows 8. The Start Menu has been replaced by Start Screen. This interface contains the apps and programs in the form of tiles.
You can customize the Start Screen by selecting the apps to be displayed and changing their sizes. Group the apps of the same category together or unpin any app from it.
This brings us to the concept of the Windows Store and the Desktop apps in Windows 8. Windows Store apps are the newer apps which are developed specifically for the Windows 8 interface.
Pin favorite apps and places to Start Screen
Let us start with the first step of pinning any app to start screen. There is a huge collection of apps in Windows 8 and you will definitely not wish to clutter your Start with irrelevant apps. So, make a choice of the apps you will keep on the Start Screen.
- Press Windows Key + Q to open the All Apps
- Right click on the app
- A bar will appear at the bottom
- Select ‘Pin to Start’
- Your app is successfully pinned
After viewing so many apps you may be thinking that you can pin only Windows Store or Desktop apps on the ‘Start’ interface. Let me tell you that you can pin any file, folder or program to ‘Start’ without getting into any technicalities.
- Press ‘Windows + E’ to open Windows Explorer
- Select the file, folder or program to be pinned
- Right click and select ‘Pin to Start’
Change tile size and set tiles
You can also customize the Start Screen by arranging the tiles. You can drag and drop the tiles and arrange them as you like. As discussed above, desktop apps don’t provide any customizable option. However, you can change the tile size of Windows Store Apps.
- Right click on the Windows Store app tile
- The options menu appears at the bottom
- I have selected the ‘News’ app which is a larger tile so the ‘smaller’ option is displayed
- Similarly, if you select a smaller tile, it will display the option of ‘larger’
- Click on ‘smaller’ or ‘larger’ to change the tile size
Unpin apps and places from Start Screen
Just like you pin your favorite apps to Start UI, you have the complete freedom to unpin them as soon as they drop out of your interests.
- Right click on the app tile
- Select ‘Unpin from Start’
- You may like to un-install any app directly by selecting the ‘Uninstall’ option
Switching quickly from one app to another
Windows 8 open Windows Store apps in the full screen mode. Since there is no taskbar at the bottom so you cannot switch between apps as you can do with Desktop apps. So, how to switch quickly from one app to another? Oh yes, the combination ‘Alt + tab’ stands valid in windows 8. But, we have another simple way:
- Move your mouse to the top-left corner of the screen
- You will see a thumbnail of any opened app
- Place your mouse properly and a panel will appear containing thumbnails of all opened apps
- Click on any thumbnail and switch to that app
Close a Windows Store app
Closing Windows Store apps is a little different than closing Desktop apps because there is not X button at the top as Windows Store apps always run in full screen mode. To close Windows Store apps, do the following:
- Move your mouse to the top left corner to see the thumbnails of apps in panel
- Select the app and right click to close it
We hope that these simple tips will help you manage your apps much effectively. Are you facing any problem in handling apps of Windows 8?
You may also like to read: How to access files, folders and programs quickly.
There are several ways to open or run a file in Windows. You can double-click the file to open it or use the Run command box. You can also use command prompt to open the file. Sometimes it happens that when we manually enter the full path and filename in command prompt, the file doesn’t open or the program doesn’t run.
Usually when we want to open a file in another program (which Windows recognizes), we use the “start” command before the file path and filename to open the file. Here is the syntax of opening a text file:
But when it comes to filenames with spaces, Windows will only take the first word and search for that name. And if it doesn’t find the filename, it will give the following error:
I have been double quote at the start and end of the filename to open the file.
C:\>start "sample text file.txt"
But sometimes this doesn’t work. Windows will still take the first word i.e., sample as filename and search for it in the specified folder path.
You can also try out the following syntax which I have used successfully to open files through command line:
C:\>start "sample text file".txt
If one option doesn’t work, you can try out the next one and most probably one of the options discussed above will work. I’m not sure why but this is Windows behavior. Different versions of DOS interpret filenames differently and this causes confusion on how to write the correct syntax of filenames with spaces.
If you remember that Skype 6.5 had been released with video messaging support. That was a major feature update. But now Microsoft has released Skype 6.6 which enhances the existing features. Video messaging feature has been optimized further.
Skype 6.6 is a minor update which concentrates on ensuring consistent user experience on every device Skype is installed. You can right-click any Skype contact and select “Send Video message” to record and send a video message. A maximum of 3 minutes of video message can be recorded.
Apart from the video messaging enhancement features, 7 issues have been resolved. Here’s the list of resolved features:
Screen share: Doesn’t work when restarted a second time for users on 6.1 version.
Video messaging: Cannot playback video on Windows XP
Hanging: Client hangs when hovering over heart emoticon
Crashing: Skype crashes when resuming PC from sleep
File sharing: After cancelling transfer by recipient, cancelled transfer is not shown to sender
Lync contacts: After adding phone number to a Lync contact, information is not shown in their profile
Video calling: Changing camera stops video call in progress
Skype 22.214.171.124 can be downloaded from the following direct download links:
Skype for Windows Desktop 6.6: SkypeSetup.exe
Skype for Mac 6.6: Skype_126.96.36.1997.dmg
The Ribbon interface was introduced in Office 2007 but the new Office 2013 takes the Ribbon interface to the next level. Microsoft has introduced features like creating custom tab in Office 2013 in addition to the standard tabs which we get when we open any Office app.
In this article, we will create a custom Tab in Office 2013. A tab consists of ‘Groups’ and ‘Commands’. A command is a standalone function that is used to perform any task like spell and grammar check, thesaurus or word count etc.
Related commands make a group. For example, spell checker, thesaurus and word count make group named ‘Proofing’. Proofing, language, tracking, comments, changes, compare and protect groups combine together to make a ‘Review Tab‘ .
So we can conclude that different commands make a Group and different groups make a ‘Tab’. For quickly going through all the process visually, you can go through this video:
Add a Custom Tab to Ribbon Bar
- Right click on the Ribbon and Select Customize Ribbon.
- Or Go to File -> Options -> Customize Ribbon.
- Select ‘New Tab’ under ‘Customize the Ribbon’ pane.
- You will see a custom tab will be added with the name ‘New Tab’ (Custom).
- Select the newly created tab and click on ‘Rename’ to give your tab a proper name.
- Now, you can add groups and commands to your Custom Tab.
Adding Groups to Custom Tab
You can add groups to your custom tab, by:
- Go to File -> Options -> Customize Ribbon.
- In Customize the Ribbon pane, find your Custom Tab and select ‘New Group’.
- It will create a new group in the tab.
- Select Rename to label your groups and associate a symbol with them.
You can add a group from any other Tab to your Custom Tab.
Hold the ‘Group’, drag and drop into the Custom Tab.
Adding Commands to the Custom Groups
Now it is time to add commands to the custom groups. I will recommend you to select ‘All Commands’ from the drop down list of ‘Choose commands from’ so that you can browse through all the available commands. You may be surprised to see the long list of commands that you have never used before. To add a command to any group:
Select the group.
- Select the command and click ‘Add’.
Similarly, you can remove any command by:
- Select the command and click ‘Remove’.
You may now check that a Custom Tab has been added with your specified groups and commands.
Backup Your Custom Tabs in Office 2013
An interesting feature about ribbon customizations is that you can export your customizations as a file. You may import this file and take with you anywhere, to apply on different systems you are using. To backup your customizations:
- Go to Ribbon customization -> Import/Export .
- Save your file with appropriate name.
You may also import a customization file using the Import options. You will be prompted to select ‘Yes’, if you want to replace the exisiting customizations with the new file.
Remove the Customizations
When we mess up with any gadget’s settings and get stuck somewhere, we tend to ‘Restore’ it to the factory settings. Similarly, if you want to remove all the customizations at once, you can do it by a simple reset.
In the bottom of the Ribbon Customization window, you will find options related to customization.
Select Reset -> Reset all customizations.
All the customizations will be removed!
That’s it! It is really simple to create a custom tab and add your needed functions to it within seconds. I have planned to create a tab with the frequently used format, insert picture, print and review options in my tab. What are your plans for the custom tab?
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a network protocol to transfer files from one computer to another, server and a client. The default port number designated to FTP protocol is 21. The port for secure FTP (sFTP) is 22. In this article we will discuss about using FTP from command line to transfer files quickly without downloading any software.
Sometimes we are in a hurry and we want to instantly transfer one file from one computer to another. If the target computer has a FTP server installed in it, we can easily transfer the file using FTP protocol.
Using Windows built-in FTP
Windows comes with a built-in command line FTP client. You can run the FTP client through command prompt. To start the FTP client, go to cmd and issue the “ftp” command. This will change the prompt to ftp>. Now you can issue FTP commands and type ‘quit’ when done.
To connect to the server, run the following command:
You can also use command line switches with this command. It supports the following switches:
-v Suppresses display of remote server responses.
-n Suppresses auto-login upon initial connection.
-i Turns off interactive prompting during multiple file transfers.
-d Enables debugging.
-g Disables filename globbing
-s:filename Specifies a text file containing FTP commands; the commands will automatically run after FTP starts.
-a Use any local interface when binding data connection.
-A login as anonymous.
-x:send sockbuf Overrides the default SO_SNDBUF size of 8192.
-r:recv sockbuf Overrides the default SO_RCVBUF size of 8192.
-b:async count Overrides the default async count of 3
-w:windowsize Overrides the default transfer buffer size of 65535.
All these commands can be displayed by using /? operator along with the ftp command.
Now let’s take an example of how to transfer a file using this FTP command line utility. Here are the commands:
To transfer from client to server:
ftp> put local_file remote_file
ftp> mput local_files
To transfer from server to client:
ftp> get remote_file local_file
ftp> mget remote_files
To delete a file from the FTP server:
ftp> delete remote_file
ftp> mdelete remote_files
Here’s a video which tells us about using FTP from Windows Explorer (although using Windows XP, it’s good for Windows 7 and Windows 8 too).
These are the basic commands that you can use to run the FTP client from command line. If you are a GUI lover, you can use FileZilla for transferring files visually. FileZilla also comes with a handy list of command line arguments but in my opinion FileZilla’s command line options are fairly limited.