Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Trying to save PDFs from Excel 2007 ?

My old PDF printer driver wasn't reproducing the document properly and I spent ages trying to find a good free one because that was the old way to do things.

Until that is, I discovered that Microsoft have a free add-in. Of course you need a valid licence to download it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Select All in Word and Excel 2007

There are a number of little user interface quirks to get used to when moving to Word and Excel 2007.

One is the old "select all" function which seems to have been overlooked by Microsoft.

The easiest way, I've found is to use shortcut keys - specifically "CTRL+A".

Then copy and paste using CTRL+V and CTRL+C.

The only other way is to use the ribbon. Unfortunately this useful function is now hidden on the far right of the "Home" ribbon (which is a bit of a catch all and not really well thought through). If you click "Find & Select", there is the option to "Select Objects" (which doesn't mean much to me). Unfortunately it can be a bit tricky to select everything this way.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A freeware screencasting alternative to Camtasia Studio

I do a lot of screencasting and in the past, I've used trials of Camtasia Studio to create demonstration videos for software.

Problem is that Camtasia is very expensive. I've also found it to crash on some computers.

Well I've been using CamStudio recently and I can say that it is very good, in combination that is with other programs such as Windows Movie Maker.

There are a few limitations in CamStudio that I have found that you should be aware of. One is that I like to use digital zoom and pan. You won't find that in free screencasting software yet, however. Camtasia in comparison has a lot of built in movie producing stuff, which personally I find to be a bit of overkill. Windows Movie Maker is pretty good for that sort of thing. The concept of CamStudio is simple - just do one thing and do it well. And that thing is recording what is happening on screen.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Media Monkey digital Media Player kicks some butt

I don't know why, but I'd been using Apple iTunes as a digital media player for so long, I never questioned it.

In the old days, I was a big fan of Winamp. Especially getting into its visualisation plug-ins, skins and format compatibility.

At one point I started using iTunes. I think it just became a pseudo standard. It was easier to import music and plug in to my Sony Walkman MP3 player for a start.
But I always found that iTunes to be limiting in visualisations, and it generally got bloated, slow, incompatible and unusable. I got sick of the ads in the interface.

Recently I've discovered Media Monkey. Not sure why it took so long, because it is not only faster, but it offers a lot of the features that I used to like about Winamp, but takes it to a whole new level. I'd definitely recommend looking at it at least.

If I haven't made your mind up for you, then check out this blog which provides a pretty decent and detailed comparison between the products (there is also a wikipedia article, "Comparison of Media Players", but there are so many on their list unless you have the time I would much prefer to cut straight to the chase).