Make Win­dows Bet­ter Tell your PC to shut down

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WIN­DOWS 10 Shut down your PC us­ing your voice

One of the lesser-known fea­tures of Mi­crosoft’s per­sonal voice as­sis­tant Cor­tana is the abil­ity to switch off, restart, sign out of and lock your PC. To ex­e­cute these voice com­mands, you first need to en­sure that Cor­tana is en­abled.

Open the Set­tings app, then click Cor­tana. Here, click the Hey Cor­tana slider to switch it on (see screenshot be­low). The slid­ers be­low (‘Key­board short­cut’ and ‘Lock Screen’) let you launch Cor­tana by press­ing Win­dows key+c, and use it when your PC is locked.

To tell your PC what to do, open Cor­tana by say­ing ‘Hey Cor­tana’ or by us­ing the key­board short­cut, then say ‘Hey Cor­tana, shut down/sign out of/ restart/lock my PC’. Cor­tana will prompt you to con­firm the ac­tion. Say ‘Yes’. If you switch on the Lock Screen slider, you can carry out these voice com­mands when your PC is locked.

WIN­DOWS 10 Copy and paste PDF text us­ing Mi­crosoft Edge

There are sev­eral free nonMi­crosoft pro­grams that let you copy text from PDFS, but if you use Win­dows 10, you can do this us­ing Mi­crosoft’s browser Edge.

Right-click the rel­e­vant PDF, move your cur­sor to ‘Open with’, then click Mi­crosoft Edge. Now se­lect the text you want to copy and you’ll see a pop-up menu with four icons (see screenshot be­low).

The first icon is used to high­light the se­lected text, the sec­ond icon to write an

an­no­tated note be­side it, and the fourth icon to run a Cor­tana or web search for the text. Click the third icon to copy your se­lected text. You can then open the pro­gram you want to copy it to and paste it.

WIN­DOWS 8.1, 10 Save your ar­ti­cles be­fore the Read­ing List app dis­ap­pears

Win­dows 8.1 in­tro­duced a built-in Read­ing List app that let you save web ar­ti­cles to read later (even when off­line). This app is in­cluded in Win­dows 10, but when you open it now, you’ll see an ‘End­ing sup­port for this app’ mes­sage. Click the ‘Tell me more’ link next to the mes­sage and you’ll see ad­vice to save your read­ing list to Onenote or to your email ac­count. At present, there’s no in­di­ca­tion ex­actly when the app will be dis­con­tin­ued, but it’s a good idea to back up any un­read ar­ti­cles in the app.

To do this, press Ctrl, then se­lect an ar­ti­cle in the list. Next, click ‘Se­lect all’ at the bot­tom, the three lines at the top left (see screenshot above), Share, then se­lect Mail or Onenote.

Al­ter­na­tively, you can click ‘Get apps in Store’ to look for other email and note­tak­ing apps to save your ar­ti­cles to.

ONENOTE Link to other pages or sec­tions quickly

It can be very use­ful to link one sec­tion or page to an­other within the same note­book in Onenote – and now there’s a very quick way to do this.

For ex­am­ple, to link to a page or sec­tion in the same note­book that’s headed ‘Things To Do’, sim­ply type [[Things To Do]] – us­ing dou­ble square brack­ets. The words ‘Things To Do’ (with­out the brack­ets) will ap­pear as a click­able link to that sec­tion.

LI­BREOF­FICE CALC Colour-code num­bers for quicker iden­ti­fi­ca­tion

If you’re cre­at­ing a Li­breof­fice Calc sheet, there’s an easy way to add gra­di­ents of colours to a col­umn of num­bers to dis­tin­guish val­ues at a glance.

For ex­am­ple, you can ap­ply Calc’s de­fault colours of red to lower val­ues, yel­low to mid-range val­ues and green to higher val­ues (see screenshot be­low). To do this, high­light the cells you want to colour-code. Next, click the For­mat tab, move your cur­sor to Con­di­tional For­mat­ting, then click Color Scale.

Here, you’ll see three drop­down menus for low val­ues (on the left), mid-range val­ues (in the mid­dle) and high num­bers (on the right). As men­tioned the de­fault colours are red, yel­low and green, but you can change these to more ap­pro­pri­ate shades us­ing the colour drop­down menus at the bot­tom of each sec­tion. For ex­am­ple, choose a lighter shade for lower val­ues, a mid-tone shade for mid-range val­ues and darker shades for higher val­ues. Click OK to ap­ply your colours.

MI­CROSOFT OF­FICE Add tool tips to links

You may know how to hy­per­link text within Of­fice doc­u­ments, but did you know you can also add tool tips that ap­pear when you move your cur­sor to any link? This is use­ful for let­ting peo­ple know the name of the web­site the link con­nects to. We’ll show you how to do this us­ing Word, but this tip also ap­plies to Ex­cel and Pow­er­point.

Se­lect the text you want to link, then press Ctrl+k to open the In­sert Hy­per­link pop-up win­dow. Here, you’ll see your se­lected text in the ‘Text to dis­play’ field at the top. At the bot­tom, type or paste the URL you want to link to. Next, click the Screen­tip but­ton (see screenshot above), type the text you want to ap­pear in the tool tip when you hover over the link, then click OK twice.

From now on, when­ever you move your cur­sor to the link, you’ll see the text you typed in a small pop-up box. Press Ctrl, then click the link to go to that web­site.

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