Charge your phone faster

Want your phone to charge faster? Turning off wireless or turning on “Airplane Mode” uses less battery power and allows your phone to charge more quickly. You can also use this technique to preserve your battery power when you’re running low.

Convert scanned documents to editable text

OCRIf you need a physical document scanned and turned into text, don’t type it up yourself! Online OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is a free service that will convert PDFs and other image files (TIF, JPG, PNG, GIF) to editable Word, Text and Excel formats.

Just upload your file, choose the format you would like, and the program will convert it so you can download the editable version.

Try Free Online OCR now »

Create automated backups of Word files

Microsoft WordSometimes Word files can get corrupted or accidentally deleted. If you write in Word a lot, it might make sense to keep backup copies of your documents just in case. Word has a built in feature to automate this process. Once enabled, it will generate a backup (duplicate) file in the same directory every time you save your document.

Mac:

  • Go to Word > Preferences > Save.
  • Check the Always create backup copy.
  • Click OK.

PC:

  • Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
  • Click Advanced.
  • Scroll to the Save section, and then select the Always create backup copy check box.

Read more on how to save and restore backups.

Remove Word formatting

Microsoft Word is great for writing and formatting text. But sometimes you want to copy that text into another program (an email, your website) without including the formatting (i.e. font size, color, margins). The easiest way to do this is to open up Notepad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac) and paste your text in a new document. Next, copy your text from the new document. When you paste it again, the formatting will be removed.

Sharing screenshots easily

I’ve previously discussed a few services for sharing photos and files and how to take screenshotsCloudApp is a neat, free app I’ve discovered that not only makes it easy to share files, but even easier to share images of your screen.

Once you install it, make sure the “Autoupload Screenshots” option is checked in the menu. When you capture a new screenshot, Cloudapp will upload it automatically to their website, and the link to the image will be copied to your clipboard so you can paste it into an email or chat window.

Download it here

Remap keys on your keyboard

If you are using a Windows keyboard with your Mac, the default placement of the Control, Option and Command keys might not be ideal. You can easily change the defaults for any attached keyboard in your System Preferences:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Go to Keyboard
  3. In the lower right-hand corner click the Modifier Keys button
  4. Select the right keyboard, make your changes, and hit OK

Prevent iTunes from auto-playing videos on shuffle

Do you ever listen to your iTunes library on shuffle only to have a music video pop-up instead of a song? Here is a simple hack to allow a seamless music listening experience.

  1. Go to File > New > Smart Playlist
  2. Change “Artist” to “Media Kind”. Then it should read “is Music”
  3. Click OK

You’ll see a new Smart Playlist in the left column. You can rename it if you like. Since it’s a “Smart” Playlist, it will automatically add new audio files anytime you add new songs to your library. Next time you want to listen to your library on shuffle, just play this playlist instead and you will avoid obnoxious video pop-ups!

Gmail templates

Do you find yourself typing certain types of email messages over and over? Gmail Labs has a feature that lets you quickly send out common messages using templates you create.

Go to Settings > Labs and search for Canned Responses. Enable the feature and click Save Changes.

Compose a new email message you want to use in the future, click on the More Options arrow next to the Trash button, and go to Canned Responses > New Canned Response. Type in a title for your message and click OK. (You can close the compose window and delete the draft message you just created.)

In the future, create a new email draft, click on Canned Responses and choose the template you created. Your template will be inserted into your draft and you can edit it or just send away!

If you’d like to edit your template, insert the Canned Response into a new email draft as described above, then select your template name under Canned Responses > Save. This will overwrite your previous template.