Macros in Microsoft Office programs allow you to automate repetitive tasks, but some macros can be dangerous. Macros are bits of computer code and they’re infamous for containing malware that will infect your computer if you run them. Microsoft Office protects you from files containing macros by default. When you open a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file containing macros (.docm, .xlsm, or .pptm, respectively), a Security Warning message displays below the ribbon in the program telling you that macros have been disabled. If, and only if, you know the document came from a trusted source, you can click the “Enable Content” button on the Security Warning message to enable the macros in that document. RELATED: Macros Explained: Why Microsoft Office Files Can Be Dangerous If you know what you’re doing, and you don’t want to see that message every time you open an Office document, you can disable it. We’ll show you how to disable the message without compromising the security … [Read more...] about How to Disable the Security Warning Message Bar in Microsoft Office Programs
As its name implies, the “Developer” tab in Office programs allows you to create applications to use with Office programs, write macros, run macros you previously recorded, use XML commands and ActiveX controls, use form controls, and is not available by default. Even if you are not a developer, you may want to work with document templates in Word, add some form controls to your document in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, customize the Office programs using macros, or use a custom form in Outlook. All of these tasks require the “Developer” tab and we’ll show you how to activate it. NOTE: We used Word 2013 to illustrate this feature, but the “Developer” tab is available in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Publisher and is activated in the same way. To begin, right-click on an empty spot on the ribbon and select “Customize the Ribbon” from the popup menu. The “Customize the Ribbon and keyboard shortcuts” screen on the “Word Options” dialog box displays. NOTE: You can also … [Read more...] about How to Show the Developer Tab on the Ribbon in Office Programs
All Windows 10 PCs have “Game Mode” enabled by default. Microsoft once touted this feature, but it’s now faded into the background. Bizarrely, some people report that disabling Game Mode boosts the performance of certain PC games! What Does “Game Mode” Do on Windows 10? First introduced in Windows 10’s Creators Update , which was released back in April 2017, “ Game Mode ” promises to boost the performance of many PC games. Here’s the official description: Microsoft says that Game Mode “helps achieve a more stable frame rate depending on the specific game and system.” Technically, it works by detecting games and giving them priority access to your computer’s resources. The game you’re focused on playing gets more CPU and GPU resources, while other applications and background processes get fewer resources. This only works if Windows 10 detects that you’re playing a game. Microsoft’s limited explanation of Game Mode also says that, in Game Mode, Windows Update won’t … [Read more...] about Did You Know? Windows 10 PCs Have “Game Mode” on by Default
If you’ve ever used a computer, you’ve probably seen it: A grid of numbers and mathematical operators on the far-right side of a keyboard. It’s a numeric keypad—but how did it get there, and why is it laid out the way it is? Let’s explore its origins. It’s All About the Math Computers have numeric keypads because they make repetitive data entry easier. They allow you to type numbers and perform mathematical operations rapidly, with only one hand. The modern design of numeric keypads may seem obvious today, but it is the product of decades of refinement in adding machine technology, most of which took place over 100 years ago. The modern numeric keypad layout—sometimes called a “tenkey” layout—can trace its roots back to David Sundstrand, whose company released the first commercial tenkey mechanical adding machine in 1914. In Sundstrand’s adding machine key layout, you can see the rudiments of now-standard setup: ten numeral keys, arranged in three rows of three with the … [Read more...] about Where Did the Numeric Keypads on PC Keyboards Come From?
People use VPNs to protect their privacy from hackers, ISPs, and data thieves. But do VPNs themselves collect your browsing data and sell it to third parties? Here’s what you need to know. Here’s the main point: You’re placing an immense amount of trust in the VPN provider you use. Choose carefully! Do you trust your VPN provider more than your internet service provider? VPNs Can Track You, and They Might The main selling point of using Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs , is to protect your privacy. They prevent attacks from malicious hackers, stop your internet service provider (ISP) from peeking at your traffic, and mask your information to websites that may collect your personal data. While these claims are generally true, there is one party that you should still be cautious about: the VPN companies themselves. Before we get into how a VPN may track your browsing data, we’ll explain how a VPN works . A VPN essentially routes your internet connection, provided by … [Read more...] about Do VPN Companies Track Your Browsing Data?
On Windows 10, Windows Update may sometimes offer you an “Optional Quality Update.” Unlike other updates, Windows won’t automatically install these—so what exactly are they? Should you install them? Windows Update Won’t Automatically Install These An “optional quality update” is a Windows update that you don’t have to install immediately . These never include security fixes—if an important security patch is available, Windows Update will install it without waiting. However, some updates are optional. These fix stability issues and other problems in Windows. Some of these may be optional hardware driver updates . You have the choice of whether or not to install these—it’s up to you. What Is a “Cumulative Update Preview”? One of the most common optional quality updates is a “cumulative update preview.” Microsoft releases cumulative updates once a month on Patch Tuesday , which is the second Tuesday of each month. These updates bundle a large number of fixes for … [Read more...] about What Is an “Optional Quality Update” on Windows 10?