Zen and the Art of File and Folder Organization

Is your desktop a paragon of neatness, or is it overflowing with so many icons that you’re scared to look at it? If you’ve been putting off getting organized because the task is too huge or daunting, or you don’t know where to start, we’ve got 40 tips to get you on the path to zen mastery of your digital filing system.

Use Those Extra Mouse Buttons to Increase Efficiency

Did you know that the most commonly used mouse actions are clicking a window’s “Close” button (the X in the top-right corner), and clicking the “Back” button (in a browser and various other programs)?  How much time do you spend every day locating the Close button or the Back button with your mouse so that you can click on them?  And what about that mouse you’re using – how many buttons does it have, besides the two main ones?  Most mouses these days have at least four (including the scroll-wheel, which a lot of people don’t realize is also a button as well).  Why not assign those extra buttons to your most common mouse actions, and save yourself a bundle of mousing-around time every day?

VLOOKUP in Excel, part 2: Using VLOOKUP without a database

In a recent article, we introduced the Excel function called VLOOKUP and explained how it could be used to retrieve information from a database into a cell in a local worksheet.  In that article we mentioned that there were two uses for VLOOKUP, and only one of them dealt with querying databases.  In this article, the second and final in the VLOOKUP series, we examine this other, lesser known use for the VLOOKUP function.

Working with Pivot Tables in Microsoft Excel

PivotTables are one of the most powerful features of Microsoft Excel.  They allow large amounts of data to be analyzed and summarized in just a few mouse clicks. In this article, we explore PivotTables, understand what they are, and learn how to create and customize them.

Use Autoruns to Manually Clean an Infected PC

There are many anti-malware programs out there that will clean your system of nasties, but what happens if you’re not able to use such a program?  Autoruns, from SysInternals (recently acquired by Microsoft), is indispensable when removing malware manually.

Back Up a Complete Vista PC Across a Network Using wbadmin

Compared to the backup tools that come with previous versions of Windows, Vista’s Backup and Restore Center, is a delight – except for one small problem:  It can’t do a complete system (image) backup to another computer on the network.  In this article we learn a workaround to this limitation.