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  • How to move Outlook Data to a new PC

    Bruce Hillyer is moving to a new PC. He asked about bringing his email, contacts, and appointments from Outlook on his old PC to Outlook on his new one.If you use Windows' Easy Transfer tool, the actual file moving should be no big deal, although I wouldn't bet the farm on it working well every time. I gave up Easy Transfer years ago, finding it easier to simply drag and drop my files over the local network. However you move the files, Outlook can be particularly tricky.I'm assuming here that your new computer has Office, and therefore Outlook, 2013 or 365. I'm also assuming that your old computer has Office 2010 or something older.[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to answer@pcworld.com.]Before you can transfer your Outlook data, you have to know where it is. Outlook keeps all of its data in one file, with a .pst extension. It's probably Outlook.pst. But where is it?If you've been using Outlook 2010, it's probably stored in an Outlook Files folder inside your Documents folder. That's a very reasonable location, and pretty much guarantees that it will be copied to the new PC.Older versions tended to store the .pst file somewhere inside the hidden appdata folder. Finding that can be tricky.Luckily, Outlook on the old PC can help. In Outlook 2010, click the File tab, then Info in the left pane. Select Account Settings and then Account Settings again. In Outlook 2007 and older versions, select Tools Options. Once there, click the Data Files button. You'll find the information you need in the resulting dialog box. Or you could click Open File Location to go right to the folder.Once you've installed Outlook onto the new PC, you'll have a fresh, clean, and empty .pst file. You'll have to import data from the old file to the new one.That means that the old file has to be accessible to the new PC. You can move it onto that PC, put it on a flash drive, or simply make the its containing folder accessible on the network.When you're ready, launch Outlook. If this is your first time launching it on this PC, go through the wizard.Once Outlook is up and running, click the File tab and select Open & Export Import/Export. In the resulting Import and Export wizard, select Import from another program or file, then Outlook Data File (.pst).On the wizard's next page, for the "File to import' option, click the Browse button and select the old .pst file. Don't worry about the other options.The next page will ask you what to import. If you want to import everything, and I assume you do, just stick with the default.When you click Finish, the wizard will go away, and the import will start. If you see no visible sign of importing, wait a few seconds; it will start soon enough.

  • The one LinkedIn profile tip everyone should know: Use Work Samples to show off your achievements

    Everyone has a LinkedIn profile now, so yours needs to stand out—and there’s one simple way to do it that a lot of people still don’t bother to do. It’s called Work Samples. It's a relatively new feature in LinkedIn (especially if you’re one of those people that doesn’t look at your profile that often—ahem!), and it can turn your profile from a plain old e-resume into a more visually rich representation of you and your best work. It takes just a few minutes to use Work Samples to spruce up your profile. Here’s how. To the left, you can see my LinkedIn profile without any work samples. To the right, the same information, but with work samples added. The samples will add color and depth to an otherwise dreadfully boring profile page. To get started, open up your profile in editing mode by clicking Profile followed by the Edit Profile button. There are three main areas where you can add work samples. The first and most important is the Summary section. You should place the works you are most proud of or your most recent work relevant to the job you’re looking for here. Most people keep the summary section near the top of their profile, as it highlights your interests and specialties and gives insight into your personality. You can also add works to your Experience and Education sections for each job and school you worked or attended, so don’t feel like you have to pack it all into the Summary. Next to the Edit link in each entry, you should see a little box with a plus sign. Click it, and you’ll see a drop-down menu that lets you add a link or file to your profile. You can add work samples to each job or school entry, as well as your profile summary. If you click Add Link, you can add a link to either a webpage or content that’s compatible with embed.ly. If you prefer to add a file, click Upload File. You’re allowed to upload files with the following extensions: .pdf.ppt.pptx.pps.ppsx.pot.potx.odp.doc.docx.rtf.odt.png.jpeg.jpg.gif If your work isn’t in one of the accepted formats, try uploading the work to an acceptable media sharing site. You can also try converting your work into a format that LinkedIn accepts. If you’re a programmer, for example, you can try copying some source code into an RTF file. To view a work sample in LinkedIn, click the work sample and a viewer similar to Facebook’s photo viewer will appear. This makes is easy for a potential employer to see your work without having to follow a dizzying path of links. Once you upload your file or paste in your URL, you’ll be given a chance to give the work a title and description. The description will appear to next to the work when it’s being viewed. If you need to alter the work’s description or title later, just click on the pencil icon next to the work’s title while editing your profile. When editing a work sample, you can change the title, the description, or which section it should be appear in. You can also re-order your works by clicking and dragging items around. To move a work to another section, click the pencil icon and select a section to move it to with the drop-down menu labeled “Move media to.” You can also remove a work sample by clicking Remove this media. When you’re done uploading and editing samples, scroll to the top of your profile and click Doneediting. Doesn’t that look better? Not only will your samples make your profile stand out, but it’ll let a hiring manager see what you can do for their company in only a few clicks.

  • How to use Outlook's auto reply features to free your vacation from email

    Nothing can put a damper on your vacation like worrying about your email. While Gmail’s auto-responder is pretty easy to set, most people use Outlook at work.I’m going to show you how to use Outlook’s Automatic Replies feature to do some of the heavy lifting while you’re away so you can take back your vacation. And avoid getting the stink-eye from friends and family while you’re at it.You’ll even be able to set it days before you leave, so you won’t be scrambling around on your last day in the office.Setting up Automatic RepliesTo get started with Outlook’s built-in autoresponder, you’ll have to set some basic options first. These settings are available in both Outlook 2013 and the Outlook 365 web app (which is handy in case you forget to set your replies before you leave).In Outlook 2013, click File Automatic Replies. A dialog will open, with the option ‘Do not send automatic replies’ selected. With the exception of editing Rules, every other option will be disabled. Select Send automatic replies to begin setting your options.The Automatic Replies dialog lets you set your away message and the length of time you will be away from the office. You can set up your replies before you leave by using the date range controls.You can get to the same option in the Outlook 365 web app. First, click Outlook on the menu bar at the top of the page. Click the gear icon in the upper-right of the page to bring down the Settings menu, and click Set automatic replies.The fastest way to get to the Automatic Replies interface on the web app is through the Settings menu by clicking the gear icon.The first option immediately below tells Outlook whether you want to turn on automatic replies indefinitely or for a certain time range. Check Only send during this time range and using the date and time fields, enter the time range you will be gone on vacation. If you leave the checkbox empty, automatic replies will continue to be be sent until you turn them off.Below the two date fields you will see two tabs in Outlook 2013: ‘Inside My Organization’ and ‘Outside My Organization.’ In the web app, both of the tabs are displayed on one page.The Automatic Replies interface on the Outlook Web application is similar to the Windows application, but lacks the ability to set rules.In the first tab, you’ll be able to craft an automatic response for everyone in your organization. That’s pretty vague, but Microsoft says that someone is considered “in your organization” if they have an Exchange Server account on your company’s email system.There are several formatting options available, so you can use the same format as your typical emails (or use funky fonts and colors to rub your vacation in your coworkers’ faces).Click the Outside My Organization tab to configure how emails from clients, contractors, or other people besides your co-workers are handled. There are two options in this tab that aren’t available in the first one.Replies to people outside of your work can be customized. Make sure only people you know find you that you’re away from home by selecting My contacts only.The first option is a checkbox for turning automatic replies on or off.The second option is a pair of radio buttons for choosing how to treat recipients of your automatic replies. If you want to reply only to people in your address book, select My Contacts only. To reply to anyone who may send you an email, select Anyone outside my organization.Note: If you select ‘Anyone outside my organization,’ you are telling Outlook to auto-respond to possibly unsolicited email. This can pose a potential security risk, alerting potentially nefarious individuals that you won’t be home for a while. Use your best judgement.When you’re done, click Apply in Outlook 2013, or Save in the web app.Next, I'm going to show you how to use rules to handle specific messages in Outlook 2013.Using rules to get some work doneNothing dissipates that post-vacation glow like a towering pile of emails. Setting rules to sort and handle emails will cut down on the dread.Note: If you plan on using rules, be sure to set them before you head to out of town, because you can’t edit them from Outlook's web app at this time. You can, however, set regular inbox rules by getting to the Automatic Replies page and clicking the Inbox Rules tab.Click the Rules… button to bring up the Automatic Reply Rules dialog. Rules for automatic replies are very similar to typical Outlook email sorting rules in function, but they offer fewer options and a different interface. To create a new rule, click Add Rule… and you’ll be presented with an Edit Rule dialog.Rules are processed in order. If a message matches one rule and is acted upon, Outlook will continue to compare that message against the the next rule in the list.To prevent this, be sure to check Do not process subsequent rules in the Edit Rule dialog.Set up your triggersIn the first text box, you’ll be able to create a rule based upon the sender(s). If, for instance, you want to handle an email from your boss a specific way, you can designate such email as a trigger.In the second text box, enter email addresses or names that you want to act upon if they are also recipients of the message. This can include groups, which can be very helpful for special processing of department-wide messages.Rules for handling automatic replies and out of office setting are very similar to regular email rules in Outlook.If you’re not sure how to spell a person’s name, you can begin typing their name and click Check Names. A dialog will appear and Outlook will list contacts similar to the name you entered.The next two checkboxes are self-explanatory: The first one targets messages where your email appears in the ‘To’ field, while the second one targets emails that list you in the ‘Cc:’ field.The last two text boxes search for keywords in the subject and body of the email,  respectively.Advanced triggersOutlook allows you to trigger rule events based on attributes of the message as well. Click Advanced… to open the Advanced dialog.The first Advanced option, for setting the message's file size as an attribute, could help if you're trying to stay below an inbox or account limit for your email. I sent a 1,000-word, plain-text email to myself. The resulting message was a mere 23KB. Images and formatted text will increase the file size significantly, of courseAdvanced rule options let you handle messages based on size, attachments or date received.The next section can set a rule for when the message is received, adding more granular control over email sorting by date. Say you were going on vacation from Aug. 20 to Sept. 10, but are expecting an email from Jill in Human Resources from Aug. 25 to Aug. 27. You can target that date range and have it forwarded to your personal email address.The next series of checkboxes allow you to target emails with attachments, by importance or by sensitivity.And… Actions!Actions tell the rule what to do with the message that meets the criteria you set. While most of the options are simple, they a still quite powerful.The Alert With action appears to be a holdover from the old rules engine. You won’t be in the office to see the alert, so this is kind of pointless.The delete action is pretty obvious, but it's worth noting that if you have a Delete action in a rule, Outlook won’t allow you to act on the message with subsequent rules after you delete it.The Move To and Copy To fields move or copy messages to specific folders that you choose, allowing you to pre-file your messages for when you return.You can forward messages to another email address, in case you really, really need to act on an email while away. You can also use the Forward field to forward a specific message to a co-worker who’s handling your workload in your absence.Finally, you can create a ‘Reply with’ action that replies to a message using a template of your choosing. This is great for creating a custom auto-reply for a specific client or co-worker.You can create rules to send personalized prewritten emails based upon receipt of certain messages.The last option, Custom, is used with plugins and scripts, so unless your organization uses them, don’t worry too much about it.With the right auto-replies and rules, you're out of excuses to spend any time peeking at your email when you’re supposed to be relaxing. Better still, you've reduced the fear of that first-day-back flood of emails to delete, delete, delete. Who knew a vacation could be so productive. 

  • Swap files between Windows and Android in 2 clicks with Pushbullet

    There are many ways to get files from your PC to a mobile Android device. One of our favorite methods around here is the super useful AirDroid for Android. But a recent feature from the free app Pushbullet for Android and iOS recently caught our attention.Pushbullet makes it ridiculously simple to transfer files from one device to another with just a few clicks. The connection between your devices is always present, meaning you don't have to reconnect every time you want to swap a picture.I wouldn't call Pushbullet a replacement or even a competitor to AirDroid though, because the two apps don't work the same way.Pushbullet doesn't give you complete access to your phone's file system like AirDroid does. Instead, it allows you to transfer files, links, notes, and messages from one device to another.If you're in front of your phone you could, say, send a picture to your PC. Once you're at your PC you could send a recently downloaded song back to your phone.So if you're already an AirDroid user, why should you use Pushbullet?For Android users, it puts all your phone's notifications on your desktop thanks to the mobile app working in concert with a desktop companion on your PC. You can see incoming phone calls, texts, alerts from your favorite news apps, email notifications, and so on. You can also disable notifications via Pushbullet on a per app basis.Pushing files with pushbulletFor this to work you need to have Pushbullet on your phone (Google Play, iTunes) and the companion desktop app running on your Windows machine. Once that's done, sign-in to both apps with your Google account, and your devices will be able to swap files via Pushbullet.Sending files via Pushbullet is as easy as a right-click.Let's say you want to move a music file stored at C:\Users\Me\Music\GroovyTune.mp3 to your phone.First, open a File Explorer window and navigate to that location. Then, just right-click the file and in the context menu you should see a heading that says 'Pushbullet.'Hover over it until a second menu opens up with the names of your devices. Choose your phone, in my case it's the LGE Nexus 4, and click.A pushbullet desktop notification.A desktop notification will pop-up to tell you the tune is uploading and that's it. Easy peasy.LimitationsAlthough Pushbullet is easy to use, the app does have its limits. For starters, you are capped at pushing files of 25 megabytes or less to your phone.You also can't move multiple files at once. The only way to get a big batch of files onto your phone at one time is to create a ZIP file of 25MB or less.Any files sent to your phone via Pushbullet are placed in the Downloads folder on Android. However, Pushbullet also keeps a record of files swapped between devices allowing you to access files and notes inside the app.Pushbullet isn't perfect for every occasion where you want your phone talking to your PC. But if you're looking for an app that lets you swap files between devices without manually creating a new connection every time, give Pushbullet a try.

  • Control your desktop, or Windows will control it for you

    Al Nagy asked how to stop Windows from rearranging the icons on his desktop.

  • Drop the Dropbox icon, and other notification area tweaks

    Of all the locations on the desktop, how often do we pay attention to the lower right corner also known as the system tray/notification area? Unless we get a pop-up notification or want to check the time, probably not much.

  • Google Docs: 3 incredibly useful tools for edits and revisions

    Google's cloud productivity suite, whatever you want to call it, has been making inroads in the world of work and collaboration. And it's not just because there's no software to install, it auto-saves your work, and it's free. The recent surge in Chromebook sales also means users are looking to get work done with web applications more than ever.

  • 0721 background Buying a new PC? Don't worry, Windows 8 is just fine.

    Jill’s planning to buy a new PC. She asked me if she should go with Windows 7 or Windows 8.

  • Get more out of the Windows Taskbar with these 3 shortcuts

    One of the best features of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 is the ability to pin apps to the Taskbar. Until Microsoft comes out with the refreshed Start menu, pinning apps is a must for Windows 8.1 users.

  • Brush up on your tech acronyms

    H. Basco asked for “a list of all the abbreviations that computer-savvy geniuses use, thinking we all KNOW what they mean!”

  • PowerPoint pro tips: Exporting to other formats

    PowerPoint is used everywhere, but it can’t be viewed or edited on every device. That’s a problem in an increasingly BYOD world, where many audience members could be wielding Android tablets instead of PCs.

  • How to create an anonymous email account

    A reader recently asked me how they could use aliases in Outlook.com to create an anonymous email account. My answer was simple: you really can’t.

  • Speed up or slow down your slideshows

    Fjjaf asked me how “to set the seconds a photo will show in Picasa until moving to the next photo.” My answer covers more than Picasa.

  • How to find anything in Evernote: 6 advanced search tips

    When it comes to taking notes, you can’t beat Evernote. With its mobile apps and browser plug-ins, it's incredibly easy to take any article, image, or other data and add it to your personal collection. It’s so easy, in fact, that it often takes less time to add a note than to decide whether you really need it. Before you know it, you've got way more info than you know what to do with.

  • Speed up or show down your slideshows

    Fjjaf asked me how “to set the seconds a photo will show in Picasa until moving to the next photo.” My answer covers more than Picasa.

  • Speed up your PC's boot time by finding the worst startup offenders

    One of the pains of Windows is how long it takes for an older PC to start up. Sometimes this can be caused by hardware problems like a faulty hard drive, but more often than not the culprits are all those programs trying to activate at boot.

  • 'Xbox One Hotel' to open in Paris
    Relaxnews - 2013-11-13 2:45 PM

    To mark the launch of its latest games console, Microsoft France will transform the Hôtel O in Paris into a space dedicated entirely to the Xbox One.

  • Most plan on starting holiday shopping earlyMost plan on starting holiday shopping early
    thecanadianpress.com - 2013-11-04 5:15 PM

    Nearly three-quarters of Canadians recently polled say they plan to start their holiday shopping early this year, and will use the Internet to check and compare prices before buying gifts, two holiday retail studies suggest.

  • Five things you must do to prepare for the end of BlackBerryFive things you must do to prepare for the end of BlackBerry

    With BlackBerry on life support, it’s time to accept the likelihood that there won’t be a BlackBerry a year from now