Monday, 5 December 2016

Right click does the trick


Left click chooses, right click presents alternatives

.Following my post about Google Keep here’s a reminder of two useful Google Drive functions.

1. Text can be extracted from images in your Google Drive using right click to Open with Google Docs.
2. Upload a PDF, right click to Open with Google Docs to extract the text.

Google provides these tips to obtain the best results.
  • Resolution: Text should be at least 10 pixels in height.
  • Orientation: Documents must be right-side up. If your image is facing the wrong way, rotate it before uploading it to Google Drive.
  • Languages, fonts, and character sets: Google Drive will detect the language of the document. You'll get better results if your image includes common fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman.
  • Image quality: Sharp images with even lighting and clear contrasts work best. Blurry photos will decrease the quality of the text.
  • File size: The maximum size for images and PDF files is 2 MB.

Right click on a PDF


There are plenty of add-ons for Google Docs and Sheets. These provide extra functions. Two of my favourites in Docs are Change Case and Easy Accents seen listed here in the Add-ons menu in Google Docs. Simply choose Get add-ons to explore the wide range available.
Some Add-ons for Google Docs

Google Sheets

The Power Tools Add-on for Google Sheets adds a myriad of functions under each heading: Remove, Clear, Text, Split, Functions, Data and Convert.

Do you have favourite Add-ons in Google Docs and Sheets?

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Grab the image text

Remember that photo you took of a sign, newspaper article, page from a book?

Do you need the text to insert into a document or email?

Google Keep to the rescue. Keep is a note taking tool available for tablets, phones and on desktop computers. Once you are logged in to your Google account, it will synchronise your notes across all your devices.

On a recent trip I took lots of photos of newspaper death and funeral notices for recently deceased relatives. These recent newspapers are not available on line and I wanted to add the text to my family history database. I like to look for shortcuts to do these types of things. If I don’t need to type it all word for word, but only need to make a few corrections, that’s a bonus for me.

Here’s the process to get the text to copy and paste using a photo of an information board that I took at a scenic outlook.

Open Keep on your phone, tablet or computer. Choose the image icon on the right.
Google Keep1
  • On phone and tablet the choices are Take a photo or Choose an image
  • On computers navigate to the image and add from local folder
Once your choice has been made and the image has uploaded, click/tap on the newly created Note to open it. Choose the three dots More Menu, located bottom right side, then Grab Image Text.
The image text will appear immediately below the image. Check for corrections and adjust any line breaks needed. Now the text is ready to copy and paste to your destination.
Google Keep3
Other options at the bottom of the note are for choosing the colour of the note, picking a date and time, selecting a place, sending via share options. The menu options vary depending on the device you are using.

If you have not used Google Keep yet, here’s a quick 3 min introduction video to get you started. How to use Google Keep.

Use the powerful search options within Keep to search notes by place, colour, image, text and more.

To extract text from PDF files I use Google Drive but that’s a post for another day. 😉
How do you quickly extract text from images?

This post first appeared on

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Gestures and tips for touchpads

Mouse, trackpad, touchpad....whatever you use there are a range of options to assist your input and control on the screen. 

Head to Settings> Devices>Mouse and Touchpad to investigate the options for your preferred input. There you will find details of how the mouse/touchpad reacts to certain gestures. In Windows 10 choose  Additional mouse options to find the settings for both the mouse and your touchpad device.

Do you like to zoom in to the page you are viewing to enlarge the text or view the details in a photo? On the touchpad place two fingers close together and pinch out to enlarge. Want to return to the normal view, pinch back in. Find out which two and three finger gestures are enabled on your touchpad.

A single tap is equivalent to a left click mouse action. If the touchpad on your laptop does not have a right and left click button, explore the settings to determine the right click options.

Mouse and device settings

I've come across laptop users who complain the touchpad interferes with their typing. In Windows 10 the touchpad can be disabled in Device settings.

Windows 8 and 10 users will find two finger scrolling, three finger swipe down to minimise all open windows and the reverse action to display them again are useful additions.

touchpad options