When copying rich-text from a web page, Word document, e-mail, or other program the formatting of that text will remain with that copied text. For example, if you were to copy this paragraph of text, “This is bold” would remain bold when pasted into Word or another document that supports rich-text. Although programs like Microsoft Word include a Paste Special feature, anyone who does this frequently can find having a universal shortcut key that works everywhere beneficial.
This is where the fantastic free tool PureText can make your life easier. This tool runs in the background and can paste plain text into any program using the same shortcut key you choose, by default Windows key + V is used. PureText is capable of removing font faces, font styles (i.e. bold, italic, etc.), font colors, paragraph styles, extra spacing, bullets, tables, and pictures from any text you copy.
Bonus Tip: In most versions of Windows Ctrl + Windows Key + V also pastes text as plain text.
As you move your MP3 files around you may encounter lost or deleted album art covers. Thankfully there is a fantastic free utility to quickly find and download album art for pretty much every CD ever created. The program works by looking at millions of album art covers from dozens of different locations, and lets you choose what album cover to save to your computer. To use this program follow the steps below.
- Download Album Art Downloader.
- Once downloaded and installed open the program. You can either search for the artists name or album to find a specific album cover by typing the name in the text box and clicking search. Once found click the picture of the floppy disk to save the file to your computer.
- If you want to scan your MP3 collection for any missed MP3 art click File and then File Browser. In the File Browser browse to your MP3 folder or if you’re using the default directory in Windows the “My Music” folder in the “My Documents” by clicking the “…” box at the end of the text box.
- Once you’ve browsed to your MP3 directory click the Search button. Select folders not containing folder.jpg by clicking the “Select all albums with missing artwork” link at the bottom of the box and then click “Get Artwork for Selection…”
Compress and uncompress computer files through your Internet browser using services such as WobZIP and ezyZip.
WobZIP is a great free online tool for uploading a compressed file (e.g. .ZIP, .RAR, .CAB, .ISO, and others) to their server and getting the extracted files. The service also supports converting one compressed file format into another compressed format. Visit the WobZIP page to start uncompressing files.
EzyZip is an online tool that uses a Java applet to compress any files into a .ZIP file and uncompress any files in a .ZIP file. Visit the EzyZip web page to start compressing and uncompressing files now or bookmark the page for later.
Create a mosaic image out of any of your pictures from your own collection of images using AndreaMosaic. In the picture below, is an example of The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh that is created using dozens of other images and is an example of what this program is cable of doing. This is a free program and is available for all versions of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
How to use this program
- Download the program from AndreaMosaic.
- After the program has been installed on your computer you’ll be prompted for the type of mosaic you want to create, select Square Tiles (1:1) for your first trial mosaic.
- Under the Main Image to reproduce as a Mosaic, click the + image button to add the main image.
- Change any of the settings you want to change. If you’re not sure what the setting means, hover your mouse over the title to get a quick description.
- Click the Title Images button at the bottom of the window and browse to the folder that stores all your photos. For example, if you’re a Microsoft Windows user most of your images are probably stored in the My Pictures folder.
- Finally, click the Create Mosaic button to create the mosaic image. Depending on the speed of your computer and settings you chose determine the length of time it takes to create the mosaic. Often it can take several minutes to create a mosaic.
There are a lot of cool applications where you need to embed small surface mount LEDs into things like clothing, jewelry, etc. In order to do so, you need an easy way to solder small magnet wire to the tiny LEDs. There have been other attempts at making this an easy process, but I have found nothing as simple, quick and easy as this new method.
The Solution – Duct Tape
The process is basically simple. We need to hold an SMT LED upside down so we can hand solder wires to it. The best way to hold the LED is to attach it to a piece of duct tape. Magnet wire (30 guage) is probably the best size for most applications. If you use two colors – one red, the other green, you can show the polarity of the LED during final assembly. If you don’t use two colors, you will need some other way to mark the polarity.
Here are the steps:
Use masking tape to mount a square of duct tape upside-down (sticky side up) to a flat surface.
Set your LED upside-down on the duct tape and press to make sure it is firmly attached. To save time, you can mount several LEDs in one big column. Make sure each LED is facing the right way polarity-wise. The polarity is shown in the photo above.
Pre-tin your magnet wire ends. This is the most time consuming step. A solder pot would make it go much faster.
Add a small solder bead to each pad of the LEDs. Just a small dab is all that is needed.
Hold the magnet wire on the LED pad and heat with soldering iron. When the solder melts, remove the iron. Hold the wire steady until the solder solidifies. If you use a lighted magnifier to see better, this step is amazingly fast and easy, provided you have a steady hand.
When done soldering, the LED lifts easily from the tape and is ready to embed in your project. Don’t forget to use current limiting resistor on your PCB or elsewhere for attaching the LEDs to.