How to Set the Default Zoom Level in ANY Web Browser

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I love my 13 inch Macbook Air to death.  I also feel as if I’m blind when I try to read on the damn thing.   

That’s why learning to set the zoom levels on a browser is so valuable.  Most browsers respond to Ctrl + and Ctrl – to zoom in and out of pages (Tip: Press Ctrl 0 to reset zoom to normal levels).  Most of the good ones like Chrome also remember the zoom setting for any particular web page – which is a great if you ever revisit the page again.

The thing is – many a time, you’ll end up on a web page where you’ve never visited before, and then you’ve got to do the zooming song and dance again. 

What a drag.

Now you might be thinking – yeah the text is small, but I can read it, so what’s the big deal? 

Well try zooming in on text just a little bit and you’ll suddenly find that everything’s so much easier to read.  Keep at it a while and you actually feel less tired and more productive. 

So how do you set a DEFAULT zoom level on your browser so that all web pages have a zoom factor already automatically applied to it when it loads?

1. How to set the default zoom level in Chrome

autozoom chrome

Autozoom is my weapon of choice on Chrome, and this free simple extension will allow you to quickly define how much zoom you want all your pages to have, tweaked right from a discrete button near the address bar. 

2. How to set the default zoom level in Internet Explorer

 IE zoom

Interestingly enough, unlike most things involving IE, setting the default zoom on that browser is incredibly simple.  Just find the magnifying glass icon on the bottom right of your browser and select the default zoom. 

3. How to set the default zoom level in Firefox

firefox zoom

Default FullZoom Level is probably the most powerful of all the extensions on this list.  Let me tell you why I love this add-on.  Yes, setting zoom levels can easily be set just like on all the other browsers, but here’s what sets it apart: One of the issues most people have when zooming web pages is that images have the potential look incredibly ugly and pixelated once blown up.  To address this, you can configure it to ONLY zoom text, so it leaves your pictures unzoomed.

It also has some nifty features like ˜fit-to-window’ which automatically selects the optimal zoom for that particular web page so you don’t have to bother experimenting.  This extension really gets two thumbs up for ease of use and power.

4. How to set the default zoom level in Opera

opera zoom

Just like IE, you configure the default zoom levels by selecting that same magnifying glass at the bottom right of your browser.  It is slightly more feature filled than IE though and has Fit-to-Width capability as well.

What should your default zoom level be?  This differs from person to person, and really depends on the sites you visit, but I typically set my default zoom at 130%.

Do you use browser zoom to read the web?  Tell us about it in the comments :)

Update: 18/6/2011: Check out this video response!

How to Turn ANY Website into a Wireframe Mockup INSTANTLY : A Tutorial

wireframing

The everyday problem:

You really like the layout of a web page.  You want to build a wireframe mockup based on it, and it takes too long. 

Why not just screencapture the page?  Mainly because images and text distract your vision when you’re trying to figure out the best layout possible.  You may also want to compare different layouts and having everything mocked up on wireframe instead of screencaptured may provide a more unbiased view of things.

The simple solution:

Wirify is a cross-browser bookmarklet which instantly turns full blown web pages into wireframe mockups with a single click.

wirify

Step 1: Visit the Wirify webpage

Step 2: If you’re using Chrome or Firefox, just drag and drop the bookmarket onto your browser bookmark bar.  (If you’re using Internet Explorer switch now for a better experience)

wirify bookmarklet

Step 3: Click on the bookmarket whenever you want to turn the website into a wireframe mockup.

That’s it!  So simple :)

Check out the YouTube video below for a step-through Wirify

5 Simple Ways to Detect Plagiarism of Your Content

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Aspiring writers, freelancers, bloggers and students take note! There’s a new war against plagiarism heightened by the recent rash of content theft, more notably amongst bloggers and freelance journalists.  Here are 5 simple detect plagiarism of your content.

1. How to Look for Copies of your Work Online

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Undoubtedly the most well known in the field for fast, accurate searches, Copyscape is every plagiarist’s nightmare! It functions by finding sites that have copied content without permission simply by typing in your URL.  Copyscape is free, but has a premium edition that allows more powerful tools like batch Search, which you can use to check your entire site for copies in a single click, up to 10,000 pages.

2. How to Detect Plagiarism in the Work of Others

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Article Checker has been around for a long time, as its classic look belies. However, the adage œold is gold certainly holds true, as this site has been time-tested to be reliable in what it claims to do. Simply copy and paste the text of the article you want to search for, and Article Checker will scour either Google, Yahoo, or both for signs of plagiarism online. This can be useful if you’re an editor trying to root out the œreal writers from the œcopy & paste-rs.

Alternatively you may also want to check out The Plagiarism Checker developed by the University of Maryland which processes documents and intelligently decides which phrases to searches on.

3. How to Remove the Possibility of being Falsely Accused of Plagiarism: College Students Alert!

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Created with college students in mind, PlagiarismDetect is a relatively new site which requires registration for a free account. It promises detection for text and phrases to ensure assignments are 100% original, which means that students can now think ahead to prevent being wrongly accused of plagiarism. However, that’s not to say that others can’t benefit from its services as well.

It even supports document uploads so you can just send it your entire assignment for it to be processed.  The site has proven to be accurate and encourages users to use it on a regular basis as newer and more advanced features are being added to it by the day.

4. How to check for Plagiarism using Yahoo! Search

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This site has received numerous recommendations all over the web, so it’s worth a shot. Plagium is a reliable site which has makes use of Yahoo’s Search API to search the Internet for plagiarism. As far as efficiency is concerned, ratings have shown that it does nearly as well as CopyScape Premium, so you can rest assured that it will deliver results.

It has a clean and simple interface which doesn’t support ads, so for all those ad-haters out there, this site is especially for you. Just make sure to donate a little to support their cause.

5. How to Root Out Plagiarism Offenders…and Get Your Fair Share of Money!

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Fair Share is a free service site that helps detect plagiarism via RSS feeds. In a matter of seconds, you’ll get results in a personalized RSS feed encompassing billions of websites. Targeted at bloggers and Webmasters who want to keep track of how their content is being used, by whom and where, Fair Share works with Creative Commons licenses to sniff out where content reappears, how often it is used and whether the content is linked or not.

An excellent choice for bloggers and others who can’t afford or don’t have the time to use a more advanced system. Plus, as the above picture suggests, you can even demand payment from the ad networks who run the plagiarized content!

Bonus Links for Reference

This article was written by Aaron Pek & James Yeang.  Contact me if you wish to become a writer for this blog.

5 Quick Tips to Remove Unwanted Formatting from Your Documents

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Formatting is contextual.  One style may look great in one place, but look horrible in the next.  Here are a few quick tips on how to remove unwanted formatting from your documents.

1. How to remove unwanted formatting from your email

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If you’ve received an email which has been forwarded multiple times, you’d notice that it can be hard to read if every line is prefixed with on more more ˜>’ characters.  Stripmail is a great piece of freeware which will help you strip any unwanted characters from your email and formats it into proper paragraphs and indentation so it’s much easier to read.  Stripmail is a free standalone utility which does not require installation so it’s incredibly light and portable.

2. How to remove unwanted formatting from any text in Google Docs AND MS Word and Powerpoint

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Want a quick way to remove formatting in your document? Select the text you want to remove formatting from, and click Alt + SpacebarThis built-in function will instantly do the job, and will work both in Google Docs and Microsoft Office.

3. How to remove unwanted formatting from Excel

formatpainter

The Alt + Spacebar trick doesn’t work in Excel, so what you can do is select an already unformatted cell, then click on the format painter button, and then select the area which you want unformatted.   

4. How to remove unwanted formatting when pasting web pages into MS Word

paste special

Things you copy from the web tend to end up looking really bad when you paste it into an MS Word file.  The way to get around this, once you copy the text, go to MS-Word and click Edit-Paste Special – Unformatted Text.  If you tend to do this very often, check out this excellent video tutorial on how to set up this up as a macro.

5. How to remove unwanted formatting when copying from your web browser

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Have you ever copied something from your web browser to Outlook or Office and been annoyed that the text formatting (bold, font size, etc) came with it? Don’t you wish you could just copy the text itself, without having to copy it, paste it into notepad, then copy it again? This firefox extension gives you an option to copy text without the formatting. You can even set it to trim extra space in and around the copied text!

How do you deal with unwanted formatting?  Tell us in the comments!

How to Join Powerpoint Files Instantly

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An easy way to store away multiple presentation files from a conference or event is simply to merge them all into one single Powerpoint file.  That way you:

  1. Reduce clutter in your folders
  2. Don’t have to wonder which was the one-of-20-presentations you were looking for

No, you don’t have to copy and paste slides from each presentation.  Just use Powerpoint Joiner, and it will run a script which will take care of all the merging of files with just a few clicks. 

Also useful if you have to regularly compile a standard set of Powerpoint files from various sources.

Do you like Powerpoint?  Tell us in the comments!