Print two A5 pages on singe A4 paper sheet

Suppose you have a Microsoft Word document that is formatted to be printed on A5 pages. For any reason (you don’t have A5 page, you want to save paper etc.) you want to print it so that two A5 pages will appear next to each other on single A4 page.

On contrary to common beliefs this is not as easy as selecting 2 Pages Per Sheet because, without additional settings, your printer will be still asking you to feed it with A5 paper.

It’s not that easy, but the solution is still surprisingly simple.

This article is specific to (ISO 216 standard) paper size standard and for printing two A5 pages on one A4 sheet. But the very same steps should theoretically work in every scenario where you want to print two half-sized pages on single page format that is twice as big. Thus, printing (plotting?) two B3 pages on one huge B2 poster should work. Or printing two Letter-sized pages (216 × 279 mm) on one Ledger page (432 × 279 mm).

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Error code 6009 when deleting folder from OneDrive

If you’re getting “Error Code 6009” during attempting to delete any folder from OneDrive:

Then look carefully for all open browser windows and tabs. Because this error means that you are trying to delete a folder which contains any file that is already opened in some window or tab.

If you cannot find any tab or windows of such kind then restart browser and try to delete folder again (alternatively, restart the whole computer). As there maybe some background task, not visible to you, that is holding a file lock and preventing you from deleting a parent folder.

Put significance on tens and ones or round to a negative precision [updated!]

I had a situation in Excel where tens and ones are the only significant parts of a any number. For some Polish language-specific issues I have come with the situation that no matter how big number is, I need to know the value of its last two digits or last digit.

For example:

21 --> 21 and 1
56 --> 56 and 6
160 --> 60 and 0
1122 --> 22 and 2
679014 --> 14 and 4
1053405 --> 5 and 5

Learning the fact that ROUND(), ROUNDUP() and ROUNDDOWN() functions in Excel can be used with a negative precision parameter helped me solved this issue.

I am not too good in Excel, so maybe (update!) there are prettier solutions. This one works, however…

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Disable automatic restarts in Windows 10

Windows knows better then you when to restart your computer. And Windows 10 is the most qualified in such knowledge. That’s why in some scenarios you may lost 40+ tabs open in your browser and a lot of programs running, when your Windows decided that it must be restarted right now.

There are many approaches to preventing Windows 10 from auto-restarting itself:

However, the solution that worked for me is “Disable Automatic Windows 10 Restarts” script at GitHub.

Batch-change value of thousands of cells in Excel sheet

There are milion of ways on modifying many cells’ value in single pass using… formula. But, what about a situation, when you need to perform only a single one-time bulk-change of value in many Excel’s cells?

I had a situation when I was preparing some IT project’s budget. Since I am an IT geek then writing amounts in thousands like 1,30k USD was no problem at all. However, this solution had two falls:

  • Some accounting freak, having nothing to do with IT, had problems understanding that “k” means thousands
  • Cells itself had to use some custom formatting of ##0,00k USD in order to add that damn “k”

Thus, I had to do a one-time recalculation of most of cells in my sheet to multiply their value by 1000.

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Change page size when scanning in Windows 10

If you’re scanning images using Window’s native drives and software (i.e. not those provided by your scanner manufacturer) you may often hit the wall of not being able to change scanned page side due to fact that corresponding list is disabled:

In this article I’ll show you how to change this value (page size). But, keep in mind that this will be a one time solution. As far as I know there is now permanent solution for this problem.

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Can’t enable BitLocker for pendrive or USB removable drive

If your pendrive or removable drive (after selecting it in This PC) has BitLocker button disabled (in Protect section of Drive Tools tab) or if you can’t see it listed in BitLocker itself then it is (currently) not supported. Most guides you’ll find will tell you that the destructive way of formatting drive is the only option.

That turned out to be not true, at least in my case. Simple deactivation of pendrive’s partition using DiskPart solved problem.

Of course you need Windows 10 Pro, because “lower” editions of this system does not have BitLocker.

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The server drafts location you entered for offline editing is not valid (updated)

At some point in your struggle with Office 365 off-line applications (Word 365, Excel 365, PowerPoint 365 etc.), when trying to save any changes to Options dialog, you may run into following error:

The server drafts location you entered for offline editing is not valid or you do not have permission to access that location. Specify a location on your local computer.

In short, this has nothing to do with Office and most likely, you (or someone / something else) deleted your c:\Users\[username]\Documents folder. Closing Office 365, re-creating this folder should fix this problem.

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Paste not formatted text to Word

In many programs, applications and web services you can use the Ctrl+Shift+V keyboard shortcut when pasting to override source formatting and paste copied text “as is”, thus using destination document’s formatting. Google services are especially promoting this shortcut, which you can use to paste not formatted text i.e. to Gmail message.

In Word this isn’t that easy. You must:

  • bring up Paste Special window (I use another keyboard shortcut for this — Ctrl+Shift+Insert for example),
  • navigate through list of available options (using Up or Down keys) to locate Unformatted Text option,
  • confirm selection with Enter or by clicking OK.

I wanted to make it simpler and working the same way as in other services. Fortunately, it was an easy keyboard shortcut assignment in Word.

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“Unprotect” a sheet or a workbook in Excel

Microsoft developers’ ignorance has hit jackpot one more time. If you “protect” a sheet or workbook, Excel only places a special tag inside .xlsx file. Changing it and thus “unprotecting” such file is a piece of cake.

You can remove it in a matter of two minutes using software like Total Commander or 7-Zip. By doing so, you can gain access to “protected” sheet or workbook without knowing a password. Something that in theory should never happen.

In previous versions of Excel (Office) that were using old .xls file you had to work with some nasty, multi-level macro to unprotect a protected file. Now they have made even easier. Instead of using some dully macros all you need is a text editor and a file to unpack and repack archive.

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If you can’t get rid of Windows 10’s folders…

…then change their destination!

All those default system folders in any version of Windows simply drives me crazy:

You can try to play with Ultimate Windows Tweaker or similar software to get rid of them. But the keep getting back after each important Windows Update.

So… if you can get rid of them, learn to like them, but first… change their location.

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Can’t install any font. Windows claims that file is invalid

I just wanted to add my docs a little bit a feel of an old typewrite. I found some cool fonts for that, but — to my extreme surprise — I couldn’t install any of them on one of my Windows 10-based PCs (I did it successfully on two others). With Windows claiming that file is invalid whereas I was 100% sure that files are a correct.

Solutions as weird as enabling Windows firewall or installing a copy of file instead of original one didn’t work for me, so I had to figure out another one.

I managed to do so, but the answer was as weird and scary as Microsoft is — try to get yourself an administrator privileges and for all users instead of current one. Worked for me!

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Certain fields are not auto-populated in Word 2010 document

Nearly every version of Microsoft Word offers a cool feature of inserting fields into various parts of your document. These fields are auto-populated on various occasions and contains always up-to-date value with no need for you to manually update or write that particular value.

Most likely you’ve already seen that in action. Naming page numer or total pages count as first two out of a long row of examples.

You can have virtually every value in such field. The same functionality that counts pages of your document automatically can insert (and always refresh automatically) some document property, like author name, document title etc. You don’t need to write your title manually in many places. You just add a field that corresponds to this particular document property, everywhere you need, and that’s it. Anytime you hit Ctrl+A to select entire document and then F9 to manually refresh all fields (or anytime Word does this refresh for you), you always get most up-to-date value taken from your doc’s properties.

Problems starts when you try to insert some specific field, like Company Address or Company E-mail.

There’s either some bug or some weird logic in Microsoft Word 2010 which causes that you must insert this field in a very specific way. Otherwise you get a field which value is not being auto-updated.

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Disable Bluetooth discovery in Windows 10

By default, when you enable Bluetooth in Settings app in Windows 10, your PC will become discoverable by all the nearby devices. But there’s a small (old good) Control Panel checkbox to control / disable this behavior. It is reported to be working in Windows 10 as well.

If you are 100% sure (see details in the following parts of this article) that your PC with Windows 10 is discoverable via Bluetooth even though you have turned such possibility off, then truly disabling Bluetooth discovery will require you to:

  • Tweak in Windows Registry or
  • Mess up with Windows API (through PowerShell console) or
  • Use some designated 3rd party Windows app that will do the trick for you

But, first let’s make ourselves sure that you really need to do anything.

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Remove phone from “Your Phone” in Windows 10

I just wanted to get rid of my current phone in “Your Phone” app in Windows 10. But, since this is Microsoft and 25+ years of experience in making users lives as hard as possible, you cannot expect a simple “Remove” button. And there is no easy way to do this.

I’ve went through two different guides of removing phone from “My Phone”. None of them worked. I’ve ended up uninstalling “Your Phone” app (which itself wasn’t too easy task).

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This operation has been cancelled… after clicking a link in Word 2010

I had the issue of seeing this nasty error message each time when I clicked any link in my Microsoft Word:

I was struggling with this issue in both Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Word 2013.

I have correctly identified that this problem is related to me removing Internet Explorer 11 from my Windows 10 (an optional feature in this version of Windows). However, while bringing it back resolved this problem for my office computer with Office 2013, I was forced to do a little bit more to resolve this issue on my home computer with Office 2013.

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Highlight current day or gray-out past days in Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook in each and every version is missing some obvious, yet very important functionalities and Microsoft’s dumb-asses are reluctant into hearing users voice and adding them. One of such very-missed features is greying-out passed days or highlighting current day.

Without them each and every day in Outlook Calendar looks just the same and ultra-fast distinction between today’s events and passed events is simply impossible.

Fortunately, some workarounds do exists. They may not be enough for all of us, but at least they allow you to learn a little bit about conditional formatting that you can use in Outlook Calendar or Outlook itself (for i.e. colouring events and e-mails etc.).

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New way of providing network subnet prefix in Windows 10

With Windows 10 you can have the possibility to setup most of the settings in two ways:

  • old, good Control Panel way,
  • new Settings way.

Most settings are accessible via both ways, but also most are configured differently in both cases.

The best example is network subnet configuration — a very key configuration parameter in a very key aspect of your PC (that is: access to network and Internet). It is expressed as “subnet mask” when configuring in Control Panel and “subnet prefix length” when using Settings. And it also accepts a way different values.

This is, of course, needed only, if you are connecting using static IP address. If you have DHCP server in your network, and it assigns dynamic IP addresses to your devices, you may safely skip this article.

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Change network name in Windows 10

In all Windows versions prior to Windows 10 changing the network name was as easy as going to Network and Sharing Center and clicking network name. In Windows 10 it is way, way more difficult (reasons, Microsoft?) and you need to be system administrator in order to perform this.

If you wish to change network name (but not connection name, as these are two different things) then follow these steps (source):

  1. Press Windows key + R, type secpol.msc and press Enter to confirm.
  2. In Local Security Policy window, find and click Network List Manager Policies in the left pane.
  3. In the right pane double click on the network name that you want to change.
  4. In the Properties windows under the Name section make sure that Name is selected.
  5. Enter the name that you wish to use for your connection to the field below.
  6. Click OK to confirm the changes.

You might have to log in again or to restart your computer before the changes are applied.

Visit source for this post to learn about an alternative way of achieving this (i.e. using Registry Editor).

Incorrect or missing icons or thumbnails in Windows 10

With the introduction of Windows 10 and significant changes in icons and thumbnails caching the issues of:

  • missing or incorrect applications or file types icons or
  • thumbnails being displayed incorrectly or also missing

is more than common.

In this article I present most often used solution for above problems. Not all of them must be run in you particular example and they will not help you for every icon- or thumbnail-related issue.

But, this is the most comprehensive solution that I found so far, since many of these attempts are spread in the Internet across many different sources. Here you have all of them in one place.

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Black screen after logging-in to Windows 10

This is just a memo on the quickest solution for above mentioned problem, in scenario, when you can run Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete on your keyboard + click Task Manager + click More details).

  1. Validate your shell:
    • in Task Manager: click File > Run new task + type regedit.exe + hit Enter,
    • paste HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon + hit Enter,
    • check Shell key, if it has explorer.exe value; “reset” it to this value otherwise.
  2. Restart shell: in Task Manager: locate File Explorer (explorer.exe) right-click it + select Restart.
  3. Restart computer: in Task Manager: click File > Run new task + type shutdown /s -t 01 + hit Enter.

Each run in Task Manager must be with Create this task with administrative privileges checked.

It is important to restart computer exactly this way (with executing these parameters), as described above. In my case this was an essential point into solving this issue, as shell was OK and restarting it didn’t help.

If this solution doesn’t work (shell is not restarted or no positive effect after restarting whole computer) then you must ask uncle Google for more help, because this quick memo won’t help you, sorry.

Your Phone app: You can control a mobile device from Windows 10. Really?

Newest edition of Windows 10 (tested on 1903 edition) comes with Your Phone application that should — at least by its designers’ mean — ease your day-to-day management mobile device.

Unfortunately, it is still quite new, meaning — buggy. And the list of functionality is not quite long. In fact, you may have problems finding it usable at all or counting scenarios in which using this app is plausible.

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Get rid of SkyDrive Pro from context menu

SkyDrive is a far ancestor of OneDrive. It can appear in your system with the installation of Office 2013, Office 2016 and Office 365. When it is installed, Windows 10 immediately “captures” this situation and replaces it with newer counterpart — OneDrive. Unfortunately, it is not able to purge corresponding context menu items and eventually you’re left with a disabled and not working “SkyDrive Pro” item.

This article shows you the quickest way to correct this problem. You can also use it to perform general clenaup of your context menu as it doesn’t narrow to SkyDrive Pro item only.

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Polish and other non-ASCII special characters in VBA and Excel’s macros

With introduction of the "new" Microsoft Office’s file formats (XML-based, i.e. DOCX, XLSX etc.) Microsoft has finally solved problem of Unicode support and storing and displaying special characters in documents, spreadsheets, presentations etc. The only problem is that they’ve forgotten about Visual Basic for Applications and macros which still are using dully ANSI encoding.

The fastest solution is out of Excel and is based on altering Windows 10 control panel settings to instruct Windows how it should interact with applications that do not fully support Unicode.

But, suppose you don’t want to or can’t change your system settings. Then what?

Quick Google search revealed some possible solution, including:

Since I failed on finding a correct solution, I had to dig myself own one. Here’s the deal…

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