How to use 'Training for Google Apps' as your personal tech support

Google’s services from Gmail to Drive are packed with all kinds of surprising features. Most of us know the basics, such as sending an email, formatting a word-processing document, and editing a few cells on a spreadsheet. But sometimes even the biggest Google services fan needs a little help.


The Training for Google Apps icon.

That’s where a handy Chrome extension by Google called Training for Google Apps comes in. A result of Google’s purchase of enterprising training company Synergyse in May, Training for Google Apps adds an interactive, step-by-step guide for each Google service. The extension will guide you in how to use all kinds of features from composing an email in Gmail to using Google Forms.

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How to search the full text of web pages in your Chrome browsing history with Falcon

Finding a website in your browsing history is easy if you know the title of the webpage or site. But if all you remember is the general topic, things get a little harder to find. There’s a new Chrome extension called Falcon that attempts to solve this problem.

Falcon describes itself as a “full text browsing history search.” What that means is Falcon indexes the text in the body of nearly every webpage you visit. Then when you need to find something, all you have to do is search for a keyword from any part of the webpage you’re looking for. If you only remember that the page mentions Alabama that’ll be enough.

All this convenience does come with some privacy and security implications that we’ll talk about later. First, here’s how to use Falcon.

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How to use your Android, iOS, or Windows 10 smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot

Wi-Fi is everywhere these days. So much so that Google is playing around with a cell phone service that relies mostly on Wi-Fi. Nevertheless, there are times when Wi-Fi is just not an option. If your life is anything like mine, that will be the moment when you absolutely must get your laptop online to make adjustments to a document, or reply to a lengthy email.

Sure, you could tough it out and do this work on your phone, but that small screen can be a big hassle for major work. That's why knowing how to turn your smartphone into a Wi-Fi hotspot for your laptop is so useful.

Here’s how to do it on Android, iOS, and Windows 10 Mobile.

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How to turn off Windows Defender's enhanced notifications in Windows 10

Microsoft’s Anniversary Update for Windows 10 wouldn’t be complete if there weren’t a few annoyances added to great features like Cortana integration and an improved Action Center. One such annoyance is Windows Defender's unceasing penchant for telling you what a great job it’s doing.


An example of Windows Defender’s enhanced notifications.

The new feature is called enhanced notifications, which amounts to Microsoft’s built-in antivirus software reporting the results of its scans.

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How to combine WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Slack in one window

The modern world has a messaging problem: There are just too darn many apps and almost no one can get away with using just one. In many ways, we’re right back where we were in the late ’90s and early aughts before apps like Adium and Digsby consolidated AOL, Google Talk, MSN, and Yahoo into one window.

Making matters worse this time around, many of today’s chat apps aren’t third-party friendly. Even if a chat platform doesn’t like third parties, many do have web apps, and that’s where a useful new Chrome app called All-in-One Messenger comes in.

This Chrome app brings all those different messaging services into one place on your desktop with a tab for each. It’s not like the days of old where all your messaging contacts were in one list regardless of platform, but it still works. Since this is a Chrome web app it can also be pinned to your taskbar or launched from the Start menu independent of the Chrome browser.

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How to install a Chrome extension to your desktop from your smartphone

Sometimes it’s stunning how handy Google makes it to use its software—it really, really is. If you have a smartphone you can now remotely install Google Chrome extensions to your desktop PC. This is similar to the way you can remotely install Android apps to your phone from your PC (just in reverse).

Even better, this method works on any smartphone. I tested it on an Android phone, a Windows 10 Mobile phone, and an iPhone. In each case, it worked exactly the same way.

Let’s say you receive a link to an extension in the Chrome Web Store on your phone by reading a news article or blog post, an email, instant message, Facebook...whatever.

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How to use Firefox's new simplify page printing feature

There’s a new feature expected to roll out with Firefox 49 later this month that will take help ease ink costs for anyone who likes to print out webpages. The browser is getting a new way to simplify page printing. Currently, if you want to simplify printing you have to first use Firefox’s reading view and then print. The new method removes that first step.

If you're using the current version of Firefox beta, which is a test build of Firefox 49, you can already enable the feature. First, type about:config in your browser’s address bar.


Just click through this screen to get to the good stuff.

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