How to quickly convert old Google Drive Sheets to the new format for offline editing

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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Good news, productivity fans! The new version of Google Sheets, featuring full offline editing when you use the Google Chrome browser, is now rolling out to all users.

Bad news, productivity fans! The long-awaited offline editing will only work with spreadsheets created with the new version of Sheets. That means any older spreadsheets you have in Drive—which is probably most of them—won't work in offline mode. That's no good.

Google plans on automatically switching over all your files to the new Sheets format at some unspecified point in the future. But for now, Google suggests the easiest workaround is to copy-and-paste your old spreadsheet into a new file using the updated version of Sheets.

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5 tips to make Windows 8's Metro UI more practical and less irritating

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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Microsoft's modern UI might be pretty to look at, but when most of us want to get some work done, the traditional desktop is really the best choice. But what if you have a touchscreen device where it makes more sense to use the modern UI—or if you just prefer the new interface?

If that's you, here are a few tips on how to spend more time away from the desktop in Microsoft's touch-friendly universe.

Explore your files with SkyDrive/OneDrive

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Three practical reasons to use your browser's private mode

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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Modern browsers are chock full of powerful hidden features, but one of the most overlooked features is incognito or private mode. If you've heard of this feature, chances are you know it, rather infamously, as "porn mode."

That's an undeserved reputation, suggesting the only time someone would want a sliver of anonymity online is to satisfy their basest instincts—and nothing could be further from the truth. There are all kinds of reasons to regularly use your browser's incognito mode that don't involve websites with three X's in the title. 

Private mode: What it is, what it isn't

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Tailor Windows to your workflow with these two helpful taskbar tweaks

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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The Windows taskbar is perhaps one of the most overlooked desktop components that can be tweaked to improve your PC experience. Today, I'm going to show you two tricks you can do with the taskbar: One will give you a tad more screen space for your day-to-day work, and the second tip is a Windows XP throwback for anyone who yearns for the glory days of Windows.

Hiding for space

The taskbar is great for navigating between different open programs, checking the time, and getting system notifications. But let's be honest: A lot of the time it's just sitting down at the bottom of the screen taking up more space than it needs to.

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How to use Chrome's coming voice search feature today

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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Welcome to perceptual computing. Google recently added hands-free voice search to the beta build of the Chrome browser, a new feature that allows you to simply say "Ok Google" and then dictate your search terms to their browser (assuming your PC has a microphone, of course).

It's a handy feature, but Google has yet to say when it will be baked in to the official Chrome build. The good news for anyone who wants to talk to their computer right now is that you can manually add hands-free voice search using the Google Voice Search Hotword (Beta) extension.

Yes, it's also a beta test, but adding an extension to your current browser is a lot simpler than switching over to a less stable version of Chrome, don't you think?

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3 helpful tips to keep your Outlook.com inbox clean

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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Around ten years ago, like many longtime Hotmail users, I got a Gmail account and never looked back. Gmail was faster, more organized and just plain better. Well, that was then. These days, I've jumped ship yet again to the ultra-polished Outlook.com and spend most of my time using Microsoft's Hotmail successor.

Outlook.com's stuffed with nifty features, including the modern UI-style layout, social integration, and standard hits from the Hotmail days like Sweep. If you're thinking about switching back to Outlook.com, or just want some tips on how to make your Outlook.com experience better, here are three tips to help you better manage your inbox.

Schedule a sweep

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Use Windows' sorting options to find just the right file

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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One of the biggest pains of using a PC is rooting around the file system to find very specific information.

Over the years, Microsoft has made it easier to find files with enhanced search capabilities for finding that one Word document, photo, or video you need. Search is great when you're looking for a specific file by name, but sometimes you don't care about words. Sometimes, you're looking for the largest video file in your collection, or the most recently modified Word document in your OneDrive folder.

That's where File Explorer's View menu comes in handy.

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