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TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Let it slide  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
September 2013

Q: Windows 8 lets me run a slideshow from the My Pictures folder, but is it possible to run a slideshow of pictures contained in my other folders (other than the My Pictures folder) as does Windows 7?

A: In an effort to de-clutter the Windows 8 screens, Microsoft tucked away many of the menu options, but the slideshow option is still available in all Windows 8 folders. To run a slideshow of pictures contained in a Windows 8 folder, click on any picture in that folder to display the Picture Tools tab, and then select the Picture Tools tab, Slide Show. To adjust your slideshow’s speed, shuffle, and loop settings, right-click on the running slideshow to display the pop-up menu pictured below, and make your selections.
 


As a more powerful option, you might consider using Windows Photo Gallery, which should be preinstalled on your Windows 8 system. (If Windows Photo Gallery is not preinstalled, you can download and install it free at tinyurl.com/d6ggwpb.) Compared with the Slide Show option described above, Windows Photo Gallery offers the following additional capabilities:

Lets you run a slideshow of selected pictures from multiple folders;

  • Provides additional slideshow controls, including the ability to add photo captions, tags, and slide transitions;
  • Provides tools for stitching pictures together to create a panorama image such as a view of a mountain range;
  • Provides tools for merging images such as pasting a person’s face from one photo to another; and
  • Allows you to add themes to create a polished photo album.


To use Windows Photo Gallery, launch the application, and use the left pane to navigate to the folder containing the pictures you want to display as a slideshow. By default, all pictures in the folder will be included in the slideshow, or if you prefer, you can select the specific pictures you want to include by clicking on them. (To select multiple pictures, hold the Ctrl key as you select the pictures you want.)


Use the File, Home, Edit, Find, Create, and View tab tools to adjust the slideshow settings. For example, you can tag photos to make them easier to organize; add captions; and also resize, rotate, and rate each picture. When you are ready, press the F12 key to run the slideshow, or click the Slideshow button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

While the slideshow is running, you can right-click to pop up a menu (pictured below) to adjust the theme, create a self-running movie, or publish the slideshow to YouTube, Facebook, or other popular platforms.


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Your work is clear  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
September 2013

Q: Our satellite offices provide temporary office space to visiting staff, and each office is equipped with a shared computer. I frequently use these office computers, but after I’m done I am not comfortable that Word and Excel display the names of the most recently opened files, because this allows other users to tell what I am working on. Is there a way to reset or clear the recently opened files list?

A: You can reset the recent files lists in the 2013, 2010, and 2007 editions of Excel or Word by selecting File, Options, and from the Advanced menu, under Display, setting the spinner box labeled Show this number of Recent Workbooks (or Documents) to 0, and then clicking OK. Then repeat this step to set the spinner back to its original setting. Afterward, the list of Recent Workbooks (or Documents) displays as empty, but will continue to collect and display recently opened file names for subsequent users.


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Test your Excel IQ: Solution  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
September 2013

Last month I turned the tables and challenged JofA readers to answer another reader’s Excel question, as follows:

Q: I have created an Excel template in which I enter employee information and pension data, and as we enter this data, I want the last row automatically displayed in the ready-to-print formatted report, a rough example of which is pictured below.

 

My problem is that as this list grows longer, I can’t figure out how to automatically reference the last row of data in the ready-to-print, formatted report without editing the formulas to refer to that ever-changing last row.

A: My solution to this problem involved the following three steps:

1. Number the rows containing data. In cell A4, I entered the value 1, and then in cell A5, I entered the formula =IF(ISBLANK(B5)=TRUE,"",1) and copied it downward to number each subsequent row containing data with the next logical row number (as shown below). (The ISBLANK portion of this formula determines whether data exists in the row, and the IF portion dictates when the row should be numbered.)

In effect, these formulas number each row when the adjacent cell in column B contains data; otherwise these formulas return a blank result (no row number).

2. Extract the last row’s data. Next, I created a series of formulas in row 1 (above the data range) using the Vlookup and Max functions. I started by entering the formula =VLOOKUP(MAX($A$3:$A$147),$A$3:$H$147,2) into cell B1, as pictured below.

In effect, this formula calculates the largest value in column A using the Max function (the max value in this example is the value 7), and then uses the Vlookup function (based on the max value) to return the data for the last row containing data (row 7 in this example). Because the largest value in column A will always reflect the last row, this formula will always return the data contained on the last row. I then copied this formula across row 1 (to cells C1 through J1 in this example) and edited each formula slightly to return the corresponding data for each respective column. The effect is to duplicate the last row of the data range on row 1 of the worksheet.

3. Reference the extracted data. Finally, I used simple reference formulas to repeat the data summarized in row 1 in the pension plan summary (e.g., by entering the formula =B1 in cell P9 in the example pictured below).


The total effect is that the last row of data entered in the data range is reflected in the resulting pension plan summary. You can download a working copy of this solution at carltoncollins.com/answer.xlsx. The tricks and methods used herein are fairly simple once you understand them, and they can be used to efficiently summarize many types of data.


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Not-so-obvious update procedure revealed  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
September 2013

Q: I purchased an Apple iPad 2 two years ago with iOS 4.33 installed, and I now need to update the operating system because many of my current app updates require iOS 5.xx (or higher). In addition, I am unable to install newer apps that require iOS 5.xx (or higher). I’ve wasted many hours trying to figure out how to update the iPad’s iOS, but for unknown reasons my device does not display the Software Update menu option referred to in the instructions. I am very frustrated; can you please help me?

A: You would think that updating Apple’s iOS would be a cinch, but when it comes to version 4.xx or earlier, it’s not. The secret is that Apple’s older iOS menus do not display an upgrade menu option unless you connect the device to another PC running iTunes. (Note: The term PC in this item can refer to Windows-based personal computers or Macs.) For iPad users who don’t have an extra PC lying around, this means borrowing one, and even then you must be careful to update your iOS using your iTunes account and password, not the PC owner’s. (Note: The original Apple iPad does not support iOS 6.x due to that device’s RAM and processor limitations; hence iOS 5.1.1 is the highest release compatible with the original iPad.)

Specific instructions for updating your iPad 2 iOS 4.33 to the latest iOS 6.01 version are as follows. (Be aware that updating your iPad’s iOS will remove your apps and settings, therefore it is important to first sync your iPad settings and back up your device’s applications and data before proceeding.)

1. Ensure that your device is backed up to iTunes before updating.

2. Make sure you are plugged into an electrical source so you don’t lose power during the update.

3. Connect your iPad to a Windows or Mac PC running iTunes (using the cable provided when you purchased your iPad), and then launch iTunes on the PC. (If prompted, follow the instructions for upgrading to the newest version of iTunes).

4. Upon launching, iTunes should automatically detect your iPad and prompt you to update, but just to be safe, choose Cancel and first ensure that your iPad’s latest settings are properly synced to the PC so they can be restored after the upgrade is completed. Upon canceling, iTunes should automatically sync your latest iPad settings to your PC. (If iTunes does not automatically sync, you can manually sync your iPad settings by selecting your iPad within iTunes, and in the Backups section select This computer, and then click the Back Up Now button, as pictured below.)

(Note: iCloud and the iCloud backup option are available when upgrading from iOS 5.x or higher.)

5. After your iPad has been synced to iTunes, select your iPad within iTunes, and from the iPad menu, click the Check for Update button, then click the Download and Install option, as pictured below.

Software Update6. The update will take several minutes to complete, and your iPad may reboot several times during this process.

7. Once the update is complete, repeat the steps described above to connect the iPad to your PC and launch iTunes. If necessary, in the Backups section on iTunes, click the Restore Backup button to restore your settings, apps, and data.

(Note: Subsequent iOS editions have corrected this issue as an iOS update option is now available without connecting to a PC running iTunes.)


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