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Category: Tools and Productivity

Do you like wasting time on repetitive tasks? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Me neither. I always try to find tools and techniques that can help me work smarter and more efficiently. Fewer clicks, more smiles! :)

In this category, I write about applications that can help increase your productivity. I also share tips for saving time in applications you might already be using. Some of my favorite free tools for text editing are Notepad++ and Visual Studio Code. I’m also a huge fan of the Redgate products, especially SQL Prompt. This is a licensed tool, but the one tool I would pay out of pocket for to use at work!

Notepad++ Column Editing

This post is part 3 of 5 in the series Notepad++ Tips and Tricks
Logo for blog post "Column Editing in Notepad++"

Spoiler alert! Column editing is super simple in Notepad++ :) All you have to do is press the Alt key while selecting text. You can use either Alt+Mouse Dragging or Alt+Shift+Arrows. This works perfectly on text that is already aligned. But what if your text is not formatted as columns already? You can quickly fix that by using the TextFX plugin.

Animation showing column editing in Notepad++
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Microsoft Surface

Microsoft just announced Surface (instantly renamed by myself to All-I-Want-For-Christmas!), their brand new tablet PCs for Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro.

Surface comes with a built-in kickstand and a Touch Cover that is also a fully functional keyboard, making it easy to switch between tasks optimized for touch and type. A Type Cover is also available for a more traditional typing experience. It has two cameras, stereo speakers and dual microphones tuned for Skype, as well as a USB port and MicroSD card slot.

Surface by Microsoft
Surface with Touch Cover

Surface Type Cover by Microsoft
Surface with Type Cover

Surface Kickstand by Microsoft
Surface with built-in kickstand

Surface Side by Microsoft
Surface with full-sized USB port

Surface Touch Covers by Microsoft
Surface with Touch Covers and Type Covers

For more information, read the press announcement, watch the Microsoft Surface Event Keynote or visit the Surface product website.

(Taking my professional hat off and my geeky girly hat on, I would like to end this post with my initial reaction to seeing Surface for the first time: “OMG IT LOOKS SLEEK AND SEXY AND IT HAS COLORS AND THE PINK COVER WILL MATCH MY WINDOWS PHONE PERFECTLY AND I TOTALLY WANT ONE LIKE YESTERDAY!”)

Notepad++ Remove Duplicates, Blank Lines and Sort Data in One Operation

This post is part 1 of 5 in the series Notepad++ Tips and Tricks
Logo for blog post "Remove Duplicates, Remove Blank Lines, and Sort Data in Notepad++"

You can use the 32-bit version of Notepad++ with the TextFX plugin to quickly remove duplicates, remove blank lines, and sort data – in one operation! This is a fast and easy way to get the results you want in just a few seconds. And as with any kind of automation: the more data you work with, the more time you save :)

Animation showing how to remove duplicates, remove blank lines, and sorting data in Notepad++
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