Category Archives: Work hacks

Change Footer Text in Slide Master in Powerpoint 2016 and later

It is normal that we use a presentation more than one time for different conference. Anytime doing that, modifying the footer, where the conference’s name and the date are, is an important job to do to avoid embarrassing moment.

It is pretty obvious that you can simply open Slide Master and edit directly the footer text to whatever you want. However, for Powerpoit 2016 and later, when you do that and return to the slide, the old text content is still there and the modification you’ve done is applicable only for new slide.

In order to edit that, now what we should do is manually edit them. Not slide by slide but by Insert -> Header & Footer -> Modify the content, then click “Apply to All”.

It’s a nuisance but we can solve it by that trick.

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Proper set-up of Zotero to manage your bibliography

Anyone who works in academy world would hear at least once about using Zotero to manage the reference. In this post I will show you how to install Zotero and set it up properly to max out its capacity by connecting increasing the storage size, connect with sci-hub, and how to grab a paper from a journal in just one click. I mention only Windows platform, but on Linux it is pretty similar.

Where to find Zotero and how to use them?

Well Google is your friend and installing Zotero is as easy as installing other software on a Windows computer. Here is the homepage of the Zotero we are talking about:

https://www.zotero.org/

(by the time I paste that link, I realize Zotero has just introduced a new tool called Zoterobib for fast crafting a abstract. Nice work Zotero!).

Just download the file and install on Windows platform, as well as the Firefox add-on because you will need that.

Download PDF to local computer using Zotero

If you installed Zotero on your lab computer, chance is it will be easy to grab a PDF when you are browser those journals website. If your institute has access to the source, just click the button of the add-on in Firefox while Zotero in running to let it connect to the database and make a copy on your local computer for you. Next time you can navigate inside Zotero and read the PDF however you like.

If you install on your personal computer or if you connect to a paper that your school does not have access, then you have few other choices to get the PDF: (a) message directly the corresponding author of the paper, normally they will reply you very fast if you have interest in their work (we are! we are really happy when there is someone want to read what we are doing!); (b) if you cannot wait, there is the site sci-hub where you can search and download the paper for free, then go to Zotero and attach the PDF to the paper query in Zotero; (c) or you can do the b step automatically by modifying a bit of how Zotero searching for the PDF, thanks to a great tip by Simon on medium. Using (b) and (c) may be illegal in some countries so prepare to secure your connection (tip: don’t worry much, people just don’t care).

Sync your file to your personal or 3rd party storage service (WebDav)

Zotero itself supports free user with 300MB to store and sync the paper they collect across all server and to be fair this is enough. However when you are working with a big database, it is advised to use a WebDav (Dropbox, GDrive…) to sync your files there. I advise you to use pcloud service because they offer 10GB and it is very easier to configure. Guys at Berkeley University wrote a clear instruction to do that. Enjoy your fast 10GB!

Sync file with your Android phone

Last info I want to share is bringing Zotero to Android phone. The situation we may encounter is there is possibility that you want to read again a paper from your library when you are in a seminar without your laptop, or you are on a bus and you cannot wait till home to open and grab the idea. So let us install a connector of Zotero on Android phone to make it work.

There are several apps who help us do that trick. Although they are still having limits, but basically they do the job: connect to Zotero, sync the library and download the PDF. I recommend ZotEZ², don’t let the rating fool you, it really depends on what you want, if you just want to look at the library the most simple way and want to download the PDF and read on your phone, this app deserves a 5-star rating. It is free and with some in-app purchases you can unlock other utilities which is probably useful for you with a rather OK price (~5 euros).

Conclusion

I shared what I am using for my research. Few free to add some more comments if you know Zotero can do more or there is better option to do those tasks (I know there is!). Hope the provided information helps you and your research work. May the force be with you!

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List of free stock photos – Update 2019

A well-picked picture can play an important role to a blogpost or a document in general. However, the search for a good one requires effort (taking photos yourself, finding a good one on the internet) or money (stock market). Fortunately, there are free websites and nice people who are willing to provide their photos for free (or almost free), here is the update list of 2019 which I’m currently using: Continue reading List of free stock photos – Update 2019

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Search in Windows

To be short: Searching files in Windows sucks.

I don’t understand why such a supposed-to-be-simple utility is poorly built in Windows system. I was hyped when upgrading from XP to 7, and 7 to 8, and 8 to 10. In the end, the feeling I have is disappointment.

At the beginning, when a fresh system is installed, everything seems smooth. Understandable! Reasons: Not many things to search, indexing is not a heavy job, and computer resource still has lots of room for software to run. Continue reading Search in Windows

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Abbreviations in daily business emails

In our daily work context, regardless of our industry or expertise, most of us will need to use emails for professional communication. The headache sometimes comes when we receive an email with what-the-heck-is-that abbreviations that no one taught at schools or no senior colleagues trained us. The list provided below comprises only some frequent text we may catch at work, excluding the terminologies as there would be plenty of them depending on different industries / sectors / business functions.

Continue reading Abbreviations in daily business emails

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Useful shortcuts in Word 2016

I’m a LaTeX guy. However, sometimes working with other people requires me to switch to the good old Word. I’m not totally displike it, I even find it useful and practical in some particular cases comparing with LaTeX.

Here is some shortcut in Word that I find useful and use them a lot during my work routine:

Continue reading Useful shortcuts in Word 2016

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What I do when I work

This is not a savvy post about what people should do while working to boost up their productivity. This is what I often do, and that makes me feel guilty and productive at the same time.

1. Surfing internet:

Sure thing. If I don’t surf internet while I’m working, I lie. But they definitely give you some good effects on your day: lift up your stress, give you some lesson about handling your software and something similar. But to be honest, when you’re in a project, a serious project, forget this part.

Continue reading What I do when I work

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