Find Quick Answers to Common Tech Questions with Tech-Talk

Tech-Talk.com is an online resource available to patrons of the East Greenbush Community Library. This resource comes in several formats.

  • A website full of articles and videos to help you learn what you need to know to be successful with everyday technology
  • An app to help you get the above resources on-the-go
  • A weekly newsletter containing a quick technology tip
  • Access to live webinars that end up as videos on the website
  • The opportunity to request an article or webinar on a topic of your choosing

The Website

In part one of our series about the Tech-Talk website, we showed you how to find novice-level help for using email, the internet, and documents. This time, we will highlight three collections on the website with access to quick answers.

The first collection is a new page they’ve started, called One Tip, One Minute Videos. The aim of this page is to offer cool tips you may not have been looking for, but may be useful. I know the format painter tip is one I use all the time since I watched the video.

The second collection, Popular Problems, can be useful to users of any level. This page contains a list of frequently requested topics, broken down by user level. Click on a subject to find the best 5 related articles.

The last page I want to show you today is the Quick Reference Guide collection. Each reference guide represents an overarching subject (for example, Word) and it contains links to articles and videos on that subject. Save or print the PDF guide for future reference, if desired. Please note that the website navigation has changed since the Quick Reference Guides were created, so some of the navigation tips in the PDFS for finding the articles are outdated. However, the links to the pages within the PDF still work.

Do You Use Tech-Talk?

If you have tried Tech-Talk, let us know what you think! Did they have the answers you were looking for?

Windows Update Does It Again

Yesterday, Microsoft put out a warning that the latest update for Windows 11 is causing some apps that use the .NET 3.5 framework to crash. [citation] If you have installed KB5012643 and are experiencing crashing apps, Microsoft advises that you uninstall it to restore app performance.

Some users are also experiencing issues with Start, the taskbar, and USB connections in addition to app crashes. If you have problems with those functions but your apps are fine, uninstalling the update may also clear up those issues.

Manually Uninstalling the Update

To uninstall the update:

  • Click on the Start button and search Windows Update Settings.
  • Windows Update settings window, select View Update History.
  • Select Uninstall Update.
  • Find KB5012643 in the list.
  • Select the patch and click on Uninstall.

Summary

Because this update is optional and not all apps require .NET 3.5 to function, we’re hoping you were able to avoid this issue. If not, try uninstalling the update and let us know if it helped in the comments.

Stop Teams and Other Apps from Opening Automatically

You may have noticed after getting a new Windows computer or updating your operating system to the latest version that Microsoft Teams opens automatically every time someone on the computer logs in, even if none of the computer’s users use the software. If you’re not having this issue with Teams, you may be having it with another app you have installed. Personally, I find this really annoying. I prefer to open apps manually as needed.

Thankfully, this behavior is easily disabled. If you’d like to learn how to stop apps from loading when you log in, check out this article and video by Tech-Talk. Tech-Talk is a subscription resource brought to you by the library.

Need Basic Tech Help? Tech-Talk Has You Covered

Tech-Talk.com is an online resource available to patrons of the East Greenbush Community Library. This resource comes in several formats.

  • A website full of articles and videos to help you learn what you need to know to be successful with everyday technology
  • An app to help you get the above resources on-the-go
  • A weekly newsletter containing a quick technology tip
  • Access to live webinars that end up as videos on the website
  • The opportunity to request an article or webinar on a topic of your choosing

The Website

There is so much information on the website that finding what you need can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Luckily, Tech-Talk has grouped the information in several different ways to help make it easier to browse.

The page we’re highlighting today is Basics for Non-Techies. If you are a novice user looking for basic information about working with email, documents, and the internet, this is the page for you. Even if you aren’t a novice user, you may find something on this page that would be useful to you.

Join us next time, when we highlight other pages that help you browse and find quick solutions.

Do You Use Tech-Talk?

If you have tried Tech-Talk, let us know what you think! Did they have the answers you were looking for?

Resize Images Easily

If you post images on the internet with some regularity, you may have noticed that every platform has different recommended sizes for images. It can be a pain to make a graphic over several times to post in multiple places. In a previous post, I wrote about Biteable, a tool that will automatically convert any image to all of the recommended sizes for social media platforms. This is great for my social media needs, but not for another resizing issue that comes up regularly for me.

Our website has a row of featured events/services/announcements that need to be sized at 300px x 300px in order to line up or stack neatly on any size screen. I have been given graphics and logos in all dimensions that I have needed to make fit into these blocks. Canva has a magic resize tool, but that hasn’t generated results that work for me.

Enter Pixlr

Pixlr comes in two “flavors.” Pixlr X and Pixlr E. Both are free, browser-based tools that don’t require an account. They are similar to Canva, but not as full-featured. Pixlr X is meant for creating basic designs, while Pixlr E is for editing photos. The free version of Pixlr X is what we are using today, but both products have robust premium versions if you are interested in AI assistance, a larger decorative element library, more support, or no ads.

How I Use It

I am fortunate enough to have several design editing tools at my disposal, and I use different tools for different tasks. Pixlr X fills a very specific need for me, and it never fails.

As I mentioned, the library website needs images that are 300px x 300px. Product logos/graphics, ready-made templates in image editors, and graphics for initiatives from outside our organization (Summer Reading, Tech-Talk, etc.) rarely come in that size, or even in a square shape. For instance, here is the logo for Consumer Reports, a digital resource we provide to our patrons:

Consumer Reports logo

The original is 1600px x 900px, so it needed some editing. I opened Pixlr X, then clicked “open image” in the center of the page.

Screenshot of Pixlr X home page showing the open image button.

This opened a window that allowed me to select the original Consumer Reports image that is 1600px x 900px. The first thing I wanted to do is scale this down to a 300px width, so I clicked on the layout button in the left menu.

Screenshot showing the third menu item from the top of the left menu selected, with layout options opened to the right of it.

I selected “resize page (scale)” and reset the width to 300. By leaving the “constrain proportions” toggle activated, the height automatically adjusted to prevent the logo from being distoryed.

Screenshot showing the width set to 300, the height set to 168, and the constrain proportions toggle activated.

The next step is to add a 300px x 300px background and center the image. Staying in the layout menu, I selected “set page size.” Here I changed the height to 300, made sure the “relative change” toggle was deactivated and anchored the logo in the center of the image.

This is how it turned out. The checkerboard part indicates transparent space. The next step is to add a background. I could just add white, but then the image would be really boring.

Screenshot of Consumer Reports logo with checkerboard pattern bars above and below it.

Instead, I want to copy the green from the logo and make that the background. I did this using a separate eyedropper tool to get the hex code number for the color (covered in this article) and then going back to my layout menu in Pixlr to activate the background toggle. This suggests a few colors, but you can click any color to reveal a box to enter a custom color.

Screenshot of the layout tab showing background color suggestions.

I entered the hex code for your desired color in the box and hit “enter” to apply.

Screenshot showing hex code entry box below the suggested background colors.

This is the finished product. It’s a simple fix that preserves the company’s logo guidelines while making the image suitable for our website.

Resized logo with the transparent bars above and below in green matching the green in the logo.

Pixlr offers different formats and quality options for downloading your new image.

Summary

Pixlr is a free tool that makes design and image editing easy. While many of its features are duplicated in other free or low-cost image editing tools, the ability to change the size of the image canvas without messing up the aspect ratio of the original image in addition to changing the image itself has permanently secured its place in my image editing toolbox. What are your favorite design editing tools? Let us know in the comments.