Things Not Working, Check Microsoft Updates

ote, this post is for Windows only (although Mac has its own dilemmas with update needs). I find that a feature I have been using, perhaps earlier that same day, suddenly is not available or does not work. My new thinking is things do not continue working until broken, they now work until Windows or something Microsoft has an update and things stop working because they see an update is needed.

I am constantly running 4 update checks to limit these random not working/error messages. Most likely only need 3 apply to your, but I am covering all 4.

Windows OS updates
Go to Start > Settings > Windows Update > click Windwos Update (in upper right)

Click Check for updates

O365 Updates
Open PowerPoint > File > Account > Update Options > Update Now.

Windows Store updates
The Windows Store is controlling more and more of the installed apps.
In the Start menu search for “Store”

Select and open the Microsoft Store app > Library > Get updates.

Lenovo Vantage
This only applies to Lenovo computers, but Dell, Asus and others have their own update apps.
In the Start menu search for “Lenovo”

Select and open the Lenovo Commercial Vantage app > Run System Update

Install updates following information provided.

This is a lot of ongoing effort. It feels that more the 50% of the time, whatever issue I was having is resolved with these updates. Hopefully this is a good reference and resource!

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-09-15T11:06:38-07:00September 26th, 2023|Resource/Misc, Software/Add-Ins|

Windows Snipping Tool Has Taken Over the PRINTSCREEN Button

I have been a Techsmith Snagit user for a long time, and I use it 10-50 times each day, primarily for screen captures (design feedback where an image is easier than 2 paragraphs, or tutorials like the screen capture images in this blog post!).

Windows added the “Windows Snipping Tool” to the OS, and it is a nice screen capture tool. We use it on our rental fleet of show computers. But I cannot live without Snagit.

A recent Windows 11 update changed the behavior of my PRINT SCRN button – it made the Windows Snipping Tool activate when it was clicked. But I have purposefully set the PRINT SCRN button on my computer to launch the Snagit app. And, the Windows OS settings are different now, making it a bit more awkward to allow a different app (instead of Windows Snipping Tool app) use the PRINT SCRN button. If you found this blog post from a search, I am guessing you too want to change what app is opened when print screen is clicked. Here is the solution:

  • Open the Windows Search bar
  • Type “Snipping Tool”
  • Select the option “Use the Print screen key to open Snipping Tool”
  • This opens the Settings >  Accessibility > Keyboard dialog
  • Turn OFF the option telling Windows to open the Snipping Tool app when the Print Screen button is clicked


That’s it. Now the preferences in Snagit, or any other app, can be set to use the Print Screen button.

Now, here is what I am guessing you did (I did):

  • Open the Snipping Tool app
  • Click the 3-dot menu and select SETTINGS
  • Scroll down to the SHORTCUTS section and become perplexed by the info to open Windows Settings…
  • Eventually go to the Windows Settings and update as noted above.

Keep this blog post handy. I assume each major Windows 11 update will reset this setting and the Print Screen button will revert to opening Windows native screen capture app – Snipping Too.

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-08-16T09:31:43-07:00August 24th, 2023|Software/Add-Ins|

Slidewise Has a New Icon (Yay!!)

Neuxpower’s Slidewise PowerPoint add-in has an updated version. Version If you have Slidewise installed, it is a free and quick install. Go to Slidewise on the PowerPoint toolbar and select CHECK FOR UPDATES, which opens the Slidewise website to the download page (or go here).

There are a few feature updates. But the update that has me excited is the app icon has changed! This is most likely only going to be exciting for those that also use Slido – which I do. Both icons are located on the HOME tab. Both are green. Both have a large letter “S”. And both (were) round. All the similarities to assure you click the wrong icon often!

I welcome the new square Slidewise icon and say THANK YOU to the Neuxpower dev team for making changes to their app to help users!

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-08-18T09:55:25-07:00August 22nd, 2023|Software/Add-Ins|

Outlook’s New Emoji Reply to Emails

Microsoft Office apps continue to evolve. I mentioned this on The Presentation Podcast episode that was released this week – Outlook has a new “emoji” reply option.

So instead of replying with an email message we can now make our replies like a text message and “like-heart-smiley” them…

If you give an emoji reply, Outlook replies with an email like this:

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-08-15T09:00:29-07:00August 17th, 2023|Software/Add-Ins|

NXPowerlite Update – v10

NXPowerLite is one of those PowerPoint add-ins the TLC Creative Services design team relies on and uses continuously (no paid endorsement, this truly is software we use!).

If you are not familiar, NXPoweriLte from Neuxpower, is a file compression add-in. We use NXPowerLite  for PowerPoint, but it also handles Word, Excel, PDF, and JPG images.

I have a custom set of optimize profiles. We have the same set of profiles on all of the TLC Creative team so we are literally doing the same thing. In version 10 of NXPowerlite, there is an improved set of default profiles that should make the compression options easier and better when used right-out-of-the box. Note: currently v10 is only available for Windows OS. It can be run as a standalone app (drag and drop PPTX files onto the app), or activated from within PowerPoint and it will optimize the file that is currently open.

The big improvement I am most excited about is NXPowerLite now being better and overcoming issues that stop a file from being compressed. e.g. the compression process fails. It still does not identify the issue (generally an image in a file format that errors out), but there is a host of really good online info and a direct integration with 7-zip to open the PowerPoint file and deal with the problem image directly. I think many “power-users” will find this a faster process to what they were already doing (we have 7-zip installed on all computers here at TLC Creative and all of the design team has been trained on how to open a .pptx file, locate the problem file, edit and replace).

Lots of other improvements too. One that I am excited to see – because it has created problems many times for me – is maintaining the EXIF orientation data in compressed images. This should eliminate a conflict where a cropped image is compressed and then displays in the wrong orientation and squeezed into the image container size after running NXPowerLite.

More details on the v10 updates can be read about on the Neuxpower website here. The NXPowerLite product page, including download of free trial to test, is here.

-Troy @ TLC

By |2023-07-28T11:02:26-07:00August 3rd, 2023|Software/Add-Ins|

Brightslide Selection Pane Shortcut

This is the final day of the shortest month of the year. A short month kind of means shorter number of work hours for projects. After working on complex slides for the past few days, I am indebted to the Brightslide team! These 2 buttons have literally saved me 3 hours this past week!

When I first played with these tools on the Brightslide toolbar a few years ago, I was dubious of them. They seem too simple. Select an object on a slide, click the left icon and it activates the Selection Pane view to turn off, or hide that object. The right icon is the Selection Pane, show all – e.g. show everything that was hidden or turned off.

Eventually both of these buttons made there way to spots on my QAT, which is the core of my formatting workflow in PowerPoint. This past week working on complex, layered content slides (think vector maps where each state or country is a selectable object with overlays to animate on to have the map follow the talk, and then overlays of “map pins” to further support the talk). The ability to not need the Selection Pane open, scroll up and down it to find the object to hide has saved hours of my production time – just in the past week!

Kudos, and thank you to the Brightslide PowerPoint add-in dev team!

Troy @ TLC

By |2023-02-28T00:27:52-07:00February 28th, 2023|Personal, PowerPoint, Software/Add-Ins|
Go to Top