Change Outlook Default File Location

Outlook’s default file location for attachments is Documents. This may not be where you want such files to be saved, given how large the Documents folder can get. You can of course modify this with Save As… but it would be better if the default location was your choice and not Microsoft’s. Unfortunately, Outlook doesn’t provide a setting to allow you to do that. But…

It is still possible to change the default location through the registry. First, however, you need to save a backup copy in case it doesn’t go as planned. To save the registry, at least the part you’re going to change, do this:

Open regedit by typing its name into the Run… dialog box at the Start menu (Windows key+R):

Regedit open
Regedit open

Click OK.

Place your cursor on HKEY_CURRENT_USER and right-click. From the context menu select Export.

Save Registry
Save Registry

Save the file. Now expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER until you are at


Right-click and create a string value called DefaultPath and set the new location.

Default path for Outlook folder
Default path for Outlook folder

Click OK and you’re done. Close Regedit.

If you run into problems (you shouldn’t if you followed these steps carefully), you can restore the registry by opening Regedit again and from the File menu selecting Import…


Add a Dictionary

A useful add-in is Collins Dictionary. It provides not only a dictionary but also a thesaurus and a translator.

It can be sourced from Microsoft AppSource.

When it’s installed, you access it from Insert > My Add-ins. It then opens a panel on the right:

Collins Dictionary panel
Collins Dictionary panel

Add Background to a Single Page (Word)

Sometimes you need a cover page with an image background, but you don’t want to see it replicated on the remaining pages. The way to do this isn’t obvious, and you may end up considering a career change after a frustrated hour or two of fruitless attempts. Thankfully, there is a way.

Begin by placing the cursor in the header area of the first page. Click and then from the Insert ribbon choose Shapes:

Select Rectangle:

Starting as close as possible to the top left corner of the page, drag the cursor to the bottom right corner of the page or as much of the screen as you can see (reducing the magnification to 50% should reveal the entire page):

The white handles on the sides indicate that the shape hasn’t completely filled the page. Click on each one and move it to the edge until it disappears.

Next, right-click on the shape and select Format Shape:

Select Fill and then Picture or texture fill.  You can choose to use an image from a file, the clipboard, or online. We’ll choose File.

The image is dropped onto the shape, and in this example it has filled it.

If the chosen file does not provide a full-sized image but is suitable for tiling, check Tile picture as texture (see Format Picture panel above).

Close the Format Picture panel. Select Close Header and Footer from the Design ribbon and you’re done.

Google Chrome Developer Feature

While all the major browsers provide useful development features via F12 (or Inspect Element), Google Chrome has an additional feature that is a gem. When you bring up the F12 screen, you’ll see this icon:

This enables you to toggle the device view for the current screen. Useful for viewing your design on different screen sizes:

Compare Two Columns of Data in Excel

You have two long columns of similar data and you want to find differences, if any. Assuming the columns are A and B, in cell C1 enter this formula


and copy it down column C as far as the data goes. Click Calculate in the Formulas tab and column C will display all the items that appear in column A but not column B.

Image Add-ins

In Word and PowerPoint, you can include add-ins that will insert royalty-free images into the content. Two that I use, both free, are Pickit Free Images and Pixabay.

Once they’re installed, they appear in the ribbon in the Insert panel.

The Pixabay add-in can be sourced from Microsoft’s App Store.

The Picket Free add-in can also be installed from the App Store.