How to Save PowerPoint Objects as Pictures

PowerPoint logo

If you’ve ever thought it would be useful to save objects or entire slides from your PowerPoint presentation as images to use in another program, then you’re in luck! You can do precisely that in a few simple steps.

Saving Objects as Images in PowerPoint

Saving an object, or even multiple objects, from your PowerPoint presentation is extremely handy. The thing that makes this trick so useful is that the objects are saved, by default, as a transparent PNG file, meaning that you won’t have the invasive background that you would otherwise have if you just took a simple screenshot.

We’re going to use the following slide as an example over the next few sections. In this slide, we have a total of four objects.

  1. Image (“The Geek”)
  2. Text box (Title)
  3. Text box (Subtitle)
  4. Shape (Line)

4 objects in powerpoint

Save a Single Object as an Image

To save an object as an image, we first need to select the object to be saved. In this example, we’ll select our title.

Select text box in Powerpoint

Right-click the object and select “Save as Picture” from the menu that appears.

Save as picture

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Lenovo’s 4K Yoga Chromebook C630 Is Available to Order


While certain Chrome OS devices already come with high-resolution displays—like the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate—there’s hasn’t been one with a 4K display. Until the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630, that is. And now you can buy one.

We can talk about whether you need a 4K display in your Chromebook (read: you probably don’t), but at the end of the day, there’s always an argument for just how damn good a display looks when it’s absolutely packed with pixels. I’m sure this one is no exception.

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630Lenovo

That 4K panel is part of the Yoga Chromebook C630’s 15.6-inch panel, which is pretty massive for a Chromebook. That big ol’ display is also convertible, turning this into a pretty huge tablet if you want it. A 4.2-pound tablet, to be exact. You won’t really be one-handing this one.

Otherwise, it has an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, either 64GB or 128GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.1, 2×2 AC, a pair of USB-C ports, a microSD card slot, and headphone jack. Pretty much par for the course here, especially on the higher end of Chromebook hardware.

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630Lenovo

The C630 will set you back $899.99, and is expected to ship “in more than 5 weeks” if you order today. That could mean five weeks exactly, or it could mean a lot more. Lenovo hasn’t announced an exact shipping date yet, so take that for what it’s worth. But if you’re looking to grab the first 4K Chromebook, now’s your chance.

via Chrome Unboxed

Salvador Dali Museum Unveils Surreal AI Version of Artist That Will Interact With Visitors

In a move that even the master of surrealism himself would have loved, the Salvador Dali Museum is presenting an experience which employs machine learning to create a version of Dali’s likeness, an […]

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Here’s How to Save Your Google+ Data Before It Shuts down on April 1st

Google+ tombstone article header image.Giuseppe_R/Shutterstock

Pour one out for Google+, the latest Google social property to be axed. There aren’t many who care to keep their Google+ history saved—that’s part of why it’s dying!—but if you want yours, here’s how to download it.

Google’s “Takeout” page is your friend here. Head to this link and select one or more of the four categories for Google+ data. +1s are a record of all the sites you’ve pressed that little red button on, very much like Facebook’s “Likes.” Circles are your friends and contacts on Google+, Communities are the groups you joined and their posts, and the Google+Stream is all of your personal posts, +1s within the site, and comments on other users’ posts.

Google Takeout for Google+.

Note the downward-facing arrow in each of these sections: each one has options for downloading only some posts from specific communities or changing the download format. Most of the time HTML is what you want, but if you’re importing to a program that supports more complex files, JSON and CSV are supported, too.

Click “Next” to go to the next page. You have the option of downloading this data in ZIP or TSV archive format. The Archive size option lets you split it into multiple downloads if it’s too big for only one.

Archive format options

The “Delivery method” field is of particular note. Google’s Takeout system will send you links to your Gmail address by default, where you can download each archive individually. But you can also import them directly into Google Drive, or log in to Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, or to add them to those services instead.

Delivery method options.

When you’re ready to proceed, click “Create Archive.” (The button is “Link Account and Create Archive” if you’re using a non-Google service.) You’ll get an email when your links are ready, or if you’re using a cloud service, the ZIP or TSV files will be loaded onto the cloud shortly. That’s it: you can sift through all those posts at your leisure.

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How To Enable Dashboard in macOS Mojave

macOS Dashboard

For some inexplicable reason, Apple decided to disable Dashboard by default in macOS Mojave, and it’s nothing short of a travesty. Thankfully, turning it back on is a simple affair. Here’s how to go about restoring Dashboard to its rightful glory.

For those unfamiliar with Dashboard, it’s a collection of widgets that has been around ever since Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger shipped many years ago. Dashboard lets you select widgets you can easily access without interfering with other apps, or having to launch any apps to do a simple task. Calculators, sticky notes, easy access to the weather, and more were perfect uses for Dashboard. Think of how widgets work on iOS, and you’ve got the right idea.

We’re not sure why, but Apple has left Dashboard to languish, completely disabling it in macOS Mojave. That’s a real shame because we often find ourselves wanting to do a quick calculation, for example. Opening the Calculator isn’t difficult, but there’s no need if you have a calculator a key press away.

Dashboard is great if your workflow from previous versions of macOS relies on it, so here’s how to get it back.

Enabling Dashboard on macOS Mojave

To start things off, click the Apple logo at the top of the screen and select “System Preferences.”

Click Apple logo, click System Preferences

With System Preferences open, click “Mission Control.”

Click Mission Control

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Net neutrality battle gets a new day in court tomorrow


More than a year after net neutrality was essentially abolished by a divided Federal Communications Commission, a major legal challenge supported by dozens of companies and advocates has its day in court tomorrow. Mozilla v. FCC argues that the agency’s decision was not just dead wrong, but achieved illegally.

“We’re not just going into court to argue that the FCC made a policy mistake,” said Public Knowledge VP Chris Lewis in a statement. “It broke the law, too. The FCC simply failed in its responsibility to engage in reasoned decision-making.”

Oral arguments before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals commence Friday, February 1, though the FCC attempted to have the date put off due to the shutdown — and the request was denied.

The legal challenge is one of several tacks being taken against the FCC’s replacement of 2015’s net neutrality rules with a much weaker one last year. As with any rule or law, there are multiple avenues for dissent; a direct legal challenge is among the quickest and most public.

Mozilla, along with Vimeo, Etsy, Public Knowledge, INCOMPAS, and a number of other companies and organizations, filed the challenge shortly after the new rules took effect, but these things take time to creep through the court system.

The lawsuit has a number of primary arguments against the rulemaking (you can read the full brief here), but they boil down to two basic ideas, which I’ve attempted to summarize below:

First and most important, the FCC’s entire argument that broadband is not a telecommunications service is false. This argument goes back decades, and you can read the history of it here. The short version is: telecommunication services move data from point to point, and information services do things with that data. The FCC argues that because broadband connections let you, for example, buy something online, that connection essentially is a store.

Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh made this same very elementary mistake and was set right by a judge a couple years ago. It’s basically indefensible and no one who understands how the internet works agrees with it. As the Mozilla filing puts it, the argument “confuse[s] the road with the destination.”

The FCC also says that DNS services and caching, some of the nuts and bolts of how the internet and web work, count as information services — which is perfectly true — and that because broadband uses them, it too is an information service instead of telecommunications — which is ridiculous. It’s like saying that if a road has signs on it, the road is itself a sign. Nope. The filing again resorts to metaphor, saying “a few drops of fresh water do not turn an ocean into a lake.”

This is the primary support for the FCC’s entire case, and removing it would essentially nullify the entire new set of rules, since if the judges agree that broadband is in fact telecommunications, the industry is governed by a whole different set of statutes under the Communications Act. There are numerous other sub-arguments here that could also come into play.

Second, the FCC’s decision is “arbitrary and capricious,” and thus illegal under the Administrative Procedures Act, which requires certain standards of evidence and method to be shown in the establishment of such rules. This is supported in a number of ways, including the authority argument above. It also failed to address consumer and other complaints during the rulemaking process.

The FCC also does not justify its argument that the broadband industry is better suited to regulation by antitrust authorities, and does not justify rejection of certain other statutory authorities under which the FCC could be responsible for some of the rules. “The FCC does not adequately explain why other statutes, developed to address other problems, just happen to do the job Congress assigned to the FCC,” argue Mozilla et al.

The agency’s cost-benefit analysis, documentation required for new rules like this, is also inadequate, they argue. Certainly economic analysis of multiple major industries can be debated forever, but there are pretty basic questions unanswered or evaded here, which weakens the FCC’s entire case.

For the record, the FCC’s arguments and counter-arguments are set forth in the rule itself and court filings largely reiterate the same points.

All these arguments are not particularly new — they’ve been brought out and revised multiple times both before and after the net neutrality decision. But this is an important setting in which for them to be addressed. This panel of judges could essentially render the FCC’s rules or rulemaking process inadequate, illegal, or incorrect — or all three — and send the agency back to the drawing board.

These decisions take a great deal of time to arrive, so be ready for a wait just like the one we’ve had for the arguments to make it to court in the first place. But the wheels are in motion and it could be that in a few months’ time net neutrality will have new life.

Of course, if the FCC won’t keep net neutrality around, states will — and that’s a whole other legal battle waiting to happen.

“Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T are going to wish they never picked this fight with the Internet,” said Fight for the Future’s Evan Greer. “Internet activists are continuing to fight in the courts, in Congress, and in the states. Net neutrality is coming back with a vengeance. It’s only a matter of time.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Twitter suspends thousands of accounts for potential ties to ‘foreign information operations’


The work of a Twitter moderator is never done, it seems. 

The social media company announced Jan. 31 the suspension of thousands of accounts it believes were tied to “foreign information operations.” And, this time around, it’s not just Russia’s Internet Research Agency that’s getting a call out. The newly discovered accounts in question, according to Twitter, are believed to have originated in Iran, Venezuela, and yeah OK definitely still Russia. 

And, because Twitter wants to make the content posted by the suspended accounts available to researchers and the public, the company has added it all to a downloadable archiveRead more…

More about Facebook, Twitter, Russia, Internet Research Agency, and Tech

Windows setup error messages will soon be much less useless

Windows has a pretty poor reputation when it comes to error messages. All too often you’ll get a meaningless hexadecimal number or perhaps a reference to a Knowledge Base article. The Windows setup process used for upgrading to each major Windows feature update is a good example of this; it detects and diagnoses a wide range of incompatibility issues prior to performing the installation but does very little to help Windows users actually resolve any of the problems that it finds, instead preferring to leave them with obscure codes.

The next major Windows release, the Windows 10 April 2019 Update (codenamed 19H1), is going to offer some significant improvements in this area. Microsoft described them on its Windows Insider webcast, and they were spotted initially by WinFuture. Currently, the best case during installation is something like this screen:

The message says that an incompatible application is detected, and a Knowledge Base article is referenced. It turns out that most Windows users don’t know what “KBxxxxxxx” actually means, and the article isn’t hyperlinked to make accessing it any easier. Issues detected through the other setup experience aren’t much better. Windows will offer to uninstall problem applications, but often the better solution is to upgrade the application in question.

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