Archive for October, 2020

h1

Facebook and FB Purity

October 29, 2020

Facebook (FB) and FB Purity (FBP) are having a bit of a war at the moment. Since FB introduced the ‘new look’, which most people seem to hate, FBP has been trying to revert to the classic look via one of their options. It initially had some some success, and then not, and then again, and then not, as FB closed loopholes in its code.

One of the things I noticed when viewing FB via Chrome on a desktop was that if I had classic look turned on in FBP and even if it wasn’t displaying the classic look because of this skirmish, the screen would refresh and jump OFTEN, and I’d get duplicate posts from some people.

Then this morning when I deliberately refreshed FB in Chrome, FB redirected me to the mobile site (GRRR!) and told me I was using an unsupported browser!!

I figured all these issues might relate to the FBP skirmish, so I turned off the classic look option under the FBP toolbar icon in Chrome (it wasn’t working anyway), and all of a sudden I could get the usual FB desktop site, the auto refresh thing disappeared, and I don’t see duplicate posts.

I’ve still got that horrible new look—I can live with that for now, and hope that FBP can figure out how to get the classic look back.

Meantime, I hope this post helps someone else who has had the same issues.

(As an aside, you don’t want to ask me how much I HATE the new block editing stuff in WordPress.com—I just want to write a blog post, perhaps add a screenshot or two, not sell hipster dude coffee!)

h1

Acrobat: Apply Redactions not available

October 22, 2020

I needed to send a copy of a PDF bank statement to a company, but with the details of balances, transactions, etc. redacted. It was easy enough to mark the areas for redaction in the PDF, but the Apply Redactions option was greyed out and unavailable. (I use Adobe Acrobat Pro XI and the redaction options are under View > Tools > Protection.)

Off to Google, where I found the reason. I’d downloaded the PDF from the bank’s website and some features (such as changing the document or extracting pages) were blocked (File > Properties > Security tab), and a password was required to unblock them.

I doubt I would have ever found out that password if I’d called the bank, so I did the simplest thing—I printed the front page (printing was allowed), scanned the printout as a new PDF and then redacted it. Problem solved.

h1

Word: Find 3-digit numbers

October 8, 2020

A reader wanted to know how to find the 3-digit numbers in their document.

Using wildcards, that sounds easy enough, but the issue is that my initial attempt (find: ([0-9]{3}) ) found ALL strings of three numbers, not just the whole numbers that have ONLY three numbers. So, in a number like 12345, it found 123, then 234, then 345.

I needed to add more commands to force it to ignore longer numbers and numbers containing punctuation (e.g. decimal numbers and thousand separators). The only way to do that was to make it look for a space followed by a 3-digit number, followed by a space or any other ending punctuation (comma, period, colon, semicolon, question marks, exclamation point, closing parenthesis, closing square bracket should cover most variations).

Note: I use Word for Windows—the commands may be a little different in Word for Mac.

Instructions

  1. Press Ctrl+h to open the Find and Replace window.
  2. Click the Find tab.
  3. Click More to open the lower section of the window.
  4. Select the Use wildcards checkbox.
  5. In the Find what field, type: ( )([0-9]{3})([ .,;:\)\]\?\!])  (you may find it easier to copy this then paste it into the Find field; Note: the first set of parentheses contains a space, and the third set of parentheses has a space immediately after the opening square bracket).
  6. Click Find Next.

How this works

  • ( ) looks for a space 
  • ([0-9]) looks for any number from 0 to 9 immediately following the space, and {3} looks for any string of three numbers
  • ([ .,;:\)\]\?\!]) looks for a range (that’s the square brackets immediately inside the parentheses) containing any of these: a space, period, comma, semicolon, colon, then punctuation symbols that have to be ‘escaped’ because they are also special commands in wildcard searches—these are each preceded by a backward slash (the ‘escape’ character) and are a closing parenthesis, a closing square bracket, a question mark, and an exclamation point.