Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

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Word: Excellent presentation on some advanced tips for Microsoft Word

September 26, 2022

Canadian editor, Adrienne Montgomerie, recently did a presentation for the Northwest Editors Guild (based in Seattle). In it she covers a whole lot of Microsoft Word tricks that editors (and writers) can use in their daily work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBLjEuP_OSo

Her presentation runs for nearly 2 hours but it’s chock full of hints and tips. If you want to get through it a little quicker, adjust YouTube’s playback speed.

One thing I learned from this presentation that I’d never tried or seen in action was Immersive Reader (on the View tab)—I can see myself using some of those functions (like screen background colour) very soon. Track changes works in Immersive Reader view and nothing about the document’s layout changes, just how you see it on the screen. it looks perfect for editors who need to concentrate closely on particular aspects of a document without being distracted by other stuff.

Another thing I learned (maybe I knew it already but I’ve rarely used it) was that in addition to rearranging a document using Outline view (View tab), you can also move sections around within the Navigation pane. Just turn off track changes if you’re going to do this—Adrienne explains why in her presentation.

[Link last checked September 2022]

 

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Word: Text surrounding a cross-reference shows in list of tables

September 7, 2022

One of my clients contacted me about some weirdness she was experiencing with some table cross-references (x-refs) in Word. Some table captions weren’t listed in the list of table at the beginning of the document—instead, the text surrounding the x-refs to these captions was listed. To explain this better, here’s what was showing in the list of tables (I’ve blurred out some text to preserve anonymity; click each image to view it larger): 

As you can see in the screenshot, the first instance of Table 10-10 reports the caption correctly, but the second one is in bold AND it shows 5 lines of the surrounding text AND other table numbers (x-refs) are mentioned in that text. Table 10-12 and Table 10-13 are both correct. This is not something I’ve ever seen before, as far as I know.

My first step was to click the link to that incorrect line item in the list of tables. I then reset the paragraph to the default style by selecting it and pressing Ctrl+spacebar, just in case there was an errant style that was causing the problem.

And then I noticed that while the first two x-refs (Table 10-10 and Table 10-11) in the text were both full fields (as evidenced by the grey shading, shown below; ignore the other grey for the blurring), the next x-ref for Table 10-11 wasn’t—only the section and table numbers had the grey shading that indicated they were fields, not the entire table number and the word ‘Table’, as you should see with a correct table x-ref. (As an aside, I always show field shading in a Word document as it shows me where the fields are and is thus a visual reminder NOT to touch them when writing or editing; in Word for Windows, you turn on field shading under File > Options > Advanced > Show Document Content — set Field Shading to Always.)

To confirm these were different types of fields, I right clicked on each and selected Toggle Field Codes. This confirmed that I was looking at quite different field types. Table and other x-refs should start with { Ref , which is what the first two showed, but the third one had different types of field codes, one for each number, as shown in the screenshot below.

And I recognised that the types of field codes for the incorrect one were the same field codes used in table captions, NOT table x-refs. (Don’t forget to right click in the fields again and select Toggle Field Codes to show them as they should be.)

I think I know how it happened—someone COPIED the table number part of a caption, pasted it and then restyled it like the surrounding text, thinking that was all they had to do to insert a x-ref. But of course, it isn’t a true x-ref—just a copy of the caption, which is why the sentence it was in was appearing in the list of tables.

The solution was to remove the incorrect text and fields and replace them with correctly inserted x-refs. Once I did this, I updated the list of tables and everything was fine again.

(Note: You may also have to update all the fields in the document too as it’s likely that the copied caption caused the other caption numbers to update and they are likely incorrect. In my case, I had to update the fields twice—once to get the caption numbering correct, then a second time to get the x-refs to those caption numbers correct. But typically you only need to update the fields once.)

See also:

And for solving other table of contents weirdness, see these blogs posts too:

[Links last checked September 2022]

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Word: Update all fields in a document

September 7, 2022

I thought I’d blogged about this years again, but apparently not!

If you need to update all the fields in your document, there’s a quick way to do it in Word for Windows:

  1. Turn OFF Track Changes.
  2. Check again that Track Changes is OFF (yes, I put this in twice because if track changes is on, you can get all sorts of problems).
  3. Go to File > Print, but DO NOT print anything. This puts the document into Print Preview mode, and doing that automatically updates most of the fields ready for printing.
  4. Click the back button to return to the document.

Most of the fields in all parts of the document will have updated, except perhaps the table of contents, list of tables and list of figures—update these manually.

Now check for and resolve any errors—search for Error! and if you use section numbering, search also for Section 0 (or Chapter 0 or Part 0, however you cross-reference the sections/chapters/parts in your document). Reassign the correct cross-reference for those that are broken. A broken cross-reference typically means that the section number, table, figure, or appendix no longer exists—if it has just moved, the number should have updated.

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Word: Outline numbered headings start at a number other than 1

August 4, 2022

A client has a 300+ page document that goes back to their client, and then into that client’s SharePoint system where many authors work on it. Occasionally the outline numbering goes awry. Instead of Heading 1s (H1) starting from 1, they might start from 15, so the first section heading is 15 instead of 1 and the second is 16 instead of 2 etc. Added to this, the Heading 2 (H2) and Heading 3 (H3) numbers have also started from another number (e.g. H2 might start at 4, so you get section 1.4 as the first H2 in section 1, with 1.5 as the next; H3s might start from 8, so instead of 1.1.1, you might get 1.1.8 followed by 1.1.9).

I haven’t figured out what causes this behaviour (both my client and I suspect SharePoint!), but after the first time I got it on their document, I tried all sorts of things before finding a way to fix it.

First I tried right-clicking on the headings and selecting Restart at 1. That didn’t work. Then I tried setting the numbering via the styles. That didn’t work either. What did work was resetting the start number under the Multilevel List numbering settings. Here’s how:

  1. Put your cursor at the first letter after the heading number.
  2. Go to Home > Paragraph and click the drop-down arrow next to the Multilevel list numbering icon.
  3. Click Define New Multilevel List.
  4. On the Define New Multilevel List window, click More.
  5. On the right of the window, find the Start At value and change it to 1. DO NOT change anything else on this screen – there lie dragons!!!
  6. Click OK.
  7. If the erroneous numbering was for Heading 1, then you don’t need to do anything more. But if it’s for Heading 2 (if H1 is wrong, H2 and possibly H3 likely will be too), then you’ll need to repeat these steps for the FIRST H2 in EACH new H1 section—getting it right for the first one will auto flow through to the other H2s in that section. Same if H3 is wrong—go to the first H3 in EACH H2 section and repeat the steps.
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Family history resources I use

July 24, 2022

I had lunch with some old school friends last week. In our far-ranging discussions, we spent a bit of time talking about our family histories and trees and I mentioned some resources that I use to manage (and find) all the information (I have some 12,000 people in my extended family tree software). I thought others who are interested in searching and documenting their family trees might also be interested, so I’ve listed below the various tools and websites I use. Note: I’m Australian, with the two threads of my family extending back to the UK and Prussia/Germany/Poland on one side and to South Africa (and the Huguenots) on the other. Part of the UK branch went to Canada and the US. Therefore, I use resources that have records from around the world, as well as a lot of local (Australian and Western Australian) records to track more recent twigs on my family tree.

Software I use to manage it all: Family Tree Maker (FTM), from https://www.mackiev.com/ftm/. About AU$115 (one-off payment, NOT subscription). I’ve been using FTM since the late 1990s and am very happy with it. There are other family tree software programs available, but I haven’t used any of them as I’ve had no need to move to something else. With FTM, you can also upload your family tree to Ancestry.com, but I don’t use that function.

Global resources

  • Ancestry (paid subs): My main source for official records (birth, death and marriage [BDM] records, electoral rolls, census records, baptism records, grave records etc.) is https://www.ancestry.com.au. Originally I just paid for access to Australian and UK records, but with relatives in the US and further back to South Africa, Prussia etc., I now pay for an annual worldwide subs (about AU$470/yr I think; it’s cheaper if you only want to access records just from a specific region). Ancestry has BILLIONS of official records you can search and link to your tree. You can also create your tree in Ancestry (or upload it from FTM), though I’ve never done so. Note: the sites that let you create your own tree on them give you the option of keeping your tree private (i.e. not searchable) or making it public. If you choose to make it public, be aware that living people, typically those under 75 but could be older, are typically NOT listed by any identifiable information.
  • Find My Past (paid subs): Another annual subscription I pay for is https://www.findmypast.uk, which has millions of UK records (quite a bit of crossover with Ancestry, but enough different that I maintain my annual subs with them); also has some US and other records too. About GBP180 per year for full access to all records (thought not the recently released 1921 UK census). Again, you can create your tree directly with them and not use special software.
  • Family Search (free): https://www.familysearch.org/en/ (part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [aka Mormons]). In addition to official records, they have thousands of publicly available uploaded family histories from members, which can cover many other records (e.g. some of my South African links on this site go back to about the 900s in the Netherlands, France etc., but I haven’t verified these, so I take them with a very large grain of salt; actually I treat anything before about 1750 with a great deal of skepticism, unless I can view the actual record). You don’t need to be a Mormon to search on this site and I think you can create your own tree on it too.
  • Cemetery records (free for basic use): Gravestones also carry a lot of information, and the global cemetery site linked to Ancestry.com is https://www.findagrave.com/ (free); you don’t have to be an Ancestry member to use it. Another worldwide gravestone site is https://billiongraves.com/.

Australian and Western Australian (WA) resources

In addition to the global resources above, which have very extensive Australian records, I also use these resources:

  • Newspapers:
    • For Australian newspaper records before about 1980 (date depends on the archival rules for various newspapers and public domain use), you CANNOT go past Trove from the National Library of Australia (free): https://trove.nla.gov.au/search/advanced/category/newspapers?l-artType=newspapers&keyword= This link is for the start of the newspaper search and you can use the filters on the right to narrow your results (e.g. if you’re looking for your own birth notice, you could narrow down to Western Australia / Family Notices / [decade] / [year]). Back in the day most Australians would announce major life events in their state and/or local newspapers—BDM, of course, but also engagements, funeral notices, wedding anniversaries, etc. and these all give information. Trove includes lots of smaller country newspapers as well, and many of these have social columns that read like the Facebook of today (e.g. “Miss Susan Smith visited her sister Mrs Mabel Brown in Albany last Tuesday.” and from that you might find out that Mabel Smith’s married name is ‘Brown’ so now you’ve added another piece of information to the puzzle).
    • The West Australian newspaper has various BDM and funeral announcements online, though it’s a clunky interface. I’m not sure if you have to be a West subscriber or not (I am, so I don’t know if non-subscribers can see these announcements): https://www.westannouncements.com.au/ You can search back ‘all time’ but I don’t think the online records go back more than about 10 or so years.
  • Cemeteries (free):
  • Marriages (free): For WA marriages (up to about 1965?), the reverse marriage search is brilliant as you can search by either party and it tells you who the spouse is (not as easy in the official Australian marriage records on Ancestry where you only get one party and a reference number to try to match to the other): http://www.wamarriage.info/
  • Teachers (free): If your ancestor was a teacher in WA, then the old Education Department ‘stud books’ from 1900 to 1980 are available online here: https://www.carnamah.com.au/teachers These are great for verifying names and where people lived and worked in particular years.
  • Official WA BDM records (free): https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-justice/online-index-search-tool Has birth records only to 1932, marriages to 1936, and deaths to 1971 (there are laws about sharing information about people who are living and/or under a certain age). Other Australian states have similar websites, but the amount of information freely available can vary and some require payment to access details of individuals.

See also: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/the-usability-of-gravestones-and-memorial-markers/

[Links last checked July 2022]

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Malwarebytes continually blocks a program

July 23, 2022

We’ve used Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) for years and have never had a problem with it conflicting with a particular piece of software on one computer. Until last week, when MBAM decided it didn’t like this software (after years of playing nice together) and decided to quarantine it as soon as we tried to open and run the software. We restored it from quarantine and made sure it was in the Allow List (it was), but it continued to get zapped by MBAM.

A quick internet search didn’t yield any answers that matched our circumstances, so I reached out to the MBAM support team. They were prompt in getting back to me, and with a solution that seems to have worked. This information is for me in case it happens again, and for anyone else who has a problem with a legitimate piece of software getting quarantined by MBAM. The critical steps that I hadn’t done were restarting the computer (twice) AND the second set of steps below. I’ve paraphrased the information I got from MBAM support:

If MBAM is removing something that it shouldn’t, then you can restore it from quarantine:

  1. Open Malwarebytes.
  2. In the Detection History panel on the left, click Total items in quarantine.
  3. Select the checkbox of each detection you wish to restore.
  4. Click Restore.
  5. Restart the computer to complete the restore process.

To prevent MBAM from removing the files again, you need to exclude them from detection:

  1. Open Malwarebytes.
  2. Click Scan to run a threat scan (this can take several minutes).
  3. When the scan is complete, you need to verify each of the items detected. If there are some you want to keep, clear their checkboxes. (In our case, 9 items were detected, all related to this software we wanted to use—the EXE file, the taskbar and desktop shortcuts, a registry item, and a couple of others)
  4. Click Next.
  5. MBAM will ask what you want to do with the unchecked items—select Ignore Always.
  6. Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.
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Word: Table cells won’t align

July 13, 2022

A client had an issue with a Word table—the cells, columns, and rows wouldn’t align no matter what she did. I’ve encountered similar situations many times (possibly because track changes is on when people add/remove table rows or cells, or they try do things with merged table cells without realising that they are merged, or they try to join one table to another). Invariably my ‘go to’ method (after spending a few minutes and getting nowhere) is to start a new table from scratch and copy/paste the cell information into it. Tedious for sure, but sometimes it’s the only way to salvage your sanity—and the table!

However, a few weeks ago I read about another trick to get table cells to align (the first method listed here: https://wordribbon.tips.net/T009924_Adjusting_Column_Widths_on_Joined_Tables.html), so I thought I’d try that on the client’s table as a first step, and it worked beautifully!

Here’s what her table looked like—I’ve blurred the content, and added arrows pointing to where things went wrong. In addition to the columns not aligning, the row ends didn’t align, and some parts of the table were missing borders.

Here’s how I aligned it in just a couple of seconds (Word 365 for Windows):

  1. Select the whole table.
  2. Go to the Layout tab (the one to the right of the Table Design tab—NOT the one for page layout).
  3. Go to the Cell Size group.
  4. In the Cell Size group, put a small value in the Width field (I used 0.2 cm). This gives you a narrow table.
  5. Click the drop-down arrow for AutoFit, then choose AutoFit Window. Your table columns and rows should now be aligned and you can now adjust them, as necessary.

NOTE: I’ve since had further issues, and this trick didn’t work for them all. The tables it didn’t work on all had some merged cells, so I split cells to get them back to the same number of columns as the main table, and then this trick worked. If you still need to keep those cells merged, then make sure no further changes will be done to the table and remerge as necessary (or use no borders for the cell dividers if you don’t want to remerge).

[Link last checked July 2022]

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Word: Format all cross-references as bold

June 17, 2022

One of my clients does work for a [big company], and I do the occasional bit of work for them. The [big company] wants the all cross-references (x-refs) in bold type (e.g. Table 1-4, Figure 2-10, Appendix F, Section 10.8 etc.). But there’s no way that I’ve found in Word to set this as an automatic attribute when creating x-refs (if anyone knows how, let me know in the comments). So bold has to be applied manually, and for a 400p document with hundreds of x-refs, that’s tedious for the authors and for me as the editor when some have been missed.

However, there is a way to bold ALL the x-refs at any time (ideally as one of the finalisation stages when working on a document). And it’s a simple find and replace solution (no wildcards involved!), but you do have to expose the field codes for it to work.

How to do this:

  1. Make a new copy of your document using Save As (this is just in case anything goes drastically wrong—it shouldn’t, but you never know).
  2. Select the entire document using Ctrl+a.
  3. Press Alt+F9 to toggle (and display) the field codes.
  4. Press Ctrl+h to open the Find and Replace window.
  5. In the Find field type: ^19 REF (^19 represents a field and the REF tells Word to look for a field that also has REF as part of its code—this gets all the x-refs but ignores things like the table of contents and other field codes).
  6. Click More.
  7. Put your cursor in the Replace field but DO NOT TYPE anything here.
  8. Click Format.
  9. Select Font.
  10. Select Bold in the middle panel at the top of the Font dialog box.
  11. If your cursor was in the Replace field, then immediately below that field Font: Bold displays. (If your cursor was still in the Find field, then Font: Bold will display under that, and that’s not what you want—go back and repeat from step 7.)
  12. Click Replace All.
  13. When the replace has finished, close the Find and Replace window
  14. Press Alt+F9 to toggle the field codes back to readable x-ref numbers etc.
  15. You may need to update the fields after doing this, just to make sure the bold is applied to them all. To do this, go to File > Print (which puts you in Print Preview mode), DO NOT PRINT, then go back to your document—this updates all your fields. Check your table of contents etc. If all the page numbers are the same, update the table of contents etc. separately as you normally would.
  16. If you’re happy with the changes made, continue using the ‘saved as’ document as your current version, or repeat these steps in the earlier current version you saved from (your versioning processes may differ).

I got my inspiration for this post from this very long webpage, written by Susan Barnhill, one of the Word gurus: http://wordfaqs.ssbarnhill.com/FormatCrossReferences.htm

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Word to PDF: Table of Contents not clickable

May 6, 2022

One of my clients had a situation where the table of contents (TOC) in their Word document did not become a clickable (linked) TOC in the PDF they created from it. By default, it should. because the standard settings for clickable links in a PDF are to include the usual Heading styles from Word. They had used standard Heading styles, so there was no reason why they shouldn’t be linked. Other elements such as cross-references to sections, appendices, tables, and figures all worked fine in the PDF, but not the TOC entries.

I checked their TOC settings and there I found the reason and the solution. NOTE: You can’t open these TOC settings if you’ve inserted a default (Microsoft-supplied) TOC from the References tab—you must have inserted a custom TOC.

  1. Open the Table of Contents window (References tab > Table of Contents > Custom Table of Contents).
  2. Make sure the Use hyperlinks… checkbox is selected. This checkbox is selected by default, so if it’s been turned off at some point, turn it on.
  3. Click OK.

Now, create your PDF—the TOC in the PDF should now be clickable.

Update June 2022: For a full discussion of the different PDF outputs when you Save as or Print to PDF from Word, see this excellent article: https://office-watch.com/2022/choices-make-a-pdf-file-save-or-print/

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Looking for a new password manager: Part 4: mSecure

May 4, 2022

I left testing mSecure until last, as I explained in Part 1. Because I have quite specific requirements, most of the main password managers I tested just didn’t fit the bill. LastPass was the main contender, followed by 1Password (now uninstalled), and Dashlane was out. Others that I’d seen reviews for in online articles, comparisons, and YouTube videos that showed how they worked, had eliminated themselves from contention because they didn’t offer the flexibility I’m familiar with (thank you to those who commented offering their suggestions). mSecure had been recommended by Dataviz, the makers of Passwords Plus (PP), and they had assured us that all our data would be imported seamlessly. Well, there were import problems for the early adopters, but the mSecure people sorted those out within a few days. I waited a week or so to let the teething troubles settle down, but today was the day.

It didn’t start well. You can only get the mSecure Windows app via the Microsoft Store, which I’ve never used before. I tried to download it via the Microsoft Store using my browser (Chrome), but my ‘device’ (PC) was not recognised, so I went in via that device (Start button, Store) to get it. This is a VERY convoluted way to get a product!!! especially if you have more than one Microsoft ID as I do, which is why I reverted to the Microsoft Store via my PC. Once it downloaded and installed itself, I tried to find it as I keep all my EXE files on my server—it seems it’s in a hidden folder on the C drive: C:\Program Files\WindowsApps. But once you get there, you’re locked out of seeing what’s in that folder even if you have hidden files turned on and have Admin privileges for your PC. As I said, not a good start. I like to have control of where an app is installed and where the executable is in case I have to reinstall etc. That’s likely a hangover from nearly 40 years of using computers, but it’s something I’ve always done (which is rather silly because I don’t worry about this stuff on my tablet or phone!).

So, to my mSecure review based on testing my exported PP CSV file and the things I want my new password manager to do. There’s no point in purchasing an app if I’m going to LOSE functionality, or an app where I have to have things in different places because there’s no flexibility in how the data is entered or stored.

Here are the results of my testing (no particular priority order):

  • mSecure has a Windows app, which is where I did my testing. I haven’t tested it on my Android tablet or phone as yet.
  • ALL my records from PP were imported in about 2 secs! Everything came through—all my notes, my custom fields, everything. All my existing categories from PP came in as tags. This is a HUGE win.
  • You can add fields and attachments to records, and there are numerous field types to choose from too. You can add/delete/edit fields from records based on templates too—once you’ve created the record, the fields are divorced from the template’s fields and any changes you make to the record are not reflected back in the template. You can change any field labels.
  • You can auto backup to a local file location after every 5 changes you make to your password manager file (under Settings).
  • You aren’t forced into using the company’s cloud storage for synching—you can keep your database just on your own machine (likely no synch with phone app, but not tested), in Dropbox, iCloud, or in their cloud. I chose their cloud, but you can change this setting at any time.
  • You can add your own templates (via Settings), and you can modify existing templates, including adding/deleting/editing fields and their labels, rearranging fields. There are many existing templates to choose from too.
  • Some of the icons are a bit confusing and some don’t have tooltips to tell you what they do, which is a bit disconcerting for those icons where the image doesn’t give any clue as to the function. I tested the circular icon with an arrow in it at the top of a record to see what it did—it opened a new email with all the contents of that record included in it.
  • On a record, you click the eye icon for the password field to show the password, but there’s also an eye icon at the top of the record to show any field that’s normally hidden on the record. And if you’re still in the same session, the show/hide eye icon persists across records so you don’t have to click it on every record.
  • You can set the time before the program logs you out and you have to enter your master password again. The default is 2 mins, but you can make it shorter or longer. You can also tell the system to lock you out totally if more than x failed attempts are made for the master password—and you can set it to never locking you out too.
  • You can add multiple tags to any record.
  • You can apply an existing template to an existing record—the existing fields are kept and the fields in the template that aren’t already used are added. However, check things like expiry date for things like the credit card template as that may take the date the records were imported. See further info on dates below.
  • You can change field labels, even after applying a different template to an existing record.
  • Check everything! (this would apply to any import of critical information such as that kept in a password manager). I noticed that one credit card record got the fields mixed up (e.g. I had 4 Mastercard records—some had the same PINs across each that weren’t applicable, along with the correct PIN). NOTE: If I went with one of the other programs I tested, I would’ve had to do all the data entry via copy/paste, so checking is a much simpler process in mSecure, though it will take time for nearly 500 records. In the first batch of 30 or so records I’ve checked so far, I’ve found no errors. (Update 10 May 2022: I’ve now checked all ~500 records and less than 2% had errors, and these were minor.)
  • More on dates:
    • Because it’s a Windows app, it correctly uses the same date format as your Windows settings (i.e. dd/mm/yyyy for me).
    • When you’re editing a record, especially an imported one, check any date fields as the date you entered in PP may not hold in Edit mode—to solve this, I opened PP next to mSecure and manually re-entered the dates.
    • Also, be aware that you cannot type a date—you have to use the date picker. This is no problem for recent additions, but at first I thought you couldn’t easily go back via years (e.g. to select a date in 2000, I thought you’d have to go back 22 (years) x 12 (months) clicks to get to it). But then I found that if you click the year in the top of the date picker, you get a list of years to choose from, and if you click the month, you get a list of months to choose from.
  • You can give each record an icon to help you identify similar things in the long lists (e.g. a house icon for things to do with your house), where an icon hasn’t been found on the internet for the thing (e.g. an Airbnb record will show the Airbnb icon without you having to do anything, but you could change it to a generic travel icon if you wished).

My overall assessment after a couple of hours of testing—mSecure is the one for me! I’m on day 1 of a 30-day trial, so I’ll continue checking my records and cleaning them up as I go (something I should have done in PP a while back), then once I’m happy with my database, I’ll try linking to the Android app on my phone and tablet and report back.

Update (5 May 2022): The CSV export from mSecure exports EVERYTHING, including all notes. I’m up to Day 2 of my trial and up to ‘F’ in checking the entries against PP, and so far NOTHING has been lost or mixed up.

Update (10 May 2022): I’ve now checked EVERY entry against those in PP, and of the ~500 passwords I imported, only 2 were missing (no idea why), another 2 had mixed up info (possibly because one record was duplicated from another in PP?) and a further 4 didn’t have their notes. So, some 8 (let’s be generous and say 10) records were either missing, had missing info, or had mixed up info, which is 2%, so 98% of records came through without error. Not bad. My next checks will be installing mSecure on my laptop and accessing the database from there, and also on my Android tablet and phone. Assuming that all works well, I’ll be purchasing this software before the trial is over.

Update (21 May 2022): Today I bit the bullet and installed mSecure on my laptop and signed in (you will need your username, password, AND the QR code or [incredibly long] authentication key you got and printed out when you set up your account to sign into another device). Everything synched beautifully. Then I installed the mSecure app on my Android tablet and Android phone—again, everything synched beautifully once I’d signed in and authenticated myself with the camera on these devices reading the printed QR code. You only have to do this authentication thing once on each device—after that, you can just sign in with your username and password. And because my testing was so successful and I’m now using the mSecure app instead of PP, I also purchased an annual subscription (with the bonus of a 25% discount for previous Dataviz PP clients).

You can find out more about mSecure here: https://www.msecure.com/ (if you want to use the Windows app, it may be easier to get it via the Microsoft Store in Windows—just search for mSecure; use Google Play to get it for Android devices)

NOTE: This is MY assessment based on MY needs. Your needs may be very different to mine, so your choice of a password manager will likely be different too.