How to Use Alexa’s Live Translate Mode

Echo Dot sitting on table.

Amazon’s Alexa language recognition capabilities extend beyond listening to simple voice commands asking for weather updates and turn-by-turn directions. Now, Alexa’s neural machine translation and speech recognition technology can translate conversations in real-time.

Alexa’s Live Translation service performs well. During testing sessions, we spit rapid-fire phrases in English, Spanish, French, and Brazilian Portuguese, which Alexa was accurately able to translate within seconds of hearing them. Live Translation feels smooth and free of choppiness and unintended phrases. This is especially true with end-of-sentence breaks, which Alexa has become better at addressing over time.

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How to Highlight Top- or Bottom-Ranked Values in Microsoft Excel

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Automatically highlighting data in your spreadsheets makes reviewing your most useful data points a cinch. So if you want to view your top- or bottom-ranked values, conditional formatting in Microsoft Excel can make that data pop.

Maybe you use Excel to track your sales team’s numbers, your students’ grades, your store location sales, or your family of website’s traffic. You can make informed decisions by seeing which rank at the top of the group or which fall to the bottom. These are ideal cases in which to use conditional formatting to call out those rankings automatically.

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How to Highlight Blanks or Errors in Google Sheets

When you have a Google Sheets spreadsheet full of data, it can be difficult to see certain cells at a glance. If you have empty cells where you expect data or errors generated from formulas, you can automatically highlight them. Google Sheets offers useful features to make data entry and analysis easier. One such feature is conditional formatting. With it, you can configure your cells to contain a fill color or specific font style, color, or format when conditions like blanks or errors occur.

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How to Lock an Image’s Position in Google Docs

Laying out a document with both text and images can sometimes be a challenge. To make this task a bit easier, you can lock an image into a fixed position in Google Docs. You can choose a spot for the image, adjust it relative to the top left of the page, or pick a quick layout. So when you add, delete, or move text, the image will stay exactly where you want it.

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How to Get the Word Count of Your PowerPoint Presentation

Knowing the word count of your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation and speaker notes can give you a rough idea of how long it may take to present the slideshow and where you may need to cut back. Here’s how to find out. You can get the word count of your PowerPoint notes and slides—or just the speaker notes—on both Windows 10 and Mac. Unfortunately, you can’t currently get the word count on PowerPoint for the web.

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How to Use the LEN Function in Microsoft Excel

If you’ve ever wanted to try and find the number of characters in a line of text, you can use Microsoft Excel to do so, thanks to the LEN function. Here’s how to use it.

What Is the LEN Function?

The LEN function is a simple calculation function that counts all the characters in a given text string, including numbers, letters, special characters, and spaces. The function name (LEN) is shorthand for length, as the function output provides the total length of a text string as a number.

To give you an example, let’s assume that an Excel workbook contains a cell with the following text:

This is an example text string containing 56 characters!

The text string contains spaces, text, numbers, and a special character, and has a length of 56 characters. Should you wish to confirm this calculation, you could use LEN to do so.

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How to Change the Measurement Unit in Microsoft PowerPoint

Most of the world uses the Metric system, whereas the U.S. still uses the Imperial system of measurement. Depending on what you are used to, you may want to change the measurement unit in Microsoft PowerPoint. Here’s how.

While there’s a built-in option for changing the measurement unit in Microsoft Word, that’s not the case for PowerPoint. Microsoft PowerPoint actually uses the system of measurement that the computer it’s installed on uses, which means that you need to adjust your computer’s system settings—not PowerPoint’s.

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How to See When Apps Access Your Camera and Microphone on Android

Privacy is a big topic when it comes to mobile devices. iPhones and iPads show little orange and green indicator icons when apps access the device’s camera or microphone. Here’s an Android app that can do the same. Like the LED light on a webcam, the iPhone and iPad show colored dots in the status bar when an app is accessing the camera or microphone. Android shows when apps are accessing your location, but it lacks these indicators.

The app we’ll be using to bring this functionality over to Android is called “Access Dots.” It mimics the colored dots that are present on iPhone and iPad. The app is easy to set up and gives you more information about what apps are doing in the background.

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