54 Best Alternatives to Amazon for Online Shopping

Amazon may be the leading online shopping platform, but there are other places to buy from in the wilds of the web.

You could be looking for something a bit different or need to do some comparison shopping. Perhaps you even deleted your Amazon account after a bad customer experience, or just want to support more independent stores that don’t sell through Amazon.

Whatever your reasons, there’s a wide world of shopping out there.

Best Alternatives to Amazon for Online Shopping

We checked out some top sources for most of the products, and while our list is by no means a complete one, it’ll give you a place to start from. Here are the best alternatives to Amazon for online shopping based on the major product categories.

Best Amazon Alternatives for Books

Amazon started out as an online bookstore, and it still sells books among millions of other items. If you want an alternative to Amazon for buying books online, there are numerous great options including:

  • Barnes & Noble: one of the largest and popular bookstores.
  • Powell’s Books: which deals in rare, new, out-of-print and used books.
  • Alibris: a long-lived marketplace for indie vendors to sell books, movies and music.
  • Book Outlet: which offers bargains on books, most of which are publisher overstocks.
  • DaedalusBooks: where you can find new books that you may have missed as the online store specializes in selling new books that didn’t sell.
  • Better World Books: which is best for books, textbooks, audiobooks, movies and music.
  • ThriftBooks: where you can get almost any used book.
  • Bookshop.org: an enterprise that helps keep indie booksellers afloat.

If you need free books, you can turn to our guide on the best sites to read books for free and alternative sites with free books for kids

Best Alternatives to Amazon for Clothing

Clothing and related accessories are available on Amazon, but there are many other places to buy them online. Some of these shops include:

  • L.L. Bean: a great online clothing store for casual and outdoor wear with free shipping and returns for credit card users.
  • JCPenney: an established clothing store since 1902 that sells conventional merchandise and jewelry.
  • Zappos: an Amazon subsidiary website, which specializes in shoes, clothing and related accessories.
  • YouShopOutlet: for well-made, comfortable shoes and boots.
  • Kohls: which sells clothing and offers free standard shipping if you spend $75 or more.
  • Macy’s: a popular clothing store with free shipping if you spend $25 or use your Macy’s credit card.

Best Amazon Alternatives for Electronics

Need a new laptop for your kids or for yourself, a pair of headphones, camera, or smartwatch? Consider the following online shopping alternatives to Amazon for all your electronic goods:

  • BestBuy: a major source for electronics and tech stuff that offers great deals with price-matched sales.
  • Newegg: which specializes in used, refurbished, and brand new electronics with free shipping on most items.
  • B&H (bhphotovideo): an online store that offers electronics and cameras, and ships to most places around the world.
  • MicroCenter: a site that sells electronics and computers with great deals and a wide selection of computer parts.
  • Precision Camera: for  new and used camera equipment, plus free ground shipping for purchases over $200.
  • Apple: for any Apple products from iOS to WatchOS and more.

Best Amazon Alternatives for Games and Outdoor Sports

If you love biking, camping, hiking, and sports, or you’re looking for a new pair of running shoes, try the following Amazon online marketplace alternatives:

  • Patagonia: for all your fitness clothing and outdoor gear.
  • PlayItAgainSports: where you can get new and gently used fitness and sporting apparel and equipment.
  • REI: which sells all sorts of gear and clothing outdoor recreational activities like boating, camping, snowboarding, and hiking.
  • Backcountry: which sells outdoor gear including camping equipment, with free standard shipping if you purchase items worth $50 or more.
  • DriveThruRPG: a popular digital marketplace for major and indie print-on-demand and digital role-playing games (RPGs), fiction, and comic books.
  • Bikesdirect: a good place for bicycling enthusiasts to shop for bikes.

Best Alternatives to Amazon for General Shopping

Before Amazon, there were and still are some bigger name stores where you can shop for general supplies from groceries to household supplies, electronics, toys, and furniture. Try these alternative stores, which also have a strong online presence:

  • eBay: where you can find something that you wouldn’t find elsewhere especially secondhand apparel.
  • Target: which sells just about everything with deals on a wide range of items including kitchen gadgets, clothing, pharmacy goods, electronics and furniture.
  • Walmart: a retail giant with a large tech section, and that’s known for being a bargain store for all sorts of home goods.
  • Overstock.com: a major online retailer that offers new products, but doesn’t sell groceries.
  • Rakuten (formerly Buy.com): which connects businesses with potential customers and offers product categories including electronics, home & outdoor, shoes, accessories, bags, luggage and more.
  • Jet.com: a Walmart subsidiary that offers brand-name items at low costs with free delivery for orders over $35.

Best Amazon Alternatives for Gifts and Crafts

Amazon has lots of unique gifts, but you may not find unusual products that are custom or individually made. For those one-of-a-kind gifts and craft items, try these sites:

  • Etsy: a huge site for crafts, custom, vintage and interesting hand-made gift items
  • Levenger: a great place for anyone who likes literary items like notebooks, pens or other reading and writing material.
  • LoveCrafts (formerly LoveKnitting): a specialized site for all things crocheting, knitting, and needlework.
  • Penguin Gift Shop: where you can find Penguin costumes, toys, and housewares.

Best Alternatives to Amazon for Home and Furniture

If you need something for your home, you may consider these alternative marketplaces:

  • IKEA: which is popular for its good-looking products with mind-boggling assembly directions.
  • HomeDepot: an established store where you can find supplies for home building or renovating, kitchen appliances, furniture and cleaning aids.
  • Made Trade: where you can purchase all your blankets, beddings, pillows and other sustainably made items for your home and closets.
  • Wayfair: which sells everything from sofa pillows to furniture, with free shipping for purchases of more than $35.
  • The Little Market: a nonprofit fair trade shop that sells hand-poured candles, homeware, handwoven baskets and bowls and other artisan made home items.
  • Uncommon Goods: which offers thoughtful yet unique items for any occasion including personalized maps, wedding gifts and even self-care kits.

Best Amazon Alternatives for Beauty and Health

For all your beauty, wellness, and fragrance products, here are some online shopping platforms to consider:

  • Greenbeauty Market: which sells candles and fragrance from indie brands like Aromatica, Noto Botanics, and Kind Planet Company along with other startups.
  • Superdrug: where you can choose from a wide range of electrical and fragrance offers, as well as skincare, makeup, perfume, and toiletries.
  • Sephora: for high-street and luxe beauty products. You also get two free samples with every order.
  • BLK + GRN: which sells black-owned natural and nontoxic goods from hair care to home goods, makeup and multivitamins.
  • Package Free: for eco-friendly and bulk-buy items from home and kitchen to bath and body products such as mouthwash tablets, silicone sandwich bags, reusable ear swabs and more.
  • The Detox Market: which sells high quality and effective beauty and wellness products.

Best Amazon Alternatives for Food and Groceries

Amazon isn’t the only place you can order your groceries online. Here are some alternatives you may want to consider:

  • Thrive Market: a food and drink online marketplace with good-for-you eats that are organic, gluten free or keto for your guilt-free enjoyment.
  • Boxed: which sells bulk foods and household items including detergent and diapers.
  • ImperfectFoods: which specializes in foods that don’t look so great but still taste good.

Best Amazon Alternatives for Pet Products

Whether you have a dog, cat, parrot or goldfish, try these alternative places to shop for food, toys and other accessories:

  • Chewy: for all your pet food, products and supplies at low prices.
  • PetSmart: which sells pet supplies, accessories, treats, and pet services to start your pet off on the right paw
  • Petco: where you can buy anything from pet food to equipment, live fish, aquariums, lighting, and pet medication.

Kick Amazon to the Curb

Amazon has been a one-stop shop for millions of consumers across the world, especially with the disruption that the coronavirus pandemic brought. If for some reason you’re not able to use Amazon, need something in a pinch and they can’t deliver, or you just want a different experience, try any of the alternatives above.

Did your favorite online shopping platform make the list? Tell us about it in the comments.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/cool-websites/54-best-alternatives-to-amazon-for-online-shopping/

The 7 Best Gmail Add-Ons

Gmail is the most popular free email platform in the world, with over 1.8 billion users worldwide. It has 43% of the email market share. It’s a powerhouse, and it’s not going anywhere—but it has the potential to become even more powerful than it already is through the use of add-ons.

Users can install add-ons through the Google Workspace Marketplace. Open the marketplace and click the Works with Gmail tab on the left side of the screen to sort by compatible add-ons only.

7 Best Gmail Add-Ons

Keep in mind that many people use the term add-on and plugin interchangeably, but this is not the case. An extension is installed in your browser, while a Gmail add-on is installed in the G Suite app. G Suite applications are typically more secure than extensions.

The following list are the best Gmail add-ons that expand the functionality of Gmail and give you easy access to powerful tools that greatly expand your inbox.

1. Zoom for Gmail

2020 was the year of the video conference. Between Zoom, Google Meet, and other video conferencing clients, people spent more time communicating through a camera than in face-to-face meetings.

Zoom for Gmail makes it easy to start a Zoom meeting with anyone you’re emailing. Once installed, you can find Zoom directly on your sidebar. Open an email and then click the Zoom icon to start or schedule a call without opening up another window.

2. Todoist

Many people began working from home for the first time this year. In doing so, they discovered the difficulty of managing multiple tasks and keeping track of everything you need to do. Whether you’re a work-from-home beginner or a seasoned pro who wants an easier way to track tasks, Todoist for Gmail can help.  

After you install the add-on, all you have to do is open an email and click the Todoist logo on the sidebar. If there is a task to be found within the email, Todoist helps you by filling in some of the blanks and allowing you to easily enter the rest of the information.

You can designate what project the task belongs to, the due date, priority level, and more. Once you have done all of this, just click Add Task to enter it in your to-do list.

3. Dropbox for Gmail

When you receive emails with important files, you need to back them up. Dropbox for Gmail makes it easy to do exactly that. Just install the add-on and sign in to your Dropbox account. After this, you can open Dropbox from the sidebar and quickly add any file to your Dropbox storage.

If there are multiple files within the email, just click the one you want to save and then choose which folder to save it in. Once you have selected the folder and given the file a name, then select Save. Voila—your information is stored within Dropbox without the need to open another window.

4. HelloSign for Gmail

Without face-to-face meetings, e-signatures are more important than ever. Whether you are the one signing or you require a signature from your client, HelloSign makes it easy to provide a signature without using complicated, third-party resources.

The free plan allows you to sign three documents per month, but signing up enables you to sign an unlimited number of documents per month and send out as many signature requests as you like.

When you need to sign a document, just click the HelloSign icon in the sidebar and follow the on-screen instructions. The system will automatically walk you through the signing process.

5. Slack for Gmail

Slack is one of the most popular communication platforms on the planet. If you’re ever bored, just look up memes about what happens when Slack goes down. With that in mind, Slack With Gmail can make conversations with coworkers more productive by bringing an email directly into a Slack channel.

This tool allows you to include attachments and images, too. It’s perfect for those times when an email chain is just a bit too long and unwieldy—just drop it into Slack and discuss it in real-time. You’ll be able to reach a consensus and decide on a solution more easily.

6. DocHub for Gmail

How often do you have to download a .PDF file to edit it or sign it? With DocHub for Gmail, you can sign, edit, and send PDF documents without opening a third party program. DocHub makes it possible to insert text, draw and highlight areas within the PDF, leave comments, and more.

Perhaps most importantly, it makes it easy to sign documents. You can merge pages together, create templates, and more. If you work with PDFs often, DocHub can streamline your workflow and get you in and out of your mailbox faster.

7. Trello for Gmail

Trello is an effective task management platform that encourages collaboration and helps teams manage numerous projects in a single location. Trello for Gmail allows you to transfer an email into Trello with just a few clicks, making it a to-do list item rather than an email.

If you are working on reaching Inbox Zero, this is a powerful add-on that can help you do exactly that. Trello for Gmail makes the subject line of the email the title of the card and adds the body of the email as the description.

Whether you use Trello as a way to manage your inbox or to create tasks for coworkers based on emails, this add-on is worth exploring.

Are Gmail Add-Ons Safe?

There are dozens, if not hundreds of Gmail add-ons available across the web, but every entry on this list can be found within the Google Workspace Marketplace. This ensures that the Gmail add-on has passed Google’s inspection for security and malware.

If an add-on comes from a third-party website, its security cannot be guaranteed. If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a Gmail add-on, read the reviews and get a feel for other users’ experiences with the application.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/google-softwaretips/the-7-best-gmail-add-ons/

6 Best Facebook Messenger Bots for Business

You’ve probably heard of chatbots (or bots) before. They’re supposed to replace mobile apps, email marketing, and change the customer service industry for good. They’re also supposed to take on a good chunk of your responsibilities as a business owner like increasing your revenue, attracting new customers, collecting data, and cutting your costs. 

If you also find the idea of someone (or rather something) else doing your job for you appealing, have a look at this list of the best Facebook Messenger bots for business. We found some of the best Messenger bots out there that you can use as examples if you’re looking to create your own. 

What’s a Facebook Messenger Bot?

Facebook Messenger bot, or Facebook chatbot is an automated messaging software powered by AI that converses with people. A chatbot can be placed on any website or page, but with Facebook’s user base of over a billion people it makes sense to use Messenger as a platform. 

Bots can understand questions, answer them, and perform simple tasks like providing information or scheduling appointments. It’s a time-saver for both customers and businesses. Using a Messenger bot, you can get the information you’re looking for, avoiding installing yet another app, making phone calls, or wasting time on Google. 

Why Use a Messenger Bot for a Business?

One of the biggest advantages of using a Messenger bot for business is obviously the wide reach of Messenger as a platform. People don’t just use Messenger as a standalone messaging app anymore. Many use Facebook Messenger when they wish to speak with a business about a customer service issue. Plus, if you’re looking to connect with your customers, creating a Messenger bot is a lot easier than building a mobile app.

Some other benefits include reaching new customers, helping you handle transactions, re-engaging your past clients, and improving customer service.

Top Facebook Messenger Bots for Business

We put together a list of some of the best Messenger bot examples. Have a look at how other businesses use them and get inspired to add your own Facebook Messenger bot. 

Surveybot

Not many people like filling out surveys. As a business owner, sometimes you have to jump through hoops to get your customers to give you feedback in a form of answering a few questions. That’s because this interaction happens after the customer received the service you provided and they aren’t getting anything out of it. 

Using a Messenger bot to ask them to fill in a survey takes the seemingly difficult part out of the task. There’s no need to download, or fill in the registration form. The customers simply type in the answers.

Surveybot is easy to use, as there’s no coding involved. All you need is to create a survey using the Surveybot website and then forward the link to your customers in Messenger. Surveybot will collect the responses for you so you can analyze them later.

Domino’s Pizza Bot

Domino’s Pizza bot is a great example of using Facebook Messenger bots to speed up the ordering process for both you and your customers. When using a bot to take care of the ordering process, you’re freeing up one or more of your employees (or yourself) to take care of other tasks, saving your company time and money. Plus, since bots don’t take breaks, your customers won’t have to wait till someone becomes available to take their order.

Domino’s Pizza bot curates the entire ordering procedure from start to finish. You start by selecting to Order, to Track Order, or to access Customer Support. When ordering, the bot will show you all of the pizza options available and you can add them to cart by selecting to Add to Order. The whole process is very straight-forward and doesn’t take longer than a minute.

One more thing that Domino’s Pizza bot does is re-engaging with the company’s past customers. The bot saves the information about people who have completed orders through it in the past and asks if they’d like to make the same order.

Pure Adrenaline Gym Bot

You might imagine that interacting with a chatbot is a lot different to interacting with a human business representative on Messenger. You can set your bot to engage with your customers in a playful yet informative manner and make them feel like they’re talking to a friend online rather than a business.

Pure Adrenaline Gym bot uses emojis, gifs, and a type of language that doesn’t feel dry or machine-like. The whole interaction with this bot resembles the process of actually talking to another person online, making people feel more comfortable and more likely to make a purchase from you. 

Sephora Messenger Bot

If your business is tied to scheduling appointments and meetings, have a look at what Sephora does with their Facebook Messenger bot for business. Using a Messenger bot will enable your clients to schedule appointments easier and faster whenever they’re online. There’s no need to call or browse through the company’s website in search of the contact details. You might even be able to use a bot to replace a customer service specialist. 

Sephora is a beauty brand that was one of the first companies to start using Messenger bots. Their bot helps customers to schedule in-store service appointments. The procedure is very simple and only takes a couple of minutes. You just need to select Book a Service, then choose the service you’d like to schedule, time and location that’s closest to you. 

Kayak Facebook Messenger Bot 

Your Messenger bot can help you drive your customers to buy your products and services. You can create a bot that will collect information about your customers’ likes and dislikes and give them personalized recommendations. A good example of a bot like that is Kayak Messenger bot. 

Kayak Facebook Messenger bot gives users recommendations on flights and hotels based on their needs. When a user first messages Kayak, the bot will ask them a series of questions to find out what they’re looking for on their trip. There’s also an option to ask Kayak bot travel-related questions which is a great alternative to spending hours on Google searching for relevant information. The bot can be of great help for anyone traveling for the first time and not knowing where to begin.

You can apply the same strategy for getting your customers to make purchases if your business offers a wide range of products for different types of people, like an online store or a delivery service. 

Evernote Messenger bot

Evernote isn’t just an excellent note-taking app, they also have a convenient Evernote Messenger bot that they use to handle customer queries online. Contacting customer support is always associated with long waits and busy phone lines. With Evernote, you can just message the bot and get an immediate reply. 

When you first message Evernote on Messenger, the bot will ask you to provide your email address and to detail your query. This way, you don’t feel anxious about waiting for the company’s reply, but instead get reassured that a customer service specialist will be in touch with you as soon as possible. 

If you have a problem with customer support or get a lot of queries from your clients, you can set up a similar Facebook Messenger bot for your business to make your customers feel heard and improve your business image. 

Create a Facebook Messenger Bot for Your Business

Owning your own business means having to deal with the competition 24/7. If you’re always looking for a way to beat your competitors and connect with your customers in a more efficient way, give Facebook Messenger bot a go. You can create a Messenger bot for your website, as well as a Facebook page. 

Have you ever used a Facebook Messenger bot for business purposes? If you were setting up one for your own business, what tasks would you have it perform? Share your thoughts on Facebook Messenger bots with us in the comments section below. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/software-reviews/6-best-facebook-messenger-bots-for-business/

7 Best Apps and Websites to Watch Videos Together

It isn’t always possible to meet up with our friends. That doesn’t mean there aren’t interesting ways to carry on having fun and seeing your friends and family without being nearby. One of the best ways to do this is to watch videos together—after all, who doesn’t love a good Netflix movie or interesting YouTube playlist! 

Rather than trying to sync your videos manually, you can try one of these seven apps, websites, and services to help you watch videos together with your friends without leaving your own home.

1. Teleparty (Netflix Party)

With original content and old favorites to enjoy, Netflix is one of the best streaming services around, but thanks to a third-party Chrome extension called Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party), you can enjoy watching Netflix with friends online without leaving your sofa.

While Teleparty isn’t available as a standalone app, it offers one of the best and most seamless experiences for synced Netflix watching between friends and family. That’s not all—it now supports synced Disney+, Hulu, and HBO streaming, giving you a wider choice of movies and TV shows to binge watch together.

Teleparty is available as a Chrome and Microsoft Edge extension on your PC or Mac, with a built-in chat system, emoji support, screenshots, support for up to 50 different users to watch a synced stream together, and more. Teleparty is completely free, but sadly, support for mobile devices like Android or iOS isn’t available.

2. Syncplay

If you’re looking for a standalone app that supports syncing video playback from local files to your friends, you’ll probably want to give Syncplay a try. This free, open source tool creates a stream of a local video file that your friends can join and watch over the internet.

Syncplay has few features, but that’s the point—it syncs videos, offers a chat functionality, and lets you (and your friends) share custom video playlists in a private area. Before a video is played, each user has to select a I’m ready to watch checkbox, ensuring that the video is synced in unison with all other streamers.

Anyone can pause, rewind, and control the stream, giving you all a chance to pause and reflect (or make a quick drink). Syncplay is supported on all major desktop operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

3. Scener

Movie lovers looking to host a party with their friends remotely will find it hard to find a system that works as well as Scener. This web-based platform describes itself as a “virtual theatre”, letting you host public or private video screenings for an unlimited number of users, although only 10 can switch on for video chats as co-hosts.

If you’ve got a big family or group of friends, and you’re looking to host regular movie nights by watching movies together, Scener is perfect. Like many of its competitors, Scener will sync a hosted video from live streaming service like Netflix and Disney+, but it also supports streaming from other video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

Like Teleparty, Scener requires you to install a Google Chrome extension to get a remote party up and running. There’s no fighting over the remote, either, with controls limited to the main host, although you can “pass the remote” virtually to other users.

4. Plex VR

While not everyone will have a VR headset, those that do can take advantage of an unusual feature in Plex, the network-capable media player, thanks to Plex’s built-in virtual reality features.

If you’ve set up Plex VR, you can share a virtual reality environment with others, with options including a virtual home cinema or drive-in theatre available to view. From there, you can chat with your friends while watching a video playback on a “virtual” screen. You can even interact and throw virtual popcorn at each other. 

Plex VR isn’t for everyone—you’ll need supported headsets and a Plex server set up to share your local videos and movies with other users. If you have the equipment, however, Plex VR offers a cinematic viewing experience unlike almost anything else, including a trip to the local movie theatre.

5. Zoom

Zoom is the platform that exploded into the public consciousness in 2020, with office workers and parents alike figuring out how to use the freely-available video conferencing service for work and leisure.

One great feature that Zoom supports, however, is the ability to share a screen to watch movies together. This feature can be used by friends to watch videos together, syncing videos together while allowing users to chat and see each other in real time.

Only the person sharing their screen has control over the video, offering more limited controls than dedicated services like Scener or Teleparty provide. It doesn’t take much to get started on Zoom, though. Simply create a room, invite others, share your screen, and off you go. You can even join a Zoom meeting on your smartphone.

6. Kast

Whether you’re trying to host a small number of friends or organize a huge family get-together remotely, few services have the features and flexibility that Kast offers. It offers real-time, synced-up virtual video parties, but it’s not a one-trick pony either, with a number of features that put it ahead of many of its competitors.

Kast is a multi-platform system, allowing you to connect through your browser in Chrome or Edge, using a desktop app on Windows or Mac, or on-the-go on your Android or iPhone device. It supports screen sharing (even on mobile), letting you share videos, games, and other content with up to 100 other users.

If you want, you can let up to 20 other people in a Kast party share their screen or camera, too, making popular parlor games like charades possible remotely. While Kast is free to use, some features (such as ad-free support and an increased video bitrate) require an additional Kast Base or Kast Premium subscription.

7. Rave

Social encounters are hard when you’re miles apart, but Rave tries to bridge the gap, letting groups of friends create shared video and music parties using content from YouTube, Netflix, and even your own Google Drive account.

Videos playing between shared users are synced, with a built-in text and voice chat system allowing you to communicate with your friends and family. You can set up a private party, or start a public “rave” and get to know other like-minded users. Rave is totally mobile based, with Android and iPhone apps available to use.

Unlike other platforms, however, Rave has a focus on music (although you’re free to play any type of video content you like). If you’re creating your own music, you can even share it with others using Rave’s sister service, Rave DJ, allowing you to view it (and other new music) together through the Rave app.

Keeping Friends Together Online

Whether you’re looking to watch movies together with friends online, or you just want a new and interesting way to stay in touch, there are plenty of apps and websites out there to help keep your friendships with distant friends from going stale.

Watching videos isn’t for everyone, however. If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, you could try fun iMessage games to keep yourself busy, or give some two-play games a try online instead.  Thrill seekers could even give online escape room games a go, but it’s probably easier to play games on Steam instead.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/software-reviews/7-best-apps-and-websites-to-watch-videos-together/

How to Add or Remove Comments in Word

If you cannot be in the same room with someone as you review a document, the next best option is to leave a comment. Microsoft Word makes it easy to both leave feedback within a piece by highlighting text and inserting a comment as well as respond to that feedback by replying to a comment. 

Whether you are working on a group project, critiquing a friend’s outline for the next Great American Novel, or even editing your own work, the comment function is a powerful tool. Here’s how to add or remove comments in Word. 

Note: The screenshots refer to Microsoft Word in macOS. The process is the same for Word in Windows.

How to Add a Comment In Word

Adding a comment in Microsoft Word is a simple process. At the top of the screen, click the Review tab. 

Highlight a word within the document or place your cursor on the screen and click New Comment. This will open a comment box to the right of the document along with a line that leads to the specific comment. The commented text will also be highlighted. 

The lines make it significantly easier to follow when there are multiple comments within a document, especially if there are several comments in a single paragraph. Rinse and repeat this step as many times as necessary.

You can also add a comment by highlighting text or right-clicking on the text and selecting New Comment from the context menu that appears. 

There is a final way to add a comment. You can select a word or place your cursor, navigate to Insert at the top of the screen, and choose Comment. However, this method takes longer than either of the other two options and is not worth your time. We include it here only for the sake of knowledge, as this same method can be used to reply to an existing comment. 

How to Reply to a Comment in Word

When multiple people are working within a single document and sending it back and forth for edits and review, it can be difficult to keep track of this collaboration. You can reply to an existing comment to create a tiered system that is easy to read. 

On an existing comment, click the speech bubble at the top-right corner.

This opens a text field where you can enter your reply. Multiple people can reply to the same comment. If you aren’t sure which reply came first, the time since the reply is visible to the right side of the screen.

You can also reply to a comment by right-clicking it and selecting Reply to Comment from the menu. This serves the same function as selecting the message bubble. 

How to Resolve and Delete a Comment in Word

Most comments are to point out an issue that needs to be corrected or to suggest improvements to the text. Once those changes have been made, you may no longer need the comment. Resolving or deleting the comment can help you keep track of what you have already done within the document. 

There are several ways to approach this. The first and easiest is to click the comment and select Delete from the tab at the top of the screen. If you click the down arrow beside Delete, you can choose to delete all comments within the document at once. 

You can also resolve a comment by clicking Resolve instead of Delete. The difference is that Delete removes the entire comment, while Resolve greys it out but leaves it in place. If a comment is resolved in error or you decide to comment further, you can right-click and select Resolve Comment once more to un-resolve it.  

You can also right-click a comment and choose to either delete it or resolve it from the menu. These options are found just below Reply to Comment.

The Review tab has several other options to note, too. Previous and Next provide an easy way to cycle through all of the comments within the document, while Show Comments displays any comments within the article if they are not currently shown.

Note: Most document editors like Word and Google Docs also have a similar method to review and resolve comments.

Use Comments For Seamless Collaboration

The Comments feature is a tremendously powerful tool for anyone working on a collaborative project with Word, and using it wisely can improve communication and the final document or team project. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/ms-office-tips/how-to-add-or-remove-comments-in-word/

6 Best StumbleUpon Alternatives

StumbleUpon was one of the best ways to explore the web—just enter your interests, click a button, and watch as an interesting website was dropped onto your monitor.

Sadly, the service shut down operations in 2018 after 16 years. The good news is that there are still StumbleUpon alternatives that are worth checking out.

1. Mix

Mix is the “true” successor to StumbleUpon. In fact, in a letter to fans, the co-founder of StumbleUpon suggested Mix as the next step for the platform. You sign into Mix using your Google account where you are presented with five links: For you, Following, Popular, My Bookmarks, and Inbox.

You can enter your interests just like you would on StumbleUpon, choosing from a huge number of categories and subcategories. For example, you can choose “Food” as an interest, or you can drill down and select “Cheese” and “Healthy Eating.” The customization is great, even though it doesn’t feel quite like StumbleUpon.

You can also choose to follow people that have similar interests to yourself, save pages you find interesting, and more. While a button similar to the original “Stumble” feature would be a welcome addition, Mix is close enough to StumbleUpon to capture the essence of the site.

2. Discuvver

Discuvver is a site that captures the feeling of StumbleUpon. While it doesn’t allow you to list interests, it fulfills its promise of discovering interesting, unique sites “one click at a time.” From the main website, just click on the button that says “Take me to a useful website!”

The first click took us to Rezhound, a site for getting real-time availability alerts for tables at restaurants. The second click took us to Ninite, the single best program management tool on the web. The third took us to Review Skeptic, a website that uses an AI to determine whether a hotel review is real or not.

That’s all there is to Discuvver—click the button and find a website you might never have known about otherwise. Despite the simplicity, there’s a fun anticipation to be found in every click of the button.

3. Refind

Refind isn’t a site for entertainment, but rather for learning. It focuses on 1% improvement, day after day–which it tells readers equates to a 37x improvement over the course of a year. Refind asks users to give it 10 minutes each day for the next 14 days as a trial.

You sign up using Google, Facebook, or Twitter, and then pick five topics that interest you out of a huge range of potential subjects. Each day, Refind directs you to 10 links relating to these topics.

It’s not quite the same as stumbling onto topics by accident, but Refind can provide you with interesting links each and every day.

4. Pinterest

Everyone knows what Pinterest is, and though it may not seem like a StumbleUpon alternative, it absolutely is—and one of the better options, too. Pinterest is a great way to just browse the huge amount of content that’s on the web.

Just do a quick search for a topic you’re interested in and see what comes up. Usually, you’ll find everything from articles on the subject to numerous resources, fan pages, and more. Pinterest also makes it easy to tag articles and share them with friends. Contrary to popular belief, it’s more than just recipes in mason jars.

Just sign into Pinterest with your Facebook or Google account and get started. After a time, Pinterest will begin to suggest pages based on your search history. It will even suggest profiles for you to follow that are related to your interests. While Pinterest is largely visual, those images all link somewhere and are a great way to discover fascinating websites you might otherwise miss.

5. Reddit

Reddit may be the most popular website on the entire Internet. It’s a great place to find interesting, bizarre, and sometimes flat-out useless content. In many ways, Reddit is the ultimate StumbleUpon alternative. Rather than entering interests, you follow specific subreddits.

With a bit of effort, you can completely customize your Reddit homepage to only show content you want. Extra add-ons, like the Reddit Enhancement Suite, further expand the similarities. Reddit is a great way to find communities of people interested in the same things you are.

Something to note is that the smaller the community, the more likely it is to have valuable content. Larger communities tend to have so many submissions that interesting content can be missed, but the beauty of Reddit is that even the most niche interests have communities within the site.

6. Digg

Anyone older than 30 might be shocked to even hear Digg mentioned as a StumbleUpon alternative. Once upon a time, Digg was the powerhouse of the Internet. It was larger than Facebook, Reddit, and almost any other website, but eventually, it faded in popularity.

Now, Digg is an excellent resource for finding articles on numerous subjects, but especially tech-related topics. You can check Digg for information on tech, politics, bitcoin, science, design, photography, and more. The homepage is a curated list of some of the most interesting pieces on the site.

The format closely resembles that of Reddit, especially with the upvote format. The best topics will naturally find their way to the top, but you can scour the site for the less-popular articles and the content that doesn’t reach the front page.

If you click the “Explore” button in the top-right corner, Digg shows you a host of topics you can browse. This is one of the best ways to find out exactly what’s on the site, and a great way to discover fascinating stories that might otherwise fall by the wayside.

The Internet is a vast, fascinating place, and it can be tough to explore without the right tools. Visit these six sites and discover brand-new websites and resources you might never find otherwise. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/cool-websites/6-best-stumbleupon-alternatives/

10 Zoom Presentation Tips for Your Next Big Meeting

After you learned how to set up and use Zoom, you might feel you’re ready for your first big online meeting. However, a good host knows that a successful Zoom presentation requires a lot of preparation, as well as following a few rules. 

If you’re looking to ace your next big meeting in Zoom, here are some tips that you can use to make sure everything runs smoothly and you come across as a confident and engaging presenter.

Check Your Equipment

The first thing to do to avoid hiccups during your Zoom presentation is to check your equipment. There are various tests you can perform to check if your webcam is working as well as fixes that you can perform if your mic doesn’t seem to work properly. 

After you test the webcam, make sure you position it so that people can see your face rather than just your forehead or your shoulders. To do that, first decide whether you’re giving the presentation standing or sitting and then adjust your camera level. 

A few other important things to check include your laptop battery. Plug it in if you’re not sure the battery will last the entire duration of your presentation. Also check your internet connection. Lagging video or audio will make it harder for the participants to stay focused. 

Dress to Impress

Once you’re done with the technical side of things, take a critical look at yourself and your environment. If you’re planning to have your video on, it might be wise to change out of your PJs even if you’re at home. Dressing up will help you feel more confident and give you the right motivation. 

If you’re not happy with your surroundings, you can always use Zoom’s excellent virtual background feature and make sure there’s nothing behind or around you that can distract the attendees from your Zoom presentation. 

Rehearse Your Presentation Beforehand

Even if you’re a confident public speaker, it never hurts to rehearse a few crucial moments of the presentation. It’s impossible to predict every single issue that might arise, especially with Zoom presentations, so it can be difficult to improvise on spot if you haven’t rehearsed the whole thing in advance. 

A good idea is to do a demo presentation at home with a family member, or with a friend over the internet. It’ll give you an idea of what to expect from your future meeting and what kind of challenges you need to overcome before doing your presentation. 

Turn Off Meeting Entry Notifications

One way to minimize the distractions during your Zoom meeting is to disable the entry notifications for attendees. Not everyone will show up on time, and depending on the size of your team, hearing that ring and seeing the notification for every new entry pop up might not just disrupt your presenting process but also annoy you. 

To disable these notifications, go to your Zoom account Settings > Meeting > In Meeting and toggle the Sound notification when someone joins or leaves setting off. 

Ask Someone to Monitor the Waiting Room

Zoom has a Waiting Room where every participant gathers before entering the meeting. It’s an effective strategy to avoid random people joining in and ruining your presentation. The downside of this system is that you have to manually approve every request from the Waiting Room. If someone is late or tries to rejoin the meeting after it’s already started, you might not notice the notification and leave the person stuck in their personal Zoom limbo. 

To avoid that, you can ask one of your colleagues to watch the Participant window to allow other attendees in from the Waiting Room. 

Learn Essential Zoom Shortcuts

Learning the most useful shortcuts in Zoom can help you ace your presentation and become a pro host. Plus, some of them will help you quickly resolve any unexpected issues and save time during your presentation. Here are some of the most essential Zoom shortcuts you need to know.

  • Alt + M (for Windows) or Cmd + Ctrl + M (for Mac) 

This shortcut will mute everyone at once except the host (you). 

  • Alt + M (for Windows) or Cmd + Ctrl + U (for Mac)

This will unmute everyone for everyone except the host. 

  • Alt + Shift + T (for Windows) or Cmd + T (for Mac)

A handy shortcut for when you need to take a screenshot of your Zoom meeting.

  • Space (for Windows, Mac)

If you’re on mute and need to quickly answer a question and then go back to mute, hold space while talking to temporarily unmute yourself. 

You can learn the rest of the useful Zoom keyboard shortcuts in the app’s Settings. Open the Zoom app on your desktop, log into your account, and go to Settings. Select Keyboard Shortcuts to view the full shortcuts list. 

Ask the Attendees to Mute Their Audio

Asking people to mute their mics during your Zoom presentation might seem like an obvious tip. However, if you have people that aren’t used to this format of online presentations on your team, we’d recommend making a point out of this before you start presenting. 

You can help them by pointing out how to do this in Zoom. 

You can mute your audio using the shortcut Alt + A (for Windows) or Cmd + Shift + A (for Mac), or through the Zoom app’s Settings by following the path Settings > Audio > Mute my mic when joining a meeting

Pause Your Presentation to Answer Questions

No matter how detailed you think your presentation is, your audience might have questions or remarks throughout it that they want to share with the team. It helps to pause your presentation frequently to clarify if the information is clear to everyone and if your colleagues have anything to add. 

Save the Chat Log for Follow-Ups

It’s important to take notes during the presentation even when you’re the one hosting it. Important questions and remarks that your attendees make throughout the meeting can be great for a future follow-up. Luckily, Zoom can do it for you with the feature that allows you to save your chat log. 

Zoom won’t save your chat history automatically though, you have to enable this function in advance. 

To do it, go to your Zoom account Settings and follow the path Meeting > In Meeting (Basic) > Auto saving chats. This will automatically save all the messages in the chat, even the ones sent privately between the attendees. 

Record Your Zoom Presentation

One final tip is to record your Zoom presentation. It can be beneficial on more than one level. You can send the recording to the people who couldn’t make the meeting, as well as to the attendees who wish to go over certain parts in more detail. You can also use the recording to analyze your presenting skills and improve your skills as a public speaker. 

If you’re worried that you’ll forget to record your meeting, you can go to Zoom Settings > Recording and enable Automatic recording of your Zoom meetings as they start. 

Time to Improve Your Zoom Presentation Skills 

Holding big work meetings in apps like Zoom is the new reality. Whether we like it or not, we have to adapt to it. The good news is, Zoom is pretty intuitive and easy to use. As long as you perform all the tests and checks in advance, your presentation is certain to run smoothly. 

Have you ever hosted a big meeting in Zoom? What are some tips that you’d like to share with someone who’s about to hold a presentation in Zoom for the first time? Share your Zoom knowledge with us in the comments section below. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/10-zoom-presentation-tips-for-your-next-big-meeting/

How to See and Share Your Spotify Wrapped

Ever wonder how often you might be listening to a certain artist, song, or music genre? If you have Spotify, you can actually find this out at the end of every year. The music app puts out what they call your Spotify Wrapped, which is a collection of your listening habits.

It’s become very popular on social media to post your Spotify Wrapped so your friends can see what you’re listening to most often. So, how do you get to and view it yourself, and how do you share it? 

How to See Your Spotify Wrapped

You can find your Spotify Wrapped by going to the website Spotify has created to showcase your very own slideshow. You can access this website on any device, as long as you log into the Spotify account you wish to see your Wrapped slideshow for. 

You can also find your Spotify Wrapped in your Spotify feed within the mobile app during the time it’s being promoted at the end of the year. It should show up as a collection of playlists based on the music you listen to. If you tap on the header of this collection, you’ll see the entire Wrapped collection. Tap on the top banner to find your slideshow. 

If you still can’t find it within the app, you can also tap on the Search icon in the bottom bar and scroll down to find the Wrapped icon. You can also search for “(Year) Wrapped” and it should come up as a result. 

How to Share Your Spotify Wrapped

If you want to show some parts of your Wrapped to your friends or share it on social media, it’s easy to do so. It just depends what method you are using to watch your Wrapped.

If you’re using the Spotify app on your phone, you’ll see a share button at the bottom of each slide. When you tap on this, you can share the slide directly to multiple other platforms. If you tap on More, you can also share them directly to your friends if you wish. You can also select Copy Link to share anywhere else you want. 

How to Find Your Past Spotify Wrapped

Unfortunately, you can’t access past Spotify Wrapped stories as they are only available for a short amount of time around the end of each year. You can generally find your Wrapped starting early December and you’ll no longer be able to see it after the beginning of January.

However, no matter the date, you can still find past Spotify Wrapped playlists. These are playlists that Spotify creates based on the top songs you’ve listened to throughout the year. To find these in Spotify, go to the search screen and type the year of the playlist you want to see. Then it should come up in the search results. 

How Is Spotify Wrapped Created?

Spotify tracks your listening habits from January 1st through October 31st to create your Wrapped content for each year. This includes songs, albums, artists, and genres you’ve listened to on your account.

In order to receive a Wrapped, you need to have created a Spotify account before November 1st of that year, and have listened to at least 5 artists, 30 songs, and have listened to music on Spotify for at least 60 minutes. If you’re not seeing your Spotify Wrapped, it could be because your account is too new or you haven’t listened to enough content. 

If you find that your Spotify Wrapped is not what you expected it to be as far as your listening habits, there could be a few reasons for this to take into account. If your friends or family use your Spotify account, if you’ve left Spotify playing unmonitored for a while at times, or you’ve allowed others to add songs to your queue that play on your account; all of these things could influence the outcome of your Spotify Wrapped. 

Also, if you’ve ever transferred your data to a new account for any reason, the history of songs you’ve listened to will get reset once you have the new account. 

Once October 31st comes around, all the data from your Spotify listening habits is compiled and analyzed to create your Wrapped. Spotify creates a playlist of your top songs that you’ve listened to throughout the year, from most listened to least. 

So, tell us if you have caught up with this special Spotify playlist and discovered something about your listening habits.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-see-and-share-your-spotify-wrapped/

How to Share Your Screen on Android

When you need to share your phone’s screen with someone, one option is to take a screenshot. There are a few different ways to do this on Android, including taking a scrolling screenshot. However, that’s not always good enough. Sometimes you need the other person to see your screen in real time, and that’s when you need to use other screen sharing options.

There are plenty of apps that you can use to share your screen on Android. In this article we’ll cover each of these, you can choose the one that you like most. 

Why Share Your Screen on Android?

With screen sharing apps, you can access someone else’s Android device without physically being next to it. That can be handy in a number of ways. For example, when you’re teaching your family members tech or troubleshooting their smartphone. You might be located in different locations, but that doesn’t have to stop you from helping each other out.

At work, if you’re a remote team of professionals, screen sharing is essential for saving everyone time and effort during collaborative tasks and projects. You can use screen sharing apps to review each other’s work, make edits, and add suggestions. 

Finally, you might want to share your screen with a friend for fun. Like when you want to play a game together that doesn’t have a multiplayer mode. In any of these cases, you can use one of the following apps to share your screen on Android. 

How to Share Your Screen in Zoom

The first great option for sharing your screen on Android is Zoom. Zoom is a video conferencing app that’s aimed at professionals who need to collaborate remotely. It’s packed with features, and it’s easy to use to share your screen with a friend. 

To share your screen in Zoom, open the app and start a meeting. In meeting controls, select Share > Screen. In the pop-up tab, select Start Now. When you’re sharing your screen in Zoom, the app will run in the background. You can use the meeting controls to stop screen sharing at any time. 

How to Share Your Screen in Google Duo

Google Duo is a simple video calling app that you can use to screen share on Android. In order to share your screen, you’ll first need to initiate a video call with the other person. 

To share your screen inside a video call in Google Duo, select the button with three stars on it. Select Screen Share from the options that appear on the screen. In the pop-up tab, select Start now. You’ll then start sharing your screen. 

Additionally, you can choose whether you want to share the audio from your smartphone together with your screen by selecting Don’t Share or Share Audio

To stop screen sharing in Google Duo, open the video call and select Screen Share again. You’ll stop sharing your screen but continue the video call. 

How to Share Your Screen in Join.me

Join.me has a wide functionality, from video calling, to sharing documents, to hosting webinars. You can also use this app for screen sharing on Android. All you need to get started is to download the app from Google Play and create an account.

To share your screen on Join.me, you first need to initiate a meeting. You can either join an already existing meeting, or host your own. Once inside the meeting, select the screen sharing icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen. After you accept the privacy reminder, your screen will be shared with the other meeting participants. Use the same icon to stop sharing your screen. 

How to Share Your Screen in TeamViewer

If you’re looking to share your screen for troubleshooting purposes, TeamViewer is the best pick. On Android, on top of sharing your screen you can give the other person permission to remotely control your smartphone. 

The easiest way to share your screen on TeamViewer is by using the TeamViewer QuickSupport app. The app will generate a special ID link for your phone that will give access to your Android’s screen to the other user.

To share your screen using TeamViewer, download and install TeamViewer QuickSupport, then select Send My ID to share it with another person. After they install TeamViewer on their smartphone, they’ll be able to view your screen. 

How to Share Your Screen in Skype

Skype is probably the most obvious video calling app on this list that you can use to share your smartphone’s screen. You can access this feature on any platform that Skype has an app for, including Android. 

The main advantage of Skype is how simple it is to use and that most people are already familiar with it. Plus, when you’re sharing your Android’s screen, it doesn’t matter if the person on the other end is using their smartphone or a computer, they can still use the feature. Skype is free to use, whether you’re sharing your screen with someone one-on-one, or in a group video call. 

To share your screen on Skype, you need to install the app and create a Microsoft account. Then, start a video call and select the three horizontal dots icon at the bottom-right of your screen. Select Share Screen from the options that appear. 

To stop sharing your screen and return to the video call, select Stop Sharing

Learn to Screen Share on Your Smartphone and Your Computer

Sharing your screen can come in handy more often than you think. Screen sharing tools make life a lot easier and save you a lot of time. After you learn how to share your screen on Android, we recommend learning how to use screen sharing apps on your PC as well. 

When was the last time you needed to share your screen with someone? What app did you use? Share your experience with screen sharing on Android in the comments section below. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/smartphones/how-to-share-your-screen-on-android/

How to Change Google Drive Backup and Sync Folder Location

If you’re pressed for storage space on your PC or Mac, then syncing Google Drive via Backup and Sync can only end up worsening the situation. Thankfully, you can shift the Google Drive folder to a different location within your computer’s internal storage or an external drive whenever you want.

Below, you’ll find three methods that you can use to change the default Google Drive Backup and Sync folder location in Windows and macOS.

The first method shows how to specify a different folder location while setting up Backup and Sync on your PC or Mac. The second and third methods will show how to change the Google Drive folder if you’ve already begun to sync your Google Drive contents locally.

Method 1: Change Google Drive Folder Location During Setup

When you set up Google Drive Backup and Sync for the first time, it will attempt to set your Google Drive folder under the user account of your PC or Mac by default. 

To change that, simply select the Change option (listed next to Folder location) when you get to the Google Drive screen. Then, pick a different folder on your computer. Ideally, the folder should not have anything in it. 

Then, either choose to sync everything in Google Drive locally or select Sync only these folders and pick the items from Google Drive that you want to sync. Finally, select Start.

Method 2: Quit Backup and Sync and Relocate Google Drive Folder

The Backup and Sync client does not allow you to change the Google Drive folder location after you’ve started to sync your Google Drive contents locally. 

However, you can use a workaround that involves quitting the Backup and Sync client, shifting the Google Drive folder to a new location, and then re-opening the sync client and pointing out the new location. 

Not only is it easy to perform, but you also don’t have to waste any time or bandwidth by having to re-sync your files or folders from the very beginning.

1. Select the Backup and Sync from Google icon on the system tray or menu bar. Then, open the Settings menu.

2. Select Quit Backup & Sync and wait for the Backup and Sync client to shut down completely.

3. Copy the Google Drive folder to the new location.

If you have trouble locating the Google Drive folder, here’s how to get to it quickly:

Windows: Press Windows+R to open the Run box. Then, type %userprofile% and select OK.

Mac: Open Finder and select Go > Go to Folder. Then, type ~/ and select Go.

4. Once you’re done copying, delete the Google Drive folder from its original location.

5. Re-open the Backup and Sync client. It should ask you to locate the missing folder. Select Locate.

6. Pick the Google Drive folder from the new location and select OK.

7. Select Confirm.

The Backup and Sync client will then compare the files within the directory to ensure that there’s nothing amiss. That usually takes a few minutes. You can then start using Google Drive normally.

Method 3: Disconnect From Google Account and Reconnect

If you’ve already started syncing your Google Drive contents to your computer but want to start all over from scratch with a different folder, you must disconnect your Google account, sign back into the Backup and Sync client, and re-configure your sync preferences. 

You can also choose to move any locally synced Google Drive contents to the new location and merge with them afterward. But if that’s the only thing that you want to do, then the method above is far more convenient.

1. Select the Backup and Sync from Google icon on the system tray or menu bar. Then, open the Settings menu.

2. Select Preferences.

3. Switch to the Settings side-tab and select Disconnect Account.

4. Select Disconnect to confirm. Backup and Sync will sign you out of your Google Account. It won’t delete any of your locally synced files and folders, however.

5. Move the contents within the Google Drive folder into a new folder within the location that you want to switch to. Skip this step if you want to sync everything from scratch.

6. Select Backup and Sync from Google from the system tray or menu bar again and select Sign in.

7. Enter your Google Account credentials and set up your sync preferences. Once you get to the Google Drive tab, select Change, and pick the new location.

8. Determine what you want to sync from Google Drive and select Start to begin syncing.

9. If you copied any previously synced files and folders into the new location, select Continue to merge them with the rest of the contents.

Note: Feel free to delete the Google Drive folder from its original location.

Switched to External Drive? Keep This in Mind

As you just learned, it’s ridiculously easy to shift the Google Drive folder to a different location. If you ended up switching to an external drive, however, just remember to keep it connected to your PC or Mac to avoid any sync issues. If you do want to remove it, make sure to exit the Backup and Sync client first. When you reconnect it again, simply re-open the sync client to continue syncing as usual. 

If you run into any sync issues later on, here’s how to fix Google Drive Backup and Sync. It might also be a good time to optimize your Google Drive storage.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-change-google-drive-backup-and-sync-folder-location/