Monthly Archives: June 2016

Five ways to drive and increase engagement with your blog

Five ways to drive and increase engagement with your blog

My viewing figures have gone down. No one is buying my books at the moment. Who wants to start a new business at a time like this? Well, here are five pointers to driving and increasing (or maybe, at the moment, maintaining) engagement with your blog. And here I am doing number five right now …

5. Publish more blog posts

The search engines like you to have regularly updated content, to make sure they’re not sending people to an out-of-date source of information. I find the sweet spot comes at around three posts per week. They don’t have to be long. Try mixing things up with different subjects or types of article.

4. Share useful information

One of the most-viewed of my blog posts is still one I wrote as a note for myself in 2011 on how to sort out a problem with Word. Still gets those hits, even now – and thank you comments.

3. Seek engagement

Ask questions. Put those share buttons on your blog (here’s how to do that in WordPress) and ask people to share if they found it useful.

2. Add Like buttons to comments on your posts

I love this feature of WordPress (and here’s how to do it) – if you Like as well as reply to comments, your reader will be alerted and should get a good feeling about you. If you don’t have time to reply right away, a Like will let them know you’ve read and appreciated their comment.

1. Reply to comments on your blog posts

I read a lot of blogs. If I put a comment on a blog post and the original commentator doesn’t respond to it, I feel ignored. I’ve talked about this at length on posts about reciprocity in social media (including blogs). I really try to reply to comments on my blogs within 24 hours; if I can’t do it quickly, at least I’ll “Like” the comment. Personally, if I read and comment on a blog and never get any acknowledgement, first I’ll stop commenting, then I’ll be less likely to read it. So I assume other people are like me and will do the same. Of course there are reasons why people can’t reply to blog comments temporarily, or don’t see some of them, but if it’s a constant feature, lots of comments with no replies, I’ll tend to lose interest.

I hope these ideas have been useful to you and help you to drive more engagement on your own blogs!


Posted by on June 29, 2016 in Blogging, WordPress


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Very Basic Trados Studio 2014

I’ve written this post primarily to help myself work with Trados translation software (and the screenshots are with the permission of my client). However, one of my most popular posts ever was written for that purpose and gets hundreds of hits a day, years later, so I’m making this public in case it can help other people!

So, this is about the very basics of importing a package into Trados, opening the package and its files, editing the files, doing things like spell check and sending it back. I may well update this as I do more processes. Note this is from the point of view of someone who edits the English translations of texts, so I’m in Review mode. Other experiences may differ.

Importing packages

This doesn’t always work from double-clicking the file you’re sent.

Open Trados, go to the Projects tab, click on Open Package:

1 open package

Choose your package and it will come up in a dialogue window: click Finish:

1a finish

Then click close to get back to the main menus:

1b close

Look at the files you have and edit them

Go to the Files tab and you can see all the files in the package.

If the package contains subfolders then when you go to the files screen you won’t see any files or folders. You need to look at Project folders in the left-hand navigation to see any open folders [Thanks to Vikki for this info].

2 open files

Right-click for the contextual memory, and choose Open for Review. This will open the Edit view

3 open for review

Getting back to Edit

If you come out of Edit, click on the Editor tab and there’s the file you’re working on:

5 when you want to edit

Finishing the edit

When you’ve finished editing, click File (top tabs) and Close. This box will come up:

5a close edit

Choose yes.

Changing the font size

If the font is really small, go to the View tab (top tab), look to the right, click Font Adaptation Options then change the minimum sizes to 11 or more. This will change the size of the font in your editing screen.

7 change font

Running spell check

You can find spell check in the Review tab (top tabs) under Quality Assurance – if your window isn’t really wide, it will appear under the drop-down arrow.

4 spell check

You can get to find and replace using Ctrl-F and they work as in other packages.

Auto filling identical segments in Review mode is apparently not consistent so don’t expect to be able to do that in this mode.

Creating a return package

Save the edits (Save icon) Then go out of Editor into Projects and click Create Return Package

6 create return package

Choose where you want to save the file and then remember to click Finish.

6a Finish return package



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Posted by on June 15, 2016 in Localisation, Trados


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How do I change a column into a row or a row into a column in Excel 2007, 2010 and 2013?

In this article, I’m going to explain how to change a column into a row or change a row into a column in Excel 2007, 2010 and 2013 (I think this works in 2016 too but have not yet tested it).

Why would I want to swap a column for a row?

You might start off creating a header row then decide it should be a column, or create a spreadsheet then want to rotate it 90 degrees. Or, worse, someone might decide that for you and expect you know how to do it!

How to change a column into a row or rotate a block of cells

Here’s our original block of cells:

Swap excel rows for columns

We want to turn this around so that everything runs along the top rather than down the side. Here’s how to do it:

First, copy all the cells you want to move:

Highlight the cells, right-click with the mouse, and select Copy:

copying cells in excel

Now, and this is important, find a free, empty cell to paste into. Don’t worry about it being in the middle of the spreadsheet, we will tidy that later.

Right-click with your mouse in an empty cell and then choose Paste Special and Transpose (a hint will appear when you hover over the button, but it’s the one on the bottom right)

How do I swap columns and rows in Excel

Behind all those dialogue boxes, Excel will show you what this is going to look like.

Click on Transpose and your cells will appear, starting from the empty cell you clicked on:

swapped columns and rows

Your original cells are still there – so highlight their columns, right-click with the mouse and choose Delete:

Flipped cells in Excel

And here’s your spreadsheet, the opposite way around from how you started!

5 finished

In this article, we’ve learned how to change rows into columns and change columns into rows in Excel 2007, 2010, 2013 and probably 2016.

If you’ve found this article helpful, please do post a comment below, and if you think others would find it useful, please share it using the sharing buttons below the article. Thank you!

Other useful posts on Excel on this blog:

How to view two workbooks side by side in Excel 2007 and 2010

How to view two pages of a workbook at the same time

How do I print the column headings on every sheet in Excel?

How to print the column and row numbers/ letters and gridlines

Freezing rows and columns in Excel – and freezing both at the same time

How to flip a column in Excel – turn it upside down but keep the exact same order!


Posted by on June 8, 2016 in Excel, Short cuts


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What do I do when Word just won’t work (Word 2005, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 edition)

Word 2010 Word 2016 Word 2013

Sometimes, Word gets itself into a pickle

People often contact me, either using the comments on blog posts or privately via email or my contact form, when they’re at the end of their tether with Word. Word has stopped working, Word won’t do what they want it to, the formatting in their document has gone weird, putting something in italics makes the overwrite button engage, the paragraph spacing just will not work, paragraphs keep going into bold BY THEMSELVES …

All of these things have happened to me or my correspondents.

Why does Word go wrong?

I’m not entirely sure why Word goes wrong. I think it sometimes just gets itself into a pickle; there are too many things, too many commands and codes, too much text … or the originating text comes from an unofficial or unregistered copy of Word, or has been converted from another program. Sometimes if something’s saved as and saved as, or worked over too much, like overworked pastry, it just. goes. wrong.

What do you do when Word goes wrong?

Well, I have three methods, which are not nice, and are certainly not fun, but do work most of the time. And as the latest person to contact me didn’t know about these, I’m going to share them with you now.

Before you do any of these, save your document and then make a copy to do all this with, just in case.

Method for sorting out major Word problems 1

  • Turn it off and turn it on again.

I know. But if Word gets into a pickle, sometimes SAVING, closing Word and reopening it can work.

Method for sorting out major Word problems 2

  • Copy the text – all of it.
  • Open a brand new Word document
  • Paste the text into it

This works in about 70% of cases.

Method for sorting out major Word problems 3

This one involves stripping out all the formatting. All your italics and your lovely bibliography. All your headings and styles. But sometimes it has to be done.

Note: There is a Clear formatting button in Word (in the Home tab, a little picture of an eraser rubbing out an ABC). But you don’t know that there isn’t something weird just outside where you’ve put the cursor. So I advise using this method.

  • Copy the text – all of it
  • Open a text editor
    • If you’re on a PC running any form of Windows, you will have Notepad as standard.
      • In Windows 7 do Start > All Programs > Notepad
      • In Windows 8 hit the Windows button > R > type in “Notepad”
      • In Windows 10 go to the magnifying glass in the bottom task bar and type in “Notepad”
  • Paste the text into the text editor
  • Open a new Word document
  • Copy and paste the text in the text editor into Word

It can literally not bring ANY formatting codes or bits and bobs through from your original document. But you will have to put all the formatting in again, from scratch.

I hope you’re found this useful. I know it might read like a bit of a blunt instrument, but if you have a Word document that is not behaving itself and you need to make Word work for you, sometimes this is the only way to do it!

If you have found this useful, do please comment and / or share using the options below. Thank you!



Posted by on June 2, 2016 in Short cuts, Word


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