An Improved Gmail Clipper from Evernote

Evernote, the quintessential note-taking software, has released a new web clipper add-on for Chrome, Opera and Safari browsers. While the web clipper is primarily used for saving snapshots of web pages to Evernote, the updated version is much more efficient at archiving Gmail messages.

When you clip an email thread with the new Evernote clipper, it creates a de-cluttered view and re-formats the whole thread so it is more readable. And if you are clipping a lengthy email conversation in Gmail, you now have an option to select individual messages in the thread that should be saved into Evernote.

Save Gmail Messages without the clutter

Save Gmail Messages without the clutter

The Gmail Clipper for Evernote can also save the inline images and file attachments found in your email messages. For instance, if there’s a PDF document or an Excel sheet attached to a Gmail message, the files will be directly saved to Evernote in their native format along with the email message.

You can get the clipper at evernote.com/webclipper – you would need an Evernote account to activate the clipper in your browser.

In my testing, the clipper worked as advertised for Gmail. It could easily handle large threads with 20+ email messages, the file attachments were successfully saved and the rich-text formatting of HTML messages was well preserved in Evernote. If you are to share an email thread with someone, it may be a good idea to save it as a note in Evernote and then share the link.

Also see: The Best Evernote Tips & Tricks

One more thing. The web clipper helps you manually save your emails to Evernote. If you are looking for an automated way to archive multiple emails from Gmail into Evernote, you can use a Google Sheet.


The story, An Improved Gmail Clipper from Evernote, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 01/07/2015 under Evernote, GMail, Internet.

Find LinkedIn Profiles with Google Search

LinkedIn, the largest network of professionals in the world, is also the favorite hunting ground for recruiters and staffing agencies. Whether you are looking for a list of college students who are currently interning at Facebook or a head hunter building a pool of presumptive candidates, LinkedIn will not disappoint.

LinkedIn has a useful search function to help you find potential candidates but do you know that Google search can also help to find people on LinkedIn. Google indexes every public profile of LinkedIn and if you perform people search on LinkedIn via Google, you get a few additional features:

  • While LinkedIn will only show 10 results per search query in one page, Google can return up to 100 results in one search results page.
  • You can perform date-limited searches in Google and this is helpful when you are only looking for profiles that have been created or updated in a particular date range.
  • You can automatically easily save your LinkedIn search results in a spreadsheet using the Google search Scraper for further analysis.

LinkedIn Scraper

LinkedIn Scraper with Google Search

OK, let’s take a look at how we can search LinkedIn profiles with the help of Google. Say you are trying to find people for senior position who are based in New York area. Here’s how we’ll construct the Google search query.

1. Show LinkedIn profiles but exclude internal LinkedIn search pages:

site:linkedin.com/in/ OR site:linkedin.com/pub/ -intitle:profiles -inurl:"/dir"

2. Find LinkedIn profiles of people who have senior positions:

"head | vp | vice-president | senior | director" site:linkedin.com/in OR site:linkedin.com/pub -intitle:profiles -inurl:"/dir"

3. Find matching LinkedIn profiles who are based in NY (wild card search)

"Location * New York" "head | vp | senior | director" site:linkedin.com/in OR site:linkedin.com/pub -intitle:profiles -inurl:"/dir

You can further refine search results by adding the domain (like Sales & Marketing) or even the company name to limit your search to executives of a particular organization.

Find LinkedIn Profiles by Post Code

Google search supports number ranges meaning you can search pages that contain numbers within a specific range. For instance, if you say “apples 1900..2000″ on Google, it will show matching pages that contain any number before 1900 and 2000.

We can extend the same trick to perform LinkedIn people search on Google. To give you an example, the pin code of Delhi is something like 110049. So if you are looking for web developers in the Delhi area on LinkedIn, you search query would be something like:

"web developer" 110001..110099 site:linkedin.com/in

One more thing. A search query like site:linkedin.com will perform a global search. However, you can use country specific sub-domains in LinkedIn to only show candidates from a particular country. For instance, site:uk.linkedin.com/in web-developer will find LinkedIn profiles from UK while site:ca.linkedin.com/in will only look for candidates that have set thir region as Canada.

Also see: Stop broadcasting your LinkedIn profile updates


The story, Find LinkedIn Profiles with Google Search, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 29/06/2015 under Google, LinkedIn, Internet.

How to Update Files in Google Drive without Changing the Link

John uploaded a PDF file in Google Drive and shared it with Peter. A week later, John updated the PDF file and uploaded the new version to Google Drive. Peter however still has the link to the old version and John will have to send him another email informing of the new version. Confusing, right?

You’ve probably gone through this situation where you have multiple copies of the same file residing in your Google Drive and, while you would like everyone to use the latest version, they are either not aware that the file has been updated or it takes too much work to locate it in the Drive.

When you have multiple copies of the same file in Drive, it not only creates confusion but the files also take up precious storage space in your Drive. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could simply replace an existing file in Google Drive with the new version instead of uploading it as a separate file? Well, there’s a solution:

Replace Files in Google Drive

  1. Go to your Google Drive and select any file that you would like to update. This is applicable for files that are not in that native Google Docs format like PDF, images, text files or even videos.
  2. Right-click the file, choose Manage Versions from the menu and then click the Upload new version button to upload the updated file to your Google Drive.
  3. That’s it. The file name and the file’s URL won’t change and thus all the old shared links will now automatically point to the new version of your file.

Replace Files in Google Drive

You can use the same method to replace a file in one format with another format. For instance, if you have a video file in Drive that you would like to replace with a GIF animation of smaller file size, the Manage Versions option will do the trick. And the shared link won’t change either.

Also see: Create Download Links for files in Google Drive

Things are a bit easier for Dropbox users. If you would like to update a shared file in Dropbox but without changing the link, simply upload the new version of the file in the same Dropbox folder.

When you upload a file in Dropbox and another file with a similar name already exists, Dropbox will simply replace the old file with the new one while the shared link will continue to work. In the case of Google Drive, you can can have multiple file with the same name in one folder and hence the confusion.

Also see: Add Files to Multiple Folders in Drive


The story, How to Update Files in Google Drive without Changing the Link, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 29/06/2015 under Dropbox, Google Drive, Internet.

Wikipedia Available as a Printed Book

The English edition of Wikipedia Encyclopedia contains around 5 million articles and if someone were to print the entire Wikipedia encyclopedia into a book, the size of the printed book would roughly be equivalent to 2000+ volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica (source).

Rob Matthews, a graphics design student from UK, converted 5000 pages of Wikipedia into a printed book in 2012. He downloaded few hundred featured articles from Wikipedia and bound them together in a physical book that was almost 1’7″ thick. Rob’s website (rob-matthews.com) has been taken over by domain squatters but the pictures of the printed Wikipedia book have survived.

wikipedia book

wikipedia printed

While Rob limited his printed book to the featured articles, Michael Mandiberg’s team has a more ambitious plan. They’re working on making the entire English-language Wikipedia in print format. The work has about 7500 volumes, each made up of 700 pages, and you’ll soon be order individual volumes from Lulu.

The project launched at the Denny Gallery this month and visitors to the exhibition can see the process in real time as Wikipedia pages are converted in digital books and uploaded to Lulu. A Twitter bot, @PrintedWikipedia updates when new volumes are added to the book library.

Here are pictures of the Printed Wikipedia project courtesy Wikimedia.

wikipedia printed books

Wikipedia Book Index

print wikipedia

Print your own Wikipedia Book

Wikipedia does include a built-in book creator that would let anyone, include anonymous non-logged users, create ebooks from Wikipedia articles. You can download these ebooks as PDF files or send them to a print-on-demand service like Lulu or PediaPress and have a custom printed book made of your favorite Wikipedia pages.

See more Wikipedia tools.


The story, Wikipedia Available as a Printed Book, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 27/06/2015 under Wikipedia, Internet.

Send Tweets with Rich-Text Formatting using TallTweets

You can post messages of virutally any length to Twitter using TallTweets. The web app bypasses the 140 character limit of Twitter by either converting your tweet into a PNG image or by breaking the long snippets of text into multiple tweets and sending them all in quick succession. Amitabh Bachchan, Bollywood’s biggest star, once recommended it too.

Rich Text Tweets

Compose Tweetstorms & Tweetshots

A new release of TallTweets has just been rolled out and it includes several new features and enhancements. The interesting additions are:

  1. TallTweets now supports rich-text formatting so you can use bold text, write in italics or even mark words with the yellow highlighter. See image tweet.
  2. You can compose Tweetstorms (numbered tweets, sent sequentially) and TallTweets will offer a live preview as you type so you know exactly how the tweets will look like in your timeline. See Tweetstorm
  3. TallTweets has gone international and now supports all languages including Hindi, Arabic, Malay, Chinese and more. In fact, if you use the “tweet as image” option, you can even send tweets in languages that are not officially supported by Twitter yet.

To get started, go the Tall Tweets website and sign-in with your Twitter account. Next choose the tweet style (tweetstorm for text tweets, tweetshot for image tweets), compose the tweet and then hit the Send button.

The TallTweets website is mobile-friendly so you can should be able to send tweets from your mobile and tablets as well. On the technical side, TallTweets uses an HTML5 library to convert text into images in the client’s browser itself.


The story, Send Tweets with Rich-Text Formatting using TallTweets, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 24/06/2015 under Twitter, Internet.

Can I Upgrade my Computer to Windows 10 for Free?

Windows 10, the latest version of Windows, will be released on 29th July. The new Windows OS has received rave reviews from people who are currently testing it as part of the Windows Insider program but there has been some confusion around the upgrade path. Will you be eligible to download a free upgrade of Windows 10 or will you have to pay for the license?

Free Windows 10

Who Can Download Windows 10 for Free?

This quick flowchart breaks it down in simple English.

If you have a computer that is running a genuine copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you will get a free upgrade license of Windows 10. If you are running a pirated copy of Windows, or if you have Windows Vista or XP installed on the machine, you’ll buy a new license for Windows 10 and perform a clean install.

The Windows 10 Home license will be $119.99 while the Windows 10 Pro version would cost $199.99.

If you would like to try Windows 10 but without affecting your existing Windows installation, you can join the Windows Insider program, download the Windows 10 ISO and install it as a Virtual Machine using VirtualBox. These preview builds will however expire after some time and the fresh builds are automatically installed as and when they become available.

You can follow the official Windows blog to learn more about the upcoming Windows 10 release or join the Windows Insider program to download and use the Windows 10 beta before it is generally available.


The story, Can I Upgrade my Computer to Windows 10 for Free?, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 23/06/2015 under Windows 10, Software.

How to Transcribe Video Files to Text with YouTube

A college professor is looking to transcribe some audio files as text and publish them online. He wrote – “We have some old lectures recorded on reel-to-reel tapes. We have digitized the audio lectures using Audacity and would now like to transcribe the audio and publish the lectures as text. What is the best way to proceed?”

A quick Google search will return a list of paid transcription services where you can hire people who will accurately transcribe and convert the audio content of your digital files into text. However, if you are looking for an inexpensive and automated option, YouTube can help.

When you upload a video file to YouTube, it will automatically generate subtitles or closed captions for that video. Google uses speech recognition to transform the speech portion of your video into closed captions that are displayed in the video player when the viewer hits the CC button (see screenshot).

If a YouTube video has the "CC" button, you can download the transcription as text.

If a YouTube video has the “CC” button, you can download the transcription as text.

If your video has decent audio quality and there not too many people speaking in the video at the same time, YouTube will automatically make a text transcript that may not be as accurate as human transcription but would do the job. The transcript is hidden inside obfuscated JavaScript but there’s a way to download it as plain text file.

Download Audio Transcriptions from YouTube

Here’s a quick guide on how to transcribe audio or video files to text with the help of YouTube.

  1. Go to youtube.com/upload and upload your video file. If you have an MP3 audio file, you may use a tool like Windows Movie Maker, iMovie on Mac or FFMpeg to convert the audio into a video file before uploading to YouTube.
  2. Wait for YouTube to completely process the video. The machine transcriptions may not immediately become available after uploading the video.
  3. Open the YouTube video page in Chrome and look for the CC button in the player. If it exists, the transcribed audio can be downloaded as text.
  4. Press F12 on Windows, or Option+Cmd+J on Mac, to open the JavaScript console inside Chrome Developer tools and paste this code:
if(yt.config_.TTS_URL.length) window.location.href=yt.config_.TTS_URL+"&kind=asr&fmt=srv1&lang=en"

It will open the transcribed text of the uploaded video in the current browser tab as shown in this short video. Save the file with a .html extension and double-click to view the transcription in plain text.

The same trick can help you download the closed captions of any video on YouTube even if you are not the uploader. And you can replace “en” in the URL with “fr” or “es” to download the transcriptions in another language.

Download the generated audio-transcription from YouTube as text

Download the audio transcription from YouTube as text


The story, How to Transcribe Video Files to Text with YouTube, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 23/06/2015 under YouTube, Internet.

How to Let Others Upload Files to your Dropbox Account

A class teacher needs her students to submit homework at the end of the week. A company wants designers to send the mockups and design drafts for review. A news organization is asking public to upload documents to their website. An event organizer is requesting attendees to send any photos or videos that they may have taken at the event.

What do you think is the easiest solution for all these use cases? Yes, e-mail. People can send you files by email and you can then use the Save Attachments script to automatically download these files to your computer. The big problem is that you cannot receive big files via email and second, it does take some work to organize stuff that arrives in email.

Wouldn’t it be easier if you could create a public folder on the Internet where anyone could go and simply upload the files instead of sending them to you as file attachments. Students can upload assignments, designers can upload mockups and your friends can upload photographs.

Dropbox File Upload

Let Anyone Upload Files to your Dropbox

This is the essence of Dropbox Requests. The requests service would let anyone –  your clients, work colleagues or even anonymous strangers – directly upload files to a designated folder in your Dropbox account easily and quickly.

They do not need a Dropbox account and you’ll get an instant email notification as soon as new files are added to your Dropbox. And you can accept files as big as 2 GB provided you’ve enough free space in your Dropbox.

Such a feature is missing in Google Drive but you can build a form that would let anyone upload files to your Drive with the help of Google Scripts.

Your Dropbox Request link is “unlisted” meaning anyone can access your file upload form if they know the URL. Also, when uploading files, the uploader would have to write their name and email address in the upload form but these are not verified so the upload will happen even if they enter fake information.

Dropbox shares no other details of the file uploader with the folder owner though they should be recording your IP address in their own database. Thus, Dropbox Request may not be an ideal solution if you are operating a Wikileaks like website where you would not like people to leave a digital trail. Here are some more Dropbox tips & tricks.


The story, How to Let Others Upload Files to your Dropbox Account, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 21/06/2015 under Dropbox, Internet.

How to Enable Facial Recognition in your Google Photos

Google Photos, like Facebook or Apple Photos, has built-in facial recognition and the software can automatically organize your photos based on people’s faces. While you cannot assign names to the recognized faces, at least yet, the software algorithms can smartly identify and group photos of people to help you visually find photos quickly.

Facial Recognition in Google Photos
Facial recognition is available inside Android, iPhone, iPad and the web version of Google Photos but if you are not seeing it in your account yet, it is probably because you are accessing Photos from outside the United States.

Also see: Google Photos – Tips & Tricks

A footnote on the Google Photos website says that “[Facial recognition] feature isn’t available in all countries,” probably due to privacy laws, but there’s a simple workaround that will help you bring face detection in your Google Photos, no matter where you are.

    1. Go to your Android phone settings, select “Apps”, then select “Photos” under the “Downloaded” section and click the “Clear Data” button to reset your Google Photos app.
    2. Go to the Google Play store and download TunnelBear or Hola or any of your favorite VPN apps.
    3. Open the VPN app and connect. It will essentially trick Photos into thinking that you are connecting from US, a country that is supported by Google Photos for facial recognition.
    4. Open the Google Photos app, scroll past the wizard screen and then under Settings, enable the option that says “Group Similar Faces – Auto Group photos by matching faces.”

That’s it.

Disable, or even uninstall, the VPN app, launch Google Photos again and tap the blue search button. You should see a list of faces that Google Photos was able to detect from your uploaded photos. And the feature will automatically become available on photos.google.com as well.


The story, How to Enable Facial Recognition in your Google Photos, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 20/06/2015 under Android, Photos, Internet.

Google Photos – The Good Parts

When Google launched Gmail in 2004, it bundled 40x more free storage space than competing web mail services. It seemed to solve all storage woes and there was not even a “delete” button in Gmail because, with a gigabyte available, why would anyone ever delete their emails. They’ve adopted a similar approach with Google Photos but gone a step further.

Google Photos offers unlimited online storage space for your digital photos and videos. The original images are compressed after uploading but the difference is barely noticeable, at least on the computer screen.

I started dumping all my pictures to Google Photos, the day it launched, and couldn’t be happier. The initial purpose was online backup but now Google Photos has become “the” place where I go to explore my photos. The files do not consume a byte of local storage space and yet the entire collection is always available on every device that I own.

Here are essential things that you should know about Google Photos and some tips to help get the most out of this amazing photo backup service.

Upload your pictures to Google Photos

goodGoogle Photos has desktop uploaders for both Windows PCs and Mac OS X. Alternatively, you can drag folders from the desktop to photos.google.com and they’ll be uploaded instantly. Android, iPhone and iPad users can install the Google Photos app and their mobile photo will be backed up automatically.

badThere’s no support for Windows Phone. Linux users can upload photos from a web browser but it is not a very convenient thing when you have too many folders to upload. And if you are already storing photos in places like iCloud, OneDrive or Dropbox, you’ll have to download them locally first for sending to Google Photos. There’s no cloud-to-cloud transfer option.

Google Photos

Organize your Google Photos

goodGoogle Photos will arrange your uploaded pictures by location and by date taken automatically. It can also recognize the subject of photos using machine algorithms so if you search for “food” or “dinner”, you will likely see all your family dinner photos. You can find “selfies” too. The results aren’t always accurate but a useful option nonetheless.

Facial recognition, the most useful feature of Picasa, is also available in Google Photos but not outside the United States. There’s no way to search for photos by date or tags either.

badIf you have painstakingly organized your photo in albums manually, you’ll be disappointed to know that Google Photos will ignore these albums and instead dump all the photos in one big pool. You can create photo albums inside Google Photos but it will not maintain the local album structure during upload.

Duplicate Files in Google Photos

Google Photos can smartly detect duplicate photos and will skip uploading them if a copy has been uploaded previously. The file names of your photos can be different and they can reside in different folders of your hard disk but the service will still recognize the duplicates and remove them from the upload queue.

badThere are two kinds of duplicates – exact duplicates and near duplicates. If you take a file and slightly crop it or change the EXIF data, it is a near duplicate of the original file. Google Photos will however treat this is a different photo and upload it as well along with the original image.

If you have too many “near duplicates” on your computer, use a desktop tool like Picasa to remove the duplicates before adding them to the upload queue.

Deleting Files in Google Photos

You can delete a file from Google Photos and it will go to the trash. It sits there for 60 days and is then permanently removed so you have enough opportunity to restore your accidental deletes.

Here’s an important detail you should know though.

badLet’s say you have a file holiday.jpg in a local Google Photos folder. If you delete this file from the Google Photos app and also empty your Google Photos’ recycle bin, the local file will get re-uploaded to Google Photos. This will happen on mobile as well. If you delete an item from Photos, the item may get re-uploaded from the phone’s gallery.

Thus, always remove files from the local folder as well after the upload it complete else they’ll be re-uploaded if you ever remove the corresponding files from Google Photos.

Editing & Sharing Google Photos

You can select one or more photos, hit the Share button and Google Photos will create an semi-private album with your selected photos. If you choose to share on WhatsApp or other messaging apps, Google Photos will download and send the actual photos and not just share the link to the album.

Google Photos Animated GIF

Google Photos include a suite of image editing tools that let you perform basic edits and you can also apply Instagram-like filters to your images. I was impressed with the photo editing capabilities of Google+ earlier and the same set of tools are now available in Photos. You can even produce animated GIFs and photo slideshows and send them to YouTube straight from the app.

badWhen you share a photo or album in Google Photos via a link, anyone with that link can view your shared photos. There’s no way to limit sharing to specific email addresses as we have in Google Drive.

Google Photos – Tips & Tricks

  • The Google Photos uploader is a one-way client and, unlike Dropbox, it will not sync your photos on multiple computers or mobile devices. You can however use Google Takeout to download all your Google Photos on another computer.
  • In Google Drive, go to settings and turn on the option that says “Automatically put your Google Photos into a folder in My Drive.” You can now see all your uploaded photos inside Drive and you can even sync your Google Photos with other computers just like any other Google Drive folder.
  • There’s no Google Photos API available but if you want to programmatically access Google Photos, the good old Picasa Web API may do the trick.
  • The Google Photos app is not Chromecast compatible but you can cast the entire phone screen to see your photo collection on the TV.
  • The desktop uploader for Google Photos may not upload screenshot images.
  • If you not sure if the desktop uploader is working, go to this secret link and confirm whether files are getting added or not.
  • Google Photos are not available inside Gmail but if you have linked your Photos to Google Drive, you can easily attach any of your Google Photos in email messages.
  • Go to the YouTube website, click the upload button and you’ll see a new option that says “Import from Google Photos.” You can pull any video from Photos and send it to YouTube.

The hard disks and CDs, where you are currently storing those precious memories, will go defunct in a few years. With Google Photos now available, there’s no reason not to upload your pictures to the cloud because all you need is a decent internet connection.


The story, Google Photos – The Good Parts, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 19/06/2015 under Photos, Internet.