Software

Apps, Operating Systems (Windows, MacOS, Linux), or pro level software.

Does Office come with Windows?

Episode 1558

John from Los Angeles, CA

John wants to know if Microsoft Office comes with WIndows. Leo says it doesn't, but there's an open source option called Libre Office, which is free, and will do most of what MS Office does, including reading all office document files. Bying Office is very expensive, but you can do a monthly subscription rate, which is about $100 a year for Office Home. It's the most affordable solution.

Is there an alternative to Dragon Naturally Speaking?

Dictation

Episode 1551

Chuck from Rochester, NY

Chuck is using Dragon Naturally Speaking on the Mac, but he just found out that Dragon is discontinuing support for Mac. What are his alternatives? Leo says that Windows and Mac both have voice recognition and dictation now, so it may be that they discontinued it because the market is drying up. Google is also doing this. Sadly, it won't have nearly as many voice features as Dragon did. One thing he could do is use the Windows version and dual boot his Mac as a Windows machine using BootCamp.

Why is the formatting different in Word for Mac?

Microsoft Word

Episode 1551

Katie from California

Katie edits her student's papers using Microsoft Word on a Mac, and now after a new update, the formatting is all screwed up in a Windows version of Word. Leo says that in theory, Office should be the same cross-platform. That's the point. But it's possible that typefaces may not be compatible in Windows that are in Mac, and vice versa. Her printer setup may also throw off the formatting. Office formats the document to look as it does on the printed page, and if she got a new printer, that could alter the format. So she should change it to a generic printer format.

How do I log into a Windows computer when the desktop isn't available?

Start Menu

Episode 1550

Josh from Mesa, AZ

John's mom recently passed away and had an old laptop. But when he turns it on, he gets an error "desktop not available." Leo says it's likely that the profile may have gotten corrupted, or is non-existent. Since she's been automatically logging in, that's where the error pops up. But there could be a hidden administrator account with permissions to take over all features. He can Google how to access that. Once he does, he should get the data out of it immediately. Then he should wipe the drive and start over.

Why aren't my files syncing properly?

Files

Episode 1548

Roy from Orange County, CA

Roy uses Google Drive and DropBox, but he's having issues with syncing folders to his other services. Leo says to check which folders are synced in the settings. He can also look at a third party service like ODrive. It will do all the syncing and will even merge all of his backup options except for Apple iCloud. He can also use a network attached storage device, which will also have a sync utility.

Why does Windows want me to reactivate?

Windows 10 Start Menu

Episode 1548

Steven from San Antonio, TX

Steven keeps getting a message that he needs to reactivate Windows. He keeps putting the product number in, and he keeps getting told to reactivate. Leo says he shouldn't need to at all, since it's Windows 10. Once the computer is authorized, it never needs to be authorized again. But it sounds like Microsoft keeps track of location information, and since Steven moved, maybe it's confused and is deactivating it. He'll need to contact Microsoft to solve this one.

What's a good alternative for Quicken?

Money

Episode 1544

Greg from Mission Viejo, CA

Greg would like an alternative to Quicken. He doesn't like the subscription service, and is tired of buying upgrades. He would prefer a Mac option that Turbo Tax will support. Leo says that he thinks Intuit wants everyone to move towards Mint, which is free. Mint automatically imports bank and credit card information. It does a great job categorizing as well. There's an open source app called Money Manager EX, which Leo says is designed for those looking to leave Quicken.

How can I transfer my hard drive data to an new drive?

Hard drives

Episode 1542

Jim from Calabasas, CA

Jim is getting a new hard drive to replace his old one. How can he transfer everything over? Leo says that his hard drive will come with an app that will enable him to make a bit-for-bit, sector-by-sector copy from the old drive to the new drive. But Leo also recommends getting an SSD for his OS and programs, and then use a standard spinning hard drive for his data.