Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Easily Paste Web Content into Excel with Destination Formatting

When pasting large data tables from your web browser into an Excel file you’ll probably be displeased to find that they do not match the formatting of the worksheet.

By default Excel will paste the data with the formatting it used on the source web page instead. This is rarely useful, since it’s very unlikely the web page had formatting that is compatible with your document. As you can see in the image above, using the source formatting can result in the inclusion of links, improper font and font size, and a number of other formatting issues.

To make Excel paste the data with destination formatting (i.e. the formatting of the destination Excel worksheet), you’ll need to add a special command to your quick access toolbar. To do this, select File > Options > Quick Access Toolbar. Above the left column, select the Choose commands from dropdown and choose All Commands. Scroll down the list and find Paste and Match Destination Formatting. Select it and click Add, then OK.

Now whenever you wish to paste web data into Excel, click the Paste and Match Destination Formatting button in the Quick Access Toolbar instead of using the standard paste tool. This will result in the data being automatically formatted to match the look of the rest of your worksheet.

Helen Bradley

Helen Bradley

Friday, March 21st, 2014

How to Fix Excel Printing a Workbook to Multiple PDF Files

Learn how to  make sure that printing multiple sheets to a pdf gives one pdf and not many

If you have ever tried to print a large Excel workbook to a PDF file, you’ve probably run into this issue. You press print, Excel asks you to name the PDF, and then it begins to print. Everything seems fine, but then Excel asks you to name another PDF, then another, then another, ad infinitum. When the operation finally finishes, Excel has properly printed the workbook to a PDF format, but your worksheets have been split into several different PDF files. Some PDFs contain multiple worksheets, others only a single one, but all you really wanted was one PDF file with the entire workbook.

It turns out this issue is caused by having different Page Setup options on each worksheet. For example, Excel can’t print two pages with different paper sizes to the same “piece of paper” (actually a PDF in this case). Instead, it insists on having two different PDFs to print to, one for each paper size. So, to resolve this issue, you must make sure each worksheet’s page setup agrees with the others.

Fortunately, doing this is very simple. To begin, in your Excel workbook, right click one of your worksheet tabs at the bottom of the window and choose Select All Sheets. Any changes to the Page Setup options will now be applied to every worksheet.

This means we don’t have to check each worksheet to make sure it has the same settings as the others; we simply choose which settings we want and all the worksheets will automatically match. To do this, go to the Page Layout tab in the ribbon. In the Page Setup section, click the small arrow in the bottom right corner to open the Page Setup dialog.

The Page tab of the dialog contains the critical options that can lead to this issue, namely the paper size and print quality settings. Change these to whatever you wish, typically something like letter paper at 300 dpi. Other settings, such as orientation and scaling, do not cause the multiple PDFs issue so if you wish you can change them for individual worksheets. Still, it’s best to have all worksheets print with the same settings. Once you have chosen your desired settings click OK and they will be applied to every worksheet.

You can now print your workbook to a single PDF file.

Helen Bradley

Helen Bradley

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Put the Apps back on my Chrome New Tab! NOW!

If the new Chrome Update (Sep 2013) messed up your browser, here’s how to get the old look back

Ok, I am rightly angry – my Chrome browser just updated and all the Apps on the New Tab (that I had laboriously configured and which I use daily because, hello Google I need them)disappeared.

Sure, I can click the new little Apps button on the Bookmark bar to view them – I get that – but why? I had Chrome all nice and organized – I didn’t need Google’s input to fix it… just like I don’t expect Google to walk into my house and rearrange my desk or my bookshelf or anything else I have organized the way I want it.

So, rant aside, here’s the solution to how to put the Chrome Apps back on the New Tab:


As of Chrome 33 the option to fix the problem as detailed below (in red) has been removed. Seriously at Google people actually worked hard to remove this feature so we can no longer make Chrome behave the way we want it to? Way to go! Yet another reason I hate the Cloud and I hate apps that automatically update and companies that couldn’t care less about the needs of their user base. I just don’t understand why Google doesn’t listen to its users and help them out instead of giving us a totally useless Google search box in the middle of the new tab window. Now I understand that not everyone wants or likes the old style interface but why break the fix (that worked), for those of us who do?

Ok, today’s solution (until Google folk mess with this and break it too) is to download the New Tab Redirect app from the Chrome Web store here. Once installed, the Extension launches so you can set it to show your apps. So, you need the My New Tab page should show this URL to read:


You can do this by typing the entry yourself or you can click the Apps button below Quick Save and it will be done automatically for you.

Now, in future when you click the New Tab button it will show your apps.

It works, no thanks to Google.

I hope this solution saves you from the stress of having Chrome apps disappear from your New Tab Page. It has certainly reduced my blood pressure!

1.    Go to the address bar and type this in:


2.    Press Enter and then search for this word:

Extended API

This will take you to the Extended API option which is set to Default

3.   From the drop down list choose Disabled and then close and reopen Chrome.

Voila! your browser is now restored to its former glory!

Helen Bradley

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Photoshop Tip – Fixing Images with Contrast Masks

Use Contrast Masks to Fix Images Simply

Many of the fixes we commonly apply to images come from darkroom processes. Contrast masking is one of those fixes and it can be used to fix an image which is under or over exposed.

Contrast masking is a relatively simple process and it can work wonders with your images. I like it because it generally doesn’t require you to make selections and there is a lot to like about fixes that don’t involve selections.

Here’s how to use Contrast Masking to fix an under exposed image:

Open your image and duplicate the background layer. Target this duplicate layer in the Layers palette.

Desaturate this layer by choosing Image > Adjustments > Desaturate. Right now the default convert to black and white is just fine.

Alter the blend mode of this layer to Overlay.

To invert this black and white layer choose Image > Adjustments > Invert – this gives a negative of the image.
Adjust the layer opacity to suit.

Convert the top layer to a Smart Object by choosing Filter > Convert for Smart Filters.

Now blur this layer by choosing Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Adjust the Radius to adds some sharpening back to the image. Check the preview to get the best result for the image.

Helen Bradley

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Word 2010 and 2013 Tip – Misssing Page Numbers

Finding and Fixing Page Numbers that Can’t be Seen and/or Won’t Print

If you have included page numbers at the foot of a page and find that they’re missing from your printouts the problem lies with your page settings. The footer text is being forced to print so far down the paper that your printer is ejecting the paper before this point is reached.

Solve the problem by selecting the Page Layout tab, click the Margins dropdown list, and click Custom Margins. Now, in this dialog select the Layout tab. Finally, increase the From edge: Footer measurement slightly. Experiment to find the smallest increase which will allow your page numbers to print.


Helen Bradley

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Portraits of Mum – Part 2 – select and fix

In my last blog post I talked about how to take great photos of mum for Mother’s Day or any other occasion. Today I am going to explain how to process them.

Once you’ve downloaded and chosen the best shots – I use Lightroom because it is so simple to use, it’s time to fix the photos.

I will adjust the white balance – in the series of images I shot the white balance was a little too warm so I cooled the images down and adjusted the Exposure in the Develop module.

I will then fix any skin blemishes either in Lightroom or, if you’re using Photoshop Elements, for example, I’ll do that with the Spot Healing Brush – it is as simple as painting out the problem areas and uneven skin tones.

To lessen the effect of wrinkles a good fix is to make a duplicate of the image background layer and to blur this duplicate layer with a small radius Gaussian blur filter (Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur). Then selectively erase the top layer to reveal the sharper features underneath leaving the blur over the wrinkles. You will want to erase the blurry eyes and mouth and perhaps some of the blurred hair. Finally, reduce the Opacity of the top layer to blend the two layers together for a great result.

If your images are a colder blue color then use a warming filter to give the portrait a warm pink glow which is very flattering to skin tones. In Photoshop Elements, to do this, choose Filter > Adjustments > Photo Filter and choose a Warming Filter (85). You can set the density of the filter to control how strongly it is applied. In the Lightroom Develop module, you can drag the Temperature slider a little to the right.

I like to use the Photoshop Elements Lightening Brush to lighten a person’s teeth slightly and I’ll often use the Saturation Enhancing Brush to brighten their eyes. Err on the side of caution though, the edits you make should be subtle and gently enhance the photo – you’re not applying Halloween makeup!

If your mum gets just one photo that she loves of herself from those you’ve taken – you’ve given her a wonderful gift. Best of all, you can bet she’ll be happy to pose for you again next year.

Helen Bradley

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Correcting Perspective in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

Sometimes you’ll capture an image that should be rectangular but is anything but. In this example I shot an image of a 6 x 6 inch sheet of paper for a project. The aim at the time was to have a reference image before the project was shipped.

Later I found I need to do more with the image and because it had been shot so casually the proportions were all wrong and the image does not look like a square sheet of paper. I also no longer have the project so reshooting is out of the question.

Luckily Photoshop and Photoshop Elements both share a similar tool for adjusting perspective which will go a long way towards fixing an image like this.

To do this choose Filter > Lens Correction in Photoshop and then click the Custom tab to access the custom tools. In Photoshop Elements choose Filter > Correct Camera Distortion.

Make sure the Show Grid option is checked and you may want to adjust the grid size so it is useful for determining the straightness of the edges in the image.

The Vertical Perspective adjustment will fix this image’s perspective problems so drag it to the left to increase the width at the top of the image to adjust for the incorrect perspective.

When you do this you may notice that the image has some geometric distortion. In this case it’s barrel distortion and the edges of the subject are billowed out.

To remove this adjust the Remove Distortion slider to counteract the distortion. It won’t be possible to get it perfect but it will be possible to reduce it to acceptable levels.

In this same dialog you may occasionally want to adjust the Vignetting slider if your lens causes dark vignettes in the corners of the image. In most cases you will drag to the right to slightly lighten the edges of the image.

Once you’re done click Ok to return to Photoshop.

The only problem that cannot be fixed in the lens correction filter is the one that would stretch the image so the subject looks closer to its original proportions which are of a 6 x 6 inch page.

For this you’ll need to click the Move tool and drag up or down on the image to stretch it.

If you need to stretch the image beyond the current image canvas dimensions, do so and confirm the change. Then choose Image > Reveal All to reveal the area of the image off the side of the canvas. While the final image isn’t perfect it looks a lot better than the original.

This same tool can be used to adjust perspective on buildings which show a keystoning effect where the building appears to be narrower at the top than at its base.

Helen Bradley

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Fix Images in place in Google Docs – Quick Tip

If you’re having trouble positioning images in a document, Google provides an easy solution.

By default, all inserted images are placed inline with the text, which means it is treated just like another character and will move with the text around it. To change this, simply click on your image and select Fixed position. This places the image “above” the text so that the text moves to accommodate it; the image remains in any location you move it to while text wraps around it. This also permits images to overlap.

Helen Bradley

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Photoshop – Spot Healing & Clone Tool Tips

Photoshop tips and tricks for using the Spot Healing and Clone tool to remove problems from an image. I also demonstrate using a separate layer for the fix so it can be erased, blended or undone.


Hello, I’m Helen Bradley. Welcome to this video tutorial. In this tutorial we’re going to have a look at the Spot Healing Brush tool and the Cloning tool in Photoshop and look at some tips for getting a more effective and quick result using these tools.

When it comes to practicing with the Clone Stamp tool this image is just wonderful. It’s one I use in my face to face classes and I’m going to use it here to show you some of the techniques that I would use in fixing this image. What I’m looking to do is to remove the signs of the light pole and this sign here, everything that sort of detracts from a rather quaint little English house. I’m not going to crop until I finish so I want to just start off with fixing what I see as the problem for what I want to fix with this image.

The first thing I’m going to do is to drag the background layer onto this New Layer icon because that makes a duplicate off it. I could also right click and choose Duplicate Layer or I could click Layer, Duplicate Layer. All I want is a duplicate of the image layer so that I’m working on a copy, not on the original.

Now I’m going to add a new blank layer, again just this time by clicking on Create a New Layer or I could choose Layer, New Layer and that would add a new blank layer. The reason why I like to use a new blank layer when I can is that I can put my fixes on this layer and then blend them in later on if I want to or remove them if they’re not quite right or continue to fix them if I need to.

So I’m going to start with this particular problem with the Spot Healing Brush tool because if this tool works it’s just Simply the easiest tool that you can use. Now I’ve just turned off my Caps Lock key so I can see the size of my brush and I’ve got my layer selected. And I have Sample all Layers selected up here. That means that I can sample the layers below but apply the fix to this layer so I’m going to click here and then just Shift Click here to draw a line with my Spot Healing Brush tool. And that takes out that entire piece of electric wire. And I’m going to do the same here. And I’ll continue down here. And hopefully we’ll make it around that bend in the wire, which we did. So we’ve got a reasonably good fix happening there.

Here I’m probably going to have to paint it on because the wire bends too much to use that little trick, but certainly for a straight piece of wire the Click Shift Click option is by far the quickest way of getting rid of things. And I’ll do that here too, Click and then Shift Click to try and get rid of some of this detail in here. I’m going to zoom in so I can see my problem area a bit more clearly, and again, I’m looking for a good fix around here. And I can size my brush down with the Square Bracket key if I want to.

And here I need to get rid of this entire piece here so I’m thinking that probably the Clone Stamp tool would be better for this. So I’m going to switch to the Clone Stamp tool and I’m going to add a new layer because again I don’t want to be doing this on an original. And I want to be able to turn this stuff on and off if necessary if I need to make some fixes like I have lost some pieces over there which I’ll have a look at a little bit later. The Clone tool is one where you have to take a sample. So you want to make it about the size that you want to work with so I’m thinking about this size would be good. And then you’re going to take a sample of the place that you want to start painting with so I just really want the very edge of this chimney. And so I’m going to Alt Click on this position to sample it. I’ve got Sample all Layers selected and so now I can just position my mouse where it is, I can see a little preview of what I’m painting with, and I can just paint an edge onto that chimney and paint out that bracket. And now I need to get some fresh sky so I’m going to Alt Click on some fresh sky and just paint that in over here so that we’ve got rid of that piece. And I want to go back over here to the area where I lost a piece of that chimney.

If I turn this layer off that’s what I get. If I turn it back on again you can see that I really do have some problems and I haven’t done a particularly good fix here. So I’m thinking with this layer I’m just going to erase the bits of the fix that I don’t like and do it some other way, so just double click on that brush to select it. This is an eraser so I’m just going to go into the area where I want to erase back some detail. I can just check and see.

I think I’ve pretty much got what I want to have back into the image at that point. And again, I think I need to do a little bit of cloning here. I’ll just add a new layer just in case I make a mess of it, size my brush down. And with the Clone tool we have to take a sample so I’m going to click here right on the edge and then build back in the edge of my bricks here as I go down. And then I would come back in Alt Click on this and just remove the bits that I want to remove.

Let’s go back to the main image because there are some things that we can use to make some really wholesale fixes here, again New Layers every time. I’m concerned about this light pole here and finding a good fix for it. But as you can see this is a reasonably good fix for this area. What’s happening here is pretty much what’s happening here. So we could go and get the Clone Stamp tool, pick a fairly sizable brush, we could Alt Click just where the — I’m just picking the area. I’m just going to get a pointer here so you can see. I’m just going to pick the area here between this dark and this light roof and the line so that I’m going to start painting it on over here.

So let’s just go back and get the Clone Stamp tool. So this is where I’m going to click to sample. So that’s my sample point and now I can start painting it in. I’m just going to line it up with the piece of roof here. And there we’ve got rid of the worst of that pole. Now we’ve obviously overstepped the mark a little bit, but that’s really not a worry because we could come back to this layer here and erase it. We could just use an eraser so I’m just going to enlarge my Eraser tool here and just on this layer just erase back in that little edge so I’ve got a sort of blending with the original content on that layer.

So I’m going to come back with the Clone tool here. I’m going to have a look at this bottom edge here so I’m going to sample here and start my sample point about here and then just paint this bottom edge in so that we’re getting a sort of consistent look to our roof. And then we can just come back in and Alt Click on some surrounding area here and just use it to clone out that. In actual fact that’s not a very good situation. Maybe we would find it better if we used the Spot Healing Brush tool. And if we did use the Spot Healing Brush tool then we’re going to use this new empty layer that we created a little bit early and fix on it instead. The Spot Healing Brush tool is doing a better job of getting rid of this content here than the Clone tool, but you just need to work out which tools work. In some cases the Clone tool is an ace tool to use, in other cases it may not be what you need.

With this window here there’s a slight problem because we’d need to make up some content that we didn’t already have. But you’ll see that this window is probably a pretty good fix for this one and so too is this one. So if I were to fix up this window surrounds first and just get this looking the way I want it to then I can come in with the Clone Stamp. I’m just ignoring making layers at this stage just to show you what I’m looking for. So I’m actually going to work out which bit of this image I’m going to start sampling on, probably the top corner of this windowsill, start sampling it. And then we’re going to line it up here and paint. And there we’ve got a window back and again, probably the Spot Healing Brush tool I’m thinking for the rest of this plant, at least until we get into the area where we have to start creating content that we don’t have easily available in the surrounding content. And for this I’m thinking this is going to be just fine. So again, back into the Clone Stamp tool, go and find some content we can use starting at the corner of this thing, lining it up to make sure it’s going to fit properly when I start painting it and Click and paint. Now again, we’ve got a fix that’s not perfect here because we’ve started running into wall problems and things. But we can take the Spot Healing Brush and blend it in using that or we could have just erased it. I don’t know what the Spot Healing Brush– it does a reasonable fix of that too.

So that’s how I would approach the task of fixing this image is just having a look and seeing which tool will apply best. If you can use the Spot Healing Brush tool it’s obviously the easiest tool that you can use, so use it. If you need to then perhaps look at the Clone Stamp tool. And sometimes what I’ll do is just go and grab a piece of something. So for example here I might just go and grab this piece of roof here and just say okay well that’s going to fix this area here. So I’m going to do Edit, Copy and I’ll do– I’m not getting it from here so I need to get off this layer, Copy and then Paste it. We’ve got a duplicate piece of the roof and we can just move it into position here, size it if it’s a little bit too big, adjust its rotation, and then just blend it in to make up the bit of the roof that we didn’t have.

So here it is here and now I’m just going to erase over the edges of it, perhaps not quite that much, but erase over the edges, smooth it out a little bit, maybe use some Spot Healing Brush tool because we’re sampling all the layers here to get rid of the greenery and to try and blend this piece in. If I make a mistake, well not actually make a mistake, but if the blending process is not what I want I’ll just Ctrl Alt Z to undo it and go back to where I was.

And so I just continue working on this. But you can see that it’s not going to be a huge job to clean up this house. And let’s just see where we came from. This is what it looked like and this is what we’ve managed to achieve so far.

I’m Helen Bradley. Thank you for joining me for this video tutorial. Look out for more tutorials on my YouTube channel. Like this video if you like it and visit for more tips, tricks and tutorials on Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Lightroom.

Helen Bradley

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Photoshop Quick Fix for dull foggy images

Photoshop Levels offers is a simple way to fix dull, lifeless images. Learn how to apply a Levels Adjustment layer to an image, how to read the histogram chart and how to use it to fix your image in seconds.


Hello, I’m Helen Bradley. Welcome to this video tutorial. Today I’m going to show you a quick fix for a dull or muddy looking image. This is an image that lacks tonal range. It lacks contrast and we’re going to give it a punch and we’re going to do it quickly and easily. In this video tutorial I’m going to show you how you’re going to fix an image that looks a bit like this. This image is what I would call muddy. It actually lacks tonal contrast. There no blacks in this image. We’ve got some light pixels around the sky area but there are no blacks. And the result is that the image looks a bit foggy, a little muddy, a little lacking in tonal range, lacking in contrast and the color is a little bit flat as well. And this is the fix that we can apply to the image extremely quickly and Photoshop will actually tell us how to make the fix. It will tell us what’s wrong with the image and how to fix it. So let’s have a look and see how we’ll do this.

To start off with, with the image open in Photoshop I’m going to choose Window and then Layers because I want to see this layer’s palette. Now we’re going to choose an adjustment layer. It’s exactly the same as making an adjustment except this time it is editable, and we would like to get you started using adjustment layers because it gives you a little bit more power in Photoshop. So we’re going to choose Layer, New Adjustment Layer. And the one that we’re going to use is called levels. So let’s just click on Levels and see what we get. We get offered to add a new layer so I’ll click Ok to say yes. And then we get this dialogue here. Now this might look a little bit confusing but it’s actually Photoshop telling us what’s wrong with the image and giving us a chance to fix it. This is the pixels in the image. It’s a histogram. And what Photoshop has gone and done is it’s had a look at every single pixel in the image, how light or dark it is, and it’s counted up how many really dark ones it has and how many middle tone ones and how many light ones. And it’s done that for all the 255 tonal ranges in this image. So we got from 0 to 255. And it’s telling us how many pixels are in each of those ranges of tone. And this is black and this is white. So you see that we’ve got a few pixels very, very white and then a lot of pixels in that sort of light white area which is of course all around in the sky.

But see here, this is the problem in this image. There are no blacks. There’s nothing in this black area of the histogram. And so levels is not only telling us that but it’s also giving us a chance to fix it. So what we can do is we can drag on this slider here, the one under the chart. I want you to ignore these ones all the way at the bottom. It’s these under the chart that you’re interested in. And when you see the chart doesn’t make it all the way to either end of this histogram you’re just going to drag in until it does. And look what happens to the image as we do that. We’re just going to drag in to give ourselves some black pixels in the image, and then we can adjust this mid tone point as well. We’ll go to the right to darken the image or to the left to lighten the image. And you just need to choose for your image where the best point for that is. And we could come in a little bit here on the whites, perhaps. And certainly if the chart didn’t reach the edge then we would drag in on those whites. So you just need to read your chart and then just drag these little sliders into position. And when you’re done you can just close that dialog.

And there’s our fix. This is the before and this is the after. Photoshop showed us what was wrong with the image and gave us the chance of fixing it. Let’s have a look at another image that also has a similar problem.

This was captured in London on the London I through a fair bit of Perspex glass I should imagine. And also given that London tends towards being a little bit cloudy and gray I think that’s probably not helped this image either. So again, with the layer’s palette visible we’re going to add an adjustment layer, Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Levels, click Ok. Here’s our levels dialog, not unsurprising that we have no black pixels in this image. And in this image we have practically no white ones either. This one is a little bit different. So if we want to perk up the whites we can just bring in this slider here to lighten the whites and stop them being gray and make them white, things like the clock face here and some of the areas around here, this white building probably here. And now let’s drag in on the black slider to get some blacks and then we could adjust the mid tone if we wanted to darken the image or to lighten it and again, it’s to your taste. When you’re done, click the Close button. This is how the image started out and this is how it looks now. And that fix will take you 30 seconds.

Now the benefit of using adjustment layers, if I double click on this you’ll see that it opens up again. And if I think that I haven’t darkened it enough I can darken it up now and close it. So I’m not bound into this fix. I can remove it if I want to or I can double click it to adjust it and just improved it a little bit if I think I haven’t got it perfectly right.

I’m Helen Bradley. Thank you for joining me for this video tutorial. If you liked the video please click the Like button. Consider subscribing to my YouTube channel to be advised when new videos are released. And visit my website at for more tips, tricks and tutorials on Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom and other applications.

Helen Bradley

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