December’s Tech Tips – Cycling Through Open Tabs and Windows Search


Here are your quick Tech Tips for the month of December to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Cycle Through Open Tabs

Pressing CTRL + TAB while in a browser will flip between each tab you have open. This can be much faster than moving the mouse and clicking on a tab. CTRL + NUM (1, 2, 3, 4, n..) will also take you to certain tab in that numeric order.

Windows Search

One surefire way to save time using Windows is to stop wading through it. Instead, use search as often as you can. Windows search used to be a mess. Now, however, nine times out of ten, you’ll find a file or program quicker by hitting the search shortcut (Windows-F, or just the Windows key in Windows, then typing in what you’re looking for.



November’s Tech Tips – Removing Word Formatting and Optimizing PDFs


Here are your quick Tech Tips for the month of November to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Remove Word Formatting

Microsoft Word is great for writing and formatting text, but sometimes you want to copy that text into another program (an email, your website) without including the formatting (i.e. font size, color, margins). The easiest way to do this is to open up Notepad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac) and paste your text in a new document. Next, copy your text from the new document and when you paste it again the formatting will be removed.

Optimizing PDFs

If you need to share a PDF online (via email or on a website) that doesn’t need to be printed, make sure to optimize it to be the smallest file size possible. No one likes downloading 25mb PDFs!

Here are two great tools for PDF optimization:


October’s Tech Tips – Using Secure Passwords and a Few Keyboard Shortcuts


Quick Tech Tips for the month of October to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Use Secure Passwords

Even if you think you have a secure password, you might be wrong. Yesterday’s clever tricks aren’t protecting you from today’s hackers, and you need to be extra vigilant in this age of constant security breaches.


  • Try RoboForm – It remembers passwords so you don’t have to.
  • Don’t use the same password for each site/application.
  • AVOID formulas like these –

– Using a name, place, or common word as the seed, e.g., “fido”
– Capitalizing the first letter: “Fido”
– Adding a number, most likely 1 or 2, at the end: “Fido1”
– Adding one of the most common symbols (~, !, @, #, $, %, &, ?) at the end: “Fido1!”
– Using passwords like qwerty, 12345, or password


A Few Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Undo, CTRL+Z – Accidentally paste the wrong thing in the wrong place? Didn’t      mean to paste that file there? Undo it, quickly!
  • Skip the bin, SHIFT+DEL – Bypass the recycle bin entirely, delete it right away!
  • Select All, CTRL+A – Probably one of the more commonly known commands, but if you don’t know it, you can easily select everything with this command.



Tech Tip from IT Direct: Apple iOS 7 Upgrade

So many of us use an Apple iPhone or iPad everyday. They are vital to our day-to-day workflow. Apple recently released iOS7, the new Apple operating system that will effect your iPhone and iPad. See below for some tips and thoughts on upgrading to this new version.

Before anything else is said – if you are going to upgrade to iOS 7  – make sure that you first back-up everything! (here are instructions on how to do that)

This is a major upgrade for Apple and we found a nice link where you can review some of the Pros and Cons of upgrading to iOS 7: 6 Reasons to Upgrade to iOS 7 Right Away and 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t.

Happy upgrading!

Lastly, in a recent Tech Tip we shared the following with you:

  • Attachment Reminder: There is nothing more annoying than sending a message which is supposed to have an attachment then forgetting to include the attachment. With this feature, Outlook 2013 will notify you if the attachment in an email is omitted.

If you are running an older version of Outlook (anything before Outlook 2013) – here’s a plugin that allows you to do the same thing in your version.


September’s Tech Tip – Attachment Reminder

Here’s a quick Tech Tip for the month of September!

  • Attachment Reminder:There is nothing more annoying than sending a message which is supposed to have an attachment then forgetting to include the attachment.With this feature, Outlook 2013 will notify you if the attachment in an email is omitted. If you don’t want the warning, you can disable it by checking the “Do not show” box in the warning.Users can turn it off in Attachment Reminder setting. If you change your mind, you can turn it back on in File> Options> Mail>Send message>Select “Warn me when I send a message that may be missing an attachment.”


**If you don’t have Outlook 2013 click here for a FREE Outlook plug-in that will help achieve the same thing!


August Tech Tips – Manage Your Desktop & Drag Your Favorite Page Into Your Bookmarks Bar

Here’s some quick Tech Tips for the month of August to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Manage Your Desktop

Your desktop was created to give you quick access to programs and folders. It really should not be used to store your work or downloads. If your hard drive fails, you’ll want to have your files organized by having the photos in the Photos folder, the documents in the Documents folder, etc. This makes it easier for retrieval in case of a catastrophe.

Drag Your Favorite Page Into Your Bookmarks Bar

Drag your favorite page to your Internet browser favorites or bookmarks bar by clicking your mouse button on the icon (for example: if you are in Google, it would be the Google “g” icon at the beginning of the address) in the address bar and dragging it to your favorites or bookmarks bar and letting go. Once complete the page will be bookmarked on the bar. If you wish to move the icon, click-and-drag the icon anywhere on the toolbar.



Exciting Grant Opportunity for our Non-Profit Clients

IT Direct is a proud TANGO Partner.

TANGO (The Alliance for Non-Profit Growth and Opportunity) is a great organization that helps non-profits in a variety of ways. You can learn more about them here. We are proud to be affiliated with them.

Recently they sent us over an outstanding Grant opportunity that we wanted to pass along to our non-profit clients. Please see details below:

2013 Grant Challenge Announced By NBC Connecticut!

The second annual NBC Connecticut 21st Century Solutions Grant Challenge launched Monday June 3rd!

The grant program will award a total of $100,000 to Connecticut non-profit organizations implementing new and innovative programs that are moving Connecticut forward.

The grant challenge is open to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations implementing innovative programs that are addressing challenges in new ways. Applications will be accepted in six categories: Media Arts, Civic Engagement, Jobs and Economic Empowerment, Technology, Education, and Environment.

Last year’s winners include: the University of Connecticut Foundation’s entrepreneurial boot camp program for veterans with disabilities, Charter Oak Cultural Center’s vegetable gardening and newspaper initiative to provide employment and opportunity for the homeless, and the Connecticut Pre-Engineering Program’s cyber-gaming math challenge to close the achievement gap among urban students.

We’re excited to continue to work with organizations that are committed to bettering Connecticut. Please share the 21st Century Solutions information with colleagues and community partners.  Applications will be accepted from now through July 31st.

For more information about the grant or to apply, go to and search “Solutions”.  A direct link to the page can also be found here.

Applications need to be submitted by July 31st, so act quickly if this is something your non-profit might be interested in! 

How to Choose an IT Consulting Company

How to Choose an IT Consulting Company

Choosing an IT consulting company to help with one’s information technology issues can be a daunting task. Running one’s business is tough enough without having to decide what IT consultancy will be capable of providing all of the right tasks on time and within budget. Although it is impossible to predict the future, below are a few criteria that can help small business owners choose the right IT consulting company for them:

1. Experience. Contrary to what many new college graduates may believe, experience really does matter when it comes to choosing an IT consulting company to help solve information technology issues. Small businesses choose to hire qualified, experienced IT consultants because they want the job done right and done right now.

While it is possible to save money hiring a young intern to perform many duties, one runs the risk of time delays, wasted money and even make matters worse. Although technology changes almost daily in the IT world, the principles involved with developing IT solutions for small business are age-old.

2. Pedigree. Experience shows what a consultancy has done in the past, but are they keeping up with the present and the future? A company actively engaged in industry-recognized certification programs demonstrates a firm commitment to staying informed with modern technological trends. This commitment also demonstrates an IT consulting company is committed to providing their customers with the latest the market has to offer.

An IT consulting company who trains its consultants and certifies them in the skills and technologies needed by its customers is more likely to provide its clients with top-notch service when compared to those who do not.

3. Reputation. When a business outsources to another company, their own credibility becomes linked to that of the company performing the outsourcing. When choosing an IT consulting company, it is important to research the company’s background.

How long have they been in business? What are their specialities? Are they capable of developing the solutions they claim? What do other customers say about them? Do they stand behind their work? Choosing an IT consulting company with a good reputation not only provides peace of mind, it also keeps one’s own reputation above board.

4. Costs. Although everybody wants to have their cake and eat it, in reality compromises have to be made. Small business owners are well aware of their budgetary requirements, and as such need to choose an affordable IT consulting company. Making the choice to outsource IT work is definitely a step in the right direction, as hiring such specialized expertise in-house is most often an unaffordable option for small businesses.

However, small business owners are cautioned not to “go cheap” when it comes to selecting an IT consulting company to augment their computer and networking needs. When it comes to weighing the costs of hiring an IT consulting company, it is important to try to compare “apples to apples” whenever possible. Some companies may boast low hourly rates to attract more customers. These “teaser” rates may ultimately prove disastrous if the above suggestions about experience, certification and reputation are ignored.

Try to take a holisitic view of the costs involved whenever possible. Assess a consultant’s entire approach to your solution, including equipment, design and support. Although one proposal may initially look more expensive than another, it may turn out to be cheaper in the long run. Small businesses rarely invest in IT solutions for just a few days of temporary use; the budgetary decisions involved with IT solutions should likewise be given thought for the long-term as well.

Hiring an IT consulting company can be a rewarding task, leading to one of the best business partnerships one could possibly make. The Technology Consultants at IT Direct are very familiar with these and the many other issues small business owners are faced when seeking the services of a reputable IT consultancy. IT Direct is a computer and network support provider with the experience, skills and reputation small business owners seek in an IT consulting company, all at a cost that won’t break the bank. Contact IT Direct to schedule a consultation today at (860) 656-9110.