How to fix “code execution cannot proceed MSVCP140.dll was not found” on Windows 10

DLL files are small but exceptionally important files that apps on Windows 10 need to run. If these files are absent, or they’ve been corrupted, the app that needs them to run may become unstable, or it may not open at all. Fixing them isn’t always simple because the files can’t be installed like an app. They’re part of a runtime or a library and aren’t distributed individually.

Fix “code execution cannot proceed MSVCP140.dll was not found”

If you’re trying to open an app and you see the following error message, there are several things you can try to fix it.

Error message

The code execution cannot proceed because C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\MSVCP140.dll was not found. Reinstalling the program may fix this problem

Before you proceed though, take note of which app you’re trying to open when you get the above error message.

1. Re-register DLL files

The error is basically a DLL file that is either missing or that the app is unable to find. In many cases, re-registring the DLL file can fix the problem.

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the path given in the error message.
  2. Look for the DLL file i.e., MSVCP140.dll.
  3. Hold down the Shift key and right-click the DLL file.
  4. From the context menu, select Copy as Path.
  5. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  6. Run the following command and replace the “path and filename of doll” with the path to the DLL file that you copied.
regsvr32 /u "path & filename of dll"
  1. Restart your system and run the app again.

2. Install/update Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package

If the MSVCP.dll file isn’t present at the path given in the error message, the previous method won’t work. Instead, what you need to do is make sure you have Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package installed, and that it’s up-to-date.

  1. Visit the official Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package distribution page.
  2. Expand the Other Tools and Frameworks section.
  3. Download the latest version of the redistribution package.
  4. Run the file and allow it to install.
  5. Once the installation is complete, run the app you were trying to open before and it should open.

3. Uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package

It is possible that you already have Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package installed but it is corrupted.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to Programs>Uninstall a program.
  3. Look for Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package, select it, and click Uninstall.
  4. Once Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package has been uninstalled, visit the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package page, and download the latest version.
  5. Install it, and restart the system.
  6. Launch the app you were trying to open before and it will open.

4. Reinstall the app

Installing and updating Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package and re-registering the DLL file won’t work if the app that you’re trying to open is corrupt. This can happen during updates or if you get a BSOD or the app crashes while it’s in use.

  1. Uninstall the app that is giving the error; open Control Panel and go to Programs>Uninstall a program.
  2. Look for the app, select it, and click Uninstall.
  3. Once the app has been uninstalled, download it again.
  4. Install the app, and restart the system.
  5. Run the app and it will open.

Conclusion

There is no telling what might cause problems with a DLL file but these files and any errors related to them will not result in data loss. They do indicate a corruption in the installation of either a distributable package or library or an app itself. If you have to fix the error over and over i.e., the DLL file keeps going missing or de-registring, it likely has to do with something that is corrupting it e.g., an update that’s failing to install. Examine what is running or being installed on your system and remove anything that tampers with libraries etc.

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How to Use VLOOKUP in Excel

Have you ever had a large spreadsheet with data in Excel and need an easy way to filter and extract specific information from it? If you learn how to use VLOOKUP in Excel, you can do this lookup with just a single, powerful Excel function.

The VLOOKUP function in Excel scares a lot of people because it has a lot of parameters and there are multiple ways to use it. In this article you’ll learn all of the ways you can use VLOOKUP in Excel and why the function is so powerful.

VLOOKUP Parameters In Excel

When you start typing =VLOOKUP( into any cell in Excel, you’ll see a pop-up showing all of the available function parameters.

Let’s examine each of these parameters and what they mean.

  • lookup_value: The value you’re looking for from the spreadsheet
  • table_array: The range of cells in the sheet you want to search through
  • col_index_num: The column where you want to pull your result from
  • [range_lookup]: Match mode (TRUE = approximate, FALSE = exact)

These four parameters let you do a lot of different, useful searches for data inside of very large datasets.

A Simple VLOOKUP Excel Example

VLOOKUP isn’t one of the basic Excel functions you might have learned, so let’s look at a simple example to get started.

For the following example, we’ll use a large spreadsheet of SAT scores for schools in the United States. This spreadsheet contains over 450 schools along with individual SAT scores for reading, math, and writing. Feel free to download to follow along. There is an external connection that pulls the data, so you’ll get a warning when opening the file, but it’s safe.

It would be very time consuming to search through such a large dataset to find the school that you’re interested in.

Instead, you can create a simple form in the blank cells on the side of the table. To conduct this search, just make one field for School, and three additional fields for reading, math, and writing scores.

Next, you’ll need to use the VLOOKUP function in Excel to make these three fields work. In the Reading field, create the VLOOKUP function as follows:

  1. Type =VLOOKUP(
  2. Select the School field, which in this example is I2. Type a comma.
  3. Select the entire range of cells that contain the data you want to look up. Type a comma.

When you select the range, you can start from the column you’re using to look up (in this case the school name column), and then select all of the other columns and rows that contain the data.

Note: The VLOOKUP function in Excel can only search through cells to the right of the search column. In this example, the school name column needs to be to the left of the data you’re looking up.

  1. Next, to retrieve the Reading score, you’ll need to select the 3rd column from the leftmost selected column. So, type a 3 and then type another comma.
  2. Finally, type FALSE for an exact match, and close the function with a ).

Your final VLOOKUP function should look something like this:

=VLOOKUP(I2,B2:G461,3,FALSE)

When you first press Enter and finish the function, you’ll notice the Reading field will contain an #N/A.

This is because the School field is blank and there is nothing for the VLOOKUP function to find. However, if you enter the name of any high school you want to look up, you’ll see the correct results from that row for the Reading score.

How To Deal With VLOOKUP Being Case- Sensitive

You may notice that if you don’t type the name of the school in the same case as how it’s listed in the dataset, you will not see any results.

This is because the VLOOKUP function is case sensitive. This can be annoying, especially for a very large dataset where the column you’re searching through is inconsistent with how things are capitalized.

To get around this, you can force what you’re searching for to switch to lowercase before looking up the results. To do this, create a new column next to the column you’re searching. Type the function:

=TRIM(LOWER(B2))

This will lowercase the school name and remove any extraneous characters (spaces) that might be on the left or right side of the name.

Hold down the Shift key and place the mouse cursor over the lower right corner of the first cell until it changes to two horizontal lines. Double click the mouse to autofill the entire column.

Finally, since VLOOKUP will try to use the formula rather than the text in these cells, you need to convert them all to values only.  To do this, copy the entire column, right click in the first cell, and paste values only.

Now that all of your data is cleaned up in this new column, slightly modify your VLOOKUP function in Excel to use this new column instead of the previous one by starting the lookup range at C2 instead of B2.

=VLOOKUP(I2,C2:G461,3,FALSE)

Now you’ll notice that if you always type your search in lower case, you’ll always get a good search result.

This is a handy Excel tip to overcome the fact that VLOOKUP is case sensitive.

VLOOKUP Approximate Match

While the exact match LOOKUP example described in the first section of this article is pretty straightforward, the approximate match is a little more complex.

The approximate match is best used to search through number ranges. To do this correctly the search range needs to be properly sorted. The best example of this is a VLOOKUP function to search for a letter grade that corresponds to a number grade.

If a teacher has a long list of student homework grades from throughout the year with a final averaged column, it would be nice to have the letter grade corresponding to that final grade come up automatically.

This is possible with the VLOOKUP function. All that’s required is a lookup table off to the right that contains the appropriate letter grade for each numerical score range.

Now, using the VLOOKUP function and an approximate match, you can find the proper letter grade corresponding to the correct numeric range.

In this VLOOKUP function:

  • lookup_value: F2, the final averaged grade
  • table_array: I2:J8, The letter grade lookup range
  • index_column: 2, the second column in the lookup table
  • [range_lookup]: TRUE, approximate match

Once you finish the VLOOKUP function in G2 and press Enter, you can fill in the rest of the cells using the same approach described in the last section. You’ll see all of the letter grades properly filled in.

Note that the VLOOKUP function in Excel searches from the bottom end of the grade range with the assigned letter score to the top of the range of the next letter score.

So, “C” needs to be the letter assigned to the lower range (75), and B is assigned to the bottom (minimum) of its own letter range. VLOOKUP will “find” the result for 60 (D) as the closest approximate value for anything between 60 to 75.

VLOOKUP in Excel is a very powerful function that has been available for a long time. It is also useful for finding matching values anywhere in an Excel workbook.

Keep in mind, however, that Microsoft users who have a monthly Office 365 subscription now have access to a newer XLOOKUP function. This function has more parameters and additional flexibility. Users with a semi-annual subscription will need to wait for the update to roll out in July 2020.

How to automatically hide desktops icons on Windows 10

Desktop icons can be both distracting and a source of clutter. One simple way to keep the desktop clean is to make a habit of saving files to properly named directories instead of dumping them on the desktop. If you, for example, download images for wallpapers, you can leave them in the Downloads library, or dump them on the desktop. The best option though is to create a dedicated folder for the wallpapers and save them there to avoid creating clutter.

Hide desktops icons on Windows 10

You can keep the desktop clean but never putting anything on it is a bit hard. Windows 10 users instinctively put frequently used files, folders, and app shortcuts on the desktop. It serves as a great quick-launch location so it’s hard to not put something on it. To keep it looking clean though, you can choose to hide desktop icons when you’re trying to eliminate distractions.

1. Desktop context menu

Windows 10 has a built-in option that you can use to hide desktop icons. It’s accessible via the GUI and does not require running a command to enable/disable.

  1. Go to the desktop (do not access it in File Explorer).
  2. Right-click on an empty area on the desktop.
  3. From the context menu, select View>Show desktop icons.
  4. Uncheck the option to hide the desktop icons.
  5. Repeat the above process and check Show desktop icons when you want to get them back.

2. Automatically hide desktops icons

The stock Windows 10 option for hiding desktop icons is easy to use but it’s clumsy. It forces you to hide/unhide the icons which may disrupt work. To automatically hide desktop icons, use a free app called AutoHideDesktopIcons.

  1. Download either the installable or portable version of AutoHideDesktopIcons.
  2. Run the app.
  3. Under Preferences, disable the ‘Hide taskbar‘ option.
  4. In the set of options on the right, select how you want to show the desktop icons.
  5. Use the slider at the bottom left to choose the ‘inactivity’ period whereby, if you do not click (left, right, or middle) on the desktop, the desktop icons will automatically be hidden.
  6. Close the app and it will minimize to the system tray.
  7. The desktop icons will be hidden automatically when you do not click on the desktop.
  8. To show desktop icons again, click with the mouse.

Limitations

AutoHideDesktopIcons works great but it has one limitation. If you access the Desktop in File Explorer and try to organize, add, or remove files from it while the app is hiding icons, File Explorer will restart. A simple workaround to this is to organize items directly on the desktop after the icons have been set to show, or to first show them and then organize them from File Explorer.

Conclusion

Hiding icons on the desktop on Windows 1o isn’t hard. There are plenty of apps, free and paid, that do the job. There are also scripts that can perform the same function. It boils down to what’s easy to use and doesn’t interrupt the workflow.

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5 Best Alternatives to Microsoft Access (2020 Edition)

As popular—and as ubiquitous—as Microsoft Access can be, it is not the only product of its kind. In fact, there are several alternatives available and they are the subject of today’s post as we’re about to review some of the top Microsoft Access Alternatives.

Access is quite different from other relational database engines as it comes with a built-in user-friendly front end that lets users create and manage databases using an easy-to-use and easy-to-learn graphical user interface. This ease of use in one of the main reasons for the success of the almost 30 years old product and it is something that many vendors have tried to emulate with a varying degree of success.

We’ll begin by having an in-depth look at Microsoft Access. After all, it will help better understand what to look for in a replacement. More precisely, we’ll have a look at how Access differs from other database engines, what makes it stand out. We’ll also have a look at the pros and cons of the product. And since the cons are not necessarily the only reasons why one would look for an alternative, that will be our next order of business. Next, we’ll briefly review some of the best Microsoft Access alternatives we could find. And finally, since you might eventually have a need for monitoring the availability and performance of your access databases, we’ll review a couple of excellent products that you can use for that specific purpose.

Best alternatives to Microsoft Access

(Almost) Everything You Need To Know About Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access (now officially called Microsoft Office Access) is a relational database from Microsoft that is now distributed as part of its Microsoft Office suite. It is made up of several programs: the Microsoft Jet database engine, a graphic editor, a Query by Example interface for querying databases, and the Visual Basic for Applications programming language.

Since the first versions, the interface of Microsoft Access allows to graphically manage data collections in tables, to establish relations between these tables according to the usual rules of relational databases, to create queries with QBE (Query by Example, or directly in SQL), to create man/machine interfaces and to print reports. As with several other components of the Office suite, VBA—Visual Basic for Applications—allows users to create complete local network applications, including using, creating or modifying files (Word documents, Excel workbooks, Outlook instances, etc.) from other software in the suite without leaving Access.

The latest version is the 2018 version which is part of the Microsoft Office 2018 suite and is included in certain options for the subscription to Office 365. The subscription version, Microsoft Office Access 365, is automatically updated like that of Windows 10. The latest version of Access integrates new functionalities including new themes, modernization of the five most popular models and the export of information from linked data sources to Excel.

How Is Microsoft Access Different From Other Databases?

Unlike data management systems that operate on the client-server principle—such as MySQL or MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, etc., Microsoft Access is a data management system for the office. This means that with MS Access, it is not necessary to have a server connected to the Internet to work on a database.

It is possible to fully create databases on a desktop application. It is also possible to work on a Web application, but it must be hosted on a Microsoft SharePoint Web application. Furthermore, this option has less functionality than a desktop application.

Regardless of whether you are working on a desktop application or on the Web, the data created in MS Access is saved in a single file—in .mdb or, more recently, in .accdf format. This is one of the places where desktop data management systems such as Microsoft Access differ from server data management systems such as MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server. Also, a typical database server does not usually create a single file for each database, but a complete folder, in which the content and form of a database are separated into several different files.

Pros And Cons Of Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access is particularly well-suited for beginners in database management. Since no programming knowledge is required, it is easy to create simple databases using the tool’s graphical interface. The task is made even easier by numerous assistants and models, for example, to manage contacts, assets and projects. It is, however, possible to freely define the fields and to adapt the characteristics of the models to specific objectives. Microsoft really makes it easy to create, modify and link data reports and tables. If you want to use the platform to create extensive applications, you can resort to using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) programming. Access generally requires less effort than with other database management systems. And thanks to the use of macros, it is possible to automate many tasks relatively easily without any “real” programming.

Creating and managing a suite of data, but also analyzing it, is often easier than with other database management systems. And thanks to the help of numerous assistance features, it is indeed very simple to analyze existing databases, to extract data according to specific methods and to create reports.

Saving a Microsoft Access database to a single file makes it easy to share it with other users or store it on other media. If you want to use the database in another DBMS or open other files in Access, you can use different interfaces. Besides the different MS Office formats (like Excel for example), it is possible to import and export various file formats, in particular, ODBC databases (MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc.), as well as HTML and XML documents, making it very simple to transfer files from one program to another.

The simplicity of the software has a price, however. A typical Microsoft Access database system is much less powerful than that of a server database. The tool is better suited to the implementation of light databases, not those with hundreds of thousands of entries, for which you’d be better off using a dedicated DMBS server. Performance is also not one of Access’s strong suits and processing a large amount of data can take quite a bit of time with Microsoft Access, particularly in terms of loading time. This is the drawback of a system based on a single file since each time you open the database, you have to load the entire file. And the larger the file is, the longer the waiting time. The program is also severely limited in terms of database size. Its single file cannot exceed 2 GB. While that might have been plenty when first released back in 1992. Despite that limitation, if you are not storing a large number of images or other large files, this limit might not be much of a problem.

Functionality is another area where a product such as Microsoft Access is somewhat limited compared to a full-fledged relational database. For example, standard SQL works with very different authorization concepts than what you’ll find in Microsoft Access. Also, Microsoft software can suffer from performance issues when used simultaneously by several people. It actually only takes a few users to make the software significantly slower, and it reaches its limits when you ramp up to ten simultaneous users.

Another drawback is that Access is only available on Windows-base computers. The software was once only available as part of the Microsoft Office suite but with the launch of a cloud version of the Office suite, it is now part of several Office 365 packages. Furthermore, it is possible to purchase Microsoft Access as a stand-alone product. Users who have installed a classic version of Microsoft Office on their Windows computer (not the cloud version of Office 365) are in luck as Microsoft has not made many major changes to the software for a long time. This means that any recent version, such as the 2016, 2010 and 2013 versions are perfectly suited to most database needs.

Why Look For An Alternative?

There are several reasons why you might be on the lookout for an alternative to Microsoft Access. The one that typically comes to mind is money. Microsoft Access tends to be relatively pricey and all Office versions that include the database component are relatively expensive. With the recent developments in free and open-source software, several very potent alternatives have seen the day and exploring them might be the way to go. In fact, even if you’d rather stay with the Microsoft suite for your day-to-day operations—a choice that many organizations make for compatibility reasons—you could still use an open-source product for your database as you normally won’t have to exchange its files with other organizations.

Microsoft Access still consistently features in the top 10 database-engines rankings. The “pro-Access” community points to its ease of use, the massive range of online resources available for users of all abilities, as well as its powerful querying, filtering, and table tools. However, Access detractors will often contest its lack of scalability, its frustrating 2 GB limit—more about that in a moment, its continued use of a solitary file for the database, and potential for database corruption in multiple-user databases.

Back to the 2 GB database size limit, this has gotten to be the main drawback of Microsoft Access. While such a limit wasn’t much of an issue back in 1992 when the software first came out and hard disks were rarely bigger than that anyways, things are different today. And while some will argue that a database of client contacts won’t take up 2 GB of space in all but the most extreme situations, there are more and more situations where big objects—such as images—need to be stored in databases. This can quickly make databases grow to impressive sizes and reach the limits of Microsoft Access.

The Best Microsoft Access Alternatives

There are many available options as a replacement for Microsoft Access. Since Price is often the main reason why people start looking for alternatives, we’ve included some of the best free options we could find. Not all products on our list are a feature-for-feature direct replacement for the Microsoft product but that all offer some of its functionality. Picking the best tool for you will largely depend on your needs.

1. LibreOffice Base

LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite that rivals in functionality with Microsoft Office. Libre Office Base is the database component of the free suite. It is an excellent starting point for anyone looking for an alternative to Microsoft Access. LibreOffice It is considered by many to be the best Microsoft contender on the market and the latest version, 6.3.4, is the best one yet and it keeps getting better.

LibreOffice Base is an excellent product that is well-suited to both home and business needs. The product has a broad range of handy features, including cross-database support for multi-user databases such as MySQL, Adabas D, Microsoft Access, and PostgreSQL.

LibreOffice Base is likely the closest you can get to a direct Microsoft Access clone. Both are front-end, user-friendly database management tools well-suited for users of any levels. You can use LibreOffice Base to create good database applications or websites. The product also gives you the choice between two database engines: Firebird or HSQLDB for your embedded database framework.

2. DB Browser for SQLite

DB Browser for SQLite is not really a database engine. It is rather a front end to SQLite that will enable users to create and use SQLite database files without having to know complex SQL commands. In a nutshell, it adds Access-like functionality to SQLite. Add to that its spreadsheet-like interface and its pre-built wizards and you have an excellent combination for new database users without much background knowledge.

Throughout its life, the application has gone through several name changes, from the original Arca Database Browser to the SQLite Database Browser and finally to its current name in 2014, to avoid confusion with SQLite. Despite all its identity changes, the product has managed to stay true to its goal of being easy for users to operate.

The software’s wizards let users easily create and modify database files, tables, indexes, records, etc. It can also import and export data to common file formats and create and issue queries and searches. The product is available for Windows, macOS, and a variety of Linux versions. Documentation-wise, a rather complete wiki available on GitHub provides a wealth of information for users and developers alike.

DB Browser for SQLite licensed under a combination of the Mozilla Public License Version 2 and the GNU General Public License Version 3 or later and you can download the source code from the project’s website.

3. Kexi

Kexi is the database application in the Calligra Suite productivity software for the KDE desktop. The Caligra Suite being part of the KDE project, Kexi is purpose-built for KDE Plasma. It is not, however, limited to KDE users. Linux, BSD, and Unix users running GNOME can also run the database, as can macOS and Windows users. The product seamlessly integrates with the other applications in the suite, including Words (word processing), Sheets (spreadsheet), Stage (presentations), and Plan (project management).

Kexi’s website mentions that its development was “motivated by the lack of rapid application development (RAD) tools for database systems that are sufficiently powerful, inexpensive, open standards-driven, and portable across many operating systems and hardware platforms.” It has all the standard features you’d expect from an Access alternative such as designing databases, storing data, doing queries, processing data, and so forth.

Kexi is available under the LGPL open source license and you can download its source code from its development wiki. If you’d like to learn more, take a look at its user handbook, forums, and user base wiki.

4. nuBuilder Forte

NuBuilder Forte is different from other tools on this list. It is a browser-based, front-end tool for developing web-based database applications and it is designed to be as easy as possible for people to use. It’s got a clean interface and low-code tools (including support for drag-and-drop) that allow users to create and use a database quickly. And as a fully web-based application, data is accessible anywhere from a browser. Everything is stored in a MySQL database and can be backed up in one database file.

NuBuilder Forte uses industry-standard coding languages such as HTML, PHP, JavaScript, and SQL, making it easy for users and developers to get started. A great deal of help is available in the form of videos and other documentation for topics including creating forms, doing searches, building reports, and more.

NuBuilder Forte is licensed under GPLv3.0 and you can download it on GitHub. You can learn more by consulting the nuBuilder forum or watching its demo video.

5. Axisbase

If the price is your main reason for looking for an Access alternative, Axisbase might be just what you need. The product was created by a frustrated developer who was angered at the expense of forcing his clientèle to pay for Microsoft Access. While the product’s development seems to have stopped several years ago, it might still be a valid option, depending on your needs. This product is different from the other entries in this list in that it offers a complete database solution. It has a familiar front-end interface that feels similar to Filemaker, Microsoft Access or LibreOffice Base, but can also act as a database server like MySQL.

Ease of use is, unfortunately, not one of Axisbase’s strong suits. Axisbase databases are developed from “building blocks”. A building block can be “a data subset, list, graph, window, or report.” Although it may look like a highly flexible way of building databases, the building blocks can become overly complex due in part to the underlying depth of the product.

The best place to get started with Axisbase is to head to its documentation page where the developer provides an overview of how many of the systems work, how you can implement building blocks, and other vital information for the development of your database. If you’re willing to put in the time to learn how to use this product, you will be rewarded.

Tools For Monitoring Access And Other Databases

Whether you’re using Microsoft Access or any of the alternatives we’ve just reviewed, chances are that, at some point, your usage of the product will grow to a point where you’ll want to monitor the availability and performance of your database. This is where monitoring tools will come in handy. At its base, any Access-like database is an application running on a computer. As such, the best way to monitor it is to use application monitoring tools. There are way too many of these tools to list them all here but here’s a couple that we’ve found to be among the very best you can find.

1. SolarWinds Server And Application Monitor (FREE TRIAL)

At the top of our list is a tool form SolarWinds, the publisher of some of the very best network and system administration tools. The twenty-year-old company benefits from a solid reputation and its flagship product, the Network Performance Monitor, consistently scores among the top SNMP monitoring tools.

The SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor is a great example of a rather complete server monitoring tool. The platform will monitor your computers’ hardware, the operating system running on them as well as their applications, including—but not limited to—Microsoft Access. This is truly an all-inclusive server monitoring platform.

SolarWinds SAM - Dashboard Summary

This tool was designed to help administrators monitor servers, their operational parameters, their processes, and the applications which are running on them. It can easily scale from very small networks to large ones with hundreds of servers—both physical and virtual—spread over multiple sites. The tool can also monitor cloud-hosted services like those from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

The SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor is very easy to set up and its initial configuration is just as easily done with the help of its auto-discovery process. It is a two-pass process. The first pass will discover servers, and the second one will find applications. This can take time but can be sped up by supplying the tool with a list of specific applications to look for. Once the tool is up and running, the user-friendly GUI makes using it a breeze. You can choose to display information in either a table or a graphic format.

Prices for the SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor start at $2 995 and vary based on the number of components, nodes, and volumes monitored. A free 30-day trial version is available for download, should you want to try the product before purchasing it.

2. ManageEngine OpManager

The ManageEngine OpManager is another all-in-one package that will monitor your servers’ (both physical and virtual) vital signs and those of the applications running on them as well as those of your networking equipment, and alert you as soon as something is out of its normal operating range. The tool boasts an intuitive user interface that will let you easily find the information you need. There is also an excellent reporting engine that comes loaded with pre-built reports while still supporting custom ones. The product’s alerting features are also very complete.

ManageEngine OpManager Dashboard

The tool runs on either Windows or Linux and is loaded with great features. One worth mentioning is its auto-discovery feature that can map your network, giving you a uniquely customized dashboard. The ManageEngine OpManager dashboard is super easy to use and navigate, thanks to its drill-down functionality. For those of you who are into mobile apps, client apps for tablets and smartphones are available, allowing you to access the tool from anywhere.

The ManageEngine OpManager is available in two versions. The Essential edition is intended for small and medium organizations with up to a thousand devices with prices starting at around $700 for 25 devices. For larger organizations, the Enterprise edition can scale up to ten thousand devices. Its price starts at under $20 000 for 500 devices. If you are interested in giving the tool a try, a free 30-day trial is also available.

In Conclusion

No matter what your reasons are for seeking an alternative to Microsoft Access, we’ve introduced several interesting replacement options. Some are very similar to the Microsoft product in their operation and in their look and feel. Others take a very different approach, but they still offer equivalent functionality, and they are targeting the same type of users and addressing the same needs, albeit differently. Have a look at the detailed specifications of the products and try them out before making your final decision. Doing so will ensure that you get the best possible replacement.

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9 Useful Tips How To Use Google Translate

Google Translate is an extremely useful tool to translate words and sentences from one language to another. It supports a number of languages from around the world and you can use this translation service on your iPhone, iPad, Android, and other devices.

If you’ve used the app, it’s likely you’ve only used it for voice translations. It can actually do much more than that and you need to learn some of these tips on how to use Google Translate effectively. 

Download Translations For Offline Use

You can use Google Translate to download various languages to your device so you can translate offline as well. This is a really handy feature as it helps you translate languages even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

This feature helps the app to function even in countries where it’s blocked for some reason.

  1. Launch the Google Translate app on your device.
  2. Tap on the hamburger icon at the top-left corner.
  1. Select the option that says Offline translation.
  1. On the following screen, you’ll see a list of languages that you can download to your device for offline use. Tap on the download icon next to the language you want to download.
  1. You can now perform translations in your downloaded languages without the Internet.

Use Conversation Mode To Translate Without Hassle

The Conversation mode lets you translate voice inputs without having to tap on any options. When you open this mode, you and the other party just need to talk as you normally would and Google Translate will translate your conversations in real time.

  1. Open the Google Translate app.
  2. Tap on the Conversation option.
  1. Tap on Auto in the middle and Google Translate will automatically identify the languages being spoken.
  1. You and your partner can both start talking and you’ll see the real time translations on your screen.
  1. You can turn the translations into manual mode by tapping on the mic icon at the left and right corners of your screen.

How To Google Translate Images

One of the really useful Google Translate tips is to use the visual translations feature. You can point your camera at something and the Google Translate app will translate text in that image for you in real time. This doesn’t require you to type the foreign characters in the app.

  1. Access the Google Translate app.
  2. Tap on the Camera option.
  1. Point your camera at the foreign characters you want to translate and it’ll translate that instantly on your screen.
  1. If you want to get translations for certain items in your camera frame, tap on Scan at the bottom and let Google Translate scan your picture.
  2. Tap on a word and it’ll be translated on your screen.
  1. If you have saved a photo of a foreign text on your phone, you can tap on Import at the bottom to import and translate it into the Google Translate app.

Save Translations To Access Them Later

You can use Google Translate to save your favorite words and phrases so you can get access to them quickly at a later time. This way you can build-up your own little dictionary that gives translations for your chosen words and phrases.

  1. Launch the Google Translate app.
  2. You’ll see your translation history. Go through it and tap on the star icon for the translations that you want to save.
  1. To access your saved translations, tap on the hamburger icon and choose Phrasebook.

Make Your Translations Go Full-Screen

If the person you want to show the Google Translate translation has vision problems, you can get your Google translations to appear full-screen on your device. This way the text will appear in a significantly larger size and most people will be able to read it.

  1. Perform your translation in Google Translate.
  2. Tap on the three-dots on the translated text section and choose Fullscreen.
  1. Your translated text will now cover your entire screen.

Write To Google Translate

You don’t necessarily need to type text to translate it. You can use Google Translate to write words (handwriting) to translate your words and sentences to your chosen language.

This can come in handy when someone’s more used to handwriting than text-typing.

  1. Open the Google Translate app and tap on the pen icon next to where you type the text.
  1. Write your text in the Write here section.
  1. You’ll see the translation of your handwritten text at the top of your screen.

Use Google Translate As a Dictionary

If you have Google Translate on your device, you don’t need a dictionary. It’s because this app can bring you definitions for your words on the same translation interface.

It’s a less-known yet extremely useful feature of this app.

  1. Tap on your source language and select the Detect Language option.
  1. Choose English as the target language to get word definitions in the English language.
  1. Type a word and let the app translate it for you.
  2. You’ll see a section labeled as Definitions right beneath the translation box. That’s where it displays the dictionary meaning of your typed word.

Block Offensive Words

If you want to keep offensive words from your translations, you can do so by turning off an option in the Google Translate app on your devices.

  1. Launch the app and tap on the hamburger icon.
  2. Select Settings from the options available on your screen.
  1. Tap on Speech input on the following screen.
  1. Turn on the Block offensive words option.

Delete Translation History

Google Translate keeps the history of your translations and you can view it whenever you want in the app. If you don’t want someone accessing this history, you can clear it on your phone.

  1. Launch the app and tap on the hamburger icon at the top-left corner.
  2. Select Settings on the following screen.
  1. Tap on Clear History at the bottom.
  1. Select Yes in the prompt that appears on your screen to delete your translation history.

Do you have any other tips on how to use Google Translate? Let us know in the comments below.