How to set PhysX Configuration in Nvidia Control Panel on Windows 10

Many computers have a GPU. These systems may or may not be intended for gaming but they will still have a GPU for the added and improved performance it brings. 

A GPU is used when it’s needed. It’s not the default, go-to hardware component for games or other graphics-intensive tasks. If you have an Nvidia GPU, it likely makes use of a technology called PhysX.

What is PhysX?

PhysX has been developed by Nvidia to offload intense processing calculations from a CPU on to a GPU. What sorts of processing does PhysX offload? It offloads things related to action and rendering in 3D physical environments e.g. think of rain in a game and how it looks when it interacts with the objects in the game. 

To get hyper-realistic rain in a game, the CPU needs to calculate how often a raindrop falls, where it falls, and the impact of each one on the environment. This sort of thing requires a lot of processing which, with PhysX, can be offloaded to the GPU.

Benefits of PhysX

Generally speaking, if you use PhysX to offload tasks to the GPU;

  • Your games will run better and more smoothly.
  • Your games will look better.

If you’re thinking that all games use the GPU, they do indeed mostly use the GPU but for rendering screens. PhysX allows certain functions that are still handled by the CPU to instead be handled by the GPU.

Set PhysX Configuration

PhysX configuration is set from the Nvidia Control Panel app. If you have an Nvidia GPU, this app will be installed on your system. If not, you can get it from the Microsoft Store.

By default, PhysX is set to the CPU or it’s set to Auto which means tasks that can be handed off to the GPU are not being handed off or the game is deciding when it needs to hand the tasks off instead of it being the default.

  1. Right-click an empty area on the desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel.
  2. Go to the 3D Settings tab.
  3. Open the dropdown and select your Nvidia GPU chip.
  4. Double-click the value for OpenGL rendering GPU and select your Nvidia GPU chip.
  5. Click Apply.

  1. Go to the Set PhysX Configuration tab.
  2. Open the Set a PhysX processor dropdown.
  3. Select GPU.
  4. Apply the change.
  5. This will set PhysX to use the GPU instead of the CPU. 

PhysX: GPU or CPU

PhysX can be set to use the GPU, or the CPU, or it can decide on a per-app basis what to do which is what the auto setting does. The question is, which setting is better?

If you’re unsure, you can always stick to the auto setting but it is generally a good idea to set it to use the GPU instead of the CPU. You should do this regardless of how fast/new your CPU is.

There will be exceptions. With PhysX set to use the GPU, you will usually get better game performance but there will be times when a game doesn’t run as well. If you have a stuttering game, set PhysX to either auto or to use the CPU instead.

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How to get line numbers in Notepad on Windows 10

Text editors are apps that can be simple, or they can be complex. In fact, some text editors add so many features that they cease to be text editors and transcend to a higher app level. 

At its core, a text editor will accept text and allow you to save a file in various formats e.g. BAT, AHK, PS1, HTML, CSS, SRT, etc. There are all sorts of features that you can add on top of this to make entering, and editing text easier such as syntax highlighting, line numbers, auto-close tags, etc.

Notepad is the stock text editor on Windows 10 and its best feature is that it is a light, no-nonsense app that offers users a distraction free interface. The app opens quickly, can handle loads of text, and can save a file in any format

Line numbers in Notepad on Windows 10

Line numbers are a feature you’ll find in quite a few text editors and all code editors. They’re helpful and not just when you’re writing code. Sadly, Notepad doesn’t show line numbers along the side like a code editor or an advanced text editor normally would. 

To view line numbers in Notepad, follow these steps.

  1. Open a Notepad file.
  2. Go to View and select Status Bar.
  3. Enter text and move the cursor to the line you want to find the number for.
  4. Look at the bottom in the status bar and you will see the line number.

Other text editors

The Notepad line numbers aren’t the greatest since you have to click a line to find the number for it. Having line numbers appear along the side is really what most users prefer and Notepad doesn’t have that. 

There are other text editors though that you can use. We’re going to recommend two excellent apps. We will be ignoring apps like Notepad++ which, while excellent, is far too advanced to be called a simple text editor.

1. Metapad

Metapad is free, and has a terminal-like interface. It is as simple as a text editor can get with line numbers along the side. Because it so much like a terminal, you’re not going to be distracted by ugly icons or a poor UI design that’s stuck in the Windows 98 days. 

You can customize the background color of the app which means instead of a bright, blinding white background, you can get something that’s much easier on the eyes.

2. Brackets

Brackets sits snuggly on the fine line that differentiates simple text editors from advanced ones. The UI is great but you can change it so that you get nothing more than a simple, distraction-free window to work in. It has line numbers, and tons of other great features like a debugger, extension support, line selection, and a lot more.

It isn’t as light as Notepad or Metapad but it’s not heavy. During installation, it asks to be added to the PATH variable making it all the easier to use.

Conclusion

We’ve neglected quite a few popular text editors like Micro, SciTE, and Programmer’s Notepad. These apps aren’t bad but their UI is either cluttered or still following old design, or they tend to run heavy on a system. You’re free to check them out though and use whatever works for you.

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How to show a message box on Windows 10

Apps can show alerts when they need a user’s attention e.g., the ‘Do you want to save changes’ alert you try to close a Notepad file with unsaved changes. They can also show messages e.g. when a file has downloaded or it has been processed.

These messages are useful but they don’t have to come from an app. Users can show a custom message box on Windows 10 using a batch script, PowerShell script, or by running a command in Command Prompt or PowerShell. 

Need to show a toast notification? Use a PowerShell module.

Custom message box on Windows 10

A custom message box will have a title, a message, and a call to action button i.e., an OK button which will dismiss the message. 

First, decide if you want to use a script or if you want to run a command. Running a command is easier so we’ll go over the script method first.

1. Batch/PowerShell script to show message box

Follow the steps below to create the script.

  1. Open a new Notepad file (or use any text editor of your choice).
  2. Paste the following in the Notepad file.
@echo off

powershell -Command "& {Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Windows.Forms; [System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox]::Show('My Message', 'Message title', 'OK', [System.Windows.Forms.MessageBoxIcon]::Information);}"
  1. If you intend to use a PowerShell script, remove the first line: @echo off.
  2. Edit the script as below:
    • Replace ‘My Message‘ with the message you want the message box to show.
    • Replace “Message Title” with the title of the message box you want.

Example:

@echo off

powershell -Command "& {Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Windows.Forms; [System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox]::Show('Go to the reactor room', 'Reactor Meltdown', 'OK', [System.Windows.Forms.MessageBoxIcon]::Information);}"
  1. Save the file with the .bat extension for a batch script or the .ps1 extension for a PowerShell script.
  2. Run the script and the message box will appear.

2. Command Prompt or PowerShell – Message box

Showing a message box from the Command Prompt or from PowerShell is easy. You do not need admin rights to show the message box.

Command Prompt

  1. Open Command Prompt.
  2. Run the following command in it.
  3. Edit the command as below to set your custom message and title.
    • Replace ‘My Message’ with the message you want the message box to show.
    • Replace “Message Title” with the title you want the message box to have.
@echo off

powershell -Command "& {Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Windows.Forms; [System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox]::Show('My Message', 'Message Title', 'OK', [System.Windows.Forms.MessageBoxIcon]::Information);}"

PowerShell

  1. Open PowerShell.
  2. Run the following command.
  3. Edit the command to add your own message and title.
    • Replace ‘My Message’ with the message you want the message box to show.
    • Replace “Message Title” with the title you want the message box to have.
powershell -Command "& {Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Windows.Forms; [System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox]::Show('My Message', 'Message Title', 'OK', [System.Windows.Forms.MessageBoxIcon]::Information);}"

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How to pin files and folders to the Finder menu bar on macOS

Finder has a sidebar that is omnipresent and that users can pin frequently accessed folders to. A single click will take users to the folders that are pinned under the Favorites section. 

The Favorites section is reserved for folders though so if you want a quick way to access files, you will probably use a menu bar app that helps launch frequently used apps and files. The app isn’t necessary though. Finder allows users to pin files and folders to the menu bar. 

The menu bar, like the left bar in Finder, is omnipresent which means the file or folder can be accessed from anywhere you have a Finder window open.

Pin file or folder to Finder menu bar

To pin a file or folder to the Finder menu bar, follow these steps.

  1. Open two Finder windows.
  2. In the first Finder window, navigate to the file or folder that you want to pin.
  3. In the second Finder window, right-click the top bar.
  4. Select Customize toolbar from the menu.

  1. A panel will open. 
  2. From the second Finder window, drag & drop a file or folder on to an empty area.

  1. Click Done and the file/folder will be pinned.
  2. Click the file/folder and it will open.

Remove pinned items from Finder menu bar

The pinned items can be changed at any time. If a file or folder is no longer needed you can remove it as easily as you added it.

  1. Open a Finder window.
  2. Right-click the menu bar and select Customize Toolbar.
  3. Once the customize panel opens, drag and drop the file/folder you want to remove on to it.
  4. Repeat for all items that you want to remove. 
  5. Click Done to close the panel. 
  6. The pinned files and folders will be removed. 

Conclusion

The Finder menu bar can act a lot like a bookmarks bar that you’d find in a browser like Chrome. Unlike a browser’s bookmarks bar though, it is also home to other buttons that give users access to Finder’s tools/features.

The space should be used carefully. It may be tempting to pin lots of items to the Finder menu bar but you won’t be able to see them all even if the window is maximized and it may all eventually become clutter.

Try to pin folders to the Favorites section in the sidebar instead of adding them to the menu bar. If you do need to pin a lot of files for quick access, it may be worth getting a menu bar app to do the job instead. You can also create a custom folder that shows recent files and add it to the sidebar.

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Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Not Responding – Try These Fixes

Adobe Acrobat Reader is Adobe’s official PDF reader app for its proprietary PDF format. PDF files are incredibly common and Acrobat Reader is one of the most frequently recommended apps for viewing them.

PDF files can be fairly large, especially if they contain lots of images e.g., catalogs and brochures, or if they’re presentations i.e., slides saved as images. With large PDF files, Adobe Acrobat Reader often struggles with opening them. The app may hang or go into a suspended state trying to open a large PDF file.

If you often find that Adobe Acrobat Reader is not responding when trying to open or scroll through a PDF file, you can try the fixes below.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC not responding

Acrobat Reader can stop responding at any point;

  • When you open a PDF file.
  • When the app is launched.
  • When you’re scrolling through a PDF file.
  • When you try to jump to a page in a file.

If the app’s performance is poor and it hangs often, try the following fixes.

1. Repair Acrobat Reader

Acrobat Reader, like many apps, can be corrupted. If the app suddenly stopped working after a system update or crash, try repairing.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to Programs>Uninstall a program.
  3. Look for and select Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  4. Click the Change button at the top.
  5. Select the Repair option.
  6. Allow the app to repair and it should start working smoothly. 

2. Fresh Acrobat Reader installation

Adobe now bundles a lot of extra apps with its installers. When you install Acrobat Reader, lots of these extra apps are installed alongside it causing problems with the app. Try uninstalling and reinstalling Acrobat Reader.

  1. Download the Acrobat Cleaner tool.
  2. Unzip the folder and run the executable file inside it.
  3. Click Next, and confirm you want to remove the app.
  4. Download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader.

3. Run compatibility troubleshooter

Adobe’s Acrobat Reader may be running in compatibility mode on your system and it may not work correctly if run otherwise. That said, the compatibility mode settings may not be correct for your system.

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader. Don’t worry if it stops responding.
  2. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu.
  3. Go to the Processes tab and click the title of the Name column to sort processes by name.
  4. Look for Adobe Acrobat Reader at the top and right-click it. Select Properties from the context menu.
  5. Go to the Compatibility tab.
  6. Click the Run compatibility troubleshooter.
  7. Click Try recommended settings.
  8. Select Test the program when prompted.
  9. The app will be fixed and no longer stop responding at random.

4. Set recent files to 1

Adobe Acrobat Reader has had this problem for a few years now and it seems to come and go with different versions of the app. One setting that consistently helps fix the problem is reducing the number of recent files to 1.

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. Go to Edit>Preferences.
  3. Go to the Documents tab.
  4. In the ‘Documents in recently used list’ box, set the value to 1.
  5. Click OK and restart the app.

5. Disable protected mode

Adobe Acrobat Reader has a protected mode that is meant to keep you safe when you open files that have been downloaded or are not from a secure/trusted source. This mode can often cause the app to hang at random.

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. Go to File>Preferences.
  3. Select the Security (Enhanced) tab.
  4. Disable the ‘Enable Protected Mode at startup’.
  5. Click Ok and restart the app.

Conclusion

Adobe Acrobat Reader used to work well before Adobe bundled its cloud services with the app. For many users, the app stops responding when it loads files from Creative Cloud or tries to sign in to Adobe. It needs to be optimized to support these services better but that is something only Adobe can do. 

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