04 March 2015

Google Hides Country Redirection Bypass Link

Search Engine Land reports that Google made it more difficult for non-US users to switch from their local Google site to Google.com.

Until now, you could switch to Google.com by clicking "use Google.com" at the bottom of the homepage. Google made a change and it now shows the "use Google.com" link only when you're redirected from Google.com to your country's Google site.

This way, most people will no longer see the "use Google.com" link. One workaround is to visit Google.com to see the link. Another option is to go to www.google.com/ncr, the same URL that used to the displayed by Google. "NCR" means "no country redirection", so the URL can be used to bypass Google's redirection.

Why would Google hide the link? Danny Sullivan suggests that the latest change could have something to do with the "Right To Be Forgotten" feature. "Google’s come under increasing pressure from both Canada and the EU to censor its results on Google.com in addition to censorship demands on country-specific versions."

I use Google.com because it has the latest features and it's more up-to-date.

Hide Google+ Circles in the New Google Contacts

If you're using the new Google Contacts UI, you probably noticed that Google shows both your contacts and the people from your Google+ circles in one place. The "all contacts" section now also shows Google+ contacts and there's no option to only show non-Google+ contacts.

Fortunately, there's a way to hide the people from your Google+ circles. Google+ has a feature called "your circles" which lets you select which circles you share with. For example, you can add the "Friends" and "Family" circles and quickly share your posts with your favorite circles without having to select them all the time.

"When you share posts, photos, profile data, and other things with 'Your circles,' you're sharing with all of your circles, except the ones you're just following (they're unchecked in this list)," explains Google.

The good news is that Google Contacts only includes the people from "your circles", so you can customize "your circles" and uncheck all of them. This way, the "all contacts" section will only include your contacts. The downside is that the "your circles" option from Google+ will no longer be useful, but you can always manually select your circles.

Google Tests New Contacts Interface

Google released a preview of the new Google Contacts interface. Powered by Material Design, the new Google Contacts improves some of the existing features: finding duplicates, Google Profile integration, while adding some new features: a list of recent messages, Hangouts sidebar.

"The new Google Contacts comes with a fresh look and feel, and conveniently pools together all your contacts, circles, and the people you talk to most in Gmail," informs Google.

Google Contacts now finds duplicates automatically and offers to merge all of them. You can dismiss some of the suggestions and better assess if they are actually duplicates.

When you click a contact, Google now opens a card overlay with a bigger picture and more information from the Google Profile page. Google also shows the most recent email conversations and meetings with that person.

Some features aren't available yet in the new Google Contacts: importing/exporting connects, restoring contacts, printing contacts. You can still find them in the old version of Google Contacts.

For now, the new Google Contacts is not available for Google Apps users. The new interface can be found at http://ift.tt/1zFE2kb and it will be added to Gmail's contact manager over the next few weeks.

{ Thanks, Daniel Sadavoy. }

02 March 2015

How to Remove Password from PDF Files with Google Chrome

The bank sends me monthly credit card statements as password-protected PDF files mostly because they contain personal information. I archive these PDFs into Google Drive but, because these files are protected with a password, the text isn’t searchable inside Drive. Also, each PDF file has a different password so it’s impossible to remember them and takes just too much to find these PDFs later.

pdf password

Removing Password from a PDF File

Since the Google Drive is already protected with 2 layers of security – password and 2-factor authentication – it should be OK if we remove the password protection from PDF files before uploading them to Drive.

Is there any software program available that can remove password protection from PDF files? One that doesn’t cost a dime and works on both Mac and Windows? Well the answer is yes and that too is already installed on your computer. It’s called Google Chrome.

Google Chrome has a built-in PDF reader* and a PDF writer and we can combine the two features to remove the password from any PDF document. Let’s see how:

  1. Drag any password protected PDF file into your Google Chrome browser. If you can’t find one, use this sample PDF file – the open password is “labnol” without the quotes.

  2. Google Chrome will now prompt you to enter the password of the file. Enter the password and hit Enter to open the file.

  3. Now go to the File menu in Google Chrome and choose Print (or press Ctrl+P on Windows or Cmd+P on Mac). Choose the destination printer as “Save as PDF” and click the Save button.

Google Chrome will now save the PDF to your desktop but without the password protection. If you re-open this PDF in Chrome, it would no longer require a password to open. Thank you Ivan Sunga for the tip.

Alternatively, if you have enabled Google Cloud Print, you can choose the destination as “Save to Google Drive” in the print dialog and the unprotected version of the PDF will be sent straight to your Google Drive from Chrome.

Remove PDF Password with Chrome

[*] Open the special page chrome://plugins and enable the option that says “Chrome PDF Viewer” to let Chrome natively handle PDF files.

Remove PDF Passwords without Chrome

If you are not a Google Chrome user, download this free Windows utility called BeCyPDFMetaEdit to remove passwords from PDF files.

First launch the program and it will ask your for the location of the PDF file. Before you select and open the PDF, change the mode to “Complete Rewrite,” then switch to the Security tab and set the “Security System” to “No encryption.” Click the Save button and your PDF will no longer require a password to open.

See more tools for editing PDF files.

The story, How to Remove Password from PDF Files with Google Chrome , was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 01/03/2015 under Google Chrome, Google Drive, PDF, Software.

01 March 2015

Google Docs Viewer Page, No Longer Available

Google had a page that allowed you to quickly view documents online right from your browser. The Google Docs Viewer page was available at http://ift.tt/g0ekyj and http://ift.tt/1Br584j. You could enter a document URL and Google generated a link to view it. This worked for a lot of file types: Microsoft Office files, PDFs, PostScript files and more.

While the page is no longer available as it redirects to Google Docs/Drive, you can still use the Google Docs Viewer. Paste this URL in a new tab:


and then paste the address of the document you want to view online. Here's an example:


The "embedded" parameter is still available: just add &embedded=true to the URL and the viewer will use an embedded mode interface. This is useful for embedding documents (use the <iframe> tag).

{ Thanks, +Sushubh Mittal. }