How to Use Subtitles on Plex: Everything You Need to Know

The ability to add subtitles to a video is an essential part of any worthwhile media player. Especially when some of the best movies and TV shows in the world are unlikely to be in your native tongue.

Subtitles can also be useful if you're trying to learn a foreign language. You might even want to add subtitles for content made in your own language if the content includes hard-to-understand accents or periods of quiet speech. Or if you have hearing problems.

Unsurprisingly, Plex supports several subtitle solutions, but they're all disabled out of the box. So, here's everything you need to know about how to use subtitles on Plex.

Let's assume you don't have any locally-saved subtitles files, or at least, the majority of your content doesn't have accompanying subtitles. You need to source your subtitles from a third-party provider.

Using a media scraping agent, Plex can pull subtitles from for free. You just need to set the process in motion.

To begin, go to Settings > Settings > Agents. Using the tabs at the top of the page, navigate to Movies (or Films in the UK) > Plex Movie (Legacy). Find, make sure the check box is ticked, and drag it to the top of the list.

Your list should now look like this:

Next, go back to the tabs at the top of the screen, but this time head to Shows > TheTVDB. (Shows is called Programmes in the UK edition). Again, mark the checkbox and drag to the top.

Making these changes ensures Plex prioritizes downloading subtitles when you add new content to your library.

To tell Plex which languages you desire, you need to edit the agent's settings. On the same screen, click the Gear icon next to If you have an account on the site, you can enter your username and password, though it's not essential for the tool to work. You can specify up to three languages using the drop-down boxes.

The changes you've just made to the media scraping agent will only work for any new content added to your library.

If you're just starting your media collection, that's fine, but in most cases, you'll probably want to retrospectively add subtitles to your existing TV shows and movies.

To do so, you need to refresh your library's metadata. Locate the library you want to refresh in the list on the left-hand side of the Plex home screen. Click the three horizontal dots to access the context menu, then go to Manage Library > Refresh All Metadata.

If you have an extensive library, the process could take a long time. So if you're in a hurry to get subtitles on one show (or one episode), navigate to the video in question, click the three horizontal dots in the bar at the top of the screen, and click Refresh Metadata. has a vast number of free subtitle files, but it doesn't have everything. If the subtitles file is missing for one of your favorite shows, you might have to locate it elsewhere.

Subscene, SubtitleSeeker, and SRTFiles are three of the best places to check out. We covered other sources for subtitles in another article.

Plex supports subtitles in five formats: SRT, SMI, SSA, ASS, and VTT. Formats such as VOBSUB and PGS will only work on some Plex players and should be avoided if possible.

Once you've downloaded the files you need, save them in the same directory as the media for which they are applicable. For example, on my server, I would save the subtitles file for Series 1, Episode 1 of Red Dwarf in E:\TV\Red Dwarf\Season 01.

You also need to name your subtitles files in a precise way:

  • Movies: Movie_Name (Release Date).[Language_Code].[ext] (e.g. Cool Runnings (1993)
  • TV shows: Show_Name SxxEyy.[Language_Code].[ext] (e.g. Red Dwarf

The language code needs to follow the international standard ISO codes.

For more help with naming your Plex files, be sure to read our article explaining how to name your Plex files in the optimal way.

To complete the process, scan your library (Context menu > Scan Library Files). Plex should find the subtitles files and link them to the associated videos.

Once you've worked through all of the steps we've detailed so far, you might want to check whether they've actually worked.

To see which subtitles are available for a certain TV episode or movie, navigate to its Plex page. If adding subtitles has been successful, you'll see all of the languages listed (expand the drop-down menu to see the full list).

Click on a language to override the system-wide settings (discussed below) and set the language file as the default for that particular video.

Great, so now you've got all the Plex subtitles files you need. But how do you watch them? This is where you'll finally start to see the fruits of your labor.

If you're planning to use subtitles most of the time, it makes sense to tweak Plex's settings so that they're switched on by default.

Go to Settings > Settings > Languages. Disable the checkbox next to Automatically select audio and subtitle tracks, and you'll be able to edit the settings underneath.

For the purposes of this process, we're interested in Subtitle mode and Prefer subtitles in. Set the prior to Always enables, and the latter to the language of your preference. Click Save Changes to complete the process.

Perhaps you don't want subtitles to be on permanently. After all, if you're not using them, they can get annoying. But don't worry; it's equally as easy to manage subtitles on a video-by-video basis.

Once your video is playing, click on the SettingsHo icon in the lower right-hand corner. In the pop-up menu, you'll see a list of all the subtitles files you have available for the video in question. Click on a language to activate the file.

Using subtitles is only one small part of getting the Plex app set up to meet your needs. And don't forget, over the last few years, Plex has added features such as live IPTV, an on-demand video library, and support for over-the-air channels via an aerial.


How to Control Your Soundbar With a Roku TV Remote | MakeUseOf

Considering televisions are so expensive, the speaker systems on them are surprisingly poor. The problem is primarily caused by the space available. As TVs become progressively thinner, the speakers themselves have less room to work with, so we end up with a shallow "tinny" sound.

As such, audiophiles and cinephiles have taken to using external soundbars. In many cases, they provide fuller and richer sounds than TV sets are capable of. And you don't have to spend a fortune on top-end models; there are plenty of mid-range soundbars for audiophiles on a budget.

Better yet, if you have a Roku streaming device, you can even control your soundbar using your Roku TV remote. After all, who want's to deal with two separate remotes all the time? Let's take a closer look at how to control your soundbar with a Roku remote.

Audio Return Channel (ARC) and Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) are both lesser-known features of HDMI technology. Together, they allow for two-way communication between a TV and an external device over an HDMI cable.

If you use ARC over HDMI to connect your soundbar to your TV, Roku can use CEC to control the sound bar's volume. Your soundbar needs to support ARC for it to be possible. Unfortunately, if you use optical cables to connect the two devices, you're out of luck.

The setup process differs depending on whether you have a smart TV with Roku OS (AKA a Roku TV), or you use a Roku streaming stick / Roku box.

If you have a Roku TV follow these instructions:

  1. Fire up your TV, open the Roku interface, and head to Home > Settings.
  2. Scroll down and select Audio.
  3. Go to Audio Preferences > Audio Mode.
  4. Select Auto (DTS).
  5. Return to the Audio menu and head to S/PDIF.
  6. Set it to Auto-detect.
  7. Go back to the Audio menu a final time and choose ARC.
  8. Again, set the option to Auto-detect.
  9. Go to Settings > System > CEC.
  10. Mark the checkbox next to ARC (HDMI).

If you're using a Roku streaming stick or Roku box, you'll need to do all of the above, but also enable the feature on your TV's settings menu. The process for doing so differs considerably between manufacturers. Consult their help documentation for more information.

Even if your soundbar doesn't boast ARC support, you might still be able to control your soundbar with your Roku TV remote if the speaker supports HDMI. Navigate to Settings > System > Control other devices and turn on System Audio Control to test it.

If neither of these two methods works for you, you might be forced to buy a universal remote. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate is one of the best. And remember, Roku is also in the process of rolling out Roku TV Ready, a new initiative that should make it even easier to use a Roku remote to control your soundbar.

If you'd like to get more out of your Roku, here's a list of the best free Roku channels to install.


How to Install Linux in Windows With a VMware Virtual Machine

Fancy trying Linux but don't want to install it on your PC? If you've heard bad things about dual booting, the answer could be to use a virtual machine.

Installing Linux on Windows in a virtual machine is straightforward. Here's how to install Linux on VMware Workstation, step by step.

Use a PC That Supports Virtualization

You've tried Linux from a live CD. Now you want to install it, but you're unsure about dual booting. The sensible option is to install your chosen Linux operating system in a virtual machine (VM).

A virtual machine is a software environment that replicates the conditions of a hardware environment: a personal computer. The environment is based on the hardware of your physical PC and limited only by the components within. For instance, you couldn't have a virtual four core CPU on a processor with two cores.

However, while virtualization can be achieved on many systems, the results will be far superior on computers equipped with a CPU that supports it.

Several VM tools make it easy to install Linux operating systems (OS). VMware produces the most accomplished virtual machine applications. Let's find out how to install Linux in Windows with VMware Workstation Player.

Install VMware Workstation Player

To start, head to the VMware website and download the latest version of their Workstation Player tool. We're using VMware Workstation 15 Player, which is around 150MB to download.

Download: VMware Workstation 15 Player (Free)

VMware Workstation Player is free and available for non-commercial, personal, and home use. Students and non-profit organizations can also benefit from the free version. In terms of functionality, VMware Workstation Player includes everything you could need for the standard virtual machine tasks.

However, VMware offers a wide selection of virtualization solutions aimed at businesses of all levels. You can find out more about their solutions on the website's product page.

Once VMware Workstation Player has downloaded, launch the installer and follow the installation wizard. You'll see the option to install an Enhanced Keyboard Driver---while you won't need this initially, it's worth having.

Proceed through the installation wizard, and restart Windows when prompted.

Choose Your Preferred Linux OS

You probably know which Linux OS you want to try. Some Linux distros are particularly suited to running in a VM, but others are not. All 32-bit and 64-bit distros work in a virtual machine. However, you cannot run Linux distros for ARM architecture (such as the Raspberry Pi) in VMware.

Should you want to emulate an ARM environment in Windows, try QEMU.

Related: Emulate the Raspberry Pi OS Raspbian in QEMU

If you don't know which OS to choose, however, you'll find our regularly-updated list of the best Linux distributions here.

Create Your Linux Virtual Machine

While your Linux ISO downloads, it's a good time to start configuring your VM. Start by launching VMware Workstation Player. When you're ready to create a VM:

  1. Click Create a New Virtual Machine
  2. Select the default option, Installer disc image file (iso)
  3. Click Browse to find the ISO fileSelect your Linux OS to install in a VM
  4. With "guest" OS selected, click Next
  5. Select Linux as the Guest operating system typeSelect the OS in the VM settings
  6. Under Version, scroll through the list and select the OS
  7. Click Next to proceed and if necessary, input a Virtual machine name
  8. Confirm the storage Location and change if needed

With the operating system selected and configured, it's time to build the virtual machine.

  1. Under Specify Disk Capacity adjust Maximum disk size if required (the default should be enough)
  2. Select Split virtual disk into multiple files as this makes moving the VM to a new PC easy
  3. Click Next then confirm the details on the next screen
  4. If anything seems wrong click Back, otherwise click FinishConfirm details and create your Linux VM

Your Linux virtual machine will be added to VMware Workstation Player.

Customize Your Virtual Hardware

In some cases, you might need to customize the virtual machine before installing Linux. Alternatively, you might install the OS and find there is something missing.

To fix this, right-click your virtual machine in VMware Workstation Player and select Settings.

Here, you can tweak the virtual machine's hardware in other ways beyond the HDD. You have options for the Memory, Processors, Network Adaptor configuration, and much more.

It's worth taking a look at the Processors screen. In the right-hand pane, you'll spot a reference to a Virtualization engine. By default, this works automatically, but for troubleshooting set Intel VT-x or AMD-V, depending on your CPU.

You can address performance issues in the Memory screen. Here you'll spot an illustration of the suggested RAM size, as well as recommended options for your virtual machine. It's a good idea to stick to these recommendations. Going too small will prove a problem, while setting the RAM too high will impact on your PC's performance, slowing everything from standard system tasks to running the VM software!

Finally, spare a moment to check the Display settings. Default settings should be fine but if there is an issue with the display you can toggle 3D acceleration. Multiple monitors can be used and custom resolution set, but note that some modes will clash with some desktops.

Click OK to confirm changes, then select the virtual machine and click the Play button to begin.

Download and Install VMware Tools

On the first boot of your virtual machine, you'll be prompted to Download and Install VMware Tools for Linux. Agree to this, then wait as it is downloaded.

VMware Tools will enhance the performance of the virtual machine while enabling shared folders between host and guest machines.

How to Install Linux in VMware

When the ISO boots in the virtual machine, it will boot into the live environment. This is a temporary Linux that exists only on the boot media and in the system memory. To ensure the environment persists, use the Install option on the desktop.

From this point, the installation will continue as if you're installing an OS on a physical machine. Progress through the installation wizard, creating a user account and setting other options when prompted.

Once the installation is complete, you'll be able to log into the Linux virtual machine and start using the guest OS. It's that simple!

How to Run Linux in a Virtual Machine

Now you can launch the Linux virtual machine at any time using the Play button in VMware Workstation Player.

Looking for some software to install?

Often, Linux ships with a number of preinstalled applications but if you want something else, check the best Linux apps.

By the way, if you just want to get into the Linux terminal, things are far simpler than installing VMware. Check out how to access the bash shell on Windows.

Install Any Linux Distro in a Virtual Machine on Windows!

If you want easy access to Linux, the best option is to install it in a virtual machine in Windows. VMware Workstation Player provides the best tools for doing just that.

Installing Linux in VMware is simple. Let's run through the steps again:

  1. Download the free VMware Workstation Player
  2. Install, and restart Windows
  3. Create and configure your virtual machine
  4. Install Linux in the virtual machine
  5. Restart the virtual machine and use Linux

It really is that simple. You don't even have to limit your choice to one OS. Choose from hundreds (if not thousands) of Linux distros, which you can install in a VMware-based virtual machine.


The 14 Best Google Chrome Extensions for Tab Management

If you're a multi-tasker, you love tabs; they make web browsers a lot easier to use. But that doesn't mean you can't improve tabbed browsing. The most popular web browser in the world, Google Chrome still lacks tab management features.

So, whether you're looking for a Chrome tab organizer or tab management extensions, keep reading. Here are some of the best Chrome extensions for tab management.

It might have started life as a lightweight and super-fast browser, but these days, Chrome is a memory munching behemoth. It's hardly surprising; it takes a lot of power to run lots of extensions and integrate the browser tightly with the Google ecosystem of apps.

Therefore, if you're a tab junkie (or working on an old, underpowered computer), you need The Great Suspender. The open-source app (which is one of the best Chrome tab extensions in any category) lets you set a time period after which tabs will be "frozen" and their memory released.

Download: The Great Suspender (Free)

The beauty of Tabli lies not in its ability to manage tabs in your current browser window, but to manage tabs in all the windows you have open.

For example, if you have a lot of work-themed tabs open in one window and all your social media open in another, you can hop between them while keeping the tabs themselves compartmentalized. Used correctly, Tabli can be an excellent way to boost your productivity.

Of course, all the usual features such as Save and Restore are also present.

Download: Tabli (Free)

Do you use Workflowy? If you do, you'll be instantly familiar with how Tabs Outliner works. For those who aren't familiar with the productivity tool, you can think of Tabs Outliner as a folder tree for tabs.

When you open a tab, it nests under the previous tab. You can drag tabs between different trees and add notes to help you recall why you were looking at it.

It also lets you close tabs but keeps them in your tree so you can revisit them later; it's perfect for freeing up browser memory.

Download: Tabs Outliner (Free)

Tab Hibernation is another memory-saving tab manager. It's not feature-laden, but it's straightforward to use. Just click the extension icon in the upper right-hand corner of Chrome and all tabs except the one you're currently looking at will go into hibernation mode.

To reactivate a tab, navigate to its window and click Wake Up. The extension will remember exactly where you were on the screen and reload that particular point.

Download: Tab Hibernation (Free)

Excessive tabs are troublesome because they overwhelm Chrome's ability to display content in a meaningful way. TooManyTabs solves the problem using a pop-out to provide a thumbnail preview of the tabs that you have open.

The extension also includes a search field so you can quickly find what you're looking for.

Download: TooManyTabs (Free)

Similar in purpose to TooManyTabs, Quick Tab conquers extreme tab usage through a drop-down menu that presents all currently open tabs. A search function is also available.

While TooManyTabs is likely the better choice for users who routinely open 20 or more tabs, lighter tab-a-holics may prefer Quick Tab.

Download: Quick Tab (Free)

Tabs Hide Button places an icon in the Chrome Toolbar. When clicked, it'll close all the tabs you have open. It'll also remember them if you close Chrome completely.

If you don't want yet another icon cluttering your Toolbar, you can use the right-click context menu to access the extension instead. You can even password-protect your closed tabs. Just right-click on the Tabs Hide Button and select Options.

Download: Tabs Hide Button (Free)

Created by the same folks that made TooManyTabs, TabJump is a contextual tab navigator that pops when you click on the extension's icon.

Rather than listing all tabs in a lump, TabJump has three columns---Undo, Related, and Jump. Undo lists recently closed tabs, Related lists other open tabs from the same site you're currently using, and Jump lists all other open tabs. It's an excellent way to organize tabs, packing maximum information into limited space. It's more powerful than Chrome's tab group feature.

Download: TabJump (Free)

Tab lovers are going to fall head over heels with this extension. If you use TabCloud you will no longer be restricted to bringing a single computer to its knees with hundreds of open tabs---now you can save your tabs and open them on an entirely different computer.

Despite its power, the extension is simple. You can save your browser's state by clicking on the disk icon in the pop-up, and then restore it on any PC. You do need to log in with your Google account to enable the functionality.

Download: TabCloud (Free)

This extension doesn't add much to the Chrome interface; it's a simple behavior modification extension that forces Chrome to the last selected tab whenever you close a tab.

You can also make slight modifications to the default behavior of new tabs, forcing them to open in the background or changing their position on the tab list.

Download: TabsPlus (Free)

Cluster is another tab organizer for Chrome.

One of Cluster's best features is the ability to group your tabs by domain or by Chrome window. It's a powerful feature that you might not realize the benefits of until you give it a try. People who are doing heavy-duty research that requires lots of tabs from single sites---like students---will find the tool to be particularly useful.

Download: Cluster (Free)

Do you find yourself repeatedly opening the same tabs every time your turn on your computer in a morning?

Toby makes the process easy by allowing you to create groups of tabs that you can open with a single click. Once you are comfortable with the extension, try experimenting. For example, why not create a separate group of tabs for work and personal?

Download: Toby (Free)

Session Buddy has a few core features:

  • Save currently-running tabs as collections to restore later.
  • Recover all tabs after a computer crash.
  • Search all your available tabs through a single interface.

The app also has an impressive list of customization options, allowing you to control exactly how tabs behave within the browser.

Download: Session Buddy (Free)

When your tabs start to get out of control, you're faced with a quandary. Do you close them all in bulk and risk losing all the pages you were looking at, or do you persevere as Chrome slowly eats through more and more of your available CPU?

It turns out, the answer is neither. If you install OneTab, you can close all your available tabs into a single list. They can be reopened from the list at any time.

Download: OneTab (Free)

Any tab junkie will be should be able to find a Chrome tab organizer to suit their workflows. All the extensions we suggested are free, so you can test a few of them and see which meets your needs.

And once you've finished exploring our list of Chrome tab management extensions, you might also want to take a look at some Chrome extensions to speed up your web browsing.


The 10 Best Icon Packs for Windows 10 | MakeUseOf

If you want to give your Windows computer a unique look, there are a few things you can tweak. We've already explained how to customize your machine using light themes for Windows 10 and dark themes for Windows 10---but what about icon packs?

Although there are hundreds of icon packs for Windows 10 available, not all of them are worth downloading. If you're not sure where to start, keep reading to discover the best icon packs for Windows 10.

Some icon packs come with their own installers and setup instructions, some need third-party tools, and others just provide a bunch of ICO files for you to save on your system.

Once you've got the icons installed, you may need to change them manually. To do so, right-click on a folder or file and head to Properties > Customize. Next, navigate to Folder icons > Change Icon and use the Browse button to go where you've saved the icon.

Once you've selected it, never relocate or delete the ICO file. Doing so will cause the icon of any files using it to revert to Windows' default white rectangle.

Kingdom Icons is a 51-icon set with imagery that feels like a cross between Robin Hood and Game of Thrones. It features crowns, swords, bows and arrows, castles, shields, and more.

Of course, the downside of using this type of pack is that none of the images bear any resemblance to whatever folder they're supposed to represent. You'll have to remember that the crown is your music folder, the shield is your documents folder, and so on.

All the icons are available in the PNG or ICO format.

Yes, you read that correctly. This icon pack brings the widely-praised macOS icons into Windows. They're not quite the real deal (the developer has edited them slightly), but they are as close as you're going to get.

In addition to the standard system-wide icons, the OS X Minimalism iPack also patches the icons for Chrome, Firefox, RegEdit, the calculator, Command Prompt, and Windows Media Player. The icons will update automatically when you install the icons.

OS X Minimalism iPack comes as a 7Z file. You'll need a program like 7-Zip to access it. Once you've extracted the contents, just run OS X Minimalism iPack.exe.

If you're looking for a more modern Windows 10 icon pack, Kameleon Icons is worth trying.

All the icons in the 120-icon set use a simple image on a circular background. You'll find icons that correspond with all the major Windows folders, including Documents, Downloads, Photos, and more.

You can download it in the SVG, PNG, or ICO format.

The Socialmedia Icons pack provides ICO files for the most common social networks logos and web-based businesses.

You will find icons for Google Drive, Facebook, Digg, Amazon, Creative Commons, Soundcloud, Apple, Ask, and many more. In total, there are 100 icons in the pack.

If you want to give your computer a holiday makeover, check out the RocketTheme Christmas Icons pack. Only 10 icons are available, but it's more than enough to give your PC a festive feel every December. After all, there is such a thing as Christmas overload!

In the pack, you will find a snow globe, a nutcracker, a stocking, some baubles, and a smattering of other ICO files.

Sticking with the unusual, why not decorate your Windows 10 computer with anime-themed icons? They're only available for folders, but if you like the increasingly prevalent Japanese art form, you will love them.

Even better, the icons are specifically designed to display some of the most popular anime shows from the last few years. The pack includes Konbini Kareshi, Ballroom e Youkoso, Isekai Shokudou, and Owarimonogatari.

Unfortunately, there's no way to download the whole pack at once. Use the link above to jump to the developer's DeviantArt page, then follow the individual links in the description section. The icons themselves come in the easy-to-use ICO format.

The Flat Color W10 IconPack takes its design cues from Windows 10's Fluent Design, but flattens out the colors and homogenizes the design. For folders, the designer has used the same basic design with a content-specific icon laid over the top. There are also unique icons explicitly for music, video, and picture files.

Icons are in the ICO format. You just need to make the desired alterations in each file or folder's Customization tab, as detailed earlier.

If you prefer a cutesy desktop, you might like the Animal Icons pack. It contains 32 animal illustrations, all of which use soft colors and easy-on-the-eye designs.

With ducks, cows, ladybirds, rabbits, elephants, and fish, this is probably one of the most kid-friendly Windows 10 icon packs you'll be able to find.

The Gamy Vintage Social Icons is for you if you want to give your computer a retro feel. You'll once again find Windows 10 icons for all the most common social networks, each designed to look like parchment paper. The pack has 37 icons available.

Do you have a vast collection of locally-saved movies? If so, you should definitely have a look at the Movie Mega Pack icon set.

The creator has taken the artwork from more than 450 of the most famous films of all time and converted them into ICO files. Of course, if you use an app like Plex, such icons may be unnecessary. However, if you prefer to browse your collection via File Explorer, a pack like this makes it easier to find what you're looking for.

These packs should give you an idea of the vast number of icon packs available. Even if you don't like any of our picks, you should still be able to find something you like with a bit of digging. You'll find some of the best icon repositories on IconArchive, DeviantArt, and IconFinder. The icons on IconFinder are not free.

And remember, apart from using custom icons, you have plenty more ways to change the look and feel of your Windows 10 desktop.


20 Movies Not on Netflix You Should Buy Instead | MakeUseOf

What are the best movies not available on Netflix? Which classic flicks are worth buying or renting elsewhere online?

This list is entirely subjective, of course, but here are 20 critically-acclaimed titles you can easily watch anywhere else but Netflix.

The Big Lebowski has endured an on-again-off-again relationship with Netflix. It was cut in early-2015 only to be restored a few months later. By the end of the year, it was once again unavailable. It made a brief comeback in 2016 and again in 2018, but we haven't seen it in the US Netflix catalog since.

The storyline sees a Los Angeles slacker mistaken for a millionaire. Hilarity ensues.

Where to get it: iTunes, Google Play

None of the three movies in the Lord of the Rings trilogy are available on Netflix, so it makes sense to start with the first installment, The Fellowship of the Ring.

Hobbit, Frodo Baggins, inherits a mysterious ring from his Uncle, and the story follows his quest to return it to Mount Doom while keeping it out of the hands of its creator.

Where to get it: Amazon, Google Play, VUDU

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one of the world's most famous wuxia movies. The producers didn't necessarily expect the film to become a global phenomenon, but it ended up taking the world by storm.

Made on a budget of just $17 million, the film grossed $213.5 million internationally. It made $128 million in the United States alone, thus becoming the country's most successful foreign-language film in history.

Where to get it: Amazon, Microsoft Store, iTunes, Google Play

Widely considered to be the best early Star Trek film, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan set a world record first-day box office gross at the time of its release.

The plot pits Kirk against his old nemesis, the genetically engineered superhuman, Khan Noonien Singh.

Where to get it: Amazon, Microsoft Store, Google Play

A good barometer of the public's love for a movie is how much of its dialog has passed into everyday language. Mary Poppins certainly succeeded; "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" has inspired everything from newspaper headlines to episodes of The Simpsons (here are the best episodes of The Simpsons for fans of the series).

And here's a fun fact: Mary Poppins was the only Disney movie to earn a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars during Walt's lifetime.

Where to get it: Amazon, Microsoft Store, iTunes, Google Play

Many people thought The Wolf of Wall Street would be the movie that finally bagged Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar. Ultimately, Leo had to wait a couple more years, but that doesn't diminish the enjoyment you'll get from this fantastic dive into the excesses of Wall Street in the late 1980s.

Where to get it: Microsoft Store, iTunes, Google Play

Wasn't 2013 a great year for movies? Perhaps the reason The Wolf of Wall Street failed to win a single Oscar is due to the dominance of Gravity.

This movie, which sees Sandra Bullock and George Clooney stranded in space after a collision, picked up seven awards on the night.

Where to get it: Amazon, Microsoft Store, iTunes, Google Play

Loved by both kids and adults alike, Toy Story was the first feature-length computer-animated film and also Pixar's first release.

The storyline is well-known. Andy's favorite toy, Woody, is jealous of new arrival Buzz Lightyear. The two have their differences, but ultimately have to work together.

Disney+ is now the home of streaming for all Disney and Pixar movies, but you can buy the film on any of the major online stores.

Where to get it: Amazon, Microsoft Store, iTunes, Google Play

The Godfather tells the story of the Italian-American Corleone family between the end of the Second World War in 1945 and 1955. It primarily focuses on the son, Michael, and his attempts to exact revenge for the attempted murder of his father, Vito.

The movie picked up three Oscars for Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture.

Where to get it: Amazon, Google PlayiTunes

At the time of its release, Superman was the most expensive film in cinematic history. It had a budget of $55 million and grossed $300 million at the box office.

Considering this came before the modern-day superhero revival, it was an astounding feat. Though, with a cast list that included Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, and Christopher Reeve, along with Godfather screenwriter Mario Puzo, was its success ever really in doubt?

Where to get it: Amazon, Microsoft Store, Google Play

Widely considered to be Quentin Tarantino's best work, Pulp Fiction isn't just one of the best movies not on Netflix---it's one of the greatest movies of all time.

The plot revolves around the criminal world of Los Angeles and stars John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, and Uma Thurman, among others.

It won the 1995 Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Where to get it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes

The Truman Show came before Big Brother and all of the other 24/7 reality show junk that's on TV these days.

The premise of the show---a man who's in a real-life soap opera without his knowledge---started endless debates about life, the universe, and the human condition. After all, who's to say we're not all living in our own version of The Truman Show...?

Where to get it: Amazon, Microsoft Store, iTunes, Google Play

Directed by the Coen brothers, Fargo sees a pregnant local police chief investigate the suspicious circumstances surrounding the kidnap of the wife of a car salesman.

At the 1996 Oscars, it earned seven nominations and two victories. It remains one of only four films to have been inducted into the United States National Film Registry in its first year of eligibility.

Where to get it: Microsoft Store, iTunes, Google Play

Donnie Darko is possibly the most unlikely success story on this list. Despite some A-List actors, including Drew Barrymore and Patrick Swayze, the footage was shot in just 28 days and was almost released as a straight-to-video movie.

The timing of the September 2001 terror attacks in New York didn't help. The film's ads featured a crashing plane and were hardly aired anywhere.

Despite the setbacks, it became a home video blockbuster. In 2012, Empire Magazine named it the second-best independent movie in history and the 53rd best movie of all time.

Where to get it: iTunes, Google Play

Saving Private Ryan is one of the best World War II movies ever made.

Set on the beaches and towns around Normandy during the Allied invasion of northern France on D-Day, the movie depicts the U.S. Army's attempt to find and retrieve the titular Private Ryan.

Starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon, the film was nominated for 11 Oscars and won five.

Where to get it: Amazon, Microsoft Store, Google Play

Using Dawn of the Dead for inspiration, the cult classic comedy-horror movie Shaun of the Dead sees London overrun by a zombie apocalypse. Shaun and some of his family and friends try to wait out the crisis at the local pub (The Winchester), but it doesn't quite go to plan.

The movie was the seventh most popular release in the United States on its opening weekend, despite being limited to just 607 theaters.

Where to get it: Amazon, Microsoft Store, iTunes, Google Play

Forrest Gump is a comedy-drama about a slightly dim-witted fellow who unknowingly attends or influences some of the most important moments in American 20th-century history.

The movie won Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Visual Effects, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing at the Oscars.

Today, it is remembered as one of the best films of the last 30 years. In 2011, the Library of Congress officially added Forrest Gump to the United States National Film Registry due to its cultural importance.

Where to get it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes

The Matrix was the first mainstream cyberpunk sci-fi movie since Blade Runner in 1982. Unlike Blade Runner, which largely flopped during its theatrical run, The Matrix grossed more than $460 million worldwide off a budget of $63 million.

The story follows the life of Neo as he battles through a dystopian future of trapped humanity.

Keanu Reeves missed out on Best Actor, but The Matrix still managed to win four Oscars.

Where to get it: Amazon, iTunes

The most recent film on our list is Avengers: Endgame. The movie reveals the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War and sees the crew gather for one final time to save the universe.

With a budget of $356 million, it is the third most expensive movie ever made, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($379 million) and Avengers: Age of Ultron ($365 million).

The movie stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and many more big names.

Where to get it: Amazon, iTunes

Arguably the most quintessentially 80s movie you'll ever watch, Back to the Future provided a backdrop for millions of kids who grew up during the decade.

The plot follows Marty as he accidentally gets sent back in time to 1955, nearly falls in love with his own mother, wrecks his parents' fledgling relationship, and then faces a scramble against time to fix everything.

Where to get it: Amazon, Google Play

We've just spent a long time tell you all about the best movies not on Netflix. Thankfully, there are also plenty of great movies you can watch on Netflix. Including documentaries.


The 10 Best Free Microsoft Paint Alternatives | MakeUseOf

Microsoft officially deprecated Paint in July 2017. The app hadn't been updated since Windows 7 anyway, so it was hardly news.

Although Paint is still available through the Windows Store, Microsoft is now squarely focused on the app's successor, Paint 3D. Perhaps, it's now time to start looking for free MS Paint alternatives?

Here are some of the best alternatives to Microsoft Paint for you to check out.

Paint.NET started life as a student project back in 2004, but it's since grown to become one of the best free image editors on the Windows operating system.

If you're only a light user, it's even a valid alternative to full suites like Photoshop and GIMP.

If you're coming from Microsoft Paint, one of the biggest things you'll want is familiarity, and Paint.NET has it in abundance. The main screen looks very similar to the Microsoft app. Dig a little deeper, however, and it's packed with features that make the app shine.

They include Photoshop like layers, a vast number of special effects, unlimited undo/redo, an array of tools for drawing shapes, and importantly for many users, near-endless plugins.

To give you an idea, the community-supported PDF document which lists all the plugins is 95 pages long! If that sounds too daunting, don't worry. You can download packs of the most popular plugins that center around certain themes (e.g. extra brushes, colors, and effects). Some plugins even have installers.

Download: Paint.NET (Free)

If Paint.NET is too complicated and you're looking for something more basic, IrfanView could be the tool for you.

Some of the headline features are almost identical to Microsoft Paint. The app has easy-to-draw shapes, tools for rotating, flipping and resizing images, and one-click buttons for converting images to greyscale and other color palettes.

IrfanView also offers some functionality that's missing in Paint but which makes using the app easier and more enjoyable. For example, it has image previews, support for more file formats, and even the ability to open animated GIFs.

Lastly, professionals will still be able to rely on the app for tasks thanks to its support for the best Photoshop filters, batch conversion, and IPTC metadata.

Download: IrfanView (Free)

If you've been paying attention, you will notice Pinta looks instantly familiar. Why? Because it's based on the previously discussed Paint.NET.

The app is not quite as feature-laden as its inspiration, making it a better alternative for people who want the Microsoft Paint familiarity without all the extra pro-level features they'll never use.

However, just because it's not equal to Paint.NET, don't write it off. Pinta supports layers, provides unlimited history, has 35 effects, and includes easy-to-use drawing tools.

Perhaps most interestingly, it takes a different approach to the workspace in front of you. You can pop out any window to make it float, and even use a combination of docked windows and floating windows to suit your needs.

Download: Pinta (Free)

Krita is geared towards digital artists. Specifically, the app is aimed at concept artists, illustrators, matte and texture artists, and people working in the visual effects industry. However, that doesn't mean that it's not also a great tool for people who want an alternative to Microsoft Paint.

If you choose to download the app, you can enjoy several useful features that are absent in Paint. They include a quick color selector (just right-click on a color to pick it), brush stabilizers (perfect if you're doing a basic drawing with a mouse), and vector, filter, group, and file layers.

Krita also offers some of the best shape drawing tools. Thanks to its "Drawing Assistants," you will be able to create the perfect ellipse, arrow, or fisheye every time.

Download: Krita (Free)

Photoscape is another of the best alternatives to Paint. The app is mainly focused on photo editing. If you use Microsoft Paint to edit photos you have taken, it's the perfect replacement.

Many of the tools it offers are photo-orientated and are absent on Paint. For example, you can easily combine multiple photos into one image or watch your photos in a slideshow. You can also convert images from the RAW format into JPEGs or splice your photos into multiple pieces.

As you would expect, it also has a comprehensive basic editor. You can use it to resize your image, adjust the brightness and color, change the white balance, correct the backlight, add text, draw pictures, add filters, remove red-eye, and more.

Lastly, Photoscape has a cool tool that lets you print lined, graph, music, and calendar paper using your images.

Download: Photoscape (Free)

Fotor made its name as a cloud-based image editor, but these days you can download the software as a standalone Windows app that'll work offline.

Like Photoscape, editing photos is Fotor's bread and butter, but it also works well for editing screenshots and other images. The app can make simple adjustments such as resizing and cropping, includes hundreds of free fonts, and offers a shape drawing tool. It also has some basic touch up tools.

Fotor is entirely free to download and use, but it's also the only app on this list that offers a paid tier. For $3.33 per month, you get 100 new effects, a vast number of stickers and photo frames, professional-grade touch-up tools, and an ad-free experience.

Download: Fotor (Free, subscription available)

The design of Pixlr is like Photoshop than Paint. But, if you spend a bit of time learning how to use the app, you will quickly discover it's one of the best Paint replacements available. It has all the basics you'd expect, plus advanced features like smudging, blurring, layers, and a long list of filters and effects.

If you don't want Microsoft Paint on your system anymore, why even bother to clutter your hard drive up with more junk? You could use an online photo editor instead, and Pixlr is one of the best.

But you should only consider Pixlr if you have a reliable web connection; it's useless without one.

Download: Pixlr (Free)

If you're looking for a little more power than Paint offers, GIMP is definitely worth considering.

The app will appeal to graphic designers, photographers, and illustrators. It supports layers, channels, and includes advanced image manipulation tools such as hue, saturation, levels, curves, and exposure controls.

GIMP also has a vast library of plugins. They allow you to customize the app so it meets your needs perfectly. GIMP is open source and has an active community behind it. That has helped it stay on as one of the best alternatives to Adobe Photoshop.

Download: GIMP (Free)

MyPaint is a free alternative to Paint that's aimed at digital painters. The canvas-based app's special focus is on full-screen working. It lets you work in a distraction-free manner so you can focus on the art itself rather than the app.

Brushes in the app can emulate charcoal, pencils, ink, and paint, but you can also create new brushes to suit your needs.

Apart from Windows, the app works on Wacom drawing tablets.

Download: MyPaint (Free)

Like Pixlr, Photopea is an online Microsoft Paint alternative. It supports multiple filetypes, including the ones professional are more likely to use, such as PSD, XCF, Sketch, XD, and CDR.

Photopea is more complicated than Paint, so although it's an excellent app, beginners might find it advanced for their skill level. If you're comfortable with Photoshop, however, you'll quickly adapt.

Download: Photopea (Free)

If you're preparing to move on from Microsoft Paint, you won't go far wrong by using one of these Paint alternatives.

For the most Paint-like experience, try Paint.NET, IrfanView, or Pinta. If you're willing to expand your knowledge and try something new, use Krita, Photoscape, or Fotor. And if you want an online-only tool, you need Pixlr.

If you like to learn even more about photo and image editors, make sure you read our article on how to edit photos on a Mac.


11 Instagram Stories Tips and Tricks to Help You Stand Out

Instagram is best known for its array of filters you can use to beautify your photos and videos. But there are also a ton of customization options nestled in Instagram's stories feature.

Whether you want to change the background color on your Instagram story, or add music to your Instagram story, we have all of the the tips and tricks you need to stand out from the crowd.

By default, Instagram presents you with pretty limited color options. The color slider is accessible from the bottom of the screen, and you can select from a total of 27 preset colors. But what if you want the full-color spectrum, so you can choose the exact color variant?

Luckily, there's a hidden trick that lets you access the full range of colors. To change the color of text, tap Aa, and then hit the color palette icon at the top of the screen. Here, long-tap on any color in the existing color slider, and pick the custom color of your choice.

You can do the same to change your pen color as well. Simply hit the draw icon (the one that looks like a scribble mark) on the top menu. From here, you can long-tap on any of the colors at the bottom of the screen.

Either way, you'll be presented with a full range of colors. Just drag your finger across the spectrum to select a custom color of your choice.

Sometimes, you might just want to share text and drawings instead of a photo or a video. If you're wondering how to change the background color on your Instagram story, you're in luck. The good folks at Instagram included a super-handy feature to create solid backgrounds instantly.

To do so, capture a picture as you usually would, and then tap the draw icon at the top of the screen. Here, select the color that you want to use as a solid background.

Next, long-tap on the screen for about three seconds. The screen should now be filled with a solid background. You can also select the chisel-tip pen icon, and repeat the process to create a semi-transparent Instagram Stories background.

What if you want to bring attention to a new post? Instagram lets you place a post into your story, making it easy to promote or draw attention to a recent post.

First, navigate to the post you want to include in your story. Hit the paper airplane icon under the photo, and select Add post to your story.

Instagram will automatically generate a background color based on the colors in the post. But if you want to change that, simply follow the directions outlined in the previous step.

Not only can you drag and resize the post on your screen, but Instagram also gives you the option of including the caption of the post. If you want to display the caption, simply tap the post.

You're not limited to just customizing the color of your text; you can change the font as well. Just tap the Aa icon, and you can scroll through Instagram's carousel of different fonts. Instagram's selection has everything from dainty script fonts, to brilliant bold text.

To make your text stand out more, consider adding a frame or special effect. Tap the sparkly A icon at the top of the font editing screen, and Instagram will add an effect or frame to your font (depending on which font you choose). Keep tapping the icon to see other variations.

Instagram comes preloaded with a library of songs that you can easily add to your story. To start searching for a song, tap the sticker icon in the top menu bar, and then select the sticker labeled Music.

This will bring you to a music selection screen. You can choose from the latest hits and featured songs that Instagram provides, or you can search for a specific tune. Once you decide on a song, you can see how the song sticker appears on your story.

At the bottom of the screen, you can edit which part of the song you want to play. By default, Instagram will play the clip for 15 seconds, but you can adjust that by tapping the number in the bottom left corner of the screen.

Instagram also allows you to change the style of the music sticker. Tap the music sticker to display the full album artwork, and then tap it again to show a more condensed look. You can also opt to change the color of the sticker by pressing the color palette icon at the top of the screen.

When you're happy with the look and sound of your song, hit Done in the top right corner of the screen. You can now drag the music sticker across the screen, as well as resize it to your liking.

In case you don't want to add a video or picture that happens in the present moment, you can always upload older pictures to your story. To do this, hit the Your Story button like you normally would.

Once you see the camera page, tap the gallery icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen. You can now browse through all of the albums on your phone, and choose which photos you want to include in your story.

If you'd like to zoom in on a particular area while capturing a story video, there's an easy (albeit not very obvious) way of doing so.

While recording an Instagram story video, simply hold the record button and slowly slide your finger up or down to zoom in or out. It also works with the "Hands-free" video mode.

Stickers are key to helping you make cute Instagram Stories. Not only can they provide the time, location, and temperature of your photo/video, but they also add style. You can add stickers relevant to your photo, insert emojis, add GIFs, or even create a sticker out of a selfie.

Tap the sticker icon at the top of the screen to start playing around with different decorations. You can scroll through Instagram's entire sticker collection, or you can find a specific one using the search bar at the top of the menu.

If you want to use your own selfie as a sticker, tap the sticker icon, and then select the camera sticker. You should now be able to insert your face as a sticker, as well as tap your face to switch between frames. Selfie stickers can definitely come in handy when you need to add a reaction to your story.

A great way to get followers involved in your story is to add interactive stickers. You can find interactive stickers by selecting the sticker icon, just like you would when finding a decorative sticker.

Instagram's sticker collection contains several different types of interactive stickers. Whether you opt to include a poll, ask a question, or quiz your followers, adding one of these prompts can make your story much more entertaining.

Keep in mind that you'll have to enter additional information when including these stickers (such as typing in a question). But other than that, they behave just like normal stickers.

Instagram makes it really easy to download your stories. If you've taken a photo or video for your story, but haven't posted it yet, you can tap the arrow button at the top of the screen. This will immediately save your photo or video.

But if you already posted the story, open your story, tap the three dots in the bottom right corner of the story, and hit Save Photo. Your story should now be saved in your gallery/camera roll.

Unfortunately, you can't download someone else's story using this trick. An obvious workaround is to take a screenshot of their story. Alternatively, there are a few third-party Instagram reposting apps to save the stories of others. You can give them a shot, but remember that they are riddled with ads.

Want to make crafting an Instagram story even easier? Luckily, you can use Adobe Spark Post to create custom social media graphics for your story.

While Adobe Spark Post is available from your desktop, you can also download it on your smartphone. By navigating to the Adobe Spark Post website, or opening the app, you can quickly start creating your story by choosing from Adobe Spark's premade templates.

Once you choose a template, you can customize it to your liking, and then upload it to your Instagram story. And while most templates are free, some of them require a subscription to Adobe Spark.

Download: Adobe Spark Post for Android | iOS (Free, premium version available)

Learning how to make the perfect Instagram story isn't always easy. You'll have to keep tweaking your fonts, colors, and stickers to get it just right.

In the end, putting in the time to improve your Instagram stories is worth it. All that extra work can help your Instagram account stand out even more.