How to Use Google Earth in a Browser | MakeUseOf

Google Earth is an amazing tool that lets you explore the world from the comfort of your home. While it's available as a desktop and mobile app, you can actually use Google Earth directly within your web browser.

We're going to show you how to use Google Earth online without downloading it, then highlight some of its best features.

Accessing Google Earth in your browser is incredibly simple. It's great because you don't have to download anything, and you can use it on any computer. Just go to and click Launch Earth.

At first, Google Earth was only available via the company's own Chrome browser. However, as of March 2020, you can now access in more browsers like Firefox, Opera, and Edge. Check if your browser is up to date, but this should happen automatically.

You will need to enable hardware acceleration in your browser. It's likely that this is already enabled. To double check in Chrome, input chrome://settings/ into the address bar and click Advanced at the bottom of the page. Below the System header, enable Use hardware acceleration when available.

The first time you launch Google Earth in your browser, you'll get a short overview that details the top five things to try. After that, the world is your oyster.

You might feel a tad overwhelmed when you first launch Google Earth, looking at the entire globe.

Begin by clicking and dragging the globe to spin it. Hold Shift at the same time and the view will tilt. Next, scroll your mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Alternatively, you can use the plus and minus icons at the bottom if you prefer.

As you get closer to the Earth, you'll see the names of countries appear. Click these to open an information box about that location, which you can also click to expand. This same functionality applies at a local level for things like cities, landmarks, and parks.

To go somewhere specific, click the search icon on the left. You can search by place name, address, longitude and latitude, and more generally (e.g. "Museums in Paris").

When you become more familiar with Google Earth, you can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate quicker. Here are some of the most useful:

  • ? - Show a list of keyboard shortcuts
  • / - Search
  • Page up/down - Zoom in/out
  • Arrow keys - Pan the view
  • Shift + arrow keys - Rotate the view
  • O - Move between 2D and 3D view
  • R - Reset the view
  • Space - Stop movement

Google Earth is packed full of great features. Here are some of the best that you should try.

google earth voyager

Voyager is the name of a feature that lets you go on virtual tours. Google dubs them as "map-based stories", which you can progress at your own rate as you explore locations and discover information.

Some of the tours you can take include India's railways and the history of volcanoes. There are also interactive quizzes for you to test your knowledge on topics like animal calls and archaeological sites.

To access Voyager, click the helm icon on the left. This will open the Voyager overlay so you can select your tour.

Here are our recommendations for the best Voyager tours to take.

While it's all well and good exploring the planet in a flat view from above, Google Earth can go one step further so you can check things out in 3D.

You can see if this feature is activated. Click the Map Style icon on the left and enable Turn on 3D Buildings.

While you're here, you might also like to enable the cool Turn on Animated Clouds feature.

3D isn't available everywhere---only where Google has captured the high-detail imagery necessary. It's more likely to be available in high population areas or for notable landmarks.

To view somewhere in 3D, hold down Shift and click and drag to change the perspective.

If you ever want to quickly switch back and forth between 3D and 2D, press the O key.

Projects are a way to collect together locations, alongside text, photos, and videos, to build a presentation, story, or customized map.

To begin, click the Projects icon on the left, then Create > Create project in Google Drive. First, click Untitled Project to input a name for your project and a description too if you desire.

Next, click New feature and choose from Search to add place, Add placemark, Draw line or shape, and Fullscreen slide. Feel free to experiment with these features because you can easily add and remove them.

You can also put things in your project as you explore Google Earth. All you need to do is click the Add to project button that appears in the information boxes.

Finally, you can invite others to see and collaborate on projects. To do this, with the Projects pane open, click the Share project icon at the top.

You might want to customize your Google Earth settings to tweak animations, adjust unit measurements, and more.

To do this, click the menu icon on the left and click Settings.

The settings are split by the headers' Animations, Display settings, Format and Units, and General settings.

If your computer is struggling to display Google Earth correctly, you should disable Turn on fly animation and reduce the Memory cache size.

Google will automatically determine your preferred format and units by your location. However, you can manually change both the Units of measurement and Latitude/Longitude formatting.

If you ever change the settings and want them to go back to how they first were, simply click Reset to defaults at the bottom of the window.

Now you know how to use Google Earth in your browser, it's time to get exploring every nook and cranny that our beautiful planet has to offer.

If you want to know more about Google Earth, find out how often Google Earth is updated.


How to Move Browser Tabs Between Smartphone and PC | MakeUseOf

Ever find a cool website on your phone and want to view it later on your PC, but find it frustrating to transfer? You'll be happy to know that it's possible to migrate tabs from your Android device or iPhone to your PC.

Let's explore the different ways to sync your tabs between your phone and computer.

Moving Tabs Between Mobile and PC Using Chrome

Given that Chrome is available on pretty much every device, syncing tabs is quite easy. You just need to set up the sync first.

Setting Up Chrome Sync

If you haven't done so already, you'll need to sign in to Chrome on both your PC and your mobile device. It's a good idea to sign into any device you want to sync your Chrome data with, as Chrome's sync feature is powerful and works in seconds.

To set up sync on Chrome (using any desktop OS), click the profile icon at the top-right, then click Turn On Sync. If you're already signed into Chrome, you'll see your Google account here.

Sign in to your Google account. When Chrome asks if you want to turn on sync, click Yes, I'm in.

On the mobile version of Chrome, the steps are pretty much the same. However, to find the profile icon, you need to press the three dots at the top-right, then choose Settings. Tap Sign in to Chrome, then sign in.

Again, if you see your account here instead, you're already signed in. The option is in the same place on iOS devices.

How to Transfer Chrome Tabs From Phone to PC

Now, when you find something great on your mobile phone, you can quickly open it on your desktop computer. To do this, leave the tab open on your mobile device; it's okay if you open other tabs in the meantime.

When you're at your PC, click on the three dots at the top-right of Chrome, then hover over History. At the bottom of the history list, you should see your phone's name, plus all the tabs open in it. Click on a page to visit it on your PC.

How to Transfer Chrome Tabs From PC to Phone

If you want to do the reverse, it's just as easy. First, open up Chrome for Android (or iPhone) and tap the three dots on the top-right. Then choose Recent Tabs.

At the bottom of the list of recent tabs, you'll find every tab open on your computer. Just look for your PC's name on the list.

If you've closed the tab on your PC, don't worry; your history is also synced. Just access History and find the tab there.

Moving Tabs Between Mobile and PC Using Firefox

Setting up syncing with Firefox is similar to Google's steps, but uses a different interface. Firefox Sync helps keep your browsing data synchronized, so if you're an avid Firefox fan, it's worth turning on.

Setting Up Firefox Sync

To start, download Firefox on both your PC and phone. Then, on your computer, click on the profile image at the top-right, followed by Sign in to Firefox.

You can now create a Firefox account, or log into a current account if you already have one.

Once you're signed in, go to Firefox on Android or iPhone. Click the three dots at the bottom right, then tap Settings.

Tap the Turn On Sync button at the top. You can choose to sign in using your Firefox account, or direct your PC's browser to the Firefox Pair website and scan the code there.

How to Transfer Firefox Tabs From Phone to PC

To see your Firefox tabs on your PC from your mobile, click the three bars at the top-right and hover your mouse over Library.

Then, click on Synced tabs.

You'll see all the tabs on your phone here. Click on a page to open it on your browser.

How to Transfer Firefox Tabs From PC to Phone

You can get your PC tabs on your phone in one of two ways. On your PC, you can click your profile picture and hover over Send tab to Device, then select your phone.

If you're not by your PC, you can open up the app and tap the three dots at the bottom-right. Then, tap Synchronized tabs. On iOS, this is under Your library > Synced Tabs.

You should see your PC's tabs in this section. If you don't see your tabs, or they're outdated, swipe down to force a sync and get the new tabs.

Connecting Your PC and Phone Together

If you have an interesting tab on one device and want to access it on the other, it's easy to do. Whether you're using Chrome or Firefox, you're just a sync away from accessing your tabs everywhere.

You can transfer more than just tabs, however. There are also handy ways to move files from Android to PC.


How to See Who Has Access to Your Google Drive Files | MakeUseOf

Google Drive makes it very easy to share files with others, and it's just as easy to see who can access your documents. If you need to double-check who has access to your files---or who may be peeking in without permission---you can easily see the list of users who can look into your files.

Let's explore how to see who you shared your files with on Google Drive.

How to Check Who Has Access to a Google Drive File

To check the list of people who can see your file, right-click the file in question and click Share.

A window will appear showing you all the people who have access to your file. If you haven't shared it with anyone, you'll only see yourself on the list.

If other people have access to the file, you'll see their name, email address, and what level of permission they have on this list.

How to Add, Edit, and Remove Permissions

If something doesn't look right in the list of users, you can use this window to add, edit, or remove permissions.

How to Add Someone to the Permissions List

If the person you want to share the file with isn't on the list, you need to add them first. To add someone, click in the text field at the top that says Add people and groups.

Here, you can type in the name of someone in your Google account's contact list. If they're not in there, enter their email instead.

Alternatively, you can click Change under the section titled Get link, then set the permissions to Anyone with the link. Then, click Copy link and send the link to those you want to share the file with.

If you want to transfer files from one Google Drive account to the other, you can add your other Google account using this window for an easier time.

How to Edit and Remove Someone's Permissions

If someone has too much or too little control over a file, click the permission name on the right of their name.

Here, you can select from a few roles. Viewers make the document view-only for that person, commenter allows the user to make comments, and the editor role gives the user the ability to change the content within.

You can also surrender ownership of the file to someone, but beware; once they're the owner, they can kick you out of the permissions!

If someone is peeking into a file that they shouldn't see, you can also use this menu and click Remove. When you do this, the selected user can no longer access the file.

Making Collaboration Easy With Google Drive

Google Drive makes it easy to work with other people on your projects. Now you know how to invite people to share your file, as well as how to edit and remove their permissions.

If you want to get even more use out of Google Drive, be sure to check our tips for managing shared files.


How to Learn Microsoft Office: 20 Online Tutorials, Videos, and Courses

If you have never used Microsoft Office or just need help with the basics, there are plenty of resources scattered around the internet. But which is the best way to learn Microsoft Office? Is it free training, a paid class, or a video tutorial?

For beginners as well as those brushing up on their Microsoft Office application skills, here is a big list of options worth checking out.

Online Courses and Tutorials

With both free and paid online classes and instructions, learning Microsoft Office with these tools might be just what you're looking for. And as you begin, you might like to review our tips for learning about Office 2016.

1. Office 365 Training Center

One of the best ways to learn Microsoft Office is to go right to the source. The Office 365 Training Center provides different options depending on your needs. You can watch video training tutorials for Office 365 or select a specific Microsoft Office application like Word, Excel, or Access. And it's all free.

(If you switch to a free Microsoft Office alternative such as Office Online at any point, here's how to cancel your Office 365 subscription.)

2. GCF

GCF is another great resource for free Microsoft Office training. You'll find training for Office 2016 in addition to older versions. Make your selection and then start learning the applications separately. Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint each have tutorials neatly organized by topic as well as Getting Started sections if you're completely new to it.

(It's also a good place to find computer courses for beginners on all sorts of topics.)

3. Free Training Tutorial

For learning the basics of Microsoft Word and Excel for free, the options on the Free Training Tutorial site are decent and serve as good references. Learn the Excel essentials, jump right into working with formulas, or just find out how to do simple tasks in Word. You'll see step-by-step instructions with images, making this a good one to bookmark.

4. GoSkills

If you are interested in learning more about Microsoft Office so that you can get certified, take a look at GoSkills. The site offers affordable options where you can pay per class or for a course bundle. You'll have access to video tutorials, quizzes and tests, a personalized experience, and can learn at your own pace.


With online classes for everything from marketing to software development and beyond, is a terrific place to learn Microsoft Office. You can choose from Office 365 essential classes to those specific to each application. offers a 30-day free trial, so you can check out the experience before subscribing to a plan.

6. Udemy

Udemy is another paid online learning center for various industries and subjects. You can take the nine-course Microsoft Office 2016 training bundle for an excellent start. After that, you can review and pay for individual classes specific to the application and topic. Udemy is a superb affordable resource with plenty of free classes.

7. Universal Class

Universal Class has a good Microsoft Office 2016 training bundle that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. This option has 70 lessons and over 140 assignments and exams to test what you learn. You can also take individual application classes and review courses for older versions of Microsoft Office if needed.

8. LinkedIn

If you belong to LinkedIn, then you should definitely check out the learning center for Microsoft Office. You can try it out for one month free and then subscribe to a LinkedIn learning plan if it works for you. There are courses for Office 365 and Microsoft Office, plus you can filter the many options by beginner, intermediate, or advanced.

9. edX

On edX, you'll find several Microsoft-related courses along with a Microsoft Office Fundamentals: Outlook, Word, and Excel class. This one is available for free, but if you would like to add a verified certificate, you can do so for a fee. The class is also part of the Microsoft Professional Program for IT Support if you would like to take your learning to the next level.

10. My Online Training Hub

My Online Training Hub offers individual courses for Word, Excel, and Outlook and a bundle that includes all three. The single classes provide between 20 and 30 hours of course videos and you can review the syllabus or check out a preview before you decide to buy one. The courses will help you learn Microsoft Office versions from 2007 to 2016.

11. Bigger Brains

Bigger Brains offers online subscriptions for individuals and teams for their Office 365 training course bundle. You can learn everything from the essentials to becoming a master. Look through the single application classes if you prefer and be sure to take a minute to review the course lengths, sample videos, and related classes.

YouTube Videos

Maybe you'd rather follow along with a video than take an official Microsoft Office training course. Here are several YouTube channels with training videos that make learning Microsoft Office easy.

12. Learn iT! Training

The Learn iT! Training YouTube channel offers a nice variety of tutorials including a Microsoft Office 2016 Beginners Tutorial. In addition, you can select from videos specific to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook for various versions of Office.

13. Technology for Teachers and Students

Technology for Teachers and Students has a good mix of video tutorials for learning Microsoft Office as well as each application itself. You can also learn about Sway, OneNote, OneDrive, and get help with intermediate and advanced topics for the many Microsoft products.

14. Sali Kaceli

For another great set of YouTube tutorials, take a look at Sali Kaceli's channel. You'll find in-depth videos that take you through each Microsoft Office application. You can then get into specifics such as working with address books in Outlook or calculating percentages in Excel.

15. Teacher's Tech

The Teacher's Tech channel is packed with detailed Office tutorials for beginners and above. In addition to the Microsoft Office desktop applications, you can learn about Office Online. There are also videos for Office Lens, Microsoft Sway, and OneDrive if you want help with those products as well.

16. Skills Factory

Skills Factory has several tutorials for each application within Microsoft Office 2016. They are geared towards beginners and many are less than 15 minutes long, so you can learn quickly and follow along easily.

17. Microsoft Mechanics

Microsoft Mechanics offers specific topic tutorials for Office 365, Microsoft Office 2016, and Office Online. You can check out an overview of Office, get details on the Office experience, or jump right into how to use each application in a variety of ways.

18. HowTech Tutorials

HowTech Tutorials has a channel dedicated to Microsoft Office training. Not only can you learn how to use the tools but get into specifics for each one. Once you learn the basics, you can get into creating charts in Excel working with pages in Word.

19. Professor Adam Morgan

Originally for his students, Professor Adam Morgan decided to make his video tutorials public to help others. View the options for beginners for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, and Outlook. Then take a peek at certain topics like formatting in Word or importing data in Excel.

20. eTop Technology, Inc.

The eTop Technology, Inc. YouTube channel offers an array of tutorials for learning Office 365, Microsoft Office 2016, and older versions of Office. Most videos are short and right to the point, making it simple for you to do the basics in the Office applications.

Learning Microsoft Office Is a Click Away

No matter how you prefer to learn Microsoft Office, whether it be an online class or a useful video, these options have you covered. Check them out and see which one fits you and your needs the best.


How to Turn Off a Laptop Screen in Windows 10 With the Power Button

If you want a quick and convenient way to turn off your laptop's screen without closing the lid, you can set your power button to do it for you. If you don't make use of your power button, this is a great way to give it some use.

Let's see how you can turn off your laptop's screen with the touch of a button.

How to Customize Your Power Button

To change what your power button does, you need to access the power options on your laptop. You can achieve this in one of two ways.

Firstly, you can right-click the battery icon on your taskbar and click Power Options. Then, click Choose what the power button does.

Secondly, you can right-click the Start button and select Power Options. Then, scroll down to Additional power settings.

From here, you can find Choose what the power button does, as per the previous route.

Using the Power Button to Turn Off Your Display

Now that you're on the power button customization screen, you can change what it does. You have two options here: you can change what it does when plugged into power, and when it's running on battery.

To change a setting, first decide if you this setting to activate when the laptop is plugged into mains, on battery, or both. Then, in the respective columns, find the row called When I press the power button and click the drop-down menu. Then, select Turn off the display.

Once you're done, click the Save changes button at the bottom.

Now, when you hold down the power button, it will turn off the display. Holding it down again will turn it back on. Be careful not to hold it down for too long; else you might cause your laptop to perform a forced shutdown.

Turning off the display is a lot different than putting your laptop into hibernation or sleep mode. There are distinct differences between hibernation and sleep, but in short, they both put the laptop into stasis.

Turning off the display, however, doesn't suspend the system. It's like you're using a PC, and you turn off its monitor; the computer's programs continue to run. This makes it useful for shutting off the laptop's display as it installs a critical update, or for playing music without any visuals.

Also note that if you have any external monitors attached to your laptop, these will also turn off when you press the power button. As such, it's not a great option if you want to play media on a bigger monitor without the laptop's screen distracting you---you'd be better off keeping the laptop awake with a closed lid.

Customizing Your Laptop to Suit You

If you rarely use your laptop's power button to turn it off, why not put it to better use? Now you know how to customize the power button and set it to turn off your display.

If you're in the mood to tweak your laptop even further, why not replace its DVD drive with an HDD or SSD drive?


How to Tag Someone on Facebook: 3 Different Ways | MakeUseOf

Are you wondering how to tag someone on Facebook?

Tagging is an important part of any social media service, as it allows you to notify others that you've mentioned them. This helps increase the reach on the post, can make it easier to find in the future, and provides a link that people can click to see that friend's page.

Let's take a look at some of the ways you can tag others on Facebook. Keep in mind that your friends' privacy settings may affect the effectiveness of some of these methods.

When you post a status update, you can tag your friends by typing an @ symbol followed by their name. As you type, a small window appears and updates automatically to show the best match for the text you've entered.

Click someone's name (or use the arrow keys and Enter) and it will appear highlighted in blue on your post. This means you've successfully tagged them.

In addition to your own friends, you can also tag other people and pages on Facebook. This includes friends of friends, business pages, and similar. The same method works for tagging others in comments across Facebook, too.

Just be aware that if your post privacy is set to Friends, tagging someone makes your post visible to their friends as well. You'll see the post privacy button change to Friends (+) to reflect this---see our guide to Facebook symbols if this is new to you.

Facebook allows you to add several elements to your posts, including feelings, location check-ins, and similar. One of these lets you mention that you were with certain friends.

To use it, click the Tag Friends option, which looks like a blue silhouette of a person with a tag next to it. This brings up a search box where you can enter a friend's name. Use the box to select one or more of your friends here. Be aware that unlike the above, you can only tag your own friends using this method, since you're claiming that you were with them.

Click Done when you're satisfied, and you'll see a new [Your name] is with [friend's name] line at the top of your status. Enter your post as usual and people will see this line to explain who you were with. Like the above, this allows friends of your friends to see the post.

While tagging people makes sense when mentioning them in what your status says, this method is more useful for letting people know your friends were actually with you for something.

Tagging friends in photos adds their name to a With line in the photo's description. It also lets others easily identify them by mousing over their face in the picture.

In addition, photos that you're tagged in appear in the Photos of You tab on the Photos section of your Timeline. Like both of the above, tagging someone allows their friends to see the photo too.

To tag an existing photo, open it---the image can be yours or someone else's. Click the Tag icon in the top-right, then click on a face in the image. Below the box, enter the name of a friend; friends of friends and pages also work.

Depending on the privacy settings of the person you tagged and the owner of the photo, they may have to approve the tag manually. And you might not see the tag option at all on other people's photos, if they have disabled the option to let other people tag their images.

If you want to add tags to your own photo when you upload it, click the Edit button at the top-left of the image when you have the post open. Click Tag photo from the left side, then follow the same steps to click on faces and enter names.

The above three methods are the main ways to use the tagging feature on Facebook. Use the @name method anywhere you want to highlight a friend or bring their attention to a post. Don't forget that you can always share a link to public Facebook posts if you just want them to see something, too.

For more like this, have a look at our guide to Facebook etiquette to ensure your interactions are courteous across the site.

Image Credit: Mactrunk/Depositphotos