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How to Do a VLOOKUP in an Excel Spreadsheet

Do you want to check for a particular value in your Excel spreadsheet and look through specific information about it at the same time? Running a VLOOKUP saves a lot of effort in that case. It's one of the best ways to run a vertical query in Microsoft Excel.

Let's take a look at how to use VLOOKUP in an Excel spreadsheet.

What Is VLOOKUP and How Does It Work?

Using a VLOOKUP to check your spreadsheet is just like searching for an item on Google or making a database query to return specific items if they're there.

In essence, VLOOKUP works by looking through a set of items in a column and giving you a result based on the information you choose to see about that column. For instance, you can decide to look for the price of an item by searching its model name.

Although VLOOKUP is limited to the vertical orientation, it's an essential tool that makes other Excel tasks easier. These tasks could include calculating the standard deviation in Excel or even working out weighted averages in Excel.

VLOOKUP supports a flexible approximate matching search or a more stringent exact matching query feature. In essence, the exact match looks for the precise value of data in an Excel column. But the approximate matching feature gives you results based on only some matching words or characters in your search term.

How to Write a VLOOKUP Formula

The VLOOKUP formula typically requires four arguments and looks like this:

=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, column_index_number, range_lookup)

The lookup value is the target item you want to check out, and this must fall on the first column of your spreadsheet. The table array is the parent data you wish to search.

When performing a VLOOKUP, you also want to return your result based on a particular value. The position of the column containing that value is the column index number. However, the range lookup takes in TRUE for an approximate matching or FALSE for an exact match.

Related: Search Excel Spreadsheets Faster: Replace VLOOKUP With INDEX and MATCH

How to Use VLOOKUP

Now that you know the architecture of a VLOOKUP formula. Let's see how it works in practice with the following Excel VLOOKUP examples and steps.

Assume you have a spreadsheet containing the following columns: Name of products, reviews, and price. You then want Excel to return the number of reviews for a particular product.

Using this VLOOKUP example, let's see how to do that with the following steps.

  1. Type the name of the product you want to lookup in any cell below or beside your parent data (ensure that you avoid typos).
  2. Next, select an empty cell next to the new cell you just created that now contains the product you want to lookup.
  3. In that new cell, type =VLOOKUP. Excel typically recommends a completion. When you see that, hit Tab on your keyboard to continue with the VLOOKUP formula.
  4. Then highlight the cell you just created that contains the target product name. Doing this appends its cell position to the VLOOKUP formula. Type a comma after the highlighted cell in the VLOOKUP formula. For example, if your target item or product is on cell E6, the formula becomes =VLOOKUP(E6, for now.
    Type the Vlookup formula in the next cell
  5. Next, highlight the entire parent data (table array) to drop it in your formula as well. If your table array is between A2 and C9, your formula becomes =VLOOKUP(E6,A2:C9, with a comma at the end.
  6. Type the column number of the value you want to view the target item on. Columns are typically associated with letters in Excel, but in this case you need to count its number (A is 1, B is 2, and so on). Type a comma after it.
  7. Type FALSE if you want an exact match of the item you entered. Otherwise, type TRUE to view it by the most available approximate match for it.
  8. Your final formula should look like this: =VLOOKUP(E6,A2:C9,2,FALSE), depending on the parameters you entered.
  9. Then hit Enter to get your result.
    Highlight the parent data, enter the column index number and select a matching feature

Note: If you have to assign column names to the cells bearing the results, ensure that you use paraphrased words different from those in the parent table.

How to Do a VLOOKUP for Multiple Items

You can also look up multiple values in a column with VLOOKUP. This can come in handy when you need to perform operations like plotting Excel graphs or charts on the resulting data. Let's see how to do this with the following steps:

  1. Type all the items you want to look up in separate cells (the selected product names in this case).
  2. Select the cell next to the first product and type =VLOOKUP(.
  3. Next, highlight the first item (lookup value) from the ones you just typed to add it to the VLOOKUP formula. Type a comma after that.
    Select the first cell from the list of items
  4. Highlight the entire parent data (table array) to add its range to the formula as well. Then ensure that you hit the F4 key on your keyboard to make the result absolute, so it doesn't change when you copy the formula. Separate this from the next argument by a comma. Your formula should change to something like this: =VLOOKUP(E6,$A$2:$C$13).
  5. Type in the column number of the column you want to look up data in. For example, if the number of reviews is on the second column, type 2. Then put a comma after that.
  6. Then type FALSE to get exact matches.
    Highlight the entire parent table, press F4, enter the column index number and False
  7. Your final formula should look something like this: =VLOOKUP(E6,$A$2:$C$13,2,FALSE), depending on your chosen parameters.
  8. Close the parenthesis and hit Enter.
  9. Once the result appears against the first lookup value, drag the results cell down to fill the formula in for all the other products as well.
    Drag the first cell down to append the result to other products

How to Create a Relationship Between Excel Sheets With VLOOKUP

You can also relate tables in different sheets using VLOOKUP. This is helpful when you have a parent sheet (otherwise known as the Excel lookup table) and its subset on another sheet, and you want to draw information from the parent spreadsheet into the subset sheet.

However, for this VLOOKUP example, assume that a subset of the example data we used earlier is on another Excel sheet. That subset then only has some selected products and their prices, but not the number of reviews.

The aim is to get the reviews for these selected products from the parent spreadsheet and paste them against each product in the subset sheet. Let's see how you can achieve this with the following steps:

  1. Create a new Excel column in the subset spreadsheet, ensure that you use a paraphrased column name. For example, you can name it "Number of reviews" instead of "Reviews".
  2. Next, place your cursor in the first cell (against the first product) under the new column and type =VLOOKUP(.
  3. Select the first product from the subset data to append it to the VLOOKUP formula and put a comma after it.
    Select the first cell containing the product name
  4. Go back to the parent spreadsheet and highlight the whole data table. Then ensure that you hit key F4 to make the result applicable to other selected products. You'll now see the lookup formula in the formula bar. Type a comma after pressing F4.
  5. While still in the parent sheet, look at the formula bar and type the column number for the reviews column. Then separate it from the next argument by a comma.
  6. In the same parent sheet, type FALSE since you want an exact match of each product in this case.
    Jump to the parent sheet to complete the Vlookup formula and hit Enter
  7. Close the parenthesis and hit Enter. Excel then takes you back to the subset data and displays the review result for the first product.
  8. Next, drag down the result for the first product to see results for the other products in the subset sheet.
    Drag the cell down in the subset data to see results for other values

Take Control of Your Query With Excel Lookups

VLOOKUP is a great way to query data faster in Microsoft Excel. Although VLOOKUP queries vertically across the column and has a few other limitations, Microsoft keeps updating its Excel lookup features to expand the lookup functionalities.

For instance, HLOOKUP has a horizontal orientation. But XLOOKUP is a new feature that can look both vertically and horizontally in a spreadsheet. Most of these lookup features follow the same process, with only a few differences. Using any of them for any specific lookup purpose is a smart way to get a hold of your Excel queries.

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7 Ways to Earn Money From Coding and Programming

Are you planning to develop skills in programming? Perhaps you've already delved into it but not sure about the available opportunities? Or have you been coding for some time now but looking forward to tapping more opportunities?

Here is the thing; programming is one of the most lucrative skills out there today, offering unlimited opportunities for creative ideas that can get you some extra cash. Consequently, you can become the boss of yourself if you put your mind to some of these ideas. Here are some money-making ideas you should consider as a programmer.

1. Freelancing Online

Freelancing can be frustrating sometimes. But with the appropriate online freelancing platforms, the right mindset, and marketing skills, you can get consistent gigs that pay the bills.

While sourcing for gigs in your locality is also a great idea, virtual gigs online have many advantages as you can reach out to more clients. Additionally, most online gigs also run remotely without you needing to see the client physically. For freelancing online, here are some ideas you can try out below.

Use Dedicated Freelancing Platforms

Thankfully, there are now a couple of great freelancing platforms for specific jobs, including the ones where people hire programmers online.

Companies and individuals now resort to these platforms to get works done faster. Computer science students and researchers also target freelance programmers to solve coding problems. More importantly, they're willing to pay for the value you offer.

Your aim on freelancing platforms is to build trust and get more positive reviews. One of the ways you can achieve that is to build a top-notch portfolio and develop a consistent brand for yourself.

Get Gigs via Social Media Platforms

However, there are no rules that restrict you online. In addition to registering and building your profile on dedicated freelancing platforms, you can also connect with clients via social media platforms and get busy with your IDEs.

For example, LinkedIn is a social media platform where you can build an online resume, market your skills, and connect with potential and active clients. Many employers also source for remote programmers via the platform, and you can always apply to this pool of coding jobs and gigs.

In addition to LinkedIn, you can get gigs from other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among others as well. However, what's most important is how you market yourself and connect with clients.

2. Online Programming Tutorials

Many people want to learn to code and won't hesitate to pay a competent tutor. As a result, posting long and short tutorial videos online is another smart way to make money from coding.

Learning platforms like Udemy are places where tutors create free teaching accounts, organize courses, and sell them to their audience. New and even some senior programmers also resort to platforms like YouTube to solve coding problems.

Most of these teaching platforms also serve a large organic audience. If you put in great efforts and you're consistent, you'll get your audience and start getting paid.

While some online tutoring platforms require a good microphone that may cost a bit, it costs nothing to set up a YouTube channel and start posting videos. You also don't need a camera to start putting out your videos online. All you need for a start is an efficient screen recorder and perhaps a clean microphone for better voice quality. However, you can gather more sophisticated streaming tools as you proceed along the line.

Related: How to Use Your Smartphone as a Windows Microphone

In addition to making money, organizing online tutorials exposes you to new challenges and lets you learn more about what you teach. It also offers you the opportunity to put yourself out there and build a brand. Some of your audience can even contact you for a side gig along the way.

3. Develop Valuable Enterprise Apps and APIs

Although building enterprise apps and APIs might seem like a long term goal, putting your time into making innovative ones is worth it. It's a promising way to make passive income.

However, to be successful and have more users consume them, APIs and enterprise apps must address a particular problem. Otherwise, it's not worth it. Although most APIs out there are open-source, some still require users to pay some amount of money for things like security tokens.

When you launch your tool, have it in mind that it's not yet popular. So, charging users for it straight away might discourage people from using it. However, you can let them start on a free trial, and if they find it valuable, some users won't mind paying for it.

Because you're the developer and you don't have to pay anyone for doing the job for you, the development phase of APIs and enterprise apps won't cost you a dime. However, you only need some seed money to push it up for deployment and advertisement. Besides, you're more convinced than not that you'll make passive income later, so it's worth the risk.

One way to push your enterprise app is to advertise for traffic on various platforms. To make money from it once people start using your tool, you should consider placing basic and premium values on it.

4. Blog About Coding

If you love to communicate through writing, you can put that to use by writing blog posts on topics that discuss how to solve coding problems. It's another way to break away from routine as a programmer.

Although monetizing your blog can be a long-term thing, it's worth trying out, especially if you have a writing passion. Apart from generating direct income, writing about coding can also open opportunities for collaboration with other programmers online.

However, you don't have to own a blog to write coding articles online. Some existing publishers are willing to pay you for contributing to their blog. Once you brush up on your technical writing skill and your ability to simplify complex topics through writing, you can reach out to a couple of them online.

5. Develop Open Source Coding Tools

Open-source software can be a tool that improves people's productivity. You can create data science and machine learning tools and modules with languages like Python and C++. Then you can put them up as open-source plugins for a particular software like Excel, Tableau, or Microsoft PowerBI.

You can even build language-specific free coding tools to make software development and deployment seamless for other programmers.

Indeed, open-source tools don't aim to make money for their creators. But if yours is unique and has the potentials to attract high demand, there are a couple of ideas you can try out to monetize it.

For example, you can place features like technical support and plugin support under a license purchase category. That doesn't stop users from using the tool freely if they want. Examples of such existing tools are Sublime Text and Software as a Service (SaaS) tools like WordPress.

However, another idea is to allow support funding for your open-source tool. Doing this can generate income from individuals who don't want you to discontinue your service. It lets you offer all features for free while making money at the same time.

6. Go for Coding Challenges and Contests

Whether you're new to coding or not, it's a great idea to get into coding challenges online. In addition to making instant cash, competitions test your skills and expose you to more opportunities.

Thankfully, there are many coding challenge websites online where you can earn cash for winning a coding challenge or solving a particular problem uniquely.

Although you can make money from these competitions, they let you think critically. Consequently, they can also help you come up with new ideas and brilliant programming inventions.

7. Sell Language-Specific Ebooks

If you're a pro in a particular programming language and you know how to put words together to make a teachable curriculum, then it's probably time you put an ebook up for sale.

Many newcomer programmers and even pros opt for such books as they find them helpful and more reachable when they need them. When you write such books, you should consider marketing them for sale to your target audience via social media.

You can then sell them through websites like Amazon, eBay, or Bookfinder. However, unlike their solid counterparts, ebooks have the potential to reach more people.

Take Advantage of Your Coding Skills

It's great to go for technical interviews and write coding exams to get a formal job in a company, but it doesn't work out for everyone. Even if you're a full-time employee already, it doesn't stop you from trying out some of these ideas to earn extra income from coding.

As we pointed out earlier, programming is a valuable skill. If you're determined, boundless opportunities are lurking around for you. So, nothing stops you from trying them out.

Categories
News

7 Ways to Earn Money From Coding and Programming

Are you planning to develop skills in programming? Perhaps you've already delved into it but not sure about the available opportunities? Or have you been coding for some time now but looking forward to tapping more opportunities?

Here is the thing; programming is one of the most lucrative skills out there today, offering unlimited opportunities for creative ideas that can get you some extra cash. Consequently, you can become the boss of yourself if you put your mind to some of these ideas. Here are some money-making ideas you should consider as a programmer.

1. Freelancing Online

Freelancing can be frustrating sometimes. But with the appropriate online freelancing platforms, the right mindset, and marketing skills, you can get consistent gigs that pay the bills.

While sourcing for gigs in your locality is also a great idea, virtual gigs online have many advantages as you can reach out to more clients. Additionally, most online gigs also run remotely without you needing to see the client physically. For freelancing online, here are some ideas you can try out below.

Use Dedicated Freelancing Platforms

Thankfully, there are now a couple of great freelancing platforms for specific jobs, including the ones where people hire programmers online.

Companies and individuals now resort to these platforms to get works done faster. Computer science students and researchers also target freelance programmers to solve coding problems. More importantly, they're willing to pay for the value you offer.

Your aim on freelancing platforms is to build trust and get more positive reviews. One of the ways you can achieve that is to build a top-notch portfolio and develop a consistent brand for yourself.

Get Gigs via Social Media Platforms

However, there are no rules that restrict you online. In addition to registering and building your profile on dedicated freelancing platforms, you can also connect with clients via social media platforms and get busy with your IDEs.

For example, LinkedIn is a social media platform where you can build an online resume, market your skills, and connect with potential and active clients. Many employers also source for remote programmers via the platform, and you can always apply to this pool of coding jobs and gigs.

In addition to LinkedIn, you can get gigs from other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among others as well. However, what's most important is how you market yourself and connect with clients.

2. Online Programming Tutorials

Many people want to learn to code and won't hesitate to pay a competent tutor. As a result, posting long and short tutorial videos online is another smart way to make money from coding.

Learning platforms like Udemy are places where tutors create free teaching accounts, organize courses, and sell them to their audience. New and even some senior programmers also resort to platforms like YouTube to solve coding problems.

Most of these teaching platforms also serve a large organic audience. If you put in great efforts and you're consistent, you'll get your audience and start getting paid.

While some online tutoring platforms require a good microphone that may cost a bit, it costs nothing to set up a YouTube channel and start posting videos. You also don't need a camera to start putting out your videos online. All you need for a start is an efficient screen recorder and perhaps a clean microphone for better voice quality. However, you can gather more sophisticated streaming tools as you proceed along the line.

Related: How to Use Your Smartphone as a Windows Microphone

In addition to making money, organizing online tutorials exposes you to new challenges and lets you learn more about what you teach. It also offers you the opportunity to put yourself out there and build a brand. Some of your audience can even contact you for a side gig along the way.

3. Develop Valuable Enterprise Apps and APIs

Although building enterprise apps and APIs might seem like a long term goal, putting your time into making innovative ones is worth it. It's a promising way to make passive income.

However, to be successful and have more users consume them, APIs and enterprise apps must address a particular problem. Otherwise, it's not worth it. Although most APIs out there are open-source, some still require users to pay some amount of money for things like security tokens.

When you launch your tool, have it in mind that it's not yet popular. So, charging users for it straight away might discourage people from using it. However, you can let them start on a free trial, and if they find it valuable, some users won't mind paying for it.

Because you're the developer and you don't have to pay anyone for doing the job for you, the development phase of APIs and enterprise apps won't cost you a dime. However, you only need some seed money to push it up for deployment and advertisement. Besides, you're more convinced than not that you'll make passive income later, so it's worth the risk.

One way to push your enterprise app is to advertise for traffic on various platforms. To make money from it once people start using your tool, you should consider placing basic and premium values on it.

4. Blog About Coding

If you love to communicate through writing, you can put that to use by writing blog posts on topics that discuss how to solve coding problems. It's another way to break away from routine as a programmer.

Although monetizing your blog can be a long-term thing, it's worth trying out, especially if you have a writing passion. Apart from generating direct income, writing about coding can also open opportunities for collaboration with other programmers online.

However, you don't have to own a blog to write coding articles online. Some existing publishers are willing to pay you for contributing to their blog. Once you brush up on your technical writing skill and your ability to simplify complex topics through writing, you can reach out to a couple of them online.

5. Develop Open Source Coding Tools

Open-source software can be a tool that improves people's productivity. You can create data science and machine learning tools and modules with languages like Python and C++. Then you can put them up as open-source plugins for a particular software like Excel, Tableau, or Microsoft PowerBI.

You can even build language-specific free coding tools to make software development and deployment seamless for other programmers.

Indeed, open-source tools don't aim to make money for their creators. But if yours is unique and has the potentials to attract high demand, there are a couple of ideas you can try out to monetize it.

For example, you can place features like technical support and plugin support under a license purchase category. That doesn't stop users from using the tool freely if they want. Examples of such existing tools are Sublime Text and Software as a Service (SaaS) tools like WordPress.

However, another idea is to allow support funding for your open-source tool. Doing this can generate income from individuals who don't want you to discontinue your service. It lets you offer all features for free while making money at the same time.

6. Go for Coding Challenges and Contests

Whether you're new to coding or not, it's a great idea to get into coding challenges online. In addition to making instant cash, competitions test your skills and expose you to more opportunities.

Thankfully, there are many coding challenge websites online where you can earn cash for winning a coding challenge or solving a particular problem uniquely.

Although you can make money from these competitions, they let you think critically. Consequently, they can also help you come up with new ideas and brilliant programming inventions.

7. Sell Language-Specific Ebooks

If you're a pro in a particular programming language and you know how to put words together to make a teachable curriculum, then it's probably time you put an ebook up for sale.

Many newcomer programmers and even pros opt for such books as they find them helpful and more reachable when they need them. When you write such books, you should consider marketing them for sale to your target audience via social media.

You can then sell them through websites like Amazon, eBay, or Bookfinder. However, unlike their solid counterparts, ebooks have the potential to reach more people.

Take Advantage of Your Coding Skills

It's great to go for technical interviews and write coding exams to get a formal job in a company, but it doesn't work out for everyone. Even if you're a full-time employee already, it doesn't stop you from trying out some of these ideas to earn extra income from coding.

As we pointed out earlier, programming is a valuable skill. If you're determined, boundless opportunities are lurking around for you. So, nothing stops you from trying them out.

Categories
News

The 7 Best Smart Kitchen Gadgets for Every Home

Although there have always been kitchen gadgets, smart technology has entered the kitchen. These products aim to simplify the process, so you can easily make delicious home-cooked produce.

With such a wide range of items out there, it can be hard to know where to start. To help you out, we've found the best smart cooking gadgets for every home.

The Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System includes two products; an induction burner and a smart frying pan. These work together to give you an accurately prepared meal. The companion app connects via Bluetooth and allows you to monitor and take charge of your cooking.

The burner uses a rapid-response induction coil to precisely adjust the cooking temperature to the optimum level. The processor in the frying pan handle receives signals from its temperature sensor and sends them to the app for cooking alerts.

If you need assistance with putting your ingredients together, the app comes pre-loaded with an ingredients library. It can recommend recipes for you to try out, or you can customize your meal.

Key Features
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • Integrated temperature sensors
  • Monitor and control your cooking via the app
Specifications
  • Brand: Hestan Cue
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Integrations: None
  • Color: Silver
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Battery: 1x AA battery
  • Weight: 7.4 pounds
Pros
  • Temperature range of 110-475 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Portable, light-weight, and easy to use
  • Heats rapidly and precisely
  • Inner coating prevents sticky burns
Cons
  • Bluetooth needs close proximity to work
Editors choice

2. Smart Wi-Fi Air Fryer 5.8QT

9.20 / 10
Read Reviews

Regular ovens aren't well-suited to those who don't like to keep a close eye on their food. However, the COSORI Smart Wi-Fi Air Fryer 5.8QT comes with Bluetooth connectivity and integration with Alexa and Google Assistant. As a result, you can check on your food remotely.

The device comes with smart alert systems to remind you to physically look at your food to ensure it isn't overcooked. You can also control the air fryer with your voice via Alexa or Google Assistant.

The desktop-sized design makes it easy to move the air fryer around your kitchen and even place it in a cupboard for easy storage. You can use the companion smartphone app to view recipes and recommended fryer settings.

Key Features
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Integration with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Food stir alerts
Specifications
  • Brand: COSORI
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi
  • Integrations: Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Battery: None, mains power required
  • Weight: 15.92 Pounds
Pros
  • Schedule cook time in advance
  • Monitor cooking remotely via the smartphone app
  • Easy to use
  • Cooks faster than conventional ovens
Cons
  • Not suitable for larger portions

The Hamilton Beach Smart Coffee Maker uses standard coffee filters, has a front-facing reservoir, and can be controlled remotely via Alexa. Once connected to the Alexa app on your smartphone, you can create routines.

As a result, you can remotely start a brew or even schedule one that'll automatically begin at certain times of the day or with other smart home-based triggers.

The stainless steel design makes it easy to clean and maintain, as well as offering excellent durability. The heating jug can store up to 12 coffee cup's worth of water. Underneath the jug, there is an anti-spill water supply trough to mix your coffee efficiently.

Key Features
  • Alexa-enabled
  • Standard coffee filter
  • Front-facing reservoir
Specifications
  • Brand: Hamilton Beach
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi
  • Integrations: Amazon Alexa
  • Color: Black and silver
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Glass, Plastic
  • Battery: None, mains power required
  • Weight: 4.59 lbs
Pros
  • The front reservoir lets you quickly refill the jug
  • Alexa app lets you create routine coffee commands
  • Coffee-making can be controlled remotely
Cons
  • Can only be remotely operated with Alexa

If you're bored with store-bought chocolate, consider investing in the FoodBot Food 3D Chocolate Printer. This device custom prints chocolate based on your texture and taste preferences.

The ingredients are automatically mixed within the bowl, so you don't have to get your hands dirty. The printer integrates with most 3D modeling technologies like STL and OBJ model formats.

Your designs are relayed through the 0.4-1.55mm precision nozzle to give you clean outputs that match your design. With a 15-70mm/s printing speed and a pre-heat feature, your food comes out and forms up in no time.

You can send designs to the printer via Wi-Fi or using a USB flash drive. There's also a companion smartphone app that offers several classic food designs you can pick from, or you can customize your own.

Key Features
  • Precision extruding nozzle
  • Wi-Fi-enabled for smartphone-based controls
Specifications
  • Brand: FoodBot
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, USB
  • Integrations: None
  • Color: Silver
  • Material: Alloy metal
  • Battery: None, mains power required
  • Weight: 48.4 pounds
Pros
  • App lets you select your choice design from its 3D model library
  • You can customize your printouts
  • It supports most 3D modelling apps
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Output can get messy

The Instant Port Smart Electric Pressure Cooker is an eight-in-one device capable of a wide range of cooking styles. As you might expect, the cooker comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and integration with Amazon Alexa.

You can either use your voice to control the cooker or use Instant Pot's companion app. Using the app, you can browse recipes, adjust settings, and keep tabs on alerts and reminders from your pressure cooker.

This unit combines eight kitchen appliances into a single unit, including a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, cake maker, saute pan, steamer, and warmer. There are 13 smart programs accessible on the device for easy cooking.

Key Features
  • Integration with Alexa
  • 13 one-touch presets
  • Eight-in-one kitchen appliance
Specifications
  • Brand: Instant pot
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi
  • Integrations: Amazon Alexa
  • Color: Silver
  • Material: 18-8 Steel
  • Weight: 12.2 Pounds
Pros
  • Comes with a safety lock and overheating protection
  • Compact for easy storage
  • Companion app comes with a recipe library
  • Check on cooking status remotely via the app
Cons
  • To use all features, you need to buy additional accessories

If you're a fan of Sous Vide cooking, then you'll want to consider the SAKI Sous Vide Immersion Circulator. This connected device comes with a temperature sensor to notify you when your food is perfectly cooked.

The device connects wirelessly to your smartphone and can be controlled remotely via the companion app. The stainless steel pump helps circulate the hot water to give an even heat flow around the pan.

You can easily attach the SAKI Sous Vide Immersion Circulator to your pot using the adjustable screw clamp. Its small size and compact design make it easy to store when not in use.

Key Features
  • One-touch digital display
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Accurate temperature sensor
  • Adjustable clamp
  • Flow orientation control
Specifications
  • Brand: SAKI
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi
  • Integrations: None
  • Color: Red
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Battery: None, mains power required
  • Weight: 3 pounds
Pros
  • Mobile app alerts you when desired temperature is reached
  • Portable and easy to use
  • Prevents overcooking
Cons
  • Not suitable for cooking unpackaged or unsealed foods

With its precise temperature sensor probe, the DESPFUL Wireless Meat Thermometer enters the core of your grilled meat. Using an accurate temperature probe, the thermometer lets you quickly adjust the cooking time.

This model also comes with Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to monitor the status remotely with your smartphone. When within range, you can automatically adjust alerts based on nine types of food and four cooking levels, from raw to well-done.

There is no internal battery. Instead, the capacitors need topping up before you can use the thermometer. Fortunately, this only takes five minutes with a AAA battery. They'll retain this charge for up to four hours.

Key Features
  • Food-grade temperature probes
  • Capacitors offer four hours of battery life before a recharge
  • Digital display
  • Bluetooth-enabled
Specifications
  • Brand: DESPFUL
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Integrations: None
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Stainless steel, ceramic
  • Battery: Rechargeable capacitors
  • Weight: 0.18 pounds
Pros
  • Ideal for monitoring meat and fish cooking
  • Mobile app lets you monitor the process remotely
  • Suitable for outdoor grills without built-in temperature sensors
Cons
  • Temperature probe may not work well below certain temperature
  • Plastic component could melt when exposed to direct flame

FAQ

Q: Which Smart Kitchen Gadget is Best?

Selecting the best smart kitchen gadget depends on what you intend to do with it. In general, you need to consider metrics like durability, versatility, and ease of use. An ideal smart kitchen gadget should also include smartphone connectivity, sensors, long battery life, and even integration with digital assistants.

Q: Is a Smart Kitchen Worth It?

While you may still prefer conventional methods, mixing them with some modern smart device is an efficient way to improve your cooking. It also allows you to undertake precision cooking and 3D food printing.

Q: Are Smart Kitchen Gadgets Repairable?

Most smart kitchen gadgets work perfectly, but sometimes, something can get broken during shipping or from the manufacturer. If you notice a broken functionality right out of the box, you should contact the seller and immediately return the item.

These gadgets are often not easily repairable. Many are powered by processors and integrate with other smart home tech. The electronics involved are usually too complex for DIY fixes. Even then, it might not be possible to get inside the device.

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How to Set Your Location on Google Maps

Did you recently move to a new place, and Google Maps is showing results for your previous location?

That's because Google Maps shows search results based on the current default location on your map application. When this location is wrong, Google Maps won't show results for places near you.

To increase your search precision on Google Maps and get relevant results, you need to set a search location preference. Let's have a look at how you can do this on Google Maps.

Why Set Your Location on Google Maps?

Setting your location on Google Maps is pretty simple. You only need to update your home address and workplace on the map to achieve it. When you do this, it lets you use Google Maps with the default location you set for either of them.

An advantage of setting your home and workplace addresses on the map is that you can switch between them whenever you want to run a search on Google Maps. This allows you to see only the places that are close to the location you choose.

In essence, when you're at work, you can change your position to the workplace, and when you're at home, you can switch to your home address. Tweaking things like that can also help Google Maps remember and recommend places faster.

Although you can use the "location: result" method to get search results, that may not always be the most reliable. In addition to this, you might also prefer to opt for a quick search.

As we stated earlier, you can make the "search and find" process easier on Google Maps by setting or changing your default location.

Let's see how you can do that below.

How to Set Your Google Maps Address on Desktop

To set your home and work address on Google Maps in your browser, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Google account and open up Google Maps.
  2. Look to the top-left corner of the map, and click the three horizontal menu bars.
  3. From the options, select Your places.
    Click the three menu icon and select your places
  4. Next, click Home.
    Click either home or work to set an address
  5. Type the name of the location you want to set as your home address in the address field. Click Save. You might want to type your city or province name for a broader search coverage.
    Type your address in the address bar and select it from the options
  6. To set your workplace address, click the Work option instead of Home.
  7. Fill the address field with your preferred workplace location. Then, click Save.

That's it! You've just specified your search location on Google Maps. While Google requires that you set your work and home address, you can bend the rule by picking two places you usually visit.

So, each time you need to search for a vendor, you can always switch between the workplace and home address. Doing that lets you get search results relevant to the option you select.

Related: How Google Uses Your Phone to Predict Traffic and Plan Trips

After setting the two locations, Google Maps will give you the option to select whether you want to see places around your home or work address.

For instance, you can click the Home or Work option to see the places and vendors around them. You can even share your location with friends if you want.

How to Edit or Change Your Google Maps Address on Desktop

If you ever decide to change the addresses you previously entered, you can do that as well. There is also no limit for editing your work and home addresses on Google Maps. You can change them as many times as you want.

Usually, after setting your home and work address, they appear as Home and Work each time you open Google Maps. To change either of them:

  1. On Google Maps, click the three menu horizontal bars, and go to Your places.
  2. Next, click on the delete symbol (X) to the right of the one you want to edit or remove. Stop at this step if you only want to remove the location. If not, proceed to the next step.
    Click the X symbol to remove your address
  3. Click the option you previously removed. Fill the address field with your new home or work address.
  4. Click Save.

How to Set Your Google Maps Address on Mobile

Setting your location on the Google Maps mobile app is quite different from how you do it via the web option.

But first, you need to install Google Maps from the Google Play Store if you're an Android user, or from the App Store if you're using an iPhone.

Download: Google Maps for Android | iOS

  1. Once you install Google Maps, open up the app, and tap the address search bar at the top of the app.
  2. Next, below the address bar, tap Home and type the name of your chosen location and select it from the results that come up.
  3. Look for the home pin on the map and move it to the place closest to your location on the map.
  4. Then, look to the lower part of the app, and tap Save.
    Image Gallery (3 Images)
  5. Follow the same steps above to set up your work address on the map. In this case, after tapping Save, tap Done.

How to Edit or Change Your Google Maps Address on Mobile

You can edit your work and home locations via your mobile device as well. It's pretty simple. Let's see how you can do that with the following steps:

  1. On the Google Maps mobile app, tap the address search bar. Below it, tap the three horizontal dots to the right of the Home and Work options.
  2. Tap the three vertical dots to the right of the address you wish to edit (Home or Work).
  3. From the options, select Edit.
    Image Gallery (2 Images)
  4. Then, repeat the process we highlighted in the previous section above for setting your home and work address via the mobile option.

Get the Most Out of Google Maps

Google Maps is a treasure trove when it comes to locating people, places, and vendors quickly. In addition to letting you set your default locations, Google Maps also collects the data of areas you visit when you turn on your location. It can also use that piece of information as a recommendation guide when you search the map.

Google Maps also has plenty of other useful features, and even helps you to remember places relevant to you. That said, Google Maps can make life a lot easier when you take advantage of all its features.

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How to Delete a Google Review

No matter how hard you try to deliver top-notch services, you still can't satisfy all your customers. Even a few bad reviews can deter potential customers from giving you their business.

However, once you're sure that you deliver quality services, you can move against inappropriate or bad reviews. Just note that not all bad reviews are removable—they must violate Google review policies to be eligible.

In this article, we look at how you can delete bad Google reviews, as well as some of the things you need to know before flagging them for deletion.

How to Report and Remove Inappropriate Google Reviews

As the business owner, you don't have permission to delete your customers' reviews. If you need to do so, you need to ask Google to delete them for you. However, review authors can also delete or edit their reviews at any time.

To report a review for removal, you can either flag them via Google Maps or directly through your Google My Business page. Let's see how to use each of these options below.

Before we proceed, we're assuming that you already have a Google My Business account and are already visible on Google Maps.

How to Flag Bad Google Reviews Using Google Maps on Desktop

To see reviews that customers have left for your business, log in to your Gmail account. Then, go to Google Maps.

Next, use the search bar at the top-left corner of Google Maps to search and locate your business. You can simply search for the name you registered with when you created your Google My Business account.

If you can't find your business immediately, you can search by typing "your business location: business name." For example, if your business is in New York, you would type "New York: business name."

Once you locate your business on Google Maps, use the following steps to check and report bad reviews:

  1. Click on your business on Google Maps.
  2. Look to the left corner of the web app and scroll down to see customers' reviews.
  3. Click on the three vertical dots on the right side of the review you want to delete, and select Flag as inappropriate.
    Click on the three dots next to bad review and select flag as inappropriate
  4. Next, select a reason for reporting the review.
    Select a reason for reporting and click report
  5. Click Report, and wait for Google to take the necessary actions or reply to you via email for further clarifications.

How to Remove Google Reviews via Google Maps on Mobile

To flag reviews for removal on your mobile phone, you need to install the Google Maps app from the Play Store or App Store. Then, follow the same steps highlighted above for locating your business on Google Maps.

Related: How to View and Delete Your Location History in Google Maps

Download: Google Maps for Android | iOS (Free)

Once you locate your business via the search icon, tap it, and use the following steps to remove inappropriate customer reviews via your mobile device:

  1. Tap the Reviews option to see all current reviews.
  2. Tap the three vertical dots to the left of the review you want to remove and select Report review.
  3. Select a reason for reporting the review and tap Report.
    Image Gallery (2 Images)

How to Flag Google Reviews via Google My Business Page

You can also report inappropriate reviews to Google by logging in to your Google My Business page via your web browser.

Once on your business page, use the following steps to flag bad reviews for removal:

  1. In the options bar to the left of the web app, click the Reviews option.
  2. Next, locate the review you wish to remove from the list.
  3. Click the three vertical dots to the right of that review, and select Flag as inappropriate.
    Reporting a Google review via Google my business page
  4. Like you did for other options, tick a reason for flagging the review and click Report.

Note: Flagged reviews can take days to get removed. Also, try not to report a review twice once you've made a request already.

Alternatives to Reporting Bad Reviews

Sometimes, even if these bad reviews violate Google review policies, it can take some time for Google to remove them. In the meantime, there are still other ways you can try to get reviews removed by the author.

Let's see some of these alternative ideas below:

  • Reply promptly to bad reviews and apologize to the reviewer for whatever trouble you might have caused them. This tells potential customers that you care about their satisfaction.
  • Contact the customer personally via email. This builds trust and shows the customer that you're accountable.
  • Ask if the customer is willing to change their mind about their negative review. If they do, they can either remove it or change it to a positive review.

Trying any of these methods won't only get the negative reviews removed, but it also can help you earn more positive feedback in case a customer decides to modify or edit their previous negative reviews.

How to Reply to a Google Review

Choosing to respond to a Google review directly can also help get bad reviews off your business page. However, you can only do this when Google verifies your business account.

Once it's verified, log in to your Google My Business page.

Look to the left of that page, and click Reviews. Click the Reply option under the review you wish to respond to, and reply to the customer directly.

What Type of Reviews Can You Report for Removal?

Like we mentioned earlier, Google doesn't remove reviews immediately on request by the business owner. Flagged reviews go through Google review policy checks before it can get deleted.

To avoid waiting endlessly for the removal to take effect, here are some violations that may qualify bad reviews for removal. So, if they fall in one or more of these categories, you can report them for removal:

  • A review that's irrelevant to your business.
  • Reviews that deliberately downgrade your business while promoting others.
  • Those that promote your business while downgrading others.
  • Content containing adverts, links, emails, or other promotions that direct potential clients to other businesses.
  • Reviews containing derogatory, sexually abusive or explicit content, or other content that may promote violence.
  • Reviews that are vague or misleading.

You can also visit Google's prohibited and restricted content page to learn more about its review policies.

Bad Reviews Should Make You, Not Break You

Removing bad Google reviews can be frustrating, especially if your request doesn't take effect on time. However, having a couple of negative reviews shouldn't affect your business or discourage you. Besides, there are other ways we've highlighted earlier to deal with them.

Although bad reviews drop business ratings, negative reviews are also important feedback for your business. So, when you solve those issues and take necessary actions on them, they help you serve your customers better. Like we pointed out, your previously unhappy customers might even change their minds and end up leaving you a positive review instead.

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Scrape a Website With This Beautiful Soup Python Tutorial

Beautiful Soup is an open-source Python library. It uses navigating parsers to scrape the content of XML and HTML files. You need data for several analytical purposes. However, if you're new to Python and web scraping, Python's Beautiful Soup library is worth trying out for a web scraping project.

With Python's open-source Beautiful Soup library, you can get data by scraping any part or element of a webpage with maximum control over the process. In this article, we look at how you can use Beautiful Soup to scrape a website.

How to Install Beautiful Soup and Get Started With It

Before we proceed, in this Beautiful Soup tutorial article, we'll use Python 3 and beautifulsoup4, the latest version of Beautiful Soup. Ensure that you create a Python virtual environment to isolate your project and its packages from the ones on your local machine.

To get started, you must install the Beautiful Soup library in your virtual environment. Beautiful Soup is available as a PyPi package for all operating systems, so you can install it with the pip install beautifulsoup4 command via the terminal.

However, if you're on Debian or Linux, the above command still works, but you can install it with the package manager by running apt-get install python3-bs4.

Beautiful Soup doesn't scrape URLs directly. It only works with ready-made HTML or XML files. That means you can't pass a URL straight into it. To solve that problem, you need to get the URL of the target website with Python's request library before feeding it to Beautiful Soup.

To make that library available for your scraper, run the pip install requests command via the terminal.

To use the XML parser library, run pip install lxml to install it.

Inspect the Webpage You Wish to Scrape

Before scraping any website you're not familiar with, a best practice is to inspect its elements. You can do this by switching your browser to the developer's mode. It's pretty easy to use Chrome DevTools if you're using Google Chrome.

However, it's necessary to inspect a webpage to know more about its HTML tags, attributes, classes, and ids. Doing that exposes the core elements of a webpage and its content types.

It also helps you develop the best strategies you can use to get the exact data you want from a website and how you can get it.

How to Scrape a Websites' Data With Beautiful Soup

Now that you have everything up and ready, open up a preferred code editor and create a new Python file, giving it a chosen name. However, you can also make use of web-based IDEs like Jupyter Notebook if you're not familiar with running Python via the command line.

Next, import the necessary libraries:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests

First off, let's see how the requests library works:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests
website = requests.get('http://somewebpages.com')
print(website)

When you run the code above, it returns a 200 status, indicating that your request is successful. Otherwise, you get a 400 status or some other error statuses that indicate a failed GET request.

Remember to always replace the website's URL in the parenthesis with your target URL.

Once you get the website with the get request, you then pass it across to Beautiful Soup, which can now read the content as HTML or XML files using its built-in XML or HTML parser, depending on your chosen format.

Take a look at this next code snippet to see how to do this with the HTML parser:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests
website = requests.get('http://somewebpages.com')
soup = BeautifulSoup(website.content, 'html.parser')
print(soup)

The code above returns the entire DOM of a webpage with its content.

You can also get a more aligned version of the DOM by using the prettify method. You can try this out to see its output:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests
website = requests.get('http://somewebpages.com/')
soup = BeautifulSoup(website.content, 'html.parser')
print(soup.prettify())

You can also get the pure content of a webpage without loading its element with the .text method:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests
website = requests.get('http://somewebpages.com/')
soup = BeautifulSoup(website.content, 'html.parser')
print(soup.text)

How to Scrape the Content of a Webpage by the Tag Name

You can also scrape the content in a particular tag with Beautiful Soup. To do this, you need to include the name of the target tag in your Beautiful Soup scraper request.

For example, let's see how you can get the content in the h2 tags of a webpage.

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests
website = requests.get('http://somewebpages.com/')
soup = BeautifulSoup(website.content, 'html.parser')
print(soup.h2)

In the code snippet above, soup.h2 returns the first h2 element of the webpage and ignores the rest. To load all the h2 elements, you can use the find_all built-in function and the for loop of Python:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests
website = requests.get('http://somewebpages.com/')
soup = BeautifulSoup(website.content, 'html.parser')
h2tags = soup.find_all('h2')
for soups in h2tags:
print(soups)

That block of code returns all h2 elements and their content. However, you can get the content without loading the tag by using the .string method:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests
website = requests.get('http://somewebpages.com/')
soup = BeautifulSoup(website.content, 'html.parser')
h2tags = soup.find_all('h2')
for soups in h2tags:
print(soups.string)

You can use this method for any HTML tag. All you need to do is replace the h2 tag with the one you like.

However, you can also scrape more tags by passing a list of tags into the find_all method. For instance, the block of code below scrapes the content of a, h2, and title tags:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests
website = requests.get('http://somewebpages.com/')
soup = BeautifulSoup(website.content, 'html.parser')
tags = soup.find_all(['a', 'h2', 'title'])
for soups in tags:
print(soups.string)

How to Scrape a Webpage Using the ID and Class Name

After inspecting a website with the DevTools, it lets you know more about the id and class attributes holding each element in its DOM. Once you have that piece of information, you can scrape that webpage using this method. It's useful when the content of a target component is looping out from the database.

You can use the find method for the id and class scrapers. Unlike the find_all method that returns an iterable object, the find method works on a single, non-iterable target, which is the id in this case. So, you don't need to use the for loop with it.

Let's look at an example of how you can scrape the content of a page below using the id:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests
website = requests.get('http://somewebpages.com/')
soup = BeautifulSoup(website.content, 'html.parser')
id = soup.find(id = 'enter the target id here')
print(id.text)

To do this for a class name, replace the id with class. However, writing class directly results in syntax confusion as Python see it as a keyword. To bypass that error, you need to write an underscore in front of class like this: class_.

In essence, the line containing the id becomes:

my_classes = soup.find(class_ = 'enter the target class name here')
print(my_classes.text)

However, you can also scrape a webpage by calling a particular tag name with its corresponding id or class:

data = soup.find_all('div', class_ = 'enter the target class name here')
print(data)

How to Make a Reusable Scraper With Beautiful Soup

You can create a class and put all the previous code together into a function in that class to make a reusable scraper that gets the content of some tags and their ids. We can do this by creating a function that accepts five arguments: a URL, two tag names, and their corresponding ids or classes.

Assume you want to scrape the price of shirts from an e-commerce website. The example scraper class below extracts the price and shirt tags with their corresponding ids or classes and then returns it as a Pandas data frame with 'Price' and Shirt_name as the column names.

Ensure that you pip install pandas via the terminal if you've not done so already.

import pandas as pd
class scrapeit:
try:
def scrape(website=None, tag1=None, id1=None, tag2=None, id2=None):
if not (website and tag1 and id1 and tag2 and id2)==None:
try:
page = requests.get(website)
soup = BeautifulSoup(page.content, 'html.parser')
infotag1 = soup.find_all(tag1, id1)
infotag2 = soup.find_all(tag2, id2)
priced = [prices.text for prices in infotag1]
shirt = [shirts.text for shirts in infotag2]
data = {
'Price':priced,
'Shirt_name':shirt}
info = pd.DataFrame(data, columns=['Price', 'Shirt_name'])
print(info)
except:
print('Not successful')
else:
print('Oops! Please enter a website, two tags and thier corresponding ids')
except:
print('Not successful!')

The scraper you just made is a reusable module and you can import and use it in another Python file. To call the scrape function from its class, you use scrapeit.scrape('Website URL', 'price_tag', 'price_id', 'shirt_tag', 'shirt_id'). If you don't provide the URL and other parameters, the else statement prompts you to do so.

To use that scaper in another Python file, you can import it like this:

from scraper_module import scrapeit
scrapeit.scrape('URL', 'price_tag', 'price_id', 'shirt_tag', 'shirt_id')

Note: scraper_module is the name of the Python file holding the scraper class.

You can also check the Beautiful Soup documentation if you want to dive deeper into how you can make the best use of it.

Beautiful Soup Is a Valuable Web Scraping Tool

Beautiful Soup is a powerful Python screen scraper that gives you control over how your data comes through during scraping. It's a valuable business tool, as it can give you access to competitor's web data like pricing, market trends, and more.

Although we've made a tag scraper in this article, you can still play around with this powerful Python library to make more useful scraping tools.

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How to Block Someone on WhatsApp and What Happens When You Do

Have you had the final straw and it's time to block someone on WhatsApp? It's pretty easy to do. However, some restrictions take effect when you block people on the app that affect both you and the blocked contact.

Here, we take a look at how you can block a contact on WhatsApp and what happens when you do, as well as how to unblock someone if you change your mind...

How to Block Someone on Whatsapp

It's relatively easy to block someone on Whatsapp and only takes a few steps.

Image Gallery (3 Images)

Just open up WhatsApp on your mobile device and do the following to block an unwanted contact:

  1. Tap the contact you wish to block. If you can't see the contact, use the search icon at the top-right corner of the app.
  2. Next, tap the three vertical dots at the top-right corner.
  3. From the drop-down, select More.
  4. Then select Block.
  5. From the options that pop up, select Block. Or tap Report and Block to both block and report the contact.

The report option can come in handy when you recognize WhatsApp spam.

How to Block Someone Using WhatsApp Web

You can also block people if you use WhatsApp Web on your PC. It's pretty different from the mobile option steps but has the same effect.

To block someone via WhatsApp Web on your PC, use the following steps:

  1. Click the three horizontal dots on the WhatsApp chat list.
  2. Next, select Settings.
  3. Select Blocked.
  4. Then, choose the Add blocked contact option.
  5. Select the contact you wish to block or use the search bar at the top of that menu to search for the contact. Select the person you want to block.

This will block the contact from contacting you.

Related: Tips to Make WhatsApp More Secure and Private

What Happens When You Block Someone on WhatsApp?

Before you take the step of blocking a person on WhatsApp, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Firstly, when you block someone on WhatsApp, they can't check if you've blocked them.

Other effects of blocking someone on WhatsApp include:

  • Messages you send to each other don't get delivered.
  • You can't see each other's profile pictures.
  • You can't see status updates from each other after you block someone.
  • Blocking a person without reporting them doesn't clear your previous conversations with them. If you unblock them, you can always continue your chat from before you blocked them.
  • You can't add each other to WhatsApp groups.
  • When you block and report a contact, WhatsApp clears all your conversations with the person as well. Unblocking that contact doesn't restore your previous chats.
  • You won't see their "last seen" timestamp anymore and they can't see yours.
  • You can't call each other on WhatsApp.

If you change your mind, you can unblock a contact.

How to Unblock a Contact on WhatsApp

If you want to unblock the contact you've just blocked, tap on the conversation. You'll see text that says "You blocked this contact. Tap to unblock"---so just tap to unblock. A menu will pop up and you can select Unblock.

Alternatively, you can access a list of blocked contacts and unblock any of them.

To do this, tap the three vertical dots at the top-right corner of the chat list homepage. Next, select Settings.

Image Gallery (2 Images)

In the settings menu, tap Account and then Privacy. Scroll through the options and select Blocked contacts. Select the contact you wish to unblock and tap Unblock.

Image Gallery (2 Images)

 How to Unblock Someone via WhatsApp Web

To unblock a contact on WhatsApp using WhatsApp Web, click the three dots icon above the chat list. Select Settings. Next, click Blocked to load a list of contacts you've blocked.

Click on the contact you wish to unblock and select Unblock.

Things to Remember About Blocking on WhatsApp

Blocking someone on WhatApp doesn't ensure that they can't contact you through other means.

Although they can't send you direct messages, if you are already in a WhatsApp group together, you will still be able to see each others' messages in the group.

You should also remember that people you block on WhatsApp still have your contact number, so you can't stop them from calling you directly.

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The Best Web Scraping Tools Online

Web scraping is useful for various analytical purposes. It can come in handy when you need to carry out online surveys for your business to monitor market trends. However, web scraping requires some technical knowledge, so some people try to avoid it.

But with some web scraping tools out there, you can now get your hands on the data you want without writing a single line of code or going through highly technical processes.

Let's have a look at some online web scrapers that help you grab data for your analytics needs.

1. Scrapingbot

Scrapingbot is one of the most user-friendly web scrapers out there. It also has easy-to-understand documentation to guide you around on how to use the tool.

Related: What Is Web Scraping? How to Collect Data From Websites

Scrapingbot offers an Application Programming Interface (API) and ready-made tools for scraping any webpage. It's versatile and works perfectly with business data sources, like retail and real-estate websites, among others.

The data scraping tool doesn't require coding, as it does a bulk of the work for you, and returns the JSON format of any webpage you scrape as a raw HTML. Scrapingbot's pricing is also flexible. You can start out with the free plan before upgrading to a paid subscription.

Although its free plan offers limited features and resources, it's still worth trying if your budget is low or you can't afford the paid options. Just keep in mind that the number of concurrent requests you get to make per scrape with other technical supports reduces as the price drops.

To scrape a website with Scrapingbot, all you need to do is supply the URL of the target website. If you want to get the code version of your request, Scrapingbot also supports different programming languages. It also has an interface that returns the code version of your request in various language formats.

2. Parsehub

Unlike Scrapingbot, Parsehub comes as a desktop app but helps you connect to any website you wish to extract data from.

Featuring a sleek interface, you can either connect to the Parsehub REST API or export the extracted data as JSON, CSV, Excel files, or Google Sheets. You can also schedule the data export if you want.

Getting started with Parsehub is quite easy. Extracting data with it requires little or no technical skills. The tool also has detailed tutorials and docs that make it easy to use. If you ever wish to use its REST API, it has detailed API documentation as well.

If you don't want to save the output data directly to your PC, Parsehub's dynamic cloud-based features let you store your output data on its server and retrieve it anytime. The tool also extracts data from websites that load asynchronously with AJAX and JavaScript.

Although it offers a free option, Parsehub has other paid options that let you get the most out of it. The free option is excellent to start with, but when you pay, you get to scrape data faster with lesser requests per extraction.

3. Dexi.io

Dexi features a simple interface that lets you extract real-time data from any webpage using its built-in machine learning technology, called digital capture robots.

With Dexi, you can extract both text and image data. Its cloud-based solutions let you export scraped data to platforms like Google Sheets, Amazon S3, and more.

In addition to extracting data, Dexi features real-time monitoring tools that keep you updated on changes in competitors' activities.

Although Dexi has a free version, which you can use to execute smaller projects, you don't get access to all of its features. Its paid version, ranging from $105 to $699 per month, gives you access to many premium supports.

Like other online web scrapers, all you need to do is supply Dexi with the target URL, while creating what it calls an extracting robot.

4. Scrapers

Scrapers is a web-based tool for extracting webpage content. Using Scrapers is easy and requires no coding. The documentation is also short and easy to comprehend.

However, the tool offers a free API that lets programmers create reusable and open-source web scrapers. While that option requires you to fill some fields or make use of its built-in text editor to complete a pre-generated block of code, it's still pretty easy and straightforward to use.

The data you extract with Scrapers are available as JSON, HTML, or CSV files. Although the free option offers limited web scrapers, you can still bypass this by creating your scraper with its API.

Related: How to Make a Web Crawler With Selenium

The paid options charge as low as $30 per month. However, unlike the free plan, none of its paid options limit the number of websites you can scrape. You can even use the scrapers created by other people when you have a membership subscription.

The tool features a fast user experience and a top-notch interface. It also loads your output data asynchronously and makes it downloadable to your PC in the format of your choice.

5. ScrapeHero

If you want to get data from social platforms and online retail outlets, ScrapeHero could be an excellent choice.

It has dedicated data scraping tools for getting data from social media platforms, like Instagram and Twitter, as well as retail and business outlets such as Amazon, Google reviews, among others.

The tool has a dedicated marketplace where you can select a platform you want to scrape. Like other web scrapers we've mentioned, you don't need any coding knowledge to use ScraperHero.

Unlike Paserhub, ScraperHero is 100 percent web-based, so you don't need to install dedicated apps on your PC to use it. ScraperHero is highly responsive and returns data elements rapidly with a few clicks.

6. Scrapingdog

Scrapingdog is a web-based tool for scraping the elements of a website along with its content. Its built-in scraper returns the data of a webpage as raw HTML.

The tool provides an API that gives a more structured output of your data. However, using the API option requires a bit of programming knowledge. But with its built-in scraper, you can avoid using the API option.

Scrapingdog also supports asynchronous loading while crawling and scraping a website's content. To use the web scraper, all you need to do is provide the URL of the website you want to scrape to get its content.

Scrapingdog also offers a premium proxy that allows you to access websites that are more difficult to scrape without getting blocked. Scrapingdog's pricing ranges from $20 to $200 a month after a 30-day free trial.

Related: How to Bypass Blocked Sites and Internet Restrictions

Combine These Web Scraping Tools With Other Techniques

Using online web scrapers makes life easy when you don't want to write codes. If you use data for business purposes, using these tools can be a smart way of having a competitive edge over other businesses if you know your way around them.

These online web scrapers can give you the essential information you need, but combining them with other tools gives you more control over the type of data you want to scrape.

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How to Calculate Standard Deviation in Excel

Standard deviation is one of the many statistics you can work out in Excel. Although the process is easy, calculating standard deviation in Excel can be confusing for beginners or people who aren't familiar with Microsoft Excel.

Are you having a hard time with it? No worries. In this article, and we'll show all the ways to calculate standard deviation in Excel

What Is Standard Deviation?

Standard deviation shows the difference between a group of data and their mean or average value. In essence, it returns a value that tells you how much your data deviates from the average value.

Standard deviation doesn't work on categorical data. You can only use it on numerical data.

Just like other statistics, Excel offers various ways of calculating the standard deviation. You can do it with a formula method or using the Insert Function option on the Excel ribbon. We'll go through each of the available methods below.

How to Calculate Standard Deviation in Excel Using Insert Function

Using the Insert Function option lets you avoid the need to master Excel formulas. However, this method writes the actual formula in your chosen result cell and the formula bar. So, it can also be one of the ways to find useful Excel formulas quickly.

Here's how to calculate the standard deviation in Microsoft Excel using the Insert Function method:

  1. Create a new column within your spreadsheet to hold the standard deviation result. You can give it any name you want.
  2. Select any cell in the column you created.
    Create a new column and click any empty cell below it
  3. Go to the Excel ribbon and click Formulas.
  4. Then look to the left edge of the ribbon and click Insert Function.
    Go to the Excel ribbon and click formulas
  5. In the menu, scroll through the options within the Select a function window and choose STDEV, which is short for standard deviation.
  6. Click OK.
    Select STDEV from the list of options
  7. Next, highlight the column you want to calculate the standard deviation of.
  8. Click OK to calculate the standard deviation and paste the result into the cell you originally selected.
    Highlight the target column and click OK

Note: While you don't need to complete the first two steps to calculate the standard deviation, they help organize your results. This means you can select any cell in your spreadsheet to hold the standard deviation result without necessarily creating a new column.

How to Paste the Standard Deviation Result Into a Different Excel Sheet

You can also separate the standard deviation from the original data by pasting it in a different spreadsheet. This method is useful if you like to separate your statistical results from the original data. You can also do this for other basic statistics in Excel.

Using the Insert Function method above:

  1. Create a new sheet by clicking the Add (+) sign in the bottom-left corner of the Excel.
  2. In the new sheet, select a column for holding the standard deviation result and give it a name.
  3. Then click on a cell in that column.
    Create a new column for hoding the result in the new sheet
  4. While in the new sheet, click on Formulas > Insert Function in the ribbon.
  5. Just like above, look through the options in the menu and select STDEV, then click OK.
  6. Move back to the sheet with the original data and highlight the column you want to calculate the standard deviation for.
  7. Click OK to paste the result in the new sheet.

Related: How to Merge Excel Files and Sheets

How to Calculate Standard Deviation in Excel Using the a Formula Option

Using a formula can come in handy when you need to carry out the task quickly and save time in Microsoft Excel. It's easier if you know your way around Excel shortcuts and formulas. But even if you're still learning, the standard deviation formula is pretty easy to master.

To find the standard deviation using an Excel formula:

  1. Open your spreadsheet and create a new column to store your standard deviation result. Give the column a name.
  2. Let's assume the column with your data is column H, and assuming you want to calculate the standard deviation for rows 1 to 14. Select a cell in your new column type: =STDEV(H1:H14).
    Type the formula in a new cell
  3. Of course, you probably need to replace H with the appropriate column for your data and replace 1 and 14 with the range of rows you want to cover.
  4. Press Return to complete your formula, at which point Excel should calculate the standard deviation for you.

Related: How to Copy Formulas in Microsoft Excel

Population and Sample Standard Deviation Explained

Depending on your particular needs, you may want to calculate the population or sample standard deviation instead.

The population standard deviation estimates the distance of every individual in a population from the population average. You use it when you have access to the data of the entire population.

To calculate the population standard deviation, use STDEV.P.

The sample standard deviation calculates the standard deviation from a population's subset. You use it when you're not interested in estimating the entire population, and a sample is enough for the statistic.

The value of the sample standard deviation is typically higher than that of the population standard deviation.

To calculate the sample standard deviation in Excel, use STDEV.S instead of STDEV.

Which Standard Deviation Method Is Better?

Although we've highlighted a few different ways to calculate standard deviation in Excel, you might still be a bit confused about the one you should use. All the methods we explained are useful, and there is no best method. So the one you decide to use depends on your choice and what you intend to achieve.

However, the formula method is most helpful if you want to familiarize yourself with Excel formulas and shortcuts.

In addition to calculating the standard deviation, Excel offers plenty of other statistics as well. Mean, median, mode, and other averages are all available in Excel, which much more to learn than that.