From The Tips Box: Text-to-Speech Proofreading, Standing Desks

Readers offer their best tips for proofreading documents using text-to-speech, making a quick laptop standing desk, and carrying heavy grocery bags.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in — the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Use Text-to-Speech to Catch Words When Proofreading

tomsomething shares a proofreading tip for words that are hard to catch:

I have a tendency to leave out words like "that" and "be" when I'm typing. It can be hard to catch things like this when I'm proofreading, so I use my computer's text-to-speech function and listen as the document is read back to me. This is also a handy way to check for consistency and coherence.

Use a Music Stand as a Laptop Standing Desk

Photo by Christopher Sessums.

iamellis shows us a nice household object (for some) that doubles as a makeshift standing desk:

I was recently given a Macbook Pro from my work recently. Instead of a completely new desk I just re-purposed a music stand. With a few minor bends and tweaks it will be perfect.

Avoid Finger Pain by Carrying Bags With a Lighter

loftninja shares a way to avoid getting cut by grocery bags with any small object:

Today I was carrying some really heavy grocery bags and remembered this "hack" from my days in NYC. If you place a lighter in your hand and let the bags hang from the lighter instead of your fingers, you can avoid being cuts. I suppose the same principles can be applied to any small solid object the size of a lighter.

Press Send to Redial Your Last Number on an iPhone

Photo by Kai Hendry.

Benguin tells us how to quickly call back on the iPhone:

After two years of owning an iPhone, I just figured out a quick way to re-dail is to tap the call button without typing anything. It'll fill in the last number you dialed, and just hit it again to place your call. I think you have to have dialed a call (not placed from contacts) recently for it to work.


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