From The Tips Box: HTML Signatures, Distracted Reading, Movie Trailers

Readers offer their best tips for custom HTML Gmail signatures, minimising online distractions while reading, and getting to the movie on time whilst avoiding the previews.

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 Canned Responses to Create HTML Signatures

Smosh tells us how to get HTML signatures in Gmail without plugins:

Rather than relying on plugins and userscripts to add custom HTML signatures to Gmail, simply enable Canned Responses in the Labs settings, paste your current signature in a new email (with nothing else), and save it as a canned response titled "Signature".

Now you have a custom signature even when sending out a quick email from your friend's computer.

Rotate Your Laptop Display to Minimise Distractions

Halgy shows us how to keep from getting distracted while reading on a laptop:

Need to read something on your laptop but get distracted by Facebook or aimless surfing? Simply rotate your screen, then hold your laptop like a book. Not only can you read in portrait mode (which is easier), but having the keyboard and mouse sideways makes it harder to go off on tangents.

Note that in Mac OS X Leopard and above, the option in the screenshot can only be unlocked by quitting System Preferences, re-opening it and command-option-clicking "Displays". Windows 7 has this feature built-in to Display Settings.

Time Movie Previews Regularly to Know How Late to Arrive

cartfis shares a tip for those who don't like movie previews:

At the theatre I frequent in Minneapolis, I do an annual 'preview-timing' at the first movie I see. It's great to know how late you can be before the actual movie starts, and further, I can't stand previews anyways, so it's a win-win.

Fill Brand Name Cereal Boxes with Generic Versions to Save Money

Photo by JinglyJon.

valmorphorize lets us know of a quick trick to save money without the kids knowing:

A no-brainer for some of us cheap-o's. Buy one name brand cereal for your children and when it's nearly empty buy a no-name brand and replace the empty box with the no-name. I can't tell you how long I've been doing this to my kids, but it's saved me tons. When they get a little older, do a blind folded taste test with name and no-name brand products and have them tell you which they prefer. I've found that my spouse thought she liked the name brand of a few products but found out that the no-name was better to her.


    Wow, I thought doing things like that was easy in OSX?

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