From The Tips Box: Multiple Gmail Drafts, Tiny Serial Numbers

Readers offer their best tips for saving multiple Gmail drafts in one thread, reading tiny serial numbers on your tech, and downloading modded Android widgets.

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? Add it in the comments or use the contact tab on the right.

Tweak Your Subject Lines To Allow For Multiple Drafts In Gmail

Digital_man discovers a tricky workaround for getting multiple drafts for one thread in Gmail:

For work, sometimes I'm corresponding with many people in a single Gmail "conversation". Sometimes while I'm composing a mail in the conversation, someone will reply and I need to reply to that new mail, before finishing my original. I learned the hard way that you can't save more than one draft in a conversation.

I found that renaming the subject line - even temporarily - solves this problem. For example, if the subject line is "Boxes" -- I change it to "Box" and then save that draft and reply to the new incoming mail. Then, I go find "Box" in my drafts, and change the subject back to "Boxes" before clicking send. Both mails are then still part of the same Gmail conversation.

Use Your Digital Cameras To Snap Pictures Of Tiny Serial Numbers

TheFu shares a trick for reading those hard-to-see serial numbers:

Trouble reading tiny print like serial numbers on electronic devices?

Use a digital camera (phone, tablet, Canon, etc.) to snap a macro photo of the data and zoom in to read it on the camera or a PC.

Sometimes you can't easily see the S/N (dark or tight location), but getting a flash camera behind it for a photo will work too.

If you go to this trouble, it might be worth putting that S/N, model, vendor into your password manager for later retrieval too.

Don't laugh. You'll be older and will probably have trouble reading small print too.

This is great not just for small serial numbers, but for serial numbers in hard-to-reach places -- like the cramped edge of your computer's motherboard or RAM.

Download Tons Of Android Widgets, Modded For Transparency

HeartBurnKid: Agent of R.O.A.C.H. discovers a great cache of transparent Android widgets:

I was looking for a transparent Facebook widget for my Android phone, and happened to stumble upon a real treasure trove of various freebie widgets re-skinned for transparency on the XDA forum. Is there anything those guys don't do?

That page has a load of widgets, so definitely check it out. Of course, if you don't find the widget you want, you can always make it transparent yourself with a simple image editor.

Tilt Your Monitor To Change Contrast When Editing Images

Undecim shares a quick tip for image editors:

If you need a little boost of contrast (e.g., I often find myself searching for the edge of a drop shadow when putting together CSS sprites for a website), then just tilt your screen back. It doesn't work on every screen, but it's a lot quicker than using GIMP or Photoshop to change the contrast.

This only works on some laptops and monitors, but it's worth a shot. Photo by AI404.


    I have totally used the camera trick for years to read serial numbers at the end of the day when my old eyes aren't as good as they are at 10am.

    I started with a video camera, back before I had a camera phone. The cool thing about this tip to view the serial number is that voila, you now have a record of that serial number you keep meaning to write down because you lost the original card on which it was printed.

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