Avee's Place

Simple thoughts in a complex life

Category Archives: Tips

What to Do When Merge Cells is Disabled in LibreOffice Calc

I found this problem on LibreOffice Calc v3.4.3 Windows. I tried searching the internet, and found the solution, but only after digging for a while.

Turns out that the feature is disabled if you are currently recording changes that happens in the document, as I was doing. So, if you encounter this problem, make sure that the Record Changes feature is not enabled by toggling it from the Edit > Changes > Record menu.

Hope that helps! The original forum thread can be found here.


What to Do When You Can’t Sleep

lionnes sleeping

I learned these tricks from an e-book about sleeping a few years ago. I don’t remember the title, but it’s one of those books that you can only get on the internet. The book was good and I learned many things about sleep that actually helped me understand about sleeping better.

In the book there are tips on what to do when you can’t sleep, and you need to. I present them here from my memory, so this list may not be complete.

1. Don’t think

One thought would usually lead to another. This would lead to a train of thought, making it harder to sleep.

For example, one day because you find it hard to get some sleep, you start to think about a beautiful day in the beach. The train of thought goeslike this:

What a lovely beach! The white sand, the beautiful clear water, the girls.. Hmm that girl reminds me of someone I know.. yes this girl looks like a colleague of mine i have a crush on in the office.. Hmm by the way, did I finish the assignment that assignment earlier today? Oh no the boss would be angry. Yeah, the boss, he’s such a jerk.. Grrr I can’t sleep now that I have thought about that guy!

The book presents 2 tips on this:

If you’re a visual person, when a thought appear in your mind, try to visualize a blackboard, and you write that thought slowly, word per word. And after a sentence is complete, visualize that you are erasing the blackboard clean. Repeat with every thought that comes to your head. Remember to visualize the words and sentences very slowly.

If you’re an audio person, do the same thing, but the difference here is that you don’t visualize words being written slowly. Instead you would imagine every thought being whispered very slowly, word by word, very slowly.

The idea here is to slow down your brain so you would be able to sleep easily. I am a visual person myself, I used the visual method several times and I can confirm that it does work as advertised.

2. Do not change sleep positions

When you can’t sleep you will feel the need to change positions frequently. Usually because the current position doesn’t feel good. Don’t do this. Doing this you would increase blood flow and the result is an endless cycle of changing positions.

So basically what you need to do is stay still and stop thinking. You will eventually go to sleep.

Extra tips for muslims

For you muslims there are one other way that usually makes me sleep easily.

There’s a sunnah that I read few years ago (I did not remember the chain) from the Prophet that you should read these before you sleep:

  • al-Fatihah
  • Ayat Kursi
  • al-Ikhlas 3x
  • al-Falaq 3x
  • an-Naas 3x
  • The sleep prayer

Doing this would usually make me feel sleepy enough that I sleep easily afterwards. Sometimes I would even sleep before the ritual is completed.

So there you have it. I hope these tips are useful to you as theyare to me.

Protecting LibreOffice (or OpenOffice.org) Documents

There are times where you need to store or share a sensitive document. And if you use Dropbox, the recently discovered privacy flaw should make you a little bit concerned about your sensitive data.

Saving with Encryption

Click File > Save As... In the following window, make sure Save with password option is ticked.

Save with password tick-box in Windows

Save with password tick-box in Windows

Enter the password to open the document in the following dialog. Optionally, if you click the More Options button, you can select the option to open file in read-only mode, and specify a second password, to allow only persons with the second password to edit the document.

Save As with Password Dialog

Save As with Password Dialog

If you only specify one password (password to open), the document will be editable for everyone with the first password.

Opening Encrypted Document

When you open an encrypted document, a password dialog will be shown. Enter the password here to open the document.

Opening an Encrypted / Password-protected Document

Opening an Encrypted / Password-protected Document

If you save the document with the second password to enable editing, the document will be opened in read-only mode. To edit the document, click on the edit button in the toolbar (highlighted in yellow in the image below). You will be asked for the second password in the following dialog.

Edit File Button is Highlighted in Yellow

Edit File Button is Highlighted in Yellow

There you have it, protecting documents in LibreOffice is very easy.

Important note: Do not forget your passwords! The document would not be recoverable if you lost your passwords. I use KeePass Password Safe to remember my passwords :).