Using area maps within images in HTML5 web pages


One of the features of HTML5 that interested me is the area maps that you can plot on an image. This allows you to include functionality that you would normally find within a hyperlink. Such as clicking or mouse-over to produce previously difficult to achieve effects. This article covers the basics of HTML5 image area maps and the different type of areas that you can have within an image. It also walks through an example usage of area maps to find locations on an image map and give feedback on the web page. What is an area map? An image

Creating colour tints and shades for websites

web shades

What do you do when you have more colours required than you have brand colour available? This quite often happens when you have to show a chart and you are using colours to differentiate between segments. The answer is to use tints or shades of those brand colours. In this article I will show examples of applying tints and shades using RGB (Red, Green and Blue) colours as that is most commonly used on websites. I’ll write more about colours in the future. For now, I just want to cover something practical as I was asked about a variation of

Setting up agile projects with functional teams

functional teams to agile project teams

Introducing the agile software development methodology to companies or even to individual projects sometimes proves difficult. You might think it would be easy in a small company as there are less minds to change but it is often easier in a large company. In this article, I will share my experience of how and why to restructure your development resources for small or large software development departments. It’s written from a point of view of the person responsible for organising the resources and projects at a company and introducing agile teams to take on the work. Getting Started If you

Consolidating many Excel sheets into one master sheet

Excel Data Consolidation

A while back we had a situation where we had collected a set of information from various sources and wanted to get all of it into the same Excel Worksheet and I was asked if I could help. There were about 60 spreadsheets all with the same columns but with a variable number of rows and of course, different data. The requester had linked all 60-odd spreadsheets to a master Workbook and wanted to know how to get the information from each transferred to a single master sheet that he could share as a consolidated list. This process needed to

How to hide the keyboard on return for Swift Xcode apps

Xcode with Swift

Today, I will look at hiding the soft keyboard from the screen when entering information into a text field. It’s not a problem if you have a hardware keyboard which is the default for the Xcode simulator on the Mac or when you run on a device with a Bluetooth keyboard as the soft keyboard does not show. The issue is that once you are in a UITextField, the keyboard does not get dismissed by default and takes up the bottom section of the viewing area which quite often hides other controls. When I have finished with the form and

Using Excel’s Paste Special Operations

Excel Paste Special

In this article, I broadly cover Microsoft Excel’s Paste Special functions with an example using the Operations of Paste Special. Before we get to an example some background is needed. Each cell in Microsoft Excel is made up of three parts; values (data), formula and format. Copying and pasting from one cell (or range of cells) to another copies all three exactly as they are. The formula remains the same (but relative to the new cell position), the values/data remains the same (unless it is formula driven) and the format remains unchanged (unless it is conditional on the data). The

Getting started with HTML5 offline web applications

HTML5 Offline

This article explains the HTML 5 “offline” feature, which gives website creators an easy method to dictate what a browser should store for use when internet (network) connectivity is unavailable. It explains the default HTTP caching method that browsers use and then how to use the HTML 5’s application cache, with a short example web application that shows an offline mode image if there is no network connection. In this article, I’ll use “application” to mean any website, game or other type of product that is delivered via the internet to your browser. I will use “network” to mean a

What does business strategy mean to you?


Over the years I’ve heard many things described as strategy. The word seems to have become symbolic of anything to do with a business achievement. That’s not what I have a problem with; it’s the “anything” rather than “everything”. The “anything” more often than not, includes one thing. For example, the company goal or the project plans. I have also heard budget setting or a margin percentage increase target described as “our strategy”. In this article, I will attempt to give a clear picture of what I believe a business strategy is and the sort of questions you need to

Convert or flip data between rows and columns in Excel

transpose rows to columns

One of the things that I have to do periodically and always forget how to do is converting rows of data to columns or columns of data to rows. This quite often occurs when I’m collecting data from different sources and want to put them all in the same format in Microsoft Excel. From the 2007 version of MS Excel (I think), there has been a neat feature to enable you to do this. The reason that I always forget how to convert from columns of data to rows and vice-versa is because I expect it to be on the

Catering for colour blindness in Windows 10


I came across a neat feature of Windows 10 quite by accident this weekend that will help me with my colour blindness. However, before I found it, I had a lot of frustration trying to “fix” the problem. I was typing away on my computer Friday night and it was just before 3AM when suddenly my screen turned black and white (greyscale). I looked in Windows Color Settings but that was greyed out as it is controlled by my GeForce graphics card software. I had a quick look in the Nvidia Control Panel but couldn’t see anything that would have