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Network Wide Ad Blocking

You might want to block ads across your entire network. There are various approaches to doing this.

Ad Blocking Extensions

You can push these to Chrome via Chrome Management and Group Policy. While these work well, users can configure then and they do have an impact on performance. It only applies to the browsers on managed devices and one browser. You cannot easily configure what is blocked centrally.

Content Filter

Your content filter/firewall may have an option to configure this.

Manually adding to your hosts file. 

This is what we do. You can download a hosts file that will block most ads here. This can be added to your gateways hosts file and this will block ads for all devices and browsers with no configuration required on client devices. This will apply to all devices and browsers. You can also manually tweak what is blocked for everyone. Video of how to do this on a Linux gateway below:


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How to do vertical text in Google Spreadsheet

After many years of waiting, this is now a feature of sheets - so this little hack is no longer needed. Options now are:


One limitation of Google Spreadsheets is the lack of a vertical text option - handy if you have very wordy headings to columns. This is being worked on - but a little work around for now is the use of the following formula:

=ARRAYFORMULA(CONCATENATE((MID( "English Lit"; ROW(INDIRECT("YY1:YY"&LEN( "English Lit" ))); 1)&CHAR(10))))

Don't worry how it works - just copy and paste - change both english lit's to whatever you want.

How to push bookmarks to users in Chrome via the management console

With the release of Chrome and ChomeOS 37 an update to the management console has arrived that allows you to push bookmarks to users.

Under Device Management > Chrome > User Settings > User Experience you will now find the option to add managed bookmarks.


In the example above, the bookmarks are applied to the sub-OU of 'students' - so all our students will get these bookmarks. Simply add your url and the bookmark name, click the + and save. These will appear in a folder called 'yourdomain bookmarks' - see below:



Be aware that to get these bookmarks applied on a Windows/OS-X device the user must be signed into Chrome. Update: if you install the latest group policy template you can push the bookmarks via policy on PCs - details are given here.
Video Guide: