General Tips – FAQ

Digital and Film Cameras – Preserving

Buy yourself one or more Dry-Bags, aka Dri-Paks, aka desiccant bags from any good photography supplier. Also buy a sealed plastic box, big enough for your camera and any other small accessories. Take your camera out of its case – make it as naked as possible – and place it, the accessories and the Dry-Bag(s) in the plastic box. Make sure of the seal. The desiccant will need to be recharged every week or so. You can do this by either placing it in the hot water cupboard overnight or in the warming drawer of the oven (read the instructions with the Dry Bags).

That advice could apply equally to any optical or electronic device that’s small enough: humidity, mould and mildew are the biggest enemies of intricate and electronic devices. The worst thing you can do with any of them is put them damp into their cases and then into a cupboard where no dry air can circulate. Obviously, if you have good air conditioning, you could just leave the (naked) camera on an open shelf (but keep the lens cap on). Yes, I guess that makes it easy for burglars but, since you always take your camera with you in case of that shot-of-a-lifetime (don’t you?), that shouldn’t matter!

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Word – Password protect a Word 2007-2013 document

1. Click the File tab.
2. Click Info.
3. Click Protect Document, and then click Encrypt with Password.
4. In the Encrypt Document box, type a password, and then click OK.
5. In the Confirm Password box, type the password again, and then click OK.
• Passwords are case-sensitive. Make sure that the CAPS LOCK key is turned off when you enter a password for the first time.
• If you lose or forget a password, Word cannot recover your data.

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Drawing Programs

There are a large number of drawing programs available on the internet, but this note deals only with free programs, or those that come bundled with Microsoft Office. Please note that while it relatively easy to experiment with these programs and have some “child’s play” fun, that soon leads to frustration in not getting what you want. You will soon find that you need to work your way step by step through the instruction manuals or videos, and practice the skills needed to be able to control the program properly and make an acceptable drawing.

The program PAINT comes bundled with Windows. It is a bitmap program, which means that each pixel on the canvas can be changed, using the brush, pencil, airbrush and erase tools. Using PAINT is like an artist painting in oils; you select shades of colour, and brush size. It is possible to erase, over-paint and add texture and shading as desired. The picture can be saved in a variety of formats, including the widely used JPEG, so that it can be inserted into documents like WORD. There is a good Help menu with clear instructions.

Vector drawing programs are entirely different from bitmap programs such as PAINT. Vector drawing means that each object (line, circle, rectangle, etc.) is calculated by the computer from just two or three points defined by using the mouse. This produces a line drawing, similar to the plans that used to be drawn by hand by architectural and engineering draughtsmen, using pen or pencil with rulers, set squares, compasses, and tracing templates. Nowadays, most technical draughtsmen use CAD (Computer Aided Design) programs based on advanced vector methods. These professional CAD programs such as Visio and AutoCAD are expensive and very technical. However, there are a number of vector drawing programs that are recommended for SeniorNet members. Vector programs are good for making precise line drawings, with accurate placements and exact dimensions, but they lack the artistic possibilities of bitmap programs. A number of vector programs are given below.

* Word 2003 and other MSOffice 2003 programs Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher. Using the Drawing toolbar you can draw a wide range of shapes in a precise manner, including lines, rectangles, circles, spline curves, triangles, trapeziums, and many, many more. These objects can be moved, copied, resized, rearranged, grouped, coloured and textured, but unlike PAINT there is no erase function; only delete is allowed. To start a drawing, open WORD and in a new document, then open the drawing toolbar. This can be done by clicking on the drawing button on the standard tool bar, or right-clicking on the menu bar and selecting Drawing from the list of about twenty different toolbars provided by WORD. To get started, click on the line button, then click where you want to start the line, hold down the left mouse button and drag to draw the line. Repeat this with all of the other objects (rectangle, circle, autoshapes, etc). Experiment by selecting and moving various objects, and try the buttons for line style, line colour, and fill colour. The Help menu covers specific operations, but to learn the skills needed to create a good drawing, go to the free online tutorial at then scroll to “Drawing.”

* Word 2007 other MSOffice 2007 programs Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher. The Drawing toolbar remains hidden until you go to Insert > Shapes. The Drawing toolbar disappears if you stop drawing for a moment, which is a disconcerting feature of Office 2007 programs. The Help menu is well illustrated, but for a good online tutorial go to, then scroll to “Drawing.”

* Open Office Draw is part of the Open office suite. It has been separated from the other OO programs, which is an advantage. It has comprehensive features, including bitmap options as well as vector tools. The final drawing can be exported in many different formats, including JPEG, so that the drawing can then be inserted into other programs (including MS Office) or simply saved and printed as it stands. The Help menu is good, online support is available, and there is a well-illustrated manual “Getting Started with Draw” available for download from

* Sketchup is a free program from Google at This is a true three-dimensional program, so that every object can be rotated in space to view all sides. Once you have installed Sketchup, it is fun to experiment with the Push/Pull tool to generate 3-D objects, and use the Orbital tool to rotate in 3-D. The program has a link to a website with a series of short videos which systematically teach the skills needed, step by step, to make full use of the program. There is access to a 3D Warehouse containing large numbers of detailed 3-D drawings of well-known (and imaginary) buildings and other objects. The disadvantage of Sketchup is that drawings can only be displayed properly in 3-D by using Sketchup itself, or the simpler version Sketchup Viewer, also available free from Google.

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Editing – How do I Copy and Paste?

In any program highlight the word, phrase, paragraph or picture that you wish
Cut, Copy or Paste. If it is text, you can either swipe across it with the mouse
pointer so that it is highlighted or a much more accurate way is to click the mouse
pointer before the first letter of what you want to highlight, hold the Shift key on
the keyboard down and using the right and/or down arrow keys in the middle of
the keyboard highlight the part wanted.

When the required text is highlighted, hold the Ctrl key down and then press the C
key. This copies it to the Clipboard.

Move the cursor to the place elsewhere in the document, in another document or
in another program where you wish insert the text you have saved. Hold the Ctrl
key on the keyboard down again and press the V key. This will Paste the saved
text to the new location. Why the Ctrl + V key instead of the Ctrl + P key?
Because the Ctrl + P has already been assigned to Print. The text will be inserted
in the chosen place.

If it is a picture you wish to copy and paste, highlight the picture by clicking the
mouse pointer in the middle of the picture so that the resize handles show around
the edges of the picture. Repeat the instructions above i.e. Ctrl + C, find the new
location with the cursor and then Ctrl + V will insert it in the new location.

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Editing – Side by Side Version of Same Document

Q. I wish to have open, on my computer, two versions of the same document, side
by side, so that I can copy from one to the other and still have the original
document as it was and also have the edited document.

A. Open MS Word, or whatever Word Processor you use.
Open the document that you wish to edit.
While it is still open, open a new document.
Rename the new document with a different name (e.g. if the original was
named My Story.doc name the new document My Story 2.doc The new
document will cover the original on the monitor.
Right-click on a blank piece of the Task Bar and left-click on Tile Windows
Both windows will now be side-by-side on the monitor.

Any part of one copy can be dragged across to the other with the mouse. If you
want the original to retain that part as well as the new document then hold
down the Ctrl key on the keyboard while dragging.
The problem with this method is that the size of the typing is very small and
difficult to read while working on it.
This can be overcome by zooming in on each document by clicking the view size
in each of the toolbars and selecting another amplification.

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Email – Auto Completion of Name and Address

Q: When I want to put an address into an email I start to type the person’s name
into the address bar and as I type their full name appears in the address bar,
because their name and address is in the Address Book.

A: This is the Auto Complete function which, in this case, automatically completes
the address. Of course, if the name inserted is not the one you want just continue
to type until the correct name appears.

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Email – Group Mailouts – Preserving Privacy

Have you ever received an e-mail with loads of e-mail addresses in the
To: or CC: fields?
Names of people you don’t even know and your e-mail address is amongst the mass?
This method of sending e-mails breaches everyone’s privacy and exposes everyone to the spread of viruses and/or spam.
This is like giving out someone’s telephone number without their permission.

The Bcc: field is the preferred way to send an e-mail to a group of people who don’t necessarily know each other.
Bcc: means Blind Carbon Copy and is used to hide the e-mail addresses of the recipients.
To show Bcc: on your outgoing e-mails, open an e-mail, click on the View menu > All headers.
To place someone in Bcc, click on BCC, this will open your address book, click
on the desired Bcc: recipient, click on the Bcc: button.
You can add as many to the Bcc: field as you desire.
If you want to forward an e-mail that has heaps of e-mail recipients, click on the Forward button and then highlight the header, the part that says: —
Original Message— From: To: Sent: Subject: there may be several layers, press the Delete button on the keyboard.
This will remove all the previous recipients.

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Email – Inserting Music in the Body Of

Q. How do I put music into an email?

A. The sound must first be stored in a folder on your computer.
With the new email open click on Format in the menu bar.
Then rest the mouse pointer over Background and select Sound.
Browse for the sound that you want, highlight it, click on the Open button and then the OK button
and the sound will start immediately (providing the computer sound is switched on).

Of course, when Background was open there was also a choice of Picture and Colour.
They are inserted in a similar way.

REMEMBER, inserting Pictures and/or Sound adds to the size of the email in massive
amounts. When I experimented with the backgrounds of Picture and Sound I increased the size of the email file by 446 Megabytes.

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Excel – Printing a Grid Layout

Q: A member wanted to print a sheet of paper full of blank cells like the Excel worksheets but,
on default settings, Excel only prints the cells with data in them.
Thus she could only get a blank sheet of paper. What to do?

Having opened a new Excel page, select the area you want. You can get about 10 cells across and about 55 cells down.
So, select all of those cells.
Go to FILE select Print Area. That has now selected the print area you want to print.
Then go to Page set up in Menu, go to Sheet and tick the Gridlines.
Then go to print and you should get what you want.

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Excel – Extra Worksheets

Q. When using Excel Spreadsheets only 3 worksheets are shown:
Can I insert another worksheet?

A. Yes, you can insert another worksheet by clicking on Insert in the menu bar, then Worksheet.

The worksheet’s tab position, at the bottom of the window, can be altered by dragging it across to where you want it.
The name can be altered by right-clicking on the tab and selecting rename from the drop-down menu.
If desired, the colour of the tab can also be altered from the same right-click, drop down menu.

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Excel – Starting a new line within a cell

In Excel, you can press Alt-Enter to start a new line within a cell.

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Excel – Using the Auto-fill Tool

In Excel if you wish to make a series of titles such as the day of the week or series of months,
it can be done using the Auto-fill tool.
Select the cell in which you wish the series to begin by clicking in it.
Enter the first title, such as Mon, or Monday, April or Apr and click and hold the mouse pointer on the Auto-fill tool
which is the small black square at the bottom right of the cell.
Drag the square across, or down, for as far as you wish the series to extend.

Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep


2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

If you wish to do the years or any other series, type in the first 2 or 3 titles in the series
(as the years above),
select those 2 or 3 cells by clicking in the first cell and dragging across to select the other 2 or 3 cells,
take hold of the Auto-fill tool and drag it across as far as you want the series to extend.
As the Auto-fill tool is dragged it displays, just below the mouse pointer, the next title in the series.

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Excel – When Numbers Turn into ####

Microsoft Excel: Sometimes in Excel our numbers in a cell turn to a series of hashes (#####).
This indicates that the number has become too large for the cell to display all of it.
To overcome this just slowly run the mouse pointer over the divider between the columns,
in the row of column headers (A, B, C, D, etc.) and when it changes to a two-way arrow (<-|->),
hold the left mouse button down and drag the column wider.
In the same way the rows can be increased in height by dragging the dividers between the rows,
in the row numbers to the left of the cells.

A Quick Tip

When wanting to highlight the whole spreadsheet, just click on the blank cell to the left of the column headings and above the row numbers.

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Help – Remember F1

If you have a problem with your computer and swearing doesn’t fix it, try
pressing the F1 function key (one of the top row of keys on your
keyboard) enter a keyword for your enquiry (like toolbox for a lost
toolbox) and press Display.
The more that we use the Help function the better we get at it, and the

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Images and Photos – Resizing

Existing Resolution

If your photo comes directly from the Internet, it will probably arrive with a built-in resolution of 72 pixels per inch. That’s the standard for web pages and Explorer and Outlook Express will use this unless otherwise advised.

But, if the photo was taken by a digital camera with, say, a 300 pixels per inch setting, a simple program like Outlook Express will blow the image up by a factor of four (300/72) in both height and width.

Automatic Accommodation

Most programs actually designed to display images conveniently for you (such as Picassa) will automatically fit them neatly to your screen size (unless otherwise instructed). Likewise, most programs that print photos for you will give you the option of scaling them up or down to fit the paper you place in the printer (but you must make sure to “tell” the printer that actual paper size). The printer can typically show you a preview so you can check the effects of taking that and other options before the final printing.

Specific Resizing

But, if you specifically want to resize a given photograph to a definite number of inches/cm/mm of height and width, open it in Photoshop and then click on Image->Image Size … the Image Size box will open. Now this is where you need to be careful. First, uncheck the “Resample Image” option (if it was ticked) but make sure the “Constrain Proportions” option IS checked/ticked. Now, in either the height or the width boxes (but not both), enter the height or width to which you want to resize your image. You may want to change the units on the drop-down menu to inches, cm or mm at the same time.

Note that, when you change the width, the height and the resolution automatically change in proportion. So if your picture was 12 inches wide by 8 inches high with a 150 pixels/inch resolution and you change the width to 6 inches, the height would automatically change to 4 inches and the resolution would automatically change to 300 pixels/inch. Both before and after, your image will have the SAME number of pixels. If those measurements are exactly what you want you can click OK at this point.

Re-Sampling: Proceed with Caution

What if the resolution is not enough? Well, in principle, you can re-check the Resample Image box, enter the desired resolution and then click OK, BUT – beware that re sampling the image (especially upwards) is a calculation only – its the software’s best guess at what the missing pixels should be. You may be better off accepting a lower resolution rather than risk having odd artifacts appearing in your picture. Although 300 pixels/inch is said to be the ideal resolution for high quality printing a (full sized) photo, 200 is adequate and 150 is still

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Images and Photos – Default Program to Open With

Q: I am having problems with Adobe Photoshop. Every time I try to enlarge a picture in My Pictures it grabs it. How can I stop everything defaulting to Photoshop?

A: Find a typical picture (probably a JPEG). Right click it , choose “Open With” … then select “Choose Program” (at the bottom). Then click the program other than Photoshop (e.g. Windows Picture and Fax viewer) you want to use. Before you click OK, tick the box which says “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file”.

Any file type can be associated with a particular program using this method

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Insert or Overwrite Mode

Q. When I am typing an email, or another document, and I go back to make a
correction, what I type in just types over what comes after the cursor and the
letters just disappear. How do I get it to insert what I type and move ahead
what comes after my typing?
A. The solution is just so-o-o-o easy. Just press the Insert key situated next to the
Home and End keys near the top right of your keyboard. Your problems
probably started with you inadvertently pressing that key sometime.

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Keyboard Settings

Q: A few days ago I purchased from the Warehouse a new keyboard.
When I unpacked the box I also found in there a disc of the usual size without any indication what I should do with it.
Seeing I have a keyboard installed to accommodate the present set up should I now go into the Control Panel, keyboard Properties and take out the existing disc?
The account reads Standard 101/102 key or Microsoft Natural P keyboard.

A: Computers are always a problem.
I suggest that you just plug the new keyboard into the back of the computer where the old one was plugged in.
If it works as you would like it to then all is well.
If it doesn’t work as it should then put the disk in your CD drive, wait, and it will give you instructions of what to do.

Note: Nic gave the properties of the new keyboard as being 101/102 key which shows the settings should be the same as his old keyboard.

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Keyboard – the “Context Sensitive” Key

Q. On my computer keyboard, next to the Ctrl key on the right, I have a key with a
square. What does that key do?

A. When pressed the key performs the same function as a right-click on the mouse; this has only one function – to enable a “Context Sensitive” menu with command options for the item that was right clicked. In other words, this keyboard key will do the same thing. In an open program, or desktop, a drop-down “Context Sensitive” menu appears with command options for the selected item or area of the last click. Many 2013 keyboards do not have this key.

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Lists – Sorting the Names

Q. How do I sort the names in a list in Word; In a table?

A. Highlight the list or column that you want to sort and then click on Table/Sort.
Choose the option you want and click on it.

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Microsoft Messenger – Suppressing at Boot-up

To prevent Messenger wanting to start on boot up of Windows XP:

Go to the Start button, All programs, Windows Messenger,
Do not “click here to sign in!!
Click on Tools, then Options, then the Preferences Tab
Clear the ticks out of every box on this dialogue
Click OK
Close Windows Messenger with the Red Cross

(Messenger is not included in Vista)

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Office – Using AutoCorrect to Insert Symbols

The AutoCorrect feature in Office can automatically place symbols in your documents.
To find the dialogue box to do it click on Tools, in the menu bar, and then AutoCorrect Options

(c) will do this: ©
(r) will do this: ®
(tm) will do this: ™
==> will do this: Ë
<== will do this: Á --> will do this: ?
<-- will do this: @

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Optical – Laser – Intelli – Cordless Mouse – Smoothing the Movement

Q The pointer on my optical/laser/Intelli//cordless mouse jumps all over the page when I don’t want it to.
How can I stop it doing that?

A The modern Intelli Mouse, aka Laser Mouse, aka Optical Mouse works by constantly reading the
micro-texture of the surface it is placed on and using it as a tiny unique map to navigate by.
If you place it on a very bland, smooth, featureless surface, it will have trouble fixing its position.
A sheet of rough paper, printed or plain, usually does the trick.
So does a wooden or any other micro-texturally rich surface.

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PDF – Saving Only Part Thereof

Q: How do I save just a section of a pdf document, like the Emailed Newsletter?

A: Open the document in Adobe Reader. At the top left there should be a button
titled “Save Text.” The other button beside it is “Save Image.” Click on the “Save
Text” button and then highlight the required text in the normal manner. Hold Ctrl
on the keyboard and press the C key. This copies it to the clipboard. Open a Word
document or WordPad document and holding the Ctrl key again press the V key to
paste the selected text into Word, or WordPad as the case may be.
Tip: When sending a list by email try enclosing it in a table. This anchors the text
neatly in the email.

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Photos – Printing One or More on the Same Page

Q. How might I print a photo or more than one different photos on a single sheet without using the likes of Presentation Plus or Photoshop?

A. Go to your “My Photos” folder (or wherever the images are), right click on one of them,
select “Open With” and then “Windows Picture and Fax Viewer” (which everyone with XP or Vista has).

Then click on the printer icon (fourth from the right at the bottom).
The Photo Printing Wizard will pop up.
Click “Next” and select the other pictures you want to include in the page you are about to print.
Click Next and proceed from there.

Thank you Margaret Bates for pointing out this very handy, freely available tool “hiding in plain sight”!

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Program Windows Wrongly Placed or Sized

Q: The window, for any of the programs on my computer, are too far up the
monitor and I can only see a little of the Close, Resize and Minimise
buttons. How do I move it up so that I can see these buttons? I have
Vista and Word 2007.

A: It appears that the window in one of the programs has been moved, thus the
windows in all of the programs follow suit. To move it down click on the title band
at the top of the window, hold the mouse button down and drag the window
down. If it moves it is in the Resize mode. Run the mouse pointer over the
bottom corner until it shows a double-headed arrow, hold the mouse button down
and drag the window to a smaller size. Click on the resize button and the window
will fill the whole screen in the correct position.

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Scams – First Try the Hover Test

Hover over the link and watch the bottom left of your screen

The number of attempted scams arriving by email is at epidemic levels! Many masquerade as local banks and government departments. Remember that the real ones will never send you an email asking you to update your security details. One test which will filter out almost every fake link is simply to HOVER OVER IT with your mouse. Just hover – don’t click. When you do that with any link (whether good or bad), its actual URL will appear at the bottom left of your screen. Quite simply, if that doesn’t match up with what the link says it is, the alarm bells should ring loudly. And speaking of bells ringing, don’t forget you can always ring your bank directly!

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Scanning – Resizing

Q: I have scanned a photo and want to make it larger. I have looked for the resize handles but cannot see them. How do I resize it?

A: The picture may still be in the scanning program. It must first be saved to “My Pictures”. Then open it in a Photo-Editing program to resize it. Microsoft Picture It or some other program will be able to do it. From the menu bar open Image/Resize. Be careful to ensure that the picture is re-sized proportionally. Be
careful not to resize it too large as the pixels will become visible and blur the

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Screen Capture – Save a picture of the screen

The more that we use MS Windows the more we become familiar with it’s amazing range of functions, so much so that we forget how strange many of these functions are to the less experienced.
One such function is the facility to make a picture of the screen and its current contents. Until the launch of Windows Vista in 2007, this facility was performed with the Print Screen Key. The process is outlined below and has not changed.
But versions of Windows from Vista onwards have the “Snipping Tool” program (found in the Accessories folder on the Start Menu). The Snipping Tool can “snip” part of a window or all of it. Once opened, the screen becomes cloudy, the mouse icon changes to a big cross which should be dragged diagonally across the area required for a screen picture. This picture is store on the clipboard and pasted into an email, a Word document, and Excel spread sheet or a Photoshop file. It can be also be saved as a .jpg file for further use. The picture can be edited in the same manner as a screen shot generated with the Print Screen key as outlined below.
There are other free “Screen capture” programs (such as “PicPick”) which are downloadable from the internet and are even more useful than the “Snipping Tool”.

Using the Print Screen key, with any program open (even the desktop) press the Print Scrn key.
This places a picture of the current screen on the clipboard.
We don’t see the picture on the clipboard but it is there.
Open MS Word or a new message window in your email program, place the cursor where you want to insert the picture of the screen and use the Paste command.
The picture of the screen appears in the document.

You can move the picture by clicking in the middle of it to show the resizing handles and then dragging the picture to where you want it with the mouse pointer.
Remember to hold down the left mouse key as you drag the picture.

A more convenient way of moving the picture while the resizing handles are showing is to just tap the arrow keys on your keyboard at the bottom right (below the Delete, End, Page Up and Page Down keys).
To make finer adjustments, hold down the Ctrl key while using the arrow keys.

You may wish to reduce the size of the picture.
To do this v-e-r-y slowly, pass the mouse pointer over one of the resizing handles in one of the diagonal corners.
When a double-headed arrow appears hold the mouse pointer down and drag the corner of the picture to the required size.
Using the resizing handles at the corners of the picture keeps the picture in proportion both vertically and horizontally.
If you use one of the intermediate handles on either side, top or bottom the picture will distort.

If you wish to crop the picture be sure that the resizing handles are visible (click in the middle of the picture if they are not) and then click on Format on the menu bar and then Picture at the bottom of the drop-down menu.
From the dialogue box that appears you can crop from Left, Top, Right or bottom.
You’ll need to experiment to get the distances right.
After each unsatisfactory attempt just click on Format and Picture and try again.
Good luck, and who said computers are a great time waster?

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Task Manager

Task Manager is a program built into Windows, which can be used to deal with problems that may arise when a program crashes, and will no longer respond to any commands (often referred to as “frozen” or “hung up”).

Open Task Manager by right-clicking on the Taskbar and select Task Manager. Alternatively, you can hold down three keys together Ctrl + Alt + Del and then release. You will get a menu with several options; select Task Manager.

The Applications tab shows a list of the programs which you have opened. Highlight the program that has crashed, then press the End Task button, and the program will immediately close. Some of your work may be lost, but this is the best way to deal with a frozen program. Open the program again, and continue with your work. The only alternative to using the Task Manager is to shut down the whole computer. Remember to Save your file at regular intervals to avoid losing valuable material if the program crashes again.

Try the Processes tab to display a list of programs resident in memory, including the anti‑virus software, the firewall, and a host programs running the Windows operating system. The Performance tab shows graphs of the central processor unit (CPU) and memory (RAM) usage. Normally these indicators are fairly low, but usage greater than 50% indicates that the CPU is very busy, as it would be when handling a video, for instance.

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Translations by Google

Rapid translations between languages – free service.

In the Google search page, click on the link words Language Tools which are located just to the right of the slot where you normally type your search request. Alternatively, click on the link Translate at the top of the page. Copy the words you wish to translate into the box where the insertion point is blinking. Use the keyboard operations Ctrl+C to copy the selected words, then Ctrl+V to paste into the box. You must then select the languages From and To , before clicking on the Translate button. The translations are fast, and reasonably correct, although the program may misunderstand some colloquial or technical words. Use the same copy and paste operations to place your translation in your word-processor file. There are over 60 different languages to choose from.

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Virus Hoaxes

Want to know some good sites to help check on virus hoaxes? Most of us from time to time will get an email passed on by somebody alerting us to a virus warning. Almost everything that is sent by friends to their friends to their friends and so on, are usually always scams or hoaxes.

The problem is knowing what we should do about it, and is it for real. Personally, I ignore such emails, and delete them even though they urge me to forward it on.
But there are several web sites you can use to check to see if something is a hoax or scam.
First, you can always use Google to check out a hoax or scam. It’s likely that the scam or hoax is either an old one just making the rounds again or it’s a variation of an old one. Most scams and hoaxes have a name or key word you can search in Google. You’ll get better results if you type in the name of the scam or hoax then use a + sign and “Hoax” or “Scam” after it. For example “School Days+Scam” (leave the quotes off). – This is probably the most well-known of all sites that offers valuable and mostly accurate information about a huge number of scams, rip-off, virus and other hoaxes. If you get a lot of hoax and scam emails from friends, you might want to bookmark Snopes and have your friends check out what they forward before they forward it. Educating people is a good way to stop these hoaxes and scams from circulating and recalculating endlessly. You can find Snopes at .
Truth Or Fiction – This site deals with Internet rumours, email scams, some email hoaxes and other misinformation that is generally spread by email or Web sites. You can find Truth or Fiction at

FBI – Believe it or not, the U.S. Government runs a pretty good email anti-scam site that will help you detect scam emails and also give you a heads-up on what to be on the lookout for in the future. It’s fairly well updated and full of information you might find useful. FBI Cyber Investigations- Email Scams site . As a rule of thumb, almost all “virus warnings” and “watch out for this” type emails that spread among friends are hoaxes. Keep that in mind – and if you’re not sure check it out on one of the sites above. Remember passing along hoaxes or fake virus warnings just keeps these scams and

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Windows Explorer – a list of tasks it can do with files and folders.

Mystery program revealed! Modest, often neglected, but see what it can do!

Files are indexed; located; sorted; show details and properties; created; deleted; moved; copied; opened; renamed; emailed; sent elsewhere; searched for if lost; searched for words contained in files (Vista & Win7 are very fast at searching); virus scanned; and a shortcut icon made on the desktop.
Folders can be created; deleted; moved; copied; renamed; expanded and contracted; virus scanned; and shortcuts made.
Photo files can be displayed as thumbnails; rotated, played as a slideshow; emailed; sent to desktop as background; printed in a selection of sizes.
This unique program also burns files, folders and photos to CDs (Vista & Win7 can also burn DVDs). There appear to be at least 30 separate tasks that this program can perform. SNEB runs courses on File Management which teach how to use these useful functions.

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Word – Adding a Calculator to the Quick Access Toolbar and Word 2003 Toolbar

Did you know you can add a calculator to Word’s Toolbars?

In Word2007 and later go to Options | Customize Quick Access Toolbar
Choose commands from : “All commands”
Select “Calculator”;  click Add, Click OK.
The green dot icon for the Calculator will now show on the Quick Access Toolbar and can be tested as outlined below.

In Word 2003 Go to View | Toolbars | Customize and choose the Commands tab.
In the list of categories, go to Tools, select Tools Calculate in the list of commands
and drag it to a toolbar or drop-down menu.
After you drop the command on the toolbar, immediately right-click on the command,
choose Change Button Image from the pop-up menu, and choose the calculator icon.
You can use the same pop-up menu to specify whether to display text, an icon, or both in the toolbar.
Now, type a simple calculation [try (12*3)/4] in a Word document, highlight it, and click on the new icon or menu item.
To replace the calculation with the result, just press Ctrl-V.
Before you press Ctrl-V, note that the result appears in the status line at the bottom of the window.
If you would like to display the calculation as well as the result, as in (12*3)/4 = 9,
highlight the calculation and click on the calculator icon as before then click
so that the cursor is flashing where the result is to appear and press Ctrl + V.

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Word – Changing the Case of already typed letters

Q. In the February/March Newsletter there was an item showing how to make a buzz when the Caps Lock key is inadvertently pressed.
How do I change the capital letters that I have already typed to small letters without retyping the affected lines?

A. Highlight all of the letters that you wish to change.
Click on Format in the Menu Bar. Click on Change case.
Select the function you want and click on it.
Voila! It’s done!

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Word – Changing the Default Language Setting

Q. In Word, how do I change the language from English US to English new Zealand?

A. On the grey status bar at the bottom of the screen you will see the English US beside the picture of the dictionary.
Double-click on that (with the left mouse button) and a list of all of the languages will appear in a dialogue box.
Select English New Zealand and then click on the Default button at the bottom of the dialogue box.
Then click on OK.
The language should be English New Zealand in all new documents.

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Word – Changing the Font Permanently

Q. How do I change the font permanently, in Word?

A. Click on Format in the menu bar and then click on Font.
Select the font that you want, size, style, colour and any other effects.
Click on the Default button and then OK.
It’s done!

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Word – Displaying a Frame Around the Pages

Q: On my old version of MSWord I had a frame around the page where the margins are.
With my newer version I do not have that frame.
Can I get it to show?

A: Yes! In Word 2007 (and later versions) go to Options>Advanced
Scroll down to “Show Document Content” and click in the tick box for “Show Text boundaries”.

In Word 2003 (and prior versions )Click on “Tools” in the Menu Bar. Click on “Options” in the drop-down menu.
In the “View” tab click on the tick box beside “Text Boundaries” in the Print and Web Layout section.
That should display the frame.
Close MS Word. Any new documents should now display the frame.

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Word – Easy Paragraph Swapping

Do you need to swap the second and third paragraphs in the document you’re working  on? Don’t waste time dragging text around within your document using the mouse. Just click on the paragraph you’d like to move, hold down Shift-Alt, and move the paragraph up or down using the arrow keys. Each press of the arrow key causes the selected paragraph to jump over one adjacent paragraph.

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Word – Excel – Lining up Columns of Figures

When setting tabs for columns of figures in Format/Tabs select the decimal option and the decimal points will automatically be aligned one above the other

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Word – Inserting More than One Row into a Table

A: Click in the row above the place you wish to insert the rows and drag the mouse pointer upwards for the number of rows you wish to insert.
Click on Table in the menu bar.
Click on Insert and then Rows
In the same way columns can be inserted.

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Word – Letter – Address on the Right Hand Side

Q When writing a letter how do I get my address on the right-hand side of a letter, in
line with the recipient’s address?
A Because this takes a little more time to do using a word processor, nowadays the
writer’s address is usually put on the left-hand side of the page and the recipient’s
address is below it. However, if you really want to have them beside each other, as
you were taught in school you can best achieve it by inserting a table at the top of
the page.

By clicking on Table in the Menu Bar and then Insert/Table a table appears. Select 3
columns, 1 row and press Enter.
Enter the recipient’s address in the left cell and the sender’s address in the right cell.
The positioning of the addresses can be adjusted by passing the cursor over the
vertical cell dividers until a double arrow appears and dragging to the required
To make the cell dividing lines disappear ensure that the cursor is in one of the cells,
click on Table in the Menu Bar and select Table Properties.
Click on Borders and Shading button and select None (the top option). The lines will
now be hidden. If, for guidance you still wish to see the cell lines click on Table in the
Menu Bar and select Show Grid Lines. The dotted lines will appear but will not print.

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Word – Lining things up

Q. I notice that in the newsletter the ends of the lines are all lined up. How is this done?

A. Highlight the paragraph, or whole page, and in the Tool Bar click on the Justify button.

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Word – Lining up Decimal Points

Q. I would like to type a column of figures with all of the decimal points aligned.
What is the best way to do this?

A. In Word, click on the button where the side and top rulers meet.
Keep clicking until this symbol appears Note the decimal in the angle of the sign.
In the top ruler click where you would like the decimal points to align then just tab across to this mark and type in the number.
Press Enter and tab across to the tab mark and enter the next number.
Do the same for each number. The decimals will be aligned.

More accuracy in placing the tab can be achieved by clicking on Format in the Menu Bar and clicking on Tabs.
Type in the position that you want the tab and click on the alignment you want and then Set.

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Word – Linking the Text Boxes

Q. In Publisher I can link the text boxes so that the text carries on into the next box.
Can I do that in MS Word?

A. Yes you can. Insert the first text box and then the second.
As the text boxes are inserted the text box tool bar appears.
Position the cursor in the first text box, click on the unbroken link in the toolbox,
then position the paint can in the second text box and click.

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Word – More on Tables

When sending documents through the ether by email or as a webpage the layout often goes wrong, with spaces, returns at the end of lines and column alignments going awry. To ensure that the layout survives the transmission it is wise to use tables that can easily be inserted into an email or webpage. Another method is to use Text Boxes which act in the same way as tables to hold text in place during emailing.
To create a table in MS Word 2007 or later. On the Insert Ribbon, click the down arrow on the Table button, swipe the mouse over the required rows and columns and click OK.
To create a table in MS Word 2003 or earlier, click on Table in the menu bar.
The easiest choice in the drop-down menu is to rest the mouse pointer on Insert and then click on Table.  The resulting dialogue box gives the choices of the number of columns and rows.
Type in your choices or use the arrow buttons to select.
Click OK and the table will appear where the  cursor was showing.
To enter type in a cell, click in that cell so the cursor shows and then start typing.
Pressing Return/Enter causes the cursor to go down to the next row, as is normal, and the cell increases its height accordingly.
To insert a tab space at the beginning of a line hold the Ctrl key on the keyboard and press the Tab key.
To insert another column or row click in a cell below or above where you wish to insert a row, or to the left or right of the place you wish to insert a column.
Then click on Table in the menu bar, Insert on the drop-down menu, then Row Above, Row below, Column to the Left or Column to the Right as you require.
To delete a row or column click in the row or column to be deleted and then Table in the menu bar, then Delete, then Row or Column. To insert more than one row you can drag the mouse pointer down or across to select more than one row or column and then Insert Rows or Columns.
Play around with it and get to know its little quirks. It’s great for making lists of all kinds, unless you want to do more advanced calculations which are best done in a spreadsheet such as MS Excel.
The table can be copy and pasted into an email by sweeping across it with the mouse or by clicking on the little square just outside the table at the top left. This button will appear when the mouse is rested over it. With the table highlighted hold the Ctrl key on the keyboard and press Ctrl + C (for copy to the clipboard.
Position the cursor in the body of the email, hold the Ctrl key and press the V (for paste) key to paste it into the email. Try it!

To learn more about Tables, come to a Word course at SNEB.

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Word – Non Standard Font Sizes

To select a non-standard font size in Word, Excel, PowerPoint (or an Open Office equivalent) simply highlight the existing number in the font selector on the tool bar and type in the size required.

Then press Enter. In this way you can choose almost any size for most font styles.

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Word – Opening Two Documents Side by Side

Q How do I get two Word documents to open side by side?

A First open the Word Processor and then open the first document that you want open. Then open the second document that you want. The second one will be covering the first. Then right-click on a blank space on the Task Bar (the blue strip across the bottom of the screen) and then from the drop-down menu select “Tile Windows Vertically.”

Both windows will then be side by side. If you wish to copy a word, phrase, sentence or paragraph you can highlight that, hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard and drag it across to the other document with your mouse pointer. You can also magnify either of the documents in the normal way. After you have closed the windows and re-opened a new document the window will still be in the same size as previously.

To return the screen to normal size click on the re-size button (the square button in the middle of the three at the top right of your screen).

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Word – Outlook – Lines the Easy Way

You can create a line across the page of your Word or Outlook document with just a few keystrokes.

Type three consecutive hyphens and press Enter to get a normal line.

Type three underscores and Enter, and you’ll get a bold line.

And, if you type three equal signs and press Enter, you’ll get a double line.

Try the asterisk key, the hash key or the tilde key (to the left of the 1 key).

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Word – Removing Those Red and Green Squiggles

Some of the features that are supposed to help you can just be downright annoying.

Take those squiggly red and green underlines Word puts under words and sentences. Intended to point out spelling and grammatical errors, these are often wrong or inappropriate.
To turn off the squiggly lines:
In Word 2007 and later, choose Options from the File (Backstage view/Office Orb) menu, select the Proofing, scroll to “When correcting spelling & grammar in Word and then uncheck “Check spelling as you type” and “Check grammar as you type”.  If these settings are left on, they can be turned off for the current document only in the “Exceptions for:” section on the bottom of this page.

In Word 2003 and earlier, choose Options from the Tools menu, select the Spelling & Grammar tab and then uncheck Check spelling as you type and Check grammar as you type.

Similarly, the Smart Tags that appear under dates, telephone numbers, pasted text, and so on can be distracting. You can choose AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu, and then select the Smart Tags tab to turn off individual features or all Smart Tag displays.

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Word – Selecting Lots of Text

It can be very difficult to select more than a few paragraphs of text at once using only the mouse, particularly if you have a fast PC, as the text will shoot past before you notice.

But you can select large amounts of text easily by clicking where you want your selection to start, then navigating to the end of the intended selection using the mouse wheel or scroll bars.

Then just hold down Shift and click again to select the block of text.

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Word – Shortcuts

Shift-F3: Toggle selected text between lowercase, initial capitals, and uppercase.

F4: Repeat your last action, including searching, typing, and formatting.

Shift-F4: Repeat the most recent Find command.

Shift-F5: Jump to the last change you made in the document.

Ctrl-F6: Toggle between open documents.

Alt-mouse click: Open the Research pane with information on the word or name you clicked on.

F7: Run the spell-checker.

F12: Open the Save As dialog.

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Word – Swapping Paragraphs

Q. In Word, do you need to swap the second and third paragraphs,
or any other paragraphs in the document you’re working on?

A. Don’t waste time dragging text around within your document using the mouse.
Just click on the paragraph you’d like to move, hold down Shift-Alt, and move the paragraph up or down using the arrow keys.
Each press of the arrow key causes the selected paragraph to jump over one adjacent paragraph.

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Word – Unformatted Copying and Pasting

When you copy text from the Web or another document into a Word file, Word will reproduce the typeface, color, and font size displayed in the original page.

If you want the pasted text to match the formatting in the destination document, use Edit/Paste Special, and choose Unformatted Text.

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Word – Using the Scroll button to Zoom

In MS Word you can use the scroll button on your mouse to zoom in and out of documents quickly.

Just hold down the Ctrl key and roll the scroll wheel forward to get a closer view of the document, or roll it back to shrink it.

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