June 2007, V6#6: Computer Tuesday, Dec 30 2008 

Don’t be bullied into Windows Vista. Every new version of a program (or operating system) means change. Unfortunately, you will have to make a plan to eventually use the new system, but it doesn’t have to be today. On your “to do” list, research Vista online, check out a library book, schedule a “study date” with a friend who already has it (offer to bring the snacks), attend lectures or even an evening Vo-Tech class on the subject. Even if you need a new computer, you may be able to put it off until you’ve had a chance to make friends with the new Windows.


December 2006, V5#12: Computer Saturday, Dec 27 2008 

99.9% of the books we produce are from Microsoft Word. However, it will depend on what the focus of your book is, as well as what software you are familiar with, and how much work you want the software to do for you. For instance, if the book is to contain many charts, a program that is geared toward generating these charts would be important. If you are working toward mainly fact oriented and are hoping the program will organize a manuscript, a program such as Family Tree Maker might be best. If you are looking for word processing and are familiar with the Corel family of products, you may not want to learn Microsoft Office. If you are wanting to go with fancy margins, clip art, photos, charts, tables, graphic elements on each page, etc., Microsoft Publisher may be the way to go. The bottom line, like so many other decisions comes down to you. It’s hard to beat making a wish list (I want the program to be able to…) and then looking for a product that fits best. Other factors, besides current software knowledge may be cost for new software, compatibility (if looking toward a hybrid or e-book).

Overall software we utilize most (remember, this doesn’t mean they are the best for you):

Manuscript: Microsoft Word (other Office programs such as Excel, Access, Publisher, and FrontPage can be helpful or used with Word, depending on project.)

Photographs: Adobe Photoshop

“Genealogy” Program (Charts, etc.): Family Tree Maker

September 2006, V5#9: Computer Saturday, Dec 27 2008 

(Mis)Spelling with Microsoft

While this trick may work with other programs, it seems to work like a dream in most MS Office programs. Do you have a word that seems misspelled but you don’t want to run the spell check? Right click the word, a option menu will pop up with several alternatives. Just click the correct on and the word will be fixed without having to run spell check.

December 2003, V2#12: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Microsoft Programs

Ever spent a few minutes getting a passage of text just the right format only to realize that you now need to change other passages – some of which are in other files? Many of the Microsoft programs have this format painter feature to help.  Look in the button toolbar for a button that looks like an actual paint brush – usually near the paste button.  This is your format painter.  To use, place your cursor on text that carries the format you want to duplicate.  For single use, click the format painter once and then drag (holding down your left mouse button) over the area you want to carry the new format.  If you have a lot to do, double click the format painter button (remember the format “picked up” will be where your cursor is).  The double click will keep the format painter feature on – changing the format everywhere you click until you hit the escape button.  If you reformat something you didn’t mean to, hit the undo button – this will also cancel the format painter feature.  Note: Different programs have different limits to exactly what format features are “copied” in this feature.

April 2003, V2#4: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Microsoft Word
Make your program stop underlining/linking web information.

Ever wish your computer wouldn’t try to help you so much?  Get tired of typing an email or web page address out only to have it underline and turn blue or a strange color?  Here’s what to do!

A quick fix is once the information that has been typed has gone blue, just hit the delete button once, it will “un-blue/link” without deleting text.  

If you wish it wouldn’t happen at all, here is what you do: 

  • From pull down menus on top, select format

  • From menu select auto format

  • From auto format, choose options button

  • From options box choose “auto format as you type” tab

  • Under “replace as you type” (middle section) click the bottom box –
    deselecting “internet and network paths with hyperlinks”

  • Choose OK, then OK

This information is provided on MS Word 2000, if your version differs, instructions may be a bit different, but you should be able to get it figured out with the instructions above.

March 2003, V2#3: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Microsoft products

Don’t discount the Microsoft website as a source for help and extra goodies.


Almost every software program section can be accessed directly by adding a “/” and the software name such as


February 2003, V2#2: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Software: Microsoft Word

Ever want to line up a column of text/numbers and they don’t want to work?  While some may never line up exactly how you want them due to the fact that “all fonts are not created equal”, have you considered the different types of tab stops available?

Start your program.  At the top of your document window (pane) is your tab line.  The tiny box to the far left shows what type of tab you may be using.  Default tab stops are .5″ and of the standard variety.  To set the tab, just click in the ruler-type area to the right (directly above the document) where you want a tab.  This sets the tab for anywhere in the document below your cursor.  To get rid of any set tab, just drag (while your mouse is positioned over it, click and hold down the left mouse button and drag, releasing it when it is off the line) it off to the left.  To change the type of tab, click the box at far left.  There are several different types of tabs available including a decimal tab.  You can also set a tab stop for a particular section by highlighting it first before setting the tab.

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