cure your possessed keyboard: dvorak to QWERTY

I thought I was crazy. My keyboard was typing stuff I did NOT type. Backslashes when I pressed the spacebar. Numbers when I pressed letters and the other way around. Adding characters when I pressed the backspace button. Weirdness. Nothing short of a reboot would solve the problem and even then, it was only temporary. I searched Google and stumbled upon the possibility that my keyboard was no longer set to “QWERTY.”

To find out if your keyboard settings may have changed:
Continue reading “cure your possessed keyboard: dvorak to QWERTY”

Windows Snipping Tool: “How do you snip a menu? It disappears!”

Given the frequency of my need to provide screen shots of steps involved in these pragmatic computing tips, I ran into this obstacle pretty quick.

Every time I needed to snip (take a screen shot of) a drop down menu, the menu I needed to snip would disappear as soon as I opened the Snipping Tool. I didn’t want to go back to the legacy screen shot method (Alt+Print Screen). Those screen shots captured entire windows – much more than I needed – and then I would need to crop the images.

I knew there had to be a way to use this new, cool, more efficient tool, and there was. (I actually needed to use this method to get the screen shots I needed for this post.) Here’s how it works:

1. Display the menu you want to snip/screen shot. In this particular case, I wanted to snip something on the Start Menu, so I clicked the Start button to display the menu.

2. Open the Snipping Tool. The menu you just displayed will disappear. In my case, the Start Menu disappeared. (If this is the first time you’ve used the Snipping Tool, you’ll need to search for it – instructions immediately following below.)

To search for the Snipping Tool, click the round Start button at the bottom left corner of your monitor and begin typing “Snipping Tool” in the search box:

Snipping Tool Search

As soon as you begin typing, Windows 7 will find it and list it at the top of the menu:

Snipping Tool Found

Do yourself a favor. Right click the Snipping Tool and “Pin” the Snipping Tool to Your Taskbar and/or your Start Menu so you never have to search for it again:

Snipping Tool Pin to Taskbar and Start Menu

Snipping Tool Pinned to Taskbar

Now the Snipping Tool is easily available any time you needed it.

Back to Step 2.

2. Open the Snipping Tool. Again, a small window will open, the menu you’ve displayed and want to clip will disappear and the screen will fade in color a little bit. That’s normal.

3. Press Esc on the Keyboard. The small Snipping Tool window will stay open and the vibrancy of the screen colors will come back.

4. Re-open the menu that you need to snip.

5. Press Ctrl+PrtScn. (Staayyyy with me…Don’t quit just because you can’t find the PrtScn button. There’s one on every keyboard, just not always in the same location.)
The screen will fade in color again to let you know the Snipping Tool is active.

6. Click and drag the area around the area of the screen you need to snip.

7. When you let go of the mouse button after the click and drag, your screen shot will be displayed in the Snipping Tool window and you can save, copy or email it.

(To learn more about the Snipping Tool, click HERE)

Default NumLock State

I’m a NumLock OFF girl, myself. See, when I started using computers, keyboards didn’t have dedicated arrows, you had to navigate using the arrows on the number pad. Now, a couple of years later 🙂 the habit is well ingrained. My husband and I spent years changing the NumLock back and forth on our home computers.

I was very happy when I found out the Windows XP default NumLock state was OFF!

I win!

Then, a client asked me how to set the default state to ON. Since I never wanted to do that, I asked my favorite IT guy how to do it. He started talking about the bios and the registry and then my eyes glazed over and I started to hear the ocean – or a Prius, I’m not really sure.

There had to be a simpler way. And there is. The NumLock state can be set differently for each user profile in Windows XP. Here’s how to set the default NumLock state to ON:

1. While logged in, set the NumLock to ON.
2. Click the START button and select “Log Off” (the second option from the bottom).
3. Select “Log Off” again (NOT switch user)
4. You should see a message which reads “Saving your settings” as the computer logs off.
5. After log off is complete, you should see a message which reads: “To begin, click your user name”
6. When you do, you should see a message which reads: “Loading your personal settings”

The NumLock should automatically turn on all by itself!

It should stay set to ON until or unless someone LOGS OFF with a different NumLock state active. Shutting down without logging off shouldn’t change the NumLock setting.

viewing invisible grid lines

Can’t see the grid lines for labels or margins in WordPerfect? It could be a problem with Windows and flatscreen monitors. (Corel’s support database – Answer ID 207679) Try this:

For Windows XP:
1. Right click on the Desktop, select Properties.
2. Select the Appearance tab.
3. Click the Advanced button.
4. Select 3D Objects in the Item dropdown.
5. Under Color 1, choose a darker shade of gray.
6. Click OK, then click Apply on the Appearance tab.
7. Click OK, and open WordPerfect.

For Windows Vista:
1. Right click on the Desktop, select Personalize
2. Click on Window Color Appearance
3. Click on Open Classic Appearance
4. Click the Advance button
5. Select 3D Objects in the Item dropdown
6. Under Color 1, choose a darker shade of gray.
7. Click OK, then click Apply on the Appearance tab.
8. Click OK, launch WordPerfect.

The grid lines should be more visible. (The darker the shade of gray you select the more visible the grid lines will be.)

i can see clearly now

When you read text on your computer monitor, do the fonts seem . . . grainy? Do the edges of the letters appear ragged? Especially italicized text?

Try this:
Click the “Start” button (on the task bar at the bottom left of your screen).
Hover over “Settings” and click “Control Panel”
Double Click “Display”
Click the “Appearance” Tab (the fourth tabbed page)
Click “Effects . . . ” (at the bottom right of the menu)

Under the second check mark, labeled: “Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts:” Click the drop down arrow and select “ClearType” instead of “Standard”

Click “OK” (NOT cancel or the red “X” in the top right corner)
Click “Apply” (at the bottom right of the menu)

beautiful!

VISTA USERS: Clear Type is enabled by default on Windows Vista.

To Find the Option:
Right Click Anywhere on Your Desktop (away from any icons)
Click “Personalize” on the menu when it appears.
Click “Windows Color and Appearance”
Click “open classic appearance properties for more color”
Click the “Effects” button

Under “use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts” Click the Arrow to the Right of the Box and Select Either “standard” or “cleartype”

Click OK, then OK again and then Close the personalization window

Hey WordPerfect! Where is "Advanced Find" in the Open Menu?

The Short Answer: You probably have a version of WordPerfect which doesn’t include the QuickFinder. Those versions are: OEM, Home, Family Pack, Productivity Pack or any WordPerfect product that came free with your computer.

Work Arounds:
1. Use the “Search” feature in Microsoft Windows Explorer. It is not nearly as robust as the QuickFinder, but it’s a fairly good second choice.
2. Purchase or download free search software. Check out some cnet reviews:

http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3684_7-5536376-1.html

Note: these are desktop search programs and may not work to search for files on a network.

Details, Details, Details: If your Open dialog box doesn’t display a “Find Now” or “Advanced Find” command button, the QuickFinder search utilitity either isn’t installed or turned on. Because the default setting for QuickFinder is “On” it probably isn’t installed.

On the slight chance the feature is turned off, you can enable QuickFinder by following these steps:

1. Launch WordPerfect
2. Click Tools, Settings, File
3. On the Document Tab, enable the option: “Use enhanced file dialogs”
4. Click OK
5. Click Close Now when you go to File, Open you should see: Find Now, Advanced, New Search.
If you still don’t see these command buttons, the QuickFinder is not installed. At this point, there are two possibilities:

1. You own a version of WordPerfect which comes with the QuickFinder search utility and can install it. Again, because the default settings for installation include the QuickFinder installation, this is probably not the case. However, if you own the Standard, Professional or Small Business version, you can install the QuickFinder and can find the direction for each release of WordPerfect in the knowledgebase on http://www.corel.com. The links sometimes change, so I hesitate to provide it here. Go to http://www.corel.com and click “Support” from the navigation bar along the top. Select the option to search the knowledgebase. Under “Products and Services” select “WordPerfect Office” and then, in the submenu, select your release of WordPerfect. I selected “WordPerfect X3” to get the latest information. In the “Search Text” box, I typed “OEM QuickFinder” because I suspected the OEM version was the reason my QuickFinder didn’t appear. I was right.

2. The second, and most probable possibility is that you do NOT own a version of WordPerfect which comes with the QuickFinder. As I’ve already mentioned, the QuickFinder search utility is NOT available in the OEM, Family Pack, WordPerfect Home Edition and Productivity Pack versions of WordPerfect®. This also includes any version of WordPerfect which were bundled with other software, or came with your computer.

Multi-Tasking with Alt+Tab

This little gem is another one of those keystroke combinations I use EVERY day!

If you currently click on open programs in your task bar to display them, “Alt+Tab” is a great keyboard shortcut for you!

“Alt+Tab” is the is the more common name for Windows “Task Switcher” which is used to switch (or toggle) between open programs without using the mouse. Here are two ways you can use “Alt+Tab” to help you when working with multiple programs:

1. Pressing and releasing the “Alt+Tab” keyboard combination will alternate between the two most recently used (and currently open) programs.

2. Pressing and holding the “Alt” key, while continuously (and slowly) tapping the “Tab” key will display a floating menu showing all open programs. The tasks are displayed showing the most recently used programs at the front of the list.

Each tap of the tab key will advance the selection to the next program in the menu. When the “Alt” and “Tab” keys are released, Windows will display the program selected at the time the keys were released.

A more advanced version of this functionality, named Windows Flip, is built into Windows Vista.

Show Desktop [Windows+D] and Minimize All [Windows+M]

Show Desktop [Windows+D] and Minimize All [Windows+M]

What do these handy little keystrokes do? Well, if you press either one of them right now, the window you are reading right now will be minimized and . . .

Did you minimize the screen and have to open this window again? Welcome Back!

Maybe you stayed with me all along, mumbling, “Windows+D? What’s that?”

Either way, I’m referring to the “Windows” key, usually located on the bottom left of your keyboard, between the “Ctrl” and “Alt” keys. It looks like a little flying window. It often appears on the bottom right of your keyboard as well.

[Windows+M] is “Minimize All” and it minimizes all the windows which support the “Minimize” command. You can minimize a window by:

1. Clicking the system menu of any software program (usually the program’s icon, to the left or above “File” in it’s menu) and selecting “Minimize.”

2. Click the “Minimize” button on the right side of a program’s title bar. (It looks like an underscore and is usually the third from the right. The X is the farthest to the right. Hover the mouse over the buttons and you may see a “tool tip” indicating what each one does.)

So, the [Windows+M] keyboard combination “Minimize All” is the same as going to each open window and clicking the Minimize button.

Note: If a window doesn’t have a Minimize button, then it is still displayed. Minimize All won’t minimize windows like dialog boxes, some Control Panel windows or an application which has an open dialog box.

However, “Show Desktop” manages to get a few more windows out of your way than “Minimize All.” Enter [Windows+D] when you want to minimize everything on screen, even Control Panel and Properties dialog boxes. This shortcut leaves nothing but the desktop showing.

There’s one more difference between the two shortcuts: Like the Show Desktop icon, [Windows+D] serves as a toggle. Press it once to minimize everything, then press it again to restore everything as it was.

Check them out! Press and hold the “Windows” key and tap the “D” key. (Don’t forget to tap it again to come back!)