Why some of your emails might be considered junk by Outlook

The following From Address form is becoming increasingly popular:

John Smith; on behalf of; John Smith, c+xxxx@trusted-sender.xxxxx.net

This can happen if you’re using Outlook and you substitute a From Address other than your own. If you want to know how to do this, then look it up. I’m not going to show you, and here’s [one reason] why.

In Outlook, if your recipients are using the Safe Lists Only Junk E-mail setting, this form of From Address is impossible to white-list.

The result is that each and every email you send to many Outlook users will land in the Junk E-Mail folder. If that’s where you want your emails to land, then fine. If not, then please change your From Address style to something that does not include the “on behalf of” nonsense.

Normally, one can right click something that’s in the Junk E-mail folder and choose the Never Block Sender option:

You can “Not Junk” this email, but you’ll have to do it every time, because you cannot white-list this kind of From Address. When this form of From Address is used, the Never Block options do not work, and all yield:

In fact, if the user has the “Permanently delete suspected junk e-mail” option enabled, they will never even see the email you send them at all. So, if you’re using the “on behalf of” style of From Address, and some Outlook users aren’t getting your emails, now you know why.

Posted in Outlook 2010 | Leave a comment

Setting Default Paragraph Spacing in Word 2010

Some Word 2010 users do not like the default paragraph spacing. For most users, two simple steps are all that’s needed:

1) In the Home tab, click Change Styles – Paragraph Spacing, and under Built-In, choose the kind of spacing you want.

2) In the Home tab, click Change Styles – Set as Default.

That’s it. If a document is displayed, Word will show a live preview of the different options as you hover the mouse over them.

For additional information–or if you encounter problems–keep on reading.

Either open an existing document OR, in a new Word document, at the beginning of a line, type the following so you will be able to see a live preview of the different paragraph spacing options:

=rand(5,4)

and press Enter. This will create five paragraphs of dummy text, each containing four sentences.

Next, in the Home ribbon tab, choose Change Styles – Paragraph Spacing, and hover the mouse over the choices shown. As you move the mouse, the text in the document will show a live preview of the result. If you don’t want any space between paragraphs, for example, then click on No Paragraph Space, as shown below.

Note that if the Built-In choices don’t do what you want, you can use the Custom Paragraph Spacing… option to roll your own.

Set the Before: and After: spacing as desired, and click OK. Now, to make your selection/setting your new default (regardless of which spacing option you select), immediately choose Change Styles – Set as Default, which is right under Paragraph Spacing. After doing this, check to verify that your spacing has changed—not only in the current document, but in new documents as well. Press Ctrl+N to create a new document. At the top of the document repeat the =rand(5,4) exercise.

To finally cement the deal, you need to save Normal.dotm. Unless you’ve changed the defaults in Word—or unless something else is amiss, this will happen automatically when you close Word. If you’re prompted for changes to Normal.dotm when you close Word, you’ll need to say Yes to saving changes to Normal.dotm. If Normal.dotm is protected for some reason–i.e., so you cannot save changes to it–then this will not work. You’ll first need to get rid of whoever in your company is locking Normal.dotm against changes. Good luck with that. Or, you might need to find the location of Normal.dotm, and make that location a Trusted Location. To do this, choose File – Options – Trust Center – Trust Center Settings… – Trusted Locations – Add new location.

Browse to the desired location, and click OK until all dialog boxes are closed. For this to take effect, you will need to close and then re-open Word.

Posted in Word 2010 | Leave a comment

Quick Tip: For Foreign Correspondence

In Microsoft Word, if you need to type something like albóndigas, résumé, or español, there’s an easy trick. Just add the Ctrl key to the accent you need, and then press the letter you want accented. For example, if you need í, then press Ctrl+’ and then type a lowercase “i” . For ñ, you would press Ctrl+Shift+` followed by the “n”. Since ` is the lowercase character on the ~/` key, you need to add the Shift key in order to get the ~. Hence, you press Ctrl+Shift rather than just Ctrl. However, if you want è (in contrast to é), press only Ctrl+` followed by “e”.

For the circumflex (^), press Ctrl+Shift+6 (the ^/6 key), and then press the needed vowel, e.g., û or î. For the umlaut, there is no sideways : on the standard U.S. keyboard. So, instead, press Ctrl+Shift+; (the :/; key), and then type the letter you want umlauted, e.g., ü, ö, etc. For the ã in São Paulo, the ~ works with the “a” key just as it does for the “n” key. If you need ç, press Ctrl+, followed by the “c” key. For the å type accent, precede the accented letter with Ctrl+@. And use Ctrl+/ for things like ø and Ø.

The trick words with capital letters, as well. For É, press Ctrl+’ and then Shift+E. But, what if the accent you press isn’t supposed to work with the letter you choose? When that happens, Word makes a little dinging noise.

If you ever need ¡ or ¿, just press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+! or Ctrl+Shift+Alt+?. Although, you’ll probably need to use more than just one hand.

And what if you want something else, and you don’t know how to create it? Then use Insert – Symbol – More Symbols. In that menu, if there is an existing shortcut for something, it tells you, as shown here:

And if there is no existing shortcut key—or if you prefer something else—then click the Shortcut Key button and assign a keystroke.

Posted in Word 2010 | Leave a comment

Converting Hyperlinks to Endnotes

A friend writes:

I have a document in MS Word .docx Word 2007 with hyperlinked text. That is fine for converting to pdf and e-book formats, but I want to create a printed hard copy version, so I need endnotes for the printed version. Is there a way to convert the hyperlinks to endnotes, numbered as they occur in the document? I understand I might have to then fill in the text/description of the endnote, but at least I’d have the endnote number where the hyperlink was and can fill in the endnote that corresponds to the former hyperlink.

Yes. You can do this with a macro. Macros require assumptions. The first assumption is that you don’t want to eliminate the hyperlink—you want it to continue to work in the document, but you want something in the document that also displays the URL. A second assumption is that the URL currently is not displayed in the text. Otherwise, you wouldn’t really need a macro, since the URL would be plainly visible. As third assumption is that you don’t have hundreds of these to convert. Otherwise, we would need some kind of looping control to run the macro until all of the hyperlinks were converted. A fourth assumption is that you are going to put the insertion point at the beginning of the hyperlink before running the macro. The fifth and final assumption is that you know how to create a macro and to set up macro security so that it works in your environment.

With those assumptions in mind, let’s manually do what the macro will do:

  1. Move the insertion point to the beginning of the hyperlink.
  2. Press Ctrl+K, or right-click and choose Edit Hyperlink.
  3. Select the text in the Address field, and copy it to the clipboard.
  4. Close the Edit Hyperlink dialog box.
  5. Select References tab – Insert Endnote.
  6. Type Source:, and then paste the contents of the clipboard.
  7. Return the insertion point to its previous location in the text.

I like to record macros. When you try to record this as a macro, however, you discover that the macro recorder doesn’t record anything in steps 2 through 4. So, you either need to use VBA to get the contents of the URL Address field, or you do something else. I’m not a VBA expert, however, so I have no clue how to use VBA to get the contents of the address field. Instead, I use some trickery. I toggle the hyperlink field display on (Shift+F9), then I search for everything between two ” marks… this selects the address. I then copy the selection to the clipboard.

To make a long story short[er], the following macro does all that:

Sub ConvertHyperlinkToEndnote()

Selection.Fields.ToggleShowCodes

Selection.Find.ClearFormatting

With Selection.Find

.Text = “””*”””

.Replacement.Text = ” ”

.Forward = True

.Wrap = wdFindContinue

.Format = False

.MatchCase = False

.MatchWholeWord = False

.MatchAllWordForms = False

.MatchSoundsLike = False

.MatchWildcards = True

End With

Selection.Find.Execute

Selection.Copy

Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=3

With Selection

With .EndnoteOptions

.Location = wdEndOfDocument

.NumberingRule = wdRestartContinuous

.StartingNumber = 1

.NumberStyle = wdNoteNumberStyleLowercaseRoman

End With

.Endnotes.Add Range:=Selection.Range, Reference:=””

End With

Selection.TypeText Text:=”Source: ”

Selection.PasteAndFormat (wdPasteDefault)

Selection.TypeBackspace

Application.GoBack

Selection.Delete Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1

Application.GoBack

Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=3

Selection.Fields.ToggleShowCodes

End Sub

 

Important Note: WordPress seems to want to convert straight quotes to directional/smart quotes. Note that all quotes in the above should be straight quotes—not directional quotes.

So, click the Developer tab in Word, then click Macros… and, oh, yeah. Assumption five assumes you know what to do now. If not, there are plenty of already-written macro-how-to instruction manuals online, so that I won’t reinvent that particular wheel here and now. Google is your friend.

Caveat: macros are environment-specific sometimes. So, what works for me right now the way I have Word configured might not work for someone else with a different version of Word or a different configuration. I did this in Word 2010, but I don’t see any reason it shouldn’t work equally well in Word 2007. That said… let me know if it works.

Posted in Word 2010 | Leave a comment

Preventing Charts and Graphs from Going POOF

Earlier this week, I sent a draft report to a client. Figure 19 looked something like this:

My client edited and sent it back, and when I opened it, it now looked like this:

Much had changed, and none of it good. My theory is that many rounds of editing had somehow trashed the link between the graph and the Excel file where it was born. I have a feeling that the F9 key (update links) was involved, since I’d seen this kind of thing happen before. Ultimately, it was faster to completely recreate the graph than to try to resuscitate it.

The problem is that this sort of thing never happens to me when I’m the only one working on a report. It almost always happens, however, once a client has edited the report. I can’t be sure what the client is doing, but the result isn’t healthy for linked charts.

If this sort of thing ever happens to you, there is a defensive strategy you can employ. First, save a copy of each and every version of products you send out for editing and review. Second, you can explicitly break the links so that the charts become impervious to accidental F9 updates. How do you do this?

Caution: Do not do this if you think you’ll need to link back to the source ever again!

Still here? Okay. Proceed with caution. Note: I do this all the time—without regrets. But, this comes after years of seeing charts, graphs, and other items trashed. So, it’s a well-honed defensive strategy for me. But, we’re all different, and you might not be as fed up with this sort of thing as I am (yet). When you reach that point, however… That’s what this article is for.

In Word 2010, click File, and in the lower right side of Info tab’s panel, look for Edit Links to Files.

Click that sucker. This will bring up the Links dialog. There, select all of the Charts (or whatever else you might want to inoculate against malignant updates), and click Break Link. Word will ask if you’re sure. If you are sure (I am), then click Yes.

The source files will now all say NULL.

And… you’ll be protected against this particular kind of disaster.

What about locking the links?

That’s certainly an option—and one you see right there. If you’re sure a client won’t unlock it, go for it. I’ve had them unlocked, however. So, I’m at the next step in my defensive journey.

May the force be with you.

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Quick Table Tip: Delete versus Backspace

Have you ever wanted to delete a cell, row, column, or maybe even a complete table, but when you tap the Delete key, the contents get zapped, while the table structure remains behind? There’s a simple solution: the Backspace key.

When you want to delete the contents of all or a part of a table, the Delete key is what you want. Like a disgusting dinner guest, the Delete key clears the table, but keeps the table where it is.

The Backspace key, on the other hand, is the stronger magic wand. It deletes the selected part of the table as well as what’s in it. And, if “what to do with what’s left” is in question, it prompts you, as shown here.

So, if there’s an unwanted row or column, just select it and tap the Backspace key. Of course, make sure that’s what you really want.

Unbalanced tables can be useful, but not if you just wanted to delete the contents of a cell. So… Delete or Backspace. It’s your choice. Different tools for different tasks, when it comes to tables.

Posted in Word 2010 | 2 Comments

Picture thumbnails stop working in Windows 7

A Dell user had to jump through a series of hoops before Office 2010’s Service Pack would install. Each time, it appeared that the update worked, but upon reboot, Windows update sadly announced that it had failed, and was reverting.

To fix the problem, many things were tried, including installing and uninstalling myriad Windows updates and hot fixes as well as dropping back to previous restore points. After dropping back to earlier restore points dozens of times and trying just about every trick up the Dell support center’s sleeve, I suggested that she perform an in-place upgrade… to the same version of Windows 7 she’d already been using. That, apparently, was finally enough to overwrite the corrupted Windows update records in a way that would let Windows update work.

In the process, though, Windows Explorer’s thumbnails stop displaying. All she saw were icons, regardless of her view setting. This is all she saw:

She tried changing the default program for viewing pictures, but that did not help. Fortunately, after she called me, the problem was fairly easy to fix.

Apparently, the process of countless attempts to fix the Windows Update had changed a setting. The solution:

  1. In Windows Explorer, choose Organize – Folder and search options

  1. In the View tab, remove the check next to Always show icons, never thumbnails.

  1. Click Apply, and the icons instant switch to thumbnails. You could have just clicked Close, but watching the icons change to thumbnails is a satisfying experience. Now, click Close.

 

How did this unwanted change happen? We don’t know. If your Windows 7 computer is slow, you might sometimes want this setting. It uses fewer resources. And it might be that in flailing, she chose one of Windows 7’s packaged sets of options that optimize speed over functionality. Or, it might be that Windows 7 was just being snarky. Regardless of how it happened, it did happen, and now it’s fixed.

Next?

Posted in Windows 7 | 3 Comments

Solution for Outlook 2010 “There was an error when printing started” Problem

I’m beginning to lose track of how many different multifunction printers I’ve tried in my effort to find one that works. So, far, I’ve tried at least the following printers, and gave up after heroic efforts:

  • Canon MX870 (could get scanning to work)
  • Canon MP980 (couldn’t get it to recognize the print head… nor the replacements Canon sent)
  • Hewlett Packard HP8500 (froze during printing)
  • Hewlett Packard HP6500 (scanning didn’t work correctly; and it froze during printing)
  • Hewlett Packard HP4500 (froze during printing; automatically reprinted same section repeatedly)

So, I decided to switch horses and try my first Lexmark. I ordered an Interact S605 from Costco. I buy all of my major computer items from Costco because of their 90 day if-it’s-a-piece-of-crap-bring-it-back policy. All five of the preceding, and maybe a few more, have taken their place on my printer pedestal, and perished.

The Lexmark arrived yesterday. I waited 24 hours to install it, however, just to make sure it wouldn’t dissolve all by itself. This afternoon, the box was still there, so I decided to go for it.

About 20 minutes after I began the unpacking process, it was installed and ready to print a test page. Right out of the gate, however, I encountered two problems. First, the test print page didn’t finish. Strike one. I don’t have a solution for this problem, but I haven’t encountered another hang yet, either.

So, I canceled and tried to print a test page from Outlook. There, I received the annoying message “There was an error when printing started. To check the printer setup…”. Strike two.

I recalled having seen the message before, however, and knew something I could try. And it worked. I closed Outlook, and deleted the following file:

C:\Users\Herb\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook\outlprnt

Long story short… it worked. Note: this is Outlook 2010 running in Windows 7.

So, as of right now the Lexmark 605 is working—scanning, copying, and printing. One thing I overlooked when I ordered this printer is that it doesn’t have an automatic document feeder for copying/scanning. So, when I need a copy or a scan, it’s just one page at a time. Since I seldom need copies of multi-page documents, this probably won’t be a problem. But, I have 90 days to find out.

Edit:

I took the 605 back to Costco after ordering the Lexmark Pro901 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One. So far, the 901 has been working flawlessly, and it has an automatic document feeder (up to 35 pages). Fingers crossed.

Posted in Outlook 2010 | 7 Comments

Google Calendar Sync now works with the 64-bit version of Outlook 2010!

Google Calendar Sync now supports the 64-bit version of Outlook 2010. So, if you need the 64-bit version of Office, but have delayed installing it because you needed Google Calendar Sync more, now you can have both. You can download the latest version here.

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Public Wi-Fi Safety

If you use public Wi-Fi, you need to be aware of the potential dangers to your data and passwords. Firesheep has widened the risk by providing a snooping tool that’s easy to use. Just a few minutes exposure to a Firesheep user with evil intent can be devastating to your privacy.

When I use public Wi-Fi, I use Firefox as my browser, and I use an extension called HTTPS Everywhere. Firesheep cannot see what you’re doing if you’re using secure HTTP, aka HTTPS. HTTPS Everywhere helps.

You can also tell Facebook and Gmail to always use HTTPS. Facebook’s settings are fairly fluid and changing, but right now, you can access the setting by choosing Account – Account Settings — Account Security — Change, and ticking Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible.

I keep the mail option enabled, as well. This provides an additional element of protection in case someone else signs in as me. It hasn’t happened yet, but if I do receive an email saying that an unfamiliar computer or mobile devices logs into my Facebook account, I will use the Also Active section’s “end activity” links to end the unauthorized activity, and then change my password immediately! The Account Activity section is also found in the Account Security section of your Facebook settings.

In Gmail, the HTTPS setting is provided in the General tab of your settings. To get to your settings, click the gear icon next to your name in the upper right corner, and choose Mail settings.

In the General section of settings, under Browser connection, tick Always use https. That way, even if you don’t have Firefox and use HTTPS Everywhere—or if you have it turned off—Gmail will at least remember to be secure for you.

A final precaution I’ll offer is to just say “No” anytime an application or popup window says it can’t do something because of your HTTPS settings, and offers to turn the setting off for you. This happens frequently with many Facebook applications. If you say Yes to such offers in Facebook, it then goes into your Account Security settings for Facebook and removes the check next to Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible. If you accidentally say yes, then immediately go to your settings and re-enable this.

Does this mean you won’t be able to use some Facebook applications? Yes. That’s what it means. But, it also means that you probably shouldn’t be using those insecure applications to begin with.

For another good article on Wi-Fi safety, see Bob Sullivan’s 5 Traps: How do I use public Wi-Fi safely? – The Red Tape Chronicles – msnbc.com.

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