Drag Maximized Windows in Windows 7

A while back, I found that I could drag maximized windows in Windows 7 without first having to restore them. This is very handy for those of us with multiple monitors, since it saves a step. A few days ago, I discovered that this had stopped working. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this was a side effect of having turned off a feature that was annoying me—automatic window arrangement, formally known as Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen. When this feature is enabled, when you drag a window to the left or right side of the monitor, it automatically resizes to fit half of the screen.

For some reason, the ability to drag maximized windows without restoring them is tied to this feature. So, if you enable “Prevent…” (which I had done a few weeks ago), then dragging maximized windows no longer works. As with many computer options, these features are bundled into one—so you have to choose. For now, I’ve decided that I need to drag maximized windows more often than I am annoyed by automatic resizing. With three monitors—which together act as one single screen—I hit the left or right edge less often than I might otherwise, since the left and right “monitor” edges are five feet apart, and I tend to focus on the middle monitor for most work.

Posted in Windows 7 | Leave a comment

Using the Linkedin Social Connector in Outlook 2010

Outlook 2010 has a new feature called the People Pane. You turn it on/off in the View ribbon tab, shown here.

In Normal view, it shows up as a pane at the bottom of an email message you’ve received.

Minimized, you see less… and Off, you don’t see it at all. Oddly, if it’s turned off, you cannot turn it on from a message window. It can be turned on only from View in the main window.

In the view shown here, you see in in several places—one of them is circled in red. That means that the person is one of my LinkedIn contacts. The in annotation shows up only if you’ve installed the LinkedIn social connector add-in for Outlook—one of two social connector add-ins that are available as of this writing. The other is MySpace, which I don’t use. Connectors for Facebook and other social networking sites are in the pipe, but not available right now.

To get the connector for LinkedIn, first, don’t bother if you’re using the 64-bit version of Office 2010. It’s available only for the 32-bit version of Outlook. It’s okay if you’re running the 64-bit version of Windows 7—I am. You can download the LinkedIn add-in here (http://www.linkedin.com/outlook).

After you install it, you’re not done yet. In Outlook 2010, click the Add-Ins tab, then click the Social Network Account Settings item, then click on LinkedIn. If you haven’t previously set it up, you’ll be prompted for user name and password.

Fill in your name (your LinkedIn email address) and password, and click OK. Then click Connect.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll receive a congratulatory notice, and you’re done. The LinkedIn add-in will [eventually] add a LinkedIn contacts folder, and when you open email from LinkedIn contacts, you will see the indicator.

Caveat. Okay. This might not work, or it might take a while to work. When I added the LinkedIn add-in to my desktop computer, the LinkedIn contact folder and the in logo appeared rather quickly when viewing messages. On my laptop, 60 minutes later, there’s still no visible indicator that it’s working. I’ll revisit later to see if it’s working yet.

Posted in Outlook 2010 | 1 Comment

Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack

The Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack Is Here!

Get it here.

The Filter Pack includes:

  • Legacy Office Filter (97-2003; .doc, .ppt, .xls)
  • Metro Office Filter (2007; .docx, .pptx, .xlsx)
  • Zip Filter
  • OneNote filter
  • Visio Filter
  • Publisher Filter
  • Open Document Format Filter

Sadly, the Recover Text From Any File feature in Word still does not work correctly for *.docx files, even though the filter pack itself lets you search archived folders (*.zip). The Recover… feature does not take advantage of the filter.

Because docx files really are zip file, treating them as if they contained ordinary text does not yield the expected results. If you want to recover text from a docx file, you would do well to add a .zip extension to it, unzip to a folder, and then drill down to the word folder and look at document.xml. For example, consider a file named Doc4.docx. Any salvageable text will be here:


Posted in Word 2010 | 2 Comments

Insert Symbol Not Working Right in Word?

I recently discovered that if Windows 7’s “Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse” feature is enabled, it can affect the ability to insert symbols using the Symbol dropdown (sometimes) and Symbol dialog box (always) in Word 2007 and Word 2010.

So, if you have activated this setting and suddenly notice that you can no longer insert Symbols, this is probably the reason.

One work-around is to use the keyboard to navigate the Symbol dialog. Use the arrow keys to move around, and use Enter or Alt+I to insert the selected symbol.

When using the Symbol dropdown, click the symbol you want to insert, and then click back in the document to complete the action (if the symbol doesn’t appear immediately when you click on it). I find that I encounter this issue less often than when using the Symbol dialog box.

My own work-around was to abandon the feature. I found that it was more annoying than useful. But, YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Posted in Word 2010 | 2 Comments

Quickly Add Shortcuts to Favorites in Windows 7 and Office 2010

In any file dialog box that displays the Favorites list, you can drag a shortcut from the current location or any location shown to the Favorites list. As you probably already knew, you can drag any selected location and drop it into Favorites, as shown here, where I’m dragging a shortcut to the ODEP folder into Favorites. Note that this is redundant, since that shortcut already exists. So, I won’t really do it. But, that’s how it’s done.

Apparently, some of you didn’t know you can also drag from the location bar at the top. First, click in it so that the > Libraries > Documents > format is replaced with the standard file location notation. This also selects the current location (and coincidentally, this is a good way to get a copy of the current location into the clipboard). Move the mouse over the left end of the location, and drag down to the Favorites area, as shown here.

Of course, here, this would be redundant, since the folder I’m dragging already has a shortcut. But, as above, you see the point.

While we’re here, I should tell you that you can also navigate to higher locations by clicking the segments shown in the address bar. Notice that here, Users is highlighted when I hover the mouse pointer over it. If I click on Users, the view now switches directly to that folder, without a need to ride the elevator stopping at My Documents and Herb.

Posted in Word 2010 | 2 Comments

Speaking of Speech: A New Tool for Word 2010!

A while back, I blogged about the fact that Windows’ Narrator does not work correctly with Word 2007. Windows 7’s Narrator doesn’t work correctly with Word 2010, either. However, there’s some good news. Excel has had a Speak Cells feature for quite some time (I’m not sure how far back, but I know it was in Excel 2007, and I think it was in Excel 2003). In any event, Word 2010 has added a Speak command to its repertoire, as well. So, even though Narrator continues to not work, Word 2010 users now have a working method for hearing their documents!

How to put Speak onto your Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).

At the right end of the QAT, click the dropdown arrow, and choose More Commands, as shown.

In the Customize Quick Access Toolbar dialog box, set Choose commands from to All commands. In the list, click on Speak, and then click the Add button to add it to the list on the right, as shown. Finally click the OK button.

Now, you should see the Speak button on your QAT, as shown below. To use it, simply select the text you want to hear, and click on the Speak button. While it’s speaking the selected text, you can shut it up by pressing Esc, or by clicking the Speak button again, which becomes while it’s talking.

Assign a Shortcut key to the SpeakStopSpeaking Command

You can, of course, assign a keystroke, if you prefer. After all, if you have limited vision, you might find a keyboard shortcut somewhat more accessible than using the QAT. Here’s the keyboard-only way to do this—or, feel free to use any other method you’re comfortable with:

  1. Press Alt+F, t, c, Alt+T. This will open the Customize Keyboard dialog box.
  2. Press Alt+C, a, a. This selects All Commands in the Categories box.
  3. Press Alt+O, t (this takes you to Commands starting with “t”), PageUp four times (takes you to the SpacePara1 command), Down arrow three times (takes you to the SpeakStopSpeaking command).
  4. Press Alt+N (takes you to the Press new shortcut key box.
  5. Press the key(s) you want to assign to the SpeakStopSpeaking command.
  6. Press Alt+A (assigns the keystroke).
  7. Press Esc (dismisses the dialog box).

Your assigned key is a toggle that toggles the speaking of selected text on/off. You can, of course, use the Esc key to interrupt speech.


Posted in Word 2010 | 2 Comments

Can’t set Microsoft Picture Manager as Default—Solved!

10-2-2011. We interrupt this blog entry  for this note…

Note: my solution (see “Here’s what worked”, below) fixes the underlying problem (corrupted registry entries), but is tedious and very involved. Two readers found other solutions that involve less work. For the “Whatever works…” approach, see the responses from Sarah and Preston that follow this article for details. Basically, Sarah edited the ois.exe path in the registry, and preston copied ois.exe from his Office 14 folder structure into the corresponding location in his Office 11 structure. I don’t know if their approaches–or mine, for that matter–will fix the problem on any given computer. But… whatever works for you.

And now we resume our irregularly-schedule blog entry.

This past Thursday, I downloaded the freshly minted Office 2010 Professional Plus from MSDN (one of several Microsoft subscription services that include first access to newly released Microsoft software). I removed all traces of the beta versions I had been running, and installed Office 2010 on my desktop and laptop—seemingly without a hitch.

The hitch

On my laptop, however, there was a hitch. For some reason (cough, registry corruption, cough), on my laptop, I was no longer able to set Microsoft Office Picture Manager—the graphics display and editing program that comes with Office—as the default for opening/viewing pictures. In fact, MOPM didn’t show up as one of the Open With choices at all!

When I clicked Choose default program…, Microsoft Picture Manager didn’t show up in the Recommended Programs list, nor in the Other Programs list, nor did it appear even after clicking Browse… and selecting it in the Office 14 programs folder and clicking Open there. It was there—it’s called OIS.EXE—but it resisted every attempt to add it as a program for opening pictures.

Here’s what I tried

So, I tried a variety of rescue attempt. First, I verified that it had been installed correctly by switching to a different Windows user profile, and verifying correct operation there. Yes. That worked, so the problem must be registry corruption.

Sometimes, you can fix registry corruption by using the /r switch when you start a program—which re-registers some programs (such as Word). I don’t know if /r is supposed to work with OIS.EXE, but it didn’t.

I went into Programs and Features (I use Windows 7), removed Microsoft Office Picture Manager from Office Tools, and restarted Windows 7. Then I reinstalled MOPM, rebooted Windows 7 for luck, and tried again. No luck.

I also tried several other routes, which included going through Windows 7’s Set your default programs and Associate a file type or protocol with a program, both of which are accessed through Control Panel4Programs. None of this worked. Every place I expected to see Microsoft Picture Manager, it was MIA!

Here’s what worked

First, I completely uninstalled Office 2010, and rebooted Windows 7 as instructed by Office Setup. Next, I opened the registry editor (Click Start, and type “regedit” into the Search box, and click on regedit.exe). I searched for and deleted every registry entry that so much as mentioned ois.exe. There were about 9 or 10 entries, as I recall. Then, I rebooted Windows 7… for luck.

Next, I reinstalled Office 2010. MOPM is included by default when you install Office 2010. And, yes, I rebooted again, just for luck. I thought I’d give Setup and Windows every possible chance to fix the problem when I wasn’t watching. After it booted up, I went to my Pictures library, right-clicked on a .jpg file, and presto! Microsoft Picture Manager was back!

To set it as the default, I clicked Choose default program…, enabled Always use the selected program to open this kind of file, and I was back in business.

Posted in Uncategorized, Word 2010 | 22 Comments

Paste Unformatted Text, Revisited

A while back, I published an article in Dian Chapman’s TechTrax about how to create a keyboard shortcut for pasting the contents of the clipboard as plain text. That article, entitled Paste Special Unformatted Text at Your Fingertips, was mostly about Word 2003 and earlier. Here’s a quick update on how to do the same thing in Word 2007 and the upcoming Word 2010.

Word 2007 and Word 2010

There are several ways to accomplish the underlying goal. If you want unformatted text to be the default when you press Ctrl+V, click the Office button and choose Word Options ? Advanced. In the Cut, Copy, and Paste section, set the first four Paste options to Keep Text Only, as shown here. If you ever want a different action, then you’ll need to use Paste Special, which is assigned directly to Alt+Shift+V in Word 2007 and 2010.

Another method is to assign the following macro to the desired keystroke:

Sub PasteUnformatted

Selection.PasteSpecial Link:=False, DataType:=wdPasteText

End Sub

Yet another method requires three keystrokes, starting with Word 2007 and Word 2010’s, Paste Special keystroke: Ctrl+Alt+V. So, using this method requires that you press Ctrl+Alt+V, tap the “u” key, and press Enter.

Word 2010 Only

In Word 2010, there finally is a dedicated built-in command that can be assigned directly to the keyboard, without need for an intervening macro. If you’d like to have a “paste text” keystroke while leaving the default paste keystroke intact, then assign the PasteTextOnly command to the desired keystroke. Shown here, I’ve assigned it to Ctrl+Shift+V, no longer using the macro I’d been using for the previous ten years.

Posted in Word 2007 | 3 Comments

Change of Venue

Welcome to the new location for the Word Bible Blog. Not only am I gearing up for Word 2010, making the old Word 2007 Bible Blog dated, but a javascript exploit had found its way onto the old site. I’ve removed it, and automatically redirect old hits to this page. If you visited the old site within the past week or two, you might still have the script in your cache. If you clean the cache by removing cookies and temp files, it should no longer be a problem.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Returning to the last editing spot in Word 2007

Many Word 2007 users miss the ability to press Shift+F5 to return to the last place editing occurred in a document they open. Shift+F5 executes Word’s built-in GoBack command. It continues to work just fine in a document you’re editing, cycling among the current and last three places editing occurred. However, it does not work for a document you’ve just opened in Word 2007 (this appears to be fixed in Word 2010, but some add-ins can interfere with Word’s “remembering”).

If you’re up for a little bit of very simple VBA programming, you can create the ability to automatically return to the spot where the cursor was the last time the document was saved. It works like this. When you close a document based on Normal.dotm, if you have a macro named AutoClose, that macro gets executed each time you close a document. When you open a document, if you have a macro named AutoOpen, that macro gets executed.

Note that you can set this up in other templates as well, but putting the system into the default global template—Normal.dotm—will handle most of the documents most people edit.

So, the first step is to create AutoClose (if you don’t already have an AutoClose macro), and include in it the instruction to insert a bookmark. I named this bookmark LastEdited. You could call it whatever you want. You could call it UncleFreddy or AuntPetunia. It doesn’t matter, as long as the act of setting it is contained in an AutoClose macro. The macro looks like this, at minimum:

Sub AutoClose()

    On Error Resume Next

    ActiveDocument.Bookmarks.Add Range:=Selection.Range, Name:=”LastEdited”

End Sub

So, each time you close a document based on the template that contains the AutoClose macro, a bookmark named LastEdited is created. I’ll bet you can see where this is going.

Each time you open a document, if the underlying template contains a macro named AutoOpen, it gets executed. So, guess what we’re going to have that AutoOpen macro do! Right! We’re going to have it take us to the LastEdited location. At a minimum, the AutoOpen macro will look like this:

Sub AutoOpen()

    On Error Resume Next

    Selection.GoTo What:=wdGoToBookmark, Name:=”LastEdited”

End Sub

That’s it! Creating the macros and setting the security is up to you. I said “at minimum,” because you might want your AutoOpen macro to do other things, like set the zoom at 140%, put the file location into the title bar, or fix you a cup of tea. These frills are entirely up to you.

You might be wondering what the On Error Resume Next is for. That’s there in case the macro encounters some kind of problem. The first time you open a document, for example, there will be no LastEdited bookmark. Without the error handling statement, you’d get a nastly little dialog box. Or, what happens if you’re editing a protected document and can’t create a bookmark. Same deal. The error handling statement keeps you from getting an error message.

One side effect of this system is that you will always be asked whether to save the file. That’s because inserting the bookmark is an edit. If you say No to saving changes, then the bookmark will not be saved.

So, what happens if there’s already a bookmark named LastEdited? Simple—it gets overwritten by the new one. If you think there’s some chance that there’s an unrelated bookmark named LastEdited in any of your documents, then give this one a different name… like TheInsertionPointLocationTheLastTimeThisDocumentWasSaved.

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments