[abcomputers] ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers, Volume 3: FrontPage Advice From Tina andMORE!!

  • From: Linda Johnson <linda@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ABCfreelists <abcomputers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 03 May 2002 21:55:13 -0400

ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers
Volume 3; August, 2001 - mailed to 897 subscribers

If you would prefer to read the online Web-azine, which includes
pictures and screenshots and is, basically, more user-friendly, follow
either of these links: http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/ABC.htm
(frames) http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/vol3.htm (no frames)

or, scroll down to the Contents where you can click on over to any
individual article

For definitions of any terms you do not understand, visit the GeekSpeak
Translator: http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/capn3.htm
This is not spam.  You are receiving this newsletter because you (or
someone using your email address) subscribed to it voluntarily.   If you
would like to remove yourself from ABC, please see SUBSCRIPTION
MANAGEMENT at the bottom of this newsletter. Using the "Reply" function
will not unsubscribe you!

My subscriber list is NOT made available to other companies or
individuals. I value every subscriber and respect your privacy.
These will have to be copied and pasted into your web browser's Address
Bar as one line in order for you to access them.
To view this text newsletter best, maximize your email window to FULL
SPECIAL NOTE:  In order to make these articles less bulky, yet more
readable for the more technologically challenged, I have added a new
member to the Fleet.  His name is Cap'n Patt and he will be our official
GeekSpeak Translator!  If there is any word or phrase in this newsletter
that you do not understand, hop on over to the GeekSpeak Translator and
see if the Cap'n can help you.  Mind you, these are NOT long, drawn-out
technical definitions.  These are quick, straight-shooting, HUMOROUS
definitions that you will need to understand the basics.  If you want
the techno-babble ones, you will have to look somewhere else.

Go there now and tell me if you don't love the Cap'n's way
of putting it as much as I do:
(all links below these items take you to the non-frames Online versions)
(items with *** behind them include pictures and are viewed better

1.  Important How-To Message From Linda

2.  What's In This Issue

3.  Linda's Thought of the Month

4.  Linda's Soapbox ~ Search Before You Ask

5.  What's New at Linda's Computer Stop

6.  Subscribers' Exclusive Tip ~ Finding Your "Favorite" Favorites the
Fastest Way http://personal-computer-tutor.com/NewABC.htm#tip

7.  GeekSpeak Translation from the Cap'n

Tina's FrontPage News ~ Backgrounds and Other Settings in Your FrontPage
Site *** http://personal-computer-tutor.com/tina3.htm

9.  Hal's Hardware Haven ~ System Resources ***

10.  Jack's Internet Connection ~ When You Simply Lack the Drive

11.  James's Database ~ Access Data Types

12. Parker's Mailbox ~ Out of Office Assistant ***

13. Chad's Macro Mania ~ The Word on BIG Code

14. Corey's Network Corner ~ Let's Install That Hardware

15. Kathleen's Spider Web ~ CSS ~ Cascading Style Sheets

16. Chas' Word World ~ Customizing Word, Part II ***

17. Outlook Express Tip from PCTechTalk's G Man ~ SpellCheck

18. Subscription Management

19. Contact Information

******************STATION BREAK*********************
If you find this newsletter and/or my website at all helpful and would
like to give me a hand here, I am now accepting donations through
PayPal.  To make a donation, go to Linda's Computer Stop and look for
the PayPal link in the left sidebar.
Thanks in advance to all who do this!!
(NOTE: no one receiving this should feel obligated in any way to do
this.....this is a FREE newsletter!) Linda, editor

If you decide to go to the Online "Web-azine" version, go here first for
navigation instructions:


Lots of coincidences in this issue.  I guess we in the Fleet must think
alike.  Without even knowing what each other was writing this month, we
seem to have come upon some common threads.

For example:

Our Featured Article by Tina Clarke is all about the settings you use in
FrontPage to assure your styles are seen exactly the way you want them
to be seen on your website.  She briefly discusses CSS and then,
Kathleen Anderson takes the CSS ball and runs with it.

I happened to use "msconfig" as an example in my "Soapbox" article, of
something you can search for using a search engine and actually gave you
the link I found.  Then in comes Hal Cardona's article on System
Resources where he suggests using msconfig as one means of maximizing
your resources.

Chad Welch's VBA column this month is all about cleaning up the code
that the MS Office programs create when you run the Macro Recorder, then
Chas Kenyon tells us just how to use this Macro Recorder in Word.

Ah yes.....truth is indeed stranger than fiction.  Is that the theme
from Twilight Zone I hear in the background?

But, hey, even those who didn't mesh into our clairvoyant madness have
written some GREAT articles this month, so take your time and read them

Stuff like Jack Teems' article on using the Internet for additional
storage space;

Parker Renaud's informative article on using the Out of Office Assistant
in the Corporate/Workgroup version of Outlook;

James La Borde's excellent tutorial on the different data types you can
assign when creating your fields in Access;

and, of course, Corey Seaton's walk-through of installing your Network
Interface Card,

.......all will teach you much.

And, please don't miss Cap'n Patt's GeekSpeak Translator.  Even if you
know what all the terms in the articles mean, it's worth reading just to
get to know the Cap'n.

Also, don't forget to check out Guitar Man's fun Outlook Express Tips.
He's building an archive now, so soon we'll have a large collection.

And, last but not least, have a look at What's New At Linda's Computer
Stop.  I've added some good stuff.

Most important -- Enjoy this newsletter and let us know what you think!

TECHIES:  Best way to make friends with Newbies:

While they are in the bathroom, change their default font to Webdings.

NEWBIES: Best way to make friends with Techies:

Tell them they need to get a life.

You know me.....I just HAD to get one good LOL in here.  :-)

Since I've only been in computers for 3 years, but I am also gainfully
employed in the computer industry, I must be a Tewbie .....cuz I know
I'm sure not a Nechie!
~~Linda F. Johnson, Editor


As someone who spends a lot of time online answering people's questions,
I would like to talk about how we find the answers.=A0

I think people write to me thinking I'm this genius with an amazing
memory.  Hardy Har Har.  NOTHING could be further from the truth. And, I
also think they assume when they call Tech Support that these guys know
all this stuff by heart.


Psssssssst.  Wanna know a secret?  Half the questions you ask them or me
are new to us too.

Then how do we get the answers for you?
We search.

Is it hard to find them?
Sometimes, but not always.

Could you do it yourself?

Here's an exercise to show you how simple it can be to find stuff:

I must get 3 or 4 requests each week from people who have upgraded from
Windows 98 to Windows 2000 and want to know if Windows 2000 has
something comparable to 98's msconfig.  OK.....I can answer this one
pretty quick now because I've been asked so many times. Know how I
answer it?  I go to my favorite search engine, Google,


and in the little white box, I type "windows 2000 msconfig" (without the
quotes) and hit my enter key.  Up comes a long list of websites which
have these three words in their contents, the first of which takes me


Pretty quick and simple, eh?

EDITOR'S NOTE: for more info on msconfig, read Hal Cardona's System
Resources article in this issue.

Or, here's another one:

Let's say you are working in Excel and get an error message in one of
your cells, like #DIV/0!  Well, this one is even easier to find, if you
just go into Excel's help files and search for it, or, again, go back to
Google and type it in that white box again.  This time the third one in
the list took me here.  Instant answer.

(Actually the link for this one is ridiculously long, so I'd say click
here instead and find the link in the Online Webazine):

So, if you think you aren't smart enough to find these things, think
again. I guarantee you that any technical service that you call or email
is doing just this.  And some of you may even be paying for this!

Whatever search engine you choose does not matter, but I prefer Google
simply because it has always found me more answers than the
others.   And, if you really want to refine your search, you can click
Google's Advanced Search button and narrow your criteria down quite a

But, other good ones are Copernic, a free downloadable search utility

or Ask Jeeves, a really user friendly search engine for Newbie

So, the next time you have a question, go see if you can find the answer
before you tell someone else to do it for you.  Then, if you can't find
it, at least you can tell the person you are asking that you tried
certain things to no avail.  Most people are more willing to help you
when they know you have tried to help yourself.
Linda Johnson is a college instructor of all of the Microsoft Office
Programs, as well as Adobe PhotoShop and Windows.  She has worked
helpdesk and teaches and lectures at many local businesses in her area.
Support this newsletter by checking out Linda's website


and her ebook series, MS Word MAGIC!
Part I: Fonts, Fun & Formats http://newbieclub.com/wordmagic/?buntah
Part II: Table Wizardry http://newbieclub.com/wordmagic2/?buntah
******************STATION BREAK********************
Free Tutorials, Free eBooks, Free Courses, Free Guestbooks, Free
Autoresponders,  Free Newsletter, Free Affiliate program and FREE
MEMBERSHIP. Wow! Did I mention it was Free? Newbies and Oldbies alike
are buzzing about the NEW Newbie Club. It's the most exciting Newbie
Site ever to hit the Web.

Join now - it's FREE!

editor's recommendation:
They also have an online PC Clinic now where you can receive Computer
and Internet Technical problem solving advice 24/7 for only $29.80 a
year!  I tested the service for them with some pretty tough questions
and they found the answers every time.....some took 3 or 4 emails back
and forth, but they DID solve it and they DID respond to each of my
mails within 6 hours.

I recommend this one!
(5.)  WHAT'S NEW at Linda's Computer Stop

Once again, a lot of this month was spent on this newsletter.  It's
turning out to be quite a labor of love.

Seems I ran into a few snags getting the online forum up and running.
First I tried to make it myself and THAT didn't work.  Then I found a
free online service, but after using them for a week, they decided to
become a PAID online service (ain't that just my luck?).....so I
eventually put the forum on BeSeen and it seems to be working fine now.

Only one problem....not too many of you are using it and the only ones
offering answers to these people are me and some other members of the
Fleet.  Come on gang.  This is not the point of a "forum".  This is
where you should be helping each other.  So, hop on over to the ABC
homepage, enter the Lounge and click on the Puter Chat key.  Ask your
questions and help each other!


You also may notice the format of the online Web-azine is a bit
different. Click here to find out how to best read it, so you don't miss


Also, I've added a page where readers can tell the world what they link
of ABC.  If you haven't written to me or the Fleet yet to let us know
what you think, please do.  And go here to see what some others have
written.  (If you DID write, you should see your profound words there.)


Aside from the Newsletter, I've added some new stuff at my website also.

First, there's a link on the left side of each page to my newest EBook,
MS Word Magic!, Part II: Table Wizardry. If I do say so myself, I've
outdone myself this time.  If you have ANY difficulties with Tables in
Word, this is the book for you.  And, even if you don't think you DO
have difficulties, you might be surprised at how much more you can do
with tables than you thought!  Buying this ebook from my website
finances this newsletter, so please consider it for yourself or as a
gift for a friend, coworker, or relative.  Thanks.


I had a request from someone who was trying to find a Word 2000 template
to make paper bookmarks with his logo on them to give to customers.  I
told him I didn't know of any template but I could teach him how to do
it in a jiffy.

And I did....  Here's what I taught him...


I've added a HELP section on my site.  This isn't help for all the
programs and stuff I cover in the pages on my site.  It's help on using
the site itself.  For example, some people have reported problems to me
when they have tried to print some of my pages.  Click on the Help
Button on the left side of the page and this problem is solved.  Also,
people have told me they've had difficulty finding some things on my
site.  Click on the Help button for full instructions on how to best
navigate through my pages.  If you have any problems with my website,
try the help button first.  If the answer is not there, drop me an email
and I will be sure to include it.


Also, I've added a few new links to my Internet page.
Just look for the revolving N's.


Another goodie for yas!  The Newbie Club has given me my own page at
their website where I will be posting a new MS Office Tip every week.
It's free!  Why not bookmark it and check back every week?


Well, that's the major highlights of what's new on this end.  I hope you
all will visit my website regularly and while you're there, go to the
bottom of my homepage and sign my guestbook.  I would love to "meet"

(6.)  And HERE'S A TIP, presented FIRST to you subscribers


Do you have so many bookmarks in Your Favorites Section of your Web
Browser that you can never find the ones you want?  Well, we all know we
can rightclick in the list in our Favorites menu and choose "Sort by
Name" to alphabetize them.  And we all know we can click on the
Favorites menu in Internet Explorer and choose "Organize Favorites" and
put them in folders and such to better arrange them.

But, what about those top 4 or 5 websites that we go to most often?

Sometimes they are so far down the list or buried so deep inside folders
that it's faster to type the address into the URL bar than it is to
scroll through the Favorites list.

Here's TWO tips that make my life easier:

1.  If I DO choose to type in the address, I just type the site's name
and hit ctrl+enter.  (This adds the http://www. at the beginning and the
.com at the end.)  Try it.  Type personal-computer-tutor in your IE
address bar and hit ctrl+enter.

2.)  But, back to that shortcut for finding my 5 most favorite sites
quickly in my Favorites list.  Remember that alphabetical sorts sort
numbers before letters.  Just rightclick on your most favorite site in
your Favorites list and select "Rename".  Add a 1 to the beginning of
the site's name and it will pop to the top of your Favorites list when
you rightclick and select "Sort by Name".  Now, repeat these steps with
2, 3, 4 & 5.  Now your five most favorite sites will stay at the top of
your list forever.=A0

If I ever come to your house, I expect to see "1Linda's Computer Stop"
at the top of your Favs.  :-)
******************STATION BREAK********************
Bored in your job? Want to make a career change to something that you
have only "dreamed" of doing? I did this, at the age of 50, and you can
too. And, I've written an ebook about it, tentatively called "How to Get
Started in the Software Training Business", which is due to be published
this summer by Dream Jobs To Go http://www.dreamjobstogo.com/?10456
Go here and see if your dream job has already been included in this
series. If so, snag the ebook for only $9.95 and you will be on your
way! If you are already employed in your dream job, go here and see if
you can sign up to write your own ebook to help others. They also have a
FREE weekly newsletter called Dream Jobs Dialog where you can get tips
and dialog from real life dream jobbers.  When you get to the site, just
look for the subscribe button in the upper right corner.

Hey....even if you already have a job, it's still fun to DREAM!!
~~Cap'n Patt Meara

H. G. Wells, Heinlein, Asimov, Rod Serling, and a whole bunch of the
original Sci-Fi writers espoused the theory of Parallel Universes.
Usually they considered our normal state of existence as one universe
and another one which ran a parallel course, sometimes a mirror image of
ours, reversed that is, as the other.=A0

Either no one ever told them about, or they just naturally pre-dated,
the evolution of the true "Other Universe"=A0=A0 GEEKDOM!=A0 =A0

Geekdom is truly "Out there in space somewhere"=94  As near as recent
research and the reading of many of the available help groups has been
able to discover, it was a hidden universe until they put those cooling
fans and their associated ventilation slots in the cases of early

Geekdom JUST SLIPPED OUT=85=85=85=85..and, not unlike mushrooms and =
other fungi,
it just keeps on keepin=92 on.  I suppose it is only logical, for as yet
no one has recognized "Geeks" to be a normal part of society, although
admittedly, by some devious means or other, many have managed to
assimilate.  I=92m not sure whether this was by infiltration or =
There are questions as to whether this is a good thing or bad.=A0
In any event they have evolved. They have configured their own image,
mode of dress, speech styles, even their own language.

As old Willy on the Avon said, "Ah, there=92s the rub"=94=A0

It=92s a language full of acronyms, synonyms, homonyms, M&Ms, unknown
abbreviations,  implied meanings, actions, and disciplines. It=92s meant
to obscure the world of computing from the uninitiated "Newbie" and most
of the rest of us, too.=A0=A0

So, what=92s to be done about it?

Thought you=92d never ask, but now that you have, I=92ll tell you:=A0

With the help of the other members of "The Fleet" and everyone in every
group out there, we=92re going to attempt to break GeekSpeak down to the
point where membership in the MENSA society is not required in order to
understand what is being said.=A0

"How?" you might ask.=A0=A0

"Easy," I=92d reply.

When you run across a word or phrase that elicits the normal educated
response, "Huh?", just send it to ABComputers-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx=A0

So, if you run across hyperlink, HTML, ICMP, UDP, FTP, Telnet, HTTP,
SMTP, or POP3 and you don=92t have the foggiest as to what they=92re =
about, let me know.=A0 I=92m not saying I know either but I will darned =
find out and let you know =91cause I=92m one of the most bull-headed
characters you=92ll ever meet.

I=92ll find it for ya.=A0

In the meantime, if you should meet a real Geek on the street, make him
think you=92re part of the scene, toss him the secret "GRS"=94   =
(That=92s the
Geek Recognition Sign and it has  nothing to do with guru, Steve Gibson
or Gibson Research.)=A0

I don=92t exactly know what it is yet myself, but as soon as I find out
you=92ll be the first to know.
Visit the Cap'n's Official GeekSpeak Database at
EDITOR'S NOTE:  It is recommended that you read the online version of
the following article which includes pictures and might make this
clearer for you. http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/tina3.htm
~~Tina Clarke, AccessFP - Frontpage Resource Centre


It is very common for web masters to overlook configuring their
backgrounds because they presume the default background colour in both
one=92s browser and FrontPage =91Normal View=92 to be white, since it =
to be that colour, however this is not so.

FrontPage it is actually set to the default setting =93automatic=94. =
we can see here when we look in =91Page Properties=92 under the =
tab. This means the colours have NOT been configured.

Note: If you use a ready made theme the background text and links
colours will be configured already.

If you also have your browser set to using Windows colours you are not
going to see your mistake when you preview your site in the browser

How do I check and configure my pages?

Firstly change the colours setting in your browser.

For Internet Explorer:

Go to Tools>General tab>Colors
Then untick =91use windows colours=92 and choose a background colour =
most people would not use as a background. Spruce pink is a one good to
use, do not select grey as some people use this colour for their

Click Ok twice and you have now configured your browser to see pages on
your hard drive and on the www with the colour you defined.=A0=A0

For Netscape Navigator:

Go to Edit>Preferences>Open =91Appearance Folder=92> Colors and untick =
Windows colours=92 and choose a background colour that most people would
not use as a background. Spruce pink is good to use, do not select grey
as some people use this colour for their background. Click Ok twice and
you have now configured your browser to see pages on your hard drive and
on the www with the colour you defined.

To check out a site that does not have their background configured, go
to Yahoo's website and see.


FrontPage Crafters sometimes believe that configuring the background
colour is only necessary if white is not going to be employed or indeed
if a background graphic is implemented.  On the contrary, one should
always configure the background.  Several important factors indicate why
this is so:

The browser that is used to view your site will use the browser
specified background colour if you have not configured the background
and that indeed may not be white.

When it comes to using a background image, again there are factors which
indicate the background should be configured.

The background image may load slowly and having the background
configured spares your spruce pink blushes, while looking much more
professional and ensures the page remains viewable. Indeed the
background image may not even load or the browser might not even support
the background image or there could be any number of other problems. If
you happen to use white text on a dark image and that image does not
load the effect is going to disastrous to say the least.  If you use a
background colour, you know your text will be seen.

Having said that, the background colour should be chosen with care to
compliment your text colour. Make sure you select a background colour
similar in colour to the background image that way your text will remain
viewable whether the image loads or not.

For further information check out James Huggins excellent article.

Now to configure your background in FrontPage 2000.

Right click your mouse on your page in =91Normal View=92 and select =
Properties=92>General>Background >Colours>Background.  There you can
select the colour of your choice. There are several other things you can
configure at the same time, whilst you are there.

Active Hyperlink
Visited Hyperlink
Enable Hyperlink Rollover Effect=92s
Select a background picture and/or watermark it.

You can also =91Get background information from another page=92.

TIP:   If you do this be sure to create a page specifically for this, as
you use a page like your index page, you may wish in the future to have
this page different from the rest and then you would have to go in and
change them all.

It may be that you find to your dismay that your site is large and your
backgrounds have not been configured. So what is the quickest way to
change all those backgrounds?

Either Find & Replace in FrontPage or use a third party application such
as the freeware utility Search & Replace 98.

The quickest way and better for future maintenance may be the use of
External style sheets these can be used when you want to apply the same
styles consistently across some or all pages in your web. By defining
styles in one or more external style sheets and linking them to pages,
you ensure consistency of appearance throughout those pages. If you
decide to change a style, you need only make one change IE: in the
external style sheet and the change will be reflected in all of the
pages linked to that style sheet. Typically, an external style sheet
uses the .css file name extension, such as Mystyles.css.

How to make a style sheet.

Go to File>New>Page. Click the Style Sheets tab, click the type of style
sheet you want to create, click OK.  FrontPage creates a new style sheet
page with a .css file name extension and opens it for editing in Page


To create or modify styles in a cascading style sheet, type the style
information in proper CSS syntax, or use the Style command on the Format
menu (or click Style on the Style toolbar) to let FrontPage modify the
style sheet for you.

How to point your htm files to a external CSS (cascading style sheet)

Open up your page in FrontPage that you want to link to the external
sheet then click Format>style sheet links>Click 'All pages' radio
button> Click ADD button. Navigate to the style sheet (.css file) that
you want linked on the page.  Select the file and click OK. Then Click
OK in the Link StyleSheet dialog box.

FP will add the code to the head section to link this style sheet. The
code looks similar to:=A0

<link rel=3D"stylesheet" type=3D"text/css"

You could paste the code in the head tags section, but for all your
pages using FrontPage to automate this chore makes sense.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  for more information on CSS,
see Kathleen Anderson's article in this issue.

To thwart forgetting to configure your background in the future, you can
modify your "normal page template" in FrontPage to always have white set
as the background colour automatically when you create a new page, or
indeed any other colour. There are few other settings you should
configure at the same time

For instance:

Open FrontPage

Click File>New>Page>Normal
Do NOT tick "add task"
Click Ok

Right click your mouse on your page in =91Normal View=92 and select =
Properties=92>General>Background> Colours>Background.

Then change the background, fonts and hyperlinks to the colours you wish
to choose, you can change the margins, enter Meta tags that you wish to
employ globally and change the title of the page as well as several
other things with this dialog box.

Now you are ready to save:

Click File>Save As (NOT Save). Next to =91File Name=92 in the pop up =
box insert the text =91normal=92 (make sure you type in lowercase as =
can cause problems with FTP if you use FTP to publish. Plus this is the
default spelling for the =91normal file=92 in FrontPage).

Note: FrontPage will automatically use the correct extension.

Click the =91change=92 button and insert the text =92Normal=92 in the =
=91Set Page
Title=92 box. Click the down arrow of the =91Save File as Type=92 and =
=91FrontPage Template=92 (*.tem) Click Save.

The =91Save As Template=92 Dialog box pops up.  In the =91Title box=92, =
type a
title for the template, which will appear with the standard templates on
the General tab in the New dialog box, this should already say =
(Capital N) if you inserted the title as above. If so leave it as it is.

In the =91Name box=92, type the file name of the template, this should
already say =91normal=92 if you inserted the file name as above. If so =
it as it is.

In the Description box, type a description of the template, for example,
describe the type of page that is created with the template. When you
create a new page, this description will appear in the =91New=92 Dialog =
when you select the template. If it says =91normal template=92 =
already, leave it as it is.=A0=A0Click =91Save template in the current =
Click Ok.

>From now on you will have a Normal Template set up with the
background, text hyperlinks and certain Meta tags already configured for
you when you click File>=91New Page=92.

Note: For further help with Meta tags you can use the FREE FrontPage
Add-on, TP_ErrOmi. http://solution-shelf.com/

You can also make other templates with different names for different
occasions, but never again will you be caught with your web pages
appearing =91spruce pink=92.

Tina Clarke is the Webmaster of AccessFP - FrontPage Resource Centre and
an editor of "AnyFrontPage Bytes Ezine".  Subscribe to the FrontPage
ezine and get FREE FrontPage E-Books upon joining.
******************STATION BREAK********************
Do you want to know the latest on FrontPage?  Do you want Tips, news,
articles, links and ebooks on FrontPage?  Well the AnyFrontPage Bytes
Ezine is the best place for your FrontPage and web crafting needs, join
up at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AnyFrontPageBytes

Are you looking for  resources for FrontPage?  Want to know where all
the best FP links are?  The hosts, the lists, the forums? Use AccessFP -
FrontPage Resources Centre as the start site for your FrontPage
Information facts. http://accessfp.net/
EDITOR'S NOTE:  It is recommended that you read the online version of
the following article which includes pictures and might make this
clearer for you. http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/hal3.htm
~~Hal Cardon, PC Sleuth


What Are They
What Are They Used For
Where Do They Go?
How Can I get them Back?

Hello Again,
Thanks to everyone who wrote in about my last column, I really do
appreciate all your feedback.  Most of the comments were positive about
the column=92s technical level, so I will continue to write to what I
consider to be a middle level of technical expertise.  You can contact
me via e-mail at abcomputers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

What are System Resources?

This month=92s column is about System Resources in Windows =
this topic is really geeky, so please bear with me!).  There are many
definitions to this question that can deal with things like IRQ=92s, Com
Ports, Memory Addresses and the like, but for sake of this column we are
going to be using Microsoft=92s definition from Windows.

Some of the most common questions I get asked as a professional PC
troubleshooter are about System Resources.  Some of the questions are:

Why does Windows say I don=92t have enough memory to do this?  I just
added more RAM; shouldn=92t that have fixed it?

Why are my System Resources so low?  I have more memory than everyone

The first thing you need to understand is what exactly System Resources
are.  System Resources are a hold over from early versions of Windows.
In Windows 3.X they were three 64 kb heaps of memory called System, User
and GDI (for Graphics Display Interface). Unfortunately the sizes of
these heaps are limited and adding RAM won=92t help.=A0 Microsoft has =
them around ever since so that we can still run older 16-bit (Windows
3.1) applications in Windows 9.X. Those of you that use Windows NT, 2000
or XP don=92t have the same concerns because of the 32-bit architecture =
those Operating Systems.=A0

You can find out what your remaining system Resources are by right
clicking on My Computer and selecting Properties and then the
Performance Tab.

You can Monitor your System Resources by using the System Resource

The System Resource Meter is part of Windows; you can find it in Start>
Programs> Accessories> System Tools> Resource Meter.  If it isn=92t
installed you can install it from the System Tools Section of the
Windows Setup Tab in the Add/Remove Programs Applet in the Control

What are they used for and where do they go?

Windows uses System Resources for many different functions, from loading
a Font and displaying an icon to having a printer or a modem attached to
your computer.=A0=A0

You can run out of System Resources by doing much of anything in Windows
9x.  When you close a poorly written program, it won=92t release the
System Resources it used to do things: i.e., displaying a tool bar.=A0 =
can use the resource meter to monitor your System Resources and find out
how much each program uses. If you identify a Resource "hog"  then you
can decide if that program is worth it for you to keep.=A0

If you go to the Online version of this article, you will see a chart
that shows how system resources are used in the various versions of
Windows.  Even though we continue to struggle with System Resources in
Windows 9x, it is a whole lot better than the 3.X line!

How do I get them back?

The question everyone always asks now is:

What can I do to recover some of these precious System Resources?

If you want to use Windows, there are only 3 real (effective) answers:

1.  Reboot Windows 9x
2.  Upgrade to a full 32-bit Windows platform like Windows NT, 2000 or
the upcoming XP. 3.  Use fewer of them all the time and don=92t use
programs that are "resource hogs".

Since answers 1 and 2 are self explanatory let=92s take a little time to
look at number 3.  Using the chart mentioned above you can see that
having every font in the world loading all the time isn=92t a good use =
your System Resources; perhaps you should unload the one you found for
Aunt Mabel=92s 87th Birthday!  I am not an expert on fonts but there a =
that you need to keep for Windows to run well, so make sure you don=92t
remove these:=A0

Arial (and it=92s variants)
Book Antigua
Calisto MT
Copperplate Gothic
Courier New (and it=92s variants)
Courier (and it=92s variants)
Century Gothic (and it=92s variants)
Lucida (and it=92s variants)
News Gothic (and it=92s variants)
MS Sans Serif (and it=92s variants)
Symbol (and it=92s variants)
Tempus Sans
Times New Roman (and it=92s variants)
Verdana (and it=92s variants)

Some of these you can probably remove. They are on Microsoft=92s List of
Fonts included in Windows though, so don=92t just delete them!  Copy =
somewhere other than the font=92s folder first to see if need them, make
sure that Windows runs well before you delete them.=A0

EDITOR'S NOTE:  for more info on how to manage your fonts so you don't
have to REmove the ones you don't want hogging your resources, but
rather just MOVE them, read my ebook: MS Word Magic! I: Fonts, Fun and

One of the best ways I=92ve found to conserve System Resources is to =
the programs that start-up with your computer.=A0=A0 Often ill-behaved
programs will install themselves in such a way to make things "easier"
or "faster loading" for you.  I feel they are ill-behaved because they
don=92t even ask first!  You can often identify these programs by the
icons they place in your system tray (next to your clock on your Windows
Taskbar). In reality they are often unnecessary.  You can clear them
out, but it can often take several methods, which I will list below.=A0

The first step is to identify which programs put icons in the system
tray. You can do that by right-, left- or double-clicking on the icons
and seeing what opens.

Right or left click on the icon and look for a hide icon option.  You
may also find a Preferences or Options section and a way to disable the
tray icon.

Open the program that the icon represents and find the Preferences or
Options section and look for a way to disable the tray icon.

If you are running Windows 98 or ME, Press Start>Run then type in
msconfig and press Enter.  Look in the Startup tab for the program whose
tray icon you wish to disable and uncheck it.  If you are running 95,
Right click on the Start button and select Explore, open the Programs
Folder and then the Startup folder, and then delete the icons for the
program whose tray icon you wish to disable.  In my opinion you should
only load those programs at Start-up that you use on a regular basis.

EDITOR'S NOTE: for more information on msconfig, see Linda's Soapbox in
this issue and click on the link I found there

Of course you can always use the ADD/Remove Programs Applet in the
Control Panel to completely remove the program.

Another way to conserve System Resources is to just remove programs that
you don=92t use any more!=A0

Hopefully you have found this column helpful (and not too geeky!).  I
have tried to make a rather complex topic understandable, please let me
know what you think.  My e-mail address is abcomputers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Let
me know how you feel about the technical geekiness of the article and if
you have any suggestions for future articles.=A0

Thanks for reading.
Hal Cardona
PC Sleuth =A0
Hal Cardona, PC Sleuth, serves as tech support and/or offsite Sys Admin
for over 200 clients around the US. He designs, builds, and
troubleshoots networks and builds custom computer systems.
~~Jack Teems, Neat Net Tricks


Hey, pal, could I interest you in some extra drive?

Hard drive space we=92re talking about here, and there=92s some services =
the Internet that will provide extra storage.  If you have a dinosaur
computer and are continually having to delete files to make room for a
new program, I=92m sure I got your attention.  If you have one of those
newer monsters with a 4 zillion quintillion gigabyte hard drive, a few
additional megabytes probably does not pique your interest in the least.
But it should.=A0

Storing data off your hard drive and on someone else=92s real estate has
some distinct advantages.  =A0

If you=92ve ever had a crash and lost valuable data, programs, and files
that you forgot to backup, you know the value of having a contingency
plan.  You could save all this on a removable media such as a thousand
or so floppy disks or somewhat fewer zip disks or CDs (if you have a
writable CD ROM.)  Or, you could just set up a free storage locker on
someone else=92s site and send the stuff over there for safekeeping.  =

If you travel, you probably don=92t want to carry along all the files =
your home or office desktop on your laptop.  No problem.  Store them
elsewhere and retrieve as you wish, when you wish, by accessing the
files on the Internet.  =A0

Or perhaps you=92d like to share some files with others, maybe a digital
photo of the family or a piece of favorite music?  Send the link for
your storage locker to your friends, along with the password, and they
can retrieve it from their computer.  =A0

The procedure is simple.  First, open an account with services such as
Xdrive Express http://www.xdrive.com

or Free Drive.

If you want to store your digital music collection, then Myplay will
provide storage to do just that. http://www.myplay.com

All storage sites provide security so you can rest easy about someone
having access to your files.
Some services are free and you may understandably have become skeptical
about "free" on the Internet. But even if you have to pay a modest
subscription charge, that=92s not the greatest concern you may have in
storing files remotely.

The Internet has become rather, shall we say, "unsettled" and many sites
vanish overnight.  Take for example, the Internet FileZone, which faded
away late last year.  The service was continued with Driveway, but guess
what?  Driveway closed its doors early in March this year. One service,
iDrive, in June this year dropped its individual storage accounts in
favor of a different market, that of providing software to internet
service providers so they could provide remote storage to their own
subscribers.  Others have followed suit, so you might guard against
heavy reliance on these sites.

As with any site on the Web, downtime may also be a problem at times,
so that you cannot depend on accessing your files 100% of the time.   =

Perhaps, though, you=92ll agree that the advantages of these services
still outweigh the disadvantages, at least for now.  =A0
Jack Teems' Neat Net Tricks is available in three flavors:
You can subscribe to the free twice-monthly ezine by sending a blank
email or click the subscribe button on the NNT Web site.  If that=92s =
enough, you can subscribe to a special edition, Neat Net Tricks PLUS,
for just $10 a year at the NNT Web site.  And, if you want every Neat
Net Trick ever published on diskette 4 times a year, the ArchivesExpress
is as little as $20 (details are also at the NNT Web site.)
http://www.NeatNetTricks.com .
~~James La Borde


A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

This month=92s topic is data types.  Now that we have our database =
planned out, we need to concentrate on what types of data are going into
our database.

Selecting the correct data type is critical at this stage so that we can
manipulate the data once we have it in the database.  It also limits the
user to inputting the correct type of data.  Since Access has limits on
size (1 GB for an Access97 .mdb and 2 GB for an Access2000 .mdb),
selecting the correct data type can be even more critical in a large

Bear in mind that when you start filling your database, every field will
be added when you add a new record, whether data is in the field or not.
This is why field size as well as data type is addressed.

We shall now explore the various data types and how they handle our


We will start with the data type you will most commonly use.  The text
data type is for more than just text however.  This is an area where
most beginning database developers make mistakes.  The Text data type is
best used for text fields and for number fields containing data that
will not be part of a calculation.  This may sound a little confusing
but will help you in the long run.  If you have a number that will not
change and will not be used to calculate another value, it is a prime
candidate for the text data type.  Social Security numbers or ZIP codes
are prime examples of this type of data.  You will not perform a
calculation on someone=92s ZIP code or Social Security number.  They
contain a fixed number of positions and limiting your input in these
fields to that amount
can save space.   The number of characters in the field length
the size of each field.=A0

Text fields also have a great feature available called Input Masks.
Input Masks restrict the type of data that can be entered into the field
and how it is displayed. They can be set up to make a character be a
specific type, case, or make it a required or optional entry. Using
Input Masks is a good way to prevent your user from entering a
four-digit ZIP code. There are several default input masks and you can
create your own. The Social Security number input mask, for example,
only allows the user to input nine characters, and they must all be
numerals.  No alpha characters are allowed.  I have created my own
called Report Code. This restricts the user to inputting four uppercase
letters then three numerals.

The last consideration for text fields is the field length.  The default
field length for a text field is 50 characters.  This is often far too
many characters and will result in wasted space in your database.  A
Social Security number field could easily be limited to 9 characters.  A
state field could be simply two characters for the abbreviation.  Other
data will require different lengths.  It is okay to be somewhat generous
with your space in text fields but don=92t be wasteful.  How many last
names can you think of that are 50 characters long?  On the other hand,
do not try to be too restricting.  Remember that the user will not be
able to enter more than you allow them to have in the field length.  =A0


There are several number data types.

The first and smallest number data type is a Byte.  A Byte only takes up
1 byte of storage space in your database for each record.  Byte allows
whole numbers from 0 to 255.  This is very restricting and should only
be used if those are the only 256 numbers that you will need to enter.

Next is Integer.  Integer takes up two bytes of space for each record
and allows for whole numbers between -32,768 and 32,767.  Even though it
is a somewhat limiting number, it may serve your needs.

The next step up is the Long Integer.  It takes up four bytes of space
for every record and allows for whole numbers between =962,147,483,648 =
2,147,483,647.  This is more than enough for most, but not all, whole
numbers that you may encounter.

All of those number types are for whole numbers.  But what if your
number has decimals?  There are additional number data types for you

The smallest is Single.  Single data type takes up four bytes of space
per field and is named for single precision floating-point.  It will
handle most decimals that can be thrown at it.

The next option is Double, short for Double precision floating point.
This data type supports almost all decimal numbers and takes 8 bytes of
space per field.

As you can see, the type of data to go into these fields determines the
data type.  It is imperative that the correct data type is selected, as
the wrong one will prevent data from being entered.=A0


Currency is a fairly obvious data type.  It allows the user to enter a
value to be stored and treated like currency.  Currency, like double,
takes up eight bytes of space for each field.  Currency data type should
only be used for those fields absolutely needing to be stored as
currency.  It will allow for larger numbers than some of the other data
types but your decimal positions are restricted.=A0


The memo data type is highly useful and the only data type that field
length (and therefore size) is not set at the time of design.  Memo
allows the user to enter as much data as they possibly want to in the
field.  This is great for a comment field.  Memo does something that
text does not: it grows and shrinks with the data input.  The only
restrictions are the size of your hard drive or the Microsoft Access
file size limit. =A0


The Date data type is used specifically for dates.  It will not hold any
other type of data.  It will store dates from January 1, 100 to December
31, 9999.  Note that the BC years are not available as valid dates in
Microsoft Access.  This can be important if you are dealing with an
historical database in which this type of date may be needed.  You may
have to figure out an alternative way to store those dates.  The Date
data type takes up eight bytes per field and is the only other data
type, other than Text, to allow for specific input masks.=A0


Boolean data type, also known as Yes/No, takes up a mere two bytes of
space per field and allows only the selection of Yes or No.  This data
type is ideal for a check box type of field.  "Does this computer have a
CD-ROM drive?"  There are only two possible answers; therefore, a
checkbox or Yes/No field is ideal.  The default value of a Yes/No field
is No, unless the developer sets it otherwise.=A0


The AutoNumber field automatically inputs the next number so that no
duplicates are produced.  This is a great field to make a Primary Key
for a support table.  There are some precautions that should be taken

If you need the numbers to be sequential, you may want to look
elsewhere.  Once Access assigns a number, it is assigned.  If the user
escapes out of the form then that number is already used and will not be
reassigned.  This can be taken care of by compacting the database.

The other word of warning about the AutoNumber field is that it can not
be changed.  You do not have the option of inputting a number or taking
the number given.  You must simply take the number given.=A0

Other Data Types Available

There are a few other data types available that you may or may not use.

You may select the Hyperlink data type that will allow you to enter

The Object data type allows the use of OLE objects; for instance, a
current photo of each of your employees with their employment data.=A0

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

The determination of data types is key.  Knowing what the different data
types are and do helps in assigning the appropriate one to each field.
With the cost of hard drives falling as fast as the size is rising the
size restrictions are becoming a thing of the past, except in very large
databases.  They should still be accounted for as your database may
grow.  Changing data types once you have data in them can be hazardous
as the data can be truncated or even deleted.  By designating the
correct data types during the development of your database you will save
a lot of aggravation later.=A0
James La Borde works in the computer department at a Credit Union, where
he uses Access, SQL Server, VBA, and ODBC daily.
EDITOR'S NOTE:  It is recommended that you read the online version of
the following article which includes pictures and might make this
clearer for you. http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/parker3.htm

~~Parker Renaud, IT Manager, Colliers Keenan, Inc.


If you are going to be away from the office for an extended period,
whether for an afternoon or for a week, you should configure Microsoft
Outlook to notify the people who send you e-mail that you are not
available. E-mail has trained everyone to expect an instant response and
if you do not reply quickly, the sender thinks they are being ignored.
With the Out of Office Assistant turned on, e-mail correspondents will
not expect a reply until the time you indicate you will return. This is
a very easy process in Outlook 2000.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  The Out of Office Assistant is only available in the
Corporate/Workgroup version of Outlook.  If you use the Internet Mail
Only version, you would have to create a rule with Tools>Rules Wizard.
For more info on this, see Parker's article in Volume 2 of this

1.  Open Outlook and click on Tools, then on "Out of Office=A0Assistant"

2.  Click on "I am currently Out of the Office"

3.=A0=A0=A0In the box marked "AutoReply only once to each sender with =
following text", type the message you wish everyone who sends you e-mail
to receive.

4.=A0=A0=A0Next, click on "Add Rule", and the "Edit Rule" dialog box =
open. In the "Edit Rule" Box, you can add a rule to handle e-mail
received while "Out of Office Assistant" is on.

5.=A0=A0=A0You can specify that e-mail that meets specific conditions =
handled in a specific way. See the screenshot in the online version of
this article and you will see you have many options to choose from.  For
example, you can specify that e-mail from certain senders or concerning
specific subjects are forwarded to another e-mail address.

6.=A0=A0=A0By using the "Alert with" check box you can specify that =
senders receive a special message. For instance, if someone in your
family sends a message, they could receive a return message letting them
know where you are and how you can be contacted. That is certainly not
something you want everyone to know.

7.=A0=A0=A0Once you have set up your rules, click OK, then either add =
rule or click OK again if you are finished.

8.=A0=A0=A0When you return to the office and open Outlook, you will see =
dialog box asking you if you want to turn off the rule.  Just click yes,
and Outlook will revert to the "I am currently in the office" status.

Normally, there are many details to handle just before you leave the
office for a trip or vacation. To avoid forgetting something, such as an
e-mail rule, at the last minute, I recommend you set this up ahead of
time and leave the box "I am currently In the office" checked until you
are ready to leave. Then simply click "I am currently Out of the
Office". This way you won=92t remember, halfway to the beach, that you
forgot to forward your e-mail or have Outlook let your family know where
you are!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Understanding how the Out of Office Assistant and other
autoresponders work is really important, especially if you belong to
email groups online.  Learning how to configure your autoresponder so it
does not include these groups is a MUST since the members of the group
get very unhappy when your autoresponder replies to EVERY message posted
in the group.  Use your autoresponders wisely.
Parker Renaud is the one-man IT department at Colliers Keenan where he
manages 90 PCs on 5 servers.
Chad K. Welch

The better to tease you with, my dear.=94

In the last issue of ABC,  we discussed the Macro Recorder and it=92s =
in VBA in the Microsoft Office Suite.  The recorder is a very quick and
easy way to incorporate Visual Basic code into your Office document. I
begin programming  a lot of my VBA projects with the recorder for two
basic reasons.

1. It records code a lot faster than I can type it.

2. It has a better memory than I do.

When I write the code I sometimes have to stop and think what the method
is called that I am trying to use, but the recorder will always get the
name correct and in the right order.=A0

Some of the disadvantages of using the recorder are that it will also
record the errors I make (obviously) and also the code that it generates
is usually very lengthy.

Cleaning up the code after recording it is a very good habit to get
into. Clean code is easier to read, follow and debug.  It generally runs
quicker, and it will lessen the margin of error.

There are three basic steps to cleaning up recorded code:

identify the ambiguous
consolidate the duplicates
and speed up the process.=A0

First we will identify the ambiguous.

When recording a macro you will probably select cells in Excel or a
paragraph in Word, etc.  The recorder will add those actions to your
code; however, VBA does not generally need to select the object to act
on it. That means that your code will have a lot of "Select,"
"Selection," and "Activate" in it that can (and should) be changed.

For example the following lines of code were recorded:

Selection.Font.Bold =3D True

Those two lines of code should be changed to:

Range("A1:C5").Font.Bold =3D True



Can be changed to:


Two general rules of thumb:

=A01. If one line contains Select and the following line(s) contains


2. The first line contains Activate and the following line(s) contains

then they should be changed.=A0=A0

Of course there are exceptions to these rules, but are very infrequent.

In the next issue of ABC I will explore the exceptions, but for now
suffice it to say that those rules are both examples of potentially
ambiguous code and should be identified and corrected.

Second, consolidate the duplicates and unnecessary steps.

Lets face it, we=92re humans and we make mistakes and change our minds.
Suppose that while recording your code you decide to make the font of a
sentence red, so you highlight the sentence and change the font color to
red.  Then you realize that you marked the wrong sentence, so you change
the font color back to black, highlight the correct sentence and change
it=92s font color to red.  Later you change your mind and decide to make
the entire paragraph have red font.  The recorder will record all of
your actions, but you really only need the last format change.  Deleting
the other procedures will speed up your code.=A0

Another example in Excel.  Start the recorder to record the following

Select cell C3

Click on the toolbar button that looks like a percent sign (%) to change
the format to percent.

Then click twice on the toolbar button to increase the decimals

Stop the recorder.

Viewing your recorded code you will see the following:

Selection.Style =3D "Percent"
Selection.NumberFormat =3D "0.0%"
Selection.NumberFormat =3D "0.00%"

Lines two and three are not necessary.  Try running the following line
and you will end up with the same results:

Range("C3").NumberFormat =3D "0.00%"

The preceding steps were recorded, but only the final result is actually

The last part of our cleanup is to make your macro run even faster than
it already does.  The previous two steps have already sped things up
considerably.  Of course that may not be obvious since it probably runs
very fast to begin with.

There are still two major things that can be done to speed the code up.

You will notice that when running your macro, you can still see what is
happening on the screen.  This slows your code down quite a bit. Adding
two lines to your macro will turn this feature off.=A0
At the beginning of your macro (after the line that has the word "Sub"
add the line:

Application.ScreenUpdating =3D False

And at the end of your macro (before the "End Sub" line) add:

Application.ScreenUpdating =3D True

Now your screen won=92t change until the macro has finished.=A0

Another way to speed things up in Excel is to turn off automatic
calculation.  This however, can be a little more tricky. To turn it off
use the line:

Application.Calculation =3D xlCalculationManual

To turn it back on use:

Application.Calculation =3D xlCalculationAutomatic

You can also recalculate the worksheet at any time without turning the
calculation back on, just by entering the line:


This, as I mentioned, can be tricky.  If you aren=92t careful you will =
erroneous results.  To demonstrate, enter random numbers in cells A1:C5
and then run the following code.  It will enter the formula
=3DSUM(A1:A5) in cell A6, copy the formula  to cells A6:C6 and then copy
and paste values in those cells.  With calculation on, it would place
the sum of A1:A5 in A6, the sum of B1:B5 in B6 and the sum of C1:C5 in
C6, but with calculation off it enters the sum of A1:A5 in all three
cells A6:C6.

The worksheet should be calculated before the paste special is

Sub WrongCalculation()
Application.Calculation =3D xlCalculationManual Range("A6").FormulaR1C1 =
"=3DSUM(R[-5]C:R[-1]C)" Range("A6").Copy Destination:=3DRange("A6:C6")

=91(Application.Calculate =91should be placed on this line to give =

Range("A6:C6").PasteSpecial Paste:=3DxlPasteValues =
=3D xlCalculationAutomatic End Sub

Next month I will go into more detail of the cleaning procedure.  In the
meantime try recording and cleaning your own code.=A0=A0

Good Luck and Happy Coding!
EDITOR'S NOTE: for information on creating Macros in Word, see this
month's article on Customizing Word by Chas Kenyon
Chad K. Welch works as a technician/enabler in Utah.  He is available
for consulting or application programming with Microsoft Office and VBA.
Contact him directly for more information at chad@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Corey Seaton


<<for pictures of the Network hardware, go here>>

Greetings and salutations everyone=85=A0

As promised last newsletter, I was going to tell you how to install your
home networking hardware=85=A0

Here goes.

I=92ll be assuming for this article, that you have only 2 computers, and
that they are PC=92s.=A0

Firstly, make sure that you shutdown the PC nicely, and turn it off.

Next, turn the power off at the wall, and remove all the plugs from the
back of the computer.

Take your Phillips head screw-driver (the one that looks like a plus
sign), and remove all the screws from the back of the PC (when I say all
of them, I mean the ones towards the outside, not the ones that hold in
your power supply, or anything like that.)
Once the case is off, have a look for a spare slot to put in your card
(either ISA or PCI as discussed in the last article).

Once you have found a spare, take out one of the metal covers that block
the back slot (these usually screw in, but in some cases, they actually
need punching out).

Now you=92re ready to place the card in. I personally find it easier to
put the front section in first, so it=92s sitting through the slot, and
then press it back down. But the key here is to press firmly,


I can=92t stress that enough. It is quite possible to damage either the
card, or in the worst case scenario, the actual mother board.=A0

Once the card is actually in place, screw it back down.

That=92s it. You=92ve successfully installed your first NIC!=A0

 I=92d suggest leaving the case off for the moment, because you might =
to get back into it once you=92ve booted your computer. Saves you a =
time down the track.=A0

Repeat this procedure for the second PC and you=92re done!

Just connect in the blue cabling, and all should be well!=A0

In the next issue, we=92ll deal with the installation of the drivers in

Have a good month, and I=92ll catch you next time.=A0

Happy Networking!
Corey Seaton is a Systems Support Officer with Queensland Health.  He
also moderates an email group on Home Networking. Why don't you join and
talk to others who are networking their home PCs?
Kathleen Anderson, Spider Web Woman Designs


Well, before I talk about what it is, I=92d like to tell you how =
CSS is and how it can save you time (which equals money, right?).

You=92ve spent the last two months working on a site for your newest
customer; your co-workers love it, your mom loves it, in fact, everyone
says it=92s the best work you=92ve ever done. You=92re ready to launch - =
take your long-deserved vacation - but wait - the client calls and wants
one last "teeny-tiny" change. They want the font to match the one they
use on their printed brochure.  On every page in the site!  All 150
pages! Visions of pina coladas on the beach are slip sliding away.
There=92s no way you can change every page before your flight leaves in
the morning. You pick up the phone to cancel your vacation plans - and
then you remember - you used a Cascading Style Sheet when you created
the site. You edit the sheet, change the font, upload the changed file
and voila - you=92re done. How easy was that? The client is happy and
you=92re happy.  Finish packing that suitcase =96 you are on your =

OK, how do they do that?

Well, HTML pages contain two things; your content, i.e. text, images,
etc. and your =91style=92, i.e. how you want the content to look to your
visitors. Your style includes fonts, colors, bullets, tables, page
margins, even the color of your links.  And to set each one of your
styles requires that you add the same HTML tags and attributes to every
page in your site.  And to change just one of your styles, like a font
color, or a page margin, requires that you change every page in your

There=92s GOT to be a better way. =A0

Presenting - - -=A0
Cascading Style Sheets! Otherwise known as CSS.=A0

Cascading Style Sheets are implemented by adding just one more file to
your web; a file with a .css extension, and linking all your pages to
that one file. This file is called an EXTERNAL STYLE SHEET and it
contains code that looks a bit like HTML.

There are two other ways you can use CSS:

INLINE, which isn=92t supported by Netscape very well,

and EMBEDDED, which appears in the Head section of every page.

The coding rules are pretty much the same for all three, but we are
going to focus on External Style Sheets.  =A0

Here=92s an example of an External Style Sheet:=A0

body   {
            margin-top : 0px;
            margin-left : 2%;
            margin-right : 2%;
            color : black;
            font: 10pt Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
            background : White none;

This is saying that on your web page, you want a 0 top margin, a 2%
margin on the left and right, you want the text color to be black, the
text size to be 10 points, and you=92ve specified the font-family. You
also want the body background to be white.=A0

What does this buy you?  A number of things:

First, you can remove all the body background, margin tags and font tags
from your HTML pages, which will make your pages lean and mean - and
load faster.

And second: use of the font and other tags have been deprecated by the
W3C - that is to say, the latest specification for HTML strongly
encourages you to use CSS, which will keep you ahead of the curve.

And third: it makes it much easier for you to add content or debug your
pages - you don=92t have all those HTML tags to sift through when =
for your content.  And last but not least: when your customer says
"Change the font color from neon pink to lime green", you can get it
done and still enjoy those pina coladas on the beach.

- Have a great vacation!=A0-

My Favorite CSS Resources:=A0

Take a class at the HTML Writers Guild

Read a book:
Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, by Eric A. Meyer,
published by O=92Reilly=A0

Online Resources: =A0

The House of Style

WebReview.com's Style Sheet Reference Guide  (also by Eric A. Meyer)=A0

Try TopStyle Lite - you=92ll like it so much you=92ll want the whole
enchilada =96 TopStyle Pro  (Note to FrontPage users: After you=92ve
installed TopStyle, open FrontPage, choose Tools>Options>Configure
Editors. Select .css from the file type list, Modify, and browse to the
folder where TopStyle is installed, select the TopStyle exe and click
OK. Now, whenever you want to open a stylesheet in your FrontPage web,
it will launch TopStyle for

EDITOR'S NOTE: for more information on using CSS in FrontPage, see this
month's Featured Article by Tina Clarke
Kathleen Anderson is a webmaster at the State of Connecticut and chairs
their committee on web site accessibility for persons with disabilities
She also has her own web design company,
Spider Web Woman Designs, at
******************STATION BREAK********************
Discover How To Create Stunning Letters, Presentations, Greetings Cards,
Promotional Materials, Memos, Reports And More - Just Like The

Imagine using the Famous Newbie Club Easy Learning
System to create Newbie-Speak Tutorials of the World's
No. 1 Favorite Word Processing Program. What do you get?

eBooklet Series
by Linda F. Johnson

Book I teaches all about the formatting of text, words, and paragraphs.

Book II is all about Tables and how to use
them to get the most out of your Word documents.

And both ebooklets come with the famous Newbie Club unconditional

"If, within 12 months of purchase and for any reason whatsoever, you
decide that MS Word MAGIC! is not for you, simply let us know and we'll
refund your purchase price immediately. No Questions Asked! No ifs, buts
or maybes. No hidden clauses and no small print. With us, unconditional
means unconditional!"

So...what have you got to lose?  Check out this series:

Book 1:  Fonts, Formats and Fun http://newbieclub.com/wordmagic/?buntah

Book 2:  Table Wizardry http://newbieclub.com/wordmagic2/?buntah

EDITOR'S NOTE:  It is recommended that you read the online version of
the following article which includes pictures and might make this
clearer for you. http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/chas3.htm
(16.) Chas' Word World
Charles Kyle Kenyon, J.D.


~~I like the Work menu but would like something that lets me draw on my
usual list of templates to create new documents - not just open existing

~~I want to be able to put my favorite templates on a list or toolbar,
just like I can the styles or fonts. I tried putting them on my Work
menu, but just ended up with being able to open the templates -- not
create new documents from them.~~

Things we can already do without customizing Word.

Before we start moving furniture (customizing Word), lets take a look at
what it is that we can already do.  These two techniques for organizing
and accessing templates work as well for Excel and PowerPoint as they do
for Word.=A0


The File>New dialog lets us start a new document from any template that
is stored in the User Templates folder or the Workgroup templates
folder. These folders are further subdivided into tabbed sections (one
tab per subfolder in either of the main templates folders).

To create a new tab, create a new folder (and put at least one template
in that folder). If you end up with more folders than there is room for
tabs, you will have a tab appear that simply says "More..." and will
give you a list of all of your folders.

For more on Template folder structure and placement see Template Basics.

Use Windows Shortcuts or Mac Aliases.

Both of these environments allow the use of links to templates that open
a new document based on the template rather than open the template for

This technique - adding menus to the Start Menu - is simple and

In Windows, right-click on the "Start" button and select "Open."
Right-Click in the resulting window and pick New =3D> Folder.

Give that folder any name you want; in the sample in the online version
of this article, it is named "Template Favorites."

In the folder inserted in the Start Menu you can add other folders,
documents or templates, shortcuts to documents, template, or folders,
and more folders.=A0

Note the difference in the icons shown for the folders. Some show a
picture with more icons over the top. These represent real folders that
are in your "Start Menu" folder. Others, displayed as plain manila
folders, are actually shortcuts to real folders stored elsewhere on your
disk. The lines for the real folders will open to display the folders'
contents. If you select one of the shortcuts to a templates folder, that
will open that folder as a window on your desktop.

Also, like "favorites" if your Start menu templates folder is filled
with shortcuts, that is exactly what they are - shortcuts. If you delete
one, the original file is still there. If you delete or move the
original file, the shortcut will remain - and give you an error message
when you try to use it.

A combination of these techniques, the File =3D> New dialog box and =
to your Start menu, will probably meet your personal needs. A template
reached through the Start menu will act the same way it would if you
double-clicked on it in Explorer - create a new document based upon the

However, if you are looking for a solution that is easily transported
between work and home or that you want to share with others in your
office, then you may want to look at customizing Word by adding a few
macros and a menu or two. If this is your aim, get out your work
clothes, put on your gloves, and we'll start moving some furniture.

Preliminary Step - Organize your Templates

The first thing you will want is to have these templates organized the
way you want them. For a shared solution, we are talking about the
Workgroup templates folder. We may also be talking about templates that
are stored in a shared location and are outside of the Workgroup
templates folder. (This is where you would put templates that you wanted
to only be accessible through your menus.) You will want your co-workers
to have the ability to read these files, and in the case of Workgroup
templates, view the folder contents. Further, wherever you put these, if
they aren't going to stay there, you are looking for a lot of extra
work. (You don't want to move the piano every time someone decides to
play a different CD on the stereo! Once you have a customized menu in
place, moving a piano may look easy compared to moving a template.)

The shared location for these templates must appear to be the same for
all users - the same mapped drive letter, or the same UNC. My preference
is for the same drive letter, but that may take more regulation than
your workplace can handle. The folder names must be identical (including
the case of letters with some networks). For more on Template folder
structure and placement see Template Basics.

Start a new Global Template

You will want to keep your menus and macros in a "global" template.

If you don't already have a global template, go to File =3D> New and =
"New Template" in the bottom right corner of the dialog box. Select
blank document. You can use this new template to keep notes on what you
have done if you want. It will not be used as the basis for new
documents but as a container for your customizations. Save it using a
name like "MyGlobal.dot." Don't close it.

Make a List of Your Templates for Your Menus

Let's just start with three templates, named MyTemplate1.dot,
MyTemplate2.dot, and MyTemplate3.dot. They are stored on a network
location that is (1) accessible to you and (2) can be made accessible to
others who will be using your menus. I will assume that they are in a
folder called MyTemplates inside the Workgroup templates folder. You can
use these techniques to construct menus for your own templates, as

Record some macros . . .

To record each macro make sure that you have your global template open
on your screen as the active window. At the bottom of your screen, in
about the middle of the "status line," grayed out in a little box are
the letters "REC." Double-click on these and the macro recorder dialog
will open up.

You will have to change the settings so that Word assigns a meaningful
name to your Macro and puts it in your template. Note the use of
internal upper-case letters in the Macro name. You want the dialog box
to note that you want to store your macro in Documents Based On
MyGlobal.dot. You can add an explanation of the macro if you want in the
description. Click on OK or press the Enter key to return to your
document and record your macro. The little macro recording toolbar will
pop up. Ignore it for now but don't close it!

Create a New Document Based on MyTemplate1.dot

Using File =3D> New, create a new document based on MyTemplate1.dot. =
the new document is open, click on the black box in the macro recording
toolbar - not the x in the close box. Then close your new document, you
don't need it anymore. Save MyGlobal.dot (but don't close it).

Record two more macros

Record two more macros named MyTemplate2NewDoc and MyTemplate3NewDoc,
respectively. Follow the same steps of beginning your recording from
within your global template and creating a new document using File =3D>
New. Close both new documents and save MyGlobal.dot. You have now
recorded the macros that we'll use for our menus.

Rename the Macro Module

Because custom-built menus are very sensitive to changes, we want to
keep our macros somewhere other than in the "NewMacros" module that Word
uses for storing recorded macros. Otherwise, all of our macros will end
up jumbled together. Pick a name (again all one word) that describes
this group. Then use=A0the Organizer (Tools =3D> Customize... =3D> =
(button)) to rename NewMacros to your new name. For purposes of this
tutorial, we'll rename it LetterForms. You want to do this before we
start building our templates menu because otherwise you'll have to build
your menus again after you rename the module - the menu items won't know
where to find your macros.

Time for the Furniture moving - building the custom toolbar

Chas' first rule of customizing toolbars and menus: Everything goes in a
custom toolbar - even if you don't want a custom toolbar!

The scene: you have Word open and the only thing open in Word is
MyGlobal.dot. All of your other templates and your new documents that
you created when recording your macros are closed. The first step is to
create a "custom toolbar" that we'll name "Template Favorites Toolbar."
Note that this name does have spaces in it.

Tools =3D> Customize... =3D> Toolbars (tab) =3D> New (button)

Make sure you are saving your toolbar in MyGlobal.dot.=A0 A little stub =
a toolbar will appear. Don't worry, it will grow as needed!=A0

Click on the Commands tab and go way to the bottom of the categories
(left) window - to New Menu. The commands window on the right will clear
of everything except "New Menu." Click on this "New Menu" from the
commands window and drag it to your toolbar. (You can try dragging New
Menu from the categories window - I do this regularly - but it won't
budge.) Right-click on your new menu and rename the menu to something
creative like "&Templates Favorites" or "&Letter Forms." (The ampersand
- &  - tells Word that you want to use the next letter for a keyboard
shortcut.) You should now have toolbar that looks like it can really do
something (even though it can't).

Add your macros to your toolbar

(Scene: The Customize dialog box is still on your screen, the open
document is MyGlobal.dot.)  Click on the Macros category (left window)
and you will probably get to wait a minute or so while Word sorts
through all the macros available. Find your macros in the commands

While the macros list is organized, you may have some trouble figuring
out the order. The default project name is "TemplateProject." Then comes
the module name and finally the macro name. Since there is no way to
make the window wider, you may end up guessing to find your macros. That
is OK, if you guess wrong, just drag the mistake off your menu. Drag
your macros, one at a time, to your new menu. Hold the macro over the
new menu until the menu opens up, then drag the macro onto the menu.

As you can see, the menu widens to display the full (if
incomprehensible) name. You can rename these menu commands by
right-clicking on them while the Customize dialog box is open.

The names that I assigned were "Letter Form &1," etc. Again, the
ampersand is to set a keyboard shortcut for your menu.

Add some button images

In case you want to use these as toolbar buttons, let's add some button
images (something other than the default macro Lego(tm) spider). Right-
click on each one, select Change Button Image, and pick a button to
suit. (See Work Menu article in Volume 2 of this newsletter for more on
changing button images.) Click on Default Style to show the buttons on
your menu (and toolbar). While holding down the Ctrl key, drag each
macro command onto your toolbar (in addition to the menu).

The name you used for your macros will show up as the Tool Tip text for
your buttons.

Park your menu where you want it!

Remember that I said you needed to create a custom toolbar, even if you
didn't want another toolbar? The reason for doing this is that
customizations to the built-in menus can't be copied while custom
toolbars can be copied easily. So, having built a "copy-able" custom
toolbar, we can use items on that toolbar to customize the built-in
menus and toolbars.

With the Customize dialog box still open...Hold the Ctrl key down while
you drag your menu where you want it. Perhaps under the File menu. If
you like, you can Ctrl-drag your buttons to your standard toolbar. This
puts copies of your custom items on the built-in menus and toolbars. The
originals remain on your custom toolbar - able to be moved.

Clean up.

Close the Customize dialog box. Close your custom toolbar (unless you
want it to pop up everytime you start Word). Save and close
MyGlobal.dot. Open a different document or create a new one (not based
on MyGlobal.dot). Check under the file menu -- and where is your new
menu that you spent all that time creating? We have one more step.=A0

Make MyGlobal.dot into a global template.

A global template is one that gives resources like menus to all of your
documents. To have MyGlobal.dot act that way, move it into your Word
Startup folder. Note that this is a different folder from the Programs
Startup folder in your Start menu. This is specific to Microsoft Word.
The location of your startup folder can be set by you. Otherwise its
location will vary by operating system and Word version. You can find
the location of your Startup folder by checking under Tools =3D> Options
=3D> File Locations (tab). Once you know where it is, close Word. If =
is set, you can set one (but it should NOT be your templates folder).

With Word closed, move MyGlobal.dot into your Startup folder.

Open Word again and take a look under the File menu. You should see your
custom menu. Give it a try! All of your macros are available to you.
And, since you did not store any of these customizations in your
Normal.dot, you can share them easily.

Next month, in a much shorter article, we'll take a look at doing just
that. In the meantime, you have just done some major furniture moving
and deserve a break! Tell someone close to you that you have been doing
heavy lifting and need a back rub.

For more on moving customizations, see Moving (Sharing) Customizations
in Microsoft Word. http://www.addbalance.com/word/movetotemplate.htm

For more on global templates, see Template Basics.

EDITOR'S NOTE: for more information on cleaning up your macros after
Word creates them for you, see Chad Welch's Macro Mania article
This column was based on the Work menu page from Chas' Microsoft Word
New Users' FAQ. Copyright 2001, Charles Kyle Kenyon, All rights
reserved. http://www.kenyonck.addr.com/word/index.htm
Chas Kenyon is a trial lawyer concentrating in criminal defense with a
long interest (obsession?) with making word processing work well in the
law office. His websites are: http://www.kenyonck.addr.com/index.htm
******************STATION BREAK********************
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:  On my Windows page at Linda's
Computer Stop, I list many email groups that deal with Windows and other
related PC issues.....one of my favorites is PCTechTalk, a great group
for newbies and techies alike.  It's run by a guy named Guitar Man and
he does a fantastic job.

You might be interested in subscribing to this free, 24-hour-a-day email
tech list where you can submit any questions you may have about computer
hardware & software.  You can request fixes for specific problems you're
having with your system or just sit back and learn from the
conversations of the other members.  This list is the only PC Group I've
found that truly caters to newbies and nerds alike so you can be assured
that your questions will be taken seriously.  Here's just one of the
tips you'll learn.


~~PCTechTalk's Guitar Man


If your system has certain programs installed such as MS Office, MS Word
and others that include spell checking options, Outlook Express
(OE) can take advantage of that feature whenever you send a message or
reply. Unfortunately, it's not fully enabled by default. To make it
work, open up OE, click on Tools and then Options.  Click on the
Spelling tab (you'll only see it if one of the programs listed above is
installed) and place a check mark next to "Always check spelling before
sending". While you're in there, you may wish to enable or disable some
of the other options presented.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  ABC is building an archive of G Man's OE Tips

The group's motto of "The only dumb questions are the ones that are
never asked." reflects their philosophy that ALL questions are important
and they sure do treat them that way.  Also, if you've ever been a
member of an email list, you'll appreciate that this list's moderators
do not  allow Spamming, flaming, cursing, etc.. To sign up, just send a
blank email message to

Well, gang.....that's about it for this edition of ABC ~ All 'Bout
Computers.  I sure hope you enjoyed it!  If any of it was over your head
and you need some clarification from one of the Fleet, just send me an
email at ABComputers-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and I will pass it on to
them.  Remember that they do this in their spare time on a voluntary
basis, so you might have to wait for an answer.  To make all things work
more quickly, include as many details as you can in your email and make
your questions as specific as possible.  Also, feel free to write to me
and let us know what you want the Fleet to teach you. This is YOUR

Happy computing, my friends!

Linda Johnson

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Linda Johnson

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