Well, Macworld Expo has come and gone. Boy, did Steve Jobs have some interesting news for us this time! I’m almost glad I couldn’t go to his opening address. I probably would have started screaming! Well, I won’t belabor that whole issue here. I’m sure it’s being adequately covered elsewhere in our little ezine! ;)
For all you free speech fanatics (of which I am proud to say I’m one), I found a wonderful site called Peacefire (www.peacefire.org). What brought this site to my attention was something I read concerning blocking software programs. Now, don’t get me wrong! I think blocking software has its place. I would much rather using blocking software than have Congress tell me what I can and cannot browse on the Web. No, the problem is blocking software also practices its own brand of censorship. If your interest is free speech, I suggest you visit the site-it’s a real eye opener. When you are finished there, visit the Citizen’s Internet Empowerment Coalition at www.ciec.org. They were a big help in proving the Communications Decency Act was unconstitutional.
One last little item before I get into the helpful hints. I noticed in Pete Miner’s article last month he used the word “pop” instead of “soda.” Yeah! I grew up saying pop until I reached the Northeast and found no one understood me! Thank you, Pete, for bringing a bit of nostalgia back into my life.
HH#24: Relocating Files-Say you want to move the file you just opened to another folder. Well, you could move it onto your desktop, close the file and all the windows except the originating window and the target window, then move it. Or, you could do something much quicker. Keep all the windows open. Close the file, click and drag anywhere inside the window you wish to move it in, and there it goes! Then use the Option-Command-W (which we learned about last month) to close all those windows.
HH#25: Microsoft Word-Okay, it’s a well known fact that Mac users hate, absolutely hate, Word 6. And with good reason. It’s a bloated piece of software that resembles the Windows version more than the Mac. Bottom line, though, some of us have to use it. Me, for instance. Yeah, I moaned and groaned about most of my command keys being taken away and replaced with dialog box after dialog box. Luckily (or unluckily?), I’ve learned to make the best of it.
For instance, all the tool bars are customizable. I tend to stick with the main tool bar and I customized it to contain buttons for tables. (When you really get down to it, the improved table function in Word 6 is the only feature worth paying for.) The buttons are not as nice as command keys, but they serve the purpose and it is much quicker than using the menu.
To remove buttons, click and hold the command key and drag the button into the document. Release it and the button disappears. To move a button from one tool bar to another, click and hold the command key again and drag the button to its new location. To create buttons, open the Customize dialog box (under the Tools menu item) and click on the Tool bars tab. In the categories field, click on the command you’d like a button for. In the central field, the specific options pop up. Click and drag the option you want to the tool bar. The custom button dialog box appears, choose an icon, hit assign, and you’re done!
Now, this won’t turn Word 6 back into Word 5, but it does improve the situation. Once you customize those tool bars you use frequently, life will be much easier. Trust me!
HH#26: Microsoft Word, again! I’m not a big advocate of using word processing programs for page layout projects, but sometimes you have no choice. With Word 6, or even 5, EPS files generally import the easiest. So, what if the originating graphic is not EPS? Most graphic software, and even non-graphic programs, allows you to save in EPS format. Sometimes it’s part of the Save As command; almost always part of the Print command (print to file in the print dialog box). Usually desktop publishers use the Print command when they transfer files to the printer. I’ve found that this makes importing the graphic into my Word document much easier and reduces or eliminates printing problems.
Internet Site of the Month:
Ovi’s World of the Bizarre (www.ovis.com). An amusing collection of bizarre, real life news. Or, subscribe to their free e-mail list and have it e-mailed directly to you!
Last, but not least: Please e-mail with your thoughts, suggestions, and corrections. I’m happy to answer and you will receive credit for your idea!
Thus ends another Starting Line.
Barbara Bell (firstname.lastname@example.org)