Question:  Is there a way to speed up Word 2000 start up?

Answer: You can disable the splash screen (the startup screen advertising Word) by creating a new shortcut, either on the desktop or on one of the menus. You need to have Word 2000 with Service Release 1a installed. In the shortcut, add /q at the end of the string. The normal install directory is "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Winword.exe" /q

Question: How can I insert a watermark in a Word document?

Answer: Applying a watermark is an excellent way to dress up a dull document. A watermark is a pale image through which you can read your document's text is now easier than it used to be to insert watermarks in Word documents. You used to have to insert the picture or clip art into the header and make it full page. Now, to insert a watermark in your Word document, first choose Insert then Picture, then click on Clip Art from the menu bar and insert the clip art object of your choice. You can also use a picture if you prefer or you can also use a WordArt picture. Next, select the clip art object you inserted an then choose Format, Picture, then click on the Picture tab (if it isn't already active), and then choose Watermark from Image Control area's Color dropdown list. This setting automatically readjusts the picture's Brightness and Contrast settings to lighten your picture. As an alternative, you may wish to customize the Brightness and Contrast settings yourself, rather than using the predetermined watermark settings. Next, click on the Layout tab, and then choose the Behind Text option. If you're using Word 97 or 98, click on the Position tab and then make sure the Float Over Text check box is selected. When you've finished, click OK. If you're using Word 2000, you can now continue to fine-tune your watermark's size and position as desired. If you're using Word 97 or 98, you'll need to place the watermark behind your document text before you fine-tune it. To do so, click the Draw button on the Drawing toolbar, and then choose Order, then Send To Back from the resulting pop-up menu. As an alternative, right-click on your watermark, then choose Order then Send To Back from the resulting shortcut menu.) Note: You can quickly access the Text Wrapping, Image Control, Brightness and Contrast options mentioned (as well as other picture-editing options) on Word's Picture toolbar. To display the Picture toolbar, right-click on your clip art object and then choose Show Picture Toolbar from the resulting shortcut menu.

Question: Is there a way to compare two Word documents?

Answer:  You can keep track of the revisions you make to a document by turning on Word's Highlight Changes feature before you begin modifying it. To do so, choose Tools, then Track Changes, then Highlight Changes from the menu bar, and then select the Track Changes While Editing check box. As an alternative, you can click the Track Changes button on the Reviewing toolbar, which you can display by choosing View, then Toolbars, then click Reviewing from the menu bar. Yet another alternative is to simply double-click on the TRK icon in the status bar located at the bottom of the application window. When the Track Changes feature is active, any changes you make to the active document are marked in color. However, what do you do if you forget to turn on the Track Changes While Editing feature, and modifications you make to a document aren't marked? If you have a copy of the original, unmodified document, you can use the Compare Documents feature to compare the revised copy to the original. To do so, open the revised document, and then choose Tools, then Track Changes, then Compare Documents from the menu bar. In the Select File To Compare With Current Document dialog box, locate and open the original version of the revised document. When you do, Word compares the original to the revised copy and marks any discrepancies between the two in the revised copy, just as it would if you had used the Track Changes While Editing feature. Note: If you don't have a backup copy of the original, and you've made changes that you haven't yet saved, you can choose File, Save As to save a copy of the revised document under a different name. Then compare the copy to the original using the Compare Documents feature.

Question: How can I make my printer print in reverse so the printed documents are in order?

Answer: If your printer stacks printed pages in such a way that the first page of your document is at the bottom of the stack and the last page ends up at the top, then you're forced to waste precious time rearranging the printed pages to get them in their proper order. Luckily, Word is sensitive to these types of printer situations and offers a simple solution. Rather than rearranging printed pages by hand, you can configure Word to print them in reverse order. To do so, select Tools, then Options. In the Options dialog box, click on the Print tab. Select the Reverse Print Order check box in the Printing Options panel, then click OK. You can also access this setting when you prepare to print your document by selecting File | Print from the menu bar to open the Print dialog box. Click the Options button to access the Print property sheet, then select the Reverse Print Order check box and click OK. Then, click OK to print your document or click Close to exit the Print dialog box. This technique isn't limited to use with a quirky printer - you'll find it convenient any time you need to print a document beginning from the last page to the first.

Question: How can I fix file associations in Windows?

Answer: File associations are how Windows knows what program to use to edit or view a file. For instance, if you have Word on your computer, your documents are saved with a .doc file extension, so Windows knows if you have a file attached to an email or a file on the desktop, and you double click on it, Windows starts Word and loads that file into it. If you accidentally associate a particular file extension with the wrong application, don't try to fix it with Windows Explorer's File Types tab in the Folder Options dialog box - there's no way to remove a single extension from a registered file type without deleting the entire entry and starting over. Instead, use Windows 98's version of the Windows 3.x File Manager, which you can launch from the Run dialog box by typing winfile and pressing [Enter]. Once File Manager opens, pull down the File menu and select the Associate command. When the Associate dialog box appears, type the extension that you want to get rid of in the Files With Extension text box. When you do, you'll see the errant file association appear in the Associate With text box. To remove the file association, scroll to the top of the list of file types, select (None), and then click OK.  If you just want to change the program, after typing the extension, click on the Browse button and put in the name of the program you want to use. If you attempt to change association within File Types, usually the changes won't work properly so this is the easiest way to change them.

Question: Is there a way to print a listing of the links on a web page?

Answer: Have you ever wanted a listing of all the links on a particular Web page? For instance, say you are on my list page and you would like to print out a list of all the links on the page so you don't have to write several down. Having a printed copy of all available links can be especially helpful on content-rich sites, or if you're a frequent online shopper of that particular site. To print a table of all the links associated with a Web page in Internet Explorer, choose File, then Print to open the Print dialog box. At the bottom of the dialog box, check the Print Table Of Links option to print all the links associated with the Web page you're currently viewing. Then click OK. Your printer will generate a printout of the Web page, along with a handy listing of all the links on the page.  In the later versions of Internet Explorer, the Print Table of Links option is on the Options tab in the print dialog box.

Question: Is there a way to exclude one item from the AutoArchive feature in Outlook?

Answer: If you have an item that you don't want archived, you can exclude it from the AutoArchive process. To do this, open the item and choose File, Properties. On the General property sheet, select the Do Not AutoArchive This Item check box and click OK.

Question: Is there an easy way to toggle grid lines in Excel?

Answer: You'll often want to change whether gridlines are displayed in a worksheet, but doing so is rather cumbersome. To do so, you probably select Tools, Options from the menu bar, switch to the View sheet, and change the Gridlines setting in the Window Options section. There's a button you can use that toggles the gridlines, but it's located on a toolbar you probably use only rarely--if at all. Fortunately, you can easily move the button to the Standard toolbar so that you always have quick access to the feature. To do so, select View, Toolbars, Forms from the menu bar. Then, while holding down the [Alt] key, drag the Toggle Grid button to the Standard toolbar. By default, the Toggle Grid button is the one that's clicked in and is located in the lower-left corner of the floating toolbar. You can close the Forms toolbar at this point and the Toggle Grid button remains where you placed it on the Standard toolbar.

Question: How can I freeze Excel column and row headings so I can always see them?

Answer: When you work with a large Excel worksheet, it's often difficult to remember exactly what kinds of data columns or rows contain once you begin scrolling around the sheet. Fortunately, you can freeze rows and columns that contain headings so that you always know what data you're looking at. To freeze a row, select the row number or the cell in column A that's immediately beneath the last row you want frozen. Then, select Window, Freeze Panes from the menu bar. Excel inserts a thin line to show you where the frozen pane begins. To freeze a column, select the column letter or the cell in row 1 that's immediately to the right of the last column you want frozen. To freeze horizontal and vertical headings simultaneously, select the cell that's in the upper-left corner of the range you want to remain scrollable and then invoke the Freeze Panes feature. To restore the workbook to its normal view, simply select Window, Unfreeze Panes from the menu bar.

Question: What all do I need to setup to connect to the Internet?

Answer: You need to setup your computer to dial up the ISP (Internet Service Provider), setup your e-mail program, and also set the Internet Options settings in Control Panel. For a detailed description, click here to view a discussion covering this subject.

Please Note: All information provided in The Help Desk web site is in easy to understand terms, in my opinion only, and may not necessarily be the only accepted answers or advice.  I will not be responsible for any problems caused from anyone making any configuration or hardware changes to their computer system resulting from information obtained from this web site.  Please contact me prior to using any content from this web site.