Question:  Is there a convenient way to store multiple drafts of a word document?

Answer: If you're working on a document that may be changed several times before the final document is done and you want to maintain an audit trail of the changes, instead of saving separate documents and trying to organize and store them so you can remember which one is what, Word has a feature for this very situation which stores the changes in the file itself. Using the Versions feature to save drafts results in a smaller overall file size than saving each draft as a separate file. To manually save the current version of your document, choose File, Versions from the menu bar. In the Versions dialog box, click the Save Now button. Put in a comment that will help you to differentiate the version from others after you've saved it, and then click OK. To automatically save a version of the current document each time you close it, choose File, Versions from the menu bar, check the Automatically Save A Version On Close check box, and then click Close. The next time you close the document, Word saves it as a new version within the same file. To open a previous version of your document, choose File, Versions from the menu bar to open the Versions dialog box. Select the version you'd like to open in the Existing Versions list box, and then click Open. (Note: Keep in mind that when you make revisions to a previous version of your document, you'll need to save the modified version as a separate file in order to preserve the changes.)

Question: Is there an easy way to put an icon on the Windows task bar?

Answer: If you are using Windows 98 or later, it's very easy. If you would like to have an icon on the task bar for a program you use often or want the convenience of having the icon always available because you don't want to go to the desktop to click on it, just go to the Start button, go to Programs, find the icon you want and move the mouse cursor over it. Click and hold the right mouse button and drag the icon to the task bar and let go of the right mouse button. Now, this is the important part, a menu will pop up with choices like copy, move, create shortcut, etc.  If it's available, left-click Create Shortcut, if not, then click copy. DO NOT click move, or use the left button to drag it to the taskbar or desktop.  If you end up deleting them later, they are gone and will have to be recreated manually.  If you want the task bar icons in a different order, just left-click on the icon you want to move and drag it to the desired location and let go. If you are using Windows 95, go to the Start button, right-click, then left-click on Open. Double click on the Programs icon and continue to the icon you want on the task bar. Again, click and hold the right mouse button and drag the icon to the task bar and let go of the right mouse button.

Question: How can I get a page I'm viewing in Internet Explorer to fill the screen?

Answer: Internet Explorer's Full Screen view removes most buttons and toolbars from your screen and therefore shows more of the Web page you're currently viewing. But did you know that when you are in Full Screen mode and you click the Favorites button on the toolbar, the Favorites menu appears along the left side of the screen with a 'push pin' at the top. Initially the push pin is shown "pushed in." When you click on the pin it changes to "pin removed," which allows the Favorites menu to disappear when you move the cursor off the menu, thus enabling Full Screen mode again. You can make your Favorites reappear simply by moving your mouse pointer over to the left edge of the screen. This is a handy tool when you are actively using Favorites while browsing the Web and provides a greater viewing area for Web information.

Question: Is there an easier way to troubleshoot formula errors in Excel?

Answer: If you end up with an error like #VALUE! you may have a hard time finding the cells referenced in the formula that are contributing to the error. You can use Excel's tracer arrows to simplify the process. First, select a cell that contains an error. Go to Tools, Auditing, Trace Errors. Excel displays tracer arrows from any referenced cells that contribute to the error to the cell containing the error. You can quickly jump between the formula and the referenced cells by clicking on the appropriate tracer arrow. If you go to Tools, Auditing, Trace Precedents, you can display arrows for the next level of referenced cells. You can use the Trace Precedents feature with any cell that contains a formula, regardless of whether an error has occurred. To remove the tracer arrows, go to Tools, Auditing, Remove All Arrows from the menu bar. These features, and related auditing tools, can also be accessed through the Auditing toolbar. To show the toolbar, click on Tools, Auditing, Show Auditing Toolbar.

Question: Why does the log on screen come on when I start Windows?

Answer: You actually log into Windows even without a password, but you can set it up so if you don't use a password, the opening log on screen will not come up. If you don't log into Windows you will not be able to save passwords, etc. but you can still get Windows to start and everything except passwords is accessible. To set things up so you don't have to keep logging in, go to the Start button, Settings, Control Panel. Double click on the Network icon and change the Primary Windows Logon to Windows Logon. After making the change, you will have to reboot the computer and when the log on screen appears, just hit Enter. From now on, the screen will not come on again.

Question: How can I permanently delete a file?

Answer: If you want to delete a file without sending it to the recycle bin, click on the file to highlight it, hold down the Shift key, and press Delete.

Question: In Windows XP, how can I transfer files from one computer to another?

Answer: Use the files and settings transfer wizard. You will need a laplink cable, or better yet, if both computers have network cards, connect them together with an Ethernet cable for faster file transfer than using the laplink cable. Next, go to Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, then File and Settings Transfer Wizard. You will need your Windows XP CD for this process. When you start the wizard you will get the following screen:

The options are you could transfer the files to any disk including floppy (not really feasible), ZIP, CD-ROM, or via cable or network connection to another computer.  Keep in mind, the more things you copy, the longer the process, and most importantly, this only works for your data and configuration, the programs themselves will have to be reinstalled on the other computer. The wizard works with all versions of Windows starting with Windows 95. The wizard disk created will be used on the non-Windows XP machine to set it up.

As you can see, the wizard will pick up most all your programs and let you select what you want to transfer.

Question: I don't like Windows XP's new menu system, can I change it?

Answer: If you'd prefer to use the same menu system you're used to seeing in the previous Windows versions, just right-click on the Start button, left-click on Properties, then on the Start Menu tab, click on Classic Start Menu.

Question: I liked the old style Control Panel, can I change the new one?

Answer: Just open the Control Panel then click on Switch to Classic View.

Question: Where is my backup program in Windows XP?

Answer: In Windows XP, the backup program is not in the regular installation. When it is installed you will find it under All Programs, Accessories, System Tools. In order to install the backup program you'll need your Windows XP disk. Put the disk in and click Perform additional tasks, then Browse this CD, Value add, MSFT, NTBackup , and finally click on NT Back Installer. NOTE: One drawback to using your backups from previous versions of Windows, the Backup program in Windows XP uses a different file format than previous versions so you won't be able to read the old files in the XP Backup program.

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.