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Extension Technology and
Computer Services


University of Missouri-Columbia   Extension Technology and Computer Services—ETCS

February 2000
 Vol. 17, No. 1

A Technology Newsletter for Extension Specialists



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Computer Tips
by Bill McFarland and Kristie Sapp

Everyone would like to make their job easier. Here are a few computer tips that might help.

Working with files

Starting Windows Explore:

To do file operations, right click on the MyComputer icon on your desktop and select Explore for an easy way to start Windows Explore. This will give slightly different file management capabilities than double clicking the MyComputer icon and then double clicking the C: drive.

Copy a file to a floppy disk:

Highlight a file in Windows Explore and right click. Choose Send To and then the A: floppy drive to copy a file from your hard drive to a floppy disk.

Selecting a group of files:

You may select a group of files and perform the same operation on all them at once. Select the first file in a contiguous group and then move the cursor to the last file of the group and by holding down the [Shift] when selecting the last file, you will block select the whole group.

You may select a non-contiguous group of files by holding the [Ctrl] key and clicking on each individual file on which you want to operate on as a group.

Finding the oldest files:

To get the files you want to select to appear in a contiguous group, you might need to re-sort them. If you click on the column heading in the Windows Explore file pane, the files will be sorted by that column, first in ascending order, and if you click the same column heading again, then by descending order. For instance, to sort by date to see the oldest files first, click on the Modified column heading, then click a second time to see the oldest files on top.

We suggest that your Windows Explore window should look like this:

Notice the title bar shows the folder that you are displaying. Notice the tool bar gives you buttons for moving up one folder level, mapping and disconnecting network drive mappings, cut, copy and paste, undo, delete and properties, and the four buttons on the right to make the display show large icons, small icons, list, and details. This display shows details so you can see more information about the files, especially size and date (Modified) columns.

If your Windows Explore window does not look like this, you can click on View, Options, and set it up as shown in figure on right. (If you don't have the Tool Bar showing, then under the View menu, select ToolBar)

Finding a lost file:

Right click on the MyComputer icon and choose Find.

You need not type the full name. Suppose you don't remember the exact name. If you know it began with Pic, you should type in the Named box: pic*.* The asterisks are wild card characters that allow all files that begin with "pic" and have any other letters and any extension (after the period) to be found and displayed in a list. The list will show what folder the file is in. You may double click on the file in the display list, to open the program for the file and automatically retrieve that file in. So if it is a Word file (ending in ".doc"), double clicking on the file, will open Word and read in the file.

Some functions in many windows programs can be accomplished by keyboard combinations as well as clicking the mouse. When you pull down a list of functions from the menu bar like Edit, you will see the keyboard combos for some functions, like copy...Ctrl+C. Below are some tips for keyboard combos in specific programs.

Publisher 98 Tip

Pressing the [CTRL] key while pressing the [A] key, will select all of the text within a text frame. If you have connected several text frames, pressing [CTRL]+[A] will select the text throughout all text frames.

Even if text frames are linked and you only want to select the text in a single text frame, position the cursor anywhere within the frame, press [CTRL]+Home. This moves the cursor to the beginning of the text frame. Then press [CTRL]+[Shift]+[End]. Publisher selects all the text in the frame—but it will not select any other text, even if the frame is linked to others.

Word 97 Tip

If you want to create a Graph in Word without linking to another program, do the following:

  1. Left click on Insert.
  2. Select Object. (See Figure on 1eft.)
  3. In the Create New window, scroll down and select Microsoft Graph 97 Chart and then click OK.
  4. The resulting screen will have a "spreadsheet like" window for you to enter your data to be graphed and the toolbars will have options related to your graph. (See Figure on left.)

Excel 97 Tip

To quickly adjust the column width of a spreadsheet to "best fit", position the cursor on the line between the column headings and when it becomes a double-headed arrow, double-click. The column will adjust to the widest entry in the column plus one space.

PowerPoint 97 Tip

To quickly duplicate a slide in PowerPoint: Go to Slide Sorter View, single left click on the slide to be duplicated and press [CTRL]+[D].

Outlook 98 Tip

If you get a message saying that your mailbox is getting too big and you have cleaned out your Inbox, check your Sent Messages box. This box may need to be purged of old messages.



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