Try these suggestions for surfing, dealing with Word foibles

John McCormick

I ran across a problem the other day that you've probably also encountered.

While Web surfing, I found a reference to something

I wanted to follow, but its hyperlink was corrupted so badly that I could not even read it, let alone click on it.

I could have gone back to the search engine to start over, but instead I used a simple trick that often helps with a corrupted or hard-to-read Web page. I found a spot where there were links, right-clicked on it and selected View Source. Then I looked through the source code that popped up.

Sure enough, someone had keyed in the start of the link as htttp instead of http. I entered the correct form of the address in my browser, and it worked.

The right way

Whenever you have problems with a Web page, remember to right-click to look at the source code. Sometimes you'll find lots of useful information even if you don't know anything about Hypertext Markup Language programming.

• • •

Something I find really annoying about Microsoft Word is that it's easy to select blocks of text and cut them to the clipboard, but deleting anything requires you to confirm each individual block.

When I make an occasional editing mistake, it's not hard to undelete the error. What I need is a way to delete marked text without having to confirm everything.

After a lot of useless searching through Word Help and every possible pull-down menu trying to find some way to turn off this annoying default setting, I finally gave up and started experimenting.

The solution turns out to be this: Once you have marked a block ready to delete, just hit Shift-Del instead of Del.

This is especially useful if you're already holding down the Shift key to use the block shortcuts it controls.

Shift-Backspace also deletes the marked text without a confirmation, and so, oddly enough, does Shift-Enter, which not only deletes any marked block but also inserts a hard return.

Now try this. With your cursor at the beginning of any word, hit Shift and F3, then do it twice again. Even if the word isn't highlighted, Word will cycle it through an initial capital letter, then all caps, then back to all lower-case.

Font things first

Everybody learns the basic way to change font sizes in Word: First highlight the text, then open the Format pull-down menu, click on Font and see a massive option menu.

It works, but that's a lot of steps for something so simple.

When all you want to do is adjust the font size, not make any of the fancy changes in the pull-down menu, the process can be a real pain'especially when you are experimenting or just enlarging the text to make editing easier.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were a way that didn't force you to drill down through menus over and over again?

Give this a try in Word 2000.

Highlight some text, then press Ctrl and ] (right bracket) or Ctrl and [ (left bracket). That's all it takes to increase or decrease font size instantly.

Like most of the tips I give, this is documented in the Help files, but I wish you luck finding it.

Even if you know what you're looking for, the documentation is so massive and, in some cases, so poorly indexed that it can take quite a while to find a shortcut.

Here are some keyboard shortcut tips for Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator browsers. Some may not work with all versions, but they shouldn't cause any harm, so test them out on your system.

Ctrl-N opens a new window for multiwindow surfing.

Ctrl-W closes the current window, which is great for those annoying pop-up windows at some sites.

Ctrl-F opens the search feature, which makes it easy to locate key words in large Web pages. This is a useful tool many users never learn.

Next time you find yourself scrolling down through a long document, looking for the reference that brought you to the page in the first place, try searching instead.

Switch is on

The F11 function key will switch between full screen and a view with the address bar in Internet Explorer.

And if the cursor isn't in a dialog box, pressing the Home and End keys will jump you to the top or bottom of a Web page.

Alt-Home will take you to your designated home page.

If you key in the core of a Web address such as 'GCN' in the address bar of Explorer, simply press Ctrl-Enter to bracket it with the rest of the address and you'll end up at http://www.gcn.com.

John McCormick, a free-lance writer and computer consultant, has been working with computers since the early 1960s. E-mail him at [email protected].


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