Friday, 14 June 2002

Newsletter Issue 45, June 2002

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 45, June 2002
Hi guys,
Wanting to paste unformatted text and not have to go through the drama of mouse work or menu bar items? Then check out Pasting Unformatted Text below.
Additionally, there is a brief look at how we can save time and energy by checking those virus warnings BEFORE passing them on in  Verify those Virus Warnings
Lining Up   TLAs for SMEs        Short & Hot Keys        Hot Linx
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Pasting Unformatted Text

Now you all know how much I enjoy using keyboard shortcuts (or hotkeys to the initiated!). Well, I use copy & paste to the max. And when I want to copy & paste, I want to copy & paste WITHOUT formatting. I want to pick up stuff from one doc and slap it into another, taking on the formatting in the new document.
Brilliant. So you copy (Ctrl & C) and paste (Ctrl & V). But unfortunately, Word tries to be helpful. Too helpful. 99% of the time when I hit Ctrl & V to paste text into a document, I get FORMATTED text. 
So, using the mouse and taking your fingers off the keyboard, you have to go to the Edit Menu, select Paste Special and then select 'Unformatted Text" from the list. Or Alt & E, S, Down arrow once. Lots of key strokes or mouse-work where you should Ctrl & V.
Or you could put the Paste Special button onto the toolbar (Tools menu | Customise | Commands Tab, select Edit in the Categories box and scroll down to Paste Special, highlight it & drag it up to where you want to see it on the toolbar).
Or you could get REALLY cunning and create a macro with assigned hotkeys and paste minus the formatting EVERY time.
So how do we do that? Well, for Word 97 & 2000 we do this:
  1. Close Word (if you have it open)
  2. Open Word
  3. Type some short text and then cut it (to give you the text to copy and paste later)
  4. Go to the Tools menu | Macros | Record New Macro
  5. Key in a name for your macro (like "PasteSpecial" or "Paste_Special". NB: no spaces in macro names) in the Macro Name field and
  6. Ensure that the Macro is stored in "All documents (" and where it says  "Assign Macro to", click the Keyboard button
  7. I use Ctrl & Spacebar for Paste-without-formatting. Whatever the combination of keys are that you decide to use, try to make them VERY easy to remember, and don't put them over the top of any others that already exist. Click assign
  8. The record macro will then start (there will be a wee floating toolbar with a stop and a pause button). Go to the Edit menu | Paste Special | select 'Unformatted Text"
  9. Click the End Record Macro button (the square on the left-hand side of the Record Macro toolbar).
  10. The macro will look, if you go into VB via the Tools menu | Macros | Visual Basic Editor, like this;
Sub PasteSpecial()
' PasteSpecial Macro
' Macro recorded 7/06/02 by [your name]
Selection.PasteSpecial Link:=False, DataType:=wdPasteText, Placement:= _
wdInLine, DisplayAsIcon:=False
End Sub
Trouble-shooting: if you don't have any text copied to the clipboard, you will not be able to record this macro. If the last thing you copied was an image, then you will only be able to select "bitmap" or "picture" as your options when you go to the Edit menu | Paste Special. If this happens, click the pause button, then type some text, cut it (Ctrl & X) and click the start Record Macro button and carry on with points 8 & 9.
You can just cut and paste this macro into VB but it will not have the hot keys assigned. Next time I will show you an easy way to change the assigned hotkeys.

Verify those Virus Warnings

How many of you get virus warnings via email? I would probably get one each day, sometimes more, from well-meaning souls who thing they are doing me a favour.
However, they are not doing me a favour if they haven't first done some basic checking to make sure that they are passing on LEGITIMATE and CORRECT warnings. 
If you are sent a virus warning, it always pays to check that is it not a hoax BEFORE forwarding it to all your colleagues and friends (of course, if the notification is from your Information Systems Department you can be pretty sure that it is legitimate!). But in all other instances you should verify the virus warning before passing it on. 
But the problem is not just limited to virus warnings. There are two other big problem areas;
  • Scam emails. The one I have noticed rearing its ugly head again just recently are the Email tracking scams. EMAIL CANNOT BE TRACKED. Neither Bill Gates nor the US Cancer Society will send you - or any charity, lost cause or cancer sufferer - a cheque. So don't pass these emails on, either
  • "Chain Letter" emails. Chain letters are illegal via the post, and no doubt at some point will become illegal via electronic mail as well. THINK about it before you pass these on. And think about the logic behind what you are doing - are you really happy to wish your friends bad luck if they don't get to forward your email onwards? Or risk them being prosecuted when legislation does change?
Viruses and hoaxes are released into the wild to cause problems; servers to crash, systems to be marginalised and slowing internet transfer speeds due to increase in traffic. It is in all our interests not to become a part of the problem by forwarding hoaxes, scams or chain letters. 
The best places to check out viruses & hoaxes on the net are;
Go to one (or more - except McAfee as there isn't a search box) of these sites and enter one keyword at a time from the warning you received. If it is similar to a hoax on these sites, you can be fairly sure that your warning is as well.
And please remember to email the sender back if they have sent you a hoax, to try to educate them about not being part of the problem.

Lining Up

A good way to separate one section of a document from another is to insert a horizontal line. But how many of you know that Word has a mega-fast shortcut to do just that?  
All you have to do is to key three designated keys - without spaces - and press the "Enter" key. 
The designated keys are;
  • three asterisks (*);
  • three dashes (-);
  • three tildes (~); or
  • three underscores (_)
Word will replace each of these character sequences with a margin-to-margin line. For a custom line, you can use the Drawing toolbar's Line tool.
If this doesn't work, you may have disabled the Autoformat feature. To turn it back on, go to the Tools menu, select AutoCorrect, then select the Autoformat As You Type Tab, and check the "Borders" box.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • COO, Cell of Origin. A mobile positioning technique for finding callers cell locations & the only technique widely used in wireless networks and for the US 911 service
  • MCM, Multi-carrier modulation. A data transmission method, splitting data into several components, and sending each component over a separate carrier signal. The individual carriers are narrow bandwidth, but the composite signal can be broad
  • SDH, Synchronous Digital Hierarchy. Standard technology for synchronous data transmission on optical media, and the international equivalent of Synchronous Optical Network (both SDO & SDH technologies provide faster and less expensive network interconnection than traditional PDH equipment)
  • PDH, Plesiochronous Digital Hierarchy. A transmission system for voice communication using plesiochronous synchronisation. The conventional multiplexing technology for network transmission systems. 

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Short+Hot Keys... and now tips
All the Function keys for you - this time it's all you can do with Alt, Ctrl & F9;
  • Excel "Calculate all sheets in the active workbook" CTRL & ALT & F9 
  • Excel "Minimize the workbook window to an icon" CTRL & F9 
  • PowerPoint "Minimize the presentation window" CTRL & F9 
  • Publisher "Move between the wizard pane and the publication" CTRL & F9 
  • Word "Field Chars" CTRL & F9 
  • Word "Unlink Fields" CTRL & SHIFT & F9
  • Word "Field Codes" ALT & F9 
  • Word "Do Field Click" ALT & SHIFT & F9
Hot Linx
For those of you who enjoy the artworks of Dali, check out the Salvador Dali Foundation's website. There is a viewable collection of works at 
When Google fails you - try WiseNut. This is a good alternative search engine, also fast and slick. Check it out at
For those of you who still want to send Ecards, but don't want to pay the Blue Mountain way, try going to, and sending from, the free site 
And on the topic of cards, for those of you who remember Purple Ronnie, you may enjoy a visit to 

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here