A column for people who remember what
the world was like before there was color.....
Word Tips, Broadband Info, Removing Mac OS X, & More August 31st, 2001
The past few weeks have brought a number of reader questions. I want to share some of them today.
Questions I Could Answer
Question: When I first started using Word on my Mac I could see the individual pages, tell how the page looked, where pages broke, etc. Now everything is continuous - like a long roll of paper. How did I change it and how do I fix it?
Answer: Oh, if only I had a quarter for every time I changed something on my computer without knowing how I did it. It is easy to do this, particularly when you are not yet completely comfortable using a mouse. The page layouts are all found under the View pull-down menu. To change the view place your cursor on View and hold down the mouse button while you move the cursor to the view that you prefer. Release the mouse button and it is done. There are five options available including normal, on-line, page layout, outline, and master document. Try them out while you are thinking about it so you can be more familiar with each option. We all know what is meant by normal, page, and outline. On-line and master are not as familiar. The on-line option helps the user create a Web page. However, if you want to create web pages this is not the way I would recommend you try and do it. There are a number of other options available to you that are much more user friendly. A master document is a "container" for a set of separate files (or sub documents). You can use a master document to set up and manage a multi part document, such as a book with several chapters. For example, you can view, reorganize, format, proof, print, and create a table of contents for multiple documents as a whole.
Note: When working in AppleWorks the page will always open looking like a traditional page. If you don't want the margins to be visible you can turn them off by choosing Document from the Format Pull-down menu and then deactivate the "show margins" option.
Question: Under the Tools pull-down menu in Microsoft Word for Mac there is a thing that lets you check spelling and grammar. I like the spell checker, but the grammar checker drives me nuts. Is there a way to have one without the other?
Answer: I don't like the grammar checker either. It may be helpful for someone writing a term paper for freshman English, but not for everyday casual writing. Fortunately it can be turned off without turning off the spell check. Go back to the Tools pull-down menu and select Preferences. When the preferences window opens you will see several tabs. Click on Spelling and Grammar and when it opens make sure that none of the option boxes under grammar are checked. That's all there is to it.
Note: To check spelling when using AppleWorks choose "Writing Tools" from the Edit Pull-down menu and then choose spelling. Since AppleWorks does not start with the basic premise that all users are morons, there is no grammar checker included with that application.
Question: I was playing around with the different kinds of tool bars that I can choose in Microsoft Word and found one called Forms. What does forms mean? Can I make forms that other people can fill out on the computer? Can I make things like the staff at my dentist's office use where they just hit the tab key and hop over to the next box they want to fill in? I tried using the help option, but there is way too much information there. This isn't life or death, but I would really appreciate any help you can give to get me started.
Answer: Working with forms in Microsoft Word can be fun or they can drive you to distraction, particularly when you are a new computer user. If you like puzzles and are patient you will probably enjoy the challenge. After the first one, the rest are easy. With Word for Mac you can create forms that can be filled out on the computer, for your own use or to be sent to others. You can set them up so that you can tab from box to box and you can also lock them so that the basic format can not be changed by others. The tool bar Form options are for regular computer use. As far as your dentist office's forms go, those are probably part of a software package they are using.
If you are operating a small business or have a large collection that you want to document, forms can be a tremendous help. To find the Forms tool bar, first choose Tool bars under the View Pull-down menu and then scroll down to Forms. Release the mouse button and the Forms tool bar will appear on your screen as long as you are working in Word. Play around with the options there.
I will offer more detailed instructions for creating forms in Word in another column.
Question: What is the difference between modems and what they call broadband?
Answer: This will be a very non-technical answer! This can be confusing because even with some broadband services the user still has a modem. When using the Internet the user must be able to access it. It is very similar to placing a phone call. In the early days of the Internet, the only option for accessing the Internet was through a telephone line. The modem assists with making and keeping that contact by connecting to specific phone numbers. Before using a modem the user must connect it to their computer if it is external, install the necessary support software, and give the software directions to access the correct phone number(s). The modem also must be plugged into an active phone line. These systems vary in speed depending on which modem is installed. Most newer computers come with built-in modems.
Now users also have options of choosing a broadband provider rather than a traditional provider. Broadband connections are through cable connections or special phone lines called DSL (there are variations called xDSL, SDSL, and ADSL as well). Any connection that is a broadband connection is much, much, much faster than any dial up modem (and therefore usually more expensive). It is also constantly available when the computer is turned on. The user does not ever have to dial up for their connection. If you spend a lot of time on-line you should at least look into it. I have been using a broadband (cable) connection for almost a year and I love it. Some areas don't offer cable or fast phone connections. In some areas the phone line options don't work because the phone line wiring in a specific area is not capable of handling the increased work load. One last thought, if you are using a dial up modem and have a separate phone line for the computer, you can probably get a broadband connection for about the price you are paying for the second phone line and your current provider.
Question: Will it harm my computer and/or CDs to pass them through the baggage checker at the airport?
Answer: No, it will not. X-rays are not harmful to your computer, or your CDs. Ask the technicians at the airport if you have any questions.
Question: I don't like OS X and want to go back to my old familiar OS 9.5. My computer won't let me delete OS X. What now?
Answer: I had to tap some of our Mac OS X gurus for this. The first thing they said is "how can they not like Mac OS X?" Then they said there was no such thing as Mac OS 9.5, because we are only up to Mac OS 9.2.1. After slapping them around a bit, and reminding them that not everyone was a power-geek, they told me this.
If you have a version of the Classic Mac OS on your Mac, you can simply start up in that and ignore Mac OS X. That's the simplest way to deal with it. That way Mac OS X is still on your machine should you change your mind in the future. To change which version of your OS that you are using on your machine, go to your System Preferences in Mac OS X. It should be on your Dock, but you can also find it in your Applications folder. Once System Preferences has opened, choose "Startup Disk" by clicking on it. That will eventually bring up little folders of all the versions of the Mac OS you have on your computer, and all you have to do is click on the "Classic" folder that should appear, and restart your Mac. It sounds easy, but note that I have not actually done this myself as I still use Classic.
If you want to change your startup folder from within Classic, simply go to your control panels and choose "Startup Disk." Once open, you can choose which system you want and restart your Mac.
Question: I recently got a new iBook that has AppleWorks 6 installed. My regular desk top has AppleWorks 5 installed. I love 6. Is there any reason I couldn't use the iBook disk to install AppleWorks 6 on my desktop computer, so everything gets coordinated??
Answer: I am not a copyright attorney, but as far as I know, you should be able to use your licensed version of AppleWorks 6 on both of your Macs, as long as you aren't using them both at the same time. If you are using them both at the same time, then there are probably two people using them, or so the thought goes. You legally can't give it to your friends or family. You may want to check with Apple about this, or even read the license that comes with the installer, but I believe this is covered under Fair Use laws. That said, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has gutted many Fair Use laws with software, so I might be wrong. If you have any information on this, let us know in the comments.
Generic Answer: When I get questions that I don't know how to answer I suggest that the Observer visit The Mac Observer Forums. The Forums allow users to post questions, comments, and/or information on a variety of topics of special interest to Mac users.
If you have any questions, comments, or tips, let me know and I may include them in a future column.
Copies of Nancy's book Tips, Hints, and Solutions for Seasoned Beginners Using Apple Macintosh Computers With OS X are available in PDF download versions for US$9.57 and in print version for $18.15 plus $4.00 shipping. To view sample pages and get ordering information visit the September 14, 2004 column.
Talking to a generation that remembers what the world was like before there was color,
covers issues for people who don't care how their computer works, but rather what their computer and the internet can do for them.
Nancy has a Master's degree in Human Services Administration and prior to her retirement she worked for almost 30 years in field of mental health and mental retardation. She has been a Mac user for 11 years, and has recently developed an avocation of teaching basic computer skills in both group and one-to-one settings.