Tip of the Day: Word Shortcut to Paste Unformatted Text

If you are not familiar with the “Paste Special” options in Word, you should read this article. If you are already familiar with it, but find it frustrating that there’s no shortcut, you should definitely read this article. Paste Special Unformatted Text At Your Fingertips [ed.: link updated to an archived link because the original was broken]. Enjoy!

Still More Outlook 2007 Stupidity

I receive a lot of newsletters as HTML email messages. For obvious reasons, I want to view the images in those messages, so I tell Outlook 2007 it’s okay to download the images from site somesite.com. The problem is that Outlook will download some images from a site, but not others. For example, http://www.somesite.com/image1.gif might download, but http://www.somesite.com/image2.gif will not, and will instead display as a blank space (no red X or anything) of a random size (not the size of the image in question or the size specified in the source code). Can anybody help me resolve this?

EDIT: I now know the problem’s source. Apparently, this is yet another result of Microsoft’s absurd decision to render HTML in Outlook using Word’s HTML renderer, rather than Internet Explorer’s. The Scoop on Outlook 2007. Seriously, what were they thinking??? Anyway, original post follows.

Facts:

  • The images are all really out there on the web, all on the same domain.
  • The images are referenced in HTML, not attached to the message. EDIT: On further examination, it looks like affected images are all referenced in the background attribute of a table HTML element…
  • This only happens with specific images from specific senders. For example, the header logo from one site never downloads, but all other images in that site’s weekly newsletter display properly.
  • Telling Outlook never to block downloads of images and restarting doesn’t resolve the problem.
  • The images in question are all GIF files which display perfectly in MSIE and Firefox.
  • My only theories so far are that Outlook sends headers the remote server doesn’t like for a particular image (weird) or that Outlook is just not even trying to download the images in question.

So, loyal reader: any ideas? Thanks!

More Office 2007 Stupidity – Not Showing New Emails!

Outlook 2007 has started doing something maddening and stupid in the last couple of weeks. When I am looking at my Inbox and receive new mail, the item count at the bottom of the window and the unread message count in parentheses in the mail folders list update, but the mail isn’t listed in the Inbox! That is, Outlook counts the new message, but doesn’t show it.

Microsoft knows about this problem. As is their wont to do, they claim SP1 fixed it – even though it did not.

Does anyone know how to fix this? It looks like it could be an internal (to Outlook) timeout caused by my anti-virus program, the client-side spam filter I currently use, or maybe even the large number of Outlook rules I run on my incoming mail. If anyone has ideas, please let me know!

Spell Check Not Working in Word 2007

I recently installed Office 2007 on my new computer. Dubious judgment call, maybe, as it is bug-ridden as any other Microsoft product, but it was $25 at the campus store. Anyway, I rapidly found that spellcheck and, sometimes, grammar check didn’t work, at all. The below example, of a new document being checked for the first time, says it all:

Apparently, Microsoft didn’t bother to thoroughly check the most basic feature of a modern word processor. I found a fix, at least. Microsoft is still evil and incompetent, but at least they haven’t completely ruined my productivity…

An Obstacle to Going Microsoft-free

I recently found a major obstacle to going Microsoft-free. I could switch to Linux, if I had the time to fool with it, at the moment, but it appears I am stuck with Microsoft Word, still. While I really like OpenOffice.org 2.0 (OOo), it doesn’t have native support for creating tables of authorities (a.k.a., tables of citations). That feature is only really of interest to attorneys, but, of course, that is what I am training to be. Once I realized this, I also realized that OOo doesn’t support tables of contents, when reading a .doc file.

Of course, I still haven’t found anything that really replaces Outlook, either, since I use more than just the messaging features (in fact, I use the calendar, notes, contacts, and more, quite heavily) and must be able to sync all this info with a handheld.

Unfortunately, as frustrating as I find MS products, I think I’m stuck with Office, at least, until OOo or some alternative catches up and integrates much better support for other major file formats like .doc.

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