Archive for February, 2008

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Backing up an SQL Express database to a file

February 22, 2008

Backing up an SQL Express database to a file is a simple process… once you know what to do.

  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio Express and connect to the SQL server.
  2. Expand Databases.
  3. Right-click on the database you want to back up, then select Tasks > Back up.
  4. On the Back Up Database window, make sure the Database field contains the name of the database you want to back up.
  5. Select the Backup Type. By default, it is Full – leave it set to that.
  6. Click Remove to remove the default/last backup file name.
  7. Click Add to open the Select Backup Destination window.
  8. Click […] next to the File Name field.
  9. On the Locate Database Files window, select the folder where you want to backup file to go. By default, it is ..\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Backup.
  10. In the File Name field, type the name for this backup, with a .bak extension. For example, xyz_20080221.bak for a backup of the XYZ database created on 21 February 2008.
  11. Click OK to close the Locate Database Files window.
  12. Click OK to close the Select Backup Destination window.
  13. Click OK to start the backup. The progress icon displays in the lower left corner, and a ‘completed successfully’ message displays when its done.

See also:

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Multiple users and locking in Author-it

February 21, 2008

I’ve only recently dipped my toes into a multiuser environment in Author-it—all my experience to now has been as a lone writer with complete control over everything related to Author-it in an organization. But no more. I’m now using it with my main client, the database is located there (other side of Australia), and my colleague and I are in and out of Author-it all day. So I’ve had to learn a lot about permissions and other security issues related to sharing a database.

One issue that my colleague and I came across a few weeks ago was what happens when she has a book open that I want to use too. So I asked Char, my fellow Author-it Certified Consultant and good friend. Here’s her response:

If one person opens the book, the book and the topics that that person has open are locked. However, someone else can open the book (they get a notice that the book is locked for editing, so it’s opened as read-only), and then they can open any unlocked topics. They just can’t make any changes to the book (like rearranging topics in the hierarchy).

And that’s exactly how it works. Thanks Char.

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Word: Add a watermark

February 20, 2008

Adding a watermark in all versions of Word up to Word 2002 involved a complex set of steps. But from Word 2002, Microsoft made it much easier with a new dialog box called Printed Watermark.

You can add default watermark text (for example, DRAFT, CONFIDENTIAL, and so on), type your own text, or select a picture as the watermark.

The steps to add a text watermark to your document are slightly different in Word 2003 and Word 2007.

Word 2003

  1. From the Word 2002 or 2003 menu, select Format > Background > Printed Watermark.
  2. Select the Text watermark option, and then select or type the text that you want.
  3. Make other selections to change the font, font size and color, the layout (diagonal or horizontal) and the watermark transparency.
  4. Click OK.
  5. To view the watermark as it will appear on the printed page, switch to Print Layout view (View > Print Layout). Note: You cannot add a watermark in Web Layout view.

Watermark dialog box

Word 2007

  1. Go to the Page Layout tab > Page Background command group.
  2. Click Watermark. Some default watermarks are displayed (scroll down to see them all). If one of them suits you, click it and you’re done. If you want to define your own, continue with these steps.

To define your own watermark:

  1. Go to the Page Layout tab > Page Background command group.
  2. Click Watermark.
  3. At the bottom of the list, click Custom Watermark to open the Printed Watermark window, which is very similar to that showed for Word 2003 above.
  4. Select the Text watermark option, and then select or type the text that you want.
  5. Make other selections to change the font, font size and color, the layout (diagonal or horizontal) and the watermark transparency.
  6. Click OK.
  7. To view the watermark as it will appear on the printed page, switch to Print Layout view (View tab > Document Views command group > Print Layout button). Note: You cannot add a watermark in Web Layout view.

[This article was first published in the March 2004 CyberText newsletter; steps updated to incorporate Word 2007, 21 August 2008]

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Plural confusion

February 19, 2008

An oldie, but a goodie!

A man opens a small zoo and decides he wants to display a mongoose. He writes to the curator of a larger zoo: “Dear Curator, please send me a mongoose.”

He then decides that he should get two so they can keep each other company and writes: “Dear Curator, please send me two mongooses.”

He looks at it and decides it doesn’t look quite right and writes: “Dear Curator, please send me two mongeese.”

Thinking that looks stupid he tries “Dear Curator, please send me two mongi.”

He sighs looking at that effort and after a while writes: “Dear Curator, please send me a mongoose… PS Send me another one.”

[This article was first published in the March 2006 CyberText Newsletter]

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Autotext entries in the default Author-it Word template

February 18, 2008

The default AuthorIT.dot Word template comes with the default autotext entries for headers and footers listed in the table below; most of the other Author-it Word templates have similar autotext entries, though their names may be a little different.

I couldn’t find this information anywhere in the Author-it Help or in their Knowledge Center, so I figured that I should share what I documented recently. Hopefully this information will help someone!

AutoText item Affects this…
EvenFooter The footer displayed on an even page (pages 2, 4, 6, etc.). By default, it displays copyright information, is left-aligned, and has a top border.
FooterFirst The footer displayed on the title page of the Word document. By default, it contains a field for the date the documented was printed, is left-aligned, and has a top border.
HeaderChapterOdd The header displayed on the first page of a new chapter when it starts on an odd page (pages 1, 3, 5 etc.). By default, it contains the text in SuperHeading and Heading 1 (chapter heading) both of which are left-aligned, a page number on the right, and has a bottom border.
HeaderContentsEven The header displayed on an even page of the table of contents. By default, it contains the word ‘Contents’ and a page number, both of which are left-aligned, and has a bottom border.
HeaderContentsOdd The header displayed on an odd page of the table of contents. By default, it contains the word ‘Contents’ and a page number, both of which are right-aligned, and has a bottom border.
HeaderEmpty By default, this header has no content, is left-aligned, and has a bottom border.
HeaderEven The header displayed on an even page. By default, it contains the document title and a page number, both of which are left-aligned, and has a bottom border.
HeaderEvenL The header displayed on an even page in landscape orientation. By default, it contains the text in Heading 1 (chapter heading) and a page number, both of which are left-aligned, and has a bottom border.
HeaderFirst The header displayed on the first page of a new section or chapter. By default, it contains a page number, is right-aligned, and has a bottom border.
HeaderNormalEven The header displayed on an even page. By default, it contains the text in Heading 1 (chapter heading) and a page number, both of which are left-aligned, and has a bottom border.
HeaderOdd The header displayed on an odd page. By default, it contains the text in Heading 1 (chapter heading) and a page number, both of which are right-aligned, and has a bottom border.
HeaderOddL The header displayed on an even page in landscape orientation. By default, it contains the document title and a page number, both of which are left-aligned, and has a bottom border.
OddFooter The footer displayed on an odd page (pages 1, 3, 5, etc.). By default, it displays copyright information, is right-aligned, and has a top border.
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Retool your computer

February 17, 2008

PC running a little slow these days? Does Windows take forever to start up? Internet connection sluggish? Do you have less free hard drive space than you think you should?

Check out System Mechanic, a multi-purpose program that scours your PC, even those dark corners of your Program Files and Windows directories that few of us are brave enough to enter. It cleans out temporary files, orphaned files and Registry values from long-ago-uninstalled programs, fixes performance leaks, audits security settings and sets them to values that are truly protective, defrags your hard drive, and a myriad of other tasks. Regular scans can be scheduled, and the program tells you what it’s done.

System Mechanic is available in standard and professional versions (US$50 and US$70 respectively) from: http://www.iolo.com.

(Thanks to Whitney for this article, which was first published in the June 2006 CyberText Newsletter)

Update (29 February 2008): Other programs you might want to evaluate include:

[Links last checked February 2008]

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Writing tips for non-writers

February 16, 2008

(Full details: See Writing Tips for Non-Writers Who Don’t Want to Work at Writing at http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/004023.html)

  1. Speak what you write
  2. Punctuate, damn you
  3. With sentences, shorter is better than longer
  4. Learn to friggin’ spell
  5. Don’t use words you don’t really know
  6. Grammar matters…
  7. Front-load your point (get to the point early)
  8. Try to write well every single time you write
  9. Read people who write well
  10. When in doubt, simplify
  11. Speak what you write

[This article was first published in the June 2006 CyberText Newsletter; link last checked January 2008]