Archive for August, 2011


Print a file poster size

August 5, 2011

Did you know that most modern printers allow you to print a photo or other file in poster size? Assuming you don’t have a large plot/plan printer or an A3 paper drawer, you can still do this on your ordinary printer — you’ll just have to tape or glue the resulting printouts together (memories of desktop publishing on an electric typewriter!).

Somewhere in your printer’s properties you should find a setting like the one below (of course, each printer’s properties are different, and a very cheap printer may not have this capability at all, so there are no guarantees that you can do this on YOUR printer):

The 3×3 option shown above would give you a printout that’s three pages tall and three pages wide — a total of nine printed pages. Before printing something this size, lay out nine pieces of your standard printer paper in a 3×3 grid to see if that’s what you really want — it’s pretty big, so you might want to try 2×2 instead.


It’s not the only problem they have

August 4, 2011

I received an email at work yesterday regarding disruptions to Perth’s rail system.

Well, from the look of the email the trains weren’t the only thing not working for Transperth — the file links (highlighted in yellow in the screen shot below) in the email aren’t working either!

My guess is that these missing ‘filenames’ point to locations on an internal–not public–server.

Never a good idea…


Outlook: Reusable text snippets

August 3, 2011

(I have adapted this post from an article in Words, available from:

You’re probably aware that you can set up several signatures in Outlook, and set one as the default. At any time, you can choose another signature  and use that instead of your default by inserting it from Insert > Signature (Outlook 2003 and later).

But did you know that you can also set up *any* text, save it, then insert it into any email? This is very handy for paragraphs you use often. Some uses I thought of straight away included: directions and map links to your home or business address, electronic banking details for people who need to pay you, multiple contact details such as Skype, Twitter, Facebook, etc., as well as ‘boilerplate’ text that you might use in response to a sales/service inquiry. The possibilities are endless…

There are two sets of steps:

  1. Create a snippet.
  2. Insert the snippet into an email.

Step 1: Create the snippet

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Click New to start a new email message.
  3. In the subject line, enter something that describes this snippet (e.g. ‘directions to house’, ‘electronic banking details’, etc.)
  4. In the message body, write the text.
  5. Save the email. By default, your email message is saved in your Drafts folder — once saved, you can move it to any other folder (e.g. if you have a lot of snippets or a lot of other drafts, you might want to create a special Snippets folder).

Step 2: Insert the snippet into an email

You’re part way through writing your email and you want to add a saved text snippet:

  1. Find the snippet:
    • Word 2003: On the Insert menu, select Item.
    • Word 2007: On the Insert tab, select Attach Item.
    • Word 2010: On the Insert tab, select Outlook Item.
  2. On the top panel of the Insert Item window, select the folder where you store your snippets (Drafts is the default folder for saved email messages).
  3. In the lower panel, select the name of the snippet.
  4. Select the Text only option under Insert as, then click OK.

    Outlook's Insert Item window

    Outlook's Insert Item window

  5. The subject line and the message are inserted into your current email — you just need to delete the subject line.
  6. Once in your current email, you can alter the text snippet — the original won’t change.

[Links last checked August 2011]


Specialist dictionaries etc.

August 2, 2011

I’ve written before about some specialized online dictionaries (in the See also links below), but a recent newsletter from Chuck Green at listed some I wasn’t aware of and that looked useful under certain circumstances. They included:

And here’s another one from me too, for all the Scrabble fans:

See also:

[Links last checked August 2011]


Vista: Add network icon to system tray

August 1, 2011

I’m not sure when it happened, but some time ago my Vista laptop lost the network connectivity icon from the system tray.

It was easy enough to get it back:

  1. Right-click in the system tray or task bar, then select Properties.
  2. Select the Notification Area tab.
  3. Select the check box for Network (and any others you want to display), then click OK.