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Word 365: Finding your own templates

August 10, 2019

Since Word 2013 (Word for Windows), Microsoft has hidden your own templates fairly well, seemingly trying to force you into using theirs. However, every organization I’ve ever worked for uses its own templates, not the Microsoft ones, so when users in those organizations want to create a new document, they need to choose from the organization’s templates.

You used to be able to click File > New and then My Templates, but that disappeared from Word 2013 onwards.

And even if you’ve put your templates into the Templates location on your computer (C:\Users\<your_username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates), you still can’t find them when you click File > New. There are a few things you can do to get them back. First, you have to tell Word twice to look in that location. Then you have to know how to find your templates when you click New, and I’ll show you two ways to do this.

Tell Word where your templates are (you do this in two places—Save and Trust Center settings)

  1. Open Word 365.
  2. Go to File > Options > Save.
  3. Go to the Default personal templates location, and enter the file path where your templates are stored. NOTE: For some reason, there’s no Browse button, so if you’re using the default location (as above in the intro), just copy that, changing the <your_username> bit to your own name. Alternatively, if the AutoRecover file location field in the same window has the default location of C:\Users\<your_username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\, just copy that and paste it into personal templates location field, changing ‘Word’ in that file path to ‘Templates’.
  4. Go to File > Options > Trust Center.
  5. Click Trust Center Settings.
  6. Go to Trusted Locations.
  7. Click on the row that has Word default locations: User templates as the Description.
  8. Check the path—it should be the same as you entered in Step 3. If it’s empty, click Modify, then click Browse and navigate to and select the folder where your templates are stored (by default: C:\Users\<your_username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates).
  9. Click OK as many times as necessary to close the Options windows.

Now that you’ve told Word where to find your templates, you need to know how to get to them easily when you click File >New. There are two ways to do this—the Word 365 way, and the ‘old’ way via a Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) button.

Method 1: Start a new document based on your template (Word 365 way)

  1. Open Word 365.
  2. Go to File > New.
  3. Click Personal.
  4. Click the template you want to use.

Method 2: Add a button to the QAT

  1. Open Word 365.
  2. Go to File > Options > Quick Access Toolbar.
  3. Change the selection at the top of the left column to Commands not in the ribbon,
  4. In the panel below that selection option, scroll down to New Document or Template and select it.
  5. Click Add to move it to the right panel and thus onto your QAT.
  6. Optional: Use the up/down arrows to move it where you’d like it to go on the QAT.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Test that it works by clicking this new button on the QAT—the old-style dialog box for choosing a template should open.

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Windows 10: Reduce size of search box on taskbar

August 10, 2019

I have a lot of icons on my taskbar, so when I started using Windows 10, I got frustrated with the amount of space taken up by things I didn’t want, like the Cortana icon, the Task View button, and the big search box.

I wanted to reduce the size of the search box and found this very short YouTube video that shows you how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eue0nMG9diQ

In case that video ever goes missing, here’s what to do:

  1. Right-click in any blank space in the task bar (or in the search box itself).
  2. The active items have a check mark next to them—click the ones you don’t want. You may have to repeat these steps for each one you want to remove/add. I got rid of the Cortana and Task View buttons.
  3. Next was the Search box. Repeat Step 1, but this time go to Search > Show Search Icon to reduce the search box to a magnifying glass icon. You can hide it altogether if you want to.

You can restore the search box the same way, if you want it back. But if you’ve set the Taskbar settings to show small icons only, then you won’t see the option for the search box until you turn that setting off (right-click in the task bar, select Taskbar Settings, then turn Use small taskbar buttons off).

 

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Word 365: Save and send as PDF setting

August 10, 2019

Microsoft sure hid this one! In Word 2010, you used to be able to click File > Save As and then chose Save and send as a PDF (or similar—I can’t remember the correct wording).

In Word 365, you can still do that task, but it will take you a few more steps, and you need to choose the correct PDF option for it to work as it did in Word 2010:

  1. Open the Word document you want to attach as a PDF to an email.
  2. Go to File > Share > Email > Send as PDF.
  3. A new email will open, with the PDF document already attached and ready for you to add one or more recipients, a subject line, and your message.
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Windows 10: Change the color of the title bar from white to a contrasting color

August 10, 2019

Another Windows 10 annoyance is the paleness of everything. Case in point are title bars on open windows—they are white by default (unless you’ve set your color scheme to dark) and get lost among all the other windows you might have open. It’s hard to see where the title bar is, which you have to click to move a window. A bit of digging, and I found out how to set a colour for the title bars. Note: This is a system-wide setting, so you may find the title bars/tabs of your browser change too; also, some windows will revert back to white if they aren’t the active window.

  1. Go to Settings > Personalization > Colors.
  2. Make sure Custom is set (you may have to adjust the default Windows and app modes too to get it right)
  3. Go to the Choose your accent color section and pick a colour from the swatches. (If none of the colours suits, click Custom color and choose a colour from the colour picker)
  4. Scroll down further and check the Title bars and windows borders checkbox
  5. Optional: Check the Start, Taskbar, and action center checkbox.

For better contrast, I chose a dark colour (steel blue) for better contrast. Any title bars that were in black text will change to white text if you choose a dark colour, so you don’t need to worry about losing dark text on a dark background.

 

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Video cables don’t seem to work

August 10, 2019

I’ve been having a big refresh of the computer hardware in my office—new server, new PCs, etc. Some of the previous hardware was more than 10 years old, and nothing was less than 6 years old, so it was time. All PCs now have Windows 10 and Office 365.

I spent quite a bit of time on my back underneath desks plugging everything in. But for some reason, the video cables weren’t working for the second monitor. I tried them all—VGA, DVI, and HDMI (yes, I have quite the collection!). Nothing. Darn—maybe the video card was faulty, but I doubted this was the case as it happened on each PC. I rebooted the PCs, but that didn’t help. I could see the first monitor, but not the second.

Then I tried turning the second monitor off and back on again—aha! That worked!

It wasn’t the video cables or the video card at all. The monitor had to restart to recognise the cable.

Simple, once I’d figured it out.

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Windows 10: Show scroll bars

August 10, 2019

One of the Windows 10 annoyances is auto hiding the scroll bars—they only appear when you hover over them, and even then they’re fairly pale and disappear again when you move your mouse away.

Fortunately there’s a setting you can adjust that will show these scroll bars again, for the most part (they’re still pale, but it’s better than the auto hide):

  1. Go to Settings > Ease of Access > Display.
  2. Under the Simplify and Personalize Windows settings, turn off Automatically hide scroll bars in Windows.

 

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Windows 10: Permission error messages

August 1, 2019

I have a new Windows 10 PC I’m trying to install programs onto. I’m logged in under the Administrator account, but despite that, I encountered a couple of permissions errors with two things:

  • when trying to print a test page from my installed printer via Settings > Devices > Printers and Scanners > [select printer] > Manage >Print Test Page, I got a system32\rundll32.exe permission error
  • when trying to uninstall a program I’d installed incorrectly via Settings > Apps > [select app] > Uninstall, I got a system32\msiexec.exe permission error.

I Googled both, but the second one had an option I hadn’t considered—do the uninstall via the old-style Control Panel (Control Panel > Programs and Features > [select program] > Uninstall). It worked!!!

So I thought I’d try printing a test page from my printer via Control Panel too, and that worked too (Control Panel > Devices and Printers > right-click on the printer and select Printer Properties, then Print Test Page). I then tested printing from Microsoft Word, and that worked too.

When I went back to print a test page via Settings, I still got the error message. So Windows 10 screws up something when you try to do these things via Settings instead of good old Control Panel.