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Sunday, July 1, 2018

1917. Clear the Recent Documents List in Microsoft Word

I use Microsoft Word on my office Windows computer, and when I start it, it lists all the recent documents that everyone has edited. Is there some way to clear this list, so it’s less confusing? Even better, is there some way to turn it off completely?

We want to ask what you're doing so that you don't want your coworkers to see what document you've been working on?Maybe you're preparing that new resume?

Luckily Microsoft Word makes it easy to clear the whole list, remove a particular document from the recent list, or turn the feature off altogether to clear the list. Once you've started word find a list of recent files that appears on the left side of the first screen, right click on any document, and select clear unpinned documents, click yes to confirm. Word removes the list of recently opened documents.

To clear a single item from the list, right click that item and select remove from list to remove it from the recent list.

To turn off the recent file list completely you'll need to select file and then options in the Word Options dialog, select the Advanced tab, and then the display section, set the show the number of recent documents option to zero and click OK.

That does it no recent documents will show. There is one more place you'll need to fix in Windows 10, right clicking the Microsoft Word icon on the Taskbar displays a list of recent documents. To fix this problem in Windows, select start then settings, then Personalization, click start on the left hand menu, and then click "Show recently opened items in jump list on start or the task bar" and turn that feature off. In any case it takes a few steps to turn off the recent list but you can do it if you want.

1918. Password Protect PDF files

I find that I need to send financial PDF files via email, and I’m worried about who can view these files. Is there some way to password protect a PDF file before I email it? I could send the recipient the password separately, if necessary. I’d prefer to do all this for free, if possible. Can you help?

This need made be new to you but the need to password protect PDF files is as old as well PDF files because the PDF file format is generally read only and because just about every human with a computer can load and display a PDF file.

It's really the perfect means for transmitting information that can't be edited. Transmitting PDF files via e-mail has almost but not quite superseded the ancient ritual of faxing documents. The main difference is that faxing is generally considered more secure because it's a point to point protocol and never uses the Internet. The only security flaw with a fax is that you don't know who will see the printed page on the receiving side.

With a PDF file it's all too easy to print, forward, or otherwise share confidential information. To avoid security issues with PDF files then you can apply a password to the document so it can't be viewed without knowledge of the corresponding password. You can set one or more passwords for viewing, extracting pages, and printing the document.

Along with other activities most people that password protect PDF files do it using the Adobe Acrobat application but this application is far from free. If you do own Adobe Acrobat which is different from the Adobe Acrobat Reader which is free, but doesn't support password applied to documents without paying for it. You can use Adobe Acrobat to add password protection.

On the other hand if you want a free solution check out this website This site is free although it will cost by barraging you with reminders that you should give them money for their services. You can use it for free but be warned that you'll feel guilty about it. That's

Also know that their size and daily use limitations for free services but for a one off protection of a normal sized PDF you should be fine. The site is self-explanatory, follow directions to, Upload a file and password protected you can upload a file from your computer or use a file from Google Drive or Dropbox. It's really pretty simple. There are some advanced options as well if you want to investigate.

Now once you've password protected the file and you've mailed it you don't want to put the password in the same email as the file because that kind of spoils the point of password protecting it. In that case you want to call the person with the password or send it in a separate e-mail so at least if someone gets the document they didn't also get the password. Check out for more information.

1919. Send Faxes online

As much as I find it difficult to believe, I was recently forced to send a fax in order to complete a business transaction. I don’t have a fax machine. I haven’t had a fax machine since, well, I can’t remember when. I ended up taking the pages to be faxed to an office supply store, and having them fax it for me for an outrageous price per page. Is there some way I could have done this transaction online?

Well let's jump in that time machine back to one thousand nine hundred ninety five faxing seemed modern at first now it just seems quaint On the other hand faxes are still used in banking real estate and medical firms but at least the practice is fading it can be more secure than the Internet because you are going through the Internet it's just a point to point protocol but the problem is who sees it at the other end who's looking at your private fax. We don't do business with folks that require faxing if at all possible because it's a pain. But sometimes you just can't avoid it.

There used to be in the heyday of the Internet, tons of online fax services that were free. Now there's almost none at least none that are reputable. You'll find online fax services but don't use them. The only good one we know of that's free is called

The free service is limited to three pages plus a cover sheet and up to five faxes per day. You won't be sending out those junk faxes using Faxzero but if you need to send back a medical form or real estate form it's a great way to do it. That limitation should cover most people with intermittent needs. You can pay more if you need more and if you don't pay be prepared to be nagged to pay, but to use Faxzero you will need an electronic copy of your document. You can have a Word document a PDF file or a bunch of other formats they accept. If you have your document on paper you'll need to scan it first into a PDF file. For example once you have that you just upload to their service and they'll fax it for you.

Now if you just have your phone you can still just take a photo of the document and in most cases you can just fax that photo. In any case check out You will certainly be asked you to pay them but you can get by by using it for free.

1920. Renaming Printers in Windows

In my office, we have several printers from the same manufacturer. It’s really hard to remember which one is which when sending a document to one of the printers. Is there some way to distinguish between these printers?

When you add a printer to Windows it gets assigned a name and that name is displayed in the list of printing devices.

Window makes up that name based on the manufacturer in the product name but you can change that name and you probably should if you have multiple similar printers. It can get confusing to view that list because they all look pretty much the same.

Would it be better to list the printer names and their locations perhaps like HP750 in Doug's office? That way you'd know which one was which. In Windows 10 bring up the Settings app, then devices and then printers and scanners. Find the printer you want to rename and then select manage. Select the printer properties and on the General tab you just change the name of the printer and save it.

In Windows 7 or 8 it's a little different. There you open Control Panel, select Devices and Printers and then find the printer, right click on it, choose printer properties, and then change the printer name and save your changes.

You can repeat that for any other device you want to rename as well. The name of the device is something that you can control to make it easier for you to determine which one you're looking at in the windows lists of devices.

1921. Copy and Paste Between Mac and iPad

I sometimes need to move data between my Mac and my iPad. All I really want to do is copy text to the Clipboard on my Mac and then paste it into a document on the iPad. Is there some easy way to do this?

There are lots of ways to transfer data from a Mac to an iPad and you could even email the data to yourself. That is slow and feels very 2005. As long as you have moderately recent Mac an iPad hardware from the last four years or so you should be able to take advantage of Apple's Universal clipboard. This allows you to copy data from one device and paste to another and it works on the Mac iPad or iPhone as long as they're in the same network and are set up correctly.

Now this feature requires you to be logged in the iCloud so you have to know your Apple ID and your password and I say this to everyone I know who has Apple devices, you have to know your Apple ID and your Apple password or you really can't use the devices. You need to know these and you should know them before there's an emergency.

So if you haven't set them up do it now. In any case given that information you can use Apple's continuity features. It just requires the devices to be logged into the same iCloud account and on the same wireless network. For information on how to set it up go to the Internet and search online for "set up Apple continuity features" and you should find explicit set of directions which are very complicated.

Once you do that you can copy information on one device and pasted onto another which makes it really useful for things like looking up passwords on your computer and then on your phone pasting them into a website. Search for Apple continuity features and you'll find all the information you need.

1922. Find a Lost iPhone

When my iPhone fell into the cushions of my sofa, I spent hours trying to find it. I tried calling it, but the ringer was off (of course). That didn’t help. Is there some mechanism for locating the phone even if the ringer is off?

We get asked this one a lot because I guess a lot of people lose their phones in the sofa. There is one requirement to solving the problem you have to know your Apple ID and password. If you don't know those figure it out now before there's a crisis.

To confirm you've got the information right go to and attempt to log in if you can you're all set. Then on the phone go to the Settings, click at the top where you see your name then choose iCloud and tap Find My iPhone. Turn on the Find My iPhone setting and with this enabled you'll be able to locate a lost phone.

Then on every I.O.S device you own for example another iPhone or a tablet. You should download the find iPhone app.

Given this any I O. S. device can locate any other I O. S. device that signed into the same iCloud account. You can also use the services that to locate your devices

Finally to answer the question the find iPhone app or the same functionality and can play a sound on your phone or tablets even if the ringer or the volume is turned down. That way you can find your phone buried in the sofa cushions. You can also erase the device if it's actually lost somewhere and you don't want people to see the data.

Probably overkill for a phone lost in the sofa but if you have sensitive data on your phone and you lose it, the ability to be able to erase it remotely is very useful and it's only available using the Find My iPhone feature.

1923. Hidden SSID

I live in an area thatI can see a number of differnet WI-FI SSID names available.I am concerned that people are using my WI-FI signal even though they don't know my password. Is there some way to help protect me from this?

Yes. short answer Hidden SSID. Almost all Wi-Fi routers provide the ability to "hide" the SSID which is the technical name for the network name. It stands for the Service Set IDentifier.

Now there is an argument that hiding the SSID is not adding any security. Because there are utilities available that can find hidden SSID's. Well I will argue that if if it is hidden 99% of the people will not try to find it. The 1% will. I will say 99% is better.

So when you are setting up your network name chose to HIDE it. Also add a secure password. Now when you initially want to connect to the SSID you must Manually type the name (yes it is case sensitive.). On a PC click add network name and type it in. On an iPhone chose "other" and type it in. On a Mac "join another Network". and an Android Add WIFI, then the name.

You will likely also need to specify the type of password security which is normally WPA2. This is identified when you enter the name and password to your router. Of course if you are like Ken and use your CAT's name for a password, don't also use the CAT's name for the hidden SSID. Actually Ken has very long and secure passwords.

I am paranoid about security so consider adding another layer to your WIFI network. Something else to consider. Use a Guest level WIFI access so your guests can connect but can only access the internet. Your regular (non-guest) WIFI network access can allow you to access any other devices on the network.

1924. Specific browser for a URL

I need to use IE to log into 2 specific URL's and then Chrome for all others. Is there a specific way I can make this happen?

No, there is no practical way to do that. Windows has a list of “handlers” which tell it what to do (eg what program to run) when different types of files and system objects are activated (eg opened).

The list is limited to types which for the most part just includes extensions (eg .EXE, .DOC, .URL, etc.) There is no way to specify handlers for specific filenames since the list would eventually grow ridiculously large and provide extremely poor performance. Worse, there is definitely no way to specify handlers based on the contents of a file since that would require Windows to (1) open the file, and (2) know how to read and interpret the contents.

The easy way to help you deal with specific URL's is to create a shortcut for one URL that opens IE to access one bank and another shortcut to use Chrome to access another. But this will not work with links in an email. It will only work for pre-know URLs.

If you have always wanted an excuse to send more money to Steve Jobs, you might want to buy a MAC if you have a great need for this type of option. There are "pay for" applications for a MAC that when you open a link it will give you a list of what browser you want to use. However I understand this type of application requires you to specify a browser for each link you open.

I think the shortcut is a good solution.

1925. Email read receipt

I don't ever acknolege a read receipt request for emails I receive. But a friend said they sent me an email with read receipt and it was acknowledged. How could this happen?

Well this happened to me and I was not happy. I use Outlook and whenever I get a pop-up saying the sender requested a read receipt I respond "NO". Usually it is someone phishing to see it the email address is active and wants to sell me something or making sure I received the email about the party this weekend.

When this happens I never acknowledge receipt or read. As it turns out the email that was sent I opened on my iPhone. There is a setting in iPhone Settings, Messages, Read Receipt that was turned on. I immediately turned it off. I was surprised that this option would default to on, but it does.

So my advice is to turn this setting OFF.

I also investigated how different email services, as well as different email applications handle Receipt and READ requests. They all have different options and abilities. So my suggestions is to investigate your email system and device to make sure receipt and read requests are turned OFF. Also if you send an email requesting a receipt or read acknowledgement don't depend on a response to know it your email was actually received or read.

1926. Font size control

I use Outlook and I have trouble with reading the emails because of the font. How can I control not only the font sizes I create but when I receive an email with small font to easily make it bigger?

In earlier versions of Windows the font size of emails was not controlled in Outlook. Now you can. Depending on which version of Outlook, go to the Options section, then Mail, Stationary and Fonts.

You can set the font and size for new email, and Reply's and Forwards. You can also set the size for composing and replying to text messages.

The really good news if you have a mouse with a wheel option, is you can easily control the font size of the incoming email. This is a great feature as over time everything seems to be getting smaller. When you open the email simply click your mouse in the email, and spin the wheel up or down to change the size of the font. It does not save this information so you have to do it for each email,

1927. Contrast

My eyes are having dificulty in seeing various shades of font especially in a web site. How can I make this text easy to read.

What I suggest in Windows 10 is to go to Settings, Ease of Access.

This section provides Display options, Cursor and pointer size (especially good when you hover over different color areas, Yes when you hover the mouse over a white area it will turn black, a black area white. What a great concept. Magnifier, Color Filters and Narrator.

But the section I found most helpful is the High Contrast section. You can use a High Contrast theme that has already been set up. These include a High White and black themes as well as others. You can also take a theme and customize it with your own changes and save it.

So if you have problems with certain colors you can change parameters that will give you the best visual presentation. Some negatives can occur when you select these themes. Some applications simply do not display as expected. You may need to work with the settings but it definitely has helped my screen usage. There are many options in this section. Take the time to look it over.

1928. Search engine hijack

I open my browser and without me doing anything my search engine gets changed and sometimes my default page changes. How can I stop them from hijacking my search engine.

The solution sadly is not to stop it from happening but how to fix it afterwards. The cause was you visiting a web site that probably offered some free download of something or making it easier to do something. In the really fine print was something saying to help your finding things it will change your search engine. But of course you never read the fine print.

So to fix things it will depend on the browser you use. Chrome, IE, Firefox Safari. So manually go to your favorite search engine, and search for Browser default URL, Browser default search engine. This will tell you how to change things back.

You also should search for Browser Add-in or Extension removal. Add-ins extensions are things added to your browser to make your visit to some web site experience better. But often it causes problems in performance. Remember to be very careful to not allow things to modify your system without knowing you really want/need.

Another reason to image backup your system. Viruses aren't the only things that can cause serious problems. Backup, backup, backup!!