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Published 27-Sep-2001
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webWiz Online is published fortnightly, usually a fortnight before publication in print in The Waranga News.
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© webWiz Online 2000-1

  The Art of Surfing  

Here a couple of tips to deal with the problem of sites that change their layout for one reason or another and you can't find one of your favourite pages at the site. Firstly, if you're doing any type of research and need to reference the information on a particular page, it's probably best to save that page on your hard drive.

Secondly, it's best not to clutter your favourites list with individual pages at a site but just bookmark the site itself or a certain section of the site that's more than likely not to change if there's a redesign.

  Fiddling with Windows  

It's somewhat disconcerting when webWiz finds many computer magazines blithely suggesting readers make changes to their Windows PCs by changing settings in the Windows Registry. The registry file contains all sorts of data that Windows needs to run but one mistake in adding or changing data can mean, at worst, that Windows won't even start.

If you really must change values in the registry to solve a problem, then prepare yourself by reading up on how it works, know how to backup the registry files, and look for an alternative solution!

  Star Office  

Star Office is an office suite consisting of a word processor (Writer), spreadsheet (Calc), graphics drawing program (Draw), presentation tool (Impress) and other various components. Best of all it's free as a download, however it's too big across a dial-up connection (not so, though, if you're privileged to have an ADSL or broadband connection). Keep an eye out for it on computer magazine cover CDs. It's also available in a boxed set for about $100 from retailers.

Writer and Calc can load MS Office Word and Excel documents, and you can save back to these formats if you want - that gives you the flexibility to deal with users of MS Office. When started Star Office appears to take over your desktop, even putting up its own Start button and copy of the desktop. Aside from that, it's simple to use - just choose New on the File menu to start a new document. The flyout menu then enables you to choose the type of new document - text document, spreadsheet or drawing.

When installing, webWiz suggests you do a custom install to choose just those applications you want. Writer, Calc and Draw are more than adequate for what most of us want to do.

  Presenting with Powerpoint  

Presentation tools such as Powerpoint are all well and good but there's the real danger that the content can be swallowed by the flashy glitz as one slide fades to the next accompanied with sound effects and animated graphics.

This week, then, there are a number of sites for you to use as resources if you're using, or intending to use, Powerpoint as an aid. Sites range from advice on making effective presentations to audiences to where you can find clipart and quotes.

  Office Templates  

Having spent a lot of money on your purchase of MS Office, you may as well get as much done as possible. One of the biggest time-wasters can be, however, setting up documents or spreadsheets just the way you want them so they fulfil a certain task.

Even though various templates are already installed with Office, you may need more specialist ones. At the MS Office tamplates site you can choose from various categories, including: business, home, letters, stationery, labels, cards and meetings.

Laying out spreadsheets is a very onerous and time-consuming task so if you're considering using Excel for your accounts, managing invoices or keeping records, by all means browse through the available templates to save time on the initial setup. By the way, most file downloads will fit on a floppy, so if you're not online yourself but have a friend who is, you can still make use of the free template service.


Among this week's sites are many that involve various groups of people whose stories are being told almost daily, especially refugees and those affected by September 11.

Those of you who have online access will have noticed more and more sites displaying a logo as a memorial of September 11. This week's snippetts include several sites where you can express your condolences, remember those who lost their lives or share the sorrow of those who have loved ones still missing.


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