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Mysteriously Moving Margins in Word

In Microsoft Word 2008 (and older versions), if you put your cursor in a paragraph and then move a tab or indent marker in the ruler, the change applies to just that paragraph. If your markers are closely spaced, you may have trouble grabbing the right one, and inadvertently work with tabs when you want to work with indents, or vice-versa. The solution is to hover your mouse over the marker until a yellow tooltip confirms which element you're about to drag.

I recently came to appreciate the importance of waiting for those tooltips: a document mysteriously reset its margins several times while I was under deadline pressure, causing a variety of problems. After several hours of puzzlement, I had my "doh!" moment: I had been dragging a margin marker when I thought I was dragging an indent marker.

When it comes to moving markers in the Word ruler, the moral of the story is always to hover, read, and only then drag.


ExtraBITS for 13 December 2010

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If you haven’t been listening to iTunes Store previews recently, you might not have realized that they’ve largely been extended from 30 seconds to 90 seconds. And you’ll spend a lot more than 90 seconds reading Michael Mace’s fascinating explanation of why Apple is beating RIM, and how computing platforms die.

iTunes Store Offers 90-second Song Previews -- Lex Friedman writes at Macworld about how Apple has now modified the U.S. iTunes Store to play 90-second previews of songs longer than two-and-a-half minutes; that’s up from 30 seconds. According to Lex, not all songs have the new previews yet, and the longer previews are limited to the U.S. iTunes Store, presumably due to licensing restrictions in other countries. Still, 90 seconds is much better for getting a sense of a song. Oh, and look carefully at the screenshot; 90 seconds should be more than enough to get a sense of that piece!

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Michael Mace Explains Why Apple Is Beating RIM -- This lengthy blog post from ex-Apple and ex-Palm exec Michael Mace provides a fascinating look at what BlackBerry maker RIM is doing wrong, and, more generally, how a computing platform dies. It’s a few months old, but well worth reading for an insider’s view of how large technology companies can succeed or fail.

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