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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 4 February 2013

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A quarter of a million Twitter users were affected by a data breach at the company, leading to password resets and no doubt a few headaches. In a better headspace, Adam and Tonya Engst appeared on Glenn Fleishman’s podcast The New Disruptors, which talks about ways creative people reach audiences. And if you’re feeling vindictive toward an app, we have a string of eight characters that will likely cause it to crash.

A Simple Text String that Crashes Most Mac Applications -- The Next Web’s Emil Protalinski explains the amusingly awful bug in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion that causes most Mac apps to crash when you type the string file:/// (you have to capitalize one of the letters in the word “file,” which we didn’t to avoid inadvertent crashes). The bug turns out to be in Apple’s Data Detectors code, and affects only apps that use NSTextFields. So the Finder, Safari, Messages, and TextEdit all crash, as does the Mac’s error reporter, but BBEdit and Firefox do not.

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250,000 Twitter Users Affected by Data Breach -- Twitter reset the passwords for 250,000 users last week after it became aware of numerous unauthorized access attempts. According to Twitter’s Director of Information Security Bob Lord “…attackers may have had access to limited user information – usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords” for a quarter of a million accounts. Although it would be inconvenient to have someone else posting to your account, the greater danger is to people who reuse passwords among other services. As always, we recommend creating strong passwords, preferably using tools such as 1Password or LastPass.

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Adam and Tonya Engst on The New Disruptors -- Adam and Tonya Engst appear as guests on TidBITS editor Glenn Fleishman’s new podcast, The New Disruptors, which covers ways that creative people reach audiences. While the show is about “new” technological tools, Glenn is also interviewing people who have reinvented their work and their approach over a career.

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