Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.



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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.


The Official AT&T WorldNet Web Discovery Guide

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My latest book, The Official AT&T WorldNet Web Discovery Guide (Osborne/McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-882336-6, $24.99), is now available. I finished the book a while back, but a printing error and the UPS strike conspired to keep it off the shelves for several weeks. Although the title implies that the book is only of use to those using AT&T WorldNet and the CD does contain software for use with AT&T WorldNet (for both Mac and Windows, with a free month for readers of the book), the book is in fact a general introductory Internet book aimed at novice to intermediate users. It's very different from my Internet Starter Kit books, which attempt a comprehensive look at the Internet and Internet software. Instead, this new book assumes people will primarily use a Web browser and explains how to work with the necessary tools on the Internet, including search engines, Web catalogs, business and individual directories, and so on.


In my view, the most interesting part of the book is the final section, which contains eight chapters about how to integrate the Internet into daily life. In my view, computers in general and the Internet in specific are overly isolated from our real lives. Just as we've allowed technologies like the telephone and the automobile into our lives in a wide variety of ways, so too must we integrate computers and the Internet they make accessible into the rest of what we do. Anyway, aside from being an example of that belief, those chapters are also rather autobiographical, so no snickering if you meet me at a Macworld Expo and I launch into one of the stories I tell in the book. We all have a limited number of anecdotes, and many of mine are now public.

You can look for the book at your favorite bookstore, and if they don't carry it yet, I encourage you to ask for it. There are also numerous Web-based bookstores that carry it, and we've joined the Amazon Associates program, which means that if you order a book by following a link from our Web site (also listed below), we receive a small additional payment from Amazon. Consider it another way to help support TidBITS.

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If you're wondering what I've been up to since finishing this book (other than answering hundreds of email messages about clone licensing), watch this space for some major announcements surrounding TidBITS and another book (entirely about Eudora, one of my favorite programs).


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Special thanks to Michael Destefano Jr, Roxanne Guilhamet, Terry
Swensen, and Stephen Kay for their generous support!