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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.

 
 

Daylight Saving Time Saved

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Apple last week released a set of updates which reflect the changes in Daylight Saving Time that go into effect this year in the United States and elsewhere (for additional information, see my article "Daylight Saving Time May Bite the Out-of-Date," 2007-01-29). The very welcome update for Mac OS X 10.3.9, Daylight Saving Time Update (Panther), updates the time zone and ICU data files, such that the system now correctly handles the new Daylight Saving time rules for 2007. The update for Mac OS X 10.4.8, Daylight Saving Time Update (Tiger), likewise contains a complete set of time zone and ICU files; it adds several new cities and various world-wide changes to the time zone information included with the previous Mac OS X 10.4.5 and 10.4.6 updates.

I'm pleased to see Apple do right by their customers who are running Panther. There was some discussion online of the "Y2K7" problem in late January, with Ian Ward Comfort's patch appearing on 28-Jan-07 at AFP548.com; a variety of other patches and methods have appeared in blogs and mailing lists. (I hope the authors of those patches will vet their solutions against Apple's updates, and indicate whether folks who have installed the former have any cause to worry from the latter.)

People still running Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar are out of luck in terms of an official Apple patch. However, a modified patch for those users is also available at the AFP548 Web site.

At the same time, Apple released Java for Mac OS X 10.4, Release 5, which updates J2SE 5.0 to version 1.5.0_07, and Java 1.4 to version 1.4.2_12. The update primarily fixes handling of Daylight Saving Time in Java, but also delivers improved reliability and compatibility. For Panther users, Java for Mac OS X 10.3 Update 5 brings Java 1.4.2 to version 1.4.2_12, includes Java Advanced Imaging and Java 3D support, and also fixes a problem where some Java applications wouldn't open after installing QuickTime 7.0.4 or later.

It's impossible to draw a causal relationship between my original article and the appearance of these updates, now two weeks later, but I'd like to think I played a small role in their appearance.

 

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