Tuesday, September 15, 2009

AutoComplete Oopsies and Other Inadvertent Adventures

WXPNews: Published by Sunbelt Software since 2001

Vol. 9, #88 - Sep 15, 2009 - Issue #396

 AutoComplete Oopsies and Other Inadvertent Adventures

  1. Editor's Corner
    • New Addition To Newsletter Family: Win7News
    • AutoComplete Oopsies and Other Inadvertent Adventures
    • Follow-up: Life and Death in Cyberspace
    • Quotes of the Week:
  2. Cool Tools
    • Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. News, Hints, Tips and Tricks
    • Five reasons for XP users to hold off on Windows 7
    • Microsoft gets "stay of execution" on Word ban
    • Microsoft releases super thin Bluetooth keyboard
    • What to do in a tough economy? Play games!
  4. How To: Using XP Features
    • How to find out who has used (or tried to use) your printer
  5. XP Security News
    • What's up with wi-fi security: "it's a good time to be a bad guy"
  6. XP Question Corner
    • No hyperlinks in Outlook mail
  7. XP Configuration and Troubleshooting
    • XP SP3 computers using ICS lose network connectivity
    • How to set, change, remove or view special permissions on files and folders
    • How to change the listening port for Remote Desktop
  8. Fav Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
  9. Product of the Week
    • PC Speed Maximizer -Keeps your PC Running like New and Protects your Online Privacy!

Kiss Your Antivirus Bloatware Goodbye

We asked users of antivirus products what they didn't like about their AV software. They told us they are resource hogs and slowed their computer down. They told us that scan times took way too long, and that the AV software nagged them. In short, old-style AV software takes too much Memory and CPU. Time to switch to VIPRE! It gives you malware protection that combines antivirus, antispyware, anti-rootkit and other technologies into a seamless, tightly-integrated product. Even if you run "free" antivirus software, it hijacks 20% of your PC, so it's really not free at all! Get VIPRE now and see how fast your PC can really be:

 Editor's Corner

New Addition To Newsletter Family: Win7News

Hi all, we're excited to announce Win7News that was launched this week! We discontinued VistaNews and created the new Win7News since the Vista OS is soon going to stop shipping. Win7News goes into how to use the new Win7 features, talks about Windows Security, has a Question Corner, and discusses Win7 Configuration and Troubleshooting. There are always nuggets to be found so I strongly recommend you get this in your inbox once a week. Subscribe at this link. (Note, it's Win7News.NET as some one is squatting on win7news.com)

AutoComplete Oopsies and Other Inadvertent Adventures

Modern software does its best to make things as convenient as possible for users. Some of these convenience features save us a lot of time and effort - and sometimes they backfire on us.

Microsoft Office programs such as Word and Outlook have a great feature called AutoCorrect. Most web browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Firefox, have a similar feature called AutoComplete. They work slightly differently. In Word, there is a list of commonly misspelled words, along with the correct versions. If you mistype a word, the program automatically corrects it for you. For example, if I type "cna," Word will turn it into "can." AutoComplete in the email client or browser compiles a list of email addresses or URLs that you've typed in the past. When you start typing one, it will show you a list of those previous addresses and you can go down to the one you want (using the arrow keys) or just hit Enter to accept the first one.

This can be very convenient. You don't have to worry so much about simple mistakes made by transposing letters when you're typing, and you don't have to memorize full email addresses or URLs - just remember the first few letters and the software will fill in the rest. It's easy to become dependent on the feature. I have a number of people to whom I send email on a regular basis, but in some cases they have very long addresses or their last names are difficult to spell. That's okay; I just type in "jay," for example, and Outlook knows I mean jay.cartier.jblinksky@vividitypictograms.com (not a real address). Or if I want to go to a website that has a long and convoluted URL, once it's in my list, I only need to remember the first few letters and then it's there in my drop-down list.

The annoying thing about these AutoComplete lists is that when you set up a new computer, you don't have them anymore. Even if you use Exchange, your AutoComplete list isn't stored on the server; it's stored by Outlook on the local machine. I recently reformatted a machine and reinstalled the Office programs and went to send a message to one of those friends with the long, hard-to-remember address. And of course, Outlook just sat there and stared at me instead of helping me out. Luckily, though, you can copy your AutoComplete list from one computer and transfer it to another (or save it on a different drive and restore it after a reformat).

Outlook saves AutoComplete entries in a file with an .NK2 extension. Just do a search for *.NK2 to find it (In XP, it's usually in Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook; you may need to set Folder Options in My Computer to view hidden files and folders before you're able to see it). Just copy the file, and then restore it to the same path on the new computer or new installation.

AutoComplete is handy in the web browser, too - but there are circumstances where it could pose a security issue. Unlike your email account, where you have to sign on with a password, generally anyone who uses the computer can open your browser - and see what web sites you've visited before by perusing your AutoComplete list, even if you've deleted the history file/cache. You can clear the AutoComplete file; in IE 8, click Tools | Internet Options, click the Content tab, and click the Settings button under "AutoComplete." Click the button labeled "Delete AutoComplete History." You can also uncheck the boxes here to prevent the browser from saving AutoComplete information in the future.

You can turn off the AutoCorrect and AutoComplete functions in Word and Outlook, too. How you do it depends on the version of the program you're using. You can find out how to disable AutoComplete in Outlook 2003 and 2007 here:

Here's how to turn off AutoCorrect in Word 2003:

What about those times when you're sure that someone's name is in your address book, but it doesn't show up in Outlook's AutoComplete? You can use the "Check Names" functionality (Type a few letters and hit CTRL + K) to find the address. For more helpful tips about Outlook AutoComplete, see this article:

If you do use AutoCorrect and/or AutoComplete, it's prudent to be careful - especially when you're in a hurry. A while back, I had been working non-stop for hours to get a paper finished. It was late at night when I was finally done and I was exhausted but glad I'd met the deadline, and anxious to send it off. So I clicked the email link in Word to attach it to an email message, and quickly typed in the editor's name - or rather, the first few letters of his name. I emailed him all the time and used AutoComplete to fill in his address, but this time, I had recently sent mail to someone else with the same first name. Because that was more recent, Outlook put the other person's address first in my autocomplete list. Unfortunately, I didn't notice that until I had hit the "Send" button. Ouch - my paper was sent to the wrong person.

In this case, it wasn't a big deal, but it could have been. This was an article to be published for the public, but some of the projects I work on are for the internal use of the client company, and not for public release. Thank goodness my little "oopsie" didn't occur with one of those. You can bet I'm a lot more careful about using AutoComplete since that happened. Sometimes AutoCorrect will bite you, too. I remember once when I was writing an article on IT certifications and Word kept turning CNA (for Certified Novell Administrator) into CAN.

If there's an abbreviation you use all the time and you keep running into this problem, you can delete that entry from the AutoCorrect list. You can also add more entries, if there are words that you often mistype, which aren't on the list. This article tells how to do that in Word 2007:

Tell us how you feel about the AutoCorrect and AutoComplete features in software programs. Do you resent having a piece of software try to second guess you? If so, do you turn these features off? Or do you depend on them to keep your spelling in line and remember those email addresses and URLs that you forget? Do you clear the AutoComplete history when you use a public computer or when someone else shares your computer? Have you ever run across something in someone's AutoComplete that made you wonder about the person? Have you ever had a misadventure (sending mail to the wrong person or sending out an important document with incorrect "corrections") because of these features? Do you think they should be turned off by default and only enabled as an option? We invite you to discuss this topic in our forum at

Follow-up: Life and Death in Cyberspace

Last week, fresh from not one but two deaths in my family, I wrote about the ways that the Internet has had an impact on the process of dying and how both terminal patients and their loved ones deal with it. First, I want to thank all of you who wrote to me personally or posted to the forum to offer your condolences. I continue to be amazed and gratified by the kindness of strangers who know me only through my writing.

The article seemed to strike a chord with many others who have recently lost loved ones, and inspired many of you to share your own experiences. I was glad to know that so many of you have made the same sort of close and lasting friendships online as I have, and that many of you have used Internet resources to help you through these difficult times. Perhaps the most touching response was one of the shortest, from a reader who said "Your article made me think of the benefits the Internet gives us. I thought about it as a very impersonal place and your article changed my mind." That, alone, makes the time I took to write it all worthwhile.

I learned about some additional online resources, too, such as Livewire, an Australian initiative that's devoted to providing Internet access to chronically ill children. Serious illnesses are especially difficult for young people, who - perhaps more than us older folks - crave the ability to socialize and communicate with their peers during such a difficult time in their lives. I'm happy to see organizations developing programs like this one.

As always, a big thank you to all of you who participated in the discussion.

'Til next week,
Deb Shinder, Editor

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PS: Did you know this newsletter has a sister publication called Win7News? You can subscribe here, and tell your friends:

And for IT pros, there's our "big sister," WServer News, at

Look up the WXPnews Fan Page and join us on Facebook!

Quotes of the Week:

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. - Albert Einstein

Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement. - Henry Ford

It's discouraging to make a mistake, but it's humiliating when you find out you're so unimportant that nobody noticed it. - Chuck Daly

Keep The Bad Guys Out With The Sunbelt Personal Firewall

Why do I need a firewall? Together with antivirus and antispyware, a firewall is a "must" to protect your computer. PC Magazine gave the Sunbelt Personal Firewall a "Very Good" rating with 4 Stars and a conclusion of "good protection". Check out the Reviews on the site and it will be clear why you need the Sunbelt Personal Firewall to protect your PC. One good example: Unlike the Windows XP and Vista Firewall, you can tell the Sunbelt Personal Firewall to look carefully at the data leaving your browser, so that sensitive information like your credit card numbers, email address, bank account, social security number and PIN code do not get stolen by hackers!

 Cool Tools

Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


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Search for a driver and you get a ton of Driver Software offers instead. But how do you know which one is good? Try Driver Genious 9.0. Free scan.
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Replace the horrendous Word 2007 ribbon with familar Office 2003 functionality. Try Classic Menu For Word 2007.
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Spotmau PowerSuite Professional 2008: Fantastic! All the tools necessary to fix most common computer problems. Clone and backup too!
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PC Tune-Up: 4 Easy Steps That Eliminate Frustrating Slow Computer Problems:
PC Tune-Up

Registry First Aid 7.0 - New Release Is Faster, Safer and Even More Effective
Registry First Aid

Improve your English writing skills with WhiteSmoke a smarter solution for high quality writing. Download the free trial version here.

Rip DVDs for your iPod/iPhone or Apple TV. Bundle includes video converter too! Try it free!
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Unclog Vista! Advanced Vista Optimizer will tweak Vista for Max performance. Easy to use:

 News, Hints, Tips and Tricks

Five reasons for XP users to hold off on Windows 7

I love the new Windows 7 OS, but that doesn't mean it's necessary or desirable for everybody to upgrade as soon as it's released in October. Many XP users are doing fine with what they've got, and if XP does what you need to do, why spend the money? Read this article and find out if you're one of the XP users who should hold off on Windows 7:

Microsoft gets "stay of execution" on Word ban

We reported a few weeks ago in our sister publication, VistaNews, that a court ordered Microsoft to stop selling Word 2007 because of a lawsuit by a Toronto company claiming a patent violation. I told you then not to worry too much - I didn't believe Word was suddenly going to disappear from the shelves and I was right. Microsoft was granted a stay by the U.S. Court of Appeals, allowing the company to continue selling the software for now. Worst case scenario: Microsoft might have to remove the XML function. More likely outcome: a settlement with the plaintiff company. Read more here:

Microsoft releases super thin Bluetooth keyboard

Netbooks are nice for some purposes, but most of them have keyboards that are a little cramped, especially for folks with big hands. Microsoft comes to the rescue with a sleek and super thin Bluetooth ergonomic keyboard that goes well with portable computers. There's a matching number pad for those who do a lot of calculating. Check it out:

What to do in a tough economy? Play games!

Microsoft has announced that Xbox 360 has enjoyed a 17 percent increase in sales since the first of the year, despite bad economic conditions throughout much of the world. Maybe folks are losing themselves in video games to forget their troubles, much as movie theaters did good business during the Great Depression. In any event, the recent price cuts (the high end Xbox has been cut to $299) could help sales in the upcoming holiday season. Read more here:

 How To: Using XP Features

How to find out who has used (or tried to use) your printer

If you share the printer attached to your XP Pro machine with others, you can find out who has used it - or tried to use it - by enabling auditing on the printer. Here's how you set it up:
  1. Log on with an administrative account.
  2. In Windows Explorer, click Tools | Folder Options | View tab.
  3. Uncheck "Sue Simple File Sharing (Recommended)."
  4. Click Start | Control Panel (classic view) | Administrative Tools | Local Security Policy
  5. In the left pane, click to expand Local Policies.
  6. Click Audit Policy.
  7. Double click Audit Object Access in the right pane.
  8. Select to audit both successes and failures.
  9. Click Start | Printers and Faxes.
  10. Right click the icon for your printer and select Properties.
  11. Click the Security tab.
  12. Click Advanced.
  13. Click the Auditing tab.
  14. Click Add, and add the Everyone group. Click OK.
  15. Select the types of access you want to audit (Print, Manage Printers, Manage Documents, etc.).
  16. When some successfully uses the printer or performs other audited tasks, it will be recorded in the System log. When someone who doesn't have permission tries to print, it will be recorded in the Security log. You can view the logs by clicking Start | Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Event Viewer.

 XP Security News

What's up with wi-fi security: "it's a good time to be a bad guy"

Wireless networks are popular because they're easy and inexpensive to set up, but too many computers users are neglecting security when they go wireless. Michael Horowitz ran scans in an urban area and found that most wi-fi networks in his area are still using WEP, the easiest to break of wireless encryption types. Quite a few were using no encryption at all. Only a handful used WPA2 with AES, the best protection. Thus his conclusion that "it's a good time to be a bad guy." Find out more here:

 XP Question Corner

No hyperlinks in Outlook mail

I recently installed Outlook 2007 and find that when I type an email address or web address, it's not underlined and highlighted as a hyperlink as it used to be in Outlook 2003. Same thing if I copy and paste the link from the web browser. Can you tell me how to fix this? Thanks. - J.T.

Sometimes it's simply a matter of needing to insert a space after the address to make it turn into a link. If that doesn't work, it might be that you need to check your Outlook settings. This can be an AutoCorrect issue. Do this:
  1. Click the Office logo button (Round button in the top left corner of the Outlook window) and click the Editor Options button.
  2. In the left pane, click Proofing.
  3. Click the AutoCorrect Options button.
  4. Click the "Autoformat as You Type" tab.
  5. Check the box labeled "Internet and network paths with hyperlinks."

 XP Configuration and Troubleshooting

XP SP3 computers using ICS lose network connectivity

If you're using Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) to connect the XP SP3 computers on your home network to the Internet, you might notice that you lose network connectivity after performing certain tasks, such as removing and reconnecting the network cable. This happens because ICS has lost the firewall port exceptions configurations. Oops. There are a couple of different fixes for the problem. To see step by step instructions for each, see KB article 951446 at

How to set, change, remove or view special permissions on files and folders

You can apply special access permissions to files and folders that reside on NTFS-formatted drives on your XP computer, to control who is able to access them across the network and locally. Find out how to set, change, remove or view the permissions by reading KB article 308419 at

How to change the listening port for Remote Desktop

If you have your XP Pro computer set up as a Remote Desktop host (so you can access its desktop from another computer across the network), you might want to change the listening port from the default 3389 for better security. You can do that by editing the registry. To find out how to do it, see KB article 306759 at

 Fav Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

Disclaimer: WXPNews does not assume and cannot be responsible for any liability related to you clicking any of these linked Web sites.

 Product of the Week

PC Speed Maximizer -Keeps your PC Running like New and Protects your Online Privacy!

Download the latest PC Speed Maximizer trial and run a Quick Scan to get a quick overview of the status of your computer. From the Scan Results will be able to easily optimize and protect your computer by fixing Registry Errors, cleaning Temporary and Junk Files, and optimizing your Windows Settings. PC Speed Maximizer will automatically optimize your registry settings to prevent crashes and help speed up your computer and remove privacy and temporary files to protect your privacy. It deletes junk files to free disk space and improve performance. Removes broken short cuts. Tweaks a variety of system and windows settings for optimal performance. Removes unnecessary programs from starting with Windows to increase the speed of system startup and freeing up memory to improve performance. Runs an entire PC scan or just the areas you want to fix. Provides an overview of each scan type so you know when you last scanned and protected your PC. Download it here. WXPNews readers get an exclusive instant $5.00 off purchase coupon.

 About WXPnews

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