Q. I've been using the free OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office thanks to your recommendation and I really like it. What I can't figure out is how to stop the automatic conversion of Web site URLs and email addresses into clickable links that are underlined in my documents. How can I turn that off? Thanks, Mr. M.
A. After using Microsoft Office for more than 15 years, a couple of years ago I switched to OpenOffice. There are a number of reasons I made the change, but primarily because I wasn't happy with the seemingly endless parade of new versions of MS Office, each costing a few hundred dollars and not adding anything of particular value to me.
OpenOffice is free, yet it contains the same components, such as word processing (Writer instead of Word), spreadsheet (Calc instead of Excel), a presentation program (Impress instead of PowerPoint) and a database application (Base instead of Access), all of which are compatible with Microsoft Office.
Turning to your question, click Tools > AutoCorrect Options and remove the check mark beside “URL Recognition.” You will notice check boxes under “M” and “T” column headings. The “M” heading will apply your selection to existing text, in other words retroactively to any existing document. The “T” column will apply any changes to the current document alone. I don't have any “M” items checked because I don't want anything changed that has already been created.
If you do decide to give OO a try, you will find excellent, free assistance at www.tutorialsforopenoffice.org.
Q. My Formating toolbar in Word has popped out over the ruler that appears at the top of the screen. How can I get it back into place under my Standard toolbar?
A. Right-click the toolbar first to make sure it isn't locked -- assuming you have that option within whatever version of Word you're using.
With toolbars unlocked, you can then drag them, kicking and screaming, by their borders to a new location. Toolbars are intended to be mobile so you can move them wherever you want. Also, look to the far left of the toolbar and you may see a little dotted "handle" that you can use to drag it. Be forewarned, however, that this is easier said than done and usually requires a number of attempts before successfully repositioning toolbars.
If you don't need the ruler, you can toggle that off. In fact, if you go to View > Toolbars, you can enable or disable any of the available toolbars. You may also be able to manipulate things back to the way you want them by disabling any toolbars you don't really need or by adding any that tickle your fancy.
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