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Mysticgeek

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

For those of you who care about the iPhone make sure you get this update.

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Do you sigh when it comes to starting up your computer because it takes what seems an eternity to boot up?  Here is a quick tip which should make your computer start up faster by removing startup items quickly.

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If you want to backup your DVD’s many times the data on the disc goes over the 4.7GB mark. The most reliable software solution I use is DVD Shrink. This free application allows you to compress various parts of the DVD you want to backup. You can get rid of titles, long credit endings, and completely backup and entire DVD to your Hard Drive. You can also compress audio, delete extra languages, in fact you can completely re-author an entire DVD! When used with DVD burning software such as Nero it is a breeze to backup your DVD collection.

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With all the hype about the Ribbon, one of the more overlooked new features in Office 2007 is the Quick Access toolbar, which can be tremendously useful if you just take the time to customize it.

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Windows is well-known for having driver and .dll conflicts, as well as all sorts of software that causes problems with your computer. Luckily there’s a System restore feature that can return your computer back to a known working configuration, as long as you’ve created a restore point.

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One of the more frustrating tasks in Word has is trying to continue a numbered list when it gets broken. In Word 2007 you can use the smart tags to easily continue the numbered list.

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If you have large and long workbooks or Excel spreadsheets, being able to see the column or row labels is extremely important.  Here is a quick way to freeze the labels in place for fast and easy viewing of your data.

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I am the IT Administrator at an electric cooperative. Being that we geeks work with electronic components constantly it would be a shame if I didn’t cover the compact fluorescent bulb (CFL’s). CFL’s are those crazy spiral bulbs you are seeing more and more of everyday. These bulbs are highly efficient compared to the old standard light bulb.

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If you frequently use Microsoft Word and want to achieve Keyboard Ninja status, you need to learn how to add tables to your Word document without touching the mouse.

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Instead of using the standard white background with Word documents, here is how to add some background color to spice up your documents.

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By Default Excel does not print out gridlines with your Excel data.  Here is how to make Excel print out the gridlines for easier document readability.

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Like everything in Excel, you can customize the way your worksheet looks by changing the color of the gridlines to something festive.

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Of course I am always trying new ones as they come out and if I ever get time would like to create my own.

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When your documents include pictures, charts, or other graphics it’s nice to add a caption to describe more to the reader.

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You can add emphasis to your Word 2007 documents by using Drop Caps… you know, those big letters at the beginning of a document or paragraph that make your document look really professional.

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I have never been much of a gamer but now I might change my tune on that as well!

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When you want to quickly insert a horizontal line into your Word document instead of going through the Borders and Shading dialog box in the Ribbon here is a keyboard shortcut to save you time.

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Excel 2007 can open a document from a previous version of outlook in Compatibility Mode, but if you want to take advantage of some of the new features you’ll need to convert the document.(You can use 1.1 million rows in Excel 2007 instead of only 65k in previous versions)

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Personally I abhor receiving Forwards in my inbox. Not the important ones from my boss or ones that actually are useful in dealing with an issue. I am talking about the stupid jokes, “funny” pictures, chain emails, etc…

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Along with being a major computer geek I am also a music geek. I am also a guitarist. I have been playing guitar for around 6 years and I have some cool equipment but nothing like this. From a guitarist point of view I think this is an incredible piece of art, however I would not want to play this on stage!

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When you import data into an Excel Spreadsheet it is not always aligned in good proportion to the rest of the document. Here is the quick and easy way to line it up.

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One of the handy features of Safari is the search field on the toolbar.  This tool is quite powerful and allows you to easily manage your searches on the internet.

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What’s with all the sites these days with fonts so small you can barely see them? Safari has a really useful feature where you can set the browser to never use those tiny fonts again.

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Let’s face it, we all know people that still only use email. Here is an easy way to email an interesting web page to your contacts.

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If you share a computer you know how important it is to keep your personal data and surfing habits private.  You could always use the Private Browsing feature, but what if you forget?  You can clear your session data by using the Reset feature in Safari.

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