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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.

Web browsers today have evolved into incredible free software tools for Internet management. Apple’s Safari Web Browser now available for Windows is yet another choice for the web savvy. One built in feature that caught my attention is the Private Browsing feature. This allows you to hide your surfing tracks during any given session. What is really nice is the fact it’s integrated in right from the install. There are no plug ins to download, install, and configure.

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I’m not a toolbar fan, especially if the bar takes up my viewing space, so I always try and find the most minimal setup possible.

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With all of the problems of identity theft, advertisers tracking your every move through cookies and problems with privacy these days, finding a way to keep your web browsing more private has become important for everybody.

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I love the term “crapware” There is so much of it out there. All the crapware bundled into Best Buy and Dell computers. Here is a list of crapware that I can think of off the top of my head.

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Keeping your bookmarks organized is a critical task for any web browser, so let’s see how the new Safari for Windows handles bookmarks.

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You can customize the toolbar in Apple’s Safari for Windows like you can with FireFox and Internet Explorer.  Here is how.

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It’s a pity that the people who write browsers don’t set the default home page to something useful. This is how you change the default homepage from Apple to one of your choosing in Safari for Windows.

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When you are all finished with a Word document that has been passed around your company for reviews, you can mark the document as final so that your colleagues know that it’s the final version and does not require additional editing. It also prevents people from accidentally making changes to the document before forwarding it on to a client, for instance.

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If you are worried about sensitive data in your Microsoft Word document you can both encrypt and password protect the document to keep it secure. This feature is very useful if you have to store your documents in a shared location, such as a network folder or home computer.

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All geeks love line numbers… you can even add line numbers in your Word 2007 documents with just a few steps.

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If you are the creative type that likes to use custom fonts in your documents or PowerPoint presentations, here is a cool tip to ensure that the readers of your document see the document with the fonts intact, just the way you want it to.

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The comment tool in Word 2007 is a great way to proof-read a report or thesis paper and make notes to yourself instead of writing them onto a sheet of paper.

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Google Calendar is a phenomenal web application for managing your calendars, but so many of us are still forced to use Outlook at work. The good thing is you can have the best of both worlds by subscribing to your Google Calendar from Outlook.

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Nothing equals Excel for crunching of numbers, but what if your data isn’t already in an Excel spreadsheet? It’s as simple as using the Text Import Wizard.

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The Research Pane in Word 2007 can help you easily translate text into other languages, using bilingual dictionaries powered by WordLingo.com.

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Nobody is asking why you want to clear the recent documents from your XP start menu, but we’ll show you how to do it anyway.

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Are you sick of looking at the Windows XP logo when you boot up your computer?  Here is a quick tip on how to disable it. 

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Although it’s unlikely that you’ll ever hit the maximum Access database size of 2GB, it’s still good to know that you can set your database to automatically compact or shrink the file size. This is especially true for databases where you are adding and removing a lot of data each time.

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One of the biggest new changes in Office 2007 is the new mini toolbar that pops up when you highlight text and either right-click or move your mouse up.

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If you have a lot of Word documents and are not sure which one contains the information you need, Microsoft Word 2007 allows you to preview a document within Word without having to open each document.

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AutoRecover is a Microsoft Office feature that will keep you from losing work in the event of a system crash or power outage by automatically saving your document at certain time intervals.

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The Ribbon feature in Microsoft Office 2007 is full of features that make it easier to navigate through options, but it takes up a lot of space. If you think the Ribbon is too big, you can put it into a pseudo “auto-hide” mode and still retain all the functionality, but with a much smaller footprint.

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Adding your contact information as a Signature to your emails is very useful in a corporate environment, but also for personal emails as well.  You can add a signature the same way as you would in 2003, but you can also use The Ribbon as a new way to add your signature.

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How many times have you had a Microsoft Office application crash or lock up your system? The worst culprits seem to be Outlook and Access for me.

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Do you wish the IE7 Menu bar was located where it was in IE6?  Here is how to quickly create a registry fix to move it back to the top.

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