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Files to the Recycle Bin: Is That Your Final Answer?

August 17, 2000|Jeff Levy

Question: I frequently send files to the Recycle Bin to delete them. Each time I do so, Windows asks me if I'm sure and I have to confirm the deletion. Is there a way to disable that feature?

--Ron B., West Covina

Answer: You can bypass that confirmation window by holding down the Shift key as you drag and drop items into the Recycle Bin. You also can turn off the confirmation window by right clicking on the Recycle Bin and selecting Properties. Click on the Global tab and remove the check mark next to the box labeled Display Delete Confirmation Dialog Box by clicking on it. The Recycle Bin will no longer display the confirmation box.

Changing Font of an Existing Document

Q: Is it possible to change the font of a document once it has been saved?

--Dale B., Los Angeles

A: When you save a document, it is stored in a folder on your hard drive. Microsoft Word, for example, saves documents in a folder called My Documents. The saved files are, in effect, original documents. When you want to modify an original document, you open that file as a copy on your monitor. The original of the document remains on the hard drive.

To change fonts for an entire document, place your cursor to the left of the beginning of the text and then press and hold the Ctrl key. Tap the letter A to highlight the entire document. Release both keys. Depending on how you have set up your toolbars, you can either click on Format and then on Font, or just click on the font size box that appears below the File, Edit, View, etc. bar.

If you use the font windows drop-down box, you can change the font size. If you select Format and then Font, you have several more options that include color and special effects. To save your changes to the original document, click on File and then on Save.

You can also click on Save As and give the new document a different name. For example, if the original document is titled Letter, you can save the changes to a document you might call Letter1. The result is that both the original and the document with the changed fonts are saved to the hard drive.

Windows 98 Allows for Phone Dialing

Q: Can I use my computer to dial phone numbers with my modem and then carry on a regular phone conversation?

--Arnold F., Toluca Lake

A: Windows 98 includes a Microsoft program called Phone Dialer. This program stores eight numbers for you and automates the process of dialing any of these numbers. Here's how to use it.

Click on Start, Programs, Accessories, Communications and then on Phone Dialer. Click on any of the Speed Dial buttons and then enter a name and phone number. Click on Save or Save and Dial. You can also enter any phone number and dial it directly without using the speed dialer buttons.

Phone Dialer can keep track of the phone numbers you call and when you placed the calls. Just click on Tools and then select Show Log to display the Call Log window. From within the Call Log window choose Log, Options and then check the Incoming Calls check box. The Phone Dialer program will now keep track of who you called and when. Even if you enter the phone number to dial each time you use the Phone Dialer, the program log will keep that call list for you. This can be useful if you make business calls while at your computer.

Trove of Templates Available in Word

Q: I use Microsoft Word and from time to time I need to create legal documents called "pleadings." The problem is that I can't create the vertical line that runs top-to-bottom at the right side of caption section of the document. Is there a way to do this?

--Barry S., San Francisco

A: The Office 2000 version of Microsoft Word comes with a large number of templates, including one that creates legal pleadings. Other templates include labels, faxes, memos, fliers, brochures, manuals and much more. To access these templates, open Word and click on File. Now click on New and then select a tab. Several of the templates can display the document type in a Preview window. The Office 97 version of Word has the legal pleading tab and a couple of others, but not near as many as the Office 2000 Word version.


Jeff Levy hosts the "On Computers" radio talk show from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on KFI-AM (640). He can be reached at

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