Show or Hide Formatting (extra characters) in Word 2007 / 2010

Do you have extra formatting characters or funny symbols in your Word Document? Do you have dots between every word in MSWord? Or are you proofing something so carefully that you might actually WANT those characters but don’t know how to turn them on? Here’s how you can easily switch them off and on. Continue reading “Show or Hide Formatting (extra characters) in Word 2007 / 2010”

Ninite installs and updates your PC's programs all at once

A friend of mine introduced me to a website called Ninite. Trust me, I didn’t want to click the link while I was at work, either. Especially not when it come in an email that said nothing more than “you’re welcome. 😉” Still, I gave it a shot, and wanted to give this a plug as well. Again, I’m not normally in to tools and applications, I’m more about real techinical information you can use – but this may be helpful to people who build lots of machines. is the reverse of last week’s mentioned PC Decrapifier. It installs multiple applications on your computer at once. When you first head to their home page at you’re greated with a large page of checkboxes. Check the applications you want to install, then click the large “Get installer” button at the bottom of the page.

The next page showed me a page of installers I had selected with another big green button that said “download installer.” I clicked on that and away it went. Now, I ran this on a computer which I had been using for a while with several outated applications on it. I can easily see the benefits of using a tool like this to roll several applications out to a new computer that never had anything on it before, it sounds great and simple – but it also touts itself as an application updater, and I wanted to see how well that feature performed. To my jaw dropping surprise? Like a charm. In less than five minutes, I was notified that the work was complete by this Window:

Ninite detected the application that did not require updating and did not bother downloading the installers for those applications. This saved both time and bandwidth, especially considering some of the applications I had selected were on the substantially sized side of things! So there it is, two weeks in a row I’m plugging an application to batch uninstall programs, and a program to mass-install programs. Hopefully next week we’ll get back in to the really geeky stuff!

PC Decrapifier makes quick work of removing bloatware

Bloatware is the term that geeks in the computer industry call of that junk that comes preinstalled on your computer when you buy it from the store. To uninstall all of the programs that HP, Dell, Acer, Sony, Fujitsu, ASUS — any of’em put on your computer, it can be quite a chore. You don’t want Xobni games, you don’t want the trial version of Office Home and Business, you don’t want a trial of Quickbooks… you just want your computer. Well, even though I don’t usually talk about tools, this one is a time saver and I think people should know about it.

To do a mass unisntall of several programs on your computer, there’s only one good tool out there: PC Decrapifier. After a quick installation, you can let it find the most common bloatware, or you can go through a list of all of the installed programs and run through them yourself. Although the process isn’t 100% automated, it will save you from scrolling through your “add/remove programs” list or “Programs and Features” to find the applications you want to uninstall one at a time. The occasional uninstall screen may prompt you for a few additional mouse clicks, but the rest of the process will just roll on. You make the decisions once, and away you go. I encourage you to head on over to and check it out!

In the interest of disclosure for anyone interested, this is a completely unsolicited endorsement of an application I find quite useful. Revo Uninstaller is a similar application, I just like the ease of PC Decrapifier better, personally.

Archive by date RECEIVED instead of date MODIFIED in Outlook 2007

Some people have a lot of email. A lot of email. Sometimes, to boost performance and ease the strain on your servers, it can be a good idea to archive that email. But what happens when you want to archive a batch of messages, only to find out that, supposedly, several of your messages don’t qualify as “old enough” to meet the archival requirements you’ve set up? “They should,” you think to yourself, “they’re several years old!” The problem becomes – what if you just migrated that user’s email account to a new PC, and now the modified date is more recent than the received date. A buddy of mine ran in to this recently and shared the solution with me for all of you Outlook 2007 users.

People have many stances on holding off on updates, but I’m pretty sure this one’s been around long enough to qualify for the “it oughtta be there by now” standard. But if you’re working on an old computer for someone and you haven’t been in control of the Windows Update cycles, you may want to check for KB2412171. Although it’s not expressly described in the KB article, my friend originally found some helpful details on the website and I want to give credit where credit is due. But, rather than just linking off to any other website that could disappear some day (nothing more frustrating than clicking dead links in forums) I figured I would at least link you to the KB article and help you out. The more places that share the details of the fix, the better.

This update adds the option to archive by date received, rather than simply by date modified, which (as I explained) can leave you stuck sometimes. Getting all of your Office updates – or at least downloading and installing KB2412171 for Office 2007 should fix you right up! Mail will be archived based on when it was received, and calendar appointments based on their scheduled dates – no more of this “date modified” junk!