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January 2005 Efficiency Newsletter

Technology does not create productive people. We do.

Happy New Year! Things are moving along quite well at SET; we're pleased to unveil new Outlook training geared toward maximizing shared calendaring & tasks...as well as ways to manage the large volume of email many of us receive.

Part of this will be discussed at our training for the Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center on January 11, 2004. If you're an attorney, this is an opportunity to receive SET training (3 hours!) for a fraction of the cost and a very good cause. Feel free to contact us for more information...

Tip of the Month

Repair those broken Word documents!

When you're frustrated with Word there isn't always a setting that can be changed. Quite often the problem is with a corrupted document. Common symptoms include characters that won't go away, crashing, a document that won't open, infinite repagination, or unusual behavior.

While there are some rules of thumb for preventing corruption (such as always working on files on your hard disk and never re-converting a document between formats like Word & WordPerfect), Word 2002 & 2003 include a nifty document repair utility. To repair a document you believe is corrupted, follow these quick steps:

  1. Back up the file, just in case the repair doesn't go as you'd like

  2. Within Word, select File->Open

  3. Navigate to the corrupted file and select it by single-clicking

  4. On the right side of the "Open" button there is a drop down arrow, click on this

  5. Select the last option, "Open and Repair"

You will be notified of any corruption that was found and repaired within the document. This will work in the majority of cases, so try it yourself before getting too worried! (If this doesn't fix your file, feel free to contact us as we can resolve complicated Word issues like corruption and difficult sectioning/formatting).

Tool of the Month

Adobe Acrobat (or Reader) SpeedUp

While Adobe has continued to improve both the feature-set and overall reliability of its Acrobat and Acrobat Reader products, a frequent complaint is that they take too long to load. There is a free tool that will dramatically reduce the load time of Acrobat.

The reason Acrobat takes so long to open is that it loads a series of "plug-ins," or additional features, that most people never use. Acrobat Reader SpeedUp lets you visually disable the plug-ins that you don't need (it will make recommendations), and allows you to restore them if you ever change your mind. The result is that Acrobat will open in a few seconds instead of 15-30 seconds (or worse!).

To download Acrobat Reader SpeedUp, you can visit the developer’s (Joseph Cox’) website at http://www.tnk-bootblock.co.uk or skip right to the file download at http://snipurl.com/FastAcrobat. After running the downloaded file and navigating to the directory where you placed its extracted files, double-click on “Reader-SpeedUp.exe” and follow the detailed prompts. The included readme.txt file also provides a great deal of information. This utility will work for all versions of Acrobat from 3.0 onward and all versions of Acrobat Reader from 6.0 onward (including beta 7.0).

I’ve found the program to work most effectively by using it in one of the default modes (Fast or Turbo) and then enabling all the plug-ins when I need advanced features…however, feel free to experiment as you can always restore the original configuration with a single click. Enjoy!

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