5.1 General Office Advice
The hints in this section apply to all the Microsoft Office programs.
5.1.1 Killing Clippy
Microsoft's infamous "Clippy" ‚ an overly eager animated paperclip (Figure 5-1) that pops up when it thinks you need help ‚ may well be the single most reviled computer feature of all time. The character is supposed to provide useful tips as you work. Instead, it slows down your work, and even though it's a paperclip , it makes an array of obnoxious facial expressions. You can bump off Clippy from within any Office program by choosing Help Hide the Office Assistant.
5.1.2 Turning Off the Office Clipboard
Even if you never use the Office Clipboard, which pastes text into Office files, it may still pop up occasionally, like if you press Ctrl+Insert twice in a row by accident . While some people like using the Clipboard, others find it intrusive . If you're among the annoyed, you can turn off the Office Clipboard so it never pops up. A simply Registry edit is the way to go.
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Figure 5-1. Microsoft has come up with a lot of brilliant , incredibly useful tools over the years . Clippy is not one of them.
Close all Office applications and Run the Registry Editor (see Section 15.1.2). Go to My Computer HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Office 9.0 Common General and create a new DWORD value called AcbControl. Assign it a value of 1 and exit the Registry.
The Office Clipboard no longer pops up, but if you change your mind and want it to appear again, head back to the Registry, and either delete AcbControl or change its value to 0.
5.1.3 Finding Files Faster
If you want to find an Office file, Microsoft XP's generic search function (accessible by pressing the Window key+F) is not your best bet, because it's designed to search through your entire hard disk. If you're looking for Office-specific files, a better option is Office's powerful built-in Advanced Search function, pictured in Figure 5-2. To use Advanced Search in any Office program, choose File Search and then in the window that appears, click the link at the bottom labeled Advanced Search.
You can fine-tune your search by specifying a word or phrase, a file type, a file name , the subject of the document, its size , which template you used to create it, the number of characters it contains ‚ even the total time spent editing the document. With Advanced Search, you also can combine criteria. For example, you can search for a document that you created in a specific template, that has more than a certain number of characters , and that you created after a certain date.
To fine-tune Advanced Search, first choose the Property you want to search for or exclude ‚ text, size (of the file), comments, creation date, and so on. Depending on the Property you choose, the Condition changes, offering you choices like "is," "includes," "today," or "tomorrow." After selecting the condition, enter a word or number in the Value box, then click Add to make your criteria part of the search. For example, if you want to find all your files that contain the words "Trump" and "egomaniacal," head to the Property menu and select "Text or property," then set the Condition to "includes" and type Trump in the Value box. Then click Add and repeat the process using the word egomaniacal . (Make sure the And button is checked if you want to find both "Trump" and "egomaniacal." If you check the Or button, you'll find documents containing either word.) Finally, click Go to perform the search.
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Figure 5-2. Office's Advanced Search gives you some useful options you can't find in Microsoft XP's general search feature. To remove the search information, highlight it and click Remove. If you have multiple searches, click Remove all to remove them all.