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Tip: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 - Implement a firewall
  • Windows Server 2003 enables you to configure a basic firewall on your servers. To enable this firewall, from the Start menu, choose Control Panel | Network Connections. Right-click on the server's local area connection and choose Properties. Select the Advanced tab. Next, select the Protect My Computer And Network By Limiting Or Preventing Access To This Computer From the Internet check box. If you want to permit certain types of traffic across this firewall, click Settings. On the Services tab, select the check boxes for any services you want to be able to communicate over the firewall. You can optionally define custom packet filters by clicking Add. In the Name Or IP Address text box, type 127.0.0.1 for the IP address of your server. In the External Port and Internal Port text boxes, enter the appropriate port numbers. Select TCP or UDP, and then click OK to save your changes.

Tip: Web Design - An overlooked tool that helps you get the red out in Macromedia Fireworks (MX 2004)

  • Removing red eye from a photo has never been as easy as it is in Fireworks. To get the red out:
    • 1.) Open a bitmap image in Fireworks that has red eyes glaring at you. You can only use this tool on a bitmap, and not on a vector image.
    • 2.) Choose the Red Eye Removal tool from the Tools panel. Select your desired options in the Property inspector.
    • 3.) Click on the photo with the Red Eye Removal tool in the section that has the red eye effect. The tool instantly transforms the red shades, to the tolerances that you set in the Property inspector. The transformation will be in the shape of the tool.
  • Keep in mind that when you use the Red Eye Removal tool in Fireworks, the size of the tool will determine the total area affected. You'll get more precise transformations if you set the tool size smaller rather than larger. Also, to see the affected red eye area more accurately, increase the magnification by using the dropdown menu in the lower-right corner of your document window.

Tip: Microsoft Office 2003 - Set up a repeating Microsoft PowerPoint presentation (2003)

  • If you've created a self-running presentation and you want it to run continuously, here's how to do it. Create the presentation, and make sure that your slide timings are correct. Select Slide Show | Set Up Show from the menu bar. In the resulting dialog box, select the Browsed At A Kiosk (Full Screen) option button in the Show Type panel. Click OK, and your presentation is ready to go! Of course, you'll probably want to stop the presentation.

Tip: Microsoft FrontPage - Updating old themes to work with FrontPage 2003 (FrontPage 2003)

  • If you use themes in FrontPage 2003, you've probably noticed that some themes appear in the Theme task pane without preview images. The absence of a preview image indicates that you should update the theme.
  • To do so, right-click the theme's icon in the task pane. Choose Customize from the dropdown menu that appears. In the Customize Theme dialog box, click Save As to make a copy of the theme. Name this copy something like My Theme 2. Right-click on the original theme again and choose Delete from the shortcut menu.
  • Now, repeat the same steps to save a copy of the new theme under the original name. Finally, delete the copy named My Theme 2.

Tip: Microsoft Office XP - Color-coding worksheet tabs (Excel 2002)

  • One of the questions we get asked the most is "How can I change the color of my worksheet tabs?" Up until this point, the answer has been, "You can't." However, Excel 2002 finally lets you apply color to worksheet tabs to better categorize and manage your data. To format the tab for the active sheet, choose Format | Sheet | Tab Color from the menu bar, or right-click on the tab and choose Tab Color from the shortcut menu. Then, simply choose the color you want to use from the Tab Color palette (or select No Color to clear any formatting) and click OK.

Tip: Microsoft Office 2003 - View a map to find a contact in Outlook (2003)

  • If you're connected to the Internet, you can easily map the address of a contact in your Outlook address book.  Simply click on the Address icon on the main menu and then select a contact.  In the contact Properties window, select the Home or Business tab (whichever one you've saved the address information on) and click the View Map button.  this will launch an mapped search results page through Expedia.com

Tip: Microsoft Excel - Freeze excel column and row titles (97/2000/2001/2002)

  • When you work with a large Excel worksheet, it's often difficult to remember exactly what kind of data columns or rows contain once you begin scrolling around the sheet and lose sight of the column and row labels.  Fortunately, you can freeze rows and columns that contain headings so you always know what data you're looking at.  To freeze a row, select the row number or the cell in column A that's immediately beneath the last row you want frozen.  Then, select Window | Freeze Panes from the menu bar.  Excel inserts a thin line to show you where from the frozen pane begins.  To freeze a column, select the column the last column you want frozen.  To freeze horizontal and vertical areas simultaneously, select the cell that's in the upper-left corner of the range you want to remain scrollable and then invoke the Freeze panes feature.  If you later want to make all regions scrollable again, simply select Window | Unfreeze Panes from the menu bar.

Tip: Adobe PageMaker - Combine multiple text blocks in PageMaker (6.5)

  • If you find yourself with too many text blocks, you can quickly combine them into one.  To do this, with the Pointer tool selected, drag the text blocks into a sequential, vertical stack with the first block at the bottom.  Then, drag a selection area around the text blocks.  Next, cut or copy the selection.  Now activate the Text tool, click in your layout, and paste the selection.  The text should be in order in one text block.

Tip: Adobe Photoshop - Sharpen just the edges and leave the rest alone (Photoshop 6/7/CS)

  • The Unsharp Mask filter is a wonderful tool if you don't mind increasing the sharpness of everything, including textures.  On the other hand, if you want the edges of objects to appear snappier, use the High Pass filter in combination with Unsharp Mask.  To do so, duplicate your image and select Filter > Other > High Pass.  In the resulting dialog box, adjust the Radius slider to accentuate the edges.  try the lower values first--the image takes on a gray appearance--and work up from there.  Click OK.  Then, change the Mode pop-up menu in the Layers palette to Overlay and observe the amount of edge sharpening that takes place without affecting the flat or textured areas.  If the effect is too strong, try the Soft Light blending mode and/or use the Opacity slider in the Layers palette to reduce the intensity of edge sharpening.

Tip: Microsoft Outlook - Give each Outlook view its own window (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • If you find yourself frequently switching between different Outlook folders to perform specific functions during your daily routine, you can simplify this task by opening multiple windows.  For example, suppose you need to switch back and forth between your contact list and your calendar.  First, display your calendar.  Then, right-click on Contacts icon on the Outlook Bar (Navigation Pane in 2003) and choose Open In New Window from the shortcut menu.  When you do, Outlook opens a new window, displaying the contents of the folder you selected.  Simply repeat this process to open as many folders as you wish.  (If the Outlook Bar or Navigation Pane isn't visible, display it by selecting Outlook Bar or Navigation Pane from the View menu.)  A quick way to switch between windows is by clicking on the Taskbar icons or by pressing [Alt] [Tab] and selecting the appropriate icon.

Tip: Microsoft Windows Me - Quickly gather clips

  • Putting together a movie in Windows Movie Maker can be a time-consuming and often tedious process, but you'll be happy to know that you can gather clips more quickly by selecting multiple clips in the Collections area and then dragging them to the storyboard or timeline.
  • Hold down the [Ctrl] key and then click each clip that you want to add to your project in the Collections area.  Drag the selected clips to the storyboard or timeline.  The clips appear in your project in the order they appear in the collections area.  You can rearrange the clips in your project by dragging them to the desired location on the storyboard or timeline.

Tip: Plot multiple tabs in one operation (2000/2002/2004)

  • If you use paper space and layout tabs to create multiple sheets for plotting, we bet you often find yourself wanting to plot those multiple sheets in a single operation.  Here's a quick and dirty method to accomplish that task:  Select one of the tabs and, holding down the [Ctrl], key, select any other tabs you want to plot:  Each selected tab turns white.  You can also select multiple adjacent tabs by selecting the tabs at each end of the row while holding the [Shift] key down.  Once you've selected the appropriate tabs, initiate the plot command using the method of your choice.

Tip: Switching between grid and line borders (Excel 2002)

  • Excel 2002's Draw Borders tool takes a lot of the pain out of applying borders to cells.  Just open the Borders palette on the Formatting toolbar, select Draw Borders, and use your mouse pointer to draw where you want lines to appear.  You can switch between whether the tool draws lines or grids using the toggle button on the Borders toolbar that appears.  However, there's an easier way to switch between modes.  Just hold down the [Ctrl] key.  While the key is pressed, the tool applies whatever border formatting is opposite from the currently active mode.

Tip: Oracle - Know what indexes you have (Oracle RDBMS 8i+)

  • To assess whether you have the right indexes for your tables, you first need to know what indexes are there.  You can query the USER_INDEXES to show the specs for all indexes for a user, or ALL_INDEXES for the specs of any indexes the user has access to.  However, to view what the columns are for your indexes, you'll need to query USER_IND_COLUMNS (or ALL_IND_COLUMNS, respectively).  By querying these data dictionary views, you'll see both what indexes you or others have created, as well as any indexes Oracle has created by default to enforce a primary key or unique constraint.

Tip: Microsoft Access - Turning control text on its side (Access 2000/2002)

  • Although you can't incorporate different page orientations into a single report, you can simulate the effect by rotating text in label and textbox controls.  To do so, simply set a control's Vertical property to Yes.  Note that changing the property doesn't physically rotate the control, it just changes how the text is displayed -- you'll usually need to resize the control to properly show the rotated text.

Tip: Web Design - Judiciously remove Flash symbols (5/MX)

  • Normally, when working on a Flash presentation, you try several different graphic symbols along the way.  The problem is that you probably never remove the unused symbols from the file, fearing that you'll accidentally delete a symbol that you've used.  To avoid this Flash faux pas, simply choose Select Unused Items from the Library panel's pop-up menu.  It selects only those symbols that weren't used so you can quickly delete them.

Tip: SQL Server - NOCOUNT and nested t-SQL code (SQL Server 7.0/2000)

  • As you've no doubt been advised, using SET NOCOUNT ON can greatly improve the performance of your stored procedure code.  Oftentimes, you'll also see a corresponding SET NOCOUNT OFF statement at the end of a procedure.  This statement isn't necessary, since NOCOUNT is limited to procedural scope and will automatically be set back to its state prior to your stored procedure's execution.  However, because of this scope limitation, you *do* need to SET NOCOUNT ON in any and all nested stored procedures, triggers, etc.  For example, your procedure may SET NOCOUNT ON and then call another stored procedure, which does *not* explicitly do likewise.  Within the nested procedure, then, NOCOUNT would be OFF, likely affecting your database performance.  Nested code does *not* inherit the NOCOUNT settings of code that calls it.  Bear this in mind as you design your procedures.

Tip: QuarkXPress - Setting preferences for print and Web layouts (QuarkXPress 6.0)

  • Now that you can create print and Web layouts in a single QuarkXPress project, you have to remember to set document preferences for each.  When a print layout is active, the Print Layout options are listed in the Preferences dialog box; when a Web layout is active, the Web Layout options are listed.  If you'd rather set preferences for both layouts at the same time, access the Preferences dialog box while no documents are open.  This displays the Default Print Layout and Default Web Layout options (as well as the Application options) all at the same time.  Doing this subsequent documents.

Tip: Microsoft Windows 2000 - Shutting down Windows 2000 in an emergency

  • On occasion, you might find that you need to shut down Windows 2000 right away.  Although you can accomplish this task simply by powering off the computer, Microsoft offers a way for you to shut down the computer quickly that's less harmful to the Windows 2000 operating system.  Here's how:  Begin by pressing [Ctrl] [Alt] [Delete] to display the Windows Security dialog box.  Next, hold down the [Ctrl] key and click Shut Down.  Click OK to confirm that you want to perform an emergency shutdown of the computer.  Be aware that when you perform an emergency shutdown, you won't be prompted to save any open documents.  To avoid losing your work, make sure that you save anything you're currently working on (if possible) before performing an emergency shutdown.

Tip: Computer Support Professional - Taking control of power management

  • You'll find two power management systems in place today: Advance Power Management (APM) and Advanced Configuration Power Interface (ACPI).  Each system uses a different method for power conservation.  If you find that the operating system settings for power management don't work as expected, launch your BIOS setup utility and determine which system is in use.  Some CMOS settings apply only to APM, while others apply to ACPI.

Tip: Adobe Photoshop - Resize your paths quickly (Photoshop 6/7/CS)

  • After creating a path in Photoshop, you can easily resize the path if needed.  To do so, select your path with the Path Selection tool, located in the Toolbox.  Then, on the tool options bar, select the Show Bounding Box Check box.  Doing so places a transform bounding box around your image, which you can then use to adjust the size of your path.

Tip: Microsoft Visual Basic - Put your VB application into deep sleep (VB 6/ .net)

  • There may be occasions when you want an application to wait for a specified period of time without performing activity or wait loops.  The Timer control can help, but only up to 60 seconds.  The Sleep Windows API function lets you put the application to sleep.  Enter the following declaration into a standard module:
    • Declare Sub Sleep Lib "kernel32" (ByVal dwMilliseconds As Long)
    • Then, simply call the function from your code, as in:
    • Sleep 5000
  • In this case, the 5000 milliseconds put the application to bed for 5 seconds.  You can specify your own period of time, as necessary.

Tip: Novell NetWare - Installing eDirectory 8.7 on Linux

  • If you want to install eDirectory 8.7 on a Linux server, you might run into a problem where the installation hangs.  If so, check the version of the Linux JVM.  You'll encounter the problem if you JVM is version 1.4.1, but not if it's 1.4.0  A workaround for JVM 1.4.1 is to change the installation scripts to add a 1-millisecond delay between each of the package installations.  Note that Novell is working on a fix for this problem which might be available at a later date.

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