Answer Line: Keep Your Secrets: A Safe, Easy Way to Encrypt Files

More Tips: Dialog Boxes, Screen Printing, a Security Analyzer

Customize Office Dialog Boxes

Can I change the shortcuts on the Places Bar in Microsoft Office File Open and Save dialog boxes?

Karen Brown, Loudon, Tennessee

The office places bar lets you put shortcuts to your favorite folders in the Open and Save dialog boxes in Office apps like Word and Excel. You'll find the Places Bar on the left side of File, Open and File, Save, as well as other dialog boxes.

To add a shortcut to the Places Bar in Office 2002 and 2003, open any Office dialog box with a Places Bar, and navigate to and select (but don't open) the folder to which you want fast access. Now click Tools, Add to "My Places"; your folder will appear at the bottom of the Places Bar. If it's not visible, right-click the bar and select Small Icons, or resize the dialog box by dragging its bottom edge.

Right-click any Places icon for options to relocate or remove it. Unfortunately, Office won't allow you to replace any of the default icons, but you can move them below your own preferences.

In Office 2007 (running on XP, not Vista), navigate to the folder you want to add to the Places Bar, right-click the bar, select Add, and then enter the folder's name. (To customize the Places Bar for non-Office applications, including the Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers, click here.)

Print the Screen

What's the simplest way to print what's currently on the screen?

Bert Green, Lake Worth, Florida

Your keyboard's <Print Screen> key copies the current image to the clipboard. Once there, you can paste it into Windows' own Paint utility or other image program. You can also paste it into Microsoft Word and other Office applications.

My favorite free screen-capture programs are Kubilus Consulting Service's MegaCap, and Gadwin's PrintScreen. MegaCap is so simple it hardly requires thought. PrintScreen is harder to use, but it has far more options. For instance, PrintScreen lets you capture the full screen or the current window, with or without the mouse cursor.

Check Out This Tool to Check Your Updates

Harold Pont of Clearfield, Utah, responded to my earlier tip on downloading and saving Windows updates by recommending another option: Microsoft's Baseline Security Analyzer. The free program scans your PC, says which security updates you lack, and then gives you the chance to download and save them--an easy way to see your update needs, fix them, and stow patches for later. One caveat: The app requires Microsoft's annoying and controversial Windows Genuine Advantage.

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