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GoToMyPC tips  
By J. Carlton Collins
May 2012

Remote access applications (such as those offered by WebEx, LogMeIn, and Citrix GoToMyPC) are among my favorite and most useful technologies. I use remote access frequently to access my office computer when I travel and to access client computers to troubleshoot their accounting system problems and provide remote training. While there are many excellent remote access solutions, the one I use most is GoToMyPC, and following are tips for using it:

1. Inviting guests to view your computer. You can send an email to invite a guest to remotely view your computer, as follows. Click the GoToMyPC icon in the Windows System Tray, and select Invite Guest to PC.

Enter the guest’s email address when prompted and click Send. In the next dialog box, enter your GoToMyPC account email address and password when prompted, and click OK. Your recipient will soon receive an email and link enabling him or her to remotely connect to your computer. To connect, your invited guest must click the link in the email, click Start, then click the Launch GoToMyPC button, as shown below.

Once this connection request is initiated, the host computer will display the Guest Arrived – GoToMyPC dialog box pictured at the top of the next column.

Select a screen sharing option, then click OK. Thereafter, your remotely connected user will be able to see your computer screen as you use your computer.

Additional Notes

a. Your guest does not need to have GoToMyPC installed; he or she needs only a browser and internet access.

b. GoToMyPC also supports Voice over Internet Protocol, which means, if both computers have microphones and speakers, the host and recipient users can hear one another speak, and both users can hear sounds produced by the host computer.

c. GoToMyPC invitations expire after a specified interval of your choosing, such as one hour, after which the invitation becomes invalid.

2. Faster performance. To improve GoToMyPC’s performance, click the GoToMyPC icon in the Windows System Tray, select Preferences, and apply the following settings.

a. On the Performance tab, set the Color Quality to 256 Colors.

b. Again, on the Performance tab, slide the Performance chevron to Better Speed (as described in the February 2011 JofA feature “Increase Productivity With Multiple Monitors,” page 28). These settings will disable desktop wallpaper, font smoothing, and other display effects.

c. On the Viewer tab, select Actual Size (instead of Scale-to-fit) under the Show host screen setting. (The default Scale-to-fit setting adjusts the host computer’s screen to fit on the remote computer’s screen, which is desirable if both the host and remote screens are different sizes. However, if both screens are already the same size, this setting accomplishes nothing and performance is reduced for no reason.)

d. Adjust the Windows Display Resolution on the host computer to 1024×768 or lower by right-clicking your Windows Desktop, and:

1. In Windows 7, select Personalize, Display, Change Display Settings;
2. In Windows Vista, select Personalize, Display Settings;
3. In Windows XP, select Properties and click on the settings tab;

e. Select a resolution option by sliding the Screen resolution chevron to your desired setting, then click OK.

3. Security. You should consider disabling the host computer’s monitor when you work remotely to prevent anyone in proximity of your host computer from viewing the screen while you work, as follows: Click the GoToMyPC icon in the Windows System Tray, select Preferences, and, on the Security tab, place a check in the box labeled Blank out screen while connected (see screenshot below).

You should also consider disabling the host computer’s keyboard and mouse to prevent others in proximity from accessing it when you are remotely connected, as follows: From the Security tab, place a check in the box labeled Lock host keyboard and mouse. Click OK.

A click in time saves nine  
By J. Carlton Collins
May 2012

Q: I like Excel 2010 much better than Excel 2003, but it now takes two clicks (File, Recent) to access my recently used files, instead of just one. Is this a step backward, and is there anything I can do about it?

A: You are not the first person to complain about this. Microsoft received numerous complaints about this problem upon releasing the Excel 2010 beta product for public review and, accordingly, added a solution to the final edition of Excel 2010, as follows: From the File tab, select Recent and scroll down to the bottom of the list of Recent Workbooks. There you will find a check box labeled Quickly access this number of Recent Workbooks, along with a spinner, as pictured below.

Place a check in the box and adjust the spinner to display the desired number of recently used files. Thereafter, Excel will display your most recently used files on the File tab menu for fast, one-click access as shown below.

As another option, you can add the list of recently used files to your Quick Access Toolbar as follows: Click the dropdown arrow located at the far-right side of the Quick Access Toolbar and select Open Recent File. This action adds the Open Recent File icon (pictured below) to your Quick Access Toolbar, thereby providing you with one-click access to your Recent Workbooks listing.


Give me a break  
By J. Carlton Collins
May 2012

Q: We receive large text documents each week that contain paragraph breaks at the end of each line, and we must manually remove the breaks to incorporate this text into our websites and reports. Removing these breaks manually is time-consuming, and using the Find and Replace tool doesn’t work well because this approach removes all of the document’s breaks (even the ones we want), which takes even longer to correct. Can you suggest a quick and easy way to remove the unwanted line breaks?

A: The easiest way to remove unwanted line breaks is to press Alt+Ctrl+K. This keystroke combination runs Word’s AutoFormat command, which analyzes the document and instantly applies an appropriate format, which includes removing unnecessary line breaks. (Because you might use this tool frequently, you should consider adding the AutoFormat tool to your Quick Access Toolbar for easy access.)

However, depending on the document, AutoFormat may delete (or alter) formatting that you wanted to keep. In this case, you are on the right track using the search-and-replace method as you described. You just need to add two small steps to your procedure to obtain the desired results. If you look closely, you will see that your document contains single paragraph breaks where you don’t want them, and double paragraph breaks where you do. The trick is to get rid of the single breaks you don’t want but keep the double breaks you do. Start by replacing the double paragraph breaks (which you want to keep) with an uncommon string of text that does not appear in the document, such as 5555, as follows. From the Office 2010 or 2007 Home tab, select Editing, Replace to launch the Find and Replace dialog box (shown below). From the Office 2003 menu, select Edit, Replace to launch the Find and Replace dialog box. Then, in the Find what box, type ^p^p, and in the Replace with box, type 5555, as shown.

Click Replace All. Next, use Find and Replace again to remove all single paragraph breaks (which you don’t want) as follows: From the Home tab, select Editing, Replace and type ^p in the Find what box and enter a space in the Replace with box, then click the Replace All button (this action will replace each paragraph break in your document with a space). Finally, restore the double paragraph breaks as follows: From the Home tab, select Editing, Replace and type 5555 in the Find what box and ^p^p in the Replace with box, then click Replace All. The resulting document will be devoid of the unwanted paragraph breaks, and you will be able to copy, paste, and edit the text unencumbered by unwanted line breaks.

Follow the conversation  
By J. Carlton Collins
May 2012

Q: Our company’s employees communicate frequently through email, often with more than a dozen employees sending multiple messages back and forth related to a specific subject. The emails pile up in my inbox, making it difficult to follow the dialog exchange, and often I must sort through my inbox multiple times to follow the dialogue. Is there a way to improve this communication approach?

A: I can offer three recommendations that might help. First, make sure each participant in your group adjusts his or her email settings to include all previous threads on reply, so each email conversation builds as participants reply back and forth, as follows:

1. In Outlook 2010, from the File tab (or menu) select Options, Mail;

2. In Outlook 2007 and 2003, select Tools, Options and click the E-mail Options button.

Next, under the Replies and forwards section, set the When replying to a message option to Include original message text. Even if you already have this setting enabled, the other participants must also have this setting enabled for all relevant threads to accumulate. This will ensure that every email message contains everyone’s previous message threads related to that conversation.

Second, you can view related email messages in conversational thread order as follows: In Outlook 2010, right-click on an email message and, on the resulting popup menu, select Find Related, Messages in This Conversation. In Outlook 2007 and 2003, right-click on an email message and, in the resulting popup menu, select Find All, Related Messages. These actions will launch the Advanced Find dialog box and summarize the selected email and all related emails in conversation order, as shown below.

Third, instead of searching for related threads by email message as described above, you can set your inbox to automatically arrange all messages in conversation order, as follows: In Outlook 2010, from the View tab, by placing a check in the box labeled Show as Conversations in the Conversations group; in Outlook 2007 and 2003, from the View menu, by selecting Arrange By, Conversation.

Check it or leave it  
By J. Carlton Collins
May 2012

Q: I check my email using Outlook 2010 at work and Outlook 2007 at home. My email accounts are set up using POP3, and the problem is that, when I read email on one computer, those email messages then do not show up on the other computer. Having my email messages scattered across two computers in two locations is inefficient and frustrating. Is there an easy solution?

A: If you read email from more than one computer, you can set the less frequently used computer’s Outlook settings to leave a copy of the email on the email server so the other computer(s) can also pick up the message, as follows (please note that this process applies to POP3 accounts, not those on Microsoft Exchange or other IMAP accounts):

1. In Outlook 2010, from the File tab, select File, Info, Account Settings, Account Settings (again). In Outlook 2007 and 2003, select File, Data File Management.

2. In the Account Settings dialog box E-mail tab, select your email account and click Change.

3. In the Change Account (or Change E-Mail Accounts) dialog box, click the More Settings button. Next, on the Internet E-mail Settings dialog box’s Advanced tab, under the Delivery section, place a check in the box titled Leave a copy of messages on the server. Also, place a check in the box titled Remove from server after and specify 3 days in the spinner, then click OK, Next, Close, Finish, Close (or OK, Next, Finish, Close in Outlook 2007 and 2003).

Afterward, each message read from your less frequently used computer will remain on your email server for three additional days before it is deleted, providing adequate time for that message to also be read (and archived) by your primary computer system.

This approach will provide you with a complete record of all messages on your primary computer system. Applying the same setting adjustment on your primary computer will ensure that both computers accumulate all received messages. You may consider blind copying all of your email replies to yourself as well, so those replies can also be accessed from either computer.

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