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TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Auto-trust emailed images  
By J. Carlton Collins
February 2013

Q: When I open email containing pictures or images, Outlook 2010 does not automatically display those images unless I right-click on the image and select Download Pictures. Why does Outlook 2010 do this, and is there a way to automatically display images when opening my email?

A: As a security measure, Outlook 2010 blocks images/pictures in your HTML-formatted email by default and leaves it up to the user to determine whether it is safe (or necessary) to download and display the images. Outlook does this to prevent inappropriate pictures from being displayed, to prevent running malicious code that might be triggered upon opening an image, and to increase email retrieval speed for users with low-bandwidth internet. In addition, the process of displaying an emailed image confirms for spammers that they have reached a valid and active email address, which might trigger more spam. As you mentioned, you can view the blocked images by right-clicking on the blocked image and selecting Download Pictures from the pop-up menu, as pictured below.

If you are comfortable opening your emailed images automatically, you have two options. You can either automatically accept images from all senders, or you can automatically accept images from selected senders, as follows.

To automatically accept images from all senders, from the Outlook 2010 File tab, select Options, Trust Center, and click the Trust Center Settings button. In the Trust Center dialog box, select Automatic Download and uncheck the box labeled Don’t download pictures automatically in HTML e-mail messages or RSS items (shown below). This setting will allow all of your email images to display automatically.

As an alternative, you could add selected senders to your Safe Senders List. After that, their email images would open automatically, but images from nontrusted sources would remain blocked until you decide to view them. To use this method, from the Outlook 2010 File tab, select Options, Trust Center, and click the Trust Center Settings button. In the Trust Center dialog box, select Automatic Download and place checkmarks in the boxes labeled Don’t download pictures automatically in HTML e-mail messages or RSS items and Permit downloads in e-mail messages from senders… (as pictured below).

Next, each time you receive an email from a sender whose images you trust, right-click on the warning message (shown at the top of the screen in the screenshot below) and select Add Sender to Safe Senders List.

These settings will enable emailed images from trusted sources to display automatically. Note: If you do not see the warning message at the top of your email, as pictured above, you can display this warning message by navigating to the Trust Center dialog box as described above, then check the box labeled Warn me before downloading content when editing, forwarding, or replying to e-mail.


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Do I know you?  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
February 2013

Q: All of a sudden I am unable to invite my friends to connect with me on LinkedIn unless I supply their email addresses. Yet my colleague is able to invite these same friends without supplying an email address. Can you explain what’s going on and tell me how to resolve this issue? Thank you.

A: LinkedIn’s official policy is to flag your account and lock down your invitations when five people reject your invitations using the IDK (I don’t know) flag. LinkedIn imposes this restriction on its users to reduce spamming. When this happens, LinkedIn sends you an InMail message notifying you that your account has been restricted, and you must supply the invitee’s correct email address to send future invitations. Further, if you continue to receive IDK flags, it can result in suspension of all invite privileges and, eventually, your entire LinkedIn account.

To determine if you have been IDK flagged and to see who flagged you, select Inbox from the LinkedIn main menu. Next, select Sent (under the Compose Message button) and click the Sent Invitations tab to display a listing of your prior invitations. The words Doesn’t know will appear next to those invitations that were rejected by your invitee using the IDK flag.

To rectify this problem, you can email LinkedIn’s customer support personnel at cs@linkedin.com. Be sure to send your request using the email address associated with your LinkedIn account, include your contact information, assure LinkedIn that you will not abuse invitations in the future, and ask customer support to remove the restrictions for sending invitations.


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Removing hyperlinks in Excel  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
February 2013

Q: I frequently copy and paste large amounts of data from the web into Excel 2010. My problem is the pasted data often contains hundreds of hyperlinks, which makes it difficult to then select those cells without triggering the hyperlinks (to avoid triggering a hyperlink, I click on a nearby cell and then arrow over to the cell containing the hyperlink). I know I can avoid this problem by pasting the data into Excel using the Paste Values command, but I don’t want to lose the webpage formatting, so this approach doesn’t work for me. I have tried copying the hyperlinked cells and pasting them as values [to the same location], but the hyperlinks still remain, so this doesn’t work either. My current approach is to right-click on each cell and select Remove Hyperlink one at a time. Is there an easier way to remove these hyperlinks?

A: Excel 2010 provides a new option called Remove Hyperlinks (plural—with an “s”) that enables you to remove multiple hyperlinks (prior editions of Excel provide only the Remove Hyperlink option, which removes only one hyperlink at a time). To remove more than one hyperlink, select a range containing multiple hyperlinks (such as a range of cells, columns, rows, or an entire worksheet), then right-click on any cell, and select Remove Hyperlinks from the pop-up menu. (The Remove Hyperlinks tool does not work across multiple worksheets.)

Note: Remove Hyperlinks appears when your selection range contains two or more hyperlinks, otherwise Remove Hyperlink appears, which is probably why you previously overlooked this option.

For those using Excel 2007 or 2003, here is a trick that might help. You can remove multiple hyperlinks but retain the formatting by copying a range of data containing multiple hyperlinks and pasting them to a new location using the Paste Values command (from column A to column C in the example pictured below).

Next, delete the original data you copied. This action will delete the data and the hyperlinks, but not the formatting. Finally, Copy the data and Paste Values that data again to its original location (from column C back to column A in the example pictured below). (Remember, when using Paste Values, the pasted data adopts the formatting of the paste destination.)

The data will be returned to the original location, with formatting, but no hyperlinks, as shown at left. (Notice in the picture below that when the cursor hovers over the data in cell A3, which previously contained a hyperlink, no hyperlink pops up.)

One final tip: You can select a cell containing a hyperlink using your mouse by clicking on the cell and holding the mouse button down a few seconds until the pointer becomes a cross shape, and then releasing the mouse button.


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Creating hyperlinks in Excel  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
February 2013

Q: My accounting software enables me to export my customer data to Excel, but the customers’ email addresses do not show up as clickable hyperlinks. I must edit each email address one at a time to delete the leading apostrophe to convert the text-based email address to clickable email addresses. Is there an easier way to do this?

A: Excel 2010, 2007, and 2003 provide a hyperlink function that converts text to a clickable hyperlink. In the example below, I entered =HYPERLINK(L2) in cell M2, which converts the text-based data in cell L2 into a clickable hyperlink. I then copied this formula (in cell M2) down to convert the other text-based email addresses to clickable email addresses.

Caution: Using the Copy, Paste Values commands to convert the =HYPERLINK formula to regular text removes the hyperlink.


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
No coffee for my mouse, please  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
February 2013

Q: I spilled coffee on my mouse, and it stopped working. I then was unable to operate certain software on my Windows computer that requires mouse movements until I purchased a replacement mouse. I am curious to know if there is a way to perform mouse movements in Windows without actually having a mouse.

A: Windows provides a mouse alternative called Mouse Keys. To activate Mouse Keys, simultaneously press the Left Alt+Left Shift+NumLock keys. Thereafter, toggling your NumLock key on will allow you to control the mouse pointer using your numeric keypad’s arrow keys.

 


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Dust in the wind  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
February 2013

Q: I heard on the news last week that it is important to clean the inside of your computer regularly, but I’ve never done this before. Is this true, and if so, how do you clean the inside of a computer without causing damage?

A: Ordinarily I would not address a question like this, but your question prompted me to check my computer, and it was sorely in need of a good scrubbing. Thanks for the reminder. The amount of cleaning your computer needs depends on the cleanliness of your computer’s environment. At a minimum you should check your computer’s fan intake regularly to see if it needs cleaning. Dust on a computer fan grill can impede airflow enough to overheat and damage the motherboard or other components. A large amount of dust on the fan grill also might indicate a dust buildup inside of the computer.

Manufacturers typically design desktop computers so you can easily remove the cover to inspect, clean, and maintain the internal workings, as follows.

1. Turn off the computer.

2. Unplug the electrical cord and other USB devices and cables.

3. Ground yourself by touching something metal, such as a filing cabinet (to eliminate any static electricity that might exist in your body or clothing).

4. Remove the computer’s cover.

5. Clean inside the computer gently, as follows:

a. Use a can of compressed air (available at most office supply stores for about $5 to $10) to blow dust off of the circuit boards. Be sure to blow the dust away from the circuit boards and out of the computer case.

b. Office supply stores typically sell small computer vacuum cleaners (priced from $35 to $300) with special attachments designed specifically for cleaning the inside of a computer. Use the soft brush vacuum hose to gently remove dust buildup from the circuit boards.

c. Use a cotton swab dampened in alcohol to remove dust from hard-to-reach corners and crevices. Use a tissue dampened with alcohol to clean plastic and surfaces such as the fan blades or inside walls of the case.

6. Consider documenting the date and the amount of dust encountered on a note taped to the side of the computer to help you judge the necessity/frequency of future cleanings. (Some of your computers may need cleaning more frequently than others, depending upon their immediate environment.)


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Searching for acrobats  
By J. Carlton Collins
February 2013

Q: While looking for a PDF file on the web, I tried including pdf, .pdf, and “.pdf” in my search criteria, but I still found mostly websites instead of PDF documents. Is there a way to search the web for PDF documents only?

A: When searching the web using Bing or Google, you can search specifically for PDF files only by including the phrase filetype:pdf in the search criteria. When using Yahoo!, include the phrase originurlextension:pdf in your search criteria.

Note: You can also search for Excel, Word, or PowerPoint files the same manner by substituting xlsx, docx, or pptx for pdf in above search phrases. (The suffix pdf refers to Adobe Acrobat’s Portable Document Format, while xlsx, docx, and pptx refer to Microsoft’s latest Excel, Word, and PowerPoint 2010/2007 file formats, respectively.)


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