Edit the Recently-Used-File List

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

When I’m out of the office, other accountants often use my computer, which by itself doesn’t bother me. What does disturb me is that a few clicks will reveal the names of the last nine files I’ve opened, and that invades my privacy. Short of password-protecting my computer, is there some other option?

You can erase all the entries by disabling the feature before leaving the office by clicking on Tools , Options and opening the General tab. Either uncheck the box next to Recently used file list or turn the entries drop-down number to 0.

You also can censor the list with an undocumented technique for erasing any or all the file names on the list. Unfortunately, the method works only in Word.

The steps: Open any Word file and press Alt+Ctrl+- (that’s the dash key to the right of the 0 key, not the keyboard’s minus key). The mouse pointer morphs into a thick bar. Now click on File to engage a drop-down menu that shows the most recently opened files. Maneuver your pointer (which is now a thick dash) over the file name you want to remove and click on it. The entry vanishes and the mouse pointer changes back to normal.

If you decide after pressing Alt+Ctrl+- that you don’t want to delete anything, press Esc and the mouse pointer returns to normal.

Caveat : Be careful how you wield the thick dash. If you fail to press Esc or accidentally select any menu item other than the recently used files, that item is removed from the menu. Of course you can replace it by clicking on Tools , Customize and then dragging the menu item from the Commands column onto your toolbar.

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