The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 090 05/07/08
You have recommended
Picasa in the past and a friend has also spoken favourably of it. I have a
couple of questions. Once Picasa arranges my photos, will I still be able to
import them into Adobe Photoshop? If Picasa is uninstalled will all photos be
arranged as before?
Sandy Alderson, by
There’s no need to worry.
Picasa doesn’t overwrite or alter your original pictures in any way and they
can still be opened viewed, edited and copied by any other program on your PC.
When you use Picasa to edit an image it doesn’t actually change the picture,
instead it records what you have done and saves that as a separate file.
Whenever you open, print or export a picture in Picasa the alterations are
reapplied to the displayed image. The only images that actually change after
editing are the small thumbnails displayed in the ‘Library’ view. In Picasa 2
(the current version) you can also Save an edited image and this does overwrite
the original but Picasa automatically creates a backup of the unedited image,
which it stores in a hidden sub folder, called ‘Originals’ in the same folder.
By the way, several
readers have asked about backing up images. Picasa has a built-in utility on
the Tools menu for saving a selection or all of your edited images to CD or
DVD, and it even tells you how many CDs or DVDs you will need to store the
What the F Do Those
It would be really
handy to have a full description of what all of the F keys on my keyboard do. I
never use them and your recent column, which mentioned Shift + F3 to capitalise
highlighted characters in Word, was a reminder of how useful these keys can be.
Richard Garry, by
I’m afraid that’s a near
impossible task because the Function keys are programmable and what they do
depends on the program you are running at the time; the same goes for keyboard
shortcuts. However, there are a few constants, F1, for example, normally opens
the program’s Help menu and when you are using an Explorer type window (File
Open, Save, Save As etc.), if you highlight a file and press F2 you can rename
it and F5 refreshes the file list. Some programs come with labels that you can
stick to your keyboard, to help you remember what they do and other’s, like
Word, can display an on-screen crib sheet. In that particular case just
right-click on an empty part of the toolbar, select Customize then Toolbar tab
and tick ‘Function Key Display’.
Keyboard shortcuts are
usually listed in the program’s Help menu but again there are a few universal
ones that are worth committing to memory. Ctrl + C copies a file, chunk of text
or object to the Windows Clipboard from where it can be pasted into another
open folder, window, document or program using the shortcut Ctrl + V. Ctrl + A
highlights all of the files in a list, use Ctrl + X to cut or delete a selected
item or block of text and Ctrl + P should open the printer dialogue box, or
print whatever is showing on the screen. Finally, the most useful shortcut of
all is Ctrl + Z, which normally (but not always) undoes the last action.
I arrange bookings for
the local community hall and have to produce a calendar with dates and times,
which is sent monthly to members of our committee.
On an old computer I
used WordPerfect, which contained a template to create an A4 calendar for any
month of any year with the dates inserted. Is there a similar program in Vista
or Word 2007?
Pat Keeble, by email
All recent versions of
Word can create calendars, as simple or elaborate as you wish. Just go to File
> New, select the Other Documents tab, click the Calendar Wizard and work
your way through the options to create your design.
Help! I tried to create
a fancy pattern for a birthday greeting. I managed to get a faded background
and a row of leaves – neither of which was any good but every time I create a
new email – there it is again, and again, and again…
I can blot it out by
deleting the leaves and editing the background but how can I get rid of it for
good and how did I do it in the first place?
Brenda Harrison, by
It took me a little while
to work this one out but it sounds to me as though you have been playing around
with the Stationery Wizard in Outlook Express or Windows Mail. To revert to
plain backgrounds for your emails all you have to do (in both programs) is go
to the Tools menu, select Options then Compose tab and under Stationery
deselect the Mail checkbox. If you want
to have another go click the Create New button on the same dialogue box.
© R. Maybury 2008 1606