Ask Rick 2009 & Houston We Have a Problem 09



Ask Rick 032, 09/03/09



Justify Your Actions

When in Word if my podgy fingers hit the Shift and Ctrl keys on the bottom right side of my keyboard, as they often do, the page goes to right justified.  As I can’t type without looking at the keys I frequently get to the end of a paragraph before I look up and notice. The only way of correcting this seems to be to delete from the place where I hit both keys and retype the whole thing!  This would seem to be a keyboard shortcut – how do I disable it?

Rob Milliner, by email


The keyboard shortcut for align right is Ctrl + R, and for the record Ctrl + L aligns left, Ctrl + E centres the text and Ctrl + J justifies the text. The easiest way to undo the last action is to press Ctrl + Z (the near universal ‘undo’ command in most Windows programs) but if you’ve ploughed on regardless then the next best thing to do is highlight the offending paragraph or section and tap in the appropriate keyboard shortcut, or easier still, click the Align Left icon, which you will find next to the Bold icon on the formatting toolbar.


Personally I would leave the shortcuts alone and retrain your fingers but if you want to disable it all you have to do is right click on the toolbar and select Customize then the Keyboard button. In the Categories box select All Commands and in the right hand Commands box scroll down the list to the shortcut you want to disable, in your case RightPara, highlight the entry in the Current Keys box, click Remove then OK.



Mind Your Language

My son bought a new computer last year, using Windows Vista. He was working in Spain at the time and all the instructions and messages are in Spanish. Is there any way of changing the language without taking this version of Vista out and putting an English language version in?

Jill Furneaux, by email


It can be done but I warn you that it’s a bit of a palaver. If you are using the Ultimate or Enterprise editions of Vista you can download and install the Multilingual User Interface Pack (MUI) from Microsoft at:


In theory you can carry out a sort of halfway house conversion on other versions of Vista using Language Interface Packs (LIPs), which translate the most widely used parts of Windows. However, LIPs downloads can be elusive and even if you manage to find the right one for a Spanish-English conversion then by all accounts the setup and configuration can be tricky.


The third way, if you don’t have Vista Ultimate or Enterprise, is a freeware utility called Viatalizator, (, which tricks Vista Home Basic, Home Premium and Business editions into using the MUI download. I haven’t used it myself but the reports I have read seem encouraging but with such a radical tweak I strongly suggest that you backup all replaceable files before you begin.



Going Places with Word

I am running Microsoft Office 2007 and I keep my Word documents in a folder called Worddocs and Excel documents in a folder called Exceldocs, both within the My Documents folder.  When I open a folder in Word or Excel, the programs both open up initially in My Documents.  Is there any way the Word program can be made to open up in Worddocs and the Excel program in Exceldocs?  A very minor problem, I know, but it is starting to annoy me and I am certain I had the older version of Microsoft Office working, as I want it.  I am using XP if that is relevant.

David Russell, by email


The quick and simple way to make Word Open Save and Save As dialogue boxes open in a specified folder is to go to Tools > Options and select the File Options tab. Click on Documents, then the Modify button and select the folder. It’s slightly different in Excel, go to Tools > Options and select the General tab and change the entry under ‘Default File Location’.


You might also want to modify the ‘Places’ bar, which is the list of file locations that appears down the left hand side of Open Save and SaveAs boxes in Word and Excel. Open one of them and navigate to your chosen folder then go to Tools (in the dialogue box) and select ‘Add to my Places’ and the folder will appear on the list. The chances are it will be at the bottom and out of sight, so to move it to the top of the list right click on the folder icon and select Move Up. Incidentally, the Places Bar tricks only work with Word 2003/XP or later. On Word 2000 you have to modify the Registry (see this Microsoft article: or use a third-party utility like WOPR Place Bar Customiser (



Attached to Picasa

I can successfully download pictures from my camera to Picasa but cannot download images from emails.  Can you help me please? I have tried so many ways to save them in Picasa but all to no avail.
Pam Winter, by email


I don’t think there is any direct way to download images sent as email attachments into Picasa, however, you can do it indirectly. All you have to do is create a new folder in Windows Explorer for your email photos then open the message with the attachments. Highlight them all by clicking on one attachment icon then press Ctrl + A, now right click on one of the highlighted icons and select Save All. Navigate to your new folder and click OK. You should now be able to import them into Picasa by going to File > Add Folder, or click the Import button and on the Select Device drop-down menu select Folder.





© R. Maybury 2009 1602

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