Ask Rick 043, 17/04/09, Houston 125 25/04/09
Word Print Error
I have an HP laptop running Windows Vista and have recently
encountered a problem when I try to print a document. If I right click on the
document icon and select Print an error message comes up, headed Microsoft
Visual Basic, and ‘Ambiguous name detected TmpDDE’. If I click on OK the
message disappears but nothing further happens and the document does not print.
However, if I open the document by a double click I am able to go through the
print process using the Office button. Clearly I must have done something to
upset the system. Can you please help to put it right?
B. Laurence, by email
This sounds like a known bug in some versions of MS Word. When you
use the so-called ‘shortcut’ method to print a document, i.e. print a document
without opening it, Word creates a temporary Macro to carry out the task.
Normally this will be deleted when the job is done but if it isn’t, for some
reason, then the next time you try to print using this method Word throws a
wobbly because a macro with the same name already exists. You should be able to
fix it by deleting the left over Macro, which you will find by going to Tools
> Macro > Macros. If TmpDDE is on the list delete it, restart Word of
Office and normal service should be resumed. If it’s not displayed on the list
click the ‘Macros In’ drop-down menu, select Normal.dot and delete any
instances of TmpDDE you find there.
Site Search Tips
It's hard to
imagine life without the marvellous Google, but after performing a particular search,
how do I find the actual text string on the website? Sometimes, it is difficult
to find the text t one is looking for, and which might be buried deep beyond
the home page?
Hugh Sawyer, by email
Locating a particular word or text string on the displayed web
page is very straightforward. Internet Explorer, Firefox and most popular
browsers have a ‘Find’ or ‘Find on this page’ search box option on the Edit
menu. You can search an entire site for a word using Google, all you have to do
is put the word or string you are looking for in front of the word ‘site’,
followed by a colon and site’s web address. For example, if you wanted to find
the word ‘houston’ on the Daily Telegraph website you would type ‘houston
site:telegraph.co.uk’ (without the quotes) into a Google search box. There are
more searching tips and techniques on the Google website at: http://tinyurl.com/cgfkh4
If you are using the Firefox browser you can incorporate a Site
Search facility into the Address box using a rather nifty free add-on called
which also adds buttons for Copy URL to Clipboard, Create TinyURL, Up/Down one
Directory Level, Tags and Anonymous Surfing.
I have downloaded iTunes on to my Acer Aspire 5920 laptop, which
runs Vista Home Premium. Everything works, except when I try to burn CDs when I
get an ‘error code 2131’ message. I have tried both the Acer and Microsoft
websites but cannot find a solution.
Mike Denman, by email
This problem is well known to Dell and Toshiba laptop users and
now it’s bedevilling Acer owners. What links them together is the TS-L632H
CD/DVD writer drive, which is made by Samsung. The problem concerns the drive’s
internal control program or ‘firmware’, and the solution is to ‘flash’ or
replace it. For Dell HP and Tosh owners that is easy and there are patches to
download in the support sections of their websites (http://tinyurl.com/dfg8hh for Toshiba and http://tinyurl.com/yr3gcq for Dell).
However, in spite of the problem being fairly well-known there’s no sign of a
fix yet on the Acer site. Several people claim to have solved the problem by
‘cross-flashing’ the firmware from the Dell or Toshiba sites but I definitely
wouldn’t recommend this as there are minor variants of this drive and bespoke
additions to the firmware and you could end up with a dead drive. All you can
do is pester Acer and hopefully the patch will appear soon
Do you know if there is any way that, in Word, one can change the
default Print command to printing just the current page, rather than 'all'. I
can speed things up with keyboard shortcuts Alt + F, P then Alt + E but many
times I have forgotten to use it and inadvertently printed out a whole file.
John Rew, by email
Unfortunately you can’t change the default for this particular
setting, it is hard coded into Word but you can use a Macro to carry out the
operation, and you can do it with a single click if you assign the Macro a
toolbar icon. I had a brief stab at writing one but gave up after discovering
that it had already been done, and much more elegantly than I would have
managed, so head over to: http://tinyurl.com/cdxryy.
You’ll also find details of how to create that one-click toolbar icon. I also
came across another article, in pdf format, that shows you how to manually
record a Macro for printing the current page in Word 2000: http://tinyurl.com/c5b4e8
I don't know if you have a solution to this but when I go to reply
to an email the computer often sends a blank reply before giving me the chance
to fill in my message. I notice that emails I get from other people often have
the same problem.
Margaret Cameron, by email
I am not aware of any faults or mechanisms in Outlook Express or
Windows Mail that would do this. You can create ‘Rules’ in both programs to
automatically respond to incoming messages but this isn’t something that could
happen on its own. I am inclined to think that maybe you are accidentally clicking on the Send button, or
inadvertently used the keyboard shortcut command for Send, which is Ctrl +
© R. Maybury 2009 1603