Ask Rick Maybury 2013



Ask Rick 252 13/04/13


Lost For Words

I have been trying to write my life story for my children and grandchildren using Microsoft Word. Unfortunately I keep losing the document whilst typing and not watching the screen. I thought it might be a problem with my Vista PC. A good friend who works with computers helped me retrieve lost documents, and lent me one of his computers, which uses Windows 7. At first it worked fine, but I recently managed to lose a document on his machine. All I am doing is typing normally, what I am doing wrong?

Ken Glasby, by email


You have to be fairly determined to permanently lose a document, unless Word or the PC crashes. Even if you try to exit Word it will display a dialogue box asking you to Save your open documents, so don’t ignore it. I suspect that you are either accidentally highlighting the whole document by inadvertently pressing Ctrl + A, or triple-clicking the far left side of the page, and the next key press deletes the lot. The next time your document vanishes use the undo function Ctrl + Z to reverse your last actions. As a further precaution check that the Auto Recover function (Tools > Options > Save or in Word 2007 onwards, Office Button > Word Options > Save) is enabled and set it to intervals of 5 minutes or less, and get into the habit of manually saving every few minutes or after each new paragraph, for example. 



Wayward Wizard

I recently replaced my old Windows XP PC with one running Windows 7, but I find the included photo printing software a retrograde step. Occasionally I like to print out a number of different photos on the same A4 sheet. With XP Photo Printing Wizard I click Print and the program invites me to select multiple images and to pick the size, and number of photos I want to fit onto a sheet.  When I do the same with my W7 computer it gives me no options but immediately produces a print. Can you tell me how to persuade my new PC to let me to select print size and print more than one photo per page? Otherwise can I download the XP Photo Printing Wizard program on to my new PC?

Sam Kelly, Oldham Lancs


Almost all of the functions of the XP Photo Printing Wizard are available in W7’s Picture Library utility but for reasons best known to Microsoft they’ve been disabled, but you can easily switch them back on. Open Pictures Library, select a folder, click Organize > Folder and Search Options > View and scroll down the list of Advanced Settings to ‘Use Check Boxes to Select Items’, tick the box and click OK. Now all you have to do is go to Organize, click Select All, deselect the pictures you do not want to print, click the Print button and you will see all of the size and multiple print options in the right hand column. In W8 the procedure is slightly simpler, just click View and tick ‘Item Check Boxes’.



Unwelcome Legacy

We have a TomTom Go 700 satnav, which can no longer find a GPS signal. The TomTom website describes this as a legacy model and says that it cannot be repaired. Is this true, and do all these systems have a limited life?

Mary Seaman, by email


It’s a growing problem and TomTom are not alone in effectively abandoning products that are more than a few years old, by withdrawing software support and repair services, Unfortunately there is no clear cut legal definition of obsolescence so there is little or nothing that you can do about it. Satnavs do not generally wear out, though, and in theory, no reason why yours cannot be fixed; try SatNav Repairs ( and FoneFunShop (, but get an estimate first as the repair could cost more than a new satnav. You should also be aware that even if you did get it working again your maps would not be updated. However, before you go any further try a full system reset (, which might bring it back to life if it is a software problem.



Missing Spam

How can I access spam in Outlook Express? Recently I was given an iPad and, for the first time ever, up comes the spam, which included some e-mails that had not been delivered to my PC’s Inbox, which I really did want and had reported as being undelivered.

Ivan Hill, by email


OE is a simple email client program and doesn’t discriminate between spam and wanted emails but it can be set to delete messages automatically, according to certain criteria. The first option is a set of user-defined Rules, which you will find listed under Tools > Message Rules > Mail. The other possibility is the Blocked Senders List (Tools > Message Rules > Blocked Senders). Again, it has to be manually configured, but addresses are easily added to the list from an open email by clicking Block Sender on the Message menu. If there are Rules or addresses on the two lists that shouldn’t be there simply highlight them and click Remove.



Remaining In Charge

The battery status info on my two and a half year old Packard Bell Easy Note laptop shows that it is not charging. Over the last few weeks there has been a gradual decline in the amount of power available. It currently displays ‘78 percent available, plugged in, not charging’. I've tried to run down the battery to almost nil power and then put it back on charge but it never re-charges. Can you suggest any corrective action? 

Adrian F Burke, by email


If the laptop works normally on the mains charger then a sudden or gradual inability for the battery pack to hold a charge usually means that one of the cells, or the charging circuit in the battery pack has failed and the only solution is to get a new battery.   


© R. Maybury 2013 2503

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