Fast saves for quick Word processing Help Line

October 12, 1998|By James Coates | James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

I use Microsoft Word all day, and speed counts. I bought a new Dell 333 MHz Pentium II, which I assumed would operate faster than my old 150 MHz Pentium. However, when I click on the "close" button of the document window, it takes about 20 seconds for the screen to clear. With my old computer, the screen cleared almost instantaneously. Now 20 seconds may not seem like a big deal, but I work with dozens of documents every day, so a 20-second wait every time I exit means that I'm twiddling my thumbs for upward of 15 minutes every day. What '' can I do to make it close documents more quickly?

Your answer lies in resetting the Word software so that it only saves actual changes you make while tweaking a document, rather than the huge number of behind-the-scenes instructions generated every time you create a file in this high-powered fatware monster known as Microsoft Word 97.

Select the "File/Save As" choice and then select the box marked "options" that appears. A choice called "Allow fast saves" will confine saves to actual changes and make the software close as fast as you like.

I am confused about downloading. I am running Windows 95 and using America Online. Most of the time, downloading is no problem for me. AOL downloads into the 4.0 download folder and I open up the file in Word. Every now and then, a download file will not open with a readable message. It just comes up with little squares. What am I doing wrong?

That garbage with the little squares and other squiggles (called gort in the computer trade) appears because whoever created the document attached to the e-mail message used a word processor other than the one you are using to open it.

Although the obvious solution is to coordinate with your correspondents to agree on a software standard, I recommend avoiding the use of attached files whenever possible on AOL because of the dangers of getting infected by a macro virus.

I avoid version headaches and virus attacks alike by advising anybody who sends me e-mail with an attached document to resend the text within the message itself, not as an attached file. To do that your correspondents copy the contents of the document and paste it into the body of an ordinary e-mail message.

I own a Macintosh IIsi with Word Perfect 3.0 installed. There are many files I wish to transfer to my new computer, a Compaq. I'm running Microsoft Office on the new machine. Is it possible to take Mac files and put them on the PC?

Use that Pentium to go online and retrieve a software gem called TransMac ( that lets a PC read, write and format disks for use on Macs. Your Microsoft software reads WordPerfect and so those files should be easily moved just by using TransMac to open them on the PC after you have saved them to a floppy on the Mac.

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