Adobe's Acrobat Reader will let you print PDF files from IRS Web site

Help Line

January 04, 1999|By David Einstein | David Einstein,san francisco chronicle

When I download forms from the IRS, I receive the information in a format that my computer can't decipher. How can I get the forms in normal text?

The IRS lets you download forms and publications in several formats, none of which is straight text. Generally, the most convenient format is PDF, which was developed by Adobe Systems. PDF (portable document format) makes documents look exactly the same on the computer as they do in print.

To use PDF files, you'll need the Acrobat Reader software, which is free. You can download it from Adobe (www.adobe.com), or from almost any shareware library. Once you install the Acrobat Reader, you'll be able to print any PDF files that you download from the IRS or other Web sites.

I have a friend who is in Thailand (I believe it is in Bangkok) and the e-mail address I was given ends in @ksc.th.com. I tried to e-mail him today and my ISP returned the message. What gives?

I think you've got the address in the wrong order. The country code - in this case ``th'' - should be the last thing in the domain name. Try ``@ksc.com.th'' and see what happens.

When I work in Microsoft Word 97, the program occasionally shifts into ``overtype'' mode. While this can be turned off by deselecting it in the ``Edit'' part of the Options menu, it's a pain to have to stop work in order to do this. Is there any way to prevent Word from turning on the overtype mode, or can I permanently turn it off?

You don't have to go into the Edit menu to turn off the overtype mode. Just hit the Insert key on your keyboard. It lets you toggle between the overtype and insert mode (which is the default setting).

By the way, the reason your system is switching to overtype probably is because you're inadvertently hitting the Insert key. You can't permanently disable overtype, but you can be more careful where you put your fingers.

This has bugged me for the longest time and a search of online help, Web sites and even newsgroups has failed me. When I bring up a Web page in Internet Explorer 4.0, I get ``medium'' as the font size. If I change the size to ``smaller'' (using the Fonts option in the View menu), it only works during the current online session. How can I set the smaller font as the default for all my surfing?

Instead of going to Fonts in the View menu, choose Internet Options. In the General options, click on Fonts at the bottom of the window. Then choose the font size you want and click Set as Default. The font size will remain the same until the next time you change it.

I'm a children's author turned author-publisher, and I'm considering making the switch from PCs to Macs because of the many graphics tasks that I'm facing. Is it still true that Macs are significantly easier to use for people who, like myself, are far from naturals with a computer?

The other reason I'm considering the switch is that most graphics designers and art departments in the print media seem to favor the Mac format over PCs. If I send a book jacket scan and news brief to print publishers over the Internet, are they more likely to be able to handle such digital files without hassle if they're created on a Mac?

Early in its history, Apple became the computer of choice for publishing, thanks to the Macintosh's ease of use and PageMaker software from Adobe, which was developed initially for the Mac. Today, Macs still command tremendous loyalty from graphic artists and others in the publishing industry.

However, Windows PCs have caught up with Macs in many ways when it comes to graphic design. And companies like Adobe now make nearly identical versions of their products for PCs and Macs.

The one advantage Macs still have is that some print shops are better able to deal with Mac documents. My advice would be to ask people with whom you'll be dealing which system they use, and go with the consensus.

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