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Weekly Computer Tip # 135
27 November 2005

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make the toolbar's Print button automatically display the Print dialog box (Microsoft Office)

First of all a big thank you to those of you who replied to last week's tip using fancy formatting. I even got a sneak preview of Anthony Hopkinson's screenprints! (http://www.anthonyhopkinson.co.uk/) Love the tulips, but that might have something to do with my Dutch heritage!

This week's tip is a combination of all sorts of old ones. (# 61, 87, 96, 119 to name a few.) In my converted garage-slash-office I have two printers. One colour and one black and white. Not very dissimilar to a normal situation at work, I'd say. Well, I often was sending things to the wrong printer. Advocating "green printing" in tip 87 (http://www.roem.co.uk/tip_87.html) I felt it was time to take action. So I replaced the standard Print button on the toolbar with one that will automatically display the Print dialog box, making me think which printer to choose.

Here's how:

  1. Hold down the ALT key and drag the Print button away from the toolbar.
  2. Click on the little down arrow at the end of the toolbar, select Add or Remove Buttons, followed by Customize.
  3. On the Commands panel of the Customize dialog box, select the File option in the Categories box.
  4. Scroll down the list in the Commands box and drag the "Print..." button to the desired location on the toolbar.
  5. Click the Close button.

This procedure will need to be repeated for every Office package you want this to be the case (Word, Excel, Outlook etcetera). Personally, I have this setting in Word as I often want to print documents on the colour printer. Whereas in Excel, I've simply removed the Print button and simply force myself to click on the Print Preview button instead. That way I can spot formatting errors easily, allowing me to edit and fine-tune the worksheet without wasting paper. I found this particularly useful as I often had columns or rows being "pushed" over 2 pages, which you can prevent by shrinking the sheet so that it is one page. So here's this week's bonus tip ... On the File menu, click Page Setup, and then click the Page tab. Click Fit to, type 1 in either the page(s) wide by box or the tall box, and then delete the number (if any) from the other box.

Finally, thanks for all your tip ideas. Lots of useful ones, so watch this space!

Until next week.

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November 2005