PC Doctor March 31, 2011

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Dear PC Doctor,

I'm writing a story in Microsoft Word. Since the characters and places have made-up names, spell-check keeps marking them as being wrong. I know it's not going to change anything in the document, but I still find it annoying. Is there a way to turn off spell-check?


Dear Megan,

Sure thing! Depending on your version of Microsoft Word, there's a few different ways to do it. For versions before 2007, click on the Tools menu button. There, click on Options, then select the Spelling and Grammar tab. Uncheck the “Check spelling as you type” and “Check grammar as you type”. For Word 2007 and forward, click on the Microsoft Office orb in the upper left corner. Select Word Options, then click Proofing. Uncheck the “Hide spelling errors” box and the “Check spelling as you type” box.

Word won't automatically spell-check your document, so if you decide you want to spell-check your document; press the F7 button on your keyboard. Otherwise, your document will be free of the little annoying red and green lines.

Since you're working on a big project, it might be worth adding the “misspelled” words to Word's dictionary, so they're not marked as wrong in the future. If you have automatic spell-check turned on, right-click anywhere on one of the words that is supposedly spelled incorrect. A menu will appear with a few options. Select “Add to dictionary.” The spell-check lines for every occurrence of that word should disappear!

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor

My friend has a Mac computer and I'm actually kind of jealous of him. It looks really nice. One thing he showed me that I thought was cool was that, when he plugged in an USB thumb drive, it made an icon on his desktop. He could double click on the icon and go right to his thumb drive! Is there something like that for Windows?


Dear Pete,

That is a feature on the Mac OS that I find pretty cool and handy. Indeed, there is a somewhat of a work around for Windows. It's not something that you can turn on in Options or anything... you'll have to download extra software for it. It's called “Desk Drive” and it works pretty well. Check it out at www.blueonionsoftware.com/DeskDrive.aspx. It doesn't say that it supports Windows 7, but it worked great on my computer.

Window's version of Mac's dynamic drive icons is AutoPlay. Ever get the annoying window pop up when you plug in a drive or put a CD into the drive? You can change the settings there so that the folder for the USB drive automatically opens when the drive is plugged in. A little annoying maybe, but convenient.

First, if AutoPlay isn't turned on, you'll have to do that. Go to Start, then Control Panel, then Hardware and Sound and then click on AutoPlay. Check the box labeled “Use AutoPlay for all media and devices” and click Save. Plug in your drive. The AutoPlay box should soon appear. Check the box labeled “Always do this for pictures” (this may differ, depending on the content on the drive). Then click the option labeled “Open folder to view files using Windows Explorer” Remember, when you're finished using your drive, make sure you eject it before disconnecting! (Hint: My Computer>Right-click drive>Eject).

            PC Doctor

Until next time… happy computing!