11th February 2000 at 00:00
Your technical problems tackled

I keep class marks and other information in Excel 98 on my Macintosh. The spreadsheets aren't particularly complex, but I need to recreate new versions, with slightly modified data, now and again. I manage to do this by copying and pasting which transfers the data and most formatting. What annoys me is that I can't find a way of copying and pasting column widths, and have to fiddle around with the mouse, or remember the widths and type them in. Is there an easy way of modifying the column widths? - P McKay, Glasgow You seem to be managing to transfer most of the data and format that you want. When you have made the transfer, with all the transferred data still selected, choose Format from the menu bar then select Column and Autofit Selection. The columns will then be adjusted to the right width for data you have transferred.

Most of the staff at work have a connection to the network and access to email. However, I find that I waste time trying, and failing, to open Word documents sent as email attachments. When I try to open them, either within email, or after saving them I often find them full of gibberish. I'm told that this is a "version" problem and need to upgrade my version of Word. Is that correct? - M Powell, Winchester Upgrading to the latest version of Word will solve the problem, but you mightthen be creating a problem for others. A better solution is either to agree on a version of Word that all staff will use (a software version management strategy), and then all upgrade at the same time, or all agree to use a common format that even the oldest programs will understand. Rich Text Format (RTF) is probably the best to use.

Sometimes when I try to run programs in Windows 95 on my ancient computer I get a message that I need to set my computer to 256 colours. How do I do this? - F Jones, Kings Lynn Most programs require at least 256 colours so it makes sense to make 256 your standard setting. To make the change right-click the mouse while pointing to the desktop (background) and then choose Properties and click on the Settings tab. Depending on what your computer will support you can then change the number of colors to any of the following: 16, 256, 16bit, or 24 bit. Select 256 and click the "OK" button. You may then be prompted to restart your computer in order for the change to take effect.

Questions are answered by Les Watson, director of information resources at Glasgow Caledonian University, City Campus. If you have any questions you can't solve, write to Qamp;A, TES Online, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX or email: (be sure to include your address and telephone numbers).

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