BITS & BYTES: More Find and Replace uses in Word

2013-04-17T16:52:00Z BITS & BYTES: More Find and Replace uses in WordApril Miller Cripliver Times Business Columnist

Q. I’m looking forward to reading more of the Find and Replace uses in Microsoft Word.

A. Several weeks ago, I started enumerating 10 ways you can use the Find and Replace feature in Word. Here’s the last of them:

Delete formatted text

Similar to a previous tip I wrote about, which uses styles to delete paragraphs, you can use Find and Replace to delete consistently formatted text. For example, you could use this feature to delete hidden text:

1. Press [Ctrl]+H.

2. Click the Find What control and click More.

3. From the Format drop-down, choose Font.

4. Check the Hidden option in the Effects section and click OK. Word will display the specified format under the Find What control.

6. Click Replace All.

Most users don’t hide text, but you can use this method with any format. You can also enter a format in both the Find What and the Replace With controls to change one format to another.

Q. How can I make myself safer while using the Internet? There are so many companies claiming to sell software that will make me safe, but what do I really need?

A. Internet Safety is quite important, and you are correct that everyone has an opinion of what you actually need. Here is a list of some items that everyone will agree you need to be safe while surfing:

  • Use a Firewall - A firewall is a piece of software or hardware that sits between your computer and the Internet and only allows certain types of things to cross the wall. For example, a firewall may allow checking email and browsing the web, but will disallow things that are commonly not as useful, such as RPC or "Remote Procedure Calls." In fact, it's vulnerabilities in RPC that allowed for one of the more recent worms to propagate. (If you're using a phone to dial-in to the Internet, a firewall is not as important, though it doesn't hurt to have one. A software firewall may be your only option, though.)
  • Virus Scan - Sometimes, typically via email, viruses are able to cross the wall and end up on your computer anyway. A virus scanner will locate and remove them from your hard disk. A real-time virus scanner will notice them as they arrive, even before they hit the disk, but at the cost of slowing down your machine a little. Important: because new viruses are arriving every day, it's important to keep your virus definitions up-to-date. Be sure to enable the scanning software's automatic-update feature and have it do so every day.
  • Kill Spyware - Spyware is similar to viruses in that they arrive unexpectedly and unannounced and proceed to do something undesired. Normally spyware is relatively benign from a safety perspective, but it can violate your privacy by tracking the websites you visit, or add "features" to your system that you didn't ask for. The worst offenders are spyware that hijack normal functions for themselves. For example, some like to redirect your web searches to other sites to try and sell you something. Of course some spyware is so poorly written that it might as well be a virus, given how unstable it can make your system. The good news is that, like virus scanners, there are spyware scanners that will locate and remove the offending software.

Opinions are solely the writer's. April Miller Cripliver, of Chesterton, has a doctorate in management information systems and is a computer hardware and software consultant. E-mail your computer questions to, and specify your operating system and other pertinent PC information.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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