Walt Mossberg

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Navigating Microsoft Office

Here are a few questions I’ve received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability.


In the new version of Microsoft Office, I cannot find a “favorites” capability in the Open dialog box. In my older version, when I began to open a document, I had a box on the left called “Favorites” that I could invoke to find common file locations. Did they really kill this very useful feature?

No, but they changed the way you make it visible in Office 2007. You can get back your “Favorites” category by right-clicking the bar at the left-hand side of the Open dialog. From the menu that appears, click on “Add Favorites,” and your Favorites category should appear in the left-hand bar, and stay there.

If I have McAfee security software, do I need an antispyware program as well?

Everyone running a Windows computer, even a virtual Windows computer on a Mac, should have antispyware software. In some ways, spyware is a worse security problem than viruses, and can lead to identity theft.

McAfee has made many types and versions of security software over the years. Some, especially recent versions of the company’s comprehensive products, include antispyware protection. Check your version to make sure it includes this capability. If it doesn’t, you will either need to upgrade to a more comprehensive suite, or obtain a separate anti-spyware product.

When my friend put a Spike Jones CD of mine into his Mac to import it using iTunes, the CD was misidentified with an embarrassing title. What would cause such a thing to happen? Does iTunes go out to the Web looking for album names, instead of going by what’s on a disk?

Yes. Music programs like iTunes, and all its major competitors, can’t identify a disk directly. So they rely on online databases to identify CDs. Each CD contains a hidden code that the database providers quickly match up with their huge catalogs of CDs to provide the album title, artist, date, track list and other information. But, sometimes, especially when the CD is relatively obscure, the databases are wrong and yield erroneous information. When that happens, you have to type in the information by hand.

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns, online free of charge at the new All Things Digital Web site, http://walt.allthingsd.com.


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