Computer Guide

Just fro you, the thunking spill checker that's slipshod-proof
by George Skarbek - 31 st January 2006

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Q: I have a colleague who works in Word 2000 at the speed of 1000 startled gazelles. She relies on the spell checker but does not also read the copy. Consequently, if she types (for example) "manger" when she means "manager", the spell checker cannot help as "manger" is, of course, a proper word. The upshot is that emails with these errors go to the outside world and look slipshod (which it is). My question: is there a way of adjusting the dictionary so that, if she uses "manger" or "fro" for "for", words such as these, that are not otherwise commonly used, are shown as errors?

A: I am aware of the problem as there is one word that I occasionally mistype but the spell checker doesn't find it as it is another known word. The biggest problem with computers today is that they do what we tell them and not what we want. Fortunately there is a fix.

I use Word's AutoCorrect feature to replace a likely misspelt word with the one I want, highlighting it in red just in case I need to revert to the replaced word. In the unlikely case that I made a typo, I use the format, Painter, which fixes a problem in a couple of clicks. However, you don't have to set up the coloured replacement but just replace the normally incorrect words with the correct ones.

Click on Tools, AutoCorrect Options and enter "fro" in the Replace box and then in the With box type "for". If in the odd case she wants to use "fro", then, after typing, just press Ctrl + z or click undo.

To replace the word with a coloured correction type "for" and make it red, highlight and type Ctrl + c or click on Edit and Paste to put it into the buffer. Now open AutoCorrect and click On the Format Text button.

The word "for", in red, will appear in the correct spot and enter "fro" in the Replace box.

Q: I have a PC running on Windows XP Pro. I also use an Omega Zip 100 drive to save letters. On the Zip drive there were several folders which contained several Word Perfect 10 files. Also saved on the disk without being in a folder were several Acrobat and Word documents that I had downloaded from email attachments and I put them through Vet before opening. The computer will start if the disk is left in the zip drive which was the situation yesterday, because when Windows started a notice came up that it was checking the disk in the zip drive. My attention was distracted through a phone call and the result of this check was that I found that all of the folders had gone and a new folder, FOUND 000, had been formed that had 12 of the old files saved as a number. However, none of the Acrobat or Word files that were downloaded attachments were affected. The disk shows a capacity of 95 MB and free space of 87 MB. None of the deleted files were in the recycle bin. Could this be due to a breakdown of part of the disk, some problem with Windows, or a virus that has got past Vet? Is it possible to reverse the action of Windows?

A: Firstly, for important files, you should back-up to alternate media on alternate days in case there is a fault on one disk and what is probably by now an elderly disk or a very rare virus that deletes files or disks.

In your case, it is not due to a virus but most likely caused by a fault in the disk.
There will be nothing in the recycle bin as you have not deleted anything and neither has any program. Windows has detected the problem and has attempted to fix the problem and recover what it can.
What must have happened is that the disk sector(s) that contain the directory have failed and the names have been lost, and the pointers to the files have also been lost.

The data has been recovered by Windows but it cannot find the names of the files so the recovered files are called xxx and have to be renamed by you when you find out what they contain.

If there are any missing files then the disk sectors where they reside are most likely faulty and there is very little chance of recovering them.
My suggestion is that you use a new Zip drive for future back-ups.


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