Love your iMac or blue-and-white G3, but hate its %$#@! round mouse? Frank Sauer of Reston, Virginia, found a simple way to improve its ergonomics. Buy a tube of Testor’s cement for plastic models (number 3501). Put four or five tiny beads of glue on the mouse’s equator at the colored-plastic parts, using a toothpick or a straightened paper clip to control bead size. Wait about two hours for the glue to dry. Prestoyou now have tactile reassurance that you’ve grasped the mouse properly and it’s pointing in the right direction. The principle is the same as the small guide beads on the surface of the F and J (or D and K) keys on your keyboard: to let you orient your fingers without looking.
If you don’t have one of the newer round mice with the dimpled button, try what Troy Danielsen of Wellsville, Utah, recommends: place a single touch-reference dot of ordinary white glue on the mouse button. When dry, the glue becomes translucent, letting the color of the mouse plastic show through.
Transfer Files to Your iMac
I’m considering buying an iMac, but how will I transfer all the info from my Performa 6290 (which has only serial, ADB, and SCSI ports) to an iMac (which has only USB)?
The simplest solution is to buy a Zip drive for each computer, download your files to a Zip disk, and then transfer them. The cheapest solution is to transfer files via the Internet. For example, you can get 25MB of space for just this purpose at
http://www.freemacspace.com. Caveat: If you have a modem connection to the Internet, consider the hours you’ll spend uploading each 25MB from your old Mac and then downloading that 25MB to the iMac.
The most expeditious solution is to connect the two computers via Ethernet (as described in December 1998’s
) and use the Mac OS file-sharing feature to transfer files. Since your old Mac apparently does not have the optional Ethernet port, you must either add one, or attach a LocalTalk connector to the 6290’s serial port and bridge LocalTalk to Ethernet with a device such as Asanté’s AsantéTalk or Farallon’s EtherMac iPrint Adapter LT (as illustrated in January 1999’s
Connect Through AppleWorks
My Performa 6300CD’s internal Global Village TelePort Platinum V modem worked fine until I cleaned up my hard drive. I did a clean installation of Mac OS 8.5.1, AppleWorks 5.0.3, America Online, the latest Global Village software, and so on, and put the old modem script named Platinum V Modem Definition in the Modem Scripts folder in the Extensions folder, where it belongs. Now I can connect to AOL, use a little app called Set Clock, and send and receive faxes, but I can’t connect via an AppleWorks communications document. The modem dials correctly but can’t make a final connection; after the usual squawking sound, it emits a continuous high-pitched tone. I’m stumped.
AppleWorks (a.k.a. ClarisWorks) does not use items in the Modem Scripts folder. It uses another item in the Extensions folder called the Apple Modem Tool, which is initially configured for a generic Hayes-compatible modem. You can change the configuration using AppleWorks and your old Platinum V Modem Definition file or a newer modem-definition file (look in Global Village Software: Scripts: GV Modem Defs. for AMT 1.5).
Open your AppleWorks communications document and choose Connection from the Settings menu. In the Connection Setting dialog box that appears, make sure that you have the Method pop-up menu set to Apple Modem Tool, and then choose Modify This Menu from the Modem pop-up menu. In the next dialog box, click the Import button, and then in the following dialog box, select your modem-definition file. Click Open and then Done to get back to the main Connection Setting dialog box, where the Modem pop-up menu now lists the additional modem definitions. Choose the one that’s right for your modem (Global Village tech support should be able to help you determine which one), select the port to which you have your modem connected, and click OK.
Simulate Missing Keys
Open ASCII Shall Receive, and choose ASCII from the pop-up menu and then List All from the File menu. Scroll to ASCII character 4; this is the character for the end key. Select this line and control-drag it to the desktop to create a clipping file containing just the character. Open the clipping file and choose Copy from the Edit menu. Open SpeedDoubler 8, select the box that receives the typed text, and choose Paste from the Edit menu. Then specify the keystroke you want to simulate the end key (I used control-page down) and click OK.
Repeat this process for forward-delete by copying ASCII character 127, pasting it into SpeedDoubler 8, and assigning a different keystroke. I assigned F12 to trigger forward-delete, since it’s right above the delete key, but control-delete would be another good choice.
Other keys you may want to simulate on an older PowerBook keyboard: home is ASCII 1, page up is ASCII 11, and page down is ASCII 12.L.P.
Eliminate Web Image Gaps
When creating a Web page, you can use HTML styles to position two images without a separation. However, HTML styles are complicated and work only in Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 4.X and later. Instead, keep images together with the
(no break) HTML tag, which older browsers support as well. The
opening tag has a matching
closing tag. Here’s an example:
img src=”image-1″img src=image-2″
You can put text and tables as well as images between
/nobr, and you can designate discretionary breaks with
wbr; tags. But take care not to leave any stray spaces between images or other elements that
Fix Word’s Format Update
Repair Word’s Format Bug
If you’re using the format painter in an attached template other than Normal in Microsoft Word 98, you can restore formatting lost in “unpainted” paragraphs by fiddling with the Automatically Update Document Styles option, shown here.
Microsoft Word 98 has an annoying bug that crops up in documents using an attached template other than Normal. If you selected the Automatically Update Document Styles option when you attached the template via the Templates And Add-ins dialog box, you may find that after you use the format painter, some “unpainted” paragraphs lose the attributes of their assigned styles. If this happens, don’t panicyou can restore the style formatting to all affected paragraphs by resetting the option. To do this, choose Templates And Add-ins from the Tools menu. In the dialog box that appears, turn off the Automatically Update Document Styles option and click OK (see “Repair Word’s Format Bug”). Immediately repeat the same steps, this time turning the option back on, and click OK. This should restore your paragraph’s original style formatting.
You might also try the Reset Character Formatting command (command-shift-Z) and Reset Para (command-option-Q). You don’t normally see these commands on any menu, although you can add them to a menu or a tool bar using the Customize command in Word’s Tools menu.L.P.
Adjust Sound-Effects Volume
If you have sound effects turned on in the Appearance control panel of Mac OS 8.5 or later and want to change their volume independent of other sounds on your Mac, adjust System Alert Volume in the Alerts section of the Monitors & Sound control panel rather than Computer System Volume in the Sound section.
Count Words in Excel
Here is a simple approach to counting the number of words in a cell (here, cell F9) of a Microsoft Excel worksheet:
An interesting extension of this formula counts the number of words in a range (here, F9:F16):
This is an array formula, so don’t type the outer curly brackets; instead, press command-return when you create or edit the formula, and Excel adds them.
Quickly Edit Icon Names
If you want to edit an icon name, you don’t have to wait several seconds for the text to turn highlighted after you’ve clicked the icon name in the Finder. Instead, just click the icon and immediately press enter or return to highlight the name.
In order to set the insertion point at the beginning or end of the name, just perform the actions mentioned above, and then immediately press one of the arrow keys. In order to select a whole name quickly with the mouse alone, simply click the name and as soon as you release the mouse button move the mouse slightly.L.P.
If your Mac has the Control Strip, you needn’t launch the Remote Access or PPP control panel to avoid the modal dialog box that blocks other work while connecting or disconnecting a dial-up Internet connection (as suggested in July 1999’s
James A. Baker of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was the first of several readers to point out that the Remote Access module, which is standard on the Control Strip in Mac OS 8.5 and later, has Connect and Disconnect commands that work invisibly. If you use Mac OS 8.1 or earlier, Catherine Hummel of Hollywood, Maryland, suggests that you install OTPPP Strip, a free Control Strip module by Simeon Leifer (
); no waiting, no window!
If your Mac doesn’t have the Control Strip, you can install it by doing a custom installation of Mac OS 7.6 through 8.1.
LON POOLE answers readers’ questions and selects reader-submitted tips for this monthly column. His latest book is Macworld Mac OS 8.5 Bible (IDG Books Worldwide, 1999).
All shareware and freeware mentioned in Quick Tips is available from the Macworld Online software library (
We pay $25 to $100 for tips selected for publication that discuss how to use Macs, peripherals, or software. Please include your full name and address so that we can send you your payment. Send questions or tips to
or to Macworld Quick Tips, 301 Howard St., 16th Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105. All published submissions become the sole property of Macworld. Due to the high volume of mail received, we cannot provide personal responses.µ