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How to run Acrobat 7 Professional on Windows 7 64 bit computers

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry150404-154122

If, like me, you’re less than impressed with the latest versions of Acrobat Professional (I have Acrobat XI 64 bit installed) and wish you could go back to good old 32 bit Acrobat 7 with it’s dockable toolbars, batch processes which run really quickly, and overall familiarity with a product which you use on a daily basis, then here is some good news… for some of you.

image As Acrobat 7 is no longer supported by Adobe they’ve decided to give it away (activation key and all) for FREE to qualifying users and, while you can’t install this directly in Windows 7 64 bit you can install it from within Windows XP Mode running in Windows Virtual PC on a 64 bit version of Windows 7.

While you still suffer from a few problems caused by Adobe not fully supporting 64 bit in so far as you can’t easily see thumbnail previews of you PDFs in Windows Explorer or (inexcusable) the PDF document PROPERTIES in Windows Explorer, there are ways around these problems. [Read More…]

How to add the file name and page number to multiple PDF files in Acrobat X Professional

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry150404-150500

*Updated September 2015*

Batch processing of PDF files was a powerful feature of previous versions of Acrobat Professional. Since the release of Acrobat X Adobe have renamed batch processing as “Actions”. While these are just as easy to set up and retain much - if not all - of the functionality of the previous versions there is one major problem with Actions - they are incredibly SLOW TO RUN, in comparison with the good old batch processes.

For those who are either stuck with Acrobat X+ or who are perfectly happy with the new interface then this article explains how to set up an Action to add the file name and page number to a whole folder full of PDF files. If you’d like to learn how to set up a batch process in earlier versions of Acrobat Professional then click here for my earlier article on how to do that. [Read More…]

How to restore file tooltip popups in Windows 7

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry150320-164842

Having finally been forced to use Windows 7 on my computer at work I was faced with the loss of a couple of handy features which I’d become accustomed to in Windows XP.

One such problem concerned the apparent inability to show more than the barest of information in the little popup you get when you hover your mouse cursor over a file in Windows Explorer in Windows 7.

InfoTip balloon in Windows XP Actually that’s only partially true - it still works for local files (e.g. files on your own hard drive) but for files viewed on a network drive - whether mapped to drive letters of not - you only see the file type, last modified date, and it’s size, none of which is really worth the effort of showing the InfoTip in the first place (you can turn the feature off in folder options).

However it IS possible to get all of the extra information that might be stored in the File Properties (e.g. the document title, subject, and comment) by making a simple change to the registry. Here’s an example of how it looks in Windows 7 - you can see there how useful it is to show more information than you can easily display in the columns to the right:

InfoTip balloon in Windows 7 Note that you must have administrative rights to the computer you’re working on in order to make this change.

WARNING! It is also assumed that you are familiar with the Windows Registry and are happy about taking the risk that you could seriously screw your day up if you do something wrong in there. If not then stop right here and go fetch someone who is. For this reason the instructions below are written with less detail than I would normally provide.

If you’re not confident about doing this then please stop right here!

Otherwise, here’s how to do it:

1) Click on the windows button (normally at the bottom left of your screen) and then type “regedit” in the “Search programs and files” box, then hit return.

2) RIGHT click once on the regedit.exe file you should see in the box above the search box and choose “Run as administrator”. REMEMBER - don’t try this unless you know you have administrative rights to the computer - if you know you can install new programs, then you’re probably going to be ok - if not, then you’ll probably be wasting your time doing what comes next because Regedit won’t let you save your changes after all your efforts.

3) Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREClasses* and add the following to the end of the existing values in both InfoTip and QuickTip:


Type (or copy and paste) everything in blue - don’t forget the semi-colon at  the beginning of the line as that’s the “follow on” from the entries which you’ll already find there.

The reason you need to change it in both keys is that Windows will prioritise “QuickTip” over “InfoTip” when you hover over a network file. Microsoft did that in case you are viewing files over a slow network connection, so it’s useful to know you can make that little tweak if your computer slows to a crawl trying to display the popup information.

In some cases (for local files) I also needed to change the InfoTip value in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTSystemFileAssociations - for instance, for my Word docs (my VBA only generates 2003 versions of Excel and Word files) I needed to make the same change to the InfoTip in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTSystemFileAssociations.doc

4) Close regedit.

It should be enough, at this point, to simply close and re-open Windows Explorer in order to see the effect of your changes, or you might want to log off and back on to Windows just to make sure.

My other problem (I’m sure I’ll find more - I won’t even mention my hatred of ribbon menus) is the sad loss of the Folder Description column I could add which allowed me to add a comment to a folder using a truly excellent program called HobComment. While this may still work for 32-bit versions of Windows it certainly doesn’t in 64-bit editions but, fortunately, all is not lost!

Folder comments in Windows XP

In my case I still have my old Windows XP PC connected to the network so I simply access this via RealVNC and add my comments there. Displaying the folder description in a column in Windows 7 is actually a piece of cake - simply right click on the column headings in Windows Explorer and add “Comments” column :) Curiously that trick DOESN’T work in XP, but who cares? Here’s how I’ve got it looking in Windows 7:

Folder comments in Windows 7In case you don’t have an XP machine which you can use to add your folder comments then all is not lost because you can run XP on your Windows 7 computer in order to run old programs like HobComment, by using Microsoft’s very own Windows Virtual PC. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m sure it will work.


Happy computing!

A quick fix for Outlook 2010 not opening when you do not have permissions to access the outlook.pst file

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry141226-102449

For anyone who has run into a message when trying to open Outlook - this applies specifically to version 2010 but it may happen with other versions - which goes something like “The set of folders cannot be opened. You do not have permissions to open the outlook.pst file” (the message may vary) then here’s one very quick fix you should try before anything else. [Read More…]

Task Time Counter

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry141205-170816

If you frequently switch between one job or project and another then this Task Time Counter which runs in Excel might be just what you’re looking for.

It’s very simple to use - just click on the Switch Task button to bring up your list of jobs and select one by clicking on the drop down arrow.

image[Read More…]

How to avoid losing changes made to a Word document opened from an email

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry141204-110640

When you open an Word document from an email and start making changes to it, it’s easy to forget that you’re only editing a “temporary” document. If you save your changes it’s often quite difficult to find your revised document again.

To help avoid that here’s a nice snippet of VBA code which you can use to issue you a warning message every time you open a document from an email, like this:


As a kind of “bonus” the following script will also warn you if the document you are opening has tracked changes enabled, and ask if you want to turn them off.


To install the code open up Word and press Alt+F11 to get into the Microsoft Visual Basic Editor.

In the left hand pane under “Normal” double click “Microsoft Word Objects” then double click “ThisDocument”, and enter the following code in the pane on the right. It should all look something like this:


And here’s the code to put in there. Please note that you’ll need to remove the apostrophe from the beginning of the line saying ‘MsgBox(ActiveDocument.Path) and then open an document from an email in order to find out and jot down the Windows file path of your temporary folder, which you need to enter later in the code. I figure if you’ve been brave enough to go this far then this step should be plain sailing for you :)

Private Sub Document_Open()

' the following code will determine if the document you are opening
' has tracked changes enabled and ask if you want to turn them off
' it will also warn you if you are opening a document from an email
' in case you intend making changes to it

Dim TurnOffTrackedChanges As Variant

' Uncomment the following line and open a Doc from an email to find out what your temporary folder is

If ActiveDocument.TrackRevisions = True Then

TurnOffTrackedChanges = MsgBox("This document has tracked changes enabled." & vbCrLf & vbCrLf & "Do you want to turn tracked changes off?", vbYesNo, "WARNING - Tracked changes enabled!")

If TurnOffTrackedChanges = vbYes Then

ActiveDocument.TrackRevisions = False
MsgBox ("Tracked changes have been disabled :)")

End If

End If

' You need to put your temporary folder name below - uncomment the message box at the top to find out what it is

'example for WinXP
If ActiveDocument.Path = "D:Documents and SettingsPaulLocal SettingsApplication DataOperaOpera 11.64temporary_downloads" Then

' Example for Win7
'If ActiveDocument.Path = "C:UsersLee CliffordAppDataLocalOperaOperatemporary_downloads" Then

MsgBox ("WARNING! You may have opened a temporary copy of this document from an email as the current file path is" & vbCrLf & vbCrLf & ActiveDocument.Path & vbCrLf & vbCrLf & "If you intend making any changes you should save it RIGHT NOW to a different location... or you could lose your changes!"), vbCritical

End If

End Sub

Goodius luckius!

Your browser is now updated - FINALLY!

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry140225-124154

Internet ExplorerI’m probably one of a dwindling number of people who have ran into the problem of how to install Internet Explorer 8 on Windows XP Service Pack 3. The problem here is that IE8 normally insists you install an update (KB932823) but, when you try to do this, it proceeds to tell you that you don’t need this update.

Snakes and ladders with no way to win… almost. [Read More…]

Cannot delete file or folder: Cannot read from the source file or disk

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry140130-133919

Occasionally you might try to delete an empty folder but get a message up like the title of this post.

In my case the folder name had what looked like a space at the end, although whether this was really a space, or some other hidden character was hard to tell.

After trying almost every trick in the book I finally managed to nail the issue by using the following command using the command prompt: [Read More…]

Support our caregiving

If you found anything on this site of use, interesting, or even mildly amusing then please consider dropping a few pennies in the jar to help us to take care of our disabled son who contracted encephalitis in 2007 at the age of 6 and who is now confined to a wheelchair. He is getting bigger as his mother and I get older, imagine that, please. Every penny we collect goes towards his upkeep, and towards his future care requirements.

Thank you.

Support our caregiving

Support our caregiving

If you found anything on this site of use, interesting, or even mildly amusing then please consider dropping a few pennies in the jar to help us to take care of our disabled son who contracted encephalitis in 2007 at the age of 6 and who is now confined to a wheelchair. He is getting bigger as his mother and I get older, imagine that, please. Every penny we collect goes towards his upkeep, and towards his future care requirements.

Thank you.