Ribbon replacement for Office 2007

If you are a long-time user of MS Office, there is a good chance that you are quite fluent in the traditional menus and shortcuts of earlier versions and might feel like the ribbons introduced with Office 2007 are slowing you down considerably.

Given that third parties are able to provide add-ins for Office 2007 which allow you to operate the applications in the way you are used to, for the most part, it is somewhat odd that Microsoft did not bother to provide Office users with a choice of either using the new ribbons or the old-style menus.

The Classic Menu for Office 2007, also available for individual components, if you feel like you wouldn’t benefit from having this feature available in all of the Office applications, provides a look and feel which is not quite identical but still very close to the “old” Office 2003 menu structure.

Screenshot of Classic Menu for Word 2007

For personal, non-commercial use, UBitMenu might also do the trick as freeware. Additionally, UBit’s version of the software might be of interest commercial users, too, since it comes in a multitude of languages and with a very competitive base price and a minimal (less than a dollar) license fee per user.

Screenshot of UBit's Classic Menu for Word 2007

FileZilla – a powerful little FTP client (and server)

FileZilla logo

The FileZilla Project has developed both a free, open source FTP client (FileZilla) and a corresponding FTP server (FileZilla Server).

As of this writing, the project has been around for more than 6 1/2 years and the change log shows continuous, regular improvements of the product.

Blocking ads and web bugs in Firefox

Screenshot of right-click options for handling an image ad

Wladimir Palant’s Firefox add-on Adblock Plus provides you with the capability to identify and block various components of a web page, most importantly any pesky or undesirable advertisements and also web bugs.

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Remove Duplicates from Outlook Express or Outlook

Screenshot of main window of

MAPILab has developed a nifty little utility, Remove Duplicates from Outlook Express that does a pretty good job at eliminating duplicate messages from Outlook Express, which tend to occur whenever the mail server encounters an error and cannot complete the download of all messages queued.

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Securing Firefox with NoScript

Logo of NoScript plug-in

This nifty add-on for Firefox allows you to drastically increase your protection against cross-site-scripting (XSS) attacks as well as common script annoyances.

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How to backup and restore Outlook Express “Blocked Senders” list and other “Mail Rules”

When I recently tested Kapsersky Internt Secuirty 2008, it wiped out all mail rules in Outlook Express, replacing them with their two KL (Kaspersky Labs) rules for handling spam.

If you want to avoid the headaches of rolling things back to a previous restore point in order to retrieve your old mail rules, you can find a description of the necessary steps in Microsoft’s Knowledgebase at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/276511/.

How to disable the “Search Suggestions” in Firefox 2.x

I am sure I am not the only on who gets annoyed by these pesky search suggestions, not to mention the transmission of almost every individual key stroke typed into the search box when Google is selected as the preferred search engine.

If you would like to see what’s going on under the hood URL-wise, feel free to install Privoxy, which at the same time will help you to get rid of a lot of annoying ads and tracking cookies.  Its log/console window is quite entertaining to observe.

FlyingPenguin points out that it is sufficient to right-click at the search box and uncheck “Show Suggestions”.

ZoomIt – Screen Zoom and Annotation Tool from SysInternals

ZoomIt, by Mark Russinovich, is a screen zoom and annotation tool useful for presentations and remote support sessions where it might come in handy to point out certain information.

ZoomIt runs unobtrusively in the tray and can be activated via customizable hotkeys to zoom in on an area of the screen, to move around while zoomed, and to draw on the zoomed image.

Screenshot of ZoomIt configuration menu

Screen Marker

Screen Marker is a simple little Windows utility by Joseph Cox that lets you draw freehand on the current screen.

Screen Marker screen shot

Can come in handy when being logged in remotely to another computer for troubleshooting, maintenance or remote assistance, so that you can highlight existing or provide further information to the user(s); serves the same function in a training environment where the presenter’s screen is multiplexed onto any number of desktops.Found on [lifehacker]

Frontpage Successor: Microsoft Expression Web

Microsoft’s new WYSIWYG web editor, Expression Web, has very little in common with the old Frontpage. Its progamming logic is based on the development environment Visual Studio.

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