Friday, March 30, 2007

Hot key "Unformatted Text" in MS Word

Sometimes I like it when I paste things into MS Word and it retains all the formatting. Many times, I would rather it just paste it as unformatted text so I can make it merge with the rest of the doc.

Using MS-Word 2003, this is what I do so I can make Ctrl+Shift+V map to the Paste Special\Unformatted text.

Copy something off your browser with formatting.
MS-Word Tools\Macros\Record New Macro...
- Name macro PasteUnformatted
- Click the Assign Macro to Keyboard. Press Ctrl+Shift+V. Press Assign.
- Go to Edit\Paste Special. Choose Unformatted Text
- Click the Stop Button

View and/or edit the macro from the Tools\Macros\Macros... menu item
Select PasteUnformatted and click the edit button. It should look something like this.

Sub PasteUnformatted()
' PasteUnformatted Macro
' Macro recorded 3/30/2007 by Rich Alger
' this pastes the contents on the clipboard with no formatting
Selection.PasteAndFormat (wdFormatPlainText)
End Sub

See Paste Unformatted Macro

Once you are done you can use the Ctrl+Shift+V hot key to quickly paste in unformatted text.

UPDATE 2008-08-19
The last several times I had to do this, I always have to edit the macro and make sure it says wdFormatPlainText

UPDATE 2010-05-10
I was referring to this to get this to work in Outlook 2007. I just found that Ctrl+Alt+V brings up the "paste special" dialog box. You can arrow up and press enter. No need for a macro anymore. It works the same in Word 2007. "Alt, E, S" works in Word and Outlook 2003.

For other applications that do not have paste special you could use an application like PureText

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Disable new mail notifications in Trillian

I am setting up a new PC and could not remember how to disable trillian from notifying me when a new email comes.

For Trillian Basic 3.1 build 121: Trillian\TrillianPreferences... menu.
Advanced Preferences
Uncheck Mail: New Mail

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Google Maps Traffic

I first started using online traffic data to choose my driving home route. I commute from El Mirage, AZ to Tempe, AZ. At the end of 2005 I started using Google Earth. We were experimenting with it at work and considering buying an enterprise solution from them. We figured out how to make an overlay using the graphic at ADOT onto the Google Earth surface.

That worked quite well. The biggest problem I had with it is that it took 45 seconds or more to load Google Earth and to view the overlay. After a while, I stopped using it.

I then tried using I was intrigued by its stated ability to accept a route and email me if that route was too congested. I found that there were too many false positive reported and I was not always leaving work at the exact same time each day. I stopped using it too.

I had seen yahoo's traffic but the little dots didn't stand out to me.

A few months ago, I tried It shows me stripes like ADOT does. Yet the stripes are only partially opaque, so you can see the street names underneath. It shows accidents, which is the real decider if I should go one way or another. I am able to create a url specifying the exact location and turns traffic on. I use this bookmark to see traffic every day. The final bonus it that is loads fast. It is up in about 7 seconds. Often I have to refresh it once to get the traffic to show, but that is real fast!

In about 10 - 15 second of looking at the image, I can tell which route to take. I can see any accidents and the resulting backup.

Yesterday, Google maps announced that they have traffic on their site. The most interesting part of their implementation is their coverage. They have data for the Loop 101. I do not know where they get this data from. hasn't found out yet either. I have not been able to find it from ADOT. Another thing I noticed is that Google displays data I few minutes later than Microsoft.