Frequently asked questions

FI-Log-On-With-Larry-SchneiderThese are some of the most frequent questions I get from readers and the ways their issues can be addressed.


Sometimes when I type something in my word processor, for some reason my typing erases what’s already on the page. What am I doing wrong?

The simple answer is nothing. You probably hit the “Insert” key on your keyboard inadvertently (it’s just to the right of the Backspace key). The Insert key typically switches between “Insert” mode (where everything you type is automatically inserted into your document) and “Overwrite” mode (where letters that you type replace characters already in your document). Simply tap the “Insert” key and see if that solves the problem.


Word always turns the first letter of a line into a capital letter, even when I don’t want it to. Can this be turned off? 

Sure enough. In Word’s menu bar, click Tools, then click AutoCorrect Options. Click the little box next to the option that reads “Capitalize first letter of sentences,” then click OK.


How can I alphabetize a list in Word?

First, be sure each item in the list is on its own line (i.e., separated by “carriage returns”). You can’t alphabetize a list of words that are separated only by commas. Highlight the list (by clicking and dragging your mouse). Once the entire list to be alphabetized has been highlighted, click in the menu bar on Table, then Sort. Click OK.


In my menu options, each word has an underlined letter. What does that mean?

It means that you can select that option using your keyboard (instead of your mouse) by pressing the Alt key (adjacent to the spacebar), followed by the underlined letter. If you’re selecting an option from a menu that’s already open, just press the underlined letter without hitting the Alt key. For instance, you can open a document in just about any program by pressing Alt, F (for the File menu), O (for the Open option). Pressing CTRL+O is another way to do the same thing.


Sometimes when I go to click the “X” in the top right corner to close my program, I see two X’s, one above the other. Which one should I click?

Generally, the one on top. The “X” on top closes your program and all open documents. The one on the bottom closes the current document without closing your program.


On occasion, when I press certain letters like J, K, or L on my laptop, I get numbers instead of letters. What’s up with that?

You probably hit the NumLock key by accident. Hit it again to correct the problem. Refer to your laptop’s documentation if you don’t know where the NumLock key is.


My printer isn’t working and makes all sorts of grinding noises when I try to print. What’s wrong with it?

It sounds like it’s in need of repair or replacement.


My printer isn’t printing at all. Should I take it in for repair, or is the problem with the computer?

I’d guess the problem lies with your computer and that it’s in need of a checkup.


This is Larry Schneider, logging off.


Larry Schneider is the owner of Accent on Computers, a Greenwich-based consulting firm catering to individuals, businesses and professional offices. Services include computer setup, training, troubleshooting, virus resolution, networking, Internet, database, and programming. Call 625-7575, visit, or send email to [email protected]

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