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Making Word and Excel close faster


© St. Petersburg Times, published October 5, 1998

Q. In our office, closing either Word or especially Excel seems to take forever. We have these applications running locally on the client and use only data files on the network.

A. This problem may occur when Microsoft Outlook automatically creates journal entries for these programs. Microsoft Outlook creates the entries by default. Note that this problem may occur even if Microsoft Outlook is not currently running. The problem is amplified when your default mail inbox is on the server. To work around this problem, disable the journalizing feature for the Microsoft Office 97 programs. To do this, use the following steps:

1. Start Microsoft Outlook.
2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
3. Click the Journal tab.
4. In the "Also record files from'' list, clear all of the check boxes.
5. Click Apply, and then click OK.

Microsoft Office 97 Service Release-1 (SR-1) has corrected the problem.

Q. I have a Pentium 133 MHz PC with a 1-gigabyte hard drive and 32 megabytes of RAM running Windows NT 4.0. I installed Corel 8 Office Suite. When I open WordPerfect it takes a long time, and opening a document takes 20 seconds. A colleague has Corel 8 installed on a similar PC but running Windows 95. It takes only 5 seconds to pull up a document.

A. Do you hear disk activity while you are waiting? If so, then I suspect that it is a shortage of RAM. Although 32 megs is adequate for a PC running Windows 95, it is bare bones for NT. I use NT Workstation, and it is far superior to Windows as far as stability (I never crash or hang). However, this comes with the price of substantially greater hardware requirements. My recommendation is that you at least double your RAM to 64 (96 would be better).

Q. I wanted to view the contents of my user.dat file in Windows 95, and tried to open it in WordPerfect. Now, when I open Explorer, my user.dat and system.dat files are shown as WordPerfect Document (6.1) Files in the file type section. How can I disassociate the WP file type from my .dat files?

A. If you accidentally associate a particular file extension with the wrong application, don't try to fix it from within the Windows Explorer File types dialog box. There is no way to remove a single extension from a registered file type without deleting the entire entry and starting over. Instead, use the Windows 95 version of the Windows 3.x File Manager, which you can launch from the Run dialog box by typing winfile and pressing Enter. Once File Manager opens, pull down the File menu and select the Associate command. When the Associate dialog box appears, type the extension that you want to get rid of in the Files with Extension text box. When you do, you will see the errant file association appear in the Associate With text box. To remove the file association, scroll to the top of the list of file types, select None, and then click OK.

Q. I have a 486 DX/2, 66 MHz computer. I installed the Windows 95 upgrade over Windows 3.1. When I try to use my Microsoft ScanDisk, I get this message:

A. To resolve this situation, follow these steps:

1. Run ScanDisk again and choose the Thorough option. Ignore any bad clusters that have files associated with them. Repair any bad clusters with no files associated with them.

2. Run ScanDisk again and choose the Thorough option. Repair any bad clusters with associated files.


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