All posts by Carl Siechert

Fixing intercepted address bar searches in IE9

When I try to perform a search by typing my search text in the address bar in Internet Explorer 9, my search request is hijacked (“as a courtesy”—huh?) and redirected to a site that allows me to search on, as shown here.


This is aggravating not just because it requires an extra click to initiate the search I requested, but more important, because it ignores the default search engine I’ve configured in IE9. (Believe me, when I have a choice, is not my preferred provider!)

I’ve done lots of Googling and Binging (but no Asking) to find a solution, but all the fixes revolve around the Search Providers tab in the Manage Add-ons dialog box—which has no effect on this problem created by my ISP. (FWIW, this occurs on my office T1 service from XO, but I’ve seen similar hijacking on other ISPs, including Charter Cable, which I use at home.)

Although the symptoms are similar to a browser that has been hijacked by malware, the problem is external to my machine; no add-on, other software, or cookie is installed here. It’s simply the DNS service at the ISP that is doing me this wonderful favor.

Read on for two workarounds and a solution… Continue reading

Download the Office 2010 Inside Out ebook

Purchasers of Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out will find that, unlike most earlier titles in the Inside Out series, it doesn’t include a companion CD with a PDF version of the book. Lots of folks I know buy an Inside Out book and immediately put the PDF on their hard drive for ready reference, leaving the printed book to languish on a dusty shelf. These folks weren’t pleased to see that no CD is included.

No problem. Although you don’t get a shiny CD, purchasers of the printed book can download a DRM-free PDF file for free. (Free? Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that it’s included in the price of the book.)

Simply go to and enter the coupon code from the card bound into the back of the book. For complete, step-by-step instructions, see the Microsoft Press blog.

Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out review

Author Helen Gallagher has posted a review of Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out over at

It isn’t easy to use these features, but Bott and Siechert explain the steps with great care.

As usual, we tried to keep it light, but…

Because this book skips all the cartoons, jokes, and fluff in other publications, you’ll learn much more than you could just browsing through the programs.

Send to Clipboard

My business partner finally retired his XP machine and got a new Dell Vostro 230. As you can imagine, there has been a steady stream of “What happened to…” queries coming out of his office as he makes the transition to Windows 7 Professional.

The other day he asked where to find Send To Clipboard, an add-in for Windows Explorer in Windows XP that allowed him to copy the path to a folder or file to the Clipboard, so that he can then paste it in a document or message.

Not necessary, I told him.

  • To copy the path to the current folder:
    In Windows Explorer, right-click the address bar and choose Copy Address As Text.
  • To copy the complete path to a file, including the folder path and file name:
    In Windows Explorer, hold down the Shift key, right-click the file name, and choose Copy As Path.


In this example, choosing Copy Address As Text places the following text on the Clipboard: C:UsersCarlDocumentsOneNote NotebooksWork Notebook

Btw, if you’re pining for other Send To features that are not included with Windows 7, check out a nifty utility called Send To Toys from Gabriele Ponti.

Office 2010 Inside Out is available

Amazon (finally) is reporting that Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out is now “in stock”—and at more than $20 off list, the price is good too. As an alternative to the printed book, the ebook is available in various formats (all DRM-free) at O’Reilly. Or show some love to your local bookseller, whether it’s a struggling megachain or an independent.

You can read an excerpt—a good chunk about OneNote from Chapter 15—at the Microsoft Press blog.

Put Office Inside Out inside your office

Our latest book, Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out, is about to hit the streets. It’s available at Amazon (shipments begin Wednesday, September 29), directly from O’Reilly (where you can save a tree by purchasing an ebook), and (if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby) at fine bookstores everywhere.

Here’s the chapter-level table of contents:

Part 1: Office Fundamentals
Chapter 1: Inside Office 2010 (16 pages)
Chapter 2: Installing and Updating Microsoft Office 2010 (24 pages)
Chapter 3: Using and Customizing the Office Interface (32 pages)
Chapter 4: Managing Office Files (32 pages)
Chapter 5: Entering, Editing, and Formatting Text (42 pages)
Chapter 6: Working with Graphics and Pictures (38 pages)

Part 2: Word
Chapter 7: Inside Word 2010 (56 pages)
Chapter 8: Working with Complex Documents (34 pages)
Chapter 9: Reviewing and Sharing Documents (28 pages)
Chapter 10: Word 2010 Inside Out (34 pages)

Part 3: Excel
Chapter 11: Inside Excel 2010 (44 pages)
Chapter 12: Managing Lists and Data (34 pages)
Chapter 13: Charts and Data Analysis (30 pages)
Chapter 14: Excel 2010 Inside Out (36 pages)

Part 4: OneNote
Chapter 15: Inside OneNote 2010 (34 pages)
Chapter 16: Tagging, Organizing, and Finding Information (24 pages)
Chapter 17: OneNote 2010 Inside Out (30 pages)

Part 5: PowerPoint
Chapter 18: Inside PowerPoint 2010 (36 pages)
Chapter 19: Polishing and Delivering a Presentation (34 pages)
Chapter 20: PowerPoint 2010 Inside Out (38 pages)

Part 6: Outlook
Chapter 21: Inside Outlook 2010 (44 pages)
Chapter 22: Organizing Outlook Information (38 pages)
Chapter 23: Outlook 2010 Inside Out (44 pages)

Part 7: Sharing and Collaborating
Chapter 24: Security, Sharing, and Collaboration (20 pages)
Chapter 25: Using Office in a Web Browser (22 pages)
Chapter 26: Working with SharePoint 2010 (26 pages)

Years, months, and daze

Earlier today I was poking around in the Calculator app that’s included with Windows 7. (Hey, it was a slow day.) The lowly Calculator app remained unchanged from Windows 3.0 in 1990 up through Windows Vista, but it’s been overhauled for Windows 7.

New options at the bottom of the View menu cause Calculator to sprout special purpose calculators to the right of the familiar keypad. These calculators perform all types of unit conversion in addition to calculations such as mortgage payment and fuel economy.

But the one that caught my eye today was the Date Calculation panel. Hmmm, how many days since I was born? I was astonished to see that the answer is 19,999 days! Tomorrow my odometer rolls over as I celebrate the big Two-Oh. Oh, oh, oh.


If you want to check your age—or see how much older I am than you—open Calculator and then choose View, Date Calculation or press Ctrl+E. In the meantime, I’m going to party like it’s 19999.


The first big Windows 7 story of the new year is the “discovery” of “GodMode“–a supposedly undocumented hack that exposes all manner of secret settings in Windows. Except it doesn’t.

Shortly after the news hit the twitterverse, Ed Bott explained what God Mode really is (and isn’t). Today, he follows up with a list of other god mode (demi-god?) shortcuts.

Most of these shortcuts are well documented–if you know where to look. Check “Canonical Names of Control Panel Items” at MSDN, for example.

As Ed noted in his posts, we’ve covered this technique in previous Inside Out editions, but omitted coverage in Windows 7 Inside Out. Why? Frankly, it provides nothing useful in Windows 7. The Search box in Control Panel provides a much faster, easier, and more convenient method for finding Control Panel functions; you don’t need to know the name of the applet (many of which have changed in recent versions of Windows) or where it lives in the hierarchy. You don’t even have to spell correctly, because (as Ed points out in his blog) MS has put in several common misspellings as search keywords. 

Say, for example, you want to change the screen resolution. Begin typing “screen,” “display,” “monitor,” “resolution,” “size,” “pixels,” “adjust,” or “change.” (I’m sure there are other valid keywords; these are just the first few that occurred to me.) The short list invariably includes Adjust Screen Resolution under a prominent Display heading.