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Issue #228: December 4, 2011

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Q: I’m not tech smart and need help resetting top/bottom margins for Microsoft Word. At present my cursor appears near the bottom of the each new page. I’ve tried everything without success. Have referred to “troubleshooting” this problem but just don’t get it. Sometimes have trouble establishing right and left margins as well.

Shirley K.
Odessa, Texas

A: I’m not exactly sure what you mean when you say you’ve “tried everything”, Shirley. There’s really one primary way to set margins in Word, and it does work, so I’m guessing that it’s not really the margins that are your problem. Rather, your cursor isn’t appearing where you want it, leaving you with the impression that your margins are not set correctly. First, let me show you how to check your margins, then I’ll tell you what I think may be happening.

You didn’t say what version of Word, so I’m going to assume either 2007 or 2010. The margin settings are accessible from the “Page Layout” tab in the tool ribbon. Simply click Margins and the current margin settings appear in the dropdown. You can also use the rulers at the top and left side of the page to see the margin settings. If your rulers are turned off, enable them by going to the View tab and checking the Ruler box.

What I suspect has happened is that you have accidentally created a gigantic header that takes up most of the page, so the typing cursor is appearing below the header. You can view the header by going to the Insert tab, and select Header->Edit Header. If the header is indeed the problem, simply remove it by clicking Header->Remove Header.

Q: Maybe I’m alone in this problem, but about 3 weeks ago, incoming SPAM took a new twist. My SPAM is on, set to high and my list of Blocked Senders list is intact, but suddenly I was battered with a lot of SPAM advertisings. What was unusual was that the sender (there are only three or 4 central players ) have an ad show up that got around the filter. I would add it to the Blocked list and the very next day, I would get the same ad but the sender address was slightly modified… example xyz@smith.com would migrate to xyz@symthe.com and would continue to evolve and dodge the filter delivering the same ad. The two most aggressive ones begin with info@ and greenenergy@ . The ads are not offensive other than being so aggressive. I get the uncomfortable feeling that there is (somehow) feedback to the creeps and they have a program that generates (at least in appearance) a new version of the address that is able to dodge the filter criteria. Any suggestions on how to slow down this barrage?

Dennis M.
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

A: If you’ve been reading my column for long, or ever attended any of my lectures, Dennis, you’ve probably heard me say that the Blocked Senders list is the single least effective form of protection from SPAM. After all, e-mail addresses are free, and the spammers know people can easily block any e-mail address. So, most of them send only one barrage of SPAM from an e-mail address and then abandon it. This makes the Blocked Senders list pretty much useless for anti-SPAM purposes. It is an unfortunate reality, but once your e-mail address is on a SPAM list, there is literally no way to ever get off it again. However, there is one sure way to block the SPAM, and that is to change e-mail addresses, then protect your new e-mail address from ever getting on to SPAM lists in the first place. A few “don’ts”: Don’t use your primary e-mail address for social networking. Don’t ever enter your address into any web form to “share this page” nor allow any of your family or friends to do so. And NEVER respond to a SPAM e-mail asking to be removed from their list. All that accomplishes is verifying for the spammer that your address is valid, which makes it all the more valuable.

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