Tip o' the Week 363 – Erasing past mistakes


clip_image001[4]Using a Windows PC with Office presents many opportunities to make it easier to do things repeatedly – from shortcut keys which speed up regular tasks, to remembering things you’ve done before or accessed recently, so you can easily repeat them. Sometimes, however, they remember stuff you do mistakenly, and thereafter clutter up the system that’s supposed to simplify the way you work. Now, it’s time to look at ways of erasing those mistakes.

Custom Dictionary

clip_image003[4]Following the ToW #362, a reader asked how to remove misspelled words that are accidentally added to Word’s custom dictionary – if you’d like to edit that, within Word, go to File | Options | clip_image005[4]Proofing, then click on Custom Dictionaries… and then

select the default dictionary and click on Edit Word List…

clip_image007[4]Outlook Auto-complete cache

When you type a name into the To: line of a new Outlook email, the autocomplete cache will offer you a list of previously-used addresses. If you got the original address wrong or someone’s email address has subsequently changed, you may want to remove the suggested name.

In order to do that, when you’re presented with the list of suggestions, either use your mouse to hover over the name you want to ditch, and click the X to the right, or use the up & down arrow keys to move the selection and click the X or press the Del key. You could also clear the whole list, or switch it off entirely – see here for details.

clip_image009[4]Windows Run list

If you’re a habitual user of the Run command in Windows (press the WindowsKey+R) to enter commands, then you may rue mistyping one that sticks around getting in the way, as it is presented to you next time you’re doing something similar. To fix this Most Recently Used (MRU) list, it’s a bit more involved:

  • Start Registry Editor (WindowsKey+R / regedit, natch)
  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU
  • Find the entry you want to fix from the list of values on the right, and either edit or delete it

clip_image011[4]Explorer recent files

Windows Explorer (WindowsKey+E) shows a list of recent files and folders, which is a handy thing if you want to quickly access things you use regularly, though if you accessed a file in error, you may not want it hanging around in the list. To remove a file from the list, just right-click on it and select to Remove from Quick access.

The Frequent Folders and Quick Access views in Explorer are essentially the same thing, so if you see a folder there you’d rather not have, just right click it and choose Remove from Quick Access or Unpin from Quick Access.

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