Mad As Hell; Housekeeping; AutoComplete

View from Chaos Manor, Wednesday, September 17, 2015

Today at lunch my long suffering wife decided she had enough of the mess I live in. It was bad enough when it was upstairs, preventing us from having much in the way of parties since guests would want to see “where I work” and the Great Hall looks like a packrat’s nest; no, since the stroke I have been inhabiting the old downstairs office I bought this house for 50 years age. It was formerly a physicians office and treatment room (in the 1930’s), converted to a writer’s office, then reconverted into what amounts to an expanded hall, leading into Roberta’s office which we built on downstairs, with a staircase up to the Great Hall and the office suite I have been using (and accumulating junk in) since 1990. The chaos is coming downstairs! It is at her door!

Which means I have spent most of today getting the downstairs office into a semblance of order, all the junk off the stairs, and in general making the place look like it is inhabited by a successful writer, not a pigsty. I also went upstairs and threw away a pile of junk, set out more for Eric and Alex to decide what to do with, and filled a couple of bags with books for LASFS in case anyone wants them. If not, LASFS has a big disposal bin, and I’ll be glad to pay for the next trash collection. When Michelle picks me up to go to the LSAFS meeting tonight it will be out of the house forever.

So my working environment is much improved, but I didn’t get much done, and there’s no access to email up here in the Monk’s Cell.


Thanks to the people who wrote me on how to implement autocorrect in Word, but that’s not my problem. I think I have Autocorrect under control, at least for the versions of Word that I use. It’s AutoComplete that I can’t use. Microsoft gives me no help at all. Looking through the web I found

Using AutoComplete Tips

by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 8, 2015)

who tells me

Word includes a nifty little feature called AutoComplete. This feature uses what Microsoft calls AutoComplete tips. These are used when you are typing AutoText phrases or even the names of months. As you type, Word will bring up a little yellow box above the incomplete word. If you then press F3 or the Tab key, Word automatically finishes the phrase. You may have noticed this if you ever typed in the name of a month, such as January.

To enable or disable the AutoComplete tips feature, follow these steps:

  1. Select AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  2. Click your mouse on the AutoText tab. (See Figure 1.)


Figure 1. The AutoText tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  1. Depending on your version of Word, select either the Show AutoComplete Tip for AutoText and Dates option or the Show AutoComplete Suggestions option to enable this feature, or deselect the option if you no longer want it.
  2. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1750) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

There’s only one problem. I’m using Word 2010, and there are no tools to be found anywhere in there or any version I have. Microsoft has improved things to unusability. The nifty feature is still in it – it works on Alien Artifact – but I can’t figure out how to turn it on on the ThinkPad up here. I’ll keep looking, but Microsoft Help doesn’t want to tell me; I’m not clever enough to ask with the right terms. You have to think like a Microsoft product manager, and I fear I can’t do that.

Later (2325):  see below. The problem may – may – be solved but I won’t know until tomorrow.


The debates last night showed that there are a lot of voters, Republican, Independent, and Democrat, who are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more. Despite CNN’s predictable actions, they didn’t destroy Trump, and notice that Dr. Carson, who has even less experience than Trump, is doing well in the polls. So is Carly Fiorina.

The Wall Street Journal doesn’t really understand this:

The Joy of Madness

Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and the mad-as-hell American electorate.


Daniel Henninger

Sept. 16, 2015 6:04 p.m. ET

But they’re closer than most. It’s simple. Republicans have had both houses of Congress, and we still have all those horrid laws the Democrats rushed through in their last days in office, and no one has done anything. We have more Regulators than ever, and we can’t cut their budgets. We have raises for the Bunny Inspectors as they do jobs no one thinks are worth doing if we have to borrow the money to to it – most people think it not worth doing at the federal level at all. And a few of us look at the Constitution and try to see how keeping rabbits in our back yards is even under federal power by any possible construction. The states may have the power to forbid you to mistreat rabbits, but the Framers weren’t interested in granting that power to the Feds. Why would they be? And don’t tell me it’s because rabbit keeping is a modern practice unknown to John Adams.

Anyway, it’s time for dinner, and LASFS after that. And I have work to do on the Heorot novel with Niven and Barnes. As Larry recently observed, it works: our problems are beginning to solve each other without any new assumptions. Note that I wrote this with the new keyboard in the Monk’s Cell. Progress. Alas it’s still two finger staring at the keyboard, but I’m getting faster and faster with fewer errors per sentence.

Alas, things are still not working right upstairs: I can see my site, but I can’t post to it.  I’m downstairs now and with luck it will work from here. But I wrote all that upstairs.



Back from LASFS and now in the back bedroom.  Three places.



‘There is value, he said, in “keeping our options open for such a situation.”’



Roland Dobbins



Word 2010 AutoComplete


To turn on / off Auto Complete in Word 2010 – there’s a tickbox at

Menu: File / Options / Advanced / Show AutoComplete suggestions

Best Regards

Paul Hayward, Auckland, New Zealand

Yes, now that I know where to look it’s in there; now to get upstairs (tomorrow) and see if it’s in the same place in the version I have up there. On Alien Artifact it usually works, but every now and then it gets lost after a paste from mail; maybe this will work to turn it on again.  Thanks!!





Surface trouble

Dear Jerry:

I’m so glad your recovery from the stroke continues a pace! The problems with the Surface would seem to make you a prime candidate for the new iPad Pro… Something new to write about at the least, and it looks like fine product for your purpose. I love my Air but wouldn’t want to write anything much longer than this on it.

All the best,


I intend to get an iPad pro, but I have to say I am rooting for the Surface Pro and some enlightenment of the Microsoft user interface team.  The Surface seems able to do a lot, but learning how to induce the machine to do it is hard…


Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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