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Computer Users’ Group

January 17, 2007


Internet Explorer 7

Internet Explorer 7. IE 7 is part of Windows Vista due to be released on January 31, 2007 but Microsoft saw a need for a version that will run under Windows XP and offers it free as an update to XP. If you have Auto Updates turned on you may already have had it added to your computer or soon will. You can download it if you don’t have it by going here. However, before you download it, you may want to visit DOWNLOAD MANAGERS below and download a small program that will speed up the IE 7 download. IE7 is, at least in part, an attempt by Microsoft to catch up with Mozilla Firefox. It includes Tabbed Browsing that lets you switch among open web pages in a single window. It also has anti phishing and improved security and support for RSS. It also has a redesigned interface that provides more space for web pages. We’ll look at each of the toolbars to see what they do but things have been moved around since IE 6. The basic toolbars include the Address Bar which is not named in the listing of toolbars, the Menu Bar and the Command Bar which also is not listed. There’s also a location for the tabs that select among pages and to the left of that are the two Favorites Icons. If you have installed IE 7 and decide that you don’t want it, go to CONTROL PANEL/ADD REMOVE PROGRAMS and remove it. That should return you to IE 6.


Tabbed Browsing. Tabbed browsing facilitates moving among pages that you have open. It’s been part of Firefox for several years. Now it will be in IE. Similar to having items shown in the SYSTEM TRAY but somewhat more user friendly. When you start, you’ll have your START PAGE open and identified in one tab and there will be a smaller tab that you can click on to open a new page. Once open, you can select what web site you want to open there. Easier yet, when you click on a link that you’d like to open in a new tab you can hold the CONTROL key down and the new page will open in a new window with a new tab. You can also RIGHT CLICK the link and select OPEN IN A NEW TAB. You can repeat that action to open as many pages as you need. You select which page you want to see by clicking on its tab.


Anti-Phishing. When you click on a link to go to a new web site, if the actual URL for that site does not match what the text says it is, you will get a warning. You may think you’re going to the Bank of America but you’ll end up in Russia.


RSS. Again, Microsoft is trying to catch up with Firefox which has had RSS support for several years. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it’s a means of preselecting web sites or blogs that you want to visit but just see a summary of what’s new. IE7 lets you know if it finds RSS feeds on a page by turning the RSS Feed logo red. If the logo is not shown on the right toolbar, right click a blank space on any toolbar and click on CUSTOMIZE COMMAND BAR/ADD OR REMOVE COMMANDS and select the RSS logo to add. When the logo turns red, click on it and then SUBSCRIBE TO THIS FEED to automatically add the feed to your feed list. But it doesn’t recognize all types of feeds so in some instances you may have to do it manually. We’ll demonstrate by going to and click on the red RSS icon at the top of the Sentinel page. You will be presented with a page of instructions and a list of RSS feeds that are available. Click on the feed that you want and a new page opens that asks if you want to subscribe. Click SUBSCRIBE and a new page will open showing the title and where it will be placed on your computer. The default is FEEDS but you can create a new folder and name it whatever you want. I accept FEEDS. Now click on the large FAVORITES star, click on FEEDS and you’ll see the feeds that Microsoft included plus whatever you added. Click any one to see the contents and click on any heading to see the entire page. Your old hometown newspaper may have RSS feeds. Subscribing to it will be similar but not always identical to what we covered above so check out the directions for each different web site that you want to view.


Mail Programs

Replying. When you receive a Snail Mail letter from someone, you don’t go to an office store and make a copy of their letter to include when you send back a reply. So why do you include the original letter in an email when you reply? Because Microsoft thought that it was a good idea and made that the default condition. But it’s usually unnecessary and is easy to turn off. Do you even know that you do it? Do you ever look in your SENT MAIL folder so see what you are sending? In Outlook Express, go to TOOLS/OPTIONS and click on the SEND tab. The fifth box down is Include message in reply. Click the box in front to clear the check mark. When you’re dealing with friends it’s best to leave it unchecked but when carrying on a correspondence with a business that gets lots of email, check the box to let your correspondent know the history of the subject. In Thunderbird, go to TOOLS/ACCOUNT SETTINGS/COMPOSITION & ADDRESSING and click to uncheck the box before AUTOMATICALLY QUOTE THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE WHEN REPLYING.


Forwarding. When you forward a message, it’s appropriate to delete the header information from those that forwarded it before. Open the message that you want to forward and click FORWARD. The message is now editable. Swipe across all of the previous name and email addresses and press DELETE. Address the message and send it. But if it contains a warning or unbelievable story, check it out before you send it. In one message that I received, it told of how Target has a policy against Veterans Organizations soliciting on Target property. It went on the say that Target is a French company. None of that is true but the many people who had forwarded it before never bothered to check it out. I merely typed Target Hoax into Google and found dozens of places where one could find the truth including the man’s name who wrote the original email in 2002 and his apology to Target for all of the ruckus he had caused.


Saving a Web Page

Both IE and Firefox list add-ons or extensions that can make the browsers more functional. In IE7, go to TOOLS/MANAGE ADD-ONS and click on FIND MORE ADD-ONS. For other versions of Internet Explorer, go here There are lots of them listed and you should check them out to see if there are any that interest you. One useful one is located under BROWSERS/OFFLINE BROWSERS and it a free program called HTTrack Website Copier. It will allow you to enter the URL of the website of interest and it will save it for you with all of its links. You can go to SET OPTIONS to set the depth to which it will save links. When you open HTTrack, it asks for your proxy. You can tell it you don’t have one. I’ll show an example of a web site I downloaded. Firefox has an extension called scrapbook. Goto TOOLS/EXTENSIONS and then click on SCRAPBOOK. With it, you open the page that you want to save, entering the login information if required to get there. Then click on SCRAPBOOK which will be added to the Firefox menu bar. Save as and select the file types you want to include (image, sound etc.) and select the level of links that you want to include. You can also select the Folder that it will go into.

Another useful addin is a program that will speed up downloading. You’ll find several under DOWNLOAD MANAGERS. There are several free ones. Choose one and verify that it will work with your version of IE. These programs work by breaking the download into multiple threads and simultaneously down loads them resulting in download speeds that can be up to 6 times faster.


Genealogy Programs

Louis Kessler has listed and described many of the available genealogy programs

( ). Since most Pastfinders use FamilyTreeMaker and some use PAF we’ll concentrate on them. We’ll start by looking at some of the screens that you can use to enter your family data. Then we’ll cover setting up the options that can make the program do what you want it to do. In FTM, click on FILE and see the items that you have control over. We’ll cover most of them in the future but now just click on preferences.



Automatically Back Up File: I leave it checked to create an automatic backup.

Don’t allow new names same as old names: I leave it checked to prevent confusion.

Automatically check for updates: Your choice. With wide band I’d check it, not dialup.

Show Splash Screen: Your choice. It’s the FTM Logo when you start.

Number of generations to show: Play with it and see how it works. Try 7.

Enable animation: Don’t know what it does. Says it slides to new generation.

Search online automatically: I uncheck it to prevent constant searching.

Include source when merging: I leave it checked to capture source info.

Show search result indicator: I leave it at 3 stars.

When searching CDs use Soundex: Your choice. Use it for names with many variations.

Customize toolbar. You are in charge!! Add what you want to see; remove what you don’t want.


Includes options for Error Checking, Spell Checking, Navigation, and Fast Fields.


How to enter and display dates, double date years, date labels and ranges.

Labels and Titles, LDS

Default labels and titles and check to use LDS formats in reports. I don’t.


Compression and resolution defaults for images. I leave alone.

Reference Numbers

Individuals and marriages can be numbered. I don’t use them but others do. Your choice.


In PAF go to TOOLS and then PREFERENCES. Options here are General, Files, Names, Prepared by, InfoBox, Fonts, Multimedia, Formats, Folders and Templates.

We’ll look at each of them and see what options they present. For most items you can accept the default. Some we’ll cover in more detail later. For Prepared by you need to enter the preparer’s name and whatever other data you choose to provide. For Folders, you should choose at least the folder where you want your PAF files to reside. I prefer to include that type of information in a folder that resides in My Documents folder. I created one called, originally enough, PAF. My FTM files are in a folder that also resides there called FTW. Creating folders under My Documents for all of your data makes it much easier to back up your data.


When I showed a file of my genealogy, I was asked how many generations I had. I knew that FTM could display that information but I was unable to find it. Go to TOOLS and click on FAMILY FILE STATISTICS or press Alt-F1. To get the number of generations, click on CALCULATE after the Number of Generations entry. I have 20 generations.