Disabling the new typing animation in Office 2013

One of the new “features” of Office 2013 is a new animation that occurs as you type.  If you are typing quickly, the cursor seems to lag behind; that’s quite disconcerting.

The good news is that you can disable it; the bad news is that you have to edit the registry to do so.  Add the following new key to disable the animation:

Add new DWORD: "DisableAnimations" = 1

Then you have to reboot (this is Windows, after all).  This new setting disables all animations, but honestly I don’t see much difference.

If you want to want to reverse this change, simply modify the new key and set it to zero.

Windows 7: Office 2003 color fix

When running Office 2003 in Windows 7, Office tries to follow the Windows color scheme and fails miserably (IMHO). Most of the windows colors are silver but Office defaults to the ugly blue found in Luna.

You can easily fix these problems by doing the following:

  1. In the Start Menu or Superbar, right-click on the Word 2003/Excel 2003/etc icon and select Properties
  2. On the Compatibility tab, check the Disable visual themes option.

This forces Office to default to the classic look, which fits much better with Windows 7 Aero.

Outlook 2007 setup problems

I recently installed the Windows 7 RC and then Office 2007. When I tried to set up my Exchange account in Outlook 2007, it always failed with the error “Outlook cannot log on.” This is a known issue with a February 2009 patch; a hotfix is available:

Error message when you create a profile in Outlook 2007 after you install the cumulative update that is described in Microsoft Knowledge Base article 961752: “Outlook cannot log on”

I wish they’d already released this hotfix as a new patch; it would have saved a lot of frustration. But I suspect they haven’t fully tested the hotfix yet, so there may yet be more frustration in the future! *laughs!*

Access: Listbox and form synchronization

In Access databases, I find it nice to have a listbox on each form that allows the user to quickly jump to a given record in the form’s dataset. Access2007 makes that very easy; when you drop a listbox on the form, the wizard has an option to automatically perform this operation.

However, when the user moves to another record using the navigation buttons (or simply pressing tab through all of the form’s fields), the listbox is not updated. Having this navigation listbox synchronized has been something of a holy grail for me the past 18 months, but I could never get it to work correctly. Until today…

This example assumes that the listbox is bound to the dataset’s key field, which is also displayed in textbox on the form (called ItemID in this example).

On the forms OnCurrent event, create an Event Procedure and call this new procedure:

 Private Sub Synch_Listbox()
If Me.lstItems = CStr(Me.ItemID) Then
For i = 0 To lstItems.ListCount - 1
If Me.lstItems.Column(0, i) = "ItemID" Then
Dim FormID As Integer
Dim ListID As Integer
FormID = Me.ItemID.Value
ListID = Me.lstItems.Column(0, i)
If ListID = FormID Then
Me.lstItems.Selected(i) = True
End If
End If
End If

End Sub

The first if statement If Me.lstItems CStr(Me.ItemID) is important; we don’t want to call this synchronization routine if the list box and form data is already synched. I have to convert the integer ItemID to string to match the strings returned by the listbox. Also, in the loop, we need to make sure we don’t try to match the column header; that’s the purpose of the if statement If Me.lstItems.Column(0, i) “ItemID”.

That’s all there is to it; it’s amazing how simple it turned out to be. 🙂

Outlook is dead! Long live Outlook!

I’ve been using Outlook 2007 (with my Exchange account) for about three months. Four times now, I’ve had all Office 2007 applications fail to start with the error “ProgramName is not a valid Win32 application”.

I was somehow able to fix it the past three times, but I can’t remember exactly what I did. I tried running the diagnostics, repairing and reinstalling Office 2007, and several other things. But I’m not sure what exactly fixed the problems. I’ve finally had enough so this time I completely uninstalled 2007 and went back to 2003. I really like some of the new features in Outlook 2007, but they aren’t worth the hassle…

However, I noticed that I started having problems in Outlook 2003 now; it looks like they are related to Contacts synchronization. After search the web, I tried to disable offline cache on my account and restarted Outlook, but it still failed. My email works, but I cannot search for contacts in exchange. So now I’m running scanost and scanpst on my files (found in C:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMSMAPI1033 on my machine). It found errors in my PST and it’s still running the OST Integrity Check.

I hope this fixes the problems; I shouldn’t have to struggle to read my email.

Update: Nope! Still having problems…

Update 2: Fixed it! I had to shut down Outlook, rename the Outlook folder in AppDataLocalMicrosoft, delete and recreate the Profile in Control Panel -> Mail.

What a pain!

Update 3: I decided to switch back to Outlook 2003 at home as well, and I can’t believe how much faster it is on my home machine. It’s amazing…