Software Q&As

Software Q&As

Getting software to do what it’s supposed to can be tricky. Find the answers to some of the most common problems

Problem: Microsoft Word won’t print images in documents.

Solution: From the sounds of things, a Word setting has been changed. Office 2010 users should click the 'File' tab and select 'Word Options'; Office 2007 users should click the 'Office' button to access 'Word Options'. Select the 'Display' section and look under 'Printing Options' for two relevant settings: 'Print drawings created in Word' and 'Print background colours and images'. Make sure both are ticked and click 'OK', which should resolve the problem.

Make sure Word is set to actually print pictures if nothing appears on your printouts

Problem: Attempts to install various Microsoft Office updates fail with a 646 error.

Solution: Microsoft has a Knowledgebase article dedicated to fixing this very problem. In the article you’ll find a link to a helpful automated tool. Follow the instructions and you should find updates install successfully again. This tool also works with 0x80070646 and 1606 error messages.

Problem: You want to burn a PowerPoint presentation to a DVD for viewing on a regular TV.

Solution: Microsoft PowerPoint’s package-to-DVD feature produces a data DVD for use on another computer. If you want to produce a video DVD for playing on a regular DVD player you’ll need a program called EM Free PowerPoint Video Converter in conjunction with Windows DVD Maker.

Download and install the program, then launch it and click the 'New Task' button, selecting 'Add file(s)' to add individual PowerPoint files, or 'Add Folder' to select a folder full of presentations.

A window with a massive list of formats will open: click the 'WMV Video' button. Now click 'Options' (next to 'WMV Normal Quality') and switch to the 'Video Resize' tab, select '720x576' and click 'OK'. Tweak any other options you wish.

Once you’re set up, click the 'Convert' button. Read the warning – make sure Microsoft PowerPoint is closed as instructed – then click 'OK' and wait while the presentation is converted. It can take some time, so be patient.

Open Windows DVD Maker and follow the wizard through, selecting the video file(s) you created from your presentations. When set up, click the 'Burn' button to create a DVD you can playback in any regular DVD player.

Convert your PowerPoint presentations to a video file for burning to video DVD

Problem: You want to transfer entire programs across to a new PC.

Solution: Windows Easy Transfer comes with Windows 7 and can transfer files and settings for free. However, it can’t transfer entire programs – to do this, you’ll need to purchase Laplink PCmover Upgrade Assistant.

Problem: You’re unable to update or open iTunes.

Solution: A corrupt installation of iTunes can be a real pain to fix. Thankfully, there’s a free tool that can perform a complete removal, allowing you to successfully reinstall and update it again. The tool in question is called ByeTunes.

Note that while it will wipe all trace of iTunes from your computer, your music, videos and other media won’t be affected.

Make sure all traces of iTunes are removed from your PC with ByeTunes

Problem: You get a 'Side-by-Side Configuration is Incorrect' error each time you try and launch Windows Live Mesh.

Solution: This is linked to a corrupt installation of Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 or 2008. Remove it from the Program and Features Control Panel, then install Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable SP1 to resolve the problem.

Problem: A friend can’t open an Office 2007 or 2010 document you’ve sent them.

Solution: If they’re running Microsoft Office 2000, XP or 2003, ask them to download the Office Compatibility Pack – this will allow them to open, print and save Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents in the newer file formats.

Alternatively, ask them to install a newer version of a free office suite like LibreOffice, which can also read the newer file formats.

Newer office suites like LibreOffice can open documents created in Office 2007 and 2010

Problem: A Microsoft Office application refuses to shut down properly, or crashes on shutdown.

Solution: Try repairing the Office installation: click 'Start', type 'programs' into the Search box and click the 'Programs and Features' entry (under Control Panel). Scroll down to locate your Microsoft Office entry: select it and click the 'Change' button. Wait for the Office installer window to appear, then choose the 'Repair' option, which will hopefully resolve the problem.

Perform a repair install of Office if you experience unusual issues


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