November 29, 2012

two context menus

Posted in office, technology tagged , at 6:19 pm by weiszguy

When I use Google Spreadsheets in Firefox, and I right-click in the spreadsheet, I get two right-click (context) menus, one from the browser, and one from the spreadsheet, like this:

two context menus

Is anyone else having a problem like this? Do you know how I can fix it?

Usually the two menus appear on top of each other, so I have to hit the Esc key to dismiss one menu before I can access the other.

two context menus


I figured out the answer to this problem. In Firefox, go to Options, Content tab, click the “Advanced” button next to the “Enable JavaScript” check box, and then check “Disable or replace context menus”

Which, apparently, allows websites to disable or replace context menus.

Works in my version of Firefox, 20.0.1

February 21, 2011

new tab in Google Spreadsheet

Posted in office tagged , at 7:23 am by weiszguy

I have a couple Google Spreadsheets that I use to track annual items. Every year, I add a new tab, and I keep the old tabs around for reference.

I have these spreadsheets bookmarked in my browser so I can get to them quickly without going through the docs list on Google Docs. The bookmarks are great, but after I added a new tab for 2011, the spreadsheet would still open in the old 2010 tab.

I discovered that the spreadsheet would open on the old tab if I used the bookmark, but it would open on the new tab if I used the docs list. The difference had to be the text of the URL, right?


Here’s the text of the URL from my bookmark:

and here’s the text of the URL from my docs list:

The ‘gid’ number at the end of the URL is a tab number. In this case, the spreadsheet will open on tab number 6, instead of tab number 5. I can open any tab in the spreadsheet just by changing that last digit.

If you’re having a similar problem, the solution is to delete your bookmark, open the spreadsheet from the docs list, then add a new bookmark.

January 5, 2011

why you should use Google Docs

Posted in office, technology tagged , at 7:18 pm by weiszguy

Google Docs ( is an online office suite par excellence.  It has all the components you have come to expect from an installed office package (word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation program), plus a few others (forms and drawings).

Google Docs exists entirely online.  You don’t have software on your computer, you don’t have files on your computer.  All you need is access to the internet.


  • You save all your documents online.  You no longer need to worry about running out of space on your hard drive.  And you don’t have to worry about backing up your files, either.  Google’s systems are infinitely redundant.  If your hard drive crashes, you won’t lose anything.
  • You don’t have to try to remember which computer a certain file is on.  Your files are on the internet and you can reach them from any computer with internet access.
  • You don’t have to try to keep multiple copies of a file in sync.  For example, a certain file is on your home computer, so you bring a copy of the file to work so you can have it there, too.  Now you have multiple copies, and you have to think about keeping all your changes consistent across all your copies.
  • You don’t have to install any software.  You also don’t have to apply any patches or upgrades.  When Google makes changes to their applications, you see it automatically when you log in.
  • You don’t have to email documents to other people.  Attaching a document to an email usually isn’t all that hard, but it’s one less step nonetheless.  Plus, no more merging changes from other people with the master document on your computer.  If you want someone to see the document, you just invite them!
  • You can have multiple people working on a document at the same time.  You can see where each person is in the document, and you can see what they are changing.  Again, this also saves the step of merging changes from multiple copies.
  • If you absolutely need a local copy of a document, you can download it in any of several common office formats, and use your local software to edit it.

If you don’t like Google…
Some folks have an aversion to all things Google.  If this is you, Zoho ( is another great option for you.  Everything I’ve said about Google Docs also applies to Zoho.  Check it out.

February 12, 2007

Posted in office at 3:04 pm by weiszguy

About a month ago I tried to reconfigure some setting or another in MS Excel. I ended up hosing something so that I always got an error message when starting Excel and when closing it. The program worked just fine, other than the error message, so I didn’t bother trying to fix it right away. Finally, the annoyance got to be too much. So I stuck the CD in and ran the repair option in the install program. That seemed to run just fine, and it told me I had successfully repaired MS Office 2003. Fired up Excel, and… bummer, still get the error message.

The only option left to me was to uninstall Office and reinstall it. But wait, why did I have to reinstall? Haven’t I been wanting to try for a long time now? The only reason I never tried it before was that I had a perfectly good copy of MS Office. I jumped at the chance, uninstalled MS Office, installed OpenOffice, and haven’t looked back! is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute. It has an application to match each application in MS Office; complete with a word processor (Word), a spreadsheet application (Excel), a database application (Access), and a presentation program (Powerpoint). Also included are a vector drawing tool (Visio) and a mathematical function creator.

Have you ever been in a tall building, on a bridge, in the arch in St. Louis? It sways a little bit and you’re not quite sure if the thing is gonna hold. It always does, of course, but you don’t have that secure feeling until you’re back on the ground.

So it is with office suites. MS Office never did anything worse than annoy me a little, but OpenOffice feels like terra firma. It doesn’t feel like several applications bundled together, it feels like one application. It feels solid; I no longer fear that I’m going to flip some switch somewhere and hose the whole thing up. The interface is identical between all the applications, so you only have to learn where something is once.

Like anything new, it does take a little getting used to, of course. It’s not MS Office, and some things don’t work like they do in MS Office, but in most cases the differences are actual improvements, not annoyances. If you can adjust to different toothbrushes every six months, you can adjust to the differences in office suites.