How Do I...

TechRepublic writers solve perplexing technical questions with step-by-step guides and practical tutorials that demonstrate specific tasks.

  • Susan Harkins // February 11, 2008, 5:01 PM PST

    How do I... Create and manage PowerPoint table data?

    Tables are great for communicating and organizing data in a meaningful way. They're also efficient. However, in Microsoft PowerPoint, tables can be a bit troublesome because space is limited. Too much data on one slide can be worse than no data at all. Susan Sales Harkins shows you how to get creative and improvise how you display tables in PowerPoint.


  • Steven Warren // February 11, 2008, 5:49 AM PST

    How do I... Create an image mask when using Sony Vegas?

    Sony Vegas is an image editing and manipulation application geared toward the average amateur editor, but it is still a very powerful and capable tool. Creating what is commonly known as a mask in Sony Vegas requires the use of an applet called Cookie Cutter. Steven Warren shows you how to create a mask using this tool inside of Sony Vegas.


  • Mark Kaelin // February 11, 2008, 3:44 AM PST

    How do I... Receive podcasts from RSS feeds using Outlook 2007?

    For IT professionals, acquiring new technical information is the life blood that keeps them ahead of the next crisis. One of the more efficient ways of receiving that new information is through podcasts delivered via RSS feed directly to your Outlook 2007 inbox. Mark Kaelin walks you through the setup process.


  • Susan Harkins // February 7, 2008, 3:04 AM PST

    How do I... Add items to an Access combo box on the fly?

    On occasion, an application developer working with Microsoft Access may need a list control that's a bit more flexible by allowing users to update the control's list. Handing over a bit of control, in the right circumstances, can be helpful for everyone, including you. Susan Sales Harkins shows you how it is done.


  • John Lee // February 4, 2008, 2:58 AM PST

    How do I... Use CSS to manipulate a background image?

    CSS allows you to use background graphics in a wide number of tasteful and versatile ways. Not only can graphics exist as backgrounds to entire pages, but you can also employ CSS to assign a background image to any CSS rule. John Lee shows you just three of many popular ways that Web designers use background images to create dynamic and visually rich pages.


  • Jack Wallen // February 1, 2008, 4:47 AM PST

    How do I... Install plugins for Firefox in Linux?

    For many, one of the biggest obstacles in Linux is installing applications. Because the computing world has grown so accustomed to click and install, the idea of having to manually install something is very foreign. Installing plugins for the Linux version of Firefox isn't that difficult once you know what you are doing. Jack Wallen shows you how.


  • Steven Warren // January 28, 2008, 5:59 AM PST

    How do I... Make a glass button for a Web page using Adobe Illustrator?

    Adobe Illustrator can be used to create buttons and other images for use on Web pages just like Photoshop. The finished product is very similar but how you get there is slightly different. Steven Warren shows you to make a glass button using the tools available in Illustrator.


  • Susan Harkins // January 25, 2008, 12:10 AM PST

    How do I... Reject alpha characters in a SQL Server character column?

    Enforcing your data's integrity is probably the single most important issue you face when designing a database. Validating user input is one way of keeping bad data from making its way into your analysis and reports. It only takes one piece of bad data to throw everything off. Susan Sales Harkins explains how to use CHECK constraints in SQL Server to control user input.


  • Zach Smith // January 24, 2008, 3:05 AM PST

    How do I... Use threading to increase performance in C#? (Part 1)

    Bad threading logic can actually slow down an application, or worse, cause an application to have inconsistent exceptions. There really isn't much to be worried about though if you plan ahead and take the correct precautions. Zach Smith shows you some examples on how to use threading in C# and how to protect yourself while using threading.


  • Susan Harkins // January 23, 2008, 4:12 AM PST

    How do I... Display multiple values in an Access value list control?

    You can populate a list control with an explicit list of values and generally, that list consists of one column, although you can display more. Creating a multi-column value list control is the easy part -- using and updating it takes a bit more effort. Susan Sales Harkins shows you how it works.


  • Greg Shultz // January 18, 2008, 5:32 AM PST

    How do I... Build and configure an external hard drive enclosure?

    Do you have an old hard drive, which still works, lying around and gathering dust that you’d like to put to good use? If you answered yes, then chances are good that you’ve thought about using your old drive as an external hard drive. Fortunately, building an external hard drive is an easy task. Since you already have the hard drive, all you need is an enclosure, a screw driver, and less than an hour of your time.


  • Jack Wallen // January 17, 2008, 5:28 AM PST

    How do I... Create desktop icons in KDE and GNOME?

    Most Linux installs include thousands of applications, but not all those applications get an icon on either the KDE or GNOME desktop. If you want to launch one of those applications from the desktop you are going to have to create an icon for it. Jack Wallen shows you how.


  • Susan Harkins // January 17, 2008, 12:37 AM PST

    How do I... Pass data over a network using disconnected recordsets?

    Dragging only the data you actually need and only when you need it is the key to working efficiently across a network, but there's more. In Microsoft Access, you can also retrieve data using a disconnected recordset, which keeps the data on the client side, so objects respond quicker. Susan Harkins shows you how to set it up.


  • John Lee // January 14, 2008, 11:15 PM PST

    How do I... Use Zoomify to improve my digital images in Photoshop CS3?

    Photoshop CS3 has a way to put your photo online and it will still download quickly with all of its high-resolution glory intact. It's a dirty little secret called the Zoomify function. The Zoomify function actually creates a finished Flash file from within Photoshop. John Lee shows you how it works.


  • Zach Smith // January 9, 2008, 5:29 AM PST

    How do I... Modify Word documents using C#?

    Accessing Word components from C# isn't quite as straight-forward as many other features of C# and the .NET Framework. With that said -- it's not rocket science either. You simply need to know what to reference and how to use the components. Zach Smith lays out exactly what you need to do.


  • Susan Harkins // September 24, 2007, 4:47 AM PST

    How do I... Print a label for an individual record in Microsoft Access?

    <img src="" align="right" border="0" height="85" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="110" />Printing labels is a common task and simple enough if you use the <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft Access Label</a> wizard. You can print thousands of labels at one time. What isn't as easy is printing a label for a single record. You have to identify the record and pass it to a label report. Fortunately, the process is simple. <em>This blog post is also available in PDF form as a <a href="" target="_blank">TechRepublic download</a>.</em>


  • Steven Warren // September 25, 2007, 6:08 AM PST

    How do I... Transfer logins from one SQL Server 2005 instance to another?

    <img src="" align="right" border="0" height="85" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="110" />In my last How do I..., I discussed <a href="" target="_blank">how to restore a SQL Server to a new server</a>. After the article published, I had some questions on the best way to move SQL Server logins from one SQL Server 2005 instance to another SQL Server 2005 instance.<br /> I want to preface that you can move logins from one SQL Server to another SQL Server in many different ways. In my experience, I have found that this is the easiest way to move logins from one SQL Server to another SQL Server while keep existing passwords.


  • Nicole Nash // November 2, 2007, 3:22 AM PST

    How do I... Subscribe to RSS Feeds with Mozilla Thunderbird?

    <img src="" align="right" border="0" height="85" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="110" />Many Web sites offer RSS feeds as a way for readers to quickly and easily view new material. Mozilla's Firefox Internet browser offers RSS tracking via the use of live bookmarks. However, this is still a lot like Web-browsing and therefore is a bit time-consuming, especially if you check multiple sites a day. Adding RSS feeds to your Mozilla Thunderbird inbox is the more efficient way to track those feeds -- here is how you set it up.


  • Mark Kaelin // October 26, 2007, 5:19 AM PST

    So you think you know how to do something?

    <img src="" align="right" border="0" height="85" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="110" />The TechRepublic How do I... blog is all about showing TechRepublic members how to accomplish a specific task, but it has occurred to us that perhaps our members actually know how to do something. And it is further possible that what you know how to do would be interesting or helpful, or both, to other TechRepublic members. Therefore, we are introducing the <a href="" target="_blank">Blog Submission Tool</a>, which allows TechRepublic members to submit blog posts for the How do I... blog.


  • Joshua Hoskins // November 5, 2007, 5:04 AM PST

    How do I... Install, configure, and use LiteSpeed for database backups?

    <img src="" align="right" border="0" height="85" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="110" />LiteSpeed by Quest software is an enterprise level backup solution for <a href=";s=0&amp;o=1" target="_blank">MS SQL Server</a>. This solution includes several powerful features that increase the ease an efficiency of database archiving on an enterprise level. This How do I... shows you how to install, configure and use LiteSpeed.


  • Zach Smith // October 23, 2007, 1:20 AM PST

    How do I... Get user input using the MessageBox object in C#?

    <img src="" align="right" border="0" height="85" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="110" />For <a href="" target="_blank">.NET developers</a>, the <em>MessageBox</em> can be a very handy way to display a short message to users, but it can also be a great too to gather user input. Using the MessageBox in this way helps your application blend into the Windows look and feel, and insures that your application will behave in a way that is familiar to users. Zach Smith shows you how to use <a href="" target="_blank">C#</a>, the <a href=";s=0&amp;o=1" target="_blank">.NET Framework</a>, and the MessageBox as a user input component by using the <em>DialogResult</em> object.


  • Mark Kaelin // October 24, 2007, 5:08 AM PST

    How do I... Set the default envelope options in Word 2007?

    <img src="" align="right" border="0" height="85" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="110" />Some users really like <a href=";s=0&amp;o=1" target="_blank">Microsoft's Office 2007</a> Ribbon interface, others, like me, have grown to accept it, and still others continue to curse its existence. But no matter which camp you fall into, there are several seemingly simple tasks that just don't work the way they used to in previous versions. One example of that is the default envelope setting in Word 2007. Here is how you set the default envelope in Word and how you can keep the default envelope for a particular document permanently.