Thursday, December 07, 2006


Microsoft issues Word attack alert

On Tuesday, December 5, Microsoft posted a security advisory about an important vulnerability in Word that is being used in zero-day attacks. Apparently the flaw can be exploited when a user simply opens a rigged document. Word versions that are affected by this vulnerability include Word 2000, 2002, and 2003. Also at risk are people using Word Viewer 2003, Word 2004 for Mac, and Microsoft Works 2004-2006.

You can add a small measure of protection by using the Office Document Open Confirmation Tool for Office 2000 (I'm not sure about compatibility with later versions or Word 2007). That utility prompts you to Open, Save, or Cancel when a file is opened (which gives you a moment to think about whether you really need to open that attachment).

No word yet on when a patch will be available for this. We hope soon. In the meantime, Microsoft is suggesting that Word users "not open or save Word files," which seems a bit impossible for those of us who work in Word all day. At the very least, take extra care with any attachments you do open—and be sure not to open any unexpected, unsolicited attachments.

Not familiar with the term "zero-day attack"? Click here to read what Wikipedia has to say about it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Find your favorite missing Word 2007 commands

Still learning the Ribbon? Don't worry--it gets easier. So easy, in fact, that soon you'll forget where things are in Word 2003. (I speak from experience here.)

Here's a cool feature to help you out if you find yourself hunting for a couple of missing commands that you really like in previous versions. Click the Microsoft Office Button to open the File menu and click Word Options. Click the Customize tab. Click the Choose Commands From arrow to display the range of choices, and click Commands Not in the Ribbon. There you go! A whole list of commands you don't currently find in the Ribbon as part of the normal Word 2007 UI. Scroll through the list and click the command you want; then click Add to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar, which appears in the upper left corner of the Word window. Now you can get ot the tool easily, anytime. (And if you want to remove the tool from the QAT at some later time, just repeat the steps given here and click the Reset button at the bottom of the Customize Quick Access toolbar List.

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