PC Doctor January 17, 2012

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Dear PC Doctor,

I have a Mac computer and I was wondering if there was a way I could lock the screen like I do on my Windows computer at work. I know there is a way to put my computer to sleep but I'd rather lock it so I would have to log back in before I could access my applications and private documents.


Dear Jorge,

Yes, there are a few ways to set up your Mac to keep it locked from unauthorized access. First click on the apple icon in the upper left corner of the menu bar. Open System Preferences and under the security pane, set up “Require Password to Wake this Computer from Sleep or Screen Saver”.  Now your computer will require you to log in whenever your computer wakes from sleep or when the screensaver is present.

One of the coolest ways to turn the screensaver on (and therefore lock the computer) is to use “hot corners”.  Click on the apple icon in the upper left of your screen. From there, go to System Preferences then click on “Dashboard and Expose”.  You will see options for “Active Screen Corners”.  You can assign an action for any corner of the screen. For this scenario, you'll want to assign the screensaver to a corner that works best for you. After you finish with the settings, close out the windows and test it out! Leave the mouse cursor in the corner you chose and watch as the screensaver turns on!

            PC Doctor

(P.S. If you have OS X Lion on your Mac, go to “Mission Control” under System Preferences to set up Hot Corners. If you're a Windows user and want to try “Hot Corners” out, visit www.southbaypc.com/hotcorners/ for a free download!)

Dear PC Doctor,

I need to share a Microsoft Word document with my coworker. He doesn't have the latest version of Microsoft Word like I do. Since we need to share documents with each other, how can I make sure it will work between his and my computer?


Dear Katie,

With the many versions of Microsoft Word out there, it is a dilemma making a document that validates correctly in each version of the software. The best way to save a document that's compatible across the spectrum of Microsoft Word software is “.rtf”, which stands for “Rich Text Format”. Depending on your version of Word, navigate to the “Save As” setting (or just press Shift+Ctrl+S). There, give your document a file name. Directly underneath that is a dropdown menu. Select “Rich Text Format” from the list and press save.

I realize that your coworker might not be able to control what version of Word he has installed. However if it's an option, let him know about OpenOffice (www.openoffice.org). It's a completely free office suite that contains almost the same types of programs that are in the Microsoft Office Suite. Included is a word processor that can handle most any type of document that's out there, including .docs, .docx, .rtf and the native file type .odt.

            PC Doctor

Until next time… happy computing!