Quick Fix: Microsoft Wireless Keyboard keys are wrong

Two nights ago my brother touched my Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 1000 and BAM the key mappings completely messed themselves up. The space bar was typing ‘G’ and Backspace became ‘R’ and ‘d’ was ‘/’ and so on. Every key was typing the wrong key (or modifier, leading to several accidental browser window closures).

Much online advice is centred around going to Regional and Language Settings to check that the correct keyboard is selected, but in my case the solution was much simpler: after fiddling around for a while and considering replacing the battery, I paired the keyboard with the base station again and everything was good. It’s an obvious solution, really, and I felt a bit sheepish afterwards for not having realized earlier.

Exact instructions vary, but usually you press a button on the base station followed by a button on the keyboard. In my case the button lives on the back of the keyboard – it’s an unassuming little grey push-button.


Quick Fix: Blues turning purple in Photoshop after monitor calibration

Tested with: Windows Vista Home Premium, Photoshop CS3

I loaned a Spyder 2 express from the school, with the intention of making my monitor color more accurate because I’ll be doing a lot of digital art this year. It was pretty good to begin with, in my opinion, but I just wanted to be sure…

I’m not complaining about the Spyder itself – very easy to use, and most of my screen did look better after calibration. Except the blues in color-managed applications like Photoshop. Behold:

So how did I get my (0, 0, 255) blues to look like their normal selves again?

The Somewhat Lacking Fix

Go to View > Proof Setup then check Monitor RGB. Mine was at Working CMYK before I changed it. Basically what this does is let you quickly change the color space you are working in. I think.

Now when you press Ctrl-Y to toggle the proofing, your colors should revert to their normal sRGB selves. The problem with this is that the color picker still displays the whole stretch of pure blues as purple, which is not so much a problem for photo editing but a huge issue for digital art. Which brings me to the…

The “Dirty Hack” (as described by a friend)

This is essentially breaking the path to the calibrated color profile created by the Spyder. This probably makes color-managed apps unable to find it, and so they revert to sRGB or whatever other default Windows is set to use.

Navigate to C:\windows\system32\spool\drivers\color and look for the profile that the calibration software created. In my case it’s called Spyder2express.icm. Either a) delete, b) rename or c) move to another folder (I renamed mine). The effect was instantaneous for me. I Alt-Tabbed back into Photoshop and my blues were back.

The Ideal Solution

Haven’t found this yet. Feel free to share.

Quick Fix: Large space before footnotes in MS Word

It’s frustrating having programs screw up on you when there’s a pressing deadline to meet. Today while editing my 40-page behemothof a PW report (before adding all figures, tables and double-spacing and enlarging the fonts) I was unlucky enough to encounter this issue:

After the footnote divider line, but before the footnotes themselves, there would be a huge expanse of blank space. It was wreaking havoc on my formatting and turning all my tables into multiple-paged impossible-to-read clusters of cells.

Turns out this is caused by something called a footnote separator which you have to go to Draft mode (under the View tab in MS Word 07 and up) to edit it.

  1. Go to the View tab, then choose Draft.
  2. Go to the References tab and click Show Footnotes. (On Macs, go to ViewFootnotes – thanks to commenter Gerard for spotting this)
  3. In the drop-down list that appears in the Footnotes area, choose Footnote Separator.
  4. Delete any extra spaces, carriage returns etc. It’s handy to have “show non-printing characters” switched on.
  5. Repeat for the other one – I think it was Continuous Footnote Separator.
  6. Go back to View and switch back to Print Layout.

It’s gone!

If this was helpful, let me know in a comment! P.S. Shameless plug for my new blog, where I continue to write posts about life, design, usability, the tech industry, language, cooking and other little geeky things.

Update: Commenter GE suggests that copying and pasting your entire document into a new file may also get rid of the problem.