Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Thunderbird - public holidays won't display?

In my Thunderbird email app (with Lightning for calendaring), I'd subscribed to Google's public holidays calendar for the UK. but lately, holidays no longer show up. They used to display fine, but that's stopped working.

What finally sorted the problem for me, after many unsuccessful troubleshooting attempts to try to get the Google calendar to display, was a workaround rather than solution or fix, but it's good enough for me! So here's my tip to get round this issue, step by step:

  1. download the ICS calendar file for UK public holidays (or other holidays of your choice) from Apple, and save it on your computer
  2. in Thunderbird, go to the Events and Tasks menu, and choose Import
  3. navigate to the saved ICS file and Open it
  4. choose which calendar in Thunderbird you want to import the file to, and OK it
  5. the public holidays should show up properly, hooray!

This should work with Apple ICS files for other holidays or events too. I tried Google's ICS file for that calendar first but it doesn't contain the necessary info for importing.

Apple 1, Google 0.

(Google Calendars of public holidays may display properly in later versions of Thunderbird, but I've stuck with Thunderbird 9.0 because add-ons I need aren't compatible with later versions.)

Monday, 7 May 2012

Windows Live Writer won't start or open?

If Windows Live Writer won't launch, it can be a heart-sinking experience if you depend on it as much as I do - it's the best free blogging tool I know.

For me, trying to "repair" Windows Live Essentials via the Control Panel Programs and Features didn't work to get WLW to open again. Nada, not even an error message.

Here's how to fix it when Windows Live Writer stops working, or at least some steps to try:

  1. Open up Windows Explorer or Computer.
  2. In the address bar at the top, type or paste the following (not case-sensitive), then hit Enter or the right arrow:
    %AppData%\Windows Live Writer\

  3. You'll see folders like these:

  4. Open the LinkGlossary folder. Copy the linkglossary.xml file there, then paste it somewhere you can find it again, as backup in case.

  5. Now delete the linkglossary.xml file from the LinkGlossary folder. (Thanks to Scott Lovegrove).
  6. Try opening WLW again. If that doesn't work, try opening the Keywords folder, and deleting all the files inside that folder that start with 'keyword..'.
  7. I also found a registry fix - see this link (scroll down)

For me, step 6 didn't work, but step 5 solved the problem for me, so I didn't need to try step 7.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

How to convert Word documents to clean HTML

 While you can "Save as" a DOC or DOCX document in Microsoft Word as "Web Page, Filtered", the resulting HTML includes all the MsoNormal etc classes. Which is bit messy for my taste - I often want clean HTML.

To convert the Word document to pure, simple HTML, rather than trying to email the document to yourself in Gmail (which no longer works the same way anymore, anyway) I've discovered a quicker, cleaner way.
  1. Download and install Windows Live Writer (which I use anyway for blogging - it's the best free blog writing software there is).
  2. Launch Live Writer.
  3. Then simply switch to your Word document, and copy all (in the Word document press ctrl-a to select all, then press ctrl-c to copy all)
  4. Switch back to Live Writer, click in its document window if necessary, then press ctrl-v to paste the Word document's text into Live Writer.
  5. In Live Writer, now go to the Source view (bottom left) and then you can copy and paste the nice clean pure HTML from that view, into Notepad or other text editor to "Save as" an .html file.

That's it. Clean, simple HTML. And no MSo classes either!