Ask Mr. Modem: Use Arrow Keys For Text Selection

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Q. Isn’t there some way to use the arrow keys when highlighting text? I try to use my mouse cursor, but I always end up overshooting the mark or selecting an entire paragraph when I only want a few words or a sentence or two.

A. There is indeed a way to use your arrow keys to select text. Place your cursor where you want to start highlighting, hold down your Shift key, then use your up and down arrow keys. If a section that you want to highlight is really large, use your Page Up and Page Down keys.

Q. I terminated my AT&T account for my smartphone because I didn’t need all the Internet-related bells and whistles. Even though I no longer have Internet access by phone, can I continue using the phone’s calendar, camera, etc? I’d consider selling it, but I don’t know why anybody would want a year-old phone. Thanks for always providing honest, reliable answers, Mr. M.

A. Honest? Reliable? Whew…I’m really feeling the pressure, but I’ll do my best. Different phones function in different ways, so if the calendar and camera aren’t dependent on Internet access, you should be fine, though you won’t be able to forward photos and other items. If the calendar is web-based and you were using your cell phone’s wireless connection to the Internet, you will not be able to access that feature. The easiest way to check is to simply power up the phone and see what you can and cannot do.
As far as selling your phone, there are many people who do want older phones, particularly folks who may not be able to afford newer ones. If you do decide to sell it, is one of several popular (and legitimate) outfits that buys and sells older technology, as does Amazon’s Trade-In Store at

Mr. Modem’s Sites Of The Month

Best Senior Dating Sites –

This site was created to educate and counsel single seniors who are contemplating joining a dating website. Its objective is to provide information about the pros, cons and risks of online dating and how to minimize them. This is not a dating site itself; its focus is assisting those who are interested in meeting others online, in a safe manner. I tested the site. Mrs. Modem was not amused.

Brain Age Games –
Medical researchers wearing white lab coats and carrying clipboards, tell us that as we age, it is important to exercise our brains and continue to use them to help ward off those increasingly frequent “senior moments” that most of us have come to know and…and… What was I talking about? Through a series of five games/tests that focus on memory, attention to detail, language and reaction times, this site will compute the age of your brain. Upon completion you will be presented with your brain-age score. Ideally, it will be less than your current age. Mine was…but barely.

Mr. Modem’s technology-tips, eBooks and award-winning weekly computer-help newsletter, now in its 12th year of continuous publication, are available on


Ask Mr. Modem: Beware Of E-mail Trickery

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Q. I received an e-mail from my daughter that had no Subject line and the message only contained a link. I clicked the link, which turned out to be a Canadian company selling Viagra. Is there anything I can do to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again?

A. You can always count on Mr. Modem to state the obvious, but the best way to make sure it never happens again is to not do it again. In short, links do not click themselves.
It also pays to be suspicious. For example, even though the message appeared to be from your daughter, if there was no Subject line and she normally includes a Subject line, that’s a red flag. The fact that the message was blank except for a link – no greeting, no explanation – that’s red flag number two.
My standard practice is that unless a message includes a personal greeting or reference – something that lets me know the message is legitimate – I delete it. Harsh? Perhaps, but all it takes is a simple, “Hi, Mr. Modem. Here’s a link to a video of a cat on a pogo stick I think you will enjoy.” Tell me that and I’m there in a heartbeat.

Q. I would like to give your “Top 50 Computing Tips” eBooks to several friends. If I purchase Amazon gift cards, do I receive actual plastic cards that I then snail mail to my recipients?

A. You have that option, but it is easier to simply locate the book(s) you want to give on Amazon, then click the “Give as Gift” button to the right. Provide the name and email address of your recipient, a message, then click the Place Your Order button. Your recipient will receive an email from Amazon and a link that will transmit the book to your recipient’s Kindle, iPad or other device. For direct links to all my books on Amazon, visit the eBooks section on

Q. When I press PrintScreen to print selected text on one of my two monitors, it prints what appears on both monitors. Is there a way to print from only one monitor?

A. If you hold down the ALT key and press PrintScr, the active screen (where your selected text and cursor are located) will be captured to the Windows Clipboard. Then go to a destination location, such as a document or email, right-click and select Paste. Your captured screen image will pop into your document, which you can then print.

Mr. Modem’s Sites Of The Month

Batmobile History

If you watched television in the 1960’s, you probably saw the original “Batman” series. KAPOW! This site takes a close look at the real star of this show. THWACK!

Brainwaves Center

Practical applications of neuroscience research designed to test, improve and maintain mental skills. It’s humbling; very humbling.

This Day

Hosted by Nikon, this site provides a high-tech twist on run-of-the-mill “On This Day in History” sites.

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