Sams Teach Yourself Lotus SmartSuite in 24 Hours

Sams Teach Yourself Lotus SmartSuite in 24 Hours

by Faithe Wempen
With Sams Teach Yourself Lotus SmartSuite, Millennium Edition, in 24 Hours, you'll find the tools you need for using Word Pro, Lotus 123, Approach, Freelance Graphics, Organizer, FastSite and more! Find your answer to boosting your productivity, formatting your documents, and giving documents a professional look by adding graphics and tables. Learn to create charts


With Sams Teach Yourself Lotus SmartSuite, Millennium Edition, in 24 Hours, you'll find the tools you need for using Word Pro, Lotus 123, Approach, Freelance Graphics, Organizer, FastSite and more! Find your answer to boosting your productivity, formatting your documents, and giving documents a professional look by adding graphics and tables. Learn to create charts and graphs to enhance your Lotus 123 data, sort and filter Approach database information, create a strong presentation using Freelance Graphic's intuitive controls, and organize your addresses, meetings and tasks with Organizer.

Product Details

Publication date:
Sams Teach Yourself Series
Product dimensions:
7.41(w) x 9.09(h) x 1.13(d)

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TY Lotus SmartSuite in 24 Hours, Millenium Edition - 2 - Managing Your Desktop with SmartCenter

[Figures are not included in this sample chapter]

TY Lotus SmartSuite in 24 Hours, Millennium Edition

- 2 -

Managing Your Desktop with SmartCenter

After you install SmartSuite, the very first part of it you encounter is the SmartCenter.
It's a row of green buttons running across the top of your screen. Don't let that
unassuming appearance fool you, though--the SmartCenter is a powerful tool that can
help you keep organized.

The most obvious feature of the SmartCenter is that it helps you launch SmartSuite
applications. That's just the tip of the iceberg of its functionality, though, as
you'll see in this hour's session.

The highlights of this hour include:

  • Starting and stopping the SmartCenter

  • Working with folders and drawers

  • Adding drawer content

  • Creating your own drawers

  • Customizing the SmartCenter

Turning SmartCenter On (or Off)

When you install SmartSuite, the installation program places several utilities
in your Startup folder, so that those utilities start each time Windows does. One
of these utilities is the SmartCenter.

NOTE: The other two utilities that SmartSuite setup places in the Startup
folder are Lotus SuiteStart, which places icons for each of the SmartSuite applications
in your system tray (down by the clock in the bottom-right corner), and Lotus QuickStart,
which makes SmartSuite applications start up quickly.

If you need to turn off the SmartCenter temporarily, click the Lotus button on
the SmartCenter and then choose Exit SmartCenter from the menu that appears. To restart
it again, choose Start, Programs, Lotus SmartSuite, Lotus SmartCenter.

To Do: Preventing SmartCenter from Launching at Startup

If you want to prevent SmartCenter from starting when you start Windows in the
future, remove it from your Startup folder. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Right-click on the Start menu and choose Open from the shortcut menu.

2. In the window that appears, double-click the Programs icon.

3. In the window that appears, double-click the Startup icon.

4. Click on the Lotus SmartCenter icon, and press the Delete key on your keyboard.

5. When asked if you are sure you want to send the icon to the Recycle Bin,
click Yes.

6. Test your work by restarting the PC (Start, Shut Down, Restart).

TIP: Don't be afraid in step 5 when it says you are deleting the program.
You are not really deleting the SmartCenter application; you're just deleting the
shortcut to it that was in the StartUp folder. The original is still safe.

Understanding Folders and Drawers

Each of the green rectangles on the SmartCenter is a drawer. A drawer resembles
a drop-down menu in that when you click on it, its content "drops down."
However, unlike a menu, a drawer stays open until you close it. You can close a window
in any of these ways:

  • Click its Close (X) button

  • Click its name (at the bottom of its window)

  • Click the solid bar at the top of the drawer (where the name would appear if
    the drawer were closed).

Also unlike menus, you can have more than one drawer open at once. Figure 2.1 shows
the SmartSuite and Calendar drawers open.

FIGURE 2.1. SmartSuite drawers drop open when you click on them and
stay open until you close them.

Some drawers contain icons for programs you can start or documents you can open.
The SmartSuite drawer is like that. Notice in Figure 2.1 that icons appear in the
SmartSuite drawer for Lotus 1-2-3, Lotus Approach, and so on. Other folders are special-purpose,
displaying their own unique content. The Calendar drawer is an example. It displays
your daily calendar, pulled from your Organizer file.

All the drawers may not fit across the top of your screen at once. To see the
other drawers that are not currently displayed, click the right-pointing arrow at
the right end of the SmartCenter bar (see Figure 2.1). Then, to scroll back to the
originally displayed drawers, click the left-pointing arrow next to it.

Within some drawers are multiple folders. Notice in Figure 2.1 that the SmartSuite
drawer is displaying the Lotus Applications folder. It also has other drawers that
contain SmartMaster Templates and documents you have created with each of the SmartSuite
programs. To switch to a different folder, click on its tab. Figure 2.2 shows the
SmartSuite drawer with the Word Pro Documents folder displayed.

FIGURE 2.2. Click on a tab in a drawer to display a different folder.

Some drawer content relies on Internet access. If you try to open such a drawer
or such a folder within a drawer, a box appears prompting you to start your Internet
connection if it is not already running.

CAUTION: If you do not want to connect to the Internet now, first close the
drawer, then close the Internet connection window. If you try to close the
connection window first, it will keep reopening itself as long as the drawer is open,
and you won't be able to exit from it.

Working with the Default Drawers

NEW TERM: SmartSuite provides a nice array of default drawers. You can use
most of these productively without any customization. They are:

  • SmartSuite. Contains several folders that provide access to SmartSuite
    applications and documents. There is a separate folder for the applications and for
    each type of SmartSuite document. A folder also exists for Notes data, in case you
    use Lotus Notes.

NEW TERM: Lotus Notes is a groupware product used by many
companies to help employees work together, using email, scheduling calendars, and
so forth. It is not included with SmartSuite, but many companies that use SmartSuite
also use Notes.

  • Internet. Contains several folders, each of which contains either a Web
    page or a series of links to Web pages. You can customize these links, as explained
    in "Setting Up Internet Drawers" later in this chapter.

  • Calendar. Accesses a daily view of your calendar from Lotus Organizer.

  • Addresses. Accesses your address book from Lotus Organizer.

  • Reminders. Contains folders where you can input and read reminders for
    your business and personal life.

  • Reference. Provides quick access to a dictionary and thesaurus.

  • Business Productivity. Contains several folders, organized by industry,
    of shortcuts to various SmartMaster templates that help with business tasks such
    as creating business cards and newsletters.

  • Suite Help. Contains links to information, both locally and on the Internet,
    that can help you use SmartSuite better. See Hour 1's session for details.

NEW TERM: SmartMaster templates are head-starts for creating
various kinds of documents, spreadsheets, databases, and so on. Hour 4 explains SmartMasters
in more detail.

Customizing Your Drawers and Folders

You aren't stuck with the default sizes, shapes, and colors for your drawers and
folders. Heck, you aren't even stuck with the default content! In this section, you'll
learn how to dress up a drawer and change its content.

Changing a Drawer's Size

When a drawer is open, it is like any other window. You can make it wider or narrower
by dragging its right border with your mouse (see Figure 2.3). Whatever size you
set will continue after the drawer is closed. You can also maximize its window by
clicking its Maximize button (or right-clicking and choosing Maximize Drawer). If
you maximize a drawer and then close it, it'll be maximized the next time you open
it again.

FIGURE 2.3. Resize a drawer by dragging its right border or maximize
it with the Maximize button.

Changing a Drawer's Name and Handle

To rename a drawer or change its handle, right-click the drawer and choose Drawer
Properties from the shortcut menu. The Drawer Properties dialog box appears (see
Figure 2.4). Change the name if desired or choose a different icon from the Drawer
Handle drop-down list. Then click OK.

FIGURE 2.4. Change the drawer name or handle if desired.

NEW TERM: The drawer handle is the icon that appears on the drawer's
name bar when it is closed.

Setting Folder Properties

Each folder has its own set of options you can set. When a drawer is open and a folder
is displayed, right-click the folder tab and choose Folder Properties to display
its Properties dialog box.

This dialog box has two tabs. On the Basics tab, you can choose a folder label,
icon, and color. On the Display tab you can choose to display small or large icons
and set the sort order for folder items (for example, by name or by type).

To Do: Setting SmartCenter Drawer Color

Don't like the green drawers? You can't change the color of individual drawers, but
you can change all drawers collectively. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Click the Lotus button and choose SmartCenter Properties from the menu.
The SmartCenter Properties dialog box opens.

2. Click the Appearance tab. A selection of drawer colors and patterns appears.
See Figure 2.5.

FIGURE 2.5. Choose a different color for the drawers if you want.

3. Click the color and pattern you want and then click OK.

CAUTION: Take note of the resolution designation next to each pattern in Figure
2.5. Some say 16/256 color, while others are High Color. Unless you are running Windows
in High Color video mode, stick with one of the 16/256 color choices.

To enable High Color video mode, right-click on the Windows desktop and choose Properties
from the shortcut menu. Click the Settings tab and change the Color Palette setting
to High Color (or True Color, if available).

Setting Other SmartCenter Properties

While you are in the SmartCenter Properties dialog box (Figure 2.5), you might want
to check out some of the other settings on the other tabs:

  • On the Basics tab, you can choose Bottom of Screen to make the SmartCenter bar
    appear at the bottom. Watch out, however: If you have Windows' Taskbar set to AutoHide,
    the two bars may interfere with one another.

  • On the Effects tab, choose a sound that Windows should make when a drawer opens
    and set how quickly a drawer will open.

  • On the Browser tab, choose whether SmartCenter will use its own Web browser or
    the default one for your system (probably Internet Explorer) when displaying Web

Setting Up Internet Drawer

Some of the folders in the Internet drawer require some setup to be made useful.
For example, the Weather folder requires you to choose your city so it can provide
your local weather conditions. The Stock Quotes folder requires that you enter which
stocks you want to track.

To set up an Internet folder, click the icon on its tab and choose Folder Properties
from the menu that appears. A Folder Properties dialog box appears. The exact options
that appear in the box depend on which folder you are customizing; the one for Stock
Quotes appears in Figure 2.6. Make your selections (for example, in Figure 2.6, click
the Add button to add a stock symbol), and then click OK. From then on, the chosen
content will appear each time you access that folder.

FIGURE 2.6. Set up the Internet content that you want to retrieve from
the folder.

Creating New Folders

You can create your own folders within any drawer, and that folder can hold any kind
of information you want.

To Do: Creating a New Folder

1. Open the drawer to which you want to add a folder.

2. Right-click the drawer's handle (the icon at the top) and choose New Folder
from the shortcut menu. The New Folder dialog box appears.

3. Choose the folder content type you want (see Figure 2.7). Choices include
File, Internet URL, Calendar, and more. Click Next to move to step 4.

4. Choose a folder label, folder color, and icon. Then click Next to move
to step 5.

5. Complete any additional steps as prompted. The steps (and the number of
them) vary depending on the content type you chose in step 3.

6. Click Done to complete your folder.

FIGURE 2.7. Choose the content type for the folder. Different content
types have different setup options.


You can create new drawers on the SmartCenter whenever you deem it appropriate. The
number of drawers you can have has no limit; however, remember that you may have
to use the scroll arrows on the right end of the SmartCenter bar to see some of the

CAUTION: Don't be too eager to create new drawers because drawers take up
on-screen space. Consider instead whether a new folder within an existing drawer
might satisfy your needs.

To create a new drawer, click the Lotus button and choose New Drawer from the
menu. Assign a label (a name) and choose a drawer handle (an icon). Then click OK.
The new drawer is added to the right end of the SmartCenter bar.

CAUTION: If you use a few drawers more than the others, you might want to
move them to the left side of the SmartCenter bar for easy access. To move a drawer,
drag it (click and hold) where you want it. Easy, eh?

Working with the SmartCenter Browser

When working with Internet content from the SmartCenter, the SmartCenter Browser
may open (depending on the way the content has been set up). It works much like other
Web browsers you may have used before. Figure 2.8 points out the controls you'll

FIGURE 2.8. The SmartCenter Browser displays Internet content.

NOTE: If you prefer to use your own default Windows browser, such as Microsoft
Internet Explorer or Netscape Communicator, choose it from the SmartCenter Properties
dialog box as explained in "Setting Other SmartCenter Properties" earlier
in this chapter. When you open items from the Favorites folder on the Internet drawer,
they open in your default Windows browser anyway, regardless of this setting.

The Previous button takes you to the last page you visited. After you have used
Previous, Forward returns you to the page you were looking at before. Refresh reloads
the current page, whereas Stop halts an in-progress page load. Save saves the content
of the window to a file on your hard disk, and Print prints it.


This hour introduced you to the SmartCenter bar and showed you how it can help you
launch programs quickly and gain access to your calendar, addresses, and the Internet.
You also learned how to customize the SmartCenter and how to improve the Internet
drawer's offerings by tailoring the information provided for your location and interest.

In the next hour, we'll begin looking at the most popular SmartSuite component,
Word Pro.


Q What are those little yellow ducks doing gliding across one of my folders?

A When you are working with a folder that contains Internet content, and you
are connected to the Internet, the moving yellow ducks appear to remind you of that
fact. You can ignore them. (No, you can't shoot them.)

Q I've created a new folder in my SmartSuite drawer, and I want to put some
files in it for quick access. How do I do that?

A When you create a new folder for files, a corresponding folder is created
in your SmartSuite folder on your hard disk (C:\Lotus\Work\SmartCtr\SmartSuite).
You should not add "real" files to it, but rather shortcuts to files. To
do this, right-click on the new folder and choose Explorer to open Windows Explorer.
In Windows Explorer, right-drag a file into your new folder. When you drop it, a
shortcut menu appears. Choose Create Shortcut Here.

Q How can I display more than one day in the Calendar drawer?

A See the little bar at the bottom of the Calendar drawer that looks like
a group of piano keys? It looks like a single "key" (the leftmost one)
is highlighted. Drag to select multiple bars corresponding to the number of days
you want to see at once.

Q How do I add addresses to the Addresses drawer?

A Click the words "Add Name" at the top of the list to display a
dialog box containing fields to fill in. Click on each field and type to replace
its placeholder. When you are finished, click OK to add that name to your address

Q Can I use the Addresses drawer if I don't have Outlook installed?

A Yes. If Outlook is not installed, the Addresses drawer saves its address
information in a text file.

Q How do I change which address book's names are displayed in the Addresses drawer?

A Right-click the open drawer and choose Folder Properties. A dialog box appears.
Choose the file type and the name of the file from the Name & Address tab.

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