How to Create a Custom Button Using the Microsoft Image Composer Button Kit

Creating a Button
1.Start Image Composer. Click Insert and choose Button.
2.Select a button style and click Next.
3.Choose the number of buttons to be created (the default number is one). Creating multiple buttons at the same time ensures that the buttons will match and be the same size. Click Next.
4.Type the text label for the button (the default is "Home").
5.Add an image by clicking on the browse icon next to the Image box, or by typing the location of the image in the box. Make sure the Image box is checked before doing this. Click Next; if you're creating multiple buttons, you'll be prompted to enter information for each button.
6.Choose Exact Fit for Each Button to automatically size each button to fit the text.
7.Choose Same Size for All Buttons to make all of the buttons the same size. Click Next.
8.Click Finish when done to create the button. 
Editing the Button

9.Select the button to be edited and double-click it. This will open the Button Editor.
1..Choose the Style tab to change the button's style.
1..Click on the Label and Image tab to make changes to the text, font or image on the button.
1..Pick the Shape tab to change the shape and highlighting of the button. Choose a category from the drop-down list to select other types of shapes, such as circular or stackable.
1..Click on the Fill tab to change the fill color and texture.
1..Choose the Size tab to make any changes to the size of the button. Click OK when finished. 
Saving the Finished Button

1..Choose Save for the Web from the File menu.
1..Select whether or not you wish the button to be transparent (only the image will show against a background). Click Next.
1..Choose your page's background color, or click on the tiled radio button. Click Next.
1..Verify the information, clicking Back if changes are needed, and click Save.
1..In the Save window, select the folder the buttons will be saved in. Click OK. 
Overall Tips: In order for an image to be transparent, it must be saved in GIF format. If you change the format to JPEG or any other graphics format, the transparency will be lost.   

How to Buy a Road Bike

1.Decide what you're going to use the bike for: riding locally, racing, or riding long distances and camping.
2.Go to a bike shop and tell the sales staff how you intend to use the bike.
3.When you see a bike you like, look at the wheels. Ask the clerk if the wheels are aluminum or steel - steel wheels indicate inferior quality.
4.If the wheels are aluminum, ask to look at the bike more closely.
5.Test the fit.
6.Request a test helmet and take the bike for a ride. Adjust the bike's seat before your test ride.
7.Test the brakes and the gears. Make sure the bike has a wide range of gears, from easy to harder.
8.Decide whether you want the bike.
9.Ask if you can have a part changed if you want the bike but dislike the part.
1..Haggle over the price; it's often flexible. 
Mountain bikes are frequently less expensive than road bikes.
Narrow, high-pressure tires get fewer flats but can be squirrelly.
Resist the temptation to buy more bike than you need. Racing bikes have hard, high gears and are often unsuitable for carrying groceries or taking leisurely rides.
Make sure there's a warranty, and ask about local repair deals with the shop. 

How to Bid at Online Auctions

1.Register as a bidder by entering your credit card number and an e-mail address for communication purposes. Registered bidders will be asked to submit a username and password.
2.Search categories to find things you want to bid on.
3.Select an item; enter your username, your password and the bid amount.
4.Enter a bid that is within your budget but higher than the current high bid. High bids are displayed along with the description of the item.
5.Click the Submit Bid button to go to the Web site’s confirmation page. The site will advise you immediately on the status of your bid (whether you’ve been outbid or currently have the highest bid).
6.Look for a Current Winner message on the page showing that your bid is currently the highest. If no one outbids you before the auction period ends, you “win” the auction.
7.Check your e-mail regularly during the auction. You will receive an e-mail message if you are outbid during the auction. Place another bid if you wish to bid higher.
8.Work out payment and shipping details directly with the seller when you win an auction. (The seller will most likely contact you via e-mail.) On some auction sites, you can submit payment through the site or a trusted third party. Payment is usually accomplished with a money order or personal check. Some sellers also accept credit cards. 
Before bidding, ask the seller questions about how the item was stored or cared for and whether it has a certificate of authenticity.
Check out size and weight specifications to ensure that you know what you’re purchasing.
If you have problems with a seller, complain to the site. Sites usually post negative feedback about a seller, and you can warn others who might have similar problems. Be a good buyer as well, as you may be rated by the seller. 
Warnings: Comparison shop before you bid. Just because something’s up for auction doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. Shop carefully—you could end up paying more money than you would in a traditional store.  View 3 More Tip(s) from UsersPlease Share Your Tips with Us 

How to Buy Luggage Locks as a Gift

1.Choose the locking mechanism on the luggage locks: some have keys; others are combination locks. If the gift's recipient is the absent-minded type and likely to lose keys, stick with a combination lock.
2.Decide what material you want the locks to be made of. Most luggage locks are made of brass, but some have steel shackles for extra strength.
3.Choose a size. Smaller brass locks are fine for locking briefcases or backpacks, but you may need a larger lock for bigger luggage items.
4.Decide on a color. Although most luggage locks have a brass body, they come in a variety of colors and styles. (After a plain brass finish, black is most popular.)
5.Be sure the locks are easy to use and that they open and close smoothly.
6.Purchase enough locks so that every piece of luggage will have a matching lock. 
Another option for keeping luggage secure is a security strap that fits around a suitcase and locks underneath the handle. These are guaranteed to keep your suitcase from opening.
Since locks are relatively inexpensive (under $10 apiece), you may wish to add other travel items and make an attractive gift basket.
Luggage locks often come as a set, with two locks and up to four keys. 
If you're not sure the locks will fit the intended recipient's luggage, perhaps a gift certificate to a travel store would be a better gift. Or, at the very least, be sure the locks can be exchanged.
Some travel experts say that you are more likely to have items stolen from your luggage than you are to have your luggage stolen. Locks are important accessories for any traveler.   

How to Assume a Rooted Stance in Karate

1.Face forward, but turn your body to the side. Image a.)
2.Keep your rear leg about two and one half strides behind your front leg in a wide stance. Image b.)
3.Point your toes about 45 degrees to the side.
4.Distribute your weight evenly over both legs.
5.Maintain outward tension by pushing your knees out evenly over the outside of the foot.
6.Hold your arms at your sides, elbows bent slightly.
7.Turn your hands into inward-facing fists. Image c.) click photos to enlarge  
Tips: The rooted stance is a cross between a front stance and a horse, or straddle-leg, stance. 
Warnings: The martial arts are physically demanding. Consult your physician for advice on whether or not you should pursue this activity.   

How to Avoid a Carjacking

Parking Your Car
1.Park your car in a well-lit, busy area and as close to your destination as possible.
2.Keep your windows rolled up and the car locked even if parked at your own house.
3.Keep valuables hidden. Consider buying a stereo system with a removable stereo face.
4.Have your keys in your hand when returning to your car, and look around outside and inside before getting in. 
Warnings: There have been many stories of parents leaving children unattended in a running car for what the parents assumes will only be "a minute," only to return and find that the car has been stolen - with the children still in it. Don't let this happen to you; take your kids and your keys with you.  
On the Road

5.Make sure your car is well-maintained to prevent breakdowns.
6.Choose your routes carefully; drive along busy, well-lit roads.
7.Stay in the center lane. This makes you more difficult for carjackers to approach when you're stopped in traffic.
8.Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up while driving.
9.Check your mirrors periodically for any suspicious activity around your vehicle. If you think you are being followed, don't go home - drive to a police station or a busy public place where you can call the police.
1..Pay close attention to your surroundings at intersections, gas stations, drive-up ATMs and grocery stores. Be on the watch for anyone who seems to be eyeing your car.
1..Have an escape route at every intersection. 
If you are rear-ended in traffic, before you get out, check to make sure that there are other cars around and see who is in the car that hit you. If the situation seems suspicious, stay in the car and insist on moving to a well-lit area or a police station to exchange information.
If you are approached by a stranger, don't roll down the window or open your car. If you are threatened, use your car's horn or a pocket alarm to signal for help.
Do not pick up hitchhikers.  
Warnings: The only thing scarier than being carjacked is being carjacked while you have kids in the car. If you are faced with this situation, assume without asking that you can take your kids with you and calmly proceed to do so - don't set yourself up for a possible argument, because if you are a parent, you are not going to walk away without your kids anyway. Teach your children ahead of time about following your directions so that if the time comes, you can quickly and quietly direct them out of the car to safety.  
Overall Tips: If you are faced with a carjacking and the thief has a weapon, stay calm and give up your car immediately. Your life, unlike your car, is irreplaceable.   

How to Identify Cloud Formations

Watch for Cumulus Clouds
1.Think "puffy" when you want to identify cumulus clouds.
2.Make a comparison to masses of cotton balls or piles of whipped cream.
3.Remember, cumulus clouds are those we recall from childhood when we searched out shapes of people, animals and other forms in the sky. 
Watch for Nimbus Clouds

4.Think "rain" when you see nimbus clouds.
5.Remember, nimbus clouds can be stratus or cumulus.
6.Watch for stratus clouds to evolve into nimbostratus formations when low-level clouds shed rain.
7.Look for cumulonimbus clouds when thunderstorms begin to build. 
Watch for Stratus and Cirrus Clouds

8.Think "flat" when you're identifying stratus clouds.
9.Remember, high altitude cirrostratus clouds appear as thin, wispy sheets.
1..Look for stratus clouds at any altitude.
1..Look high into the sky for cirrus clouds.
1..Remember, cirrus clouds consist of moisture thrown up by distant storms and turned to ice.
1..Watch for thin, hair-like, disconnected wisps of clouds at altitudes above 18,000 feet.
1..Remember, stratus and cumulus clouds can occur at those same altitudes; these clouds are correctly identified as cirrostratus and cirrocumulus clouds. 
Overall Tips:
Learning to identify clouds is a wonderful way to introduce your children to the world around them.   
Overall Warnings: Watching cumulus clouds bloom into a raucous summer thunderstorm can be exciting, but remember that lightning is dangerous. Be cautious. 

How to Resolve Pay-per-Call Problems

1.Call your phone company to dispute the charges. You generally have 60 days to dispute unauthorized pay-per-call charges with your phone company.
2.Make a note of who you spoke to and what was said.
3.Follow up with a letter that explains your problem and confirms your conversation.
4.Keep a copy of the letter in your files.
5.Deduct the charges you're disputing, and pay the rest of your bill by its due date. Your local or long-distance telephone service cannot be disconnected if you refuse to pay for disputed pay-per-call charges. 
If the charges appear on your credit card bill, follow the instructions on the statement for disputes.
You may have other rights under state law. Check with your state consumer protection agency or public utilities commission. 
Warnings: The company that billed you can pursue the matter through a collection agency or small-claims court. It can also report the debt to a credit bureau. Respond to any claims in writing with the explanation of your dispute. You can also put a written explanation in your credit report.  

How to Choose Materials for Needlepoint

1.Refer to your needlepoint pattern instructions for recommended materials. If you have chosen a kit, make sure that the materials that are supposed to be included are accounted for.
2.Choose a needlepoint canvas. A canvas fabric can be made of either natural (cotton, linen, silk) or synthetic (plastic) fibers.
3.Choose a canvas that is either single-threaded (mono canvas) or double-threaded (Penelope canvas).
4.Choose single-threaded, even-weave canvases for most projects. The threads are woven evenly, but are not attached. This structure allows for the proper "give" for items such as seat cushions or pillows. Single-threaded, interlock fabrics are joined where the threads intersect.
5.Choose a yarn that is appropriate to the canvas mesh. The mesh is the number of threads per inch. The fewer threads per inch, the thicker the yarn required. You will often use more than one strand, or ply, at a time when stitching a project.
6.Use the appropriate tapestry needle size for your canvas. Use needles with larger numbers for small-meshed canvases and smaller-numbered needles for large-meshed canvases. For example, use a #18 needle on 12-mesh canvases and a #22 for 18-mesh canvases.
7.Keep your work mounted in an embroidery hoop or frame. The canvas will be kept firm, which will allow you to lay your stitches more evenly. A hoop or frame will also help prevent distortion of your canvas.
8.Make sure that you have a small pair of embroidery scissors on hand to cut yarn. Keep a pair of dressmaker shears on hand, as well, in case you need to trim or cut your needlepoint canvas.
9.Use a basket or a large plastic container to store your project materials. 
Choose natural fiber canvases for most projects. Plastic canvases are used for rigid items such as box covers or coasters.
Use a ruler or tape measure to determine the threads per inch of your canvas if the fabric is not labeled.
Use single-threaded, interlock canvas for small items that will not see much wear and tear and that will not be worked much. Once this fabric is distorted, it will not regain its shape like even-weave canvas will.
Experiment with different yarns on a scrap of your chosen canvas until you are satisfied with the coverage given.
Choose yarns in the colors recommended in the pattern instructions, or substitute other color schemes that appeal to you.
Bind the edges of your canvas with masking tape to help prevent the edges from fraying or unraveling.   

How to Apply for a Loan With Your Same-Sex Partner

1.Know your partner's level of financial responsibility. You don't want your finances intertwined with the finances of someone who can't balance a checkbook.
2.Assess the level of commitment between the two of you. The loan's term could be two, three, six or 20 years. Are you confident that you'll still be with the same person throughout the loan term?
3.Insist on examining your partner's credit report and make sure it won't keep you from getting the loan or keep you from getting the best rate.
4.Discuss the loan with your partner and make sure you are both in agreement about the need for the loan. If you aren't, it could become a source of resentment and even eventually spell the end of your relationship.
5.Be up front with the lender about your relationship. If the lender is uncomfortable, consider going elsewhere.
6.Ask the lender if the company has experience dealing with same-sex couples. If not, find out why not. If you don't like the answers you get, move on.