Chapter 16. Smart Tags (What Are Those Purple Dots?)


  • What are those purple dots?

  • Smart tag add-ons

  • Smart tag settings

  • Removing and restoring smart tags

  • Smart tag add-ons

Those purple dots are smart tags. Smart tags are special kinds of links that are associated with names, places, addresses, telephone numbers, and financial symbols, to name a few. Smart tags can be identified by a purple dashed underscore, like those shown in Figure 16.1, although the color can't be seen in the screen shot. While not as conspicuous as normal Internet hyperlinks, smart tags are still sometimes considered hyperlinks. Instead of a single action—such as opening a particular file—however, smart tags offer multiple choices.

Smart tags are not unique or exclusive to Word, or even to Office, although smart tags did make their world premiere debut in beta versions of Office XP. The idea was that, using XML (eXtensible Markup Language), developers could add action links to certain keywords, making those keywords especially useful (sometimes).

The actions or links sometimes lead to URLs, but they sometimes are linked to local actions, such as those shown in Figure 16.2.

Unless a person listed is actually in your Contacts list, mind you, some links might not be terribly useful. For example, Mark Twain isn't in my e-mail address list, and one suspects that rumors of his death finally really did catch up with him.

Sometimes smart tags can be useful, or so we're told. But for many of us, they're mostly annoying. ...

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