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Archive for the ‘MS Office Help’ Category

Switch Character Case in Open Office

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

In spite of what it sounds like we’re not discussing a murder mystery or some Nancy Drew book… today we’re discussing a quick switch between upper and lower case characters.

“Characters?” you may ask.

Yep – that’s the term that OpenOffice uses instead of font.

So when you’re looking through things trying to find something you won’t see commands to format… Continue reading

Synonyms in Word and PowerPoint

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Looking for another way to say it?

Need a synonym? Need it quick?

Well, then I have a little treat for you…

Next time you need a quick word, try a right-click.
Yep, that’s all it will take. Just right-click over the word for which you need the synonym. (You don’t have to select the word – just… Continue reading

Use MS Office Templates in Open Office

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Previously we’ve talked before about the templates available at – which is really a great thing – but what if you’re looking for more than they have to offer?

Maybe you saw a presentation done in MS PowerPoint that had a really great design and learned that it was a free template download… but… you’ve got OpenOffice Impress so does that mean that you’re… Continue reading

Marvin asks:

I was doing a spell-check the other day and I accidentally added a word that wasn’t spelled right to the Dictionary. Can I get rid of it or do I just watch for the misspelled word?

Hi, Marvin, thanks for asking about this – I hadn’t ever even thought about it. I’ll bet my dictionary couldn’t win a lot of… Continue reading

MS Excel: One Click Cell Addresses

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Did you know that there’s a faster way to enter cell references in Excel formulae? I’m talking about a way that doesn’t involve typing cell addresses. Did you know?!

Interested? (Yeah, I thought you might be!)

Here’s the scoop.

Next time you’re entering a formula and you get to a cell reference (like A5, for example), instead of typing A5, use… Continue reading

Office SmartArt Works in 2010 and 2007

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

As I was perusing my Office 2010 SmartArt gallery I noticed that there were quite a few new designs which got me to thinking…

When we create SmartArt and then save the file to use in Office 2003 or earlier it becomes a static picture in the file. No more editing – what you saved it as is what you’re stuck with until you can get back… Continue reading

Tables in Open Office Writer and Impress

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Many people I know dislike spreadsheets because they are “math”… which to them is way worse than “lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”

So, in their never-ending endeavors to keep their minds free of math they tend to use a lot of tables to organize information.

Most people when creating tables automatically go to the Insert menu, Table choice and then use the… Continue reading

If you’re a fan of the SmartArt feature in Office 2007 then you may have experienced the frustration of trying to select a single shape in the diagram.

Or worse yet, when you’re looking to select several shapes and you have the Ctrl + click thing down, too bad you keep accidentally clicking on something already selected… which deselects it, of course.

At this… Continue reading

Add Pictures to the Open Office gallery

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Previously we discussed the Gallery, the place where where OpenOffice keeps it’s pictures. Today we’re going to look at how to add your own collection to the Gallery.

After all, it’s much easier to grab a picture from the Gallery then it is to repeatedly use the Insert menu, Picture, From File over and over again. I have no desire to keep locating the pictures each time… Continue reading

MS Office 2010: First Impressions

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Woo Hoo!

I now have Office 2010 and it’s time for me to explore… I just love that part.

What’s the first change you noticed?

OK – if you came from a version prior to the 2007 Office Suite then you had the whole “Ribbon shock” that lots of people went through the first time they had to deal with it… Continue reading

PowerPoint Slideshow Screensaver

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Do you have a PowerPoint presentation containing slides that you just wish you could make into your screensaver?

Maybe you had a presentation sent to you containing a bunch of pictures of the grandkids.

Or maybe you’d just love to create a screensaver out of a variety of your favorite quotes.

Either way, if it’s in a PowerPoint presentation, we can… Continue reading

Open Office: Where are the Pictures?

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Have you tried to insert a picture or two into a document yet?

I bet you went to the Insert menu, Picture choice and then found this:

From file or from a scan?

Doesn’t OpenOffice have something to offer?

Yes – it does but it’s not there that you’ll… Continue reading

The Open Office Presentation Wizard

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

OpenOffice Impress: To Wizard or To Not Wizard

When you start your first presentation in OpenOffice Impress you’re going to be faced with a decision:

Use the presentation wizard or not?

Basically, do you want help setting a few things up before the presentation is created or do you want to start with a completely blank sheet?

If you choose to use the wizard then you’ll simply need to follow… Continue reading

Password Protect Office Files

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Sometimes we’re looking to lock down a file in order to keep others out… not just a “don’t change it” thing but more of a “none of your business” situation.

In the vein of “better safe than sorry” I believe that it’s a good idea to know how to make that happen, just in case you find yourself needing to keep others out of sensitive information.… Continue reading

Open Office Help Agent

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

So, have you seen this pop up from the corner of your eye yet?

That’s your friendly neighborhood Help Agent, compliments of the people at

He’s a crafty little guy whose only purpose in life is to help you out – specifically, he’ll appear when he thinks that you’re completing a task where you may need some assistance.… Continue reading

Use Formulas in MS Word

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Recently a reader wrote in asking if formulas can be used in Word 2007 tables – good question!

The “good” answer is YES they can, and while some may question the reasons you might want to use Word for calculations I can see your point.

If the primary purpose of the table is to present non-numerical information and you simply need one or two… Continue reading

MS Word: Add Space Between Paragraphs

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Let’s talk about paragraph spacing in our Word documents…

Specifically, let’s discuss what happens when you need just a bit more space before a particular paragraph.

What do you do?

Do you track down the paragraph formatting in either the Format menu / Page Layout tab of the Ribbon? Make the change for just

MS Excel 2007: Top and Bottom Rules

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

To extend our previous discussion about Data Bars to show how a piece of data in a list stacks up against the rest I thought that we might take a look at the conditional formatting options within the Top/Bottom rules.

Basically, they’re rules you can use to visually point out the top (top values, top percent of items, above average, etc.) and/or the bottom items in a… Continue reading

Here’s a cool trick for custom presentation backgrounds that really has a ton of possibilities… basically, there’s a setting that allows you to take whatever is on the clipboard at the moment and turn it into a slide background.

Which means you can use any Clip Art, SmartArt, graphic or screen shot. If you can select and copy it then we can paste it from the clipboard… Continue reading

MS Excel 2007: Visual Data Bars

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Sometimes you just need to see how the data stacks up.

You’ve got a string of numbers and you need to visually see how they compare.

Is one value way bigger than the rest? Are they distributed fairly evenly or at most of the numbers higher than the others? Lower than the others?

Whatever you need to… Continue reading

Free PowerPoint Presentation Templates

Monday, July 19th, 2010

OK – so I’m not able to give you PowerPoint for free but I can direct you into a few sites for free presentation templates…

I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for something “new” to use – I’m a teacher and I have the same audience day after day (for at least 180 days of the year!) and rotating through the same old set… Continue reading

Open Office: Insert Today’s Date

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Recently a reader sent in a question looking for an easy way to enter today’s date in a worksheet cell.

Good question.

I first went looking for something as simple as a quick key combination – but alas, I did not find one.

But as I researched the issue I did find something that isn’t too time consuming.… Continue reading

Zoom in MS Excel

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Ever find yourself staring at a section of and Excel worksheet and feeling your eyes cross as you look and look for something in particular.

All those cells, all those numbers… I can feel the headache coming on now… it can just be too much sometimes!

Want a quick way to view that range of cells up close and personal? Maybe a way that… Continue reading

Mark as Read in MS Outlook

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

If you’re like me then when MS Outlook let’s you know that you’ve got a new message you usually see an envelope down in the bottom corner of your taskbar (the system tray).

I happen to have a love/hate relationship with that little envelope.

I love that it let’s me know that a

Open Office: Save as PDF

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Having the ability to save your files in PDF format can be an invaluable tool. Let’s face it, if you’re just trying to send someone the information in a file, without them needing the actual file, then a PDF would probably work.

At this point most everyone has Adobe Reader to open them which drastically reduces the chances of the recipient having difficulty getting at the information… Continue reading

Split A Table in MS Word

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

You’re working in MS Word and you’ve got a beautiful table. I mean, it’s perfect!

Well, almost perfect.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, you’ve just come to the conclusion that it really should be two different tables.

Now what?

Are you having copy/paste nightmares?

Or, worse yet, you’re picturing a situation where you’ve got to create… Continue reading

Here’s a handy little trick I stumbled across during my OpenOffice explorations…

When you use the OpenOffice icon to start the programs, you get the main screen where you choose which type of file to work with.

But what if you’re already working on a file in Writer, but also want to start a new Impress file?… Continue reading

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