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Archive for the ‘MS Office Help’ Category

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

MS Excel: Unhide Column A or Row 1

Friday, July 9th, 2010

If you’re an Excel user who tends to use the Hide feature for columns and rows, then you’ve probably run into this problem a time or two.

When you chose to hide either Column A or Row 1 were you able to get it back?

It can be quite tricky since we usually highlight the column or row on each side of the hidden… Continue reading

Here’s yet another great one for my PowerPoint 2007 users.

Ever have a bulleted or numbered list and wish that you’d thought to put it into SmartArt from the beginning?

Well don’t start kicking yourself for not thinking of it earlier and don’t retype it all into a diagram. In fact, don’t even start with the copy / paste thing… you really don’t need… Continue reading

Open Office: Make a Custom Toolbar

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

The other day we looked at a few quick ways to alter the toolbars found in the OpenOffice Suite of programs.

Well today I’d like to take that a bit further… all the way to creating a custom toolbar that contains any combination of commands of your choosing.

If you’ve ever wondered why the programmers didn’t just put a button on your toolbar… Continue reading

Did you know that you can get Excel to rank a set of values… without rearranging the data?

It’s like sorting data without actually sorting.

Basically what we do is tell Excel to compare all the data in the range of cells we designate and then it numbers them in either ascending or descending order (your choice).

For example, maybe you… Continue reading

Customize Open Office Writer

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Now that we’re all spending some time investigating our new “toy” – you’ll have to excuse me, new programs are toys to me since I love to see what I can get them to do!

Anyway, back to what I was saying… now that we’re all investigating OpenOffice I thought that we might want to take a look as how we can tailor it to our individual… Continue reading

Have you ever had some data that needs to be pasted in around some already existing information?

Maybe you have a setup something like this:

Then let’s suppose that you need to produce a report where the commission rate is replaced by the actual commission amount. Unfortunately, in the example above, you just happen to have that calculated… Continue reading

MS Outlook 2007: Get Your Color Back!

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Are you an Outlook 2007 user who misses the color-coded messages you were able to use in older versions of Outlook?

You know… the color coding rules that would actually change the color of the text in your message list based upon the sender?

Well, I don’t know about you but I used it for lots of messages. I found that it really helped… Continue reading

What’s included with Open Office

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Since we regularly discuss OpenOffice and why you might want to use it, today I thought that it might be a good idea to go over what comes with your free OpenOffice download.

Once you’ve run the setup wizard and launched OpenOffice, you should bump into this:

From this

Many of us know that when you run a slide show with timings (meant to progress automatically based on the timings) you can exit the presentation using the Esc key.

This works great if you’re ready to close it up for the day but not so great if you simply needed to stop it or maybe you need to move back or forward in the presentation…… Continue reading

As many of you may have caught in one of last week’s newsletters, it was announced that this particular portion of Computer Tips is taking on a new look starting today.

If you’ll notice the section is no longer entitled “MS Office Tips” – but instead is now called simply “Office Tips”.

The reason for the change is that now I will be including… Continue reading

MS Outlook: Move It With No Drag or Drop!

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

When you use Microsoft Outlook do you find yourself moving messages from place to place with the old drag and drop?

For many people that process works just great – but what about all those people who would prefer to use a key combination over the mouse?

Is there any help for them?

Well, of course there is… you just have… Continue reading

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