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Archive for the ‘MS Office Help’ Category



Quick Paragraph Relocation in MS Word

Friday, January 27th, 2006

Quick Paragraph Relocation In MS Word

Do you sometimes find yourself highlighting entire paragraphs in a Word document for relocation?

(Keep in mind that anytime you hit the Enter key you’ve finished a paragraph and are creating a new one, so as we discussed yesterday, just keep in mind that “paragraphs” in Word could be as small as a single word in a bulleted list).

What do you do?

I… Continue reading

Did You Know…

Friday, January 27th, 2006

Did You Know…

…that a paragraph in MS Word doesn’t necessarily mean complete sentences and all that other stuff the English teacher taught you?

Well, to Word it doesn’t.

You can be sure that English teachers will disagree, but here’s the scoop.

Word considers a paragraph to be the text between two paragraph marks.

Okay, so I can already hear you asking …paragraph marks?

Yep. They look like this.

Black and White Charts

Friday, January 27th, 2006

Black & White Charts

Yesterday we discussed setting default colors in MS Excel when creating charts, while avoiding all the manual settings we used to complete the task.

But, what happens when you’re going to print the chart and you don’t have a color printer? Or, maybe you do have a color printer but are then going to turn around and copy the chart in black and white.

Ever feel… Continue reading

Custom Chart Colors – Permanently

Friday, January 27th, 2006

Custom Chart Colors – Permanently!

Do you find that when you make a chart in MS Excel that you’re constantly clicking into the chart to change the colors of the bars, lines, etc?

How would you like to change the default colors Excel uses for charts, eliminating all that color switching you’re constantly working on?

Sounds like a good plan to me! I’m always changing those colors so if I… Continue reading

The Magic of F2 in MS Word

Friday, January 20th, 2006

The Magic of F2 in MS Word

When you go to move text in Word, what do you do?

Highlight the text to be moved, then use the mouse to drag and drop it to a new location? Or, do you highlight the text then use the cut / paste options?

Either way, it’s a lot of steps and for many people it involves removing your hands from the keyboard… Continue reading

All By Itself

Friday, January 20th, 2006

All By Itself

If you use Excel to create charts, then I’m sure you’ve noticed that in the last step of the Chart Wizard, you can choose to create your chart on its own page OR as an object embedded in a worksheet with data and other charts.

I’m sure that most of the time we tend to put the chart within a worksheet. That choice tends to give us… Continue reading

Second Sort Criteria in MS Outlook

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Second Sort Criteria in MS Outlook

Most of us know how to sort e-mail messages in Outlook by clicking on the column heading of the field to use as the sort criteria (see today’s Quick Tip above).

An up arrow is sorting messages in ascending order and a down arrow sorts in descending order based on the data in the column you chose.

But did you ever find yourself… Continue reading

The Clickless Presentation

Friday, January 20th, 2006

The Click-Less Presentation

Do you give presentations using MS PowerPoint?

Is it the mouse click you hear over and over again as you advance through your presentation? Or are you constantly reaching to hit a button on the keyboard?

And, let’s talk about moving backward through that presentation. If you’re only trying to move a slide or two back, it’s either to the keyboard you must go or through the… Continue reading

Create It My Way

Thursday, January 19th, 2006

Create It My Way

Do you have settings in MS Excel such as formatting or choices from the Options window that you’re constantly changing because Excel’s blank workbook never seems to have things “the way you left them”? For example, Monday’s setting for accepting labels in formulas. Excel’s default is to not have that option checked.

Wouldn’t it be nice to make these changes just once so that all new… Continue reading

Title Your Columns

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

Title Your Columns

When you have a title at the top of a column of data, you can use that title in formulas instead of the cell reference.

For example, let’s suppose that you have two columns labeled “Original Price” and “Discount”. Now let’s say you want to create a third column that calculates the sale price of the items (Original Price – Discount).

Your formula for the third… Continue reading

An Update On Updating

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

An Update On Updating

In the last issue of the MS Office Tips newsletter (Thursday, October 27, 2005), we discussed formulas and using them in MS Word. At the time, my common sense meter must have been a quart or two low, because I simply wasn’t coming up with any of the good ways to get your formulas to recalculate and reflect any changes you’ve made to values.… Continue reading

E-Mail It Quick

Monday, January 16th, 2006

Do you use MS Outlook notes, tasks, calendar, etc? Ever find that you need to take a task or other item and create an email from it?

Here’s a quick way to take all this information from its original location into a new email without a single copy / paste or (banish the thought!) entering the information by hand twice.

Simply select the item that’s to create the email then… Continue reading

Mark It Up

Monday, January 16th, 2006

Mark It Up

We all know about watermarks, those light pictures or text placed behind our text on printed documents. They can mark a document as a draft or as confidential, or they could be used to enhance the appearance of a document.

With older versions of MS Word you had to do quite a bit of work to get that watermark. You were forced to go through the header… Continue reading

Fraction Frenzy

Friday, January 13th, 2006

Fraction Frenzy

Use a lot of fractions in MS Word?

Do you love how it turns 1/2 into ½?

Did you ever notice that it does this neat little trick with only the most common of fractions? I’m also sure that some of you have found access to a few additional choices through the Insert menu, Symbols choice, but I’d bet that you’re frustrated that neither of these work for… Continue reading

Need a Little Backup?

Friday, January 13th, 2006

Need A Little Backup?

Do you have important Excel files that would create nothing short of chaos and disaster for you if you were to lose those files?

Now I’m sure that you regularly make copies of these files just in case – but wouldn’t it be nice if Excel could help us out a bit on this score?

Yeah – I thought so too so I did… Continue reading

Background Save? What’s That?

Friday, January 13th, 2006

Background Save? What’s That?

I received another question from a reader regarding the background save options in MS Word. (This can be found via the Tools menu, Options choice, Save tab.)

Pretty much the question was “what is it?” The reader expected this option to have Word frequently save the file quietly in the background – avoiding your need to initiate saves. (Let’s face it – not too… Continue reading

Sorting Data in MS Word

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Sorting Data In MS Word

Have you ever found yourself wishing that the list you just typed into MS Word was alphabetized? Or, for those of you who are good with Excel, you’re probably wishing that you typed the list in Excel in the first place (where it’s so easy to sort data).

Well, stop dwelling on the “should have, could have” stuff and smile. It’s very easy to sort… Continue reading

Space It Out

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Space It Out

By default, MS Word documents are single-spaced, which is great for most of the work we do, but what about those documents where you need double space?

Now, as I’ve said before, I’m a teacher. I have a lot of opportunities to see how people (both students and staff) are using their technology. I’m always amazed when I find someone using the enter key to double-space their… Continue reading

Just Picture It

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Just Picture It

Yesterday we discussed adding the Options button to our MS Office Toolbars and when we were done our button was a rather plain looking thing simply labeled with the word Options.

Now, how is it that the buttons Microsoft uses are pictures and all we get are words?

Well – fortunately this is a situation we can do something about.

There’s two ways to handle the situation… Continue reading

Just a Suggestion

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Just A Suggestion

If you’re an avid reader of the MS Office Tips, then you’ve probably noticed by now that we tend to use the Options choice located in the Tools menu frequently. We may use it so frequently that by now you’re sick of the whole Tools menu, Options choice process.

If you’re a fan of keyboard shortcuts, then you probably already access this with Alt, T then O… Continue reading

Change It Up

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Change It Up

Do you use MS PowerPoint’s design templates? You know – the cool backgrounds that PowerPoint offers ready-made that can really help brighten up a presentation.

If you’re like me, you tend to have a hard time deciding which one to use and often change your mind several times while working on the presentation. During all the mind changing, do you ever wish for a quick and easy… Continue reading

Now Who Told Excel To Paste That Data?

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Now Who Told Excel To Paste That Data?

Have you ever found yourself asking that question? (Or, in my case, asking the computer the question in my “I’m not amused, just annoyed” voice).

You may have, especially if you work with hidden cells. (You know, hidden rows and columns with data in them that’s necessary but not to be displayed.)

When you select a range of cells to copy that… Continue reading

Convert It To A Value

Monday, January 9th, 2006

Convert It To A Value

Do you have an Excel formula in a single cell that needs to be converting to its value?

No problem. Simple select the cell and press F2 then press F9.

Voila! The cell contains the value of the formula not the formula itself.

Unfortunately, you’ll find that this little trick doesn’t work on multiple cells – so now what?

Tackling this one isn’t as difficult… Continue reading

More Than A Simple Paste Button

Monday, January 9th, 2006

More Than A Simple Paste Button

Working with a newer version of Excel? Let’s say Excel XP or newer?

Have you ever noticed that your Paste button has a little extra?

Take a good look… do you see the down arrow to the right of the Paste button?

Yep – that’s right, the down arrow means that Excel has a supercharged Paste button that can do more than you’d… Continue reading

It’s Cooler in the Shade

Monday, January 9th, 2006

In the vein of recent tips dealing with ways to dress up your documents, worksheets, presentation, etc., let’s check out another way to create unique and eye-catching elements. (Just one last “fun” thing before we get back to all that productive stuff.)

What I’m talking about today is the Shadow button from your Drawing Toolbar.

It’s another simple way to change a basic object into something that really adds… Continue reading

Help Is On The Way

Monday, January 9th, 2006

Are you new to MS Word? Did you recently switch from WordPerfect to Word?

Do you find yourself confused sometimes? Can’t quite find what you need?

Would you like Word to provide a little assistance with your transition?

Well, if you’re answering “Yes!” then here’s the way to get Word to give you a helping hand.

First you’ll need to go to the Tools menu, Options choice.

Then on the… Continue reading

Set It In Pixels?

Monday, January 9th, 2006

A reader wrote in with an interesting Excel question. They were wondering if there was a way to set the column widths and row heights using pixels rather than the default numeric values. Hmm. Good question!

I did some looking around and found a solution – probably not the one the reader was hoping for but it’s worth mentioning.

While I couldn’t find a place to type in an actual… Continue reading

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