Ever need to calculate the number of workdays left until a deadline?
Did you pull out your ever-present calendar and begin counting?
Oops, lost count! Start over.
What about letting MS Excel do the counting for you?
Every time you’ve ever tried to edit a document in MS Word while a window (such as the font formatting window) is open you get nowhere. That window just sits there, open and waiting. You certainly aren’t going to make any changes to the document until you’ve made your choices and either clicked OK or Cancel.
Hard to believe that the Find window behaves differently?
Yeah, I thought so too… Continue reading
End The Button Confusion
Have you ever noticed that many of the custom toolbar buttons you’ve added have the exact same image?
I have—I added a button that takes me to the New window you see when you use the File menu, New choice in MS Word.
Unfortunately, it’s identical to the New button that opens a blank document from the Normal template.
So, what can you do?
Change the… Continue reading
Now Where Did That Zero Go?
Here’s a good tip sent in by a reader regarding numbers with leading zeros.
If you’ve ever entered a number with a zero in the first place(s) you probably became very frustrated when you realized that Excel takes those zeros off the number.
For example, if you type in 01234 then, left to its own devices, Excel will put 1234 into the cell.
That’s… Continue reading
See Online Help Better
Have you ever found yourself squinting to read the topics in the MS Office Suite online help?
I don’t mean the Office Assistant list of ideas, but the actual help windows with all the information. (The one that comes up once you’ve selected a topic.)
If the answer is yes, then my next question is: would you like a way to alleviate the squinting problems?
Yeah—I… Continue reading
Formatting That Demands Their Attention
Do you ever find yourself looking for a way to make something really stand out in a Word document?
I don’t mean just a bigger or different font—I mean a way to put something on the page that can’t be ignored.
There are lots of things you can do (bolding, Italics, AutoShapes, etc…) but maybe turning this
is… Continue reading
There’s More To Text Than Just Black & White
I’m sure most of you know that you can change font color.
However, the way I’ve seen a lot of people complete this repetitive task is to go to the Format menu, Font choice, Font tab then choose a color from the drop-down list in the middle of the screen.
Now, if the font color was changed before the text was… Continue reading
Playing The Name Game
I’m glad to see that you’ve decided to come along for this little adventure.
I think the best place to start will be with a better understanding of what it means to name ranges of cells in Excel.
Basically, naming a range (or a single cell for that matter) is to give Excel a meaningful word (or words) that you will refer to the selected set… Continue reading
Use A Title In Formulas
Did you know that when you have a title at the top of a column of data that you can use that title in formulas—instead of the cell reference.
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… Continue reading
Be The Master Of Your Excel Lists
Now that you know what an Excel list is, let’s take a look at how to create a list that’s all your own—in other words, a custom list.
You have several options for the creation of a list. One has you type the list into the Custom Lists tab in the Options window and the other allows you to highlight the cells that… Continue reading
Lists In MS Excel
Excel has lists?
Yes, it does. (And fortunately they’re not “to do” lists!)
Have you ever noticed that when you type “Monday” in a cell and then use the fill handle (the little box in the lower right corner of the cell highlight) to drag down you get the rest of the days of the week?
Usually the fill handle will copy data if there’s only… Continue reading
Turn Many Into One
“E pluribus unum” was the original motto of the United States—since it is National Flag Week, I thought I might mention that in light of today’s tip.
Here’s the scenario: you’re working on a table of data in MS Excel and you’re trying to put a title over the entire table.
What do you do?
I’ve watched a lot of people cope with this situation, and… Continue reading
What Was That Function Again?
Ever find yourself working in MS Excel and realize that the function you’re looking for is right on the tip of your tongue – or fingers in this case?
So… here you go again, you’ve got to open the Paste Function window. You’re probably taking your hands off the keyboard and back to the dreaded mouse to get to the Insert menu, Function choice. Or… Continue reading
Be Gone Monster Buttons
If you’ve ever created a new toolbar button from a macro or some other command that doesn’t’ possess an icon, then you’ve probably been disturbed by the length of the text on the button.
In some cases, macros in particular, the button can be an inch or two long trying to accommodate an incredibly long name you don’t want or need.
The big question is: how… Continue reading
Quick Slide Margins – Part 2 – MS Excel
As a follow-up to the last issue, I thought it might be relevant to discuss quick margin adjustments in MS Excel.
As with Word, you can set margins in the Page Setup (under the File menu) on the Margins tab.
Works well—but, as you may already know, in Excel you have to go to the Print Preview to take a look… Continue reading
Close It Up In A Hurry
Here’s another piece of information for the function key enthusiasts.
I checked this one out in MS Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Access and found success in all four.
Here’s the deal…
Just a couple more tricks to put on your keyboard list.… Continue reading
Quick Slide Margins In MS Word
Just picture it—you just finished working on a document that you really need as a one-page memo. Unfortunately, it ran over to page two.
What do you do?
One solution is to adjust margins.
So… some of you go to the File menu, Page Setup choice, Margins tab, make your adjustments, then click OK.
Sounds good—but when you return to your document you find… Continue reading
Here’s a quick tip for my readers who love to use the function keys. It turns out that the F12 key is very versatile in MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Interested in its abilities?
Was that a “yes” I heard?
Good, so let’s take a look at its uses.
Playing The “Shifty Cell” Game
Have you ever found yourself happily working in a large MS Excel worksheet only to discover that you need some cells in the middle of the thing?
You’d add rows or columns, but that will mess with everything else in the worksheet. (You know—data way off yonder in the far reaches of the worksheet will suddenly be displaced causing mass chaos in the middle of… Continue reading
The Wonders Of F2 In MS Excel
When you’re working in Excel and you need to edit something that is already in a cell what do you do?
Do you click on the cell, then click into the formula bar to edit the contents?
Sounds like a lot of clicking?
Yeah, it did to me too.
For people who don’t really care for their mouse, it can turn into a… Continue reading
Here’s the situation: you have a really great MS PowerPoint presentation—it covers “everything”. It’s a masterpiece, if you do say so yourself.
Now you need a slightly different presentation—this one should cover only part of the “masterpiece” mentioned above.
What do you do?
You could simply skip through the unneeded slides while giving the presentation. Not a very slick or wonderful way to do it—distracting for the audience—definitely not your… Continue reading
Templates, Templates, Templates
I often get requests from readers for templates. You know, where they can they download templates for use with the MS Office Suite.
Now, while I’m sure there are many places you can look—many people don’t seem to know that you can download quite a few directly from the Microsoft site.
Next time you’re looking for some sort of template of anything, give this a click.
Need A Date?
If you use one of the major word processing programs, you have the ability to place a date into any document you’re working on. Here’s how to do it with a some of the more popular ones:
In MS Word, WordPerfect, or Windows WordPad:
Just click the Insert menu and select Date & Time…
A screen will pop up that gives you a host of different date… Continue reading
Someone e-mailed me an MS Works file. Can I open it in MS Word?
Word can open a Works file, no problem. Save the file to disk then go to Word. Click the little Open button on the toolbar and make sure Word is set to look for either all files or Works files. Once you locate the file, double-click to open .
Remember, a good… Continue reading
Get Into Style
Did you know that MS Word can get you in style with just a few clicks?
Well, good news—it can.
(Bad news—it’s style for your text and has nothing to do with the latest fashions. Sorry, no free shopping trips.)
But… back to the good news.
The first thing we need to discuss is a very good question.
What is a style in MS Word?
To… Continue reading
For My Eyes Only
Have you ever been in a situation where you’re working on sensitive material in MS Excel and someone walks up behind you?
What do you do?
Do you quickly minimize the entire program?
Yeah, I’ve done that too. But what if you need Excel to work on something else with the person who came in?
You could go through the hassle of closing and saving the… Continue reading