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Archive for the ‘MS Office Help’ Category

Case Sensitive Sorts

Friday, January 6th, 2006

Case Sensitive Sorts

Do you sort a lot of data in MS Excel? Ever find that you have case sensitive data (part numbers, account numbers, etc.) that just don’t seem to sort properly? Does Excel ignore upper and lower case and sort purely on letter content? Is this a problem for you?

If it is, then it seems to me that you do a lot of manual manipulation of your… Continue reading

Replace It With Something Beautiful

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

Many of you know that you can add to Word’s AutoCorrect “replace as you type” list. You know, the little gadget quietly using a preset list to automatically correct many common typos such as changing “teh” into “the”.

Well, a question came in from a reader who was looking to put specially formatted text into this list so that a simple


might be replaced with

color and all… Continue reading

From Another Workbook

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

From Another Workbook

Last week we discussed how to write Excel formulas that reference cells located on a different worksheet within your workbook. Well, the logical occurred – a reader wrote in inquiring about formulas that reference cells from a completely different workbook.

Good question – one that I immediately set out trying to answer and here’s what I found…

The easiest way to tackle this one is to let… Continue reading

Leave My Addresses Alone!

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

Leave My Addresses Alone!

Tired of the way your program (Excel, Word or PowerPoint) keeps changing all your web or email addresses into hyperlinks automatically?

Looking for a way to get these programs to stop it and behave themselves?

If you’ve been answering with yes responses then here’s just the thing for you.

What you have happening is the AutoCorrect feature of the program(s) is taking over each time it… Continue reading

3D Extreme

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

3D Extreme

On Monday we had a little fun with our files and went over the 3D button located on the Drawing Toolbar.

Well, that was the basics—ready for the rest?

Was that a “Yes” I heard?


Then lets get back to the fun of 3D objects.

When you selected your object and clicked on the 3D button did you notice the option of 3D Settings at the bottom?… Continue reading

From One Sheet To The Next

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

From One Sheet To The Next

Work with MS Excel a lot? Do you use multiple sheets inside the same workbook?

Have you ever found yourself trying to reference a value from a worksheet other than the one you’re currently working with?

I’d bet that you noticed a problem when you tried the same old formula… if you need the value from cell B2 from sheet 1 in a formula… Continue reading

Anchor Your Word Selection

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Anchor Your Word Selection

Many of you may know that the F8 key will anchor the cursor for highlighting in MS Word. It’s a great trick that allows for text highlighting using only directional keys (arrows, page up/down) or a click of the mouse. It’s something that can really help people who aren’t so savvy when it comes to highlighting text in a document while holding down a multiple-key combination… Continue reading

The Power of T

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

The Power of T

When you’re working in MS PowerPoint do you make multiple changes to the text font… such as font type, size, color, style, shadow effect, etc?

Do you prefer to make these changes in a “one-stop” place where all the selections are together instead of spread out among several different buttons, color palettes and lists?

If this suits your preferences then you’ve probably discovered PowerPoint’s Font dialogue… Continue reading

3D Fun

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Do you constantly find yourself looking for a way to “jazz up” a document, presentation or worksheet?

Most of you already know that you can use the Drawing Toolbar’s AutoShape feature to create simple shapes for emphasis.

Maybe something like this:

Look familiar?

Yes, that’s right, it’s pretty much the shape used in the title but with one huge difference—that title is in a 3D form. Way more… Continue reading

Excel’s Name box

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Did you know…

… that Excel’s Name box isn’t always the Name box? (The box to the left of the Formula bar.)

Sounds crazy—I know—but it’s true.

Pay attention when you type in an equal sign (=) to start a formula.

Did you notice what happened?

A Function box replaces the Name box.

The Function box first displays the last used function.

If that’s not what you’re looking for… Continue reading

Help With Excel Formula Syntax

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Help With Excel Formula Syntax

So, you’re trying to use a formula in MS Excel but it’s been a while and you can’t quite remember the formatting to use when entering the cell references of the data. Hmm… what to do, what to do?

Well, if you’ve got a newer version of Excel (let’s say XP or newer) then the gentle reminder you need is closer than you think.

To… Continue reading

Fast Save = Bigger File Size?

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Fast Save = Bigger File Size?

Did you know that MS PowerPoint comes with a Fast Save option? In fact, PowerPoint has probably been using a Fast Save setting the whole time – so what exactly is it doing for you?

PowerPoint’s Fast Save “speeds up saving by recording only the changes in a presentation”. The good news is that your saves have been as fast as PowerPoint could offer… Continue reading

Quicker Custom Toolbars

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Quicker Custom Toolbars

If you have MS Office 2000 or newer you’re in for a real toolbar treat!

Have you ever noticed the little down arrow at the end of displayed toolbars?


Well then take a look… they’re sitting right there—plain as day—and they can bring some customizations down to a couple of clicks.

Click on one of the arrows.

What do you see?

Add or Remove… Continue reading

Another Quick Fix For The Eyes

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

Another Quick Fix For The Eyes

Tired of squinting when you read your email? Maybe someone sent you something that’s just too difficult to read “as is”.

Looking for a quick way to make the font larger without making the change permanent?

Let’s tap into yesterdays mouse scroll wheel technique to get this job done.

In MS Outlook, as well as Outlook Express, you will be happy to find that… Continue reading

Wrap It My Way – Permanently

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

Wrap It My Way – Permanently

Did you try yesterday’s MS Office tip concerning text wrapping around pictures? I bet you like how easy it makes wrapping text around those pictures and really embedding them within the document to produce such a professional-looking finished product. You’ve probably also figured out that it’s a bit of a pain to constantly tell Word how to behave with your pictures.

Did you find… Continue reading

Wrapped With Style

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

Wrapped With Style

Do you use a lot of pictures in your MS Word documents?

Hate the way they push the text around the document, often causing awkward looking gaps and layout problems?

How would you like a way to get the text and picture to “play together nicely”? You know, make them work in a way that doesn’t cause all the gaps and other problems.

Maybe even turn this… Continue reading

View Menu? Who Needs The View Menu?

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

View Menu? Who Needs The View Menu?

Well… actually, for many things, we all do—but here’s an idea that frees you from the menus, if only for a few seconds.

How many times have you gone to the View menu, Toolbars choice and then selected the toolbar you need to display? (Or for that matter, how many times have I referred to that process?)

In my opinion, too many times.… Continue reading

The Never-Disappearing Borders

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

The Never-Disappearing Borders

Ever run across a cell border in MS Excel that just wouldn’t disappear? I mean you’ve turned that border off over and over again and yet that crazy line is still there!

What now?

Is Excel broken?

Much to everyone’s relief, Excel is not broken you just happen to have more borders then you realize.

If you set cell borders to overlap then removing one… Continue reading

The AutoSum With More

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

The AutoSum With More

I’m sure we’re all aware of Excel’s handy little AutoSum button and the way it will quickly insert the formula to sum any range of data we happen to have lying around. But… wouldn’t it be nice if we could get it to do a little more than sums without a lot of extra work?

Good idea! Fortunately for all of us, AutoSum can be used… Continue reading

Managing Bulleted Lists

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

Use a lot of bulleted lists in MS PowerPoint? How about MS Word? Looking for quick ways to move items in your bulleted list without a cut / paste?

Or… maybe you’d like a way to promote and/or demote items in the list without all the extra work with the increase and decrease indent buttons.

Whatever your particular need, you’re sure to find something here that works for you!

First… Continue reading

AutoSum in Excel with just 2 keys

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

Sum It Up In Excel With Just 2 Keys?

Many of us are familiar with the AutoSum button in MS Excel.

It’s a handy little guy who will, with a single click, insert the formula for the sum of a column of data located just above whatever cell you currently have selected.

Those of you who prefer to use the keyboard for everything may be wondering if there’s an… Continue reading

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

Recurring Appointments

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

Over & Over Again

Do you use MS Outlook’s calendar feature? Do you have some appointments (such as weekly staff meetings or daily deadlines) that you repeatedly enter into your calendar?

Outlook can make the repetitive entries for you. To set an appointment as a recurring one, you should first open the appointment.

Now go to the Actions menu, Recurrence choice.

When the Appointment Recurrence window opens, you’ll have a… Continue reading

Data insertion and cell shifting in MS Excel

Thursday, November 10th, 2005

Insert Many Where There Was None

Do you do a lot of copy-paste or cut-paste moves in MS Excel? Tired of shifting cells around to make space for the stuff you need inserted into the middle of your current data set?

How would you like a way to get Excel to do the data shift for you? Excel can shift data at the same time it does the paste. Here’s… Continue reading

MSO Quick Mail option

Thursday, November 10th, 2005

Email It Quick

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… Continue reading

Right-click to drag-drop

Thursday, November 10th, 2005

Drag And Drop With A Right Click?

Yep, that’s what I said! Right click!

We often find ourselves moving text in MS Word with a quick drag and drop, but did you know that if you use a right click instead of a left click, Word will offer you far more than the usual move text thing?

Next time you want to move or even copy text simply follow these… Continue reading

Add Watermarks in MS Word and Adjust Them

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

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

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