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MS-Office Tips

Are you using Microsoft's Office suite applications as effectively as you could?

I'll be regularly publishing a new tip to enable you to get the most out of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

Come back and visit regularly and become an expert!

Top Tips

Searching for programs, files or folders in Windows 7
To quickly find a program, file or folder, click the Start button and enter the name in the Search programs and files box. A list of programs, files, pictures and folders containing the text you have entered will be displayed. Simply click on the required item to open it.

Added: 06 Jul 2012

Re-using a slide in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010
Do you often need to use slides from a previous presentation and find yourself copying and pasting them? Try this way instead:
   - Click the down arrow on the New Slide button (on the Home tab of the Ribbon) and select       Reuse Slides.
   - Select Browse and Browse file.
   - Navigate to the file containing the slide to be reused.
   - If required, tick the Keep source formatting check box.
   - Select the required slide(s) and they will be added to your presentation.

Added: 08 Jun 2012

Expanding the Formula bar in Excel 2007 and 2010
If you are working with long formulas or entering a lot of text into a cell, the Formula bar can be expanded to make it easier to view and edit the data. Simply click the downward pointing arrow (the Expand formula bar button) on the right of the Formula bar.

Added: 25 Apr 2012

To return the Formula bar to its original size, click the upward pointing arrow (the Collapse formula bar button).

Alternatively, click on the lower edge of the Formula bar and drag it to the required size.

Creating a custom ribbon tab in Office 2010
In earlier versions of Office, it was possible to customise the toolbars. In Office 2007, the toolbars were changed to a Ribbon with tabs, but these couldn’t be customised. Now, in Office 2010, the Ribbon can be customised by creating a new tab (or tabs):
   - Right click on the Ribbon and select Customise the Ribbon.
   - Click on the New Tab button.
   - Select the New Tab (Custom) that appears in the list and click on the Rename button.
   - Enter a name for the new tab and click on OK.
   - To create a group, select the New group (custom) within your new tab and click on
   - Enter a name for the new group and click on OK.
   - To add a button to the group, select the command from the list on the left and click on
      Add button.
   - Once you have finished customising the ribbon, click on OK.
Note: The Ribbon has to be customised separately in each of the applications.

Added: 26 Mar 2012

Want to include a screenshot in Office 2010 - and quickly?
The Screenshot option in Office 2010 enables you to quickly insert a screenshot of any window open on your computer into the current document, spreadsheet, email or slide.
   - In Word, Excel, Outlook or PowerPoint 2010, select the Insert tab and select
   - The windows you have open will be displayed. Simply click on the screenshot to
   - If required, the screenshot can be resized using the Picture Tools Format tab that will
      also be displayed.
   - You can even save the screenshot by right clicking on the image and selecting Save as

Added: 16 Jan 2012

Using SmartArt in Office 2007 and 2010
Would you like to be able to represent data in the form of a graphic - and do it quickly and easily? Now you can, using the new SmartArt graphics available in Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Using SmartArt, you can quickly create a graphical list, flow chart, cycle diagram or organisation chart.
   - In Word, PowerPoint or Excel 2007 or 2010, select the Insert ribbon and select
   - Select a category from the list on the left and an option in the middle panel. The right
      hand panel gives a description of the chosen option.
   - Click OK.
   - Enter the required text then click elsewhere on the screen to view the SmartArt.

Added: 03 Jan 2012

Sparklines in Excel 2010
A Sparkline (a small line or column chart that fits into a cell) is a brilliant way to quickly and easily represent data trends visually.
   - Click into the cell, or highlight the range of cells, where you want to insert the
   - From the Insert tab, select Line or Column from the Sparklines group.
   - Select the Data range you want to use to create the Sparkline and click OK.
   - Use the options on the Sparkline Tools Design tab to format the Sparkline and you are

Added: 24 Nov 2011

Create a video of your presentation in PowerPoint 2010
Do you need to send a PowerPoint 2010 presentation to someone who doesn't have PowerPoint on their computer, or in a format that the recipient cannot change? A new feature in PowerPoint 2010 allows you to save a presentation as a video (Windows Media Video (.wmv) file). Bear in mind, however, that it can take a while to create the video, depending on the length and content of the presentation.
   - Create your presentation, including any animation, and Save it in the usual way.
   - From the File tab, select Save & Send and select Create a video.
   - Click the down arrow next to Computer & HD displays and select as required.
   - Click the down arrow next to Don't use recorded timings and narrations and select as       required.
   - Click Create video.
   - Browse to the folder where you want to save the video, enter a file name and click Save.

Added: 31 Oct 2011

Colour code sheet tabs in Excel 2007 and 2010
Colour coding sheet tabs can help you quickly identify a specific sheet or sheets.
   - Right click on the sheet tab you want to apply colour to.
   - Select Tab colour and select the required colour.
You can colour code multiple sheet tabs at the same time by selecting the all the required tabs before choosing the colour - see my previous tip on selecting sheets in Excel for more details.

Added: 10 Oct 2011

Selecting multiple sheets in Excel
There may be times when you want to enter the same data or apply the same formatting on multiple sheets in a workbook. To do this:
   - To select a number of consecutive sheets in a workbook, click once on the first sheet       tab, hold down the Shift key and select the last sheet tab.
   - To select non-consecutive sheets in a workbook, click once on the first sheet tab, hold       down the CTRL key and select the other sheet tab(s).
   - To select all sheets in a workbook, right click on any sheet tab and click Select all       sheets.

Added: 30 Sep 2011

View the Desktop in Windows 7
Imagine this. You have Word, Excel, Outlook, and perhaps other programs open and you want to open or view something on your Desktop. It is tiresome to close or minimise all those applications. Instead, just hover the mouse over the rectangle in the far right of the Task Bar at the bottom of the screen (the Show Desktop icon) to view the Desktop, or click on it to move to the Desktop.

Added: 13 Sep 2011

To go back to the open windows, simply click on the Show Desktop icon again.

Copy animations in PowerPoint 2010 using the Animation Painter
Have you ever applied animation to an object or text in PowerPoint and then wanted to use the same animation on other objects or text? Well, in PowerPoint 2010, you can quickly and easily copy animations using the Animation Painter.
   - Click on the object/text that you have already applied animation to.
   - Select the Animations tab.
   - Click once on the Animation Painter icon in the Advanced Animation group.

Added: 26 Aug 2011

   - Click onto the object/text you want to copy the animation to. The object/text is now
     formatted with the same animation.
And even better, double clicking on the Animation Painter enables you to keep copying the animation to other objects/text. Just remember to click back on the Animation Painter to turn it off when you have finished.

Create a page break in Word
The old ones are sometimes the best! To quickly create a new page in Word, simply hold down the Ctrl key and press Return/Enter on the keyboard. You now have a new page.

Added: 09 Aug 2011

Remove a name from the Auto-Complete list in Outlook 2007 and 2010
When you send an email to someone, Outlook remembers the email address and suggests it each time you start typing the name of that person in the To or cc field. This is known as Auto-Complete and is usually really helpful. But is it always? Perhaps you are no longer in contact with that person or they have changed their email address.
In Outlook 2007, you can use the down arrow key to move to the name you no longer want in the Auto-Complete list and press the Delete key to remove it from the list.
In Outlook 2010, it is even easier. You will see an X next to the name - just click the X to delete that Auto-Complete entry.

Added: 26 July 2011

Add a new worksheet in Excel 2007 and 2010:
To quickly add a new worksheet to a workbook, simply click the Insert worksheet tab to the right of any existing sheets - or press Shift F11 on the keyboard.

Added: 04 July 2011

Previewing attachments in Outlook 2007 or 2010:
If you have received an attachment from someone, you can quickly Preview it without actually opening the file. To do this:
   - Open the email message and click once on the attachment.
   - Select Preview file.
Note: use Preview only if you trust the sender of the email!

Added: 20 June 2011

Smart Tags in Office 2007 and 2010:
Smart Tags in Office 2007 and 2010 make it easy for you to complete some of the most common tasks. For example, when you copy and paste in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, a Smart Tag will offer paste options relevant to the application.
When you see the Smart Tag, click the down arrow next to the button and select an option from the list.

Added: 08 June 2011

Viewing two applications side-by-side in Windows 7:
If you are working with, for example, both Word and Excel and want to be able to move or copy items between the two applications, you can use the Snap feature to view the application side-by-side.
   - Open and minimise the two applications.
   - Click the Title bar of one application window and drag it to the left of the screen until       the cursor hits the edge of the screen.
   - Click the Title bar of the second application window and drag it to the right of the       screen until the cursor hits the edge of the screen.
To re-expand a window to take up the whole screen, click the Title bar and drag it to the top of the screen, or double click on the Title bar.

Added: 23 May 2011

Page Layout view in Excel 2007 and 2010:
Do you use Print Preview to view your spreadsheet before printing to make sure the layout is what you want? Using the new Page Layout view in Excel 2007 and 2010, you can see how the spreadsheet will print while working on it at the same time - resizing columns, entering data and even adding a Header or Footer. To view your spreadsheet in this way, click the Page Layout view button in the bottom right of the screen or on the View ribbon.

Added: 16 May 2011

Instant search in Outlook 2007 and 2010:
How often do you need to find an email from someone or a Calendar appointment relating to a specific topic? And how long does it take you to find that item? The Search option in Outlook 2007 and 2010 makes it so much easier.
In the Mail window (or the Calendar, Contacts or Tasks window) enter what you are searching for into the Search box on the right hand side (this can be a person's name, a topic, even a word that appears in the email or in an attached file). The emails containing the search text will be displayed.

Added: 10 May 2011

Customise the Quick Access Toolbar:
Have you just started using Office 2007 or 2010 and found that the commands you use all the time aren't immediately available (Open, New, Print, etc.)? The answer is to customize the Quick Access Toolbar - the mini toolbar in the top left of the screen.
The Quick Access Toolbar initially holds just three buttons: Save, Undo and Repeat. To add other buttons, click the down arrows to the right of the toolbar and click on the command you want to add.
But the option you want isn't listed there? Simply find the command on the relevant Ribbon, right click on the button and select Add to Quick Access Toolbar. How easy is that!
Changes made to the Quick Access Toolbar are saved for next time, but the toolbar needs to be customized specifically for each program you use, e.g. Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.

Added: 08 Apr 2011

Pin a program to the Taskbar or Start menu in Windows 7:
So you've used the Snipping Tool (or other program) and want to use it regularly? To save you from locating the program from the Start Menu each time, why not pin it to the Taskbar or Start Menu.
Locate the Snipping Tool (or other program) from the Start button (All Programs, Accessories). Right click on the program and select Pin to Taskbar and/or Pin to Start Menu. The program will then always be available to open quickly.

Added: 06 Mar 2011

Take a copy of anything on your screen in Windows 7:
The Snipping Tool in Windows 7 enables you to copy anything on your screen and then save, copy, share or annotate the image.
Open the Snipping Tool from the Start button (All Programs, Accessories). Click the down arrow next to the New button and select a snip type from the menu. Then click and drag around the area you want to snip. You can Save or Copy the snip, Send it by email or annotate it using the Pen.
This is a brilliant way to take screenshots or copy part of an image.

Added: 19 Feb 2011

Quickly create an appointment in your Outlook Calendar from an email:
If you receive, or send, an email containing details that you need for an upcoming appointment, you can quickly create the appointment in your Calendar … containing the details of the email.
First, make sure the Navigation Pane is displayed. To do this, select the View menu and select Navigation pane. Then, click on the email in your Inbox or Sent Items and drag it onto the Calendar area on the Navigation Pane. An appointment will be created containing the email details. Just set up the Start Time and End Time, amend the Subject line if required, and click Save and Close.

Added: 28 Jan 2011

Quickly minimise multiple windows in Windows 7:
To instantly minimise all windows except the one you are working on, click on the title bar of the window you want to keep open and move the mouse from side to side. This is known as 'shake' or 'aero shake'. NB - any maximised windows will not be minimised.

Added: 20 Dec 2010

Hide the ribbon in Office 2010:
Need more space on your screen when working in Word, Excel or PowerPoint?
   - Press Ctrl+F1 or
   - Click the minimise the ribbon button (^) in the top right corner of the screen
To get the ribbon back, press Ctrl+F1 again or click the (v) button.

Added: 03 Dec 2010

Quickly change line spacing in Word:
To quickly change the line spacing of a paragraph in Word, select the text you want to change and then:
   - For single-space lines, press Ctrl+1
   - For double-space lines, press Ctrl+2
   - For 1.5-line spacing, press Ctrl+5

Added: 22 Nov 2010

Create an Excel chart using just one key:
To quickly create a chart in Excel, select the data you want to plot and press the F11 key. Excel automatically creates the chart for you.

Added: 13 Nov 2010

Repeat your most recent action:
For repetitive formatting tasks, use the F4 key. This repeats the most recent action, whether it was adding a border, applying bold formatting to a selected word, or inserting a file or picture.

Added: 01 Nov 2010

Excel shortcuts:
To copy data from the cell above - hold the CTRL key down and press ' (apostrophe).
To insert the current date - hold the CTRL key down and press ; (semi-colon).
To insert the current time - hold the CTRL and SHIFT keys down and press ; (semi-colon).

Added: 25 Oct 2010

Page break: To quickly insert a page break, hold the CTRL key down and press the ENTER key.

Added: 18 Oct 2010

Field update: Select the field you want to update, then press F9.

Added: 11 Oct 2010

Copy and paste: Select what you want to copy; hold the CTRL key down and press the C key to copy; position the cursor where you want to insert; hold the CTRL key down and press the V key to paste.

Added: 4 Oct 2010

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