Tame your computer – open another window

29 Jun

Would it be helpful to be able to move one of your browser tabs to a new window so that you can display it next to another window? In Internet Explorer you can press CTRL + N to open your current tab in a new window, but that will leave the original tab open as well. So why not move it to a new window and display it next to any other window?

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the tab and drag it downwards.
  2. Press WIN + right arrow or WIN + left arrow to “snap” the window to the right or left.
  3. Click in any other window of any of your open applications and press WIN + right arrow or WIN + left to display the windows side by side.

By the way, if you keep pressing the same keyboard combination, your window will go round in circles.  I cannot test this out as I don’t have two monitors, but apparently it even cycles through both monitors.

 

Tame your computer – try tracking tricks

11 Jun

Do you track who changes what and where in your documents, using Word’s Track Changes functionality? Even if you are the only person working on the text, this can be an extremely useful tool!

You might have noticed that deletions and comments are, by default, displayed in balloons in the margins of the document. But if you prefer you can change the settings to show deletions with strikethroughs and comments inline as “ScreenTips”.

Here’s how:

  1. On the Review tab, in the Tracking group, click Show Markup.
  2. Point to Balloons.
  3. Click Show All Revisions Inline.

If you want, you can even make this your default setting.

Here’s how:

  1. On the Review tab, in the Tracking group, click on the Track Changes drop-down arrow (not on the button itself).
  2. Click on Change Tracking Options.
  3. Select Never from the Use Balloons (Print and Web Layout) drop-down list, or – if you prefer – Only for comments/formatting.
  4. Press ENTER or click OK.

With thanks to Caroline for this week’s tip inspiration.

Tame your computer – picture perfect

25 May

Not so long ago I was helping a client update her PowerPoint presentation. We had used one of the SmartArt Graphics that can contain pictures, but wanted to reposition the photo … more head, less body. The right-clickers among you might intuitively try Size and Position, but that applies to the placeholder, not the picture itself. But don’t despair – you can get access to the photo.

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the picture in the SmartArt.
  2. Click on the Picture Tools Format tab.
  3. Click on the Crop button.
  4. To resize the picture, drag any of the corner sizing handles, so that both the height and width change and you won’t end up with a distorted photo.
  5. To reposition the picture, make sure you have a 4-headed arrow cursor and drag the picture to the desired location. Hold down the SHIFT key to “snap” the picture to a perfect horizontal or vertical “grid”.
  6. Click anywhere outside the placeholder to “confirm” the change.

With thanks to Miranda for this week’s tip inspiration.

Related tips:
Tip 501: Change the emphasis of a SmartArt graphic by changing its direction (tip_501.php)
Tip 355: Tweak your SmartArt graphics (tip_355.php)
Tip 268: convert an existing bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic (tip_268.php)

Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.

Tame your computer – simple scheduling

9 May

Some time ago I wrote a tip on how to reply to a message with a meeting request, inviting everyone who was on the To line in the original message as “Required Attendees”, and everyone on the Cc line as “Optional Attendees”.

One of the steps is to click on the Scheduling button, but as I often notice people do not use this great functionality, missing out on a convenient way to check the availability of all those you want to invite, I felt a separate tip was justified. (And – to be honest – also because the other day I did what I often do …thinking I had sent a meeting request, only to find I had entered it as an appointment, forgetting to invite anybody else.)

Here’s how:

  1. Open the Calendar and click on the New Meeting button. (Or press CTRL + 2 followed by CTRL + N.)
  2. Click on the Scheduling Assistant button.
  3. Click in the box under your own name which reads Click here to add a name and type the name of the (first) person you want to attend the meeting.
  4. If necessary, press CTRL + K  or click on the Check Names button to make sure that it is possible to send the meeting request to the person you specified.
  5. Repeat step 3 and 4 for all remaining attendees.

Depending on the setup of your network, a Scheduling diagram might show the availability and busy times of all attendees.

  1. If free/busy data can be retrieved, select the desired date and time from the Suggested times box underneath the Date Navigator. Alternatively, drag the green and red borders in the Scheduling diagram to a suitable new date and time where everyone is available.
  2. Click on the Appointment button and add a subject, location and any additional information, such links to the agenda stored on a shared drive and/or other reading material (rather than attachments).
  3. Click on the Send button.

By the way, do you add reminders as appointments in your Outlook calendar? If so, be aware they go in as “Busy” (dark blue) which means that people might think you’re not available for a meeting they are trying to organise. If you used the appointment to set aside time to get your work done or to have dedicated time to clean-out and archive messages, update tasks, and adjust your schedule … excellent diary management! Otherwise, you might be better off using Outlook Tasks.

That’s it for this week! If there are topics that you’d like to see covered in future items, please let me know.

Related tips:
Tip 412: Respond to an e-mail message with a meeting request
Tip 350: Set a date using  plain English
Tip 297: Quickly book appointments or meetings longer than half an hour
Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.

Tame your computer – slick ways to add slides

14 Apr

When you open PowerPoint, a slide appears with two “placeholders” – one for a title and one for a subtitle. There are various ways to add additional slides and they might be faster than your current method.

Here’s how:

  • Click on the New Slide button in the Slides group on the Home tab.

OR

  • In the slide pane on the left, click where you want to add a slide and press ENTER.

OR

  • Press CTRL + M.

The new slide in your presentation contains “placeholders” that you can use to build your layout, such as a bulleted list, table, charts, SmartArt graphics, pictures, movies and sound. You can select a different layout that might better accommodate the content that you plan to add to the slide by clicking on the Layout button in the Slides group on the Home tab. If you use the first option described above you can also do this “on the fly”, making sure you click on the drop-down arrow, not the New Slide button itself. Any subsequent slides will automatically get the layout from the previous slide.

There are obviously other ways that you can add slides to your presentation, such as copy (CTRL + C) and paste (CTRL + V) or duplicate selected slides (CTRL + D). And you can also quickly import slides from other presentations, but let’s make that the content for a future tip.

Related tips:
Tip 228: Convert your Word documents to PowerPoint presentations

Tip 268: Convert an existing bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic

Tame your computer – jump to it

21 Mar

Back in 2009 I wrote a tip on how to close a window without clicking in the upper-right corner … simply press CTRL + W.

Ever since then,  it’s been one of my favourite shortcuts, but I’ve noticed I’m sometimes a bit trigger-happy and end up closing browser tabs I didn’t mean to close.

So today’s tip is another great shortcut to reopen the last closed tab – and jump to it.

Here’s how:

1.       Press CTRL + SHIFT + T

If you don’t like keyboard shortcuts or prefer to use your mouse, simply right-click one of the remaining tabs and select Reopen closed tab (Chrome) or Reopen closed window (Internet Explorer) or Undo Close Tab (Firefox).

Related tips:

Tip # 264: Find websites you visited in the past

Tip # 265: Switching between multiple browser tabs

Tip # 272: Close a window without clicking in the upper-right corner

Tip # 339: Different ways to close your browser tabs

Tame your computer – deal with dates

14 Mar

When you enter a date such as 4/3 in Excel,  the default date format is 04-Mar. You can quickly reformat it using the drop-down button in the Number group on the Home tab and select Short Date or Long Date, but what if you also want to display the day? For example, Tuesday 14 March 2017? Some people use the Text Function to in a separate column (=TEXT(A1,”ddd”) but there is a way to format dates to include the day of the week.

Here’s how:

  1. Right-click the cell containing the date(s) or the whole column.
  2. Select Format Cells from the menu.
  3. If necessary (probably not) display the Number tab.
  4. Select the Custom option in the Category box.
  5. In the Type box, double-click on the word General and type the custom format of your choice. (Mine is ddd dd mmmm yyyy.)
  6. Press ENTER or click OK

Herewith some other options you might like to try out in step 5  … to get Tuesday 12 December 2017 when you type 12/12, set the Custom format as dddd dd mmmm yyyy. Or if you prefer to see it as Tue 12/12/17 try out ddd dd/mm/yy. The underlying date you typed won’t change and can be checked by looking in the Formula Bar.

Related tips:
Display your numbers with leading zeros : http://roem.co.uk/tip_193.html
Convince Excel you want to type July 2010 : http://roem.co.uk/tip_313.php
Save time entering dates : http://roem.co.uk/tip_442.php