Archive | October, 2012

Tame your computer – throw some shapes

27 Oct

Have you ever had the need to place, say, three or more rectangles in your PowerPoint presentation, all with exactly the same formatting and align them horizontally and/or vertically? Obviously, you can draw your first shape. Then copy it. Then use PowerPoint’s align option. But did you know you can do all of this on the fly, using the magic SHIFT key?

Here’s how:

  1. Insert and format the shape, as normal.
  2. Select the shape and while holding down the CTRL and SHIFT key, drag it vertically or horizontally.

Straight lines guaranteed!

Tame your computer – seeking closure?

21 Oct

With the release of Internet Explorer (IE) 7, we all had to get used to “tabbed browsing”, which means you can have multiple websites open in a single browser window. Although this results in fewer items open on the taskbar, I know that there are some neat and tidy people out there that want to close tabs as they go along.

Here’s how:

  1. Press CTRL+W. OR
  2. Click the X on the tab. OR
  3. If you have a mouse with a wheel, click the tab you want to close with the middle mouse button. OR
  4. Right-click on the tab and select Close.

Try them out and find the one you like best!

By the way, if you hate tabbed browsing, you can turn it off.

Here’s how:

  1. If necessary, press ALT+T to display the menus.
  2. Select the Tools menu, followed by Internet Options.
  3. On the General tab, in the Tabs section, click Settings.
  4. Untick the Enable Tabbed Browsing check box.
  5. Click OK twice.
  6. Close and open Internet Explorer.

From now on every webpage will open in a new Internet Explorer window, like it used to do many, many moons ago.

Tame your computer – PowerPoint rehearsal time!

13 Oct

Research shows that the Number One fear among adults is public speaking. But as we know, practice makes perfect so if you need to give a presentation, rehearse it until you’re happy with it. If you are using PowerPoint to support your talk – remember, PowerPoint is there for your audience’s benefit, not yours! – you will need to rehearse the timing of your presentation to make sure that it fits within the given time frame.  While you rehearse, you can use the Rehearse Timings feature to record the time that you need to present each slide.

Here’s how:

  1.  (In PowerPoint 2007) On the Slide Show tab, in the Set Up group, click Rehearse Timings. OR
    (In PowerPoint 2003) In Normal view or in Slide Sorter view, choose the Slide Show, Rehearse Timings command, or click on the Rehearse Timings button on the Slide Sorter toolbar.
  2. Click the mouse button to move from one slide to the next, until all slides of your presentation have been displayed. Make sure that you display each slide long enough for all the information to be conveyed and/or read by your audience.
  3. In the prompt box that appears when the slide show is completed, click on the Yes button to save the slide timings or click on the No button if you do not want to save the timings.

After adding timings to your slides, you can still manually advance to the next slide during a slide show, as you would normally do.

Tame your computer – heading hints

8 Oct

When you work with a very long table that spans several pages, you may find that headers become badly  divided between the pages. For example, have you ever copied the header of the first row in the first row on the next page? Only to find that the next amendment you make results in this first row on the second page no longer being the first row and ending up at the bottom of page one? Well, Word has a great feature that will control this for you.

Here’s how:

  1. Select the row(s) you want to repeat as a heading on every page. (This must include the first row  of the table.)
  2. On the Table Tools Layout tab, click Repeat Header Rows. (In Word 2003 the Heading Rows Repeat functionality can be found on the Table menu.)

The headings will not be repeated if you insert a manual page break within the table. So this week’s bonus  tip is how to use page breaks in a table, yet still repeat a table heading on every page.

  1. Move the insertion point to where you want to force a new page.
  2. Click on the Paragraph dialog box launcher in the lower right corner of the Paragraph group on the Home tab.
  3. Click on the Line and Page Breaks tab.
  4. Click on Page break before.
  5. Click on the OK button.

With thanks to Ian for asking the question during the recent Word training session.