Archive | January, 2013

Tame your computer – zippity zoom

26 Jan

Have you ever struggled to get your browser’s “zoom” level back to normal? Perhaps you (accidentally) used your mouse wheel to zoom in or out (see tip 180 if you were unaware of this functionality) and don’t know how to reset it back to the default view?

Here’s how:

  1. Press CTRL+0 (NOTE: The zero does not work if you use the numeric keypad of your keyboard.)

Yep, that’s all there’s to it. So let’s throw in a bonus tip… to increase your zoom by 10% press CTRL++ (you can keep pressing that keyboard combination until you have magnified your page to what you want it to be).

To decrease the zoom by 10%, press CTRL+-. And yes, you guessed it: keep pressing that Control and the Minus sign to shrink your page.

By the way, I’ve tested this in Internet Explorer and Firefox, but it probably also works in other browsers.

Tame your computer – colour your world

20 Jan

In Windows 7, transparency is enabled by default, allowing you to have a quick peek at your desktop or gadgets. Because I still seem to be in the habit of double-clicking in the window’s title bar to maximize to a full-size window (even though I know the new way by pressing the Windows key + up arrow) this blurred bit around the window borders drives me crazy as I keep clicking in the wrong area.

So you might, for whatever reason, want to disable the “glass effect”.
Here’s how:

  1. Click on the Start button or press the Windows (WIN) key and type glass in the Search box.
  2. Select the Enable or disable glass on windows option.
  3. Untick the Enable transparency check box.
  4. If you want, change the colour of your window borders, Start menu and taskbar. (Mine are obviously orange! 😉
  5. Click the Save changes button.

By the way, if you cannot find this feature, it means you are using a version of Windows 7 which does not have “Aero Transparency” included.

Finally, if you want to find out how to make the best use of Windows 7 ‘s wealth of new and improved features, sign up for the next “What’s new in Windows 7” course which takes place on February 18th at the Sun House, Queen Edith’s Way, Cambridge. This course is just half a day because I know that a great deal can be accomplished in just a few hours. After all, how many pointless meetings last this long? 😉

Tame your computer – filter your fancies

11 Jan

Have you ever had the need to print your records in Access in a fancier format than the datasheet view of the Table or Query? If so, you hopefully know about Reports. (If not, book a course! 😉 Not only can you arrange and format the Report’s printout the way you want, but you can also group, sort and include totals and percentages. But there is something else…

Last month one of my “old” course participants and subsequent tip subscriber (Caroline Flood of Arena Structures) told me about the new Report filter options, introduced in Access 2007. Rather than having to base a Report on a Query in order to get a subset of your data, you can now dynamically filter a Report and print off just the information you need.

Here’s how:

  1. Create your Report as normal.
  2. Right-click anywhere in the report and select Report View.
  3. Right-click the text, number or date you want to filter.
  4. Use the pre-defined contextual options from the drop-down list, or build a filter using the Number Filters, Text Filters or Date Filters conditions.

The filtered report can be printed, as normal. To clear the filter, simply right-click the filtered field and select Clear filter. When you close the Report the filter is not saved.

Tame your computer – pimp your chart

6 Jan

When you create a column or bar chart,  its elements are filled with solid colours. But sometimes it could be appropriate to draw attention to the information that is presented by using a picture. For example, you could use a photo of a badger to demonstrate the badger population. (With thanks to Ruth and Christina of the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire for the inspiration!)

Here’s how:

  1. Right-click the vertical or horizontal bar you want to change and select Format Data Series.
  2. In the left pane click on Fill and select the Picture or texture fill radio button. (In Office 2003 you will need to click on the Fill Effects button.)
  3. Click on the File button, navigate to the picture you want to insert and double-click it.
  4. If preferred, select the Stack radio button.
  5. Click Close.

By the way, don’t forget that in Excel you can create a chart in a hurry by selecting the range containing the data that is to appear in the chart and pressing F11.