Archive | February, 2013

Tame your computer – another chart topper!

23 Feb

Back in the dark ages I wrote a tip about how to quickly insert a chart in Excel. Thanks to a course participant who omitted one of the steps I asked the group to do, we found out – by accident – that it can be even quicker!

Here’s how:

  1. Click anywhere in the data that is to be turned into a chart.
  2. Press F11 .

So unless you want to present only part of your data in your worksheet as a chart, there is no need to first select the cells.

Tame your computer – make light of lists

16 Feb

Somebody recently asked me whether it was possible to create a distribution list from a single e-mail, addressed to a whole group of people. Well, Outlook 2010 has a nifty little feature that can help.

Here’s how:

  1. Open the e-mail message as normal, and right-click on any of the recipients.
  2. Choose the Select All option from the drop-down menu.
  3. Copy the selected recipients (they should all be highlighted), as normal. (CTRL+C, anyone?)
  4. Press CTRL+SHIFT+L (or, if you really want, close the e-mail message, open your Contacts and create a new contact group, the Outlook 2010 name for distribution lists).
  5. Click on the Add Members button and select From Address Book. (I know that doesn’t sound right, but bear with me.)
  6. Right-click in the field next to the Members button and select Paste.
  7. Press OK.
  8. Give your distribution list (aka Contact Group) a suitable name and click the Save & Close button.

This tip won’t work in Outlook 2003 or 2007 as step 3 copies the names, not the e-mail addresses.

Tame your computer – snappy screen snippets

10 Feb

Have you ever tried to copy, e-mail or print just part of a busy website full of pictures and adverts? Or perhaps you want to take a screenshot of an error message to send it to your help desk? Well, PrtSc still works but Windows 7’s Snipping Tool lets you quickly isolate exactly those parts of the page you want to share and gets rid of the rest.

Here’s how:

  1. Launch the Snipping Tool. (If you cannot find it in the Start menu, simply type Snipping Tool – or snip – in the search box. See if you don’t know about this functionality.)
  2. If necessary, click on the down arrow next to New and select your favourite snipping tool. (Mine is Rectangular Snip and best of all, it seems to remember that.)
  3. Drag the cursor around the area you want to capture. (Each snipping tool has a different cursor. Rectangular Snip is shown as a white cross so step 2 might not be necessary if you look out for what cursor you see.)

As the snip is automatically copied to the Clipboard you can immediately paste it in any of your favourite programs, as normal. (CTRL+V anyone?) Alternatively, you can edit, save or share it. For example, click on the down arrow next to the envelope and select E-mail Recipient (as attachment) and send it to yourself so you can easily print it.

By the way, if you or your organisation recently upgraded to Windows 7 and you feel you are not taking advantage of its new and improved features, then come along to our next half day course in Cambridge planned for the morning of 22 April. (See Unlike other training providers who often cancel scheduled courses due to lack of registrations, we respect the fact that people make special arrangements in their personal and professional lives for attending a course. So once your booking is confirmed, the course is guaranteed to run. Alternatively, we can help with roll-out training programmes in your office.

Tame your computer – meet the Document Inspector

3 Feb

In one of my recent tips I described how to remove tracked changes. But as Bart Pattyn quite rightly pointed out (thanks, Bart!) you can also ask the “Document Inspector” to find and remove all unwanted comments and revisions, so that you do not accidentally send or store a document with potentially confidential or private remarks in it.

The Document Inspector displays a summary of its results and gives you the chance to remove anything it found.

Here’s how:

  1. Make a copy of the document you want to inspect for tracked changes, because it isn’t always possible to restore the text that the Document Inspector removes. (Remember F12?)
  2. In Word 2007, click on the Microsoft Office button, point to Prepare, and click on Inspect Document. In Word 2010, select Info from the File tab, click on Check for Issues button and select Inspect Document.
  3. Uncheck any items you do not want checked.
  4. Click on the Inspect button.
  5. Review the inspection results and click on the Remove All button next to each relevant item.
  6. Click on the Reinspect or Close button.

OK, you cannot use this to accept or reject proposed changes, but it’s a quick final check and best of all, it switches off the Track Changes functionality for you.