Archive | September, 2013

Tame your computer – take the backstage view

26 Sep

Have you ever tried to squeeze a few last rows or columns onto a single page? If so, you may have used the Scale to Fit options on the Page Layout tab to reduce the size of the worksheet to better fit the printed page.  (For example, if you select 1 page in the Width box and in the Height box select Automatic, all columns will appear on one page, but the rows could still be more than one page.)

But as you typically spot you need to make these tweaks when doing a Print Preview, why not use the Scaling options from the “Backstage view”?

Here’s how:

  1. Press CTRL + P to open “Backstage view”, from where you can preview and print files and (best of all) set options.
  2. From the No Scaling drop-down list select one of the following:
  • Fit Sheet on One Page
  • Fit All Columns on One Page
  • Fit all Rows on One Page

For example, if you select Fit All Columns on One Page your columns will appear on one page, but the rows may extend to more than one page.  If you have more than one page you may want to print a specific row or column as your title on every page of a printed worksheet; click on the Print titles button available from the Page Layout tab and follow the steps as described in tip 148 . (For some mysterious reason you cannot use this functionality if you click Page Setup from the Backstage view.)

Tame your computer – adjust the bar

17 Sep

The total number of characters that a cell can contain is 32,767. That’s a lot and it can therefore sometimes be tricky to read or edit text. Although you can use the up or down arrows at the end of the formula bar to cycle through the content, line by line, it might be easier to expand the formula bar to display the entire content of the cell. (With thanks to Sonia Woodend for the inspiration for this week’s tip.)

Here’s how:

  1. Click the chevron button at the end of the formula bar.  The button looks like a v but if you cannot spot it or prefer keyboard shortcuts press CTRL+SHIFT+U. OR
  2. Hover over the formula box until the pointer changes to a vertical double arrow and then double-click the vertical double arrow (or drag it to where you want it).

This will make it easier to format part of the cell (see tip 141) or enter line breaks. (Remember ALT + ENTER?)

Tame your computer – resist temptation

3 Sep

Are you one of those people who cannot stop themselves from checking their email every time one of those notifications appear at the bottom right of the screen? Obviously, if you are expecting something important, that’s fine. But if you need to concentrate on a task, why not remove the temptation and turn the notifications off.

Here’s how:

In Outlook 2003-2007:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options, followed by Advanced E-mail Options.
  3. In the When new items arrive in my Inbox section, remove all relevant check boxes. (You don’t really need to hear sounds, have your mouse pointer change, or display an envelope icon in the taskbar, do you?)
  4. Click OK three times.

In Outlook 2010:

  1.  On the File tab, click the Options button.
  2. Click on Mail.
  3. In the Message arrival section, remove all relevant check boxes. (You don’t really need to hear sounds, have your mouse pointer change, or display an envelope icon in the taskbar, do you?)
  4. Click OK.

Now just get on with your work!