Archive | December, 2015

Tame your computer – the top 10 tips of 2015

22 Dec

Hello for the last time in 2015. Here are your favourite, most commented on tips from the past 12 months to get you inspired for the year ahead.

I hope you enjoy them!

  1. Display your flagged messages in a “For Follow Up” folder (Outlook 2010-2013)
  2. Jump to a specific application on the taskbar
  3. Always check spelling before you send a message (Outlook)
  4. In a hurry? Take a shortcut! (Windows 7)
  5. Print the lines between rows and columns (Microsoft Excel)
  6. Delete tricks (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Access)
  7. When replying to a message that is not in the Inbox, save the reply in the same folder (Microsoft Outlook)
  8. Quickly access your Web browser history
  9. Keep the column width when pasting (Microsoft Excel)
  10. Jump to and print just part of your document (Microsoft Word)

Merry Christmas! I’ll be back  in 2016. In the meantime, I’ll continue to post a shortcut of the week on Roem’s home page.

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Tame your computer – keep it on the straight and arrow

15 Dec

Have you ever had the need to draw a perfectly straight horizontal or vertical line or arrow?

Here’s how:

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes and select the appropriate Line or Arrow tool. (In PowerPoint Shapes can also be found on the Home tab, in the Drawing group.)
  2. Press and hold down the SHIFT key and drag the mouse pointer until the line or arrow is the desired size at the preferred angle.
  3. Release the mouse button.
  4. Release the SHIFT key.

The line or arrow will “snap” to a perfect 45-degree angle, either horizontally or vertically. And remember, you can also use this trick to draw a perfect square or circle; see Tip 144.

As a matter of fact, if you hold down the SHIFT key while inserting any of the ready-made shapes, it will be added with equal proportions.

Tame your computer – table matters

8 Dec

Word’s Table feature provides a powerful way of displaying information in rows and columns, similar to that of an Excel spreadsheet. It also makes it much easier than using tab stops to align text. And you can even use it to quickly add the sum of numbers entered in your table.

But what I often see is that people do not know how to adjust the column width without messing up the width of the table itself. So you probably are not surprised to hear that this tip is about how to prevent that from happening.

Here’s how:

  1. Point to the right edge of the column you want to resize and wait until the mouse pointer appears as a double-headed arrow.
  2. Click and drag the column to your preferred width.

If you prefer to or still use the Move Table Column marker on Word’s ruler, you must hold down the CTRL key while you drag the column. (If you hold down the ALT key you see the exact measurements of the columns on the ruler.)

Finally, just in case you still have old habits, developed in previous versions of Microsoft Office… the quickest way to add a table is to click on the Table button on the Insert tab, move the cursor over the grid and click once you highlight the right numbers of rows and columns.

Tame your computer – Auto Fill on the fly

1 Dec

Back in 2003 (not a typo) I started my quest to make you fall in love with Excel’s Auto Fill handle (the small black square in the lower-right corner of a cell) to quickly create a list of months, days or dates, fill formulas or repeat values into adjacent cells.

Some of you might be using the Auto Fill Options button that appears just below your filled series, so that you can choose how the selection is filled. For example, when you drag a single number you can choose Fill Series to increase the number by one. But did you know there is a different way to display the list of relevant options?

Here’s how:

  1. Select the cell that contains the data or formula that you want to fill into adjacent cells.
  2. Right-click and drag the fill handle across the cells that you want to fill.

A shortcut menu appears, listing the options depending on the content in the cell you selected (text or numbers) and on the format of the data. The Auto Fill Options button will not be displayed when you use this method. (With thanks to Leon for the tip inspiration!.)