Archive | April, 2016

Tame your computer – hide and seek

23 Apr

When you share a workbook with other users, you may want to hide a specific worksheet to prevent it from being seen or changed. You can then protect the worksheet using VBA, but there is a simple way of doing this without writing code.

Here’s how:

  1. Right-click the worksheet you want to hide and click Hide.
  2. On the Review tab, in the Changes group, click on the Protect Workbook button.
  3. Be sure the Structure box is ticked and that the insertion point is located in the Password box. Enter a password of your choice and click on OK or press ENTER.
  4. Reenter the password and click OK or press ENTER.

Only those users who know the password will now be able to unhide the sheet.

Here’s how to unhide:

  1. On the Review tab, in the Changes group, click on the Protect Workbook button.
  2. Enter the password and click OK or press ENTER.
  3. Right-click on any of the sheets and click Unhide.
  4. In the Unhide dialog box, select the worksheet that is to be unhidden and click on the OK button.

By the way, do not confuse this feature with protecting your whole workbook file by using a password. See Tip 253 for further details.

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Tame your computer – save your work as a PDF

3 Apr

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format used to present documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. One of the purposes of saving your documents as a PDF is to keep the format and text of your files from being modified. It is very easy to save MS Office files as PDFs, without the need for any other software or add-ins.

Here’s how:

  1. Click the File tab and select Save As. (Or press F12.)
  2. If necessary, type a File name.
  3. Press TAB and type P (or select PDF *.pdf from the drop-down list).
  4. Press ENTER or click Save.

(I’ll add F12, TAB, P, ENTER as the shortcut of the week on our home page and will update the shortcut archive accordingly.)

After you’ve saved a file as a PDF, you cannot convert it back to an MS Office file format without specialised software or a third-party add-in. (After all – and as mentioned before – one of the purposes of the PDF format is to keep the format and text of your files from being modified.) To change the PDF file, open the original file in your Office program, make your changes, and save the file in PDF format once more.

By the way, if you want to email your document, presentation or workbook as a PDF attachment, you can do that without first having to convert it to PDF and/or opening Outlook. See http://roem.co.uk/tip_347.php for details.

See Tip 232 and Tip 250 for additional information related to hiding and unhiding rows and columns.