Archive | October, 2016

Tame your computer – save your bacn

22 Oct

Are you suffering from email overload? It’s a fact that email traffic is increasing and we are often overwhelmed by it. Over the years I have offered tips to tackle it and help you discover some of the features of Outlook you might not be aware of.

This week I was a guest on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, where I gave advice on how to tame the overstuffed, out-of-control beast that is your inbox. One of the tips was about filtering out bacn. What’s bacn?, I hear you ask. Well, bacn is email that you subscribed to, such as newsletters and offers, and is therefore not SPAM.

So if you want to read some of your bacn (such as my tips – I hope – if you subscribed to it ) why not automatically move them to a separate folder where you can find them when you have time? That way you can focus on the most important messages in your inbox.

Here’s how:

  1. Press CTRL + E and type the word unsubscribe. (By law, bacn emails need to contain an unsubscribe option.)
  2. Right-click the message you want to automatically move to a bacn folder.
  3. Click Rules, followed by Always Move Messages From.
  4. Click on your bacn folder you created earlier or click on New to create one “on the fly”.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Finish.

A new rule is created that moves all future messages from that specific person. So, if you also get “normal” emails from this person you might want to use the advanced options as described in tip 457, or use Quick Steps, as described in tip 346.

To edit or delete rules, select Manage Rules & Alerts from the Rules button in the Move group on the Home tab.

By the way, in Office 365 (Outlook 2016) a new feature was introduced, that will train Outlook to automatically store less important email in a Clutter inbox. So this tip and what’s written in tip 489, describing how to move messages where your name is in the Cc box to a folder named “when I have time to read this”, might be a workaround until you or your organisation upgrades.

Tame your computer – read between the lines

14 Oct

In Excel, borders can add visual interest to a worksheet, as well as make the data easier to read.  As you know, the lines that you see between the rows and columns don’t appear when you print the worksheet.

You can obviously add borders around the cells, but did you know that there is a very simple and quick way to make the gridlines appear in your printed worksheets?

Here’s how:

  1. Select the sheet(s) you want to print.
  2. On the Page Layout tab, in the Sheet Options group, tick the Print check box.

The gridlines will only be printed if the cell contains data. If you want to print gridlines around empty cells, you must set a print area to include those cells.

  1. Select the cells including the empty cells you want to print the gridlines of.
  2. On the Page Layout tab, click on the Print Area button and select Set Print Area.

By the way, both the Print Gridlines as well as Print Area settings are saved along with your workbook, so you might at some point want to clear the options.

And finally, any borders that you added manually will be printed instead of the gridlines.

* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.

Tame your computer – search and spot

4 Oct

Back in 2015 I told you about the Navigation Pane in Word, which can be used to jump around your document in several ways. You can also use it to find specific text in your document. Simply type the word or phrase you want to find and every occurrence of the word or phrase is temporarily highlighted on the screen, allowing you to quickly spot and flick through the text you were searching for. However, the highlight disappears as soon as you make any change in the document.

So what if you want to keep the highlighted text? (With thanks to Monika for this week’s tip inspiration.)

Here’s how:

  1. Make sure that the insertion point is at the beginning of your document. (CTRL + Home, anyone?!)
  2. Click on the Replace button in the Editing group on the Home tab. (Or press CTRL + H.)
  3. Type the word you want to highlight in the Find what box.
  4. Press TAB and retype the word you want to highlight in the Replace with box.
  5. Click on the More button. (Or press TAB + ENTER.)
  6. Click on the Format button at the bottom of the dialog box and select Highlight.
  7. Click on the Replace All button.
  8. Click OK, followed by Close.

If you want to find and remove the highlighted text at some point, see tip 401.

See tips 466, 423 and 415 for additional information about how to get the most out of Word’s navigation pane.

* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.