Archive | September, 2017

Tame your computer – get back!

19 Sep

The go-back-to-where-I-was-happy (aka Undo) button seems to be well-known among most people. It allows you to reverse one or more operations and restore a document or an e-mail message to its previous state.  It is useful when you find that you have accidentally deleted some text or have performed some other operation that has unintentionally modified your document.

But even though the Undo button seems to be the first tool anyone remembers, a lot of people seem unaware you can simultaneously undo or redo a series of operations in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. (Why not in Outlook beats me!)

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the down arrow at the right side of the Undo button. (The button is located on the Quick Access Toolbar.)
  2. Select the desired actions from the list that you want to reverse.

You can also redo actions that have been undone. Redo is also great for repeating an action. By the way, only in Excel, you can redo several undone actions in one go, similar to the undo action described in this tip.

Oh, and for the keyboard shortcut lovers among us:

  • Press and hold the CTRL key and press the Z key to undo an action.
  • Press and hold the CTRL key and press the Y key to redo (or repeat) an action.

Finally, some trivia … Apparently, you can do unlimited undos in Word and (individual ones) in Outlook, as well as up to 100 in Excel. By default, you can “only” undo up to 20 actions in PowerPoint, but you can increase that by following the steps as described in this tip.

Tame your computer – take a backstage shortcut

12 Sep

Those of you who like keyboard shortcuts no doubt use CTRL + P to open the “Backstage view”, from where you can preview and print files. But did you know you can also use keyboard shortcuts to flick through the pages of your document, rather than clicking on the Next Page and Previous Page buttons at the bottom of the window?

Here’s how:

  • CTRL + P: Switch to print preview
  • ENTER: Print the document
  • PgUp or PgDn or your arrow keys: Flick through your pages in print preview
  • CTRL + HOME: Move to the first page in print preview
  • CTRL + END: Move to the last page in print preview
  • ESC: Go back to your document to make changes before you print. (You might want to check out tip 417 if you have to do this a lot.)

By the way, I cannot find a quick way to jump to the right hand side of the Backstage view. So either use your mouse or press TAB until the previewed page is selected (13 times, if you’re counting) so you can use your arrow keys, CTRL + HOME and CTRL + END.

That’s it for this week! If there are topics that you’d like to see covered in future (or if you know how to quickly jump to the right hand side of the Backstage view) please let me know.

Related tips

Tip # 417 : Make changes to your document from the Print Preview and Print page (Word 2010)

Tip # 404 : Fit a worksheet on the printed page (Excel 2010-2013)

Tame your computer – get smart with SmartArt

2 Sep

Hope you’ve all fallen in love with SmartArt, introduced in Microsoft Office 2007?! (I still encounter people who don’t know about this nifty feature, hence the question.)

My only bugbear about SmartArt is that it’s difficult to tweak individual bits. Perhaps you want to remove one of its arrows. Or animate a specific part of the graphic. Well, you can do so once you convert the SmartArt into individual shapes.

Here’s how:

  1. Consider duplicating the slide (CTRL + D) as this is a one-way process.
  2. Right-click on the border of the SmartArt graphic.
  3. Select Convert to Shapes.

If you struggle with or don’t like the right-click, the Convert button can be found on the SmartArt Tools Design tab. And if, like me, you love keyboard shortcuts you may want to check out ungrouping the SmartArt graphic by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + G twice.

Related tips:

Tip # 501: Change the emphasis of a SmartArt graphic by changing its direction

Tip # 355: Tweak your SmartArt graphics

Tip # 268: Convert an existing bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic

Tip # 230: Draw three concentric circles with text in each

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