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Tame your computer – timely tips

13 Oct

In trying to improve the quality and effectiveness of our training I always ask delegates to complete an evaluation form. One of the questions is “What is your favourite tip you picked up today?”. Because one of last week’s Access course participants wrote “shortcut for today’s date”  I thought I’d dust off tip 358, as it doesn’t just apply to Excel, but also to Access.

Here’s how:

  1. Press CTRL + ; to enter today’s date OR
  2. Press CTRL + SHIFT + ; to enter the current time

If you’d like the date to be updated every time someone opens Excel or Access, you can insert the date as a field.

Here’s how:

  1. Type =Date() in the Field Properties Default Value box in the table design of Access OR
  2. Type =TODAY() or =NOW() in a cell in Excel

With thanks to Kathryn for this week’s tip inspiration.

 Related tips
Using validation rules to ensure accurate data entry 
Enter the current date and/or time into a worksheet
Save time entering dates 

Tame your computer – make a quick exit

25 Aug

If, like me, you prefer to use your keyboard rather than your mouse you might know – or want to know – that Microsoft introduced “KeyTips” in Office 2007, offering a quick way to select commands using your keyboard. One of the favourite KeyTips of my dear friend Danijela is ALT, F, X which will select the Exit command from the File tab.

Here’s how:

  1. Press ALTFX. (Or Press ALT + F4.)
  2. When prompted, type the underlined letter s (Save) or n (Don’t Save) or press the ESC key to cancel the operation.

This will close down the whole application, not just the active document, as described in tip 272.

I’ll update the shortcut archive but in the meantime a big thank you to Dani for this week’s tip inspiration!

 

Related tips:
Selecting commands without using your mouse
Close a window without clicking in the upper-right corner 

Tame your computer – dapper deletions

10 Aug

Many many moons ago (in June 2010, see Tip 312) I wrote about a quick way to delete words in Word. As I often encounter people who don’t know this trick and because it also works in Outlook, PowerPoint and even in text fields in Access, I decided to dust the tip off…

  1. Press the DEL (or DELETE) key to delete characters to the right of the insertion point
  2. Press the BACKSPACE key to delete characters to the left of the insertion point
  3. Press CTRL + DELETE to delete the word to the right of the insertion point
  4. Press CTRL + BACKSPACE to delete the word to the left of the insertion point

If you want to delete more than one word simply hold down the CTRL key. For example, hold down the CTRL key and press DELETE three times to delete three words to the right of where your pointer is.

Tame your computer – undo it!

8 Mar

The Microsoft Office go-back-to-where-I-was-happy button (aka Undo) seems to be well-known among most of my course participants. The Undo functionality 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 the wrong text or have performed some other operation that has erroneously modified your document.

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

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the down arrow at the right side of the Undo button. (By default 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 at a time, similar to the undoing action described in this tip.

Oh, and for the keyboard shortcut lovers among us:
Press and hold the CTRL key and then press the Z key to undo an action.
Press and hold the CTRL key and then press the Y key to redo an action.

Finally, some useless trivia… You can undo up to 100 actions in Word, Excel and Outlook. By default, you can “only” undo up to 20 actions in Access and PowerPoint. In PowerPoint you can increase that by following the steps as described in Tip #267.

Tame your computer – filter your fancies

11 Jan

Have you ever had the need to print your records in Access in a fancier format than the datasheet view of the Table or Query? If so, you hopefully know about Reports. (If not, book a course! 😉 Not only can you arrange and format the Report’s printout the way you want, but you can also group, sort and include totals and percentages. But there is something else…

Last month one of my “old” course participants and subsequent tip subscriber (Caroline Flood of Arena Structures) told me about the new Report filter options, introduced in Access 2007. Rather than having to base a Report on a Query in order to get a subset of your data, you can now dynamically filter a Report and print off just the information you need.

Here’s how:

  1. Create your Report as normal.
  2. Right-click anywhere in the report and select Report View.
  3. Right-click the text, number or date you want to filter.
  4. Use the pre-defined contextual options from the drop-down list, or build a filter using the Number Filters, Text Filters or Date Filters conditions.

The filtered report can be printed, as normal. To clear the filter, simply right-click the filtered field and select Clear filter. When you close the Report the filter is not saved.