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Tame your computer – shrewd shortcut

2 Jan

CleverclogsTipTime2Happy new year to you and happy birthday to us! As we come of age today, we’d like to thank our clients for the opportunity to work on some amazing projects, our associates for bringing their talent to our business and our all-important course participants who selected us to help make the most of their software packages. We wouldn’t be having our 18th birthday if it wasn’t for you.

But back to work …

If, like me, you prefer to use your keyboard rather than your mouse, you know that you can use shortcuts and KeyTips to quickly execute commands. “Right-mouse clickers” might like the keyboard shortcut that opens the right-click drop-down menu.

Here’s how:

  1. Position the mouse pointer in the location you want to display a drop-down menu for.
  2. Press SHIFT + F10.
  3. Use the down arrow key or type the underscored letter to select the menu option.
  4. If the option has a submenu you can use your right arrow key to select it.

If you prefer, you can use the special (Context) key on your keyboard, between the right ALT and right CTRL keys. Or simply stick to right-clicking!

Related tips
Display the right-click drop-down menu using a key on your keyboard
Select commands without using your mouse

That’s it for this week. Best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2019!

Tame your computer – the best of 2018: top 10 tips

21 Dec

Hello for the last time in 2018.

For the fourth year running, herewith your favourite, most commented on, tips from the past 12 months. Because of all your feedback it wasn’t easy to whittle it down to 10. (Thanks though – it makes my day knowing I’m saving you time and frustration!)

  1. Move or copy cells using drag and drop – Microsoft Excel – tip_530.php
  2. Display the total number of messages in a folder, including those you read – Microsoft Outlook – tip_532.php
  3. Easy way to convert formulas to values – Microsoft Excel – tip_533.php
  4. Top ten Microsoft Outlook shortcuts – tip_538.php
  5. How to put a zero in front of a number – Microsoft Excel – tip_543.php
  6. Autocomplete formulas including its open bracket – Microsoft Excel – tip_545.php
  7. Manage interruptions by setting up specific notifications only – Microsoft Outlook – tip_551.php
  8. Insert today’s date or current time – Excel and Access – tip_552.php
  9. Find and insert a word with a similar meaning – Microsoft Office – tip_556.php
  10. Send a copy of your calendar as an email attachment to speed up scheduling meetings with externals – Microsoft Outlook – tip_557.php

Oh, and don’t forget to check out this useful tip before you go off on your Christmas break; it contains 5 tips to prevent email overload upon your return.

Wishing you a relaxing holiday season. Remember: Escape isn’t just a button on your keyboard!

Related tips
Best of 2017 – top 10 tips
Best of 2016 – top 10 tips
Best of 2015 – top 10 tips

Tame your computer – find the right word

30 Nov

CleverclogsTipTime2When you proofread your document or email message before finalising it (you do, don’t you?) do you ever spot that you’ve used the same word over and over again? If so, do you ever struggle to find a synonym?

You might know that MS Office offers a Thesaurus, which will suggest other words with a similar meaning to the one you have selected. The Thesaurus button can be found on the Review tab.

Or perhaps you know (or remember this tip) where you can right-click a word? Perhaps you got yourself in the habit of using the ALT + click following  tip 191?

Well, for some weird reason, this last method doesn’t work in PowerPoint, so why not learn a shortcut key that works everywhere?

Here’s how:

1.       Position your insertion point in the word that is to be looked up.
2.       Press SHIFT + F7.
3.       If you want, right-click one of the alternative words and select Insert.

With thanks to Jens for this week’s tip inspiration!

Related shortcuts:
F7: Check the spelling of text
ALT + F7: Find the next misspelling or grammatical error

Related tips:
Find posh synonyms
Translate words or phrases 

Tame your computer – flipping tabs!

21 Oct

Anyone who ever attended one of my courses or is an astute reader of my tips knows I absolutely love keyboard shortcuts. Last week I realised that – although I’ve discussed the power of CTRL + TAB to move between browser tabs, windows and workbooks – I’ve never written a tip about its use to flip through the tabs of a dialogue box.

Here’s how:

  1. Press CTRL + TAB to move to the next open tab.
  2. Press SHIFT + CTRL + TAB to cycle the other way.

That said, if you keep pressing CTRL + TAB it keeps going. No need for the “monkey grip” to cycle backward.

Related tips:
Switching between multiple browser tabs 
Preview and flip through your open windows 
Use a keyboard shortcut to switch between open workbooks 

Tame your computer – revise, reuse, rename

6 Sep

If you’re going to create a new file, based on an existing one, but only want your changes saved in the new document you can obviously use the Save As command (or press F12). But did you know it’s also a great way to reuse an existing filename with a similar title?

Here’s how:

  1. Open your document.
  2. Press F12.
  3. Do one of the following:
  • Type the new filename (no need to press the Delete key first) OR
  • Press End to move to and amend the end of the filename OR
  • Press Home to move to and amend the beginning of the filename

Your original document will remain unchanged and all your edits will be in the new copy.

Related tips
Time-saving shortcut key to use Save As command 
Quickly rename or copy a file or folder name 
Quickly add to the end of cell contents

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 – picture perfect

20 Aug

I’m sure you’ll agree that it can sometimes be a time-consuming and frustrating exercise to get pictures the size and shape you want. But did you know that once you got one the way you like it to be, you can easily replace it with another picture? As far as I can tell you can do this in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, but I think it’s most beneficial in your Word and PowerPoint templates.

Here’s how:

  1. Right-click the picture you want to replace and select Change Picture.
  2. Find the new picture and double-click it.

If you prefer, you can also use the Change Picture button in the Adjust group on the Picture Tools Format tab.

With special thanks to Alison for this week’s tip inspiration!

Related tips
How to change the shape of a picture 
Tweak your SmartArt graphics
Pimp your chart 
Add a cover page
Make the background of a picture transparent