Archive | Microsoft Office RSS feed for this section

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 

Tame your computer – Best of 2017: top 10 tips

17 Dec

Hello for the last time in 2017.

Here are your favourite, most commented on, tips from the past 12 months to get you inspired for the year ahead. I hope you enjoy them!

  1. Schedule your e-mail message to be sent at your preferred date and time (Microsoft Outlook)
  2. Fast way to start a bulleted or numbered list (Microsoft Word and Outlook)
  3. Reopen recently closed tabs (Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox)
  4. Find the best time to schedule a meeting (Microsoft Outlook)
  5. Show changes and comments inline instead of in balloons (Microsoft Word)
  6. Change the colour of public holidays in your calendar (Microsoft Outlook)
  7. Protecting your formulas (Microsoft Excel)
  8. Quick way to paste content of the clipboard into an email message (Microsoft Outlook)
  9. Create a bulleted list in your workbook (Microsoft Excel)
  10. Find email messages sent or received between certain dates (Microsoft Outlook)

Oh, and don’t forget to check out this handy tip before you go off on your holidays; it contains five ways to prevent email overload upon your return from a break.

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

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.