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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 – try tracking tricks

11 Jun

Do you track who changes what and where in your documents, using Word’s Track Changes functionality? Even if you are the only person working on the text, this can be an extremely useful tool!

You might have noticed that deletions and comments are, by default, displayed in balloons in the margins of the document. But if you prefer you can change the settings to show deletions with strikethroughs and comments inline as “ScreenTips”.

Here’s how:

  1. On the Review tab, in the Tracking group, click Show Markup.
  2. Point to Balloons.
  3. Click Show All Revisions Inline.

If you want, you can even make this your default setting.

Here’s how:

  1. On the Review tab, in the Tracking group, click on the Track Changes drop-down arrow (not on the button itself).
  2. Click on Change Tracking Options.
  3. Select Never from the Use Balloons (Print and Web Layout) drop-down list, or – if you prefer – Only for comments/formatting.
  4. Press ENTER or click OK.

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

Tame your computer – speed up your bullets

28 Jan

Do you ever create lists of items in Word? For example, a numbered list of agenda items or a bulleted ‘to do’ list? If so, you probably use the Bullets and Numbering buttons on the Home tab. But did you know you can benefit from the “format-as-you-type” feature to quickly start a bulleted or numbered list?

Here’s how:

  1. Move the insertion point to the location where the list is to appear.
  2. Type an asterisk ( * ) or type the first number and press the TAB key.
  3. Type the list items, pressing ENTER at the end of each item.

To cancel the bullet or number, simply press ENTER a second time. This will also remove the indent level.

To keep the indentation, press the BACKSPACE key. If you use BACKSPACE it is very easy to create a combined numbered and bulleted list.

By the way, in step 2 you can also use the SPACEBAR key rather than TAB. But be aware that for numbered lists this only works if you type a number format such as 1. or 1)

Oh, and this numbered format tip works in Outlook as well.

Have a go. It is easier than it sounds!
* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.

Tame your computer – the top 10 tips of 2016

19 Dec

This will be the last tip of the year as I’m pretty sure that you’re all ready to tuck into mince pies and mulled wine.

So here are your favourite, most commented on, tips from the last 12 months. Don’t forget to check out number 6 before you’re off on your Christmas break!

  1. Add holidays to your calendar (Microsoft Outlook) –
  2. 10 tips for safe online banking –
  3. Make text look like it was marked with a highlighter pen (Word and Outlook) –
  4. Stop AutoCorrect from capitalizing text following specific abbreviations (Microsoft Office) –
  5. Create, store and insert frequently used text and graphics (Microsoft Word and Outlook) –
  6. Five tips to prevent email overload upon your return from holiday (Microsoft Outlook) –
  7. How to remove limitations of what is displayed in a cell (Microsoft Excel) –
  8. Set the default colour of a hyperlink (Microsoft Outlook) –
  9. Automatically move low-priority emails from your inbox (Microsoft Outlook) –
  10. Change the emphasis of a SmartArt graphic by changing its direction (Microsoft Office) –

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

Tame your computer – a formula for formatting

15 Nov

Some time ago I tried to make you fall in love with SHIFT + F1 to examine the formatting that is in effect in different parts of your document or email.

But did you know you can also use it to select all text with similar formatting and quickly change it? That way you can find, for example, all headings you’ve made bold with a specific font size and change all of them in one go.

Here’s how:

  1. Put your cursor in the text you want to change throughout your email or document.
  2. Press SHIFT + F1.
  3. In the Reveal Formatting pane, point to the text in the box below Selected text (this box shows the text you selected in the previous step) and click on the down arrow that appears.
  4. Click on Select All Text With Similar Formatting.
  5. Change the formatting as normal or use the Clear Formatting option from the drop down arrow to remove all formatting from the selected text.

You can also compare the formatting in different sections, but I’ll explain that in a future tip.

* 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.

Tame your computer – co-ordinate your colours

6 Sep

A hyperlink is text or a graphic that points to another item, such as a file on your shared drive or a Web page on either the internet or intranet.  Clicking on a hyperlink allows you to “jump” to the associated item.

The default colour of hyperlinks is blue and the link is underlined, but you might want to change that to match, say, colours you use in your signature. You can obviously manually change it using the Format Painter, but why not change the default colour and formatting of your links?

Here’s how:

  1. Draft a message as normal. (CTRL + N, anyone?)
  2. Type a hyperlink, e.g.
  3. Put your cursor in the hyperlink and press SHIFT + F1.
  4. In the Reveal Formatting pane click on the Character Style link for the selected text.
  5. In the Style box ensure Hyperlink is selected. (If it isn’t, you might have put your cursor in the wrong spot. Oh, and it doesn’t work if you put your cursor in a hyperlink that is part of your Outlook signature.)
  6. Click on the Modify button.
  7. Click the Underline button if you want to switch off the line under the hyperlink. (Perhaps you prefer to have it bold instead?)
  8. Select your preferred colour. (Mine is orange.)
  9. Click on the New documents based on this template radio button.
  10. Click OK.
  11. Click Apply.
  12. Close the message. No need to save it.

By the way, this method also works in Microsoft Word. Simply skip the first two steps.