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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 – clever topping and tailing

16 Jul

Today’s tip is inspired by Phil, the Manager Director at Cambridge Print Solutions, the company which has been printing my course handouts for donkey’s years. (I highly recommend Cambridge Print Solutions. I have been using them to print my training manuals since August 2006 and they have always delivered on time, occasionally at short notice – with a smile and a chat.  And no, I’m not getting commission for this recommendation.)

The most common question they apparently get is about different headers and footers on the left and right side of booklets. As you know, the headers and footers in Word are normally the same on each page. But it is really simple to specify that odd-numbered pages have a different header and footer from even-numbered pages.

Here’s how:

  1. Double-click anywhere in the header or footer area of an odd page (1, 3, 5 etc.).
  2. Select the Different Odd & Even Pages check box in the Options group.
  3. In the Header & Footer group click on the Header or Footer button.
  4. Select the preferred style from the dropdown list (some are specifically for odd or even page layouts) or click on Edit Header or Edit Footer and type your own.
  5. Click on the Next button in the Navigation group.
  6. Select the preferred style from the dropdown list or type your own as described in step 4.
  7. Double-click anywhere in the body of your document or click on the Close Header and Footer button.

There are a lot of other clever things you can do with headers and footers such as numbering on pages in landscape orientation, but you’ll need to work with section breaks for that.  More about that some other time.

Related tips
Add the file name and path to the header or footer
Temporarily hide page breaks, headers and footers

Tame your computer – ultrafast update

22 May

Long documents such as business proposals, technical reports or other big Word files containing several sections or chapters often require a table of contents. Perhaps you even included a list of all the figures or tables used in the document. Or you might have inserted cross-references to other pages or a list of keywords found in the document corresponding with the page numbers.

As you may know, these references are inserted into your document as a field, which means that you need to update them as the document progresses. You can obviously right-click the reference and select Update Field, but if you have used a variety of fields throughout your document this will be cumbersome. So why not ensure you update all references in one go?

Here’s how:

  1. Create your Table of Contents, Table of Figures, Cross-references, Index etcetera, as normal.
  2. Press CTRL + A.
  3. Press F9.
  4. If prompted to update the Table of Contents and/or Table of Figures, select the appropriate radio button and press OK.

To make sure that you don’t forget to update your fields before you print your document, you can set Word to update them automatically.

Here’s how:

  1. On the File tab, click on Options.
  2. Click on Display or type the letter d.
  3. Under Printing options, select the check box for Update fields before printing. If prompted, click on the relevant radio button.

Oh, and remember, if you use Word’s built-in Styles you can take advantage of quickly creating a Table of Contents and other fabulous options available in the navigation pane (see tip_415.php). And if Microsoft’s choice of formatting is not what you want, you can easily modify them.

Related tips:

Move or copy chunks of your document without using Cut and Paste or Copy and Paste
Applying and modifying Heading Styles to titles and subtitles

Tame your computer – top 10 tips for Microsoft Word

13 Mar

Following the success of my recent top ten Excel tips (even Microsoft themselves @msexcel tweeted “Great tips!” – woohoo!) here are your favourite Word shortcuts with links to the relevant tips, if any. I hope you enjoy them!

1 CTRL + ALT + 1 Apply Heading 1 style
  CTRL + ALT + 2 Apply Heading 2 style
  CTRL + ALT + 3 Apply Heading 3 style
2 CTRL + ENTER Insert page break
3 CTRL + F Open the Navigation Pane
4 CTRL + G Display the Go To dialogue box
5 F3 AutoComplete Quick Parts
6 F4 Repeat your last action
7 F7 Select the Spelling command
8 SHIFT + F1 Reveal Formatting
9 SHIFT + F3
Toggle between UPPER CASE, lower case and Sentence Case
10 SHIFT + F5 Return to the location you were last working in

CTRL + G also works in Excel and Outlook; F3 and SHIFT + F1 also in Outlook; F4 also in Excel and PowerPoint and SHIFT + F3 also in Outlook and PowerPoint.

Oh, and if you want to add any of the tip pages to your list of Favorites/Bookmarks, simply press CTRL + D.

See for a list of all the shortcuts published since March 2013 when we launched the ‘shortcut of the week’ on our home page.  Keyboard shortcuts may sometimes be unintuitive or hard to remember, but I drip feed a new shortcut weekly, to help you to boost productivity without reaching for your mouse.

Tame your computer – cut to the chase

23 Jan

Earlier this month a course delegate asked me whether there was a way to move a bullet point up or down in PowerPoint. Obviously you can use cut and paste, but I remembered there was a nifty keyboard shortcut. But what was it?

So I used my own search page and typed in three words (PowerPoint bullet up) and hey presto … tip 308 came up in the preview of the shortcut archive.

Here’s how:

  1. Put your cursor anywhere in the bulleted text or paragraph you want to move.
  2. Click ALT + SHIFT + UP ARROW to move the bullet point or text up or ALT + SHIFT + DOWN ARROW to move it down.

And I just noticed it also works for pictures in Word.

Tame your computer – a smart way to save

13 Nov

Microsoft Word allows you to easily insert illustrations, such as pictures, SmartArt and charts.

So what if, at some point, you want to save all the images you used in your document in a separate folder in order to easily re-use them?

Here’s how:

  1. Open the Word document, as normal
  2. Click the File tab and select Save As (or press F12)
  3. Press TAB and type W until Web Page appears (or select it from the drop-down list)
  4. Press ENTER or click Save
  5. Close the document/web page without saving it (CTRL + W, anyone?)

All illustrations used (including Clip Art, Shapes and SmartArt, if any) have been placed in a new folder that has the same name as the Word document with _files at the end of it. It is typically stored in the same location as the original Word document.

Related tips: 

Create, store and insert frequently used text and graphics

Quickly jump to specific parts such as pages, tables or pictures


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

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)