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Tame your computer – line them up

20 Mar

CleverclogsTipTime2This week’s tip is inspired by Stefanie (thanks, Stefanie!) who told me about “geschützter Leerschritt”, known as non-breaking spaces in English.

As with all word-processing programs, it is not necessary to press ENTER at the end of a line – Word (and Outlook) automatically moves the insertion point from line to line. But there might be times you don’t want this to happen. For example, if the text is “100 pounds” you might want to keep the two words on the same line to improve readability. If you use a non-breaking space between 100 and pounds and it would not fit at the end of a line, the two words are moved in its entirety to the next line.

Here’s how:

  1. Click where you want to insert the non-breaking space.

For those of you who prefer to use your mouse:

  1. Click where you want to insert the non-breaking space.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click Symbol.
  3. Click More Symbols.
  4. On the Special Characters tab, click Nonbreaking Space  and click Insert.
  5. Click Close.

Related tips:
What’s the fastest way to insert check boxes?
Quickly show (or hide) paragraph marks and other hidden formatting symbols
Assign keyboard shortcuts to symbols or special characters
Delete unwanted copyright symbols

Tame your computer – sort your spacing

2 Mar

CleverclogsTipTime2Do you press the space bar once after a full stop or are you a “two spacer”? Lots has been written about this subject, with opposing views, so last year three psychology researchers decided it was time to sort the question once and for all. Their verdict was that two spaces after the period makes reading slightly easier. So they submitted their paper with two spaces after each full stop … only to find that the journal deleted all the extra spaces from their publication.

So what if you want to find all occurrences of two spaces after a full stop and replace them with one?

Here’s how:

  1. Make sure that the insertion point is located at the beginning of the document. (CTRL+Home anyone?)
  2. Press CTRL+H or click on the Replace button in the Editing group on the Home tab.
  3. In the Find what box, press the SPACEBAR twice. (The box will look empty, but if you are very observant you will see a tiny flashing dot.)
  4. Press the TAB key on your keyboard, to move to the Replace with box. (Or use your mouse if you must ;))
  5. Press the SPACEBAR once.
  6. Click Replace All.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Press Esc to close the dialog box.

You can obviously use the same procedure if you want to stick to the two space rule.

Related tips:
How to find (and replace) highlighted text
How to add, find and remove line breaks

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.