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Tame your computer – open another window

29 Jun

Would it be helpful to be able to move one of your browser tabs to a new window so that you can display it next to another window? In Internet Explorer you can press CTRL + N to open your current tab in a new window, but that will leave the original tab open as well. So why not move it to a new window and display it next to any other window?

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the tab and drag it downwards.
  2. Press WIN + right arrow or WIN + left arrow to “snap” the window to the right or left.
  3. Click in any other window of any of your open applications and press WIN + right arrow or WIN + left to display the windows side by side.

By the way, if you keep pressing the same keyboard combination, your window will go round in circles.  I cannot test this out as I don’t have two monitors, but apparently it even cycles through both monitors.

 

Tame your computer – slick ways to add slides

14 Apr

When you open PowerPoint, a slide appears with two “placeholders” – one for a title and one for a subtitle. There are various ways to add additional slides and they might be faster than your current method.

Here’s how:

  • Click on the New Slide button in the Slides group on the Home tab.

OR

  • In the slide pane on the left, click where you want to add a slide and press ENTER.

OR

  • Press CTRL + M.

The new slide in your presentation contains “placeholders” that you can use to build your layout, such as a bulleted list, table, charts, SmartArt graphics, pictures, movies and sound. You can select a different layout that might better accommodate the content that you plan to add to the slide by clicking on the Layout button in the Slides group on the Home tab. If you use the first option described above you can also do this “on the fly”, making sure you click on the drop-down arrow, not the New Slide button itself. Any subsequent slides will automatically get the layout from the previous slide.

There are obviously other ways that you can add slides to your presentation, such as copy (CTRL + C) and paste (CTRL + V) or duplicate selected slides (CTRL + D). And you can also quickly import slides from other presentations, but let’s make that the content for a future tip.

Related tips:
Tip 228: Convert your Word documents to PowerPoint presentations

Tip 268: Convert an existing bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic

Tame your computer – take a shortcut

19 Feb

Why use the mouse? Here are a few shortcuts that I find most useful:

Switch to Mail : press CTRL+1
Switch to Calendar : press CTRL+2
Switch to Contacts : press CTRL+3
Switch to Tasks : press CTRL+4
Switch to Notes : press CTRL+5
Switch to your Folder List : press CTRL+6
Switch to Shortcuts : press CTRL+7
Switch to Journal : press CTRL+8

Keyboard shortcuts may sometimes be unintuitive or hard to remember, but I “drip feed” a new shortcut  every week on my home page, to help you to boost productivity without reaching for your mouse. You can download a list of those published so far from http://www.roem.co.uk/inc/shortcut_archive.pdf. Where available, it links to a tip of the week.

Tame your computer – fancy filtering

21 Jan

Do you use dates in Excel? If so, you have probably at some point needed to display only those containing relevant information.

For example, you might want to filter out all deliveries you are expecting in February. Or all courses planned for March. You can obviously use Excel’s Find functionality (CTRL + F) to find a specific date. Or perhaps you use the Date Filters and select, say, Next Month. But did you know you can use the table’s Search functionality?

Here’s how:

1.       If necessary, create a table. (CTRL + T or CTRL + L, anyone?)

2.       Click on the drop-down arrow of the date’s column header.

3.       Click in the Search box and type (part of) your search term. For example, Feb.

4.       Press ENTER.

And no, this isn’t relying on you having entered your dates as, say, 16 February 2017. As long as the entries have been formatted as dates, this should work. And remember, there is no need to type the current year if the date you want to enter is part of this year. Simply type, say 16/2.  Perhaps have another look at tip 442.

Related tips:
Tip 358: Enter the current date and/or time into a worksheet  (http://roem.co.uk/tip_358.php)
Tip 426: Fast filtering (http://www.roem.co.uk/tip_426.php)
Tip 429: Quickly format and enable filtering of your data (http://roem.co.uk/tip_429.php)
Tip 442: Save time entering dates (http://roem.co.uk/tip_442.php)
Tip 474: Filter data in a PivotTable and PivotChart using Slicers (http://roem.co.uk/tip_474.php)

Tame your computer – energise your emails

15 Jan

Last week I told you that apparently the best time to send an email is on a Tuesday morning if you want people to read your message. Well, there’s more …

Research has shown that emails sent on Mondays contain more mistakes than those sent on any other days. It also states that making an error in the subject line translates into a 5 percent decline in the likelihood the message will be opened.

So I felt it was time to dust off an oldie but a goodie … how to configure Outlook so that it automatically checks for spelling mistakes – including the subject line.

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the File tab and select Options.
  2. Press M or click on the Mail category. (The second one.)
  3. Select the Always check spelling before sending check box.
  4. Select the Ignore original message text in reply or forward check box. (You obviously do not want to correct somebody else’s spelling mistakes, do you?)
  5. Click OK.

Next time you send a message, Outlook automatically checks for spelling mistakes and prompts you if there are any.

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) – http://roem.co.uk/tip_471.php
  2. 10 tips for safe online banking – http://roem.co.uk/tip_473.php
  3. Make text look like it was marked with a highlighter pen (Word and Outlook) – http://roem.co.uk/tip_475.php
  4. Stop AutoCorrect from capitalizing text following specific abbreviations (Microsoft Office) – http://roem.co.uk/tip_476.php
  5. Create, store and insert frequently used text and graphics (Microsoft Word and Outlook) – http://roem.co.uk/tip_486.php
  6. Five tips to prevent email overload upon your return from holiday (Microsoft Outlook) – http://roem.co.uk/tip_489.php
  7. How to remove limitations of what is displayed in a cell (Microsoft Excel) – http://roem.co.uk/tip_491.php
  8. Set the default colour of a hyperlink (Microsoft Outlook) – http://roem.co.uk/tip_492.php
  9. Automatically move low-priority emails from your inbox (Microsoft Outlook) – http://roem.co.uk/tip_496.php
  10. Change the emphasis of a SmartArt graphic by changing its direction (Microsoft Office) – http://roem.co.uk/tip_501.php

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

Tame your computer – get smart with SmartArt

11 Dec

Don’t you love SmartArt?! They are quick and easy to create and you can choose from many different layouts, making it easy to communicate your message or ideas effectively in Excel, Word, and Outlook, but mainly – I guess – PowerPoint.

But what if you need to change the emphasis or reverse the flow of your SmartArt graphic? Well, you can switch the layout of the SmartArt graphic between left to right and right to left with one simple click.

Here’s how:

  1. Click anywhere in the SmartArt graphic that you want to change.
  2. On the SmartArt Tools Design tab, in the Create Graphic group, click Right to Left. (If you don’t see the SmartArt Tools Design tab, you didn’t click on a SmartArt graphic.)
  3. To switch back to the original direction of your SmartArt graphic, click Right to Left again.

What happens depends on the type of SmartArt, but, say, you used a basic chevron process (“arrows pointing to the right” for you and me) … one click on Right to Left and hey presto, the arrows are pointing the other way.

By the way, the feature isn’t available for all SmartArt graphics and the customisation might get lost when you select a different layout, but I still really like the feature.

For more tips about working with SmartArt graphics see:

Tip # 355: Tweak your SmartArt graphics (Microsoft Office)

Tip # 268: Convert an existing bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic (PowerPoint)

Tip # 230: Draw three concentric circles with text in each (Microsoft Office)

Want to learn more? For a  schedule of my upcoming courses, click here. Affordable. Guaranteed to run. And fun!