Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Excel Change the Default font

If the default font that Excel 2003 uses for all new worksheets doesn’t suit your needs – change it by selecting Tools > Options > General tab and set the Standard font and Size to your preferred choice and choose Ok.

In future, all new workbooks you create will be set by default to this font although those you have previously created will remain unchanged.

If you’re using Excel 2007 and you don’t fancy the new Calibri font, click the Office button, choose Excel Options and click the Popular group. From the Use this font dropdown list choose the font to use for your new worksheets and click Ok. You’ll need to close Excel and restart it for the new font change to be in force.

Helen Bradley

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Quick and dirty color cast removal

I love quick and dirty solutions and this one is just that. Got an image with a color cast that needs removing? Here’s a Photoshop solution worth looking at:

Open the image, choose Image > Adjustments > Color Match and click Neutralize. It’s a fix that neutralizes the image and, if it’s too much of a fix, drag the Fade slider to the right to get a balance between the original and the fixed version.

Simple huh?

Helen Bradley

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Widening chart columns in Excel 2007

Colour me stupid. I am reeling from having single handedly wiped out all the images from my blogs – yep! 2 of them decimated by my stupidity. I’m now resorting to begging friends, family, neighbours and anyone I meet (ok I’m exaggerating, but I am desperate), to spend time helping me put it all back together. I have the images, they just aren’t on my server any more and my computers and Blogger have this love hate relationship, the more frustrated I get with how slow the connection is the slower they go – see! they say, if you think that was slow, try this.. seriously it is hours of work to get this all back. Hence no delicious new posts.

This happened over two weeks ago so I’m slowly resigning myself to putting it back over time, so here’s today’s tip – no image – sheesh – don’t talk to me about images!

To make the column widths on an Excel 2007 chart wider – or narrower if you think they aren’t awful enough when you have long X-axis values, right click a column choose Format Data Series. From the Series Options selection drag the Gap Width value close to the No Gap end of the slider for a larger column and the other direction for a smaller one. This increases the column width by decreasing the gap between the columns. Click Close and you’re done.

Now, back to uploading images one by one .. hell, even Noah got them in two by two!

Helen Bradley

Friday, July 11th, 2008

I killed my blogs..

Sometimes I really hate things I do. About a week ago I had high ideals about fixing my articles page and adding mini images to it. I slaved away in FrontPage for an hour or two and I had everything sorted out. I also added a new tutorial on creating planets, mini worlds – amazing circles – whatever you like to call them in Photoshop. Then I did something stupid. I uploaded it all but without really thinking about what I was doing. All I can assume is that I told FrontPage to synch the on and offline sites – result – it clobbered my blog – deleted everything including all my images.

Yikes. First thing I knew my Ad stats were down. I blamed Google for a day then went to see if the blog was live. Well that was a big No! Both of them totally gone. Luckily Blogger retains the text – what I lost was all the images. It has taken me a week to get this blog back up, the other one isn’t half done yet. I am seriously bummed.. what a big waste of time that was. But my articles page looks good [insert wry grin here]!

From here on in – I back up my blog images before I mess with the site. And, long term, I’m thinking about moving from FrontPage to Dreamweaver.. but first – Hey!- I have a blog to fix.

So, in the meantime, this lovely boat was high and dry in a creek near Brighton in the UK. Love the colours and the setting – this is one of my favourite images from the UK and it will be appearing in my new book next year.

Helen Bradley

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Make cute WordArt buttons

Ok, so WordArt in Word 2007 is still the sucky leftover application as that in Word 2003 but that doesn’t mean you can’t get it to do some cool things. You just have to know how. Here’s how to create this smart looking button:

Choose Insert, Picture, WordArt and choose the first of the WordArt designs. Type the first and third lines of your design pressing Enter twice between each line. Click Ok. Click the WordArt shape button and choose Button as the shape. Size the shape so it is circular.

Step 2
Right click the shape and choose Format WordArt. From the Colors and Lines tab choose a Fill colour and set the line colour if desired or choose No Line (I chose No Line). Click the Layout tab and choose In Front of Text. Click Ok.

Step 3
Click outside this object to unselect it and then follow the same process to add a second WordArt object this time selecting the same design but adding only one line of text. You won’t need to alter its shape but you will need to choose your font colour and click the Layout tab and set the position to In Front of Text.

Step 4
Drag the second WordArt object over the first and size it to suit the space. Hold the Shift key as you click on each object in turn to select it and choose Grouping, Group. Now click the Rotation handle and drag to the right to rotate both shapes at the same time to around 20 degrees.

Step 5
Click outside the WordArt shapes and click the Oval tool on the Drawing toolbar. Draw a circle on the page by holding the Shift key as you drag to draw it. Right click and choose Format AutoShape. From the Layout tab choose In Front of Text. From the Colors and Lines tab choose a Fill colour and set the Line colour to a contrasting colour and a fancy style.

Step 6
Right click the circle shape and choose Order, Send Backward to place the circle on a layer below the WordArt. Move the circle into position under the WordArt group. Select both groups in turn (hold Shift as you do so), right click and choose Grouping, Group so they are fixed together and will move and resize as a group.

Helen Bradley