Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Word 2010 – print the current page

If you’re used to using Word you might remember that, when you want to print just the current page you need to click in the page and then choose to print it. The current page isn’t the one you are looking at – necessarily – it is the one where the insertion point is located.

Fast forward to Word 2010 – all of a sudden – all bets are off. When  you click File to move to the backstage view and click Print you see the print preview to your right. Whatever page shows there is the page that will be printed if you choose to print the current page. If that’s not the page you want to print, use the navigation tools to move to the  page to print and then click Print.

It’s smarter and it really is how it should work. It won’t cause problems for new users because they don’t know how Word used to work, it’s us old users who need to rethink the logic here. Lucky for us though the page where the insertion point was located is the  page that shows in Print preview by default.

Helen Bradley

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Lightroom to Flickr

If you’re a keen photographer, chances are that you publish some of your photos to Flickr for sharing with friends and family. One of the disadvantages of Lightroom 2 is that it does not come with a built in tool for publishing direct to Flickr although this has been addressed in Lightroom 3 which does offer this ability.

There are, however, tools like Jeffrey Friedl’s Lightroom plug-in that you can use to do the job. Here’s how it works:

Step 1

To download the tool, visit and locate the tool for your version of Lightroom. There are different downloads for Lightroom 1 and Lightroom 2 so get the right one.

Step 2

Download the zip file which, if you are using Lightroom 2 is via a link in the top right hand corner of the screen.

Unzip the downloaded file and, when you do, you will see a .LRPlugin folder inside the zip file.

You need the entire contents of this folder so drag and drop the entire folder from your Downloads folder into the place where you plan to keep it long term.

Lightroom isn’t fussy about where you place your plug-ins but it makes good sense to place them all in a central location where it is easy for you to find them. I suggest you place it nearby your Lightroom folder or in your Documents folder where it will be included in your regular system backup.

Step 3

Now return to Lightroom and choose File > Plug-in Manager. This opens the Plug-in Manager dialog where you install your Lightroom plug-ins. Click Add and navigate to the folder that you stored the .lrplugin folder. Click the folder to select it and click Ok.

Click Update if prompted to update your catalog to support the plug-in. A dialog will appear with more instructions in it. Read the information and click Ok when you are done.

Step 4

The Plug-in will be listed in the plug-in list so click Done to exit the dialog.

Step 5

Now select a few images to upload to Flickr. Right click one of the selected images and choose Export > Export.

At the very top of the dialog you will see the Files on disk heading, click this panel and locate the Flickr (Jeffrey’s) option in the list.

Go ahead and (ignoring the Export Location settings) complete the other areas of the Export dialog as you would for any export task.

Pay particular attention to the file names, file format and quality because, when you click to Export the files they are sent direct to Flickr.

If you plan to resize the images select the Image Sizing options and choose the desired option.

Step 6

Click the Authenticate to Flickr button at the top of the dialog. You only need do this the first time you upload images. Your browser will open and you should sign in using your Flickr log-in and password.

Step 7

When prompted, click the second Next button to authenticate the connection then click Ok, I’ll authorize it if you are happy with the conditions displayed.

Once you have done this, close your browser, return to Lightroom and click the I’ve authenticated at button to confirm you have done so.

Step 8

Once you are authenticated, additional options are available in the Export dialog. You can, for example, select the photosets for the images and ask to view the Flickr photoset when uploading is complete.

Step 9

You can also set Licence types for the images, add keywords and configure a range of options for uploading.

Step 10

When you are done, click the Export button to export your images to Flickr.

This Lightroom plug-in is, what is called, donation ware. It is functional for six week and then you’re asked to register and make a donation one cent is the minimum PayPal fee. If you don’t register then functionality is reduced to uploading ten images at a time.

This plug-in works well and, until you upgrade to Lightroom 3 it is a smart addition to your Lightroom toolkit. For my money it makes the upload process seamless. And, because it saves me an entire step by rolling Export from Lightroom and upload to Flickr into a single step it represents the difference between things being left on my to do list and tasks getting a big black line drawn through them – and I like that!

Helen Bradley

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Problems with Excel formulas?

If you are having difficulty understanding how a formula is calculating in Excel – perhaps because it appears to give you the wrong results – you can step through it to see how it is working.

To do this, select the cell containing the formula and choose Tools > Formula Auditing > Evaluate Formula – in Excel 2007 find the Evaluate Formula option on the Formulas tab.

Click Evaluate and each time you do this, a portion of the formula will be evaluated and you can see it at work.

Use the Step In and Step Out options to see the actual values in place of any appropriate cell references.

This step by step processing should show you what is happening in your formula allowing you to troubleshoot any difficulties with it.

Helen Bradley

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Create your own Excel startup page

Here’s how to create a cool startup page for Excel – it has links to all your favorite workbooks so you can click on any of them to immediately open that file.

Step 1

To a new workbook, add one picture for every workbook you want to link to your startup page by choosing Insert > Picture > ClipArt. Size and arrange the images neatly. Choose Tools > Options > View tab and disable Gridlines, Row & Column Headers, Horizontal Scroll bar, Vertical Scroll bar, and Sheet Tabs.

Step 2

Right click one image, choose Hyperlink and link to a workbook you work with regularly. Type a description of the workbook in the Screentip dialog. Link each image to a workbook. Protect the worksheet by choosing Tools > Protection > Protect Sheet and click Ok.


Step 3

Choose File > Save As > and select your XLSTART folder which is likely to be: C:\Documents and Settings\<username> \Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLStart. Name your file menu.xls, close it, exit and restart Excel. The menu workbook will appear every time you launch Excel – giving you one-click access to your favourite workbooks.

Helen Bradley

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Inserting text in an Outlook 2007 email

The other day I came across an issue with Outlook which took quite a while to resolve and which really shouldn’t have done so.

In Outlook 2007, what I wanted to do was to insert an HTML page as a new email message. This is something that any organization running its own email mailing list may want to do.

Unfortunately, in Outlook 2007 there is no insert text option. You can attach things to outgoing emails, but on the face of it, you can’t insert them in the body of the email itself.

The solution is simple but, as I said, anything but obvious. To insert a file inside the body of an Outlook email message:

  1. from the Insert tab select Attach file.
  2. Browse to locate your file but don’t insert it at this stage. Instead, click the down-pointing arrow to the right of the Insert button.
  3. Look for the Insert As Text Option. This is what you need, click it and the file will be inserted as a text object in your Outlook email rather than being attached to it.

 It’s a problem which should be far easier than this to solve.

Helen Bradley