Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
While Word 2010 has no tool for straightening an image, you can create the same effect.
To do this, I’d suggest you start with a new drawing canvas which is Insert > Shapes > New Drawing Canvas to draw a canvas on the screen.
Adjust it to just larger than the image that you want in your document and then click inside the canvas and choose Insert Picture to select an image to insert.
Size the image once it’s placed inside the drawing canvas.
Now with the canvas selected but not the image, choose Insert > Shapes and select a rectangle shape.
Draw the rectangle shape over the top of the image.
From the Drawing Tools> Format tab, set the Shape Fill to No Fill and the Shape Outline to White and set the Outline Weight to a large weight. To do this, you’ll probably need to select the format shape options so that you can set the shape outline to something like 40 points. You need something that will cover the edges of the shape that you are about to crop.
In this image, I’ve set the outline of the rectangle to a light grey so you can see what you’re aiming to achieve:
Now with the image selected rather than the shape, rotate the image until it is straight. Select the image and click the Crop button crop away a little bit around the edges of the image. You don’t need to crop too much but you might need to crop a little bit.
Click outside the image and now adjust the shape itself the white border you created so that it covers the area of the image that you want to hide because you’ve rotated the image.
In some cases, you may still not have enough border so you can adjust it to make it wider or narrower as required not by selecting the rectangle and choose Drawing Tools > Format tab > Shape Outline > Weight> More Lines and now increase the size of the line until you have enough border to hide the outside of the image.
The border grows from the middle out so you need to add about half as much extra border than you think you need.
Once you’ve added the extra border, click on the border and drag it outwards until it covers the uneven edges of the image.
Essentially what you’re doing here is rotating an image then using a white frame with no fill placed over the top of the image to mask out the area of the image that is on an angle and that you don’t want to see.
When you’re done, you can resize the drawing canvas until it fits closely around your image. It should not extend over the image or you will distort the frame.
Placing the image and frame inside a drawing canvas means that you can just click and drag on the drawing canvas edge and it will move both the frame and the image in your document.
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
I love working with Microsoft apps and finding cool things to do with them. I hate it when Microsoft messes with my head.
While I love Microsoft Word 2010, Word 2007 was never my favorite application so I didn’t use it as my day to day tool preferring to stick with Word 2003 which really was a great program.
Now that Word 2010 is here, I have bitten the bullet and I’m turning all my production work over to Word 2010 – it is just such a wonderful program and a fitting successor to Word 2003.
But, wonderful as it is, it has some annoyances. One is when you come to insert a section break into a document. For years I’ve used the Insert menu in Word 2003 to add Breaks of all types to my documents. In Word 2007, 2010 – no go! You can insert a cover page, a blank page or a page break and any other number of smart document objects from the Insert tab – but you can’t insert a section break.
Instead the Breaks feature has been moved to the Page Layout tab – select it and then choose Breaks. Why it wasn’t placed on the Insert tab along with page breaks or why page breaks was added to the Insert tab and also duplicated in the Page Layout tab, I don’t know, but there it is.
So, when you need to add a section break to a Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010 document use the Page Layout tab, select Breaks and then, for example, Next page to create a section break that immediately opens a new page in the document.
You may not like it, but if you’re using Word 2007 you have to accept it’s Microsoft’s world and we just get to live in it.
If you’re using Word 2010 – Yeah! life is good. Thanks to the new customizable ribbon you can add your own Group to the Insert tab, move it up so it’s alongside the built-in Pages group then add the Breaks command to it – it’s a great solution and quick and easy to do and it makes such good sense.
Thursday, January 27th, 2011
Lately I have been having all sorts of problems with my camera card in multiple computers in that the computers couldn’t (or wouldn’t) recognize a card when I put it in the card slot.
It got to the stage where it was fairly obvious that the problems were less an issue with the camera cards themselves and more a problem with Windows.
So, if your SD, XD or compact flash card isn’t being recognized by your computer, don’t blame the cards or yourself and, instead blame Windows! And then step through this process to fix the problem:
Step 1 Click the Start button and choose click Settings > Control Panel and open the Device Manager. On Windows Vista you’ll need to have admin status to do this.
Step 2 Locate the Universal Serial Bus Controllers option and open it.
You’ll see some USB mass storage devices listed and these control your USB Mass Storage Devices. You need to disable them so right click each USB Mass Storage Device and choose Disable. Repeat this for all the devices listed – only disable the USB Mass Storage Devices – not anything else and don’t Uninstall them – just disable them.
Step 3 When you do this, you’ll be warned that you need to reboot your computer so do this and Windows will automatically find your mass storage devices when it boots.
In future, it’s best not to use the option to Safely Remove a Storage Device and instead open up My Computer, locate the drive, right click it and choose Eject. This safely ejects the card so that you can remove it and ensures that the storage device isn’t clobbered so it doesn’t work any longer.
Monday, January 24th, 2011
Quite often you’ll find that you have two tables in a Word document and you want to join the two together to make just one table. The solution is simple but way from obvious.
To do this, first select over all the cells in one of the two tables. If the table is underneath the one you want to join it up to, then press Alt + Shift + Up Arrow to move the table up the document so that it joins the bottom of the table before it. Keep pressing the key until the top row that you have selected joins the bottom border of the one above.
If you have selected the topmost table, then press Alt + Shift + Down Arrow until the top table locks onto the table below.
You can also drag one table up or down until it joins but this method is very slick. It also works on a single row so you can take one row from one table and move only it to join up with another table or to become a table all of its own. Experiment with this key combination – I’m sure you will love it.
Once you’ve done this, the tables will be joined to make one single table. If desired, you can then adjust the positioning of the columns so that the columns match between the two tables – this isn’t required but you may want to do it if the columns are supposed to be the same throughout.
Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Sometimes you’ll need to include a table in a document but place it so that it’s placed over a series of columns rather than inside the column itself.
To do this, click where you want the table to appear and insert the table at this point.
Hold your mouse over the table and you’ll see the table selector above the top left corner of the table. Click it to select the table and drag the table into position.
The default text wrap settings for a table in Word is that the text wraps around the table so there’s no special option to set to make this happen.
You can widen the table cells as large as necessary. If desired, the table can be sized so it fits the full width of the page or you can make it any size that you want.
To adjust the wrapping of text around a table, right click the table selector (the little square above its top left edge) and choose Table Properties > Table tab. Here you can select how text flows around the table or you can make it not flow around it if you want the table to push the text completely out of its way.
Here too you can alter the alignment of the table – by choosing Left, Center or Right.
This table behavior is consistent across Word 2007, 2010, 2003 and earlier versions.
Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
One of the features of Microsoft Word is the ability to insert a line between columns in a Word document.
In Word 2003 and earlier choose Format > Columns and there is an option for Line Between in the dialog. Select it and click Ok and a line will appear between the columns.
In Word 2007 and 2010 the option is harder to find. You need to select the Page Layout > Columns > More Columns Option. This opens the Columns dialog, which gives you the opportunity to select the Line Between checkbox.
If you want to disable this feature, go back to the columns dialog and disable the checkbox.
Saturday, January 15th, 2011
Continuing the short series on working with columns in Word, here’s how to create a column layout in Word.
Create two columns
To turn an entire document into columns in Word 2007 and 2010 click the Page Layout tab and select Columns > Two. This immediately formats all the text in your document into two columns.
In Word 2003 you’ll choose Format > Columns, select Two (or Three etc.,) and click Ok.
Remove two columns
To undo the change and set your document back to one column in effectively undoing the two columns, repeat the process. In Word 2007 or Word 2010, choose Page Layout > Columns > One. The default for any document is one column so all you’re doing is going back to the default. In Word 2003 choose Format > Columns > One.
Make only part of the document into columns
If you want only part of a document to be in columns then select that part of the document first. For example, you may select all the content after the heading, leaving the heading unselected so it will be full width of the page. With that content selected, choose Page Layout > Columns and then select the number of columns.
This will make just the selected text into columns, leaving everything else full width of the page.
Again, if that piece of text ever needs to be returned to a single column just click inside it, choose Page Layout > Columns > One and it will be restore to the way it used to look.
So, that’s how to make text in columns in Word, how to delete columns and how to make only part of a document into columns.
Thursday, January 13th, 2011
The reason is that the process itself is anything but easy.
The Tab key, which will move you between cells in columns in a table, doesn’t work inside newspaper style columns in Word so that key is out.
Instead, to move or jump from one column to the next you’ll press Alt + Page Down to go to the column on the right (the second column) or Alt + Page Up to move to the first column.
When you click Alt + Page Down, if you are in column 1 you’ll go to the very top of column 2. If you keep pressing the key you’ll flip between the top character in each column.
If you’re somewhere in column 2, when you press Alt + Page Up you’ll go to the top of column 1.
These are the only specialist keys for moving or switching between columns – we could use more – like jumping from a line in one column to the same line in the one next to it – but nada! Sorry!
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
If you have a website or blog you will find that, if you’re lucky, you get StumbleUpon from time to time by someone. StumbleUpon is a good long tail link – if you get some positive feedback to the stumble you can get a lot of traffic over a long period of time – really good stuff if you’re tying to build your blog traffic.
I sometimes wonder just who ‘stumbled’ my sites by adding them to their StumbleUpon account. So I want to find out the person who first found the link, how many views it has had and what folks think of it.
Here’s how to find who StumbleUpon your site:
First get the full URL of the page of your site that got stumbled – you’ll find this in your stats – you have to know what page people are stumbling or you won’t find the initial stumbler.
Then type this into your browser toolbar:
http://www.stumbleupon.com/url/<type your url in here>
In place of the <type your url in here> type the full url with or without the http:// part of the url – just don’t use the < or > characters.
Provided the person hasn’t set their page to private you can find the person who stumbled your site. It’s great information and a good way to track what folks think of your posts.
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
Ok, so you’ve formatted your text to be two columns in Word and you’ve typed something in the first column. You haven’t filled the first column because you don’t want to. Fair enough – it’s your document – your choice.
But you do want to type something in the next or second column but however hard you try – Word won’t play nice. It wants you to fill column one before you get to fill column two – you don’t want to – so you’re at a stalemate.
The solution is to force Word to the top of the second column and you do this by inserting a break. In Word 2002/2003 choose Insert> Break > Column Break.
In Word 2007 & 2010 choose Page Layout tab> Breaks > Column.
Now you can type at the top of the second column. Yeah!
Sunday, January 9th, 2011
I get a lot of folks at projectwoman.com who come looking for help with columns and Word – anything from Word 2002 through 2003 to 2007 and now 2010. I have to think the reason is that Microsoft doesn’t make it as easy as it thinks to work with columns.
In the next few posts I’ll show you some things to do with columns that I think most folk have trouble with.
First up, how to put a picture in between columns in Word. Start by formatting your text in columns and then add your picture.
Chances are it won’t move and sit between columns. The issue is that Word inserts images as In Line With Text by default which is the setting MOST OF US WOULDN’T USE IN 1,000 YEARS – but Microsoft doesn’t really understand most users and so that’s what we get – images that are stuck – they won’t move where we want them to go and they won’t rotate.
To fix this, in Word 2002/2003 from the Picture toolbar find the Text Wrapping button, click it and choose practically anything except In Line With Text – I choose Square because it is the best all round setting.
In Word 2007/2010 click the Picture and from the Picture Tools > Format tab on the ribbon click the Text Wrapping button and choose Square.
Now your picture does what you expected it to do in the first place – it moves, it can be rotated and when you drag it over the space between two columns it sits where it is put and it pushes the text out of the way around it. Neat huh?
One day… maybe Microsoft will hear our cries of frustration and insert images so they behave like they should without us having to jump through hoops to make them.
Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
PowerPoint comes bundled with Office 2010 and the entire downloadable trial version of Office is available from the Microsoft web site. If you like what you see, you can purchase the full version later on.
If you like PowerPoint but can’t afford to shell out for the suite, why not settle for a cut down version – free – available online? You can find PowerPoint at www.skydrive.com sign in using a Windows Live ID – if you don’t have one (but you probably will), you can sign up for one here. Then click the Office link at the top of the page and you can choose to create a new PowerPoint presentation online.
The PowerPoint tools are a cut down version of the full PowerPoint program but they are all you need to get a good start on a presentation – you even have access to a range of great looking themes to kick start your presentation.
Better still you can share your PowerPoint presentation with others so they can view it and even edit it online and you can download the finished file to your computer. Of course, your files are stored online too so you can access them any time you like and Microsoft gives you a hefty 25GB of online storage – more than enough to create all the presentations you’re ever likely to need.
Thursday, December 9th, 2010
When I use a calculator I like to see the tape – that way I can see what I have done so I can check that the result is based on correctly input data and operators.
Frustratingly the Windows calculator does not include a tape function – seriously it’s not like it would be wasting trees to include one!
My solution is to use Moffsoft FreeCalc which you can find here: http://www.moffsoft.com/downloads.htm. This is a simple calculator you can enter values into using the buttons or the keyboard and it includes a tape that lets you check your entries.
Unbeatable value and a smart replacement for the Windows Calculator app.
Friday, November 26th, 2010
When you have an image in a PowerPoint presentation and you want to crop it to a specific size, click on the image, and from the Picture Tools > Format tab, select the Size and Position dialog by clicking in the dialog launcher in the bottom right corner of the Size group.
Click on the Crop group of options and then in the Crop Position area, type the dimensions that you want to crop the image to. Once you have done this, the image will be cropped to the desired size.
If there is not enough data in the image to crop it to that size, the image will be placed inside a placeholder the size you determined. Once you click Close to finish cropping the image you can increase the size of the image so it fills the placeholder by clicking on the Crop tool on the Picture Tools > Format tab and choose Fill. This increases the size of the image to fill the placeholder.
Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
I work for some totally cool people and organizations. One of them is SmallBusinessComputing.com. I write a lot of pragmatic Office columns for the site – I love getting down to the tools you most need to use every day and where you can make get the most time saved.
Well my editor loves my stuff so she has created a How To with Helen Bradley page which includes links to all my columns. You can either head over there and browse to find what you want, or read on – I’ve grabbed all the things there and the links to make it super simple for you to read any of the articles on the site. The first link to Time Saving tips for better letters in Word got picked up by one of the NYTimes business blogs:
[October 26, 2010] Does your small business software work as hard as you do? Helen Bradley offers five Microsoft Word tips to save you time and help you write great business letters.
[October 21, 2010] Microsoft Office 2010 is packed with changes and cool new features that can help any small business. Let our tour guide show you what’s different so you can make the most of this small business software staple.
[September 20, 2010] Simple touches can make your small business Web design stand out. Helen Bradley explains how to create a great-looking collage banner for your small business website.
[August 23, 2010] Helen Bradley explains how any SMB can project and track cash flow with a budget in Excel.
[July 20, 2010] Helen Bradley shows you five ways to make your small business website photos look better using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
[June 21, 2010] Helen Bradley explains how you can leverage your small business software using Microsoft Office Live Workspaces and SkyDrive.
[May 20, 2010] Helen Bradley introduces Microsoft’s note-taking and research tool (not to mention unsung hero), OneNote 2003.
[April 28, 2010] Surveys are a great way to find out what your customers are thinking. This Word 2007 tutorial will teach you how to create your own survey forms, plus it offers a few tips on writing better surveys.
[April 21, 2010] A strong customer database is a valuable asset and a great small business marketing tool. Are you making the most of yours?
[April 8, 2010] Use small business technology to your advantage. These seven handy Excel charting features make the data in your charts easier to read and comprehend.
[March 22, 2010] A Web site is one of the most essential Internet marketing tools for a small business. Helen Bradley explains the basics of creating a Web site without spending a fortune.
[March 8, 2010] Need a creative boost to your small business marketing materials? Helen Bradley shows how to add multimedia to your presentations with Producer for PowerPoint 2007.
[February 19, 2010] Give your small business marketing a boost by making your own custom e-mail newsletter. Helen Bradley shows how easy it is to do in Microsoft Publisher 2003.
[January 4, 2010] Helen Bradley explains how to create clickable hotspots, or image maps, that simplify navigating a PowerPoint presentation.
[December 17, 2009] Helen Bradley walks you through Word 2007’s built-in indexing tool and shows how to make document indexes — by hand or automatically.
[December 10, 2009] Helen Bradley explains how to create a moving picture background that, when used sparingly, makes a more compelling PowerPoint slideshow.
[November 23, 2009] Whether you’re redesigning your Web site or starting from scratch, consider using CSS — it’ll make future style changes much easier down the road.
[November 4, 2009] Ready for do it yourself signage? Our Microsoft tips guru explains the basics of creating professional, functional signs in Word.
[November 3, 2009] A consistent Web design not only makes visitors more comfortable on your site, it increases your chances of converting them into customers.
[October 9, 2009] Helen Bradley shows how you can gather information from someone while they view a Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 presentation.
[October 8, 2009] Helen Bradley walks you through the steps to create and customize bulleted and numbered lists in Word 2003.
[September 28, 2009] Helen Bradley explains how you can chart your data without ever leaving Microsoft Access.
[September 2, 2009] Helen Bradley shows how custom Excel functions save time and effort and how you can use your custom functions in all your workbooks.
[August 26, 2009] Helen Bradley shares design tips to create great-looking brochures in Microsoft Publisher.
[July 29, 2009] Helen Bradley looks at simple ways to avoid introducing errors in Excel worksheets.
[July 1, 2009] Helen Bradley walks you through building a PowerPoint slide show that can run automatically – a handy promotional tool to use at events or in reception areas.
[May 28, 2009] Helen Bradley shows you how to add finishing touches that make Word documents look polished and professional.
[May 15, 2009] Helen Bradley shows how to create duplicate and sequential numbering in Microsoft Word 2007.
[February 17, 2009] Helen Bradley demonstrates Excel formatting tricks that will help you when things don’t work as planned.
[February 10, 2009] We show you how to summarize important data in your Excel 2007 worksheets and reduce the data to more manageable levels with the ultra-efficient outline tool.
[January 27, 2009] Helen Bradley shows you how to create Word document templates to quick start your day-to-day tasks.
[January 7, 2009] When working on documents with other people, tracking changes has the potential to save time and help keep others well informed and on the same page.
[December 19, 2008] Helen Bradley introduces the basics of creating a worksheet and chart in Microsoft Excel.
[December 1, 2008] Microsoft maven Helen Bradley explains how to place an object from one Office application inside of another.
[November 10, 2008] Our Microsoft application guru Helen Bradley explains how to make Access database forms and reports more functional and attractive.
[September 18, 2008] Helen Bradley shows how to use Microsoft Publisher to build a basic Web site for your business. Bonus: you can use the same design set for your Web site that you use for your print marketing materials.
[August 28, 2008] Our resident document diva, Helen Bradley takes us on a tour of the rudimentary, but essential, formatting features in Word 2003.
[August 13, 2008] Tapping into the new document properties and content controls in Word 2007 generates some very sharp-looking professional building blocks.
[August 4, 2008] Our designing diva, Helen Bradley shows you how to create your own sharp, professional marketing materials using Microsoft Publisher.
[July 30, 2008] Our application expert Helen Bradley explains ways you can add animation effects to your slide shows.
[July 3, 2008] With a little imagination and skill you can work on one part of a spreadsheet and see data in other areas at the same time.
[June 24, 2008] We look at ways to harness the power of Word Field codes to automate and simplify document production.
[June 6, 2008] We step through the process of creating a Dashboard chart and data display in Excel 2007 for more efficient analysis of and quick access to your critical information.
[May 22, 2008] You’ve put in the time and effort to build and populate a database — now what? We take a look at the ways to create queries to find pearls of business wisdom. Plus: watch the video.
[March 10, 2008] Don’t get caught up in repetitive typing and correcting common typos. The AutoCorrect and AutoText tools in Word can help you to increase your efficiency and speed up your day.
[February 19, 2008] It’s critical to understand the problems that might occur in your Excel worksheets. In this article, we’ll show you how to keep them as error-free as possible.
[February 14, 2008] Mastering the art of PowerPoint masters will save you time, repetition and a whole lot of aggravation.
[January 24, 2008] We take a look at handy new features in PowerPoint 2007 that let you create attractive hand-drawn charts to give a visual boost to your presentations while still getting your message across to your audience.
[January 14, 2008] Creating a database in Access can be a bit daunting for the uninitiated. We’ll walk you through how to build your own, plus a report and a query, too.
[January 4, 2008] There are many times in Excel when you find yourself entering the same data over and over again. In many cases, you can spare your fingers the work of typing and fast-track repetitive data entry. As the latest article in our Exploring Office 2007 series shows, it’s all about working smarter and more effectively.
[December 11, 2007] Microsoft Word 2007 is a great editing tool to use when you’re working with others on a project. We explore the features in Word 2007 that allow you to manage workgroup changes and contributions to documents.
[December 6, 2007] Action buttons let you navigate quickly through a PowerPoint presentation, add sounds or any number of other interactive effects. We’ll show you how easy it is to do.
[November 20, 2007] They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but wait ’til you see what Word can do with that picture. We take a look at the application’s image tools and how using them lets you add pop to any document.
[October 22, 2007] Tables let you organize information in a concise, visual way, but working with them in Word can be a bit tricky. We’ll take a look at some of the tools and show you how to make the most of Tables.
[October 1, 2007] With a little pre-planning and some knowledge of the print options that can be configured to your advantage in Excel, you can turn your next Excel print job from an exercise in frustration to an effortlessly simple and successful procedure.
[September 11, 2007] Excel offers a simple way to manage lists of data without resorting to the complexity of a database. We show you how it works in both Excel 2003 and 2007.
[August 24, 2007] One of the new features in Microsoft Office 2007 that has everyone talking is Themes. Discover how this new feature can improve your everyday productivity and efficiency while helping you create attractive, professional-looking documents and presentations with minimal effort.
[August 23, 2007] Excel makes comparing business decisions a bit easier with its Scenario Manager tool. We take a look at how you can use the spreadsheet to set up different scenarios whether it’s comparing products or budget numbers.
[August 2, 2007] Excel charts have been given a makeover in Excel 2007 and the Chart Wizard of earlier versions is now gone. Our Exploring Office 2007 series continues with a list of the top tips for creating functional and attractive charts in the new Excel 2007 release.
[July 25, 2007] Excel jockeys saddle up. We take a look at how using Reports, Views and Outlining saves you time and simplifies your spreadsheets.
[July 3, 2007] PowerPoint 2007 delivers a wealth of new features and enhancements that make it easier to create attractive, professional-looking presentations. Our Exploring Office 2007 series continues with a list of the top tips for getting the most out of the new PowerPoint 2007 release.
[June 15, 2007] While Outlook 2007 may look a lot like older releases, there’s a great deal to like about the upgrade and plenty of new tools to help you be more productive. Our Exploring Office 2007 series continues with a list of ten top tips for using Outlook 2007.
[June 11, 2007] Microsoft Word can merge more than just mail. Use the popular app’s mail-merge feature for create lists, nametags and even catalogs with images. We’ll show you how.
[May 22, 2007] Office 2007 delivers an abundance of new features and enhancements, many of which aren’t exactly obvious at first glance. The first article in our new Exploring Office 2007 series takes a closer look at working with the SmartArt tool to easily create everything from simple diagrams to cutting-edge business graphics.
[May 3, 2007] Add some life to your spreadsheets and make your data easier to understand. These five tips can make Excel charts sing.