Thursday, July 19th, 2007
You probably already know that you can fill a series of Excel cells by entering the first two numbers in a series and then select the two cells and drag on the marker in the bottom right corner of the selection. Excel fills the selected cells with the next numbers in the series. to find more fill options, including the ability to copy the series rather than filling it, select the cells but use the right mouse button to do the dragging. If you’re filling dates you’ll get options like Fill Weekdays and Fill Months – that let you control the fill series that Excel creates for you.
Wednesday, July 18th, 2007
When you make an Excel row much deeper by dragging on the marker below the cell number you’ll often find the cell entry hugs the bottom of the cell. If you’d prefer to have it centered in the cell you won’t find the Center button works to do anything more than center the cell entry horizontally.
To center it vertically use the Format, Cell dialog and choose the Alignment tab. From the Vertical list choose Center and the entry will be aligned evenly between the top and bottom cell margins.
Monday, July 16th, 2007
I seriously think that the best ever word processor was Word Perfect 5.1. I loved that program and held onto it well after the awful (in my opinion) version 6 was launched. Only with the advent of Word 97 did I make the change.
Sometimes I like to recall the heady days of white text on a blue background and so I turn the Word 2003 screen into a faux Word Perfect 5.1 look. To do this, choose Tools, Options, General tab and select the Blue background, white text option. It’s a trip down memory lane. However, don’t expect to get an indent by pressing F4 or Bold type by pressing F6, the change is on the surface only. You still have to use Word key strokes but you can at least recall some of the greatness of this very cool word processor.
Thursday, July 12th, 2007
If you’ve tried the new WordArt tool in PowerPoint 2007 you’ve probably discovered how neat it is. No more bent words in putrid magenta colors and instead, theme aware text that looks great for headings and which will change color when you change the Theme.
Try the same thing in Word 2007 and you’re in for a ghastly surprise. WordArt missed out on getting a makeover in Word 2007 and, instead, it’s the same application it has always been – functional but requiring a lot of additional work on behalf of the user to make it look even half good.
Here’s hoping that the next implementation of Word, whenever that appears, finally does away with this and gives us WordArt that is usable and as functional as that in PowerPoint 2007 and Excel 2007.
Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
While themes are a gimme for working in PowerPoint, they don’t appear to be as useful in Word as they don’t seem to do much to format the document if you’re not using diagrams or shapes. However the problem isn’t quite this simple. Themes in Word won’t apply to the text in the document if you don’t have a style in place. Use the Home tab to view the Styles option and click Change Styles and select a Style Set. Now, when you choose the Theme, the styles available change.
All of a sudden, themes make a little more sense in Word 2007.
Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
I use the My Places option all the time to add folders to the left hand side of the File Open and File Close dialogs. If you do this too and if you use Office 2007 you’ll find very quickly that the Add to My Places option isn’t where you expect it to be. Instead of being accessible from the Tools menu, you simply right click the icons on the left of the dialog and you can add the current folder to the list.
In all fairness, it makes more sense to be here than having the option where it was -it’s just if that’s where you expected it to be, it ain’t there no more.
Saturday, July 7th, 2007
Yum, it’s like a boss key for Excel and PowerPoint. Double click the Office button in either application and it’s like a Close All tool – everything closes quickly and automatically.
Doesn’t work in Word, wonder why not?
Thursday, July 5th, 2007
When you make really big tables in Word that span multiple pages you get into trouble when you try to read the text on the second and subsequent pages of the document because there are no table headings displayed.
Your gut reaction migth be to edit the table and to insert rows for the headings on each of the pages – good idea but there is a better one.
Select the rows at the top of the table that contain the headings – this might be one row or it could be a couple. Now choose Table, Heading Rows Repeat. Voila! Word does all the work for you – it puts the duplicate headings anywhere they need to be – if you add more text to the table or remove text – the headings are always in just the right place – much less effort and a much better end result.
Wednesday, July 4th, 2007
Ok, I just bought a new Vista tablet from HP. Let me start by saying it’s a great machine… but, here’s the rub, there is this very annoying popup that keeps appearing asking if you want to set up HP internet services. Well I would say yes if I hadn’t already done it so I click no and don’t ask me again and I get back to watching my Netflix Watch Now movie. Only a few minutes later, there it is again and again and again and again.. ad nauseum, every day every few minutes when I’m surfing the web already – talk about annoying and very stupid to boot.
Eventually I can see that saying Don’t ask me again is not going to work so I go looking for a solution. The solution is that this popup is running via a scheduled task. To stop it, log in as administrator if you aren’t already, open Control Panel and locate and find the Administrative Tools option. Locate Scheduled tasks and you’ll find the InternetServiceOffers option in the running tasks list which is what is causing the issues. Right click this option and disable it and, voila! no more stupid prompt and I can get back to my movie.
Wednesday, July 4th, 2007
There’s no shortcut way to color code cells in Excel which contain formulas but this workaround is simple and fast.
Choose Edit, GoTo, Special button and click Formulas and then Ok. Now fill the cells with a color using the Fill Color tool.
It’s now clear which cells contain formulas and those that do not.
Monday, July 2nd, 2007
When you open Excel you will, by default see a new blank workbook. If you’d prefer to see nothing at all you can do so by altering the Excel startup icon.
Right click it and choose Properties and then in the Command area add the text /e at the end after the double quotes. Now Excel will launch without the splash screen and with no new workbook.
Friday, June 29th, 2007
It happens just when you don’t want it to – you press the wrong key and all of a sudden you’ve saved an incorrectly spelled word to your dictionary. Unless you fix the problem, Word won’t pick up this misspelling ever again.
To solve the problem, choose Tools, Options, Spelling & Grammar and click the Custom Dictionaries button, click Custom.dic and click Modify. Locate the misspelled word, select it and click Delete.
Now click Ok and you’re done.
Wednesday, June 27th, 2007
One thing I do amongst all the things I do is to tech edit articles and books.
You learn a lot when you do this, on the one hand you learn how much you don’t know and on the other you learn how much you do know… it’s an eye opening experience both ways.
One thing that came out of a recent experience is how to do columns in Word. In this case, I liked my solution lots better than the one in front of me.
To turn a piece of text you have already created into a series of columns in Word, select the text and choose Format, Columns. Now choose how many and the width of your columns and instantly – columns to go!
I won’t disclose the solution I was editing… it simply wasn’t this simple.
Wednesday, June 27th, 2007
In Excel there are gridlines and gridlines. You can display them on the screen as you work or on the printouts or both or neither.
To display or hide gridlines as you work, choose Tools, Options, View tab and enable or disable Gridlines.
For printing, choose File, Page Setup, Sheet tab and enable or disable Gridlines for printing…
Now you know.
Tuesday, June 26th, 2007
The MacroButton field code in Word is handy for creating “Click Here” blocks in your documents indicating what needs to be typed and where. When you use these blocks, you simply click and type the entry required.
To create a click here block, choose Insert, Field, from the Categories list choose Document Automation and from the Field names list choose MacroButton. In the text area, after the word MACROBUTTON, type:
NoMacro [Click here and type a name]
Click Ok to finish. Provided you’re displaying field code results and not the codes themselves, you’ll should see the prompt text appear inside the square brackets. Save your document. Then, when you open and use the document you can complete the required text by clicking the prompt and type the requested data. Notice when you do this that the field code text disappears and is replaced by your text.