Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Blog from Word 2007

blog 778433 Blog from Word 2007

One of the coolest features in Word 2007 is the ability to blog from Word.

To do this, click the Office Button and choose New, New Blog Post. Click the Register Now button and choose your blogging tool, it’s Blogger for me. Enter the details of your account and choose the picture option to use for uploading images. If you have multiple blogs running from the one account, choose the blog to use with Word. It’s very simple then to create posts and upload them without having to
crank up your browser.

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Word Toolbars your way

symbols 799243 Word Toolbars your way

I use the £ and ¢ symbols a lot but they’re not on my keyboard. However they’re on my toolbar, thanks to the ability to customize Word’s toolbars.

Right click Word’s toolbar and choose Customize and then the Commands tab. Click the All Commands option in the Commands list and locate and click the Symbol: entry. Drag and drop it onto a toolbar and, when the symbol dialog appears, click the symbol to attach to the button and click Ok.

The toolbar button displays the font name and the symbol number. To make it look prettier, right click the button and type a different name for it. If the symbol can be typed using the keyboard by pressing the Alt key and typing out the numbers then do this. Alternately, click the Edit Button Image button and draw the symbol to create your own icon.

And, if you’re curious, the £ symbol is Alt + 0163 and the ¢ symbol is Alt + 155 – so now you know.

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Haven’t I said this before?

quickpart 720130 Havent I said this before?

Ever get that sense of deja vu – you’ve said this before.. oh so many times? Office has never had a good tool for managing blocks of text that you use repeatedly. The is AutoText and AutoCorrect but they’re not highly visible or intuitive. In Office 2007 another tool is thrown into the mix. The jury is out on whether this is a good thing or just another option that isn’t properly thought our or implemented. Anyway, it’s worth testing out to see if it works for you. BTW the technical term for text you use over and over again is boilerplate text… not sure why, but there it is!

In Word, for example, type and select the text that you use a lot and, on the Insert tab choose the Quick Part option. You can save the text and later insert it using the same tool – it’s kinda nice that the tool shows you the full text before you insert it.

Interestingly the same feature is available in Outlook 2007 where it just might be a litte bit more use.

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Are you free? Add a calendar to an Outlook 2007 email

I need to meet with you. I know when I’m free I don’t know when you are. To avoid the “Can you do it this time?” “No. What about?” discussion you can send an outgoing email with your calendar in it so your recipient can see when you’re free and plan accordingly.

The proviso for this is you need to be using Microsoft Exchange so it’s the sort of thing you can do at work but unlikely you will be running exchange at home. To do this, in a new message dialog, click the Insert tab and select Calendar. You can then choose just how much calendar to send, just your available spaces or everything… it’s up to you.

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Axe the Mini toolbar

minitoolbar 796599 Axe the Mini toolbar

If you don’t like the new mini toolbar that appears when you right click something in an Office 2007 document, you can axe it. You can’t customize it, you can’t add or remove anything from it but you can zap it.

In Word 2007, PowerPoint 2007and Excel 2007 you do this by clicking the Office button and choose the Options link at the foot of the dialog. In the Popular group you will disable the Show Mini Toolbar on selection checkbox.

The steps are a little different in Outlook 2007 in Outlook, you need to open an element that uses the new Ribbon interface such as a new message window. Now click the Office button, Editor Options and disable the Show Mini Toolbar on selection checkbox.

If you want it back at any time, just reverse the process.

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Copying Styles in Word

styles 738587 Copying Styles in Word

If you often work on documents that need to use custom styles, you can easily copy the styles from one document to another – if you know how. Since you’re reading this, you’re about to be invited into the inner circle of knowledge.

So, start with the document open into which you want to copy the styles. Choose Tools, Macro, Macros, Organizer – yep! sounds weird but it works!

Now click the Close file button on the right to close Normal.dot and then click Open File and browse to find the file to copy the styles from. If this is a regular file and not a template, you’ll have to select the correct file type from the Files of Type list. When you open your file, click the Styles tab and you can select and copy styles from one document to the other. Simple when you know how?

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Showing the Styles pane in Word 2007

taskpane 767283 Showing the Styles pane in Word 2007

The Styles task pane in Word is a handy way of tracking what styles are applied to a paragraph and for formatting text with styles. You might be wondering if the Styles task pane is totally missing it in Word 2007. Don’t worry – it is still there, you just have to find it.

Click the Home tab and locate the Styles group. Click the indicator in the bottom right corner to open the Styles dialog – voila! just what you need. To dock it so it sits permanently on the right of the screen, double click its title bar. You can also display it by pressing Control + Alt + Shift + S.

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Quick moves in Word

As an extension to yesterday’s tip my preference for moving items around a Word document is to hold the Shift and Alt keys together and to use the Up and Down arrow keys.

This moves a paragraph up and down a document or, if you have more than one paragraph selected, it moves all of them up and down a document.

If you do this inside a table you move the table row up and down the table – neat but there’s more to come. If the table row moves past the top of a table it is broken out of the table and it becomes a table all of its own. Move some table rows from one table down into another table and they’re automatically incorporated into the second table. It’s an amazingly simple yet effective way of moving things around a Word document.

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Quick moves in Excel

My friend Theda and I were talking the other day about a project she’s working on where she has to reorder a lot of items into alphabetical order and, in some cases, an order which is not alphabetical.

While she is doing the project in Microsoft Excel there are, of course, difficulties in Excel in moving items around as Excel does not, by default, open up a row when you choose to move an item from one part of the worksheet to another – instead, Excel thinks you want to overwrite the target cells – as if!

There is, however, a way to do this which opens up the space for the new row and which closes up the space that you have just made available. To do this select an entire row or range of rows in Excel by clicking on the row number or numbers. Hold your mouse over the dark outline around the rows and hold the Shift key as you drag the rows to their new position. The empty space that you have created will be closed up and a new space will be created between the other two rows for your item.

Problem solved!

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Put a button on an Excel worksheet

button 744744 Put a button on an Excel worksheet

I love the form tools in Excel they let you do so many cool things. One thing I love to do is to make buttons run my macros. To do this, use the Forms toolbar, click the Button tool and drag to create a button on the worksheet. When you do, a dialog appears with all your macros listed so you can select the one to use. You can also edit the text on the button and when you’re done simply click it to run the macro – sweet huh?

If you’re using Excel 2007 you have to add the button tool to your Quick Access toolbar (it’s in the Commands Not In The Ribbon group and it’s called Button (Form Control).

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

Cover Pages to Go – Word 2007

cover 750414 Cover Pages to Go   Word 2007

There’s a lot to love about the new Word 2007 and one of those things is the new Cover Pages tool. Cover pages are an all important introduction to your documents – they sit on the front of your document and they’re the first thing someone sees when they view your work. They should say all sorts of things about your professionalism and your style. If they’re plain and dull, they (and you) deserve better. Now there’s no excuse for plain ol’ cover pages.

When you’re next in the market to create a document of any more than two or three pages, check out the Cover Pages options. Click the Insert tab and choose Cover Pages. A gallery opens up and you can choose the page of your liking. It appears as a new first page for your document complete with places already marked into which you can type your information. Click and type and you’re done – simple, effective and a ‘must have’ solution for better business documents.

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Languages and Word 2007

languages 747962 Languages and Word 2007

I write articles for magazines all over the world. One day I’ll wake up and think Canadian and other times I’m English or an Aussie or American.

Each country spells differently, it can be color or colour or honor or honour and there are really tricky ones like dialing and dialling. To help out, I use the Language options in Word. It used to be easy in Word 2003, select the document using Control + A, and apply the language to it using the Tools options.

I spent a horrible amount of time in Word 2007 en-route to New Jersey recently looking for the Language tool. Yikes, could not find it anywhere. Ring the alarm bells, I need this feature. My solution, use the Customize tool and add the Language option to the Quick Access toolbar. Now it’s where you want it, handy and accessible. Bummer it can’t be found on the Ribbon anywhere but at least this now works and probably it’s better than even in Word 2003.

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

Camera Icon in Excel 2007

camera 777224 Camera Icon in Excel 2007

Hi Jim from Calgary!

Jim wrote and asked, “I’ve been using the camera icon for years and I can’t find it in Excel 2007. Can you see it anywhere?”

He also said, “nice blog thanks” – so anyone that nice deserves an answer.

So, Jim, don’t go looking for the camera on the Ribbon it isn’t there. You probably already know you can’t customize the Ribbon either so you can’t put it just anywhere you like – thanks Microsoft! You’re limited to the Quick Access toolbar – that little bar to the right of the Office button. Click the down arrow to its immediate right and choose More Commands. From the Choose Commands From list choose ‘Commands Not in the Ribbon’ (that’s how I figure it probably isn’t on the ribbon), and then locate the Camera. Click it and click Add. Then click Ok. Now the camera is on the Quick Access Toolbar and it works as it always used to – least so far as I can see.

If you’ve now got a great new camera icon on your toolbar but you don’t know what to do with it, then visit my Snap an Excel range blog entry to find out…

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Grid and Guides in PowerPoint 2007

guides 710671 Grid and Guides in PowerPoint 2007

If you’re like me you like to have everything neatly aligned on your PowerPoint slides. If you don’t, a slide with navigation and action buttons can very quickly become very untidy.

To line everything up, you need to be able to see the gridlines. Gridlines on a PowerPoint slide? I hear you ask. Why not?

To see the gridlines, right click an empty area on a slide and choose Grid and Guides. Select the Display Grid on Screen checkbox and configure the grid size and click Ok. You can also display drawing guides using the same dialog. By default these are placed in the middle of the slide horizontally and vertically.

To add a new guide, hold the Control key as you drag a new guide from an existing one.

Reverse the process to hide the guides and grids when you’re done.

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Never miss a trick with Outlook 2007

followup 706992 Never miss a trick with Outlook 2007

I often get emails that need attention such as a tip that a reader sends in for an column I write in the Sydney Morning Herald that I like and plan to use in an upcoming column – just not now. I flag it by right clicking and choose Follow Up and then a flag, like this week, next week, no date etc..

Having done that, the item appears automatically in my Outlook 2007 to do list so, provided the To do bar is showing, it’s there and I can check the items and find the tip whenever I need it. Combine follow up with color categories and you’re set. When you’re done with an item, right click it in the To Do bar and mark it as complete and it disappears.

Seriously, the To Do bar has the ability at last to be some use in Outlook 2007 so it’s time to begin using some behaviors that will make it work for you.