Saturday, May 26th, 2007
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
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
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
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.
Saturday, May 19th, 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
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
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
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
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.
Friday, May 11th, 2007
If you’re using Office 2007 in a workgroup with others who are 2003 users, then you’ll encounter problems with them not being able to read your 2007 documents.
The simple solution is to change the default save format in the Office 2007 applications so they save automatically in the older formats. To do this, click the Office button and choose the Word Options button (for example), and click the Save option. In the dropdown list, Configure the Save files in this format option to the 97-2003 format.
You’ll need to do this separately for each application you want to change the default save format for.
Of course, this doesn’t stop you from saving in the new format or any other supported format. It just ensures that the default save format is backwardly compatible with other users.
Thursday, May 10th, 2007
Why would you go to all the trouble of creating Office 2007, packaging it into a cute box and then leave some of the best bits out? Ask Microsoft because I sure as heck don’t understand it. In the past they’ve left out Producer for PowerPoint, options in Excel and now, in Office 2007, the PDF writer. Seriously – it’s silly and it’s sad ’cause lots of folks don’t know that these tools are there so they struggle along without them or worse still, go and pay for something they could have had for free.
So, in the interests of getting the word out, here’s a download link for the PDF writer for Office 2007. Grab it, install it and use it.. you’re entitled to it.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007
Ok, so Outlook 2007 is running like a dog. It’s slow and cumbersome to use. Microsoft has admitted it and pointed a finger at overlarge .PST files. One wonders why Microsoft persists in forcing hapless users to jam all their emails (plus attachments) and RSS feeds into one .PST file anyway. Heaven help the new user who plain doesn’t understand what a .PST file is anyway, much less why it affects their system performance.
Until the folks at Redmond come to their collective senses and offer us an alternative solution, your options are to work around it. Split your emails into multiple .PST files by archiving them and keep your main .PST file at a small size.
Here are Microsoft’s current series of recommendations for speeding up Outlook 2007, it’s a KnowledgeBase article, and here’s a link to an update for Outlook that promises to fix some of the speed issues: Microsoft Outlook 2007 update download site.
I just have to have the final word here… why, in 2007, should are we still bothered by this stuff?
Tuesday, May 8th, 2007
Monday, May 7th, 2007
Better still, you can use any shape – it doesn’t have to be a circle… any of the AutoShapes will do.