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Janet's Weekly Tips, Tricks & Reminders

Janet Stead onsite computer training

Tip #78:

Word 2010 courses

Excel (all versions): 3 common error messages and what to do about them

Error #1: #NAME?
This error means you have either:
  1. Misspelled a function name (i.e. typing =SUN instead of =SUM); or
  2. Your equation refers to a range name (you have to know what they are and how to use them) that you either misspelled or has not been created.
Error #2: #VALUE

This error means that you (an equation) are trying to perform a mathematical function on a cell that does not contain a numeric value. Scenario: say you’re trying to figure out how old an invoice is. The INVOICE DATE is in cell A3. You entered (into another cell) the function =today()-A3 and press [ENTER]. Normally that would tell you how many days have passed since the invoice date. But sometimes people enter dates incorrectly – and Excel doesn’t recognize the entry as a date. Remember…if YOU think it’s a date but Excel doesn’t….Excel wins. Every time.

Error #3: This message appears:

Tip #79:

Word 2010 training courses

Word (all versions): Go back, Jack

You know how, when you open up an Excel spreadsheet it automatically places the cellpointer at the location where you were when you last saved/closed it?

Do you ever wish Word would let you know where you were working last time you saved/closed one of its documents? (Just say “yes”…otherwise this tip will be moot).

As soon as you open a Word document – press [SHFT][F5]. (As soon as!)

The cursor will instantly jump to the last place you were working. NOTE: by working, I mean…it will take you to the last place you actually typed (or deleted) something.


Tip #80:

Office 2010 training courses

Windows 7: Two nifty shortcuts

Tip #1: Short and sweet

We often work on multiple documents (and programs, of course) at once.
The next time you need to open another (second, third, etc) document in a program (like Word or Excel) that is already running:

  1. Point the mouse at the icon down on the Taskbar.
  2. Click your mouse wheel (the little wheel between the two buttons on your mouse) – or your middle mouse button.
  3. Voilà – another (Word or Excel) document has opened up for you.
Tip #2 (better!): Quickly jumping between folders/drives when Opening or Saving File

If you are tired of having to maneuver between various drives and folders when in Windows Explorer or when using the OPEN or SAVE AS windows in Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Access – add your most used folders to the FAVOURITES folder list:

  1. In the OPEN or SAVE AS window of Word or Excel, maneuver to a folder that you want to add to your Favourites. You must be “in” the folder (ie. it must be the last folder listed at the end of the path at the top of the window.
  2. Point to the FAVOURITES folder located at the top of the left-hand panel and RIGHT-CLICK.
  4. A shortcut to that folder will now appear under FAVOURITES – and so will only ever by a single mouse click away!
  5. Go add some more folders – even ones located on other (ie. network) drives – to your Favourites. It will save you sooo much time and clicking.

Tip #81:

Excel courses


SCENARIO: You want to email someone one sheet from your multi-sheet Excel workbook.

There is no “quick” way to do this. However…there are two ways you can send a single sheet…with a bit of work:


This is only good if you’re OK with sending the Excel data within the body of your email. This means that the data will be converting from working spreadsheet data to Word table data….in other words…the recipient will not be able to use/edit any equations that you included (although the results of the equations will be intact). They can COPY the resulting table into Word or Excel for presentation (not editing) purposes – but that’s about it.

  1. First, add the SEND TO MAIL RECIPIENT button to your Quick Access Toolbar (QAT):
    1. Click the ▼ at the end of your QAT and choose MORE COMMANDS.
    3. Scroll down the list of all commands to the SEND TO MAIL RECIPIENT function. (Of course…you are not going to “scroll” down to it (like a kindergarten baby)…you’ll get there like the efficient power-user that you are by activating the ALL list panel (by clicking any function in the list) then tapping the letter S on your keyboard)).
    4. With SEND TO MAIL RECIPIENT selected – click the ADD button between the two panels. SEND TO MAIL RECIPIENT should now appear at the bottom of your QAT (right) panel.
    5. Click OK.
  2. Maneuver to the sheet that you want to email.
  3. Click the SEND TO MAIL RECIPIENT button now on your QAT.
  4. At the E-MAIL window (shown here) – select the SEND THE CURRENT SHEET AS THE MESSAGE BODY option – and click OK.
  5. An email header will appear above your spreadsheet. Enter the recipient’s email address and subject and introduction text (if you want).
  6. Click the SEND THIS SHEET button – located just above the TO box.

The recipient will receive the data as an Excel file with the equations intact. Unfortunately you’ll have to separate the sheet you want to send from the rest of the sheets in the workbook…but it’s not that painful… (Of course – you don’t want any of the other sheets in the Excel file linking to this solitary sheet…because the links will be broken):

  1. RIGHT-CLICK the tab of the worksheet that you want to email – and choose MOVE OR COPY.
  2. Click the ▼ of the TO BOOK drop-down – and choose NEW BOOK (you might have to scroll up).
  3. Make sure the CREATE A COPY checkbox (at the bottom of the window) is CHECKED.
  4. Click OK.
  5. A new workbook will be created – containing only the sheet that you right-clicked.
  6. You can now use the FILE (tab) - SAVE & SEND – SEND AS ATTACHMENT feature to email the worksheet (as its own file). NOTE: unless YOU SAVE this worksheet you will not have it (as a separate file from your original workbook) on your own computer. Just saying.

Tip #82:

Office 2010 courses

GOOGLE: Making Sure You’re Looking at Organic Search Results

Google has been getting sneaky. Have you noticed when you do a search the results that appear do not visually distinguish (much, if at all) the difference between a paid ad (related to your query) and actual organic (real) search results?

As a “user” I find this annoying. When I’m searching for “smoky eyes” I don’t want ads to buy the eye shadow – I just want to know how to do it. So I automatically figure I need to skip the first few results – but how many? Like I said, they don’t look any different than the organic search results.

I confess, this tip is actually pretty self-serving…as someone who also relies for 100% of their business on word-of-mouth (thank you!) and SEO (Search Engine Results) I work very hard at staying at the top of the Google results lists. I really (really!) don’t want someone who is searching for “onsite computer training Toronto” to click on an ad – thinking THAT is the first company Google found…when actually CTC is the first (organically) company they found

But like I said…I’m also a user and I want to see the difference whenever I do a search. What to do?

Simply alter your computer monitor’s CONTRAST settings.

This is done via your hardware (the actual monitor) – there are buttons on the front of your monitor (usually) that allow you into the hardware menu. Mine is shown here.

Tip #83:

Office 2010 courses

WINDOWS 8: Five (life-saving) Tips

NOTE: Windows 8.1 is MUCH more user-friendly than Windows 8...so if you haven't upgraded yet (it's free!)....do it now.

TIP #1(Good for both Windows 8 and 8.1)

Always remember…the Windows (Microsoft logo) key (on the bottom row of your keyboard) will always get you back to the START screen where all your apps and programs are listed.

TIP #2

To turn off (or restart) your computer…you won’t like this…but…you have to display the Windows CHARMS (ugh!).
Two ways to do this – (MOUSE): Point at the top-right or bottom-right portion of your screen and slide the mouse down (or up) to the START charm; or
(KEYBOARD): [Micorosoft Key] C (hold down the Microsoft logo key and tap the letter C). When the charms appear down the right-hand side of the screen – click the SETTINGS icon (the lowest charm) then click POWER. Seriously?

NOTE: Good news for Windows 8.1 - there is now a POWER icon located at the top-right corner of the START window.

TIP #3

This is just a general knowledge fact about Windows 8 that you need to keep in your mind: Word, Excel, etc are not what you call METRO apps. Metro apps are basically programs meant to run in the touchscreen environment. So non-Metro apps (like Word, Excel, etc) are run in an almost separate environment…on “the Desktop”. You can hang out at the Start window or you can hang out on the Desktop – but not both. They are, like I said, almost two different environments. So if you are working in Word, for example, you won’t see any evidence of your Start window – even if you minimize the program. You’ll only see the Desktop background. Always press the [Windows] (Microsoft logo) key on your keyboard when you need to see the Start menu. (The Desktop and any programs you were running in that environment will still be running/there – you just won’t be able to see them when you’re in the Start window environment).

TIP #4:

If you want to see what apps are running – hover your mouse in the top-left corner of the (Start) window and slide the mouse down the left edge of the screen. Any apps you have running will be displayed as thumbnails. Any non-Metro apps (like Word or Excel) will simply be represented by the DESKTOP thumbnail (in which case you’d actually have to click that Desktop thumbnail in order to see which programs are running in that environment…you can’t (ever) see them from the Start window environment).

TIP #5:

To see ALL available apps and programs on your computer – RIGHT-CLICK a blank portion of your Start window – then click the APP icon that appears at the bottom-right corner of the screen.

Tip #84:

Word 2013 training

Word (all versions – but these instructions are for 2010/2013): Customized memo pads

I have been using these for years. Print out a page (divided into two memo pad pages) – take it to your local printer and they can print up pads of them – gummy binding and all. Makes great gifts too! And it’s easy-peasy

  1. Create a one-page memo (something like what I’ve done here). By the way, the trick for the solid horizontal line is to (one a new blank line) type three dashes and press [ENTER].
  2. Press [CTRL]A to select the entire page.
  3. Press [CTRL]C to copy it into memory.
  4. Press [CTRL][END] to move the cursor to the end of the page (document).
  5. Press [CTRL][ENTER] to start a new (second) page.
  6. Press [CTRL]V to paste the memo page onto page 2.
  7. Click the PAGE LAYOUT tab – then click the PAGE SETUP dialog box launcher (little diagonal arrow at the bottom-right corner of the PAGE SETUP section) to display the PAGE SETUP window.
  8. Click the MARGINS tab.
  9. In the ORIENTATION section – click LANDSCAPE.
  10. In the PAGES section (just below the Orientation section) – click the ↓ and choose 2 PAGES PER SHEET.
  11. Click OK.
  12. Print the document. Nifty!

Tip #85:

Office 2013 training

Two Windows 7 Tips

#1: Calculator – It does so much more than you thought it did!

The Calculator app – found under your Start Button – All Programs – Accessories…has been around for a while. A long while. But it’s more than just a pretty numeric face – there are some powerful new features hidden in there:

See the menu at the top of the Calculator? Choose VIEW then WORKSHEETS then FUEL ECONOMY (L/100 km) to get this calculator:

Choose VIEW then WORKSHEETS then MORTGAGE to get this calculator:

There’s also one for calculating vehicle lease rates and calculations between two dates. Of course, Excel can do all this for you – but if you’re not that comfortable with the more involved Excel functions…here you go!

#2: Projector-mode keyboard shortcut

On many laptops, [Fn][F8] will display the Switch Screen mode window – so that you can switch to the Projector output for a presentation. If it isn’t obvious, on your laptop, which keys to press – then press [Windows] (Microsoft logo key) + P. Then use your arrow keys to select the mode you want (usually Duplicate or Computer Only).

Tip #86:

Excel 2010 training

Excel (all versions): A built-in Dashboard Camera

Excel has a built-in CAMERA feature (no kidding! and it has for years!) that allows you to take a picture (or pictures) of a portion (or portions) of your spreadsheet - creating a visual reference on another part of your spreadsheet.

Maybe you find that you would like to view data from one worksheet while working on another. Or you want one screen to display what is going on in various parts (pages) of your spreadsheet. You can “take a picture”…which…by the way is “live” (self-updating). These views are often referred to as “Dashboards”…because, like in a vehicle, a dashboard shows you what’s going on in various parts of your car (in this case…spreadsheet).

Let’s call the part of your spreadsheet where you want to “see everything” the dashboard. The parts of your spreadsheet that you’ll be integrating into the dashboard…we’ll call those the sources.

  1. First, add the CAMERA to your Quick Access Toolbar:
    1. Click the ↓ at the end of your Quick Access Toolbar and choose MORE COMMANDS.
    2. At the Excel Options windows – click the ↓ beside the POPULAR COMMANDS drop-down (located above the left-hand panel) and choose ALL COMMANDS.
    3. Scroll down to CAMERA (didn’t know that sucker was there – did you! Been there 20 years!)
    4. Click on CAMERA then click the ADD button between the two panels. Then click OK.
  2. Decide where you want your dashboard. It is often the area of spreadsheet surrounding the data that you want as the main focus of your report/presentation. Make sure there’s empty space around (to hold your dashboard elements).
  3. Find, and select, an area of data that you would like to use as a source for your dashboard.
  4. Click the CAMERA icon.
  5. Now click on the cell at the top-left corner of your dashboard area. Note: you can click (locate) this data on another sheet, in the workbook – but you must have added the new sheet before clicking the Camera…you can’t ADD a new sheet in the middle of this process.
  6. There you go – a “snapshot” of the selected data.
  7. Go select and camera-click other sources and add them to your dashboard, if you want.
  8. And remember…you change any data in any of the sources…and your dashboard views will automatically update! How exciting is that!

Tip #87:

Excel 2010 training

PowerPoint (all versions): Three Little Shortcuts worth Using

Faster is always better. So…here are a few ways to do things faster in PowerPoint.

1. Duplicate an object

Method #1: Select the (graphic) object – and press [CTRL] D (as in Duplicate).
Method #2 (I don’t like it as much): Select the (graphic) object – and press [CTRL] +
There you go – you have a duplicate of the image lying over top of the original.

2. Selecting Multiple Objects

Method #1: Click once on the first object – then hold down the [SHFT] key as you click on the other objects you want to select.

Method #2: The “Lasso” method….drag your mouse (while holding down the mouse button) around all the objects you want to select. You must COMPLETELY encase each object…if you miss a hair off one object that object will not be part of the selected group of objects.

3. Grouping Objects

In PowerPoint, if you want multiple (graphic) objects treated as one (for whatever reason) – you need to group them together first. You can follow either of the “Selecting Multiple Objects” instructions above.

Then, once the multiple objects are selected, group them by:
Method #1: Pressing [CTRL] G (as in Group); or
Method #2: Right-click the objects and choose GROUP then GROUP (too much work).

Tip #88:

Excel 2010 training

Excel 2010/2013: Freezing

If you have a long spreadsheet where the headings keep scrolling up and out of sight – you should turn on the FREEZE PANES function.

It’s been greatly improved since 2003 – especially if you have a “clean” spreadsheet (one where the first row (#1) is headings and all subsequent rows are records of data…basically a database-type spreadsheet.

In the past, if you want to freeze row #1 in place, you had to select/highlight row #2…now you don’t have to highlight anything….on the VIEW tab (in the WINDOW section) – click the FREEZE PANES drop-down and just choose FREEZE TOP ROW (or FREEZE FIRST COLUMN).

And if you have a “dirty” spreadsheet (one where someone (not YOU, of course) has adding extra blank rows at the top of the spreadsheet and maybe a cute little title banner? No problem! Use your mouse wheel or the scroll bar on the spreadsheet screen to make it appear like your headings are in the top row (or first column) – and you can still use the FREEZE TOP ROW (or FIRST COLUMN option). Kind of cool.

Keep in mind…you still need proper cellpointer placement if you want to freeze in both directions (row and column). So…if you want to freeze row 1 and column A…you need to be sitting cell B2 then choose FREEZE PANES – FREEZE PANES.

Tip #89:

Excel 2010 courses

Windows 7: Stop the keyboard from (suddenly) changes languages on you

If you ever use Excel and especially Excel on a laptop – you probably find that, from time to time, certain characters you type all of a sudden start showing up as French characters.

One reason…the [CTRL][SHFT] key combination is the default (Windows) keyboard shortcut for changing keyboard languages.

But I don’t ever press [CTRL][SHFT] you say? Well…if you are using one of the best keyboard shortcuts in Excel (and if you’ve been to one of MY classes…you’d BETTER be using it!) then you are pressing it without realizing it.

[CTRL][SHFT] ↓ will select from the current cell to the bottom of a range – boom…DONE. It’s one of the best Excel keyboard shortcuts going. ([CTRL][SHFT] ↑ and [CTRL][SHFT] → and [CTRL][SHFT] ← all work the same).

BUT (and this is a BIG butt )…if you don’t release the [CTRL][SHFT] arrow in the right order…you have basically triggered the [CTRL][SHFT] (Windows keyboard language shortcut) without realizing it. Of course you realize it as soon as some French character shows up when you were expecting something else.

You can fix it by clicking the keyboard icon, down in your System Tray, and choosing US again. But – trust me – if you use Excel all day…and use the [CTRL][SHFT] ↓ keyboard shortcut a lot (which you should be!)…then you’ll grow tired of having to “fix” the keyboard setting all the time.

So…I recommend that you disable the [CTRL][SHFT] keyboard language shortcut:
  1. Click the START button – and choose CONTROL PANEL.
  2. Make sure you’re in Large Icon view (Windows 7) so you can see all your Control Panel programs at once.
  3. Click the REGIONAL AND LANGUAGE program.
  4. Click the KEYBOARD AND LANGUAGES tab at the top of the window.
  5. Click the CHANGE KEYBOARDS button – to open up the TEXT SERVICES AND INPUT LANGUAGES window.
  6. Click the ADVANCED KEY SETTINGS tab at the top of this window (quit whining…we’re almost there).
  7. Make sure the BETWEEN INPUT LANGUAGES line is selected/highlighted – and click the CHANGE KEY SEQUENCE button at the bottom of the screen.
  8. In the SWITCH KEYBOARD LAYOUT column (on the right) – click the NOT ASSIGNED option.
  9. Click OK – OK – OK then close the CONTROL PANEL.
No more annoying keyboard layout switcharoos (that’s a technical term) – yay!

Tip #90:

Excel 2010 courses

iPhone (and some ‘droids): Some shortcuts and tricks

Sorry ‘droid (Android) and Cr...err...Blackberry users – I am an iPhone (and iPad) user so I am apt to pick up more of those tips. However, the odd tip below (marked) will also work on Androids.

  1. Have Siri set an alarm for you. Sorry…iPhone (and iPad) only.

Activate Siri (by holding down your HOME button). When she asks you want you want, say “Wake me up in 2 hours” and she will set (and tell you she set) the alarm app to go off in exactly two hours.

Unfortunately, even if it’s “business” you have to start with “Wake me” if you want Siri to activate the alarm app. If you say something like “Remind me…” she’ll just create a reminder – without a time-sensitive alert.

Hey – it’s still good.

  1. An easier way to spell contractions. (Works on Androids too).

When typing an email or text message, if you spell cant – it will automatically appear as can’t. (Same on an Android).

But to get the word I’ll you need to type the I then switch keyboard layouts (to symbols) and type the apostrophe then switch back again to finish with the ll – or, on an Android you have to then select from a list of suggested words) - or dooooo you???

Type illl (yes…you do see THREE L’s)…and when you press the both iPhones and Androids will automatically type I’ll for you.

welll will give you we’ll
shedd will give she’d
letss will give you let’s
wedd will give you we’d

Many contractions will fix themselves – this tip is for the common contractions that don’t fix themselves.

  1. When you are typing in a website address, using the iPhone/iPad browser Safari, and get to the point where you want to type the domain (.com or .org etc) – just HOLD DOWN the period key and a number of domains to choose from (.net .edu .org .ca etc) – just tap the one you want. Sorry…no ‘droids allowed.
  1. Ok – the above tips could be for business…this one is definitely not business.

You know how awkward it is to take a “selfie” because of the awkwardness of having to press the camera button while your arm is stretched out way in front of you?

Well, if you plug in smart ear buds (earbuds with a volume control switch located halfway down the wire)…you can plug in the earbuds (but don’t put them in your ears…makes for a dorky-looking selfie) and just press the volume + button to click the camera “shutter”. Use the middle (play/pause) button to start/stop when in video mode.

Tip #91:

Excel 2010 coursesOffice 2013 training coursesExcel training

Office: Various Keyboard Shortcuts

Anyone who has taken a course with me knows I’m a keyboard f-a-n-a-t-i-c. Well, I know I’m not the only keyboard geek around…some of you are too – so these tips are for you.

I won’t give you too many – then hopefully you’ll be more inclined to actually TRY them.



(For those times when you just can’t figure out why Word won’t let this one line align itself properly with the rest of your document…just sit the cursor anywhere on that line and press [CTRL] Q….it’s almost like a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card)
(without getting kicked out of Word (2010 only)

(Anyone who keeps getting kicked out of Word (2010 or 2013) when all they wanted to do was close the @#$%^%% document (not the program) – will appreciate it this one. To help yourself remember it (because it’s not as easy as the sensible [CTRL] S (save); P (print); O (open), etc)…just think Weeeee (W) we’re done. I know goofy…but it sticks.

Tip #92:

Excel 2010 courses

Outlook 2010: File Messages with a Single Click

I am into folders. And sub-folders. And sub-sub-folders. And… you get the picture. Sometimes saving an important email into a sub (sub sub) folder can be a bother – so here’s a shortcut (for those who don’t want to create a message rule (which moves the email before you’ve had a chance to read it)).

  1. Up on the HOME tab – in the QUICK STEPS section – click the CREATE NEW option.
  2. When the EDIT QUICK STEP window appears – type something like “Move to Tips folder” or whatever else you’ve called the folder where you want to able to instantly move email.
  3. Below that, click the ▼ beside CHOOSE AN ACTION box – and select the MOVE TO FOLDER option.
  4. The CHOOSE FOLDER box will (magically!) appear – click the ▼ beside it and select the folder (or sub) folder where you want the email filed.
    I don’t see the folder I want to select! Chill out – just click the OTHER FOLDER option near the bottom of the list) and locate the folder in the SELECT FOLDER window. You may have to click the odd ▶ to expand some folders (like the Inbox) so that you can find the desired (sub) folder.
  5. Once you have found – and clicked on – the folder you want – click the OK button.
  6. Back at the EDIT QUICK STEP window – click the FINISH button. You will now have a custom Quick Step in the QUICK STEPS window.
  7. Whenever you read an email and then want to move it to that folder – just make sure the email message is selected (in your Inbox) – then just click your Quick Step. Bing-bang-boom!

Tip #93:

Word 2010 training courses

Word 2010: (Almost) Instant Tables

If you have created a tabbed list (like this one): Jennifer
Sparrow Lake
And then decide that you wished you’d made the list as a table rather than just a written list.

  1. Select the entire list (as displayed here at right).
  2. Click the INSERT tab – then the TABLE button.
  3. When the CONVERT TEXT TO TABLE window appears – make sure all settings are appropriate. (If you used a TAB to separate your columns – chances are every setting in the window is already perfect) – then click OK.
  4. Voilà (that’s French) – your columns have been converted into a table.

Tip #94:

Excel 2010 training courses

Excel (all versions): Creating a Quick Font Table

Two “things” about this tip:
  1. Even though it’s an EXCEL tip – it doesn’t involve math; and
  2. It’s really kind of a Word tip – in the end.

Basically, this tip enables you to create a super-fast ALT-numeric combination chart…that you can save (or not) to quickly look up the ALT-numeric combination for special characters (like the é (alt 233); or → (alt 26); or CENT SYMBOL (alt 0162). Think of it as an alternative to the INSERT-SYMBOL routine.

Get thee to a blank spreadsheet – and in cell A1 type =CHAR(ROW()) and press [ENTER]. (Something may – or may not – appear in the cell. Hang tight). Place the cell pointer back on A1 (if you got kicked off of it when you pressed [ENTER]). Point your mouse at the Fill Handle (that’s Mr. Phil Handle to you) – and hold down the mouse button…and drag the mouse (sorry…no shortcuts here) down to A255 – then release the mouse button.

So…you want the musical symbol? Since it’s on row 14…you can obtain it by holding down the [ALT] key and tapping (using the numeric keypad ONLY…not the numbers above your letters) 1 then 4 then releasing the [ALT] key.

Note: some special characters above 100 will require a 0 (zero) in front…making them a 4-digit entry. For example, you need to press [ALT]0162 to obtain a CENT ([ALT]162 just won’t work).

Save the table for future reference – or don’t save it…it only takes a moment to rebuild it again.

Tip #95:

Word trainingExcel 2010 training coursesOutlook trainingPowerPoint training

Word/Excel/Outlook/PowerPoint 2010: Take Your Best Shot

You know you’ve been hitting the PrintScreen button for years – then dealing with that sad little Paint program just so you could get a screenshot into a document or email? Well, have no fear – Screenshot and Screen Clipping is here!

First of all: you cannot take a snapshot of the screen that you are IN. So if you want a snapshot of Word (while you’re IN Word)…you have to start up a second occurrence of the program. No problem – that’s as easy as simply starting another new document. So we won’t get all mixed up – let’s say you’re in Word and want a snapshot of an Excel screen.

  1. While in Word, click the INSERT tab – then click the SCREENSHOT button.
  2. You will see a thumbnail of each program that is currently running on your computer.
  3. Simply click on the (Excel) thumbnail that you want a shot of – and voilà (there’s that French again) – you’ve got yourself a full screenshot

But what if you only want a piece of that Excel screen? Then you need a Screen Clipping instead of a Screen Shot. And there’s one more important “first of all” rule – you must be IN the program where you want the screen clipping to appear (Word) and (here’s the biggie) the program that you want to capture (Excel) must be the LAST PROGRAM on the screen before the current (Word) program. In other words, if you’re in Excel then ”switch” over to Word – you’ll be fine.
  1. Click the INSERT tab – then click the SCREENSHOT button.
  2. Do NOT click one of the thumbnails – click the SCREEN CLIPPING option.
  3. The screen will automatically flip back to the last program running (Excel) – and will go opaque (white).
  4. Take your mouse and point to the top-left corner of the section of the (Excel) program that you want to capture.
  5. Hold down the mouse button.
  6. Drag to the bottom-right corner of the area you want to capture (You’ll see it come alive (colourful) as you do) – then release the mouse button.
  7. You will be whisked (seriously...whisked) back to the original (Word) program – and…you got it…voilà. Those French were on to something!

Tip #96:

Excel training

OneNote: What is it? How do you use it?

This is not the usual hands-on kind of tip. It’s more of a “what’s out there” kind of reading tip. Don’t whine – just read it.

Rarely, when I ask my students “who uses OneNote?” does anyone raise their hand. It’s such a handy program – doubly-so for anyone with a tablet (Android or iPad). I have to think it’s simply because you don’t know it exists or what to use it for.

First of all – what is it? It’s basically an electronic binder. I have three: one “binder” for business (called CTC) and one for personal (JANET) and one for my Rotary work (ROTARY). All stored electronically (on “the cloud” storage space somewhere out there, owned by Microsoft – you get a chunk of it) and together.

Because they are stored on the cloud you can access anything you stored in your binders wherever you are. If you sync your devices you can access your information without even having to have internet access.

A binder has main-category tabs (my CTC binder tabs are: Iqaluit, Merx, Microsoft, Study, Promo, Classroom). My JANET binder tabs are: Travel, Cool Things, PersonalStudy, Misc, Health and Girly.

And each main-category tab has page tabs.

What do you store in your binders? Anything you wish you had a copy of on your person.

See the picture above? There, on the right, are the page tabs that my Iqaluit category tab is divided into. My FLIGHT page tab contains copies of my eTickets and Boarding Passes (here, at right). I walked up to the Air Canada check-in counter, whipped out my iPad and they scanned the barcode of my boarding pass – right on my OneNote page.

I have to send a bank transfer to Turkey for new mouse pads. My supplier emailed me his bank information (transit numbers, etc) – and I need to take that information to the bank. And I’d like to keep a copy for future reference. So I did a screen capture and issued the PRINT command. Instead of choosing one of the printers in my office – I chose OneNote as the printer (when you install OneNote on your computer/devices – it installs itself as one of your printers). The OneNote screen appears – so that you can indicate which binder/category tab/page tab you want it stored on. And voila – I now have that information in my OneNote binder (on my office desktop, my iPad (which I will take to the bank with me) and my travel laptop. Of course, OneNote is installed on all three of these devices.

As far as I’m concerned, if you’re on the road a lot – this program is an invaluable tool.

Tip #97:

Microsoft Word training

Word 2010 (Intermediate): How to type text into a scanned document/form

Scenario: Someone emails you a form they want you to fill in. You don’t have Adobe Acrobat Pro – so you can’t fill it in on the computer. Oh yes you can!

  1. Start a new Word document.
  2. Scan the document – saving it as a graphic image. (Trying this with PDF documents doesn’t work so well – they turn out too blurry).
  3. Open up the HEADER portion of new blank document. You can do so by double-clicking the blank header region at the top of a page (or, if you like to do extra work: click the INSERT tab at the top of the screen then click the FOOTER button then choose EDIT FOOTER).
  4. With the cursor blinking inside the HEADER area, click the INSERT tab and then click PICTURE.
  5. When the INSERT PICTURE window appears, located (and double-click) the image of the scanned document. It will appear on your page.
  6. If you need to, adjust the size of the image (by dragging the Edit Handles) or rotate the image, if needed.
  7. While the image is stilled selected (surrounded with Edit Handles) – do you notice the extra tab that you have at the top of the screen? It’s the PICTURE TOOLS – FORMAT tab. On it, you need to click the WRAP TEXT button (in the ARRANGE section towards the right-hand side) and choose BEHIND TEXT from the list of wrapping options.
  8. Close the header by clicking the CLOSE HEADER AND FOOTER button on the contextual HEADER & FOOTERS TOOLS – DESIGN tab.
  9. The graphic may appear dim or faded – that’s ok: it simply indicates that the image is located behind the scenes (in the background via the header).
  10. Fill in and type in the document/form as you see fit. Of course, always use proper technique (remember – I’m always watching!) like tabs (even custom ones if it’s efficient) instead of spaces, etc.
  11. When you go to print the document – it will be filled in! And you will look soooo efficient.
NOTE: It only works with ONE PAGE forms.

Tip #98:

Microsoft Word training

Excel 2010: Who Touched This?

If you need to know who has made a change to a spreadsheet – here you go. Make sure the spreadsheet is saved on a shared drive.

In the spreadsheet in which you need to track who is making changes:
  1. Click the REVIEW tab – then click the TRACK CHANGES button (at the very end of the Review ribbon).
  3. At the Highlight Changes window:
    1. Click the TRACK CHANGES WHILE EDITING option at the top of this window. This will make the options below it available to you.
    2. If you want others to know that you are tracking the changes to this cell/range – leave the CHECKMARK in the HIGHLIGHT CHANGES ON SCREEN option…otherwise, remove that CHECKMARK .
    3. Click OK.
    4. If the file already existed (was saved before) – an information box will appear stating: THIS ACTION WILL NOW SAVE THE WORKBOOK. DO YOU WANT TO CONTINUTE? – click YES.
    5. If the file is new and has not before been save - the SAVE AS window will appear – give the file a name and indicate where you want it stored (ie, a shared drive/folder) – then click SAVE. You will see [SHARED] beside the filename up on the title bar at the top of the screen.
    6. Close the spreadsheet.

When you want to see who changed that cell:
  1. Open the spreadsheet.
  2. Click the REVIEW tab – and click the TRACK CHANGES button – then choose ACCEPT/REJECT CHANGES.
  3. When the SELECT CHANGES TO ACCEPT OR REJECT window appears – click inside the WHERE box – then reach out and click on the cell that was changed (because you want to know by whom it was changed).
  4. Click OK.
  5. The ACCEPT OR REJECT CHANGES window will appear – indicating WHO (according to the author/registered owner of the computer) made a change (if any) to that cell – and WHAT change they made.
  6. If all you were doing was being curious – close the CLOSE button. If you want to reject there entry (and return to the entry in that cell before that user changed it) – click REJECT.


To see changes made throughout a spreadsheet:

When you click inside the WHERE box (step 3) – instead of reaching out and clicking on a single cell (to see who made a change to it) you can select the entire spreadsheet. After you click OK, the ACCEPT OR REJECT CHANGES window will indicate the first change it encounter (and who made that change) – and you can click the ACCEPT button to advance to the next (changed) cell and the next….

Tip #99:

Microsoft Word training

Word 2010: AutoText

Thanks to Gisèle for asking…

Have you ever started typing a name or phrase and had a bubble appear with the entire name displayed? You just hit [ENTER] and Word types the rest of the phrase for you? THAT is AutoText.

You sometimes see AutoText working when you type in a date. You start typing the month…and you get no more than Feb when “February” shows up in the bubble. Press [ENTER] – Word finishes typing in February for you. Hit the space bar next – and you might see the entire (current) date appear in the bubble. Hit [ENTER] again – boom…the date is finished for you.

You can program in your own AutoText – so that you’ll only ever have to type in the first few characters of the desired phrase (or address, etc) and Word will offer to type the rest of it for you:

  1. Type out the address (or multiple lines) that you want to save as AutoText
  2. Now, select the address/multiple lines.
  3. Click the INSERT tab – then click the QUICK PARTS button.
  4. HOVER over the AUTO TEXT option (near the bottom of the list) – so that options pop out the side of it.
  5. Click the SAVE SELECTION TO AUTOTEXT GALLERY option (at the bottom of the list).
  6. When the CREATE NEW BUILDING BLOCK window appears – make sure you like the NAME…or type a better (short!) one. It’s not important, so much, as a NAME…it’s important in that whatever NAME you give it…THAT will be the text that triggers Word to display the rest of the caption/phrase/address in a bubble. For example, if I were to type my four line name and mailing address, select it – then go into INSERT-QUICK PARTS – AUTOTEXT – SAVE SELECTION TO AUTOTEXT GALLERY the program would want to call the entry Janet Stead. If I click OK to accept that name…then any time I type Janet then hit the spacebar…my AutoText bubble will appear…offering to type/finish my name and address. By the way – if you don’t want Word to type what is displayed in the bubble, either keep typing (something different) or press [ESC], [DELETE] or [BACKSPACE] to make the bubble disappear.
  7. Click OK. The next time you start typing out that entry, you’ll get to a point where the AutoText bubble will appear for you.

Tip #100:

Microsoft Excel training

Excel 2010: Extracting dates

If you have a full date entered into a cell – but only need the MONTH or the DAY or the YEAR…

Let’s say the date is entered into cell A2:
  • To extract the YEAR: type =YEAR(A2)
  • To extract the DAY: type =DAY(A2) (that gives you the day number (ie, 1 – 31)…not the day of the week (Monday).
  • If you want to see the day of the week, use =TEXT(A2,”ddd”) (for Mon, Tues) or =TEXT(A2,”dddd”) (for Monday, Tuesday)
  • For the month, you can use =MONTH(A2) but that will only give you the NUMBER that represents the month (ie, 1 for January; 2 for February, etc). You probably want the WORD (January, February, etc).
Well, you can get that using this function:

=TEXT(A2,"mmm") to see the short form of the month name (ie, Jan, Feb)
=TEXT(A2,"mmmm") to see the long form of the month name (ie, January, February)

Tip #101:

Microsoft Excel training

Laptops: Pop That Drive (Really Tiny Tip)

Ok…I’m on a deadline and blah blah blah…so this week’s tip, although handy (for laptop owners) is embarrassingly brief.

Scenario: Your laptop has a DVD drive. You finished using it to install some software or copy data, etc – but then you shut down the laptop without removing the DVD from its drive.

How many times have you done this – and then thought you had to turn the laptop back on to be able to open the DVD door? Well…you don’t have to.

Built-in to every CD/DVD drive is a tiny little “eject” pinhole (see here).

Simply unfurl a (small) paperclip and poke the end into the hole.

You’ll feel a small “clunk” – and the DVD door will pop open.

Tip #102:

Microsoft Excel training

Excel 2010: Be a Tipster

If you’re creating a spreadsheet into which someone else must do the data entry it might be wise offer them instructions – to guard against erroneous data entry.
You can add a Data Validation INPUT MESSAGE – without having to add any Data Validation:
  1. Select the cells to which you want to add the (same) instructional message.
  2. On the DATA tab – choose DATA VALIDATION.
  3. When the DATA VALIDATION window appears – click the INPUT MESSAGE tab.
  4. In the TITLE box, type whatever title you want to see atop the pop-up message box (in the above example, Date Billed Format was typed in the Title box.
  5. In the INPUT MESSAGE box, type your instructional text. Notice (by the example above) that multiple lines (ie, Enters) are allowed.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Now, any time anyone (the cellpointer) is in that cell – the pop-up will automatically appear. This feature differs from Inserting a Comment in that with a comment, you must point the mouse at the cell in order to see a comment pop-up.

Tip #103:

Microsoft Excel training

Excel 2010: What is your Problem?

This is not the most exciting tip I’ve ever sent out (and I know some of them are downright spine-tingling!) but sometimes a tip can be helpful by – not telling you what to do…but by telling you what not to do. Below is a list of the most common error messages that you see in Excel; what they mean – and how to fix them fast.

NOTE: When you see an error indicator in a cell you’ll also likely see an error alert (a little green triangle in the upper-left corner of the cell). If you click on the cell then just hover over the green triangle – it will tell you what the problem is. Some of these pop-ups are clear…some are so unclear – they’re not worth the effort to read (yeah…I’m talking about YOU little Mr. #NULL!).
This error appears when you tried to do math involving a cell that doesn’t have a number in it. Look at your equation – did you refer to cell A1 (that contains the title (eewww…text!) for the column) instead of A2 (the first cell containing the data?
This error shows up when an equation refers to a cell that doesn’t exist (either never has or once did…but doesn’t any longer). If you type the equation =L10*M8 and it works – but then you delete column M…you would get this error (where you once had your formula answer).
This error appears when you have misspelled the formula function word (ie, you typed =SU instead of =SUM) – or, for more advanced users: when you refers to a range name that doesn't exist in the worksheet. A common way that people end up referring to a range name that doesn’t exist: when you selected the range you wanted to name, then clicked up in the Name Box and typed a name – you DIDN’T PRESS [ENTER]…so it didn’t “take” – but you don’t/didn’t realize it and tried to refer to the name in an equation.
This error appears when two or more cell references (addresses) are not separated correctly in a formula (ie, a space was used when a comma should have been). An example: you want to sum some cells that are randomly located around your spreadsheet. You should use the equation =SUM(L10,M14,B4) but instead you type =SUM(L10 M14 B4) – that would give you this error.
You get this after typing an equation when you have tried to divide the contents of one cell by the contents of a second cell…but that second cell contains a 0 (zero) or is empty. Division by zero is a no-no. (BTW, if the second cell contained text…you would have gotten a #VALUE error (see below).

Tip #104:

Microsoft Excel training

Windows 7: The French (keyboard) must be stopped!

In an earlier tip, I explained that you can accidentally change your keyboard language by pressing the [CTRL][SHFT] keyboard combination. Excel users (well, efficient Excel users) are more likely to do this because the keyboard shortcut for selecting to the very bottom of a range of data in Excel is [CTRL][SHFT] ↓

Since [CTRL][SHFT] caused the French characters to start appearing (you get an é when you type a ? mark) that same key combination ([CTRL][SHFT]) pressed once (if you have two keyboard languages installed on your computer) or twice (if you have three keyboard languages installed) can fix the problem - temporarily. Pour être juste, la même chose peut se produire lorsque vous tapez normalement en français. Tout d'un coup, les caractères anglais commencent à apparaître. Eeeewwww!

But who wants to have to keep fixing this issue manually? If you do not need a keyboard shortcut to change the keyboard language layout (and really…why would you?) – then disable that shortcut:
  1. Right-click the keyboard icon displayed in your System Tray (at the very-bottom right corner of your screen).
  2. From the list that appears – choose SETTINGS.
  3. At the TEXT SERVICES AND INPUT LANGUAGES window – click the ADVANCED KEY SETTINGS tab (top of window).
  4. Then click the CHANGE KEY SEQUENCE button (bottom-right corner).
  5. When the CHANGE KEY SEQUENCE window appears – in the SWITCH KEYBOARD LAYOUT panel (on the right) - select the NOT ASSIGNED option.
  6. Click OK – then click OK again.
  7. Rejoice at never having that annoying keyboard switch happen to you, by accident, again. (NOTE: you can still use the keyboard icon, down in the System Tray, to switch keyboard languages…it just won’t happen to you by accident any more).

Tip #105:

Word 2010 training

Word 2010: Save the Footer

I write a lot of manuals and I love shortcuts that allow me to avoid repeating myself over and over again…like having to re-create the same footer all the time. QUICK PARTS to the rescue! Although Quick Parts can be used for a gazillion and three other shortcuts (I counted!) – this is a handy one.

  1. Create the footer that you want to re-create in the future:
    1. Click the INSERT tab – then click the FOOTER drop-down (HEADER & FOOTER section) – then click EDIT. (Note: you can also choose one of the existing (Quick Part!) Footers displayed…then edit it to better meet your needs. Your call.) (Second Note: you can also get into the Footer portion of a document by just double-clicking the mouse down in the Footer region of a page).
    2. Create the footer that you want to use over and over again. Be sure to include “codes” (like Page Number, Number of Pages, etc) from the contextual HEADER & FOOTS TOOLS – DESIGN tab that appears at the top of your screen whenever you are in footer mode.
  2. Now – to save this Footer as a Quick Part for future (quick) use:
    1. Select the entire footer – by [CTRL] A (the “select all” shortcut).
    2. IMPORTANT!!! (Yes…THREE exclamation marks)…do NOT click the QUICK PARTS buttons on either the HOME tab or the HEADER & FOOTS TOOLS – DESIGN tab. Don’t do it! You need to click the FOOTER button (near the start of the HFTD tab ribbon) – and choose SAVE SELECTION TO FOOTER GALLERY. Otherwise…when you go to create a Word-originated footer you’ll have to go to the FOOTER button but if it’s home-made you’ll go to Quick Parts…and that’s just silly. If you want a Footer – you go to Footer…you shouldn’t have to remember that certain types of Footers are available under Footers and other types are under Quick Parts. You should only EVER go to Footers to create/use one. ¿Entiendes? (no more French…I’m learning Spanish now)

muy importante!

Any time you create a new Quick Part (whether a Foot Quick Part, a general Quick Part - any type) it gets saved in a (new to 2010/2013) template called Building Blocks. This Building Blocks template does not get "saved" until you exit the Word program. And it's not like the Normal.dotx template which automatically gets saved when you exit the program! If you have created some Quick Parts...when you exit the Word program...a message box will appear, asking if you WANT to save the changes to the Building Blocks template. You'd better say YES! If not - your new Quick Parts won't be there the next time you start up Word. You've be warned!

Tip #106:

Word trainingExcel 2010 training coursesOutlook trainingPowerPoint training

Various Office programs: A few keyboard shortcuts worth remembering

Not everyone is a fan of keyboard shortcuts. Anyone who knows me – knows I REALLY am! Some keyboard shortcuts can be difficult to remember. But some are worth remembering and sometimes there are little tricks for remembering your favourites.


Remember…Word is the email editor for Outlook. So basically, if you can do it in Word – you can do it in Outlook.

I really like this one (even though I have no tricks to help you remember it) because it’s visual…once you select the text…each time you press [SHFT][F3] you can see the text switch between the three states: ALL UPPERCASE, all lowercase and Initial Caps (meaning: first letter of each sentence (if there’s a period) or first letter of each word (if there is no period).

Too hard for you to remember? Then try:

Hey – if you can remember [CTRL]X, C and V is Cut, Copy, Paste – you can remember that [CTRL][SHFT]A (as in “all”) is ALL UPPERCASE. The downside to this shortcut – it doesn’t toggle between all three case-states…pressing it a second time will simply return your (selected) text to its original case (ie, how you typed it in the first place).

Nice – I hate picking up the mouse to display the “Paste Special” window. And again…if you can remember that [CTRL]V is Paste…it’s not much of a stretch to remember [ALT][CTRL]V is the ALTernative Paste Special.

(Need I say more?).

Why isn’t it [CTRL]S? Don’t know….I figured [CTRL]S would save your email (in Drafts) – but it doesn’t. So…SEND is [ALT]S. Get over it – it’s worth it.

Tip #107:

PowerPoint training

PowerPoint: 8 Tips for an Awesome PowerPoint Presentation

I have asked you all for ideas for tips – and Maria P answered that call. So you can thank her for this tip.

I recently came upon a webpage entitled “8 Tips for an Awesome PowerPoint Presentation” that so impressed me that I have to share it with you.

So, instead of writing out a tip – my tip is “read this”.

It’s good (in my opinion). Take what you like - leave the rest

. Oh yeah…here it is:

Tip #108:

Word trainingOutlook training

Word/Outlook: Adding Your (Actual) signature to a Word document/email

Thanks to Tracey B. for asking for this tip.

To add your actual signature (ok – a graphic of your signature):
  1. Sign a blank (white) piece of paper. Make sure you use black ink and sign it like you mean (strong – not weak, faded).
  2. Scan the image – and save it as a jpg, tif or gif graphic file.
  3. In a blank Word document:
    1. On the INSERT tab – click PICTURE.
    2. Locate the graphic signature that you just scanned – and click INSERT.
    3. The contextual PICTURE TOOLS – FORMAT tab will appear at the top of Word. The first button on that tab is REMOVE BACKGROUND – click it.
    4. A pink filter will appear over parts over most of your signature. Take note of the internal edit handles (white squares and circles) that appear.
    5. In the interest of (me) getting some work done today…I’m not going to go into great detail…you’ll have to play with it beyond what I show you now:
      1. Drag (with your mouse) these internal handles to ensure that NO portion of your signature that you want to keep is outside these handles.
    6. If there are pieces of the signature that, although inside the internal edit handles are still covered in that pink haze – you’re going to lose them, so: click the MARK AREAS TO KEEP button and DRAG the mouse across any part of the ink of your signature that you want to keep. STAY ON THE INK. If some of the white-space (inside the loops of your letters) re-appears – either leave it be (it’s inside the actual letters…so it likely won’t affect the signature) or, use the MARK AREAS TO REMOVE button to drag across that white-space you want to make turn pink (disappear).
    7. Use the MARK AREAS TO KEEP and MARK AREAS TO REMOVE buttons until every part that you want to keep is pink-haze-free and every part that you want removed is covered in pink.
    8. When you are as happy as you think you can be with your signature – click the KEEP CHANGES button. Sometimes this is when you’ll see something that you missed – just click the REMOE BACKGROUND button again and keep at it.
    9. When you are happy with the result – and you’ve clicked the KEEP CHANGES for the last time:
      1. Right-click the signature and choose SAVE PICTURE AS from the list of options that appears.
      2. Give your graphic a name – and – IMPORTANT – click the ▼ of the SAVE AS TYPE box (right below the FILENAME box) and indicate that you want the file saved as a GIF (Graphics interchange format *.gif) file. And indicate the folder you want the graphic saved it (PICTURES folder is always a good idea).
  4. Whenever you want to add the signature to a Word document or Outlook email (as long as you’re sending emails in HTML format instead of the kindergarten-baby text format):
    1. On the INSERT tab – click PICTURE.
    2. Locate the signature .gif graphic and click INSERT.
    3. Notice the PICTURE TOOLS – FORMAT tab that automatically appears at the top of Word? Click the WRAP TEXT button on it – and choose IN FRONT OF TEXT.
    4. Use the CORNER edit handles to re-size the signature (proportionately) to a more appropriate size (if needed).
    5. Drag the image to where you want it. ¡Se trata de! (I’m learning Spanish)

    Tip #109:

    Outlook training

    Outlook 2010: Flagging Outgoing Messages

    Sending an email to someone and want to make sure you stay on whatever task or question you have asked them? FLAG the outgoing email.

    You can:
    • Add a flag to an email – which will simply place an item in your To Do list. A flag will simply add the subject (of the outgoing email) to your To Do list. It will stay there until you mark the task as done;
    • Add a reminder to an email – which will also add the subject (of the outgoing email) to your To Do list – but it was also cause a pop-up reminder to appear – just like a calendar appointment reminder;
    • Add a reminder to the email that causes the reminder to be added to the recipients email program.
    While the email (that you want to send) is open:
    1. To simply FLAG the outgoing email (for your own eyes/sake):
      1. Click the FOLLOW UP drop-down (in the TAGS section of the HOME tab).
      2. Choose the appropriate flag (or choose CUSTOM to specific start and/or due dates) then click OK.
    2. To add a flag and reminder to the outgoing email (for your own eyes/sake):
      1. Click the FOLLOW UP drop-down (in the TAGS section of the HOME tab).
      2. Choose ADD REMINDER.
      3. When the CUSTOM window appear, the REMINDER option will already be checked. Select the TIME that you want the reminder to appear. Then click OK.
    3. To give the recipient a flag and reminder for this email:
      1. Click the FOLLOW UP drop-down (in the TAGS section of the HOME tab).
      2. Choose ADD REMINDER. (If you’re giving them a reminder…you should have one too).
      3. When the CUSTOM window appear, the REMINDER option will already be checked. Check the FLAG FOR RECIPIENTS checkbox; choose the type of FLAG you want to attach ( and indicate if you want their email/calendar client to issue them a reminder. Then click OK.
    4. Complete the email and send the message. FYI – if you added a FLAG FOR RECIPIENT – the email will appear, in your Sent Items folder, in red.
    5. Regardless of which option you chose – FLAG or REMINDER…you will see a flag in your TO DO list. And if you checked (off) the REMINDER option – Outlook will remind you of this email at the appropriate time.
    6. Now, get out there and delegate!

    Tip #110:

    Office 2013 training courses

    Office 2013: Get Rid of that Annoying Backstage View

    I know that not many of you have Office 2013 yet but for those of you who do…I know that you’re sitting there in absolute awe of why…why oh why oh why….with a newer version of anything you’d have to do MORE steps to perform a common task like opening or saving a file.

    [CTRL]O (for Open) or [CTRL]S (for Save) – has always taken you (immediately) to the OPEN or SAVE window (shown here).

    But with Office 2013 – it takes THREE (3?????) steps to get to this window: [CTRL]O, then choose COMPUTER – then click the BROWSE icon. I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone!

    What to do?

    1. Click the FILE tab.
    2. Choose OPTIONS.
    3. Choose the SAVE category.
    5. Click OK.

    From now on – when you go to OPEN or SAVE a document, the OPEN or SAVE window will immediately appear.

    NOTE #1: Unfortunately, this “fix” does not apply when you use FILE – SAVE AS. That command will still display the Backstage View and you’ll have to drill down to the actual SAVE AS window manually. Ugh.

    NOTE #2: Normally (ah…there’s the rub!)…when you change the Options in one Office program it has no affect in any other Office program. But this command is the exception…if you indicate, in Word, that you don’t want to show the Backstage View when opening or saving files – it will also stop doing it (again, except for Save As) in Excel, PowerPoint and Access too. That’s new.

    Tip #111:

    Excel 2013 training courses

    PowerPoint 2010: Running an Intro Presentation before the Main Event

    SCENARIO: While you are waiting for your slideshow presentation audience to file into the room – you’d like to run a few introductory slides…looping over and over until you’re ready to run the main presentation. At which point, you’d like to just tap a key and the main presentation starts.

    SOLUTION: Create a few slides that you want to have repeat as your before-show-fill-in – and have them set to LOOP until you press key – then they automatically fall out of the loop…and into your main event (presentation).

    1. Create your presentation, ensuring that the (introductory) slides that you want to loop are located at the start of the presentation. Save the presentation.
    2. Switch to SLIDE SORTER view – and click the TRANSITIONS tab.
    3. Select the (beginning) slides that you want to loop: click on the first of the slides, hold down the [SHFT] key then click on the last of the (repeating) slides.
    4. At the end of the ribbon (TIMING area) – check the AUTOMATICALLY AFTER option and set the timing to 5 seconds. You should notice 00:05 appear at the bottom-right corner of each of the selected slides.
    5. Now, on the SLIDE SHOW tab - click the SET UP SLIDE SHOW button.
    6. In the SHOW OPTIONS section – check the LOOP CONTINUOUSLY UNTIL ESC box.
    7. To the right of that (in the ADVANCE SLIDES section) – just make sure the USING TIMINGS, IF PRESENT option is checked (it should be) – then click OK.
    8. Now you need to create an on-screen button to link from the looping presentation to the rest of the slides:
      1. DOUBLE-CLICK the last of your intro (looping) slides – so that it witches to NORMAL view (so you can work on it).
      2. On the INSERT tab – click SHAPES and select any basic shape (like a square).
      3. Add the shape to the bottom corner (either one) of the slide.
      4. RIGHT-CLICK this new shape – and HYPERLINK.
      5. In the LINKS TO panel (left-hand side of the INSERT HYPERLLINK window – click PLACE IN THIS DOCUMENT.
      6. In the SELECT A PLACE IN THIS DOCUMENT panel that appears – click the slide that is to be the first of your regular presentation (the first slide following your repeating (intro) slides).
      7. Click OK to close the INSERT HYPERLINK window.
      8. To make the (hyperlink) button invisible – while it is still selected:
        1. On the DRAWING TOOLS – FORMAT contextual tab (SHAPE STYLES section) click the ▼ of the SHAPE FILL and choose NO FILL.
        2. And just below the SHAPE FILL button – click the ▼ of the SHAPE OUTLINE and choose NO OUTLINE.
    9. Finally, we must HIDE the rest of the slides (to get the looping to work for just the first (intro) slides):
      1. In SLIDE SORTER view, select all the “regular” (non-looping) slides. (The fastest way to do this: press [CTRL]A (to select ALL the slides…then hold down the [CTRL] key while you click on each intro slide (to Unselect them).
      2. RIGHT-CLICK one of the selected slides and choose HIDE SLIDE. (A diagonal slash should appear through each of the (hidden) slide numbers.
      3. Also…just double-check that these (selected) slides are (TRANSITIONS tab) set for ON MOUSE CLICK.
    10. SAVE the presentation.
    11. Run it – from the first slide. You’ll see that your intro slides loop. And when you’re ready to start the main presentation – wait until the intro slide containing the hyperlink appears….then…point the mouse where you know the invisible (hyperlink) shape is located – and click – and your regular presentation will start.

    Tip #112:

    Microsoft Outlook 2013 training courses

    Outlook 2010/2013: 7 Keyboard Shortcuts worth Their Weight in Gold

    Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the keyboard/shortcut queen. (Queen/fanatic – it’s a fine line). There’s a reason for this…it is fast(er) and I think that, as we get older – it keeps us sharp.

    Most of the most-used Office keyboard shortcuts make sense and are easy-peasy to remember (think [CTRL] O for Open, [CTRL] S for Save, etc.)

    Some keyboard shortcuts aren’t quite as straightforward but are worth the effort ([CTRL] W (think weeeeee, we’re done) to close a document, [CTRL] mouse-wheel to Zoom, etc.)

    The following Outlook keyboard shortcuts fall into the second category. Don’t whine – stretch that brain and just learn them. They’re worth it.

    Now I forget what they were….

    Oh yeah:

    (Think Reply)

    (Think Forward)

    To create a new Distribution List (from anywhere)
    (Think List)

    Create a new email (if you’re in the Mail portion of Outlook)
    (Think New)

    Create a new email (from any other part of the program)
    (Think Mail)

    Create a new appointment (if you’re in the Calendar portion of Outlook)
    (Think New)

    Create a new appointment (from any other part of the program)
    (Think Appointment)

    Tip #113:

    Microsoft Outlook 2013 training courses

    Outlook 2010/2013: I like Big Print…I cannot lie

    If you are often scanning your Inbox – header (sender) by header…it might be helpful to make your header text BIGGER than the preview text that is included with it.

    1. In the mail module of Outlook – click the VIEW tab – then click the VIEW SETTINGS button (CURRENT VIEW section at the start of the ribbon).
    2. When the ADVANCED VIEW SETTINGS window appears – click the CONDITIONAL FORMATTING button.
    3. At the CONDITIONAL FORMATTING window – click the ADD button.
    4. Type a name, such as BiggerHeaders
    5. Click the FONT button (to the left and below the Name box).
    6. In the SIZE panel, choose BIGGER (2013) or a larger font size number (2010).
    7. Click OK.
    8. Back at the CONDITIONAL FORMATTING window – just click OK (do NOT specify a condition).
    9. You will be warned that, because no condition was specified…ALL emails will be affected by this new rule – excellent! Click YES.
    1. Back at the ADVANCED VIEW SETTINGS window – click OK.

    Tip #114:

    Microsoft Excel 2013 training courses

    Excel (all versions) (Intermediate): Look Behind the (Equation) Scene

    Scenario: You have a big honkin’ spreadsheet – lots of equations. One particular equation that you are observing up in the Formula Bar…you’d like to analyze it a bit closer. You’d like to confirm the values that it is using – without having to look directly at or go to any of the cells that it is referencing.

    You know that whenever the cell pointer is sitting on a cell – you can see the true contents of the cell up in the Formula Bar (just below the ribbon).

    Without having to actual go to (or look at) one of the cells being reference in the equation – you’d like to know what’s is real value is. In this diagram to the right…let’s say we are curious what’s in cell F105 (of the equation).

    Reach up into the Formula Bar and SELECT the cell address whose true value you’d like to know/see. (See the “DURING” diagram here).

    Now, tap the [F9] function key. Voilà – instead of the cell address appearing in the equation…the actual value contained IN that cell (the number 5 in the “AFTER” example below) appears. Just press [ESC] to put it back to the cell address when you’re finished looking at it.

    Not a biggie – but it can save you some running around (the spreadsheet) time.

    Tip #115:

    Microsoft Word 2013 training courses

    Word (all versions): 1 Trick; 1 Life Saver

    First the trick – ‘cause tricks are more fun.

    How to do it:

    1. Create your (entire) list.
    2. Turn on the SHOW/HIDE button (on the HOME tab). It will display all the NON-PRINTING characters (spaces, tabs, enters) in your document.
    3. Notice the black backwards P at the end of each of your numbered paragraphs? Use your mouse to select one of them.
    4. Select the desired (different) formatting – could be font colour, font, etc. Notice that the NUMBER for that paragraph changes – but the paragraph of text does not? THAT’S what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, you have to select EACH of the paragraph markers (black backwards Ps) and change them too. Although…you can use the Format Painter (if you’re familiar with it).
    5. Turn off the SHOW/HIDE button when you’re done. (Unless you’re one of those weirdos who likes to keep it turned on).

    Ok – and here’s your Word Life Saver…

    Any time you want to get rid of ALL the formatting from text (without having to turn multiple items off one at a time) – just select the text and press [CTRL][SPACE] – it will strip all formatting from the text in one fell swoop. You heard me…one fell swoop.

    Tip #116:

    Excel 2010 training

    101: Know Your Operating System

    Are you a user (good) or a muggle (not good)? A lack of basic general computer knowledge is the biggest hurdle that separates real users from the walking disasters. You will never be proficient or comfortable in any a program if you don’t have adequate computer knowledge.

    So…from time to time I am going to devote a Tip to understanding your computer. Geeks: take a break – or pass it to your parents (sorry Mom!) or sister (tee hee). I’m going to call these tips “101”. These 101 tips will not be for the geeks out there…they’re for ANYONE who ever uses the wordy “thingy” when asking for help. (shudder)

    I’m not going to make these tips big or long-winded…I don’t want to bore you. But read them: blah blah blah…broccoli. Ok – here we go…

    Business programs (ie, Word, Excel, etc) do NOT have the ability to Save or Open files. They never have. To be able to save or open files, a program must have the ability to communicate with hardware (‘cause that’s where the file is being stored – on a drive (hardware) of some sort).

    Well then, how are your files being saved or opened? By the OPERATING SYSTEM. Windows is the most popular (I hear the geeks grumbling…be quiet – this isn’t about you…and you’re not supposed to be reading this anyway). Think of Windows as the translator between your business programs and your computer – Windows speaks “business programs” and it speaks “hardware”.

    So, when you ask Word to save a file – it really just turns around and says “Hey Windows – here…save this…they want to store it in blah-blah folder on blah-blah drive and they want to call it LetterToMom”. It may look like Word is saving your file – but it isn’t…Windows is.

    Imagine three people sitting beside each other. They all have, say, Excel 2010 running on their computers. But if one person has Windows XP, one has Windows 7 and one has Windows 8 running their computers…they will all see different Save As and Open screens. Because – when the Open or Save As window is open…you’re not (temporarily) in Excel…you’re in Windows.

    Some terms you must be comfortable with:

    FOLDER – Used to be (sometimes still is) called DIRECTORY. It is a storage space where numerous related (by subject usually) files can be placed so as to group them together

    SUBFOLDER – A folder contained within another folder. If you are involved in a service club, you might have a folder called, say, ROTARY. And you have that folder further broken down into SUBFOLDERS such as Minutes, Letters, Events, etc.

    PATH – the route through a computer file/folder system that lead to the current file. If you are storing a document called WorldPolioDay2014.doc in your Letters folder (example above) – you got to this file via the ROTARY folder – so the path to where this document is stored might be C:\MY DOCUMENTS\ROTARY\LETTERS.

    PARENT – the folder to which a subfolder belongs. In the above example, ROTARY is the parent folder of the LETTERS folder. MY DOCUMENTS is the parent of ROTARY.

    Tip #117:

    PowerPoint 2010

    PowerPoint (all versions): The Quiet Hero – the Selection Pane

    By the way…from now on, when I say that a tip works in “all versions”…I mean 2007, 2010 and 2013. Not 2003. If you are still using 2003 – stop. Just STOP.

    The PowerPoint SELECTION PANE makes it so much easier to work on slides that contain numerous graphic and text (box) images. How?

    1. It lists all images you have on your slide so you know exactly what you’ve got. Each object you add to your slide is stored on a different layer. If two objects are in the same place they will overlap and cover one another up;
    2. You can hide images (for editing purposes only) – so that you can more easily work on an single image (that may have been layered/out-of-sight) behind other images;
    3. Renaming images in the Selection Pane makes it much easier to deal with them in the ANIMATION PANE – because they will have recognizable names there too (African Sunset is much easier to recognize in an animation list than Picture3). This one point is worth the price of admission!

    There are two ways to display the Selection Pane:
    1. Select any image on the slide – so that you have access to either the contextual DRAWING TOOLS – FORMAT or PICTURE TOOLS – FORMAT tab. On that tab – click the SELECTION PANE button (in the ARRANGE section); or
    2. Whether an image is selected or not – on the HOME tab – click the ARRANGE button (DRAWING section). SELECTION PANE is at the bottom of the list.

    The Selection Pane (shown here) will appear down the RHS of the window. Each graphic (or text box) image will be listed in the pane. Unfortunately, PPT gives them generic names (ignoring their file names) – so you might want to RENAME each one – by clicking once (to select one) then once more (to switch into rename mode) then pressing [ENTER].

    To HIDE individual images – click the eyeball to the right of the image.

    To hide all images – click the HIDE ALL button (bottom of Selection Pane). You can unhide individual images – by clicking the (now-blank-square) button beside image. The SHOW ALL button will re-display any hidden images in your list.


    Most people change image layers (putting one over top of another) by right-clicking and using the BRING TO FRONT or SEND TO BACK options. That’s fine. But you can also do it in the Selection Pane – where you’ll get a better feel for the numerous layers that exist on your slide – because the Selection Pane displays the objects in their layering order: the items at the top of the Selection Pane are higher/upper layers than the lower items on the list.

    Prove it – on your slide…drag an image (that is listed at/near the top of the Selection Pane) on top of another image (that is listed lower on the Selection Pane). When you release your mouse button it will literally be on top of (covering) the destination item. Whereas if you dragged a lower-listed item onto a higher-up-the-list image…when you release the mouse button the dragged image would show up behind the destination image.

    You can use the RE-ORDER buttons (bottom of Selection Pane) to change the layer order(s) of the images on your slide. Select an image (in the list) – then bump it up or down using the ▲ or ▼ RE-ORDER button(s).

    Tip #118:

    Excel 2010

    Excel (Intermediate Users): Faster “Paste Values”

    Scenario: you have created an equation – that is linked to the contents of another cell. Like the diagram below – we have pulled the postal code out of column E – into column F. But the contents of the cell aren’t “real” – the postal code is really only an equation whose results looks like a postal code. How do you turn the cell that looks like a postal code into a real postal code? Using PASTE SPECIAL.

    People usually select the cells – then COPY – then do a PASTE SPECIAL – as VALUES. And that does work just fine. But here’s a faster method:

    1. Select the range of cells that need to be treated.
    2. Point to the left or right edge of the selected range – so that the mouse pointer appears as a four-headed arrow.
    3. Hold down your RIGHT (not your left…pay attention!) mouse button.
    4. Drag the range either to your right or left (is doesn’t matter…because you’re not going to release)…then (and here’s the catch)….drag it BACK TO IT’S ORIGINAL LOCATION…and release the mouse button.
    5. Because you used your RIGHT mouse button – a context list will appear (shown here).
    6. Choose COPY HERE AS VALUES ONLY. Your data is now real data…not linked to any other cell anymore. Can’t get easier than that!

    If you like these tips, you'll learn many more in our 1-day Microsoft Office 2010 courses. Whether it's Excel 2010 or Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Access training - both classroom and onsite computer training. We have a 10-station classroom in Barrie and we do onsite Microsoft Office computer training courses all over Canada. We also have a great 1-day Converting to Office 2010 and Converting to Office 2013 training course that take you into the new interface with ease.