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Janet's Weekly Tips, Tricks & Reminders

Janet Stead onsite computer training


Tip #119:

Word 2010 courses

Excel (all versions): Show & Tell

This tip is short and sweet (something like my sister).

When you are sitting on a cell that contains a formula – you can look up on the Formula Bar to see the actual formula (rather than the answer that displays in the cell).

If you are trying to debug a formula, you may find yourself looking at the formula bar then looking up each of the cells referenced in the formula.

Well – you can have Excel highlight all the cells referenced by the formula – so that you can see them all at once.

Sit on the cell containing the formula, the press CTRL [ (that’s: hold down the CTRL key and while it’s down, tap the [ (open square bracket). All the cells (in the current sheet only) referenced in the formula will become highlighted.



Tip #120:

Word 2010 courses

Surfing the Web Efficiently: SYMBALOO rocks

There’s a lot of great information out there on the web. You come upon a site and think “whoa – I want to remember this one!” But adding it to your Favourites isn’t that effective – the Favourites list (at least in Internet Explorer) just becomes one big long list that, frankly, you’re not likely to peruse too often.

SYMBALOO to the rescue! Symbaloo is a free visual online storage of your Favourite website links. A thumbnail graphic represents each webpage shortcut …not in a big, long-winded no-fun-to-read list. And because it’s stored online you can access it from anywhere in the world – just log in. Symbaloo has been my personal start page for 8 years.

You can have as many DESKTOPS (tabs) as you want. Each desktop representing a different category of webpage locations you want to remember – and each desktop can hold upwards of 80+ shortcut thumbnails.

Here’s my own Symbaloo screen. Each of my desktop tabs are listed across the top of the Symbaloo screen. My main desktop is Princess (of course), followed by “Talk a Look” (because they’re newer webpages that I really want to look at…but was too busy at the time), “Resources” (where to find cool things to buy), “Geeky/Study” (you know what I do for a living, right?); “Business” (for marketing ideas); “Fitness” (hey a girl can dream); “Cooking”, “Shopping”, “Rotary”, etc.

As for the pictures on each thumbnail – when you add a “new tile” and indicate the website address for the new tile, you will either be offered a graphic image (to use for your thumbnail) or you can upload your own graphic image (as you can see from my tiles above I sometimes like to use my own photos) or you can just have text displayed on the tile. And you can choose different tile colours to help some stand out more than others.

How do you get started?

  1. Go to www.symbaloo.com – and click CREATE FREE ACCOUNT in the top-right corner.
  2. Enter your name, email address and set a password. (Do NOT use Facebook or Google to sign in – you’ll be sorry)
  3. Agree to their Terms & Conditions – by checking the box – then click CREATE MY ACCOUNT.
  4. You will be immediately presented with three desktops to get you started: HOME, XNEWS and NEWS. Ignore the NEWS one (they’re always so pessimistic).
  5. The HOME tab will already be populated with a bunch of suggested big-name tiles.
  6. To DELETE a tile: right-click the tile and choose DELETE.
  7. To MOVE a tile: just drag it to a new location.
  8. To ADD a new tile:
    1. First go to the appropriate website and COPY the URL into memory;
    2. Now click a blank tile on your Symbaloo desktop – to display the EDIT TILE panel (down the LHS of your screen).
    3. Click CREATE A TILE – then click inside ADD THE ADDRESS OF THE WEBSITE and PASTE the web address you copied;
    4. Now click down inside the NAME OF THE TILE box. When you do this – a name might pop up automatically. It’s your choice to keep it or alter it – it will not affect the function of your tile – just how it looks. If you want the tile to actually DISPLAY the name – check the SHOW TEXT? Box.
    5. Down in the CHOOSE AN ICON OR IMAGE FOR THE TILE area – if there is more than one image to choose from – click the desired image for your thumbnail – or, click the UPLOAD AN IMAGE and pick a picture off your computer.
    6. Click SAVE when done – and voilŕ – you got yourself a new website shortcut tile. Yay!
  9. When (not IF – but when) you fall in love with this and decide you need more tiles per desktop – click the OPTIONS button (top-middle of the screen) to display the EDIT WEBMIX panel – and turn on the CHANGE WEBMIX SIZE button (in the left-hand panel) then click the << and >> buttons that appear at the left and right and bottom of the WEBMIX – until it adds the desired number of extra tiles. Close the EDIT WEBMIX panel – by clicking the X at the top-right.
  10. To add another DESKTOP/WEBMIX – click the + at the end of the existing tabs (along the top of the Symbaloo screen) and type an appropriate for it into the ADD AN EMPTY WEBMIX box – then click ADD. Endless fun, I’m telling you!
  11. Change the left-right order of the desktop/webmixes – by just dragging the tabs in front of or behind each other.

Be sure to set www.symbaloo.com as your Home Page for your internet browser – and enjoy.


Tip #121:

Excel training

Excel (Advanced): Viewing Visual Basic Code While Recording Macros

This tip is specifically for those who have taken our Excel Level 3 or Level 4 course – and/or are into creating macros.

If this isn’t you….go practice your Excel skills and come back later.

Ok Macro Mavens, you know how you record a macro and then look at the VBA window to see the code that was created for you, right? You pick your way through the code figuring out (in an effort to better understand the coding) what line of code represents which command.

Well, you can watch the code being generated for each command you record:

  1. Make sure Excel is running – and the file to which you want to apply the macro (if any) is open on the screen.
  2. Press [WINDOWS] ← (that means hold down the Microsoft Logo button (on your keyboard) and, while it is held down, tap the LEFT-ARROW key once. This will park the Excel window on the left half of your screen.
  3. Press [F11] to open up the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.
  4. Press [WINDOWS] → to park the VBA window on the right half of your screen.
  5. Make sure all the VBAProject (PERSONAL.XLSB) modules are displayed – clicking the + to the left of the VBAProject (PERSONAL.XLSB) line or the MODULES folder, if necessary.
  6. In the Excel half, start the macro recording.
  7. In the VBA side of the screen, you will see a new module appear (unless you’ve already been creating macros this session…then just pay attention your most recent (highest-number folder)). Reach over and double-click that Module (don’t worry – you won’t affect the macro recording) and scroll-down, if necessary, to the new macro area.
  8. Back in Excel, carry on with whatever actions you want the Excel macro to record – keeping an eye on the VBA side as your work…so you can better understand exactly which commands Excel is generating for each of your actions.


Tip #122:

Excel training

Windows 7 (Windows Explorer): You’ve Always Been my Favourite

If you are maneuvering back and forth (in Word, Excel, etc) between various drives and subfolders all the time – this time-saving tip is for you.

Rather than click and double-click your way to a favourite folder every time you want to open a file in it – or save a file to it…ADD that folder (no matter what drive it’s on) to your FAVOURITES folder…and it will never be more than one click away.

Remember – programs like Word and Excel don’t (can’t) save or open files – so whenever you’re in the OPEN or SAVE window…you’re actually in Windows (not Word or Excel).

And so…any organizing you do involving folders and drives will automatically be reflected in all the business programs you are using.

You can start up the Windows Explorer a few ways – but I find that [WINDOWS] E is a great, fast way. So do it.

At the Windows Explorer window, make you way to the folder that you want (future) quick access to. You must be IN the folder.

Near the top of the left-hand panel is the FAVOURITES location (it has a START beside it...you may have to scroll up the panel to see it).

Before proceeding, make sure you are IN the folder that you want to add to your Favourites. How do you KNOW if you’re “in” a folder…it will be either the only or at least the last folder listed up in the Address Bar that runs across the top of the Windows Explorer window.

Now, reach over and RIGHT-CLICK the FAVOURITES location (in the left-hand panel) – and choose ADD CURRENT LOCATION TO FAVOURITES.

You now have a one-click method of getting to this folder…no matter which drive you started on or how many folder levels away you were.



Tip #123:

Excel training

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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.