300 office tips • Special feature

Microsoft Excel
75 tips and tricks for your favourite spreadsheet.

1 Convert rows t...
Special feature • 300 office tips

                         ➤                                                         Sc...
300 office tips • Special feature

Special feature • 300 office tips

     Outlook, PowerPoint,

     Bringing up the rear are Microsoft’s email client,...
300 office tips • Special feature

and Publisher
all problems radio button and then         and slides to the new butto...
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Excel Tips


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Excel Tips

  1. 1. 300 office tips • Special feature Microsoft Excel 75 tips and tricks for your favourite spreadsheet. 1 Convert rows to the running total of the figures in A1 to Pick the function you require from the columns list box and click on OK. Now A5 in the adjacent column. You can convert rows to columns (and highlight the cells on which you want 5 Remove hyperlinks columns to rows) by highlighting the the target to perform the function and from your work click on OK. cells you want to switch around, If Excel has already converted your clicking on Edit, Copy, selecting a new cell and then going to Edit, Paste written URL into a hyperlink, you can Special… Finally, place a tick in the cancel it by right-clicking on the Transpose box on the dialog box and offending address and selecting click on OK. Hyperlink, Remove Hyperlink from the menu that pops up. 2 Calculatedates time 6 Fit wide tables to the between page width Enter in a cell the formula =A2-A1, where A1 is the earlier date, and A2 To make your tables fit neatly on the page, click on File, Page Setup…, the later one. Don’t forget to convert select the Page tab, click on the Fit to: the target cell to number format – do radio button and pick 1 page wide. this by highlighting the cell, clicking on Format, Cells…, picking on the Click on the tall box and press Number tab and selecting Number [Delete], leaving the box empty. from the Category: list. 7 Hide your data from 11 Customise your Excel converts Web site 3 Enter URLs as text, addresses to hyperlinks prying eyes automatically. Right-click AutoFills not hyperlinks If you want to hide from view any on them to remove the link. To prevent Excel from converting sensitive data, highlight the relevant If you use the same list over and over cell and click on Format, Cells… Click written Internet addresses into in different worksheets, you might want on the Numbers tab, select Custom hyperlinks, add an apostrophe to the to add it to your AutoFill list – this will from the Category: list, double-click beginning of the address, for example save you heaps of time in future. ‘www.futurenet.com. on the Type: input box and enter ;;;. Highlight your list, click on Tools, Options… and select the Custom Lists Undo the operation to make your data 4 Calculatetotals tab. Click on Import, then OK. visible again. running 8 Use template Enter the numbers to be added in The Paste Function button worksheets column A, say A1 to A5, then enter enables you to browse =SUM($A$1:A1) into column B. Templates can save you considerable formulas and is the easiest way to enter Functions. Highlight the cells beside the ones with time when you’re setting up a new worksheet. Click on File, New…, select numbers in (in our example, B1 to B5) and go to Edit, Fill, Down. This places the Spreadsheet Solutions tab and choose a template from the list. 9 Access help for Lotus users If you’ve converted from Lotus 1-2-3 12 Use the and find Excel confusing, you can AutoCalculator access help specific to your situation by clicking on Help, Lotus 1-2-3 Help… If you need to calculate a sum based on a row or a column of figures and 10 Use the browser you can’t be bothered typing in a formula function, just select your figures and Select a cell and click on the Paste glance down at the status bar – you’ll Filling Down – the easy way to perform ➤ Function button on the main toolbar. find the sum of the selected cells there. dynamic calculations. April 2001 PCAnswers 05
  2. 2. Special feature • 300 office tips ➤ Screen. Click on it again to return to a Alignment tab, and then drag the Text What’s more, if you right-click on the sum a pop-up menu will appear offering normal window. pointer in the Orientation window. additional quick calculation functions. 17 Fit text 25 Zoomselection in to 13 A quick way to automatically your enter the time You can have Excel display just the area Make your work look neater by selecting To enter the current date or time click the relevant column, and clicking on you’re working in by highlighting the Excel has two distinct date on a cell and type =today() or =now(). Format, Column, AutoFit Selection. relevant cells, clicking on the arrow on calculators: one returns the Excel updates the result every time you the Zoom box on the toolbar and 18 Fast copy, no current date, the other selecting Selection from the list. open the sheet, so it’s always current. returns the creation date. clipboard 26 Another default Pressing [Ctrl] + [‘] is a speedy way to entry direction duplicate the formula or figure in the cell above the one you’re in. When editing cells the cursor moves down when you press [Return]. To 19 Fast and easy change the direction click on Tools, multiple entry Options… and select Edit. Click on the Move selection after Enter list box and If you need to enter a formula in several cells at once, simply select all the target choose another direction from the list. cells, type your formula as normal and 27 Launch Excel, open press [Ctrl] + [Enter]. your file 20 Pick cells for Launch Excel, open the file you use AutoCalculator most often, and click on File, Save As… In the Save As dialog, navigate to You can select unconnected cells by holding down [Ctrl] while you click on the Xlstart folder in your Office folder and click Save. Now the file will open the individual cells. 14 EnterExcel time 21 Hide comments to a fixed automatically when you launch Excel. into 28 Set decimal points reduce clutter If you want Excel to enter the current date or time and fix it at that point – for You can hide notes and other comments by using the Insert Comment function. Click on Tools, Options… and select example, to show the last date the sheet Highlight a cell, click on Insert, the Edit tab. Place a tick in the Fixed was modified – click on a cell and press [Ctrl] + [;] for the date and [Ctrl] + [:] Comment and type your text. Click decimal tick box and use the arrows in the Places: input box to set the number for the time. away from the input box when you’ve finished. The comment will appear of decimal places. 15 Find the currently whenever you pass your mouse over 29 Calculate the active cell the relevant cell. median value If you’ve been scrolling around your 22 Re-colouring the spreadsheet and you lose your place, To calculate the median value of a grid lines you can jump back to the currently number of figures, say A1 to A10, enter active cell by pressing the [Ctrl] + =median(A1:A10) into the target cell. You can change the colour of the grid [Backspace] keys. by clicking on Tools, Options…, 30 #NAME!errors and selecting the View tab, clicking on the 16 See the #NUM! Color: list box and choosing a new big picture colour from the palette. Choosing white Excel returns a #NAME! or #NUM! If you’re working on a large sheet you effectively removes the grid completely. error whenever a formula refers to non- might want to switch to Full Screen existent names or numbers. To sort it 23 Angle your mode: simply click on View, Full out, re-enter the formula correctly. entries… 31 Quick sort your To make Excel display the text in cells at columns an angle of 45 degrees, right-click on the toolbar, select Chart, and pick either The quickest way to sort a column into of the ab icons on the new toolbar. a hierarchy is to select it and click on the Sort Ascending or Sort Descending 24 …to like degree any buttons (the ones with the AZ arrows). you 32 Quickly change If you want custom angles right-click on Use angled text to add cell dimensions the cell and select Format Cells… visual interest to your lists From the pop-up menu, click on the The quickest way to change a column’s and graphs. April 2001 PCAnswers 06
  3. 3. 300 office tips • Special feature Handy keyboard tips in the Category: pane, click on the width or a row’s height is to place your Type: input box and press [M] mouse pointer close to the join between two columns or rows, then click and repeatedly until the desired format is 30 shortcuts to speed up your calculations. hold down the mouse button, and drag displayed in the Sample area above. Select the current column [Ctrl] + [Space] the column or row to the desired size. 40 Quick copy Select the current row [Shift] + [Space] 33 Edit the active cell [F2] Erasing entries column Move to the beginning of the worksheet [Ctrl] + [Home] while typing Move to the last cell on the worksheet [Ctrl] + [End] You can fill out the cells in a column by Paste a name into a formula [F3] If you mistype your formula, press double-clicking on a cell’s handle. Paste a function into a formula [Shift] + [F3] Excel will place copies of the clicked [Esc] to erase the cell’s content. Alternate value/formula view [Ctrl] + [`] (on key [1]) cell in each cell below, stopping when 34 Enter number Calculate all sheets in all open workbooks [F9] it reaches a cell with blanks either side. Display the Go To dialog box [F5] sequences Display the Find dialog box [Shift] + [F5] (Confused? Try this: enter a figure in Display the Format Cells dialog box [Ctrl] + [1] Enter the first number in a cell, press cell A1, then enter figures in cells B1 to Create a chart [F11] the [Ctrl] key, and then click, hold and B5, then double-click on A1’s handle.) Insert a new sheet [Alt] + [Shift] + [F1] drag the cell’s handle until you’ve 41 Merge cell Repeat the last action [F4] reached the desired number of cells. Repeat Find [Shift] + [F4] contents Release the mouse button first, and Open [Ctrl] + [F12] Exit [Ctrl] + [F4] then the [Ctrl] key. To merge the contents of cells A1 and Check spelling of current cell [F7] B1, click on cell C1 and enter =A1&B1. 35 See formulas at a Activate the menu bar [F10] The result is not a sum but a text Display the Macro dialog box [Alt] + [F8] glance string, so merging 10 and 7 will return Apply outline to active cell [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [&] You can view all of your formulas at 107, rather than 17. Convert to a percentage [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [%] Select all filled cells around active cell [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [*] once by clicking on Tools, Options…, 42 Use dynamic Move to next sheet [Ctrl] + [Page Down] selecting the View tab, and placing a Move to previous sheet [Ctrl] + [Page Up] formatting tick in the Formulas tick box. Complete a cell entry and move up [Shift] + [Enter] You can set Excel to alert you to critical 36 Complete a cell entry and move right [Tab] Highlight cells of figures in cells by setting it up so the Complete a cell entry and move left [Shift] + [Tab] a kind Edit a cell comment [Shift] + [F2] colour or size of text in a given cell You can select all the cells of a certain changes whenever a certain condition is type by using the Special functions. reached. Select a cell (say, the cell Click on Edit, Go To…, click on the containing the total of your bank be, so this isn’t practical for small cells Special… button, choose the cell type balance) and click on Format, with lots of content. from the dialog box and click on OK. Conditional Formatting… Choose the 45 Create hyperlinks conditions in the pop-up dialog (say 37 Switch off to support files ‘Cell value is less than 0’) and click on the zeroes the Format… button. Now choose a To place links in cells that enable you new colour in the Color: list box and You can prevent zeroes from cluttering to load other documents with one click, your sheets by clicking on Tools, click on OK. Click on OK again to enter a name for the link in a cell and finish. From now on Excel will display Options…, selecting the View tab, and press [Ctrl] + [K]. Click on the File… unticking the Zero values tick box. your chosen figure in the new colour button. Navigate to the file you wish to whenever the figure falls below zero. link to. Double-click on it and click 38 Protect OK. From now on, whenever you click 43 Border connected your work in that cell, Excel will jump to the file. cells Open the sheet you wish to protect and Prevent cell click on File, Save As… Click on the You can place a border around a group content from General Options… item in the Tools of related cells – all the totals, for overlapping neighbouring menu (in the top right corner of the example – by selecting them and cells by shrinking clicking on Format, Cells…, then Save As dialog) and enter a password it to fit. in the Password to open: input box. selecting the Border tab and clicking Finally, click on the Save button. You on the Outline button. might want to make a note of the 44 Shrink entries to password before continuing. fit their cells 39 Customise You can force Excel to display the full your dates text of a cell by using the Shrink to fit option. Click on Format, Cells…, click You can customise the format of a date on the Alignment tab and place a tick in a cell using the Custom cell formatter. in the Shrink to fit tick box. Obviously, To do this, enter a date in a cell, click ➤ on Format, Cells…, click on Custom the more text you have, the smaller it’ll April 2001 PCAnswers 07
  4. 4. Special feature • 300 office tips Outlook, PowerPoint, ➤ Bringing up the rear are Microsoft’s email client, presentation, and DTP software. Here are the hottest 15 tips and 35 shortcuts… 7 Quickly adjust font separate spell-checking options – tick Outlook sizes, no mouse! each box for the optimal spelling 1 system. If you want to switch the whole Getting the font sizes right is paramount Find the contact thing off, you should untick the second to a well-designed layout, and if you’re you’re after quickly box in the list. constantly shifting and resizing frames, To locate a contact from just a fragment it can become a bit of a headache. 4 Automatically use the Find a Contact input box on However, there is a speedy method for addressed email the main toolbar. Just click on the box switching font sizes without any mouse Click on Folder, Contacts, select the and enter what you remember of the operations: highlight the text you wish contact’s name. Outlook will find the to change and press [Ctrl] + [right contact you want to email and click on Actions, New Message to Contact. A contact and open his or her details in a square bracket] to increase the font size by a point, and [Ctrl] + [left square dialog box. new message pane will open with the contact’s address details already bracket] to decrease it by one point. entered for you. 5 Trackmail your You can find out when your mail is read by sending a receipt request with your messages. Click on Tools, Options… and select the Preferences tab. Click on the E-mail options… and Tracking Options… buttons on the following dialog. Finally, place a tick in the You can use the design gallery to store your own page elements. Request a read receipt for all messages I send tick box. 8 Build your own Find a Contact brings up 2 Shred your waste, the Contact Properties. Design Gallery Publisher Here you can add, edit or don’t bin it The Design Gallery is Publisher’s library remove the contact from Outlook doesn’t really delete messages, of professionally-designed elements and your address book. 6 Resize objects using it places them in the Deleted items objects that help to bring consistent central origin folder. To delete them click on Tools, design to your projects. It’s handy for Options..., select the Other tab, and To keep the centre of an object dabblers but pretty useless for place a tick in the Empty the Deleted in the same place while you more committed users. To Items folder upon Exiting tick box. resize it, hold down [Ctrl] get the best from the while you are dragging the Design Gallery, you should 3 Spell check your object’s handles. use it to store your own outgoing mail objects. To add an object To spellcheck your email before you to the Gallery, select it and Let Publisher solve your layout problems for you with the send it, click on Tools, Options… and click on Insert, Add Design Checker. then on the Spelling tab. There are five Selection to Design Gallery… Enter a name and category in the input Outlook shortcuts boxes and click OK. 9 Check your design Five email shortcuts no one should be without,. for problems Display Inbox [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [I] Once you’ve finished your project it Check for new mail [F5] pays to run it through its paces in the Reply to selected mail [Ctrl] + [R] Design Checker and check it for flaws: Create new mail [Ctrl] + [N] Send mail [Ctrl] + [Enter] select Tools, Design Checker… and click on Options… Select the Check April 2001 PCAnswers 08
  5. 5. 300 office tips • Special feature and Publisher all problems radio button and then and slides to the new button will appear Publisher shortcuts both OK buttons. Publisher now checks once you’ve released the mouse button. the integrity of your frames, bringing Five essential DTP shortcuts. attention to any potential problems, and suggesting remedies by way of a Toggle frame opacity [Ctrl] + [T] Nudge frame [Alt] + [Arrow] (any of the four directions) pop-up dialog box. Format copy [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [C] 10 No needpaste Format paste [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [V] to Toggle current/actual page view [F9] cut and To copy an object simply select it, press [Ctrl] and drag it to a new the same place as the line. This location. The copy is left behind in the means you can align all the original position. pieces of your document with Adding buttons is a simple two-step process. very little effort. Once your elements are in position you PowerPoint 13 Just go pack can drag the Guides to new and locations or you can disable 11 Get the most from If you want others to be able to watch them. The frames are your videos your presentations and you’re not sure unaffected. To activate the whether they have PowerPoint, use the Guidelines click on View, Guides. If you’re using a video clip in your File, Pack and Go… command. This presentation, make sure it’s in the same PowerPoint shortcuts folder as the presentation, otherwise it Pack and Go Wizard enables you to will display a Find Files dialog when collate all of the presentation elements run. Once you’ve loaded your film you into one standalone, portable program. Five shortcuts to increase your speed. can access its properties by right 14 Insert slide [Ctrl] + [M] Make your text clicking on it and selecting Edit Movie Move to the next pane [F6] stand out Object… from the pop-up menu. The Move to the previous pane [Shift] + [F6] dialog displays the clip’s total playing To add instant pizzazz to your headings Insert a hyperlink [Ctrl] + [K] Start slide show [F5] go to WordArt on the Drawing Tools time and playing options. menu. You can configure WordArt text to run in a line, around a circle or in any Generic shortcuts other shape. It can be multi-coloured, 3D or textured. Used sparingly, WordArt can be an eye-opener. These shortcuts work in all Office applications, as 15 Use Guides to well as some third-party software. Open [Ctrl] + [O] place frames Exit [Alt] + [F4] Guidelines are non-printing lines that Save [Ctrl] + [S] enable you to align frames with ease. Print [Ctrl] + [P] Select All [Ctrl] + [A] When you drop a frame close to a Cut [Ctrl] + [X] Guideline it automatically snaps into Add impact to your presentation with a Copy [Ctrl] + [C] movie object. Paste [Ctrl] + [V] 12 Add buttons to Undo [Ctrl] + [Z] Redo [Ctrl] + [Y] your slides Help [F1] Open pop-up menu [Shift] + [F10] Buttons make your presentation look Open window control menu [Alt] + [Space] and feel professional. Activate the Scroll one page length down [Page Down] Action Buttons sub-menu on the Slide Scroll one page length up [Page Up] Show menu and hover your mouse Delete [Delete] Switch applications [Alt] + [Tab] pointer over each of the available Activate menus [F10] buttons to view their descriptions. To Close menu [Alt] use one. click on the button and draw Select first/last menu item [Home]/[End] a square on your slide. A dialog that Share your presentations more easily with ➤ Pack and Go. enables you to link sounds, programs April 2001 PCAnswers 09