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Microsoft Office Tip & Tricks Menu
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Microsoft Office Tips & Tricks

Monday October 31, 2016 at 11:44am
If you ever wanted to print out an MS Word document on a coloured page, you would likely just type the document out on a plain white background and insert a coloured page in the printer when you print it. The same can’t be said if you want to add an image to the background of a page. There’s the watermark option to make do with but if you’re interested in adding a full page background image to a document and have it tile properly if needed, there’s a built-in feature to do just that.      

Open the MS Word file you want to add an image background to. Go to the ‘Design’ tab and click the ‘Page Colour’ drop-down in the ‘Page Background’ set of tools. A pop-up menu will open with colours to set as the background. At the very bottom of this pop-up is an option ‘Fill Effects’. Click it. A new options box opens with fill effects to choose from. Go to the ‘Picture’ tab and click ‘Select Picture’. Another pop-up will open for selecting the picture. The pop-up can select a picture from your local disk, or you can search on Bing from inside it for an image to use. The image search is restricted to images that have been explicitly marked as available for free use.

If your image is too small for the page, MS Word will automatically tile it. If you want to find out what size an image should be so that it fits on the page perfectly, find the size of your page in inches and convert it to pixels. When you select an image, make sure it fits the dimensions for the page.
Monday October 31, 2016 at 11:42am
Working with numbers comes with a few rules and one such rule that deals with numbers in decimals is to round them off. If you work with Excel, you know that it doesn’t round off numbers unless they’re being treated as currency. If you’re dealing with other types of numbers i.e. non-currency ones, and need to round off numbers to certain decimal point, there’s a pretty simple way to do it.      

Open the MS Excel file you’re working with and select the cell, entire row, or entire column that you want the app to round off. In the ‘Home’ tab, go to the Number set of tools and you will see two buttons next to each other The one with the arrow pointing left will increase how many decimal places are shown for a number. If there are no numbers, it will simply add a zero. The button with the arrow pointing right is the one you need. That’s the one that ’rounds’ the numbers up. Click it once and it will reduce the decimal places shown by one position and round the last digit up. Click it again and it’s reduced by one more decimal point.

Take for example you have a number 4.125. If you click the decimal place button with the left arrow once, it will change the number to 4.1250 i.e., one decimal position will be added. If you click the decimal place button with the right arrow once, this same number will change to 4.13 rounding the ‘2’ to a ‘3’.

You can apply the round-off rule to entire rows and columns, and multiple cells so if you’ve got a table with a lot of rounding up to do, the process will be easy and not redundant.
Monday October 31, 2016 at 11:41am
PowerPoint lets you add different types of media files to a presentation. Anything from images, videos, and audio files can be added to a slide. The support for so many different types of media no doubt make it exceptionally easier to create engaging presentations but at the same time, with each image, graph, document, video, and audio file that you add, the presentation itself becomes bigger and bigger in size. If the size of a presentation file ever becomes a problem, either when emailing it, or when sharing it via a cloud file sharing service, you will either have to find an alternative method to send the file or you will have to cut it down to size. Here’s how you can check which slide in a presentation is the largest in size and cut back where it really matters.  

Open the presentation in PowerPoint. Go to File>Share and click the Publish button. When prompted, select all slides to be published. Select a location to save the published slides. Make sure you publish them to a folder of their very own and no other files reside in the folder. Once the slides have been published, open the folder that you published them to. Each slide appears as a stand alone file. Sort them by file size and check which one is the heaviest. You now know which file it is you should trim down.  

If it’s a matter of sending a presentation over email, it’s best to zip the file or use a cloud service that supports larger files. Cutting the size of a slide down really should be a last resort. To reduce a slide in size, try to optimize the images and media you’ve added to it or consider linking to the media from inside the slide instead of including it in the file.
Monday October 31, 2016 at 11:39am
MS Office 2016 doesn’t have a long list of awesome new features. The new additions made to Office 2016 are few and they aren’t for everyone. Moreover not all new features are functional in nature. MS Office 2016 has made an effort to make the UI better looking. It comes with a dark and light theme now, and it’s added a background design to the title bar. The design by default shows clouds but you can change it or remove it altogether if you like. Here’s how.  

The design options for the title bar background are limited to those that come with Office 2016 so you can choose one of them or you can choose to hide the background and keep the title bar plain like it was in older Office versions.  

To hide or change the background, open MS Word (or any other Office 2016 app) and go to File>Options. In the General tab, scroll down to the ‘Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office’ section and open the Office Background drop-down. You will find a list of all available backgrounds and a ‘No background’ option that you can select to disable it completely.  

If you don’t see a background on the title bar and this setting is missing in the Options window it’s because you aren’t signed in to your Microsoft account in MS Office. Doing so enables it. Windows 10 users will see it without any problems if they’ve connected their Microsoft account to Windows 10. For Windows 10 users using a local account, and for anyone not on Windows 10, the background can be added by signing into MS Office with your Microsoft account.
Monday October 31, 2016 at 11:38am
Gmail has a built-in feature that lets you ‘undo’ an email that you’ve sent. It’s there to help you avoid last minute email accidents such as forgetting to attach a file. It gives you a brief window in which you can stop a sent message from being delivered. It’s widely reported that this feature has saved lives. If you use MS Outlook and would like a similar feature on the desktop app, you can set it up yourself with an Outlook rule. Here’s how.  

Open Outlook, go to File and click the Manage Rules & Alerts button. Click New Rule and on the ‘Rules Wizard’ screen,  go to the ‘Start from a blank rule’ section. Click ‘Apply rule on messages I send’.  

On the next screen, ignore everything and just click ‘Next’. Ignore the warning the on-screen prompt  gives.
Friday September 9, 2016 at 5:01pm
Don’t spend ages re-sizing and aligning fields with the mouse on Forms or Reports; select multiple fields and use the Size/Space and Align buttons on the Form Design Tools/Arrange Tab.
Friday September 9, 2016 at 5:00pm
Need to format some cells quickly? Select the cells and right-click on them – as well as the Shortcut Menu you will see the Mini Toolbar which allows you to make many common formatting changes without having to find the buttons on the Ribbon. In Word and PowerPoint the Mini Toolbar appears automatically when you highlight some text.
Friday September 9, 2016 at 5:00pm
Click the Reading View button at the bottom right (next to the zoom control) to hide the Navigation Panel, To Do Bar, etc., and allow you to focus on your emails or appointments. Click Normal View (just next to Reading View) to return to normal.
Friday September 9, 2016 at 4:57pm
The highlighter pen (normally yellow, next to Font Colour on the Home Tab) has a drop-down arrow to allow you to change the pen colour. You can also apply the chosen colour to selected text using the keyboard shortcut CTRL+ALT+H.
Friday September 9, 2016 at 4:55pm
Need to see two programs side by side? Hold the Windows Logo key and press left arrow to move the active window to the left half of the screen. Select another window and use Windows Logo key + right arrow to move it to the right half (works in Windows 7 onwards). Windows 10 shows small images of other open windows when you position the first window; just click the one you want to position it at the other side. Windows 10 also uses Windows Logo + up arrow or Windows Logo + down arrow to arrange up to four windows in the four corners.
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