Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Example slide effects for PowerPoint

Looking for some really nice templates in PowerPoint that will allow you to just insert your own text and have some cool designs and animation pre-programmed? Check out these downloads on the website.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

ARTICLE: How To Become A Google Power User

I know this isn't Microsoft, but it's just such a great article with tips for everyone on the computer.

"Searching the Internet for relevant information can be frustrating at times. More advanced researchers know tons of little tricks of the trade, getting them the desired results fast. But for the rest of the population, it isn't always easy to nail down information they are looking for.

If you find yourself amongst the second group, you might like the following tips and hints on how to find information fast." [Read the entire article for tips and hints]
Written on 12/01/2008 by Monika Mundell. Monika Mundell is a passionate freelance writer and pro-blogger. Her blog Freelance Writing helps new freelance writers to get started in this exciting industry. If you like to work with Monika, feel free to visit her Portfolio site.Photo Credit: Google

Monday, December 1, 2008

PowerPoint 2007: Reduce File Sizes by Changing Image Formats

The Compress Pictures button in Microsoft Office PowerPoint can often reduce your .ppt files by up to 50 percent. But that can still leave you with large files, especially if your images have been created from .png files. You can save even more space by changing them to .gif or .jpg formats. (Note: The .png format is more flexible than the other file formats. Flattening to .jpg or .gif reduces flexibility.) Here’s how to reduce file sizes:
  1. Save your PowerPoint file as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), which creates an .htm file and a folder of the same name. This folder will contain all the images from the presentation.
  2. Open the folder, and sort it by size to reveal which files are the largest.
  3. Locate the largest images in your presentation. They may have been scaled, so they might look smaller than the saved image.
  4. In PowerPoint, make sure that the image isn't grouped.
  5. Select the image.
  6. On the Picture Tools menu, in the Adjust section, click Compress Pictures.
  7. Right-click the image, and then click Save as Picture.
  8. From the Save as type menu, select .jpg or .gif (if you need to use transparency effects), and then save the image.
  9. Delete the original image from your presentation, and reload the saved image at its original place.
  10. Regroup the images if necessary.
Another way to compress the images is to use an image editing tool like Microsoft Digital Image Suite. This tool gives you more image compression options and can save you yet more space.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Excel 2007: Change the Case of Text

Converts text to uppercase.
=UPPER(text or cell reference of text)

Converts all uppercase letters in a text string to lowercase.
=LOWER(text or cell reference of text)

Capitalizes the first letter in a text string and any other letters in text that follow any character other than a letter. Converts all other letters to lowercase letters.
=PROPER(text or cell reference of text)

Friday, October 17, 2008

ARTICLE: Add a popup window to a PowerPoint slide

Date: October 12th, 2008
Author: Susan Harkin,

"Sometimes you want to display additional information that’s not a permanent element on a slide — similar to a popup window. In other words, the information is hidden until you want to display it. For instance, you might want to display quarterly bonuses to build excitement. Or you might want to share a contact phone number or e-mail address if asked. There’s no built-in feature that does this, but you can still get PowerPoint to display a pseudo popup window by adding a trigger that displays a callout." Read the full article...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Microsoft Access 2007: Use charts to display data on Access 2007 forms

Access 2007 makes it easy to build a graph control for your form that will display calculated data — and often better than with a text form control. For example, say your employee database includes two tables: one with employee data and one with data about hours worked during 2007. The database also contains a November Hours Worked query that includes the Last Name, First Name, and Employee ID fields from the Employee Data table, and the Week Ending and Hours Worked fields for November from the 2007 Hours Worked table. You create a form based on the query that includes all of the fields. To add a chart to the form that graphs the total hours worked for each employee for the month of November, follow these steps:
  1. Open the form in Design view.
  2. In the Forms Design Tools, Design ribbon, in the Controls group, click the Insert Chart tool.
  3. Click and drag in a blank area of the form to create the chart.
  4. Select Queries under the View section and then select the November Hours Worked query and then click Next >.
  5. Double-click the Last Name and Hours Worked fields.
  6. Click Next > four times.
  7. Enter Total Hours Worked In November for the chart title.
  8. Select No, Don’t Display Legend and then click Finish.
As you click through each employee’s record, the Graph control will display a bar chart for the employee, showing the total hours they worked in November 2007.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Copy the Quick Access Toolbar to Another Computer

One of the users on campus asked me a very good question that I'm sure other people would love to know. Her question was that after she spent a good amount of time customizing her Quick Access Toolbar in Word, is there a way to share it with her co-workers so they don't have to take the time to do so? I thought this was a great question. I was thinking the same thing earlier this week as I was working on a PowerPoint presentation at work, but didn't finish by 5:00, so I took it home with me. My home computer still had the default Quick Access Toolbar as I hadn't taken the time to customize it. I wished I could just copy it from work to take home.

Well, after a bit of research, I found the answer. I've included both the Windows XP and Vista versions for reference.
  1. Find the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) file associated with the application you want from your source computer.
    • XP, C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\*.qat
    • Vista, C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\*.qat
  2. Copy the QAT file from your source computer to a USB drive or CD.
  3. Take the file to the destination computer and copy the QAT file into the same location on the destination computer.
  4. DONE!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Word 2007: Inserting a Cover Page

Word 2007 makes it easy for you to customize the look of your documents. But one of the handiest features in Word 2007 is the Cover Page option. Word 2007 includes a number of preformatted cover pages that you can insert with a few clicks of your mouse.

Inserting a Cover Page
  1. On the Insert ribbon, in the Pages group, click Cover Page.
  2. In the Cover Page gallery, select a design that you like. The cover page will be inserted at the beginning of your document. The Drawing Tools ribbon will open to allow you to customize the look of the cover page.
Of course, you're not limited to the cover pages included with Word. You can customize the preinstalled designs. You can also save your own cover pages in the Cover Page gallery.

Saving a Cover Page to the Cover Page Gallery
  1. Select your entire cover page in the Word window
  2. On the Insert ribbon, in the Pages group, click Cover Page
  3. Click Save Selection to Cover Page Gallery…
Removing a Cover Page from Your Document

You can also remove a cover page if you want to insert a different one or if you decide you don't want a cover page at all.
  1. On the Insert ribbon, in the Pages group, click Cover Page
  2. Click Remove the Current Cover Page

Monday, August 18, 2008

ARTICLE: Why did the line spacing change in Word?

During most of the workshops I've done regarding the upgrade to Word 2007, I've taught attendees how to change the default font and paragraph settings back to the preferred Word 2003. I, personally, like the change in default, but have not had an answer as to "why" this change happened. Here is the answer...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ARTICLE: Word Has a Mind of It's Own

If you have attended one of my workshops, you may already know what a huge fan I am of the Crabby Office Lady. Here's a terrific article she wrote about many of the "troubles" people have with Word. I know I've answered my share of these questions myself. Even though this article is from September 2005 and deals with Word 95-2003, it's still worth reading. The topics are still relevant to 2007, but you will have to find them in the new places.

Word has a mind of it's own: So do you
"I get a lot of inquiries about how to institute a restraining order on Word to stop it from guessing what you want to do with your documents. I created a video about it, and now we'll delve a little deeper..."

Monday, August 4, 2008

PowerPoint 2007: Status Bar View Switching

The view switcher group in the status bar lets you, with a single click, switch between the main document views. For many releases now PowerPoint has had a view switching control in the status bar. What's not obvious to most folks is there is hidden access to multiple views in each of these buttons! Here's where the fun starts. You can "modify" the effect of clicking on any of these buttons by holding down the SHIFT key or CTRL key while you click each button. This gives you a number of additional views you can quickly shift to. Here are the main commands.
  • SHIFT-Click the Slide Sorter button to switch to the Handout Master View
  • CTRL-SHIFT-Click the Slide Sorter button to expand the Outline to the full window
  • SHIFT-Click the Normal button to switch to the Slide Master View
  • CTRL-SHIFT-Click the Normal button to hide everything except the slide
  • SHIFT-Click the Slide Show button for quick access to the Set Up Show Dialog
  • CTRL-Click the Slide Show button to display a 1/4 screen preview (miniature) of the slide show. The miniature view is a full featured slide show, complete with transitions and animations, all of the standard navigation and even the final "click to exit" black screen. While it is running you can click back into the normal view, make changes to the slides, and resume the show displaying those changes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Excel 2007: Enter the Same Value

You can enter the same value into multiple cells simultaneously. Even though this is a tip that has been around for a while, it's worth mentioning again. I'm all about saving time and this is great!
  1. Select all the cells into which you want to enter the value.
  2. Type the value in the active cell of your selection.
  3. Press CTRL+ENTER

Monday, June 16, 2008

ARTICLE: Top 10 most useful secret ninja moves in Office

It's no secret I'm a fan of the shortcut. Some say I'm lazy, I prefer "efficient." In either case, check out this recent article from Office Hours.

Office Hours: Top 10 most useful secret ninja moves in Office
June 16, 2008
Philip Su
"Office is a treasure trove of hidden features that make everyday life easier. Although each version of Office has made improvements in helping users discover the available features, I find that some of my favorite features are still not well-known amongst friends and family." [Read the entire article for the tips.]

Friday, June 13, 2008

How do I… Spice up a list in a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation?

During my PowerPoint workshops, I emphasize making the text visual and getting away from bulleted lists and turning it into something more graphic. Here is a terrific article on how to do that from TechRepublic blogs.

How do I… Spice up a list in a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation?
May 13, 2008
Susan Harkins
"Most of us use bullets or numbers to introduce specific ideas or points. There’s nothing wrong with them, but they are rather ordinary. In a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, you might want to forgo the ordinary and go with something a bit more novel, and certainly unexpected." [read the entire article on]

Monday, June 9, 2008

Microsoft PowerPoint 2007: Setting Your Default Theme in PowerPoint

Setting a default design is particularly useful if you work in department that requires you to use specific template. Whenever you open PowerPoint the design you chose is automatically applied to the new document, and you're ready to go!
As you're probably aware by now, Office 2007 introduces Themes; professionally created collections of colors, effects, and fonts, which can be applied to Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Themes provide a uniform professional look across different document types, as well as providing powerful customization options.
  1. Apply your theme of choice from the Theme gallery of the Design ribbon; it will then appear in the gallery. If you downloaded any of the approved templates from, you will need to select Browse for Themes… in the gallery to navigate to and select the theme.
  2. With the gallery open, right-click the theme thumbnail you want to make the new default and select Set as Default Theme.
To return to the original, repeat the steps above for the “Office Theme” found at the beginning of the Built-In section of the gallery.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Decide whether to trust a database (Access 2007)

I have had many questions regarding this topic from a number of users. Now that I've found this article from Microsoft Office Online, I wanted to share.

"Microsoft Office Access 2007 uses a new security model that is simpler than earlier versions. In Access 2007, you indicate whether you trust a database, and all other security decisions are made for you automatically, based on your trust decision. This article contains an overview of how trust works in Access 2007, how it differs from security in earlier versions, and what factors you should consider when you decide whether to trust a database." Read the rest of the article.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Word 2007: Remove Extra Space between Paragraphs

Word 2007 offers many improvements over previous versions of Word. But, the program still has its annoyances. For example, Word 2007 will add a space between paragraphs by default. If you don’t want Word to add the extra space, you can turn it off.
  1. On the Home ribbon, in the Paragraph group, click the Paragraph dialog box launcher.
  2. Select the check box for Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style.
  3. Click the Default… button to apply to all future documents.
  4. Click OK.
View a video demonstration.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Access 2007: Hidden Menu in the Navigation Pane

There is a hidden menu in the navigation pane of Access that is quite useful. Right-click the navigation pane title bar and click Search Bar (CTRL+F). The search bar performs a Like *value* filter on the object name. This is really handy if you have a naming convention and want to quickly narrow down the displayed list.

View a video demonstration.

Monday, March 3, 2008

PowerPoint 2007: Guides, where are my Guides???

This one took me months to find. I could turn on the grid, but just could not find where the guides had gone. I often use them when I create greeting cards. The guides become my fold lines so I know which quadrant to put what part into. Yes, I use PowerPoint to make my greeting cards for holidays and birthdays for all my co-workers.

On the Home ribbon, Arrange group, click Grid Settings… (or right-click off the slide and choose Grids and Guides) and select the check box for Display grid on screen (ALT+F9). You can click and drag a guide to move it, or hold down the CTRL key and drag a guide to get additional guides.

View a video demonstration.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Excel 2007: Show percentages with a little color

Percentages interpret your data as smaller parts of a larger piece. This is why pie charts are often a popular way to demonstrate percentages. However, if you want to conserve space and still present an attractive, effective visual of your percentage data, Excel 2007 offers a great alternative.
  1. Select the data range (values) to format.
  2. On the Home ribbon, Styles group, click the drop-list arrow next to the Conditional Formatting icon.
  3. Choose any formatting option in the Data Bars section.
When you apply data bars, the bars visually demonstrate the percentage or number in comparison to the other numbers in the data range, much like a bar chart would. If you widen or contract the column’s width, the data bars remain proportionate.

View a video demonstration.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Word 2007: Use the new Alignment Tab feature to align text with margins

With Word 2007's new Alignment Tab feature you no longer need to adjust tabs when a document's margin changes. Alignment Tabs align data relative to the margin, so if you change the margin, Word realigns the text automatically. By default, Alignment tabs can only be placed in the Header or Footer section of a document (Insert ribbon, Header & Footer group). But, you can use this feature in the body of your document by adding the Insert Alignment Tab command to your Quick Access toolbar.

  1. On the Header & Footer Tools, Design ribbon, Position group, click InsertAlignment Tab.
    Right-click the Insert Alignment Tab command and select Add To Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. Select the appropriate options for your document and then click OK.
  3. Type your tabbed text. Now, if you change the margin size, the tab stops readjust automatically to align with the margins.