7 Ninja tips for Microsoft Office

ninja-eyes Expand your toolbox with these seven tips for Microsoft Office. Formatting in Word, Decrease space in OneNote, Done in Outlook, single pivot reports in Excel, get into shapes with powerpoint and more! Enjoy.

Word Replace formatting in your document in two clicks

Microsoft Word has this great feature which allows you to replace formatting with just two clicks. Here is our scenario: i would like to format the words Microsoft Access in the document with a purple color.

  • Look for the first words Microsoft Access in your document. Place your cursor in the first word (Microsoft).
  • On the Home tab in the ribbon look for the last button in the ribbon. Open the select option (the little arrow next to the word select)
  • Choose the option “Select text with similar formatting”
  • All the words we were looking for are now selected in your whole document
  • With that selected choose the appropriate color and you are done!


Excel Create single reports in powerpivot

Everyone loves the pivottable right? Well sometimes the manager just wants that little extra. How about some single reporting based on your pivottable. In this scenario we will show data based and filtered on two countries. We have the option UK and we have the option USA. Now when we filter the data in the pivot table the result has to be presented on a single sheet. Here are the steps to reproduce the final result. For this example i am using data from the northwind database.

  • Create the pivottable from the raw data
  • With the pivot table in place make sure you have a report filter set to country
  • Now in the contextual (options) tab from the pivot table select “options” and expand the options. From the options select “Show report filter pages…”
  •  In the dialog select country (or the option you would like) and press OK
  • You will now have to ‘extra’ sheets with the data filtered based on the countries available in your pivot table. In our case there were two!

Note: be careful when selecting a filtered option with al lot of data in it. Excel will create a sheet for every entity in the filtered list!!

OneNote Insert Space in OneNote

OneNote keeps suprising me every day. Just because you have to figure out the various options available in this nifty application. Most of the functionality comes to the surface when you bump into situations where you keep asking yourself how can i do this more efficient.

As you might know by now you can type anywhere in OneNote. Every block is a single container which contains text or some object you have inserted. From time to time you will see a lot of white space between the containers you would like to get rid of. So you start dragging to containers towards each other risking the fine indentation you had before. To solve that problem use the Insert Space option. You cannot only increase the size of the space but you can also decrease the size of the space. Here is how to do this:

  • With the containers on your page click the insert tab and choose Insert Space option
  • Your mouse pointer will change into a horizontal line with an arrow point up and down. Remember we are trying to get rid of the white space between the containers
  • Now keep the left mouse button pressed and move the horizontal line towards the first container.
  • When done release the left mouse button and your whitespace will be vanished! The two containers are now properly aligned again!


PowerPoint Get into shape with PowerPoint

This is one of those nifty tips that can make you live a whole lot easier. Every now and then you might need a picture in your presentation. In many cases you just insert the picture and go on with your presentation. But what if your picture needs a different layout, something special? In that case use the shape as a container for your picture. Here is how this is done:

  •  In your presentation add a shape. Choose the shape that comes nearest to the desired layout. Don’t panic you can adjust this afterwards.
  • With the shape selected choose “Shape Fill” on the format tab. From that menu choose picture.
  • Select the picture you would like to see in your shape. Press OK. You now have a shape with your picture in it!.
  • Now for the final touches click the shape once more. Here is where you can touch your magic. In the format tab click on the “Edit shape” option and choose “Edit Points”. From this point on you can modify your whole shape just the way you like it!
  • From this point onwards it is up to you. Modify the shape anyway you like it and you might end up with one of the most impressing layout containers ever made!

Outlook2013 Done!

Oh that magic word! When using Outlook 2013 you might have seen this word before. But for those who haven’t it actually can serve a great purpose.
Here is the scenario: i would like to move mail to a certain folder an mark it as read. Sure there are various ways to accomplish this but first take a look at the default setting. This might just be the option you are looking for.

  • Click the mail you have received. This can be some not so important mail but is is mail you would like to keep for later.
  • Create a folder and name it “read later” (or whatever you would like it to be called)

  • now click the “Done” option in the Quick Steps menu
  • fill in the dialog that appears. This is a one time set up so next time it will perform the action straight away.

So there you go. With just one click you can get rid of all those so called important mail that is important to you but not for now 🙂 And the good thing is it is taking care of in a very structured way!

Picture this in smartart

PowerPoint is such a great application. It presents you with additional options the other office apps don’t. For that reason only PowerPoint should receive a medal 🙂

Ok here’s the scenario. I have a couple of pictures i would like to use in my presentation. They have different formats. Somehow i would like to get them in a smartart at one time. Here is how it can be done:

  • I add five random pictures from my visit to Yankee stadium (any baseball team will do! i just happened to visit the yankees, no offence).
  • With all the pictures selected choose “Picture Layout”
  • Select the SmartArt that meets the needs
  • With that click you’ve just created the coolest looking layout possible!

Note: if you want to go further experimenting, choose the ungroup option by right clicking the mouse. Do this twice and see the options that will come available for you at that point. Wow your pictures just became single objects you can manipulate even further!

Choose Paper Size in OneNote

In Microsoft Word you never bother to taak a look at the paper size of your document. The first time you started you did a setup for your document. But how about the paper size in OneNote? Not many people know the various options in papersize available in OneNote.

Check the View tab and then click the Paper Size option. The taskpane will show up and present you with the various papersize options to choose from! Well that’s another option to get started instead of figuring out if the info in OneNote will fit the printed page right?

  • Very simple but all so effective!


2 thoughts on “7 Ninja tips for Microsoft Office

  1. Bob

    I an new to one-note. it looks great but idiosyncratic. is there a way, in a Table to auto increment rows in a column?

    1. Maurice Post author

      Hi Bob,
      The easiest way to add rows in a table would be to just press Enter when you want to add a new row. If you want to add several new rows you can just press Ctrl + Enter a couple of times. This will add new rows on the spot.


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