Tag Archives: Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word: Protect Your Sections!

Restrict EditingHave you ever thought about protecting certain areas of your Word document? In some cases you really don’t want users to change any text in a particular paragraph. Microsoft Word has the option to protect the document but in that case it shuts done the entire document. So we are looking for functionality that enables us to protect certain areas of our document while the rest of the document stays editable. Here’s one way to achieve that goal.

Starting with some text
If you would like to follow the steps create a document to perform the next steps. I started with a new blank document and added some random text in it by using =rand(20). This creates 20 paragraphs of random help text in your document.

Setting up the document: Breaks
The first thing we have to do is create page breaks in our document. For practice purposes I’ve just added breaks after each paragraph. There are various kinds of page breaks available. The one we are looking for is the continuous section break. This will keep your text in place but breaks down your document in various sections.

Restrict Editing IV

So choose the spot and after each paragraph insert a continuous page break. Your document should look something like this: see pic below

Restrict Editing V

Restrict Editing possibilities
The next step we have to do is set the restriction on the document. To do so click on the Review Tab and look for the button that states “Restrict Editing”.

Restrict Editing II

Click on that and the Restrict Editing task pane will appear on screen. In the task pane you will see three sections.

Restrict Editing IIIWe will use the second section here: Editing Restrictions. Enable the check box that says: “Allow only…. Document”. From the combo box select the Filling in forms option. When done you should see a text appear below the combo box which states “Select sections…”. It will be no surprise that we need to click that text. A new dialog will pop up right in the middle of your screen. In this dialog every section you have created in your document is protected by default. Uncheck the sections you don’t want to protect leaving only those you do want to protect enabled.


Restrict Editing VI








Restrict Editing VII

Enforce protection
Now the last step we need to take is to enforce the protection. To do so click in the last section of the task pane and click the button that states “Yes, Start Enforce Protection”. A dialog will appear asking you to provide a password. As usual you need to type your password twice. So choose wisely and make sure you don’t forget the password. When done try editing the specific sections that you have protected and try editing sections that you did not protect. Pretty cool right?

Restrict Editing VIII

Protecting documents
During my work I see a lot of documents. Especially when we are helping a customer migrating his documents from an earlier version of Office to the current version. That’s when a lot of documents pop up asking us for passwords. And yes you have guessed it, most of the times those passwords have been forgotten or set by employees that are long gone from that company. So my advice would be to use passwords wisely and in reduced numbers. Don’t just go about protecting every document you might create. There will be a day when it will bite you back if you don’t know the password anymore 🙂

Find, Replace And Format In One Action

find_replace_select_IWait, wait how did you do that? Every now and again you get these wondered looks from other users when performing an action in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and so on. A couple of days ago I was reviewing a document and decided that a specific word needed to be replaced by another word and should be emphasized in that specific document. With a blink of an eye I replaced every occurrence of that specific word, replaced it by the one I thought would be appropriate and formatted is at the same time. How I did it? Here we go…

Sample document
You can follow the steps by creating a simple document. We will start of by starting Word. Choose blank document and type the following: =rand(50) followed by pressing Enter
This should give you 50 paragraphs of random text extracted from the help files. That should give you something to play with.

This sample text contains the word document frequently. For demonstration purposes this is great. We are going to replace this word with the word File and emphasize it by making it Bold and Red at the same time.

Start by clicking the Replace option in the Home tab in the group Editing (far right on the home tab).
find_replace_select_IIThis will present you with the following dialog:
find_replace_select_IIINow here is where we provide the necessary information. First we type in the word File in the “Replace with:” text box. Now the important next step is hidden under the “More >>” button. So click that and your dialog will be expended to the following situation:
find_replace_select_IVThe “More >>” caption has changed to “<< Less“. We are looking for formatting options so at the bottom left you will see a button that states “Format”. Click that button and a new menu will appear. From the menu choose “Font”. This will present you with the following dialog:
find_replace_select_VThis is a dialog you should be familiar with. Make the appropriate choices and click OK. The font dialog will be closed returning to the previous dialog. One major change has been added. This is often the part being overlooked by many users. Have a look at the image below and focus on the red box around the formatting option:
find_replace_select_VIThis indicates that it will replace the word “document” with the word “file” and will format that specific word blue and bold! Now click replace all to see if we achieved some result.

find_replace_select_VIIWe did! It replaced 50 instances of the word document with the word file and applied the appropriate formatting as well. The output looks like this:
find_replace_select_VIIINo text just formatting?
Is it possible to just replace the formatting and don’t replace a word? Yes it is. If you wanted to apply a formatting to the word document and not replace it by any other word just leave the “replace with..” text box empty and click it once so it has focus. Now follow the same steps as described earlier and click replace all. This will replace all occurrences of the word document with the word document with formatting applied to it just the way you set it up!

You can make a real efficiency boost by applying the various techniques in Word. Instead of taking 50 steps by clicking every word you can apply it all in one action. Believe me if you have used this once you will never go back!


Autonumbering In Your Word Document

Numbered_List_IIf there is one option in Microsoft Word that I have seen users use various techniques for it has to be autonumbering. Backspacing and pressing the Enter key are on top of the list. Most times I will explain that a lot of options in Word are simply On and Off options. Autonumbering is no exception. The big disadvantage to messing with the autonumber feature is that it can cause nightmares if you haven’t applied it correctly. In the end you have to spend a lot of time getting the numbers right if you have been backspacing and entering the whole document. Let’s show how to avoid this.

Start numbering
Start by creating a new document and typing a 1.  (that is a 1, a dot and a space). Type some text to get started with and after that press the Enter key. You will automatically get a 2. showing up in your document.


That’s great. We get the famous thunderbold sign offering the various options to choose from. Nope that are not the options we need so we type the text for number two and after that we press Enter again.


Now here’s where the interesting part comes into play. Suppose you don’t want number three yet and you first want to add a paragraph with text before adding number three. Here is where most people start with tampering the list. I will show you the various options and what the specific differences are. I have added a square around the button that is activated in the ribbon. Keep that in mind.

Using Backspace
Here’s what will happen if you use the backspace key. The 3 will disappear and the indentation will change.

Numbered_List_IVThe indentation is often the problem. Your text will continue below the I from Inserting. If that is what you are after a backspace could be the way to go.

Using the Enter key
Here’s what will happen if you use the enter key. The 3 will also disappear and the indentation will also change.

Numbered_List_VBy pressing the Enter key another option comes into play. Not only will the indentation change but the style will also be reset to normal. This is important to know.

Using the autonumber button in the ribbon
The final option you can use is the autonumber button in the ribbon. This will give you the following layout:


As you can see the 3 will also disappear and the indentation will be set below the previous numbering aligning the text with the previous numbers.

It is vital to say that there is no wrong option here. You have to decide what fits your needs best.

Adding the third option
After you added your text you can press enter again. Now let’s add another number and preferably we would like to continue the numbering with number three. The easiest way to do this is click on the autonumber button on the ribbon again.


This will add a one to your document again. But this is not what we are after. You will see the thunderbold icon appear again. By clicking this option you will be surprised to see the option that will be offered. “Continue numbering” exactly what we are after!


Thunderbold option disabled?
Now what if you have disabled the thunderbold options? No worries you will see the same option if you right-click the mouse. You will see the following menu with a separate section for autonumbering.


Continue where you left…
With that taken care of you can take the next step. Add more text! If necessary add more paragraphs in between numbers and use that simple autonumber button on your ribbon. Need a number? Click the autonumber button, don’t need a number but just want to add a paragraph of text? Click the autonumber button again. Need to continue numbering again? Click the autonumber button on the ribbon again, use the thunderbold option to continue numbering or choose from the right-click menu options.


No more tampering the autonumber!
So by simply clicking the autonumer option in the ribbon to On or Off you will get perfectly numbered documents. The great thing is that if you use the button on the ribbon you can easily add numbers in between. Try it… Press enter after the second option (2.) You will see that a number three ia added and every number afterwards is automatically incremented. This is how we want to see numbering in your documents!

Happy numbering 🙂




Word Online – Save As, Rename or Not?

Word_Online_SaveAs_XIIf there is one thing every user knows about Microsoft Word it’s the fact that you can Save your documents or you can choose Save As. So what happens when you take that away from them. Exactly you create chaos! In the last year innovations follow-up rapidly. You have Office, Apps, Office Online, 2013, 2010, 365…. You tell me what I am using. When working with your favorite applications it is important to know which version you are working with. If you do, you know the limitations that specific version has. For example let’s meet the Word Online version.

Save As, sure…
Let me dive straight into it. I am going to make a new document in Word Online using My personal OneDrive. So I start up OneDrive and choose “Create” and from the list I choose “Word Document”.

Word_Online_SaveAsEasy enough right? I add some text to the document and after a couple of seconds I see that Word has saved my document. You can see this at the bottom of your document:

Word_Online_SaveAs_IIIOk, I am fine with that. But I think this will be saved as something like ‘document1’ or something like that. That’s not what I am looking for so I want to rename this to something more meaningful. So the next logical step would be to go to File and choose Rename or Save As. Let’s see if we have that option:

Word_Online_SaveAs_IVYes, there it is. Exactly what I am looking for. So I choose Rename and give my document the proper name. No worries here!

OneDrive for Business
Now here’s the challenge. Let’s try this using OneDrive for Business. Same steps. I open OneDrive for Business (your famous My Site) and click on the ‘Waffle’.


Great, now choose Word Online and start creating some text. I know Word will save my document automatically so I don’t have to worry about that. Now all I have to do is going to File and rename my document to give it a meaningful name. So of to File it is…


What? I am presented with two options here, Download a Copy and Download as PDF. I don’t want either of these I just want to rename this to something meaningful. Luckily Word is telling me my document is save automatically… yes to document1 and that’s not what I want.

Return to your document and have a look at the title bar of the document:

Word_Online_SaveAs_VYou will see the document name presented in the title bar. Hover you mouse over the title and a label ‘Rename File’ will appear. By just clicking on the document name you are able to rename your file. Phew, close call but I can rename my document to something meaningful this way.

Whenever possible I use the client software. This offers me all functionality I am used to all these years. If presented with other option such as Word Online I do experiment with that to see if it can be an addition to my work tools. What surprises me is the fact that functionality that is available in OneDrive is not available in OneDrive for Business. I am training people right now in using Office 365 and using Office Online. So far 2 out of 10 people discovered that this is the way to rename their documents. For the other users their documents became ‘Document1, Document2 etc…’. So somehow it doesn’t seem that intuitive at all. So make sure you know the limitations of your work environment and you will be good to go 🙂


MOS Master 2013 requirements simplified

MOMS2013So you are an Ace at Microsoft Word but not so in Microsoft Excel. Or maybe the other way around. You are the Guru at Microsoft Excel but use Word simply as a typewriter. You want to become certified and show your skills. You are ‘the Master’. But how do you become a master in Microsoft Office if you do not have the skills for both applications? Well be prepared to get certified because requirements to become a master have changed.

Less certifications to become a master!
Yes, it’s true. As of january 5th 2015 you need less certifications to become a MOS Master. Does this not devaluate the certification you might think? No way I will explain why it has become easier to get the master certificate and why it still holds its value.

Back in the good old days
You needed to be very good in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook (or Access) to become a master. Office 2013 did not make it any easier. It became even worse. You need to get an additional certificate to call yourself a master. A total of 6 exams is needed. Word and Excel was splitted into to expert exams. Wow you can imagine that a lot of people out there passed their chances when hearing about those requirements. I took the challenge and passed them all but what a challenge it has been!

Microsoft Word Expert – Microsoft Excel Expert
Better insights and feedback learned that it is not motivating trying to achieve a credential if you also need to take an exam in an area that you are not that comfortable in. So they split it up!

Become a MOS Master through the track that suits you well
You are great with Word right? Well choose the Word Track to become a master. You are the master of Excel? Well then choose the Excel track. You are good in everything (a true Office Ninja?) then take the expert track!

Requirements as of january 5th 2015

New MOS 2013 Master Certification
Track Required Elective (select 1) Total Exams
Word 77-425: Word 2013 Expert Part 1 77-422: PowerPoint 2013 4
77-426: Word 2013 Expert Part 2 77-424: Access 2013
77-420: Excel 2013 77-423: Outlook 2013
77-419: SharePoint 2013
77-421: OneNote 2013
Excel 77-427: Excel 2013 Expert Part 1 77-422: PowerPoint 2013 4
77-428: Excel 2013 Expert Part 2 77-424: Access 2013
77-418: Word 2013 77-423: Outlook 2013
77-419: SharePoint 2013
77-421: OneNote 2013
Experts 77-425: Word 2013 Expert Part 1 No Elective Required 4
77-426: Word 2013 Expert Part 2
77-427: Excel 2013 Expert Part 1
77-428: Excel 2013 Expert Part 2

data from: www.certiport.com (additional info available on the site here)

Legacy certification – Office 2010?
The above described requirement changes apply to Office 2013. But what about Office 2010? Well those requirements did not change. Those certifications requirements have only one expert exam to take for Excel and Word. Complete it with PowerPoint and one elective and you are good to go.

So what’s keeping you from jumping up and down. Get on those Excel boots, dust off your Microsoft Word basic skills and become a Microsoft Office Master in 2013! If you succeed post it here and let me know. If you need some additional tips take a look at the MOS Certification section on this blog.

Word: New Document Please! Start Up The Way I Want

blankdocumentIt is nice to see everyone using the latest versions of MIcrosoft Office. Yeah I got Office 2013 and i am all up to date. So Word and Excel are still the apps most likely to be used in the Office (besides Outlook of course). What intrigues me is the fact that many users I speak still take their work enironment for granted. They go to the Office startup the pc and start up Word to work on their documents. Most pc’s are configured by IT departments. To make this efficient installation packages are deployed with at least modifications as possible. This has a lot of advantages but also lets the users do a lot of extra clicks because by default settings do not apply to everyone. Example: Microsoft Word start up. If you read on you might recognize yourself in this pattern. At the end you might be surprised by the number of countless clicks you can save by this tip.

No i do not want to use a template
So the last days I have been looking at several users to see the work routines starting Microsoft Word. First step…. open Word this is what they see:


Now the next thing they do is click Blank document. They do this every time Word starts. So my question for them was… How many times did you choose something other than Blank Document? The respons I got was never always the blank document..

Make Word start with a Blank document automatically
I decided to share a tip. Did you know that you can actually bypass this openings screen and go straight to a new document without first selecting Blank document? Here’s how to:

Go to FileOptions
You will see the following dialog pop up:

Now all you have to do is uncheck the box as shown in the image above and next time Word starts up you will go straight to a new document. Now count all the clicks you will save without having to click (or double click) New Blank Document!

The same applies for PowerPoint and Excel.
Concluding: to make Word work for you adjust some settings so it wil actually make a difference 🙂

Put Yourself On The Coverpage!

CoverPage_I One of the great features of Microsoft Word I like is the possibility to add a Cover Page to your document. I think a report is finished when it has a fine looking coverpage. Of course there are many coverpages to choose from but wouldn’t it be nice if you could add your own coverpage? In this blogpost I will explain how you can accomplish this. In all fairness I have to say that credits for my own coverpages go to my colleague Arnold. He’s the one designing stuff for me when I ask him to. He’s a real wizard in designing stuff in Microsoft Word. So it’s because of him our company has such great looking coverpages to choose from. Ok now let’s get you started creating coverpages for yourself or your company.


Full page cover
First you have to create a full cover page which will be the cover for your document. This can be done in any program you like. Maybe PhotoShop, Paint, Paint.net or you name it. Now because we want our coverpages to be ready for use we will make a template document so we can add them to our templates folder.

Start Microsoft Word and you will be presented with a nice new document. Save this document as a template (file save as – word template). It is important to know where you want to save your template. By default Word will present you with the templates folder for Word. In this case that’s fine. If you don’t want that change the save location to a path you like better.

Paste your art work!
CoverPage_VIRemember that artwork you made earlier? Paste it on the document in Word. Taddaaa. Looks nice right?

Now how do we let Word understand that my artwork should be placed in the dropdown menu where we can choose our cover pages? That’s where the Building Blocks come into play. If you want to make a couple of other cover pages now would be a great time. As you can see in the images my template holds about 15 cover pages to choose from.

Quick Parts – Building Blocks – Quick Parts Organizer
CoverPage_IIINow if correct you have a fully filled first page in your word document. Now select the whole page (Ctrl+A). The next step is to add this selection to the Quick Parts Gallery. You do so by going to the Ribbon, click the Insert tab and click the Quick Parts button in the Text group. Now choose the last option you see in the menu Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery… The three dots you see after this menu caption tells you that a new dialog window will open. You will be presented with the following dialog. I have made the appropriate changes to dialog which I will explain:

CoverPage_IVName: here you can type any name you like. This is the name that will appear under your cover page.
Gallery: choose Cover Pages from the drop down menu.
Category: choose one of the categories. Even better create your own category. This category will show up in the Cover pages menu.
Save in: make your choice. I have chosen my own template here.
When done click OK to close the Buiding Block window.

Be curious!
CoverPage_VDon’t wait for it, be curious. Go to the ribbon and click the Insert tab. Click the Cover Page button and look for your art work! Yep there it is and even in my own category. You have just created your very own Cover Page!

Next steps
Now the last steps we have to take are the following. Add the template to the correct folder. This can vary from computer to computer. In my case it is in the Templates folder: C:\Users\<<username>>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates. In Word i chose to add it to add in options. So go to FileOptionsAdd Ins – choose Templates at the bottom and click Go. Mark the checkbox in front of your template name. Now every time Word starts it will start your template as well and your Coverpages will be loaded in the Coverpages menu. How cool is that!

Need more Cover Pages?
If you want to add more cover pages just follow the steps as we started. Remove the first piece of artwork. Paste some new artwork – Copy whole past – add to gallery etc. etc…

So no more excuses, make some stunning cover pages to make a statement with your reports. Look mom i’m on the cover 🙂




CustomUI Editor – add a gallery to your ribbon tab


In earlier posts i showed you how you can use the CustomUI editor to create your own tabs in the ribbon of the Office Applications. The second post told you how you could add your own images to your buttons in the ribbon. In this post i will show you how to create a gallery. As usual i will use Microsoft Word as the sample application. First let me show you what we mean by ‘a gallery’.

A gallery consists of a button with an additional arrow. This little arrow activates an expendable menu with various options to choose from. In the picture you see the gallery of the column options in Word. Now this is what we are after. We want to create our own gallery with pictures of Office applications which we can choose from. So the scenario is to create a tab with a button with an additional arrow which will show the various images to choose from which we can insert in our document. Gallery_I

First the prepping

  • Make sure you have a couple of images which you can add to your gallery. For this example i use the office apps icons i have.
  • Make sure you have the custom ui editor installed. If you don’t have it yet you can grab it here
  • Open Microsoft Word and save the document as a template (.dotm). You don’t have to type anything. For now we are just using the document as the container for our ribbon tab

Creating your XML in the customUI editor
So we are ready to create our xml in the customui editor. Open the customUI editor and choose open. Browse to the Word file you have just saved and open it. You will see an empty ui editor screen. From here it is up to you. In the first post i wrote about the ui editor i explained that a tab in the ribbon has a few default aspects that should be present in order for the tab to show up. First we need the namespace section. This is distuingished by the <customUI tag. Next thing is the <ribbon tag that should be present. The third tag we are looking for is the <tabs tag. After the tabs tag we need a <tab tag. The last essential tag that needs to be present is the <group tag. Now the easy thing is that every open tag needs a closing tag. For readability we indent every new tag. To sum up: for every tab you create you at least need this bit of starting xml.

In the image you see that you can start this bit of default xml by choosing custom tab from the menu. This will create the xml for you to start with. It will even add a button with a happy face on it 🙂 Gallery_II

Tuning the xml to create our gallery
With the default xml in front of us we are going to tweak this to our wishes. We don’t need a button so we get rid of that line of xml. After the group tag we add a new line of xml starting with a new indent below groups. We will choose the appropriate tag for the gallery option which is <gallery id. Somehow that did not come as a suprise right? I think that you know by now that you should have a closing tag as well. I have the habit of already placing the closing tags before i start adding info to the tag. So place the closing tag as well and you xml should look something like this:


A quick word about naming conventions and ID’s
Every tag in the xml shoud get an ID. Wait… let me rephrase that. It should get a unique ID. In the xml you are writing this should be a unique name. Take a close look at the image above. You see that the follwing tags have been identified:

  • tab id=”MyGallery”
  • group id=”grpApps”
  • gallery id=”glyApps”

The tag ID’s are always preceeded by the object. So tab, group and gallery all have the word id after them separated by a space. This is mandatory. After that you see a description between double quotes. It is this name – which you provide – that has to be unique! So why is this so important? Well many people copy and paste xml code. So imagine if you copy and paste the lines of code of ten buttons. You would have 10 matching names for the buttons and that is not allowed. Every button should have a unique name. Just be aware of that if you start copy – pasting stuff!

Add the pictures to you xml
So we have the base xml ready and now would be a good time to add the pictures to your xml. In this example we are going to add the app. pictures. In the menubar click on “Insert” – “Icon…”. Browse to your directory where your images are. Select the ones you would like to add and click open. When done you might think that nothing has happened. You pictures are actually added to the xml but you just don’t see them yet. Click on the + sign to see your pictures added to your xml.


Finish the xml
Ok we have the images added to the xml. Now let’s finish the remaining xml lines. First we are going to set the general options for the gallery. After we have done that we add the lines for adding the pictures to our gallery. Take a look at the image to see the lines of xml i have added:


Check the syntax
As a final check we have to see if the names used to reference the images are correct. In the image tag of you xml there is a reference to the images in the treeview of the custom ui editor. Make sure the name you use in your xml is identical to the name in the treeview. So with that in place click the save button.

The gallery options
In your xml you have added some properties to the gallery. We set the label, imageMso, size, columns, rows, itemHeight, itemWidth and screentip settings. Important for the gallery in the ribbon are the columns, rows, itemheigh and itemwidth properties. You might have to do some tweaking here to get the view you think is most appropriate for you wishes. The columns settings will show the pictures in the cumber of columns you define here. It is possible to set this property to one. In that case you will see one column. The itemHeight and itemWidth properties are more important. Play around with these values to get the proper height and with properties without getting a distorted picture. Just adjust the numbers, click save and view the tab again. Not good? close the document, adjust the numbers in the xml again, save the document and view again.

View the result
Yep we are excited to see the end result… Open your word document and see if the additional tab is there. Click on the tab, see if the gallery button is there and click the arrow to expand it. You should see the images you have added to your xml. See the very first image of this post to see my result 🙂

In the next blogpost is will show you how you can add the chosen images to your document. For now this is the start. Experiment a bit, try different images, more or less images.

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!


Make the Switch!

This is wrong!

When you want to merge data from Excel into a Word document it might not return the result you were hoping for. During my classes I regularly hear complaints about the date being wrong, number formats that are incorrect etc. I know that my friends from the United States always tell me that the european people don’t use the correct dateformat. We always blame them that their dates are incorrect. What are we talking about. If you merge data from Excel which contains datefields it will show up in the US format. For instance 6/18/2014. In Europe we read this as the 6th day from the 18th month of the year 2014. This has to be corrected in 18/6/2014.

Fortunately for us Microsoft Word has the Field Switch option to help us with this situation. Switch

Let’s take a look at the example below:

The first number is formatted as €20.000, the second field is formatted as 11/6/2014 and the last field is formatted as 18/5/2014. So in our source the formatting is correct. Now when we merge this data to Word it gets changed to the formatting as below in the picture!.


How do we change this:

First switch to the field code view by pressing the Alt-key and then the F9 key. This is a toggle combination so if you click this key combination again it will switch back to its original view.


Now we add some additional information to the mergefields to correct the display in our document:


There are a couple of simple things you should know when you work with switches.

  • First when converting a number you start your switch with \#
  • When you need to convert datefields you use the \@ switch
  • When you need to convert characters you use the \* switch.
  • With that in mind you can start experimenting. I just want to leave you with one final comment. If you need to convert a date field bare in mind that the MM as you see it in the example is on purpose. Word makes a distinction between minutes and month displays. So if you need a correct month view you must use capitalized letters MM to get the correct result. If you forget this you will end up with a couple of zeros.

    Custom format
    If you have a specific number format you are looking for just copy paste it from the cell properties in the numbers tab from within Excel. You can find them under the option Custom.

    So no more wrong dates, no hassle with regional settings or what ever. Just make the switch!