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 🙂