January, 2010

  • Presentations with pizzazz: Using movie clips in PowerPoint

    Today, we have a guest blogger. Elyssa is an editor and project manager at Brainstorm , a leading provider of online and onsite software training and one of our partners that provides customized content for your Productivity Hub . ---- Have you ever sat...
  • Using validation rules in Access for better data integrity

    Over the past few days, we’ve talked about how important it is that the data in your database be entered in a consistent manner. We’ve looked at how to use forms to limit the control others have over your data. We’ve talked about setting up field types...
  • Ensuring the right data goes into Access

    A Microsoft Access database is a great place to store and organize information since it gives you an unlimited number of ways to look at that data later. But what you can do with that data is limited by the quality of your data entry. This can be a challenge...
  • Setting up your Access database for success

    I recently shared some guidance on when to use Microsoft Access vs. Excel for storing your data . Regardless of which tool you use, the quality of your data is critically important. So it’s vital that everyone who enters data does it in the same way....
  • Create PowerPoint handouts in Word

    As I suggested last week in 4 ways to make your point in PowerPoint , handouts are a great technique for getting your audience to focus on your presentation and retain your key takeaway points (literally!). If you want more control over your PowerPoint...
  • Boost your PowerPoint undos

    By default, PowerPoint lets you take back your last 20 actions using the Undo button on the Quick Access Toolbar or that handy shortcut, Ctrl-Z. But why limit yourself to 20 when you could have 150? Simply click the Office button, click PowerPoint...
  • Quickly access hidden PowerPoint slide show options

    You probably already know that you can start a PowerPoint slide show anywhere in your deck by browsing to the slide you want to display and then simply clicking the Slide Show button on the taskbar: But that button has some hidden features that...
  • 4 ways to make your point with PowerPoint

    When you create a PowerPoint presentation, you should have some key takeaways that you want the audience to understand, absorb, and remember long after the projector is turned off. Wait, before you pull out every PowerPoint trick you've ever learned,...
  • Outlook Rules That Rule - Forward mails based on keywords

    I keep a lookout for useful Outlook rules (and anything else that keeps my Inbox manageable) and recently stumbled across a great, practical one. If you receive mails from customers or other sources that require a response or action and have team members...
  • Name your files for proper date sorting

    Ever include dates in your Office document filenames? If you're archiving files and want them to sort properly, there's a format you should follow. Say that you archive final copies of your company newsletter with the date it was sent to customers. You...
  • Where should I put my data, Excel or Access?

    When you have a lot of data and it needs to be organized, do you use Excel or Access? I get this question a lot when talking to people and I wish I could give you a short answer. Well, I guess I can: It depends. I understand why people are confused. In...
  • Excelling at Excel - Exposing hidden chart ranges

    Just the other day, I was updating a chart and became vexed when a range of values that I added did not appear. After a little head scratching, I realized this happened because I had customized the scale of my chart to show only values from 1 to 50 and...
  • Excelling at Excel - Hidden cells and subtotals

    When you're working in complex Excel workbooks, you may feel like you're getting lost in the clutter. There is a way to hide what you don't need to see so you can focus on the data you're really working with. To hide a column or row, right-click its letter...
  • Excelling at Excel - Save time with the multi-functional status bar

    If you're not using the Excel status bar, you're missing out on a number of time-saving tricks. The status bar runs along the bottom of the program, displaying contextual information and offering some handy shortcuts. Want to create a macro like the...
  • Excelling at Excel: Save chart designs for easy re-use

    Once you get a chart designed the way you like it (say, the Gantt chart layout we explored last week), it's easy to re-use it with new data. Click to select the chart you want to use as a template and then go to the Design tab and click the Save As Template...
  • Project Management with Excel: Your first Gantt chart

    Once you've built a basic schedule , you can greatly improve its usefulness by adding a Gantt chart. This is basically just a bar chart that visually displays your project schedule tasks and the dependencies between them: Excel 2007 doesn't have full...
  • Project Management with Excel - Building a schedule

    Are you ready for an intermediate Excel project? This one is fun, very useful, and will teach you a number of handy formulas for manipulating dates in Excel. I recently had to build a schedule and, in the process, developed a great little system that...
  • Working with images in OneNote

    As you know if you read this blog regularly, OneNote is one of my favorite programs. It's great for notetaking and managing large amounts of information. You can create notebooks and tabs for separate projects and even search within handwritten text,...
  • Optimize your Outlook calendar

    Once your Outlook mailboxes are in order, it's time to turn to your Outlook calendar. When you checked your folder sizes, you might have found that the calendar is one of the bigger culprits in filling up your Exchange mailbox. This is where large attachments...
  • Resolve to clean up your Outlook for the New Year

    It's that time of year when people make resolutions to do things better, and one promise that I hear often is to clean up their Outlook mail folders. Fortunately, Outlook 2007 makes this easy with the Mailbox Cleanup tasks found on the Tools menu: First...