May, 2011

  • Create a Calendar Group in Outlook 2010

    If your team always seems to be out-of-sync, create a Calendar Group to quickly pull up everyone's schedule in one view. First, go to Calendar in Outlook 2010, click Calendar Groups , and Create New Calendar Group : Give it a name and then select all...
  • Compare and merge slides in PowerPoint 2010

    One of the little trumpeted but extremely valuable features in PowerPoint 2010 is the ability to compare and merge slides from separate decks. To use this feature, first open your main presentation file and go to the Review tab. Click the Compare button...
  • Customize the Word grammar checker to match your style

    Tired of the Microsoft Word grammar checker underlining mistakes that are actual part of your personal writing style or company style guide? Try tweaking the settings to reduce the green squiggles that indicate a grammar error. In Word 2010, go to File...
  • With Internet Explorer 9, sites take center stage

    The web has always been about the browser, yes? Browsers are our windows on the online world. And what everybody truly admires in a good window is... cleanliness. Clean is good on its own merit, but there's another view here. With Internet Explorer 9...
  • Manage templates in OneNote 2010

    If you struggle with creating and applying templates in OneNote, the Template Manager add-in has been updated to work with OneNote 2010. This unsupported tool from OneNote team member Jeff Cardon lets you create and apply templates with relative ease...
  • Set your own default reminder alert time in Outlook

    If you're like me, you like to be prepared for your meetings. This can mean extra time for reviewing documents, brainstorming ideas, and printing handouts - not to mention travel time. If you're frequently late or unprepared for your appointments, simply...
  • A candid conversation with the Windows Action Center

    Feature Interview: Want some action? Talk to this guy. He was walking so fast and keeping such a low profile I might have missed him, except for that unmistakable pennant fluttering over his head. "Action Center?" I called. "Got a second...
  • Restrict style changes in Word

    If you want to limit the use of styles and themes in a Word document that you and your teammates are collaborating on, there's a tucked away feature that does just that - and it works in both Word 2007 and Word 2010. First, click the tiny launcher button...
  • Change the default width of your Excel cells

    If you're always expanding the width of your cells in Excel, perhaps the default width isn't working for you. Here's a quick fix that works in Excel 2007 and Excel 2010. On the Home tab, click the Format button in the Cells section and then select Default...
  • Automatically download images from trusted senders in Outlook 2010

    When receiving HTML emails, you know doubt have noticed that Outlook 2010 blocks images by default, like so: The reason is to protect you from identifying your account is active when opening messages from unscrupulous spammers, who will detect when you...
  • Restrict data input in Excel

    We all enter bad data into Excel from time to time. Maybe you're rushing, or someone distracts you, or you've just been doing it too long without a break. And when you open a document up to colleagues to help maintain, your data is only as good as their...
  • Automatically close mails when responding in Outlook

    If you find Outlook getting cluttered with windows when you're replying to mails, there's an easy way to clean things up. This works in both Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010. Just go to File , Options and select the Mail tab. (For Office 2007, use the Office...
  • Get the new Outlook Hotmail Connector

    If you use the Outlook Hotmail Connector, you may have already been prompted to update to the new version: This version 14.2 update corrects a number of sync issues, improves performance, and turns off the junk mail filter in Outlook in favor or Hotmail...
  • Spell out page numbers in Word

    If the default page numbering in Word doesn't give you what you want, you can further customize it using Field Codes. A great example is spelling out the numbers. It's a quick and easy change to make, if you know where to go. First, turn on page numbering...
  • Is your PC giving you the silent treatment? Fix it

    If an unwelcome silence falls over the room when you boot up your Windows 7 PC, you're not alone—but you're not stuck, either. What to do? Follow these steps: 1. Is everything plugged in? I know, I know, that couldn't be it, right? Still, check external...
  • Close Office application misfires while they load

    Have you ever mistakenly launched the wrong Office application? I know I have - sometimes my mouse slips and I click the wrong icon locked on my Windows 7 taskbar, or I'm rushing and mix up the Outlook and PowerPoint icons. The good news is that, if this...
  • Combat procrastination with Office

    I like to log tasks and track my activities in Office apps, whether it's building a schedule in Excel , converting emails into tasks and reminders in Outlook , or even jotting notes in OneNote . This helps my productivity in a few ways - it helps me break...
  • Check the readability of your Word documents and Outlook mails

    You may have heard the marketing rule that when writing for a general audience, you should aim for an 8th grade reading level. This not only helps your message get out to people who are less educated, it can reach customers who are learning English as...
  • Formula Watch: Create custom placeholders with REPT

    When filling in empty cells with placeholders or inserting leader characters between columns, try the REPT function. You simply specify a character or string and the number of times you want it to repeat (up to certain limits for Excel, well into the...
  • Speed and performance: How Internet Explorer 9 makes for better browsing

    Is faster always better? With Internet Explorer 9, it would seem so—even when the speed in question isn't obvious. Case in point: Internet Explorer 9 is the first browser to take advantage of graphics processing power that used to go mostly unused by...
  • Office for Mac 2011 Service Pack 1 now available

    If you're running Office for Mac 2011, you can now download Service Pack 1 . New features include performance improvements, Excel Solver integration, Outlook server rules, mail redirects and resends, and support for Apple Sync Services including iPhone...