The Productivity Hub
Office for Mac 2011
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Publisher Has Your Back
Designing is a tricky business. One forgotten element—like half a logo hanging off the front page of my company newsletter—can be endlessly embarrassing, for me and my company. I’ve learned to double- and triple-check for problems before I distribute a file from Microsoft Office Publisher...
2 Aug 2012
Set Your Text Free by Linking Text Boxes in Publisher
Some projects take a lot of tweaking in Publisher—a newsletter, for example. What I want to do is lengthen the first column and shorten the second and third columns to make room for a handy upcoming-events section. Shifting text and making everything fit seemed like way too much trouble before...
30 Jul 2012
Microsoft Publisher—Using the Right Software for the Job
With all of the templates and features available in Microsoft Word, I have a tendency to never leave its familiar comforts. I’ll spend an hour using the excellent table tools in Word to patch together a complex table before it dawns on me: I don’t really want a table. All I really want is...
21 Jun 2012
Have a Blissful Day—RSS Feeds in Outlook
When blogs first started to go big, it was exciting to check all your favorites for updates. Then you found even more blogs you loved and it got to be a long list of sites to check, and they didn’t all update consistently so sometimes there was nothing new. And then there was that blissful day...
18 Jun 2012
No More “Who’s Doing What?” with Assigned Tasks
Working as a team means dividing up the work. Clearly dividing project tasks and assigning roles is essential to making sure everything gets done. Everybody hates that awkward silence when you realize you all thought someone else was supposed to do a particular task. You can use Tasks in Outlook to...
8 Jun 2012
Tagging in OneNote
OneNote is the quintessential notepad because you can use it just like you would a pad of handwritten notes, but it’s much more powerful. For instance, when I take notes by hand, I draw stars next to notes I need to remember. Similarly, in OneNote, I can use predefined tags, or create my own, so...
30 May 2012
Oops! I Forgot to Save It!
One of the best things about Office programs (and just about any other application, for that matter) is that when I close a file without saving, I get prompted with a familiar message: It’s simple, I know, but I can’t tell you how many times this has saved my bacon. I also can’t...
17 Jan 2012
Download new SmartArt for Office 2010
If you already know how to use SmartArt to convert ideas into engaging graphics , you won't hesitate to download the new SmartArt for Office 2010. The new Converging Text SmartArt is particularly helpful in showing how ideas feed into a process or outcome. Another new SmartArt graphic called Theme Picture...
30 Jun 2011
Create a pull quote in Word
If your Word document looks like a wall of text and you have no pictures, tables, or diagrams to break up all of the gray, try adding some pull quotes. Find short statements to emphasize that will draw your readers deeper in to the document. Once you have your quote in mind, go to the Insert tab and...
28 Jun 2011
Embed Office 2010 documents on the Web
If you have a blog or web site, you no longer need to worry about whether your site visitors have Office installed. You can embed Office documents directly onto your page. First, you'll need a free SkyDrive account at https://skydrive.live.com/ - just login with your Windows Live ID, or create one if...
27 Jun 2011
Give yourself more room to work in Outlook
Depending on what you're working on throughout the day, you may want to de-clutter your view in Outlook to focus just on the task at hand. To hide the Ribbon, just click up arrow on the right side of the Ribbon or press Ctrl+F1 : Don't worry, you can quickly toggle it back when you need it. You can do...
24 Jun 2011
Save time with Excel shortcuts
If you've spent any time with Excel, you probably know that the Enter key advances you to the next cell in a column, and the arrow keys move your focus to the next cell in any direction. Here are some lesser known shortcuts you may want to add to your repertoire: Fill down: Ctrl+D Fill right: Ctrl+R...
23 Jun 2011
Formula Watch - Working with DOLLARs
In most cases, you want to keep your dollar values in Excel as numbers so they can be used in math functions. But there may be cases where you want your dollars converted to text, say to concatenate them with other text strings. Just use the DOLLAR function: =DOLLAR(B10,2) This would take the value in...
21 Jun 2011
Add popular commands to your Office 2010 ribbons
The Office team has compiled customers' favorite commands across all Office 2010 applications, which you can download to add as a Favorites tab in Access, Excel, InfoPath, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, Visio, and Word. For example, the Favorites tab in Word puts Save , Send , Properties...
20 Jun 2011
Let Office read documents to you
Too busy to read all of the documents on your To Do list? If you want, you can have your Office applications read them to you. This will work in any Office 2010 program except Access. First, click the arrow icon to the right of your Quick Access Toolbar on the Office application for which you want to...
17 Jun 2011
Styles at your fingertips in Word
If you spend a lot of time working with styles, this next tip is for you. And it works in both Word 2007 and Word 2010. To view the active style and quickly change it or modify the base style, you can use the Ctrl+Shift+S shortcut to open the Apply Styles dialog box: Best of all, you can dock this so...
16 Jun 2011
Use object anchors to help place images in Word
If you've ever grappled with positioning an image in Word in just the right spot in relation to your wrapped text, you should turn on object anchors to show where the image is actually tethered. This works in Word 2007 and Word 2010. Go to File , Options , Display and check the box to show Object anchors...
14 Jun 2011
Save time with OneNote 2010 linked notes
One of the best features you may have missed in Office 2010 is the tight integration between Outlook and OneNote. Open up an appointment in Outlook 2010 and you'll see a small OneNote button: Click it to open a linked meeting notes section (the first time you use it, you'll be prompted to select where...
13 Jun 2011
Modify clip art for your presentations
If you use pictures in your Word documents and PowerPoint presentations, you probably hunt regularly for useful clip art on Office.com. But you don't have to stop there. Make the imagery your own by changing the colors and even removing unwanted elements. First, make sure you use illustrations (not photographs...
10 Jun 2011
Restrict data entry in Excel with lists
I recently shared how you can restrict data input in Excel to certain number ranges , such as whole number percentages. But what if you're dealing with a strict set of values, like product names, and you don't want users to be able to create any new variations when entering data? That's easy to do too...
9 Jun 2011
Save time with Outlook shortcuts
If you've been using Outlook for a long time, you probably know the basic shortcuts: New message: Ctrl+N Mark message read: Ctrl+Q Mark message unread: Ctrl+U Delete item: Ctrl+D or Delete Check for new mail: Ctrl+M or F9 And if you've been reading this blog, you know about the two useful shortcuts involving...
7 Jun 2011
Using Actions in Office 2010
If you're an old pro at Office, you may be wondering what happened to Smart Tags when you upgraded to Office 2010. They have been renamed Actions, and you have a lot of flexibility in how you use them. Actions are also less obtrusive. There's no longer an icon that pops up when Office detects a word...
6 Jun 2011
Casual Friday: Use OneNote TripBooks to help plan your vacation
The OneNote team invited 40 travel bloggers to create OneNote documents covering major travel destinations. You can preview them online via SkyDrive and then download local copies to customize in OneNote 2010. Download the free OneNote TripBooks and then make them your own by adding your specific vacation...
3 Jun 2011
Adding (and removing) fancy dividers in Word
There are a few different ways to create horizontal divider lines in Word 2007 and Word 2010. The most commonly used one is done by typing three hyphens ( --- ) and then pressing Enter : If you want a dotted line, use three asterisks ( *** ): Three equal signs ( === ) gives you a double line: Three underscores...
2 Jun 2011
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: Select the file you wish to compare it with and...
31 May 2011
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