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WORD & EXCEL

AUTOMATIC WORD BACKUP

Contrary to popular belief Microsoft Word doesn’t have an automatic backup facility, features like Save Auto Recovery info (Tools > Options) merely save your document as a temporary file, which may get you out of trouble if Word or your PC crashes, and you know where to look for it, but it is not a backup and the recovery files are automatically deleted when Word, or the document are closed.

 

There is no substitute for manually saving your work every few minutes, and the Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut is easy to remember, but there is a better way. A small freeware utility (actually it’s a Word Macro) called SaveReminder can be set to remind you to do a manual Save every few minutes, or if you prefer, do it for you automatically. Simply download and extract the zip file into your Word Startup folder and the configuration menu will open the next time you launch Word. You will find the location of your Word Startup folder from Tools > Options > File Locations (On Windows XP it’s usually C:\Documents and Settings\<yourname>\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP

 

SEEING THE WHOLE PICTURE IN WORD

When working on long or complex documents in Word the jumble of toolbars, menu and status bars can be a real distraction, as well as taking up valuable screen space. Word has a facility to make them all vanish and display your document full screen, you may even have come across it before, it’s on the View menu.

 

When selected a small button appears on the page so you can switch back to normal view. However, even that can quite intrusive but it’s actually a toolbar and you can move it out of the way by ‘docking it to one of the sides of the screen where it becomes a skinny toolbar. You can also make the Full Screen view a toolbar button. Just right-click onto an empty area of the toolbar and select Customize then the Commands tab. Scroll down the Categories list to View then locate the Full Screen icon on the Commands list and drag it onto a toolbar. If you don’t like the look of the button you can change it by selecting Customize again, then right-click on the button and select Change button image. You can also remove the button when the Customize dialogue box is displayed, by dragging the button off the toolbar. 

 

REVERSE AND MIRROR PRINTING IN WORD

Here’s a couple of quick and nifty tweaks for Microsoft Word. The first one is Reverse Printing, which is probably not what you think. This is a way of setting Word to reverse the order in which documents are printed. BY default it’s set to print in the order they appear on the screen, i.e. page one first. The trouble with that is when you print a long document you have re-collate the printed pages so that page one is on top of the pile. To switch on Reverse printing, so that the last page prints first, go to Tools > Options and select the Print tab and under Printing Options check ‘Reverse Print Order’.

 

The second tip is a way of printing text backwards, or ‘mirror’ printing. In fact this function isn’t built into Word, but you can trick it into doing it in small batches of a line or two. Open the Drawing toolbar (View > Toolbars > Drawing) and click where you want the Mirror text to appear on your document. Next click the WordArt icon (slanty capital letter ‘A’ on the Drawing toolbar), select the plain style in the top left hand corner and compose your text. You can also set font type and size from this box. Click OK and it’ll appear at the insertion point. You can change to a solid colour from the Fill Colour icon on the Drawing toolbar, and change any other attributes you feel necessary. When you are happy with its position and size click the Draw drop-down menu on the Drawing toolbar, select Rotate or Flip, then Flip Horizontal and hey-presto, backwards writing.  For larger blocks of copy the only solution is to copy the page to a drawing program, mirror the image and paste it back into the document as a non-editable picture.

 

AVOID REPEATING WORDS IN WORD

It’s difficult not to be repetitive when writing long documents and all too often when you go back and read something you’ve just written, you can easily miss repeated words or phrases, but Word can help avoid repetition. Go to Find on the Edit menu and select the Replace tab. Type the word you want to check in the Find box then in the Replace box type the command ‘^&’ (without the quotes, the ^ character is Shift 6 on a UK keyboard). This tells it to find but not to replace the word. Now click the Replace All and the number of times the word has been used will be displayed.

 

DIY CALENDAR IN WORD

Okay, I know my timing is not too clever but you can always squirrel this tip away for later in the year, or use it now to make fancy month planners. Either way here’s how to use Microsoft Word’s little-known facility to make quite smart-looking calendars. Just go to New on the File menu and select the Other Documents tab, if Calendar Wizard isn’t shown then click ‘Templates’ in the Create New box. If Word says the feature isn’t installed you may have to dig out your Word or Office installation disc and load that, but it’s worth the effort. Click the Calendar Wizard icon and follow the prompts to choose a style, layout and whether nor not you want space for a picture, then set the start and end dates and the finished design will appear. You can fiddle around with it as much as you like, it’s simply a Word document, and when you are happy with it just click Print and it’s done.

 

FANCY BULLETS FOR WORD

No doubt you have crossed swords with Word’s automatic Bullets and Numbering feature, which seems to pop up when you don’t want it. Nevertheless if you are a fan of bulleted and numbered lists then you may not known that you are not limited to the plain round bullets, in fact you can use just about any character or symbol you like for bullet points, you can even use clipart images or photographs. To make the change go to Bullets and Numbering on the Format menu, select a style then click either the Picture or Customize button. The former leads you into a clipart browser whilst Customize takes you to another dialogue box from where you can choose a bullet from the Symbol font lists. Once you’ve chosen your new symbol just use the Bullet or Number icon on the toolbar in the usual way. 

 

SPELLCHECKING THE WORD DICTIONARY

If you use Microsoft Word the built-in spellchecker is your best friend, automatically highlighting miss-spelt words and helpfully suggesting alternatives. One of its most useful facilities is to add words it doesn’t know to the Custom Dictionary, but here’s the rub. If you are in a hurry it’s very easy to add miss-spelled words to the Dictionary and thereafter Word will always ignore your mistake. So how to you correct the Dictionary? It’s simple, just go to Options on the Tools menu and select the Spelling and Grammar tab. Click the Dictionaries button and your Custom Dictionary -- and any others you might have installed -- appears in the box. Highlight the entry and click Edit and a list of all the words you’ve added appears. You can now edit the list like a Word document and when you’ve finished Save it as normal.

 

WATERMARKING WORD DOCUMENTS

There is a little known and very well hidden feature in Microsoft Word that lets you create eye-catching watermarks that can be used to identify or distinguish your documents by lightly printing a background image or words behind your text. Start with the image or text that you want to use and make sure you know where to find it on your hard disc. Now go to the View menu and select Header and Footer, decide where you want the watermark to appear by clicking the cursor then go to Insert > Picture > From File and browse to your image, double click on it to insert into the page. You can now adjust the position using the sizing handles. Next double-click the image to open the Format Picture dialogue box, select the Layout tab and click ‘Behind Text. Select the Picture tab and on the Color drop-down menu choose Watermark; adjust Contrast and Brightness as necessary to vary the visibility of the image. Exit the Header and Footer toolbar and preview the effect on the View menu by clicking Print Layout.

 

ADDING FILENAME AND PATH TO WORD DOCUMENTS

Yes, I know you can do this automatically in some versions of Word but here’s a simple little wrinkle that automatically displays the path and filename of the document you are working on in the toolbar and lets you put it anywhere you like in a document. Begin by right-clicking on an empty area of the toolbar, select Customize then the Commands tab; scroll down the Categories list and click on All Commands. Now scroll down the Commands list to Web Address, left click and hold on the icon and address bar and drag and drop it onto the end of your toolbar. Exit the Customize dialogue box and the web address bar will now display your open document’s path and filename. Now all you have to do is click on the line to highlight it then copy (Ctrl + C) and paste (Ctrl + V) it anywhere you want in your document.

 

TWO TOP WORD TRICKS

Here are a couple of little-known tips for Microsoft Word (all versions from 97 onwards) that might come in handy one day. The first one is a way to create underlined spaces. These are useful for online forms or documents, to indicate where you want the reader or recipient to enter information, like this: Name:          .

 

A normal underline doesn’t work because as soon as you try to type on it, the underline disappears; try it and you’ll see what I mean. To make underlined spaces press an hold Ctrl + U + Shift then press the spacebar and the underlines will appear, it takes a little practice but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

 

Tip number two is how to avoid wasting ink by just printing the parts of a document that you actually want. This should also work with other MS Office applications as well. Most printers support this feature though one or two might not co-operate so give it a try, in case you ever need to use it in anger. Start by highlighting the block of text that you want to print then go to Print on the File menu and look for the ‘Page Range’ box and click ‘Selection’ then the OK button.

 

WORD RULES

Here is another of Word's handy hidden features. This one should be of particular interest to anyone who inserts pictures or graphics into their documents and needs to position them accurately on the page. The idea is you place the mouse pointer on the horizontal ruler at the top of the page then press and hold the left button. A vertical line appears, which you can move right or left, to line up with the edge of the object you want to measure or position. Now, whilst still holding down the left mouse button press and hold the right button and the ruler changes to a set of precise measurements, showing the exact distances the line is from the left and right margins. Clever huh?

 

 

LOREM IPSUM - BETTER DUMMY TEXT FOR WORD

You may know the hidden Word trick for creating paragraphs of ‘dummy’ text (a repetition of ‘The quick brown fox etc…’), in case you’ve missed it just enter =rand() anywhere in a document and see what happens (see also this Top Tip for refinements).

 

Anyway, the idea of dummy text is to help with document layout and it goes way back -- to the 1500’s -- and traditionally printers and typesetters have used paragraphs of fake (or is it..) Latin, which begins: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua…’ and so on.

 

Handy though it is the dummy text generated by Word is repetitive and doesn’t look very natural, so is there a better way? Unfortunately Word cannot generate Lorem ipsum… but there is a website that can. Just tell Lipsum.com how much need then copy and paste it into your document or layout.

 

Tip-in-a-tip: if you are likely to be needing it on a regular basis you could save it as an AutoText entry and assign it to a keyword.

 

One last point, Word’s spellchecker will be seriously freaked out by this text so to save it from blowing a fuse highlight the copy then go to Tools > Language > Set Language and tick the item ‘Do not check spelling or grammar’.

 

CREATE SCREENTIPS IN WORD

ScreenTips are a common feature on web pages, they’re the little boxes that appear when you ‘hover’ your mouse pointer over a highlighted or underlined hyperlink, but did you know you can do something similar in Word? They can be really useful for explaining or defining a term and it’s bound to impress your boss or colleagues. Anyway, here’s what you do, highlight the word or words that you want to generate the ScreenTip then right click on it and select Hyperlink. Click the ScreenTip button at the top; type in the message that you want to appear in the box then click OK, to finish off give the ScreenTip a name in the ‘Type the file or web page name’ box and click OK

 

NOW WHERE WAS I?

If you use Microsoft Word and work on a lot of long documents then this quick and simple little tip is well worth remembering. You can waste a lot of time trying to recall where you left off typing, especially if it was a while ago. There’s no need, Word has a feature called Go Back that automatically records the last thing that you did before a document was saved; all you have to do is press Shift + F5.

 

QUICK COLOUR BUTTON FOR WORD

This simple little tip for Microsoft Word creates a toolbar icon that lets you quickly apply colour to text in a document. Begin by right clicking on an empty area of the Toolbar and select Customize. In the left hand Categories pane scroll down the list and highlight All Commands then in the right pane select ‘Color’. Next, in the drop-down Color menu below select your colour, now go back to the highlighted Colour entry above and click, drag and drop it on to your chosen location on the toolbar and an icon will be created with the name of the selected colour. Click OK to close the Customize box. To use it just highlight a word or block of text and click the colour button. To remove the button just right click the toolbar again and select Customize, you can now click on the button and drag it off the toolbar and it will disappear.

 

MODIFY OR DESIGN YOUR OWN WORD ICONS

Buried deep inside Microsoft Word is a neat little facility that lets you change and tinker with the design of the toolbar icons. To fire it up right-click onto an empty area of the toolbar and select Customize. Next right-click on the icon you want to alter and select either ‘Change button image’ or ‘Edit button image’. The former will present you with a small selection of alternative icons; simply click on the one you want and the change will be made. If you go for the Edit button image option you can fiddle with the design using the simple icon editor utility, changing the shape or adding colours to make them look more interesting. If you want to switch back simply repeat the procedure but this time select ‘Reset button image’ from the right-click menu.

 

WORD QUICK LAUNCH

This simple little tip creates a desktop shortcut that automatically opens Microsoft Word on the last document you were working on, saving you the trouble of going to the Open menu and drilling down through the file list. All you have to do is right click on an empty part of the desktop and select New > Create Shortcut. In the ‘Type location of the item’ box type or copy and paste the following command, according to the version of word that you are using.

For Word 2000 use:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\WINWORD.EXE" /mFile1

Word 2002:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\winword.exe" /mFile1

Word 2003:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\winword.exe" /mFile1

Click Next, give the Shortcut a name (or keep the default Winword.exe) then OK and it’s ready to use.

 

WORD SPLIT SCREEN

When working on long documents it is sometimes useful to be able to see and edit other sections of the text at the same time. Word will let you do exactly that, though unless you stumble on the feature by accident you’ll probably never know it exists. It’s really easy to use, all you have to do is point, click and drag the tiny separator bar that’s immediately above the arrow on the vertical scroll bar. Drag it down to halfway and you have two separate views of the same document, each with their own scroll bars so you can move around both sections of the document independently. To revert to the normal single pane view just slide the separator bar back to the top of the screen.

 

QUICK PREVIEW IN WORD

Microsoft Word has a little known Preview facility that lets you view the contents of a document without actually having to open it. This is a handy time saver, especially if all you want to do is just check the first few lines or paragraphs in a long document

 

All you have to do is click the Open icon (or Open on the File Menu, or Ctrl + O), select the file you want to have a quick peek at then click on the drop-down Views menu, select Preview and a small Window opens displaying the contents of the document.

 

INSERT SOUNDS INTO WORD DOCUMENTS

Here’s a nifty way to spice up your Word documents -- add a sound file. Teacher will be impressed! There’s two ways to do it, if you would like to record a new sound or message simply go to the Insert menu, select Object then scroll down the list to Wave Sound and the Windows Sound Recorder box opens. All you have to do now is click the red Record button and speak into your PC’s microphone or play a CD. When you click Stop to finish recording a loudspeaker icon will appear in your document and when it is clicked the sound will playback. If you want to use a sound file you have already created it’s even easier, just copy and paste the file directly into your document and when it is double clicked it will open the PC’s selected media player and replay the file. You can change the icon by right clicking on it and select Package Object > Edit Package.

 

THE KEYS TO SUCCESS

In MS Word you can assign frequently used commands to a simple and memorable two-key shortcut. For example, Word Count on my PC is Ctrl + \ (backslash). To create a shortcut all you have to do is right-click into an empty area of the toolbar, select Customize, and then click the Keyboard button. To create a Word Count shortcut highlight ‘Tools’ on the Categories list then click on ToolsWordCount in he Commands window. Click into the ‘Press new shortcut key’ box and enter your two keys. If it is already in use you will be warned so you can find another key combination or you can replace the old one if it’s not one you are likely to want to use again.

.

FOUR EXCEL TOP TIPS, from Philip Wheeler

Tip 1
Fed up of having to copy the formula in one cell to all the rows below it? A simple shortcut is to select the cell containing the formula you wish to copy, move the cursor over the bottom, right-hand corner of that cell (so that the cursor becomes a ‘+’) and double-click the left-hand mouse button. Excel then pastes the formula into all the cells below, down to the last sequential row in the previous column. N.B. for some reason this tip only works if there is data in the adjecent column.

 

Tip 2
Right-click over the worksheet navigation buttons (at the bottom, left-hand corner of the screen and to the left of the worksheet tab names). A navigation pane pops up that allows you to move quickly to a new worksheet.


Tip 3
Automatically fit the width of a column to its contents by double-clicking on the dividing line to the immediate right of the column’s letter name. For example, the width of column C will be resized to fit the contents in that column when you double-click on the line between the “C” and the “D” along the top of the columns (the cursor becomes a “+” with arrows along the horizontal bar).

Tip 4
Double click the format painter icon (the yellow paint brush). The cursor now shows a paint brush next to the cursor and will format each cell/range/row/column you select. Pressing the escape key or clicking the format painter icon again returns the cursor back to normal.

 

THE KEYS TO SUCCESS -- PART TWO

It’s all very well making your own home-grown keyboard shortcuts but if you don’t use them for a while it’s easy to forget the keystrokes. This tip will help you to remember them by printing out a list. All you have to do is go to Print on the File menu then in ‘Print What’ drop down menu select Key Assignments then OK

 

FIXING WORD

Generally speaking Microsoft Word is fairly reliable, but when it does go wrong it does so in spectacular fashion and in addition to closing itself down without warning, it can also take Windows with it. Word users plagued by persistent problems usually give up and re-install the program, only to find that nothing has changed. In those circumstances there's almost always a glitch in a file called 'Normal.dot' which contains all of the user's settings, which includes macros and other mischief-makers. If you are about to re-install Word for the tenth time, try this. Make a copy of your Normal.dot file, (just in case it's not corrupt) and save it in another folder, it can usually be found in:

C:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates,

 

Delete the original Normal.dot and re-boot. Word will automatically create a new Normal.dot and return to its default settings.

 

WORK MENU -- THE BEST WORD TIP EVER!

Word has a useful hidden utility called the ‘Work’ menu, this lives on the Word Toolbar giving single click access to selected documents. To install the Work menu right-click in an empty area of the Toolbar, select Customize, then the Commands tab, scroll down the Categories list, select Built In Menus, go to the Command list, scroll down to Work then drag and drop it onto a Toolbar. To include a document on the menu open it and click ‘Add to Work Menu’. To remove an entry press Ctrl + Alt + - (hyphen), the cursor changes to a bar, go to the Work menu and click on the item you want to delete.

 

WORD ZOOM

You know the feeling, It’s late on Friday afternoon, you’ve been tapping away at the keys all day and the screen is starting to look a bit blurry. As you know in Microsoft Word you can change the text size display from the Zoom control’s drop-down menu on the Toolbar, but that’s too much like hard work… Here’s a super quick way to change the text size, but you will need a mouse with a scroll wheel. Simply press and hold the Ctrl button on your keyboard and spin the mouse wheel and everything will become a lot clearer...

 

RANDOM TEXT

In Word there's a useful unpublished facility called Random Word. Every so often you might want to create a block of text quickly, to test out your faxing or E-mail facilities, or produce dummy text to check a page layout. You can of course copy and paste text from another document but Random Word is far quicker.  Simply type in the following: =rand() and press Return. Word will then generate three paragraphs, each containing the sentence 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog', five times. You can alter the number of paragraphs and sentences by inserting numbers into the brackets. For example,  =rand(6,8) generates a text block of 6 paragraphs, each containing 8 sentences.

 

WORD'S HIDDEN SPREADSHEET

Not many people know this, but a Word table can be used as a spreadsheet, summing all the rows and columns. But beware -- it will only go as far as the first gap in whatever direction you're going, so if you want to jump across empty cells, insert a zero in these. It uses the same basic functions as Excel, to use it go to Formula on the Table menu.

 

Thanks to Michael Scuffil in Germany for that one, and you can read more about Word's Label and Table features in Boot Camp 036

 

BETTER BACKGROUND

The bright white text area of most word processors can become a quite tiring on the eyes after a few hours. You can of course jiggle the brightness and contrast settings on your monitor but a far better solution is to give your blank pages a light grey tint. Open your word processor and load a page of text, so you can judge the effect. Next, from the Start button select Settings, Control Panel and the Display icon. Select the Appearance tab and click into the area marked Window Text. Next click on the Color box and choose the Other option. This will bring up a colour palette, select grey or white from the block of colour options and use the slider to the right of the multi-colour panel to adjust the level. Click OK and if necessary re-adjust until you are satisfied with it. The tint only applies to the display and will not affect the way documents look when they are printed.

 

COMPARE FONTS

If you are constantly fussing over fonts for your documents then there's a very handy feature in Windows that allows you to quickly compare typefaces according to style and design. From the Start menu go to Settings, then Control Panel and double click the Fonts icon. Go to the View drop-down menu and click on 'List Fonts by Similarity'. Now all you have to do is click on the drop down 'List Fonts…' choose a font and you will be presented with list of comparable typefaces, ranked according to similarity.

 

WEIGHTY WORD

If you’ve ever wondered why Word document files are so large it’s due to  ‘Metadata’. This is hidden information that contains the author’s name, summaries, revisions, hidden text, previous authors and so on. Metadata can still be recovered, even if the document is sent as an email attachment. If you are concerned you can remove Metadata by sending the document as a plain text file, or have a look at Microsoft Knowledgebase, articles Q223790, Q237361 and Q290945 (Word 97, 2000 and 2002).

 

http://support.microsoft.com/

default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;22379

 

http://support.microsoft.com/

default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;237361

 

http://support.microsoft.com/

default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;223790

 

WORD TOYS

Freeware, 1.5mb, Word 2000, 2002, 2003, www.wordtoys.com/

If you use Microsoft Word then you should definitely give this interesting little utility a test drive. It’s actually a suite of more than 30 tools and enhancements that let you personalise the way Word looks and operates. Highlights include a keyboard shortcut to accented characters, Double Save (saves a document to your hard drive and any other nominated drive), Folder Icon Manager, Favourite Everything -- customise your most frequently used functions, Document Recall (quickly find any document you’ve worked on, up to a month previously), Quick Numbering (numbers paragraphs in over 50 formats), Speed Sort (change the order of paragraphs) and Out Of Office, which leaves a message on your screen when you are away from your desk.

 

HYPERLINKS

Hyperlinks are one of Word’s most powerful features and invaluable for navigating around long documents or automatically linking to web page or other documents stored on the PC. To jump to another part of the same document highlight a word or block of text, go to Bookmark on the Insert menu, give the bookmark a name then go back and highlight the word or words that you want to link to it, right click and select Hyperlink, click the Bookmark button and select the Bookmark from the list. To Hyperlink to another document or web page highlight the word you want to turn into a link, right click and select Hyperlink then type in the web address or use the File button to browse to another document.

 

ANIMATED TEXT

Here is a sure fire way to make sure that your documents, however long and tedious they might be, will get noticed. Word has a number of animated text effects that can make your words really stand out on the screen. Try this, open a new document and type a word or two, highlight it and make it really big, 36 point say, (and don’t forget Word lets you size text and characters up to 999.5 points – in 0.5 pt increments – simply by typing the number into the size box next to the font name). With the words still highlighted go to Font on the Format menu and select the Text Effects tab, now take your pick from the list, which includes ‘shimmer’, ‘Las Vegas’, ‘Blinking Background’ and ‘Marching Red Ants’. Warning! Use sparingly, otherwise it can get very annoying…

 

TOOL CONTROL

Take control of your Toolbars. The standard Word layout has a number of shortcomings and omissions. Try adding the Work menu icon. This gives you rapid access to documents that you open frequently. Right-click onto an empty area of the toolbar, click Customize, select the Commands tab and work your way down the Categories list to Built-In Menus. Select it then go to the Command list and scroll down to Work. Click, hold and drag it onto a toolbar and release and close Customize.  Click ‘Add to Work Menu’ to add any open document to the list. To delete entries press Ctrl + Alt + - (hyphen), the cursor changes to a thick bar, go to the Work menu and click on the item you want to remove.

 

ADD ICONS

Adding SaveAs and Document Close icons to the Toolbar are useful time-savers and putting them on the right side of the toolbar also reduces mouse mileage. On Customize select the Commands tab and click File under Categories. Scroll down the list in the Commands Windows and drag and drop SaveAs and Close onto the Toolbar. The SaveAs button doesn’t have an icon so right-click on it select Change Button Image and select something from the page. Other items you might want to add to your Toolbars include Insert Date and Page Number (on the Insert menu in Categories) and Word Count (Tools). To remove any icon or menu from the Toolbars open Customize then drag and drop the item onto the desktop. 

 

GIANT FONTS

On the Font Size drop-down menu the largest value shown is 72 point but you can specify any size you like (in 0.5pt increments), up to a massive 999.5 points, simply by typing in the number.

 

QUICK EXIT

If you want to exit Word quickly and you have a lot of open documents that all need to be saved press and hold the Shift key whilst clicking on the File menu. A new item, SaveAll will appear.

 

APPLY FORMAT

When faced with a document that contains several different styles or formats you can quickly apply your chosen format to any block of text. Highlight a portion of text with the formant you want to copy then click on the Format Painter icon (paintbrush). Now move the mouse pointer to the text you want to change and drag the paintbrush across it.

 

WORD COUNT

Word users usually manage to find Word Count in the Tools menu; it may be more versatile than you think. As it stands it will count all of the words in an open document, but if you want to know how many words there are in a paragraph, or block of copy, just use the highlight function, then click on word count. You can create a simple keyboard shortcut to Word Count by going to the Tools menu and click on Customise. Select the Command tab; highlight Tools in the list of Categories and scroll down the list of Commands until you come to Word Count. Highlight it, then click on the Keyboard button, put the pointer into the Press New Shortcut field and press the mouse button. Decide which keys you are going to use (Ctrl and backslash ‘\’ are usually free) finish off by clicking Assign and Close.

 

QUICK CLOSE

If you habitually work with a lot of open documents in Word you will know how time consuming it can be to save and close each document separately, when you exit the program. There's a hidden set of commands that will speed things up considerably. All you have to do is hold down the shift key and then move the mouse pointer to the File drop-down menu. You will see that Close has changed to Close All, and Save is now Save All. To exit Word in double quick time click Save All, followed by Close All and watch those documents disappear! Incidentally, Word will prompt you to name any untitled documents, so there's no fear of losing track of anything.

 

AUTOMATE INSERT

If you frequently need to insert a word, line or block of text into MS Word documents you can easily automate the process with a simple keyboard shortcut. Highlight the text and press Alt + F3, to create an AutoText entry, then give it a name or accept the default that appears in the dialogue box that appears and click OK. Now go to the Tools menu; select Customize and the Commands Tab. Click the Keyboard button then AutoText in the Categories window.  Highlight your new entry in the Commands Window, click a cursor in the Press New Shortcut Key field, choose a key combination then click Assign. To remove an AutoText entry go to the Insert menu, click AutoText, then AutoText, select the AutoText tab, highlight the entry and click Delete.

 

HIDDEN SCROLL

There's a hidden feature in Word 97 onwards that automatically scrolls the page or document you're watching. It's really handy for reading long documents, or you can use it to turn your PC screen into a teleprompter or autocue, for displaying speeches and scripts. It was originally designed to be used with 'wheel' type mice but it works on any standard two or three button mouse. Click on Customise on the Tools menu, select the Commands tab, scroll down the list and highlight 'All Commands' in the Categories window. In the right hand Commands window find, single click and hold on Auto Scroll, drag and drop it onto a toolbar and a button will appear. Close Customise and click on the Auto Scroll button, you can vary the speed and direction using the arrows that appear in the left hand scroll bar.

 

PRINT KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

As you may have discovered there is no master list of keyboard shortcuts in Word Help and tracking down a specific command -- there are more than 200 of them -- or finding out if a particular one even exists, can be a frustrating and time-consuming business. Wonder no more, here's an easy way to print out a complete list of Word shortcuts and commands, to keep by your PC for quick reference.

 

Go to the Tools menu and click on Macro then Macros. In the 'Macros In' drop-down menu select Word Commands, now move your mouse pointer to the Macro Name pane and highlight ListCommands, click Run and in the dialogue box that appears select Current Menu and Keyboard Settings and click OK. A new document will open, with a table showing all of the available commands and shortcuts. Just use Save As to give it a name and print it out. Be warned in its raw form it runs to around 9 pages (12pt text) but with a little judicious editing of the commands you'll never need or use it can be trimmed to a more manageable 5 to 6 pages.

 

ADD SOUNDS TO DOCUMENTS

As you know you can insert pictures and graphics into Microsoft Word documents, but did you also know you can add sounds? Try it, it’s fun! It works on most recent versions of Word (97 & 2000).  Before you start select, create or record the sound you want to use with Windows Sound Recorder (Start > Programs > Accessories > Entertainment) or your preferred audio editing program and save it as a *.wav file. Open Word and position the cursor in the document where you want the sound to be then go to the Insert menu and select Object. Make sure the Create New tab is displayed then scroll down the list to Wave Sound and click on it. Press Okay and a speaker icon appears on the page and Windows Media Player opens. Go to Insert File on the Edit menu, select your audio file and it’s done. When anyone double clicks on the speaker icon the sound file will be played.

 

WHAT THE F...

Here's an easy way to find out what the Function keys along the top of the keyboard do in Word 2000. Right click into an empty area next to the Toolbar at the top of the screen, and select Customize from the drop-down menu. Put a check mark next to 'Function Key display' and a new toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen, with clickable buttons showing what each key does, plus their alternative functions, when you press the Alt, Shift or Ctrl keys.

 

QUICK REPLACE

Microsoft Word has lots of useful undocumented features, here’s one that will save you a lot of time and trouble. The next time you want to replace a chunk of text forget the backspace or delete keys, just highlight the block and continue typing. One click, that’s all, Word automatically places the cursor at the start of the highlighted section and replaces the text as you type.

 

BUILT IN CALCULATOR

Did you know that Word has a built in calculator function? Call up the Customize dialogue box (see tip 1) and select All Commands in the Categories menu then find and highlight ToolsCalculate in the Command list. Drag and drop it onto a toolbar and it’s ready to use. Enter in a sum, using the normal mathematical operators (plus +, minus - , divide / and multiply *, etc.) highlight the equation and click your ToolsCalculate button and the answer will appear in the left hand corner of the status bar at the bottom of the screen.

 

QUICK RESIZE

If you use Microsoft Word it’s worth remembering this very useful keyboard shortcut for quickly increasing or decreasing the font size of a selected letter, word, paragraph or even a whole document. Simply highlight the text then press and hold the Ctrl and Shift keys, to increase the font size (in 1 point increments) repeatedly press  ‘>’ (right-facing open arrow) and to reduce size press ‘<’. The size of the highlighted text will be shown in the toolbar display.

 

SUM THE STATUS

Excel users, here's a neat little trick that old hands are probably familiar with, but newcomers might find useful. If you have a column of numbers that you want to add up quickly, simply highlight them and the SUM of the numbers appears in the Status bar at the bottom of the screen. There's more, if you now right-click on the Status bar result you'll see a set of extra options, including Average, Count, Count Numbers, Min and Max.

 

 


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