125 technology quick tips
1. Crop picture to shape. Crop a picture according to a shape, such as a heart or star, by selecting Crop, Crop to Shape from the Sizegroup in the Picture Tools tab.
2. Minimize the Ribbon. In Word 2010 and 2007, minimize the Ribbon by pressing Ctrl+F1. To restore the Ribbon, press Ctrl+F1 again, or double-click a Ribbon tab.
3. Date picker. To add a Date Picker (a clickable calendar) to your document, from theDeveloper tab, click the Date Picker Content Control in the Controls group. If the Developer tab is not displayed in the Ribbon, turn it on by clicking File, Options, Customize Ribbon, then click the check box labeled Developer in the right pane.
4. Clipboard history. The Clipboard keeps a copy of the past 24 items you have copied. To view (and paste) any of these items, from the Home tab, click the down arrow icon in the lower-right corner of the Clipboard group.
5. Navigation map. To view a document’s organization and jump to different sections in Word 2010 and 2007, press Ctrl+F (or from the View tab, select the Navigation Panecheck box). In Word 2003 or earlier, press Ctrl+F (or from the View menu, select Document Map).
6. Page and line breaks. To insert a page break, press Ctrl+Enter. To insert a line break but continue the paragraph, press Shift+Enter.
7. Split view. To see two parts of a Word document simultaneously, drag the split bar at the top of the scroll bar (or click Split on the View tab), then position the split as desired.
8. Navigate home. To jump to the beginning (or end) of a document, press Ctrl+Home (or Ctrl+End).
9. Tabs in tables. To insert a tab in a table cell, press Ctrl+Tab.
10. Horizontally numbered bullets. To number column headings in a table, select the top row, and then from the Home tab, click the Numbering icon in the Paragraph group.
11. Move table rows. To move a table row up or down, select the row, and then press Alt+Shift+Up Arrow or Alt+Shift+Down Arrow.
12. Tab stops. To add a tab stop, click anywhere in a paragraph to select it, then click the ruler where you want to set the tab stop to occur. To change the type of tab stop inserted, click the tab icon located to the left of the ruler. Repeated clicking will cycle through the types of tab stops available. To delete a tab stop, drag it off the ruler. Note: To show the ruler, click on Ruler in the Show group under the View tab.
13. Find your last edit. To return to the location of your last edit, press Shift+F5.
14. Thesaurus. To look up synonyms in the thesaurus, select a word and press Shift+F7.
15. Control consecutive hyphens. To limit the number of consecutive hyphens, from the Page Layout tab’s Page Setup group, select Hyphenation, Hyphenation options, and adjust the Limit consecutive hyphens to spinner to the desired setting, and click OK.
16. Quickly add a solid line. To create a solid line, starting at the left-most position of a blank line, type at least three hyphens, and then press Enter. To create a thicker line, hold the Shift key down and type at least three underlines, and then press Enter.
17. Check boxes. To insert clickable check boxes in Word 2010 and 2007, activate the Developer tab by selecting File, Options, Customize Ribbon, and click the check box labeled Developer under the Main Tabs section. Then from the Developer tab, click theCheck Box Content Control icon in the Controls group to add a working check box to your document.
Note: All of these PowerPoint tips apply to PowerPoint being in Slide Show mode.
18. Jumping slides. You can jump to a particular slide by entering the slide number and pressing Enter.
19. Display hidden slides. Press H to advance the presentation to the next hidden slide.
20. Return to start. Quickly return to the first slide by holding both mouse buttons for two seconds (or press the number 1 and then press Enter).
21. Blank screen. Display a black screen (or return to the slide show from a black screen) by pressing B or the period key.
22. Write on your slide show. When displaying a presentation, press Ctrl+P to change the pointer to a pen to annotate your slide show, and press the Esc key to return to a pointer. Press E to erase annotations.
23. Display list of slides. When displaying a presentation, press Ctrl+S to display a list of all slides with slide titles, then doubleclick a selection to jump to that slide.
24. Publish your slide show as a video. Start by recording your slide show with your narration from the Slide Show tab by selecting Record Slide Show, Start Recording. When you are done, from the File tab, select Save & Send, Create a Video.
25. Print multiple emails at once. Print a group of email messages all at once by selecting multiple emails while holding down the Ctrl key and then selecting File,Print, Memo Style, Print.
26. Create an Outlook task by dragging a file. Drag and drop a file from an Explorer window to the Tasks button in Outlook’s Navigation Pane. A new task will open with the file attached. Fill in the remaining information, and then click Save and Close.
27. Connecting email threads. To find related emails, without opening the message, right-click on it, and then on the popup menu, select Find Related, Messages in This Conversation. The Advanced Find dialog box will appear, summarizing all related emails.
28. Set a reminder to reply to a message. Right-click the message you want to set the reminder for, select Follow Up, and then click Add Reminder. In the Custom dialog box, select a Due date, make sure the Reminder box is checked, then click OK.
29. Eliminate redundant threads. To eliminate redundant email threads, on the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Clean Up, and select Clean Up Conversation to eliminate redundancies in the current message, or Clean Up Folder to eliminate redundancies for the entire folder. Note: This does not work with Microsoft Exchange unless Use Cached Exchange Mode is on. Otherwise, Clean Up is grayed out.
30. View email messages by conversation. On the View tab, in the Conversationsgroup, select the Show as Conversations check box, then click All Folders or This folder. Note: This feature works only if emails are sorted by date received. Otherwise, the Conversations group is grayed out.
31. Quickly test the hyperlink in the message you just wrote. Press Ctrl and click the hyperlink to launch it in a new browser window to verify it works properly.
32. Enter today’s date. To enter today’s date into Excel, press Ctrl+; (the semicolon key).
33. Selecting data. To select a large range of contiguous data cells, click on any cell in the range and press Ctrl+A.
34. Define names quickly. Select a table range (using the Ctrl+A method described in tip 33), click Ctrl+Shift+F3 simultaneously, select the appropriate check box to indicate where the column (or row) labels are located, then click OK. This action will quickly create defined names for each column and row. (Press F5 to see your results.)
35. AutoSum shortcut. The AutoSum tool is quick, but faster still is selecting a cell at the bottom of a column and pressing Alt+=, which inserts the =Sum() function just likeAutoSum does.
36. Quickly convert a column of formulas to values. Highlight a column containing formulas, right-click and drag the edge of the column to the right, then drag it back to its original position, and release the mouse button, then select Copy Here as Values Onlyfrom the popup menu.
37. Keep leading zeros. To paste numbers into Excel and preserve the leading zeros, first format the cells as Text, then paste the data using Paste Special, Text.
38. Dropdown lists tip. To make a dropdown list on one worksheet, refer to a list of data on a different worksheet, highlight the list, and name it from the Formulas tab, by selecting Define Name, and then enter a name (such as employees) and click OK. Then, on a different worksheet, create a dropdown list from the Data tab by selecting Data Validationfrom the Data Tools group, select List from the Allow dropdown box, and in the Sourcebox, type = and the name you defined (or in this example, enter =employees), then click OK.
39. Custom Ribbons. Excel 2010 allows you to create your own custom Ribbon tab, as follows. Right-click on any Ribbon tab and select Customize the Ribbon, then click theNew Tab button, add commands from the left pane using the Add>> button, as desired, then click OK.
40. Produce a quick chart. To quickly create a chart, select the data cells you want to chart and press the F11 key.
41. Ergonomics. Monitors positioned at eye level allow you to work longer and with less fatigue. Keyboards positioned so your arms are parallel to the ground (and not resting on the edge of the desk) ensure proper blood flow to your wrist and hands.
42. Lighting. A mixture of fluorescent and incandescent lighting along with natural sunlight helps avoid eye fatigue and will keep you more productive.
43. Computer chair. A chair with wheels positioned on a solid floor (or carpet protector) enables you to position your chair properly when working at the computer, and also enables you to get in and out of your chair comfortably.
44. Ergonomic keyboard. An ergonomic keyboard shaped to fit your natural arm positions can help prevent wrist injuries.
WEBSITES AND FREE STUFF
45. Share shorter links. Instead of sending someone a long URL (webpage address), you can convert that long URL into a short URL for free at tinyurl.com.
46. Find nearby gas prices. Gas Buddy (gasbuddy.com) provides a website and smartphone app that lists gas prices in your area (sorted lowest to highest), and the smartphone version of the app guides you there with turn-by-turn directions.
47. Look up phone numbers. White Pages (whitepages.com) provides free residential and business phone number, address, and reverse lookups, and usually is a better choice than the many websites that charge for the same service.
48. Do Not Call Registry. To minimize unsolicited phone calls, visit the National Do Not Call Registry (donotcall.gov) to add your phone number and report offenders.
49. Expand your thinking. The Ted website (ted.com) features more than 1,000 interesting, insightful, thought-provoking presentations and ideas from around the world.
50. Video email. The Eyejot website (eyejot.com) allows you to record and send free video email messages.