Convert text slides into engaging SmartArt in PowerPoint

If your PowerPoint slides are packed with engaging ideas that no one reads because your audience gets lost in the sea of gray letters, there’s a quick solution: Make them pop using SmartArt in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010. First, select your bulleted text: Now click the Convert to SmartArt button on the Home tab and…

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Recover and compare autosaves in Office 2010

If you’ve ever wished you could roll back or view an earlier draft of a work in progress, there is a tool in Office that can do just that: Manage Versions, accessible from the File tab in Office 2010: If you want to have more chances to catch content you might at some point need…

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Keeping Internet Explorer at the top of its game

Even the most gifted performers need a little help from their friends sometimes—even the multi-talented Internet Explorer. After all, IE has to do a lot of things, do them well, and do them quickly—no matter how many tabs we’re running. If I had to do all that, I’d get a little breathless sometimes. As a…

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Formula Watch: Using NOW to timestamp your Excel documents – plus shortcuts

If you want to record the time and date while working in Excel, you can use the =NOW() function. Just enter it into any cell: There’s only one problem. As you work in Excel, the NOW function will continue to update. This would be great for keeping track of the current time and date if…

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View and edit styles quickly in Word 2010

If you create your own custom styles or just want a quick way to view and modify existing ones, you should turn on the style area pane in Microsoft Word. The option is tucked away: Go to File, Options, Advanced, and then scroll down to the Display section. Now enter a value in the text…

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Casual Friday: Make your own holiday cards

You probably think of PowerPoint as simply a tool for presentations. But with its powerful layout and design capabilities, you could use it for a lot of different things – from wallpaper and Twitter backgrounds to holiday cards. Even if you have no design sense, you can easily create custom cards from templates available from…

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Remove formatting, hyperlinks, and comments in Excel

Clearing out cells of font mismatches, fill colors, hyperlinks, comments, and conditional formatting doesn’t have to be tedious. There’s a much easier way. First select the cells you want to clear. In Excel 2007, you need to go to the Edit menu and select the Clear command to access Clear Formats. In Excel 2010, Clear…

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Four ways to sweep away desktop clutter in Windows 7

It seems like only yesterday we explored ways to get things done more quickly despite desktop clutter. But there are those (are you reading this, Mom?) who say it’s easier to avoid clutter in the first place. Windows 7 gives me the tools I always wanted to fight clutter—as in: Summoning courage. Because Search is…

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Use Outlook OFT files to prepare mails for others to send

We’ve discussed how to use Outlook OFT files for creating reusable mail templates when you, say, prepare a weekly newsletter to send to customers or deliver regular status reports to your extended team. They’re equally useful when creating a mail for someone else – such as your boss – to send. Personally, I share this…

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Save time saving Office 2010 documents to SharePoint

If you frequently save documents to a team SharePoint site, you may be able to add a shortcut to your Office 2010 desktop applications. To see if this feature is enabled, go to your SharePoint document library and click the Library tab: Now click the Connect to Office button and select Add to SharePoint Sites:…

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