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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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 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). Go to the Insert tab…


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….


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 the V…


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 (___)…


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 button.) Now scroll down to Replies and forwards and…