Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Organize Your Digital Photos

There are many ways to organize digital photos, but it can be overwhelming. Here are a few ways to make it a bit easier.

1. Windows makes it easy - you can select a group of photos, right-click and choose to rename them. Choose a name, such as "Christmas 2009 Photos" and Windows will rename all of them with that name and a sequential number. Not my best choice - if you're like us, you take a few different sets of pictures before you download them from your camera. But, it is a free and simple option.

2. Windows Live, by Microsoft, has a FREE downloadable program called Windows Live Photo Gallery. It allows you to tag photos and find them quickly.

3. Siren - also does bulk renaming, while allowing you to search by lots of different information that is collected from the file. It's Freeware, downloadable software.

4. Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 - one of my favorites. It's a much cheaper version of Adobe Photoshop, but it still has many features of the full version. The newest version is very user friendly and adds an organizational element that makes it very easy to create a photo album that is searchable by a lot of different information collected from the file.

Try any of these (Adobe has a Free Trial) and see which one works best for you.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mouse-less Right-Click

People are always asking me how I am so fast on the computer. My answer is that I try to keep my hands on the keyboard and avoid the mouse as much as I can. Really? Yes, really!

There are many shortcuts I have provided in my Tips and Newsletters and I will continue to do so. One easy one that many people do not know is that you can use your Keyboard to do a Mouse Right-Click. You've been told for years to Right-click whenever possible to receive shortcut menus. Well, you do not need your mouse to perform a Right-click.

Find the button below on your keyboard. It is usually located next to the CTRL button.



Simply press the ALT key and this button and the right-click (or shortcut) menu will appear.

Use your arrow keys to navigate the menu and press ENTER to select an item.

HINT: Shift + F10 also works to perform the mouse right-click.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Create Excel Forms

There are a few ways to create forms within Excel. Here, I will show you (in my opinion) the easiest.

An easy example to use is a Timesheet or Expense form.

First, type in the information as you would like it captured. You may type in the line descriptions or categories for the Expenses and place colored cells for the areas in which you want users to type in their actual expense amount. Once the form is created, you will "unlock" the cells (the colored cells in my example) that you wish the user to input data.

To do this, click on Format Cells and click on the "Protection" tab. On this tab you will notice that the cells are "locked" by default. Simply uncheck the box and click OK.

Next, click on Tools Protection and choose "Protect Sheet" (or "Protect Workbook" if you are working with more than one Sheet). This will open a separate window asking you what you would like to protect. In the "Allow all users of this worksheet to" area, make sure the only item checked is "Select unlocked cells".

NOTE: When you are Protecting a Sheet or Workbook, Excel will ask you for a password. Make sure you choose a password if you do not want users to edit the form. Excel does NOT require you to use a password.

Finally, click File Save As and choose "Excel Template" from the "Save as Type" drop down. This will save your file in the default folder. If you are working on a network, be sure and get with your administrator for the exact location to save this file.

Now that you have saved your form, users will simply click File New and choose "on my computer" for the location of the template. Once the users double-click to open the template, they will only be able to type information in the unlocked cells.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Outlook Reply Button Missing

I often hear people say "I no longer see the Forward, Reply, and Reply to All buttons on my emails. How do I get this information back?"

Something has happened to change your View options, thus, not showing the Standard Toolbar.

In the View menu click Toolbars and click on "Standard." This will show the Standard Toolbar with the Forward, Reply, and other buttons.

It's that simple.

Add Row Numbers in Excel

There are any number of formulas you can use in column A that will return a row number.

Perhaps the easiest is to use the ROW function, like this:

=ROW( )
This formula returns the row number of the cell in which the formula appears.

If you want to offset the row number returned (for instance, if you have some headers in rows 1 and 2 and you want cell A3 to return a row value of "1", then you can modify the formula to reflect the desired adjustment:
=ROW( )-2

Of course, the ROW function isn't the only formula that will perform this function. Look for more Go Ask Debbie Tips on using Excel formulas and functions directly at Go Ask Debbie.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Add a Graphic to your Email Signature

To add a little more personality to your Email Signature, you may want to add a Graphic.

It may seem complicated, but is actually quite simple. Just follow these steps:

In Outlook, go to Tools Options.

Once in the Options Dialogue Window, click on the Mail Format Tab.

On the Mail Format Tab, click on "Signatures" - the button is located at the bottom of the screen.


From there, you may Edit a Current Signature or Choose to Create a New Signature.

Once in the Signature Window, click on the "Advanced Edit" button. This will open your current HTML editor, which will be Microsoft Word for most people.


You will see your Signature open in a Word window. Place your cursor in the location you wish to place your Graphic.

Choose Insert Picture From File (assuming you are inserting something other than Clipart).

Edit the size of your graphic, if needed. Click on the Save Icon within Word. And click the OK buttons all the way back to your Tools Options window. At this point, Outlook defaults your current signature for New Messages - choose the appropriate options you wish and click OK.

Now your Signature has a Graphic and looks more professional!

PowerPoint Presentation Shortcuts

Most people know how to scroll through a PowerPoint Presentation using the Mouse to move Forward from Screen to Screen. However, when it comes to other things, most people tend to get stuck.

Here are some very easy Keyboard Shortcuts that will help you move through your presentation like a Pro!

Press N: Moves you to the next slide.
Press P: Moves you to the previous slide.
Enter the slide number, press ENTER: Moves you to that specific slide.
Press ESC: Cancels a slide show.
Press B: Blanks your presentation with a black screen. Press B again to return.
Press W: Blanks your presentation with a white screen. Press W again to return.
Press SHIFT+F10: Displays the shortcut menu.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Transpose Columns in Excel

Sometimes data that you have in Columns may look better in Rows, or vice versa.

To transpose Columns to Rows (or Rows to Columns) in Excel, is very easy. To do this, follow these simple steps:

1. Highlight the data you wish to transpose.

2. Click the Copy button.

3. Click into an empty cell (Note: it must be in a location separate from your current data or you may run into problems).

4. Right-click and choose "Paste Special".

5. On the Paste Special sub-menu, click the "Transpose" check box and click OK.

Remember, for this to work your data must truly be in a data format. If there are Blank Rows or Columns and/or the data is all in One Column or Row, the Transpose feature will not know what to do with your data.

Outlook Fax Numbers as E-mails

How many times have you tried to send an e-mail, only to have a FAX number show up in the E-mail field? Since Outlook is setup to FAX electronically, FAX numbers will show up when trying to send e-mails.

To avoid this, try one of these options:

1. Type the FAX number for your Contacts in a field OTHER than the FAX field.

OR

2. Type an Alpha Character in front of the Fax number (such as: FAX623-555-1111). This will trick Outlook into thinking this is not a valid Fax number and will stop it from appearing in your E-mails.

OR

3. There are software programs you can purchase that will automatically do this for you, but there will be a cost involved. So, I recommend one of the above "quick-fixes".

Monday, November 9, 2009

Outlook 2007 Calendar Invitation Bug

When updating a Calendar Invitation, there are times you do not want to Send the Update to everyone invited. With prior versions of Outlook, you were given options when Saving. Unfortunately, Outlook 2007 missed this crucial step.

Let's say, for example, you want to add some Notes that you do not want all Attendees to see.

If clicking the X to close the form does not offer the "Save, no updates" option, follow these steps:

Click Save.

Choose the "Don't save but keep open" option.

Click X to close.

Choose the "Don't Save" option.

Open the meeting - it should have your Notes saved but no update gets sent. Hopefully this will be fixed in the next version of Outlook.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Edit a PowerPoint Show

Have you ever received a .PPS file and wanted to change it or open it directly in PowerPoint?

You can do this a few different ways, but one fast way is to Right-Click on the File Name (MySlideShow.pps for example) and choose "Rename".

Rename the file with .PPT (MySlideShow.ppt) as the file extension, replacing the .PPS.

Now, when you double-click the file, it will open using PowerPoint and you may edit the file from there.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Join Cells in Excel

Do you need a Full Name field to import into a particular program? But, you only have First Name and Last Name fields in Excel? There are many times when you need to Merge or Join Cells in Excel - this tip shows you how easy it really is:

Insert a New Column.
Type =CONCATENATE(Cell1,Cell2,etc)

Using the formula above, here is an example of the results:
Cell1 Cell2 Cell3 RESULTS
Go Ask Debbie GoAskDebbie

If these are the results you wish, simply Copy the formula down the column to include all rows you wish.

But, let's say you need a Space or a Comma between each of the cells once they have been merged. To do this, type your formula as follows:

=CONCATENATE(Cell1," ",Cell2," ",etc)

This would create the following result from the above scenario "Go Ask Debbie". Notice now there are spaces between the cell contents.

Get creative this can help you create many different types of results.

More Word Shortcut Keys

If you enjoy shortcuts (who wouldn't?), here are some more Shortcut Keys that will help you become faster in Word.

Ctrl + K = Insert hyperlink
Ctrl + Z = Undo
Ctrl + Y = Redo
Ctrl + L = Aligns the line or selected text to the left
Ctrl + E = Aligns the line or selected text to the center
Ctrl + R = Aligns the line or selected text to the right
Ctrl + M = Indent the paragraph

Practice these handy tips and you may forget about your mouse :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Use PowerPoint to Create a Photo Presentation

Everyone has probably received an e-mail (or a thousand) of a PowerPoint Slideshow Presentation showing off Beautiful Pictures, right?!

Well, you can do this very easily by following these steps:

With PowerPoint open, click on Insert Picture Photo Album (in PowerPoint 2007, choose "Photo Album" from the Insert Tab).

In the dialog box that opens, you will choose your photos by clicking on the "File/Disk" button.

Browse to locate your pictures (it will help to have these organized into a folder prior to opening PowerPoint).

Insert the photos and choose the Layout, Frame, and Template styles.

Once you are ready, click on "Create".

You have now created the Slideshow!

However, not all people will have PowerPoint, so if you plan on sending the Photo Presentation via e-mail, you may want to "Save As" a ".pps" file type. This format will open using any Internet Browser.

Create Your Own Shortcuts

If you're not an expert, it can take many clicks and a lot of menu navigations to perform basic tasks. With shortcut keys, you can speed up your working pace without lifting your hands from the keyboard.

In Word, you can create your own keyboard shortcuts! For example, if you are using the "Word Count" feature often, you can assign any key combination like Alt+W to run the Word Count command.

Follow these simple steps to create your own shortcuts keys for your favorite command:

Go to the Tools menu and click on Customize. (Hint: In Word 2007, the Customize Option is located on the "Office" button)

In the dialog box that opens, click on the "Keyboard..." button.

A list of all the categories of commands will appear on the left side of a new dialog box.

Click on the Category that contains the command which you want to assign a shortcut key.

From the right side, choose the Command you want to assign a keyboard shortcut and then Type or

Click the key combination you want to use to create the shortcut.

Now click on the Assign button and then click Close.

Now, when you are ready to perform the command, simply use your Shortcut Keys that you just setup.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Change E-mail Format

Do you send e-mails to someone on a mobile device? They probably will be able to read your e-mails easier if you send them as "plain text". You can setup their e-mail account so that they always receive your e-mails as plain text, without you having to remember each time you send them an e-mail.

To do so, follow these simple steps:

Open your Contacts Folder in Outlook.

Double-click the desired contact.

Double-click the email address in the top right section of the contact. (You may have to click the drop down to select an alternate address)

From the "Internet Format" drop down, choose "Send Plain Text only".

Click OK.

Save and Close the Contact.

Now the recipient will always receive your e-mails as plain text.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Outlook Calendar Count Down

Outlook doesn't support creating calendar items that countdown (or count up) to a specific date. You'll need to create each item individually. The easiest way to do this is outside of Outlook, using a program like Excel, and import the file to the Calendar. You can use this method with any version of Excel and Outlook, although some steps might be slightly different in older versions of either program.

If you have another spreadsheet program, such as Works, you may need to save it as a CSV or text file to import into Outlook.

Create your series in a spreadsheet program - Excel makes it very easy because it allows you to drag and fill cells in a series, changing the numbers in each row. At the very least you need two columns, Date and Subject. (Outlook uses "Start Date" as the name of the date field.)

Tip: A Categories field will make it easier to delete the items if you make a mistake when importing. If you want to use other fields, create one sample record in an new calendar folder and export it to Excel so you know what fields you need. This will eliminate the need to map fields during the import process.

To begin with "today" in Excel, press Ctrl+; (semi-colon) in the first data row of the date column.

Select the cell and drag down to fill the column with consecutive dates, stopping at the date you are counting down to. Common Excel tricks such as entering two non-consecutive dates in a column and dragging allows you to create a pattern, such as weekly or every other day. (You can use this with birthdays too.) If the fill doesn't use a series, click on the Smart tag and choose series.

Go to the last date and enter your subject line. Use a number as the first or last character and Excel will complete the series when you drag. Either type the subject line twice or drag it up one cell and change the 0 to 2, as in the screenshot.

Select both cells in the subject column and drag up. Excel will complete the series.

Select the entire used range and type a name for it in the named range field above column A.

Save and close the workbook.

Now it's time to import it into Outlook.

Select File Import and Export

Select Import from another program or file.

Select the program or file type. In this example, we're using Excel to create the file, so we choose Microsoft Excel.
Browse for the file. (Make sure the file is Closed in Excel or you will receive an error.)

Select the Calendar folder you want to Import the file into.

Click to check the box beside Import [named range] to [folder] and if fields need mapped the Map Custom fields dialog opens.

Outlook doesn't recognize Date, so you will need to drag it to "Start Date" and Outlook will add it to the Mapped From column next to Start Date.








Click Finish to import your items.

Friday, October 2, 2009

PowerPoint Object Alignment

You can easily align objects to the left, right, or center.

To do this, follow these steps:

Select your objects by clicking each one while holding the Shift Key.

Click the Draw button. It's located near the bottom-left of your screen.

Select Align or Distribute.

OR Click the Option of your preference, such as Left Align, Right Align etc.

The object(s) will be automatically aligned.

Change Sentence Case in Word

What's the quickest way to change an entire sentence to UPPERCASE, lowercase, or Block Letters?

Here's how you do it.

Select the sentence you want to change.

Hold down the Shift key.

Press F3.

Each time you press F3 it will change the UPPER, lower or Block Case, like this.


Shift + F3, Everything is CAPITAL
"SELECT THE SENTENCE YOU WANT TO CHANGE"

Shift + F3, all letters are in Block.
"Select The Sentence You Want To Change"

Shift + F3, all letters are in lowercase.
"select the sentence you want to change"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Outlook Calendar Shortcut

Would you prefer to view 4 days on your Outlook Calendar, instead of the 5 or 7 or 30 day view given as options on the toolbar? Or perhaps 2 or 3 days at a time?

To change the number of days in the view, simply press the ALT key and the number of days you wish to view.

For Example, if you wish to view 9 days, press ALT and 9.

This shortcut works on 1-10 days. (For 10, press the number 0)

Excel Scaled Printing

Excel spreadsheets can get very large, very quickly. And, how do you fit all of that information on one page? Well, you may need more than one page, but Excel allows you to scale your data as much as you need.

To scale your spreadsheet, follow these steps:

Choose File Page Setup

Select the "Page" Tab (Should be the Default Tab)

In the Scaling area of the dialog window, specify how you would like to scale the document. You have the option to scale to a percentage or fit to a certain number of pages that you wish.

Once you have chosen the Scaling options, I recommend to click on the Print Preview button to make sure the spreadsheet will print how you would like.

Should you need to make changes, simply Close the Print Preview window and you will return to the Page Setup to make any necessary adjustments prior to printing.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Word Background Blues

If the white background hurts your eyes or is distracting to you, Word allows you to change the appearance of the screen so that you have a blue background with white text.

Many people find the blue background more pleasant and easier on the eyes. You can change this appearance of Word by following these steps if you are using a version of Word prior to Word 2007:

Click on the Tools menu and choose Options. Word displays the Options dialog box.

Select the General Tab.

Click the check box "Blue Background, White Text".

Click on OK.

Hopefully this tip can save a few strained eyes :)

Excel Conditional Formatting

Excel includes a powerful feature that allows you to dynamically change the formatting of individual cells based on the results being displayed in that cell. For instance, you could make the text in the cell larger and red if a result is less than a certain threshold. Likewise, you could color the background of a cell based on the result of a formula.

To take advantage of conditional formatting, follow these steps:

Enter your cell formula as you normally would.

Choose Conditional Formatting from the Format menu. Excel displays the Conditional Formatting dialog box.

Use the controls in the dialog box to specify the threshold or ranges you want to set for formatting to be changed.

Click on the "Format" button to edit the formatting you wish to appear when the condition is True.

Click on OK to close the Format Cells dialog box.

Click on the Add button and define more conditions (and formats), if desired.

Click on the OK button to close the Conditional Formatting dialog box.

You should now see the formatting in all of the cells that meet the condition.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Naming Excel Worksheet Tabs

If you have large Excel spreadsheets with multiple Tabs, it may help you to Name each Tab with a name that is relative to the data contained within the Tab.

As a default, Excel opens three (3) worksheets. Each worksheet has a Tab at the bottom of the screen named "Sheet1", "Sheet2", and "Sheet3". Obviously these mean nothing if you have data on Sheet2 that is February's data.

To rename the Tabs, simply follow these steps:

1) Double-click the Tab and Replace the name "Sheet1" with whatever you would like it to be. For example, "JAN" for January's data.

2) Once you have typed the new name, simply click ENTER.

Now the Tab makes more sense and will help you move amongst the Tabs quicker.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Social Media Websites

Social media, as defined by Wikipedia, are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.

In layman's terms - websites where people can interact quickly and easily through technology.

Some of you may already be using these sites, but many people are still overwhelmed or simply think they are a waste of time and privacy. Apparently over 250 million people do not agree.

Here are some tips to help you get over the hurdle and try one or maybe two of these sites.

First, you don't have to be a computer geek or expert.

Second, you don't have to spend a lot of time on these sites.

Third, join only one site to get started. Who knows, once you join, you may get addicted and want to join more - go ahead, most of them are FREE or have a FREE version (paid by advertisements).


If you eventually choose to join more sites, there are sites that will post to many sites at once, saving you valuable time.

Here are a couple of the most popular sites and a bit of information on them.

Facebook -

  • Surpassed Twitter as the number one in membership of around 250 million!
  • A site to share photos, information and thoughts with friends and family.
  • People often post daily information, but it is acceptable that some people may not share information that often.

Twitter -

  • A macro social media website where people answer the question "What are you doing now?"
  • I think a bit overkill, as people mention when they are using the facilities and, personally, I don't need to know that much about my friends and family.
  • Used properly, it is similar to Facebook where people share information and thoughts.

LinkedIn -

  • More of a business networking website.
  • Many groups are setup for specific industries where you can share information and possibly post job openings or job searching needs.

I would start with one of these, as they offer ease of use and a simple few questions and you can join.

There are hundreds of these sites available - many that are specific to certain industries. For example, MySpace used to be a friend and dating website and now has turned into a site mostly used by the music industry.

Below is a list of more sites to get you started. However, I want to make sure you remember this one VERY IMPORTANT FACT (especially for youth that like to share personal info) - it is not a good idea to share too much information on these sites. Remember privacy and security are still big issues, as well as the fact that once you've posted something, there is usually NO deleting it and everyone (in the world sometimes) can read and see the information and/or pictures you've posted! And, please, remember that it is not appropriate (or fun for others) to use bad language.

Digg - Social News website

Yelp - Localized site, allowing businesses to advertise and consumers to find local info

Flickr - Website allowing users to share photography and receive comments from other members.

ActiveRain - Site for the Real Estate industry to share information and provide consumers information.

Hugg - Social News website geared towards environmental issues.

And, let's not forget YouTube - yes, this is a form of Social Media website. Here, people share information in the form of videos.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mouse Tips

Are you Left Handed? I mean truly Left-Handed, meaning you write and use the mouse with your Left Hand?

If you are and you haven't setup your mouse for Left-Handed use, follow these steps.

Open the Control Panel by clicking on the Start Button Settings Control Panel.

Within the Control Panel, double-click Mouse Icon. This will open your mouse controls dialog.

On the Buttons Tab, choose "Switch Primary and Secondary Buttons". This will Reverse the mouse buttons, making it much easier for truly Left-Handed individuals.

Now, the right button on the mouse will be used for single-clicking and the left button will be used for double-clicking. This means that a Left-Handed person will use the same fingers, thus making the mouse much easier to use.

In the Control Panel, Mouse Controls Dialog, there are many other options - not just the options for Left-Handed users.

One option that I find helps users is to change the double-clicking speed to be specific for their own speed. NOTE: Do not change this option if there are multiple users on your computer - what may be comfortable for you, may not be for someone else.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Save a File as a PDF

Often there are times when you need to send a file in which it cannot be edited. One of the easiest and most universal ways to do this is to create a PDF file format. PDF stands for Portable Document Format.

Adobe Reader is the most widely used software allowing users to view PDF file types, and it is FREE. There are other programs available, but you will notice that Adobe Reader is often the program that is pre-installed on new computers and most often used by businesses. Most of you have probably used this program.

However, the question of the day is "How do I create a PDF file?"

There are many ways to create a PDF file.

1) Use a Scanner that will save the file as a PDF
There are many drawbacks to this - the scanners can be expensive and the document must be printed prior to running through the scanner.

2) Use Adobe Writer
This is a separate program that must be purchased and is rather expensive. However, the advantage to having this program is that you can Edit certain PDF files (as long as they were not scanned as an image and as long as they are not protected).

3) Users with Microsoft Office 2007® may install the Add-in that allows files to be saved as a PDF.

4) Download a FREE PDF Creation software
There are many PDF Creation software programs that can be downloaded FREE from the Internet. This, in my opinion, is the best option for most people.

Some of the FREE programs available include
CutePDF, PrimoPDF, and pdf995. I have found these to be very small installations and very user friendly programs. To save the file as a PDF, most of these programs use the Print option which then creates the PDF.

With technology evolving so quickly these days, it is hard to keep up. I hope this has given you some good options on PDFs.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kids and Internet Safety

It is no surprise that our kids know how to surf the Internet better and faster than we do - they've grown up with it... they don't know a world without it.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of online predators and I've found that SafeKids.com has some great resources for helping parents become educated about the Internet. It explains how to communicate with kids and helps kids and parents know what to look for when it comes to safety.

Click the link below for some Safe Blogging and Social Media Tips from SafeKids.com.

How to Add Watermarks

Have you ever wanted to add a Watermark to a Word document and didn't know how? It's really quite simple.

With your document open, simply click on View Header & Footer.

From there, your document text will appear to be "shaded" - this helps you to see the Header or Footer information with which you are working.

Simply click Insert Picture and then choose to insert a File on your Computer or to choose a Graphic from Clipart. Once you find your Graphic, double-click to insert it into your Header & Footer area.

Next, Right-Click the Graphic and choose "Format Picture" from the sub-menu.

If you are not already, be sure and click on the "Picture" Tab. In the middle of this screen, you will see Image Control / Color. Click on the Drop-Down and choose "Washout".

Click OK to return to your document.

Notice that the image is now very light in color. Now, simply close your Header & Footer by clicking on the CLOSE button on the Toolbar.

Once back in your document, you will notice that the Image is behind the text of your document and shows up as a Watermark.

A great resource for Images is AZVirtual.com.

Monday, August 17, 2009

How to Learn Word - Select Text

In this blog, I will show you very quickly How to Learn Word - Select Text.

Microsoft Word, and other similar word processing programs, allows you to select text in many different ways depending on your needs. As with most software these days, there are many ways to do the same thing. I will mention a few.

1) To select a single letter, number, or symbol, you will need to Click and Drag your mouse to highlight the item.

2) To select an entire word, simply Double-Click the word.

3) To select a line, move your mouse to the left margin (the mouse will turn into a right-pointing arrow) and Single Click.

4) To select a paragraph, move your mouse to the left margin (the mouse will turn into a right-pointing arrow) and Double-Click.

5) To select the text of the entire document, move your mouse to the left margin (the mouse will turn into a right-pointing arrow) and Triple-Click.

There may be times when you do not wish to select an entire paragraph, or the entire document, but need to select a particular sentence or a few words. To do this, you will Click and Drag your mouse just as you do in selecting a single character.

Often times people have difficulty doing this. A hint I like to give to my trainees is to use your Arrow Keys on the keyboard. To do this simply place your cursor in the desired position and while Holding the Shift Key, use your Arrow Keys to move the highlighted (selected) area to the position of your choice.

How to Learn Word is to take things one topic at a time. Microsoft Word, and many other Microsoft Office programs, is a very complex program that can do many valuable things - but when people are overwhelmed, they tend to not use the program to its fullest.

Bottom line on How to Learn Word - take it one step at a time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Clear History in Internet Explorer

Simply put, History Adds Up! If you surf the net on a regular basis and do not Clear your History, you will create a HUGE History File; thus, making it difficult to find pages, not to mention the hard drive space you could be taking. You should NOT use your History as a way of finding Internet pages, use the Favorites instead.

On a regular basis (at the very least, monthly), you need to follow these steps:

Open Internet Explorer.

Choose Tools Internet Options.

In the Internet Options Window, simply click "Delete" in the Browsing History area. Depending on how long it has been since you last performed this option, this may take a few minutes.

Once completed, click the OK button to exit the Internet Options Window.

Outlook Recurring Appointments

Did you know that you can setup recurring appointments in Outlook? I have seen many people forget meetings, appointments, etc - and these are the ones that happen on a regular basis. Our lives are too busy these days, so we need to learn to take advantage of the power of Outlook.

To setup a Recurring Appointment (one that happens every month, for example), follow these steps:

Open your Calendar.

Double Click the date of the next appointment (or choose File New Appointment).

Type in the Subject, Location, Date, and Time, as usual.

Click on "Recurrence" on the Toolbar.

Once the Recurrence Windows opens, choose all options that apply to your recurring appointment (for example: Monthly, Every 28th Day, etc).




You have the option of setting up the recurrence for a certain time period. You may have the recurrence appear 10 times on your Calendar, for example OR you may choose to have it End after a certain date.

After you have made all of your choices, click the OK button.

Once you have returned to the Calendar, you will see the recurrence details. Click Save and Close and you have now successfully setup a Recurring Appointment.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Two Simple Steps to Create a Contact from an E-mail

How many times have you received an e-mail and wanted to save the person's e-mail address into your Contacts folder? It is simple to do this. In this article, I will show you how.

These two steps are specific to Microsoft Outlook, but many other E-mail programs are very similar.

1) Open the E-mail message that contains the name you want to add to your Contact List.

2) In the From field, Right-Click the name you want to make into a contact and choose "Add to Outlook Contacts" on the Shortcut menu.

Once you choose this option, the Outlook Contact Window will open, allowing you to add more information or to simply Save and Close. The Contact has now been added to your Contacts Folder.

It really is that simple.

One more tip about Outlook - did you know you can Flag just about anything in Outlook? How about setting a Reminder to follow up on this new Contact you just added? To add Flags & Reminders, follow these short steps:

Before you click on Save and Close, click on the RED Flag on the Toolbar. This opens the Flag for Reminder window. Here you may choose the Color of the Flag and a Reminder Date and Time which will alert you to follow up. You may also change the name of the Follow up. In the drop down menu, choose from "Call", "Arrange Meeting", "Send E-mail", or "Send Letter". You may also type your own text in the Follow up box.

For these and more quick and simple computer tips and tricks, visit GoAskDebbie.com.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

12 Tips for E-mail Etiquette

Don't you wish that every person who received a new e-mail account had to agree to follow certain rules to use it? There are certain professional standards expected for e-mail use. Here are some things to keep in mind regarding professional e-mail conduct:

1) Be informal, not sloppy. Your co-workers may use commonly accepted abbreviations in e-mail; but when communicating with external customers, everyone should follow standard writing protocol. Your e-mail message reflects you and your company, so traditional spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules apply.
http://www.law.missouri.edu/lande/writingguidelines.htm

2) Keep messages brief and to the point. Just because your writing is grammatically correct does not mean that it has to be long. Nothing is more frustrating than wading through an e-mail message that is twice as long as necessary. Concentrate on one subject per message whenever possible.

3) Use sentence case. USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS LOOKS AS IF YOU'RE SHOUTING. Using all lowercase letters looks lazy. For emphasis, use asterisks or bold formatting to emphasize important words. Do not, however, use a lot of colors or graphics embedded in your message, because not everyone uses an e-mail program that can display them.

4) Use the blind copy and courtesy copy appropriately. Don't use BCC to keep others from seeing who you copied; it shows confidence when you directly CC anyone receiving a copy. Do use BCC, however, when sending to a large distribution list; so recipients won't have to see a huge list of names. Be cautious with your use of CC; overuse simply clutters in-boxes. Copy only people who are directly involved.

5) Don't use e-mail as an excuse to avoid personal contact. Don't forget the value of face-to-face or even voice-to-voice communication. E-mail communication isn't appropriate when sending confusing or emotional messages. If you have a problem with someone, speak with that person directly. Don't use e-mail to avoid an uncomfortable situation or to cover up a mistake.

6) Remember that e-mail isn't private. I've seen people fired for using e-mail inappropriately. E-mail is considered company property and can be retrieved, examined, and used in a court of law. Unless you are using an encryption device (hardware or software), you should assume that e-mail over the Internet is not secure. Never put in an e-mail message anything that you wouldn't put on a postcard. Remember that e-mail can be forwarded, so unintended audiences may see what you've written. You might also inadvertently send something to the wrong party, so always keep the content professional to avoid embarrassment.

7) Be sparing with group e-mail. Send group e-mail only when it's useful to every recipient. Use the "reply all" button only when compiling results requiring collective input and only if you have something to add. Recipients get quite annoyed to open an e-mail that says only "Me too!"

8) Use the Subject Field to indicate content and purpose. Don't just say, "Hi!" or "From Jane." Be as specific as you can.

9) Don't send chain letters, virus warnings, or junk mail.Always check a reputable anti-virus Web site or your IT department before sending out an alarm. If a constant stream of jokes from a friend annoys you, be honest and ask to be removed from the list. Direct personal e-mail to your home e-mail account.

10) Remember that your tone can't be heard in e-mail. Have you ever attempted sarcasm in an e-mail, and the recipient took it the wrong way? E-mail communication can't convey the nuances of verbal communication. In an attempt to infer tone of voice, some people use emoticons, but use them sparingly so that you don't appear unprofessional. Also, don't assume that using a smiley will diffuse a difficult message.

11) Use a signature that includes contact information. To ensure that people know who you are, include a signature that has your contact information, including your mailing address, Web site, and phone numbers.

12) Summarize long discussions. Scrolling through pages of replies to understand a discussion is annoying. Instead of continuing to forward a message string, take a minute to summarize it for your reader. You could even highlight or quote the relevant passage, then include your response. Some words of caution:
Use these suggestions as a starting point to create e-mail etiquette rules that will help your team stay efficient and professional.

For more E-Mail training, visit GoAskDebbie.com.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Preview Word Documents without Opening

If you are not sure you are opening the correct document, you do not need to open the document fully. Simply follow these steps:

Choose File, Open.

In the Dialog Box, change your View Type to "Preview".



The View Type is the button on your Toolbar that is to the Left of the word "Tools".

This will let you preview the first few paragraphs of the document to ensure you are opening the document you really want.

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Most people think the mouse is the only way to move around in Windows. I've had more than one occasion where the mouse stopped working and the user didn't know what to do. These keyboard shortcuts will help you become faster and can potentially save you some day.

From the beginning of Windows, most keyboard shortcuts remain the same today. Here are just a few:

To Open a Document, press the CTRL and O keys simultaneously (CTRL + O).
To Save a Document, press CTRL + S.
To Print a Document, press CTRL + P.
To open the Menu, press the ALT key. From there, use your arrow keys to maneuver the menus.
To Close a Window (such as Word, Excel, or others), press ALT + F4.
To Spell Check, press the F7 key.
To Copy a section of text that you just typed, press the F4 key.
To Insert a Hyperlink, press CTRL + K.

And, my favorites:
Copy = CTRL + C
Cut = CTRL + X
Paste = CTRL + V

Practice these and you will become much less dependent on the mouse.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Less is More with PowerPoint

Don't make Powerpoint too difficult. Follow these 4 Tips and you will be off to a Great Presentation!

  1. Typeface & Font - Less is more! Choose a simple font. It is easier to read sans serif fonts such as Helvetic, Arial, and Geneva. Aim BIG - larger fonts are easier to read. If you use anything smaller than 18 or 20 point fonts, many people may have trouble seeing.
  2. Colors & Schemes - Keep it simple is the key here. Too much color or too busy of a scheme can be distracting. Also, a white background can give off a glare. Try a dark background with white text.
  3. Bullet Points - Do not overwhelm your audience with text. Use bullets to summarize your presentation. You do not want to read your presentation word for word.
  4. Graphics, Videos, & Charts - Use interactive features to make your presentation interesting, but don't use too many. This can also be distracting. Make your point with a simple graphic and move on.
Powerpoint has exciting tools and features, just beware of too much. The old rule of "Less is More" definitely applies here!

Click here for resources on Presentation Skills.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Welcome to Go Ask Debbie's Blog!

Go Ask Debbie is a website providing computer training. Our philosophy at Go Ask Debbie is “There are no stupid questions, if you don’t know the answer.” I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that over my years of Training. If you don’t know the answer, you need to ask. We, as adults, tend to stop asking questions out of fear. As children, we are constantly asking questions – that’s how we learn.

So, Ask Questions – We’ve Got Answers!