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.

How to Delete Blank Rows in Excel