300 office tips • Special feature
75 tips and tricks for your favourite spreadsheet.
1 Convert rows to the running total of the figures in A1 to Pick the function you require from the
columns list box and click on OK. Now
A5 in the adjacent column.
You can convert rows to columns (and highlight the cells on which you want
5 Remove hyperlinks
columns to rows) by highlighting the the target to perform the function and
from your work click on OK.
cells you want to switch around,
If Excel has already converted your
clicking on Edit, Copy, selecting a new
cell and then going to Edit, Paste written URL into a hyperlink, you can
Special… Finally, place a tick in the cancel it by right-clicking on the
Transpose box on the dialog box and offending address and selecting
click on OK. Hyperlink, Remove Hyperlink from
the menu that pops up.
6 Fit wide tables to the
Enter in a cell the formula =A2-A1,
where A1 is the earlier date, and A2 To make your tables fit neatly on the
page, click on File, Page Setup…,
the later one. Don’t forget to convert
select the Page tab, click on the Fit to:
the target cell to number format – do
radio button and pick 1 page wide.
this by highlighting the cell, clicking on
Format, Cells…, picking on the Click on the tall box and press
Number tab and selecting Number [Delete], leaving the box empty.
from the Category: list.
7 Hide your data from 11 Customise your Excel converts Web site
3 Enter URLs as text, addresses to hyperlinks
prying eyes automatically. Right-click
not hyperlinks If you want to hide from view any on them to remove the link.
To prevent Excel from converting sensitive data, highlight the relevant If you use the same list over and over
cell and click on Format, Cells… Click
written Internet addresses into in different worksheets, you might want
on the Numbers tab, select Custom
hyperlinks, add an apostrophe to the to add it to your AutoFill list – this will
from the Category: list, double-click
beginning of the address, for example save you heaps of time in future.
‘www.futurenet.com. on the Type: input box and enter ;;;. Highlight your list, click on Tools,
Options… and select the Custom Lists
Undo the operation to make your data
4 Calculatetotals tab. Click on Import, then OK.
8 Use template
Enter the numbers to be added in
The Paste Function button
column A, say A1 to A5, then enter enables you to browse
=SUM($A$1:A1) into column B. Templates can save you considerable formulas and is the easiest
way to enter Functions.
Highlight the cells beside the ones with time when you’re setting up a new
worksheet. Click on File, New…, select
numbers in (in our example, B1 to B5)
and go to Edit, Fill, Down. This places the Spreadsheet Solutions tab and
choose a template from the list.
9 Access help for Lotus
If you’ve converted from Lotus 1-2-3
12 Use the
and find Excel confusing, you can
access help specific to your situation by
clicking on Help, Lotus 1-2-3 Help… If you need to calculate a sum based
on a row or a column of figures and
10 Use the browser you can’t be bothered typing in a
formula function, just select your figures and
Select a cell and click on the Paste glance down at the status bar – you’ll
Filling Down – the easy way to perform
Function button on the main toolbar. find the sum of the selected cells there.
April 2001 PCAnswers
Special feature • 300 office tips
➤ Screen. Click on it again to return to a Alignment tab, and then drag the Text
What’s more, if you right-click on the
sum a pop-up menu will appear offering normal window. pointer in the Orientation window.
additional quick calculation functions.
17 Fit text 25 Zoomselection
13 A quick way to automatically your
enter the time You can have Excel display just the area
Make your work look neater by selecting
To enter the current date or time click the relevant column, and clicking on you’re working in by highlighting the
Excel has two distinct date on a cell and type =today() or =now(). Format, Column, AutoFit Selection. relevant cells, clicking on the arrow on
calculators: one returns the
Excel updates the result every time you the Zoom box on the toolbar and
18 Fast copy, no
current date, the other
selecting Selection from the list.
open the sheet, so it’s always current.
returns the creation date.
26 Another default
Pressing [Ctrl] + [‘] is a speedy way to
duplicate the formula or figure in the
cell above the one you’re in. When editing cells the cursor moves
down when you press [Return]. To
19 Fast and easy change the direction click on Tools,
multiple entry Options… and select Edit. Click on the
Move selection after Enter list box and
If you need to enter a formula in several
cells at once, simply select all the target choose another direction from the list.
cells, type your formula as normal and
27 Launch Excel, open
press [Ctrl] + [Enter].
20 Pick cells for Launch Excel, open the file you use
AutoCalculator most often, and click on File, Save
As… In the Save As dialog, navigate to
You can select unconnected cells by
holding down [Ctrl] while you click on the Xlstart folder in your Office folder
and click Save. Now the file will open
the individual cells.
14 EnterExcel time 21 Hide comments to
a fixed automatically when you launch Excel.
28 Set decimal points
If you want Excel to enter the current
date or time and fix it at that point – for You can hide notes and other comments
by using the Insert Comment function. Click on Tools, Options… and select
example, to show the last date the sheet
Highlight a cell, click on Insert, the Edit tab. Place a tick in the Fixed
was modified – click on a cell and press
[Ctrl] + [;] for the date and [Ctrl] + [:] Comment and type your text. Click decimal tick box and use the arrows in
the Places: input box to set the number
for the time. away from the input box when you’ve
finished. The comment will appear of decimal places.
15 Find the currently whenever you pass your mouse over
29 Calculate the
active cell the relevant cell.
If you’ve been scrolling around your
22 Re-colouring the
spreadsheet and you lose your place, To calculate the median value of a
you can jump back to the currently number of figures, say A1 to A10, enter
active cell by pressing the [Ctrl] + =median(A1:A10) into the target cell.
You can change the colour of the grid
[Backspace] keys. by clicking on Tools, Options…,
selecting the View tab, clicking on the
16 See the #NUM!
Color: list box and choosing a new
big picture colour from the palette. Choosing white Excel returns a #NAME! or #NUM!
If you’re working on a large sheet you effectively removes the grid completely. error whenever a formula refers to non-
might want to switch to Full Screen existent names or numbers. To sort it
23 Angle your
mode: simply click on View, Full out, re-enter the formula correctly.
31 Quick sort your
To make Excel display the text in cells at
an angle of 45 degrees, right-click on
the toolbar, select Chart, and pick either The quickest way to sort a column into
of the ab icons on the new toolbar. a hierarchy is to select it and click on
the Sort Ascending or Sort Descending
24 …to like degree
any buttons (the ones with the AZ arrows).
32 Quickly change
If you want custom angles right-click on
Use angled text to add
the cell and select Format Cells…
visual interest to your lists
From the pop-up menu, click on the The quickest way to change a column’s
300 office tips • Special feature
Handy keyboard tips
in the Category: pane, click on the
width or a row’s height is to place your
Type: input box and press [M]
mouse pointer close to the join between
two columns or rows, then click and repeatedly until the desired format is 30 shortcuts to speed up your calculations.
hold down the mouse button, and drag displayed in the Sample area above.
Select the current column [Ctrl] + [Space]
the column or row to the desired size.
40 Quick copy
Select the current row [Shift] + [Space]
Edit the active cell [F2]
Erasing entries column Move to the beginning of the worksheet [Ctrl] + [Home]
while typing Move to the last cell on the worksheet [Ctrl] + [End]
You can fill out the cells in a column by
Paste a name into a formula [F3]
If you mistype your formula, press double-clicking on a cell’s handle.
Paste a function into a formula [Shift] + [F3]
Excel will place copies of the clicked
[Esc] to erase the cell’s content.
Alternate value/formula view [Ctrl] + [`] (on key )
cell in each cell below, stopping when
34 Enter number
Calculate all sheets in all open workbooks [F9]
it reaches a cell with blanks either side. Display the Go To dialog box [F5]
sequences Display the Find dialog box [Shift] + [F5]
(Confused? Try this: enter a figure in
Display the Format Cells dialog box [Ctrl] + 
Enter the first number in a cell, press cell A1, then enter figures in cells B1 to
Create a chart [F11]
the [Ctrl] key, and then click, hold and B5, then double-click on A1’s handle.)
Insert a new sheet [Alt] + [Shift] + [F1]
drag the cell’s handle until you’ve
41 Merge cell
Repeat the last action [F4]
reached the desired number of cells. Repeat Find [Shift] + [F4]
Release the mouse button first, and Open [Ctrl] + [F12]
Exit [Ctrl] + [F4]
then the [Ctrl] key. To merge the contents of cells A1 and
Check spelling of current cell [F7]
B1, click on cell C1 and enter =A1&B1.
35 See formulas at a
Activate the menu bar [F10]
The result is not a sum but a text Display the Macro dialog box [Alt] + [F8]
glance string, so merging 10 and 7 will return Apply outline to active cell [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [&]
You can view all of your formulas at 107, rather than 17. Convert to a percentage [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [%]
Select all filled cells around active cell [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [*]
once by clicking on Tools, Options…,
42 Use dynamic
Move to next sheet [Ctrl] + [Page Down]
selecting the View tab, and placing a
Move to previous sheet [Ctrl] + [Page Up]
tick in the Formulas tick box.
Complete a cell entry and move up [Shift] + [Enter]
You can set Excel to alert you to critical
Complete a cell entry and move right [Tab]
Highlight cells of figures in cells by setting it up so the Complete a cell entry and move left [Shift] + [Tab]
a kind Edit a cell comment [Shift] + [F2]
colour or size of text in a given cell
You can select all the cells of a certain changes whenever a certain condition is
type by using the Special functions. reached. Select a cell (say, the cell
Click on Edit, Go To…, click on the containing the total of your bank be, so this isn’t practical for small cells
Special… button, choose the cell type balance) and click on Format, with lots of content.
from the dialog box and click on OK. Conditional Formatting… Choose the
45 Create hyperlinks
conditions in the pop-up dialog (say
37 Switch off to support files
‘Cell value is less than 0’) and click on
the zeroes the Format… button. Now choose a To place links in cells that enable you
new colour in the Color: list box and
You can prevent zeroes from cluttering to load other documents with one click,
your sheets by clicking on Tools, click on OK. Click on OK again to enter a name for the link in a cell and
finish. From now on Excel will display
Options…, selecting the View tab, and press [Ctrl] + [K]. Click on the File…
unticking the Zero values tick box. your chosen figure in the new colour button. Navigate to the file you wish to
whenever the figure falls below zero. link to. Double-click on it and click
38 Protect OK. From now on, whenever you click
43 Border connected
your work in that cell, Excel will jump to the file.
Open the sheet you wish to protect and
click on File, Save As… Click on the You can place a border around a group content from
General Options… item in the Tools of related cells – all the totals, for overlapping
menu (in the top right corner of the example – by selecting them and
cells by shrinking
clicking on Format, Cells…, then
Save As dialog) and enter a password it to fit.
in the Password to open: input box. selecting the Border tab and clicking
Finally, click on the Save button. You on the Outline button.
might want to make a note of the
44 Shrink entries to
password before continuing.
fit their cells
39 Customise You can force Excel to display the full
your dates text of a cell by using the Shrink to fit
option. Click on Format, Cells…, click
You can customise the format of a date
on the Alignment tab and place a tick
in a cell using the Custom cell formatter.
in the Shrink to fit tick box. Obviously,
To do this, enter a date in a cell, click
on Format, Cells…, click on Custom the more text you have, the smaller it’ll
April 2001 PCAnswers
Special feature • 300 office tips
Bringing up the rear are Microsoft’s email client, presentation, and
DTP software. Here are the hottest 15 tips and 35 shortcuts…
7 Quickly adjust font
separate spell-checking options – tick
Outlook sizes, no mouse!
each box for the optimal spelling
system. If you want to switch the whole Getting the font sizes right is paramount
Find the contact thing off, you should untick the second to a well-designed layout, and if you’re
you’re after quickly box in the list. constantly shifting and resizing frames,
To locate a contact from just a fragment it can become a bit of a headache.
use the Find a Contact input box on However, there is a speedy method for
the main toolbar. Just click on the box switching font sizes without any mouse
Click on Folder, Contacts, select the
and enter what you remember of the operations: highlight the text you wish
contact’s name. Outlook will find the to change and press [Ctrl] + [right
contact you want to email and click on
Actions, New Message to Contact. A
contact and open his or her details in a square bracket] to increase the font size
by a point, and [Ctrl] + [left square
dialog box. new message pane will open with the
contact’s address details already bracket] to decrease it by one point.
entered for you.
You can find out when your mail is read
by sending a receipt request with your
messages. Click on Tools, Options…
and select the Preferences tab. Click on
the E-mail options… and Tracking
Options… buttons on the following
dialog. Finally, place a tick in the You can use the design gallery to store your
own page elements.
Request a read receipt for all
messages I send tick box.
8 Build your own
Find a Contact brings up
2 Shred your waste,
the Contact Properties.
Here you can add, edit or
don’t bin it The Design Gallery is Publisher’s library
remove the contact from
Outlook doesn’t really delete messages, of professionally-designed elements and
your address book.
6 Resize objects using
it places them in the Deleted items objects that help to bring consistent
folder. To delete them click on Tools, design to your projects. It’s handy for
Options..., select the Other tab, and To keep the centre of an object dabblers but pretty useless for
place a tick in the Empty the Deleted in the same place while you more committed users. To
Items folder upon Exiting tick box. resize it, hold down [Ctrl] get the best from the
while you are dragging the Design Gallery, you should
3 Spell check your object’s handles. use it to store your own
outgoing mail objects. To add an object
To spellcheck your email before you to the Gallery, select it and
Let Publisher solve your layout
problems for you with the
send it, click on Tools, Options… and click on Insert, Add
then on the Spelling tab. There are five Selection to Design Gallery…
Enter a name and category in the input
Outlook shortcuts boxes and click OK.
9 Check your design
Five email shortcuts no one should be without,.
Display Inbox [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [I]
Once you’ve finished your project it
Check for new mail [F5]
pays to run it through its paces in the
Reply to selected mail [Ctrl] + [R]
Design Checker and check it for flaws:
Create new mail [Ctrl] + [N]
Send mail [Ctrl] + [Enter] select Tools, Design Checker… and
click on Options… Select the Check
300 office tips • Special feature
all problems radio button and then and slides to the new button will appear
both OK buttons. Publisher now checks once you’ve released the mouse button.
the integrity of your frames, bringing
Five essential DTP shortcuts.
attention to any potential problems,
and suggesting remedies by way of a Toggle frame opacity [Ctrl] + [T]
Nudge frame [Alt] + [Arrow] (any of the four directions)
pop-up dialog box.
Format copy [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [C]
10 No needpaste
Format paste [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [V]
to Toggle current/actual page view [F9]
To copy an object simply select it,
press [Ctrl] and drag it to a new the same place as the line. This
location. The copy is left behind in the means you can align all the
original position. pieces of your document with
Adding buttons is a simple two-step process. very little effort. Once your
elements are in position you
13 Just go
pack can drag the Guides to new
and locations or you can disable
11 Get the most from If you want others to be able to watch them. The frames are
your videos your presentations and you’re not sure unaffected. To activate the
whether they have PowerPoint, use the Guidelines click on View, Guides.
If you’re using a video clip in your
File, Pack and Go… command. This
presentation, make sure it’s in the same
folder as the presentation, otherwise it Pack and Go Wizard enables you to
will display a Find Files dialog when collate all of the presentation elements
run. Once you’ve loaded your film you into one standalone, portable program.
Five shortcuts to increase your speed.
can access its properties by right
Insert slide [Ctrl] + [M]
Make your text
clicking on it and selecting Edit Movie
Move to the next pane [F6]
Object… from the pop-up menu. The Move to the previous pane [Shift] + [F6]
dialog displays the clip’s total playing To add instant pizzazz to your headings Insert a hyperlink [Ctrl] + [K]
Start slide show [F5]
go to WordArt on the Drawing Tools
time and playing options.
menu. You can configure WordArt text
to run in a line, around a circle or in any
other shape. It can be multi-coloured,
3D or textured. Used sparingly,
WordArt can be an eye-opener. These shortcuts work in all Office applications, as
15 Use Guides to
well as some third-party software.
Open [Ctrl] + [O]
place frames Exit [Alt] + [F4]
Guidelines are non-printing lines that Save [Ctrl] + [S]
enable you to align frames with ease. Print [Ctrl] + [P]
Select All [Ctrl] + [A]
When you drop a frame close to a
Cut [Ctrl] + [X]
Guideline it automatically snaps into
Add impact to your presentation with a
Copy [Ctrl] + [C]
Paste [Ctrl] + [V]
12 Add buttons to
Undo [Ctrl] + [Z]
Redo [Ctrl] + [Y]
your slides Help [F1]
Open pop-up menu [Shift] + [F10]
Buttons make your presentation look
Open window control menu [Alt] + [Space]
and feel professional. Activate the
Scroll one page length down [Page Down]
Action Buttons sub-menu on the Slide Scroll one page length up [Page Up]
Show menu and hover your mouse Delete [Delete]
Switch applications [Alt] + [Tab]
pointer over each of the available
Activate menus [F10]
buttons to view their descriptions. To
Close menu [Alt]
use one. click on the button and draw
Select first/last menu item [Home]/[End]
a square on your slide. A dialog that Share your presentations more easily with
Pack and Go.
enables you to link sounds, programs
April 2001 PCAnswers