Most of us have used a template in the past to create a presentation or start a document, and many of us are guilty of reusing the last great version of a document as a starting point instead of locating and using a template. This pragmatic approach helps to avoid wheel reinvention and utilises the efforts of the clever person who created the file in the first place – however, the problem with reusing a last good version versus using a template is that your new file takes on any issues that existed in the original doc, and you could very likely be using out of date branding, terminology and styles.
Sending Christmas cards to your valued customers is a lovely gesture, but hand-writing the envelopes is a killer. Creating a mail merge to labels from your customer database can save you (and your hand) a lot of pain. Continue reading Word – merging a list of names and addresses to labels
By protecting a selection of cells, the entire worksheet or workbook you can feel confident you have minimised the risk of this happening. Continue reading Excel – Restricting editing in worksheets and workbooks
Why do I do this? Because I have met so many people who assume that restricting the editing of a document by adding a password is in fact securing it so that only the holder or holders of the password can access the file. Not true! Via the Internet you can easily access a multitude of work-arounds that coach you through how to easily access the content of a restricted file. Continue reading Don’t be fooled – protecting isn’t bullet-proof
I once paid a lawyer to draft a legal agreement for my business. The document was fabulous and given to me as a Microsoft® Word file so that I could easily add additional information each time I used the document. When I received the file I noticed that the document’s metadata (hidden properties) held the name of another law firm, not the law firm that this document had been sent from. Not a good look at all.
How did this happen? Simple. My document was a copy of a document from another law firm. When the copy was made, possibly using File, Save As, the document’s metadata was carried over into my file. The lawyer may not have been aware that Word files store metadata, information that can reveal details of the author and organisation from which it originated. Even though my lawyer had indeed drafted the document, the original template of the file had been created at another law firm. So even though it was his work, it looked as though it had originated elsewhere. Continue reading Are you endangering the privacy of your clients and team members?
I have. In fact a few years back I searched for the answer on Google. I had thought that the answer would surely be ‘Undo’, especially when I think about how often I use the fabulous Ctrl + Z key combination. Amazingly I found a page (which sadly I’m unable to find now) that claimed that Undo wasn’t the most used…it was Paste, Ctrl + V. Continue reading Excel – 5 Paste tips that will save you HEAPS of time
Many users of Office 2010 ask me how they can open two Excel or Word files at the same time and view them in separate windows, one on each screen. Continue reading Excel and Word 2010 – How do I open two files and view them in separate windows?
I think most of us will agree that error values can be helpful, and sometimes extremely unhelpful. For example, the #N/A error (Value Not Available error) is very helpful when cross-referencing two lists using the VLOOKUP function. If Excel can’t find a lookup value the #N/A error makes it very obvious.
However if you are wanting to total a range that includes #N/A errors all of a sudden they aren’t so special any more. Continue reading Excel – How do I sum a range of cells that include #N/A or #DIV/0! errors?
However, it doesn’t matter what industry or region I’m working in the challenges of working with large lists of data are pretty much the same.
Something I see often is the need to be able to quickly locate and remove duplicate rows of data (excellent for VLookups). Most people just sort the data and then manually skim through the excessive lines of information trying to weed out the annoying duplicates. This works, but boy-oh-boy it can be a time waster. Wouldn’t it be easier to have Excel quickly display the duplicates for you? Then all you need to do is deal with them. Continue reading Excel – Finding and removing duplicate data
PROBLEM: When you enter a post code that has a leading 0 (zero), e.g. 0642, you see only the last 4 digits, not the leading zero. This is especially frustrating when using an Excel file in a Mail Merge!
SOLUTION: learn how make the 0 stay!