Connecting Technology and Business.

More Realestate on the MS Office Screen!

​Have you ever thought "if only I could have more space on the screen to work in MS office apps - Word / Excel / PowerPoint!" Do you consider the Ribbon Interface an encroachment, occupying more space on your screen, sapping your productivity?

Do not worry!

Just double click on one of the tabs of the Ribbon. The Ribbon disappears leaving behind only the tab names and you can see more working space for your document or worksheet or your slide. (Office 2010 also helps you do this by clicking on the carat icon close by the Help (question mark) icon).

You can continue to work in your current file until you are in need of a command on the ribbon for a mouse click . All you need to do now is to click on of the tab names and the ribbon displays the respective commands for you temporarily.

If you want the ribbon commands to be displayed permanently as in the beginning, then a double click on one of the tab names will do this. (Office 2010 user - click on the inverted carat icon again

I came across a 2007 user who had hidden the ribbon permanently with a double click on one of the tabs unknowingly and had kept wondering what to do to acces the ribbon commands or display the ribbon permanently again. As a result, she just avoided using the Office 2007 applications as much as she could. When I told her of the double click trick, she was quiet relieved.

Link your cell values for automatic update

While working in Excel, we come across a situation where we want to display the content of one or more cells at a different place - in the same worksheet, a different worksheet in the same work book or in a different workbook altogether. We usually copy-paste these values from the source to the target. But when the values in the source change, then, we are bound to update them manually. Now, we have this challenge taken care of by Excel in 2010.

If we want the value in the source to reflect in the target cells realtime, then, while pasting the selection, we need to choose "Link" option in "Paste Special". Thereafter, any changes in the source cells will immediately reflect in the target cells. If the link is pasted in another workbook, and if the target workbook is not open at the time of change, then, when the respective workbook with the link is opened the next time, Excel will update the results in the target cells when you "Enable Content" - the command appearing at the top of the workbook.

You can have as many links created this way between workbooks but be careful enough not to change the original location of the workbooks that are linked.

All linked workbooks need to be saved with a specific name to enable the links.

This is a real time saver!

Fit your Excel sheet columns in one click!

​Are you puzzled how to fit the column width of your excel sheet columns that contain information that vary in their width? Very easy... Just select those columns at the column names (A, B, C etc). Go to the column seperators (at the top near the A or B or C or any of the included columns) and when a two-pointed arrow (pointing to the left and the right) appears, double click. Hey! your work is done.

You can also fit the width of even a single column using this "Autofit" feature.

Readymade Macro to display Keyboard Shortcuts in Word

Do you want a document that contains all the keyboard shortcuts available in Word?

There is a macro available in Word that will give you this document.
Go to the “View” tab and under Macros -> View Macros, search for ListCommands after choosing “Word commands” in the “Macros in:” dropdown box.

Run this macro. Choose “Current keyboard settings” radio button.
You will see the macro generating a complete document with all the keyboard shortcuts.
(N.B. Practice the shortcuts, at least a few at a time, so that you will become thorough with the shortcuts.)

Scroll Together Two Pages to Identify Changes

I was working with two documents that looked identical - the content and the formatting. But I wanted to make sure whether they are one and the same. Would Word 2010 help me do this easily?

Yes, there is help available!

I had both my documents open. Then,under the View tab, I clicked "View Side by Side". And I started scrolling. Both these documents started scrolling together in a synchronised fashion! Now, I was able to compare the documents.

This can also be used to verify whether two different parts of the two documents are identical or not. All I need to do is to switch off the "Synchronous scrolling" option close by the "View side by side" option in one document and then move to the specific portion of the document that needs to be compared. When the contents in both the windows look almost alike, I will switch on the "Synchronous scrolling" option. Now, both the documents scroll together.

We can do the same even if we want to check two different parts of the same document. It will still work.

How many number of days have you walked on earth?

​Do you know how many days it has been since you started walking on this earth? (Make sure you subtract the days when you were, as a baby, being held by somebody or you were just crawling, from the result, if you want a more accurate answer)

Excel contains a function datedif() that will give you exactly this number. Here is how it is used...

Enter your birth date in cell A1

Choose another cell and enter the formula =DATEDIF(A1,TODAY(),"d").

You will see the number of days displayed in the cell.

You can also use "m" in the place of "d" for the number of months and "y" in the place of "d" for the number of years.

You can also find out the number of days you have put in your current company (or past), the number of days you were working on a certain project (Week ends, Sundays and holidays are included here) and the number of days you have known a certain person, or just the number of days between any two dates.

How many days has the Earth borne your weight so far?

Assign Offs for your staff scientifically!

If you are working in an organization that allows an off day during the week (apart from a Sunday which is a holiday, in most cases) and you want to assign offs for your staff, you might face a difficulty of choosing these off days for the staff if this assignment is done by you manually. There is also a complaint of favaouritism against you by the staff, some times. There is also the human tendency to repeat numbers in a certain sequence in such cases. As a result, you might also overload a day with many staff offs or underload a day with few staff offs. 

You can do a scientifical assignment of these offs using an excel function randbetween(). Here is how it is used...

RANDBETWEEN() function takes two arguments inside the brackets and then generates a random number.

If we assign 1 for Sunday, 2 for Monday and so on till Saturday is assigned 7, then we can make use of the random number generator.

We enter the names of staff in one column and place the function in the adjascent column. The formula in the cells would be =randbetween(1,8). You can place this formula in the cell at the top of the column that requires this Offs assignment information and then drag it till the last cell (or just a double click from the bottom right corner of the first cell). Now, all 2s stand for Monday off, 3s for Tuesday off and so on.

Filter mails addressed to you only using a Search folder in Outlook 2010

Have you ever wanted to filter all emails that were addressed to you only so that you can pay your first attention to these mails? You can create a Search folder for this. A search folder is a virtual folder. Outlook will not transfer or duplicate a mail from its original location, whether in the Inbox or in named folders, into the search folder.

 Here is how it is done:


Under the Folder tab in Outlook, click on New Search Folder.


 Search folders pic1.jpg


Select “Create a custom Search Folder” and name it as “Only to me” (or any other comfortable name).
Check the box: Where I am the only person on the To line.


Search Folders pic2.jpg
That is all. All mails addressed only to me will be visible in this folder. If you go to “more choices”, you can also choose “unread mail” option.

Click right! Right Clicks in Word, Excel and Outlook

Microsoft Office programs are so packed full of right-click menus that you may never need to use the ribbon again. Give it a try. 

In a Microsoft Word table, right-click and you’ll be able to do all sorts of table formatting, directly from the shortcut menu. For example, you can insert and delete rows, columns, and cells, add borders and shading, and adjust the width of the table.
Screen shot of Word doc with shortcut menu
Microsoft Execl, you can format cells with a right-click. The exact commands you see on the menu depend on where you click in the spreadsheet. For example, you can easily filter or sort a list from a right-click.
Screen shot of Excel spreadsheet with shortcut menu
Microsoft Outlook also has lots of useful right-click menus. For instance, you can right-click the Inbox to create more folders in your folder list—an excellent way to organize and keep on top of your email messages.
Screen shot of Outlook tabs with shortcut menu

Make consistent style changes on all slides using the slide master

​Sometimes PowerPoint users forget that changes to features, like bullet styles and indentations, don’t have to be made on every slide—they need be made only once, on the slide master. The PowerPoint slide master stores information about the theme and slide layouts of presentations, including backgrounds, colors, fonts, effects, placeholder sizes, and positioning. Using the slide master can give you peace of mind as you make a presentation, because you know your slides will be consistently formatted.

Note: These slide master instructions are for PowerPoint 2010 and PowerPoint 2007.


To make changes to PowerPoint themes or layouts, from anywhere within your presentation, click the View tab, and then click Slide Master. You will see a slide master, as shown here.

The PowerPoint slide master stores information for your entire presentation.


The slide master includes placeholders showing the layout of text on the slides and the style in which text will be formatted. The slide master includes corresponding layouts to accommodate different types of information. You can apply a layout to a selected slide in Normal view: On the Home tab, in the Slides group, click the arrow next to the Layout icon.
Remember that changes you make to the layout or formatting on the slide master are automatically applied to all the slides in your presentation. If you want to change the placement or text styles for a specific slide only, select that slide, and work in Normal view. Then, make any of the types of changes mentioned here.


To change the bullet style for all first-level bullets in a presentation, make the change on the slide master:
  1. From anywhere within your presentation, click the View tab, and then click Slide Master.
  2. Click anywhere in the first bullet.
  3. Click the Home tab.
  4. In the Paragraph group, click the arrow beside the Bullets icon and then click Bullets and Numbering.
  5. Select the bullet style and attributes you want for your first-level bullets, and then click OK.

    You can change the style for all first-level bullets in your presentation.
In a similar way, you can make other adjustments to the style and format of the slide master, using formatting options on the Home tab. For example, you can change the text color and size, and you can change the indentation of the bullets from the Paragraph dialog box.


You can use slide masters for a lot more than adding repeated information or changing formatting, too.