Getting the most out of your workday tends to boil down to how efficiently you can get through your to-do list, which makes finding ways to make simple tasks easier to complete a fantastic time saver. The longer you’ve worked with a particular program, the more likely it is that you’ve figured out the fastest way to get what you need out of that program. Especially when that program is part of Microsoft Office.
Office has been around forever and plays a key role in the average business’ operations. So while it could be easily assumed that your employees already know everything there is to know about Office’s various programs, odds are there is still a thing or two left to learn.
Check out these time-saving Microsoft Office tips for a few of the suites most popular programs.
1) Use Table Objects In Excel
Cutting down on the amount of time you have to spend on data entry makes just about any Excel task much, much easier. Table objects are a great way to handle things automatically, limiting the amount of interaction the user needs to have with the data and giving you the information you need much faster. Converting a data set to a Table gives you automatic formatting and filters, and since Excel knows that you’re working with a Table, you can just press Tab to cycle through your data entry.
You can add a totaling row to your Table with a simple click, and extending your Table with new columns or rows will automatically extend the Table formatting to them. Your Headers stay visible regardless of how many records you have, and the best part? Charts based on Table objects will update automatically when the source Table data is changed.
Convert existing data to a Table by clicking anywhere inside the data, then clicking the Insert tab and selecting Table from the Tables group. When prompted, specify whether you want your data to have a header row, then click OK.
2) Move Or Copy Excel Rows And Columns
Rearranging columns and rows in an Excel spreadsheet is incredibly simple. Instead of manually re-inputting data in the right order, just highlight the row or rows you want to move and hover your cursor over the top or bottom border of the highlighted area. When the four-arrow cursor appears, click to drag and drop the rows where you need them to go. Columns work the same way but use the left and right borders instead.
If you want to copy the data in these columns or rows instead of moving them, just hold down the Ctrl key while you drag and drop.
3) Put Word’s AutoText Function To Work
If you have specific text or graphics that are used over and over again in Word documents, you can save yourself those extra keystrokes and reduce your risks of embarrassing typos using AutoText. All you have to do is input the text or graphic, format it if need be, and then select the content and hit Ctrl+F3 and give your selection a short but helpful name. Word stores these entries in your Normal template by default.
To use a saved AutoText entry, just type the entry’s name and hit F3. Word will automatically replace the entry name with the saved text or graphic.
4) Change Word’s Paste Function Defaults
Copy and paste is one of the best time-savers available, but there is a way to make it even more useful. Ever copy text from a web page to paste into a Word document, only to have reformat that pasted text to match the format of your document? Avoid that hassle by using the Keep Text Only option in the Paste dropdown. The only downside to this trick is that you have to remember to do this each time you copy text, and it doesn’t work with the keyboard shortcut.
If you’re the forgetful type, or use the copy and paste function constantly throughout the day, you can make this setting permanent in Word itself. Click Options under the File tab and select Advance in the left-hand pane. Under the Cut, Copy, and Paste heading, choose Keep Text Only under the Pasting From Other Programs dropdown.
5) Nudge Objects Into Place In Your PowerPoint Slides
Few things are more frustrating than trying to center objects in a PowerPoint slide by dragging them. When the object in question is just slightly off, dragging it tends to result in you way overshooting your target and making even more work for yourself. Instead of dragging the object, select it and use your arrow keys to gently nudge the object where you want it to go, one pixel at a time.
6) Customize PowerPoint’s Quick Access Toolbar
If you tend to use the same tools each time you create a presentation, you can save yourself some time by putting those tools in a spot that you can get to quickly. Just click the Quick Access Toolbar dropdown and choose More Commands. In the More Commands dropdown, click Commands Not In The Ribbon, and select the tool you want to add. Click Add, and if you’re particular about how you want your tools displayed, you can drag the tool up or down a line. Once you’re done adding tools, click OK.
7) Make Message Templates In Office
If you have a particular type of email you respond to with a stock reply, odds are you have that reply saved to a Word document to copy and paste as needed. Instead of copying the text each time, create a message template that includes all the necessary formatting, tables, images, or attachments. All you need to do is open a New Message window and create your email, then click the File tab and select Save As. Pick Outlook Template from the available options, give it a file name, and click Save.
To use the template, click the Home tab and choose the More Items option from the New Items dropdown. Click Choose Form, then select User Templates in File System from the Look In dropdown. Select the template you want and click Open. Make any changes you want to the template, choose a recipient, and hit Send. Outlook won’t save any changes made here, so your template will stay saved as-is.
8) Attach Files To Outlook The Easy Way
Need to get a just completed document sent out to a colleague? Instead of searching for the file in your folders, Outlook 2016 users can select the file from the Recent Items dropdown under Attach File in the message window. Or, you can right-click on the file you want to send in Windows Explorer, choose Send To, and then choose Mail Recipient. Windows will open a new email window for you with the file attached, even if you don’t already have Outlook open.
There are a ton of other handy tips and shortcuts you can use to get the most out of Microsoft Office. Check out a few more at our source for this article, and start getting more out of your programs and your workday.
Want to learn more about how to get the most out of Office? Get in touch with Computer Rescue’s Microsoft experts at firstname.lastname@example.org or (403) 686-4567. We’re the IT professionals businesses in Calgary trust.