How To Add A Full Page Background To An MS Word Document

If you ever wanted to print out an MS Word document on a colored page, you would likely just type the document out on a plain white background and insert a colored page in the printer when you print it. The same can't be said if you want to add an image to the background of a page. There's the watermark option to make do with but if you're interested in adding a full page background image to a document and have it tile properly if needed, there's a built-in feature to do just that. Read More

How To Properly Crop Pictures Inside An MS Word Document

Managing pictures inside an MS Word document has always been tricky. Simply moving an image is enough to upset the setting of an entire document. MS Word has lots of great pictures editing features one of which is the Crop feature. As the name signifies, this feature lets you cut out a portion of your pictures and it seems simple enough to use on the surface. If you have used it though, you know that the crop feature will not delete the cropped out portion of the picture. To do so, you need to perform one extra step. Read More

How To Create & Save Custom Cover Pages In MS Word

MS Office comes with some very nice cover pages that you can use for official reports, dissertations, assignments etc. The covers provide placeholder elements that make up a cover page in different layouts. Some are picture heavy while others are minimal in design giving you a reasonable variety to choose from. That said, the covers meet generic needs and it's very obvious when you've used one.  If you'd like to create and use a custom cover page in MS office, here's how. Read More

How To Swap Values Between Cells, Rows, Or Columns In MS Excel

When selecting text in MS Word, you might have accidentally clicked at the wrong time, or released the mouse button when you didn't intend to and ended up rearranging text. Swapping text, when done accidentally is annoying but a swap function is nevertheless very useful and if you think about an application like MS Excel, a swap function is a must have. With MS Excel, you have cells filled with data that you may need to swap between cells, or even between rows and columns. Fortunately MS Excel has a swap function that lets you swap date in cells easily. Here's how it works. Read More

Recover Unsaved MS Word Documents With Version Control

It isn't until you lose a very important document moments before a deadline that you truly get in the habit of compulsively saving documents. I'd be lying if I said I didn't sometimes accidentally try and save the tab I currently have open in my browser but I'd rather be safe than sorry. If you have however had the misfortune of your computer crashing, or accidentally hitting 'Don't save' when closing a document when you meant to save it, there's a way to recover it. It works even if you don't have file history enabled in Windows because the recover feature is in MS Word itself. Read More

Disable Spelling & Grammar Check For A Paragraph In MS Word

Last week, we showed you how to disable spelling and/or grammar checks in MS Word for an entire document without turning it off for every document. While it may be useful to turn spell-check off for a document, the chances that you write one where it's completely useless or more of a hindrance than a helping tool are small. What you're more likely to find yourself writing is a document where portions of it need to be excluded from the spelling and grammar check while others need it. Here's how you can disable it for portions of a document but keep it running for the document on a whole. Read More

How To Copy & Paste Text Formatting In MS Word via Keyboard Shortcuts

The first group project I ever did in college was a mess. Besides not knowing how to collaborate on a project, we had little to no idea what a finished and perfectly formatted project report looked like. We did know that one poor soul in the group would be in charge of compiling the work everyone had done into a presentable document. I only wish we'd discovered the format painting tool back then. When I did finally discover it I was amazed for about two weeks and then wishing there were an easier way to do it i.e. keyboard shortcuts. Fortunately, there is. MS Word lets you copy and paste text via keyboard shortcuts but it also lets you copy and paste format from selected text though it isn't as widely known. Here's how. Read More

Disable Spelling & Grammar Checks In A Specific MS Word Document

MS Word is one of the most sophisticated word processors available in the market today. I'd say Pages is just as good but I'd be lying. You can use MS Word to write reports, make your CV, write up a great paper with citations and captioned images, insert a smart table of contents and even a table of figures, and much more. With it having so many great tools it makes it perfect for just about any sort of writing. Now imagine Tolkien writing one his epic books in MS Word and you know it would have more red than the flag of Turkey. Sometimes the grammar and spell check in MS Word saves our lives but at other times, it can be simply annoying. If you find you're writing something where the tool is a hindrance, here's how you can disable it for just that one document. Read More

How To Change The Default Save Location For MS Office Apps

When you save a file in MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc, it by default offers to save to the documents library. You do of course have the option to navigate to a different folder and just save the file wherever you want. If you find that you rarely save to the default save location that the MS Office apps offer to save files to, you might want to change it to a location where you save file to more frequently. For each MS Office app, you can set a different default save location and you can even change where the auto-recovery file is saved. Here's how. Read More

How To Rename A Bookmark In MS Word 2013

Microsoft Word lets you add bookmarks anywhere in a document. You can add a bookmark to a blank space or anchor it to a word or phrase. The bookmarks function as you would expect them to and allow you to quickly jump to a particular part of the document in a matter of clicks. They are particularly useful when the part of the document you want to jump to cannot be set as a heading or section. That said, the bookmark functionality in MS Word has always been rather basic; you can add and remove bookmarks, and you can of course jump straight to one but you cannot rename it. To do so, a third-party tool, i.e. an add-in is required. The add-in of choice is called Bookmark Tool. Read More

Change The Font & Style Of Numbers In An MS Word List

I'm learning about this a good five years too late but you can set a different font for the numbers used in the automated number lists in MS Word. In fact, you can even make them bold, underlined, or in italics without changing the font of the text that follows it. The feature has been around long enough, as far back as 2003. It may escape most people's notice because the option gives no indication that it is meant for just the numbered list. The devil is in details, or more precisely, what is selected when you bring up the font editing window. Read More

How To Extract All Images From MS Office Documents

Microsoft Office is one of the most widely used productivity suites in the world. Online suites are gaining in popularity as is Apple's iWork but Office still enjoys wide appeal. MS Word is one of the go-to apps we use today for just about any and all documentation needs; CVs, reports, research papers, short stories or novels, and what not can all be written in the app. That said, and this is bound to have happened to you, if you ever got a report or even a presentation that contained lots of images that you wanted to use, you would have to save them individually. Fortunately, there is a simple little trick that lets you extract all images from an MS Office file in one go instead of having to save them one by one. This trick works for files with the DOCX, PPTX, XLSX extensions only. Your original file will remain intact and uncorrupted. Read More

Run A Live Poll During A Presentation & Get Instant Results [PowerPoint]

If you give presentations a lot, whether you're a speaker, trainer, or it's just part of your job, you may at some point have needed to poll an audience. There are likely some options available out there that let yo do that but Participoll has blown me away. It's a service that comes with a PowerPoint add-on for polling a live audience. Audience members need nothing more than a phone and an internet connection to participate in the poll and you can instantly get your results right there in the presentation. It has a perfectly functional free plan, and a pro-plan which is more than worth its price tag. Here's the rundown of this super amazing service. Read More

Get MS Word To Remove Formatting When Pasting Text From The Browser

The clipboard manager on both Windows and OS X copies the text and any formatting that has been applied to it. When you paste this text into a program that doesn't support rich text like the address bar of your browser or a program like Notepad, the formatting is lost. If you instead paste it into a program like MS Word, or even in a browser based text editor like the Compose email box in Gmail, the formatting is duly preserved and likely to ruin the formatting of an entire email or document. Most text editors have a clear formatting button that you can use to quickly erase any and all text formatting from pasted text but it takes time and is nevertheless annoying. Here's how you can tech MS Word to ignore formatting when you paste text from your browser, or even from a different document. Read More

Get Excel 2013 To Recognize The Comma Delimiter In A CSV File

If you have MS Excel installed on your system, any CSV file you download is automatically associated with the program. Excel is more than capable of opening and editing a CSV file, the only problem is the way it reads the data in the file. By default, Excel is not set up to recognize the comma as a delimiting character. The result is, whenever you open a CSV file, the data looks all wrong. The data in rows is successively added to columns instead of staying in its CSV defined layout. It's hard to read and even harder to work with. Here's a simple way to get Excel to read and display the data correctly. Read More

Customize What Types Of Changes Are Tracked In MS Word 2013

When I learned about the Track Changes feature in MS Word I felt like I'd discovered the secret of life. I've since used it for professional, academic, and personal documentation work. It's a pretty neat tool that makes collaborating on a document easier especially if the people you're working with are averse to trying out some of the online tools that support live collaboration like Google Docs. That said, MS Word tracks everything by default, every little thing. Entering so much as a space will show up with a red highlight which is great when you've got a long report to work on with different people. What's not so great is that formatting changes and  comments will appear as changes too when you may not want them to be tracked. Here's how you can customize what types of changes MS Word tracks. Read More

How To Cross Reference And Link Cells Between Different Excel Files

Linking two excel sheets so that one can read a value from the other is much easier than it sounds and it's a function that a lot of people need. No one has just one Excel file and while it is easy to add data from file to the other, keeping up with the changes so that they are reflected across all files is both time consuming and prone to error. The following little tutorial helps you link a cell from one Excel file to a cell in a different Excel file such that it updates itself. Read More

Copy Text Faster By Selecting A Collapsed Heading In MS Office 2013

A few days ago we covered a little tip on how to get text to collapse and expand on click in MS Word 2013. The trick to it is pretty simple and I originally thought it was useful when viewing a really long document. That isn't something small in terms of convenience especially if you've got a long document with lots and lots of sections in it but it turns out that a collapsed heading is really useful in another common scenario; copying and pasting text. Here's why. Read More

Get Text To Expand/Collapse On Click In MS Word 2013

A good four years ago we wrote about hiding text in MS Word 2010 and the brief discussion on the post put forward a new question; users wanted to insert expandable/collapsible text in the word processor. Back in the 2010 version there was no easy way to accomplish this and for something that should be relatively simple, you would have had to resort to using Macros. In the end, they may not have done the trick in a very refined way. Such was the hasstle of it that we never found a viable and simple solution to it. Fortunately in Office 2013, the feature has been added and is very easy to use, if you know where to look for it. In this post, we're going to show you how to get text to expand/collapse and how to make it look a little refined as well. Read More

Get Custom Templates To Appear On The Start Screen In MS Office 2013

Microsoft provides a fairly large library of templates that users can download for free, for each of its productivity apps. Office also comes packed with a few templates and themes, and if you're looking for something exceptionally original, you can create your own templates or download, even buy them, online. In Office 2013, Microsoft added a start screen that shows popular templates or custom templates each time you launched the app. It makes  it easier to open templates instead of a blank presentation. There is just one little catch; if you download say a PowerPoint template, it doesn't show up on the start screen. Instead you have to browse to where it's downloaded every time you want to open it. This pretty much defeats the purpose of the start screen. The work around is pretty simple though so here's how you can get any template you've downloaded for an Office app to show up on its start screen. This works for templates for all Office 2013 apps. Read More