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 Volume 6, Number 1
 January 1, 2011
In This Issue 
Excel Tips

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 Technology Tips Video
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Word Tips

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 Outlook Tip

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2011 is now in the history books. Nancy and I want to wish all our subscribers a prosperous 2011. We made a number of enhancements to the Office Tips newsletter in 2010 and there will be more in 2011. 


My Excel Tips started out as a fun project 6 years ago. It has now turned into a serious project for me each month. With this issue our subscription list has passed 10,000 Canadian accountants, bookkeepers and consultants. Thank you for your continuing support.


Last month we added our new YouTube Excel video tip. The response to this new addition has been very positive and it will now be a regular monthly feature.

As usual I would welcome your comments at alan@k2e.ca.

Alan Salmon

Excel Tips

Summary: Using the mouse to select and highlight cells is a slow process at the best of times. There are a number of keyboard shortcuts that will speed up the selection process. Here's three of them.


The simplest way to select a range is to press and hold the Shift key and then use the arrow keys to highlight the cells. For larger ranges, you can use the PgDn or PgUp key while holding down the Shift key.

You can also use the End key to quickly extend a selection to the last non-empty cell in a row or column.

To select a region, select a cell in the region and then press Ctrl+A.

To select noncontiguous ranges, select the first range. Then hold down the Ctrl key and select the next range. Continue this process if you need to select additional noncontiguous ranges. 

Excel2Calculating the Date that Easter Falls on Each Year
Summary:  Calculating the date of a holiday can be a tricky and frustrating task. In the next several Office Tips newsletters  I will share with you how to use Excel to calculate some holiday dates. For the first one, I've picked Easter, which is our next major holiday. Here's the Excel formula to calculate the date Easter falls on each year.

Start by entering the Year as a number in cell A1.


In cell A3 enter the formula as shown below:




 Press the Enter key and the date for Easter will show in cell A1.


Note: I have no idea how this formula works. I can understand some of it, but not the total logic. The important point is that it does work. :-)

Excel3 Generating Random Numbers
Summary:  Random numbers can often be useful in worksheet calculations. For example, you can use a set of random numbers to create a sampling dataset.

Excel provides several ways to generate a set of random numbers.

The Excel RAND function generates a random number between 0 and 1. The form of the function is shown below:


If you want an integer instead of a decimal multiply the RAND function by 1,000, as shown below:


To limit the random number to a whole number use the ROUND function, as shown below:


Word Tips

Word1Using the Format Painter


Summary: Word's Format Painter is an often overlooked tool. Here's how to use it to expedite the formatting of your Word documents.


The Format Painter is the icon in the Home Tab that looks like a paint brush. Using it enables you to copy formatting from specific portions of your document and apply it to other portions of your document, with a few clicks.

To use the Format Painter, follow these steps:

1. Select a portion of your document containing the formatting you would like to apply

2. Click the Format Painter button (It is positioned on the Standard Toolbar and looks like a paint brush)

3. Select the portion of your document where you would like to apply the formatting.

Word will apply the formatting to your document. The Format Painter is then deactivated, so if you select another part of your document, the formatting will not be applied again.

If you want to apply the formatting to several areas of your document, double click the Format Painter button after selecting the portion of your document containing the formats you would like to apply. Then, individually select the portions of your document where you'd like to apply the text. When you're done, click the Format Painter button once to deactivate it.


Summary: There are times when it's useful to have a watermark in the background of a Word document. Here's how to add one: 

Watermarks are text or pictures that appear behind the text in a document. The can be used to identify the status of a document, marking it as a draft or using a graphic in the background to enhance the document.

Here's the steps to create a watermark:
  • Open your existing document
  • Click on the Page Layout tab on the Ribbon
  • In the Page Background group, click Watermark
  • Select a design from the Gallery, or create a custom watermark
  • Select the Picture if you are creating a Graphic watermark
  • Enter the text if you are creating a Text watermark
  • Use the Print Layout View to see how the watermark will print

The watermark will display on the background of each page.

Outlook Tip

Outlook2Outlook Today


Summary:  Outlook Today is one those hidden gems in Outlook 2007 and 2010. It provides a dashboard interface to your messages, calendar and tasks.


To open the dasboard in Outlook 2007, click on the Outlook Today button located on the Advanced toolbar. To open Outlook Today in Outlook, 2010 you need to add the Outlook Today icon to the Quick Access Toolbar.


Outlook Today


 The dashboard, shown above, displays the standard two-column look, with your calendar on the left and message folders and tasks on the right. Each of the section headings - Calendar, Messages and Tasks - are clickable links that take you directly to your calendar, in box, and task list respectively.

Within each section are clickable links to your calendar items, message folders, and tasks. The dasboard allows you to see all your actionable items in a single, clickable user interface. 


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K2 Enterprises Canada is a leading provider of professional development seminars for the Canadian accounting world. Each month we publish this free Office Tips e-mail newsletter. These tips will save you time and enhance the appearance of your Office files.

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Alan Salmon
President & CEO
K2 Enterprises Canada