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 Volume 6, Number 3
 March 1, 2011
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Excel Tips

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Three weeks until the beginning of Spring and it can't come soon enough for many Canadians. It's been a long winter. I've been fortunate to be able to spend three weeks at our winter home in Naples, Florida in January and February.


It wasn't a total holiday though, as I am now working on an eBook project that will launch in early May. I'm writing a series of "How To" Microsoft Office eBooks that will be highly affordable and provide professional development credits when you finish the eBook. The first one on PivotTables is finished and I hope to have a total of nine ready for the launch. You'll get more information as we get closer to the launch date in May.


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

Alan Salmon

Excel Tips

Summary: Getting your worksheet to print properly can be a real challenge. Here's how to adjust your page breaks:

  1.  Select Page Break Preview from the View tab
  2. Place your cursor over the blue column line you want to move until it becomes a double arrow.
  3. Hold down your left mouse button and move the blue line to where you want the column break to be.
  4. Release the left mouse button. The dashed blue line becomes a solid blue line, indicating where the new page break will occur.

 You follow the same procedure to move a page break for the rows.

Summary:  If you are entering the same data over and over, you should be creating a custom list. Here's how to do this:

To create a custom list follow these steps:

  1. Create your list in your worksheet outside of the actual data area.
  2. Select the range for this list.
  3. In Excel 2010 go to File | Options | Advanced | General| Edit Options | Edit Custom Lists.
  4. In Excel 2007 go to the Office Button | Options | Advanced | Popular | Edit Custom Lists.
  5. Click on Import.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. The list will be added to both the Custom Lists and the List Entries list boxes.
  8. The next time you type an item from the list and drag the fill handle (the black square in the bottom right hand corner of a cell), Excel will fill in the rest of the series for you.

Summary:  Changing the height of a row and the width of a column is something we do all the time in Excel. There are a number of ways of doing this, as shown below. The instructions deal with changing a column width. Each method will also work with row heights.

To change the width of a single column:

  1. Click and drag the border between the column headings.
  2. You drag to the right to make the column to the left wider, or drag to the left to make the column to the left narrower. This method only affects one column.

Here's another way to change the width of a single column:

  1. Double click on the border between the column headings. Excel will automatically adjust the left column to fit the widest value in that column.

To change the width of multiple columns:

  1. Select the multiple columns and drag the border for one column. The width of all the columns in the selection will adjust to the same width as the one you have just adjusted.

Here's another way to change the width of multiple columns:

  1. Select the multiple columns and double click on the border of one of the columns. Each column in the selection will adjust to accomodate its widest value.

Here's how to apply one column's width to other columns:

  1. If you have a column with a width you want other columns to have, you can copy that column and paste its width over other columns.
  2. Select the columns to adjust.
  3. Go to Home | Cells |Format |Column Width.
  4. Enter a width and click OK. All of the selected columns will assume the width value you entered.


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Word Tips


Summary: Borders and shading can be added to any amount of text from a single character to multiple pages. Here is how to do this:


First select the text that you want to format with a border or shading.

  1. In the Home tab Paragraph group, click the Borders down arrow, and select the type of border you want to apply. If you select less than a paragraph , you can only select a four sided box.
  2. In the Home tab Paragraph group, click the Borders down arrow, and click Borders and Shading on the context menu. The Borders and Shading dialog box will appear.
    • To add text or paragraph borders, click the Borders tab, click the type of box, the line style, color, and width that you want. If you want fewer than four sides and are working with paragraphs, click the sides you want in the Preview area. Click Options to set the distance the border is away from the text.
    • To add page borders, click the Page Border tab, click the type of box, the line style, color and width you want ,and art you want to use for the border, such as custom drawn lines or a row of miniature company logos. If you want fewer than four sides, click the sides you want in the Preview area. Click Options to set the distance the border is away for either the edge of the page or the text.
    • To add shading, click the Shading tab, and click the color of shading, or fill, you want. You can also select a pattern and apply it to the entire page, or just to the selected text.
    • To add a graphic horizontal line, click Horizontal Line, click the line want, and click OK.

When you are finished with the Borders and Shading dialog  box, click OK.


Word2Counting Words and Characters  

Summary: Word can give you a count of the number of words, and or characters, in a document. You can do the count on the entire document or a selected section of text. Here's how to do a count: 



In the Review Tab, click Word Count in the Proofing group. The Word count dialog box will appear, displaying the following information about your document:

  • Number of pages
  • Number of words
  • Number of characters (not including spaces)
  • Number of characters (including spaces)
  • Number of paragraphs
  • Number of lines 

To do a count on a section of text, highlight the text and then click on the Review tab, click Word Count in the Proofing Group.



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Outlook Tip

Outlook2Outlook Your Way  

  There are many configuring options available in Microsoft Outlook that allow you to work with Outlook your way. For example, in Outlook 2007, if your workweek runs from Sunday to Thursday, choose Tools, Options, Preferences tab, Calendar Options. Here you can configure your working week and what day you want to display as the first day of the week. In Outlook 2010 choose File | Options | Calendar to make similar adjustments.

To configure your time zone, click Time Zone and you can tell Outlook your time zone and also set up a second time zone, if desired. You might use this if you have offices in two different parts of the country.

Other handy configuration options in Outlook 2007 and 2010 are on the Mail Format tab where you can create signatures to use on outgoing
messages and even create different signatures for different e-mail accounts.

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