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 Volume 6, Number 4
 April 1, 2011
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Excel Tips

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 Outlook Tip

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Spring is upon us and it's holiday time for Nancy and me. We leave on April 4th for a month in Europe. It won't be a total holiday though as I will have some work to do getting ready for a busy spring, summer and fall seminar season.


Plus, my new eBook project will launch on schedule the first week in 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 will have five available in the catalog on launch day. You will get more information with my May 2011 Office Tips.


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

Alan Salmon

Excel Tips

Excel1Using Text to Columns to Convert Text to Dates

Summary: Working with dates requires those dates to be in an Excel date format. Here's how to convert a text date to one of the many Excel date formats:

  1. Select the range of text dates.
  2. Click on the Data tab.
  3. Select Data Tools | Text to Columns.
  4. In the Wizard dialog box, click Next twice to go to Step 3 of the wizard. Use the default settings in the first two steps.
  5. In Step 3, select the Date option and select your desired format.
  6. Click Finish and the text dates will convert to dates that can be formatted and used in calculations.
Summary:  If you have dataset with duplicate entries you can easily remove the rows of duplicate data: Here is how to do this:

To create a custom list follow these steps:

  1. Select any cell in the dataset.
  2. Go to the Data tab.
  3. Select Data Tools | Remove Duplicates.
  4. Excel will highlight the dataset.
  5. From the Remove Duplicates dialog box, make sure that My Data Has Headers is selected, if you have column headers in the first row of the dataset.
  6. By default, all columns are selected.
  7. A selected column means that Excel will use the columns when looking for duplicates.
  8. Duplicates in an unselected column will be ignored.
  9. Select the columns to search for duplicates.
  10. Click OK and the dataset will be updated, deleting any duplicated rows.

A message box will appear telling you the number of rows deleted and the number of rows remaining in the dataset. Note that there is no undo when you remove duplicates. Make sure you save your workbook before you remove duplicates.

Summary:  Vertical text can be very difficult to read, but sometimes space limitations make it necessary. The Orientation button allows you to display text on an angle. Here is how to rotate your text:
  1. Select the cell that contains the text you want to rotate.
  2. Select the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Alignment Group click on the Orientation icon, which looks like ab written at a 45 degree angle.
  4. Select one of the five options. These are Angle Counterclockwise, Angle Clockwise, Vertical Text, Rotate Text Up and Rotate Text Down.

When you click on a selection your text will rotate accordingly.


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Word Tips


Summary: To wrap text around a picture you need to position the picture independently of the text on the page. This is called "absolute positioning." 

This offers the following three features. You can:

  1. Position a picture in a document so that it keeps its position, even if other content shifts on the page.
  2. Drag a picture to any location on a page, regardless of other paragraph settings.
  3. Define the location of the picture in relationship to the surrounding text.

Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Select the Picture.
  2. Click on the Picture Tools tab at the top of the screen.
  3. Click on the Position icon.
  4. Select an appropriate position for the picture relative to the surrounding text.
  5. Click on the Wrap Text icon.
  6. Select an appropriate wrapping style.

You can now drag the picture to anywhere in the document.



Summary: When you embed a picture in a document you increase the file size. It does not take many pictures in a Word document to increase the file size beyond the threshhold for e-mailing a document. Fortunately, you have some options to reduce the file size of a picture. Here is how to do this:   
  1. Select the picture whose file size you want to reduce.
  2. Click on the Picture Tools format tab at the top of your screen.
  3. In the Adjust Group, click Compress Picture.
  4. Click on Apply Only to this Picture.
  5. Choose whether to delete cropped areas of the picture, which will remove any cropped areas, not only from view, but also from the document.
  6. Choose whether the target area should be printing the document, viewing it on the screen, sending it via e-mail, or the current document resolution.
  7. For each option, except the last, the resolution of the resulting picture will be shown in pixels per inch (ppi). The greater the ppi, the higher the resolution.Click OK to close the Compress Picture dialog box.

The file size will be reduced according to which option you selected.

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Outlook Tip

Outlook2Printing Your Calendar in Outlook  


Summary: There are a number of different formats that you can use when you are printing your calendar in Outlook. Here is a summary of your options.  
  • Daily Style  Prints the selected date ranger with one day per page. Printed elements include the date, day, TaskPad, reference calendar for the current month, and an area for notes.
  • Weekly Agenda Style  Prints the selected date range with one calendar week per page, including reference calendars for the selected and following month.
  • Weekly Calendar Style  Prints the selected date range with one calendar week per page. Each page includes date range and time increments, reference calendars for the selected and following month and TaskPad.
  • Monthly Calendar Style  Prints a page for each month in the selected date range. Each page includes the selected month with a few days showing from the previous and subsequent months, along with reference calendars for the selected and following month.
  • Tri-Fold Calendar Style  Prints a page for each day in the selected date range. Each page includes the daily schedule, weekly schedule and TaskPad.
  • Calendar Details Style  Lists your appointments for the selected date range, as well as the accomanying appointment details.

You can select the date or range of dates to be printed and modify the page setup options to fit your particulare needs. 


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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
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K2 Enterprises Canada