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 Volume 7, Number 2,  February 1, 2012
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Excel Tips

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We are now into February and the depths of winter. I had an interesting experience in mid-January when I spent two days in Iqaluit, Nunuvat doing three seminars for the CAs, CMAs and CGAs that are resident there. Minus 23 but the people were warm. The last afternoon I got to go dog sledding. What an amazing experience that was.


I am well along on my next eBook. My new Excel Charts book should be available by the end of the month. The link to my Web Store is http://www.mcssl.com/store/alanswebstore. I currently have 7 eBooks available and each one gets you 2 CPDs.


New for 2012, are my Facebook and LinkedIn pages. I am now posting a weekly tip and additional relevant accounting technology links on these pages. You can follow me on Facebook at 

www.facebook.com/K2Canada and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/k2canada. Last week I posted the first information on Office 15, which will be the next version of Excel, Word, etc.


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



Alan Salmon

Excel Tips

Excel1Displaying Negative Percentages in Red  

Summary: Excel does not provide a built-in format to display negative percentages with brackets and in red. However, you can do this easily with a custom format. Here is how to do this:


  1. Select the cell or cells that contain negative percentages.
  2. Click on the Home tab in the ribbon.
  3. Click on the small icon in the lower right corner of the Number group.
  4. Select Custom.
  5. In the Type box, enter the following: 0.00%;[Red](0.00%)
  6. Click OK. 

Excel2AHow do you Delete Duplicate Rows from a Data Set? 

Summary: Many data sets contain duplicate rows. Here is how to eliminate these duplicates. 

  1. Highlight the data set (You may include/exclude the heading row).
  2. Select the Data tab.
  3. Select Remove Duplicates under the Data Tools group.
  4. Select OK.
  5. Select one or more columns that contain duplicates (you must select at least one column).
  6. Select OK.
  7. Select OK again.
The duplicate data rows will be deleted from the worksheet. Note: there is no UNDO with this command, so save your workbook before you do data elimination.
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Summary:  Here's a fast way to remove borders from a group of cells.
Adding Borders around a range of cells is a useful formatting tools. There are times however, when you need to remove these borders. Here is a fast way to accomplish this task.
  1. Select the cells that contain the borders you want to remove.
  2. Press Ctrl+_.
  3. The third character is the underscore key and you must hold down the shift key to insert it.
This process will remove the borders but leave the rest of the formatting.


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Word Tips


Word1Creating a Section Break


Summary: There are times when you need to change the formatting in a document. For example, in a new chapter you want a different header and footer. This is accomplished by using a Section Break. Here is how you do this: 

Section breaks allow you to change the number of columns, page headers and footers, page numbering, page borders, page margins, and other characteristics and formatting within a section. The section break retains the formatting above it, not after it.
To insert a Section Break:
  1. Open the document and click where you want to insert a section break.
  2. Click on the Page Layout tab, and click Breaks in the Page Setup group. The Breaks menu will appear.
  3. To create a new section, in the Sections Break Types area, select what comes after the break. You have the following options:
    1. Click Next Page to begin a new section on the next page.
    2. Click Continuous to begin a new section on the same page.
    3. Click Even Page to start the next section on the next even-numbered page.
    4. Click Odd Page to start the next section on the next odd-numbered page.
  4. After you have selected the Option you want, the section break is inserted. 


Outlook Tip



Summary: There is often a need to send a secure one time message. For example, you might need send someone a password to access an account. You want to do this without setting up a lengthy encryption or having to deal with public and private keys. Here is how to do this::

Go to https://oneshar.es/. The site allows you create a single use message where they create a URL for their encrypted web-site and you then send this URL to your contact. They open the one-time link, read the message and as soon as the message is retrieved the message is deleted and it cannot be accessed again.  


 PowerPoint Tip


PowerPointarticleCreating Professional PowerPoint Presentations


Summary: PowerPoint presentations are a great way to support a speech, visualize complicated concepts or focus attention on a subject. However a bad presentation can achieve the opposite results. In the next three sets of Office Tips, I will be providing you with a series of tips on developing a professional PowrPoint presentation:


The first thing that gives a professional touch to any presentation is the design.  

  Composing Slides 

  • Don't copy & paste slides from different sources.
  • Keep the design very basic and simple. It shall not distract.
  • Pick an easy to read font face.
  • Carefully select font sizes for headers and text.
  • Leave room for highlights, such as images or take home messages.
  • Decorate scarcely but well.
  • Restrict the room your design takes up and don't ever let the design restrict your message.

Use Consistency

  • Consistently use the same font face and sizes on all slides.
  • Match colors.
  • You may use your company logo, highlight headers, create a special frame for figures/images or the whole slide but don't overload your slides with these elements.
  • A poor choice of colors can shatter a presentation.

Use Contrast

  • Black text on a white background will always be the best but also the most boring choice.
  • If you want to play with colors, keep it easy on the eyes and always keep good contrast in mind so that your readers do not have to strain to guess what you've typed on your slide.


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