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Volume 8, Number 6  

June, 2013

It has been a weird spring here in Brampton, ON. Cold, snow, heavy rain and heat. Hopefully now that we are into the month of June the weather will settle down and we will have a decent summer.


My focus at the moment is on my brand new Online Accounting Technology Webinars. These will be offered once a month and for 90 minutes I will share with you my favorite Excel Tips, new programs of interest to accountants and other useful technology information.


These webinars will be highly affordable at $29.95, including HST and will qualify for 1.5 CPDs. The series will launch at 12:30 EDT on June 26th and I will share with you 15 of my favorite Excel Tips. These little known tips will increase your productivity and save you time. 


The July seminar will focus on the little known Excel Tables tool and in August I will introduce you to PivotTables, a powerful analysis and reporting tool in Excel. For more information and to register please


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




Alan Salmon

Excel Tips

Quickly Closing all Open Excel Workbooks Without Closing Excel 

Summary: There are times when you want to close all of your open Excel workbooks. Excel normally requires you to close each one individually. Here is how to do this:  


You need to add the Close All icon to your Quick Access Toolbar

  1. Right mouse click on your Quick Access toolbar
  2. Select All Commands from the drop down arrow in the middle panel of the QAT window.
  3. Select Close All.
  4. Click on Add. The Close All icon will now move to the Quick Access Toolbar selections on the right.
  5. Click on OK

The Close All icon will now be in your Quick Access Toolbar. To close all your open workbooks just click on the Close All icon. Note that you will still have to save any workbook that has been changed. 

Excel2AChanging the Colour of the Grid Lines              

Summary: The grid lines in a worksheet are normally black. However, there are times when it is useful to display them in a different colour. Here is how to do this:


The grid lines in an Excel worksheet make it easy for you to track information on the screen and to locate cells quickly. The gridllines are normally displayed in black, but it is possible to display them in another colour. Here is how to do this:

  • Display the Excel Options dialog box.
  • Click Advanced.
  • Scroll through the options until you see the Show Grid lines check box
  • Select it.
  • Click the Grid line Color control and choose a color you want to use for the grid lines.
  • Make sure the Show Gridlines check box is selected.
  • Click on OK.

You can specify different grid line colours for each worksheet in a workbook.  



Excel3Another Quick Close Trick
Summary: Here's the fastest way to close an Excel workbook.   
Double-click on the Microsoft Excel icon in the top left hand corner of your screen. 


Word Tip


Word1Setting the Line Spacing             

Summary: The default line spacing in Excel 2007, 2010 and 2013 has been changed to 1.15 from 1 in previous versions. Here's how to change it back to 1.  

The line spacing was changed to 1.15 because it is easier to read a web page. However, if  you do not create web pages here is how to set it back to 1.

  • Open a new Word document
  • Click on the Home tab
  • In the Styles Quick Gallery right-click on Normal
  • Select Modify
  • Select Paragraph from the Format list
  • In the Spacing section, change the Spacing from 1.15 to 1
  • Check the Box that says New Documents Based on This Template
  • Click on OK
This change will set the line spacing to 1 in all your new Word documents.


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 PowerPoint Tips


Summary: Many new notebooks no longer have a VGA port and this is a challenge when you try to connect to a projector. Here are some tips to deal with this problem

For many years presenters have walked into a room and connected their laptop to the projector using a VGA cable. All that will change in the next two years. The VGA port is being phased out by computer manufacturers.


Why are computer manufacturers making this change? It was announced in December 2010, so it is not breaking news. VGA is an analog technology which was good in its time, but better technology is now available. Digital technology provides a better quality image and supports higher resolutions. If you have a flat screen TV, you are likely using an HDMI cable to attach your devices. HDMI is a digital format and it is the primary way that video is transferred between devices and TVs today.


I started to notice the changes that presenters need to be aware of more in the last six months. One of my clients in the media business only has flat screen TVs in their meeting rooms. There are no projectors around. The TVs have HDMI inputs as well as VGA. When I used the VGA connection in one room, it reset the input every two minutes, causing a momentary blackout of the screen. This was very annoying to the audience. When I switched to the HDMI input (my computer has both), the image was higher resolution and rock solid.


The first lesson for presenters is that the native digital connection for flat screen TVs will usually work better than the VGA connection which has to be converted by the TV. With more and more organizations moving away from projectors to TVs in meeting rooms, presenters will want to make sure they can connect using a digital connection.

When organizations still use projectors, the new ones they are installing are set up to use HDMI connections. I have had this happen twice in the last six months. 


One client installed a new boardroom projector, and the primary connection is HDMI. Another client has a portable projector that gives a higher resolution image when connected via HDMI. So even if your room has a projector, chances are that when the old one is replaced, the new one will expect digital connections to give the best image and performance.


So what do presenters need to do? Be prepared to move from a VGA connection to a digital connection. Look at your laptop. Does it have an HDMI or Mini Display Port connection? If so, you can output a digital signal that connects to the HDMI input on a TV or projector. If you don't have a full sized HDMI port, you will likely need an adapter to convert from a mini or micro HDMI to full sized HDMI or an adapter that converts from Mini DisplayPort to HDMI. The Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter that I bought works very well. Get the correct adapters now and make room in your laptop bag to carry them so you have them when needed.


If you don't have one of these digital ports on your laptop, you will want to start looking at a future laptop that does. While there are USB to HDMI adapters, the USB speed will likely make any videos in your presentation not run smoothly. Any time you convert from analog to digital or digital to analog you will reduce the quality of the signal due to the processing that must be done on the fly. A much better solution is to plan now for a laptop that has a digital connection built in.


Once you do have a newer laptop, how can you connect to an older projector if the laptop no longer has a VGA port? You will need an adapter to convert from Mini DisplayPort to VGA to bridge the years that projectors will still be using VGA connections.


The transition from VGA to HDMI connections will take place over the next few years. Presenters need to start preparing now to be able to connect to both during the transition. Get your adapters or cables now so you don't run into any connection problems in your next presentation. 


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K2E Canada Inc.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