MS Office - Tip and Tricks

Excel: Tips and Tricks 

How can I convert rows to columns, or columns to rows?

Say you have column headings:

Pink            Blue                Green

that you want to change into row headings:


Moving the data manually, one item at a time, would be a tedious process. To save time, you can use the Paste Special command to quickly transpose a column of data to a row of data, or vice versa.

To transpose rows and columns:

  1.  Copy the data in one or more columns or rows.
  2.  Before you paste the copied data, right-click your first destination cell (the first cell of the row or column into which you want to paste your data), and then clickPaste Special. (or you can use the Edit menu to find Paste Special)
  3.  In the Paste Special dialog box, select Transpose, and then click OK(You'll find the Transpose check box in the lower-right corner of the dialog box)

Further information:

  • Columns and rows can not overlap. For example, if you select values in Column C, and try to paste them into a row that overlaps Column C, Excel displays an error message.
  • When you go to paste a column or row, the destination area must be outside of the original values.
  • If you copy and paste data from more than one column, Excel places the data from the leftmost column on top. For example, say you copy data from columns A and B of a worksheet, and you paste the data into another worksheet starting at row 1. Excel places the data from column A in row 1, column B in row 2, and so on.
  • If you don't see the Paste Special command, make sure you right-click the first destination cell. You'll also find the command on the Edit menu. 

Add Headers or Footers to more than one worksheet at the same time

Have you ever needed to add the same header or footer to more than one worksheet in an Excel workbook?  Here is how to do just that at the same time:

  1.  Click the first worksheet name tab
  2.  Hold down the CTRL key and click the second worksheet tab
  3.  Repeat step 2 until all worksheet tabs are selected
  4.  You can now set up the headers and footers in the usual way (View - Header/Footer)

The Header or Footer will now be applied to all worksheets selected in your workbook.

You can use this method of selecting several worksheets at the same time to apply other tools to your worksheets - such as setting them all to landscape, or setting up the gridlines etc.

Word: Tips and Tricks 

Quick ways to select (highlight) text

Do you regularly drag your mouse over text to select or highlight it ready for formatting or editing?  If so, try these quick ways to select text - they will save you no end of frustration and be kinder to your wrist!

Select one word

Double click the word

Select several words that are no adjacent to each other

Hold the Ctrl key down and double click each word

Select one line of text

Move the mouse to the left margin, the pointer will change to an arrow, then single click

Select one paragraph

Move the mouse to the left margin, the pointer will change to an arrow, then double click

Select one sentence

Hover the mouse pointer over any word in the sentence, hold the Ctrl key down andsingle click

Select several lines

Select the first line then, holding down the Shift key, press the down arrow on the keyboard until you reach the last line

Select the whole document

Move the mouse to the left margin, the pointer will change to an arrow, then treble click
Press and hold the Ctrl key and quickly press and release the A key


PowerPoint: Tips and Tricks 

How can I apply the same font style to all my slides at the same time?

You can use the Slide Master to quickly change all slides to one font style so you get a consistent look in your presentation:

  • Click the View Menu
  • Choose Master from the drop down menu, then choose Slide Master
  • When the Slide Master opens, click into the title and change the font to the style you want
  • Then click into the first bullet list and change the font style as above
  • Repeat for each of the sub bullets
  • Close the Slide Master - you will now see the changes of font style reflected in your slides 

What else can I do with Master Slides?

The Slide Master is a quick way of applying changes to all slides in your presentation such as changing font style (described above).  You can also use the Slide Master to apply other changes such as:

  • Insert a logo on each slide
  • Change the bullet style
  • Apply numbering instead of bullets
  • Insert an image

You might need more than one Slide Master in a presentation, for example, your Title slides may need different formatting to those containing bullet points or standard text.  You will need to have both a Slide Master and a Title Master to achieve this. 

To create a Title Master

  • Click View menu
  • From the drop down menu, select Master, then select Slide Master
  • Select the slide master thumbnail on the left
  • On the Slide Master View toolbar, click Insert New Title Master  
  • You can now format the Title Master so that any title slides in your presentation will remain consistent 

I am in a hurry and want to quickly add some interest to my presentation

There are several quick ways to liven up a presentation, some of them take a little while to do however, here are some quick wins:

  • Apply a Design template - Click Design on the Formatting toolbar and then choose one of the designs in the Design Task Pane
  • Apply a slide transition so that when you move to a different slide, a transition effect will display - click the Slide Show menu, select Slide Transition, select one of the slide transition options, click the Apply to All Slides button
  • Apply an animation scheme so that each bullet point is displayed one at a time instead of all at once - click the Slide Show menu, select Animation Scheme, select one of the options and click the Apply to All Slides button
  • Apply font style consistency, images, background colour using the Master Slide - see Question above for details


Outlook: Tips and Tricks

Tell people when you are away

  • In Outlook 2003, go into Tools, then Out of Office Assistant.
    In Outlook Web Access, go into Options then Out off Office Assistant
  • Type a message to be sent to anyone who emails you during this time.  Remember to include a name, telephone number and email address of a colleague who can be contacted during your absence. 
  • Click the checkbox to turn the Out of Office on
  • When you return to the office, you will be prompted to turn Out of Office Assistant off.

Delete several email messages at the same time

If your messages are together in a list:

  • Click the first message in the list
  • Hold the Shift key and click the last message in the list
  • Then either press the Delete key on the keyboard, click the Delete button or right click and choose Delete

If your messages are not together:

  • Click the first message
  • Hold the Control key (Ctrl) and click the second message
  • Repeat for each message you want deleting
  • Then either press the Delete key on the keyboard, click the Delete button or right click and choose Delete 

Delete emails quickly

When you delete emails, they will only move into your Deleted Items folder.  If you are sure you want to delete your emails (ie those annoying junk mails that regularly find their way into your mailbox), you can permanently delete them from your mailbox:

  • Select the email (or list of emails), then hold down the Shift key, then Delete. 
  • A message window will pop up - 'are you are sure you want to permanently delete the selected messages' - choose Yes (or No if you're not sure!) 

My Mailbox is always full

  • Delete messages you no longer need (including items in your 'Sent' folder) and empty your Deleted Items folder. (Tools, Empty "Deleted Items" Folder
  • Delete any attachments when you receive them (save them into your network folder if you need to keep them).
  • Get into the habit of deleting messages once you have actioned them or saving them to a network folder if you really need to keep them.
  • Set a weekly Task to remind you to check for and delete messages