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  • Blog Post: No Longer Spellbound

    One last thought about spell checking. I mentioned a few days ago how much I depend on red-squiggle on-the-fly spelling and grammar checking, especially in Word. From time to time, though, I have to admit that I've typed a word I thought might be misspelled and then sat, waiting to see if the red...
  • Blog Post: Click and Type in Word

    One of the indispensable but esoteric features of the Word user interface is called "Click and Type." Click and Type was a feature added to Word 2000 to help make it easier to position text at specific points on the page without needing to hit Enter and Tab a bunch of times to position the cursor manually...
  • Blog Post: The Secret of the Mysterious Buttons

    At the bottom of Word's vertical scroll bar sit three esoteric buttons: one with a picture of two up arrows on it, one with a picture of two down arrows on it, and one in-between them with a picture on it that looks a little like a planet. Mysterious buttons These buttons have existed since at...
  • Blog Post: Naming Your Outlook Quick Flags

    One of the features we built into the Outlook 2003 user interface is called Quick Flags. You can single-click next to any mail item to color it so that you can find it again later. Or, you can right-click to apply one of six colors to help you categorize it further. Either way, all marked messages...
  • Blog Post: The Keyboard At Your Command

    We've been working a lot lately on improving the Office 12 keyboard model, so my mind is trapped in a keyboard shortcut frame of mind. I don't have anything to share on this subject yet (we're still working on the design), and when I do I'll certainly post here. But thinking about this so much gave...
  • Blog Post: The Second Time Is Always Better

    Speaking of options , did you know you can show two time zones at once in the Outlook calendar? This tip works in all versions of Outlook. Go into Tools.Options and click the Calendar Options button and then the Time Zone button. Alternatively, you right-click the time bar on the left side of...
  • Blog Post: Control Your Text In Word

    A couple of weeks ago , I wrote about holding down the Alt key while selecting text in Word to draw a box around it. I received a lot of mail thanking me for the tip, which was nice. But three of the mails had something in common—they asked me to pass along to the Word team a specific related feature...
  • Blog Post: Selecting With the Magic Box

    Here's a handy trick to kick off your weekend. You've got a few columns of text in a Word document, separated by tabs. They're not in a table. Now, you want to format just one of the columns without impacting the text in any of the other ones. Think you have to manually select and format every...
  • Blog Post: Know Your ABC's (Office 12 Coolness, Part 3)

    One of the features I always wished Word had was the ability to alphabetize a list of words. I always copied my words into Excel, fixed them up one per row, sorted them there, and then pasted back into Word. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Word has had this feature since version 2.0...
  • Blog Post: The Best Outlook Feature Ever

    Here's an Outlook party trick suitable for cruise ships, family reunions, and kids birthday parties. Up until now this secret trick has been known only to Outlook insiders--a kind of "secret handshake" passed through the generations of Outlook team members. Every few years ago someone files a bug...
  • Blog Post: A Clipboard for Formatting

    OK, here's what happened: The article I intended to post today, I couldn't. And now the day's almost done (except, of course, here on the left coast of the US where it's still mid-afternoon and in Australia, where it's already tomorrow.) So instead of posting a full article, I'll devote this space...
  • Blog Post: Decoding Office Build Numbers

    Open the About dialog box in any Office program. Near the top, you'll find the build number of the program you're using. If you are using Office 2003, you'll probably see something like 11.5608.5606. If you are using Office 12, you might see something like 12.0.3417.1005. In earlier versions...
  • Blog Post: Excel Can Be 'Rand'om Too

    A few weeks ago I showed you a neat trick that you can use in Word to quickly fill up a document with sample text. Not to be outdone by its sibling, Excel also features a few ways to swiftly fill up a worksheet with sample data. We use these functions extensively in order to help test...
  • Blog Post: A 'Rand'om Word Trick For You

    Here's a Word trick you can use to entertain and amuse your family and friends. OK, I'm overstating a bit; unless your family and friends are exceeding geeky, they're not going to be impressed. But if you haven't seen it before, it might just surprise you. Open Word. It doesn't have to be the...
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