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  Tips and Hints
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Ms Office & XP
  Hints for using Ms Office and XP




This section is a free section that has tips and hints for using Ms Office with just a quick tip on XP operating systems.  It of course is not an all-inclusive list of all tips, but covers a few items that we ourselves found most valuable.  Below this is the scope of what hints and tips are included in this section.  Click on the link (underlined text) to go to the right page.

Internet Security Packages

This is a new section.  While it does not involve Ms Office  and involves anti-virus new power software, there may be issues also.  If you are having problems with a long delete time, or network printing, or internet access from your own programs, click here.

Windows XP

Program Incompatibility with Windows XP

Have Windows XP?  plus an older program that seems to have problems working with XP?  This "might" help.  Go to "Start" and then "programs" and then find the program with the incompatibility to XP.  Right (mouse) click on it - and then left (mouse) click on "properties".  Then click the "compatibility" tab.  In the drop down menu for that program, pick which Windows operating system would work best with this program.  This "might" fix the problem.

Ms Office General

note that knowledge of these items will be needed for the macro information in Ms Word and Excel

Clipboard Copy and Paste - This is one of the most powerful Windows features of all

Find and Replace - A powerful utility and a basic building block for simple macros.  Note that this discussion also includes how to deal with line breaks and tabs.

Ms Word

Word Macros - A powerful tool.  While macros shown here go from simple to the complex, the basic building blocks used are quite simple.


Excel html Macro - One of the most irritating items I have found in using Excel, is the manner in which Excel will store all html references and email addresses with a hyperlink - whether you want them or not.  Then if you accidentally touch that part of the spreadsheet, your browser will open whether you want it to or not.  This simple macro can remove one or a whole block of html hyperlink references to make your spreadsheet easy to use once again.


Mail Sorting - This includes sorting mail into folders based on the email itself, and also the handling of junk email.

Internet Explorer (browser)

Printing from Internet Explorer - You could say that if you print from Internet Explorer, that you cannot control the margins and some text is missing.  Exactly.  Then this section shows you how to print from something you can control.


Greeting Cards and Cd Covers - Think you need a separate program for making Greeting Cards and / or making your own CD covers?  Think again (smiles).  Without too much difficulty, Power Point can be adapted to make greeting cards, CD covers and more.  While this takes a little bit of set-up time, we find that the great flexibility and might of Power Point will allow you to customize cards and labels far more than most specific software.


Ms Office General, Hints and Tips


Clipboard Copy and Paste

This is one of the single most powerful features not only in Ms Office, but in the entire Windows environment.  The chances are that you may be using this feature already, but if not, be ready for a powerful hint addition.  Text and more may be often easily transferred from one Microsoft application window to another - without retyping.  That is just a huge advantage. 

To use this advantage, we first need to understand that Windows allows multiple programs to run at one time.  The program in usage will have its screen displayed in front of you.  Programs that are running but not active at this second will have an icon for them generally in the lower bottom of the screen, starting at approximately the center of the screen, although the location from left to right may vary a little.  Let us say that you wish to transfer text from an email showing on the screen in Outlook and transfer it to Ms Word.  First of all, ensure that both programs are running.  Then click the Outlook symbol at the bottom of the screen to make Outlook active.  Find the email you wish.  The steps for transfer of the text are as follows:

  1. Open the Window of the program that you wish to copy the text from

  2. Highlight the text by dragging your mouse over the portion that you will wish copied.  If you wish all of the text in the window copied, often pressing "Ctrl" and "A" at the same time will highlight the entire screen.

  3. Copy the text to the computer clipboard by then pressing either "Ctrl" and "insert" at the same time, or "Ctrl" and "C".  The difference here will depend on the program in usage.  "Ctrl" and "insert" seem more common nowadays, but some programs still wish "Ctrl" and "C".  Once copied to the clipboard, the information can later be pasted once or even more times to other windows applications.

  4. Open the window of the program you wish to transfer the text to.  You can do this either by clicking the active icon for it at the bottom of Windows, or in Windows by pressing "shift" and "alt" and the "tab" key all at the same time, to cycle from one program that is running to another.

  5. Place your mouse at the point in the window where you wish the text to transfer to

  6. Press "Shift" and "insert" at the same time to transfer the text.  Note that until you copy something new to the computer clipboard that you can paste this text as many times as you wish.

Find and Replace

This is another giant Ms Office tip.  If you are not yet using the "Find and Replace" routine that is generally available in Ms Office applications, you are in for a treat.  It is quite powerful.  Let us say that you have received an email from someone, and it shows previous email lines at the bottom starting with ">" - which is quite common.  Let us also say that you have copied this email to Ms Word, as shown above, and are now staring at the ">" signs wishing that you could make them go away.  You can. 

Press "Ctrl" and "H" at the same time.  This is normally the code for the Find and Replace routine that is usually under "Edit" in the pull down menu.  For "Find" put in the hated symbol ">".  For replace, leave it blank.  That tells the computer to remove the ">" symbol and replace it with nothing.  Then click "replace all".  And when you do that, all of the ">" symbols should be gone.

Of course before you do this, you should ensure which text characters you wish to go away.  It might be "> " which includes a space rather than just the ">" symbol.  Either way, ensure that the hated text characters are in the "Find" text space of Find and Replace and that a simple blank is in the "Replace" section.

Note that sometimes for Find and Replace to work well, you might have to save an Ms Word document as a text tile and then reload it.  This will remove extra Ms Word commands that might be invisible and might interfere with a simple Find and Replace.

Also, Find and Replace could be used in a personalized letter.  For example, to change all incidents of "Thomas" to "Paul", or all instances of "Merry Christmas" to "Happy New Year" - or whatever changes you wish.  It is a powerful utility.

Note also that for complex find and replace needs, that Ms Office often uses the symbol "^p" to show a line break, and "^t" to indicate a tab.  Let us say, therefore, that you wish to eliminate all line breaks.  Then for "Find" use "^p" and for "Replace" use a blank. 

More complex?  Let us say that you wish to eliminate leading single blanks at the beginning of any line. Then you would use Find and Replace and use "^p " for "Find" - noting that it includes a blank after the line break, and use "^p" for "Replace" - which is a line break with no blank after it.  Fun, huh?  and powerful.


To just "find" a word within a document, you can use either Find and Replace (and not replace anything) by using "Ctrl" and "H" together, or just simply the Find command.  The Find command often uses the hot keys "Ctrl" and "F" pressed at the same time.


NEXT PAGE - Ms Word Macros



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