December 6, 2017 |

Get the most from Excel’s AutoComplete

The AutoComplete feature anticipates the value you might be entering in a list by comparing it with previous entries in a column.  Let’s say I am typing a list and it looks something like this:


Because I had previously typed the word ‘oranges’, as if I started typing ‘oranges’ again (in fact as soon as I type the ‘o’), it will prompt me with the entire word. This is courtesy of the AutoComplete feature which recognizes input based on what  was typed previously.  If you wish to accept the entry simply press the Enter key.  If you don’t want the AutoComplete value being offered, just keep typing the new value. This feature’s only requirement is that the values be contiguous (e.g. one after another in the list, there cannot be any breaks/empty cells).

AutoComplete Tip 2.

Instead of allowing AutoComplete to finish a value, you can choose to be offered a pick list which is based on the previous values in a single column. Using the same example as above of fruit, you would simply go to the next empty cell and then hold down the ALT key and press the down cursor arrow.  This will display a pick list of values (items) based on what you have previously typed.


Simply click on the entry you would like to use and then press either the Tab or Enter key to move on and keep working.

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September 15, 2017 |

Wrangling MS PowerPoint Objects

When you have many objects (e.g. shapes, text boxes, pictures, etc) on a PowerPoint slide it is easy to lose track of them, especially if they are layered or grouped. To quickly find one of your objects just press the tab key and keep pressing – this will cycle through all the objects on a slide and you simply stop when you reach the object you wish to select.

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June 8, 2016 |

Using Word to type anywhere on a page

Microsoft Word allows you to easily start typing anywhere on a page and I must admit it’s a simple tip I forget to use myself. Firstly be sure you are in Print Layout mode (click the View Menu and then click the Print Layout icon). The beauty of this function is that you don’t have to start at the top of the page or put in any blank lines if for example you want to start typing at the bottom of the page – instead Word will automatically fill in the space above the cursor with blank lines.

The key to getting it to work easily is to move your mouse to where you want to type, then holding the mouse still and ensuring you see the I-beam before you click the left mouse button. You can then easily start typing at the position where you have clicked.

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September 21, 2014 |

Timberlink and Office 365

I’m pleased to say we have a new client – Timberlink Australia – and Kevin is doing their training in Microsoft Office 365 at Knoxfield, Mt Gambier and at various sites in Tasmania.  Not everyone is familiar with this version of MS Office, so here’s a quick 101 below:

Office 365 is the same ‘Office’ you already know and use every day, but gives you access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook through the Internet, using a method known as cloud computing. Because Office 365 is powered by the cloud, you can utilise your applications and files from virtually anywhere. The cloud is an industry term for remote or off-site hosting which occurs over the Internet. You use it by connecting via the Internet, setting up an account and paying for the service. There are no actual installation discs. At the time of writing Office 365 Personal, which is compatible with PCs or Macs plus one iPad or Windows tablet costs A$89 for a one year subscription and this includes all updates.

Office 365 can run offline, but you must connect to the internet every 30 days to maintain your subscription and you will be prompted when it is time to reconnect.

It is worth noting that Office 365 files are compatible with Office 20103 and 2013 and while Office 2007 will work, you will lose some functionality.

Go to and type Office 365 in the search box for more information and to verify current prices.


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May 10, 2014 |

Refresher on Naming Microsoft Files


These rules apply to documents you create in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, for versions of Microsoft 2003 and later.

  • Your document can only contain 256 characters (which is a lot!)
  • Your document name may contain spaces (e.g. Letter to Bill)
  • Document names are not case-sensitive (you can use upper or lowercase).
  • Your document cannot contain any of these characters in the title: / \ > < *. ? ” |( so for example this means you couldn’t type a date in this format 2/12/14).
  • You cannot have more than one file of any name in a folder, i.e. Letter to Bill cannot be saved twice in a folder you might have named ‘correspondence’. If you need to save it twice, you have to name it something else. If you want to have multiple versions of the same letter, you might consider naming them Letter to Bill 1, Letter to Bill 2, Letter to Bill 3, etc.

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September 20, 2013 |

Tick Tock – Time is Running out for XP Users!

Just in case you’ve not upgraded yet, Microsoft will end support for Windows XP  and Office 2003 on April 8, 2014  This means there will be no more security updates or bug fixes from Microsoft and third-party security providers like Symantec won’t be able to guarantee that they can keep XP systems safe from viruses and malicious attacks, leaving XP users as prime targets for those with bad intentions.

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October 10, 2012 |

Text Colour in PowerPoint

The PowerPoint Ninja does great posts on all things PowerPoint.  According to him, green text is never a good choice as it performs badly on most overhead projectors – have to say I didn’t know that!

here is his full blog post:

He can be found at


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October 5, 2012 |

Birthday Reminders in Microsoft Outlook

Why not pop all your birthday and anniversary dates into the Outlook Calendar, that way you will see them coming up in your To Do Bar and hopefully have enough time to organise that card, gift or phone call!

(While you could do this via the the Contacts window  I  always go for the quickest and easiest way, which is directly into the Calendar).

These notes are applicable to Outlook V2007 and V2010. Read the rest of this entry »

September 20, 2012 |

Show/Hide Ribbon In Microsoft Office 2007/2010

If you feel you might be running out of space on your screen, or simply prefer the Ribbon out of the way, just right-click on the Ribbon and then choose Minimize the Ribbon.  You could be in Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook – basically if it is a Ribbon in a MS Office program, this hint will work for you.


This will make the bulk of the Ribbon invisible, but you can still read and access the  tab names (e.g. Home, Insert etc).

Simply click on a tab name to temporarily display the full Ribbon and when you have finished it will minimize itself again.

To reverse this and have the Ribbon showing again, simply  right-click on the Ribbon area and then deselect the minimize choice, making the entire Ribbon visible at all times.

August 21, 2012 |

Microsoft Office 2013

Microsoft recently released the consumer preview of Microsoft Office 2013. The preview is available free of charge at: