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Pimp Your Work

April 26th, 2007

Diana always seems to have the tips you need-read them!

 Diana Huggins who contributes to Lockgnome’s Windows Fanatics blog always seems to have those tips and how tos that people need.  Whether it’s watermarks in Word or new lines in Excel cells, Diana has posted them.

Sure, you might think they are simple, if you’ve already spent time trying to figure out how to do it through trial and error and Office help, but lots of people haven’t.

Instead of just posting every day her latest tip, just save us both some time and subscribe to the blog and get them via RSS.


By Tris Hussey -- 0 comments

March 5th, 2007

Alt-enter is your friend in Excel

Ever need to make a line break within an Excel cell?  Sure, when you are typing a long description (like invoices).  The secret to doing it is alt-enter.  Yep, simple as that:

Quickie Excel tip: When you’re typing text into a cell, by default hitting Enter takes you to the next cell. However, to wrap your text in the current cell as you type? Hit up Alt-Enter.

Check out some more Excel keyboard shortcuts.
Source: Excel Tip: Wrap text as you type with Alt-Enter - Lifehacker

Lifehacker is building a great list of shortcuts for Excel.  One of my favs is still the ctrl arrow key.  It jumps to the next filled cell.  If you combine that with shift, you get an ultra-powerful way to select a ton of data with one click.


By Tris Hussey -- 0 comments

February 16th, 2007

Download needed to save as PDF or XPS in Office 2007

One of the anticipated features and Microsoft office 2007 is the ability to natively export files as PDF or XPS.  I was looking for this feature today when I needed to send off an invoice but couldn’t find it.  Luckily a quick search in help gave me the answer right away, I needed to download the add-in!

It only took a couple seconds to do this and I didn’t even need to reboot or close Excel, but really bugged me that this wasn’t included by default.

Here’s the link to the page where you can download this pretty essential add-in for office 2007.

Even though Microsoft has been criticized by Adobe for including PDF export in Office 2007, I think it’s a really good thing.  I wonder if the XPS format is gonna catch on and all.  I think we’ll have to wait and see. 


By Tris Hussey -- 0 comments

February 15th, 2007

Stuck creating a document? Try using a template

So you need to create a new document.  It doesn’t matter if you’re using Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint (or even OpenOffice), looking at a blank screen is almost as daunting as getting the document done.

Now, when you make this a complex task, like a form letter or invoice, you can waste a lot of time making one from scratch.  My first stop whenever I need to do something like this is to look for the built-in templates that of come with Microsoft office.

Like today, I needed to make a new invoice, my old PDF invoice wasn’t going to work anymore, so I needed something new.  My first stop in Excel, because a knew Excel was the right application for me to make invoices, was to open help, and type invoice template.  I was given a choice of several different styles of templates, I picked one, downloaded it from Microsoft, filled it in, and I was done.

The same goes for Word or PowerPoint, browsing the built in templates can save you a ton of time when you need to make a new document, an especially a complex document.

For instance business cards.  When you buy one of the print yourself business card packs, using a template is critical to making sure the cards come out right.

For those of you who think all stock templates are boring and ugly, you’re wrong.  A lot of the templates are very nice, and all of them can be customized.

One of the best work tips I can give you is to use the resources your computer already has two save you time and effort.  Using templates is one of those tips that everyone should be using.


By Tris Hussey -- 0 comments

November 22nd, 2006

Thanksgiving Checklist

Last year, following the Getting Things Done methodology, I thought I would document “what” we did “when” for Thanksgiving so as to save ourselves some time this year for the eating event of the year.

I wasn’t alone.

Somewhere out there in the Blogosphere, an Excel spreadsheet was developed that provided the dish to be prepared in the first column with each dish in a separate row and the time of day to prepare the dish as columns with a little “x” by the start and end times.

Could you prepare the yams on Wednesday night instead of Thanksgiving day? Yes! Start it at what time and it would be completed, put in the ‘fridge and then warmed up Thanksgiving Day.

So last year I kept what we had for a menu. How many boxes of dressing. How many yams. How big the turkey was and how long it lasted for leftovers. What I made on Wednesday night and what we made on Thanksgiving Day. What time of the day we ate that famous turkey dinner so I knew what time to start everything.

I answered the question as to whether we should bake or buy the pumpkin pie.

But I didn’t realize archiving by default on my Outlook applied to tasks, notes, calendars, and thought it only applied to Mail. My Thanksgiving past was in one of my notes.

I can’t remember if we should bake or buy the pumpkin pie.

If any of you out there have a good template to follow for the Thanksgiving feast, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. If you were that cool blogger brave enough to post your Excel spreadsheet outlining your dishes and times to cook, I’d really love to hear from you.

These were tools that reduced the stress of the holiday and made Thanksgiving a lot more about, well, thanksgiving.

But don’t worry. My priorities are straight. It’s not about pimping your Thanksgiving Holiday, it’s about enjoying it.

While there are many readers from all across the planet reading about this unique American holiday here on Pimp Your Work, the universal truth about Thanksgiving is that it was meant to celebrate the things in our lives to be thankful for through our work. Take a moment and think about that. Toast a glass of your favorite drink and celebrate what you have to be thankful about this day.

From my family to yours — have a great Thanksgiving.

By Scot Herrick -- 0 comments