Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Zero 0

Zero is nothing

If a zero isn't worth anything, why show it?

Here is a Microsoft tutorial about how to deal with zilch:

  • Display or hide all zero values on a worksheet

  • Use a number format to hide zero values in selected cells

  • Use a conditional format to hide zero values returned by a formula

  • Use a formula to display zeros as a blanks or dashes

  • Hide zero values in a PivotTable report
Hide Zeros

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Calculators on the Web

Figure the vigorish

It's sometimes easier to use a preset calculator than it is to write your own in Excel.
Here's a collection of sites:

  • Auto Calculators

  • Bond Calculators

  • Budget Calculators

  • College Calculators

  • Credit Card Calculators

  • Home Calculators

  • Insurance - Disability Calculators

  • Insurance - Health Calculators

  • Insurance - Life Calculators

  • Life Expectancy Calculators

  • Choose-to-Save - Life Expectancy

  • Mutual Fund Calculators

  • Paycheck Planning Calculators

  • Retiree Health

  • Retirement Calculators

  • Roth IRA Calculators

  • Savings Calculators

  • Social Security Calculators

  • Social Security Administration - Estimate Your Potential Benefit

  • Stock Calculators

  • Tax Calculators

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Address Map

Display a map to an Outlook contact's address

If a contact item has an address in the United States, you can use your Internet connection and Outlook to create a map to the address. You must be connected to the Internet for this feature to work.
Open the contact item.
Next to the Address text box, click on the down arrow and select the address you want to map (Business, Home, or Other).
Then choose Actions/Display Map Of Address from the menu bar or click the Display Map Of Address button.
Your default browser opens and the map is created using Microsoft Expedia Maps.

Outlook Maps

In Outlook 2007, the Map button is on the Contact tab on the right side of the Communicate group.

2007 uses Maps.Live.com.

Outlook tips:
Customize Outlook's Map link
You can edit the registry to enable another web-based mapping service.

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Word Math

An Add-in, of course

Microsoft has a downloadable add-in for Word called Microsoft Math.

"To use the add-in, open Word 2007+, type Alt-= to create a RichEdit math object, type an equation or expression, and right-click on the equation to see options for solving and graphing within Word."

Math Add-in

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Friday, March 16, 2018

What's New in Excel 2013

Different can be good

Microsoft has a information that explains the highlights of the new features of Excel:

  • Improved ribbon

  • Access workbooks in new ways

  • Make fast, effective comparisons from lists of data

  • Sparklines

  • Create workbooks with more visual impact

  • Collaborate on workbooks in new ways
There are also other links.

What's New in Excel 2013

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

PPT Font Size

How big should you go?

In the old days of slide shows, presenters would hold their slides out at arm's length. If they could still see the text, then it would be OK when projected.

Dave Paradi has researched the question and offers a PDF document that compares screen size, fonts, and seating distance.

For instance:
"For example, if you're using a 60 inch screen and have 32 point text on your slides, the furthest someone should be is 57 feet from the screen."
Font Size

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Tips

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Merge to More Than One Document

Custom content

In the Data Source, include a field for the type of letter the recipient requires.

In the Main merge document, enter IF fields, such as:

{IF {MERGEFIELD "LetterType"=1} {INCLUDETEXT "C:\\Project\\Letter1" \* MERGEFORMAT} ""}
{IF {MERGEFIELD "LetterType"=2} {INCLUDETEXT "C:\\Project\\Letter2" \* MERGEFORMAT} ""}

  • The curly brackets { } cannot be entered from the key board. Either use Insert>Field, or Ctrl+F9.
  • Word uses spaces in the If..Then..Else statement.
  • The last two quote marks "" are "empty" , so nothing will be entered.
  • Notice the \\ in the path statement. A path is not needed if the Main document is in the same folder as the letters.
  • To see the field codes, use Alt+F9 to toggle the view on and off.
Letters 1 and 2 can have completely different texts, formats and layouts. One can be an invitation to a sale, the other can be a dunning letter. (To carry over different formatting, leave out the \* MERGEFORMAT switch)

After setting up the main document for mail merging, insert all of the fields you want to merge.

Copy the individual fields and paste them in the correct locations in Letter 1 and 2.

Go back to the main document and erase all of the text and fields EXCEPT for the IF statements.

Letters 1 and 2 do not have to be set up a merge docs, or connected to a data source. Their text will be inserted in the Main document depending on the field type.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Display the Current Record Number

Without navigation

You may want to remove the navigation buttons from an Access form but still display the current record number. Not the ID or serial number, but the record number that would appear in the navigation box.

To provide this feature, you can use VBA to place the form's CurrentRecord value in an unbound text box, and then update the value during the Current event.

To utilize this property, add an unbound text box to your form in Design view. Then, on the Event tab of the form's Property list, click the ellipsis or Build button. Choose Code Builder.

Add the following code in the Visual Basic Editor:

Private Sub Form_Current()
MyTextBox = Me.CurrentRecord
End Sub

(where MyTextBox is the name of the control that displays the record number.)

Now, when you navigate from record to record, the MyTextBox control will update automatically to reflect the current number.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Calendar Blanc

Empty days

Outlook allows you to print out your calendars.
If you just want to print a blank calendar over a specified period, here are the directions:

Blank calendar

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Gun Laws

How trigger happy is your state?

"Most U.S. states have failing scores when it comes to stopping criminals and other dangerous people from obtaining guns.

Two-thirds of all states score less than 20 points out of 100. Almost half of all states score 10 points or less out of 100.

The state with the strongest gun laws is California with 79 points, followed by New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maryland."

Brady Campaign

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Quick Subforms and Subreports

Drag 'em on over

When you need to create a subform or subreport, you probably use the Subform/Subreport tool from the Toolbox to draw where you want to add the control.

You can also create subform and subreports using drag and drop.

Simply open the main form or report in Design view, then drag the appropriate form or report from the Database window to where you want the control created.

Note that you'll still need to set Link Child Fields and Link Master Fields properties on the new control.

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Friday, March 09, 2018

Curly Quotes be gone

Stop them up front

Word, by default, uses curly (“ ”) rather than straight quotes(" ").

Here's an article that shows how to go into Word options and turn this Auto feature off.

Next we need to turn off Moe and Larry

Curly quotes

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Thursday, March 08, 2018

Tweak Windows

Tune-up suggestions

There are third party apps that you can use to improve Windows' performance. If you want to do it on your own, here are some Redmond suggestions:

  • Delete programs you never use

  • Limit how many programs load at startup

  • Defragment your hard drive

  • Clean up your hard disk

  • Run fewer programs at the same time

  • Turn off visual effects

  • Restart regularly

  • Add more memory

  • Check for viruses and spyware

  • Check your computer’s speed

  • Disable services you don’t need

  • Don’t settle for slow
Optimize Windows



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Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Bartleby Quotations

Wha'd I say

Churchill, Winston S.

..."man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on."
Here are a few of one hundred + reference sources available free:


  • American Heritage Collegiate Dictionary
  • Brewer's Phrase & Fable
  • Bulfinch's Mythology
  • Cambridge History
  • Columbia Encyclopedia
  • Columbia Gazetteer
  • Dickinson, E.
  • Einstein's Relativity
  • Eliot, T.S.
  • Farmer's Cookbook
  • Fowler's King's English
  • Gray's Anatomy
  • Lawrence, D.H.
  • Mencken's Language
  • Oxford Shakespeare
  • Presidential Inaugurals
  • Roget's Thesaurus
  • Strunk's Style
  • The King James Bible
Also see: Project Gutenberg 

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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Filter Multiple Fields

Table sorts

In a table's Datasheet view, you can filter multiple selections in a few simple ways.

In the first method, you select one of the fields you want to filter by and click the Filter By Selection button on the toolbar. Access filters the records by that selection. Next, select the second field you want to filter by and click the button again. Access filters the records even further by this second selection. Continue to follow these steps until you have filtered by the desired number of selections.

You can also use Filter by Form. Click the icon on the toolbar. In the displayed form, enter the criteria. You can use And/Or statements, such as "Boston" Or "San Francisco".
(Access will enter the quote marks for you.)

For the third option, you use the Advanced Filter>Sort feature. To do so, select Records>Filter>Advanced Filter>Sort from the menu bar. Access displays a grid similar to the Query By Example grid. Now, drag down all the fields you want to filter by from the field list. Then, in the Criteria cells enter the values you want to filter for. When you have finished, click the Apply Filter button to see the results.

Fourth, you could use Filter by input. Right click any entry in a field you want filtered. Enter the value in the Filter For box and hit Enter. You could then choose another field and sort again by another criteria.
Creating a Query would let you save your filter, but these methods can be used to quickly display the desired information in a table.
(In 2007+ these options are on the Home tab in the Sort & Filter group)

How to Filter Records in a Microsoft Access Table

Microsoft Kb:
How to filter records in an Access database

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Monday, March 05, 2018

Google Hear em See em

Accessible searching

Google appears to have a tool or mini app for almost anything.
Here are some of their answers to making information available to the greatest number of people.

(look at 1-800-GOOG-411)

  • Web Search:

    Result pages include headers to delineate logical sections.

  • Accessible Search:
    Promotes results that are accessible.

  • Book Search:

    Full-text access to public-domain works.

  • Gmail:

    A simple yet functional HTML mode that works well with screen readers
  • Gmail Mobile:
    A lightweight user interface that is also speech-friendly.

  • Google Maps:
    Easy-to-use textual directions.

  • Calendar:
    A functional, yet speech-friendly user interface.

  • Audio Captchas:

    All services that use Google Accounts provide an audio alternative for the visual challenge-response tests that are used to distinguish humans from machines.

  • Mobile Transcoder:

    A mobile lens for viewing the web that produces accessible views.

  • Google Video:

    Allows uploaded videos to contain captions/subtitles in multiple languages for viewers who are hearing-impaired or unfamiliar with the original language.

  • Google Talk:

    IM clients inside a web browser can pose accessibility challenges, but the use of the open Jabber API means that Google users can choose from a variety of Jabber clients, many of which work well with adaptive technologies.

  • 1-800-GOOG-411:

    Here's an exception to the rule that we deliver most things through a web browser. Our experimental Voice Local Search service lets anyone who can speak into a phone search for a local business by name or category; get connected to the business free of charge; get the details by SMS if you’re using a mobile phone. (Just say "text message".)

Accessibility Services

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Sunday, March 04, 2018

Capable Egg

By Lullaby Baxter Trio

ASIN B000046S0B
Atlantic 2000

About the Artist

Lullaby Baxter (Angelina Iapaulo) is neither fish nor fowl.

"Lullaby Baxter's story couldn't be better: A onetime topless DJ at a Toronto club, Baxter (Canadian-born Angelina Teresa Iapaulo) was discovered when she impulsively sang at an open-mic night.

Her backing band couldn't be better, either: The Oranj Symphonette .Baxter brings to her music torch-song gentility.

"Rooster In Love" is a barnyard-romance yarn that may not be metaphor, while "Mama (Should I Bake A Cherry Pie And Hide You Inside?)" is told from the perspective of a fretting child trying to save mom from some dire, rapidly approaching fate.

"Morty Mort-Morton Showstopper Calhoun," "Knucklehead," and "Ding-A-Ling" are teasing schoolyard chants, while "Mr. Powder-Blue Breadbox," "Horsey Don't Snore," and "The Chatterbox Chronicles" are full of surreal twists worthy of Lewis Carroll.

Capable Egg presents a strange world populated by even stranger people, but Lullaby Baxter Trio's grip on its eccentric material is remarkably restrained and mysteriously magnetic."

Recording Description
Good sound quirky lyrics.


1. Hopscotch
2. Anyway Song
3. Knucklehead
4. Rooster in Love
5. Mr. Powder-Blue Breadbox
6. Chatterbox Chronicles
7. Mama (Should I Bake a Cherry Pie and Hide You Inside?)
8. Ding-A-Ling
9. Morty-Mort-Morton Showstopper Calhoun
10. Spacegirl
11. Horsey Don't Snore
12. Lullaby
13. Ding-A-Ling (Reprise)

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Saturday, March 03, 2018

Email Access Form

Question and collection

Access 2007-10 has a wizard that will walk you through the process of sending an information gathering form through Outlook. The wizard is on the External Data tab in the Collect Data group.

"You begin with the Collect Data Through E-mail Messages Wizard, which guides you through the steps of creating a form.

The form is sent through Microsoft Office Outlook 2007-10 to your recipients, with your request for new or updated information.

When the recipients reply to your message, Access automatically enters their data into your database.

Collect data by using e-mail

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Friday, March 02, 2018

Split the Costs

Split the sheets (?)

Joe Chirilov presents a spreadsheet solution to a friendship breaker.

Recently a large group of friends and I went on a multi-city tour of Europe that lasted a couple weeks. There was a lot of planning that went into this trip and responsibilities for booking different legs of the trip were spread out across the group. How do you efficiently handle paying back multiple people while getting reimbursed for your costs at the same time?

Split Costs

You can download a spreadsheet or watch a video here:

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Thursday, March 01, 2018

Hi, Ho, the Vizio

Free Demos and templates

Have you ever played with Visio?
This site provides demos. Templates and trials.

These templates are available:
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Pivot Diagrams

  • Help Desk Flow

    "Here you will see the six data collection points for this example help desk. Call volumes, wait times, and resolution rates are tracked at each point in the process. The diagram flows from left to right and top to bottom. Not every caller will experience each of the steps, if a problem is resolved by a Level One technician, then the caller does not progress to the Level Two technician.

  • Fault Tree Analysis

  • PC Assembly Process Flow

  • Supply Chain Analysis

  • Value Stream Mapping

  • Factory Floor Assembly Plan

  • Loan Consolidation Process

  • Investment Analysis Report

  • HVAC Controls

  • Military Organization Chart

  • Network Equipment Rack

  • Insurance Claims by State

  • Audit Process

  • Office Space Planning
Visio Toolbox

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Web Accessibility Report

Make it easy

"Accessibility, the design of HTML documents for accessibility by people with disabilities, is such an important aspect of the Internet today that the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) has adopted a set of guidelines for designing accessible Web sites. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) closely follow Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act.

For some Web sites, adherence to the WCAG is not optional; it is a necessity. Expression Web/FrontPage 2003 has tools for evaluating the accessibility of an entire Web site, identifying elements that violate the guidelines, and finding ways to correct the violations. The accessibility checker provides all of this functionality in a single dialog box.

To access the accessibility checker on the Tools menu click Accessibility (Accessibility Reports).

You can use the accessibility checker to check a single page or an entire Web site. The accessibility checker checks for varying levels of accessibility and specifically for adherence to Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act. You can check for errors or warnings, and you can add a manual checklist."

Expression Web Accessibility

Adding Rules to the Accessibility checker

Making Your Web Site Accessible to the Blind
Test your site:
Cynthia Says

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

You are What You Eat — With

Old Food Tools

Even before we had Ron Popeil to provide our cutlery, there were knives, spoons, and later forks.

California Academy of Sciences:
The History of Eating Utensils

A History of Eating Utensils in the West:
A Brief Timeline
"Henry Petroski, in The Evolution of Useful Things, makes the argument that it is not so much that necessity is the "mother of invention" as that invention takes place in response to dissatisfaction at the shortcomings of an already existing way of doing things.

The eating utensils we use and the ways we use them are the result of centuries of experimentation."

Medieval and Renaissance Eating Utensils and "Feast Gear"

Ron Popeil (aka Ron "But Wait!" Popeil)

"Born in 1935, he was for all practical purposes orphaned three years later when his parents divorced and he and his brother were shunted to a boarding school in upstate New York.

The one memory of this period is of a Christmas when parents were taking their children home for the holidays. Ron peered through a window at the long, straight road leading to the school, hoping to see his father's car approach. It never did."

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Task Manager

When your machine has the snivels

There's a lot of stuff going on in the background that you might want to know about.

That's where the Task Manager comes in.
"There are a couple of ways to show the Windows Task Manager: hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys and press the Delete key - Task Manager will then open some versions of Windows, in others you will be presented with a small dialog box that has a button you can click to open the Task Manager; alternatively you can right-click on empty space on the Taskbar and select Task Manager from the menu."

Here's the Vista/Windows 7 version:

From the BloodyComputer:

Task Manager 1

Task Manager 2

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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Slideshow Accesability

Hearing and vision enhanced

Dave Paradi has an article about how to design PowerPoint shows for those with limited hearing or vision.

With PowerPoint presentations becoming more of a standard way to communicate information of all types, we need to keep in mind that our first responsibility is to our audience. We need to use the ideas above to make sure that we make our presentation accessible for everyone.

Making Accessible Slides

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Mail Your Calendar

Save a calendar as an iCalendar file

  1. In Calendar, select a calendar to make it the active calendar in the view.

  2. On the File menu, click Save As.

  3. Type a name for the iCalendar file in the File name text box.

  4. A summary of the calendar name, date range, and detail level appears next to More Options.

  5. From the Date Range list, choose the amount of calendar data to include in the iCalendar file, or click Specify dates to enter a custom date range.

  6. From the Detail list, choose the amount of detail to show the recipients.
    Optionally, click Show to see Advanced options.

  7. Click OK, and then click Save.
E-Mail Calendar 

Share a calendar  

Share Outlook

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Migrate to Word 2007++

Move the parts.

If you've been having trouble with converting to Word 2007+, this might help.

This topic discusses migration considerations for Microsoft Office Word 2007+, including:

  • Migrating files to the new file format

  • Migrating AutoText entries

  • Migrating customizations

  • Migrating Add-ins

  • Migrating AutoCorrect entries

  • Migrating the data key
Microsoft - Migration considerations

Changes in Office 2013

Changes to Office 2016

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Page Break CSS

Before or after

You can put a break on a web page like you can in a document.
A Cascading Style Sheet makes it simple

"The stub-ends left when paragraphs end on the first line of a page are called widows. They have a past but not a future, and they look foreshortened and forlorn."

Orphans are parts of a paragraph that begin on the previous page. An orphan has a future, but no past.

The only paging properties supported by Internet Explorer 7, Safari 3 and Firefox 2 are page-break-before and page-break-after.
The page-break-before and page-break-after properties enable you to say that a page break should occur before or after the specified element. The following example starts a new page every time an h1 heading is encountered and after every .section block.
h1 {
page-break-before:always }
.section {

Etiquette of Pagination

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Convert Fonts

A type change

PowerPoint has a feature that allows you to replace any of the fonts being used in a presentation
You may want to do this to change the look of a show, or because the type face is not available on another machine and not embeddable.

Go to Format>Replace Fonts.

Choose one of the fonts you are currently using and its replacement.

Look over your presentation before saving it. Sometimes a different font will change the spacing on a slide. You may have to reformat a few slides

RDP Slides.com:
Troubleshoot font problems

Working with Text in PowerPoint

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Convert Access Macros to VBA

Macros to Modules

Before Access 2000, the speculation was that Access would lose "Macros" and enter the exclusive world of VBA. It hasn't happened yet.

If you have macros in a database that you would like to convert to code, doing so is easy.

In Access 97: Right-click on the macro in the Database window and then choose Save As/Export from the shortcut menu. Then, select the Save As Visual Basic Module option button and click OK. You are then given the option of adding error handling functions and comments to the new module. Select the options you want and click Convert.

In Access 2000/2002+: Right-click on the macro in the Database window and then choose Save As from the shortcut menu. Enter the name of the module you want to create in the text box and choose Module from the As dropdown list. Next, click OK. You will be given the option of adding error handling functions and comments to the new module. Select the options you want and click Convert.

In 2007 go to Database Tools and look in the Macros group.

Pearson Informit:
Taking More Control of Access
By Gordon Padwick.

Access 2007 introduced a new type of macros called embedded macros. Embedded macros are macros that are stored on an event instead of as a separate object. Embedded macros support name fix-up and are used extensively through-out our templates. They are largely targeted to information workers that don’t write code but useful for developers that are trying to perform some simple actions.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Itsy Spifires

Bitsy bombers

Here's a collection of paper airplanes that will get you expelled/fired any day of the year.
"They're cute. They're zippy. They're the ultimate time-wasters. Created by paper airplane world record holder and engineer Jeff Lammers, authors of the World Record Paper Airplane series, this calendar features a full year of palm-sized flying machines and detailed folding instructions. Perfect for stirring up a little mischief at the office. 4 1/2" x 5 1/2".

365 Tiny Paper Airplanes Calendar 2011

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

What the ####

Truncated Numbers

Access has a new option that will show octothorps when the column is too narrow to display the entire value. When this option is not enabled, you see only part of the values in a column rather than ####.

You'll find the selection under Access Options when you click the Office button.
Go to Current Database and make your choice.

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