Sunday, April 30, 2017

Back Me Up

Tomorrow is too late

There is a company called the Argentum Corporation. They produce some commercial products to help organize files and facilitate backups.

They, also, provide a free Back up guide
"This backup guide focuses on backing up in general, assists you in finding important data on your computer, explains you how to locate the proper paths, files and folders that may be recommended for regular backup.
The following topics are covered in detail:
  • My Documents backup,
  • Outlook data backup,
  • E-mail backup (Outlook Express),
  • registry backup,
  • messenger backup (ICQ, MSN, Yahoo!, AOL),
  • system folders backup and more"

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Create Animation Schemes

Roll your own

When you click on Slide Show>Animation Schemes, the task pane will display pre-set animations.

You can create your own Animation Schemes.

Shyam Pillai from PowerPoint details the steps to take and a downloadable template.

Animation Schemes in PowerPoint

"The best part is that you can add/modify and distribute animation schemes of your own.
All the schemes are present in a read-only file quikanim.ppt located in
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\1033 

(the path may vary depending on the drive and installation folder).
This file is essentially a normal PowerPoint file. You can open the file in PowerPoint directly. However it is best to remove the read-only flag before opening it."

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tiny Trebuchet

Pumpkin (seed) flinger

Something there is that is fascinated by hurling things through the air. The medievals tossed oil and rocks.
Today it's mostly Fall vegetables.

Here's away to bring the machine down to desk level and make cubical living even more dangerous.

Build your own 3" trebuchet out of paperclips

Build a Trebuchet in your backyard

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Search the Way You Want

It's your choice

Using Find in Access can be frustrating when you forget to change the search options.

You can change the defaults to something closer to your personal search preferences.

To do so, select Tools>Options from the menu bar (the Office Logo in 2007).

Then, click on the Edit>Find tab (under Advanced in 2007) and select the option button you want from Default Find>Replace Behavior.

  • Fast Search is the default, and causes Access to search the current field for an exact match to your criteria.

  • General Search, searches all fields and matches any part of the field.

  • Start Of Field Search, searches the current field for matches between your search string and the beginning characters in the field.

When you've made your selection, click OK.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Make Senders Safe

Vouch for your friends

Add names to your Safe Senders List.

If the Junk E-mail Filter mistakenly marks an e-mail message as junk, you can add the sender of that message to the Safe Senders List. E-mail addresses and domain names that appear in the Safe Senders List are never treated as junk.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. On the Preferences tab, under E-mail, click Junk E-mail.

  3. Click the Safe Senders tab.

  4. Click Add.

    In the Enter an e-mail address or Internet domain name to be added to the list box, enter the name or address that you want to add. For example, you can add the following types of addresses:

  5. Click OK. .

Information About the Safe Senders Option

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Large Documents

Plan ahead

Jack M. Lyon has prepared a list of steps to be considered when working with large documents:
"I can't leave the topic of typesetting without explaining some of the things I learned on the last book I typeset--in Microsoft Word. The book had more than 400 pages and several hundred footnotes, and Word would have handled it better if I'd been more particular about the following:"

Typesetting Tips for Word

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Worksheet Name

Formula construction

There may come a time when you need to display the name of a worksheet.

This formula will do the job:

returns the path, the Workbook name and the Worksheet name. (C:\Documents\[April.xls]\Costs)
selects the text that starts at a certain point and goes on for a certain number of characters.

The formula, as written, looks at the full path and selects the first time a closing bracket (]) is found.

It then moves 1 character to the right and displays the results up to 31 characters.
(A worksheet name cannot be more that 31 characters long.)

You could include a reference to that cell on other worksheets.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hosts File

I've got your number

"...the Hosts file is like an address book. When you type an address like into your browser, the Hosts file is consulted to see if you have the IP address, or "telephone number," for that site. If you do, then your computer will "call it" and the site will open. If not, your computer will ask your ISP's (internet service provider) computer for the phone number before it can "call" that site.
Most of the time, you do not have addresses in your "address book," because you have not put any there. Therefore, most of the time your computer asks for the IP address from your ISP to find sites."

What is a Hosts file? has a Hosts file that you can download and install. It includes a BAT file that renames the old file before it saves the new one.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Busted Links


With the Expression Web Designer go to Site>Reports>Problems>Hyperlinks.
You will able to check if any links have failed and need to be fixed.

There are a few third-party shareware programs that do the same thing.

One of them is:

Xenu's Link Sleuth

It's free and will create a report that can be saved for reference.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Squeezin' out the Pixals

Slim PP Fast

When you insert pictures into a PowerPoint show, the size of the file begins to bloat. There is a built in tool that helps.
  1. Select the graphic.
  2. Right-click and pick "Format Picture".
  3. Click the "Picture" tab and click on the "Compress" button.
  4. Click "Selected pictures" to compress the currently picture. Choose "All pictures in document" to handle all images in the show.
  5. In the "Change resolution" section, choose how your show is going to be presented.
  6. In the "Options" section, check both "Compress pictures" and "Delete cropped areas of pictures."
  7. OK your way out.
In PowerPoint 2007+ select the picture and look at the Picture Tools >Format group.


The PowerPoint & Office Art Team Blog:
Compress Pictures

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

View Related Fields

The whole thing

When designing a query, you'll often find the need to temporarily view fields beyond the ones you want shown in the final result.

To do so, you probably drag the relevant fields to the design grid and then delete them when you're done. However, there's an easier way to view the data that you typically want excluded in the query.

To do so:
  1. Open the query in Design view.
  2. Display the query's Properties sheet
  3. Set the Output All Fields property setting to Yes
  4. Run the query
Data from all of the underlying tables' fields will be displayed in addition to the fields you specified in the QBE grid. To change the query so that it only displays the fields explicitly selected in the QBE grid, simply
reset the Output All Fields property to No.


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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Delete Fast

No waiting

Unfortunately, Outlook does not allow you to use CTRL or Shift to select multiple folders at a time to delete them. Also the process slows down as the contents are deleted and then the folder. A quick way to get rid of them is to drag them to the Deleted Items folder.

The same is true of emails destined for the garbage bin.
Delete Folders

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Monday, April 17, 2017

CSS Links

Some of the Best

If you have an interest in Cascading Style sheets, look at a few of these tutorials and downloads.

"CSS Creator site is a place for you to learn about and create CSS, Cascading Style Sheets. The CSS Forum is a place where you can discuss CSS page layouts, positioning, bugs and just about anything related to cascading style sheets.
The forum is new, free and most of all needs people like you to create a community. Talk about CSS, ask questions, find solutions, and help each other learn at the CSS Forum."

CSS has a collection of links to valuable Web design information.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Work that Menu

List of project docs

A collection of tips including:

Word (pre-07) allows you to add a menu to the toolbar that can keep a list of papers you're working on:

  1. Go to Tools>Customize.
  2. Click the Commands tab.
  3. Under the list of Categories, click Built-in menus.
  4. Under the list of Commands, locate and drag the Work menu to your toolbar.
  5. Click Close

Work Menu

In Word 2007+, you can see a list of 50 recently used documents when you click the Office logo. If you don't want them to drop off the list, they can be pinned.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Custom Lists

Your Way

At times, you will want to enter the same information repeatedly in a spreadsheet.
It could be employee names, products or State names.

Here is a way to produce the information when needed.

Make a list of the items.
Enter the data in, say, A1, B1, C1 etc.
Be sure to enter in the right order; maybe Supervisor and then team members in alphabetic order.

Select all of the cells.
Go to Tools>Options and choose the Custom lists tab.
Click Import.
OK your way out.

Now you can delete the entries on the spreadsheet.

Choose any cell and type one of the items that are on your Custom List.
Click and drag on the fill handle; the tiny square at the bottom right corner of the selected cell.
As you pull, Excel will duplicate your list.

(In Excel 2007+, go to the Office Logo. Choose Excel Options. Edit Custom Lists will be on the Popular page.)

Also see:

The First Shall Be Last
by Dick Kusleika

Sorting by Color
by Chip Pearson

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Friday, April 14, 2017

PowerPoint Screed

WSJ on slide shows

Here is another article trying to rein in the PP overkill.
It is easier to put together a PowerPoint show than it is to write an intriguing speech; Six bullet points vs. 6 pages of text.

Why is it the that polite audience members congratulate even the worse presentations?
"But the civility has some self-interest. Larry Chung, a software developer, doesn't criticize fellow presenters, he says, "because I know the tables could be turned a few weeks later."
To him, PowerPoint presentations are like corporate karaoke. "For the most part, it's tough to listen to," he says. "We all applaud each other even though we know how bad it stinks."

Go Easy on the Text

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Calendar Templates

New days

Here are calendars that you can produce using Word, PowerPoint, or even Visio.


Also see
Make a Calendar

"For each month of each year featured, there are a variety of printable calendar pages for you to choose from. You can print out calendar pages that include coloring pages, selected craft projects, and special days to celebrate. "

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Progress bar on Forms

Show movement

You can display computer time by using the Microsoft Progress Bar Control. In earlier versions of Access, it can be found by using the "More Controls icon in the Toolbox. In Access 2007 it's under "Insert Active X Control".

Here are the instructions from
Progress Clock

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Calendar Printing Assistant

Printing help for 2007+

Some of the things you can do:

  • You can print and compare calendars in a variety of views:
  • Personalize your calendars with notes, images, colors, and designs:
  • Adjust information to changing views
  • Display information the way you need it:
  • Forecast your activities. The Calendar Printing Assistant has tools to display and organize long-range calendar
Calendar Printing Assistant

Also see
Printing Tools

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Monday, April 10, 2017


What's to know?

Fun, fashion & science in this quirky site about shoelaces. Whether you want to learn to lace shoes, tie shoelaces, stop shoelaces from coming undone, calculate shoelace lengths or even repair aglets, Ian's Shoelace Site has the answer!

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Sunday, April 09, 2017

Template Videos

See how it's done

Access 2013-16 template videos available.

"Access  ships with Web database templates, each of which does a great job of showing off the new features. We've created videos about how to use each template, as well as a video showing you how to modify a template by adding a field."

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Saturday, April 08, 2017

Spell Checker Update

Word 2007+

A discussion of how Spell Checker works and how it has improved over the years.

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Friday, April 07, 2017

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Montage in PPT

No need for Photoshop

Fill a picture with a gradient - or another picture in PowerPoint? Have you wanted to blend two pictures in PowerPoint to create a montage?

Transparent montages in PowerPoint

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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Open Calendar

First thing

"If you want Outlook to start in the Calendar folder, go to Tools, Options, Other tab, Advanced and select the calendar in the Start up in this folder field. If the folder you want to use isn’t listed you can create a shortcut using the /select switch: "
outlook /select "outlook:calendar\subcalendar"

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Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Video without sidebar

Avoid collateral references

Sometime the appropriate video has inappropriate links next to it. Here's how to embed just what you want

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Monday, April 03, 2017

Control Sort

Your choice

You can determine how Excel sorts your data.


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Sunday, April 02, 2017

Find Commands

Ribbon seeker

MS has a download that can be used to search for those old toolbar commands on the new Ribbon.

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Saturday, April 01, 2017

SS Zip Codes

Excel to Access

Social Security Numbers and ZIP Codes can present special challenges when importing them into Access from Excel. This tip explains how you can prepare the data for the smoothest transition possible.

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