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Microsoft Office 2003









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Tweak your grayscale settings to suit your view (PowerPoint)

  • If you're familiar with the grayscale option in PowerPoint, you already know that you can view your slides in shades of gray, rather than full color. (This option allows you to see how your slide show might look when printed on a non-color printer.) And doing so is as simple as clicking on the Color/Grayscale button on the main toolbar and selecting Grayscale.
  • But, you have more viewing options than you may think. When in Grayscale View, right-click on the slide and investigate your options under the Grayscale Setting selection. Here you'll find choices to lighten or darken the grayscale tone, invert it, or change it to different forms of black and white.
  • Additionally, you can use different grayscale options for different objects on the same slide. Simply right-click on an object and change the settings individually.

Keep ‘em coming back for more with a frequent-buyer punch card

  • Repeat business is the key to success for most companies, so if your customers aren't coming back, you're missing out on potential profits. With an inexpensive incentive like a frequent-buyer reward card, you'll ensure your customers return again and again.
  • To turn an ordinary customer into a frequent buyer, we'll:
    • Create a blank sheet of printable punch cards so you have a blank slate ready for your creative touches.
    • Add and position graphics and text on a single card so you can get just the look you're after.
    • Add the all-important punch markers along the bottom edge of the card so your customers can see their progress.
    • Fill up the rest of your sheet with copies of your original punch card design so you're ready to print and go.
  • Read More: Office 2003 Tips

Tip: Avoid the My Documents default (Word 2000)

  • When you choose Save As or Open, Word automatically opens the My Documents folder in the resulting dialog box. If you tend to work from a folder other than My Documents, you'll save valuable time by setting that primary folder as your default.
  • To do this, choose Tools | Options from the menu bar, and click on the File Locations tab. Select Documents from the File Types list box and click Modify. In the Modify Location dialog box, open your preferred folder, and then click OK. Click OK to close the Options dialog box. Each time you start Word, it opens the folder you designated as the default working folder the first time you access the Open or Save As dialog box.
  • Regardless of which folder you've selected as the default, Word remembers which folder you navigate to during your Word session and sends you there for subsequent saves or opens. For example, if your default is the C: drive, that folder opens when you first launch Word. But, if you navigate to a folder on your network to open or save a document, Word opens that folder next time you click Save As or Open. When you close and reopen Word, the Save As or Open dialog box again defaults to the C: drive.

Tip: Create a custom template out of your presentation (PowerPoint 2000)

  • If you just made a killer presentation that you think might be the perfect one for your company, you can make a custom template out of it. Fonts, graphics, images, and backgrounds can all be saved in one neat package that you can reuse when you create new presentations. When you make a custom template, it's then available with the default design templates in the Slide Design task pane. To save a presentation as a design template, open the presentation and choose File | Save As from the main menu. In the Save As dialog box, type in a new name for the template and choose Design Template (*.pot) in the Save As Type field. Click Save when done. When you create a new presentation, you can select the saved template from the General tab.

Tip: Make hyperlinks stand out with custom formatting (Word 2000)

  • If you're dissatisfied with the default underlined blue text formatting that Word applies to hyperlinks, you can give it a permanent makeover. All you need to do is modify the Hyperlink style. To do so, choose Format | Style from the menu bar to open the Style dialog box, and then choose All Styles from the List dropdown list. Next, choose Hyperlink from the Styles list box, and then click Modify. In the Modify Style dialog box, click the Format button and use the options in the resulting dropdown list to modify the style's formatting as desired. When you've finished, select the Add To Template check box in the Modify Style dialog box to apply the style modifications to all documents, and then click OK to close the Modify Style dialog box. Next, click Apply in the Style dialog box to confirm the changes you've made. At this point, you can also change the style used with followed hyperlinks as well by selecting and modifying the FollowedHyperlink item in the Styles list box. When you've finished, click OK to close the Style dialog box. If you're prompted to save changes to the template the next time you close Word, click Yes to ensure that your style modifications are preserved.

Tip: Quickly view the layout of a Microsoft Access report (2000)

  • As you're working on a report's design, you'll often want to preview how the finished product will look. Unfortunately, if the report's record source is a query that takes a long time to process, the task can be too painful to perform as often as you'd like. In such instances, you can save time and get an idea of how your report will look by using Layout Preview as opposed to Print Preview. The typical report view you probably use is Print Preview, which shows exactly how the printed version of your data will look. Unfortunately, this requires Access to fully retrieve and process the record source data. In comparison, Layout Preview grabs a sample of your data to provide a general idea of what the printed report will look like. To see the Layout Preview of a report, open the report in Design view and choose View | Layout Preview from the menu bar. Note that in addition to using just a sample set of data, this view ignores criteria or joins in an underlying query. This means that if the report contains grouping specifications, the record detail displayed in a record group may not really correspond to that group--it's important to remember that you can't use Layout Preview to audit your data. Also note that if your report's record source is based on a parameter query, you can simply click OK when prompted for a parameter value. You may have to click OK to get through subsequently displayed message boxes, but you'll often be able to preview the layout without having to take the time to enter real parameter values.
Tip: Fight spam with the latest technology (Outlook 2003)
  • Outlook 2003's junk email filtering tools are much more advanced than in previous versions. Instead of searching for phrases that may indicate spam in the email's subject line, Outlook 2003 also searches the body of the email. In addition, it looks at the email's structure, along with the time it was sent, to verify its legitimacy. Microsoft's new SmartScreen Technology "learns" how to differentiate between junk email and legitimate email.
  • You can take advantage of this new technology through the Junk E-mail Options dialog box. Just choose Tools | Options from the menu bar, and then click the Junk E-mail button. Also, get the latest update for Outlook 2003's junk email filters from the following URL:

Tip: Keep a daily electronic to-do list using Microsoft Outlook's TaskPad (2003)

  • Most people keep at least one running to-do list at all times. For you, maybe it's a sticky note, a scrap of paper, or a memorized list you've filed in your head. For a to-do list to be useful, however, it must be both accessible and comprehensive. The methods we've mentioned here all lend themselves to potential disaster. You could forget important items you thought you committed to memory or you could lose a written list. Use Outlook's TaskPad as your daily to-do list, and make this dilemma a thing of the past.
  • To display the TaskPad, click on the Calendar icon in the Navigation Pane. The TaskPad displays to the right of the Calendar. (If the TaskPad isn't visible, select View | TaskPad from the Outlook menu bar.) Right-click in the Click Here To Add A New Task text box and choose TaskPad View | Active Tasks For Selected Days. Make sure that the Include Tasks With No Due Date option also remains selected. (Any unaccepted task requests appear in bold font in this view.)
  • Click in the Click Here To Add A New Task text box and enter a to-do item. Then, press [Enter] to add the task. When you enter a task in this manner, it's created without a due date, start date, etc. You can double-click on a task to add more information. For example, you can add notes to a task. To view these additional notes, right-click in the Click Here To Add text box, and choose AutoPreview from the resulting shortcut menu. Select a task's corresponding check box to mark the task as complete, or delete a task by right-clicking on it and choosing Delete from the resulting shortcut menu. Once you delete a task, it no longer displays in this view.
  • When creating or accepting tasks using the TaskPad, you can quickly reference your Calendar before committing to specific tasks. Before you leave work, create your to-do list for the next day; it takes only 5 to 10 minutes to prepare. This way, you're ready to work and know what you need to accomplish before the day even begins.

Tip: Set up a repeating Microsoft PowerPoint presentation (2003)

  • If you've created a self-running presentation and you want it to run continuously, here's how to do it. Create the presentation, and make sure that your slide timings are correct. Select Slide Show | Set Up Show from the menu bar. In the resulting dialog box, select the Browsed At A Kiosk (Full Screen) option button in the Show Type panel. Click OK, and your presentation is ready to go! Of course, you'll probably want to stop the presentation eventually. To do this, press [Esc].

Tip: Eliminate the drawing canvas from your Microsoft Word documents (2003)

  • If you find the drawing canvas annoying some or all of the time, rest assured that you can get rid of it. To rid yourself of the drawing canvas on a case-by-case basis, simply press [Esc] when it appears on your screen. To send it away for as long as you want, select Tools | Options from the menu bar. Select the General tab, and deselect the Automatically Create Drawing Canvas When Inserting AutoShapes check box. Click OK. Of course, you can return to the Options dialog box and select this same check box if you ever want the drawing canvas to return.

Tip: Stop squinting at your computer screen! (Word 2003)

  • You probably already know how to use the Zoom feature to make your Word documents appear larger on the computer screen. But, did you know you can even zoom in on toolbar buttons? To make your toolbar buttons larger, select Tools | Customize from the menu bar. Switch to the Options tab, and select the Large Icons check box. The buttons become large even before you click OK to close the dialog box.

Tip: Changing the color scheme for only select slides in PowerPoint 2003

  • You can easily change the color scheme for a group of slides in your presentation without changing the color scheme of the entire slide show. To do so, switch to Slide Sorter View, hold down the [Ctrl] key as you click on the slides you want to change. Choose Format | Slide Design, and then click on Color Schemes at the top of the resulting Slide Design task pane. Next, hover your insertion point of the color scheme you want to apply, click on the arrow that appears to the left of the scheme thumbnail, and select Apply To Selected Slides from the resulting shortcut menu.

Tip: Color code meetings and appointments on your Outlook Calendar using labels (Outlook 2003)

  • When you create an appointment or meeting request, you can choose to color code these events using labels. Using color is advantageous if, for example, you have both your work and personal items on one calendar. This way you're able to quickly view what you need to do for both work and home in a given day quickly. You might also label meetings that you've set up with your manager to set them apart on your calendar. To add a label to an event, create a new appointment or meeting, and then click on the Label dropdown menu. Here you can choose from several predetermined labels and colors. To change the title of one of the predefined labels, choose Edit | Label | Edit Labels from the menu bar when your Calendar is open. Double-click on the label name that you'd like to change, and then click OK to save the change. Labels reside on your machine only, so if you send a meeting request to someone else and you have labeled that meeting, the recipient won't see the label that you assigned.

Tip: Removing unnecessary smart tag indicators (Excel 2003)

  • Smart tags were introduced in Excel 2002 to provide a quick way to act upon specific data entered into worksheets. For instance, a smart tag that recognizes stock symbols provides an option menu that lets you retrieve additional information about recognized stocks. By default, smart tags are turned off. When the feature is activated, a small triangle appears in the lower-right corner of cells containing recognized data to let you know that an option menu is available. Unfortunately, Excel may sometimes inappropriately interpret and apply smart tags.
  • For example, say that you have a worksheet that contains stock symbols, and you want to take advantage of smart tags. However, the same worksheet contains a cell with an internally used project code entered in a cell: IMA. Since IMA is also a recognized stock symbol, a smart tag indicator appears.
  • To get rid of an unwanted smart tag indicator, hover your mouse pointer over the cell containing it. Then, click on the smart tag options button that appears and select Remove This Smart Tag from the resulting menu.

Tip: Prevent users from resizing forms (Access 2003)

  • By default, users' Access forms are resizable. However, there are times when you want to restrict users from changing a form's dimensions. Fortunately, doing so is easy. Just change the form's Border Style property from its default of Sizable to any of the other choices. The selection you make affects other aspects as well, as described below:
  • None: The form doesn't have a title bar, so there are no Minimize, Maximize, and Close buttons. You'll probably want to create a custom method for closing the form. Also, the form can't be moved.
  • Thin: All of the usual form elements are available, but the form can't be resized.
  • Dialog: The Minimize and Maximize buttons are unavailable. On older Windows operating systems, the border appears slightly thicker than usual, but there's no real discernible difference if you use the Windows XP style interface.

Tip: Send all of the email from one folder at once (Outlook 2003)

  • Outlook allows you to send all of the messages in a specific folder in one email. Simply select all the email messages that you want to forward by [Ctrl]-clicking on each message. Or, click on the first message in the folder, hold down the [Shift] key, and then click on the last message to select all the messages at once. Then, click the Forward button on the Standard toolbar and Outlook creates a new message with all of your selected emails attached. Just address the new email as you normally would and click Send in the message window. Your manager will thank you, since all the information she needs is in one location. All she has to do is open the email message you sent and double-click on the icon of the particular message she wants to view--each opens in its own window.

Tip: Apply a Smart Tag action to several cells at once (Excel 2003)

  • Excel 2003 uses smart tags to simplify fixing several types of common errors. When you want to apply the same error correction smart tag action to a number of cells, you don't have to work with each cell individually.
  • For instance, let's say you're copying and pasting a cell's formatting to another location, and you realize that you'd actually like to apply the formatting to the column above the cell's new location as well. Copying the formatting of these cells individually is inefficient, which is one reason why Smart Tags can be a great timesaver.
  • Fortunately, you can apply a smart tag action to a range. After you paste the selection, the smart tag button appears next to the highlighted range. Simply choose the appropriate smart tag menu item to apply the action to all of the relevant cells in the selection.

Tip: Copying and pasting a linked table (Access 2003)

  • There are a few new options for copying and pasting linked tables in Access 2003. When you select a linked table in your database, press [Ctrl]C to copy it, and then press [Ctrl]V to paste it in another database. Access displays the Paste Table As dialog box, which offers you four choices in the Paste Options panel.
    • * Linked Table: This option basically copies the table as is, with the link intact.
    • * Structure Only (Local Table): This option copies the structure of the table without the link, making it a local table instead.
    • * Structure And Data: This option copies the full table and its data as a local copy in the new database.
    • * Append Data To Existing Table: This option takes the data in the table and adds it to the data of another selected table.

Tip: Launch a mini slide show so you can edit on the fly in PowerPoint (2003)

  • Have you ever wished there was an easier way to view the results of your edits without having to launch your slide show and then toggle back to PowerPoint to make additional changes? Well, editing on the fly really is easy in PowerPoint if you know the shortcut command. Simply hold down the [Ctrl] key while you choose View | Slideshow and a miniature, yet fully functional slide show appears in the upper-left corner of the screen. Just make sure that your PowerPoint window is not fully maximized.
  • Now, you can make changes to your slides in PowerPoint, such as adjusting borders or updating hyperlinks, and see how they affect your presentation without having to relaunch it--all edits are applied to the mini slide show as soon as you make them.

Tip: Using AutoText in your Outlook messages (2003)

  • You can now create and use AutoText entries in your messages. (Note that this feature isn't available in the HTML mail format.) AutoText entries make it easier for you to type messages by being able to create shortcuts for common terms. For example, you could create an AutoText entry for the word electrophoresis so that when you type EP and press the [Spacebar], Outlook replaces that text with the word. Microsoft Office applications have some built-in AutoText entries, such as typing a colon with closing parenthesis creates a happy face. To create your own AutoText entry while in a message, choose Tools | AutoCorrect Options. Then, click on the AutoCorrect tab if necessary. Then, in the Replace text box, type the characters you want to use for your AutoText entry. In our previous example, you'd type EP. Then, in the With text box, type the full text that should replace the AutoText entry text. Then, click Add and OK. Now type the Autotext shortcut and press either the [Spacebar] or [Enter] and the text is replaced automatically. You can also create AutoText entries outside of a message form. To do this, choose Tools | Options and click on the Spelling tab. Then, click the AutoCorrect Options button.

Tip: Forcing new lines within worksheet cell entries in Excel (2003)

  • Excel is capable of storing large amounts of text data in a cell, but you most likely don't find the information readable when it's in a long string. If you'd prefer that information within a cell be broken onto multiple lines, you can manually insert line breaks to do exactly that. To do so, just press [Alt][Enter] and your insertion point moves down to a new line. This works both when you're entering in the formula bar or directly in a cell.

Tip: Create a default Access form template (2003)

  • If you always want to use the same standardized custom form, you can change Access's default form. To set up a custom template, create your template form by specifying all the properties you want to maintain from form to form. Then, save the form using any name. Next, select Tools | Options from the menu bar and select the Forms/Reports tab. Enter your template's name in the Form Template box to replace the Access default (Normal) and click OK. The next time you create a form, Access will base it on your form template rather than the typical Normal template.

Tip: Change tables into reader-friendly charts in a flash (Word 2003)

  • Transforming tables into charts is often an effective way to help your readers digest the data in your document, providing a visual rendition of numerical information. To make a table into a chart, click inside the table, and then choose Table | Select | Table from the main menu. Now that the table is selected, choose Insert | Object, and then, in the Object dialog window, make sure you're on the Create New tab. Select the Microsoft Graph Chart option from the Object Type list box and click OK. The chart then creates itself based on the table data selected, displaying a datasheet where you can make your edits. Just click outside the chart to return to your document.

Tip: Save a slide as an image in PowerPoint (2003)

  • Saving a PowerPoint slide as an image file allows you to open the file in an image-editing program such as PhotoShop or Photo Editor so you can edit it for other uses. Yet not everyone knows how simple this file-conversion process can be.
  • First, open your presentation in PowerPoint and navigate to the slide that you want saved as an image. Choose File | Save As and in the Save As dialog box select Portable Network Graphics (PNG), Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), or any other available graphics file format from the Save As Type dropdown list. Give your image a filename and click Save. When the message box pops up, click No to export only the current slide. Now you can open the file in a multitude of other programs and edit it to your heart's content.

Tip: Use Do Not Deliver Before to postpone the sending of a message (Outlook 2003)

  • Often it happens that you have information (and inclination) enough to draft a letter, but don't need to send it just yet. Now Outlook allows you to control exactly when you send out a given message. This may be especially helpful around holidays or when you go on vacation.
  • To postpone sending your message, compose your note, and then click the Options button above the To text box. In the Message Options dialog box, select the Do Not Deliver Before check box, then select a date and time from the dropdown boxes next to the check box. click Close and send the message. The message is saved in the Outbox until it's time to send it, and waiting messages will be sent at the specified time even if Outlook isn't running at the moment.  

Tip: Set up custom headers for chart objects (Excel 2003)

  • Excel charts can be stored two ways: as separate chart sheets or as embedded objects in a worksheet. When a chart is stored as an embedded object, you can print it separately from the rest of the worksheet data. To do so, just select the chart object and click the Print toolbar button (or select File | Print from the menu bar). Excel prints the chart on its own page and scales it to use the full printable area of the page. If you're going to print a chart in this manner, you can set up customized headers or footers for it that are different from the ones used by the worksheet. To do so, simply select the chart object and choose File | Page Setup from the menu bar. Then, set up your header as you normally would.

Tip: Print a hard copy of Access database relationships (Access 2003)

  • When you're documenting your database applications, you may want to include the same visual diagram of your table relationships that's available through the Relationships window. To accomplish this, simply display the Relationships window by clicking the Relationships button on the toolbar while viewing the Database window. Then, choose File | Print Relationships from the menu bar. Doing so displays a report preview that you can then print or save.

Tip: Give your document some sizzle with animated text (Word 2003)

  • Boring documents got you down? Try adding animation effects to draw readers' attention to important information. To apply animation effects to your document text, select the text you'd like to animate, and then choose Format | Font from the menu bar to access the Font dialog box. Click on the Text Effects tab, and then choose an animation effect from the Animations list box. The Preview pane displays what your text selection will look like after the animation is applied. When you're satisfied with the selected animation, click OK to apply it.
  • If you'd prefer not to view text animations, you can hide their display by choosing Tools | Options from the menu bar and clicking on the View tab. Deselect the Animated Text check box, and then click OK to prevent applied animations from displaying on your system.  

Tip: Organize your workspace when working with multiple slide shows in PowerPoint (2003)

  • PowerPoint while you work, organizing your workspace can be a nightmare. You can resize the window of each presentation individually, but a much easier and more efficient method is to use the Arrange All feature. Simply open all the presentations you need to work with in PowerPoint, choose Window | Arrange All, and PowerPoint resizes them automatically so they all fit on your screen while using the maximum amount of workspace available.  

Tip: Create a letter to one of your contacts in Outlook using the Letter Wizard (2003)

  • It's easy to create a letter using Outlook's Letter Wizard, which will save you lots of time and help you produce a professional-looking correspondence every time. The Wizard works while you're in any Contacts view mode. To create the letter, open your Address book and select the contact you want to send the letter to. Select Actions | New Letter To Contact from the menu. Open the Word document appearing in the taskbar and then follow the steps of the Wizard.

Tip: Rotate labels to improve chart readability (Excel 2003)

  • There may be times when space limitations prevent Excel from displaying all of the category labels in a chart.  Excel will try to compensate by displaying labels at an angel and will adjust the angle as you resize the chart.  However, there may be times when you want  to personally determine how the labels appear.  Fortunately, it's easy to manually set the rotation angle.  Note that this technique also works for value axis and data series labels.
  • First, double-click on the labels you want to change.  When the appropriate Format dialog box appears, click on the Alignment tab.  You can set a specific angle entering a number in the Degrees text box or by clicking in the Orientation preview box.  Either of these actions will rotate the label controls; however, the text remains oriented horizontally within the control.

Tip: Displaying dialog boxes in Access without API calls (2003)

  • Prior to Office XP, using pre-existing file management dialog boxes required you to use ActiveX controls or Windows API calls.  Now, you can take advantage of the FileDialog object.  Anyone that's used such techniques in the past will definitely appreciate the simplicity of code like:
    • Sub OpenDialog()
    •    Application.FileDialog(msoFileDialogZOpen).Show
    • End Sub
  • which is all that's necessary to display the File Open dialog box.  The other dialog boxes directly supported within Access are a File Picker (msoFileDialogFilePicker) and Folder Picker (msoFileDialogFolderPicker).


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