Category Archives for "CTA – Basic Skills – Hacks & Settings"

1 Print a document excerpt in Microsoft Word

A Legal Office Guru reader wondered how to print a document excerpt without having to figure out which page numbers to print.

Reader Question

[M]y project involves producing an employee handbook and policy and procedure manual .... [One] challenge I have with it is to be able to print just sections of the document without having to scroll through the document to identify page ranges.

There are several different ways to print a document excerpt. Let's look at the Print dialog:

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Keeping Word Commands at Your Fingertips

When Microsoft Word 2007 came out, users lamented the introduction of the Ribbon. Replacing the familiar menu system of Word 2003 with a newfangled, visually-oriented system of buttons and drop-downs went over like the proverbial lead balloon. It all came down to one thing: "How am I ever going to find anything on here?"

Nobody wants to waste time scrolling through a menu system looking for commands or functions they use frequently. Here, I'll show you three methods for keeping your most common commands within easy reach so you can create documents faster and with less frustration.

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9 Reader question: Page number macro misfire

One reader recently took up my challenge to not run screaming from macros ... and was a little disappointed in the results.

I defined a macro successfully [to insert "Page" and the page number], with a button on the Quick Access Tool Bar. It works until I log off. After re-entering and trying the macro, I get an error message “Run Time error 5941 The requested member of the collection does not exist.” Any suggestions?

A macro that only runs until you log off. Well, that's a puzzler.

As I told him in our email exchange, I've noticed that in Word 2010, macros are sometimes spotty in picking up settings from actions you take in the Ribbon. (It used to work fine — not sure what's changed.) I myself had a similar problem with a macro I tried to do for a watermark.

I suspected he was attempting to embed the page number command using Word's Insert Page Number command from the Header/Footer Tools contextual ribbon menu:

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9 Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar

Want one-click access to the commands you use most in the ribbon versions of Microsoft Office? Then you need to be taking full advantage of the Quick Access Toolbar!

The Quick Access Toolbar really lives up to its name: it provides one-click access to virtually any command you want. All you have to do is customize it.

And one of the great things about the Quick Access Toolbar (or QAT) is that it's virtually the same throughout Microsoft Office. Sure, the commands vary according to the application, but the way you update it is the same across the Office Suite.

Here are two ways to add your favorite commands to the QAT:

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12 Don’t run screaming from macros

Whenever I’ve done training classes for law firms, the biggest bugaboo is always macros.

“Oh, no,” they cry. “That’s waaaaay too advanced for me!”

Um … no. It’s not. I promise.

People have this idea that, if they record a macro and make a mistake, it’s going to so totally screw things up they’ll never get their document fixed.

But if you’re looking to do things faster as your workload continues to pile up, macros can be a great time saver.  So many of the things you have to do repeatedly can be <gasp!> programmed.

And to prove that recording a macro is not such an advanced skill, Vivian Manning at Small City Law Firm Tech has a tutorial called Recording a Simple Word Macro.  She even shows you how to save your macro as a button on your Quick Access Toolbar (What? You’re not using that? You should!).

There, I wrote it – tempting most of you to run screaming from the blog.  Please come back, it’s not nearly as difficult as you imagine.  In fact, recording a simple macro is not difficult at all.  I promise!

All a simple, recorded macro in Word is, is this:

  • You tell Word, by turning on the Record Macro function, that you want it to record all of your Mouse Clicks / Keystrokes, until you turn the Record Macro function off again.
  • You tell Word whether you prefer to ‘run’ the Macro by way of a keyboard shortcut *or* a click of an icon.  All ‘running a macro’ means is forcing Word to replay the keystrokes that you recorded.

That’s all there is to it.  If you’re still reading, I’m going to show you how easy this is, and why you might want to ‘record’ and ‘run’ a macro.  Not run from it…

Click here to see the entire tutorial (with screen shots and everything). Note: Unfortunately, Vivian Manning’s blog is now offline. The Wayback Machine has an archived copy here.

Now, go.  At least try to record a simple macro.  And then come back and tell me how it went in the comments below!

2 Quick-and-dirty text sorting in Microsoft Word

A reader wrote me this past week with a little problem, one that they were taking a few too many steps to solve:

We often have to decide whether to capture data in Excel or in a Word document using a "table" format. We usually like the look and editing function better in Word because we are mostly tracking text entries with some date columns, not large amounts of numerical data. Am I correct that if we use Word, the data in the cells can't be re-sorted within the document, say by date and then by last name? Assuming that's correct, we often need to use Excel. Is there a simple way to take the data from an Excel spreadsheet and plunk it into a Word document where it will look better?

Good news: it's really very easy to sort tabular data in Microsoft Word, so there's (usually) no need to use Excel as an intermediary step.

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16 Customizing the Status Bar

There's a whole host of ways you can make the various Microsoft Office applications easier to use. In fact, most users don't take full advantage of the options for customizing these applications to make the Office suite work better for them.

Today, we're going to talk about one of the easiest customizations: the Status Bar. Look at the bottom of any Office application and you'll see a bar just above the Windows Taskbar at the bottom (like this example from Word 2007):

Status Bar from Microsoft Word

Click the image above for a full-size version

Most users don't know they can change the information listed on the task bar in any Office application (except Outlook, unfortunately). And it's really easy:

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2 Pick up where you left off in Microsoft Word with “Go Back”

Here’s a quick tip: Ever open up your Microsoft Word document first thing in the morning, after having worked on it all day yesterday, and have trouble finding where you left off last time?

Don’t worry — you won’t have to wait for your morning caffeine to kick in.  As soon as you open up your document, press SHIFT-F5.  Word’s “Go Back” feature will take you back to your last edit.  (In fact, if you press Shift-F5 repeatedly, it’ll take you through your last four edits.)

That’s it!  (Don’t you love it when something’s that simple?)

(Photo credit: Aprilzosia at Flickr)

Edit: Well, this is embarrassing. Apparently, this feature disappeared briefly in version 2007, but it’s back in version 2010.  Thanks to an alert reader for the heads-up (and shame on me for not keeping better notes on my testing!)

Using and configuring AutoFormat As You Type

Have you ever been typing along, looked back at what you typed and discovered that something weird happened? Like, you typed a few dashes, hit return, and now there's a solid line all the way across the page?

There's more than one possible explanation for these kinds of oopsies (none of them your fault), so there's more than one fix.  Today, we're going to talk about setting your AutoFormat options.

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3 How to reconfigure AutoCorrect to NOT drive you crazy

How many times has this happened to you?

You're typing merrily along (or maybe not so merrily, but, hey, you're typing), and whatever you're drafting/transcribing has a list that starts with (a), then goes to (b), then to (c), etc.

And you type the open paragraph symbol, the letter "c", and the close paragraph symbol, and as soon as you hit the space bar ...

Where did that *#*@&#^! copyright symbol © come from?

Yes, AutoCorrect strikes again.  And when it's not correct, it's wrong.  Seriously  wrong.

Fortunately, there's a way to fix that.  I promise.

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