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The Away PA provides an "on demand" secretarial and business support service in conjunction with it's online office "Head Office". To find out more about how you can take advantage of a fully supported office, anywhere, any time, visit the Head Office website or The Away PA Website or email
or telephone 08450 527565.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Using the "Spike Feature" in Word - Beyond Cut & Paste

One of the problems with the standard Cut and Paste functions in Microsoft Word is when there are multiple pieces of text to move. An answer to this problem can be found in the spike feature. This allows documents to be moved to a virtual ‘spike’, where they are stored in readiness to be pasted elsewhere. To move some text to the spike, first highlight the words and then hold down the Control (Ctrl) key before tapping F3. The text disappears to the spike. Now repeat for the other text passages that need to be moved. Next, position the text cursor at the point in the document where you want to put the spiked text, and hold down Shift and Control while once more tapping F3. All spiked items will be pasted en masse, in the order they were copied.

Mixed Cell Formatting in Excel

In Excel spreadsheets, it is possible to use more than one text size, colour or style in the same cell, to emphasise, show secondary information or just to save space. To achieve this, first click in the cell concerned and press the F2 function key to go into cell-editing mode. Now highlight only the text to be altered and from the Formatting Toolbar, select different style, size or colour. Press the Enter key to finish and check result. Repeat the process to change results. To force text onto a new line within a cell, hold down the Alt key and press the Return key.

The Magic of F4

In Microsoft Office, the F4 key can be used to repeat the previous action on another selected item. The computer remembers the last action you carry out so, for example, if you’ve just highlighted a word in bold and want to do the same to another one straight afterwards, simply click somewhere in the next word and press F4 to embolden it. This also works when formatting cells in Excel,
text or bullets in Word, or drawing objects anywhere across the Office workspace.

dot com control - web addresses on the quick!

When typing in website addresses beginning in ‘www’and ending in ‘.com’there is a useful
keyboard shortcut.

Instead of typing the whole web address,such as ‘’, just
type ‘msn’and hold down the Ctrl (Control) key when you press Enter. In Internet Explorer and some other web browsers, the rest of the address will be filled in automatically.

All Joined Up in Excel - Great for your database

In Excel, to place in one cell a forename and surname stored in two separate cells, click on a separate cell and type in the cell references of the two names to be joined. For example,to join a
forename stored in cell B2 to a surname stored in cell A2,use the formula:‘=B2&”“&A2’. Do include the double quotes but not the single quotes (see screenshot below). Also, be sure to put a space between the double quotes if a space is needed between the words. More names or words can be added to the same cell from other cells if need be.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Collaborate, Track & Review

Click on the link below to see how you can easily work together with colleagues and others, to all contribute to and update the same document.

Collaborate, Track & Review

(Word 2003)

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Typed a list in Word and can't get it to line up?

Transform tedious lists attractively with a few mouse clicks using Word 2003

Open a blank Word document and type in a list of some description – it doesn’t matter what kind of list it is, but each entry should have at least two elements in it, such as the club membership fees shown here. Separate the items with a dash (‘–’) or a Tab to open a gap between each one, as shown in the example below. As you can see, the result doesn't look very good and is hard to read. Let’s sort that out by highlighting the list and the heading, clicking the Table menu, choosing Convert and then Text to Table.

When the dialogue box opens, increase the number of columns – here it’s two – and then tell Word at what point each line should be divided into columns. It’s possible to use paragraph breaks, commas and tabs, or specify a particular character by typing it into the box. We’ve used the Tab key, so we’ll select that. To make the table look nice, click the AutoFormat button and choose a design from the list. If necessary, remove any special formats and then click OK twice to continue.

It may be necessary to fiddle slightly with the resulting table to make it look nice. For example, highlight the top line, open the Table menu and choose Merge Cells to change the top row from two columns to one. You could also use any of Word’s Table commands to change the background of rows and columns or the formatting of the text inside them. Alternatively, you could change your mind, highlight the whole thing, open the Table menu, then choose Convert and Table to Text to transform the table back into text!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Can't Open a Word 2007 Document?

Are you receiving documents with a file extension .docx? These .docx files are created by a newer version of Word - Word 2007. In order to open them, you will need to install an extra Microsoft Compatibility Pack - which is free. Click on the link to download.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Print A5 Folded Booklets from A4 Paper

You can achieve this functionality in Word with the help of a free macro. Click to download the template "Bookletsample". To use the template, click the BookletSample zip icon and download it to your pc. Save or copy this to your Documents and Settings\(Username)\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates, alternatively you should be able to do this by opening the document and then from the File Menu, select "Save As" and in the drop down window at the bottom select "Document Template". If you have any problems email:

For Word 2003 users, launch Word and then from the Standard Toolbar at the top, select "View" and then "Task Pane". Click on the drop down arrow and select "New Document" and then underneath "Templates" click on "On My Computer". A window will open with the new template.

Alternatively, press the start button in the bottom left hand corner of your screen and select "New Office Document". A window will appear containing the new template.

For Microsoft Word 2007 users, pick "My Templates".

Click on the template and you will see a 4 page document appear. The pages are numbered consecutively
but please note that page 1 is in essence the back page of the booklet and page 2 the front page. Pages 3 and 4 are the inside pages. If you need to increase the pages, they must be in muliples of 4.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Useful Windows Shortcuts

Here are some keyboard shortcuts to improve your speed when working in Windows:

Ctrl+b = applies bold formatting to selected (highlighted) text
Ctrl+i = applies italic formatting to selected (highlighted) text
Ctrl+c = copy selected (highlighted) text
Ctrl+v = paste selected text
Ctrl+p = send document to print
Ctrl+n = start new document
Windows key+m = minimise all open windows | Windows key+Shift+m = restores all windows
Windows key+d = return to desktop