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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.

Monday, 14 December 2009

With the help of converters and viewers from Office Online, you can share your Microsoft Office files with people who have different versions of Office

With the help of converters and viewers from Office Online, you can share your Microsoft Office files with people who have different versions of Office programs, or even with people who don't have Office installed.

Converters allow you to open files created by people using different versions of your Office programs.

Viewers provide a means for people who don't have Office programs to see your work. You can provide them with the appropriate viewer along with your Office files.

Alternatively, you can use a FREE online service DocsOnline.

Converters for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007

Access viewers

Excel converters and viewers

Outlook converters and viewers

PowerPoint converters and viewers

Microsoft Project converters

Visio converters and viewers

Word converters and viewers

Converters and viewers for Macintosh users

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Sync your Google Calendar with Outlook

Google Calendar has a sync utility which works with Outlook 2003 and 2007 on Windows XP and Vista.

Exit Outlook and click on the download link in Step 2 under "Get Started". When it has finished downloading, run the file to install the software. Click on the I Agree button, Next and then Install. Click on Close when the installer finishes.

The calendar set up window will appear. Enter your Googlemail address in the top box and password in the box below. Leave the top option '2-way' selected, so Outlook and Google Calendar will always have the same entries. Choose how often you want the diaries synchronised. Click on Save.


The Away PA

Power Up Your Documents with Word Links

If you are a regular user of Microsoft Word, but have never explored document links, then you are missing out on a great way to exploit the information contained in documents. Links offer a way to move around a document quickly and easily. They can also be used to automatically pull in data or information from other documents and to add extra oomph to contents, tables, glossaries, indeces and cross-references.


Sunday, 21 June 2009

Quick Shortcut to sending an email in Windows

If you want to quickly send an email in the Windows operating system, you have to start your email client, click on the write button and start writing the email. A much faster way is to press [windows R], type [mailto:] and hit enter. This opens the new mail message window of the default email client on your computer . It is even possible to add parameters like [] which would automatically add the recipient, the subject test and the body text "test2" to the email.

Author: The Away PA

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Donwloading and Installing Fonts (Windows XP and Windows 200)

Because fonts work with a PC's operating system, they are not downloaded to Office directly. Use the Font Control Panel in Windows and then it will work with Office automatically.

Many websites offering fonts package them in .
zip files to reduce file size and make downloading faster. If you have downloaded a font that is saved in a .zip format, you can "unzip" it by double-clicking the icon for the font and following the instructions on the screen.

Once you have selected a font to install, download it from the internet by following the instructions on the website and install it through the operating system on your pc. Select one of the file download locations, click on the link, and then follow the instructions in the
File Download dialogue boxes to complete the download to your hard disk drive. You may also want to make a note of where you have saved the download, so that you can easily navigate to it when you install the font through the operating system. Add the font to your computer through the operating system.

Here's how -
1. On the Start Menu, click on the Control Panel.
2. In the Control Panel, double-click on Fonts.
3. On the File Menu, click on Install New Font.
4. Navigate to the location where you saved the downloaded or unzipped font and, in the List of Fonts box, click on the font you want to add.
5. Click OK.

1. On the Start Menu, point to Settings and then click on Control Panel.
2. On the Control Panel, double-click on Fonts.
3. On the File Menu, click on Install New Font.
4. Navigate to the location where you saved the downloaded or unzipped font and, in the List of Fonts Box, click on the font you want to add.
5. Click OK.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Safer Saving

In Microsoft Word, it is possible to make the progam save a backup copy of a document every time it is saved. This means that if you accidentally save a change that you didn't want, an earlier version can be recovered from a file that is saved alongside your current file.

To do this, open the File Menu and select Save As. In the dialogue that comes up, click on the Tools Button and, depending on your version of Word, select either General Options or Save Options from the list. When the Save dialogue box opens, tick the checkbox labelled 'Always create backup copy' and press OK.

How to filter email and prevent junk arriving in your inbox

Thunderbird users can customise how junk email is received and dealt with. If the Junk filter is enabled (go to the Tools menu, then Account Settings, then Junk Settings, then 'Enable adaptive junkmail controls for this account') all suspicious email will carry a green junk icon, leaving you the choice of deleting it, or clicking the button - 'This is not Junk'. In the case of the latter, future emails from that sender won't be treated as spam.

Within the Junk Settings menu, there are further options to move new spam to a Junk folder automatically, which I would strongly recommend, and to delete junk mail older than a specific period. To prevent trusted emails being marked as junk, there is also an option to 'Not mark mail as Junk' if the sender is in your personal address book.

It is also possible to train Thunderbird to identify what's spam and what's not. To do this effectively, you will need tomakr all mail as either Junk or Not Junk by right-clicking the message and selecting the corresponding option from the list. The associated keyboard shortcuts (we like them!) are J for Junk and Shift+J for Non Junk. The more you teach Thunderbird, the more Junk will automatically find its way into the Junk folder - but don't forget to periodically check the Junk folder.

Outlook Express can also be trained, but in a different way, using Message filtering. Rather than simply blocking a sender, you can instruct Outlook to deal with certain email in a certain way. Within the Tools Menu, click Message Rules, then Mail. Create a new 'rule' for the progam to follow by clicking the New button and selecting certain conditions and actions. For example, you could select the following condition:
'Where the Subject line contains specific words - loan, Nigeria, increase'
do the following Action
: 'Move to the specified folder - Junk'

How to block emails arriving from a specific sender or domain.

To do this in Outlook Express, click on a message from the sender that you want to block. then, in the Message Menu, click Block Sender. Now any email you receive from this sender will automatically find itself in your Deleted Items Folder.

Adding names to the Block Sender list in Outlook produces the same result, but requires a slightly different process. Click Options within the Tools menu and, on the Preferences tab, under Email, click Junk Email. Now click the Block Sender tab and then Add. Within the box "Enter an email address or internet domain name to be added to the list" type in the offending email address, then click OK. Alternatively, right-click the unwelcome email and click Junk Email to add the sender to the Block Sender list.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

PowerPoint Black and White

When making a presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint, there will be moments when you like to have the audience's full attention. However, leaving a slide projected while you talk can be a distraction. To quickly stop the projection of a slide either press B on the keyboard to turn the display black, or tap W to have Powerpoint project a pure white screen. When you're finished talking, simply repeat the keypress to revert the display back to the slideshow.

Micrsoft Excel - It's a Wrap!

When entering lots of data into a cell in Excel, it can be annoying to press Enter and see the application create a single, straight line of text. A solution is found in Excel's ability to 'wrap' characters entered into cells, which automatically increases the height of the cell to accommodate the information, leaving the cell's width unaffected.

This can be achieved by pressing Alt + Enter simultaneously at the end of the entered data. This forces the entered data to wrap itself to the width of the cell.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Create a New Toolbar

Did you know that any folder can be turned into a toolbar on the Taskbar, and it can be used for all sorts of things!

For example, I have turned a folder containing my favourite music album into a toolbar - it's brilliant! I can now select and play any track from the Windows Taskbar.

Another more serious and work-like use - and we do all need to work :-( - is to create a toolbar for a folder that contains work documents, or other important files.

1. Right click on the Taskbar and select Toolbars/New Toobar.
2. Choose a folder on your hard drive, such as Documents or Music, or any other one that you might have created.
3. After adding the toolbar, click the double arrow on it to show the files and click one to open it. Simple! You can also open the folder in Explorer by right-clicking the toolbar name and selecting Open Folder.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Control Page Breaks in Word 2003

You don't necessarily have to put up with the line and page breaks that Word think you ought to have in a document. If you want a group of words to stay together and not be split up over a line break, hold down the Ctrl and Shift buttons when pressing the Space bar. If you want to force a page break, hold down the Ctrl button and press Enter.

There are several other options that can be set for paragraphs. Left click once in the paragraph, click on the Format menu and then on Paragraph. The Widow/Orphan option on the Line and Page Breaks tab prevents single line from a paragrapn appearing at the top or bottom of pages. 'Keep lines together' is even more powerful and makes sure the entire paragraph is kept together.

Author: Rita Lima (The Away PA) - Certified Microsoft Office Specialist

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Quick Desktop Shortcuts

If you find the Favourites menu hard to access in Internet Explorer 7, there is an alternative that means saving the web links as shortcuts to the Windows Desktop. Then the website can be started just as you would a program.

First, go to the web page that you want to save as a shortcut. Press the left Alt key to make the full menus appear in Internet Explorer. Left-click on the File menu, then Shortcut to Desktop. Minimise the Internet Explorer and any other windows you have open and you will see the icon on the Desktop. Left-click on it once and press F2 if you want to change the name. Double-click on it to go striaght to that web page. Cool!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Named Range for Mail Merge

When using a Microsoft Excel sheet as the basis for a mail merge, it is possible to use a section of a worksheet, rather than a whole sheet.

Select the range you want to use in Excel and look for the text box underneath the File menu that shows the cells selected. When the selection is correct, left-click in this box and type a name for the range, such as 'addresses'. Save the spreadsheet and then return to Word.

Click on the Tools menu, then Letters and Mailing and then on Mail Merge. Follow the wizard that appears in the taskbar and click on Browse at step 3 and select the spreadsheet. The window that appears will no include the named range as well as the worksheets. Click on the name of the appropriate range than on OK. Continue the mail merge wizard as normal and it will use this specific range.

Revealing Formulas in Excel

To view all formulas and functions quickly when using any version of Excel, hold down the Ctrl key followed by the accent key. This is normally the first key on the left of the top row of the keyboard (above the tab key). This will immediately display all formulas. A new toolbar will also appear called Formula Auditing. The first button on the left checks for errors and the next two along draw arrows to show where formulas take their information from. Use the same shortcut to return to normal view.

Keep Track of Notes

It's easy to lose notes kept on scraps of paper, so why not keep them handy on the desktop?

Right-click the desktop, select New, then Text Document, call it "Notes". From now on, to make a note, simply double-click the file, press F5 to insert the date and time, type a note and then press the Control and S keys together to save.

How do I gain access to a fax service from word?

For the visitor who left me an IM at 12:48 am last night!! ....... Here is your answer

Do one of the following:

In Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, or Microsoft Office Document Imaging (MODI), on the File menu, point to Send To, and then click Recipient using Internet Fax Service.
From Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, on the File menu, point to New, and then click Fax.

The first time you use fax services, you will be prompted to sign up with a provider. Click OK to open your Web browser, and then follow the signup instructions on the Web site.
Close your Web browser, and then return to the Microsoft Office program you want to fax from.
Repeat step 1. An e-mail message will open in Outlook with your document attached as a .TIF (image) file, or you can attach a file to the message.
I can recommend e-fax.
awaypa: Here is the link to sign up with e-fax:

Friday, 10 April 2009

Old Style Office Menu for Office 2007

Some people love the new Microsoft Office 2007, but for those of us who still miss the old menus from Office 2003, there is a useful little add-on to bring them back called "UBitMenu". Go to:

Friday, 13 March 2009

Find and access recent documents easily

The Recent Documents menu on the Start Button is really useful because it makes it easy to access a document, movie or photo that you worked on previously, but not all computers have it enabled - perhaps for privacy reasons?

It might be helpful to know how to enable and disable and clear it, so here goes......

Right click the Start Button and select Properties.
2. Select the
Start Menu tab and click the Custom button.
3. Select the
Advanced Tab and tick the option to list your most recently opened documents.
4. The
Clear Button that empties the list is also located here.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Compound Interest

There is no function in either or Microsoft Excel for calculating interest on an investment (or loan).
There is a simple formula to work this out that needs three figures:
- the initial value
- the number of payments
- the percentage rate that each payment is worked out at.

Assuming A2 is value, B2 is the interest rate and C2 is the number of periods, the formula in would be
This also works in Excel, but change the ; to a comma.

Alternatively, if you are comfortable with Maths you may want to use the ^ symbol for the power calculation, in which case the formula wold be =A2*(1+B2)^C2 in both programs.

Microsoft has instructions for making this formula into a macro at
The advantage is that all you would need to enter into the cell would be =Yearly_Rate(A2,B2,C3).

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Fast Foreign Accents

While you can enter accented characters in Word by holding down Alt and entering a four-character number with the numerical keypad, there is an easier way!

Click on the link to find out how: Fast Foreign Accents