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IT Support Tips

In this section we've complied some hot tips to assist you when using your PC.

Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Windows XP
Microsoft Powerpoint

Tips for Microsoft Excel


To quickly select the area of data you are working in

  • Press Ctrl * or Ctrl Shift 8

To make a very quick Graph

  • Highlight the data you wish to make into a graph
  • Hit F11

Repeat your last action

Ever find yourself doing the same task immediately one after the other, time and again, like inserting rows into tables or adding new sheets to workbooks or presentations. Use the F4 key to repeat your last action and save a few mouse clicks each time.


Edit Cells you'vealready completed

Use F2 to edit cells that you have already completed. This gives you the bonus when editing formulae of visually outlining used ranges that you can move/grow with the mouse so that you never have to type to edit formulae again.


To select a row or rows

  • Select a cell or several cells in a worksheet, and press Shift+Spacebar

To Move a Cell

  • Hover your mouse over the cell until the four-headed arrow appears.
  • Hold down the shift key and drag to where you want to put
  • Un-click the shift key and mouse.

Copying data from 1 Cell to multiple cells

  • Highlight the cell you wish to copy
  • Press CTRL + C
  • Highlight the multiple Cells you wish to copy this data into
  • Press CTRL + V

Clear all the formatting on your worksheet

You can quickly clear the formatting on your Excel worksheet by doing the following:

  • Click a cell on your worksheet and press Control A to select all other cells.
  • Go to the Edit menu and select Clear.
  • Click Formats.

How to manually repair a file

Office XP has an automatic repair and recovery feature that kicks in if there is a problem with a file. There are however instances where it may be necessary to recover your file manually.

Go to the File menu and select Open.

  • Find and select the file that you want to open.
  • Click the arrow next to the Open button.
  • Click Open and Repair.
  • Select the method that you want to use.
To show a drop-down list of content previously typed in a column
  • Select the cell.
  • Press ALT+DOWN ARROW. A list of all previously typed entries appears.
  • Release ALT, and use the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW key to select the entry you want to apply to that cell.
  • Press ENTER.

Easily delete data from cells in the worksheet

The shortcuts Ctrl+Shift+Endand Ctrl+Shift+Home allow you to quickly select a cell that contains data and extend the selection to the beginning of the worksheet or the last used cell in the worksheet.

E.g. you want to clear the contents of all cells from cell A20 to the last used cell ( cell Z1000 for example ) in the worksheet, Select cell A20, Press Ctrl+Shift+End, Press Delete.


Tips for Microsoft Outlook


Convert Messages to Tasks or Reminders
Improve your mail management by converting to Tasks e-mail messages that require action, and setting a Reminder.

To convert an item into a Task:

  • Open a mail item.
  • Select File | Copy to Folder and choose the Tasks folder.

This creates a new Task with the mail item as an attachment. You can also use this method to convert e-mail to appointments or other types of items.

For more advanced functionality, try this method:

  • Select a mail item in the Inbox (don 't open it; just single-click on it in the view).
  • Using the right mouse button, hold down and drag it to the Calendar folder.
  • Choose any of the options listed.

Convert Messages to Calendar Events

When you receive an email and want to add the information it contains to your calendar, just drag it to the calendar folder and drop (or right click and drag for additional options).

You 'll need to type in the date and time, but the contents of the email is added to the appointment body for you.


Shrink the Taskbar in Calendar

By default, Outlook displays only one or two months on the Date Navigator in the Calendar folder. To show more, follow these steps:

  • Select your Calendar folder.
  • Hover the mouse over the area between the Taskpad and the Date Navigator on the right.
  • Click and hold, and drag the mouse downward.

View Free/Busy time for a Group of users

A feature new to Outlook 2002 is the ability to view a group schedule containing other users ' free and busy information, similar to the view like you find on the Schedule tab of a Meeting Request.

Using this feature you can you can create as many different groups as you need and view their free/busy information with one click.

To create a group schedule:

  • With the calendar folder open select Actions | View Group Schedules
  • Click New and type a name for the schedule such as Accounts
  • Add members to this group using the Add Others Button
  • Once you 've added all the members click save and close

You are now able to view free busy time for the group and schedule meetings


Banish your junk mail

Often no matter what you do junk mail ends up clogging up your Inbox, taking up space and wasting your time.

With Outlook you can easily delete junk mail messages, or banish them to a folder to be considered at a later date.

Here 's how to make a rule to send junk mail straight to your Deleted Items folder:

  • Click the Organize button on the standard toolbar.
  • Select Junk E-Mail.
  • Specify that it should automatically Move junk messages to Deleted Items.
  • Click Turn On.

Now whenever you get a new junk email message, simply:

  • Right click the message.
  • Select Junk Email and click Add to Junk Senders List.
  • Click OK.

This lets Outlook know which messages to consider as junk mail.


Use Keyboard Shortcuts to access common functions

You can perform many of the same actions in Outlook with a keyboard as you can with a mouse—you just need to know the shortcuts.

Some shortcuts such as Ctrl+R for Reply show up in parentheses on the menus next to the action they perform.

You can also have the keyboard shortcuts show up in the Tooltips by following these steps:

  • Right-click on a toolbar button such as Send/Receive and choose Customize
  • Select the Options tab
  • Check "Show ScreenTips on toolbars"
  • Check "Show shortcut keys in ScreenTips"
  • Close the customization dialog

Then hover over a toolbar button such as the Reply button, and it will show "Reply (Ctrl+R)" in the Tooltip.


Tips for Microsoft Powerpoint


Hiding slides in PowerPoint.

Sometimes when you create a PowerPoint presentation you might not want to show all slides to all of the audiences. To hide a slide:

Click on the View menu in the toolbar.

  • Click on Slide Sorter.
  • Click on the slide that you want to hide.
  • Then click on Slide Show in the toolbar.
  • Click on Hide Slide.

Showing a hidden slide during a PowerPoint presentation.

If you hid a slide in your PowerPoint presentation, you can display it to an audience by:

  • Right-click any slide during a slide show, point to Go, and click Slide Navigator.
  • Numbers in parentheses indicate hidden slides.
  • Double-click the slide you want to view.

Starting a slide show automatically from a double-click

You may want simply double-click on a slide show file and have the show begin automatically, instead of opening the slide show when PowerPoint opens. To automate your slide show file:

When your slide show is finished. Open the File menu.

  • Click Save As.
  • Click the arrow near the "Save As Type" list box.
  • Click PowerPoint Show (*.pps).
  • Name your file and click OK.

The next time you open this file from outside of PowerPoint, PowerPoint will open and start your slide show automatically.


Tweak the Placement of a Graphic in PowerPoint

Here 's a way to move things in even smaller increments:

Select the graphic or text box.

  • Press and hold down the CTRL key.
  • Use the arrow keys to move graphic or text up, down, right, or left.

You will notice that you have more precise control over how far the image moves.


Take a Break During a PowerPoint Slide Show

Here 's an easy yet very useful tip for those who give presentations using PowerPoint slide shows.

When you want to stop for a break in your presentation without losing your place in the slide show, just press the lowercase B key or press the PERIOD (.). This will make the screen go black, and if it is a self-running presentation, it will pause. When you are ready to resume the show, press either key again, and you will start right where you left off.


Apply Transition Effects to Multiple PowerPoint Slides

Here 's a shortcut that enables you to apply the same transition effect to multiple slides at once:

On the View menu, click Slide Sorter.

  • Select the slides you want to apply the transition effects to by clicking one slide, and then holding down the CTRL key while you click each additional slide.
  • On the Slide Show menu, click Slide Transition.
  • In the Effect box, click the transition you want, and then select any other options you want.
  • Click Apply.

Now your slide show has a consistent, seamless look.


Tips for Microsoft Windows XP


Ever wanted help from another person when stuck

Remote Assistance is a convenient way for a distant friend to connect to your computer from another computer running a compatible operating system, such as Microsoft Windows XP, and walk you through your solution. They will be able to see your screen and take control of your keyboard and mouse if allowed. Can be used in conjunction with Net Messenger.

To start Remote Assistance

  • Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
  • Click Get help from a friend by using Remote Assistance.

Keep your Hard Disk in peak health – Defrag regularly

Disk Defragmenter consolidates fragmented files and folders on your computer 's hard disk. As a result, your system can gain access to your files quicker and folders and save new ones more efficiently.

To open Disk Defragmenter;

  • Click Start
  • Point to All Programs
  • Point to Accessories
  • Point to System Tools
  • Click Disk Defragmenter

Always keep your Microsoft operating system up to date with the latest security patches

Go to

This will interrogate your PC, allow you to install the latest security files from Microsoft and issue advice.


Keeping your Disk Tidy

Disk Cleanup helps free up space on your hard drive. Disk Cleanup searches your drive, and then shows you temporary files, Internet cache files, and unnecessary program files that you can safely delete. You can direct Disk Cleanup to delete some or all of those files.

To open Disk Cleanup;

  • Click Start
  • Point to All Programs
  • Point to Accessories
  • Point to System Tools
  • Click Disk Cleanup

Tips for Microsoft Word


To find a word or to perform a find and replace

  • Press Ctrl+F

To get the font formatting dialog box up quickly

  • Press Ctrl+D

To spell check an entire document

  • Press F7

Translate into and from a foreign language

Word 2002 has a translation facility built in, allowing you to translate from English to a foreign language and the vice-versa.

  • Select a word in your document that you 'd like translated
  • Go to the Tools menu and choose 'Language '
  • Click on 'Translate '. When the Translate Task Pane appears on the right hand side of your screen, make sure that 'Current Selection ' is chosen
  • Pick the language you want to translate into from the 'Dictionary list ' box
  • Click 'Go ' and the translation will appear in the Results box

Soon you will be able to translate entire documents with 'Translate via the Web ' a chargeable online service.


Save the current state of a document by using versioning

  • The File menu, click Versions.
  • Click Save Now. In the Comments on version box, type descriptive information about the version you 're saving.

Automatically save a version on close

  • On the File menu, click Versions.
  • Select the Automatically save a version on close check box.
  • Click Close.

Compare and merge documents

  • Open the edited copy of the document.
  • On the Tools menu, click Compare and Merge Documents.
  • Select the original document, click the arrow next to Merge, and then do one of the following:
  • To display the results of the comparison in the original document, click Merge.
  • To display the results in the currently open document, click Merge into current document.
  • To display the results in a new document, click Merge into new document.

Tips for Security


Save your work regularly

It’s a good idea to have your auto save setting in Tools>Options>Save set to every 5 minutes. It’s also good practice to routinely save your work by depressing CTRL>S regularly.

Backup your data

Save your data to your network server, not your C drive. Make sure your network server is backed up each night and that the backup routine is successful. Use a rotation of backup tapes so you can restore from several weeks past. You don’t always notice immediately when you have lost a document.


Make sure your passwords are at least 7 characters in length and are alpha-numerical. Force password changes every couple of months or more frequently.

Encourage people not to write down or share their passwords.

Protect data on your Windows XP notebook by using encryption

It’s important to protect data on your Notebook computer in case of loss or theft. You can protect your data by encrypting your precious files.

  • Open Windows Explorer
  • Right-click the file or folder that you want to encrypt, and then click Properties.
  • On the General tab, click Advanced.
Select the Encrypt contents to secure data check box
  To password-protect your laptop during standby or hibernation

  • Open Power Options in Control Panel by clicking start, Control Panel, and then double-click Power Options.
  • Click the Advanced tab, then click Prompt for password when computer resumes from sleep. The password for which you will be prompted when the computer resumes is the password for the currently logged-on user account.

Use Wireless encryption

Enable the highest level of WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol) that ships with the access point. WEP may be flawed, however it does provide some protection. 802.11b and 802.11g provide up to 128-bit WEP, while 802.11a provides up to 152-bit WEP encryption.


Check your Wireless network for rogue access points regularly

Perform a regular audit for rogue access points. Scan at least once a quarter, if not once a month. This can be as easy as walking around with a wireless notebook equipped

With free sniffer software such as NetStumbler (or Windows XP).