Word 2013

How To Mix Column Formats On Your Word Page

It is not unheard of to have a document that mixes different column layouts on a single page. For our purposes, we will assume you have a six-page document, and you want to format the center part of page two as three columns. You want the rest of the document to remain a single column. Overcoming this formatting challenge is easy when you use the tools available on the ribbon.

Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. Select the text that will appear in your columns.
  2. Select the Page Layout tab of your Ribbon.
  3. In the Page Setup group, click the Columns drop-down list.
  4. Pick the number of columns you would like to use for your selected text.

That’s it! Word will do the rest and format the selected text into the number of columns you specified. It does this by automatically placing continuous section breaks both before and after the text you selected in step 1 above and then formatting the text into the number of columns you selected in step 4. above.

While you can do the above steps yourself, manually, it is much easier to let Word to do it for you!

Word 2013

How To Specify Index Section Dividers In Your Word Document

As you may have learned in other articles, you create an index in your documents by placing the special index field in your document. When you insert the field you can indicate how you want Word to separate the alphabetic sections of your index. There are several choices you can use, but you may need to experiment to find the dividers that are right for you. You specify these dividers by adding the \h switch to your index field. The table below shows some possible settings for this switch.

You can now experiment and see what works best for you!

Excel 2013

How To Have a Worksheet Thumbnail In Your Excel Workbook

Excel provides a couple of settings that control this feature. First, Excel will let you you control saving of the thumbnail image when you first save your workbook or when you use the Save As command to save your workbook under a new name. The Save As dialog box contains a Save Thumbnail check box at the bottom.

Select the check box, and when you save your workbook the preview image is saved with it. The image represents the appearance of the first worksheet in your workbook. You do not have  control over which worksheet is used in the preview.

On some systems, the Save Thumbail check box may be selected by default; on others not. Whether the check box is defaulted to selected or not selected, is controlled  by a Properties setting.

Below is how you change that setting in Excel 2010 and Excel 2013:

  1. Display the File tab of your Ribbon.
  2. Be certain the Info option is selected at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Click the Properties link near the right side of the dialog box and then click Advanced Properties to display the Properties dialog box for your workbook.
  4. Be certain the Summary tab is selected.


  1. Select Save Thumbnails for All Excel Documents check box at the bottom of the dialog box.
  2. Click on OK to close the Properties dialog box.
  3. Save your workbook.

Please note that the only way to save a thumbnail for an existing workbook that does not have one already saved, is to open the workbook and use the Save As dialog box (click F12 to display it) to re-save the workbook. (Do  not forget to make sure the Save Thumbnail check box is selected before saving.)

It should also be noted that if you save your workbook via macro, there does not appear to be a way in VBA to set this, so macro-saved workbooks are not saved with a thumbnail, and the only way that I know of to save that thumbnail is to later open the workbook and manually go through the Save As steps to save it with the thumbnail.

If you still cannot see the thumbnails in a Windows Explorer window, make sure you have the view in that window set to use medium (or larger) icons. Any other views may not display the desired thumbnails.

Excel 2013

How to Quickly Repeat The Last Action in Word or Excel !

There is a key that is hardly used and yet is a  highly efficient shortcut for speeding up tasks in Word and Excel when you need to repeat the same action, once, twice or many, many times!

That key is the F4 key!

In Word and Excel many tasks can be repeated instantly by tapping the F4 key for as many times as you would like to repeat your last action.

Say you would like to highlight something – do it once and then click F4 to repeat that action.

BONUS: This works not only in Word and Excel but in other Office applications as well!

BONUS BONUS: As you all know, I love to save time and keystrokes!  You can also achieve this by clicking CTRL | Y!

Excel 2013

How To Quickly Print Without Opening in Excel

Should you need to quickly print the contents of a workbook without opening the workbook yourself manually, you can absolutely do this!

Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. Use the Explorer, My Computer or any Open dialog box to locate the worksheet that you would like to print.
  2. Right-click on the file. Windows will display a Context menu.
  3. Select Print from the Context menu.
  4. Windows will load Excel if it is not already open, open your workbook, and print it. The workbook will then closed.

The only thing printed in your workbook is the single worksheet that was selected when the workbook was last closed. It is also printed to your current designated printer.

If you would like to print using a different printer or area of your workbook then you must first open the workbook in order to print.

Excel 2013

Quickly & Easily Change The Location Of Your Toolbar in Excel

You can quickly and easily change the location of Excel toolbars to whatever works for you!

Follow the steps below to learn how:

Just double-click your mouse on any portion of your toolbar that is not occupied by a tool. The toolbar will be removed from its normal location and will appear in its own dialog box.

Once in that dialog box format, you can easily drag a toolbar to any location on your screen. If you approach a side of the screen, the toolbar will dock to that side. You can dock toolbars to any of the four sides of the screen.

You can experiment with the optional toolbar locations to determine which best suits you.

Excel 2013

How to Sequentially Input Data in your Excel Worksheet

It is not out of the ordinary to need to enter a series of numbers within a range of worksheet cells. For example, you may need to enter a series of numbers in the first ten columns of a certain row, or you may have a need to enter information just in a range of ten cells in a particular column.

To sequentially enter information in a range of cells, you should always first select your cells. You will notice that Excel will leave the top-left cell in the range as the input cell (it appears white and outlined). The rest of the cells in the range are shaded, to show that they have been selected.

Now all you need do is start entering your numbers. When you do, the value you keyed in is entered into the input cell. When you click Enter at the end of the value, Excel will save the value and move the input cell to the next cell in the selected range. Excel will move the input cell either left to right, top to bottom or top to bottom, left to right.

Good to know right?

Word 2013

How to Calculate Expressions in your Word Documents

Obviously, a  Word document is not a spreadsheet, but you can treat it like one (kinda) by adding a toolbar button that will allow you to quickly calculate values in your document based on numbers in a selection. For example, you could highlight text such as 12*14+2 and quickly calculate that the answer is 170.

Follow the steps below to learn how to add this button to your QAT (Quick Access Toolbar):

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box by displaying the File tab of your Ribbon and then click Options.
  2. At the left-hand side of the dialog box select  Quick Access Toolbar.

  1. Using the Choose Commands From drop-down list, select Commands Not In the Ribbon.
  2. Locate and select the Calculate command in the list of commands.
  3. Click Add . The command will move to the right side of the dialog box.
  4. Click OK.

To use the tool, all you have to do is highlight the expression you would like to calculate, and then click on the tool. Word will show the calculated value in your status bar, and place the value in your Clipboard. You can now paste the value any place you like.

Word 2013

How to Enter a Slashed Zero in your Word Document

On some occasions, you may want to use a slashed zero in your document.  Very often, they are used in technical documents to delineate a zero from the capital letter O.

Should you want to use this character, you have two choices. Firstly, you can find a font that actually uses the slashed zero in it. If you use this character a lot, this is probably the best solution.

Otherwise, follow the steps below:

  1. Place your cursor where you would like the slashed zero to appear.
  2. Click Ctrl+F9 to insert field braces.
  3. Key in eq \o (0,/)
  4. Click Shift+F9 to collapse your field and the slashed zero will appear in your document..
Word 2013

How to Determine the Number of Paragraphs in your Word Document

Very often macros are used for processing a document. It is fairly common to have a macro step through all the paragraphs in your document and make changes based on the information in the paragraph.

If you need to step through all the paragraphs in a document, it is helpful to find out how many paragraphs there are.

The easiest method for you do that in a VBA macro is using the Count property with the Paragraphs collection, as follows:

iParCount = ActiveDocument.Paragraphs.Count

The Paragraphs collection contains all of the paragraphs in your document, each in its own object. The Count property returns a value indicating how many objects (paragraphs) are in the collection. In the example above, this value is assigned to the iParCount variable. You can then use this count in doing any processing you need to.

Please note,  that paragraphs can be empty in Word. If you key in some information and then click the Enter key two times, you have just created an empty paragraph with that second Enter click. This increases the paragraph count, so it is always good to have your Show/Hide enabled so that  you see non-printing characters in your document if you are trying to figure out how VBA reached the paragraph count  it did. The rule is that each click of Enter will result in a new document paragraph.

Many thanks to Allen Wyatt for the macro in this newsletter!