Sunday, December 30, 2007

Converting Formulas to Values in Excel

Ever need to convert cells containing a formula to its value?

Sure, you can select the cell, copy it to the clipboard, paste it back to the same cell, click the Paste Options button, click Paste Special, and then click Values. The cell contains the value instead of the formula.

There is a better way. Simply select the cell to be converted, press F2, and then F9.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

IE7 and the Scroll Wheel

I just discovered a neat feature in IE7. Click a link with the scroll wheel instead of the left or right mouse button and the page opens in a new tab. Use with links off a Web page, the Links bar in IE7, and the Favorites links. This saves a number of clicks. To close the tab, click the tab with the scroll mouse.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Remove the Hyperlink

How many times have you copy and pasted from a Web page into a Word document and been frustrated with all the links that carried over? Sure, you can pull down the Paste Option button’s arrow and select Keep Text Only, but this removes all the formatting as well. You may want to keep the fonts and colors, but just not the links.

One at a time, you might right-click each link and select Remove Hyperlink. A longer method is to click Insert > Links > Hyperlink, and then on the Insert Hyperlink dialog box, click Remove Hyperlink.

There is a better way.

Click the hyperlinked word(s) and press Shift+Ctrl+F9. The hyperlink is removed. To do all at once, Ctrl+A to select the entire document, then Shift+Ctrl+F9 and all hyperlinks in the document are removed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Closing Multiple Excel 2007 Workbooks

I often end up with many open workbooks. To close them one at a time takes a number of clicks by right-clicking and selecting close for each one. If I had made any changes to a workbook, a dialog box opens and I have to decide to save or the workbook, or not. There is a better way.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What Happened to About?

Finding the version of current applications is not as easy as it used to be. Since the early version of Windows, every application has had a menu option for Help. Clicking Help dropped down a list which included at the bottom an About selection. Click it and you were given a window listing the company who wrote the application and its version number.

With Office 2007, this has changed. No longer is there a Help menu option to click or an About selection. But there still is an About screen.

Click the Office Button, then in the lower right of the status bar, click Word Options (or Excel Options, or PowerPoint Options). In the left pane, click Resources. Locate and click the About button.

OR: Office > Word Options > Resources > About

The familiar About window displays with the current version of the application. Notice the System Information button? Clicking it will display details about the hardware you are using.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Excel AutoFormat

Office 2003 had a neat feature allowing you to take a generic worksheet and apply formatting (color and style) by selecting from a list of premade sets. This is not available by default in Office 2007. However, it can be added to the quick access toolbar with a few clicks.

To see how go to:

Monday, June 04, 2007


Every so often I have a worksheet with many rows and I need to copy a formula from one row all the way down to the last row. Using the Fill Handle I drag the formula down to the last cell in the row. When there are hundreds of rows involved this can take a long time. What I did not know about until recently is the double-click option. Double-click the fill handle and Excel copies the entry all the way down through the last active cell in the row.

Need to create a column with sequence numbers from 1 to the whatever? Enter a 1 in the first cell and a 2 in the second cell, select both cells, and then double-click the fill handle. Excel completes the sequence all the way down through the last cell in the series.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Excel 2007 Tip

One of the features of Word I have liked is having each Word document open in a new application window. Then when closing one document, they do not all attempt to close. This was a problem in prior versions and I was guilty more than once of closing a file I had not yet saved by accident. With Office 2003 the problem was solved by opening new application windows for each document.

Excel did not make that change until the 2007 version. It even added another feature when closing that works better than Word 2007. Press Alt+F4 at any open workbook and all open workbooks attempt to close—you get the do you want to save window for each file. If you just close a single workbook, non of the other workbooks are affected. Word does not have the Alt+F4 feature and pressing that combination just closes the active document.

Monday, March 19, 2007

IE7 Shortcut Tips

It is nice to discover that some of the old shortcuts still work with the new browser. Alt-D move you to the address bar with the current address selected. Just type the new address and hit Enter to change it—or type the domain name, then Ctrl+Enter to have IE7 add the prefix of "http://www." and the suffix of ".com" automatically.

If you are editing the existing URL in the address bar, Alt+D to select it and switch to it, then Ctrl+arrow (left or right) to move to the beginning of a section. To move to and select a section, use Shift+Ctrl+arrow.

Ctrl+N still opens a new incident of the same page in a new browser window. It does not open it in another tab. When you are through with the page, simply close the browser and the original browser with all your tabs is still available.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

An Excel Range Tip

This formula does not look correct =COUNTA(A:A), but it is. By entering a range with column letters without row numbers, Excel assumes you are referring to all the active cells in the column listed. And it works the same for rows. =SUM(15:15) will add up all cells in row 15.
=SUM(A:B) would add up all the cells in both column A and B.

Cute, but is it useful? Yes, in a worksheet of email addresses I use for one of my emailings, I need to know how many are on the list. At the top of the worksheet I created a formula containing =COUNTA(A:A)-1 to count the number of emails in the list. I subtracted 1 to exclude counting the row containing the column heading.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Internet Explorer 7 Tips

By now you have probably installed Internet Explorer 7 and experienced the Microsoft version of Tabbed Browsing. To be honest, I was not unhappy with IE6. It did what I needed and I frequently used Ctrl+N to open a new instance of the current window so I would not loose my place when browsing. The taskbar would fill up pretty quickly, but I was used to it. (This still works with IE7)


Enter IE7 with tabs--very nice. The taskbar is now clean with only one IE task open. Quick tabs (Ctrl+Q) lets me see miniature windows of the contents of each tab. And there is plenty of help on the Microsoft site. Of course most of us will just figure out how to use it on our own—perhaps this is a geek thing.


I have done some exploring and here are some shortcuts I have found useful to me:


Ctrl+Click will open a favorite item or an item on your link bar in a new tab and gives it focus.


When clicking a link on an open Web page, there are three options:

  • Click opens the link on top of the existing page (unless the link is set by the Webmaster to open on a new page)
  • Shift+Click opens the link in a new instance of the browser
  • Ctrl+Click opens the link in a new tab but the current window keeps focus
  • Shift+Ctrl+Click opens the link in a new tab and gives it focus


When typing an address into the address bar, there are some additional options:

  • Type and hit Enter, the new site opens in the tab currently having focus
  • Type and then Alt+Enter, the new sites opens in a new tab with focus
  • Type the domain name without the .com, then Ctrl+Alt+Enter and IE7 adds the http://www to the left and .com to the right, then opens the site in a new tab with focus
  • Ctrl+Enter adds the rest of the .com, but opens in the tab currently having focus (just like it did in IE6)


To close a tab:

  • Click the X on the tab (visible if the tab has focus)
  • Right-click the tab and select Close
  • Middle_click the tab (the middle button is the scroll wheel)


For a lot more information on tabbed browsing, see the FAQ page at Microsoft at