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You have a killer PowerPoint presentation; the timing is perfect, the bullets are minimal, the effects just so. And now you want to take it to the next level by capturing and synchronizing audio and video narration, add more rich, impactful media content, and get it ready for viewing in any browser. Maybe you're imagining it as a perfect way to beef up any e-learning experience or enhance normally stiff corporate communications.
So, who gonna call? (Ghostbusters? Uh, no, middle-ager). Why Producer for PowerPoint, of course.
This week's Friday Dear Crabby letter is about Excel 2007. Working with data and keys and multiple spreadsheets from multiple sources can give even the most expert Excel user a whopping headache. That's apparently what's going on with this week's Dear Crabby email letter writer.
See, Linda's figured out a way around the issue (an issue I'll explain in the full post) but it takes longer than need be, and frankly, it's just inefficient and clumsy (no offense Linda; my hat is off to you for figuring out a workaround).
As I told Linda when I wrote her to say that she was this week's lucky Dear Crabby winner/writer/victim, sometimes the answer is just right in front of us—in the form of other people who use Excel and who may have experienced the same issues.
Who among you has the hidden answer to Linda's conundrum? Hmmm???
If you've been using Office 2007, you're probably intimately familiar with the ribbon, which, as you can see, replaces the old menus and toolbars so that you can find what you need a lot more quickly.
In earlier versions, you often had to use the Tools | Options menus to hunt for what you needed to do. And sometimes the command you needed wasn't even there, and so you had to continue your search. With the ribbon, everything — or mostly everything — that you need to do is organized in logical groups. And if the ribbon, as it is, doesn't provide enough options for you, you can create a Quick Access Toolbar (QAT), which contains any command available in Word. It's like your own personalized ribbon.
And now that Office 2010 is out there waiting to be snatched up, you should know that in addition to Access, Excel, Word, PowerPoint (and certain aspects of Outlook), several other programs also have the ribbon: InfoPath, OneNote, Publisher, Project, Visio, and all of Outlook. There's no better time than right now to get started on that QAT; that way, when you need it, all of the features you need most will be front and center
For the last 12 months, I've provided you with ideas, tips, tricks, a bit of humor, shopping ideas, comments on popular and inane American culture, and ways to get out of working with difficult people. Since everyone seems to be in shopping list mode—except perhaps our Jewish friends who've already done their shopping since Hanukkah started Wednesday night, or our Type A friends who shopped at last year's after-Christmas sales (both types being lucky, chosen people)—I thought I'd offer up a list of the five MOST popular (perhaps because they're useful?) tips that I came up with the past year.
Sometimes working with software in general becomes way too complicated and more process-oriented than is necessary. Can things just be simple?
Here's what I mean, put in a real life situation: Say I'm at the library and I strike up a conversation with someone I like, someone on the same page as me, so to speak. Say I invite this person to a party I'm having that weekend just to see how we get along, how we talk together, how they fit in with my friends. Am I asking this person to bring their fancy clothes, their wacky accessories, their creepy relatives, and move their whole life into my apartment? Of course I'm not— jeez.
So why is it when I want to copy some information that I find somewhere—maybe on a web page, maybe in an Access database—and paste it into, say, an Excel spreadsheet to see if it make sense with what else is in there, why does all that information's fancy fonts, font relatives, and weirdo formatting have to come along too? All I want is the information—not all its BAGGAGE!
Is there an easy way to get info from one thing into an Excel spreadsheet? Relax, cha-cha; of course there is!
I tell you, I learn new things—sometimes even elementary things, that even typing monkeys already know—about Office programs every day and today I'm offering the newest one.
I'm going to make this short and sweet today. You can thank Kathy, a Crabby reader who posed this question:
"In Excel, when I hit enter the cursor moves to the right, which is what I want (most of the time). How can I change it to move down?"
I just figured that there was a default setting and that the user couldn't change it. Boy was this old dog wrong. Time to learn a new trick...
When Office 2007 first came out, what everyone noticed first was the new interface, namely, the ribbon. This ribbon replaced the menus and toolbars—yes, the self-same menus and toolbars that you constantly griped about and yet were suddenly so enamored of:
You cannot imagine how much whiny feedback I received about the change:
(And so on and so forth until my eyes rolled up into my head, my mouth went slack, and I wondered if it's too late to become a ballerina after all.)
And now that Office 2010 has come out...the ribbon is still there. Get used to it my chickadees because you will come to love it (and it's here to stay). But don't get crabby with me because although many of you may realize that learning to use this ribbon involves a steep learning curve in low gear, we created a few roadmaps to make it easier on you.
For Monday's post, I told you about a new feature I was starting up: A "Dear Crabby" community cultivation sort of thing. You write to me about ideas, tips, things that bug you, things that you love, and I'll print the ones I find most...useful, entertaining, or so very strange that I need my other readers' help understanding them.
And so, today as we embark upon our maiden voyage of the Friday Dear Crabby feature, we're going to learn some neat-o tips, ones I've never even heardof, from two illustrious Crabby blog readers Phil V. and Elizabeth S.
Good heavens my readers are creative and smart.
Hey, let's take the day off and go phishing! (No, let's not!)
"Phishing" in email jargon really does mean "fishing": Bait? Check. Hook? Check. Unsuspecting target? Check. Fresh fish for dinner? Check.
Here's how you get phished: You will get an email from what appears to be a governmental agency, an Internet service provider, or a valid bank or credit card company (maybe even a bank you actually do business with). You'll be asked to "verify" or "update" your information (name, password, account numbers, even gender) on the company's Web site. The email may even say that the company has suspected some fraudulent activity on your account, and it needs to verify that you are whom you claim to be.
These jerks are phishing for your personal information and want YOU to be their dinner (and their car and their nice house and their toys and their electronics and...and...) so whatever you do...DON'T CLICK THAT LINK!
Today I'm going to tell you what you CAN do once these sorts of messages have apparently bribed and gotten past the bouncer/junk mail filter.
Switching back and forth between worksheets can make your eyes spin around in their sockets (a great party trick but something your optometrist would advise against). Keep those baby blues steady when you use Excel 2007: